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Hey everyone... I hope no one gets a stiff upper lip at me pontificating on the forum again. I love the banter and the challenge, as I would hope those who engage with others here do. This forum really established itself back in the day as the place for this type of thing locally.

 

If it never gets hot in the kitchen, then nothing ever gets cooked!  ;D

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I'll be singing that when I'm out buying dogfood tonite.

I might get some human food too.

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Absolutely we are OK. I love the forum. The exchange of opinion is crucial in a democracy and you provide a great opportunity here for us to do that.

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Ok. Just wanted to be sure. I got a message from a poster that said more people would participate here if I didn't post my opinions so much. I love to mix it up, but I don't want to run anyone off.

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Actually we need more people, period. I hope your involvement will have the opposite effect and encourage more participation. There was a time when the forum was on fire. It would be great if we could have that participation again. The only downside was the deterioration at times into some nasty personal attacks. Superman was a part of that era, but we have managed to avoid falling into that trap in recent years. Disagreement on the issues is the soul of debate. Our recent disagreement was sharp, but it was about how to characterize the president's behavior, not accusations about our parental origins.  ;) That was an appropriate model for argument on the forum in my opinion.   

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Oh boy, don't get me started on forum participation! Granted, since the demise of its popularity, my fooling with the format, taking it down, etc, has not been conducive to attracting new folks and even discourages the ones who do. That said, this forum predates facebook by 4 years. We were like the mom and pop shop before Walmart came to town. In 2004 facebook comes along and as it gains in popularity, we becoming less active. I've researched ways to solve our problem and this is what I've found... 75% of adults online participate on facebook. 15% participate in online discussion forums. If the interest in a forum is geographically limited, then you can do the numbers. Ours comes out to a potential of 6,000 members. We have 70.

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I must be old-fashioned, but Facebook seems like a lousy place to carry on a debate. I have done a bit of it. The forum is superior for several reasons.

 

1. You can develop a separate thread for each issue.

2. You communicate only with people who are interested. All of your friends are not inconvenienced with an annoying opinion.

3. You have greater space to present your argument and list your sources.

4. You can preserve your thread for future reference easily.

5. You can more readily edit for mistakes.

 

I am sure there are more. 

 

I confess to having left the forum for a few years myself. It had nothing to do with Facebook or lack of interest. Sometimes you just burn out or become preoccupied with other concerns. I know a number of former participants left the area and some who do participate now have moved to other locales. I only found out about the forum by word of mouth and that can limit awareness. Perhaps the most important factor is the political climate. It seems pretty intense now, so I would expect participation to grow if there is an awareness that the forum exists. I will post the forum address on Facebook. If we all do that, maybe we will get a few new members.

 

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I'm going to try implementing some facebook integration. It'll be like surf fishing with a hook and no bait. Let's see if we catch anything.

 

 

But the membership, and activity, would drop when people would have to use their real names and faces!

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I agree Common Sense. The integration is purely optional for users here. What I'm hoping to do is attract facebook users here. I will not implement anything that require a user here to identify themselves.

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