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Old 05-06-16, 01:59 PM
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Albany, OR
Posts: 689

Bikes: Co-Motion Divide

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Originally Posted by str View Post
problems? no problems at all just commenting what I see.

P.S. I am also not interested to see what other people eat.

yes, I will stop ))
You have commented a couple of times that finding good pics out of 2 million is hard, and that crazyguyonabike needs a "hardcore photo edit" due to the excessive amount of content.

I think you have a fundamental misunderstanding about how community websites work. If you start imposing some arbitrary standard for what's acceptable, in terms of quality, artistic merit or whatever, then you would find that the community would very quickly evaporate. You'd have an empty website. Not one that just has the "good" content, one that has NO content at all, because everybody would leave. Imagine if bikeforums started moderating your posts so that only the "good" and "worthy" ones were allowed to stand. Would people stay here? I doubt it. They would go somewhere else, and the thing about the internet is, there will always be somewhere else to go. So you wouldn't be left with the "good" posters here, because they would have left as well - to go where everybody else is now. This is what kills community websites. Ask Digg.

Likewise, if I started heavily editing journals and telling authors what's acceptable and how many pics they can upload and how much text they have to write, and how it all has to be constructed from a grammar and spelling standpoint, or style guidelines, or whatever, then I'm sure the usage of the site would plummet. People would say "screw this, I don't feel like I'm free to write what I want, I don't have to take this". Nobody likes being micromanaged, nobody like having someone breathing down their neck and scrutinizing every pic and every word.

There is a wide variety of styles out there. It's a bell curve, on the ends you'll get the truly atrocious and the truly brilliant, and in the middle there will be the unwashed masses with their "mediocre". Photo diaries that maybe nobody wants to read beyond their own family. Dull writing that talks about where they went and what they ate. Yes, it's there, and it's part of the mosaic, and it's necessary in order to have the occasional gem show up. People want to post at crazyguyonabike because it's where everybody else is (ok, I know not everybody, but you know what I mean). People go there to post their journals because they know it'll be read by a lot of people who are interested in bicycle tour journals. It's a virtuous circle - people go there because that's where the journals are, and they post more journals, which feeds the cycle. Sure, they aren't all masterpieces, but the critical mass of people is necessary to keep the reactor ticking along. If we started culling the herd with good intentions, say get rid of the "boring" journals or the ones that don't have very good pics, then that would start a grand exodus that would eventually spell the end of the website.

So, that's why I don't try to legislate style and quality at crazyguyonabike. Very early on, I realized that beyond some really basic lines in the sand (spam, abuse, trolls etc), the range of writing styles is beyond my ability to put any boundaries on. Not to mention the fact that people have different tastes - my idea of what constitutes a "good" journal isn't universal by any means.

This is why I implemented the Ratings system, which I have posted links to earlier in this discussion. This is a good way for the community to point up whatever they feel is "good", with a set of tags that are predefined by me - interesting, insightful, funny, great read, great pic, etc. Sure it's restrictive, but I decided that sometimes having a restricted set of choices is good, because it makes the ratings very quick and easy to use. You don't have to type anything, just click on the menu, and done. Also, no confusion due to mispellings or user-defined synonyms etc. It works pretty well for raising up content that the community has collectively decided is "worthy". But even so, that doesn't mean we have to do away with the non-great stuff. It's all there, because YOU NEED IT ALL. People like being able to post a journal without hindrance or judgment on my part. It's a critical part of the process that users can self-publish, without having to submit it to me for consideration. Very subtle, but very important.

Finally, I am struck by how much you are posting in this discussion about crazyguyonabike. Either you are being disingenuous about not caring, or else maybe you have some other axe to grind? All this winking and shrugging and claiming to be just innocently commenting on what you see, seems like you are certainly putting a lot of effort into it. What is it, couple of dozen posts now on that other thread and this one? And all of them negative in a dreary sort of way. That starts to smack of an agenda, or some kind of trolling instinct on your part. If you're just having a dig and trying to get a rise out of me, then whatever. But if you really are posting in good faith, then think for a minute how it would look if I were not interested in something like, say, knitting, and went over to a discussion on that and kept posting about how I wasn't interested in looking at people's posts on cross-hatch (or whatever they talk about - I wouldn't know). How weird would that be? If I'm not interested in knitting, then why am I even in that discussion? And if you're not interested in crazyguyonabike, then why do you keep coming here? I mean, you followed it over from the previous "show me your pics" discussion. This one was even titled "Why I like crazyguyonabike". So why all the negativity? Are you somehow threatened by the fact that so many people use my site, and like it? You don't have to look at it, but you also don't have to try to convince everybody that it's not worthwhile just because you found a couple of journals that weren't interesting to you personally. Those journals will be interesting to someone, no doubt, even if it's just the author or their Mom. And that's ok. Try looking beyond the end of your own nose, and realize that just because YOU are not interested, doesn't mean that it's not a necessary part of the mosaic. Every piece counts, every journal is a part of the whole. And you wouldn't even have the whole if you didn't have those journals that are just mediocre, or boring (perhaps to you, but maybe not to others) etc. It's not just about you.

NeilGunton is offline