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Old 2006-01-07, 12:01 AM   #16
johnfoss
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unijesse
maybe its because every time someone asks a question they are told to use the search feature. that pisse me off.
Which part, the re-asking of common questions or the being told to search?

People who ask without bothering to search (excepting the minority of those that aren't aware they can) are being lazy. Instead of using a little effort to find answers that have already been written, and commented upon, and added to, and discussed, they would rather try to get someone else to repeat that effort, and wait for a reply instead of looking for themselves.

The search feature can be clunky, and is not always guaranteed to find you what you're looking for. But this does not mean one should not use it. If your purpose is to "have a chat," no searching is needed. But if you're looking for actual useful information, it's probably already been written. Rather than repeat the same or similar information in dozens of threads, wouldn't it be more useful to find one master thread that covers all aspects of the topics with writings by the most experienced people in the community?

Quote:
Originally Posted by musketman
that is it! i hate it to when people say "use the search button" If everyone used the search button(and most of the time its useless anyway) there would be no talking on the forum.
Musketman came in with a response to unijesse's quote while I was writing mine.

The search function is useless *some of the time*. If you never get anything useful out of it you may not be using it right. There are always plenty of new topics to discuss, or new angles on old subjects. Besides, do you think people are suddenly going to all start using the search?

But I have noticed a gradual increase in "juvenile" threads. These are ones that are somewhere around a junior high level of sensibility. I don't even get involved in those. Also, as the forums get more popular, as well as easier to use, the audience gets more casual.

Back before we had this easy Web-based forum, we actually were a much more productive group. We thought up ideas for things and then did them. People seemed to be more involved in their local unicycling organizations, including groups putting together conventions, coming up with rules, levels, written information, etc.

Not that I'm saying I would rather go back. I just miss having a group of people who were seriously committed to growing and building the sport, not just asking casual questions or letting us know they haven't received their new unicycles yet.
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Old 2006-01-07, 12:11 AM   #17
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Yes, that search button is quite an annoyance. I do so detest doing things on my own or finding out more about a topic independently. Why don't people jump at the opportunity to tell me how to fix a flat just because the thread above my own is one that deals entirely with fixing flats? I don't want to have to go looking up there with my scroll wheel.

When I get into a horrible fix and can't figure out how to hop or ride backwards or which color pedals to buy, I just ask an old hand like JAGU-A-R how to do it. I know he hasn't explained these things enough times to satisfy himself.
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Old 2006-01-07, 02:22 AM   #18
podzol
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnfoss
Not that I'm saying I would rather go back. I just miss having a group of people who were seriously committed to growing and building the sport, not just asking casual questions or letting us know they haven't received their new unicycles yet.
Hi John,
I want to tread lightly, because in all honesty I have a great deal of admiration and gratitude for your unicycling achievements and your contributions to the sport. When I learned (early 1970s) I was the only unicyclist that I new, except for the few folks that I taught. I didn't stick with it. Looking at what folks like you and the others have done, like Burton of snowboarding, you guys stuck by your guns and MADE the sports a popular and accessible activity. Surely you know that all these teens that are learning at a quadruople of the pace we adults learn are standing on the shoulders of giants (as yourself). When you started on your quest to further unicycling didn't you hope one day that there's be generations who latch on to the concepts and play withought having to fight for understanding, commaradarie, and knowledge? You're looking at that in this efflux of posts! On many levels, you are suceeding in your quest! These kids wouldn't be doing what they are doing today if it weren't for folks like you.

I know unicycling has a long way to go before it's exactly mainstream and in the olympics etc, but evolution of this forum shows it is getting there.

Many of the guys that author the less concequential posts are beginners, but many of them live for the sport, too, and this is where they go to hang in the unicycling culture. In time, they will have friends in their 'hood to shoot the breeze with, thanks to the dedication of folks like you!

Another solution, because there is a difference among posting styles, is to have a forum titled Unicycling theory and practice. Maybe it could even be strictly administered to keep it on track.

So any how, John. THANKS. You're making a difference. Try to enjoy that some of us less dedicated will just dance (on our unicycles) in the wake of your trail breaking! Now that's a mixed metaphor, !
Blake

Last edited by podzol; 2006-01-07 at 02:23 AM.
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Old 2006-01-07, 04:52 AM   #19
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When I first started unicycling a few years ago, and started posting here too, there was nothing KH out there, and muniac was inventing hubs, and the Coker wheel was a piece of limp spaghetti, and even the Profile hub was fairly new, and air seats were in their infancy, and there wasn't even a CF base to be purchased, and there was no Big Apple tire, and Universe (I) was hot, and the European tour was just about to happen....

In these brief, intense years, all those cool problems and situations have kindof gone away, and in many areas, there's nothing for the community do but to buy unicycles that are already done. While this isn't true deep in some twisted minds... , for the community sense of problem solving, there hasn't seemed like a lot to debate or explore lately.

I find, too, that with my little business (LiveWire), I can't speak as freely as I used to, because it's too easy to be construed as having a monetary, financial stake in what goes on, though I might hem and haw.

However things have changed, I find that things like Owen's latest video are hugely and satisfyingly contributory. I've watched that thing many times. It's amazing that he has made a real artistic statement with the background of such fine riding! And the breakthroughs in BC wheeling are historical.

Still exciting times, just a little different flavor.
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Old 2006-01-07, 07:29 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by musketman
the search button most of the time is useless anyway.
Hardly. I can't even count the number of noob questions I've answered through a quick use of the Search button. People could play their own librarian easily enough...they just choose not to, and there are plenty of folks willing to enable them by writing up the same answers over and over.

Would it be so bad if traffic decreased due to a lessening of the endless "How do you do something that was just asked yesterday but I didn't see because it moved off Page 1 and I just joined the forum today" questions? I'd rather see those drop, and hope that the same folks that took an extra minute to do their own research before posting would then take a couple additional minutes to document their experiences...like dudewithasock did.

We can get better...
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Old 2006-01-07, 07:43 AM   #21
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So, is there a problem?

If so, what is the solution from my end... assuming that a new visitor is not going to understand our "status quo" right away? I'm open to any ideas anyone has to alleviate whatever problems the current setup has. Even better yet is if you can program something that I can add to the site to alleviate it.
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Old 2006-01-07, 07:53 AM   #22
andrew_carter
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It may be an obvious suggestion, but what about a sticky thread outlining forum etiquette and notifying people of the search feature? Most of you would have seen it before. I usually skim through these on the rare occasion (once, in fact) that I join a new forum, but do other people do the same?

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Old 2006-01-07, 08:05 AM   #23
GILD
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ColDawG
This is my first "winter on the forums," so I don't know what it's usually like in this season of less riding.
This strikes me as the important bit.
Eccl. 3:1

A while ago there were a couple of threads about the increase in rudeness on the forums. That also just went away.

It's a Proud Mary kinda thing.

I vote for the sticky thread idea.
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Old 2006-01-07, 09:07 AM   #24
john_childs
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnfoss
But I have noticed a gradual increase in "juvenile" threads. These are ones that are somewhere around a junior high level of sensibility. I don't even get involved in those. Also, as the forums get more popular, as well as easier to use, the audience gets more casual.
That's what I call the AOL effect. As a forum gets more visual, interactive, and easier to use the amount of chatty posts goes up and the closer the forum gets to a chat board.

The unicyclist.com forum has made the discussion group a lot more accessible than back in the days of the mailing list and Usenet. That's a good thing.

The forum is also a lot more multimedia friendly so it is a lot easier to post pictures and video than it was back in the days of Usenet. That's a good thing. I love the videos and pictures.

But the increase in chatty posts and low content posts does make it impossible to read every single post or even look at every thread. I used to be able to read every thread and most every post. No longer. It's not even close. I can't read every post and I don't even bother to look at every thread. The volume is too much.

A decrease in the chatty posts in R.S.U. would make it much easier to handle the volume and make it less likely for people to miss the good stuff and the important stuff that gets posted. The Just Conversation forum is where the chatty stuff should go. R.S.U. should be more business like but still fun.

I third the idea for a sticky thread outlining some basic forum etiquette. Chatty posts and replies should go to Just Conversation. Posts in R.S.U. should have some thought behind them and generally be informative or productive to the forum.

Another thing that could be done is to use the reputation system to vote down chatty posts in R.S.U. and do more voting up of quality posts. Using the reputation system like that could help discourage chatty posts in R.S.U.

When posting to R.S.U. I try to keep in mind that whatever I post goes out to hundreds of people. Is what I'm going to post worth the time for those hundreds of people to read it? Am I just going to waste their collective time? I've written replies and then decided not to post it because the reply didn't offer anything worthwhile. Just because a reply is written doesn't mean it has to be posted.

Just Conversation, on the other hand, is more of a free-for-all and chatty posts are welcome and even encouraged over there.
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Old 2006-01-07, 10:54 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by musketman
If everyone used the search button(and most of the time its useless anyway) there would be no talking on the forum.
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnfoss
But if you're looking for actual useful information, it's probably already been written.
Talking? Written? Don't you mean typed?

In all seriousness, yes, when it comes to riding techniques many riders will ask the same or very similar questions. Those questions will have been asked before and therefore answered before, and in these forums preserved for all time. As always with unicycling, everyone gives different answers to simple questions and they will all be right to some extent.

And here comes the point: People seem to come and go on these forums over time. Someone will inevitably ask a question that was also asked about a year or two ago, but the different people will generate different answers and advice to the same question.

And even if the same people answer, the answers they give themselves would change. A newbie asks how a trick is done or learnt; a year ago someone with intermediate skill would have been trying to learn the same trick and posted their experiences of how they are learning it as an answer. So if a new newbie asks about the same trick later on, that same intermediate skilled person has now learned it and hence their advice would change depending on their learning experiences.

So if everybody used search and didn't make any new posts regarding learning skills, no new experience or variety of experiences would be witnessed.
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Old 2006-01-07, 01:46 PM   #26
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Re: The New Forum Style...less content, more chat

podzol wrote:
> Another solution, because there is a difference among posting styles,
> is to have a forum titled Unicycling theory and practice. Maybe it
> could even be strictly administered to keep it on track.


Such posts belong in rsu. That is largely the purpose of the mailing
list and newsgroup, which are connected to the rsu forum but not (AIUI)
to other forums. That's not to say that people shouldn't search before
posting, of course. I have long been in the habit of searching both
Google Groups and www before asking questions on any ng.

For forum users (of which I am not one), I like the "sticky thread" idea
suggested by Andrew Carter. Perhaps that could be combined with a
regular posting of the FAQ [1] to the newsgroup and mailing list.

Another idea (taken from rec.juggling) would be to have a standard post
outlining the purposes of the group, the FAQ and basic netiquette. I
don't know whether it's still the case, but in the past the JIS would
automatically e-mail such a message to any poster on rec.juggling who
had not previously posted from the same address. The standard post
could also be sent to all new mailing list users when they first sign
up, and could form the basis for a sticky thread on the forum.

For postings to rsu, I recommend following normal usenet netiquette:
<URL:ftp://rtfm.mit.edu/pub/usenet/news.answers/usenet/primer/part1>

The standard post for new users could, of course, include a link to
Emily Postnews, but...
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I fear that the irony may be missed by some of the Leftpondians here.
</flameproof suit>

[1] We may need several FAQs. Those that exist may be out of date. I
know of these two, mind you it's been a few years since I actually
looked for unicycling FAQs:
<URL:http://www.unicycling.org/unicycling/faq.html>
<http://www.unicycling.com/brett/e_muni/faq.html>

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Old 2006-01-07, 01:53 PM   #27
onefiftyfour
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gkmac, i like what you said.

i prefer a community that welcomes people to interact. that is really the best thing about these forums. people get to know one another. you get to feel a part of a community which is sometimes hard to do locally.

i find a sticky about the search button to be rude and exclusive.

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Old 2006-01-07, 02:19 PM   #28
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This group (referring to the forum) is at the stage when beginners are going to outnumber the experienced. It's catching on.
The beginners are going to be asking all the same questions, that's just life. But a big part of those is being part of a social group in an often lonely sport. If beginners are encouraged to find the answers on thier own, we miss out on some of them becoming part of the group. The "number of people using this site" box is a good indicator of lurkers vs users; guests are always a majority.
Think of it in the context of a club, where the usual beginner questions are referred to the faq pamphlet, over there by the door. Good luck, kid. Who could stand to the side while someone tried to learn, unaided in a group full of skilled unicyclists? On the other hand, if beginners show up in large numbers, teaching them interferes with other club activities. That's when a beginners group/time/area is formed, helped out by the right volunteers.
And that's what I'd suggest, a beginner's forum. With a sticky post up top with the usual questions linked in it, for the lurkers. But also open to posting these questions, because some just need the social support. That would help with a lot of the chat, without chasing off new community members.

I do think that most of the ot chat comes from beginners. We just don't have as much unicycling stuff to contribute; just getting started and all. Give unto us a kiddie corner, and we shall chatter away out of earshot.

Last edited by wobblyjohn; 2006-01-07 at 02:22 PM.
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Old 2006-01-07, 03:06 PM   #29
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It wouldn't be a sticky about the search button, it would be a sticky that said, 'READ ME: RSU Forum Rules!' or something to that extent, and in there would be a set of rules devised to try and keep rsu a productive and happy place. Then, whenever someone does something exclusively against the rules, bad things happen to them or something, or at the very least they're told to go read the damn rules
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Old 2006-01-07, 03:26 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by U-Turn
When I first started unicycling a few years ago, and started posting here too, there was nothing KH out there, and muniac was inventing hubs, and the Coker wheel was a piece of limp spaghetti, and even the Profile hub was fairly new, and air seats were in their infancy, and there wasn't even a CF base to be purchased, and there was no Big Apple tire, and Universe (I) was hot, and the European tour was just about to happen....

In these brief, intense years, all those cool problems and situations have kindof gone away, and in many areas, there's nothing for the community do but to buy unicycles that are already done
You have forgotten geared unicycles such as the Schlumpf is pretty new, and we got a ton of new cool films.
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