Thread: Proposal Make post counts public
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Old 2012-12-17, 13:14   Link #38
Love Yourself
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Northeast USA
Age: 33
Originally Posted by Solace View Post
It's funny you mention this. My first reaction is "yeah, why not?".....but then I think about one of the big problems with very old forums, which is the nostalgia that comes from that history. To me, it's frustrating and funny at the same time, as there are some older members who have painted a somewhat rosy picture of the earlier years, even though it's not really as accurate as they remember.
Does it really matter what the older members think? Since I've been accused of wanting to return the forums to the way that they were in 2003 a few times, I understand that question may sound rhetorical or spiked with malice, but I assure you there's none of that. Look, the decision to remove the reputation system was made without consulting popular opinion (no judgment in that statement - it is what it is). Whether it was removed today, three years ago, or three years from now, the reaction among the forum members would be the same as it is now. The same could be said for any other forum changes that will be made, whether with or without public support: some people will be upset, and some may even leave the forum.

But what does it matter? The hard reality is that you can't please everyone, and having seen the staff advising some upset members that they might want to seek out a different forum, I believe they've accepted that fact. Once you've accepted that the forum can't be everything to everyone, and once you've decided to make changes that aren't determined by public opinion, knowing full well that some forum members (including the "old ones") will be unhappy, what's really holding you back from making even more changes?

On the topic of scrubbing even more information from underneath a user's avatar, I really don't understand the request. The argument for removing that information seems to be that somehow people will focus more on the content of the post, instead of on who's writing it. As I've mentioned before, this makes me think of forums like 2ch and 4chan, where there's no such thing as a user account: people can use a handle with their posts, but most are anonymous, and nothing prevents multiple people from using the same handle. Is that really what people want?

I like western-style forums, with their user accounts, because the sense of community is greater. You can take interest in the people you're talking with, and not just the basic information in their post. Age, join date, gender, choice of user avatar, location - all of these are intriguing facts about the person whose thoughts and opinions you're reading and interacting with. They add "flavor" to posts and can aid in understanding what a person is trying to say, and why they're saying it. I don't think I'm unique in saying that I am not blinded by user information or that it heavily biases me when I read someone's posts. This concern that the personal information somehow gets in the way of discussion really seems like a non-issue. My worry is what effect this drive for "depersonalization" would have on the sense of community in the forum.
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