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Make DLP Great Again

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Sauce Bauss, May 27, 2018.

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  1. Sorrows

    Sorrows High Inquisitor Prestige DLP Supporter

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    It might be proportionately male but I've never felt like I was in a guys club. At least I never felt like there was any form of exclusion or being treated differently due to my gender being visible. The site has always allowed people to speak their minds and that appeals to both men and women. I think the consolidation of male fans here might have been because a lot of the original fan sites were very geared towards ships and romance and early DLP set itself up as a refuge from that.

    Actually I think its worth mentioning that I've been visible on this site for close to 10 years and you know what I've never gotten? Creepy personal messages, 'joking' come-ons, gender based dismissals or put downs, rape threats after arguments, threatening messages, period jokes.... etc etc. Really you guys are perfect gentlemen compared to a lot of the web.
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2018
  2. Xiph0

    Xiph0 Administrator Admin

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    No tolerance applied evenly and excessively over many generations in many aspects has it's upsides.
     
  3. Joe's Nemesis

    Joe's Nemesis High Score: 2,058 Prestige

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    I haven't read through five pages of discussion, but after seeing the OP when it was first posted, I have been thinking about this for a while. To me, the real problem isn't organization or a better tagging system or whatever else. It's culture. DLP has built itself on being a haven for intelligent, hardass individuals that couldn't care less about tender feelings or sweet civility, all of whom have an affinity for the Harry Potter universe. Here, you earned respect through writing, through arguing intelligently and backing it up, and by taking your lumps (and handing them out). That has severely thinned the herd over the years. Hell, just as I got here the Welcome thread was closed because it had turned into a free-fire zone on newcomers. Then, those who are still here are getting older and are involved in full-time jobs, family, and so on, so the pace has slowed tremendously. Yet, I don't want that "haven for intelligent, hardass individuals...civility" core to change, either. Sure, it's tempered a bit, but it's still here.

    So, to me, the real question is how can we increase traffic and be more inviting while not giving up the core of DLP's identity? Until we answer that question, everything else is rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.

    EDIT: well, seems like I somewhat restated a post just a few ahead of mine.
     
  4. TheLazyReader

    TheLazyReader Seventh Year

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    @Joe's Nemesis, as a new user I'll throw in my two cents. Right off the bat, I'll say the civility thing is a problem. Sauce Bauss' first post talks about inviting people to come here, and later posts expanded on this, but tell me: do you think people would come, invited no less, and stick around after being treated poorly simply because they have not earned this respect yet? Though I agree respect must be earned, civility should be freely given. People avoid rude people and that's a reality anywhere in the world.

    Yet, as I see, this is not the biggest problem regarding the community. No, the real problem is that people here (though not all) don't want to welcome new people. They're here with friends, people who they have known for years, that are somewhat like-minded and have similar tastes. It's perfect, they're comfortable, so why change?

    And that leads to another problem: the bandwagoning. As everyone has known everyone forever and know they are like-minded, it ends up everyone has roughly the same opinions. It is difficult to find a topic where the main users of DLP disagree with each other. This tends to kill discussions really fast. For instance, the recent MoR discussion: in minutes we had Taure and Scott bring out a copy-pasta full of great arguments that had probably been discussed years ago. The arguments were so good I'm willing to bet they have played a big part in forming the opinion of the posts that came after. What is there to say after that? Nothing, the thread dies.

    For your question, the best answer I have right now is: let the new users use the website. Let them have their discussions, form their own opinions, create their own circles. If they're consuming quality content while that happens, it's very likely they'll follow the same path as you guys have.

    And for the love of God, actually talk about fanfic and not only the exchange price of gold in England.
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2018
  5. Zombie

    Zombie John Waynes Teeth Prestige DLP Supporter

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    That is literally the entire point of @Sauce Bauss post. He just spitballed some idea's that are relevant to the forum that would make things better long term for existing users and more inviting for new users.

    I'm going to use your post as an example here. I see a lot of people bitching, but I don't see a lot of people actually suggesting anything, why can't you do that? We're trying to generate ideas, engage the community and start a dialogue on change. Not one has really said anything constructive. Its the culture. We need to change the culture. I want to change the name, I think it would be more inviting, etc etc etc. Men only, boys club, there is a distinct lack of females etc etc etc.

    You're allowed to think that, but maybe, for once, can we see further then our own social agendas here. This is for the betterment of DLP as a whole. I don't give two fucks about how you feel that we're gender skewed -- what the fuck does that do to address the main topic? Nothing. Its a side effect and its not something that can be easily treated. I don't give a fuck about "our culture", because half the people commenting on this shit wasn't there when "our culture" was actually fucking relevant. You want to beat a fucking deadhorse about some shit that hasn't really been happening in ages. Your only perspective is older post and you're struggling to find a point of entry.

    I get it. I really do.

    Examples of people being treated poorly? How many have occurred in the past week? I am going to assume here that your response is directly related to Joe's. So I'll say this as plainly as possible. There is a social mechanism on DLP, as there are most forums that if you can't make it over that hump and actually engage people, you don't make it as a member. Its not a matter of respect, really. This is an online forum and half these people have no idea who the fuck you are, nor do they care.

    Their responses are often in direct response to the topic at hand. That's how forums work. You post something, someone responds to that post and they tell you how they feel about it, you, and whatever else. If you can't functionally post on a forum because of your own social hangups I don't think that its the forums fault, but more like a personal problem. There is no one here that will tell you to stop talking except maybe staff.

    Only staff enforce rules here, no one else. Its not your job to be the nice police and neither is it mine. You can use that as an arguing tatic, but that's just going to get you called a name most likely. There is nothing any member here can do directly to you (a user) that you don't invite on yourself through your own actions. Our staff moderates quite well and if someone's being a bully or if someone's taking things too far, you can believe that someone will step in and tell them to simmer the fuck down. There is also a member ignore function that exist in xenforo so you pretty much could create your own walled garden here and never interact with the people you don't want to.

    There are already sects of people that exist on this forum, the newbies have created their own groups already. Discord is full of it. There are our social groups, there are certain parts of the forums where some members never go and others do. Its pretty easy to avoid a topic you don't want to engage in.

    That was built over time, but that's only the first wave of people that were here at foundation. Even I'm not one of them. I've been here since 2007 so I've meshed with some of the earlier group, but there are very few of them that are still in any functional capacity on IRC, much less the forum. There is whole other waves of people from 2010, 2012, 2015 that are still here and thrive here. Hell I was gone from the forums for like three years? I was still on IRC, but I never went on the forums. There are people here that have a history now that I've never even interacted with before.

    I said this before, but I'll say it again. This entire thread is to be about change. Changes to the fourms for quality of life, changes to work flow for better navigation. Openness and acceptance of all members regardless of the past, and a game plan for moving forward on how to integrate new members into our existing society. There is no reason why we need to operate under sects or groups. Or keep old members segregated from the new members or "to let them use the forums how they want to." Motherfucker, this is my house and you follow fucking house rules -- as they say.

    I've taken the time to be openly accepting of people, I've posted it here, I've invited people to the IRC (which has always been seen as unapproachable) and I've thought long and hard about the future of DLP. These topics that Sauce brought up? We talked extensively about them. Have been talking about them. Thats why we came to the community for feedback and all I see is fucking crying.

    That's just Taure though. There's no problem with it. If you felt like it was stifling, maybe that's just you. But that's what Taure does when it comes to certain topics. He likes his own words enough he saves them up and dumps them on people when its relevant. That doesn't mean you can't refute them. But tbh, threads like that don't last long in general because its just asking for problems. Also, how many times can you see people say the same thing over and over just using different phrasing each time? You might not have nothing to say, but that doesn't mean that someone wont find the thread and revive it after a couple months to say something similar or to let people know what they think about the topic.

    Uh... what? I read this before and I had to come back to it. You can use the forum to your hearts content. There is no one saying you can't. Not you, not any new member that's just joined. The only bridge to entrance we have right now? Is the Sorting Hat where new users get manually approved for posting priv. And thats because of bots and other stupid shit. That's it.

    If someone's trying to tell you how to use the forum? Tell them to fuck off. You're allowed to. You can cuss here. You can call names. You can be as belligerent as you want to be, until a mod tells you to stop. And then its in your own hands if you don't follow the advice. Simple as. You're going to find a lot of people, and this goes to everyone, that doesn't agree with your methodology, your opinion, or anything about you to be honest. And they probably won't until you give a proper showing of what you're capable of taking and giving back. You have to accept that not everyone likes you, and then you have to figure out if you care or not.

    I feel like people are needlessly complicating things that shouldn't really be that complicated. I can be however I want to be on here, and have been in the past, and if I don't want to talk to you I don't have to. You don't follow me into my real life, and I don't give a fuck after the screens off. Its just a place to engage in conversation topics we find interesting be it Harry Potter, other Literature, other Fanfic Fandoms, or life in general.

    I feel like you've got the sentiment of a fair few people on the forums and this is a response to all of you, not just Lazy. Welcome to DLP.
     
  6. Zeelthor

    Zeelthor Scissor Me Timbers

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    We need more activity, that's for certain, but we don't want that activity to be a bunch of morons spamming our board with bullshit or compromising the ideals of DLP that we all value.

    How about we do some sort of mentorship program, then? Adopt a newbie. We throw up a thread here or something for volunteers to be mentors or some such. Then we see if people on the HP fanfic reddit want beta readers to help them out. We interview and select someone we think has some hope of producing decent stuff, and then bring them over here. Hopefully, that might mean we can avoid idiots and those who come here have someone to explain how stuff works.

    It may come off as a bit condescending, but then again, don't we already? ^^
     
  7. Zombie

    Zombie John Waynes Teeth Prestige DLP Supporter

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    A mentorship program would be interesting, but I feel like thats too close to that Amicus shit.

    Which is basically self policing. I mean, I wouldn't object to older members taking newer members by the hand every once in a while, but like has already been stated, staff is for policing, we're just here for the great vibes man.
     
  8. Zeelthor

    Zeelthor Scissor Me Timbers

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    I meant more along the lines of taking people who aren't yet DLPers and bringing them here. Not suggesting any specific powers be given to anyone.
     
  9. EsperJones

    EsperJones Death Eater

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    Is it just me or did activity already spike up in the past few days? I typically browse by 'new posts' and the updated threads have crossed multiple pages a few times.
     
  10. Lindsey

    Lindsey Death Eater

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    Dragons of Ice and Fire

    This thread is a great example for 'reasons why not to join DLP and post a story in WbA.' People have been downright mean, and insulting, and very little gets done about it. Yes, you posted a warning about baiting, but nothing to Menace's post which was downright rude. It should not be allowed to insult an author and tell him to go suck a dick regardless of how good or bad the author is. Anyone reading that thread as an introduction to DLP would not be comfortable posting a WIP, which is problematic as it's a very popular and active story.

    That is what needs to change.

    If we want people coming here to post their stories, we need to make them feel comfortable enough to do so. I'm not asking anyone to hold people's hand and write only positive things... just not be complete assholes. We need mods willing to back it up, as well.

    Perhaps more of a push to reporting comments as well. Make sure Aathors know about the function and be able to feel that a mod's got their back.
     
  11. Zombie

    Zombie John Waynes Teeth Prestige DLP Supporter

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    That doesn't mean we suck their dick though. People are going to have differing viewpoints and styles of responding. The only way menace was out of line is that he was baiting the author as well and I addressed that. Like you said there is a report function.

    You have to actually use it for it to work. Mods can't be everywhere. The only reason I saw it was because someone else reported a post unrelated to menace. I can't change what's already happen and while I happen to not find meance post all that bad I can see also the authors style of responding serving to antagonize anyone. He doesn't seem that receptive and being impartial in the whole thing it's a bit of them both playing off each other.

    An idea I had and have had for a long time is that we set restrictions in thumbs or use a different reaction system. Thumbs have went the way of rep and I see more and more people responding negatively to it.

    So why not do how we used to. You get five thumbs a day. Use them wisely.
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2018
  12. apoc

    apoc The Once and Ginger King DLP Supporter

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    I mean, I'd have an issue if it was in the Work By Author forum... but it wasn't. It was in the Library / Library Review. That's not a place for author feedback or serious critique, its literally just a general review and opinions thread.

    Was Menace being an ass? Yeah, he was but being an ass in the appropriate places is a protected right on DLP. He wasn't going into WbA and shitting over it over stylistic and subjective parts of the fic in a place that's supposed to be about objective advice, he was putting his incendiary opinion out where its supposed to be. Library review isn't for authors seeking feedback for fuck's sake. The guy didn't even post his own story, he just showed up in the Library thread for it and started responding to people. It's hard to take it seriously that "this is not encouraging to people who we want to encourage to come and post their WIP stories" when the person didn't do that at all and basically just walked into our version of general fic commentary.

    Furthermore, again, as Zombie pointed out, there's been people arguing about the "culture" or about the proportion of women or bitching about the name change but we're looking for actual concrete changes DLP can make. The only thing that was a proposed change that you mentioned was maybe encouraging post reporting more. We're looking for actual changes here.
     
  13. Joe's Nemesis

    Joe's Nemesis High Score: 2,058 Prestige

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    Except, your post shows you don't. You've missed the crux of what I was saying. My whole point was that we have a culture that is noninclusive, so we need to ask how we can work with that while driving traffic because if we don't, very little of what we do will work.
    It wasn't about bitching. It was about keeping certain realities in mind so that we can say and do things that will be constructive and effective.
    I had to laugh here, because you're talking about stuff "that hasn't really been happening in ages," and yet you're engaging in it right here.

    Now, moving from that...

    I thought about something similar to this while posting my first post in this thread. Something along the lines of having the top subforum be more of a welcome forum where people learn the rules and culture at DLP. Make this forum more neutral or visitor friendly... a doorstep to the site that introduces the house rules, if you will. People have to post in that forum a few times before the rest of the forum opens up to them, and by then, they're ready for what they'll encounter.

    Just a thought.
     
  14. Saezots

    Saezots Seventh Year

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    Oi, is it just me or has that one intro thread been deleted or somethin? It used to be that the newest members user was written and it was helpful to know why they were spamming or whatever. I haven't seen the intro thread in recent posts lately so uh either it moved or there's been no new members for a while. If it's the latter my bad, if its the former that sucks 'cause I skimmed the newest posts once an a while.

    Since people keep talking bout how to encourage new users or something why not open up a new intro thread, put it in some sub forum and then eh I dunno, encourage casual questions in that thread about how dlp works, direct em to irc -top of the page ginnyfan34- stuff like that, encourage a more casual atmosphere like tomd or the old intro hall without the (hazing sort of?)

    Not to encourage spam but more like just point out everyones free to post but ask questions like 'how many generations of wizards does one have to have to be a pureblood etc.' compared to 'Is Ron an Asshole?' -No.

    So that discussion can be discussed more but those spam threads can be shut down, because I get it's supposed to point out the users that aren't a fit but honestly its a pain that they keep on showing up week after week going in circles again and again, imo I'd rather that be shut down a bit. Oh and I suppose to point them to the irc button, 'where? - up but lurk there for a bit or go to discord. Maybe make a discord channel for newbs? post informal dlp ettiquette there or whatever.

    Also, maybe make a Lurkers Welcome/Intro thread or something for those users that haven't had one post count in 5 years but they lurk all that time an then make an awesome comment and say see ya in the next five. 'Cause they are a big part of dlp.

    Just throwing my ideas out there.
     
  15. Alistair

    Alistair First Year

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    As a guy who's been on here a reasonably long time, but doesn't post much, I think part of the problem is that the standard of posting on here is actually extremely high. Now this is obviously a good thing, it makes DLP what it is and it's why I come here and read the forum at all, but it can also be pretty daunting for newbs or people like myself.

    I post on a couple forums for various topics, and despite the fact that DLP was the first one I ever joined, it's also the one where I have posted least. Admittedly, I mostly joined for Santi's fic and to read, not post, but even so, I've been here 4 years and I've made less than 40 posts. DLP is not really, at least to my mind, somewhere where you can make stupid throw away comments. To post on a topic here, you really have to know something about it and have a decent depth of knowledge and sources to back it up. Again, not saying this is a bad thing, but it does make the 'standard of entry' as it were, really quite high to become accepted. It also means that noobs coming here from more 'accepting' forums make a stupid post early on, get abuse from the old guard and then fuck off.

    That's partially their fault for not 'reading the room' as it were, but it's also pretty off putting if you're not expecting it. Also worth considering that, for many noobs, they're only joining at that time because they've recently found fanfiction and so don't actually have the depth of knowledge to really contribute anything insightful or novel straight off the bat.

    So, what can be done? Well I personally think that a sort of DLP reference thread which noobs are directed to by PM immediately upon joining would be really helpful. I envision something covering minimum standards, reminders that this is a forum on writing, so use a spellcheck, posting advice with case studies of what not to do, the accepted DLP wisdom on certain common topics such as wizards vs muggles etc and answers to FAQs. The thread would be open to addition by all members who meet an arbitrary standard (say 2 years and 200 posts) so that new guys can get a feel as to the 'house style' and standard before posting shit and putting their foot in their mouth. Some would, of course, ignore it but you can't cure stupidity and if they do, do we really want them to stick around?

    The second part to my solution is a cultural thing I guess. Just... try not to be a dick to new members for their first few posts, give them time to acclimate before assuming they're just shitposting imbeciles. If they don't pick up after a while, well no loss, but I reckon at least some of the people getting the banhammer in the first weeks of membership could have something to contribute if they were given some useful advice and patience early on.

    Might boost retention rates and raise the amount of posting activity anyway.

    Thoughts?
     
  16. Xiph0

    Xiph0 Administrator Admin

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    The bias is going to stay on the side of the reader, as that is ultimately the root and majority of our user base, and indeed to the exact root reason the forum exists - filtering stories for fellow readers. Building forums around authors has been tried, and they failed.
     
  17. Zel

    Zel Professor

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    Well, at this point I feel like this is beating a dead horse, but the non-inclusive culture is an issue. Right off the bat, if a newbie posts some throwaway comments or recs bad fics he becomes a nail that sticks out and subsequently gets hammered down. Most people that are still around after the first couple months have a combination of thick skin that is rare on the internet and a capacity to observe and learn what is 'acceptable' and what isn't - the culture, basically. There's also the narrow but refined scope of subjects of interest in the forum and the small and already consolidated community that hasn't focused on what used to be the forum's bread and butter, the creation and consumption of fiction.

    Say, then, that DLP wants new members, but without 'dumbing down' its content. The primary issue is getting them to stay; the longer they stay, the more they are willing to learn the ropes. New members will stay if the experience is positive, and while some of the new people will respond in kind when challenged and enjoy heated discussions, how many will be lost because they weren't eased into it? What reason would they have to return to a place they don't feel welcome to?

    DLP's culture isn't toxic, but it does select a pretty small sample of its potential users. To be honest, I don't think there'll be meaningful change if the community as a whole doesn't try being more welcoming, but we could make the learning process faster. Designing a few threads like 'How to write constructive criticism' - I for one loved Halt's thread on writing - would condense most important things in a single place and make it easier for them to adapt.
     
  18. Mishie

    Mishie Fat Dog

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    So I'm just going to suggest something crazy. People keep mentioning that they feel like there's an issue with culture and that shit isn't inclusive, and it really does feel like there's a simple solution to that. If you feel like there is an issue with the posting culture, then post more in a way that you feel is better for the community. Join in and post in those threads that you feel are being stifled by older members instead of shrugging and moving on, defend those stories and views that you feel are being unfairly attacked. If you believe that what DLP needs to grow and improve is a change in culture, then the best way to create it is by posting more in that way instead of just talking about it.
     
  19. TheWiseTomato

    TheWiseTomato Tactical Tomato DLP Supporter

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    Be the change you want to be, etc. However, I don't agree with going easy on shitty story recs or truly shit tier posting habits. I appreciate the way DLP holds itself to a higher standard, and I think many others do as well.
     
  20. Anarchy

    Anarchy Fourth Champion DLP Supporter

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    I agree on this. We've always been quality over quantity. To change that is to just become another site. If that's what people want, whatever, it won't really change my posting habits here. But, like I look at the MoR thread that was allowed, and I ask why? Is that what "making DLP great again" entails? It didn't help anything. In the past, it would have been locked within an hour. Sure, there's probably nicer ways to tell someone that story they like is bad, but I don't care how popular a story is outside of this forum - it doesn't need it's own separate post. Let it fester in its story thread. All because it's an older thread doesn't mean criticism that was levied against it is no longer valid. Quirrell getting a bunch of students to beat up Harry isn't suddenly going to become an amazing plot point just because it's 2018. I get that there's 900 posts in there and that can be daunting to someone, but no one is telling you to read them. All that means is that whatever defense or attack on the story has likely already been brought up multiple times in the past. If people want to beat a dead horse as a means of pretending this site is active, then so be it. It just seems like the wrong type of active, but that's a thing that can be worked on over time.
     
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