I'm going to answer all these questions. I'm going to come across negative. There's no downgoats here bitches, deal.
1. What do we think of an influx of users?
a) Content has...well, here, I'll phrase this another way: all of a sudden my feed is positively flooded with #askhubski. Some of these asks seem redundant, but they've succeeded even though to me, they look redundant. This seems indicative of a problem I'm afraid is going to happen here on Hubski that I'm going to address below. I'm not a fan of all these asks, nor do I think they are as truly "deep" as they could be. Some of them seem like gratuitous "ask Reddit" questions that, by the way, you Reddit users, have been asked a million times on Reddit and you'll find great answers to your questions...over there. I sound like a jerk who doesn't want these new users here.
You know what? Maybe I am and maybe that's how I feel.
2. How do we expect it to affect us?
b) It's already affecting us. I'm worried that what's going to happen is we have this large influx of users from Reddit that see the community, jump in, and start participating. They don't really realize it but they change the content and topics discussed on Hubski. However, because the community is still smaller and more personable than Reddit, it still feels great... to them. We notice a change because we've been here longer but they notice a change as well because they're coming from the seething behemoth of the internet, mostly inane, sometimes made-up, that is Reddit. They like the change and they continue to feed the different topics/content because it's still different to them! The old guard becomes a minority. I stop recognizing usernames. Eventually I stop paying attention to usernames because, guess what, community is big enough that I don't think I'll see most of these people again in other comment threads, and the interpersonal communication gets lost. kleinbl00 says, just ignore users. Trust me, I'm going to give this a bit of time and see but then yeah I'm probably going to start laying that hammer down. I don't like it, but I also don't like the changes I'm seeing. They're not terrible, no, but as soon as I see a pun thread, pure image posts, or novelty accounts, I'm going to punch my screen.
And I'm waiting for that day.
Then I'm going to reach through the screen and strangle whoever it is propagating it.
3. How do we feel about a larger community?
c) Makes things harder. Makes it harder to care. Gives people more anonymity. I valued Reddit for its anonymity, I value(d) Hubski for its people. Don't get me wrong I'm not throwing in the towel. I'm very trepidatious. Pluses: generates more content. Downsides: Doesn't necessarily generate more quality content. Plus: Broadens the range of topics. Also a downside. There seems to be an influx of gamers/technies, which is fine, but Hubski never had that as a solid base as opposed to Reddit back in the day. I can't relate so much to that. Plus: potentially more original content. Downside: Potentially more trolls, people making up stories for attention, and potentially LOTS more SHITTY original content.
4. How do we feel about being linked? Should it be selective or not?
d) Hate it. Wish we could make it so it didn't happen. Not a fan of getting all this traffic from Reddit, there's a reason (lots of reasons) I'm not on Reddit any more. Way back a while ago some user, I think syncretic, kept promoting the #reddit tag and also the subreddit r/hubski on Reddit. I pointed out, why would I ever go to Reddit to see updates from Hubski? I'm on Hubski because I want to be on Hubski. I don't want to cross-pollinate. Moreover, r/hubski just drove traffic away from Hubski which didn't make sense to me. Don't know if it's still active. Haven't seen syncretic around and he didn't reply to my post with my rebuttals to "why isn't this cross-pollination successful" or what-have-you. That's fine, I had pretty salient points and I could understand if he didn't like them, since he seemed on the opposite end of the spectrum as I am (he says "Combine all the things!" and I say "Compartmentalize all the things!")
4a. There have also been chatterings in the past of invite-only. Thoughts?
e) Is it hypocritical if I don't like this because then it makes this site an elite snobby club? I don't mind new users finding us. I mind a huge flood of new users coming over from AskReddit. It wasn't so bad when we got the flood from theoryofreddit because let's be honest, that's a relatively smaller subreddit that has a focus on intellectual conversation and navel-gazing. AskReddit, however, is the dregs of the internet, full of trolls, liars, people looking to "game" you just for attention. It is full of a very wide spectrum of people and typically has very low quality of content. Moreover, most of those top comments are extreme, ridiculous, and (if I'm being kind with my words) dubious. Yes, sometimes there are touching stories. And then sometimes those touching stories are lies. I don't mind being told a good story but I mind being told a good story that masquerades as truth but isn't. I don't mind being told a good story but I mind when people decide they want to start up a fund for someone who they think is dying of cancer when that person isn't. Let's not feed into Internet Munchausen syndrome. Let's not feed attention whores.
5. Do we have a damage control plan in case a large number of new users don't... follow the rules, explicit or implied. Is banning going to need to come in?
f) As I said above kleinbl00 would say the ignore button. I've never used it and I don't like that I'm going to have to - I feel like I should give people a chance - but oh, I am thinking about it. Banhammer? I feel like people would need to be really egregious before anyone would be willing to banhammer. After all, our second-most popular poster is ahametals with 0 followers because all he posts is self-promoting spam. He's not banned. We all just ignore him. Most people I don't think even know he exists.
6. How do we attend to keeping this a person-oriented third place?
g) Well first of all the surge is going to have to die down and we're going to have to see who sticks around and who doesn't. It's going to be a lot harder now. The more people, the harder it is to get to know each of them, recognize their names, etc. If I'm at a party and I meet 10 new people I'm good if I remember all their names at the end of the night. If I'm at a party or a bar and I meet one or two I can remember their names and have a good conversation with them, maybe exchange phone numbers, maybe forge a real connection.
Addendum: I literally came in to work early today so I could get on this thread. I care about Hubski and really love it and the people I've met through here and I'm just worried about many of the aspects of the site that are, inevitably, going to degrade. I suppose "degrade" is a strong word and if I was being nice I could just say "change." Change isn't always bad. But I'm also kind of frustrated by the fact that I keep getting 502 bad gateway errors when I try to access this site and basically all these new people are standing in between me and the place I want to be (inside the club having a good time). It's like - my favorite bar is in a college town. During the summer the whole town empties out and the bar is empty except for regulars and townies and it's wonderful and lonely and nice. Now all the college kids are in (and yes, I know about Eternal September ) and all of a sudden I'm in the back of the line jostling to get into a place where, damn it, I should be able to get in without getting carded and I should be able to sit down, grab a drink and start up conversations with the regulars, except I can't find the regulars for all the loud kids who aren't going to stay and aren't going to bring value, and the bartenders are running all over the place busy as fuck.
After that, I don't freaking know.
To the new people who have submitted quality comments or content: Yes. I acknowledge that you exist and I'm interested to see what you bring to the site. I don't unilaterally hate you all. But it also irritates me when people are like "OMG Hubski is so young!" or whatever. It's like, seriously, do your due diligence. Hubski's been around for a few years at this point, it's just new to you.
Maybe we could make it so that you can't submit a post until you have a full hubwheel from comments. I saw that you can't submit a community tag until you have a full hubwheel and I kind of liked that. But again, I have a really hard time saying flat-out "we should just make it hard for people to participate in Hubski." To be clear, that's not what I want. I don't want inanity, superficiality, trolls, or Reddit's influence.