Outgrowing the forums

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Outgrowing the forums

Unread postby Sherri » 23 February 2019, 19:22

I've been doing some musing since coming back the other day and I don't know of a great place to start so I'm going to dive right in.

The question I've been asking myself is whether I've outgrown the forums or the forums have simply changed into something that isn't all that pleasant any more. First, understand that as the only chick here, I don't have any sexual incentive to be here. No crushes, no flirting, etc. I don't ever go into the photo forums. The extent of GFO (and even on GTF) for me has always been clicking the Discussions tab that includes the Intros, Relationships & Sex, and General Discussions forums and lumps their activity into one easy to scroll page. That's probably quite different from the way that most people utilize the forum, so it likely plays a roll in why I don't enjoy it any more.

In the past, I've had little hiatuses, but even when I'm not posting, I logged in just about every day and looked. I read most topics. I don't even know how long it's been since I logged in prior to coming back the other day. Months maybe? But upon looking around, I realized that I don't miss it. The good topics are what we've labeled the daily threads (what's bothering you/made you laugh/etc) and the rest are mostly pure shit. I turn 30 on Tuesday. I have no patience for the consistently fucking weird threads we have all the time here. I've come a few times this week only to see these threads:

- "I'm in my late 20's and not attracted to my girlfriend unless I get drunk first and want to fuck guys but not have relationships with them" --- Classic case of a dude who's gay and hasn't figured it out yet but will get there given time to experiment with men, but probably he'll be like most of the people we see posting here and cheat on his girlfriend while thinking he's doing her a favor by not leaving in order to figure himself out

- "My boyfriend says I'm not tight enough for him to cum" complete with descriptions of boyfriend's dick and plenty of details about the sex they have -- I know we're a gay forum, but why here? Regulars don't post this stuff. It's always some rando new member who posts some situation like this and never comes back aside from getting the question answered. Do these people not know about reddit? I'd say the vast majority of the core community ignores these posts but they're still there front and center when you visit so how are we supposed to keep new members with this stuff being the only original topic content? And what's the answer if we decide we don't want it? We've never been about censorship and it makes me uneasy to think about just deleting these threads.

- "Straight guys keep soliciting me to pay them for gay-for-pay sex and I run the other way" -- What in the actual fuck even is this thread? Why post this? Again, it's a new member with few posts and like, does he think this is normal? Does he think this is something we can advise him on because it's a problem experienced by any significant number of people in their daily lives in rural communities?

I have a lot of patience for relationship problems and the "Am I gay?" type of threads, which makes me feel like a hypocritical bitch when I see these graphically detailed sex advice threads and react by getting frustrated and wanting these people to go the fuck away. But point blank, I miss interacting with you gays but simultaneously get so annoyed seeing these threads that I end up just not coming here. I know others must feel the same way about some of this stuff because we've had discussions about how ridiculous it is before.

I'd like you guys' thoughts/opinions on it, whether you think I'm just being a diva about it or you're also annoyed with it. Is it a problem? If it is, what are some possible solutions?
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Re: Outgrowing the forums

Unread postby Derek » 23 February 2019, 19:43

Forums themselves are a dying media. The people who find their way here are generally oblivious to the fact that it's not a platform for sex and sex advice, probably because there are very few forums anymore that are casual and social.

Also at the risk of sounding bigoted, more and more traffic on the internet these days comes from Asia and East Europe and those people often don't have any clue how people are supposed to behave online.
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Re: Outgrowing the forums

Unread postby acpro » 23 February 2019, 20:00

There's been a shit ton of weird threads lately.
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Re: Outgrowing the forums

Unread postby Stardust » 23 February 2019, 20:20

This is a great way to welcome newcomers, congratulations.
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Re: Outgrowing the forums

Unread postby Brasileiro » 23 February 2019, 21:34

What bothers me more is why there are sex , sexuality and relation threads in the general discussions forum and probably vice versa (have not really looked). Surely these can be moved to the right forums? And why rudeness is allowed. I often think there are no moderators at all.

Sexual explicit stuff bothers me when it is clearly bull shit, and that should be removed in my opinion. It seems like some get here for a turn on or plain trolling. But if it is relevant, I do not mind. A gay forum is not a place for taboos.
Some newcomers are really looking for support and knowledge. Why beat around the bush?

I came here because my to go to forum quit and the rest did not appeal to me. But soon after joined, a few years ago, I left because a few guys seem to dominate and in a agressive way too. I am sure they thought it was amusing, but it was not for people outside their clan.
I came back recently and things are better. I can also deal with the bullshit better and know who and what to avoid.
I still find it very "masculine" and rude in general, although some users are very nice and openminded.

And yes ofcourse it is possible to outgrow a forum. Especially if you have been active for a while. You get a lot of the same questions. On the other hand, just like teachers that have to go over and over the same stuff with new classes, I feel the seniors should have patience with the newcomers. It might be life changing for them.
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Re: Outgrowing the forums

Unread postby poolerboy0077 » 23 February 2019, 21:43

Sherri wrote:The question I've been asking myself is whether I've outgrown the forums or the forums have simply changed into something that isn't all that pleasant any more.

I feel like it's the latter. Forums are simply the conduits for socialization, and while the type of medium used in doing that may change over time, socialization isn't something one simply outgrows.

When I first joined GTFN in 2006 and then GTF in 2007, it was at a time when we didn't have much social media around except Myspace, so finding a forum made sense. What lured me to our earlier forum, besides the obvious yearning for a gay community around my age group, was that it had funny and interesting people. You had Huevos Grande who was our resident troll creep. You had Ichol who was like Derek but 100 times more condescending and vicious. You had witty posters like Cali_Editor (Colin) to provide comedic relief. You had a handful of really smart people who would say insightful things. And you had people who were just your typical teen/20-something who you could just shoot the shit with. It was laid back, though sometimes chaotic and dramatic at times because mixing homosexuality and youth creates this sort of climate, but it was really enjoyable for sure.

One thing I always resented was when people would use the forum just for self-discovery or self-esteem-building and then leave. But I guess the phenomenon of ceasing to talk to certain friends and moving on is something I'm guilty of myself in real life. I feel like I mostly frequent these forums because of the last few remaining people I've connected with over the years. It's not only hard for me to leave something I've been so accustomed to doing for well over a decade but also hard to stop talking to all the people I've grown fond of over the years.

As for these shit threads, well, we've always had them since the existence of these forums but we have been noticeably getting more of them. I think part of that is just that it's mostly Brenden all by himself who is regulating the forums. Rene rarely visits and our other mods are AWOL--not blaming you or anything, just making an observation. But as Derek said, because forums are a dying media it's harder to get normal members than weirdos, because we're a mom-and-pop shop trying to compete against giant, highly popular corporations.
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Re: Outgrowing the forums

Unread postby GaySpacePirateKing » 23 February 2019, 22:15

Sherri wrote:- "My boyfriend says I'm not tight enough for him to cum" complete with descriptions of boyfriend's dick and plenty of details about the sex they have -- I know we're a gay forum, but why here? Regulars don't post this stuff.


So the fuck what.

Honestly I think this forum should be more welcoming towards that kind of stuff. This is a gay forum after all and I am all for people expressing their sexuality, talking about their dicks and giving explicit details about the kind of sex they are having if they want to as it can be liberating.

There should at least be a section of the forum where this kind of content is allowed.
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Re: Outgrowing the forums

Unread postby GaySpacePirateKing » 23 February 2019, 22:23

Derek wrote:Also at the risk of sounding bigoted, more and more traffic on the internet these days comes from Asia and East Europe and those people often don't have any clue how people are supposed to behave online.


Says an American. :rolleyes:
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Re: Outgrowing the forums

Unread postby Yeauxleaux » 23 February 2019, 22:49

I'm not bothered by it so much as I just kind of roll my eyes at some of the more stupid ones. Occasionally I'll comment if it seems genuine enough.

I get the frustration as far as people who make an account literally just to make some stupid thread like the ones said. However it's more because it's just a random person than the thread itself. If someone who had been active on here for a while did one, or even if they were a new member but they asked a "weird" question but then remained active outside of it, I'm less bothered.

The only time I'm really like "wtf" (not annoyed or even surprised, just a bit judge-y) is when you have people who come on with dilemmas about fucking married men, or cheating on their own spouses. You know that's a shitty thing to do, you don't need to make an account to come onto a forum in some pathetic attempt to be validated, by what you assume are "seedy gay men" who will support that shit (when by and large, we don't).

I'm not bothered by vulgarity. I can't imagine any kids, especially young ones, sitting here browsing this forum in the first place so I don't think there's really a need to censor vulgar language (explicit pictures I do understand, we have to draw a line somewhere).

Then again, I don't really consider myself being a "regular" member and I never really have been, I just come and go as I please, so I get that my opinions probably don't hold as much weight as the core members. As to why I am so sporadic myself - frankly this forum isn't busy enough most of the time for it to be consistently exciting for me.
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Re: Outgrowing the forums

Unread postby Sherri » 23 February 2019, 23:15

A few general thoughts without quoting any one specific user:

This forum exists because of censorship on another forum that drove a lot of their users to create a space where favoritism and censorship would not come into things. If it seems like we're a godless unmoderated wasteland, that's why. It's a direct response to prior circumstances and I have always been for it. As a community, we have always moderated ourselves. However, as some noticed, it didn't translate as well on GFO as it did on the teen forum. My working hypothesis is that the aggression was always watered down by active, more mellow users on the teen forum, and most of them have not made the jump to GFO in their adult lives because they outgrew the need for a forum for socialisation. That said, the outright rude people have also left. There isn't much aggression these days and it's viewed as distasteful and unnecessarily dramatic when it does happen. Most people roll their eyes and ignore it.

Forums clearly can still be successful -- reddit is the most popular website on earth and it's just a giant host for subforums to be moderated as each subforum sees fit. That said, the difference between them and us is that this is a community. Reddit exists for communication but not community -- it's largely founded on the ideal of anonymously sharing opinions. Identifying yourself and building a community runs counter to what it was established for/is used for, so that doesn't happen.

I enjoyed the community we had on GFO even if it was small and not super active. Random users coming in and posting off the wall stuff then leaving don't add anything to that community and I'd venture to guess that they stunt us from growing the community because they're off-putting. If I came to GFO today as a new user, no way I'd stay with that being the majority of the new thread content.

To Yeauxleaux in particular, I'd disagree heartily. You're the epitome of a quality regular user. You have a life outside of the internet and you don't always come here, but when you do, you show up with good advice and interesting contributions. You're well-regarded by the community. We may not know all about you but we know who you are because you consistently return. Ideally, I'd want more members like that, who come back over time and contribute to quality posting.

I joined GTF because I had a need for socialisation in a rural area, and I found a niche in advising others who were younger than I was but stuck in a similar situation. These days, we've all grown up, moved out, moved on, and don't need that kind of advising. I come here because I want to, because it's nice to talk to people with differing opinions and see how everybody is doing and even meet new people. The state of the forums makes that much less nice and more annoying.
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Re: Outgrowing the forums

Unread postby GaySpacePirateKing » 23 February 2019, 23:18

Yeauxleaux wrote:The only time I'm really like "wtf" (not annoyed or even surprised, just a bit judge-y) is when you have people who come on with dilemmas about fucking married men, or cheating on their own spouses. You know that's a shitty thing to do, you don't need to make an account to come onto a forum in some pathetic attempt to be validated, by what you assume are "seedy gay men" who will support that shit (when by and large, we don't).


It must be a pretty damn complicated and a difficult situation though if you have a wife or girlfriend, but your having homosexual thoughts, want sex with men and you don't know what to do. Its also probably pretty common giving that heterosexuality is the norm and that prejudice exists towards homosexuality.
Last edited by GaySpacePirateKing on 24 February 2019, 00:05, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Outgrowing the forums

Unread postby Victor_Laszlo » 23 February 2019, 23:32

I don't have anything to say to the topic.

I just want to thank Sherri for all the time and advice you have contributed here on the forums. 9+ years is a hell of a run.

Whether you stay or not is up to you. But I wish you the best in life.

And don't let anyone make you feel bad if you feel you need to move on. :hug:
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Re: Outgrowing the forums

Unread postby PopTart » 24 February 2019, 00:18

Is it the medium though? I don't think it's so much that as it is the sparodic nature of the forum and the strange dichotomy that seems to exist here (and always has done since I've been here, not long by any measure) coupled with the age range (and therefore real life commitments) that make it harder to maintain the same kind of tightknit community you might get with people of teenage or student age, via the same medium.

There has always been a core community on the forum, that has a more personal experience, likely due to having stuck around so long, the people who know the measure of one another well enough to talk in a more relaxed fashion, across a broader range of topics, have made up that core community, it picks up a few more each year and loses one or two at similar pace.

Then you've had the passers-by, who drop in once or twice with questions and problems they need help with or that just want to post some random stuff. They get the answers they need or find the place a poor fit and move on :shrug:

Lately there seems to be alot less activity on the part of forum regulars, I suspect in large part due to the fact, that many of those "founding" members from a ways back, have gone and got busy lives, it happens, in the real world, we know what that looks like, we identify it, for what it is, when it happens to the people around us, but for the seeming age of the forum format, it's still a new thing and to see it here and know it for the same thing, that can be harder to identify and understand, because while the companions are not persistant, they social spot certainly is. So perhaps in that way, it is the format.

But we've seen a large influx of new members lately, especially of the "random" questions variety and a drop off in activity from forum regulars. For those that have been around awhile, that shift is quite noticeable I suspect. For newcomers wanting to stick around, it likely doesn't seem all that different.

I can say that until recently, I had more free time and could Pm a good amount of people and keep in touch better, both on the public side of the forum and on the more personal side, but life does love to get in the way, doesn't it! :lol: Could it be that the vast number of forum members from your own time, you yourself Sherri, find yourself in a similar position, time being short and suitably precious, the availability of the community you know from GFO, being shorter, it gets harder to justify spending precious time, dealing with some of the stuff that before, while not being thrilling, was easier to forgive or ignore?

I too tend to pass over some of the topics, that, when I was new (and thus, the questions being asked, were new, to me atleast) I was more engaged with.. It probably doesn't help we've had so many duplicates of the same topics, in the space of a handful of days or weeks of eachother, it can seem like people don't bother to see if the question or issue they need help with, has been tackled before. Instead of picking up a relevant thread already going, we get this spam and unfortunately, alot of the recent questions have been of the variety you spoke of. That I think, can be off putting for someone who has seen the same questions being asked for 9+ years! :P Perhaps even more so if there is a feeling of degeneracy in the quality of the content as time has passed.

While I've seen quite a few of the people I used to engage with frequently, receding from the forum, like a middle aged mans hairline, I also can't help but notice a new core of forum members developing, that I'm less familiar with and have less time to get to know, they are definately here and I think, some are here to stay for awhile and form those same connections I've had the fortune to develop while being here.

I don't think the forum is in terminal decline, I don't even think the quality of it's content or the people who come here is doing so either, but rather, our perception of it, our ability to be invested in it as much, is changing?
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Re: Outgrowing the forums

Unread postby Derek » 24 February 2019, 00:31

GaySpacePirateKing wrote:
Derek wrote:Also at the risk of sounding bigoted, more and more traffic on the internet these days comes from Asia and East Europe and those people often don't have any clue how people are supposed to behave online.


Says an American. :rolleyes:

Yes? It is in fact American companies and users who have had the most influence in establishing norms on the internet.
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Re: Outgrowing the forums

Unread postby PopTart » 24 February 2019, 00:38

Derek wrote:
GaySpacePirateKing wrote:
Derek wrote:Also at the risk of sounding bigoted, more and more traffic on the internet these days comes from Asia and East Europe and those people often don't have any clue how people are supposed to behave online.


Says an American. :rolleyes:

Yes? It is in fact American companies and users who have had the most influence in establishing norms on the internet.

Oh come now Derek, you, being patriotic? Since when? :D

There is an entire side of the internet, that doesn't speak English and it's quite broad and diverse. Besides, I'd hardly hold the norms of the internet as a badge of honour :P Perhaps something to be dressed in drab clothing and pushed to the back, at family photo shoots. ;) Hidden in the basement when polite company comes to visit...

Internet norms are nothing to write home about :)
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Re: Outgrowing the forums

Unread postby Derek » 24 February 2019, 00:42

PopTart wrote:Internet norms are nothing to write home about :)

And yet they are, by definition, what is normal, and the behavior Sherri mentions is not normal. I mean, not to put it all on the Malaysians, but screw me if every thread from that part of the world isn't bizarre and gross.
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Re: Outgrowing the forums

Unread postby poolerboy0077 » 24 February 2019, 01:39

You’ve clearly evolved from your older self but your interest in the forum has not wavered. What keeps you consistently coming back, Derek? Is it the adidas spam threads or all the straight guys looking for gay sex?
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Re: Outgrowing the forums

Unread postby Derek » 24 February 2019, 01:43

I do. I'm hilarious. The rest of you are basically just props.
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Re: Outgrowing the forums

Unread postby GaySpacePirateKing » 24 February 2019, 01:48

Derek wrote:Yes? It is in fact American companies and users who have had the most influence in establishing norms on the internet.


I know that Canada, the UK and Europe are just as bad, but I can only laugh at the shear arrogance and ignorance of an American characterising asians and eastern europeans as unable to be civil online when you've got a president sending racist misogynistic tweets and when you've no shortage of white, racist, alt-right trolls polluting every corner of the internet.
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Re: Outgrowing the forums

Unread postby Derek » 24 February 2019, 01:59

GaySpacePirateKing wrote:I know that Canada, the UK and Europe are just as bad, but I can only laugh at the shear arrogance and ignorance of an American characterising asians and eastern europeans as unable to be civil online

I'm not talking about civility. I'm talking about a basic comprehension of how to socialize in certain contexts. But I am pleased that it made you laugh because that, at least, is an interaction worth having!

when you've got a president sending racist misogynistic tweets and when you've no shortage of white, racist, alt-right trolls.

The alt-right trolls are like a breath of fresh air around here. They give us a reason to post, besides simply sharing our opinion on bathhouses or bottoming with hemorrhoids.
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