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Neowinians - Help Your Community Out


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#1 Nick H.

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Posted 19 March 2012 - 16:44

Preface: If a member of staff feels that this is more of a rant than an attempt at something constructive, please feel free to move it to the soapbox.

I don't pretend to be an authority around Neowin. I like to think that I follow the rules and help others when they seem to slip. With that said, I've noticed something that seems to have grown in the community since I first signed up back in 2004; complainers. Now I'm not saying that there hasn't always been a part of the community that hasn't felt at one time or another that the Neowin that they once signed up to is not what we have today. But in recent years more people seem to be a lot more vocal about it.

This confuses me. For one, I like the community that we have today. It can range from being laid back about a subject that has no substance (Exhibit A) to getting to points of genuine aggression when presented with a topic that has a lot of room for serious debate (Exhibit B).

Secondly, this confuses me because when someone complains, they don't seem to do so in a constructive manner. A majority of the time I read a comment from someone in the news section that just says, "Neowin has lost its way since when I first came here." I can understand some people and their frustration, but their post has nothing constructive to offer with regards to how Neowin could improve itself.

I'm going to take a moment and present some simple points about Neowin which hopefully won't need much explanation for people to agree:
  • Neowin is a free website. You are not obligated to pay money to view the content here (although obviously the website appreciates the donations ;) )
  • The staff members are not paid for their work. (Well, not in every case. My understanding is that their job is more volunteer work than a full-time job).
  • Neowin is the community.
This last point brings me to the purpose of this thread. Neowin is a community. The community is Neowin. But what does this mean?

This means that if you have a problem with the way things are going, say something! But make it constructive criticism, and have a level of respect when you're doing so.
As an example, someone making posts that just says, "this article is pointless" aren't doing anything to guide the other members (i.e. the writers) of this community. Instead, why not use the functions that we've been provided with - I'm referring to the "Report a problem" button that is on every article - where you can voice your objection and also suggest how the article could be improved? The best thing about this option is that when it comes to the comment being reviewed, it's only the people that have the power to make the edit that can see it.
I'll tell you why that's important for our community, and it comes back to what I mentioned earlier - respect. If you want Neowin and its community to be respected, that can only start if you show respect for one another first. Don't try and drag the writer's name through the dirt just because you noticed a spelling mistake that got past moderation. Let them know privately and watch as the changes happen.

Here is a second idea for you: Write your own article. If you think that you can do a better job at something, why not give it a go rather than ridiculing someone for their attempt? I'm sure there is the potential for your article to be published on Neowin. Indeed, I know that to be fact thanks to seeing reviews of things that have appeared on the front page and yet been written by a member of the forum.

A third - and I think final - idea to consider relates to another set of comments that seem to constantly make the rounds. "Neowin is only just reporting on this? I read about this X days ago on WebsiteY."
Honestly, how are you being a benefit to the community if you read something that the community doesn't know about, and then don't let the community know? That might seem like an attack at various people who have voiced these thoughts in their comments in the past, but I'm genuine in my question. How can you expect a community to be ahead of the news if no one in the community takes the time to spread the news? You don't even need to write the article for this to take affect. Instead, there is a big button at the top of every single page of Neowin that says, "Contact us." You could use that and link to the article that you read. If you're not sure whether the news is front-page worthy or not, why not head to the Back Page News section of the site? Follow the rules in there (don't quote the whole article, link to the source) and post the thread. If the staff consider it to be news-worthy then they'll take the appropriate steps and give you credit for the tip off.

I would really appreciate some feedback on this issue. It seems to me that a small part of the community are complaining about the direction of Neowin, and yet there appears to be no acting from the same section of the community that complain about the issues. If anyone has any suggestions as to how Neowin can change for the better then I'd be happy to hear them, as I'm sure the staff will.

EDIT: Whoops, I mistyped a link. Let the complainers rain fire down upon me.


#2 +Frank B.

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Posted 19 March 2012 - 17:00

Your thread is spot on. It does seem like too many members are taking to complaining for the sake of it. Or to provoke staff members.

I too am interested to see which ideas the community have to deal with this issue.

(Small complaint about your post btw: The link to exhibit b is buggered up)

#3 Muhammad Farrukh

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Posted 19 March 2012 - 17:02

(Y) Double time.

While I am not as old here as you or some people are, I am not that new either.
Found Neowin back in late 2008, November it was, I think, but didn't signed up because of some reasons. Followed it for about a couple of years, and was very happy to join the community and I regret the fact that I didn't, earlier.

Now to the point Intrinsica made, I am sure a lot of us know this guy
Spoiler
always has a point. Almost all of the posts by him/her are sensible, including this one, except for some in The Thread Formerly Known As... :laugh:

Intrinsica has a very valid point here. Though back in 2008/2009, and even in 2010, I didn't see that much of these people or lets say, complaints.
Yes, its an essential part of every forum, but saying that this guy or his threads don't make sense and should be banned or something are absolutely ridiculous.
Just today, I saw a thread, made by X, won't call names, about Y, whose threads weren't 'entertaining' for X. He was requesting the staff to ban him or something.
I mean seriously, man? There is an option to ignore a user. Why don't you go that way?

I think this should be taken in a positive way. Intrinsica has made a very good point here, and we should all appreciate it and try to impose it.

#4 Geoffrey B.

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Posted 19 March 2012 - 17:07

I fully agree, and i like the idea of if someone does not like an article to write your own. The submit info/article/link button is always there and for anyone to use. It does not just have to be staff that gets their info out there.

#5 OP Nick H.

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Posted 19 March 2012 - 17:09

(Small complaint about your post btw: The link to exhibit b is buggered up)

Fixed. I never pretended to be perfect, especially with my own editorials. :p

Almost all of the posts by him/her are sensible, including this one, except for some in The Thread Formerly Known As... :laugh:

My posts in that forum are always relevant...well, as relevant as a random thread can be. :)

I think this should be taken in a positive way. Intrinsica has made a very good point here, and we should all appreciate it and try to impose it.

I appreciate that. Oddly enough it was the earlier post that you were referring to that was the straw that broke the camel's back for me, as the saying goes.

#6 firey

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Posted 19 March 2012 - 19:43

Posted Image

'nuff said.

#7 FMH

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 11:56

I agree. But Neowin news section is much better than BGR's. They get ripped really hard a lot of times, by commentators.

Though our editorials also get a very strict response.

#8 Steven P.

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 12:00

Big thumbs up from me (Y)

#9 arachnoid

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 12:31

I belong to quite a few forums, some white hat some not and the theme is common amongst them all,in that there are those who wil endevour to create a community atmosphere by adding their own posona to the collective thus making the staid software come to life thus encouraging lively debate.On the other hand there are those in life whos sole purpose is to emulate Victor Meldrew whenever possible and there are some whos grammer nazis would make an English teachers eyes shed a tear of joy.
People just dont like change is the answer to some of it, you should see the arguments discusions when forum software gets updated but sometimes one has to take life with a pinch of salt.Take the rough with the smooth and realise at the end of the day its your choice to be here and participate [or not] much like television theres plenty of channels to choose from :D

The above is meant in a humerous and jovial manner and not to be taken personally

#10 +Nik L

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 12:36

Yup!

#11 arachnoid

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 12:59

Yup!


That would be " I dont believe it!" :D

#12 vetScorpus

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 14:15

  • The staff members are not paid for their work. (Well, not in every case. My understanding is that their job is more volunteer work than a full-time job).


...well we (the news staff) are, but yes for the most part its volunteering.

Also I completely agree with everything you say, and on the topic of annoying news posts here are the types that really get me annoyed.
  • Making a big deal of a minor spelling error in the comments, calling out our bad proof-reading and "unprofessional journalism" or whatnot, but not using the report button
  • Saying something irrelevant, unhelpful and troll-worthy on news about a certain thing, eg. commenters saying "Metro sucks, I'll never upgrade to Windows 8" on an article about leaked Windows 8 features.
  • Claiming an unsourced "statistic" or general assumption/opinion about a product is absolute fact


#13 arachnoid

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 14:27

  • Claiming an unsourced "statistic" or general assumption/opinion about a product is absolute fact



And that 100% true :D

[Sorry just couldn`t resist]

#14 Barney T.

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 14:34

Big, BIG thumbs up from me! (Y) (Y)

#15 Brandon C.

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 14:39

  • The staff members are not paid for their work. (Well, not in every case. My understanding is that their job is more volunteer work than a full-time job).

We just do this in our free time. I know myself and others try to squeeze in moderating and whatnot in little pieces during our work day and real lives.