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Question: Should reading posts be limited to forum members?
Yes!
No!

Author Topic: Should reading posts be limited to members?  (Read 1597 times)
Melooon
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« on: February 03, 2023 @926.30 »

Since this seems to be a divisive issue, Iv decided to put it to a vote! :4u:

In the past the forum was fully public - anything you posted could be read by anyone! Today we have been testing a new system where topic titles are public, but you must login to read peoples actual posts :omg:

Why did I consider this change?? - Mainly because it gives people the freedom to feel a bit more protected about what they post on the forum; it means if someone is banned they are no longer able to follow what you say and it means that the information is less exposed.

Why could this be a bad thing? - Well as some have pointed out, its not entirely in the spirit of the old web - it login-walls forum posts; and it potentially makes the forum less inviting to new people.

However you could also argue that a forum is not a publishing platform; sometimes the ideas we write here are half formed and not quite ready for the whole world to see? Or maybe you think thats not such an issue and its more important to be open?

So in this poll; think about what kind of balance you'd like to strike - the web is vast and full of many bad things; but hiding away is not always the best answer - what makes you feel most comfortable? Does knowing your posts are more or less readable change what you would post?

Feel free to expand on this discussion below! (Also try look at the forum when your logged out to see what its currently like in locked mode)
« Last Edit: February 03, 2023 @931.10 by Melooon » Logged


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« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2023 @928.36 »

I feel like forum culture has always been about the idea of communities, people can join if they want but if they don't feel like singing up then they probably won't want to be a part of the community in the first place. I vote for keeping it closed unless signed up but I'm open to hear other peoples opinions!
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« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2023 @952.67 »

Quoting my own opinion from another thread:


Quote
Personally, if you ask me, I don't feel like it matches the spirit of this forum and old web revival. I don't want it to become a closed garden like so many other sites out there. One should already take into consideration that everything we post on the internet is public and "out there". This information should be free! Not locked behind yet another login screen. Why shouldn't the world see this beautiful community and get inspired by it?


People with ill intentions would definitely go through the minor hassle of making a user.

Also, if I couldn't view the wonderful topics here before I registered, I don't think I would've ever made this account.

In your own words from Intro to the Web Revival:

"They value the ideals of free shared information and global connectivity expressed on the early internet."

Of course, it is your own forum at the end of the day, so you can do what you see to be right. But please do think about it from this perspective.

Just my humble opinion.

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« Reply #3 on: February 04, 2023 @297.64 »

Would it be possible to only wall off some boards? Maybe we could have a member's only area, like other forums I used to visit in the past.

I worry that if no one can read posts, they won't be bothered to join since they'll have no idea of what the community's like. I know I've decided against joining closed forums before because I had no idea of figuring out what the vibe was like, and I figured the exclusivity didn't indicate anything good (maybe that wasn't fair of me, but it's too late now).
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« Reply #4 on: February 04, 2023 @479.63 »

I feel like it's fine as it is right now so people know what they (can) sign up for, however if it's found out that bad actors are abusing the guest system then I would be fine with switching to user-only mode.
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« Reply #5 on: February 04, 2023 @481.01 »

I may be new here but I can safely say getting to read the various posts made throughout Melonland before joining was what made me consider joining up, and I've been trying to get another friend of mine to join up, sometimes i'll share the forum with them to see some of the neat stuff people talk about on here.

Think having posts be available for all to see would be fine and good to keep honestly!
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« Reply #6 on: February 04, 2023 @492.63 »

I think that generally it should be kept as it was. Forums are open-access by design, and I think if you share something here that a bad actor should not see, then you should not have posted it in a public forum anyway. Anyone dedicated could make a throwaway account anyway with minimal effort to stalk you anyway.

I think that reading posts and getting a vibe for the community on the other hand is an important part of the signup decision for new members though. Locking down the forum in my opinion will hinder our growth.
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loren
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« Reply #7 on: February 04, 2023 @695.15 »

i voted no, but mostly for my own convenience. i usually only log in if i am going to reply to something, otherwise i'm lurking in guest mode 

unless the community here wants to get strict about who can be a member (i do not think we should), there's not really a difference between someone without an account reading posts and a member who has never posted reading posts. right now about a quarter of melonland forum members have zero posts. keeping it locked may increase the number of these postless members, as anonymous lurkers would be forced to make an account or leave. those stats don't matter to me very much, but it's something i wanted to throw into the discussion anyway.



if you decide to keep things locked, right now there are still ways to read posts in guest mode:

  • everything on the recent posts page is visible, and it's easy to get to from the home page
  • user post pages (for example, here's mine) are also visible. not as directly accessible, but users concerned about privacy may not like that this is available for anyone to see

to keep things more private, these pages should probably be restricted to members as well. one compromise that may be work for both sides is having topics free to read by anyone, but individual user post pages are restricted to members only.


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wodaro
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« Reply #8 on: February 04, 2023 @709.14 »

I like sending interesting forum threads to my friends sometimes to spark discussions, it would kind of suck if I couldn't do that any more. A lot of them aren't really that interested in getting involved with the small web and wouldn't want to make an account.
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« Reply #9 on: February 04, 2023 @712.71 »

I definitely prefer forums having at least a few boards publicly accessible so I can gauge what the atmosphere is like and how active the place is before joining. If everything is locked down behind making an account or introduction I tend to decide not to join. I know other forums I’m on make their casual discussion and forum games boards public and keep everything else private, which is a nice balance for privacy. This place doesn’t really deal with heavy topics or sensitive info (as far as I’ve gathered) so it’s not a massive privacy issue if posts are readable, it’s just down to how everyone else feels about it.
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« Reply #10 on: February 04, 2023 @731.68 »

After reading a lot of these I've actually changed my mind, I remember first getting into the forums from reading a couple posts. I feel like maybe the suggestion of having a members only section is a good idea, it might even get people interested.
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Melooon
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« Reply #11 on: February 04, 2023 @768.87 »

Since just about everyone has voted against this so far; Iv rolled back this edit - all topics are now public to guests again!

However feel free to keep discussing if you like; the poll will remain open indefinitely.

:unite:
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« Reply #12 on: February 04, 2023 @840.19 »

i voted no, but mostly for my own convenience. i usually only log in if i am going to reply to something, otherwise i'm lurking in guest mode 
This 100%!

Also, there's been a few times where I was looking something up on the internet and landed in forums. I think walling off the forum would be bad for information out there, in case someone is looking up a topic (in this case old web discussions) and hits a wall having to log in. It's not an issue since Melonland is open for anyone to sign up, but it can be a bit annoying for someone who doesn't want to sign up for a couple posts. I understand where you're coming from, though, with wanting it to feel more comfortable and stuff. One forum I used to be on had a toggle to make specific threads "logged-in only". Maybe you could implement that? But then I'd worry people might use it for evil or something, once a site gets more private and walled off it seems to encourage unsavory behavior... I like the welcoming vibe of Melonland and I'd hate for it to change for the worse.
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Icey!
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« Reply #13 on: March 26, 2023 @57.07 »

What about having a checkbox so that only members can view your posts? or rather have it set so that some of your posts can only be viewed by members but others not?
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« Reply #14 on: April 13, 2023 @453.54 »

My answer to this is no because member-locked forums are very difficult to archive. The Wayback Machine won't be of help etc.
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