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Wed Sep 9, 2015, 01:19 PM

Tips for Surviving Primary Season on Democratic Underground

DU members love to discuss Democratic Party politics, and that discussion is never more passionate than during primary season. Veterans of previous primary seasons will have anticipated that this period of the political calendar would be tough on DU, and are probably not surprised by the overall level of discourse. Newer members may be a bit more shocked at what's going on.

But whether you are a veteran or a new member, you should be aware that the current iteration of our forum software has some useful functions that can dramatically improve your experience if you are getting fed up of primary season. Veterans should note that these functions didn't exist (or had reduced functionality) last time we went through a contested presidential primary.

So here are a few suggestions for anyone who is feeling burned out...

1. Trash the General Discussion: Primaries forum

Go to the General Discussion: Primaries forum and click the "Trash this forum" button found in the navigation bar just below the forum header. You'll be presented with two options:
[font color="red"]You can undo these actions at any time by visiting your My Account: Trash Can page.[/font]

2. Trash candidate groups

You can use the same procedure outlined above to trash individual candidate groups. If you are looking for a more friendly, supportive atmosphere, here's one way to do it: 1) trash General Discussion: Primaries, 2) trash groups for candidates you don't support, 3) don't trash groups for candidates you do support.

Here are some useful shortcuts to the groups for our current presidential candidates, listed here in alphabetical order:
[font color="red"]You can undo these actions at any time by visiting your My Account: Trash Can page.[/font]

3. Make use of the ignore function

Whether you're trashing forums and groups or not, if there is a specific individual who consistently rubs you the wrong way we recommend that you make use of the ignore function. To ignore someone, either click the "Ignore" button on their profile, or find a post by that member and click the little ignore button in the bar at the top of their post -->

You'll be presented with two options:
  • "Block mail" prevents you receiving DU Mail from the member.

  • "Full ignore" prevents you receiving DU Mail from the member, and prevents you from seeing any posts by the member.
[font color="red"]You can undo these actions at any time by visiting your My Account: Ignore List page.[/font]

Whether you choose to block mail from another member or put them on full ignore, they will not be informed that you have added them to your ignore list.

Bear in mind that when you are ignoring someone they are not completely gone. They can still reply to your posts, they can serve on Juries for your posts, and you can serve on Juries for their posts. However, you will not see any of their posts, and you won't see any replies to their posts either. This essentially gives the impression that they no longer exist on DU.

A few caveats

As of now, threads from forums that you have trashed and threads by members you are ignoring will still appear on the homepage (we hope to fix this once we have upgraded our servers). And while most threads about the primaries are funneled into the General Discussion: Primaries forum and the candidate groups they can sometimes appear in other forums, so you may find it impossible to completely eradicate them from view (if that's what you were hoping to do).

Finally, please note that all in the information in this post pertains to the Democratic primaries -- if you want to hide threads about the Republican primaries, you'll need to trash the General Discussion forum.

The bottom line is that these functions give you options, just be aware that they aren't completely perfect. But we do highly recommend their use, in whichever combination you prefer, if you feel you need to give your brain a reprieve from discussions of the Democratic primaries.

You have the power to shape your own DU experience!

-- The DU Administrators

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Arrow 59 replies Author Time Post
Reply Tips for Surviving Primary Season on Democratic Underground (Original post)
EarlG Sep 2015 OP
CaliforniaPeggy Sep 2015 #1
shenmue Sep 2015 #2
Lochloosa Sep 2015 #3
daleanime Sep 2015 #10
Hortensis Sep 2015 #26
philly_bob Sep 2015 #4
onehandle Sep 2015 #5
liberal N proud Sep 2015 #6
CTyankee Sep 2015 #22
Tarheel_Dem Sep 2015 #7
Gormy Cuss Sep 2015 #8
Fla Dem Sep 2015 #9
Post removed Sep 2015 #11
Stainless Sep 2015 #12
Skittles Sep 2015 #17
raven mad Sep 2015 #13
herding cats Sep 2015 #14
NanceGreggs Sep 2015 #15
awoke_in_2003 Sep 2015 #16
Fla Dem Sep 2015 #19
Bobbie Jo Sep 2015 #23
MADem Sep 2015 #27
NanceGreggs Sep 2015 #31
MADem Sep 2015 #35
NanceGreggs Sep 2015 #42
MADem Sep 2015 #43
NanceGreggs Sep 2015 #45
MADem Sep 2015 #46
NanceGreggs Sep 2015 #47
MADem Sep 2015 #48
MADem Sep 2015 #35
SidDithers Sep 2015 #49
MADem Sep 2015 #58
JTFrog Sep 2015 #40
Gothmog Sep 2015 #28
zappaman Sep 2015 #29
NanceGreggs Sep 2015 #32
sheshe2 Sep 2015 #34
JTFrog Sep 2015 #39
steve2470 Sep 2015 #50
boston bean Sep 2015 #18
CTyankee Sep 2015 #21
boston bean Sep 2015 #24
CTyankee Sep 2015 #25
rainbow fish Sep 2015 #20
steve2470 Sep 2015 #30
emulatorloo Sep 2015 #41
steve2470 Sep 2015 #44
Erich Bloodaxe BSN Sep 2015 #53
steve2470 Sep 2015 #54
murielm99 Sep 2015 #33
JTFrog Sep 2015 #38
Capt. Obvious Sep 2015 #37
chillfactor Sep 2015 #51
Erich Bloodaxe BSN Sep 2015 #52
stevenleser Sep 2015 #55
steve2470 Sep 2015 #56
Ptah Sep 2015 #57
question everything Oct 2015 #59

Response to EarlG (Original post)

Wed Sep 9, 2015, 01:21 PM

1. These are great tools and great advice...Thank you!

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Response to EarlG (Original post)

Wed Sep 9, 2015, 01:26 PM

2. Step 1: Vodka - Step 2: No pants



Solves many things.

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Response to shenmue (Reply #2)

Wed Sep 9, 2015, 01:38 PM

3. Step 3: Pictures

Must have proof that steps 1 & 2 work.

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Response to Lochloosa (Reply #3)

Wed Sep 9, 2015, 04:03 PM

10. I suggest heavy experimentation......

just make sure you're not scheduled to work the next day.

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Response to daleanime (Reply #10)

Thu Sep 10, 2015, 03:26 PM

26. LOL. I suggest trashing the word "trash." Maybe..."refine." I had a different reason for "refining"

DU to hide the Bernie forum. I like him a lot and accidentally answered threads in "Latest Threads" without noticing they originated in a forum for committed Bernie supporters. If I'd noticed, I wouldn't have dreamed of bothering them with my opinion that he was a very long shot, etc., but as it is I only became aware when they angrily kicked me out.

Having gotten myself banned, "refining" that forum off my screen is after the fact, of course, but I'm now going to watch for other forums I shouldn't bother with my opinions -- or should just stay away from for my own peace of mind, should they exist. I actually have a pretty thick skin, flexible eyebrows, and a strong stomach.

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Response to EarlG (Original post)

Wed Sep 9, 2015, 02:07 PM

4. These steps address major problems in the DU primary discussion process.

I have complained publicly about some aspects of the DU primary back-and-forth, specifically the Protected Group member bans. These steps partly address those problems.

Thanks for providing them.

However, it may be difficult for newcomers to follow these steps.

And personally, I will not be following these steps, because I want to hear what is being said in GD-P and in each of the candidate forums. An easier solution for me is to go back to more passive reading (lurking) and less replying (participating).

But kudos to the admins for attempting to address the problems.

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Response to EarlG (Original post)

Wed Sep 9, 2015, 02:15 PM

5. So ignore the problem?

Ok...

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Response to EarlG (Original post)

Wed Sep 9, 2015, 02:29 PM

6. My ignore list has grown considerably recently, comparative to where I was before June

I more than doubled the number on ignore in less than 3 months. Been here since 2004 and only had a half dozen on ignore prior to June.

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Response to liberal N proud (Reply #6)

Thu Sep 10, 2015, 02:23 PM

22. I think it is a good idea. I started doing it recently and it does make life better here.

And I trashed two groups. When I read that Skinner uses those two functions I re-thought my "libertarian" ideas about not ignoring/seeing people and unpleasant, annoying threads/groups.

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Response to EarlG (Original post)

Wed Sep 9, 2015, 02:39 PM

7. As a veteran, I took this advice long before you offered it up. DU sucks much less.

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Response to EarlG (Original post)

Wed Sep 9, 2015, 02:50 PM

8. Trashing GD:P or a candidate group is good advice, as is hiding threads. "Ignore" OTOH

just encourages RW posters, the willfully ignorant, and the intentional trolls because not everyone ignores them.

A better solution is to engage them and if one has faith in the jury system to alert on their tripe.

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Response to EarlG (Original post)

Wed Sep 9, 2015, 03:28 PM

9. Thank you. I have been avoiding DU alot because it seems to have been taken over by sometimes

nasty posts about DEMOCRATIC candidates. This just makes me sad how we can disparage our own. So if I can navigate DU without having to see the mudslinging, I am a happier person, I'll know it's still going on, but at least it's not in my face..

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Response to EarlG (Original post)


Response to EarlG (Original post)

Wed Sep 9, 2015, 05:04 PM

12. I've been on DU for almost 15 years and I've posted less than 500 times!

I once contributed a token amount of money to DU, but I never did again after I had some posts removed for what I considered to be pettiness. I think the DU jury system is flawed and weakness in the way the jury system works keeps me from posting comments that may be removed by juries that are not really qualified to judge anything in my opinion.

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Response to Stainless (Reply #12)

Thu Sep 10, 2015, 02:06 AM

17. juries are a crapshoot, Stainless

 

some of them are good while some are stupid beyond belief (recently someone alerted on an badly-worded post of mine - I've been here forever and that asshole did not even bother asking me one question to determine it was in error before alerting)

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Response to EarlG (Original post)

Wed Sep 9, 2015, 10:10 PM

13. I only lurked during the runup to Obama's nomination -

and you folks did a wonderful job then, when it seemed half of DU was going to kill the other half! (and vice-versa........)

There are so many more options now.

My best advice? Remain civil.

Thanks, Admins - you rock.

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Response to EarlG (Original post)

Wed Sep 9, 2015, 10:43 PM

14. Excellent PSA.

The shortcuts are a helpful touch.

It's nice to know that about the potential extras coming with the server upgrade. I'll try and donate a bit this week to help make it happen sooner.

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Response to EarlG (Original post)

Wed Sep 9, 2015, 11:03 PM

15. In other words ...

Last edited Wed Sep 9, 2015, 11:41 PM - Edit history (1)

If you are a veteran DUer (or a newbie) and have come to DU to actually discuss and/or debate the issues facing us as voters in next November’s presidential election, abandon all hope ye who enter here. Instead of pretending to have the ability to discuss anything, simply acknowledge that no actual discussion is possible here and “trash” the forums where such discussion was once possible.

Despite DU’s former (and once rather famous) reputation for being a Democratic-supporting website, please make note of the fact that trashing Democrats is now not only permitted here, but doing so will garner RECs galore and will land your OP – no matter how vile, how misinformed, how full of RW talking points – on the Greatest Page and the Home Page, so that any doubt about what DU now stands for is rendered moot.

Trash the General Discussion: Primaries forum. If you are a Hillary supporter, be warned that you are in the minority here and, as such, juries will vote to hide any and all OPs/posts that can even remotely be perceived as being anti-Bernie. To their credit, jurors have been very up-front with their “unbiased decisions”, and will actually explain that they have left the most disgusting anti-Dem posts to stand if they disagree with the poster’s acknowledged support of HRC.

Trash candidate groups. By all means, use the “trash” option to remove any and all posters who disagree with your politics or candidate-of-choice. Why else would anyone come to a “political discussion board” other than to NOT discuss politics with those who disagree with their own positions? The alternative – actually discussing one’s political positions/opinions – was once the life’s blood of this site. Those days are gone, and creating an echo chamber within which any poster can create his/her own reality by blocking any and all posters of differing opinions is now encouraged.

Make use of the ignore function. Why be bothered by those who don’t agree with YOU 100% of the time, when you can simply “ignore” them? Nothing promotes productive dialogue between posters than the ability to stick your fingers in your ears and yell “I can’t HEAR you!” by simply accessing a handy-dandy button that removes said people from your “DU experience”.

A few caveats. As of now, threads from forums that you have trashed and threads by members you are ignoring will still appear on the homepage (we hope to fix this once we have upgraded our servers).

Well, thank God for small favours. We wouldn’t want anyone to have to see things they don’t want to see on a political message board. Delicate sensibilities could be irreparably damaged; the weak-of-heart could wind up in institutions where over-crowded fainting couches give rise to regular attacks of the vapours – a condition few I can’t abide differing opinions sufferers survive.

The bottom line is that these functions give you options, just be aware that they aren't completely perfect. But we do highly recommend their use, in whichever combination you prefer, if you feel you need to give your brain a reprieve from discussions of the Democratic primaries.

Well, EarlG, I’ve been around DU long enough to remember a time when the last thing on any DUer’s mind was a “need to give their brain a reprieve” from the primaries, or anything else that had to do with political discussion. I remember a time when DU was all about discussion and debate, and NOT about hiding out in safe havens where posters could express their views, or being relegated to a small corner of DU if they had the unmitigated gall to support the Party, it’s president, or its members.

I remember a time when Republicans were acknowledged as the enemy, rather than fellow Dems being ostracized for supporting their own party on what was once touted as “a sanctuary for Democrats” who were tired of the never-ending onslaught of the right-wing media.

Now the RW media is not only quoted, but revered. Now the Democrats who support the Party are told to keep to their own “groups” and not interfere with the anti-Democratic bashing that goes on here day-in/day-out. Now the Democrats on DemocraticUndergound are advised to sit down, shut up, and not bother the FOX-News-quoting RWers who post here on a daily basis.

When you are down to telling Democrats NOT to try and discuss Democratic issues on an alleged Democratic site, but to “trash” and/or “ignore” fellow posters, you have really tipped your hand.

REAL Democrats embrace the opportunity to discuss, debate, argue and explore everything they see as important and germane, particularly in the lead-up to an election that will decide who will lead our nation in the next four-to-eight years.

The fact that you, as a DU admin, are advising Democrats to “trash and/or ignore” those who they disagree with speaks for itself. If disregarding the opinions of those who think differently, those who express opinions that are not the majority opinion on your website, those who have something to say that has been deemed unacceptable by the highly-questionable “Democrats” who have taken over this site, so be it.

But promoting the pretence that true Democrats need to hide in their respective corners of a “Democratic” website so as to be safe from untoward comments, that true Democrats require “trashing and ignoring” those who hold differing opinions, that true Democrats need to be protected from engaging in honest discussion with other Democrats is beyond insulting.

Real Democrats don’t walk away from a fight. They don’t bow down or bow out. They don’t slink off to their designated corners on what purports to be a “Democratic” site. They don’t pretend that RW talking points should be ignored rather than challenged.

And they don’t hit the “ignore” or “trash” buttons in order to survive on a site that still holds itself out to be a sanctuary from RW bullshit, while allowing that bullshit to be posted 24/7 without interference or consequence – because, you know, juries.

But by all means, keep telling Democrats that they can “enhance their DU experience” simply by ignoring the fact that their alleged “fellow Democrats” aren’t the least bit interested in anything they have to say.

Who can argue with a Democratic “discussion board” that admonishes Democrats NOT to discuss anything with each other, when they can just as easily “ignore or trash” whatever it is they don’t want to hear?

Albeit inadvertently, EarlG, you have nonetheless epitomized everything that is wrong with DU. Don’t engage – ignore. Don’t discuss – trash. Don’t communicate – opt out.

I once predicted that DU would wind up with half of the posters here putting the other half on ignore. It was said in jest at the time. Little did I know that the Admins would not only suggest exactly that, but actually encourage it.

What is left to be said about a "Democratic website" that tells its members to ignore each other, or trash what each other have to say?

Not much. And what IS left to be said isn't pretty.

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Response to NanceGreggs (Reply #15)

Thu Sep 10, 2015, 01:23 AM

16. + 1000

 

Moderation needs to make a comeback

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Response to NanceGreggs (Reply #15)

Thu Sep 10, 2015, 11:17 AM

19. Not sure how you get rid of the elephant in the room, and until it's gone the manure is pretty deep

So that's why I'll ignore/trash those forums. I'm all for debate, but it's mighty frustrating when you respond to an op with a different viewpoint and are immediately assaulted with inflammatory comments and you or your candidate are ridiculed. Frankly it just isn't enjoyable, stimulating or informative. And it sickens me to see the RW talking points freely used to denigrate DEMOCRATIC candidates, I have no doubt much of which is from RW trolls. They know this is the predominant left/progressive forum and they use it to seed dissent and to undermine our candidates. So I'm sitting out the primaries. I may rejoin the debate after the primaries when we are no loner pitting Democratic candidates against each other,rather going after the true enemy.

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Response to NanceGreggs (Reply #15)

Thu Sep 10, 2015, 02:36 PM

23. Thank you.

Co-signed.

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Response to NanceGreggs (Reply #15)

Thu Sep 10, 2015, 03:48 PM

27. Have I told you lately that I love you? Nance Fricken RANTS! Righteously, too!!!!!! +1,000,000!

I am hoping that the admins will create a new site, for Democrats who support Democratic candidates for public office, where bashing, trashing and otherwise insulting Democrats is not permitted, and where right wing boosting gets a poster the boot.

This one used to be like that, but it ain't, no more.

I agree with every single word you said.

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Response to MADem (Reply #27)

Thu Sep 10, 2015, 08:42 PM

31. "This one used to be like that ..."

Exactly.

DU was far more populated and widely-read in the old days, when the TOS was enforced and it was a truly Democrat-supporting site. RWers were booted off in record time, and shit-stirrers never lasted more than a few posts.

Despite disagreements, there was always a sense of "we're all Dems, and we're all in this together". Now I doubt that even 50% of the posters here are actually Democrats.

I will never understand why such a highly-successful political site decided to change the rules and the way it operates, only to see it devolve into its current state. DU's Alexa ratings have declined steadily since the changes, so one can only wonder what Skinner thought he was achieving by making changes that have actually lost the site its once lofty position as a political message board.

When an Admin tries to persuade posters on a "discussion" site that they can "enhance their DU experience" by actually minimizing their discussion with each other - well, that pretty much says it all.

I keep hoping that someone will launch a Democratic site modeled on the original DU - so those of us who remember what it was to be part of a community of fellow Dems have a place to feel at home again.

And I've no doubt that such a site would quickly become as successful as DU once was - and still would be, if not for the totally unnecessary (and detrimental) changes its owner chose to make.

It's been a classic case of "if it ain't broke, don't fix it". And the original concept and operation of DU was never broke. So why it was "fixed" will always remain a mystery.

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Response to NanceGreggs (Reply #31)

Thu Sep 10, 2015, 11:56 PM

35. I don't think the changes were done to screw the place over--it was an experiment to give "us"

more ownership. And in theory, that is fine. The problem came in when long-term users were devalued; their experience and time on the site were not given any "value added" by the site owners--and that should have happened, because while the software and the layout are great, it's the PEOPLE who are the site, and their history and experience here were a key ingredient that the site constructors kind of ignored.

I think DU should be run a bit more like the Navy in one key respect--you don't let the kid just out of boot camp command the ship. He or she needs to start out polishing brass and swabbing out the heads, not running the show.

I think trust needs to be earned, over time, and I just don't think there's any substitute for time. I think it ought to be 1000 posts and six months, whichever comes LAST, before a person even sees a jury. MINIMUM. And I don't think you should be able to "buy" more jury opportunity, either. Find some other value-added geegaw to make a donation worthwhile (and get rid of that whole paypal portal and let us do the deed via the same mechanisms that support GOFUNDME or something).

Anyone can open up an account here, post like hell for three days (+1, I agree, Right on! That's great!) and have the same jury opportunity as a person who has a decade or more of posting under their belt. Then, they can use their jury opportunity to screw people over--and if they're smart, they won't leave a comment. Ambiguity is power.

Also, there's no requirement to read the TOS before posting--but there should be. It should be READ AND INITIAL, like when you download shit from Microsuck. People can't say they weren't exposed to it, or don't know what's expected. That should happen before Post One on this site. The first time a person posts in a group or forum, the forum SOP should pop up and a "I've read and acknowedged" block should come up for a check mark. Again, people can ignore the rules, but they can't pretend they weren't exposed to them.

In DU2, the rules got so long they got hard to follow. I used to re-read them every month or so, checking for changes--it was like a military instruction or notice, it would get updated routinely. A lot of those old rules are gone, now. There are so few of us who remember a lot of them ("No sex threads!" Those were the days....).

If the admins formed a site for Democrats, I'd sign up, if they'd be pro-active in lowering the ban-hammer on assholes. They do have a nice product here, their layouts are clean and easy to read, but the trolling, hatred, crudeness, rudeness, personal insults and vicious slams against Democrats that go far beyond 'policy disagreement' have fucking destroyed this once-beautiful place. It will take a miracle to get confidence back. I don't think this is a "primary season" problem--it's a "trolls and assholes" problem. Poor MIRT--they can't keep up, and they don't have the tools to do it right, either.

I have liked DU since I first found it, and it's a shame it has come to this. It used to be where the smart people were. There are still a lot of smart people hanging in there, hoping for a course correction, but every day more and more of them fall away--not just the disgusted, but the ones who are swarmed and alert stalked (and sorry, that does happen, despite insistence to the contrary). Pretty soon all the trolls and disruptors and bad actors will have driven us off to parts unknown, and they will be left to their own devices. I suppose then they can name it UNDEMOCRATIC UNDERGROUND, plant their flag, and declare victory...or something.



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Response to MADem (Reply #35)

Fri Sep 11, 2015, 03:27 PM

42. I don't think for a minute ...

... that the aim was to screw things up - but that has ultimately been the effect.

No doubt the jury system was set up so the site would need less input from Skinner. However, it should have been obvious from the start that personal animosities were going to be an issue - that's just human nature.

The fact that Skinner stated that juries were never expected to enforce the TOS - well, exactly what ARE they supposed to judge questionable posts on? It comes down to individual whims, and often individual likes/dislikes of posters/alerters.

The notion that juries set "community standards" is laughable. How can there be a "standard" when that standard changes from one jury to the next, depending on who's on that jury?

The REAL problem, IMHO, arises from the fact that anyone can post the most vile, anti-Dem, RW bullshit here with very little chance of consequences - because those who post those things are now part of the jury system, and won't vote to "hide" the kind of things they themselves post here.

I truly loved this place when it was a site for Democrats. Now it is no different than any other free-for-all message board. Anyone can post anything - the only difference being that on DU, you have to pretend to be a Democrat while doing so.

At the rate things are going, there won't be anyone left here but the BS supporters, and their RW friends pretending to be BS supporters. And they're welcome to the place. There's nothing here for me anymore.



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Response to NanceGreggs (Reply #42)

Fri Sep 11, 2015, 03:41 PM

43. I can't argue with you because your points are entirely valid. This is no longer a site for

Democrats--it's basically a YAHOO chat site with slightly better spelling.

I do think the admins need to have a little discussion among themselves about what they want the future of this place to be. I believe that once a lot of people start leaving, they're not going to come back.

This is bigger than "What candidate do you support?" The culture of this place has been altered, and the advantage has been tilted to people who can behave like a-holes and not suffer any consequences for it.

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Response to MADem (Reply #43)

Fri Sep 11, 2015, 05:13 PM

45. "The culture of this place has been altered."

Well put - that's precisely it.

The TOS was altered in around 2009-10, and "only constructive criticism of Dems" was changed to allow "any and all criticism". It was downhill from there. DU was overrun with, uh, "disappointed Democrats" who posted the most vile things about Obama, the Party, and its members under the guise of being "disappointed".

Many of them are now accepted as long-term DUers - and many of them have never said one positive thing about any Democrat - ever.

I have seen Obama called names I wouldn't expect to see in Freeperville. And now those same people post the same vile things about HRC. (Funny how you don't see as many anti-Obama posts anymore - because Hillary, being the Party's front-runner, is now the favoured target.)

The RW trolls here are blatant in their non-stop attacks on Democrats. And yet they're still here stinking up the place. They sit on juries, they host groups, and they continue to post anti-Democratic bullshit day-in. day-out, without fear of repercussion.

Sadly, I think the point of no return was reached years ago. If the RW trolls and the anti-Dem shit-disturbers were sent packing now, there probably wouldn't be enough real Dems left to make the site viable.

I left DU for several years. I came back hoping things had changed, that the Admins would actually notice what was happening and DO something about it. But it looks like they've lost interest entirely, and no longer care what this place has become.

RIP, my old and beloved DU. Gone but not forgotten.

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Response to NanceGreggs (Reply #45)

Fri Sep 11, 2015, 05:42 PM

46. Maybe it provides an income stream that is pretty much the same regardless

of level of intervention? It's been put on auto-pilot, perhaps?

I guess they're getting too old and tired to do the "involved" model, with the Grovelbot and the hearts and the donations and solicitations...and the cash from the occasional subscriber, the one time donors, and the Google ads is about the same with a "hands off" approach...? Probably, between this place and DI, it might even be better.

There used to be a place called SCHRAFT's in Boston--it had a few locations here and there. They served really good, affordable food, and made the best hot fudge sundae you ever wanted to eat. Everything home-made, from scratch...the highest quality, very precise standards. When the owners got too old and tired to keep on, they could have sold the business--and the NAME, which was very respected--for a small fortune. They didn't, though. They just closed up shop and now SCHRAFT's is history. It's fondly remembered, though, because they never sold out and they never let their standards slip.

Maybe the admins should just sell the joint, take their payday, and move on. That just might be better than seeing this place continue on as a shell of what it once was. And then we'd have someone else to blame for steering this ship up on the rocks. It just stinks now with all the rightwing infestation and "team sports" attitudes--it's all ... wrong.

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Response to MADem (Reply #46)

Fri Sep 11, 2015, 06:52 PM

47. Ahhhh, Schrafft's!!!

We had them in NYC, too, when I was a kid! And it was a name synonymous with affordable AND good!!!

I dunno, MAD. According to Alexa, DU has been in a downward spiral for years - especially since last October, when it dropped from just under 6,000 (in world-wide ranking re website traffic) to 13,000 in January. Although DU's traffic declined slowly after 2008, it always fluctuated no more than 2,000 points in any given year - a drop of 7,000 points over three months was unprecedented. It's taken seven months to go from 13,000 to where it is now at 11,000 - not a good sign.

http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/democraticunderground.com#

And you can see it. There was a time when I had to sift through pages and pages of Latest Threads to catch up if I'd been off DU for several hours. Now I only have to go back a page or two to find where I left off.

I note that more ad space has now appeared in the past few months - again, not a good sign. Did the ad revenue drop so drastically it was necessary to sell more space? It would appear so.

Again, it's just one of those things that makes you go hmmmm. When you have an incredibly popular discussion board and make changes, and then see its popularity wane, isn't that when you decide the changes made were to the site's detriment and it's time to re-think those changes?

I became friends with a lot of the old Mods outside of DU. They loved the site, and loved being a part of its operation. Despite being unpaid for their time and effort (which was considerable), they felt they were contributing to something valuable and worthwhile. Why they were all summarily dismissed is beyond me.

Had the jury system been based on following/enforcing the TOS, it might have worked far better than it has. But telling jurors to "leave" or "hide" based on whatever criteria they feel like using is - well, insane.

I've had several "hides" where a juror said, "I can't stand NanceGreggs, so I'm voting to hide." I've seen these types of "decisions" with respect to other posters as well. There's also the opposite tack: "I always agree with ___, so I won't vote to hide anything they say."

How does that equate to "community standards" being reflected and/or enforced?

It amazes me to see Skinner insist that everything is just going swimmingly; that there is no alert-stalking going on, that personal biases against posters have no impact on jury decisions, or that only Democrats with "differing opinions" post here.

DU has become "fair and balanced" in the same way FOX-News is "fair and balanced". When alleged "Democrats" post links to RW sites/writers/pundits in order to make a point about how terrible Democrats are, isn't it time to recognize that they are NOT now, nor have they ever been, "Democrats"?

One would think so ...

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Response to NanceGreggs (Reply #47)

Fri Sep 11, 2015, 11:33 PM

48. Again, I can't argue with the points you're making--you are right.

There are plenty of people here who plainly aren't Democrats, and I've served on juries with them, too. I've seen those same sorts of comments. You're supposed to be able to alert on the jury results, but it doesn't make any difference if you do. The atmosphere doesn't change. If anything, it's getting worse--they're emboldened.

Also, I am not a genius, but I'm not stupid either. When I joined here, it took me a little while to get the lay of the land, learn the "culture," try to fit in. That's normal. Also, it took me a while to learn how to use the site tools, avatars, sig lines, highlighting paragraphs in that little box, etc. And when you run into someone with three posts, an avatar, a sig line, and the understanding of how to change the color of their posts, I mean, come on--don't tell me that's not a zombie-sock-troll (pick one or all three). Same too when you see a post from someone you've never heard of, talking about some DU drama from years ago, and then you click on their profile and they've been here for a week. Of course, if you say too much, it's YOUR fault. I don't blame MIRT, they work their asses off for no compensation, but it's just not working. It's like they're trying to shut the door against a tsunami, and the door is hanging by a single hinge.

I am starting to get the feeling that we are witnessing the end of the Golden Age of Discussion Boards, and now, the pointless hundred and forty character ramblings at twitter are the way people will communicate in future. No need to know how to spell or put a sentence together--and there are no conversations, just shit-flinging or rah-rahing.

Discussion boards were kind of like having a "pen pal"--well, hundreds of them--and everyone could read everyone else's mail, no need to buy stamps, and the mail was delivered continuously. You get to 'know' people online, you share opinions, argue a bit, enjoy a laugh together--all of that kind of cameraderie is just GONE from here. It's all "Mean Girls" -- only most of 'em aren't girls. And a lot of 'em sound way too much alike.

It's kind of sad.

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Response to NanceGreggs (Reply #31)

Thu Sep 10, 2015, 11:56 PM

35. I don't think the changes were done to screw the place over--it was an experiment to give "us"

more ownership. And in theory, that is fine. The problem came in when long-term users were devalued; their experience and time on the site were not given any "value added" by the site owners--and that should have happened, because while the software and the layout are great, it's the PEOPLE who are the site, and their history and experience here were a key ingredient that the site constructors kind of ignored.

I think DU should be run a bit more like the Navy in one key respect--you don't let the kid just out of boot camp command the ship. He or she needs to start out polishing brass and swabbing out the heads, not running the show.

I think trust needs to be earned, over time, and I just don't think there's any substitute for time. I think it ought to be 1000 posts and six months, whichever comes LAST, before a person even sees a jury. MINIMUM. And I don't think you should be able to "buy" more jury opportunity, either. Find some other value-added geegaw to make a donation worthwhile (and get rid of that whole paypal portal and let us do the deed via the same mechanisms that support GOFUNDME or something).

Anyone can open up an account here, post like hell for three days (+1, I agree, Right on! That's great!) and have the same jury opportunity as a person who has a decade or more of posting under their belt. Then, they can use their jury opportunity to screw people over--and if they're smart, they won't leave a comment. Ambiguity is power.

Also, there's no requirement to read the TOS before posting--but there should be. It should be READ AND INITIAL, like when you download shit from Microsuck. People can't say they weren't exposed to it, or don't know what's expected. That should happen before Post One on this site. The first time a person posts in a group or forum, the forum SOP should pop up and a "I've read and acknowedged" block should come up for a check mark. Again, people can ignore the rules, but they can't pretend they weren't exposed to them.

In DU2, the rules got so long they got hard to follow. I used to re-read them every month or so, checking for changes--it was like a military instruction or notice, it would get updated routinely. A lot of those old rules are gone, now. There are so few of us who remember a lot of them ("No sex threads!" Those were the days....).

If the admins formed a site for Democrats, I'd sign up, if they'd be pro-active in lowering the ban-hammer on assholes. They do have a nice product here, their layouts are clean and easy to read, but the trolling, hatred, crudeness, rudeness, personal insults and vicious slams against Democrats that go far beyond 'policy disagreement' have fucking destroyed this once-beautiful place. It will take a miracle to get confidence back. I don't think this is a "primary season" problem--it's a "trolls and assholes" problem. Poor MIRT--they can't keep up, and they don't have the tools to do it right, either.

I have liked DU since I first found it, and it's a shame it has come to this. It used to be where the smart people were. There are still a lot of smart people hanging in there, hoping for a course correction, but every day more and more of them fall away--not just the disgusted, but the ones who are swarmed and alert stalked (and sorry, that does happen, despite insistence to the contrary). Pretty soon all the trolls and disruptors and bad actors will have driven us off to parts unknown, and they will be left to their own devices. I suppose then they can name it UNDEMOCRATIC UNDERGROUND, plant their flag, and declare victory...or something.



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Response to NanceGreggs (Reply #31)

Sun Sep 13, 2015, 08:29 AM

49. Remember when criticism of Democrats needed to be "constructive"?...

DU changed immeasurably once that standard was removed.

Thanks for posting your thoughts. They're shared by many long-timers.

Sid

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Response to SidDithers (Reply #49)

Mon Sep 14, 2015, 12:41 AM

58. I remember when personal insults were forbidden! Those were the days! nt

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Response to MADem (Reply #27)

Fri Sep 11, 2015, 10:12 AM

40. "where bashing, trashing and otherwise insulting Democrats is not permitted"

 

Amen to that.

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Response to NanceGreggs (Reply #15)

Thu Sep 10, 2015, 04:08 PM

28. Great post Nance

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Response to NanceGreggs (Reply #15)

Thu Sep 10, 2015, 07:17 PM

29. Kick and rec this post.

Really disappointed with the OP.

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Response to zappaman (Reply #29)

Thu Sep 10, 2015, 08:51 PM

32. It's simple, zappaman.

If you want to "enhance your experience" on this discussion site, simply stop discussing things with people who don't want certain things discussed.

And thanks for the "kick and rec".

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Response to NanceGreggs (Reply #15)

Thu Sep 10, 2015, 11:29 PM

34. Thanks Nance.



This posted after what happened in a safe group the other night. I guess they are trying to put out a fire. This is not the way to do it.

Af Am under attack. Every post made about the alert stalking of bravenak was alert stalked. There is no such safe place here anymore. The juries are a joke and the admins just don't get it. If I am being told to sit down and shut up on Democratic Underground, then there is no point of me being here anymore.

Now the Democrats who support the Party are told to keep to their own “groups” and not interfere with the anti-Democratic bashing that goes on here day-in/day-out.


Are we being told to go to our room? I was told that as a child. I am no longer a child.



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Response to NanceGreggs (Reply #15)

Fri Sep 11, 2015, 10:11 AM

39. Excellent rant. n/t

 

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Response to NanceGreggs (Reply #15)

Sun Sep 13, 2015, 08:50 AM

50. +1000000 nt

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Response to EarlG (Original post)

Thu Sep 10, 2015, 07:21 AM

18. So, you've given up entirely. Good to know.

Advice is to trash the only open forum to discuss the Democratic Primary on a democratic website?

The white flag has been raised, it seems and there are no real solutions, but to try to shield yourself from the crazy. DU has really fallen from grace, imho. This advice here in the OP does nothing to address the real issues. But just asks everyone to ignore the elephant taking a dump in the middle of the room.


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Response to boston bean (Reply #18)

Thu Sep 10, 2015, 02:13 PM

21. I make full use of Ignore and Jury Blacklist...

I have also trashed two groups, gunz and men's. GDPrimaries has already gotten unpleasant so I mostly stay away. And I meditate for 15 minutes when I first wake up and find I am much calmer as a result. My son in law started meditating when he found he was flying off the handle at every little thing that went wrong. He's so much happier.

So far I'm good with very limited GDP exposure, self willed depending on what is going on.

And, as my husband reminds me, no one is forcing me to go onto DU every day...(mental check: gotta remember that).

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Response to CTyankee (Reply #21)

Thu Sep 10, 2015, 02:43 PM

24. right, butI find it strange that the solution is for members to stay out of open forums by trashing

them.

When simple steps, like maybe giving MIRT more power to ban posters who make it just past the 100 mark and start acting like RW freepers.

or

Simply not allowing newer posters to jury posts until they have proven to be a good part of the community. Proof may be of 6 months of good posting history where more than one or zero posts are made. A simple 300 post threshold may help.

We get a lot of returnees, and they don't seem to be detected until it's too late for MIRT to do something and then admin has to get involved, and obviously they don't want to have to baby sit this site, to make it work a bit better.

But those are just a few suggestions, versus telling people who are upset with something righteously to just ignore it or trash it. Many people have put in a lot of time into this website to make it what it is/was. A living for them. A bit of help in keeping the place cleaned up might help. Re-visit their absolute faith in this jury system, that has shown to anyone that has actually watched, is not working perfectly. Maybe find some creative ways to make it work for people who aren't the majority but are getting harangued and pushed out by them.

This majority rules system in a word is what is making this place become more untenable for a lot of people.

I post all of this with good intentions. It will probably fall on deaf ears... but still I will try...

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Response to boston bean (Reply #24)

Thu Sep 10, 2015, 02:50 PM

25. those are good suggestions, IMO. Hope you made them in ATA.

I think they might just work to better our DU system.

I'm also getting up and walking around a bit. It relieves the stress on my back. And I do my stretches and strengthening exercise for my arthritic back. Sitting at the computer for long stretches, whether on DU or elsewhere, isn't healthy.

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Response to EarlG (Original post)

Thu Sep 10, 2015, 02:10 PM

20. So essentially create an echo chamber?

 

No thanks. Exchange of ideas should be freely flowing, not ignored.

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Response to EarlG (Original post)

Thu Sep 10, 2015, 08:26 PM

30. as a member of almost 11 years duration, here's my comments

Last edited Wed Sep 16, 2015, 12:45 AM - Edit history (1)

1- Remove the jury system. Go back to moderation.

2- If you insist on retaining it, limit it to donors only, at least 1000 posts AND one year duration of membership, make it 6 voters again, and heavily scrutinize alerts in protected sub-forums. The reason behind donors only is, no skin in the game, you don't get a vote. Donations are $1 minimum these days, correct ? Everyone except the dirt poor can afford a dollar.

3- Maybe you need to go back to aggressive fund-raising appeals ? I enjoyed the whole Grovelbot thing.



Sincerely yours, a consistent donor and yellow-dog Democrat, Steve



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Response to steve2470 (Reply #30)

Fri Sep 11, 2015, 11:31 AM

41. Yes! to GROVELBOT, no to advertising

Excellent suggestions.

Ad rates are dependent on site traffic. The more traffic you have, the more $$$ you can charge for ad space.

Under the ad system, DU financially benefits from high-profile divisive flame-baiters. Because flame-bait posts generate tons of traffic.

I think ad-based DU was set up with the best of intentions, to help members who couldn't donate and to strengthen the site and make sure Democratic Underground.

However I think it had the unintended consequence of creating Too Big To Fail Trolls because they benefit the bottom line.

I really feel for the owners/admins. IMHO what started out as a good-faith effort to make DU stronger has inadvertently turned DU into a hell-hole.

Implementing your suggestions would genuinely strengthen the site.


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Response to emulatorloo (Reply #41)

Fri Sep 11, 2015, 04:39 PM

44. thanks :) nt

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Response to steve2470 (Reply #30)

Sun Sep 13, 2015, 09:35 AM

53. They were willing to create "Discussionist" to appeal to people on the right.

How about instead of administratively purging anyone 'too far to the left', or changing the name of this site to 'Progressive Underground' they actually CREATE a 'Progressive Underground'. I can guarantee you, a lot of lefties would happily leave here to go there if they could have a similar site wherein they weren't expected to suck up to any person who throws a (D) after their name, even when they spend their time voting against the Party or trying to turn the party into Republican-lite?

Then you could have your own little echo chamber to simply "express enthusiastic support for the Democratic Party and President Obama" without anyone pointing out how they're acting like Republicans at times...

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Response to Erich Bloodaxe BSN (Reply #53)

Sun Sep 13, 2015, 09:37 AM

54. eh not worth the energy to argue with you, good day nt

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Response to EarlG (Original post)

Thu Sep 10, 2015, 11:06 PM

33. We have the power to shape our own DU experience?

I don't think that is true any more. I think the elephant in the room is shaping it for us.

Have you guys lost interest in this site? Is that it? Have you moved on with your lives, and you no longer have time?

If that is so, maybe it is time to close the whole thing down. No one is being served by the current DU but right-wingers and trolls.

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Response to murielm99 (Reply #33)

Fri Sep 11, 2015, 09:45 AM

38. Well said. n/t

 

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Response to EarlG (Original post)

Fri Sep 11, 2015, 09:21 AM

37. Everyone has the same tools available to control their own experience her at the DU

I don't understand the teeth gnashing here. Put people on ignore. Use your key word trash function. Trash forums and groups.

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Response to EarlG (Original post)

Sun Sep 13, 2015, 09:01 AM

51. Thank you!

Some of the posts from both sides are truly horrible...personal attacks...the heck with the issues!

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Response to EarlG (Original post)

Sun Sep 13, 2015, 09:24 AM

52. My suggestion or a change to 'ignore' functionality.

When I 'ignore' someone, I also miss seeing or being able to comment on any comments REPLYING to any of their comments.

It would be much more helpful if the 'ignore' function that edits out comments didn't entirely chop off the linked list of comments nested below them, but instead stuck in a stub that says 'ignored' much like the 'name removed' stubs work, so that you could still see comments made by people you're NOT ignoring, who happen to comment on something someone you do have on ignore said.

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Response to EarlG (Original post)

Sun Sep 13, 2015, 07:32 PM

55. EarlG, I have a better idea. Bring back the Mods, and the rule that only constructive criticism of

 

Democratic candidates is allowed.

Then we won't need the workaround of having hundreds of DUers trash a whole bunch of groups and forums and ignore other DUers.

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Response to stevenleser (Reply #55)

Sun Sep 13, 2015, 07:38 PM

56. +1 nt

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Response to EarlG (Original post)

Sun Sep 13, 2015, 08:27 PM

57. So here are a few suggestions for anyone who is feeling burned out...

Thanks you for all you do.

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Response to EarlG (Original post)

Wed Oct 7, 2015, 10:14 PM

59. Or just be an adult and choose which forums you want to visit and when

and once there, which threads you want to read.

And you can always leave your computer or iPhone and read a book, or take a walk in these nice fall days.


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