Declining forum usage and alternative arenas of discussion

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Tarwater's picture
Tarwater
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Joined: 29-12-08
Oct 1 2017 04:07
Declining forum usage and alternative arenas of discussion

I've noticed a decrease in traffic over the last few years and a lot of mention of debates held on Facebook. Where else do people discuss issues? What do people think about these changes and their implications? What are the perceived positives and negatives? Where can one get news?

I ask because I got rid of my fb account years ago and feel disconnected from a lot of contemporary discussions as a result.

Thanks.

zugzwang
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Joined: 25-11-16
Oct 1 2017 05:23
Quote:
Where else do people discuss issues?

I'd first try finding some in-person places/organizations to discuss issues, if there are any in your area. As far as online, I never go there myself, but Reddit has various political subreddits. I really wouldn't part with Facebook, seeing as how popular a platform it is for different political groups, and is used to keep people up to date.

Quote:
What do people think about these changes and their implications?

I can't say if libcom traffic is steadily declining. That would be a pity because then I would feel disconnected. It has seemed a bit quiet around here lately, but it will probably pick up again when something interesting happens.

Noah Fence's picture
Noah Fence
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Oct 1 2017 06:10

I find it impossible to take part in Facebook on a long term basis. It starts off ok and I take part in a specific area of interest plus some more general commie stuff but as I pick up 'friends', my feed starts to fill with so much horse shit, much of it horse shit that I feel obliged to challenge, that the whole thing becomes a depressing timesuck. The regularity of having some great conversations about various aspects of anarchism with someone and then have anti femenist nonsense or conspiracy theory crap appearing on my timeline is remarkable. The most common one though is pro Corbyn stuff. Ugh.
I still visit Libcom most days but haven't really felt like taking part for various reasons. I keep coming back though coz every other site I've tried doesn't even come close to the quality of Libcom.

Hieronymous's picture
Hieronymous
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Oct 1 2017 13:11

Hey Noah,

Good to see you back here.

How are you doing health-wise?

I hope well.

H.

Noah Fence's picture
Noah Fence
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Oct 1 2017 09:21

Hey, thanks for asking. My physical health is amazing but having accepted and adjusted to the fact that I wasn't going to be around for long I've found the responsibility of having a future before me pretty difficult. I know, kinda weird, huh?

Mike Harman
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Oct 1 2017 08:57

I get most of my news these days from twitter, whether it's the current STL protests or the nurses' strike in Kenya. Twitter's also good for "here's an interesting article" type stuff. For discussion, it's hard to do anything in-depth obviously, but taking into account the limitations of the format I rate it higher than a lot of people do - depends who you follow obviously as to what you get. libcom's account is https://twitter.com/libcomorg.

No idea about facebook, never seen anything good on it. Forums in general are dying, maybe not reddit but so far refused to have an account on reddit.

petey
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Joined: 13-10-05
Oct 1 2017 14:23

the left communist forums are much less busy too, but not dead and i visit there. unfortunately the ICC public forums here in NYC have discontinued. i scan the list of Marxist Education Project lectures, some of which look worthwhile tho' the thrust is not libcommie. there are now two people at my workplace who have some idea of what my politics are and i can talk with them. two is more than zero, anyway. unfortunately the majority opinion is completely-class-free identity politics and liberalism (very big HRC fans there).

and i agree with mike harman about twitter.

Fleur
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Oct 1 2017 14:23

I also get much of my news from twitter, as well as using the platform for some personal yakking, IRL discussion is far better though. I don't ascribe much value to me personally to online discussion theses days.

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Khawaga
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Oct 1 2017 14:27

I also feel disconnected from a lot of discussions after leaving Facebook a few years back. Then again, the discussions I had on there wasn't really that great and could hardly be called discussions. That happened even with people whom I've had great discussion with on libcom or other forums. But a problem with not being on Facebook is that since all the local activist folks are on there, I never know what is actually happening in my own city, never learn of meetings, demos etc. because everyone just assumes everyone is on FB. And the extension of that is that I then can't have discussions with people IRL as easily since I never know when and where they gather.

Reddit is the cesspool of the internet. I lurk there, mainly for nerd stuff, but I go on political subreddits from time to time and they are just horrible. Too much trolling, too many comedians, and the overall levels of discussions are just poor.

Rob Ray's picture
Rob Ray
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Oct 1 2017 15:05

Depends on generation, it's kind of fragmented these days.

Facebook is the big monolith where most people do their chatting (though starting to decline), groups like anarcho-communism have tens of thousands of members —though the quality of debate is absolutely dire, as you'd expect from thousands of people all talking across each other. Where the olds go.

Twitter is as Mike says, big and useful for catching up on stuff, intermittently useful for getting info and tips, though also prone to the sort of moral panic shitstorm that makes me want to stab myself in the eyes with a fork. Also falling rapidly out of favour with the yoof.

Tumblr has a youngish crowd, and like other blogging platforms tends to revolve around whatever a popular personality wants to talk about. Poor quality of chatter from what I've seen

Reddit's r/anarchism group has far higher daily traffic of posts than the likes of libcom, but only intermittently has any solid debates on it and senior reddit mods have repeatedly shut down over-radical talk (hence the setting up of raddit.me, which aims, pointlessly imv, to do a reddit by/for the left) Slightly younger crowd.

Imgur, Instagram and suchlike are wildly popular and have a lot of debate on, but aren't so well set up for a coherent group chat among like-minded people

Youtube is where alot of the younger crowd are doing their chatter, or in real-time on Twitch while following their teams/favourite personalities/friends. Big issue there of course is to replicate it you'd need people prepared to go in front of the camera on a near-daily basis to keep the conversations/subs flowing.

Urban75 is the last big leftie form set up for politics that still has the critical mass for daily chatting that I can think of, older and experienced but very grumpy people, in the main wink.

Rob Ray's picture
Rob Ray
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Oct 1 2017 15:17

dp

Craftwork's picture
Craftwork
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Oct 1 2017 15:12

r/leftcommunism and r/communisation are alright.

On FB, the things I do there are mainly memes and sharing articles, occasionally getting involved in discussions, I'm in a few left communist groups. I have no interest in 'activism', so am not concerned with keeping up with 'the scene'.

However, social media is (generally) not the best place for serious discussions. And I wonder whether, in a few years, FB or Twtter will be surpassed by some other website or service.