Share good ideas and conversation.   Login, Join Us, or Take a Tour!
comment by veen
veen  ·  1712 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: On Jumping to Conclusions

If I understand you correctly, it means that we can therefore assume (maybe even as a consensus reality) that civility is a design choice as much as a cultural choice. By designing the site around its users as much as its content, I think hubski facilitates and encourages civil behaviour instead of expecting civil behaviour to occur by itself.

That is the reason that there can be good subreddits, but by default they aren't, because you need both a strong community and a way to create and maintain a civil community.




kleinbl00  ·  1712 days ago  ·  link  ·  

This right here is perhaps the most important thread in this entire discussion. Everything else boils down to "how do you remember your manners?" and the answers, as varied and creative as they are, boil down to "more or less successfully" with interludes of "but I always try harder." Here's the crux of it:

civility is a design choice as much as a cultural choice.

More than that, the two are interrelated. Structure can emphasize civility and denigrate hostility, or it can reward "entertainment." So this statement:

    there can be good subreddits, but by default they aren't, because you need both a strong community and a way to create and maintain a civil community.

Has the distinct problem of presuming that it would be possible to create a civil community on a borderless site where flamboyance is rewarded and nonconformity is punished.

Haven't shown this off in years - wanna see my first "big" comment on Reddit?

Bam.

That's me, talking shit to a spammer. And everyone else piling on. Got the entire domain banned - not bloody bad, eh?

Problem is, there's nothing remotely civil about any part of that discussion. Nothing. No aspect of it. But it's a funny beatdown, and it feels really good when you read it.

The problem with Reddit is everyone is "tom" to someone else.

"upvotes" and "downvotes" are every bit as civilizing as Nero's Thumb at the Colosseum. There's no compassion, there's no consideration, there's just a binary affinity gage - positive or negative. Combine that with two interesting factoids:

- 80% of the participants don't vote at all, so the gage is dominated by outliers

- You react to criticism between three and twelve times as strongly as praise.

Think about that - if you want to create a healthy community, your "upvote" should have between three and twelve times as much weight as your "downvote." Your "mad props" comments should be between three and twelve times as much weight as your "fuck you tom"s.

Have you ever seen a "mad props" comment that's even in the same zipcode as that "fuck you tom?"

I have, but it didn't come easy.

There's really only one solution: a site that only rewards positivity. It's not possible to accomplish it 100% (my beatdowns of Ramona being heavily "hubbed" or whatever are proof of that) but if you don't make a conscious effort to reward positivity and discourage negativity, you're going to end up with rage and kittens.

The steady state of Reddit is "shit to be angry about" and "completely inoffensive things." And that's why, no matter how hard individual subreddits try (and I'm a part of several that try really.fucking.hard), they will always be swimming against the tide of design.

flagamuffin  ·  1712 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    (my beatdowns of Ramona being heavily "hubbed" or whatever are proof of that)

This more than anything else disappointed me. Other than the fact that it was a conversation that was instigated on someone else's post and derailed it, I thought the whole thing should've played out without any spectators. No point to it. Seemed like the sort of thing that happens on reddit, not hubski.

I didn't bother to read any of it. I got about as far as him/her calling you sexist, which you aren't, and figured the rest wouldn't make anyone any happier.

_refugee_  ·  1712 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I agree that it should have been taken up with kb privately. However, it wasn't, and as a result the community did get involved.

kleinbl00  ·  1712 days ago  ·  link  ·  

We have no method of community disapproval. This is about as close as we could get, I reckon.

OftenBen  ·  1712 days ago  ·  link  ·  

We sort of do. It just also happens to be the 'meh' function. NOT circle-dotting something though still isn't the functional equivalent of a downvote.

(Sorry for continuing the reddit analogy)

Edit to include I had a better way of stating it.

On Hubski, you can only be for something. You cannot be against something.

lil  ·  1712 days ago  ·  link  ·  

You can be against something with thoughtful argument (but that takes thought and argument, intelligence, research and patience), with irony (which is often misunderstood), and tongue-in-cheekiness (which is frequently taken literally). You can also be against something by ignoring it. veen's statement, reinforced by kleinbl00 (who weirdly enhanced my dreams all night):

    civility is a design choice as much as a cultural choice
is intriguing and as true for web design as it is for urban design.

This would be another great slogan:

    Hubski: Where civility is a design choice
veen  ·  1712 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I would alter it to: Hubski. Civility by design.

Maybe it's dwelling on definitions, but I much prefer motto or philosophy over slogan. Slogan seems to me like something a marketingteam has to add afterwards, while a philosophy is a guiding principle on which new decisions can be based.

lil  ·  1273 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Hubski. Civility by Design has got to go on a sticker.

veen  ·  1272 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I will definitely bug insomniasexx about it tomorrow.

insomniasexx  ·  1272 days ago  ·  link  ·  

You just did. And it's totally not tomorrow yet!

thenewgreen  ·  1712 days ago  ·  link  ·  

As you can imagine, we put a lot of time and thought in to the "motto" for Hubski (I too dislike the term slogan). At first I had wanted to have it read: Hubski -are you thoughtful? Because I wanted people to feel challenged by it. I wanted to let people know that there was an expectation. mk wisely, and strongly disagreed and preferred "a thoughtful web" which is what is there next to "Hubski" when you are logged out.

I like "Hubski -Civility by design" and hope the site can continue to live up to such a lofty philosophy.

veen  ·  1712 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I agree with mk, I much prefer 'a thoughtful web' because the other one sounds almost threatening: are you even thoughtful?!!?!

A true motto has to be in Latin, so if I translated it correctly (my Latin is rough) it should be in civilitate consilium, which can mean both civility through design as civility through wisdom (consilium can mean both plan, wisdom as judgement.

mk  ·  1711 days ago  ·  link  ·  

thenewgreen:

    As you can imagine, we put a lot of time and thought in to the "motto" for Hubski (I too dislike the term slogan).

While that's true, we actually put most of the time and thought into after the fact. I put up "a thoughtful web" with only a little consideration. Over time we have asked ourselves whether or not we should say something different, if anything at all. We keep coming back to it. I like that it works on more than one level, and that it begs interpretation.

I don't view Hubski users as customers, and I don't intend to encourage that kind of relationship unnecessarily. There is no doubt that we are providing a kind of service here with the site, but I want to create a new space, and I don't see why at the same time we can't carve out a little bit of new space in an economic sense as well. In fact, the latter might be necessary if we are to succeed at the first.

On a somewhat related tangent, I find it bizarre how in this day, companies will relate to their customers in ways that their customers wouldn't dare relate to each other. Take radio advertisements, for example. By and large (at least in the US) radio advertisements often employ a sense of humor that only a genuine idiot might appreciate. They are loud, obnoxious, and not funny. A terribly offensive and degrading interaction has become normalized in radio advertising simply because it works.

I never want to start talking about you all behind closed doors as if you were somehow different than me. The day that we start doing that is the day that Hubski starts to die. The site might grow as a result, but Hubski will wither and die.

ButterflyEffect  ·  1711 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    By and large (at least in the US) radio advertisements often employ a sense of humor that only a genuine idiot might appreciate.

This is certainly true of larger, syndicated radio stations. It's appealing to the lowest common denominator and taking the easiest route to a quick dollar. Plus, if you're the radio station or underwriter it's easier to sell. Most of the ads run on those kind of radio stations aren't exactly high-brow businesses anyway.

I actually have a decent amount of experience with creating, marketing, and running radio advertisements and have been fortunate enough to do so through a college-station in a mid-sized market. We avoid advertisements like you have described at all costs.

thenewgreen  ·  1711 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    While that's true, we actually put most of the time and thought into after the fact.
-True, true. I recall a list of words/phrases put together only to return to what was already there.

    I never want to start talking about you all behind closed doors as if you were somehow different than me
-I agree, I am first and foremost a hubskier. It would be a very sad thing if I felt otherwise. I think it was flagamuffin that recently said that he approaches each conversation on Hubski as if the other person likely knows more about the topic than he does. I too take this approach and I extend it to the understanding of the site itself. This place is special to me because of the collection of people that use it. For this reason, I think the hubski logo is perfect, I see the smaller dots as individuals and the larger one as the collective.

I don't see the users of Hubski as customers and I'll also never see them as a product.

    at the same time we can't carve out a little bit of new space in an economic sense as well. In fact, the latter might be necessary if we are to succeed at the first.
I'd like to hear more about these new ideas.
lil  ·  1712 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I added it to the slogan (motto, philosophy) page. This whole discussion about the effect of design on everything is fascinating.

kleinbl00  ·  1712 days ago  ·  link  ·  

That's just it, though - from a perspective of civility and discourse, "meh" is very much not the same thing as "disapproval." And to be clear, that's something that definitely shouldn't change. The fact that me and Ramona's dust-up has pretty much been the big event for the past week emphasizes that people really aren't comfortable with flame wars, no matter how civilly they're conducted. The lack of "disapproval buttons" has required, like, five different people to weigh in with thoughtful discourses about the problem.

Curious to see how it pencils out as the community gets larger. This sort of thing only works up to a point... but in my opinion, works hella better than a downvote button.

OftenBen  ·  1711 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I definitely don't think we need a button for it. We're sort of 'holding court' as it is, with everyone playing judge for themselves. As long as muting works I guess we're ok.

flagamuffin  ·  1712 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Yeah. It's rarely an issue.