I poked around the Discourse website last month. We won’t see pages. That is one of their primary selling points. Pages are “awkward and arbitrary.” It’s a pain to have to look for the page button, they say. The benefit is “just in time loading” and you just scroll down if you want to read more. It looks like a chat room where half a dozen people have a conversation in real time. You earn your way up the ladder and can do more, have more access to features, maybe, if you behave yourself and don’t break rules. There is a thread on Discourse that talks about “impersonating” a user and making it easy to ??? I’ve been trying to figure out how it’s different than what we on COTH are doing. This is the start of a topic off the Discourse site:
“I’d like to start a discussion about the Second Amendment to the US Constitution. After the tragedy in Connecticut (of which I am a native), I think most of the country has decided it’s time to take a serious look at gun ownership in the United States (I am a gun owners as well).”
That sort of conversation got banned from COTH years ago, although it tries to revive itself from time to time. It reminds me a bit of when the USEF established a limitation on the length of whips. Every whip in every discipline. They were too short for dressage. I can picture a real-time conversation that goes way off the COTH track. People pop in and out wondering why, who was the idiot, so and so did this, that one is a cheater, whatever. She likes the kind of whip that has a little leather popper on the end. They should be black. No, any color should be allowed. The popper should be a lash.
We probably do the same sort of thing. But it’s in a block of text. We are not working in real time with half a dozen people chiming in, posting, leaving, coming back.
I’ve drifted away from COTH to some extent. I don’t like the appearance, the lack of pages, poor organization, not intuitive. I went into my preferences trying to do something and couldn’t find it. I had allowed COTH to send me emails about posts, click here to read it. I couldn’t figure out what I did and how I did it. That made it difficult to undo it.
I’m glad there are some nice features out there for those who want to use them. What I haven’t figured out is an easy way to go through four or five categories, click on a topic for a preview and chose to read a thread. I don’t need tiny useless avatars all over the place. I don’t need to know frequent posters. I’ve scrolled a few topics and find myself looking at things that are years old. I don’t think you can shut that off. I don’t feel like looking around and then posting to wait for someone to tell me what I’m trying to do, with some instructions.
I was a sailor for almost my whole life until I had to give it up in 1999 after an unrelated injury. That’s when the horse fever finally broke through. I tracked my boat down to the Great Lakes with a couple of searches. I rejoined the board because I can still do useful brain dumps of technical information for people doing rebuilds. The discussion board is easy, like COTH used to be. I found ancient posts on a defunct board that were imported to this one. Found photos of my boat from two buyers. Yes, it’s a small board for a small group, but it is on a platform with thousands of organizations. The set up is easy to learn, and they use pages. What an amazing idea! It took a couple of hours at the most including copying a lot of it to my PC. Then I come over to COTH. I’m astonished that people are still asking questions about why something does or does not happen and how to do it. That is going to erode the member base. We will lose a few individuals who have more information and expertise stuffed in their brains than the rest of us combined.