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Is it true that AppleInsider was a lot busier at one time than it currently is

post #1 of 31
Thread Starter 
AI is the first Mac site I ever frequented, it's still my favorite even though Macrumors has way more members, I first joined in 2008 and have visited almost every day since. Although, it seems to me that Google makes or breaks a website at it's slightest whim, Macrumors is almost always the first site to pop up whenever I type in Apple rumors or macrumors, I'm sorry to get off topic but I think that Google needs to realize just how much power they have, sites have become huge and administrators have become rich based on nothing more than Google always placing them first on the results page, their has to be a better way than this, a more fair way, the internet should be bustling with Mac sites, it seems to me that we only have one behemoth and a bunch of smaller sites that simply can't get in Googles good graces no matter what they do.
post #2 of 31
AppleInsider comes at number 2 for me so I don't think it matters much. AI gets indexed very heavily by Google. So much in fact that if you make a post and then Google the info you were posting about, often your post will be number one. Like type in Mac Mini RAM upgrade in Google and one of AI's threads is the second link you get.

Sometimes it's good not to have too many members because discussions get diluted.
post #3 of 31
In answer to the thread title, in the past I'm sure that AI had more members than it does now. I'm not quite sure what happened but apparently there was some severe disagreements about the website and a group broke off and formed AppleNova. I think this was referred to as the "Revolution".

One of the things I find interesting is how few members are signed on at any one time compared to the number of guests. Too bad more of the guests don't join.
post #4 of 31
The core group that originally set up Nova were among the people that initially built up this forum, serving as moderators, informal IT support and enthusiastic, frequent posters.

As such, they had a strong sense of ownership around the forums-- distinct from the AI news site. There was a disagreement regarding that autonomy, and the site ownership took some actions that rankled the folks who felt their sweat equity ought to give them some say in how things were managed. That's sort of the nice version, things got pretty charged there, for a while, with lots of posts being deleted and sort of secret side forums being setup, discovered and eliminated.

So they set up their own site where that wouldn't happen again and there would be a direct connection between the people running the site and the people who posted there (being the same people). Lots of people who posted at AI followed on over (since at the time the AI forums were a more cohesive community and people wanted to keep that sense of belonging). My impression is that these days the AI forums are far less "community" oriented and that any given group could make their exit and most people would barely notice, which I fear is a long term effect of losing so many of the early folk.

I have to say that in those days there was also far, far less trolling or borderline trolling of the sort that seems to be so prevalent now, again I would say because the fairly large group of committed community members saw the forums as a kind of friendly neighborhood, and cranks and malcontents were simply shown the door. Of course, some of that also has to do with Apple's changing status, but if you take a look at the Nova forums you'll notice that, while there are plenty of people who think Apple can be really stupid or are very fond of other platforms, there is very little of the kind of relentless negativity that we always seems to have at any given time, usually courtesy of three or four very active posters.

OTOH, I get the impression that AI has ended up a broader and more diverse group, for good or ill. We have much more of that random internet thing, with people always popping in for a few You Tube level comments, so the signal to noise ratio is much lower here. But I think that if you don't know the folks at Nova it can feel like walking into a neighborhood bar where everyone has been having the same conversation for a long time, and they just sort of stare at you until you win them over.
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They spoke of the sayings and doings of their commander, the grand duke, and told stories of his kindness and irascibility.
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post #5 of 31
The insider/nova epoch wasn't that significant in my opinion. It seemed like all but a few of the nova posters also continued to frequent insider.

The most significant change i've observed is in the nature of posts. Previously, apple was far less mainstream and members tended to be a more narrow niche of geek. Now that iWhatevers are everywhere and apple is in the news all the time, posts have really changed.

I'd even hazard a guess that the average age has gone down significantly. It used to be rare for a teenager to have their own personal Mac and to be personally invested in a platform. Now, not so much. That is even more true when figuring in iGadgets.

Interestingly, the Mac vs Windows vs Linux thing has died down, replaced by iPhone vs the world bickering. Desktop platform allegiance just isn't the in thing any more.
post #6 of 31
Considering Apple is done with their major transitions from one OS to another and one CPU to another there is a lot less to talk about. The sundry iDevices get updates and refreshes but ... that's small beer IMO.


What remains to discuss?
post #7 of 31
I agree with both addabox and dfiler in regards to how the forums have changed over the years.

Its a shame really. When I first started coming here you could learn a lot. And occasionally someone would have inside information that would slip out. I remember right before the iPhone came out there was healthy debate as to whether Apple would or wouldn't make such a device. Audiopollution posted how he thought the Apple phone would work and even had some screen shots showing off the features. It was incredibly accurate and foretelling. Everyone at the time that that his ideas were cool but I know I didn't believe that they would turn out to be so accurate. For the life of me I can't find that thread in the archives. Sometimes I wonder if that wasn't SJ posting. Another post that had an accurate prediction was Tailpipe predicting the unibody enclosure for the MBP machines. Everyone, including me, gave him shit but he turned out to be right.

Another poster, can't remember who, used to be able to predict when new machines were coming by the Apple updates. Apple doesn't tip there hand like that anymore, which I find to be a shame.

Anyway, there isn't as much of that anymore. Kind of a pity IMO. Now its all just a bunch of trolling. Most threads aren't worth responding to after the 3 page.
post #8 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by backtomac View Post

I agree with both addabox and dfiler in regards to how the forums have changed over the years.

Its a shame really. When I first started coming here you could learn a lot. And occasionally someone would have inside information that would slip out. I remember right before the iPhone came out there was healthy debate as to whether Apple would or wouldn't make such a device. Audiopollution posted how he thought the Apple phone would work and even had some screen shots showing off the features. It was incredibly accurate and foretelling. Everyone at the time that that his ideas were cool but I know I didn't believe that they would turn out to be so accurate. For the life of me I can't find that thread in the archives. Sometimes I wonder if that wasn't SJ posting. Another post that had an accurate prediction was Tailpipe predicting the unibody enclosure for the MBP machines. Everyone, including me, gave him shit but he turned out to be right.

Another poster, can't remember who, used to be able to predict when new machines were coming by the Apple updates. Apple doesn't tip there hand like that anymore, which I find to be a shame.:

I'm making plastics right now!

Quote:
Anyway, there isn't as much of that anymore. Kind of a pity IMO. Now its all just a bunch of trolling. Most threads aren't worth responding to after the 3 page.

Ain't that the truth. If it isn't the trolling, it's some kind of two person back and forth over some trivial point of grammar or logic that goes on for pages.

But I think you're right about the age thing--in addition to the trolling we've got easily offended kids (or at least they come off that way) that go to def-con 5 over the least thing, and then get obsessive over "winning" the subsequent flame war, with a great deal of LOLing and eye rolling and "everyone can tell you're a loser" sort of thing. Really, really tedious, although I must admit it also really speeds up scanning threads for signs of intelligent life.
They spoke of the sayings and doings of their commander, the grand duke, and told stories of his kindness and irascibility.
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They spoke of the sayings and doings of their commander, the grand duke, and told stories of his kindness and irascibility.
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post #9 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post

I'm making plastics right now!



Ain't that the truth. If it isn't the trolling, it's some kind of two person back and forth over some trivial point of grammar or logic that goes on for pages.

But I think you're right about the age thing--in addition to the trolling we've got easily offended kids (or at least they come off that way) that go to def-con 5 over the least thing, and then get obsessive over "winning" the subsequent flame war, with a great deal of LOLing and eye rolling and "everyone can tell you're a loser" sort of thing. Really, really tedious, although I must admit it also really speeds up scanning threads for signs of intelligent life.

I'll stay here if you do.

Us old timers need to stay to keep this place going!
post #10 of 31
A fond memory is of immediately prior to the release of the G5, when somebody posted a picture of an a G4 case with a cheese grater leaning against it. Nobody caught that this was an insider tip until much later. It predated any real G5 related form factor leak.
post #11 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by dfiler View Post

A fond memory is of immediately prior to the release of the G5, when somebody posted a picture of an a G4 case with a cheese grater leaning against it. Nobody caught that this was an insider tip until much later. It predated any real G5 related form factor leak.

I don't remember that one, maybe it was before I was lurking around here. Still that is the kind of stuff that brings me here. That and the good help you can get.
post #12 of 31
Huh. This is kinda funny. I was going to look for links to the Worker Bee saga (as long as we're on memory lane) and got this Wiki hit, which is the entire entry on AI and which mainly features the fact that Worker Bee got sued.

And who can forget the epic Temporary Insanity thread the night before the Sunflower iMac got released, driven into total hysteria by Apple's seemingly directed straight at us "Beyond the rumor sites. Way beyond" front page text taunt?

And then those of us staying up much past our bed times got the first look at the premature Canadian Time cover shot, with the usual cries of "Fake!" and "Photoshop!"

Good times.
They spoke of the sayings and doings of their commander, the grand duke, and told stories of his kindness and irascibility.
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They spoke of the sayings and doings of their commander, the grand duke, and told stories of his kindness and irascibility.
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post #13 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post

And who can forget the epic Temporary Insanity thread the night before the Sunflower iMac got released, driven into total hysteria by Apple's seemingly directed straight at us "Beyond the rumor sites. Way beyond" front page text taunt?

And then those of us staying up much past our bed times got the first look at the premature Canadian Time cover shot, with the usual cries of "Fake!" and "Photoshop!"

Good times.

Indeed, those were the days. The helianthus iMac hint on Apple's own pages was something without precedent.

Now that nostalgia kicks in, I remember also the iMac G5 elevator pictures and the Apple's own leak just two or three days before the introduction of the Power Mac G5 back in 2003. What a frenzy in the forums after the desperate years with the G4!

At some point Apple dropped the word "computer" from its corporate name. This was a clear sign for things to come and, I believe, not irrelevant to what happens in the forum today.
post #14 of 31
I still miss MadTool and PopMetal. Those were the screen names right? What happened to Ca$h from MacNN? Probably killed himself on a Gixxer.


Even Ars doesn't get into Mac articles as much as they used to. Things are more boring than they used to be.
post #15 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by FloorJack View Post

Even Ars doesn't get into Mac articles as much as they used to. Things are more boring than they used to be.

It is normal. Apple moved the focus from Mac OS X and computers to iOS and iThings. Mac OS X is already a very mature OS although there is always room for improvement and innovation. Macintosh hardware became more mainstream after the Intel transition. All these are probably good moves for a successful company plan in the long term, but somehow the traditional momentum and enthusiasm is being lost.
post #16 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by FloorJack View Post

I still miss MadTool and PopMetal. Those were the screen names right? What happened to Ca$h from MacNN? Probably killed himself on a Gixxer.


Even Ars doesn't get into Mac articles as much as they used to. Things are more boring than they used to be.

I miss MadTool and the crazy Windows Paint looking Truth Train pics. Ca$h is still hopping around Macnn forums, unless they banned him again.

Was MadTool before or after the great AI blackout???

Haven't been to AI in quite some time, surprised I remembered my login details.
post #17 of 31
That would be.....

Da TrUTh TRaIN!

They spoke of the sayings and doings of their commander, the grand duke, and told stories of his kindness and irascibility.
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They spoke of the sayings and doings of their commander, the grand duke, and told stories of his kindness and irascibility.
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post #18 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by PB View Post

It is normal. Apple moved the focus from Mac OS X and computers to iOS and iThings. Mac OS X is already a very mature OS although there is always room for improvement and innovation. Macintosh hardware became more mainstream after the Intel transition. All these are probably good moves for a successful company plan in the long term, but somehow the traditional momentum and enthusiasm is being lost.

I think what you're really talking about is the bunker mentality we long-time Apple enthusiasts "enjoyed" back in the good old/bad old days, when Apple's survival was doubted by nearly everyone, and their loyalists were routinely ridiculed, if not interrogated about their sanity. We huddled together for whatever mutual warmth we could find, like one of the smaller lost tribes of Israel. According to my memory, it wasn't that much fun.

Back then, I was one of the founding members of a group called MacMarines (a successor to Guy Kawasaki's Evangelist), which worked to counter all of the bad press Apple was receiving, and it was pretty much all bad. We gathered annually at MacWorld Expos and commiserated over dinner. I recall those days, but not with as much fondness as some.
Please don't be insane.
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Please don't be insane.
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post #19 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post

I think what you're really talking about is the bunker mentality we long-time Apple enthusiasts "enjoyed" back in the good old/bad old days, when Apple's survival was doubted by nearly everyone, and their loyalists were routinely ridiculed, if not interrogated about their sanity. We huddled together for whatever mutual warmth we could find, like one of the smaller lost tribes of Israel. According to my memory, it wasn't that much fun.

Back then, I was one of the founding members of a group called MacMarines (a successor to Guy Kawasaki's Evangelist), which worked to counter all of the bad press Apple was receiving, and it was pretty much all bad. We gathered annually at MacWorld Expos and commiserated over dinner. I recall those days, but not with as much fondness as some.

True enough, but in the case of the Apple Insider forums, that shared sense of beleaguered sub-culture also fostered a pretty cohesive group of people with shared interests beyond Apple ownership. Most certainly in part because Apple ownership, in those days, was likely drawing from a fairly narrow demographic. These forums featured very lively conversations about anything and everything-- at times Apple kit seemed like the least of it.

Open online communities are pretty mutable things, since the barriers to entry and exit are very low and the potential membership base is pretty much anyone on the planet. It's very difficult to establish a convivial tone without onerous rules, or a deliberately cultivated obscurity.

At any rate, once that core group split off, these forums never again had quite the same sense of ongoing shared conversation amongst friends, for good or ill. Admittedly, a self limiting roster of "insiders" who dominate the proceedings can also lead to stagnation and an enervating, self-referential tone, but clearly a wide open free for all can lead to a lot of random nonsense and many a thread swamped out by people who have no particular affinity to the site or its members.

But you're certainly right that in the case of this here particular Mac site the changing fortunes of Apple changes the likely profile of the average poster. I notice that Ars Technica, and the Mac forums therein, seem to manage a pretty focused discussion. Not sure if that's because Ars is relatively technical and attracts a lot of pretty well informed people, or if the moderation is different, or if there are instances of boneheads wandering in and getting their asses scorched off, but I would say that the better part of it is the stable group of regular posters who informally set a tone and create at least the sense that simply bursting in and shooting your mouth off isn't going to go over very well-- or at least if you're going to do that it might be wise to have a coherent argument. Which is to say that a critical mass of invested members to the point that intelligent discussion is the norm rather than the exception obviously helps a lot, and that once you cross a threshold into dithering mob it may be difficult to reassert any sense of cohesiveness (see also 99% of the internet).
They spoke of the sayings and doings of their commander, the grand duke, and told stories of his kindness and irascibility.
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They spoke of the sayings and doings of their commander, the grand duke, and told stories of his kindness and irascibility.
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post #20 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post

True enough, but in the case of the Apple Insider forums, that shared sense of beleaguered sub-culture also fostered a pretty cohesive group of people with shared interests beyond Apple ownership. Most certainly in part because Apple ownership, in those days, was likely drawing from a fairly narrow demographic. These forums featured very lively conversations about anything and everything-- at times Apple kit seemed like the least of it.

Open online communities are pretty mutable things, since the barriers to entry and exit are very low and the potential membership base is pretty much anyone on the planet. It's very difficult to establish a convivial tone without onerous rules, or a deliberately cultivated obscurity.

At any rate, once that core group split off, these forums never again had quite the same sense of ongoing shared conversation amongst friends, for good or ill. Admittedly, a self limiting roster of "insiders" who dominate the proceedings can also lead to stagnation and an enervating, self-referential tone, but clearly a wide open free for all can lead to a lot of random nonsense and many a thread swamped out by people who have no particular affinity to the site or its members.

But you're certainly right that in the case of this here particular Mac site the changing fortunes of Apple changes the likely profile of the average poster. I notice that Ars Technica, and the Mac forums therein, seem to manage a pretty focused discussion. Not sure if that's because Ars is relatively technical and attracts a lot of pretty well informed people, or if the moderation is different, or if there are instances of boneheads wandering in and getting their asses scorched off, but I would say that the better part of it is the stable group of regular posters who informally set a tone and create at least the sense that simply bursting in and shooting your mouth off isn't going to go over very well-- or at least if you're going to do that it might be wise to have a coherent argument. Which is to say that a critical mass of invested members to the point that intelligent discussion is the norm rather than the exception obviously helps a lot, and that once you cross a threshold into dithering mob it may be difficult to reassert any sense of cohesiveness (see also 99% of the internet).

As I say, the good old days weren't so great as we might like to remember. I'm prepared to live with the consequences of the success of Apple and the historical nature of their resurgence both as a company and as an alternative to the Microsoft juggernaut. It's a thing few thought could ever happen, and many said that it never even should. I'll bet that few of us will live to see the likes of this remarkable transformation again. If the fact that it happened also caused random communities like these to become a little less chummy, well, then so be it. I never did fully appreciate the feeling of being a member of a group on the hairy edge of extinction. I've been released from Turkish prison and even if I don't see my fellow inmates as often anymore, I am very much enjoying the sunlight.

Nota bene: During the 1990s I was invited to speak at an Amiga conference. You would hardly have known that the platform was effectively dead by that time, for the enthusiasm of this small group of die-hards. The people were great, lots of esprit de corp in defense of their hopeless cause. I couldn't help thinking, "in five years this could be me." Scary.
Please don't be insane.
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Please don't be insane.
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post #21 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post

That would be.....

Da TrUTh TRaIN!


Haha, thanks for the memory.
post #22 of 31
[hartman]Good Times[/hartman]
post #23 of 31
Since we're going down memory lane, wasn't there this guy from the Toronto area, Matsu maybe, who seemed to have a different Mac every two weeks or so?
post #24 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by OldCodger73 View Post

Since we're going down memory lane, wasn't there this guy from the Toronto area, Matsu maybe, who seemed to have a different Mac every two weeks or so?

Matsu's still active over at the other place.
They spoke of the sayings and doings of their commander, the grand duke, and told stories of his kindness and irascibility.
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They spoke of the sayings and doings of their commander, the grand duke, and told stories of his kindness and irascibility.
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post #25 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by PBG4 Dude View Post

Haven't been to AI in quite some time, surprised I remembered my login details.

Ditto.
post #26 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by PBG4 Dude View Post

I miss MadTool and the crazy Windows Paint looking Truth Train pics. Ca$h is still hopping around Macnn forums, unless they banned him again.

Was MadTool before or after the great AI blackout???

Haven't been to AI in quite some time, surprised I remembered my login details.

As I recall, wasn't MadTool, along with Miss Tron, a 68k alter ego? They were all pre-blackout.

Even Trumptman's big lie was um... trumped... by that little piece of deception-in-the-name-of-sociological-research.

I miss Leonis and his comic, I miss michaelm8000 and his icons (and I was proud of his being hired at 17 years old by Delicious Monster and later, Apple), I miss Mandolux and his desktops and I miss The Illustrator and his mockups. I also miss Mac O' the Isles for his humor, though I'm sure he was someone's alter ego as well.

Me... a long, long time ago, I had the alter ego "Axle of Elvis". That handle is long since retired (I don't think I registered it after the blackout) and I don't have any other handles now.
post #27 of 31
Oh... and I miss Groverat and his unbalanced moderation, too...
post #28 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by BB Sting View Post

Is it true that AppleInsider was a lot busier at one time than it currently is

Yes, but the 'attendance' varies wildly depending on whether Apple has recently launched, or is expected to launch, new products.
post #29 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post

True enough, but in the case of the Apple Insider forums, that shared sense of beleaguered sub-culture also fostered a pretty cohesive group of people with shared interests beyond Apple ownership. Most certainly in part because Apple ownership, in those days, was likely drawing from a fairly narrow demographic. These forums featured very lively conversations about anything and everything-- at times Apple kit seemed like the least of it.

Open online communities are pretty mutable things, since the barriers to entry and exit are very low and the potential membership base is pretty much anyone on the planet. It's very difficult to establish a convivial tone without onerous rules, or a deliberately cultivated obscurity.

At any rate, once that core group split off, these forums never again had quite the same sense of ongoing shared conversation amongst friends, for good or ill. Admittedly, a self limiting roster of "insiders" who dominate the proceedings can also lead to stagnation and an enervating, self-referential tone, but clearly a wide open free for all can lead to a lot of random nonsense and many a thread swamped out by people who have no particular affinity to the site or its members.

But you're certainly right that in the case of this here particular Mac site the changing fortunes of Apple changes the likely profile of the average poster. I notice that Ars Technica, and the Mac forums therein, seem to manage a pretty focused discussion. Not sure if that's because Ars is relatively technical and attracts a lot of pretty well informed people, or if the moderation is different, or if there are instances of boneheads wandering in and getting their asses scorched off, but I would say that the better part of it is the stable group of regular posters who informally set a tone and create at least the sense that simply bursting in and shooting your mouth off isn't going to go over very well-- or at least if you're going to do that it might be wise to have a coherent argument. Which is to say that a critical mass of invested members to the point that intelligent discussion is the norm rather than the exception obviously helps a lot, and that once you cross a threshold into dithering mob it may be difficult to reassert any sense of cohesiveness (see also 99% of the internet).

While I agree that it is hard for any forums to lose what would probably amount to half their top twenty posters, as you note the barrier to entry is low and people from all over the world can and have come in to fill that void.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dfiler View Post

The insider/nova epoch wasn't that significant in my opinion. It seemed like all but a few of the nova posters also continued to frequent insider.

The most significant change i've observed is in the nature of posts. Previously, apple was far less mainstream and members tended to be a more narrow niche of geek. Now that iWhatevers are everywhere and apple is in the news all the time, posts have really changed.

I'd even hazard a guess that the average age has gone down significantly. It used to be rare for a teenager to have their own personal Mac and to be personally invested in a platform. Now, not so much. That is even more true when figuring in iGadgets.

Interestingly, the Mac vs Windows vs Linux thing has died down, replaced by iPhone vs the world bickering. Desktop platform allegiance just isn't the in thing any more.

In my opinion, the change in the nature and tone of the forums is easily understood and easily fixable by the management. They've not chosen to do so but that is their choice. The nature of discussion on here has changed because instead of users starting threads about whatever they want and then having them wander in a number of interesting and informative directions, the powers that be generate a new thread for every topic they discuss on the front news page. You go any any of the major forums or sub-forums and all the topics are started by "Appleinsider".

You are still free to start a thread, but it isn't as if the people running the board will merge the two or heed the fact one has already been started on that topic in the event that a news post is made that happens to hit a previously started thread. So if someone starts a speculation thread say along the lines of "My stock discussion board found this guy who said this company is suppying a thin camera module for the next iPad." If AppleInsider runs across the same information, a thread will show up "Rumored Possible Supplier for Next iPad Camera" and it will be right next to the user started thread. This makes posting a passive and reactionary experience and even if you don't become that way, the energies and efforts end up divided.

It's going to pretty much remain that way when you walk into every forum and 90% of the threads are started for comments to news items. When you go to competing news/forum sites, MacRumors as an example they have a specific sub-forum called MacRumors.com News Discussion and that is where all the news generated threads and replies to them go. This leaves all the broader forums available for user generated posts, speculation and discussion. It is a practice I wish they would adopt here.


Quote:
Originally Posted by tonton View Post

Oh... and I miss Groverat and his unbalanced moderation, too...

Unbalanced in more ways than one.

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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post #30 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by trumptman View Post

Unbalanced in more ways than one.

True, that.
post #31 of 31
I think the only two people I miss are PowerDoc and Belle (sp?).
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