Forum Questions and Suggestions

atomicdogg34
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Forum Questions and Suggestions

Not making this thread to bash this forum but there are a few things Ive noticed:

I signed up to this place a little over 3 years ago I believe, I posted a bit then stopped for like maybe 2 years or something. I recently started posting again and I see there are threads that haven't been touched since BEFORE I signed up.

So far the number of people Ive seen posting has been very low. The same 5 or 6 names. Nothing wrong with that but I'm wondering if this is a slow time or if this is the norm.

As for suggestions (take them or leave them):

I think we need to prune the number of sections in the forum, when you have an area that hasn't been posted in in years I think it's time to let that go, any important info can be pinned in other areas.

I realize the forum needs to generate some sort of revenue through ads but Im always sort of amused when I come to what is an atheist website to see ads for Jerry Falwell's Liberty University and ads for becoming a pastor. Just seems strange.

I like the idea of this place and Id like to see more traffic.

I may be completely off, Im basing this on my (admittedly) limited view from the past week or so.

So maybe we can get some feedback on ideas to get some traffic, clean up unnecessary things, and basically tighten up the whole operation.


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 The adds you see are bot

 The adds you see are bot generated, Brian Sapient has no control over the adds. As far as it being slow, that is a matter of competition from other media and Brian has a day job and can only put in so much time and money into maintaining this. I value this website because of his "hands off" approach to cesnorship. Like any sane website, the only limits would be sock puppets and advocating violence. Outside that, he is has been a huge reason long ago for the growth of the atheist voice.

 

I would say everyone reading this if they want more traffic here, give this website a free plug on your own twitter and FB pages and where you can elsewhere. 

 

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
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atomicdogg34
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Brian37 wrote: The adds you

Brian37 wrote:

 The adds you see are bot generated, Brian Sapient has no control over the adds. As far as it being slow, that is a matter of competition from other media and Brian has a day job and can only put in so much time and money into maintaining this. I value this website because of his "hands off" approach to cesnorship. Like any sane website, the only limits would be sock puppets and advocating violence. Outside that, he is has been a huge reason long ago for the growth of the atheist voice.

 

I would say everyone reading this if they want more traffic here, give this website a free plug on your own twitter and FB pages and where you can elsewhere. 

 

Are you talking about yourself in the third person? lol

I understand having other responsibilities to take care of, are there any mods or admins that could take care of smaller things?

I think pruning would help a lot, too much overlap

Theres a science forum but then others dedicated to environmental stuff and evolution and whatnot, those could be merged, one science forum with main topics (evolution, climate change, etc) pinned to the top

Get rid of things that literally haven't been touched in years, it makes the forum look like a wasteland when you see something that hasn't been posted in 4 years

I do enjoy the lack of censorship

Plugs on twitter and facebook and such can help, but the issue I think is that when they get here they see things like the above

I mean Id love to see more Christians here, maybe getting ahold of a large Christian website in order to do some crossover thing

im sure people here have plenty of ideas, but they can only be done with someone with some sort of authority to make it happen

getting people here wont matter if they don't stay

like I said, I like this forum so don't take it the wrong way


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 Um no, I am Brian37, Brian

 Um no, I am Brian37, Brian Sapient is the owner of this website, not me. That is not the first time people have mixed us up. We simply happen to have the same first name. 

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
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atomicdogg34
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Brian37 wrote: Um no, I am

Brian37 wrote:

 Um no, I am Brian37, Brian Sapient is the owner of this website, not me. That is not the first time people have mixed us up. We simply happen to have the same first name. 

My bad, I was assuming you were the same person (that's what I get for assuming) based on the fact that I had a rather unpleasant experience with Mr. Sapient on Facebook a long while ago (probably about when I first signed up here)

I commented on a link he shared or something (might have been a regular post, I don't recall exactly) and his response was well, very similar to yours (in regards to economics and the like), basically I was called a bad person and asked to unfriend LOL

Based on the name and that experience I just assumed (again, not very smart for doing that lol)

So my apologies.


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atomicdogg34 wrote:Brian37

atomicdogg34 wrote:
Brian37 wrote:

 Um no, I am Brian37, Brian Sapient is the owner of this website, not me. That is not the first time people have mixed us up. We simply happen to have the same first name. 

My bad, I was assuming you were the same person (that's what I get for assuming) based on the fact that I had a rather unpleasant experience with Mr. Sapient on Facebook a long while ago (probably about when I first signed up here) I commented on a link he shared or something (might have been a regular post, I don't recall exactly) and his response was well, very similar to yours (in regards to economics and the like), basically I was called a bad person and asked to unfriend LOL Based on the name and that experience I just assumed (again, not very smart for doing that lol) So my apologies.
it 

I think it is absurd for Muslims or Jews or Hindus or Christians or Buddhists or even atheists, to expect on a planet of 7 billion to only say nice things about each other. There really are places on this planet where Muslims and Christians and Jews and atheists can be arrested or murdered for even raising a peep. In the west if the worst you get is a "fuck you", you've had a good day.

I was bullied as a kid. There is a huge difference between being a bully, and merely picking on someone's claims. If you have the power to say "fuck you" back, or politely say "here is why you are wrong", or boycott, or walk away and ignore, you are not being bullied.

Now especially with the god claims of Abraham, all of them. I find it absurd that if one is to claim an "all powerful" god, needs humans to protect it from being called names. On top of that if this claimed being's top priority is to insure no one picks on him, that makes this being a selfish prick to be more concerned about name calling than the actual violence humans inflict on each other trying to defind something they have no evidence for. 

 

No one should ever suggest riding the world of religion via force. But it does not deserve a pedestal. It must always be subject to scrutiny and even blasphemy. To silence that, is to subject onself to the slavery of others.

 

 

 

 

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
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atomicdogg34 wrote:So far

atomicdogg34 wrote:
So far the number of people Ive seen posting has been very low. The same 5 or 6 names. Nothing wrong with that but I'm wondering if this is a slow time or if this is the norm.

It's slowed down in the last couple of years. When I first joined this forum (and still, to some extent, at the time you joined this forum), we had pissed off theists coming here on a weekly basis, at the minimum, telling us how evil, ignorant, etc. we all were. Heh, in a weird way, I wish they still came in droves like that because it made for the most entertaining conversation, way more fun than anything any of us boring atheists could post at each other. Likewise, nothing I post is going to generate traffic the way 3 creationists with separate threads could.

So, my guess is that our current state is not caused by people disliking this forum so much as a drop in interest of this entire topic as a whole, as well as a general explosion of options for atheists to turn to. 

When I was living in San Diego, the atheist/agnostic group there had a booth at Balboa Park every weekend (there are also multiple Christian groups, and depending on the day, hari-Krishnas, a Muslim group, PETA, GreenPeace, UNHCR, even a "stress test" guy ) They said that when they first set up camp not that long ago, the public's reaction was extremely negative. Almost every weekend, people would come up to them so angry that they would be red-in-the-face. However, by the time I was hanging out at the park with them, I would say that our reception was almost 50/50. Of course, I could tell that most of the people who walked by didn't like us, by them trying to avoid eye contact, the change in their expression after they read one of our signs, when they hold their children a little closer (lol, jk jk, but seriously...) But, of the people who actually talked to us, I'd say about 50% were supportive, sometimes even more than that. 

Yeah, it's all anecdotal, but I definitely feel like the U.S. attitude towards atheism has become more benign in the last 5-10 years. Perhaps there is some survey that supports this....

atomicdogg34 wrote:
As for suggestions (take them or leave them): I think we need to prune the number of sections in the forum, when you have an area that hasn't been posted in in years I think it's time to let that go, any important info can be pinned in other areas.

That.....might be a good idea, but I'll have to see an admin's opinion on it.

atomicdogg34 wrote:
I realize the forum needs to generate some sort of revenue through ads but Im always sort of amused when I come to what is an atheist website to see ads for Jerry Falwell's Liberty University and ads for becoming a pastor. Just seems strange.

Yep, as Brian just said, these ads are generated by google based on the page content. More recently, it generates ads based on websites I've visited; I can't seem to avoid ads for anime or video streaming sites no matter what page I'm on, lol. 

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare


atomicdogg34
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butterbattle

butterbattle wrote:

atomicdogg34 wrote:
So far the number of people Ive seen posting has been very low. The same 5 or 6 names. Nothing wrong with that but I'm wondering if this is a slow time or if this is the norm.

It's slowed down in the last couple of years. When I first joined this forum (and still, to some extent, at the time you joined this forum), we had pissed off theists coming here on a weekly basis, at the minimum, telling us how evil, ignorant, etc. we all were. Heh, in a weird way, I wish they still came in droves like that because it made for the most entertaining conversation, way more fun than anything any of us boring atheists could post at each other. Likewise, nothing I post is going to generate traffic the way 3 creationists with separate threads could.

So, my guess is that our current state is not caused by people disliking this forum so much as a drop in interest of this entire topic as a whole, as well as a general explosion of options for atheists to turn to. 

When I was living in San Diego, the atheist/agnostic group there had a booth at Balboa Park every weekend (there are also multiple Christian groups, and depending on the day, hari-Krishnas, a Muslim group, PETA, GreenPeace, UNHCR, even a "stress test" guy ) They said that when they first set up camp not that long ago, the public's reaction was extremely negative. Almost every weekend, people would come up to them so angry that they would be red-in-the-face. However, by the time I was hanging out at the park with them, I would say that our reception was almost 50/50. Of course, I could tell that most of the people who walked by didn't like us, by them trying to avoid eye contact, the change in their expression after they read one of our signs, when they hold their children a little closer (lol, jk jk, but seriously...) But, of the people who actually talked to us, I'd say about 50% were supportive, sometimes even more than that. 

Yeah, it's all anecdotal, but I definitely feel like the U.S. attitude towards atheism has become more benign in the last 5-10 years. Perhaps there is some survey that supports this....

atomicdogg34 wrote:
As for suggestions (take them or leave them): I think we need to prune the number of sections in the forum, when you have an area that hasn't been posted in in years I think it's time to let that go, any important info can be pinned in other areas.

That.....might be a good idea, but I'll have to see an admin's opinion on it.

atomicdogg34 wrote:
I realize the forum needs to generate some sort of revenue through ads but Im always sort of amused when I come to what is an atheist website to see ads for Jerry Falwell's Liberty University and ads for becoming a pastor. Just seems strange.

Yep, as Brian just said, these ads are generated by google based on the page content. More recently, it generates ads based on websites I've visited; I can't seem to avoid ads for anime or video streaming sites no matter what page I'm on, lol. 

stop watching Japanese tentacle porn Eye-wink


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I don't see a reason for

I don't see a reason for pruning the forum back. As long as it doesn't actually cost resources to leave it as is, it is more efficient this way. It is also better for handling a influx of new members, should such a thing happen.

 

Things might be a bit slow compared to RRS in its heyday, but it's held fairly steady for years now. In fact I think it is more active now than it was a year ago, as noone of note has left and we've actually had a couple new and returning members.

 

There isn't really a reason for people to flock here the way they did in the begining. As mentioned, there are hundreds of atheist forums around now. When the place first went up, there were maybe a dozen at most. And none of them made the news. In order to expand the membership, there needs to be a reason to join. Places like reddit and 4chan have millions of people because they cater to the average person. We cater more to intellectuals. If coming here were like going to those sites, I'd stop coming here. lol.

 

It's unfortunate that there isn't more activity, but the forum is far from dead. Every time I log in there are new posts in multiple topics, and often new topics.

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 Yeah, I've been here for 7

 Yeah, I've been here for 7 years now and it seems like it comes and goes in waves. Every 6 months or so you go through a phase where it is really only the regulars for a few months.

If, if a white man puts his arm around me voluntarily, that's brotherhood. But if you - if you hold a gun on him and make him embrace me and pretend to be friendly or brotherly toward me, then that's not brotherhood, that's hypocrisy.- Malcolm X


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What they said... except

What they said... except Brian. Smiling 


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 I HOPE THIS GIVES INSIGHT

 

I HOPE THIS GIVES INSIGHT TO EVERYONE

 

atomicdogg34 wrote:

I recently started posting again and I see there are threads that haven't been touched since BEFORE I signed up.

I'm doing my best to uphold a promise to past members and the community that all content will exist in perpetuity. I have always been upset that the posts (on atheistnetwork.com) in which I abandoned theism have bit the dust. The owner of that site had become one of my closest friends but he lost the data all of it at some point.


Quote:
So far the number of people Ive seen posting has been very low. The same 5 or 6 names. Nothing wrong with that but I'm wondering if this is a slow time or if this is the norm.

Unfortunately we've been contending with a very difficult issue for a few years now. We couldn't seem to get the spam under wraps. We literally have 100-400 new spam-bot accounts created per day. As a result every single account is blocked before being allowed access by admin approval (really, me). The end result is that I often don't approve accounts as it's too difficult to determine the spam account vs the real account in a timely fashion. If we allowed all the accounts to post the board would be an endless battle of spam removal. As members of a site get their needs fulfilled they tend to move on. And with less new members coming in than we could be experiencing you are witnessing lots of the same people.

Me stating this will bring up a few comments from the fine folks that frequent this site with suggestions as to how to eliminate this problem. As a result I am preparing to address this issue again with my server admin tonight. He has consistently done things to help and they last a few weeks before the spammers figure out another way to fuck us over.


Quote:
I think we need to prune the number of sections in the forum, when you have an area that hasn't been posted in in years I think it's time to let that go, any important info can be pinned in other areas.

Not a bad idea. I'll clean a few things up as I have the time. I tend to spend my available time on other site maintenance activities like trying to look through the list of spam-bot accounts to find the real ones.


Quote:
I realize the forum needs to generate some sort of revenue through ads but Im always sort of amused when I come to what is an atheist website to see ads for Jerry Falwell's Liberty University and ads for becoming a pastor.

I'm amused too. You have any idea how rewarding it is to know that Liberty University keeps this site afloat? It works both ways.


butterbattle wrote:

It's slowed down in the last couple of years. When I first joined this forum (and still, to some extent, at the time you joined this forum), we had pissed off theists coming here on a weekly basis, at the minimum, telling us how evil, ignorant, etc. we all were. Heh, in a weird way, I wish they still came in droves like that because it made for the most entertaining conversation, way more fun than anything any of us boring atheists could post at each other.

Agreed. I wish I had those theists here too.

 

Quote:
So, my guess is that our current state is not caused by people disliking this forum so much as a drop in interest of this entire topic as a whole, as well as a general explosion of options for atheists to turn to.

Yes, atheists are winning. Today there are a lot less theists willing to fight tooth and nail for their beliefs. We have kicked religion in the ass!

Let's also keep in mind that sites like Facebook have destroyed forums like this. The conversation happens there now, albeit in a much less in depth fashion. I believe sites like this are imperative to a conducive conversation about religion and am swimming upstream.

 

Vastet wrote:

I don't see a reason for pruning the forum back. As long as it doesn't actually cost resources to leave it as is, it is more efficient this way. It is also better for handling a influx of new members, should such a thing happen.

I'm glad that's your opinion, it gives me reassurance that you wont prune anything without me. Eye-wink

When I do prune, it'll be light pickins... and I'll probably move some stuff to other areas.

 

Quote:
Things might be a bit slow compared to RRS in its heyday, but it's held fairly steady for years now. In fact I think it is more active now than it was a year ago, as noone of note has left and we've actually had a couple new and returning members.

I am in fact currently working harder than I have been in the past at increasing traffic. We have an incredible foundation in the search engines. We have (as always) a very large portion of our site that is read by non-members. In the last 30 days this site had 30,329 new visitors accounting for 84% of the visitors. I have no idea how many of those are spam bot ip's but presumably many of the spam bot ip's would count as repeat visitors. We are consistently being found and read. Another way to look at traffic is by referral... in other words people clicked at google or stumbleupon or anywhere to reach our site. In the last month we've had 24,120 unique people click through from another location. All of those are people, none of that is a spam-bot 21,000 of those people were people (or browsers/ips) that had never accessed our site before.

People refer to much of the information that exists on this site when searching for the topics contained herein. It's not about looking clean, it's about having the information. We have covered so much here that there are so many different ways for people to find us.

For perspective, the following obscure search terms grabbed users from google and brought them here in the last 30 days:

raw milk, ask boeing, patents, twin paradox revised, luminon sai baba, messhuggah, reverend willie, ham nye, urology jokes.

The people that came in via those methods average about 3 pages per visit.

So we have...

1. This content exists as an archive of past arguments.

2. The archive draws in new traffic (that I need to do better converting into new users)

 

 

Quote:

There isn't really a reason for people to flock here the way they did in the begining.

Not the same reasons... but as I just showed above we have a significant amount of reader interest as a result of having so many different forms of arguments. Our average day here now actually has more traffic than the slower days back in the day. Back in the day we'd have 10,000 unique visitors on one day and go through a week with 500 people per day. Today we have 500-900 per day.

 

 

Quote:
Places like reddit and 4chan have millions of people because they cater to the average person. We cater more to intellectuals. If coming here were like going to those sites, I'd stop coming here. lol.

 

It's about quality, not quantity. With that said... I wish we had more quality people. I know via firsthand Q&A that many of those quality people actively choose to make facebook their only home for religious debate. I've had this conversation quite a few times. We live in a new world.

 

atomicdogg34 wrote:

I had a rather unpleasant experience with Mr. Sapient on Facebook a long while ago (probably about when I first signed up here) I commented on a link he shared or something (might have been a regular post, I don't recall exactly) and his response was well, very similar to yours (in regards to economics and the like), basically I was called a bad person and asked to unfriend

I don't remember the instance but I know I've removed about 20 people from my facebook account over the years for differing opinions. I hope I wasn't too much of a jackass to you. Facebook is weird. I'm allowed 5,000 friends until the end of time. I constantly try to keep my friends list trimmed to activist atheists who share my political and world views. As I think you'd agree you've never been treated like that on this site and I've been at the top the whole time. My friends list is trimmed... this site is allowed to bloat. And yes... the irony isn't lost that this site is the one that has a hard time finding the active users... fucking facebook!

 


 

 

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Beyond Saving wrote: Yeah,

Beyond Saving wrote:

 Yeah, I've been here for 7 years now and it seems like it comes and goes in waves. Every 6 months or so you go through a phase where it is really only the regulars for a few months.

All you have to do is admit you want Trump's hair style, admit you love the Redskins and ABBA. The world will follow you.

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as brian has stated the two

as brian has stated the two problems with old style forums is the change in the medium and how people move on.

today people use facebook or twitter, maybe pintrest or tumblr. they have different ways to express their beliefs but with out that in depth, detailed discussion. Then the few theists who have shown their selves here didn't last long. they come to preach or convert and they can't make progress because their belief system is flawed. So many of us are versed in their bible study style of discussion, they leave and don't return.

On a side note, i have found that discussing veganism is a lot more challenging than theism. i know dozens of vegans and their thought about what they eat is more rational than people who practice their religion. being a vegan isn't about being ignorant. it's in your face, literally. there is no faith involved.

The other issue with these forums is that people move on. They find their place and are comfortable with it. maybe they get sick of trying to argue their religion. in some cases they become afraid as their faith unravels so they hide. Either way the core of us left sort of have a synergy here. i believe it is the main reason why I stick around.

with IIDB and ratiothought now defunct. I literally have a limited number of places remaining. G+, FB and Twit are not my thing. these style of forums also remind  me of the BBS days. when the BBS's died out as the internet grew in to the WWW I lost the ability to interact with others on forums. So my presence here is partly nostalgic.

 


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Thanks for that info

Thanks for that info Sapient, I didn't realise the traffic was so high. Pretty cool.

@db: vegetarians are literally as faithful as theists. There is no rational reason for most people to be vegan. They are as fun to chew as theists are. :

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 As I said in my earlier

 As I said in my earlier post, I have dedicated some time to sifting through the 200 per day spam accounts to try and find the one real person.  I have activated some new users and have corresponded with a few via email.  As you see, Dutch Heretic has joined us and I believe Nickedg will be along shortly.  As for the other names, time will tell.  I will continue to sift through and attempt to find the real people!

 

Here are some new names you may see soon:

 

nickedg

sashafredricksen

Michaelages

AngelEyes00

Bazzil

almostbasic

Logicman14

freethinker_vin

Saif

DutchHeretic

Max T. Furr

Wael

bhsa

Roadrunner

Rational Marathoner

clear_air

brickleaf

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