Tuesday, August 09, 2005


Fate of RSD?

As newsgroups fade and blogs rule, what will be the fate of rec.sport.disc?

Many players lament the atrocious level of discourse on r.s.d.
Navigating among blogs is an easier way to avoid rants and
insults. Add to this phenomenon the fact that much of the information
on r.s.d. is available from the UPA or other disc portals, and you see
an emergent irrelevance.

Is a moderated newsgroup needed? If we separated the wheat from the
chaff, would we be left with interesting posts? I think so. Users could
post questions and receive replies without having to get heckled or
have their subject usurped by the hoggers. A centralized newsgroup
offers something closer to a conversation than does a blog.
This could be an opt-in venue, say "rec.sport.disc.moderated," which
would otherwise mirror r.s.d., except for the excised rants, insults,
and off-topic posts. So r.s.d. could exist in parallel.

The same Roman playwright (Terence) who gave us the quotation,
"moderation in all things" also gave us the dubious sentiment,
"too much liberty corrupts us all." (Or perhaps "liberty" wasn't
the most accurate translation.) Having r.s.d. AND r.s.d.m.
would mean no censorship against those who are happy as is.

The problem: who moderates?

I think we're witnessing this rsdm experiment right now with the whole blogging circle. (There is also the social experiment of how quickly word-of-mouth works.) I sense that most people are even more reluctant to comment on a blog than they are to post to rsd, however.

As more bloggers enter the circle, they'll be competing based on their content to be linked to by the top sites, and those top sites will take care to limit their links to what they perceive to be good ones. I feel more ownership over my blog than I do over anything I've posted to rsd, so I care about who I list. And I think that people will respect the ownership rights of individual bloggers even if they don't respect common property such as rsd, so they will be reluctant to be idiotic or comment-hogging on a blog (or they will set up their own blog).
People do seem more reluctant to comment on blogs. But also some people are driven by the perceived larger volume of readers on r.s.d, so if traffic really moves blogward, so might some of those folks and their posts.

r.s.d has one great advantage over blogs for most posters right now: there's less need to continually come up with new content. If you only come up with occasional stuff, then you still get the same audience as long as other people also contribute content.

Building a real blogging audience requires coming up with more stuff on your own, or at least coming up with stuff that can generate enough comments to be somewhat self-sustaining in-between new posts. [Yes, I recognize that I have been failing on both parts recently, but I'll be back at some point.] The advantage of the blog ring is that some gaps in new content can happen without you falling right off the popular radar.

But was that the zound of Zaz volunteering to moderate r.s.d.m. that I heard?
Oh, nosiree! I wouldn't moderate that with
a ten foot... um, moderating stick?

Actually, I've mostly avoided posts to r.s.d.
while being a member of the UPA Board, lest
people think I speak for more than just me.
I can definitely attest to the difficulty of continually adding new content, as you can see in the long gaps in my blog over here.
I think I posted to rsd a few times, and boy did I get burned, as I took myself way too seriously and was a little too defensive in an argument with Kenny Dobyns, seen here. And that is the other problem with rsd, once you post something, you can't take it back...
One idea would be to consolidate the blogs into one, like the Atlanta people do. Give multiple people the power to post, and as long as someone comes up with content, it will keep the audience coming.
A good idea, but Jim, would you personally really be content to do that? Don't you find a certain fascination with examining your site statistics (and kicking my booty)? I admit to some morbid fascination checking out the statistics on sitemeter periodically. Otherwise, it is a good idea.
Also, this would preclude posts of a more personal nature, as a group blog should be focused like the Atlanta group, where I find my personal blog is a good venue for me to post on other topics of interest to me which might not always have interest to frisbee folk. Which would then mean you would have the group frisbee blog, then the personal blog. And then you have to decide where you want to blog, etc.
"Blog" is already a terrible word. I think Jim is suggesting something so bad it's sublime: DloG.
Well, I suppose I was thinking of a parinella section and an "other contributors" section.

And there are other problems besides Jim's Big Ego. Suppose it's successful, and one of the bloggers isn't doing much. Who decides whether to kick him out?

Zaz, get a hit counter. blogger help can direct you to sitemeter.com, for one.
Thanks. I think I did it. I don't think
I paid anything. I have one hit so far.
Well, one thing I liked about r.s.d. was the ability to lurk and post the
occasional snarky, sarcastic remark that hopefully somebody would think was
funny. I feel a little guilty doing that on someone's blog. I started a blog
but haven't posted much since all the people I know with blogs are posting
almost exclusively on frisbee and being 5 or more years out of the loop, I find
it difficult to comment or write intelligently other than 'back in the day'

What the hell is an H stack???
I agree with Dix. It is almost impossible to maintain an ultimate related blog when all you really have are stories from Back In The Day
Actually, there is a better solution for (the eventual demise of) RSD: a web-based forum.

The problem with blogs is that they weren't designed for comment/reply discussions. Blogs are more like an online journal. I tell the world how my life is going and hope somebody takes an interest (and maybe leaves a comment or two).

A web-based forum is more likely the better solution for RSD. Forums offer the same type of discussion services as RSD, but with a lot more services and options. And, ironically enough, it just so happens that one has started: http://www.ultitalk.com.

As posted on RSD:

Born from the frustrations of using RSD on a daily basis, UltiTalk.Com brings new life to the discusion world of Ultimate.

Gone are the days of jumbled posts, static text and lost topics that we've become so used to on RSD. UltiTalk.Com uses the latest in web forum technologies to give members more comfort, more control and easier access when talking about Ultimate. It supports such features as:

* Separate boards for specific topics (i.e. Ulti News, Ulti Strategy, Ulti Trash Talk, etc).
* Powerful search capabilites to search for topics on any subject.
* The ability to subscribe to a topic and be notified by email when someone replies to it.
* A fully operational calendar where you can add the dates of your next Ultimate event.
* A public links repository where you can share links to your favorite Ultimate websites.
* A public photo gallery where you can upload some of your favorite Ultimate photos for the community to see.
* Separate International boards for worldly discussions.

All of these features and more help make viewing topics about Ultimate much more enjoyable.

Apollo, the god, was credited with "Moderation in all things, including moderation," not some silly mortal named Terence. :-P
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