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Bree Giffen

Is a discussion better in SL or the forums?

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Do you think a discussion is better in SL (real-time typing in a 3d virtual world with body/face emotes, sounds, animations) or the forums (typing in a 2d web page with attachments and no time constraints)? 

Just thinking of the early idea that SL was the future of the internet and if it really can't compete with even a web forum. Is it just apples and oranges? Perhaps a hybrid of the two having the strengths of both that could be made into a new feature for SL.

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In SL.

Even though it still suffers from not having real body language... being next to another avatar has the 'social impact' that helps chill some of our 'stupid'...

On forums we all tend to over-read what others type.

I type "hello" on a forum and someone else reads that as "You f-ing @#$%# I will destroy you and all your descendants for 1001 years to come, plus... you're fat!"

- That doesn't happen as often inworld...

And I think this is also a problem with a LOT of modern social media... they lack the 'impact' that happens in person so things get over-read and over-stated... People on social media tend to all suffer from "foot IN mouth" disease...

 

Edited by Pussycat Catnap
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12 minutes ago, Bree Giffen said:

Do you think a discussion is better in SL (real-time typing in a 3d virtual world with body/face emotes, sounds, animations) or the forums (typing in a 2d web page with attachments and no time constraints)? 

Just thinking of the early idea that SL was the future of the internet and if it really can't compete with even a web forum. Is it just apples and oranges? Perhaps a hybrid of the two having the strengths of both that could be made into a new feature for SL.

Definitely the forums, or Emil, or Private messages, etc. Because we have time to write more carefully and thoughtfully (if we remember to take the time) and it is sometimes easier to explain things in a more clear manner. In-world or in any "live chat" method, we are thinking on-the-fly and that is where misunderstandings come from, which begets drama, which creates friction, which... 

You get the idea. :)

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Both are full of potential minefields, but I thing anything that is face to face, or pixel face to face, is better.

I've been visiting the forums for less than a year, but the one big lesson I've taken from them is that anything and everything can and will turn into an argument. 

It's both fun and infuriating. 

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10 minutes ago, Beth Macbain said:

I've been visiting the forums for less than a year, but the one big lesson I've taken from them is that anything and everything can and will turn into an argument.

How dare you say that. What the heck is that? Who do you think you are anyway coming up with that stance? Clearly you have an issue with me.

:P

/end humor

/serious point:

- Basically manyforums topics will turn into that within a few pages...

But you can have a discussion 'face to face' or 'pixel to pixel' with someone you ACTUALLY DO disagree with, at length, and keep it civil and actually come away understanding each other... In forums AND social media... it's hard to not pick a fight even with people you agree with...

Edited by Pussycat Catnap
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In the forum.

Look at the average discussion thread. Now imagine all of these people standing inworld, lets say in a club. And all of them are using the chat at once. Thats chaos. Not only is most of the contribution completely drowned out by the pure mass of itself, it also leads to peoples texts becoming shorter and shorter...because ey, whos going to read Susies 350 word paragraph in a tiny chat box, am I right?! So Susie will cut down on what could have been a nuanced, detailed statement and instead focus on a core sentiment. This fosters misunderstanding more than anything else and puts raw emotions in a pol position (even more, than on the forum).

And we are still talking about text chat, right? The general tendency to "misread" others is still there. In some cases it might even become worse, because the discussion is happening in real time and you can't afford taking your time to think about something for too long or the discussion might have moved on and contrary to the forum, you have no good option to jump back to 20 minutes ago and just comment on one particluar thing that has been said.

Speaking of taking ones time: A real time discussion puts certain groups of participants at a disadvantage. I'm not going to flex some numbers here (because I just can't), but I'm certain, among the forum regulars are people who would struggle, for one reason or another, to deliver the same quality, frequency and amount of text as they would normaly do on the forum. I count myself into that group, too. Right now, I have a really good moment. I'm not that hungry and still hours away from being tired. I'm in a good mood and I've just watched some videos, that relally stimulated my desire to express myself with smart words and lots of insight. Or in short: Ideal conditions to write lengthy texts.

On other occasions I struggle. I struggle because English is not my native language. I don't practice it in my work life. Heck, I don't even practice writing that much at all in the 8,5 hours I'm sitting at a desk, surrounded by paper and tacky christmas decoration (we have a big plastic christmas tree in our office and I have a small clear-plastic on on my desk, that changes colours every couple of seconds. Its awsome). My best chances to still produce something good, and satisfying to myself, are on the forum. I don't have to race against those with a better grasp of the language or those with a better situational mood. I take my time and occasionally re-read my own mess. Also timezones. I would miss a lot of discussions, just because I could either not be present at all due to it being deep in the night or because I could not shove in the time needed to actually be inworld long enough to contribute to an ongoing discussion. On the forum I can just jump in, catch up on whats been said and then type my own reply. And others will do the same, once it fits into their day.

Edit: Oh, and the forum makes it easier to include pictures of cute animals.

 

Edited by Syo Emerald
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1 minute ago, Pussycat Catnap said:

How dare you say that. What the heck is that? Who do you think you are anyway coming up with that stance? Clearly you have an issue with me.

I'm just jealous of your boobs. 

internet-fight_o_910069.gif.636343d9d07a6b72bcfab7db109438a0.gif

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I guess you're writing this because of the large number of threads in which discussions have become heated recently?

I regret that...and my part in it.  But I still think that forum discussion has some advantages over in-world discussions.

  • Forums provide a fairly linear mode of communication.  One person writes, another responds, then another.  It's not completely rigid, a responder may be talking about something a page or so back in the thread, but there are ways to arrange the view to better follow the discussion's development.
  • Forums give you a bit more time to read what's been written, and to compose your thoughts and your response.  You can even do research to support your view before posting it.
  • In world chat can be very chaotic.  There can be three or more separate threads of thought going on at once, and what someone is responding to is not always apparent, especially in a large crowd.
  • Even with avatars, facial expressions, emotes, and gestures, one's meaning isn't always clear, at least when using text chat.  When I chat in world, often I'm not even looking at the other avatar, I'm just reading their text.
  • Of course, there is voice chat in world.  That can give you additional clues as to the speaker's meaning and intent.  But it can be chaotic too, just a babble.  And not everyone uses voice.
  • In world, people intent on causing chaos and dissent have other tools besides chat.  The "discussion" becomes physical.

The biggest advantage of a virtual world is that it provides one the opportunity to DO as well as to say.  This doesn't make it the "future of the internet" necessarily, but it does (and has) opened up a new and different way to be, on line.  It expands into new areas, it does not have to replace old things.

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I prefer real time chat over forum chat.

I think the permanence of forum posts, lead people to tend to do odd things like: Need to get the last word in, misquote or straw man a quote and like someone already said over analyze or nitpick more often than in real time and sometimes get a little overly wordy.

Real time conversations have their drawbacks, but I prefer inworld real time.

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29 minutes ago, Alyona Su said:

Definitely the forums, or Emil, or Private messages, etc. Because we have time to write more carefully and thoughtfully (if we remember to take the time) and it is sometimes easier to explain things in a more clear manner. In-world or in any "live chat" method, we are thinking on-the-fly and that is where misunderstandings come from, which begets drama, which creates friction, which... 

You get the idea. :)

Having run a large SL related forum for 16 years, I can definitely say that having the time to write more carefully and thoughtfully does little to mitigate drama and misunderstandings. If anything, it makes it worse when you can stew over something for awhile and then pound out a giant screed on the forums. Real time conversation has its own perils, but having been through 8 gazillion drama bombs over the years on forums, they are not any better at fostering thoughtful conversation.

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2 minutes ago, Cristiano Midnight said:

Having run a large SL related forum for 16 years, I can definitely say that having the time to write more carefully and thoughtfully does little to mitigate drama and misunderstandings. If anything, it makes it worse when you can stew over something for awhile and then pound out a giant screed on the forums. Real time conversation has its own perils, but having been through 8 gazillion drama bombs over the years on forums, they are not any better at fostering thoughtful conversation.

Even if it does "little" to mitigate, it does a lot more to mitigate than live-chatting does.

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SL chat is only retained for 30 days. Forum chat gives you a permanent record and the way back machine. So if an activist can goad someone into saying something foolish, they can hope to out them in the future to affect their real life. It is incredibly foolish to enter into debates here, unless perhaps you are already a pensioner. 

Edited by Desiree Moonwinder
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   Both have their strengths and weaknesses. In a 'live' chat, you don't have as much time to over-think things, and also if you get upset by something the other said, they can quickly tell you that they didn't mean it like that. On the forums, if you take offense to something, there's no telling how long it will be before the other party is back to clarify what they meant, by which time a bunch of people may already have jumped on the flame-train to spew acid all over. And whilst it's true that we can never control exactly how what we write is to be interpreted by a reader, the forums do give us more space for expression which means that we can do more to avoid it - but then, who can be bothered to be over-clear about it, especially when most people getting smurfed off by it are just cute.

1 minute ago, Cindy Evanier said:

I can swear inworld without getting in trouble.

   But we can smurf our way around it!

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So many good points made! And yet, here we are on the 2d web forum because it's convenient. But I think actually flaming people in-world is nicer. I also got kicked in the groin once at a cartel chat. My fault cause I was distributing a groin-kicker disguised as a hug animator. 

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Text chat, whether live in SL or in the form of forum posts, always has the risk of not conveying meaning that you can perceive in RL face to face conversations with someone. Tone, body language, etc.. do a lot to inform meaning. In text we are left to make those assumptions based on the words alone.

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21 minutes ago, Alyona Su said:

Even if it does "little" to mitigate, it does a lot more to mitigate than live-chatting does.

It really depends on the situation. When you have time to think about what you want to say, you often think of things you didn't think of in the moment when interacting live with someone, which can be good or bad. People often tend to be bolder in writing posts than they are interacting one on one.

Neither medium is really less fraught with potential for drama.

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It's disappointing. We have this whole 3D world. Yet people don't want to meet in it.

There are meetings that go well in Second Life. Creator User Group (most Thursdays) goes well. The Builders Brewery weekly demo awards (every Sunday) is popular and fun. GTFO management meetings seem effective. A friend of mine has private SL voice meetings for people involved in RL investment, and those go well. Caledon Oxbridge classes work fine.

The common factors seem to be 1) a good moderator, and 2) people who want to get something done. Those kinds of meetings work.

On the other hand, visit any info hub and try to talk to anybody. Hopeless.

Random chat, not so much. Jerk amplification may be the problem. It certainly is at info hubs. If one jerk can screw up the conversation, it won't work. What can be done about that?

 

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Just now, animats said:

Random chat, not so much. Jerk amplification may be the problem. It certainly is at info hubs. If one jerk can screw up the conversation, it won't work. What can be done about that?

There's this Mute button, see...?

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11 minutes ago, Cristiano Midnight said:

It really depends on the situation.

Thank you. This is my point. :)

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1 hour ago, Syo Emerald said:

real time discussion puts certain groups of participants at a disadvantage. I'm not going to flex some numbers here (because I just can't), but I'm certain, among the forum regulars are people who would struggle, for one reason or another, to deliver the same quality, frequency and amount of text as they would normaly do on the forum. I

My learning disability is that I type very badly and slowly. I really dislike typing inworld while someone is waiting on my typo-mangled reply.

Edited by Pamela Galli
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Nothing beats a good talk in real life with a bunch of strangers sitting in a circle on plastic chairs, each wearing a little red name tag that starts with 'Hello, my name is'.

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The worst drama of my SL experience happened on a forum that's... been around for 16 or so years... and because of the nature of the medium and it's permanence nothing anyone wrote could ever be taken back, and things got way taken out of context and magnified by all parties - some of which are still around here... and there's never been any way to 'walk past that past'... even years later...

Whereas in a 'real time' conversation, a slight or a miscommunication can quickly be resolved. Shorter messages with less permanence to them means each individual message is less 'vital', has less 'stake' in it... and if one was just 'the wrong thing to say' - parties can all walk back from it or shift away from it much easier.

This is made worse as people change over time - but a recorded medium does not. A very important part of human interaction both with the self and with others is the ability to forget. To move on. To change. After all, think about why do people find 'necroposting' to be in such bad form?

 

So while I am addicted to forums and have even run them professionally... I also hate them...

 

 

 

Edited by Pussycat Catnap
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8 minutes ago, Pussycat Catnap said:

The worst drama of my SL experience happened on a forum that's... been around for 16 or so years... and because of the nature of the medium and it's permanence nothing anyone wrote could ever be taken back, and things got way taken out of context and magnified by all parties - some of which are still around here... and there's never been any way to 'walk past that past'...

True. It is very foolish to discuss politics and social issues here.  Only wise use of forums is to discuss how to make SL work best. 

Edited by Desiree Moonwinder
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