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Author Topic: How can we take Bitcoin Talk back into the Bitcoin community?  (Read 1324 times)
Jet Cash
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February 17, 2019, 09:48:13 AM
Merited by suchmoon (4), dbshck (4), mprep (1), friends1980 (1), jademaxsuy (1)
 #1

Bitcoin Talk was created by Satoshi Nakamoto ( and others ) to promote awareness of Bitcoin. It was extremely successful, and Bitcoin is now a major force in banking and the Internet. Unfortunately it doesn't seem that BT has grown with it, and many of the major names seem to have abandoned the forum, or have never joined. This was brought home to me when I watched this video -
Satoshi Nakamoto: The Mysterious Founder of Bitcoin

I found the video interesting, although it includes a number of items with which I would disagree. It includes a reference to Reddit, but no mention of Bitcoin Talk - the forum that started the Bitcoin revolution. Is this because mainstream Bitcoin users and developers are not aware of the forum, or that they feel it is no longer relevant?

I'd like to see Bitcoin Talk regain its position as a significant contributor to the growth and acceptance of Bitcoin. What can I/we do to achieve this?

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February 17, 2019, 11:38:02 AM
 #2

Bitcoin Talk back to the Bitcoin community?
Very important:
Bitcoin talk and Bitcoin It is the belief of every strong member, in this discourse the community must be supported by meaningful goals and the Forum, Bitcointalk and Bitcoin have a special purpose, namely both in trade and community.
What is Bitcoin:
Bitcoin aims to be a revolutionary form in bringing Bitcointalk communities and cryptocurrency together.
Community goals:
brings together the bitcointalk and cryptocurrency communities in one place for example Forum. It contains unique characteristics and special objectives compared to other Forums out there without intrinsic value or real purpose.
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February 17, 2019, 12:04:18 PM
 #3

Maybe the right conclusion is: BT has reached its goal. What remains on the forum are the people who are interested in the more detailed, "specialized" parts of blockchain, trading and new projects. And of course the classic bounty hunters.

I think it's safe to say that everybody around the world who opens up a newspaper from time to time, has heard about Bitcoin right now. This is thanks to BT because this is where it all started.

 
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February 17, 2019, 12:45:28 PM
Last edit: February 17, 2019, 01:07:21 PM by mprep
Merited by suchmoon (10), Welsh (7), Jet Cash (5), dbshck (4), hilariousetc (4), DdmrDdmr (3), LoyceV (1), MaoChao (1), Crypto-DesignService (1)
 #4

Niche communities being spread out across the internet in their own little forums and chat rooms is rare sight nowadays. Ever since Facebook started gaining popularity around the mid 00s, internet communities, small and large, started congregating in these massive media platforms. The aforementioned Facebook, Twitter, Reddit (alongside some other ones I might've missed) have largely replaced regular niche oriented sites. Such is the nature of the internet turning mainstream.

However, even if we were to put aside the ever growing centralisation of social / public-driven media, Bitcointalk always drew in a specific type of crowd when it comes to it's regulars (with a few exceptions) - hardcore cryptocurrency supporters. Hence if you are just starting to get involved in crypto or are aiming to reach a more casual crowd, participating here really doesn't make sense.

In addition,  quite a few people outside the forum have a negative view towards how the forum is run, be it through first hand experience or through stuff they read about it online. The fact that the forum's running on an extremely outdated piece of software (both design-wise as well as functionality-wise) has definitely turned some people off. The general lack of manegerial attention (fostering the community through events, some level of basic marketing, actively working on solving pressing issues such as sig spam) is definitely turning away both new and old members alike. The forum is growing every day and theymos (and to some extent Cyrus) can only do so much without any professional help.

Some may dislike theymos himself. theymos' ban on BitcoinXT on /r/bitcoin (as well as his subsequent comments on the situation) have left some members on Reddit (and 4chan) perceiving theymos as a despot who censors dissenting opinion. While there's no concrete evidence, it's not a stretch to assume that some users have avoided participating in and promoting the forum due to this situation.

In the end though, IMO many perceive forums like Bitcointalk as a relic of a bygone age. And unless all major social media platforms suddenly imploded, I don't think the situation is gonna change any time soon. However, if Bitcointalk upgraded it's software, supercharged it's attention towards effectively managing the community and put in effort into marketing itself, it might be able to regain it's position as the premier platform for crypto-related discussion for everyone.

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February 17, 2019, 01:14:52 PM
Merited by dbshck (4), Welsh (2), mprep (1), LoyceV (1)
 #5

I'm probably giving away my age by saying that I am quite comfortable with the current forum layout. Of course there could be some minor changes, but in the main it is holding up well.

I don't consider Theymos to be a despot, quite the reverse in fact. I think he could do with adopting a few of Trump's approaches. Not the hair, but draining the swamp, building a wall, and reducing the immigration of non-productive members would be a start.

For Bitcoin to survive, it does need a bit of protection, and this will have to come from an informed global population. In my opinion, mining is a possible vulnerability in the future. Whilst we have zero interest rates, and fractional reserve banking, it would be possible for the bankers to take control of mining by using public funds. The creation of hobby mining pools could be one way to help reduce this risk, but it requires many of the smaller users and investors in Bitcoin to learn and understand mining. There is no possibility of this in the current Bitcoin Talk environment.

Another potential for Bitcoin is the provision of rewards for content producers. Brave and Steemit are trying this. Where could one discuss this in relation to Bitcoin in the current forum?  The Lightning network is another important development for Bitcoin - should we have a Lightning board?

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February 17, 2019, 02:07:15 PM
 #6

Thank you, Jet Cash for creating the topic.
The video in the OP is great, I have not watched all the video, but I will do watch all of it.
Your topic also raised a ideas in my mind. You will know what it is soon.
By the way, have a nice weekend, all bitcointalkers.
 Grin




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February 17, 2019, 02:46:17 PM
Merited by suchmoon (4), dbshck (4), mprep (1), LoyceV (1)
 #7

-snip-
In the end though, IMO many perceive forums like Bitcointalk as a relic of a bygone age. And unless all major social media platforms suddenly imploded, I don't think the situation is gonna change any time soon. However, if Bitcointalk upgraded it's software, supercharged it's attention towards effectively managing the community and put in effort into marketing itself, it might be able to regain it's position as the premier platform for crypto-related discussion for everyone.
Then it will stop being bitcointalk, at least for me.
There is this thing about relicts, they tend to gain value with time. I think it will happen here also.
Even in today times we can see how people react to old satoshis posts. Ton's of merits, threads are still active and links to his words are still being interchanged, discussed. This won't stop, you are right, its like fuel in perpetual motion machine.
I think bitcoin needs this place to stay a little archaic, out of time, mostly because it needs backstory. Some sort of a background.
In modern era conservative nature seems old-fashioned, pase even but nevertheless rock solid. Most stable constructions are built on bedrock, not sand and that's why this place is still alive, thriving in fact.
There also this; don't fix, what is not broken; rule, so in my mind this place is bitcoin Smiley the other side of the same coin, in some sense.
People just don't seem to realise this.

Is this because mainstream Bitcoin users and developers are not aware of the forum, or that they feel it is no longer relevant?
IMO normal people actually don't know about this place, because it became competitive due to sig.campaigns and in the interest of members is to keep it obscured. Devs... idk, they should at least be aware but remember the times when almost every new project was called a scam and hyena feeding of original idea?  Roll Eyes might be the reason, I guess.

 
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February 17, 2019, 03:45:53 PM
Merited by mprep (1)
 #8

IMO normal people actually don't know about this place, because it became competitive due to sig.campaigns and in the interest of members is to keep it obscured. Devs... idk, they should at least be aware but remember the times when almost every new project was called a scam and hyena feeding of original idea?  Roll Eyes might be the reason, I guess.

I've noticed many devs have switched to Telegram, and even Bounty Campaigns use Telegram channels for their communication. I am not sure this is a good evolution. Of course, it is an easy way to get rid of FUDers and spammers (which is a good thing for BT, too), as you can block whoever you want, but then again it avoids critical voices and opinions from being heard.

Maybe it wouldn't be a bad thing if BT evolved (again) to a technical forum, seeing less and less spammers joining the forum. That being said - and not wanting to go off-topic but: does anyone have any idea if the number of new members is stagnating (significantly), or not?

 
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February 17, 2019, 04:00:40 PM
 #9

For quantity (just like r/bitcoin), Bitcoin Talk UI/UX should evolve just like Reddit.
For quality, spam should be eradicated and less strict moderation.

But i don't see both option will happen anytime soon.

What remains on the forum are the people who are interested in the more detailed, "specialized" parts of blockchain, trading and new projects.

But that limited to tech-savvy or geek, most developer (even Bitcoin Core developer) don't use or stopped using this forum.

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February 17, 2019, 04:01:03 PM
Last edit: February 17, 2019, 04:12:07 PM by theymos
Merited by dbshck (4), mprep (1), qwk (1), LoyceV (1)
 #10

Quality and usefulness (which compete with freedom) are things that are always on my mind, but I'm not bothered by popularity. Most people will always use the big, popular platforms, and bitcointalk.org will never compete with them. Trying to compete with them would require totally changing how the site works, not just tweaking around the edges and adding a fresh coat of paint. (Our next-gen Epochtalk software works fundamentally the same way as the current software, just better.) I tend to agree with poptok1's post.

does anyone have any idea if the number of new members is stagnating (significantly), or not?

We're at a local minimum, but registrations jump around a lot:
Code:
+---------------------+---------------+
| 30day starting      | registrations |
+---------------------+---------------+
| 2009-11-02 00:00:00 |             3 |
| 2009-12-02 00:00:00 |             8 |
| 2010-01-01 00:00:00 |             8 |
| 2010-01-31 00:00:00 |            22 |
| 2010-03-02 00:00:00 |             5 |
| 2010-04-01 00:00:00 |            22 |
| 2010-05-01 00:00:00 |            15 |
| 2010-05-31 00:00:00 |            33 |
| 2010-06-30 00:00:00 |           325 |
| 2010-07-30 00:00:00 |           159 |
| 2010-08-29 00:00:00 |           148 |
| 2010-09-28 00:00:00 |           190 |
| 2010-10-28 00:00:00 |           204 |
| 2010-11-27 00:00:00 |           383 |
| 2010-12-27 00:00:00 |           384 |
| 2011-01-26 00:00:00 |           938 |
| 2011-02-25 00:00:00 |          2202 |
| 2011-03-27 00:00:00 |          2737 |
| 2011-04-26 00:00:00 |          4936 |
| 2011-05-26 00:00:00 |         14048 |
| 2011-06-25 00:00:00 |          6250 |
| 2011-07-25 00:00:00 |          3903 |
| 2011-08-24 00:00:00 |          2938 |
| 2011-09-23 00:00:00 |          1983 |
| 2011-10-23 00:00:00 |          1965 |
| 2011-11-22 00:00:00 |          1835 |
| 2011-12-22 00:00:00 |          1812 |
| 2012-01-21 00:00:00 |          2082 |
| 2012-02-20 00:00:00 |          1901 |
| 2012-03-21 00:00:00 |          2158 |
| 2012-04-20 00:00:00 |          1969 |
| 2012-05-20 00:00:00 |          2057 |
| 2012-06-19 00:00:00 |          2040 |
| 2012-07-19 00:00:00 |          2145 |
| 2012-08-18 00:00:00 |          2419 |
| 2012-09-17 00:00:00 |          2661 |
| 2012-10-17 00:00:00 |          2958 |
| 2012-11-16 00:00:00 |          2763 |
| 2012-12-16 00:00:00 |          2611 |
| 2013-01-15 00:00:00 |          3320 |
| 2013-02-14 00:00:00 |          4933 |
| 2013-03-16 00:00:00 |         13816 |
| 2013-04-15 00:00:00 |         18162 |
| 2013-05-15 00:00:00 |         11318 |
| 2013-06-14 00:00:00 |          8095 |
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| 2014-01-10 00:00:00 |         29576 |
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| 2014-03-11 00:00:00 |         22534 |
| 2014-04-10 00:00:00 |         18065 |
| 2014-05-10 00:00:00 |         13071 |
| 2014-06-09 00:00:00 |         12180 |
| 2014-07-09 00:00:00 |         10561 |
| 2014-08-08 00:00:00 |         10925 |
| 2014-09-07 00:00:00 |          9418 |
| 2014-10-07 00:00:00 |          8218 |
| 2014-11-06 00:00:00 |          7974 |
| 2014-12-06 00:00:00 |          8136 |
| 2015-01-05 00:00:00 |         23256 |
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| 2015-03-06 00:00:00 |         33500 |
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| 2015-06-04 00:00:00 |         10303 |
| 2015-07-04 00:00:00 |         11773 |
| 2015-08-03 00:00:00 |          9725 |
| 2015-09-02 00:00:00 |          7644 |
| 2015-10-02 00:00:00 |         68601 |
| 2015-11-01 00:00:00 |         44059 |
| 2015-12-01 00:00:00 |         39244 |
| 2015-12-31 00:00:00 |         37106 |
| 2016-01-30 00:00:00 |         42233 |
| 2016-02-29 00:00:00 |         24213 |
| 2016-03-30 00:00:00 |         19336 |
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| 2016-06-28 00:00:00 |         12582 |
| 2016-07-28 00:00:00 |         10646 |
| 2016-08-27 00:00:00 |          9986 |
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| 2016-10-26 00:00:00 |         10718 |
| 2016-11-25 00:00:00 |         10691 |
| 2016-12-25 00:00:00 |         12429 |
| 2017-01-24 00:00:00 |         13664 |
| 2017-02-23 00:00:00 |         13893 |
| 2017-03-25 00:00:00 |         15276 |
| 2017-04-24 00:00:00 |         20585 |
| 2017-05-24 00:00:00 |         31381 |
| 2017-06-23 00:00:00 |         35866 |
| 2017-07-23 00:00:00 |         40726 |
| 2017-08-22 00:00:00 |         45026 |
| 2017-09-21 00:00:00 |         70477 |
| 2017-10-21 00:00:00 |         95568 |
| 2017-11-20 00:00:00 |        144762 |
| 2017-12-20 00:00:00 |        238433 |
| 2018-01-19 00:00:00 |        136872 |
| 2018-02-18 00:00:00 |        107237 |
| 2018-03-20 00:00:00 |         87087 |
| 2018-04-19 00:00:00 |         89659 |
| 2018-05-19 00:00:00 |         83999 |
| 2018-06-18 00:00:00 |         72430 |
| 2018-07-18 00:00:00 |         61360 |
| 2018-08-17 00:00:00 |         43451 |
| 2018-09-16 00:00:00 |         43516 |
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| 2019-01-14 00:00:00 |         20046 |
| 2019-02-13 00:00:00 |          2763 | [PARTIAL PERIOD]
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February 17, 2019, 04:02:44 PM
 #11

I agree with what mprep said, all the forums I used to visit on the internet are dead or extremely inactive.  Everyone has moved over to reddit, there is a category for everything on reddit.  It is much easier to just create one reddit account and discuss anything you like.
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February 17, 2019, 04:05:53 PM
 #12

Try to compare forum usage and for example Reddit. It is more convenient for many people to communicate in social networks, and not on forums. Today, there are many other platforms where cryptocurrencies are discussed. The forum will be competitive if it is here that new information will appear.

 
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February 17, 2019, 04:14:12 PM
 #13

I don't think Bitcointalk as a forum could regain something back to the way it was 10 years ago, by now Bitcointalk will be competing a lot of websites for its members. We have users who are loyal to specific Facebook groups, Subreddit pages, Telegram/Discord Channels, and of course other crypto-focused forums as well. To top it off not all people at this day in age are into forum like interactions, I don't know but I myself is not comfortable on using other forums because of their layout, luckily BCT is not one of them.

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February 17, 2019, 04:38:10 PM
Merited by dbshck (4), LoyceV (1), poptok1 (1)
 #14

I'm probably giving away my age by saying that I am quite comfortable with the current forum layout. Of course there could be some minor changes, but in the main it is holding up well.
I'd say the issue isn't with the layout, but rather functionality. If one was able to choose (or create) his own layout for the forum, everyone could be satisfied. Technically, SMF 1.X supports custom themes but, as with many other features, it's been disabled for security reasons (possibly unsafe implementation or at least a massive attack vector).

Another potential for Bitcoin is the provision of rewards for content producers. Brave and Steemit are trying this. Where could one discuss this in relation to Bitcoin in the current forum?  The Lightning network is another important development for Bitcoin - should we have a Lightning board?
AFAIK any Bitcoin-related tech discussion should reside in "Development & Technical Discussion". As for the Lightning Network, unless discussions on it are pushing down every other type of topic in one of the forum's boards, it's unlikely it'll get it's own section. In most cases, boards are only created when a subset of a board's topics pushes down the rest of them.

Then it will stop being bitcointalk, at least for me.
There is this thing about relicts, they tend to gain value with time. I think it will happen here also.
A relic that gains value over time is a static object. A community is a living organism. If a community website doesn't adapt to the ever changing landscape of both the internet and society at large, it'll suffer a slow and painful death. I'm not saying Bitcointalk should do a 180 and change it's entire identity, but feature-full (as in by today's standards), easy to use and stable software as well as fostering a community are probably 2 of the few objectively beneficial things to strive for in an online forum.

I think bitcoin needs this place to stay a little archaic, out of time, mostly because it needs backstory. Some sort of a background.
It's not a backstory if it's still the same as it used to be. A backstory is a tale of progression and change - how an object / person / event / platform evolved, not how it remained the same for eternity.

In modern era conservative nature seems old-fashioned, pase even but nevertheless rock solid. Most stable constructions are built on bedrock, not sand and that's why this place is still alive, thriving in fact.
This place is alive because it was the first and only official Bitcoin forum. In an alternate universe, if this forum wasn't the first one and thus in competition with all the other copycats, it probably wouldn't fare as well.

There also this; don't fix, what is not broken; rule, so in my mind this place is bitcoin Smiley the other side of the same coin, in some sense.
People just don't seem to realise this.
As someone who moderates the place as well as an active user of the forum, there are many, many broken things about the forum. There's a reason I barely venture outside Meta if I just want to chill and read some interesting content. Or maybe that's just me.

For quantity (just like r/bitcoin), Bitcoin Talk UI/UX should evolve just like Reddit.
For quality, spam should be eradicated and less strict moderation.

But i don't see both option will happen anytime soon.
Reddit's threaded structure tends to water down discussions, splitting them up into numerous sub-discussions, as well as making it harder for the reader to easily read through a topic. It's upvote / downvote based comment and topic sorting and filtering essentially introduces censorship by democracy - unpopular opinions get pushed down and filtered out, while regurgitated popular opinions consistently get pushed to the top. I'm not particularly fond of Reddit's social media like site design either. As for quality:

1. less strict moderation
2. spam eradicated
3. not spending massive amounts of money and effort on numerous staff, machine learning based detection systems, etc.

Pick 2

Quality and usefulness (which compete with freedom) are things that are always on my mind, but I'm not bothered by popularity. Most people will always use the big, popular platforms, and bitcointalk.org will never compete with them. Trying to compete with them would require totally changing how the site works, not just tweaking around the edges and adding a fresh coat of paint. (Our next-gen Epochtalk software works fundamentally the same way as the current software, just better.) I tend to agree with poptok1's post.
The point is not to compete with social media but be the best you can be in the category you're already competing in - online forums. Epochtalk's development is coming along at a painfully slow pace (see: code frequency; similar patterns in other repositories) with no end in sight for many onlookers. There's a clear systematic issue of incentivized spam, especially in the altcoin sections. Both of these situations indicate that there's a lack of manpower in tackling these issues, be it through oversight, coming up with intelligent and thought out solutions or preparing and applying detailed implementation plans. I'm not saying there are easy solutions (that keep in mind the core values of the Bitcointalk community), but there are many really smart people around the world who, when given sufficient compensation for their work and time, can sooner or later work out the way to properly mitigate these issues.



approximate tl;dr of the entire post: keep core values at heart and improve within the framework they've set up.

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February 17, 2019, 04:52:13 PM
 #15

I can't get on with Reddit's format, and I think that Facebook and Twitter users are either kids, tossers, or politicians.

I really like the structure here, and there are some great members. I'd love to be able to interact with them, but it is pretty difficult at the moment. I think it is sad that more of the senior members don't use Serious discussion,and Ivory Tower.

I'm not sure where to discuss Lightning - would Bitcoin discussion be a good place? I want to start to use it to accept payments.

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February 17, 2019, 05:00:07 PM
Merited by Jet Cash (2)
 #16

Reddit's threaded structure tends to water down discussions, splitting them up into numerous sub-discussions, as well as making it harder for the reader to easily read through a topic. It's upvote / downvote based comment and topic sorting and filtering essentially introduces censorship by democracy - unpopular opinions get pushed down and filtered out, while regurgitated popular opinions consistently get pushed to the top. I'm not particularly fond of Reddit's social media like site design either.

I agree, even though AFAIK there's sub-reddit option to remove downvote option.

As for quality:

1. less strict moderation
2. spam eradicated
3. not spending massive amounts of money and effort on numerous staff, machine learning based detection systems, etc.

Pick 2

By removing signature and bounty child board, 3 of them can be achieved (or partially achieved) at cost forum activity significantly decreased.

Using Machine Learning to detect spam sounds good even though it's expensive, but it's possible if deleted posts because spam is preserved as training data, there's category option when report post and few people with such expertise.

I'm not sure where to discuss Lightning - would Bitcoin discussion be a good place? I want to start to use it to accept payments.

Not bad idea if you self-moderated the thread. You also can check https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=4638321.320, but it's technical oriented discussion rather than general discussion

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February 17, 2019, 05:04:48 PM
 #17

Although I think bitcoin talk is popular to an extent it has more than 2million registered(i stand to be corrected) but compared to bitcoin it's lacking behind.
What if bitcoin talk can have it own social media accounts on social media platforms.

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February 17, 2019, 05:07:16 PM
 #18

@ETFbitcoin

Thanks for the link to that thread. It's massive, so it will have to wait until tomorrow for me to read it. Smiley

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February 17, 2019, 05:20:23 PM
 #19

I prefer the old look of bitcointalk and I don't think it is an issue.  Craigslist still has the same layout from years ago and looks like something out of the 1990s, yet it is still one of the most visited websites on the internet for commerce.
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February 17, 2019, 05:48:36 PM
Merited by dbshck (5), mprep (1)
 #20

A relic that gains value over time is a static object. A community is a living organism. If a community website doesn't adapt to the ever changing landscape of both the internet and society at large, it'll suffer a slow and painful death. I'm not saying Bitcointalk should do a 180 and change it's entire identity, but feature-full (as in by today's standards), easy to use and stable software as well as fostering a community are probably 2 of the few objectively beneficial things to strive for in an online forum.
It's not static, metals cover with patina, paintings get pale and so on. Sure maintenance is needed but custodians have this iron rule to never repair, only conserve. Of course it's a bad idea to apply this to computer code however preservation of the original experience can not be a bad thing... right? I do agree that it needs to stay on par with the technology, period. Only solution seems to be emulation Smiley New soft, old looks.

It's not a backstory if it's still the same as it used to be. A backstory is a tale of progression and change - how an object / person / event / platform evolved, not how it remained the same for eternity.
It is a backstory to me. Not only words but also those old obsolete signature codes, that link to non-existent places. Would be a shame to loose all that as it is a story. Sotory of change because of the medium, because it wasn't changed 5years ago in to something else. Call me sentimental but I truly believe in the power of traditions and those can't be built of liquid-like changes. This of course if preserving any satoshis spirit is our goal...

This place is alive because it was the first and only official Bitcoin forum. In an alternate universe, if this forum wasn't the first one and thus in competition with all the other copycats, it probably wouldn't fare as well.
That's true. I don't know where I was going with this ;_p
As someone who moderates the place as well as an active user of the forum, there are many, many broken things about the forum. There's a reason I barely venture outside Meta if I just want to chill and read some interesting content. Or maybe that's just me.
Obviously you know better. I saw this pattern couple of times though, owners decide to refresh UI, users complain, small part of them leaves never to return. Owners perform more updates to introduce fancy stuff -> dégringolade, downfall etc.
In my opinion this is the purest, most legible classic-forum around, basically the last page that does not make my eyes tired after 15 minutes of reading and so, I'm a little worried when I hear some staff member mentions drastic changes. Eh...can't stop progress, I guess, emulate  Cool

 
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