Author Topic: Stopping by to visit. How’s it been? What have I missed?  (Read 3830 times)

Kelcimer

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Stopping by to visit. How’s it been? What have I missed?
« on: February 08, 2020, 12:04:14 AM »
Hello everyone!

I had a lot of great discussions on Ornery from 2003 - 2008 that helped me wrestle with a bunch of ideas. I happened to think about Ornery the other day and decided to check to see if was still up. I’m glad to see that it is still here. 

In perusing some of the current threads, there seems to be the very dedicated civil conversation that I remember, but a lot fewer people are participating. Where did everybody go? Or rather, how many stair steps down did it take to get to the current level? How has Ornery been for the past 12 years? What regeneration is the OrneryMod up to?

cherrypoptart

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Re: Stopping by to visit. How’s it been? What have I missed?
« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2020, 12:39:47 AM »
Welcome back!

You are (still) wrong!!!

Not referencing anything in particular but as you probably remember it’s just the standard ornery greeting.

I’m not sure about the answers to your questions but this reminds me of a World of Warcraft guild with an absentee guild master. I have just such a guild and I think about shutting it down now and then but when I check in on it there are still dozens of active members. I did a pretty good job of making it independently self sustaining with pretty good perks, a nice family friendly casual guild, a lot like this here.

Crunch

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Re: Stopping by to visit. How’s it been? What have I missed?
« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2020, 10:05:22 AM »
Hey, I remember you. Good to hear from you, hope things are going well!

Gonna paste some of a previous post of mine as, like you, I was a member many years ago. I left shortly after the Ornery 8 debacle. Not so much in protest, although it was a factor. Mostly, I just had a lot going on and didn’t have the time to invest in this.

IMO, the moderation has improved significantly since then but the poster quality has declined almost as massively. When I started in 2001(?) if you ran a logical fallacy out, everyone called you on it. You had to be logical. Making arguments based on flawed arguments was really called out by both sides (jedilaw, mv, simply biological, enumclaw, Everard, RickyB, come to mind but there were many others). Now, it’s essentially embraced by a significant number of people and seen as rational. So that’s different.  Otherwise, it’s about what you remember.


wmLambert

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Re: Stopping by to visit. How’s it been? What have I missed?
« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2020, 06:29:52 PM »
...Where did everybody go? Or rather, how many stair steps down did it take to get to the current level? How has Ornery been for the past 12 years? What regeneration is the OrneryMod up to?

There came a time way back then, when about a dozen of the most classical liberal-conservative members were banned by an out-of-line left-wing moderator. The uproar was so great that the balance of the members forced that mod to invite us all back within 24 hours with apology. We took umbrage and built our own forum called AI-Jane.org. You Ender readers understand the reference. Our forum has been ongoing since then. I don't think we siphoned away any Ornery members, but if we did, sorry - but we did it for the right reasons.

» Members: 374
» Forum threads: 14,428
» Forum posts: 278,551
« Last Edit: February 08, 2020, 06:41:50 PM by wmLambert »

msquared

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Re: Stopping by to visit. How’s it been? What have I missed?
« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2020, 07:26:32 PM »
Lambert, your memory of that event is as bad as your number of correct predictions of the end of the world.

Kelcimer

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Re: Stopping by to visit. How’s it been? What have I missed?
« Reply #5 on: February 08, 2020, 10:31:27 PM »
cherrypoptart,

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You are (still) wrong!!!

I really appreciate that! Thank you! I had forgotten about the traditional greeting, but as soon as I read it it came back to me. I laughed hard for about 15 minutes. It's so refreshing! Most of my online conversations in the past decade have been on Facebook, so naturally no such thick skins there.

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I did a pretty good job of making it independently self sustaining with pretty good perks, a nice family friendly casual guild, a lot like this here.

Well done!

Crunch,

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Hey, I remember you.

I hope they are good recollections! ;D   What was your handle back then? I went and looked for Crunch in the archives and all I could find were uses of it as a word not as a poster.

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Good to hear from you, hope things are going well!

Thank you! Things are going pretty well.

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IMO, the moderation has improved significantly since then but the poster quality has declined almost as massively.

That's sad.

wmLambert,

That happened in 2004. I was there for that. I actually signed up on A.I. Jane at the time, just to check it out. It didn't have enough voices at the time and the odd organization of all the different topics was annoying, so I never migrated over there.

Anyway, the Ornery 8 was 16 years ago. Ornery only existed for about 2 years or so when the Ornery 8 fiasco happened. You've literally had your own forum for about 8 times the time that you could have been on Ornery before the Ornery 8 fiasco.

I recall missing some of the voices that went over to A.I. Jane, but Ornery was still going strong at the time. It's hard for me to say how Ornery immediately post Ornery 8 was compared to how it was in 2008 when I left. I wasn't participating as much for a variety of reasons and I think I was having a case of diminishing returns for what I could get out of it. It is hard for me at this point to say objectively if Ornery declined from 2004 to 2008 or if I was just running out of topics to have interesting conversation on.

That said, the forum was decidedly healthier when I left in 2008. On the first page of General Comments would have something like ten active threads. Back then the threads at the bottom of the first page might be days old. Presently the bottom threads are from two weeks ago.

In terms of members, the archives show that in 2015 that Ornery had 5652 registered members. Looking at some of the last comments in the archives shows member numbers approaching 7,000. Which indicates somewhere over a accounts had been deactivated, either because they were duplicate accounts or unregistered for some reason. But still that means that from 2002 to 2015 we had an average of 400 new members per year (I'm sure some years were much higher). The main forum page displays that presently there are only 136 members of this forum.

Is OSC just not bringing in new fans like he used to? Did a lot of members not migrate over to the new forums in 2015? Or was there a slow drop off in users in the years preceding 2015 and most of the active users at the time migrate over? Were there other events at various times that caused drop offs?

msquared,

Hi! How are you doing?
« Last Edit: February 08, 2020, 10:38:45 PM by Kelcimer »

msquared

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Re: Stopping by to visit. How’s it been? What have I missed?
« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2020, 10:58:40 PM »
OSC has stopped publishing his World Watch articles (the local paper that carried them went under) and he is basically in a semi retirement it seems like.  Hatrack River is almost a ghost town. 

We have had at least 3 moderators since I  stepped down ( I was the first moderator). The one Lambert calls a left wing.  If any one knew me, that was so far from the truth that they have to laugh.
AI-Jane is an echo chamber for 3-4 posters to pat themselves on the back and tell themselves how great they are.

Kelcimer

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Re: Stopping by to visit. How’s it been? What have I missed?
« Reply #7 on: February 09, 2020, 02:52:30 AM »
msquared,

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OSC has stopped publishing his World Watch articles (the local paper that carried them went under) and he is basically in a semi retirement it seems like.  Hatrack River is almost a ghost town. 

Oh wow.

I met OSC once in person. it was at a convention in 2013, which was great to do after having spent so much time here and having read a number of his books. I listened to him at two panels before I approached him, because I wanted to see how he was first. He was by far the best contributor to both of the panels. I waited for the room to clear out and struck up a conversation that wound up going for half an hour. We covered an amazing amount of ground on religion and politics. We talked briefly about Ornery.org. I told him that there is a certain trebidation about meeting people whom you are aware of from afar, but that he delivered. Best compliment that I think I could give him. The next day I stood in line and he signed three books for me, including “Children of the Mind” which he observed he doesn’t see often in the signing line. Good times.

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We have had at least 3 moderators since I  stepped down ( I was the first moderator).

I remember when you revealed yourself. I always had a favorable impression of you and I never associated you with the left.

Kelcimer

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Re: Stopping by to visit. How’s it been? What have I missed?
« Reply #8 on: February 09, 2020, 03:05:27 AM »
So I went back and checked the "Time for Introduction threads" just to see what the number was for the last person to introduce themselves and it wound up being a thread that I just kept pulling on. I found the registration number for the last person to introduce themselves in each year on that thread. What we get is this:

2000 - about 300 new accounts??? (October of 2000 seems to be the month the forum went active. Letterrip joined January 2001 and his number was 310. So about 300?)
2001 - 601 - gain of at approximately 300 over 2000 (as of September 2001 there were 503 so about 98 of those that joined that year did so after 9/11)
2002 - 832 - gain of 231
2003 - 1418 - gain of 586
2004 - 2219 - gain of 801
2005 - 2696 - gain of 477
2006 - 3430 - gain of 734
2007 - 5711 - gain of 2,281
2008 - 6388 - gain of 677
2009 - 6528 - gain of 140
2010 - 6627 - gain of 99
2011 - 6672- gain of 45
2012 - 6774 - gain of 147
2013 - 6880 - gain of 106
2014 - 6953 - gain of 73
2015 - no introductions in this year on that thread
2015-2020 - 136 - and I am supposing most of those were people who migrated to the new forums.

• October of 2000 seems to be the month the forum went active. Letterrip joined January 2001 and his number was 310. So the first three years were roughly about 300, about 300, and about 231 respectfully. That is a stable rate of new accounts.
• Redskullvw started "Time for Introduction threads" because of the noticable influx of people after 9/11.
• 2002 - The pace of people joining slowed down and this year hold the record for lowest number of new accounts until 2009 came along.
• 2003 was a the first "boom year" for new accounts and sixth biggest year for new accounts. Maybe because it was the lead in to a presidential primary? I apparently joined Sept 17th 2003 so I was part of the first boom year. (I think my number was in the 1200's. I want to say WarrsawPact joined the same month as I did and his number was #1275. I miss that that guy.)
• 2004 is the second largest year for new accounts. Probably because it was an election year.
• 2005 saw a drop in new accounts, but it is still the 7th largest year for new accounts.
• 2006 saw an uptick in accounts and was third largest year for new accounts.
• 2007 was the single largest year for new accounts. I seem to recall something about OSC being interviewed or posting something on some site that caused a massive influx. That might have been that year.
• 2008 was the fourth largest year for new accounts. This is the year I dropped out for a variety of reasons.
• 2009 set a new record for lowest number of new accounts. Until this year, the lowest year for new accounts was 2002. Unfortunately it didn’t hold that distinction for long.
• 2010 set a new record for lowest number of new accounts. Unfortunately it didn’t hold that distinction for long.
• 2011 set a new record for lowest number of new accounts, that would hold until some year between 2015 and 2020.
• 2012 saw the last huge uptick in members. At 147 it gained more new accounts then the current forums have members.
• 2013 and 2014 both saw continued declines in new members, but neither went as low as 2011.
• It’s unclear how many might have joined in 2015 before the forum switch on Dec 12th of that year.
• From Dec 12th 2015 to now only 136 accounts have been made, most of those probably posters in long standing.

Well, that answers a lot of my questions and a bunch I didn't know I had. It's a bit depressing actually.

Kelcimer

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Re: Stopping by to visit. How’s it been? What have I missed?
« Reply #9 on: February 09, 2020, 03:28:12 AM »
I wonder how much Facebook and social media affected these kinds of forums. 2008-2009 was where Facebook took off and there are Facebook pages and groups. I know I started my account in 2009. You have youtube comment sections and all the other different kinds of social media platforms to engage with your topic of interest. If you are interest in something look at the corresponding Facebook page or group, right? If you want an interview with OSC then why have read text when you can watch it on youtube? OSC's Facebook page has 94,718 likes. How many people found his Facebook page and didn't come to either Hatrack or Ornery?
https://www.facebook.com/OrsonScottCard/
« Last Edit: February 09, 2020, 03:31:02 AM by Kelcimer »

JoshuaD

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Re: Stopping by to visit. How’s it been? What have I missed?
« Reply #10 on: February 09, 2020, 03:53:44 AM »
I am certain that reddit and facebook are the main reason this forum sees significantly less traffic than it used to.

Fenring

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Re: Stopping by to visit. How’s it been? What have I missed?
« Reply #11 on: February 09, 2020, 11:48:14 AM »
It makes sense that OSC stopping posting his articles didn't help either. But yes, I believe I remember at least a few posters mentioning over the years that they were mostly choosing to focus on FB conversations rather than Ornery. I personally find that to be too bad, not so much because of the loss to us, but because I habitually view FB as the most toxic, echo-chambery place there is for discussion. It's to the point where I completely avoid participating in any discussions on FB, even thought I love discussion and debate. But no good can come from it so I don't bother. At best you'll lose friends.

I also suspect there were a number of posters here who were satisfied enough with the system to remain, maybe lurking, but posting occasionally. With the migration to the new forums they probably either took that as a sign that it was time to move on, or else didn't have enough drive to make the effort to re-establish their presence on the new forum. I distinctly remember a number of posters here vanish at that time, including Seneca, Noel, TomDavidson (although maybe that was for other reasons?), Adam something, and several others.

ScottF

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Re: Stopping by to visit. How’s it been? What have I missed?
« Reply #12 on: February 09, 2020, 01:57:50 PM »
I also seem to recall that OSC starting posting blogs that were critical of what he saw as the increasing looniness of certain democrats/liberals, even though I believe he was a self-proclaimed liberal Democrat. He got quite a bit of blowback from those. His appearances in the forum were rare to begin with and then completely stopped.

TheDeamon

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Re: Stopping by to visit. How’s it been? What have I missed?
« Reply #13 on: February 09, 2020, 06:09:24 PM »
I also seem to recall that OSC starting posting blogs that were critical of what he saw as the increasing looniness of certain democrats/liberals, even though I believe he was a self-proclaimed liberal Democrat. He got quite a bit of blowback from those. His appearances in the forum were rare to begin with and then completely stopped.

Remembering when they put Tom Clancy on the air on September 11th, 2001 and his adventure into loony-land(they quickly cut to something else), and subsequent (awareness of) encounters with other known Authors and their... unorthodox views on the current state of the world, leaves me to think that for the really good authors, politics and current events is often a field either best left in private, or restricted to situations where they've had time to process things for them. Not only can it "contaminate" how fans view their works once they know, (although OSC's later work has been heavily influenced by politics--which didn't help),  it also is a case that it also may be partly based on "how they're wired" to be able to take often disparate pieces of information and weave them together to tell a coherent story.

Now let them get their hands on a bunch of disparate pieces of information involving current events, and they're going to be at high risk of unconsciously weaving a story as they process that information. OSC has some earlier stuff, even a World Watch article, IIRC, that even alludes to part of that. Because of that whole aspect that Truth is often stranger than fiction, because in order for many types of fiction to be "believable" they're limited as to just how strange they can get before the audience bails.

Basically, "the creatives" have to be careful they find themselves speaking from the realm of an inadvertently "created reality" within their own mind.

wmLambert

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Re: Stopping by to visit. How’s it been? What have I missed?
« Reply #14 on: February 09, 2020, 08:21:50 PM »
Lambert, your memory of that event is as bad as your number of correct predictions of the end of the world.

You seem as unable to accept positive criticism as ever. At the time, we were unfairly banned, while the abusive members who caused the fracas were given a pass. Do you deny that we were invited back? It took awhile for us to contact one another and get AI-Jane.org started. When we did, we made sure our forum rules were not Draconian. We have many threads that fit into several general categories for ease of discovery by guests who are not members. Ornery had many very good posters: Kentuckian, Everard, RedSkullvw, Letterrip, Daedalus, and others who made it well worth the time to read what they had to say. That should always be the main goal of any forum, don't you think?

My memory is good, because I archive almost everything. I started doing that when I realized that most IT people who help run forums swing Leftward, and unfairly delete things that compromise their pet notions. Did you know that one of the founders of Wikipedia deleted thousands of Global Cooling research entries because he was an AGW activist? When Clinton ordered the setup of The Grand Staircase - Escalante National Monument (Kaiparowits "monument") in 1996, it was in the middle of the presidential campaign, on the heels of large contributions originating from the Lippo group, which is owned by the Riadys of Indonesia. The Lippo Corporation in Indonesia was the only other source of the very low sulfur, non-polluting coal, outside the Utah Kaiparowits basin, that was available. Within a year of it being created, it was almost impossible to search and find any info on it on the internet. When the Christopher Cox subcommittee proved Clinton had leaked military technology to China and Indonesia for money and prompted the move for impeachment, most of that research was hidden away, as lawmakers thought going after him for being a sex predator and rapist was easier than for treason, and he would just step down for the good of the country like Nixon did. He didn't, and there is little info archived anywhere on that now.
« Last Edit: February 09, 2020, 08:24:11 PM by wmLambert »

Kasandra

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Re: Stopping by to visit. How’s it been? What have I missed?
« Reply #15 on: February 09, 2020, 09:17:24 PM »
I'll venture that one reason this forum is in decline because of the pre-eminance of blowhard right wing conspiracy lovers like those recently posting in this thread.  Notice that nobody "from the left" is complaining about right wing shenanigans in the same vein.  Since you don't see that pushback you can safely assume that you are absolutely correct in everything you say.  QED.

Kelcimer

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Re: Stopping by to visit. How’s it been? What have I missed?
« Reply #16 on: February 09, 2020, 09:33:03 PM »
Hello JoshuaD!

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I am certain that reddit and facebook are the main reason this forum sees significantly less traffic than it used to.

I had completely forgotten about reddit.

r/orsonscottcard has 329 members
r/ender has 6,000 members
r/scifi has 1.4 million members

Hello Kasandra!

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I'll venture that one reason this forum is in decline because of the pre-eminance of blowhard right wing conspiracy lovers like those recently posting in this thread

My recollection is that we had a number of blowhards back in the day, but not everybody posted in the same threads and it was easy to avoid certain posters if you wanted.  I imagine that with a smaller number of regular posters and smaller number of active threads and seeing comments from the same people over and over could exacerbate a decline.

TheDeamon

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Re: Stopping by to visit. How’s it been? What have I missed?
« Reply #17 on: February 10, 2020, 01:53:40 AM »
I'll venture that one reason this forum is in decline because of the pre-eminance of blowhard right wing conspiracy lovers like those recently posting in this thread.  Notice that nobody "from the left" is complaining about right wing shenanigans in the same vein.  Since you don't see that pushback you can safely assume that you are absolutely correct in everything you say.  QED.

Small pool size also factors in as Kelcimer points out. When you're always arguing with the same people over and over again, it starts playing out like a play on The Odd Couple. It will tend to discourage people from returning over time if they have other options available to them.