Maybe it’s long enough since the old BoingBoing forum was replaced by, or evolved into BBS, to ask how people feel about it now?
How do they feel it has developed?
How has it affected the BoingBoing community?
What do the forum users think?
What do the forum developers think?
What do the BoingBoing editors and writers think?
Is it better, worse, not really that different?
Has it improved the community or detracted from what it used to be?
Has it affected the community that the comments don’t automatically make the ‘front page’?
Did the change to BBS see a drop off of some forum contributors?
That is probably all people really need to read to get the basic questions I am asking - I just go on to ask the same stuff but in a more rambling way below.
I’m not sure if I am the best person to ask this question as I came very late to the party of the old forum (and I don’t mean ‘fashionably’) though I had still been aware of it for long enough for the new one to surprise me. I did a strip Change Sucks about it when BBS first started, where I kind of argued (through the medium of embarrassing confessional comics) that it was only resistance to change that was making BBS seem like a negative development. Part of the reason for that was that in an earlier thread pertaining to the BoingBoing article Great Graphic Novels: Sazae-San, by Machiko Hasegawa by Lars Martinson, in the old forum in 2012, I had exchanged with some folks about the idea of being able to review something through the medium of comics rather than just necessarily typed words, and how that would be a cool thing to have on BoingBoing.
Unfortunately I think I broke the link to the comic strip that should have been there I did as a response to the article. So here it is again, which breaks up this already over-long post at least.
The fact that the link has now gone sort of reinforces why the present utility is better, at least for the purpose referred to, and even though I was able to post a visual response, it was sort of disappointing it had to be a link and a tiny pop-up window graphic. A kind of offshoot of that forum exchange then, was a cognizance of the possibility that the technical utility for posting a visual response in the old forum was actually quite limited. This was why I ended the later strip Change Sucks with a ‘put your money where your mouth is’ thing - because I had very quickly discovered that the very thing I had said would be a good feature - a better utility for posting visuals - had arrived in BBS, yet my initial reaction had been one of confusion, fear and resistance. Admittedly, that is my response to things generally. All that, however, is hardly something that can necessarily be considered to be a reflection of a general viewpoint. In fact by trying to describe the history of it through my story, I now look like a shameless self publicist and really should just be Me-ing on Twitter or something.
This isn’t about me. I have come to recognize and appreciate more and more that BoingBoing is a superior forum, and in itself makes a mockery of some places that are described as “social networking” sites yet have all the community cohesion of a dogfight.
I was wondering what the developers of the forum system Discourse themselves felt about how things have gone since the change? In fact it was because I had asked codinghorror how he felt about how things have developed with BBS that I have reluctantly come to be posting this.
And I guess with the introduction of BBS there must have been some risk element for the writers and editors of BoingBoing too… since, obviously, the forum community was surely not something they wanted to damage.
So how do the BoingBoing editors/writers feel about it a year on?
I’m also interested to know whether there are forum contributors whose initial reaction was negative that have changed their opinion? Has their opinion worsened even?
In the original thread that announced the change Introducing BBS, our new forums I vaguely remember seeing some people saying that they would not be contributing to the forum any more, as they felt the change was so radical that it totally went against all the reasons why they used to contribute. Did any of them follow up on that and never contribute again? Or did they decide to grudgingly continue to contribute? Or maybe they started to like it?
I suspected some people felt that the way the change meant that their comments were now not presented on the main page automatically undermined the sense of being involved? Or maybe affected their ego a little? Has that affected the community or not?
There are other threads that I suppose relate to the actual technical functionality of the forum, so I suppose this question relates to that, but in a more general sense, and also I am asking this from a more emotional soft-focus viewpoint. This was partly a result of having watched Jeff Atwood’s Habit Summit talk and it made me think about the nature of online community, which is what this is all about really.
When BBS started there were some comments that seemed to be saying that the change would be damaging to the Boing Boing community and I was wondering if that has turned out to be the case or not?
How do people feel about the way the introduction of BBS has affected the forum?