12 May 2008

Riot down the drain?

| papadoc
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I’ve mentioned it before and a lot of people have also said that recently this forum has become less abot news and more about opinions and name calling. In one recent post The RiotACT was likened to a teen magazine. Now, as a collective, can we come up with some ideas on how to fix it? It’s been 3 years since I started reading this site on a daily basis and I know a lot of you have been here much longer, so like a puppy we’ve all been a part of raising, can we guide it so that it will one day be a better place for everyone.

“Won’t somebody pleeeeease think of the children” -Maude Flanders

I’m trying to help out and do my bit here, so can we show some respect and keep the flaming out of the comments. Saying things like “Kick so and so off coz they’re stupid” etc. is not constructive and will just contribute to the downfall of a previously wonderful forum.

Much Love…

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RiotACT is a great outlet for those who have an opinion that is not respected elsewhere… or is that anywhere?

You too, Maelinar?

I wanted a name, but John Griffiths was already taken. I just use that everywhere else though, like in RBT’s, calling radio stations, lineups, ordering porn, etc.

To defeat the pedants early, if i’m using a pseudonym for anything other than artistic merit and for concealment of identity for defensive purposes its technically a nom de guerre.

Now if I was calling my self Alan Smithee

Deadmandrinking5:12 pm 16 May 08

I’m not hiding behind anything, it’s just my real names kinda boring (Maelinar can’t make WMD – Haw haw haw – jokes with my real initials). If people look at the Facebook group, it shouldn’t be that hard to figure out who I am. I left a clue anyway.

Counterpoint to Johnathon Reynolds’ above:
I have worked in areas where the opinions (or articles) I have had on here would have gotten me either severely reprimanded or at least told to get back into line or face consequences.

If the occasional spray here means I can have a nom de plume to attach an opinion to without getting fired or meaning the girlfriend doesn’t have to sit through a(nother) rant, I support it.

Jonathon on the other hand already wants a public profile, people know where to find him, and he likes that.

Jonathon Reynolds4:57 pm 16 May 08

I think the problem with RiotACT is not the quality of stories. Lets face it they are all user contributed. You will get some good, some bad and some just plain ugly as a result. If individuals wants to go to the time, effort and trouble in writing a tome about how annoyed they feel that they were overcharged for their pizza – let them!

Unfortunately, it is the highly vitriolic, verging on the libellous commentary and flaming by contributors that don’t have the courage or convictions to identify themselves that drags the whole site down.

I’ll admit cop my fair share of the directed abuse, but I am thick skinned (in more ways than one) and it does not worry me. But at least I (and a few notable others) do not attempt to hide behind pseudonyms. I choose to have an opinion, I choose to express that opinion in a public forum and I am prepared to identify myself and stand by my convictions.

Hopefully others will see the light and do their bit to help.

look, if you don’t want negative feedback, you don’t post on a public forum. Simple.

I for one like the fact that if I post something that everyone else has an opinion on, at least they will voice it, without me getting a smack in the head if I try the same thing at the pub. I can also control my drinking here….

^^ what caf said.


What I saw seemed more like slander than anything else. I think its the quality of the audience participation that was lacking.

Jazz: “Fear of negative feedback” stopping people from posting isn’t necessarily so bad. After all, “fear of negative feedback” is the typical reason stopping us from doing poor quality work anywhere in life, so it’s a necessary thing for maintaining quality. It’s only if “fear of negative feedback” is stopping good stories from being posted that we should care. I believe we want and expect the “fear of negative feedback” to prevent crap (irrelevant / barrow-pushing / astroturfing / poorly-researched / poorly-presented…) stories from showing up here.

Ingeegoodbee10:58 am 15 May 08

I’ve probably committed just about every crime and transgression possible on this site – so I can comment from experienc, or rather, I would comment from experience – if I could be arsed, but I’m not …


we can reset your password you know 😉 just get in touch 🙂

I’d like more poeple to get involved as i think it really enhances the value that everyone gets out of the site. Having said that I can understand why our survey is showing the reason most people dont is fear of negative feedback. I’m looking into ways of addressing that.

Long time lurker (5 years I think? if thats possible) and very infrequent poster (this is a new nick as I’d forgotten my old one’s password, etc.

I just wanted to say that I really enjoy the cut and thrust of the comments here and that I do keep coming back for the entertainment factor in the posts. Sure, I’ll disregard posts that don’t interest me and read those that do. Also I have raised my eyebrows at the way some posters are disregarded as blow ins – but that hasn’t stopped me from posting or reading. What usually stops me from posting is the fact that my opinions are usually summed up in a much more literate manner by someone else before I ever get to have my say.

The fact that someone might insult me never comes into it as I am aware that an unknown persons opinion of me matters very little in the real world and usually says more about them and their insecurities. To get angry and defensive about a simple post is surely a waste of time.

That said, I really do enjoy the site the way it is now and I refute the claim that it is going down the drain. Jazz, you might have the stats, but I woudl imagine that readership is up and that can only mean good things right?

Deadmandrinking7:15 pm 14 May 08

Holy sh*t, I agree with Maelinar at post #57. I people don’t like what’s being posted here, they can post their own stories. Except, I think the site may go down the drain if ‘one side reigns supreme’. Part of the riot-act’s appeal is the sh*tfights, as Diane pointed out.

Absent Diane5:08 pm 14 May 08

I personally love the shi! fights!! entertainment plus!! actually i would love to see a list of all my comments and fights over the years – not that I am vain or anything – just a little bit brilliant!!


i’d disagree that what happend to that that thread wasnt journalism. I cut the following definition from wikipedia. The empahsis bolded below is mine

Journalism is the discipline of gathering, writing and reporting news, and broadly it includes the process of editing and presenting the news articles. Journalism applies to various media, but is not limited to newspapers, magazines, radio, and television. While under pressure to be the first to publish its stories, each news media organization adheres to its own standards of accuracy, quality, and style

Taking that a step further to citizen journalism Wikipedia again helps out (bold is my emphasis)

In a 2003 Online Journalism Review article, J. D. Lasica classifies media for citizen journalism into the following types: 1) Audience participation (such as user comments attached to news stories, personal blogs, photos or video footage captured from personal mobile cameras, or local news written by residents of a community).

Therefore according to the world at large, margo doesnt know what she’s talking about.

Ahh the bogan names thread… Would love to start that up again, much as i depised it in the beginning, but then that means I will have to read…Not Gunna Happen…

Maybe I need to head out and take more photos eh ?

Thanks Skidblanir, I didn’t notice your post.

I read the first one about the ACT greens candidate. I really do not blame her for what happened there. She did answer the questions, but the people questioning didn’t listen to the answers. She thought this was a journalism site, and clearly what happened in that thread wasn’t journalism.

Ill read the other ones but later, ill get fired if i dont get off here soon.

See above comment by me, Tap.

Or hit up google and do a search on site:the-riotact.com “Margo Kingston”.

Can we have back a search entire site functionality? (Not that there’s anythign wrong with the current search, but I’ve now realised its something i miss)

[Ed. (Jazz) the current search function does search the entire site, however i’m looking into an advance search function which will allow searches to be far more specific.]

Margo kingston links? ive searched for her name but only got one article that she wasn’t actually commenting in. I’d really like to read what happened for myself…

State of the Riot was something that JB used to spend several hours a month knocking together. As much as we’d love to revive it, its also a matter of priorities.

You could start a weekly commentary of odd baby names Danman – that was a popular event.

There used to be a regular state of the riot post that tracked search queries by popularity , server traffic etc…… Dunno what happened to that.

It used to be a sign of popularity, or self promotion to find your user name in that query list.

There was also quite odd searches submitted…..odd indeed.

If anyone has any suggestions while we are doing the “love/hate in” on how I can be a better Riot Act poster and story submitter, please, let me know.

Holden Caulfield12:57 pm 14 May 08

This thread sucks, you’re all a pack of wankers.

(How’d I do?)

Margo was a single thread wonder for Kerrie Tucker (ACT Greens candidate in the Federal election) over in this thread.

Margo supplied reasonable Greens & Kerrie policy answers to standard questions, and things looked fine for Kerrie, who was actually a candidate with a fair chance, and certainly more representative of her community than Bob McMullan, the Labor Shill Extraordinaire…

Then Margo Kingston started giving in to being baited by a troll (who may or may not work for a crackpot group like the Citizens Electoral Council, who are quite mad, right wing, and a bunch of certifiable crackpots). If Margo had just kept her trap shut we probably would have dismissed the Troll and carried on not hating her.

Basically she showed up, was willing to engage us in answering questions, and everybody turned against her only after she started getting abusive when we weren’t immediately supportive of her stance..

(Which is a standard behaviour for Margo Kingston and her cursed kind.
See also:
Margot versus the Dragway
Margo versus Webdiary and Everybody except Margot

One thing I have learned here is the Godwin’s/Goodwin’s Theory. I thought that was interesting.

Also, I have to agree with the concept of skipping over topics that I am not interested in. Not difficult, some should try it and see how they feel.

As for the rest, viva l’differance and enjoy life.

I asked an overlord the other day about how many different people commented, they don’t track that at the moment, so it wouldn’t be easy to say whether there is more or less at the moment.

I’ve noted there are more people here than when I first started – care to back that comment up ?

Any links to old stories with margo commenting?

Mælinar said :

New RiotACT 3.0, with less cotton wool.

…And less readers and contributors.

[Ed. (Jazz) Actually i think you will find that has less to do with the current incarnation of Riot’s look and feel and more to do with the fact while johnboy was the admin he was far more ruthless with people and comments he didnt like. I, on the other hand reckon you should all say what you want and be prepared to be judged accordingly. There are also more readers and contributors now, than this time last year when JB was at the helm.]

Most people in this world don’t expect to be called insulting names, and many actually find it very upsetting. – where do they live, in the past ?

New RiotACT 3.0, with less cotton wool.

Many people who I reckon would contribute greatly to this place are repelled by the prospect or actuality of being insulted. Most people in this world don’t expect to be called insulting names, and many actually find it very upsetting. It should never be tolerated.

Woody Mann-Caruso11:23 am 14 May 08

I thought “Why don’t you STFU fatty?” was a new high point for The RA. Direct, honest, concise, clear. A slice of fried gold. With bacon.

hang on wait… Margo Kingston used to haunt here?

I had held back on commenting on many threads because of being attacked for exressing my opinion previosly. I don’t have a problem with someone disagreeing with my opinion, but I do have a problem with being called names and insulted.
I think people should learn not to name call and grow up a little.

Agree with Sepi. I really loathe the way people start screaming about a story that they personally are not interested in. So what? Some people are. I like the reviews, I like reading about good businesses, and bad ones. I like reading peoples’ rants. There’s a lot of stuff I’m not interested in, but jeez you’d have to be pretty self-absorbed and arrogant to claim publicly that anything you find uninteresting should not be published.

I don’t like to see lynch mobs either, but Margo was a bit prone to “you all suck” type statements, and attacking people who disagreed with her (rather than trying to persuade them with good arguments). It’s a shame it went down that path, as it is nice to see people with particular knowledge posting here. Then again, such people aren’t going to tolerate being splattered with monkey dung, either.

I really don’t understand why people have a problem with one topic posters, or people who find the site when they are fired up about something, and post about it.

I’d rather read a fired up article by someone from Macarthur who is worried about the new gas plant, and their personal feelings, and info they heard at the local meeting etc, than just a link to the latest ABC news story on the same topic.

And some peoploe may be one topic posters cos they know a lot about that topic. I’m still disppointed that Margo Kingston was chased away.

Gungahlin Al4:18 pm 13 May 08

“putting the final touches on the federal budget”

Bit late for the printers Kramer…
Unless it’s SO secret squirrel even that couldn’t be risked?

or something….

I see 🙂

All good then.. ill my arse sit back down

Normally I do post by the straightforward “Post an Item” method, but due to Imageshack and all other photo hosting being on the List of Bad Sites from work, I only emailed it as the photos were what made the story.
(Thanks Kramer)

Skid, perhaps submitting your stories in the usual manner i.e. that big post item button up the top of the screen should work.

Not having a go, just suggesting an alternative to what you have already tried.

Also it has been mentioned that since JB left, RA does no thave full time webadmins, they are doing it in their own spare time, so thi smay explain why your story may take a little while to make it to teh front page of RA.

Patience grashopper.

None of us check that email… but we do check root @ the-riotact.com 🙂

I’m sure one of the other admins are looking at it between purchasing a billion dollars of stinger missles for defence, or putting the final touches on the federal budget.

By the way, does anyone reading here check the root@riotact mail?

I sent in a story with photos re: The Fountain of Furzer St earlier today.

No worries Tap, and that site I mentioned that might be launched later this year? It’s not mine – I just know about it and I’m looking forward to it being launched (it’s kinda like a franchise – there are other similar sites for other capital cities in Australia).

CanberraResident1:49 pm 13 May 08

@tappus confusus … que?

Gungahlin Al1:38 pm 13 May 08

“people asking for the best florist, the best gym, the best hairdresser etc”

I actually don’t mind these now and then. Found my current chiro via one such thread, and he is every bit as good as the recommendation given here. (Enhance at Ngunnawal BTW).

And have been warned off a number of dodgy food outlets via same means…

The site has ups and downs. Likely timing alongside the ups and downs of enthusiasm of the sysops. I know I feel the same way about the GCC site – there’s just so much time and energy you can put into a voluntary effort…

I have read this site almost from its inception (2001 correct me if I am wrong, but for a long time anyway) initially as I was living OS and was hunting for info on what was going on in canberra which is hard enough to do in the ACT let alone half way around the world .
I do honestly think that the place took a bit of a fall when johnboy left. I didn’t agree with his position on lots of things but he definatly held the place together, since then it has bumped up and down with some noteable persons making an effort (I am guessing) to reinvigorate it.
I have always thought the anti newbie thing a bit d*#kish on the few times it has reared its head, however recently there has been a rash of newbies doing some very provocative things, and I feel if they are so upset with peoples responses to there opinions maybe they should find some other things to do.
I have to say I find an awful lot of threads very trivial but it can be very entertaining listening to what people think is important enough to post (I am sure that a lot of my issues others would find trivial to).

[Ed. (Jazz) Pretty close Andy. It was November 2000 that we first launched the site but dont blame you for not finding it til 2001. Its not like we’ve ever advertised RiotACT’s existence.]

CanberraResident: In the spirit of this post and not starting flaming, I wont rise to your bait.

In answer to your first question, no.

All i said was that i wish people wouldn’t do it, nothing more. I didn’t say people should be banned for doing it.

By the way have you answered (i mean actually answered, not posted something random instead of an answer) my questions yet?

CanberraResident1:07 pm 13 May 08

ok tap, so will you write to mr gates and tell him that the Bold featUre in microsoft word (for exampLe), is – to use your phrase – “desperate”.

trying to teLl people how they SHould and shouldn’t layout theIr posTs is going a bit far isn’t it tap? i kept this mostly in lower case, especially for you …

At risk of this thread degrading into an off-topic rant, I have refrained from posting until the conversation turned to the subject of being too dumb to bold text, and too dumb to look up the information themselves.

I consider the RA is still adapting itself to a ‘world without JB at the helm’ – the tenor and vigour of the debate, as well as the sheer amount of local news and issues, was coordinated by a direct hand in the action.

Under the current arrangements, the RA team do not have the ability to continually nurture and maintain the site, and must therefore employ ‘remote control’ administration.

A frank observation is some newer people that may have been reluctant to engage the wrath of JB have been more bold in their strategies and stances, and bolstered by strength in numbers, are riding high on their leftist pinko rant horse soap-boxes.

While I welcome all parties to the debate, without a strict administrative overseer, all parties need to accept that there will be a transitive period of shouting down the other side until one side reigns uppermost – aka the nature of the internet.

While it may seem at times I am the only right-winger here, having an engaging discourse at WMD and tap, I have noted recently a number of normally silent rioters have stepped into the conversation for example. – the transitive period also engages peoples strongly-felt feelings, and urges them to post.

As has been noted several thousand times previously, if people do not like the tenor of RA, feel free to submit your own stories. Last time I checked the majority of us live and work here (ok I haven’t checked, but the statement stands), and we all encounter Canberra in some way in our daily lives.

I urge those people who consider that RA has changed, to think about their roles, and how they could have made subtle contributions themselves, rather than just sitting there whingeing at a white screen.

Myself, there are a number of story threads I submit – probably more notably restraunt reviews, however I also submit observations as they occur.

I also take issue with new posters plugging their themes, and then disappearing into the void, its pretty easy to get an idea of who they are though, and encourage everybody else here to join in and nail them.

My mistake, that was a different person entriely who does the canberravotes site.

NathanealB, I don’t know how important knowing someones name is. You’re not advertising a feature of your own site are you?

Lets face it, the more interesting things that happen in Canberra, the more this site would be exciting and egaging – and people wouldn’t start arguments because they are bored. But Canberra is small and the amount of readers/posters that RA has is tiny and obviously doesn’t capture all that goes on, if anything. (PS: I have actually tried to think of an interesting topic to post but I’ve got nothin’ – quite sad really for a 20 something!)

Although I think some of the arguments are quite amusing… especially when Mael and DMD start flapping at each other.

CanberraResident: There is no community here. We’re not a troop, fighting for any cause except our own. How can there be a tight-knit community when most people don’t know anything about each other, not even their real names?

Write the letter b in between the less than and greater than symbols and then /b inbetween the less than and greater than symbols when you want to stop being in bold. God its hard to write that without invoking bold… Use the preview button to practice.

Bold would be LESS obnoxious, but still obnoxious. Now THIS is obnoxious. I really cant see how a word being in capitals emphasises a point, it kind of comes off a little desperate.

CanberraResident11:44 am 13 May 08

How the hell did you do that?

Where’s Maelinar when I need him??

Where on RA does it show how to make text bold???

Must one have some knowledge of html? If yes, then forget it.

CAPITALS for me, IF I come back after my dummy spit …

Bah. Forgot my own code html.

CR: i write in CAPITALS because there is no bold capability on this archaic site.

You mean bolded for emphasis like that?

Just use raw HTML coding &gtbold%lt and &gt/bold&lt or &gti&lt &gt/i&lt, and it works fine.

CanberraResident11:14 am 13 May 08

i write in CAPITALS because there is no bold capability on this archaic site. It merely emphasises the word. If it were all capitals I would understand, but the odd capital word here and there isn’t too bad in my point of view. Sorry if it bugs. I’ve seen far worse on the Big brother site … hehe

working Australians10:53 am 13 May 08

come on folks it is just a news site and one persons view of whats news will differ from the others, while my name might be new I have been here since JB,Nick and the boys started this site and it really hasn’t changed that much as far as people go, take a deep breath and enjoy it no matter what you might think there is a real life out there

[Ed. (Jazz) thanks for the vote of confidence]

Barking toad: Thats the trouble with a canberra based forum, like it or loathe it, there isn’t really that much that goes on here that fits outside of what you mentioned. Except ‘Stanhope(less. hahahahaha!! :|) is crap.’

We always talk about federal political issues anyway, mayhaps its time it exand the pond a bit?

barking toad10:31 am 13 May 08

RA content will be all the better if people post more threads along the lines of :

– “Where can I send my kiddies to school?”
– “Where can I buy flowers?”
– “How do I transfer my car rego?”
– “Who is your favourite hairdresser/barber?”
– “Where can you get a good pizza?”
– “I am teh ghey and want to out on this site”
– “I must tell you how I saved the planet for earth hour”
– “I’m too tight to pay but want a free plug on this site”
– “It’s not fair, I can’t find a parking spot!”

These sort of things are of profound importance to the social fabric of our community and must be brought to the attention of RA browsers.

Im not worried about spelling mistakes or grammar, we are not here for an unglish lesson, but i really wish people WOULDN’T write things in capitals. It just seems obnoxious to me and doesn’t add to the point being made.

Maybe the star system should either be gotten rid of or given to all users, I understand it’s there so the people who pay to use a free site don’t feel like complete suckers, but it does seem to give some people (person) a feeling of authority that is a bit too much for them to handle.

Still, I do enjoy this site, the odd occasion that I have been involved in a fairly reasonable debate, where the low blows were kept to a minimum, have been very satisfying. Plus having to really defend an opinion makes me more sure of the opinion… Providing the opinion doesn’t come apart at the seams.

DMD, I hear you loud and clear but there used to be a time when every item on RA was quality – and tehn I started scrolling a bit to get to the good stories, now I have to scroll a lot to get to the good stuff.

I am not complaining about the content of these bad stories, but the actual fact that they are here, on RA and therefore taking up valuable bandwidth.

[Ed. (Jazz) Danman, you’re also forgetting that there were far fewer readers and far fewer stories back in our glorious youth. we also had the benefit of an almost full time editor.]

CanberraResident9:55 am 13 May 08

No thumper, the post on qualifications only goes to show what a bunch of self-absorbed, self-gratifying people frequent this site. If a newbie did that, all hell would break loose. Postmanpat is right.

And what’s with all the hierarchial crap?

For people who seem to spend so much time on this site, SUPPOSEDLY fighting for rights within the community, why so much segregation and division amongst the troops themselves?

Hypocrites the lot of you. Think about THAT.

It’s not really possible to enforce a neutral tone in articles, bias is always in the eye of the beholder. It’s much better to just allow everyone to post their equally biased articles and opinions under their own bylines, and allow the reader to sort through them. We all have a pretty good idea of the biases and political leanings of the regular article posters, I’m sure.

neanderthalsis9:34 am 13 May 08

There is something interesting written at the top of the page:

“The-RiotACT is an online Riot for the Canberra (ACT) Region. It’s an open forum, an ACT online soapbox. It is “right of reply”.

It is an open forum to post news articles, local events, whinges about crap service, crap food, crap governments, crap drivers, crap builders and crap in general. People complain about posts that are little more then a non-specific whinge about the inadequacy of life of some of the poor plebs (eg. complaints about poor service when the poster was rude to the retail slave behind the counter in the first place) but most of these posts die quickly after a few replies of “you’re a wanker, get a life”, etc.

We all have varying opinions on different matters, but don’t always respect the opinions of others.

I do think some folks should go a bit easier on newbies though, unless they have appalling grammar, spelling and punctuation.

[Ed. (Jazz). Yay, somebody noticed that bit at the top, i was beginning to wonder if i should write something different there. :)]

I agree with Canberra Resident. It is a public site, if you don’t like the restaurant reviews don’t read them. If you don’t like the story on where is the best hairdresser, don’t read it.

People seem to be bullied more if they are not one of the regular people who comment on almost every story.

I mean take the story on who has degrees and who hasn’t posted by Thumper. Thumper won’t be criticised because he is a riotact regular but if it was a newbie asking that question chances are they would have been shot down in flames, and probably by one of the regulars! Personally I think it is a stupid post but I also would not shoot the person down in a comment because I realise that some people may like the story (yes I realise I am kind of having a go now – but using as an example only – no offence intended).

What I hate the most about this site is all the people whinging about the parts they don’t like instead of just enjoying the diversity.

Canberra resident we will not, I am afraid, miss you. Your comment above is just what the others are saying they don’t want – but it seems you have a problem understanding others views and opinions. Maybe articulation is too bigger a word?

That you think a little requested respect on the site makes it like a concentration camp is beyond rersponce. A little respect is not a thousand rules. Nor pathetic. Nor devoud of humor. Nor boring.

But, maybe better without you.

@CanberraResident Thousands of rules? No – the ones we already have are adequate: http://the-riotact.com/?page_id=6742

CanberraResident11:12 pm 12 May 08

If you want to rename this site the PRUDE site, then go right ahead, because with some of the suggestions ^^^, that’s what you should do.

The community is made up of a kaleidoscope of people; if you want this site to be run like a concentration camp, with a thousand rules on how to behave, then go right ahead.

Honestly – the more rules you try to introduce, the more pathetic it will become. If you want the site to be a bunch of boring fat cat public servants with no sense of humour, who dissect every friggin topic until it can be dissected no more, then go right ahead.

Someone will start a new site, and frankly, I can’t wait until they do, this place has NO sense of fun at all …. ZILCH.



Bias and opinion (same thing) are not the problem. idiots springing up and down flinging manure and shrieking are the problem.

actually just a clear differnce between news and opinion, a different colour heading etc

a requirement that ‘news’ posts be neutrally worded would be a start; any opinion and discussion being left to the comments section, if riot act is serious about being a reliable source of local news and information then bias has to disappear from the front page.

Deadmandrinking10:48 pm 12 May 08

One thing I have noticed about this site is, believe it or not, you can actually scroll past a topic you don’t like. In fact, with alot of topics, you actually have to click on them to view the entire topic. Wow!

A good lot of the topics on this site I find uninteresting and don’t concern me. I don’t give a flying f*ck about the florists in Manuka personally. But, I understand that someone may…and maybe someone else might be able to suggest a better florist. Now, I know at this point, the powers that be will have compelled everyone who is not interested in the topic to post a million bloody posts on how unimportant the topic is, far drowning the actual answers to the question posed in the topic – but I discovered a better way to ignore a topic I’m not interested in: IGNORE THE BLOODY TOPIC!!! WOW!

A little heavy for some, I know.

Seriously though, I do like a lot of the little pieces about nice or not-nice restaurants, neighbors etc. It adds character to the site and reminds us all that we all have one thing in common, that we all live in this obscure suburban fairy-land they call Canberra.

What would happen to your comments if you were to make them on this new alternative news source? 😀

People get a sense of entitlement or belonging in all forums on the internet(I’ve heard it called the sentinel or sentry effect or something), this site is far from the worst I’ve seen.

Things I like:
*Crazy photos of Canberra and Surroundings regions.
*HOLY CRAP DID YOU SEE THAT CRASH? posts, preferably with pictures of carnage.
*New things to do in Canberra.
*Constructive reviews of things to do in canberra.
*WTF is the government thinking posts.
*Off-the-wall comments that make me snortle.

Things I dislike:
*OP’s of One sided whines about poor service. (I like the whines when they are in the comments).
*Posters who only register to hawk their wares (Unless their wares are awesome and they hang around to respond to comments, like the guy who sells eggs!). It feels like you’re trying to do some guerilla advertising on me, at least contribute a bit in the comments first.

I feel that your main sense of degradation is due to the comments section, many of the regular contributors(Yourself, Joe Canberran and even that crazy Reynolds politician guy to name a few) of OP’s are awesome and make my day just that little bit more bearable.

I guess as a regular contributor you probably feel the pain more of bad comment ettiquite because you spend time out of your day without getting paid to write up something that interests people only to have it derailed by yet another flamewar.

My post doesn’t offer any solution and I can’t really help you fix this problem, but I can say thanks to all you regular contributors out there. Thanks! I really appreciate it 🙂

… and although all content will user-generated like The RiotACT, the sort of carry-on that goes on around here will not be tolerated.

Though what would I know … being “only” 24, younger generation … one of the trouble-makers and all that.

Sorry, sorry, flame-baiting again 🙂

Watch this space people – there is an alternative news site to RiotACT coming soon to Canberra for those who want who are more interested in discussion what’s going on in Canberra rather than voting for the biggest “knob” on the site.

[Ed. (Jazz) There are already alternative news sites to RiotACT nathaniel. In case you haven’t read the Canberra Times it actually has paid journalists creating the stuff. If you could point us to the biggest nob poll i’d be intrigued as to how that one got past me.]

Riotact can be relevant, or dismissed as a silly joke, based on what goes on here. Sadly, there’s a few people who sail in and hurl insults at people willy-nilly. That starts to dig a hole for this site. Robust discussion and argument is one thing, but hurling abuse and insults is something quite different.

Likewise, people starting to have cliquey little conversations not to do with the topic at hand referring to “off site” doings is also counter to the apparent aims of the site.

I’d probably (sadly) say that posters who stand and scream abuse and hurl dung at other posters and contribute nothing of worth, should have their posts nuked. Or else you’ll end up with a few old stagers who hang around, and anyone else who ventures to try and contribute will turn tail and disappear.

RA is good as long as it can avoid $26 cases of wine and $2 over charged pizza type stories.

Also shits me to tears people asking for the best florist, the best gym, the best hairdresser etc.

Why does it feel like I am the only one who uses the trial and error method anymore. Besides, who is to say that someone elses best is everyones best ?

Best in anyone opinion need not mean it is in mine…

Such stories need to be moderated out in my opinion, unless t hey are going to be a worthwhile point of debate i.e. public art instillations etc.

Who gives a toss if you got overcharged for you rpizza.

Restaraunt reviews are cool too, negative and positive, but I would like to see that if the review was negative, that the author had already made a reasonable effort to try and bring their issues to managements defence. No point in dragging someone through the dirt wiothout first giving them the chance to respond o your (unknown to them) complaints a’la a grazing thread here

this isn’t an argument, it’s just the automatic gain-saying of anything the other person says.

Yeah, it’s all gone to shit since I left.

Good to see Thumper and Mael are still around.

Vicepope, no idea mate but the second option is not a bad idea.

However, it takes away from the whole idea of RA does it not?

Sina, sorry, you must have not read what I said, that being, I may be wrong. But at least I was putting forward an opinion. Unlike you.

Come back when you have something constructive.

Come back when you develop a sense of humour. Geez, some people here really have a stick up their a**. Perhaps that’s the problem.

Felix the Cat8:09 pm 12 May 08

Constructive criticism is OK I reckon, flaming not so good (there is a difference IMO though sometimes it can be a fine line).

1 More people need to actually write posts about stuff that is happening in their local area, or has happened to them, that is not already widely publicised in the news.

2 People need to not immediately start screaming about NIMBY’s as soon as someone posts about their local area. We don’t get as many posts from people talking about issues in their suburb now, as they just get crucified. Even if you don’t like that particular post, be aware that by abusing the poster, you are discouraging future scoops.

3 People need to not jump down the throats of new posters. To get ‘news’ you need to allow a variety of people to have their say.

[Ed (Jazz). All very valid points sepi. New posters shouldn’t feel discouraged by what others may respond with. The relative anonymity of the internet does offer some advantages there.]

Oh, make no doubt, there has been some serious argument on the site for a long time. However, the flaming seems to have been a little more personal recently and I believe it is a result of a younger generation who have a different idea about discussion, and/ or arguing.

I may be wrong, of course.

What to do?

Frankly, no idea i’m afraid.

Yes it’s all the fault of those young hippy-commie-lezo-arty-farty-uni-student types, coming on here with all their new-fangled notions!

Thumper/OpenYourMind2 – how would it work, without being simply a mechanism for the fossils to freeze out the new unless/until they decide they like them? And how do you get around people who simply create a new identity and set off again?

Would it be an option for some posters to be tagged as “X% of RiotAct patrons consider this person sane/loony/offensive/bland/a tool”

OpenYourMind27:41 pm 12 May 08

Why not have a rating system like Digg.Com.
And a personal sh1tlist for those that annoy us.

smiling politely7:38 pm 12 May 08

Some good points there. One of the reasons that I don’t comment much, despite coming by here each day, is how vitriolic things can sometimes get. But that’s my choice. A few comments I’d like to add, however:

1. I agree with papadoc that things appear to have gotten a little nasty around the place – and to be perfectly frank I could peg one or two contributors in particular as appearing to be unreasonably obnoxious over the past few weeks (and yet to do so would, at the least, be hypocritical of me). As a reader, it’s starting to feel like it’s inevitable that the discussion on any given topic will degrade into personal insults. Which in turn makes me prefer to read less and visit the site less often. This is a shame as I think there are a number of good posters here. Would be a shame for the advertisers too I expect.

2. Note also that there’ll always be a bit of rubbish simply due to the application of Penny Arcade’s Greater Internet Fuckwad Theory – “Normal Person + Anonymity + Audience = Total Fuckwad”.

3. I’m sure there are those of us that would appreciate more of the civilised, evidence-based discussions of Canberra issues that we occasionally see. So the responsibility is ours, in a “community” sense, to lift our game both as authors and commenters.

Mess: Yes, yes it was.

And perhaps if you don’t like it, don’t read it…

I lurked for a while before signing up and am inclined to think that some folk confuse abuse with argument. Someone’s argument may be idiotic, but that does not necessarily make that person an idiot. While happy to engage in the mutual lobbing of faeces on occasion, I try to do it only when provoked by personal abuse. Some participants seem to see it as wit, or as an essential component of debate.

I think, at least until things settle down, there may be a call for a slightly more robust moderation. Add a ground rule about not chucking gratuitous insults, perhaps. And, maybe, include an express invitation to anyone discussed on a thread to respond – even to the point of contacting the person, if their details are known.

[Ed (Jazz). Vicepope, we do actually have a terms and conditions of use now whereas for a long time RiotACT didn’t. in it (check the footer of this page) it spells out what behaviour we expect of posters before we’ll wade in and start moderating. In a nutshell we expect people to behave themselves reasonably well, albiet noting that things do get riotous at times.]

Wasnt it Helen Lovejoy who said “Won’t somebody pleeeeease think of the children”?

I’ve been here for a long time (think RiotACT v1) and there has always been some name calling and some serious arguments, one could even say bullying (SGS). But that all adds to part of the fun.
I think that it is unfortunate that some Rioters do resort to flaming rather than offering their own contribution or constructive criticism, and certainly the degree of it has increased as the site has become more popular.

Duke nailed the answer to the problem in one hit “if it’s a topic you’re not interested in, don’t post.”

Also the RiotACT has always been about news AND opinions… not just news, that’s part of the fun of it.

Some real trolls on this site – only here to bag out newbies, bag out threads they don’t like and generally add ZERO value to the blog – some of the veteran rioters being the worst offenders.

A very simple rule would be if it’s a topic you’re not interested in, don’t post.

If you’re the type to post on a thread simply for the purpose of telling the author the topic has been done already or you thought their post was boring, you’re nothing but a troll.

The value of a topic is measured by the number of hits and genuine responses it receives.

I’ve only recently been posting on here in earnest, but everytime over the last few years I have had a look at RiotACT there has been arguments.

You just need to have a look at the taglines the site proudly displays to know that there must have been at least some flaming here years previously.

Having said that I would definately like to see the site become more about debate, but I have no clue whatsoever how to do that. Perhaps less pointless comments like mine right now would help 😉

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