Tag Archives: thread

Can Online Discussions Always Be Positive?

I noticed a thread today on Geeks that is talking about how discussions always end up turning negative in some way. This got me to thinking about conversations I have all over the web – on Geeks, over at Lockergnome, here in my blog, and even on sites like Twitter. It seems no matter what you’re trying to talk about, someone is going to be negative in some way. The people in this particular thread are right – it truly is annoying.

I’m not talking about differing opinions. Those are great, and I welcome them. Hopefully, you like hearing them as well. Having different viewpoints on things allows us to stretch our minds in directions they may not have otherwise gone. It can make us look at things in a whole new way, from a completely different perspective.

The negativity I’m referring to is exactly as it sounds – negativity, for no reason other than to be rude/demeaning. You’ll be having a conversation that’s going along nicely, and some person pops their nose in and starts going off on a tangent about something that may or may not relate to your discussion. They may even be completely rude about it, or directly “attack” someone involved in the thread/post. I really hate that. What’s the point of it? Why must Internet trolls even exist? Can’t we just like shoot them out of a cannon or something?

Seriously, though, why does it seem so difficult these days to have a completely intelligent conversation with others without the fear of someone taking it down a road it should never go? What are your thoughts? Are you seeing more and more of this lately, and how do you get past it to continue your discussion? What else are you reading and/or participating in online that has your mind stretching?

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What is Twitter Good For?

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An acquaintance of mine, Deb, made an interesting assertion at the [re]Think Hawaii conference last week. She suggested that Twitter is where conversations are happening. I suggested that that isn’t quite accurate.

As you very well know, I am on Twitter. However, I don’t use it to have conversations as some of you do. To me, trying to use Twitter to have a conversation is similar to using a screwdriver to pound a nail into a steel door. Sure, it’s a tool… but are you using that tool the way it was designed?

Twitter wasn’t designed for conversations. It’s difficult to track them. To go one level deep into an interaction is an exercise in futility. Have you ever gone to a person’s page, and seen ten tweets in a row, complete with several @msgs? It’s impossible to follow.

I say that if you want to have an actual conversation, I feel you should be doing so somewhere like FriendFeed or Facebook. That is easy to track. Twitter wasn’t built with threading in mind. It’s a great tool, don’t get me wrong. It’s just not a place to have conversations. Don’t use it in ways it was never meant to be used.

Sooner or later, I’m sure that Twitter will figure out a way to make it easy to follow threads and conversations. A one-to-one is done easily via a direct message… such as with IM or email.

I’m going on record as a person in the world of social media, and state outright that Twitter isn’t a good way to have a conversation. If someone @myself, I tend to follow up via email or DM if I want to reply to or address whatever it was. However, it’s very seldom that I try to interact with someone on a one-on-one basis on Twitter. I usually only share information that I think would be funny/interesting/informative to my community.

I could be wrong, of course. This is just my opinion. If you do disagree with me, you can say so on Twitter, or even here on my blog.

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The Winds of Change

Someone started a discussion the other day on Geeks, asking others if they felt the site has changed too much. The OP was griping about how not every single discussion and blog post was technology-related, and how dare a group of Geeks talk about anything else?! Kat replied, reminding everyone that when we first began the site, we stated from the get-go that it wasn’t only designed for Technology Geeks. A Geek is someone who has passion for something, whether it be technology, gardening, singing or even motorcycles. Therefore, Geeks is a place for anyone and everyone who has some type of passion. How, then, has it “changed”? People are talking about what’s on their minds, and in their hearts. They’re making use of the site the way I intended it. If some people want more tech-related threads, then they will hopefully start them.

I couldn’t help but add something to that discussion myself. Someone pointed out how they don’t like the fact that not every video I record is related to technology. What a sad day it would be if there was nothing more to me than the tech side. Being multi-faceted is one of the best parts of being human. We have many varied interests, passions and thoughts. If we were one-dimensional, the World would pretty much suck.

Personally, I’m quite happy that I’m making changes in my life. I’m opening myself up to new experiences, and having a great time. I’m allowing my mind to go in directions I hadn’t before. Since when is that a bad thing? Why is it I am being judged for broadening my horizons? If you are the same person you were a year ago, I feel sorry for you. Life is about growing and changing, even once you’re an adult.

That thread wasn’t the only thing worth spending time getting involved in around our community today. So many of you are showing your creative, funny and passionate sides with every post and thread you make. Keep them coming!

What Do You Remember When You Look Back?

Reading through the different things posted by our community today, I came across a post that truly had me stopping to think. One member wrote a blog post discussing things he looks back upon with a smile. That had me wondering what kinds of things from the distant (and not-so-distant!) past make me just stop and smile in memory. There are many things that do, making me feel as though I’ve been fortunate for the most part. Things like recalling my first video game playing experience all the way through to the funny things my dogs do today make me take time out to just crack a grin. What kinds of memories do you smile and giggle over?