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Skinner ADMIN Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 12:03 PM
Original message
Where we want to take Democratic Underground
This post is long, we know. If you're not interested in this stuff, you aren't required to read it. This post is being provided for those DU members who are curious about how the administrators feel about DU, and where we hope to take the website in the future. --Skinner

It's been a while since the Admins have talked about Democratic Underground with all of you, so we felt it was time to give you all some idea of how we feel about the website, and where we want to go with it.

Overall, we're feeling really good about the website and about the community as a whole. Our August fund drive was the most successful in a while. Our membership is continuing to grow. We've opened up a new revenue stream by running advertisements on selected pages. The vast majority of people here seem basically pleased with the website. And the problems we deal with on a day-to-day basis are no worse than they have ever been, and are basically the same issues we've always had to deal with.

Still, we do recognize that we face a number of important challenges. We have a lot of ideas, and there are a number things that we believe we can improve about the site.


WHAT IS THE POINT OF ALL THIS, ANYWAY?

Why is there a Democratic Underground at all? Why do we, the admins, spend all day running this website, other than to collect a paycheck each month? What purpose does DU serve?

Bottom line: We believe it is vitally important that progressives have the means to bypass the mainstream media filter, to share news and information directly with each other.

In a way, blogs on the political left serve a purpose that is similar to talk radio on the political right. We don't have to wait for the mainstream media to cover a story; we can get it out to our members ourselves. Or if the mainstream media buries a story on page C75, we can put it on our page 1. And if there is enough buzz created here on DU and on other blogs, then there is a chance that the story will get picked up by the mainstream media, and might even run on page 1. We are the incubators of the progressive message. But we also understand that in order to be effective, we have to strike a balance between openness and censorship, between throwing open the floodgates and trying to maintain some standards of credibility. We are a partisan website, we are not the mainstream media by any stretch of the imagination, but we don't want to be so far out of the mainstream that we are like kryptonite.

Democratic Underground works in a much more chaotic way than other blogs, because our medium is different. Since we're a discussion forum, we don't have one person setting the tone or agenda for everything that gets posted here. Sure, the admins and moderators can nudge things in one way or the other. But for the most part DU reflects the interests and attitudes of the membership that come here and participate. The potential of DU is this: If 20,000 messages are posted here every day, inevitably a number of them are going to be important. Our challenge is to do what we can to help the best stuff rise to the top.

For people who come to DU for many hours every day, DU lives up to it's potential. And in fact, many "heavy users" are the life-blood of DU, because you are the ones who are throwing up the most stuff. But for people who stop by for a few minutes each day, Democratic Underground does not live up to it's full potential. The overwhelming number of threads (some good, some not-so-good), and the wide range of personalities (some good, some not-so-good), can make it very difficult to find the good stuff.

Our goal is to build a community where progressives can come together to share ideas and participate in discussions in an atmosphere of mutual respect. We want this to be a place where together members can support progressive values and Democratic candidates. We want this to be a place that is fun and friendly, but we also want it to serve a serious purpose. This community does not always live up to the goals we have for it, but overall we think we do a pretty good job. Still there is plenty that could be done to make this community even better.


OUR BIGGEST CHALLENGES

Of all the issues that we face, we believe the two most important are the following: 1) Managing growth, and 2) Fostering quality content.

Managing growth is pretty straightforward, and it's something that we have been doing since this website began. The most obvious part of managing growth is making sure that we have enough computer hardware in place to deal with the massive amount of traffic to the site. We've seen a large increase in traffic to our site since Katrina, and we've been working with our ISP to beef-up our hardware. Our goal is to put in place a system that (hopefully) is powerful enough to take us all the way through election day 2006. Our ISP gave us a proposal last week which would more than double our power and our monthly costs. (Yikes!) We are hoping that the new ads on DU will cover the increased costs, so we don't have to pass them over to all of you.

The other part of managing growth is figuring out ways to modify our software so more and more people can enjoy the site. This is much more complicated, and requires that we come up with a number of creative ideas, some of which work and some which ultimately don't. Software changes or rule changes are not always welcomed by all the members, particularly if they include trade-offs that limit or change the way members participate here. We understand that many people are resistant to change, but we are committed to making sure our members have the best, most up-to-date website we can provide. Even though it can be upsetting to some members, the admins know that we can't afford *not* to change. As DU changes, the software must also change.

Fostering quality content is a much more complicated issue, but it is one that becomes more important as more people participate on the website. Obviously, the large number of participants is a good thing, and greatly increases the potential that interesting, insightful, or useful information gets published here. However, the downside is that if something particularly good gets posted, it can easily get drowned out by everything else. We feel that this is a particularly serious issue in the General Discussion forum, where the large number of people is both a blessing and a curse. To a certain extent, it is also an issue in the Lounge, but in that forum it is not so much of a threat to our core mission (sharing and discussing news and information relating to politics).

Whatever changes we propose to deal with these issues, our most important guiding principle is this: First, do no harm. We are mindful of the fact that many people like coming to DU exactly the way it is right now. In our efforts to "improve" we have to strike a balance between making DU "better", and still letting people use it in much the same way you always have. We know that part of what makes Democratic Underground interesting is the chaotic nature of the place. But we do wish that there were greater incentives and rewards in place for those individuals who want to write serious, insightful, long-format topics rather than just chat. The problem with the discussion forum format is that it does tend to reward those behaviors that aren't always best for the community as a whole.


POSSIBLE CHANGES

We have a number of ideas for changing and improving Democratic Underground. We haven't made a final decision on any of them at this point, and we expect this blueprint will change quite a bit over the next few months. But in the end, it is our hope that by DU's 5th birthday on January 20, 2006, we will have instituted a number of changes to get Democratic Underground to the place where we think it should be, to better realize the immense potential we have here. Here are some of our ideas:

DU Journals. This is a big upgrade, and it is something we are almost certain we want to do. The idea is to give each of you your own dedicated "Journal" where you can showcase your best postings. We see it as basically a blending of the discussion forum format and the blog format. At your discretion, messages could be cross-posted on the discussion forum and your journal. If there is a member whose postings you find particularly interesting, you can easily keep track of what they post by going to that person's journal. Our hope is that the best journals would collect recommendations and build a reliable following of readers, which would give that "journalist" an incentive to continue to create quality content. We see this as a win-win for the individual and the community. The community gets a new way to experience DU and interesting content to read, the individual has the chance to attract readers from Democratic Underground's ready-made audience of tens of thousands of daily visitors.

Improving the General Discussion forum. As we mentioned above, we feel that the General Discussion forum has reached the point where the large number of visitors is limiting its usefulness. The speed and chaos of the GD forum are part of what make it fun, but they also make it very difficult to find the good stuff. We are working on a significant upgrade to the GD forum, which (hopefully) will not change the way most people use it, but will make it easier for members to find the stuff that interests you (or hide the stuff that doesn't).

The idea is to classify each thread in the GD forum into a particular topic area, and then cross-list that thread in GD and in an appropriate topic forum. To the average user in the GD forum, there will not appear to be any difference in the way the forum works. However, this new set-up will have a number of advantages, and will pave the way for a number of cool future upgrades. Among them: Giving members the ability to customize GD to exclude or include topic areas you choose; Significantly increasing the life of individual threads, which will remain open for discussion in their assigned topic forum, even after they are no longer active in the GD forum; Giving members the ability to easily hide threads about hot topics which occasionally flood the forum (Pope, Terri Schiavo, Katrina/Rita, etc.); and Driving more traffic and content to the less-used topic forums. It would also have the positive side-effect of spreading around server resources and thereby improving site performance.

Improving the Latest Page to create a single "Discussion Forum homepage" We have come a long way since we first created the Latest Page many years ago, and we think it's time for the Latest Page to change, too. The idea is to create a one-stop "homepage" for the entire discussion forum, which brings together content from other pages. The New Latest page will include Latest Threads, along with the most-recommended threads from our Greatest Page, and recent news stories from the Latest Breaking News forum. The "My Forums" area would be improved to give you even greater control over what forums you see or don't see.

Reorganization and consolidation of forums & groups. It's been nearly a year since we created the "My forums" function and created a whole bunch of narrowly-targeted forums and groups. Overall, we think it's been a huge success. But there are a number of underutilized forums and groups, and we feel it's probably time to shut a few of them down or combine some similar topics. We will probably re-organize where some of the forums are kept. The "Politics & Issues Forums" folder would become "Topic Forums." The 11 forums in the under-utilized "Non-political forums" folder would probably be split between the "Topic Forums" folder and the DU Groups. Also, we want to simplify or broaden some of the names of some forums, which would then represent the different topic areas for the new General Discussion forum.

Integrating articles with the discussion forum. Currently there is a pretty strict separation between our articles and our discussion forum. In the context of the DU Journals idea and the GD upgrade, we are thinking that we may also change the manner which we publish articles to our homepage. Our regular features would still be guaranteed their spot on the homepage. But our idea is to have all of our articles posted on the discussion forum first, and based on the response of the members of the discussion forum, the most popular stuff would make it to the homepage.

Greater customization. Rather than try to force Democratic Underground to meet the various expectations of a diverse group of people, we want to continue to give you greater customization options so you can experience DU in the way that you like. We are considering upgrading the ignore feature so it works more like a "personal tombstone" almost entirely wiping out any trace of anyone you chose to ignore. We are also considering the possibility of a member-initiated mutual ignore, so two members can agree between themselves to ignore each other. The proposed change to the GD forum would eventually give members the ability to customize that forum to include or exclude topics of your choosing.

Rule simplification & enforcement simplification. Overall, we're pretty happy with the rules as they stand right now, and we think DU is in a pretty good place because of them. Still, we believe that if we put into place greater tools for members to customize DU on their own, and if we make an effort to better separate the quality topics from everything else, then there might be some room for us to get rid of some rules and/or simplify the rules. And there also might be some room for us to ease up just a little on certain types of enforcement. We can't make any promises at the moment. But if other things go well, it is something we hope to do.

As a first step, we are asking the moderators to lock threads less often during the next moderator term. We're going to continue to shut down threads where the first post is problematic. But we really hope that it will be possible to keep good thread topics open, even if a small number of people try to disrupt them in their responses. Elad has programmed a few nifty functions that (we hope) will make it easier for us to do this. We now have the ability to remove a single sub-thread from a thread that is otherwise perfectly fine and should remain open. And we may implement a function that automatically blocks an individual from posting in a thread if they get a post removed from that thread.

Mission statement. We think it may be worthwhile for us to finally write a public mission statement. It seems like everyone else has their own ideas of what DU is for, and perhaps its time for us to make it a little more obvious what we would like for our website.

Views counter. We think Elad may have figured out a way to bring the "views" counter back without killing our servers. We're still testing it out, but hopefully we can unveil that upgrade soon.

Focusing on what we do well. It is obvious that the most popular feature of Democratic Underground is the discussion forum, and our greatest strength is our large, diverse community of people. We believe that we can best serve our visitors if we focus on what we do well. With this in mind, we may decide to shut down or give away some currently existing features of our website which are not utilized as much as we had hoped.

Administrator priorities. Many of you may be aware that the admins spend a large proportion of our time dealing with a lot of day-to-day minutiae, and focusing on the personal problems of individual members. We try very hard to be sensitive to the needs of our members, and we want you all to be happy. But we can't help thinking that this is not the best use of our time, and by focusing so much on individuals' problems we may not be doing what is best for the website as a whole. We're not sure what changes (if any) we are going to make, but we do believe it is time for us to re-evaluate some of our priorities.


Anyway, that should give you some idea of where the admins are right now. Overall, we're feeling extremely positive about Democratic Underground, even if we do feel a little burned out sometimes. Please feel free to post polite questions or comments in this thread. We're pretty busy today, so we can't promise that we'll be able to respond to all of your posts, but we promise that we will read them all.

Skinner, EarlG, & Elad
DU Administrators
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mattclearing Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 12:10 PM
Response to Original message
1. Thanks.
The proposed upgrades sound excellent, and I appreciate that you are looking at "big picture" issues regarding the functionality of the site.
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CottonBear Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 12:13 PM
Response to Original message
2. The proposed changes are all positive. The journals idea is excellent.
Thank you for continuing to make DU the best political discussion forum on the internets! :)
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ComerPerro Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 12:28 PM
Response to Reply #2
27. Question about the journals, BTW
Maybe I missed it in the thread. Would your journal like be posted on your profile? Would it be a choice that we make availible? Or would it be something that people can search for and access.

Just wondering how it might be accessed, if I wanted to check out other people's journals.

Perhaps it could be done as a link, on the person's posts. Sort of like how we have the icon options, "Profile" and "PM"...
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CottonBear Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 12:40 PM
Response to Reply #27
42. I don't believe that Skinner & the gang have gotten that far yet.
Edited on Tue Oct-04-05 12:56 PM by CottonBear
Your ideas are good. Maybe there would be a special journal section with the latest and/or most popular journals. Journals could also be accessible through the profiles too.
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Skinner ADMIN Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 01:21 PM
Response to Reply #27
71. We're still working out the details.
So we don't know the specifics yet.
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BR_Parkway Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 12:58 PM
Response to Reply #2
60. Could we have a Tombstoned journal? I always miss the stupid
Edited on Tue Oct-04-05 12:59 PM by BR_Parkway
comments that get wiped out - and personally think they'd be as enjoyable to read as Hate Mail. Even the frequency of those type postings is a pretty good indication of how close to something we are, the more the wingnut postings, the more DU has been on the right track when speculating and sharing their collective wisdom and research.


on edit: just to add my thanks to all that you admins do in keeping things going, it's truly a priceless service.
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sui generis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-05-05 10:19 AM
Response to Reply #60
206. speaking as someone who has been frequently
Edited on Wed Oct-05-05 10:19 AM by sui generis
deleted myself, I prefer to let my more outrageous postings sink into the abyss where they belong.

Also, I certainly don't want them living long enough to appear on google's cache.

There is a reason we flush after we wipe.

;)
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calimary Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 08:17 PM
Response to Reply #2
145. Truly! Thanks for all the work - on the ABSOLUTE BEST online think tank
in existence!

I am proud to be a part of it. Can't wait for the journals!

All these ideas sound EXCELLENTE!
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GreenPartyVoter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 12:13 PM
Response to Original message
3. Thanks, guys *wave* You rock!
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Norquist Nemesis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 12:14 PM
Response to Original message
4. Pin-up suggested on this
Thanks for the info! :hi:
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understandinglife Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 12:14 PM
Response to Original message
5. Thank you. Solid plans. The "Journal" idea is excellent.
Peace.
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mod mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 12:47 PM
Response to Reply #5
49. I agree the "journal" idea is an excellent way for many of us to follow
the writings of certain individuals who writings we admire and wish to follow! :)
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HamdenRice Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 12:15 PM
Response to Original message
6. DU Journals sounds like an excellent idea ...
as a kind of blend of forum, blog and article.
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ReadTomPaine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 12:19 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. Agreed. I like this idea also. n/t
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northamericancitizen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 12:22 PM
Response to Reply #6
17. Recommended . nt
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Jersey Devil Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 12:19 PM
Response to Original message
8. Sounds like some top notch plans
All I can say is that all the improvements I have seen here in the past have turned out well and based on that I have confidence that whatever you guys decide to do now will turn out just as well if not better.

Keep up the good work!
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ReadTomPaine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 12:20 PM
Response to Original message
9. "Focusing on what we do well."
I wonder if this section refers to the Demopedia.
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Lerkfish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 12:20 PM
Response to Original message
10. I applaud the ideas brought forth in your post thus far...
I think they are reasonable and thoughtful.
My biggest concern here has been when a good thread gets sidetracked by a small group or an individual and then must be locked, even though the rest of the thread was worth discussion.
Even though the solution for that might sometime bite all of us, including myself, who sometimes get overwrought over a particular issue, I see the wisdom if its applied evenly.
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ReadTomPaine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 12:30 PM
Response to Reply #10
30. Journals for info rich posters such as H20Man, SLAD & others...
in one easy to access place. I like it.
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WiseButAngrySara Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 10:17 PM
Response to Reply #30
161. And Octafish, and symbolman...etc., etc., etc.! .....n/t
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myrna minx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 12:20 PM
Response to Original message
11. I love the journal idea.
Thank you for all that you do. :hi:
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burythehatchet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 02:16 PM
Response to Reply #11
84. yes, it would redirect a lot of people back here
who want to have their own blog. This is a good compromise.
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Spazito Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 12:21 PM
Response to Original message
12. Sounds great to me!
Thanks for all you guys do, it is much appreciated!
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LynzM Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 12:21 PM
Response to Original message
13. Those all sounds like great plans
I can't wait to see all the new and excellent stuff that is coming! Journals sound really cool, particularly :)
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ClayZ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 12:21 PM
Response to Original message
14. DU is an Island of Sanity
THANK YOU!


:kick:
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mourningdove92 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 12:21 PM
Response to Original message
15. Sounds good to me!
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ComerPerro Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 12:21 PM
Response to Original message
16. I love the idea of deleting sub-threads
And I look forward to seeing these changes in action.

Thanks for all the hard work, and thanks for creating, making available, and maintaining one of the best organized, best run, and most interesting forums on the web.

I've never seen any other forum software get it this right.

Especially that other site that will not be named. Its just a mess.
And it doesn't seem to have changed at all.

Thanks again!

good luck with the upgrades!
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bloom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 12:23 PM
Response to Original message
18. Sounds great!
One idea I had about GD - is if one classification could be what people see on TV ( like CNN). Could also do that with Freeper reports.

Sometimes I want to know and sometimes it would be great to turn all of that off and see what else is posted.

Thanks!


:bounce:
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wildflower Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 12:54 PM
Response to Reply #18
57. That's a good idea; maybe the poster could check a button for the topic
Sort of the way you check the button to indicate you're posting a poll.

wildflower
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EST Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 01:16 PM
Response to Reply #18
69. Excellent solution to a nagging problem.
:yourock:
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HEAVYHEART Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 12:23 PM
Response to Original message
19. This is long
I just printed it and I'm gonna read it in a few minutes on my cig break. Thanks Skinner!
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AntiFascist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 12:23 PM
Response to Original message
20. DU Journals sound interesting....

Where DailyKos features diary/blogs with extensive discussion on featured diaries, DU would stress discussion first with the best posts cross-posted to your journal, and providing more background and detail. Great idea!
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Mabus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 12:26 PM
Response to Original message
21. The DU Admins have taken us this far
I trust your collective judgments to take DU to the next level.

Like others have expressed I think the idea of DU Journals is a great idea and will help the DU community become more informed.

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MADem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 12:26 PM
Response to Original message
22. I'm impressed!
You've seemed to put a lot of thought into these changes, and I think they will improve an already excellent site.

You have a right to feel positive, so try not to burn out--you're needed!
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flowomo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 12:26 PM
Response to Original message
23. glad to see this....
Edited on Tue Oct-04-05 12:40 PM by flowomo
and I appreciate the difficulty of managing such a huge enterprise without disaffecting the customers. Still, the board has been fustrating to me of late because of the huge number of content-free or redundant posts, especially in GD and GD-Politics (the distinction between them is not very clear based on the postings). My suggestion is create a forum for "rants" apart from the GD -- a place where people who simply want to yell about their intense anger at Bush, his cronies, the system, whatever can post. I am tired of those posts -- I assume people here are unhappy with Bush etc... I don't need to be reminded every day that "Bush is an asshole" or "time for change is now, people!" My vision is for a GD where every post contains new information or ideas, not reiterations of old angers and grievances. I feel the same way about "Caption this photo" posts -- they belong in the lounge. I believe this is consistent with your mission: "Bottom line: We believe it is vitally important that progressives have the means to bypass the mainstream media filter, to share news and information directly with each other." The "rants" I refer to often contain no "news and information" -- just (to me) tiresome explosions of personal feelings. That's my two cents -- easier said than done, and the mods would have to patrol GD with same carefulness they show in "Latest Breaking News" -- LBN is a model forum, scrupulously kept focused on its principle purpose.
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wellstone_democrat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 07:47 PM
Response to Reply #23
139. the old rule on lines required on a new topic post
might helpw with the endless: "Turn on the TV right now!" with absolutely no content or merely "Moore is giving it to O'Reilly!" without a damn clue what is being "given"

The rule during one period where it took five lines (or something) of content to start a thread would be welcome for that reason in GD. We can't stop the endless "I don't want to be post #59 so I'll start a new thread on exactly the same topic~!

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flowomo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 08:28 PM
Response to Reply #139
147. that could be part of the solution.....
and you are exactly right about those "turn on the TV" posts. It would be impossible to get rid of all the junk, but a lot could be avoided in various ways. I will say that freerepublic is a much more disciplined board in this respect -- they have little patience with what they call "vanity posts" in the main news/discussion forum (and have a designated location for them, I think). The number of "vanity posts" on DU is overwhelming of late.
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Gronk Groks Donating Member (582 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-05-05 12:28 PM
Response to Reply #147
220. While I agree that it is more important to get news than to rant...
...the need to scream about something that has just been posted is sometimes quite overpowering. DU is one of the few places we can vent our frustrations about (seemingly) endless trespasses on our sanity by this mis-administration.

Additionally I do not want to be regimented into a single mindset as the Freepers are wont to do. The diversity of opinions on DU is why I am here...

...and to club the shrub.
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trogdor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-05-05 02:37 PM
Response to Reply #139
229. Another suggestion - the FARK model.
Edited on Wed Oct-05-05 02:38 PM by trogdor
http://www.fark.com
FARK is pretty minimalist, but it works. Users submit topics, beer-sodden drunkards moderators choose which ones get "greenlighted." Greenlighted topics make the front page. Everything else goes into the bit-bucket.

What we can do here is have a subset of our cadre of moderators do the opposite of what happens to bad LBN posts - promote them to a Hot Topics forum that goes to the top of the list, even above LBN. To promote purity and excellence, no one (other than the forum moderators - and then only under narrowly-defined circumstances) may post topics directly to the Hot Topics forum - only hand-picked "promoted" topics go there. The "recommendations" might be useful in identifying promotable threads. Everyone else must use the established forums to submit new posts. The better the quality of Hot Topics, the more people go there.

I would also suggest moving the Stock Market Watch to Hot Topics, along with other Watch threads (Senate watch, World Series watch, Bush press conference watch, etc.) because this forum would be their natural home.

You could even add another "mojo" counter in the user profiles for the number of "promoted" posts.
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sweetheart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 12:27 PM
Response to Original message
24. excellent
I look forward to the lot.

I also think you might consider adding a "greatest post" button,
that a particular post might be nominated, without the entire thread.
Sometimes the best on DU is hidden away from users who don't read
whole threads, and a greatest post reference, functioning similarly to
the greatest thread concept, would allow users to nominate insightful
comments, even if they are not the thread header.

In any case, love all the ideas, and I've gained a deep respect for
you guys over these years.

Thank you.

-sweetheart
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mongo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 12:57 PM
Response to Reply #24
59. Along the same line as a "greatest post" button
would be a thumbs up or thumbs down button, that would be displayed with a counter or different graphics (bigger thumbs?) or whatever.

Just a way to show support or blow rasberries ti a post without a "well said" or "me too" or "deleted message" reply...

But you wouldn't have to change a single thing on DU to keep me happy (well, maybe ONE thing...)



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Commie Pinko Dirtbag Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 12:27 PM
Response to Original message
25. You'll find this to be of great help.
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ComerPerro Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 12:29 PM
Response to Reply #25
29. LOL. That is outstanding
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greyl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 12:28 PM
Response to Original message
26. Sounds great.
By it's 5th birthday, DU will be mature beyond it's years.
You guys have done a great job of improving steadily and in quantum leaps.
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political_invader Donating Member (575 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 12:29 PM
Response to Original message
28. Great Info Thanks for the update
I really like the idea of DU Journals.
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NNN0LHI Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 12:34 PM
Response to Original message
31. Please don't change anything too much
I am serious. You guys have had the best site around since 2001. You know that as well as all of us do. So please don't try and over improve the place. Improve the severs etc. when you can but other stuff is not all that important to me. Some of the stuff is nice I admit but most of it I could do without...I think? About all I use is the large fonts option and the "your last posts" page which is really nice to have. The spell checker is great too...when I don't forget to use it. You guys continue to do a great job and I have learned to trust your judgment on this stuff. See you all later and thanks again.

Don
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OrwellwasRight Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-05-05 01:37 AM
Response to Reply #31
169. I second and add...
that DU is useful to the 10 minute user. I visit LBN for 10 minutes or less as often as I can at work, and it is GREAT!!!

I get the news before my co-workers and I am "in the know," which is very important in my job.

So, please don't think that it is not useful in small doses. If I posted every time I was on DU and just reading LBN, I would have like 12,000 posts by now.

Also, I like your ideas, but want to say "don't go changin', to try and please me, I love you just the way you are" DU! (My apologies to Billy Joel).

-Orwell
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4_TN_TITANS Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 12:34 PM
Response to Original message
32. Thank-you, Guys!!!
I'm not a frequent poster, but I'm a frequent DU Flyer and official local party leadership. :kick:

The info, opinions, etc. are invaluable for passing on to local party members who are not internet savy and have no means to get past the media 'filters'.

The entire DU community is a rich melting pot of knowledge and experiences and only good can come from our acceptance of each other.

Thanks again..... :D
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Taxloss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 12:37 PM
Response to Original message
33. Sounds good to me.
Edited on Tue Oct-04-05 12:47 PM by Taxloss
Would the journals be open to all members, or just donors?
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Skinner ADMIN Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 12:40 PM
Response to Reply #33
40. Not sure.
Right now we're thinking all members. But we have not decided for certain.
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Taxloss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 12:51 PM
Response to Reply #40
55. Would people be able to post independently on their journal?
IE create a post that only appeared on the journal, nowhere else? Because I can imagine that turning into an administrative nightmare ... 75,000 new forums to manage ...
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Skinner ADMIN Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 01:24 PM
Response to Reply #55
72. Unlikely.
At this point, we are thinking that the Journal entries must be posted on the message board.
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smartvoter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 01:47 PM
Response to Reply #72
78. Question Re: "Best Of" journal entries.
Would this be based on the nominations? I would think this would be a good way of providing at least some objectivity to the content: If you make the greatest page, or you get 10 recommendations or whathaveyou, it gets posted in your journal. Or some other validating function? I would think that few of us would have enough objectivity in our posts to know which should be considered "best of"...

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asthmaticeog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 12:52 PM
Response to Reply #40
56. If it were up to me,
I'd keep 'em for donors. There's a multitude of ways for non-donors to participate in DU's forums, and you're more generous to non-donors than a lot of popular fora - metafilter, for example, doesn't even let non-donors post. I don't know the tech that well, but it sounds like journals might be a server-strain. Why not reserve 'em for the people who're kicking a little flow your way to keep those servers running? It'd serve as an incentive to donate, certainly, and again, even without donating, one can participate here *almost* as fully as a donor, anyway.

Whatev, my two cents. I look forward to the changes.
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JohnLocke Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 09:33 PM
Response to Reply #40
155. What about members with 1000+ posts? (nt)
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Boomer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-05-05 11:54 AM
Response to Reply #155
212. That would be an incentive for frivolous postings
If you need a posting quota to get a benefit or use a feature, then you'll have people posting inane messages just to raise their post count.

Better to concentrate on quality issues than quantity.
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blueraven95 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-05-05 12:01 PM
Response to Reply #155
216. oh, please don't limit anything to the whole 1,000 posts thing
I've been here for two years and I visit everyday, but I rarely post. I don't want to be kept from participating, simply because I don't all the time.
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davidinalameda Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 12:38 PM
Response to Original message
34. all sounds pretty cool
I trust the admins in their vision for the site

they've done a great job so far
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Catherine Vincent Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 12:39 PM
Response to Original message
35. You're right, it is long. :-)
But whatever you guys do, don't close the DU. ;-)
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Arkana Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 12:40 PM
Response to Original message
36. I say, absolutely top notch, chaps!
Seriously, any changes are welcome here--it'd be nice to see something different.
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ChowChowChow Donating Member (322 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 12:40 PM
Response to Original message
37. Thanks you know We love you all!
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deadparrot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 12:40 PM
Response to Original message
38. Thanks a lot, admins!
The changes sound awesome. I'm a college student, but if the need arises, I'll be happy to chip in what I can. You all deserve huge thanks for providing such an awesome, high-quality environment as DU.

:yourock:
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Coexist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 12:40 PM
Response to Original message
39. Its a great site,
both in content and visual appeal. Do what you will, I will be here.
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bearfan454 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 12:40 PM
Response to Original message
41. Sounds good nt
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Imalittleteapot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 12:41 PM
Response to Original message
43. This is the best organized and most professional
political discussion web site that I visit. I totally trust and applaud anything you do to renovate this already great house of ideas. With over 78,000 members, you have proven that you know what you're doing and you can count on the support of most us.

Thanks Skinner!!!!

:loveya:
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sniffa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 12:41 PM
Response to Original message
44. big up for the journaLs
:bounce:
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MuseRider Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 12:42 PM
Response to Original message
45. Interesting ideas.
Edited on Tue Oct-04-05 12:50 PM by MuseRider
:thumbsup:

The journal idea is great. There are several members who I search for daily to be certain I have not missed something interesting and that will make that task easier.

The time for a mission statement is here. This will solve several things and I am very pleased to see that.

Overall the customization idea is wonderful. At first glance I thought that it might make it difficult to catch everything that might be interesting but if you can get to certain issues you enjoy or are most interested in quickly it will open up time to look for the others.

Yes, this all sounds great. Now I feel guilty, I was away for the last fundraiser and promised I would donate when I got home and I forgot, donation coming as soon as I locate my card.

Great ideas.

On Edit Donation made! Thanks for everything. :yourock:
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ayeshahaqqiqa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 12:43 PM
Response to Original message
46. You folks are workaholics
I didn't appreciate until now just how much you have to do to keep this great site running.

I think the new ideas will make for some interesting changes, and, hopefully, make it easier for folks to find the threads/articles that are important to them. This is espcially important for me now, as my computing time has shrunk, and much of my DU experience has to happen during slow times at work.

Keep up the good work, folks, and know that your efforts are truly appreciated.
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nadinbrzezinski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 12:43 PM
Response to Original message
47. Thanks skinner
you guys do a great job
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European Socialist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 12:45 PM
Response to Original message
48. It would be nice to have an insider page, for those who have info....
the rest of us don't. The hard part would be authenticating the poster of such information.
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expatriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 12:48 PM
Response to Reply #48
52. i have some inside information on what my two cats are doing right now
that the rest of you don't.
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expatriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 12:48 PM
Response to Original message
50. Awesome, awesome, awesome. I love it, I love it, I love it.
and i want HUGE ASS servers so we can have all these features and still overtake FR's traffic once and for all! and billboards. and radio and tv spots.
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pazarus Donating Member (247 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 02:00 PM
Response to Reply #50
80. I wonder if we could overtake FR's traffic
just by not lurking there to see what wacky, insane, homophobic garbling they will spout out next.

I know that I, for one, like to use the site to gauge what the craziest people in the country are thinking, and I lurk there every few days. I suspect I'm not the only one.
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Mikimouse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 12:48 PM
Response to Original message
51. You guys have never let me down yet, and I will defer to your...
collective judgment as to changes that may benefit the site and the membership. You guys ROCK!
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malmapus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 12:50 PM
Response to Original message
53. Thanks for all the work you do!!

The DU Journals stuck out with me too, would be interested to see that implimented.

Sounds good!
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triguy46 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 12:50 PM
Response to Original message
54. count me in. n/t
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loudsue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 12:54 PM
Response to Original message
58. One of the things I like most about the current set-up w/ GD & GD:P
Edited on Tue Oct-04-05 12:56 PM by loudsue
is that there are often topics that come up that I click on, simply because they look interesting....but not something I would normally go looking for among the State forums or the DU Groups.

The GD & GD: P forums are like having a "liberal arts" education, or creating a place for mind expanding topics, that I normally wouldn't have specifically sought out in another forum....due to time constraints. These forums are a great clearing house for ideas and information, even though they move pretty quickly, and I'm sure a lot of interesting issues are lost before they ever get started!

There are often a gigazillion threads on the same topic, too, which makes a lot of good information get lost, when I finally tire of yet another same topic threads. Maybe when there is an event that deserves a lot of attention (i.e., hurricanes, elections, indictments), there could be a way of cordoning off that topic in a temporary "house" (forum) where we could all go to catch up on that topic, without letting other topics suffer. And maybe within that forum, the bulk of the threads on that topic could be merged to a degree.


One of the finest things EVER about DU is when our EXCELLENT researchers start really digging into a story. I wish our researchers would help the rest of us learn how they do their research, so we could become more fluent in those methods that help us root out "the REST of the story".

:applause: Skinner, EarlG, & Elad :loveya: have I told you lately that you guys are GREAT!!??

:yourock:
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Zynx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 12:58 PM
Response to Original message
61. Now you had to talk about the "vision thing".
Just kidding. I really like the journal idea in particular.
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SharonRB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 12:58 PM
Response to Original message
62. Thanks, Skinner
These all sound like good ideas. Thanks again to you, Earle and Elad for continuously improving the experience of DU. It was great being able to meet you and Earle in person -- sorry I didn't get to meet Elad.

I, and I'm sure most others, really appreciate what you do here -- we know it's not an easy job, dealing with almost 80,000 different personalities. As far as I'm concerned, this is the best site there is and you've created a real community here. That was proven to me when I met so many others in DC.

It would be great to plan at least one (maybe two) DU "conventions" every year, unrelated to a big event like the march, somewhere central like Chicago, where a lot of us could meet up and share ideas and a good time. A few of us talked about this in DC and we think it's a great idea.

Thanks again for all you do. I look forward to the changes and improvements.

Sharon
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Mutley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 01:04 PM
Response to Reply #62
64. I think it's a good idea, too.
But maybe its location every year should change for those of us who can't do a lot of traveling.
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Mutley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 01:01 PM
Response to Original message
63. Everything sounds good to me.
I like the journals idea, and the customization to make it easier to read the content I want to read. Thanks guys!
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TahitiNut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 01:04 PM
Response to Original message
65. "Topic Floods" In General Discussion ... and the 'all or nothing' approach
Edited on Tue Oct-04-05 01:19 PM by TahitiNut
Clearly, I believe, one of the greatest problems in General Discussion occurs with the "topic floods" for some current event. Katrina/FEMA, Supreme Court nominations, and Tom Delay indictment(s) are just a couple of the more recent topics.

Speaking for myself, it's not that I'm uninterested in (and would want to hide) the topic; it's that 'discussion' is abandoned and cacophony abounds. We just aren't 'listening' to one another -- posting completely redundant messages without the value-added of thoughtful, insightful consideration.

I'm somewhat at a loss to recommend an approach to dealing with what's, at it's core, a general riot - an event where the 'citizens' of DU in a town-hall meeting venue all speak at once and break up into constantly-changing smaller groups of ranters and ravers.

No democratic community, of any kind, can ever abide laws and regulations that run counter to the behavior of a huge plurality of its members. That's why Prohibition failed and why the War on Drugs must fail. The rules under which we guide our conduct must be those to which the overwhelming majority freely and assiduously adhere. The sole reason 'crimes against property' can be prohibited in a democratic society is because the overwhelming majority have 'skin in the game.' As fewer and fewer have property, compliance with those laws will be abandoned. That's what gives rise to police states. It's also what creates the need for excommunication. The real "art" in managing this forum is in eschewing police state approachs and maintaining a sense of community with 'bright line' excommunication criteria.

Regarding 'topic floods' - the "MASTER THREAD" approach has a limited (but not TOO limited) utility insofar as it provides the venue within which such discussion may take place without drowning all other discussion. I'm strongly inclined to believe that the General Discussion Forum would benefit from a Sub-Folder approach, where such topic floods were initially relegated to a pinned-to-the-top subfolder of the General Discussion Forum ... and then unpinned and allowed to continue in a "Not-So-Current Topics" Forum (comprised of subforums) and discussion allowed to proceed with continued posts to existing threads and creation of new threads.

While it's clear that much of what were seeing is a distinction in General Discussion between topics best categorized as "Current Page One Events" (well beyond LBN's "Bulletin" mission) and topics best categorized as "Issues and Events" of lesser prominence in monopolizing our attention.

So much for my 2 cents.

All-in-all, I continue to be pleased that DU Admin is aware and engaged ... and has formulated possible approaches to make DU Progressive in the sense of continued improvement. Kudos.

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EST Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 01:39 PM
Response to Reply #65
75. Sound reasoning.
What do you think about a cross posting delimiter such as a filter to make a cross post show up only when you have that particular forum open or perhaps-at least-a big sign "CROSSPOST" on the latest page, with the thread title in tiny print, since this one of the larger sources of clutter confusion and dupes? Seems as though the more time I spend on here, sometimes, the less I get covered.
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TahitiNut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 02:49 PM
Response to Reply #75
88. I really don't know. It's the "behavior dynamic" that needs changing ...
... and I'm just not clear on how one herds cats.

There's a self-amplifying spiral of behavior taking place.

(1) People don't read before posting. Unless there's an absolute minimum of 50-to-1 read-to-post ratio, the forum gets overwhelmed with redundant posts, both within threads and within General Discussion.

(2) As the number of redundant posts/threads increases, the minimum read-to-post ratio goes up like a rocket.

(3) Fueled by redundant posts, there's a "this is IMPORTANT" civil war that's being constantly fought where each 'warrior' has their own shit-list (list of important shit). While I suppose it was thought that 'Recommended' would help, it's really not clear that it has - other than to create a new battlefield, and a new reason to post: the "Recommend this!" lobby/advisory.

(4) So, the continuing battle to "get other DUers to READ this" is a self-defeating battle, largely because the percentage worth actually reading is getting smaller and smaller. (Many DUers having composed the most thoughtful and articulate posts in the past just don't bother doing so as much any more.)

I'm still inclined to think (but I'm not certain) that the DU Discussion Forums might be best-served by opening some DU Chat Rooms. Altogether too much of the forum content is 'chat' rather than 'discuss' -- lots of attaboys and agrees and recommends and kicks and rofls. Perhaps we need a Chat Room associated with every thread -- where instead of selecting a Topic for the OP, the poster selects a Chat Room. A side-effect of this would be to lower post counts -- which might be a good thing. I'm not sure I'm particularly happy about having over 30,000 posts. (I need to get a life.)
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KoKo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 07:24 PM
Response to Reply #88
133. Thank you "Tahiti" for the "Bullet Points."
Edited on Tue Oct-04-05 07:42 PM by KoKo01
I have a post "from my heart" here on this thread...but it's always the "Bullets" that can make a difference.

I would hope, however that the "Bullets & From the Hearts" could meld into an opinion consensus.

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anitar1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 08:24 PM
Response to Reply #88
146. That is frustrating and I become bored with people
wanting it explained when all they have to do is read the whole post.It is very easy to do.But overall, I love DU and cannot imagine life without it.I like the possible changes.We have some wonderful posters here and I appreciate them and always watch for their posts. I have learned so much through DU. Thank you.
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EST Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-05-05 02:55 AM
Response to Reply #88
174. Hehheh
Good notions on all counts. And Skinner's hardware requirements go spiraling upward.
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Gronk Groks Donating Member (582 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-05-05 02:05 PM
Response to Reply #88
225. Herding cats requires at least two good sheepdogs...
Edited on Wed Oct-05-05 02:56 PM by Gronk Groks
...and results in some VERY unhappy cats!!!

I think your last paragraph is the most important. Each article would need both a "discuss" and "chat" thread. How you would get the posters to use the appropriate thread is beyond me.

So 30,000 posts = no life, eh? Make me feel good that I'm still under 300. Of course I have to work 50-60 hours a week, maintain a marriage, take care of kids and grandkids and catch up on my sleep which I'm only a year behind on...

Maybe not having a life is not such a bad idea...
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TahitiNut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-05-05 05:29 PM
Response to Reply #225
241. Well, there's be no such thing as a chat 'thread' ...
... unless one were to save the interactive one-liners -- which wouldn't be a bad idea. For sooooo many posts (one-liners), having a Header, a 'Subject,' a 'Message,' and a sig line is really a waste. For those, I think a single 'Chat' pseudo-post that has the one-liners preceded by the DUer's ID as more than sufficient. I doubt the time-stamp would even be all that needed.

Maybe it'd just look something like this ...
2005/10/02 03:11 - TahitiNut: Excellent ideas, Skinner!
2005/10/02 03:14 - Gronk Groks: Thanks for keeping us informed.
2005/10/02 03:25 - nothingshocksmeanymore: Interesting.

I don't know... I just see lots of 'noise' posts and think we could do better.
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Gronk Groks Donating Member (582 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-06-05 03:11 PM
Response to Reply #241
257. But look at all the unpaid comics you'll be disappointing !!!
Lighten up Tahiti. I agree that many of us talk too much, but much of the joy of DU is in its banter.

Besides where else would I get to dump all my one liners without getting boo-ed off the stage...
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David Zephyr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 07:41 PM
Response to Reply #65
137. Thank you.
Thanks for putting into words a great deal of what has troubled me lately.
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swimboy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 01:06 PM
Response to Original message
66. Excellent! I look forward to your thoughtful and industrious improvements
This is a marvelous forum.....very high energy. I trust you with it. The first time I saw changes to the front page I thought, Oh no, what's happening? Now I couldn't even tell you what I think I was going to miss.

I believe you will only make it better. Thank you for your genius!
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mzmolly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 01:13 PM
Response to Original message
67. I these ideas are very innovative and DU just keeps getting better.
Thanks.
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Dr Fate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 01:15 PM
Response to Original message
68. I like the idea of Journals. Thanks Old Bossman.
n/t
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Lasher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 01:20 PM
Response to Original message
70. Organized Chaos
That is what you manage so well here, and to me it describes the Democratic party at its best.

I particularly like the 'DU Journals' idea. Hopefully this would be a matrix for better appreciation of the more gifted among us.

Thank you for the hospitality here at DU.
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helderheid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 01:30 PM
Response to Original message
73. Excellent! I'm excited to see the new changes and thank you for what you
all do here!
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Stinky The Clown Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 01:37 PM
Response to Original message
74. " .......by focusing so much on individuals' problems we may not ....... "
" ..... be doing what is best for the website as a whole ....... "

An ombudsman, paid or volunteer, to buffer between the users and the administrators, with the administrators getting involved when it seems the obudbsman thinks they should.
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Skinner ADMIN Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 01:54 PM
Response to Reply #74
79. We are considering this idea
or something like it. But we are concerned that it could be pretty brutal for the people who do it.
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Stinky The Clown Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 03:32 PM
Response to Reply #79
95. Make the job totally anonymous
I can absolutely imagine the job being brutal. It is a thankless job, to be sure.

So maybe make it a completely anonymous job. The name could simply be 'DU Ombudsman'. It can be a series of people, even.
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NMDemDist2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 04:32 PM
Response to Reply #79
103. I'm a sick puppy, I'd sign up to do that job LOL n/t
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question everything Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 01:42 PM
Response to Original message
76. Two questions, observations
Thanks, Skinner. I will need to read it again, slowly, to absorb all the details.

One item that I think I understand, is that when there is a breaking news, like Katrina, Roberts, Miers, DeLay, that perhaps all these threads can be in sub GD forum so that we don't need to wade through all of them to find other topics. And I seem to remember some other, less relevant topics for this clusters, like the Jackson trial, that, again, would generate many threads.

I am not sure about the Latest Page change. I was thinking that you would consider a "latest" page for each forum or, at least, for the "biggies: LBN, GD, GD Politics and Editorial but.. perhaps not.

Sometimes, late at night, mostly, I start with the latest and realize that the threads there are mostly from the DU. So I just go directly to the forums themselves, like GD.

Thanks for the great work and dedication that you are doing. I don't know that many could do a similar job.
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nashville_brook Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 01:46 PM
Response to Original message
77. heavy users throw up the most
:) i can attest to that.

ya'll rawk. keep keeping on. this is a whole lotta upgrade. good luck. godspeed, and may the caffeine flow freely!
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Renew Deal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 02:05 PM
Response to Original message
81. Sounds good
Edited on Tue Oct-04-05 02:06 PM by Bleachers7
The entire post sounds good to me except one minor detail. I dont think someone who has had a message deleted in a post should be disallowed to post in that same thread. I understand why you would want to do this, but sometimes I have a post removed that isnt flame-bait but just a mistake. Other than that, I am interested in the changes. They sound like good, well thought out ideas. Good luck and let me know if I can help somehow (beta tester, etc.).

Edit: BTW, cross posting forums would be a great feature if all the replies are cross posted too. I wonder how you will get past the archive. GD archives after a day or two. The small forums can take a year.
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OmmmSweetOmmm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 02:07 PM
Response to Original message
82. Thank you DU for being here and thanks Skinner for this post! Progressives
I love the sound of that. :)
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MrBenchley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 02:08 PM
Response to Original message
83. Like the "journal" idea very much....
Sounds great....
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KoKo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 08:33 PM
Response to Reply #83
148. Daily Kos has done very well with it. Allows "Researchers" to have their
Edited on Tue Oct-04-05 08:36 PM by KoKo01
say and to be "self moderated." Alot of excellent research has been done in the KOs Diaries that DU researchers "tried to do" but didn't get enough support to keep the threads going. It was partly a moderating problem and part that with all the members threads kept going to Archives before a consensus could be reached. DU is "interactive" where Kos is very much confined to that "flat reply type dialog." (I don't have the tech savy to get the terminology correct about why DU has "interactive threading" and Kos and all other "Comment sections" on Blogs out there have that "flat reply" thing. But whatever...I've tried to describe why DU is UNIQUE in that one can "Discuss" on DU and that means that it takes a long time for "consensus" of worthiness, whereas Kos Members can post a Diary and it sinks or falls under what the Forum Members think of the merit of the post by giving it a number. (On DU, IMHO, that would end up with "Groupies" pumping their friends posts ...just because we are such a different set up)

Anyway, I think Skinner would like to move to some kind of "Kos Model" and yet retain the "flavor" of interaction that's kept DU so active. It's an ambitious attempt. I just wonder how it would work in the DU Community...which is VERY DIFFERENT from what's over there at "Daily Kos" in makeup.

:shrug:
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bpilgrim Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 02:38 PM
Response to Original message
85. what about the community rating every post on DU
as well as classifying posts as funny, informative, insightful, etc...

I think that would be a great way to allow the community to help the cream rise to the surface.

Managing growth is something \. has had a lot of experience and probably would be a good place to look for hints on what we could do here as a matter of fact slash do has already implemented all the features you have mentioned and then some. another big issue with managing growth is getting the software to perform as well, another issue \. has already dealt with.

whatever you decide i hope we can at least rate every post and then we can apply a filter to see only the cream, folks who don't care for the filter can view DU uncut without any change at all from the old DU.

thanks for keeping us posted and the great job you guys are doing :toast:

gotta get back to work ;->

peace
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AntiFascist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 05:06 PM
Response to Reply #85
107. I hope the admins are careful in adding too many feedback features....
too fast. I remember another PHP-based forum, DC something or other, that suffered when the operators got carried away.
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OrwellwasRight Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-05-05 01:54 AM
Response to Reply #85
170. I would just rather read responses to posts than reviews of posts,
like the "informative, funny" etc. that you mention.

Just my two cents.
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bpilgrim Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-05-05 09:42 AM
Response to Reply #170
201. i am talking about scoring posts by the community at large
to help the cream rise to the surface.

http://slashdot.org uses this system to help deal with their massive growth.

the best thing about it is that it is nondestructive and optional in that you can choose to use it or not to filter out post that have a low score or read it uncut.

a think it would make the mods job easier as well

i am not advocating writing reviews of posts, though we already have that ability and folks do take that opportunity now ;->

peace
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Me. Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 02:39 PM
Response to Original message
86. Am Over The Moon About Proposed Changes
Love the journal idea and so much of what you are proposing for it answers many things which have, to a greater or lesser extent, become issues. Great on being able to separate a small group who hijack a thread, and asking the mods to ease up on locking. The mission statement of DU being an incubator for progressive ideas is terrifically appealing. This is a much needed forum for it gives a voice to those who, in the last several years, have had no access and whose voices were being silenced. It is clear, at least for the Democratic party, that the grassroots and progressive ideas are taking hold. Several articles out today address that very fact.

It is out of a community such as this that a coalescing of thought takes place. And yes, where stories were elsewhere buried, they rise to the top here. Further, any derision aimed at this forum is by those who don't want people to think for themselves, would rather have them lockstep behind mainstream policies and goals. And let's not kids ourselves, for all that, we all know that people are flocking to read here even if they wouldn't dare admit it. The evidence of that is becoming clear in what people say and what they write.

I called my Senator's office today, Schumer, and said that 1) as a progressive dem I didn't appreciate being compared to right wing extremists, and 2) I wanted to remind him of a quote from MLKjr., "There Comes A Time When Silence Is Betrayal". The information regarding Schumer's statement and the quote came from reading them on DU.

I thank all of you, Skinner, EarlG & Elad for this place and your determination to make it even better.
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MellowOne Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 02:46 PM
Response to Original message
87. Excellent ideas
I'd be lost without DU. I never realized the depth of corruption in our government until I found DU after my disappointment with the last presidential election. DU opened my eyes to "reality." Thank you for being here.

Need a reality check?.....go underground
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jillan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 02:51 PM
Response to Original message
89. The one goal I would like to see for DU is to be as recognized, if not
more than forums such as KOS, and others that are quoted in the msm.

We have a really good thing going here, it's time for some recognition!
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Blue_Roses Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 02:53 PM
Response to Original message
90. sounds great!
I can't believe DU will be 5 years old!

You guys are great!
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HEyHEY Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 02:53 PM
Response to Original message
91. May I suggest - prizes!
You know, free goofy straw hats, that kinda thing?
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salin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 03:01 PM
Response to Original message
92. Dear Admins,
I started posting on DU just before its (and your) first "birthday" - it was already changing - as I could tell from some "old timers" posts. It has changed a great deal over the nearly four years that I have been a part of the community. And that last word is what proves remarkable - DU remains a community. Just wanted to say that I believe in this place, and appreciate that whenever you have made changes you seem to have done so very deliberatively - and with utmost intent (or so it seems to me) to be responsive to the greater DU community. I am sure that your additional changes will continue in this same vein. Thank you for creating DU, thank you for managing its growth in such a way that DU remains to be a community. KUDOs! :loveya:
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Im with Rosey Donating Member (619 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 03:14 PM
Response to Original message
93. Thank you for all you do!
It's hard to improve on greatness, but thanks for making our home a happy place.
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Beam Me Up Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 03:24 PM
Response to Original message
94. WOW! Very impressive. Thanks so much...looks like you're contemplating
all the right moves. :hi:

Thanks for making DU The Greatest!

BMU
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rasputin1952 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 03:41 PM
Response to Original message
96. As always. a great post! I look forward to the changes you envision
and know that DU is still the Premier Progressive Message Board!!!!

:woohoo:... :D
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Window Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 03:41 PM
Response to Original message
97. Thank you DU Administrators
for caring, sharing and making DU the greatest place on the internet(s).

Peace
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leftchick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 03:49 PM
Response to Original message
98. Very good thoughts. I love the Journal forum idea the best.
The Latest page change and the ignore feature change sound good too. It will be interesting days ahead I think. Thanks to all of you!

:hi:

lc
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Ivote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 03:51 PM
Response to Reply #98
99. Thanks For Making DU The Best
:kick:
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spooky3 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 03:53 PM
Response to Original message
100. Even freepers would have to agree: DU Admins are amazing. Thanks.
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kohodog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 04:14 PM
Response to Original message
101. Sounds great, I hope the layout won't change too much...
DU is easy to navigate compared with sites like Kos and TPM and other "permalink" type formats. It's easy to open a thread, see if the posts have any interest and who's contributing. They do move quickly these days though, and some great discussions disappear in the depths too fast. Threads rarely last more than a day anymore.

The ideas sound good, and I'm sure you can make the navigation clean.
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jane_pippin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 04:18 PM
Response to Original message
102. Sounds good so far. I like the journal idea a lot, too. Thanks!
Thanks for working to make DU better than it is already. :thumbsup:
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Disturbed Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 04:48 PM
Response to Reply #102
106. I love DU and appreciate the for real "hard work" that
is being done by many. One suggestion: Less Forums, please.
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tsuki Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 04:45 PM
Response to Original message
104. Thank you for everything. Without DU, I would have gone
to DC a stranger. I met friends through DU who organized us, and we had a very positive experience. It was great.
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linazelle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 04:46 PM
Response to Original message
105. Excellent work. You already have a mission statement pretty much:
"We believe it is vitally important that progressives have the means to bypass the mainstream media filter, to share news and information directly with each other."

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bleever Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 05:50 PM
Response to Reply #105
119. dupe.
Edited on Tue Oct-04-05 05:51 PM by bleever
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bleever Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 05:50 PM
Response to Reply #105
120. I'll second that. Thank you for your thoughtful approach to
future changes.

Journals will be a wonderful improvement, and definitely increase DU's ability to take the best advantage of the potential of the community.

:toast: to the admins and mods.
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LynneSin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 05:09 PM
Response to Original message
108. NOOOOOOOOOOOO You're gonna get rid of the Delaware forum
:cry:

I'll post there more - I promise!!!
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HEAVYHEART Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 05:10 PM
Response to Original message
109. Sounds good to me n/t
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Missy Vixen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 05:14 PM
Response to Original message
110. I want to publicly thank Skinner, EarlG and Elad
for working so hard to make a community for all of us to enjoy here. I don't feel like I could ever say it enough. For the past four and 3/4 years, you've given us all a place.

Thank you,
Julie
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blondeatlast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 05:17 PM
Response to Original message
111. DU is my one-stop sanity shop.
I've gotten incredible political savvy and wisdom, support through the illness and consolation on the death of my father, support through 3 angioplastys, support for my diabetes woes, parenting advice, and some of the most incredible laughs I ever hope to enjoy--all right here.

Excellent work, guys. I (grudgingly) admit that there needs to be a forums-trimming--have at it; even my baby if you feel the need.

I love, love, love the journal idea. I can think of at least three DUers (oops--four) that I'll pin to mine immediately.

You guys simply are the best.

I owe you all a profound debt of gratitude for this place.
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mvd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 05:18 PM
Response to Original message
112. Sounds great
I believe that DU has been heading in the "more customizable" direction for a while. I'm glad the views function might be coming back. Always liked it.
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Lydia Leftcoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 05:18 PM
Response to Original message
113. These sound like great changes
My personal suggestion for improving GD would be to shut down and remove duplicate threads immediately (the kind where half the threads on the front page of GD are variations of the same topic) before they have a chance to clutter things up.

Maybe that would teach people to read the first couple of pages before they post the nineteenth thread "announcing" Bush's latest appointee. :-)
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neuvocat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 05:22 PM
Response to Original message
114. What about more contact with Dems in Congress?
We have all this info and this site has done an excellent job of filtering out the main stream media news. However, I'd really like to see the likes of Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi acting more often on what gets talked about here.

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DoYouEverWonder Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 05:26 PM
Response to Original message
115. There's one component missing
This is a great site and you guys do an outstanding job, but there are so many people who don't have a clue about who or what we are.

Even when I was in DC for the March, most of the people that I spoke to (that weren't other DUers) had never heard of us. Surprisingly, they usually have never heard of freepers either, so it makes for interesting conversations trying to explain what both groups are all about.

So how can we promote ourselves better or would we rather stay under the radar? There's pros and cons to both situations.


PS: Rule simplification & enforcement simplification sounds great. Especially the part about deleting just parts of a thread. Thanks.



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NightOwwl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 05:27 PM
Response to Original message
116. Journals - what a great idea!
I love DU...my only regret is that I didn't discover the forum until March of 2004.

You guys are the best. :grouphug:
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Massacure Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 05:41 PM
Response to Original message
117. This forum is getting pretty big, it is nearly impossible to find things.
Could you enable a basic version of the search feature in all the forums instead of just LBN?
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ismnotwasm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 05:45 PM
Response to Original message
118. You guys rock
Democratic Underground became my resource for information long before I registered, and my lifeline when my daughter was stationed in Afghanistan. I've read intelligent thinking, found so many great information resources here,(as well as being able to keep up on the current "conspiracy theories"-Not that some of those aren't intelligent!)
Lots of humor, compassion, and forward thinking. I appreciate your efforts, and your thoughtful communication makes me proud to be a member of this community. (I function much better face to face, other than email, being in an online community is a new experience for me)
Thanks for the updates, it sounds as though you're doing lots of good things
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alcibiades_mystery Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 05:57 PM
Response to Original message
121. Terrific stuff: lots of great ideas,
And you guys are definitely the one's to put them into action.

Where can I donate again?
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KoKo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 05:59 PM
Response to Original message
122. As a DU Populist/Progressive I don't feel welcome on this site these days.
Edited on Tue Oct-04-05 06:03 PM by KoKo01
It's too large...and those of us who want to DIG for information to give to Josh Marshall and others who will get our message out in the MSM of the LEFT, often see our threads and posts with RESEARCH locked or trashed by folks who don't understand that RESEARCH is so important for an "Underground" site.

I have wondered if Democratic Underground...hasn't become a Frankenstein Monster in that it grew beyond what the "creators" every intended.

I know that I post constantly...and many folks here on DU think that I "chirp and twitter" about inane distractions and that what I post trashes our Democratic Party.

I have to tell you that if I'm seen as an "inane twitterer"...it sort of makes me wonder when I have to slog through posts who are calling me names and questioning my Dem credentials as to why I'm still here.

I've had posters tell me in essence: "Get a Life" and others who are Progressives like ME trash me that I'm not "Pro-Female" enough (and I AM a FEMALE) and I've stayed here through all of it because I believed in DU as an "Underground Think Tank" where we could Post our SERIOUS THOUGHTS out there and have a DISCUSSION!

My complaint is that we have so little DISCUSSION anymore. I've learned SO MUCH from being here on DU ...but I learned from posters who have been "marginalized or even Tombstoned," in that their quest for RESEARCH went off into the "netherland" because of lack of support. Maybe there just wasn't enough support from the DU "audience" or maybe our Admins didn't support what we did considering much of it "tinfoilhat fringe." I'm not talking here about really "FAR OUT" FRINGE stuff...which even I can't support...but it seemed that legitimate discussion about 9/11 or blind support for Sharon's Likud seemed to be "frowned upon." I think on "balance" that Skinner, et al have done a great job trying to moderate this...but have erred on the side of caution over valor. I am not a "Solomon"...so on that issue I think you did your best. :shrug:

I have no idea where DU should go...I It does seem that many of us who've moved from "DLC Centrist to Lefty Liberal/Populist/Socialist Fringe" don't feel welcome here anymore. :shrug: OUR DEMOCRACY IS AT STAKE, FGS!

I love this site...my blather is shown in my post count. But, maybe DU wants to go in a different direction that where some of us like myself feel having , moved from DLC Centrist to RADICAL ACTIVIST (since I joined DU in 2001)...wants or needs to be.

My honest opinion...with all the typo's and whatever. :-(

On Edit: DU has saved many lives and was out there and was the "wind beneath many wings." So, my heart has always been grateful...for whatever called you guys out there with your banner after "Stolen Election 2000." I've always said to you, Skinner...that you all don't know what you've achieved...and one day you will look back and understand...and it was SOOOOO GOOD." I'm not doing a "suck up" here..but I'm older than you guys and have some sense of perspective you will grow into. :D..

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wiley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 06:00 PM
Response to Original message
123. Kudos to Skinner, EarlG, & Elad
You do amazing things. I'm not aware if any of you have experience in managing political or other coalition type communications, but the administrator priorities statement accurately reflects the issues we have faced since organizing began. I apologize before any other DUers read this, because no one asked for my lengthy opinion, or for what some will surely consider to be "judgment". Doesn't everyone compelled to post feel what they are posting is important? Those who wish not to read this post could take this message away with them: The administrators of DU are amazing, and patient, and I support whatever changes they make.

:hangover: :loveya:



:rant:


The problem is what anyone working with people under the age of 18 knows and what Rove has brilliantly manipulated to the advantage of Republican candidates whose only claim to a leadership position is to act as vectors to reinforce the psychological needs of "the people" while fleecing them blind, both financially and ethically. The Freepers and trouble makers on DU know this as well.

Unfortunately, some Democrats don't recognize they do it , but feel they have the right to hammer a nail in their foot and complain loudly about the fact they are not being validated by society, their employers, their loved ones or a group of people they so desperately want to belong to and have the approval of. Passion unvalidated can also have serious repercussions for those who have nothing to do with the whole thing as well.

So, how does one lessen the ability of DU to be used as a therapeutic tool for those who just want to say, Hear me, Hear me, Hear me, and prevent those who really crave to be heard from not taking the Freeper catnip?

Define the mission statement even more clearly. Define the desired outcomes in more succinct terms, i.e. getting Democrats elected in specific races or discussing the implications of proposed legislation or policy. Have people report back on what they have done towards meeting those outcomes as opposed to encourage them to discuss their personal likes and dislikes.

GD should be a separate place where people can discuss whatever they like, but stating that they love Gobsmack more than MetalHead doesn't really meet the objectives of DU, other than to create a place for chatter, does it?

Apply the outcomes and objectives criteria to Politics and Policy, and let GD become a separate area that does not interfere with the more productive discussion areas. I would really rather not ever have to navigate through GD unless I specifically go to GD. It's topics should be carefully selected if they are to appear on the front page.

:rant:
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patricia92243 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 06:06 PM
Response to Original message
124.  .. the possibility of a member-initiated mutual ignore - for some reason,
I find this hysterically funny.
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Seansky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 06:16 PM
Response to Original message
125. Good update and
I for one, couldn't be w/o DU, so Txs. for working at solving some of the issues.

Could the threads that have links (news or articles or cartoons) be separated from opinions or discussions? I find that the links tend to enable quick learning of the latest news out there. Those are a big reasons for us to avoid mainstream 'cause all of us become researchers and can keep the rest up to date. And Questions.

Just a thought. It's the only thing I wish would be clearer from the General Discussion...
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Chichiri Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 06:22 PM
Response to Original message
126. I consider my donations to DU money well-spent.
Great ideas all.
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scarletlib Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 06:31 PM
Response to Original message
127. Sounds like a lot of good ideas.
I love DU and spend way to many hours here reading the news and discussions and posting on occasion.

Thank you all.
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FULL_METAL_HAT Donating Member (673 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 06:38 PM
Response to Original message
128. Suggestion : "Time Out" -- Timer-based "Ignore"
We are considering upgrading the ignore feature so it works more like a "personal tombstone" almost entirely wiping out any trace of anyone you chose to ignore.

I suspect a close examination of the use of ignore might show that the majority of 'ignorees' are never un-ignored. A "snooze button" of sorts would encourage people to be more civil, knowing that the "time out" button is there to give you and the other person some time to cool down. A plain "ignore" encourages a different kind of discourse. Of course, giving people the ability to block a user completely and permanently should be given, just not so one-click.

A way to visualize the idea is a "time out" link which would bring up a page with a choice of "time outs". The most straight forward would be time: 30 mins, 120 min, 1 day. Innovation could come from controlling a "time out" based on a thread or a group as well.

Now as to
We are also considering the possibility of a member-initiated mutual ignore, so two members can agree between themselves to ignore each other.

What the heck?
Good Day Sir!
I _said_ Good Day!

?


Oh one more suggestion? How about when you reply to a really long thread, the thread is put into a "TextArea" box so you don't have to scrooolllllllll so much when previewing <grumble grumble darn worn-out scroll wheel!>
{B^>
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trogdor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-05-05 03:00 PM
Response to Reply #128
233. Wonka, c. 1974?
Good Day Sir!
I _said_ Good Day!
?
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Obiepup Donating Member (57 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 06:39 PM
Response to Original message
129. You have a great message board
I'm glad I found it
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UrbScotty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 06:40 PM
Response to Original message
130. Mission statement and 'views' counter
Edited on Tue Oct-04-05 06:41 PM by ih8thegop
I don't really like the idea of a 'views' counter, but I'm not vehemently against it.

Now as for DU's mission...

"Democratic Underground serves to facilitate discussion among, and provide resources for, progressives who seek change for the better in the United States and around the world."
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RedCloud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-05-05 11:31 AM
Response to Reply #130
210. Another mission statement attempt
...The Democratic Underground fights the never ending battle for truth, justice and the progressive way...
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 07:23 PM
Response to Original message
131. Thank you for taking the time to think this out and to let us know
your thinking.

:hi:
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Alamom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 07:24 PM
Response to Original message
132. Thanks for all you do and all you have planned.
:kick:
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democrank Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 07:29 PM
Response to Original message
134. THIS IS HUGH111111111
There. I finally mastered our very own DU lingo. No morans here.

Seriously, I so appreciate your efforts to support your members and improve your site. A sincere thank you. I`m looking forward to hearing more about your new proposals.


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Mr_Spock Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-05-05 10:08 AM
Response to Reply #134
204. Well, actually it's "This is HUGH!!!!111"
Ideally there should be four exclamation points and three "ones" - though you can adjust to suit your mood. Sorry, I just had to say something - your post caught my attention. :D
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President Kerry Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-05-05 09:42 PM
Response to Reply #204
247. story behind the origin? i know there is one.
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KoKo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 07:35 PM
Response to Original message
135. Reading the responses of Posters since my post...Why not Split DU?
Edited on Tue Oct-04-05 08:15 PM by KoKo01
It's TOO LARGE. Why not do a REAL UNDERGROUND...self moderating but where genuine "speculative discussion" has a chance to BLOOM? "DU-1 is the Legacy Forum Active...DU-2 is the NEW BLOG designed the way you want it..working with your "new proposals."

Do "DU-1, LEGACY" on a shoestring budget like "Old DU" and allow "Old DU Archives" to be available...and let the folks who post have a little more leeway than in your NEW DU Model...let it be Self Regulating since the Legacy Folks already know how to deal with trolls and the like?

Could you get funding for TWO DU'S? I don't know. But maybe if you asked folks you might get a feel.

Some of us "Legacy DU'ers" have a history that just can't compete with the NEW DU...having to explain our "evolution" over and over...sort of wears us out.

But, I think the considerations of you guys from a Business Model...might be to just "let the Legacy go...off on it's own." :shrug:

We are Grown Ups...and we could fend for ourselves...but many of us would like to stay close to the "folks who brung us to the Dance." '

Would this be possible? Splitting DU...Legacy and the New Model you propose in your post?
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Finder Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 10:08 PM
Response to Reply #135
159. I like that...
a deep underground...real issues, vested members, honest debate, no namecalling....sigh.
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Gronk Groks Donating Member (582 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-05-05 02:38 PM
Response to Reply #135
230. Trouble is that DU needs it's Legacy Members right here...
...you folks are the memory of DU. I've been here about 1.5 years and am continually amazed at information I never knew being linked to new discussions where it is EXTREMELY relevant.

Remember what is old news to you is unknown to others.

A question I have: How do you keep the links to important archive posts and how do you keep that information organized??? I can't seem to keep track of things more than a few days in the past...

...knowledge is vital, ancient one...
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trogdor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-05-05 03:02 PM
Response to Reply #135
234. Eastern empire/Western empire?
Which one gets to be Constantinople?
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thinkingwoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 07:39 PM
Response to Original message
136. Props to you all!!
This all sounds great. I've been reading here since 2001 and I love this place.

Your vision and careful tending makes and keeps DU such a great place!

Thanks again for all of your hard work and dedication!
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spanone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 07:45 PM
Response to Original message
138. You guys stay up nights so we can rant....thanks
:toast:
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David Zephyr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 07:47 PM
Response to Original message
140. You guys are terrific!
First, thanks for giving us all a heads-up on your considerations, all of which seem logical and helpful to me.

A "Mission Statement" is always helpful. I think some of your mission statement might very well be found in the section you called "WHAT IS THE POINT OF ALL THIS, ANYWAY?"

Whether you recognize it or not yet, your DU is now a part of Americana. You should take time to give yourselves a lot of credit for a truly remarkable website.

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many a good man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 07:47 PM
Response to Original message
141. You guys make DU the Lincoln Continental of liberal web sites
:yourock:


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mom cat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 07:49 PM
Response to Original message
142. Looks good. Thanks for all of your hard work.
We frequent flyers appreciate it.
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Pithlet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 07:51 PM
Response to Original message
143. I love the personal journal idea
and more customizing features. :thumbsup:
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Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 08:03 PM
Response to Original message
144. yes, this site is like a ticker tape sometimes
with several threads on the same subject. Would be nice if you could pare it down somehow.
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Sgent Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 08:34 PM
Response to Original message
149. A couple of thoughts on Journals and other...
Let the user who rights a post diable it from the journaling if he doesn't want it kept for all time. For instance, some posters are truley inciteful in LBN or GD or in other forums, but may enjoy having fun in the lounge. Letting them select which posts to put into their "personal" journal would be a plus.

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DeepModem Mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 08:59 PM
Response to Original message
150. Thanks, Skinner. Just a thought --
a thought which is probably of little use, but here it is anyway. One of my guilty pleasures is some of the more frivolous posts in GD. I'm wondering if there might be some way to divide GD into two sections similar to newspapers: hard news, and features, fun, gossip, etc. It would take some getting used to, but if you wanted to post Tweety's latest abomination, you would do it in the "features" GD forum (and generally, I admit, I would be interested in reading it). Serious discussions, for example, of the fitness of a new Supreme Court candidate would be in the main GD forum, as well as the fine research and analysis many DUers produce. I would hope a features-type forum would not be another Lounge. The same kinds of threads that are currently in the Lounge would remain there.

This might prevent people from having to choose and hide so frequently.
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WiseButAngrySara Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 11:32 PM
Response to Reply #150
163. I really like this idea! ...n/t
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Skinner ADMIN Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-05-05 07:58 AM
Response to Reply #150
185. We considered doing something like this.
Our idea was to split GD into two forums: A "Premium" GD with articles and long-format member vanity posts, and a "Chat" GD with short-format member vanity posts. In fact, we came *this close* to doing it. But after we spent a long time thinking about it, and eventually decided against it. The reasoning is a little complicated, but I'll give it a shot. We became concerned that the "Chat" GD would actually have more activity than the "Premium" GD. And members would start to see that as the prime real-estate on DU because it seemed to have more eyeballs. Once a particular forum starts being seen as "the place with all the people," then people will try to come up with ways to shoe-horn their threads into that forum, even the stuff that was never intended to be there. Then, you get a snowball effect, and everyone ends up in there.

Instead, we are considering a slightly different solution, which was not explained in my post above. In GD, one of the new topic areas will be something like "Short Topics/Chat". All threads that do not meet a certain minimum standard (say, 500 characters) *MUST* be posted in the "Short Topics/Chat" category. Then, members would be able to filter out all the one-sentence vanity threads from GD. Also, that would keep most of the one-sentence vanity threads out of the Topic forums as well. And, as a bonus, the admins could completely hide the one-sentence vanity threads from unregistered visitors.
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RoyGBiv Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-05-05 02:35 PM
Response to Reply #185
228. This sounds excellent ...

I refer to your second paragraph.

Without going into too much depth, I would like to offer that I appreciate the energy you're putting into this. I am one who enjoys discussion, can write some very lengthy posts with links and citations, etc. and often just decide not to bother because invariably these threads sink ... unless is makes someone angry or addresses some current controversy. And I don't usually want to get into that. Some days I work on something for my own education but never develop it into something more formal that could be followed by anyone but me because it seems like wasted effort.

Those of us who enjoy the actual discussions and long posts sometimes feel drowned by the short quips that offer little to advance a discussion.

FWIW, I'll be sure to support loudly whatever changes you make, even though I hate change, and even if I hate them all...just for the effort. :-)

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trogdor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-05-05 03:08 PM
Response to Reply #185
235. Find my "hot topics" post.
Sounds similar to my idea, except I have moderators choosing what gets "promoted" into that forum, thus, it becomes an "edited" forum that provides one-stop, high-quality content without the fluff. Since you have to post something elsewhere to get your post into the Hot Topics forum (only a VERY select few highly-trusted insiders get to start new threads there), disincentive to use the rest of DU is minimized. Having a post promoted to Hot Topics would create "bragging rights," which could possibly be tracked on the user's profile page.
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DeepModem Mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-05-05 07:24 PM
Response to Reply #185
244. Thanks again, Skinner! I really appreciate...
all the thought and effort that's going into this. (Sorry to be so late to respond -- I'm travelling, and getting little time on the computer.)

My only thought to the above: I worry about depriving unregistereds of some of the fun of Tweety posts, etc. (I also think what Tweety has to say is sometimes important -- he blows with the wind) -- but, as you may know, I'm one who probably worries most about the first impression we make to people viewing the site for the first time, and considering joining us, and politicos, press, etc., who might check us out. These are difficult decisions!
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SnoopDog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 09:03 PM
Response to Original message
151. I like the idea of the journal... And an idea...
Any way to incorporate a 'On the TV now" or "need to watch this - coming soon". This may be hard but would be a nice feature.

Thank you for DUing DU!
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xultar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 09:06 PM
Response to Original message
152. Hey Skinner. I just wanted to say HELLO!
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populistdriven Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 09:11 PM
Response to Original message
153. I would like to have 'incubator' topics that last 2 weeks or more where
Edited on Tue Oct-04-05 09:16 PM by bushmeat
all of DU goes to work intensively on a specific topic chosen by the admins. The goal would be to maximize results by allowing individuals to make a positive contribution using their own particular strengths. Kind of like an activistcorps on steroids.

ie. make a focus group for the last 2 weeks in October on the subject of "Deibold".

Spend 1 week before advertising the focus group inside DU to get people excited about it.

Start off the first 2-3 days with open discussion / brainstorming

Then the administrator sets some goals and people contribute research using their strengths for several days.

Then the results are summarized and the issue is attacked using peoples strengths, the good writers prepare editorials & letters, after these are done the news hounds flood this material out to the media, and anyother possible actionable steps are taken. The results of this is posted and we have a project summary and thanks to everyone who contributed.

we would need a dedicated activist section in the forums for this
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druidity33 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-05-05 09:40 AM
Response to Reply #153
200. Activist section...
YES,YES,YES! I love this idea... but please, no Action Alert! e-mails... no e-petitions. Those of us out here with the will to be Active using our feet and our collective voices are hungering for distilled guidance. Anything that can make a progressive activist movement more visible and attainable and more effective would be greatly appreciated by folks looking to DU for advice and logistical support. I discovered this site today and am excited about the future knowing resources like yours are around. Thank you for being here!!!
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sleipnir Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 09:29 PM
Response to Original message
154. Sounds good! This might be taboo but how about a daily thread post limit?
per person in GD? I think this might solve some of the quality issues. If you can only start 3-5 threads a day (in GD only!) then I think one is more likely to make those few threads a higher quality. I don't want to curtail discussion and dialogue, but this would focus the discussions into the actual threads. I know DailyKos implemented a daily one diary limit and it seemed to work pretty well, the level of important diaries on that site has risen dramatically.

Just a thought.
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Skinner ADMIN Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-05-05 08:03 AM
Response to Reply #154
187. I would love to institute a thread-post limit for GD.
But our impression is that many, there might be many howls of protest, as many members like the free-wheeling, relatively unrestricted nature of DU. We are concerned that if we "crack down" too much, then we might take some of the fun out of posting here.
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Maestro Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 09:36 PM
Response to Original message
156. All sounds great to me.
This place is a godsend. I love the journal idea like many others as well.
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RevolutionStartsNow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 09:46 PM
Response to Original message
157. Continual improvement -- Cool! I love DU!
For me DU is 2 things, a news source and a fun place to hang out and talk to other (mostly) like-minded people.

I come here every morning to see what's happening in the news. I love that I can rely on DU to let me know when something is breaking, pending or even just rumored. Heck, I even found out about Lindsay Lohan's car accident here today! :)

I am very grateful for DU.


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Patsy Stone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 09:55 PM
Response to Original message
158. Thanks for doing what you do!
The ideas are all very exciting and I look forward to seeing which you implement and what DU will become. I love the "deleting sub-thread" plan, too.

My only question, forgive me, is a philosophical one:

Is it truly a good thing to enable people to block out that which they do not wish to hear? :)

Mods, :yourock:
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OrwellwasRight Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-05-05 02:16 AM
Response to Reply #158
171. Exactly. Some of my favorite threads I come across by accident.
If I had to choose topics to see in GD, I would miss these.
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hootinholler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 10:09 PM
Response to Original message
160. It would be nice if...
We had a control that we could categorize posts for archiving so that the categor(y/ies) voted on is where the post belongs in a browse-able archive.

In general, there seem to be a lot of what I would consider misplaced posts (with my content management hat on, I'd rather say mis-categorized) such that when you search later you have to search all the categories, increasing the load on the search engine.

Another thing I would like to be able to do is "go under the bridge with the trolls". It would be cool (maybe as a donor-feature) to be able to turn on deleted posts. The problem is keeping people from starting new threads to discuss how moranic the poster was :evilgrin: So I guess that's out.

Another thing that I would appreciate is a comment emailed to the poster when a post is deleted explaining the infraction. I'm probably an insensitive bastard, but I've had a couple deletes that I don't know why. I'd like to know what rule I violated if it happens again.

Skinner, you run an incredible site. You will not pay for drinks if I'm in a bar with you.

-Hoot
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Skinner ADMIN Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-05-05 08:10 AM
Response to Reply #160
188. We have considered some sort of member notification for deleted posts.
I think it would be a very useful improvement for many of our members. So far, we have been reluctant to do it because our previous experience suggests that in practice people don't really appreciate it very much. In fact, they often use the notification as an opportunity to send a rude response to the admins, which gets them into more hot water. It seems that a automatic notification can sometimes escalate an ugly situation, rather than making it better. Believe it or not, the last thing we want is for a person to fly off the handle and get themselves banned.

Still, I think there may be a way to do it that could get around these issues. But we haven't come up with a solution that we feel confident about.
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Boomer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-05-05 12:23 PM
Response to Reply #188
219. What about a Deleted Posts notice page
Rather than have an in-your-face notification that may piss someone off, what about providing information IF they want it? Someone who wants to check if their post was deleted can go to a Delete status page and confirm the fact.

If privacy is an issue, they could submit their user name and password to get that information.
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SeattleGirl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-04-05 10:20 PM
Response to Original message
162. I like the ideas you are putting out,
especially the journal feature. Like other DUers, there are people who post here that I enjoy reading, and having to plow through page after page can take time. If I like someone's style or writing or the ideas they bring, it would be really nice to have easy access.

Thank you so much for DU, guys, and all the work you put into it. This was the first "liberal" site I ever got on, thanks to a friend of mine pointing it out, and for the first time in a long time, it felt like i wasn't alone. You are doing a fabulous job, and providing a great service!

:applause:
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Tsiyu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-05-05 12:05 AM
Response to Original message
164. You run a fantastic site
You write well; you are constantly trying to improve on your past stellar performances.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again:

I want to have your love child(ren) :loveya:
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EnfantTerrible Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-05-05 12:37 AM
Response to Original message
165. I've said it before
and I say it again... DU has changed my life. Thanks to you all for the amazing site you have created and I look forward to seeing these ideas implemented. Cheers!
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Festivito Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-05-05 12:38 AM
Response to Original message
166. New "Discussion Forum Homepage"
Currently only the Lounge is INCLUDED OR NOT in "Latest."

How about user-chosen set of forums. Fifty check boxes indicate forums to be included. Check articles and greatests to include them too.

When DUers watch several forums at once, no need to post into GD to avoid a slow forum, nor to dump a duplicate into both. Also, easier to find the post that beat you to the punch before one posts redundantly.

Better distribution into forum categories.
No user-duplicated threads for different forums.
Forum categories could be increased, not consolidated.
. Easier to find categorized posts.
Fewer redundant posts.

It is a major request of Elad. But, it might be simpler.
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Skinner ADMIN Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-05-05 08:15 AM
Response to Reply #166
189. We're moving in that direction.
We are considering giving members more control over what shows up on the Latest page. With one exception.

Right now, the Lounge and the non-political forums don't even show up on the Latest Page for anyone, and we think we might keep it that way. There are now so many people here that the flood of topics on the Latest Page threatens to make it completely useless. We believe that if our core mission is to provide a place for the discussion of politics & current events, then it makes sense to filter out the stuff that has nothing to do with that core mission.
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Renew Deal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-05-05 09:38 AM
Response to Reply #189
198. To expand on that
You may be thinking about it this way already, but would it be possible to do a google personalized home type setup? They let you set up groups of topics in a console. The latest 5-10 threads from each forum (plus the greatest) could be visible.
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paineinthearse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-05-05 12:49 AM
Response to Original message
167. You guys have earned your paychecks today.
I look forward to the described changes and enhancements. Should you need some user beta testing, count me in.

:yourock:
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Festivito Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-05-05 01:07 AM
Response to Original message
168. Please, allow permalink entrance from Home, Latest and Greatest.
Allow opening single-post-and-contents "permalink" view instead of only the full "View all" view.

It could save admin processor time, as well as mine.

General Discussion //links to GD//
Where we want to take Democratic Underground //links to full view//
36 votes//links to permalink view// : Discussion started by Skinner
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Skinner ADMIN Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-05-05 08:15 AM
Response to Reply #168
190. Interesting idea.
I think this is worth considering.
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flyarm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-05-05 02:23 AM
Response to Original message
172. sounds like some wonderful ideas!! thanks for all U do!! n/t
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passy Donating Member (780 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-05-05 02:41 AM
Response to Original message
173. Just wanted to say thanks for all the hard work.
I just have a request to adjust the irony sensor of the forum. I think it has a low tolerance level which leads to unnecessary thread deletion.
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rucky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-05-05 03:58 AM
Response to Original message
175. Brilliant! Suggestion on Journals:
When a DU-er reads a post from another user, they can click "read journal", which will display that person's recent posts. You can go back as far as space allows, and you already have a built-in interface for it.

Thank you for using your powers for good instead of evil!

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NMMNG Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-05-05 04:33 AM
Response to Original message
176. Cheers for Skinner, EarlG and Elad


As to the proposed changes, I am all in favor of them. As much time as I spend on DU I certainly cannot complain about any attempts to improve it. DU is my online bastion of sanity, political news and all-around fun.

Yay DU!
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JNelson6563 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-05-05 05:03 AM
Response to Original message
177. Firmer guidelines for GD
So tired of the "OMG!!! Best movie ever!!" (Or insert other idiotic subject matter) GD used to be the source for lots of info that didn't quite qualify for LBN. To see it turning into various posters' own personal lounge is disappointing.

The proposed changes look good.

Juile
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RagingInMiami Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-05-05 05:35 AM
Response to Original message
178. Very well written
And you left nothing out. Sounds like DU is headed in the right direction.

But I broke out laughing when I read the following:

"We are considering upgrading the ignore feature so it works more like a 'personal tombstone' almost entirely wiping out any trace of anyone you chose to ignore. We are also considering the possibility of a member-initiated mutual ignore, so two members can agree between themselves to ignore each other."
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davepc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-05-05 05:36 AM
Response to Original message
179. I think the bar needs to be raised in GD
If you going to start a thread in GD, you need to bring something to the table...

It's hard to define, and might be really hard to regulate...but there just needs to be an expectation that if you post something in GD you'll have something of substance to say, a point that hasn't been made already by dozens of others in other threads, a unique angle, etc

I think there are lots of good posts in GD, but there are also a lot of "OMG I HATE BUSH, and OMG LOOK AT WHAT THESE FREEPER DID" etc etc that don't bring us anything new, or don't have and substance to them.

I think we're all here because we hate bush, and I think we're all here because we're outraged at the crap the right pulls...We're here to talk about it, but repeating ourselves doesn't lend itself to *furthering* the discussion.

As Jim Rome says: Have a take, and don't suck.

Anyways, thats my 2 cents.

Thanks for the site Admins, and all your work running it.


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OneGrassRoot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-05-05 06:13 AM
Response to Original message
180. Excellent ideas/plans...... thanks for all you do! n/t
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NashVegas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-05-05 06:16 AM
Response to Original message
181. Thanks, Skinner
I'm looking forward to watching DU's growth.
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Peace Patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-05-05 06:51 AM
Response to Original message
182. DU makes me think of the broadsides and pamphlets and other
exuberant forms of communication back when the language was young--15th-16th century England--and the invention of movable type and the amazing changes that it brought about, and, later, of course, the raucous penny newspapers, broadsides, wild revolutionary pamphlets and letters of correspondence preceding American Revolution One. It is tremendously exciting, and a great privilege, to be part of this amazing development in human communication, in its very best political forum.

I love the DEMOCRACY of DU, and also the variety. I love that I can read about and discuss some weighty news item of the day, and turn to console some distraught young progressive whose heart has been broken by the fascists, and then pop in on some gem of a cartoon or altered photograph. I was hungry for news/photos of Camp Casey and the big march, because I couldn't go--and didn't even have TV of it--and I was not disappointed here. And then...there are the surprises, topics or news items that I randomly come across just browsing through the latest or the greatest.

I have had only a couple of problems at DU. The worst were the abrupt changes to the "2004 Election Results and Discussion Forum," without any consultation with the regular participants, and no explanation, and the worst of these was removal of this forum from the main page.

The issues raised in the 2004 election forum, and the incredible research that was and still is being done there, and the activist organization that was occurring there in response to the DIRE EMERGENCY that our broken election system poses to our democracy, are as relevant today as they ever have been.

Indeed, I consider the reform of our election system--and especially the removal from our election system of SECRET, PROPRIETARY programming code, owned and controlled by rightwing Bushite electronic voting companies--to be PRIORITY NO. 1 for the survival of democracy and our country. Nothing is more important than our fundamental right to correct our country's course through voting. That right has been, in effect, taken away. Our elections have lost all transparency. And most Americans still don't know this!

There should have been a vote of the regular participants in the 2004 Election forum, or at the very least a consultation.

I almost quit DU because of this--even though I love and admire this political forum. This removal of the 2004 election forum from the front page was too much like the deadly silence of the Democratic Party leadership on the ESSENTIAL, BOTTOM-LINE matter of our voting rights.

DU was a godsend after the 2004 election. You made it possible for all of us who were dumbfounded by the result to figure out what happened, and to understand what the essential problem was.

I applaud you for that. When the Dem Party was tombstoning the matter, you did not. There was free discussion of it here. But when it got into the matter of actually CHANGING the election system, of identifying corruption (including bipartisan corruption), and starting to DO something about it--organizing letter writing and media campaigns and several conferences, and educating the many new posters who daily arrived in our forum looking for answers, suddenly this critically important forum was tucked away where first viewers wouldn't see it. The number of newbies plummeted. And it was as if...

...as if it didn't matter that Bushites now control the tabulation of our votes, didn't matter how incredibly hard we were all working to understand and address that catastrophic development, and didn't matter how much evidence we had that the result of the 2004 election was wrong.

...as if this critically important matter were being swept under the rug, as the party leaders had done.

And it WILL happen again. Our election system has been profoundly compromised. In effect, we don't have a democracy right now. It is gone. And we must alert other Americans, and work to get it back.

So, it was as if you guys, who run DU, had made a judgment that it doesn't matter that much if Bushites count the votes in secret, or if TV networks change their own exit polls to "fit" an "official result" produced by secret Bushite formulae, or why the Democrats are silent about this (are they insane?), or that we have the wrong president, and all the other related things that we were investigating and discussing there.

Do you see what I mean? It felt SPOOKY. The war profiteering corporate news monopolies had blackholed the story--since before the election; they never informed people about the "trade secret" programming code, or who controlled it. The Democrats wouldn't touch it. Other progressive forums followed their lead and shut up about it. And then DU--DU!--shoved it to a back page.

I'm dwelling on this because I want you to know how I FELT. I felt afraid. For my country. And for the political party of which I've been a member for 40 years. And for us all. Afraid.

...because I know how important this is, and that we MUST change it. And the progressive leaders of DU seemed to be burying it away from public view like everybody else.

I don't want anyone else participating at DU to ever feel afraid like that; to feel that an "Iron Curtain" is coming down on a matter of such fundamental importance.

I still object to this action, and I hope that, in your improvements to DU overall, you will find a way to handle such a matter more democratically. And I urge you to restore the 2004 election forum to prominence.

Once again, DU is a marvel, and is of immense political importance. It is the most open and lively political forum in this revolutionary medium, during these deeply troubled times. I thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for your brilliance and hard work, and for your devotion to free and open political discussion and news analysis from the left. Your service to the public is invaluable. Try to keep the news dupes to a minimum, is all I would say about the mechanics of it (perhaps by combining/melding them, posts, comments and all?).



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Roland99 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-05-05 07:55 AM
Response to Original message
183. You go, grrrl! Errr....
:)


I love the ideas. Keep up the great work at DU!
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Teena Donating Member (108 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-05-05 07:55 AM
Response to Original message
184. Please...
do not apologize for posting such a long piece. It was all necessary and reinforces the very philosophy behind this site. I especially like the journal approach. Although I don't post here as often as some, I will certainly look for the contributors I enjoy reading most. I appreciate that you realized changes were due and came up with some brilliant ideas. Keep it up!
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MGKrebs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-05-05 07:58 AM
Response to Original message
186. Wow. That all sounds great. eom.
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Tab Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-05-05 08:20 AM
Response to Original message
191. I particularly like the journals idea...
and locking the subthreads is an old favorite of mine... :)

I didn't see the part about free Swedish Fish to all contributing members, though... (!)

- t
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mrsadm Donating Member (192 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-05-05 08:43 AM
Response to Original message
192. I like DU today! Couldn't live without it!
A comment on your statement: "The problem with the discussion forum format is that it does tend to reward those behaviors that aren't always best for the community as a whole."

How true this is. In fact I often read the first post and completely ignore all the comments, most of which are useless.

I don't think there is anything, however, that the admins can do about this. Calling out the outstanding posts on the front page is the most helpful function.
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yurbud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-05-05 08:48 AM
Response to Original message
193. How about using greatest votes to keep a thread near the top of forum?
Moveon uses this exclusively, which is a mistake, but it could filter out the chaff.
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In Truth We Trust Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-05-05 09:18 AM
Response to Original message
194. "First do no harm" is a wise guiding principle. I do particularly like the
journal cross posting idea for the benefit you outlined.

Thanks for the opportunity to provide feedback. A truly democratic approach.
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CaptAhab Donating Member (85 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-05-05 09:18 AM
Response to Original message
195. Forum moderation
I don't know if this has already been discussed, but have you ever thought about a Slashdot-style moderation system? Where moderators are assigned semi-randomly, according to a set of administrator-specified criteria, and comments are ranked 1-5 according to their information content? Then the users can set a threshold so that they only see comments ranked x and above.

I think DU forums suffer from a low signal-to-noise ratio; I see a lot of idiotic one-line comments, or even comments that only have a title, but no body--this drives me up the wall.
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Skinner ADMIN Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-05-05 09:31 AM
Response to Reply #195
197. We've considered it many times.
I don't know the specifics of how slashdot does it. Last spring, we actually proposed a member-moderating type system to the membership and teh vast majority of responses were opposed. I think that a system like that could work well. But I think many people are afraid that the system would be abused by various factions to enforce a particular party line or punish people they don't like.

The greatest page is our first attempt to let members separate the good stuff from the not-so-good. It works pretty well, IMO, but I wish more people would remember to recommend stuff.

I totally agree that the idiotic one-line thread topics are a waste. We're going to address that in the GD upgrade by separating all the short/chat threads into one category so members can hide them.
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wakemeupwhenitsover Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-05-05 02:50 PM
Response to Reply #197
231. well, poo.
I've always tried to limit myself to recommending just 1 per day for the greatest page. So, I can recommend more? Or do you just want everyone to remember to recommend stuff?

best
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Tactical Progressive Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-05-05 03:12 PM
Response to Reply #197
236. Perhaps a ranked-post thread OPTION would do it
Most threads would not be ranked, but when you get a situation where you have fifteen threads on or around an explosive new topic, some with hundreds of posts, many useless, those threads alone could have rankings.

I think if you only made use of post rankings on a moderator-decided basis, you wouldn't change the tenor of DU much, but provide a useful service for those instances where the flow is just overwhelming. You have poll threads, but most threads aren't of that type.

It would of course require moderator discretion, which is additional work, but I'll bet less than 5% of DU threads really need a ranking system.
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emanymton Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-05-05 09:25 AM
Response to Original message
196. Maybe A FR Area Where We Can All Try To Out-Stupid FR ;-\
and no tomb-stoning. This coulb be soooooooo much fun and good for the soul.

And more Bob Boudelang wanna-be's.
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BlueJac Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-05-05 09:39 AM
Response to Original message
199. It all sounds good......
It must take a lot of time and hard work to keep a site like this fun and interesting. Keep up the good work!
:hi:
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phusion Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-05-05 10:01 AM
Response to Original message
202. Skinner, Elad, EarlG et. al -- You rock!
This is the best discussion forum around...Where else do members get long update emails like this on the status of the site?

Great ideas, great place!

Thanks!
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Mr_Spock Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-05-05 10:02 AM
Response to Original message
203. Is there any way for DU to mark a thread that you have posted in already?
In general the plan above sounds like a good plan to me - I like the idea of trying to separate the wheat form the chaff, and you seem to have a decent idea of how to implement this without excessively diminishing the fun of this format that we all know and love.

I'm just going to ask a detail question then. Is there any way to have the little thread icon on the left of the title change to indicate when you have posted in that thread? There are times when I will go from work to home and there is no indication of threads I've previously viewed on the other machine. Going into "my posts" is OK - especially for finding reply's to specific posts, but it does interfere with the natural way I would prefer to view the forum sometimes. I'm sure you are aware that many/most other forum software has this sort of "indicator" denoting the threads you have posted in. Just wondering if it's possible here...
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The Doctor. Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-05-05 10:08 AM
Response to Original message
205. This is an amazing and wonderful site.
You have so far spoiled your members rotten, so much so that other sites just seem unweildy or primitive.

I believe Elad deserves a great deal of credit for keeping things running so well, but all of you guys get major props.

The changes you have suggested seem very logical, a bit pragmatic, and potentially entertaining and useful. I have only one reservation, the measure that blocks a poster from posting to a thread they have had a post removed from;

"And we may implement a function that automatically blocks an individual from posting in a thread if they get a post removed from that thread."

- Seems just a little 'carte-blanche' as it would preclude a poster from making a public retraction or apology, thus leaving a perhaps lasting negative impression on those who dealt directly with the removed post.

It would also curtail the potential for thoughtful debate on any matter of substance that may also have been in the otherwise inflammatory post, thereby preventing other posters from artfully leading that portion of discussion to a more productive dialogue.

Just my thoughts.

Thank you for this very impressive site. While this may be a partisan site, the levels of objectivity, logic, and empiricism make Democratic Underground a great site for truth.

Regards,

Dr. Eldritch


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sui generis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-05-05 10:25 AM
Response to Reply #205
207. I'm with Dr. Eldritch on this one
I have been fortunate enough on occasion to be able to later remove both of my dainty size eleven's from my oral cavity in threads where I got zapped.

But all in all, DU is one of my favorite websites. It is equal parts serious and earnest, zany, passionate, consensual, bar room brawl, snakepit, and a library of humanity. Some days it is exasperating and frustrating, but always interesting, and I am always humbled by the huge variety of human experience and expression that happens here.

Keep up the magnificent job guys - I'm not afraid of change. Those who can adapt will, and the rest we leave to Darwin.

-sui

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sinkingfeeling Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-05-05 10:36 AM
Response to Original message
208. Thanks for keeping us up-to-date.
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Just Me Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-05-05 10:58 AM
Response to Original message
209. Skinner, your vision for the future of DU is awesome.
I am very excited about the changes you and EarlG and Elad are planning.

:applause: You are all just incredible!! Thank you for your dedication!! :applause:
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underpants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-05-05 11:51 AM
Response to Original message
211. It all sounds great
My own personal web journal!!!

I am going to be so SPECIAL!!!!

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applegrove Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-05-05 11:55 AM
Response to Original message
213. Sounds like a plan. Any way to make registration more secure? So
we can get rid of freepers? I suppose that is impossible.

Great job. I think you've hit the nail on the head in terms of allowing people to view the discussions as it suits them best.
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DemoTex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-05-05 11:58 AM
Response to Original message
214. Moves me to an "out-of-the-blue" donation.
Check is in the mail.
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progressivebydesign Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-05-05 12:00 PM
Response to Original message
215. The changes sound great!
Edited on Wed Oct-05-05 12:01 PM by progressivebydesign
I've been here almost since the beginning, and I REALLY like the changes that DU has made over the years. Though it was more cozy in the beginning, I love the diversity of thought now. I also notice that we're getting more tolerant of dissenting thoughts from DUers.

One tech thing I'd like to see changed, though. I'd like, if I have to log in while reading a thread, to be taken right back to where I was about to post when I realized I wasn't logged in. Rather than starting all over again to find my place when I left to log in.

All in all, DU is doing an amazing job of showcasing the wild ideas and thoughts of 70k people. That's amazing! :grouphug:

Oh, and I LOVE the idea of the journals! Often I'd consider writing something of substance, only to decide against it as unless it was short and splashy, it would sink like bread without yeast.
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Joey Liberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-05-05 12:05 PM
Response to Original message
217. Thanks DU
I consider DU to be an important blog. It is by far the best blog out there. I have not donated yet, but I intend to.
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redqueen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-05-05 12:18 PM
Response to Original message
218. Those all sound like great ideas.
You guys are doing a fantastic job... thanks so much. Best site on the web, by lightyears. I'm not kissing up, either. I really mean that. This place has become THE first place I check for latest news and activism information. The people here have made it much easier for me to find issues to act on, and for that I'm eternally grateful.

:toast:

To the admins and all the helpful members: :yourock:
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Nightwing Donating Member (489 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-05-05 12:52 PM
Response to Original message
221. Change is good!
Edited on Wed Oct-05-05 12:59 PM by Nightwing
I love all your idea's listed and applaud the time and effort all of you put into DU. I have found this to be the most up to date and most useful web site of all similar sites.

Keep up the great work and many many thanks.

For those about to rock, we salute you!! :headbang:

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ClintonTyree Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-05-05 12:57 PM
Response to Original message
222. Kudos, and can I get a Ramen Brothers and Sisters!
Edited on Wed Oct-05-05 01:02 PM by ClintonTyree
Despite what my profile says I've been around DU since the winter of 2001 (I'm the user formerly known as, "DumpGump"). I think I was somewhere around the 7,000 and some odd registered user at that time. Since the first time I saw DU I KNEW that I'd found a group of like-minded, sincere and thoughtful people. Until that time I felt alone and abandoned in this Neo-Conservative wasteland that the selection of george bush created in 2000. I doubt I could have kept my sanity this long if not for DU.

That being said, The Administrators of DU have never ceased to amaze me with their vision and commitment to DU. For that I truly thank them and I fully support any and all changes they propose because they have nothing but the successful future of DU in mind. This is so exciting, DU is GOING PLACES folks, we will be a force to be reckoned with in fighting tyranny and injustice in this world, starting with our own country and working outward.

Now compare THIS to what you see at the "most popular" Conservative web-site. I will not mention it by name but most of know of what I speak. That site is mired in 1999 technology with no appreciable upgrades made in years. The owner takes everything from his users and gives nothing back. A typical Conservative "I've got mine, you get your own", mentality. :puke:

Thank you Earl, Elad and Skinner for this wonderful site. Your work and dedication have been the driving force behind this Progressive juggernaut that is Democratic Underground!

:toast: :yourock: :applause: :toast:
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WillYourVoteBCounted Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-05-05 01:34 PM
Response to Original message
223. please start putting actions to take on the main page - harness the power
Skinner, when there is a really good post on the home page, I think that each day that along with riling people up, that they should be directed to take action.

Example:

If you want senators to oppose nomination of Miers (sp?)
then put a brief message and link to use to take action.

There are always such actions already set up elsewhere, you could just
link to them.

This would create a massive effect.

It is not enough to get people riled up, it is essential to
channel that energy. DU has all of this massive power, yet is not fully harnessing it.

If you want, people could vote to select the item that most needs an action alert. Sort of doing that already.

Please consider this suggestion. Thank you .
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trogdor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-05-05 03:22 PM
Response to Reply #223
237. Sort of like GOP Team Leader?
They'd list actions to take (call Limbaugh and tell him what you think about XXXXX) and award GOPoints that you could cash in for nonexistent merchandise (I never got my trophy windbreaker for using their email program to tell the media how much George Bush's stupid "ideas" suck). I don't know about giving out stuff from the store like that (DU ain't made outa money), but some other form of virtual "swag" (icons next to one's name, etc.) can be awarded to those who walk the walk the most.
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Historic NY Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-05-05 01:36 PM
Response to Original message
224. Sounds great moving forward...........
over time some people get bored. Anything that make the site easier and more friendly would be helpful. Great ideas.
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MamaBear Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-05-05 02:13 PM
Response to Original message
226. Sounds good to me.
:kick:

I'll be looking forward to the enhancements.
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cynatnite Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-05-05 02:15 PM
Response to Original message
227. Question, Skinner...
Many times DU has to disable many of it's features during heights of activity. Will this continue as it is or will there be changes to that as well?

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intensitymedia Donating Member (101 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-05-05 02:56 PM
Response to Original message
232. You tombstoned TIA - the best posts you've ever had
How do you fix that? I lost interest in DU when that happened - I think you should figure out a way to defend first rate posters who are repeatedly harrassed and attacked by reactionary trolls and right wing professional nitpickers.

peace - but never give up the struggle

che

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byronius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-05-05 04:56 PM
Response to Reply #232
238. Boy, that's a tough one.
I loved TIA -- now on truthisall.net and progressiveindependent.com. I also love DU. I sort of understand why he got banned, but I still don't really understand. Now, he filters in through other's posts. The forum still rocks, but ...

What to do? Let TIA be above the law? Maybe.
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childslibrarian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-05-05 05:11 PM
Response to Original message
239. Thanks for all that you have done
The enhancements sound great.
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Lori Price CLG Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-05-05 05:18 PM
Response to Original message
240. Suggestion: get rid of biased moderators, with inconsistent...
policies on locking threads.

You asked, so I gave my opinion.

Lori Price
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evlbstrd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-05-05 06:36 PM
Response to Original message
242. May I make a suggestion regarding the PM function?
Right now, all you see is sent messages. Would it be possible to have an in and out box, more like simple email?
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Jutboy Donating Member (15 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-05-05 07:18 PM
Response to Original message
243. Take it into the real world
I think your suggestions are good but I would like to seem more work being done in the real world (outreach) and not just on this webpage
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RUMMYisFROSTED Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-05-05 07:32 PM
Response to Original message
245. To the surface.
nt
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eleny Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-05-05 07:43 PM
Response to Original message
246. These are great ideas! I also have one suggestion
It's about this in the Rules paragraph: "And we may implement a function that automatically blocks an individual from posting in a thread if they get a post removed from that thread."

I've seen people get a posting deleted come back and post again in the thread to make amends or clarify. And it moves the discussion to a very good place. Sometimes when people work things out among themselves in public, friendships are forged. When things are left dangling, it can be awkward into the future. I'd hate to put yet another job on the mods. But perhaps this rule might not be automated. Maybe the mod who removes a posting could watch the thread for a bit to see if things straighten themselves out. And maybe sometimes it's just plain fun to watch an interesting .... erm ... "discussion".

Overall, the proposed changes sound so great. I'm a GD denizen and am excited to see how changes would improve keeping up with topics I'm interested in. Consolidating some DU Groups and being able to customize some things are terrific improvements. Introducing journals is a fabulous idea. I've wished for an easier way to find topics started by certain members. Journaling takes that to a more interesting and informative level.

Thanks for all the time and thought the admins put into this. I'm totally delighted!
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mirrera Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-05-05 09:42 PM
Response to Original message
248. This place IS my news and my education.
If "Social Studies" in High School had been like this I would have paid attention. You are doing a tremendous service here and words can not express the value. I take pride in my DU bumper sticker and push your site on everyone I know.

The one thought I had after reading your letterand I did not read everyone else's posts as I want to get back to the "greatest" page (another brilliant idea) is for you not to worry about drifting too far from "Main Stream". If you read the book on the media (The Problem with the Media...) by McChesney, he has some wonderful glimpses into the history of media before the corporations took it over and moved their ownership and regulation meetings behind closed doors.

What I read, and did not know before, was that BIAS used to be accepted. You had Communist papers, Socialist papers, Republican, Democrat, it didn't matter. Everyone knew which paper THEY trusted and you had a diverse debate of ideas. With the advent of the Telegraph and the MONOPOLY created by the AP News service, you began to have the dumbing down of the news. In order for the AP to sell it's service to a wider variety of outlets, they had to make their news palatable to all.

With the growing Corporate ownership of news papers, it became very important for these owners to give the appearance of not influencing the reporting. Thus the idea of "unbiased" was born. The next step was the "professionalizing" of the news. Going to college and being taught to be unbiased.

I am an artist not a media expert, and I am giving my interpretation of what I got out of McChesney book, but my point is that it is OK to have a slant. As this administration gets stranger and stranger, that is how they will make us seem. Like hearing Delay on Rush "druging" our party through the mud because he says we are just trying to take all the power...huh? They already SAY we are out of control. No matter how much we try to impress them with how "good" we are being it will never work. We need to speak to OUR tribe, and grow our tribe person by person until we are a REAL party what ever name they call us. I call us the American people.

If we drift from Main Stream, it is because Main Stream is polluted and may need to be cleaned up. Here is to our children may they not think the only gold fish come out of a box!

PS Love the Journal idea!!!
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ulysses Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-05-05 09:51 PM
Response to Original message
249. DU is, and has always been, the answer to my frustration
after the protests against Desert Storm failed to do a damned thing. I wanted a way to communicate with like-minded folks across the country and world. DU is it. We have a ways to go with organization, but it's a damn sight better than nothing.

LOVE the journals idea. Do it. Please. The other ideas sound interesting. The "mutual ignore" has always bothered me, because I think the greatest needs are where we have the greatest friction, but as I read you that wouldn't be an enforced thing.

Thanks, David.


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garthranzz Donating Member (983 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-05-05 10:48 PM
Response to Original message
250. Excellent
ideas for an excellent site. I come to DU and Truthout.org for my news - and to maintain a little sanity. These two sites give me hope that shrub's theft will be stopped. I found DU during the last election - thank G-d I did.

You don't have to be a progressive to appreciate DU - just someone who appreciates honesty and values the truth.
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KBlagburn Donating Member (409 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-05-05 11:32 PM
Response to Original message
251. DU is my home on the web
DU has become the first place I come to on the web and often the only place I come to on the web. At times I will stop by Buzzflash but always return here, my web home. There are so many great people here, first and foremost the admins. I just wish I had thought of this idea first. But there is something reassuring and comforting in knowing there is a place to go where one can mingle, hang out, and be among friends of the same political and ideological persuasion. Where (most of the time) one can actually have an intelligent conversation with others. DU IS the best place on the web. Bar none. The admins have my wholehearted support. Heck, even if they started charging subscriptions, I would be among the first to sign up. I just gotta have my DU. It's very much like an addiction.
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RoyGBiv Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-06-05 01:03 AM
Response to Original message
252. Suggestions and a Comments
I let all this simmer in my head today. I didn't think of a great deal to add that would be of importance, but I did want to offer a few observations.

One specific suggestion I have relates to the My Posts function and is actually rather minor and probably shouldn't be put on a high priority list. I wanted to mention it because the proposed changes seem as though they have the potential to worsen it. When threads are moved from one forum to another, My Post essentially breaks if a participant has posted in the thread before it is moved. Also, no distinction is made in the error message that is presented between a thread that has been thoroughly deleted and one that has been moved. Like many participants, I use this function more than any other to follow discussions in which I am involved, and it becomes incredibly important when I'm away from the computer for awhile. If something could be done to create a symbolic link between the link in "My Posts" to the location where the thread has been moved, it would be extremely helpful. This happened to me today, and because of how many individual threads had been started on the same topic, it took me quite awhile to find the specific thread in which I had posted so I could read a reply to one of my posts.

I'd also like to suggest that the admins take a careful look at what forums they decide to delete due to inactivity. The main reason I mention this is related to something you yourself mentioned in your discussion of potential changes. A couple of forums in which I participate would probably qualify for the chopping block. One in particular has had no real activity in over a month. The problem with it, in my view, is not the forum itself but the fact that commentary in that forum gets no audience because everyone is hanging out in GD for the "more eyeballs" effect. I've even experimented with this a couple times, posting essentially the same comment in a forum and then later in GD. In GD, the comment will get multiple replies or instigate a discussion while in the forum, nothing happens, in part, I am presuming, because no one is reading it. You could call that a problem with the forum itself, but it seems to me the problem is more that people tend to go "where the people are" and not bother with a specific forum. Only those who really wanted the separation of topics in the first place seem to take the time to bother; others just go the path of least resistance to the generic group that places no limits on subject matter. It's sort of a chicken or the egg argument, so I cannot say positively what the best course of action might be, but I hope the admins will consider it as they try to tweak things to provide more effective discussion.

With regard to a few comments above, I will also weigh in with my opinion that I hope DU does not adopt a Slashdot style of moderation. I read that forum regularly, but I despise the manner in which it is administered and so do not participate. I'll not bother with a thorough discussion of why since this does not seem to be in the list of imminent changes, but I'll as that if you ever truly consider implementing this, please follow that forum closely, paying close attention to comments from those with low moderation scores and even some with higher scores who complain of "karma hogs," favoritism, and the like. The bottom line for me is I think this style of administration would make the current complaints from newbies about treatment they receive and the various "clique" and forum wars have more of a basis, at least in perception.

In summary, I'll mostly just repeat what I said earlier and say that I appreciate the effort, in whatever form it takes, to foster actual discussion and dissemination of information. I like the socializing and sometimes actually need the one-line quips just to vent some frustration or feel validated for having a strong emotion about some event, but that's not my primary purpose in participating here.
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FM Arouet666 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-06-05 01:51 AM
Response to Original message
253. Very positive. You nailed one issue on the head.
For people who come to DU for many hours every day, DU lives up to it's potential. And in fact, many "heavy users" are the life-blood of DU, because you are the ones who are throwing up the most stuff. But for people who stop by for a few minutes each day, Democratic Underground does not live up to it's full potential. The overwhelming number of threads (some good, some not-so-good), and the wide range of personalities (some good, some not-so-good), can make it very difficult to find the good stuff.

I have given up on the MSM, I quit watching the evening news and all cable news programs. As my major source of news I read the paper and online blogs and news pages.

On DU, I fall into the light user category and I will be honest DU is not the first page I check each day. I have been checking Rawstory and The Huffinton Post for quick takes on current stories. DU is a great place to find info, but there is information overload.

Otherwise, the site is great, the only site I post on. Looks like some positive things are in the works.......
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cassiepriam Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-06-05 04:59 AM
Response to Original message
254. Personal Problems??
Why are you spending a great deal of time on personal problems?
Seems beyond the scope of your talents and mission??
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Paradise Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-06-05 06:12 AM
Response to Original message
255. DU is a quality site/forum.
Edited on Thu Oct-06-05 06:19 AM by Paradise
With the high-caliber of Administrators and Members, it will only get better.

Always remember

Slow but steady wins the race...

(edit was a typo)
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Bob K Donating Member (41 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-06-05 11:50 AM
Response to Original message
256. Sounds like you're on the right....
....er Left track. Full steam ahead! :thumbsup:
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