The Times They Are A-Changin' at SBAF

Discussion in 'Tales from the Bully Pulpit' started by purr1n, Aug 5, 2020.

  1. squishware

    squishware Friend

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    I find the randomness and mystery of the criteria for getting banned keeps my political posting in check. It does not keep me from yelling at the screen at someone else's post. Politics is too emotional for anonymous discussion. If we were all sitting around a table with guns on our laps, then sure.
     
  2. Merrick

    Merrick A lidless ear

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    Is there a welcome PM that auto generates when a new user joins? Those can be really useful in giving new members a brief overview of the type of site this is and community expectations, including an entreaty for new members to introduce themselves so established members don’t feel the need to pounce on new members.
     
  3. supertransformingdhruv

    supertransformingdhruv Almost "Made"

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    I think this is a pretty good idea. I know there's a lot of material and a permanent 'New Users start here' banner, but that's clearly not doing the job. Probably there's just too much stuff and people skip it.

    Something short & to the point might actually get read, especially if it shows up in the user's inbox. Following the typical structure of an onboarding email:

    Hello, and welcome to superbestaudiofriends.org (SBAF)! This is not your normal audio forum.

    Before you make your first post, make sure to introduce yourself here so that we know who you are and what you like to hear.

    If you've never been here before, click into the resources tab and take a look at some of our highlighted threads to learn the culture.

    SBAF as a community is very sensitive to signal vs. noise. A few quick tips.
    - If you want to be heard, make sure your posts are in the right advice or equipment threads. A good starting point is the all purpose advice thread, and there are topic threads for most gear.
    - Reward high signal posts by clicking the 'Like' button.
    - As you gain credibility in the community (through your high signal posts), you'll have a chance to earn the much-coveted 'Friend' status.
    Write something better than this, sure, but key takeaway is just you hand the call to action to the user. Give them like 3 DOs and 3 DON'Ts but in a way a 10 year old can understand. Maybe bigger buttons to click for the links. 1̶0̶ ̶y̶e̶a̶r̶ ̶o̶l̶d̶s̶ People love clicking bigger buttons.
     
  4. penguins

    penguins Friend

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    I'm a little late here but I just saw this thread. I don't agree or disagree with changes, but I will say I did notice a pretty significant shift in SBAF towards the beginning or middle of 2020. Before that SBAF had daily things happen, but I didn't feel that there were any major shifts from when I was lurking until roughly the time above.

    I will also say that the politics here doesn't bother me regardless of my own opinions vs that of other posters since the topic was mentioned (and I have posted opinions myself with 0 expectation that anyone will agree with me). However, this is an audio site, and if possible, I would prefer that politics be isolated to a sub-section of the forum.

    One thing I would like to touch upon:
    Not sure how to put this in more precise terms, but I feel like earlier posts from SBAF were a lot more "expert mode" and "fine nuance" type stuff. Even more amazingly, it was done without degrading into general nervosa, stereotypical "HF listens to cables", or "lol look at these neckbeards" type of posts and it was pretty apparent to me that these posts were made by people who knew what they were doing, had enough listening experience, etc. More recent stuff feels more like more generalized discussion with a lot of the "secret sauce", "expert mode", or "the fine oddities that I discovered" type stuff slowly decreasing in quantity over the years.

    To be fair, I completely realize it is very tiring, resource intensive, and most importantly, time consuming to make expert mode type posts. It also requires a level of knowledge, experience, and general expertise that bluntly put, I feel that myself and possibly many here often do not have (please do not take as personal insult as this is inevitable in most large populations and is not necessarily due to lack of ability or trying, etc.) and that posts are made out of personal interest, desire to share and progress community, etc - not to answer the questions or whims of any one person.

    FWIW, I do try my best where I can to contribute some of this info where I can (which unfortunately is usually limited to my gear impressions). Lastly, I also realize with the economic uncertainty that the world as a whole faces right now, most of us probably have more pressing issues to attend to than audio equipment such as staying healthy, not drowning in debt, keeping a roof over our heads and food on the table, etc. and this may actually be the biggest contributor to what I am writing about above.

    In short, this statement is not meant to crap on this forum, the staff, the members, etc... but rather a voice of slight concern in wanting to preserve a big part of what drew me towards SBAF in the first place.
    Similarly, I would be open to leadership or experienced members requesting help, info, posts, contributions of ideas, etc. from the general members/populace here - to roughly quote the high school yearbook cliche - We need to be the change we wish to see. This may be even more important than $ as ideas keep the place alive, $ sort of just keeps the lights on.
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2020
  5. yotacowboy

    yotacowboy McRibs Kind of Guy

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    I think part of this thought (less Expert, more Enthusiast lately) is merely a map of the gear territory. Much of the Expert opinion requires comparison to what HF would call Summit-Fi gear, as well as a fairly high rate of turnover/churn. Which is fine by me and I could care less what anyone spends on this hobby, but it's something I'll never be able to contribute to here. Once you have gear that deserves comparison to $10k-$100k compatriots (i.e., YggyA2) you need to be able to flip DACs/amps/phones that cost more than used cars/cheap houses on a whim. That's a bit rarified air for some to become Experts in comparisons. Not intended as a critique, merely an observation.
     
  6. penguins

    penguins Friend

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    ^ agree, but it could even be for random crap like "I compared some cables" and found XYZ interesting things.

    For example, I'm far from it now in terms of knowledge, time, equipment (and edit: maybe budget) required, etc. but I would like one day try to come up with something that would approximately compare the impact of any one aspect of say a headphone cable to what we hear (and who knows, this may never actually happen).

    Ex: Increasing conductivity by increasing wire gauge correlates to ABC differences in sound whereas increasing conductivity by decreasing length or changing materials correlates to XYZ. The signal reflection, the skin effect, thermal properties, etc of different materials being used in cables should theoretically result in this much of a difference in signal going into driver which should theoretically result in approximately this much of a difference in what we hear... but my subjective results agree/disagree in XYZ ways. Etc etc.
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2020
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  7. zfeldma

    zfeldma Rando

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    As a long time lurker now Rando...this hasn't gone unnoticed. Lots of folks are being patient with newbies and pointing them to the introduction page. [Though the new posters that come in hot with a screed of random nonsense probably deserve the ribbing they get.]
     
  8. rhythmdevils

    rhythmdevils Best SBAF member of all time

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    thanks for the laugh. Nice one.
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2020
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  9. rhythmdevils

    rhythmdevils Best SBAF member of all time

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    I think the use of disliking posts ought to change. You shouldn’t dislike a post because you simply disagree with the point of view being expressed. It should be reserved for more serious offenses. Especially in marv’s political discussion ok blog. Not that I get butt hurt over a dislike but it’s kind of a bummer and creates a negative vibe.

    Also I think having an isolated thread where political discussion is allowed is a good thing for open mindedness. We don’t tend to make friends with or even meet people with different political views to ours. In person political discussion, when people are up for it which they usually aren’t, is too often just scratching each other’s scrotums. A forum is a unique opportunity to communicate with people who have very different views and upbringings and outlooks. I loved talking politics with @purr1n and anaxil...[redacted] back on changstar in the political thread. anaxil...[redacted] is probably the smartest super right wing Ayn Rand loving person I’ve ever met and so we clashed strongly but peacefully. He actually proposed gun safety legislation that I thought was super smart and reasonable and is what I would propose if I were an elected official. He often challenged my ideas and got me thinking things through and putting ideas to words.

    but we had established a strong (internet) bond before that that kept the peace. So it could be an exception.
     
  10. Senorx12562

    Senorx12562 Case of the mondays

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    I believe a dislike is a hell of a lot more likely to keep the peace than "You are absolutely 180 degrees wrong about everything in this post," and only creates a negative vibe for the recipient, if even that. I have 59 years of dislikes irl, 1 or 100 on an audio forum ? So what?
     
  11. yotacowboy

    yotacowboy McRibs Kind of Guy

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    I think it's related to the Libertarian concept of "Public shaming". I personally think it works until it doesn't.
     
  12. robot zombie

    robot zombie Friend

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    My only issue with dislikes is the vagueness. Half of the time I see them, I don't know why. Sometimes I can imagine. But it can be a little frustrating.

    But then, it can always mean "I didn't like that you said that." and nothing more. That happens in real conversations, even with people who know and respect eachother. You know it when you see it. The body language and the expressions. Perhaps a subtle change in mood. And sometimes it's enough to make it known in subtle ways. Sometimes it doesn't need to be dissected and is best moved on from. Cues say "better not go there or things might get bad between us," which is just part of interacting with all sorts of people. Not a good time for either party, but also neither good nor bad. Just an oddity of human communication. Better than than things continuing on, oblivious to the vibe building up, due to there being no cues right up until the "how did we get here?" moment. By which it's all fucked and people are bitter beyond recourse, for a little while at least. We have the benefit of little cues like that in IRL interaction - it keeps parameters checked more efficiently. Not so much online via text, where you can have pages of nothing but anger balled up in wet nards for pages before things become normal. At which point reasonable bystanders have been chased out.

    The clearest use is on low-quality/low-effort posts, or posts that are simply inappropriate for the discussion. Then, it's more like "This isn't wanted here." If anything, a dislike is a nicer and far less personal way of saying that. You're not even getting silenced, like you might in some places. It doesn't have to go right to that with that lesser step being available. If someone goes out of their way to write an actual response, you know you really fucked up. Kid gloves are coming off. You missed an easier move. Whoops. Watch it play out when someone jumps in and gets a lot of dislikes. Note how things escalate. Getting a bunch of dislikes != getting jumped on. Getting jumped on happens when you fail to acknowledge everyone scowling at you. Show you understand where you're going, the jumping on doesn't have to happen. I've seen many cases where things turned around. Those that don't, end up in the pulpit, which makes it seem like that's how it always goes. Might be part of why people think things about SBAF. I think it gives an unrealistic impression of how dislikes generally go down. The positive outcomes just go unnoticed, because the flow of the discussion re-tracks.

    Eh... it's no more messy than natural human interaction. Though I can say that for me, I'd rather you dump on me with words than give me a dislike. At least one thing I will not be is confused. I don't want to piss people off if I can help it. But when I do, I'm not up in arms about it. People fuck up. But the dislike only lets you know you fucked up, at least according to the person who disliked it. It leaves you sorting it out. And you are not them, so it's tricky trying to model their thoughts or sort of reverse engineer it. Other times, it can't even be helped. And it doesn't actually matter! Argh lol.

    Of course, they're also prone to abuse. As a tool for shame, which I don't think is productive. But that might just be the price paid. That's still correctable after the fact. It's not impossible to do one's time. Or perhaps when things cool down both sides start to understand naturally and everything sort of adjusts to the new information about how things can go.

    Usually, when I see a dislike from somebody, on any post, I'll pay a little more attention to their posts, try to find some clues in there. They're still uncommon enough to do that. After a while you start to see the patterns. It means different things for different people. So you gotta try to read the room. I kinda don't mind that dynamic. It gets me more engaged in how other people think and express their thoughts. That's something I definitely notice comparing experiences between forums with and without the dislikes.

    Likes are just as bad. I can admit that sometimes I've dropped likes even if I didn't fully agree, because I thought it was valuable and well constructed. It's "like/dislike" not "love/hate" or "agree/disagree".
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2020
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  13. YMO

    YMO it's not drinking alone if you're on Zoom

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    I don't take a dislike too seriously. I disagree on one of @yotacowboy's post, so I gave it a dislike since I'm putting away laundry. Still like him thou. :cool:
     
  14. k4rstar

    k4rstar Done his time

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    when I get dislikes from people I dislike it's like a double negative, it means I'm doing something right
     
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  15. rhythmdevils

    rhythmdevils Best SBAF member of all time

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    God that took a long time disliking all those posts. There’s a 30 second enforced window between dislikes. Edit: (It was a joke. I’ve since un-disliked the posts as not add to their total dislikes in case that’s something they care about)
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2020
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  16. rhythmdevils

    rhythmdevils Best SBAF member of all time

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    |\/|
     
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  17. RatSalad

    RatSalad Friend

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    As someone that's been online since the 90s and always used forums... It's just the new social media seepage into the old method of "boards" I don't like the like or dislike. They are both needless. Back in the day if someone didn't like my post they would reply with a reason or opinion or explanation. Now it's all like and dislike. They are insignificant however and there doesn't need to be attention paid to them either. I will throw a like easily if I like what someone said or agree. I usually won't dislike if I actually dislike the post or don't agree.
     
  18. monacelli

    monacelli Friend

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    i think the dislike plays an essential role in maintaining norms of conduct at SBAF. There was a period in ~2018 where the dislike went away for a few months, and it didn't go well. Boiling it down, I think the dislike is the best compromise for keeping the SNR as high as possible while expressing displeasure about shit that shouldn't be going on. When the dislike went away, you had to make a post calling someone out on their bullshit, which often served to amplify the original noise post (making things worse, rather than better). So I think it comes down to two things:
    • Don't feel bad about dislikes, unless you received them for being an ass. It's like Drew Carey used to say on Who's Line Is It Anyway, "SBAF, the board where everything is made up, and the points don't matter"
    • Reserve the dislike for posts that you feel shouldn't have been made, rather than posts that you disagree with. There are a lot of times where I'll disagree with a poster's opinion, but give them a like because their impressions were well-written, and I can see where they were coming from. That's not what dislikes are for.
    I think this is one of those things where the proof is in the pudding. I think the content and the quality of posts is much higher when people have to consider the fact that they may receive dislikes. Otherwise, it kind of becomes like headfi where people feel comfortable just spouting whatever random garbage popped into their heads. So I can see why people get sensitive about them, and why some people may feel they are unnecessary, but I think they are an effective means of forcing people to think twice about posting, and ultimately maintaining the SNR of the conversation here.
     
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  19. rhythmdevils

    rhythmdevils Best SBAF member of all time

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    Good points!
     
  20. Philimon

    Philimon Friend

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    A “Like” would’ve sufficed... SNR
     

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