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So what is RiotACT these days?

By Cameron - 9 October 2007 81

Plenty of people are commenting on how RA has changed.

It certainly has since I first starting lurking and infrequently posting (in 2003ish ?) – largely due to the fact that the number of readers/contributors has simply exploded.

A lot of the feedback has been that RA is turning into a whingefest, and that a lot of frivolous articles are being published. I’d agree with that somewhat, and also go to say that there is a lot more unnecessarily harsh posting than there used to be as a result.

The brief we get at the top of the site for every page view is “News, Information & Opinion”. The admins still approve posts before they hit the site, so that being the case, should we not accept that these are the articles that they want on their site and if we don’t like them just go elsewhere?

Or, do the admins need to be more selective with what they let through? Should the “opinion” part of the News, Information & Opinion brief be a little more controlled?

My take is that RA was better (in that it was more informative and a little less hostile) when the bulk of the articles were legitimate news and information, and the opinion part of it came in the comments on those articles.

I’m particularly interested in the opinion of the admins on this one…

What’s Your opinion?

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81 Responses to
So what is RiotACT these days?
Absent Diane 12:46 pm 09 Oct 07

ra – it gives me somewhere to be weird when I am all serious face at work 🙂

Thumper 12:43 pm 09 Oct 07

Um, yeah…

all the above I think.

If anything, it’s a forum where you can have your say, people can agree, or can shoot you down in flames. Makes for interesting reading and probably gives a good cross section of the society we are living in.

The world is like that, it would be a seriously boring place if everyone agreed on everything….

Cheers all contributors 🙂

Jonathon Reynolds 12:39 pm 09 Oct 07

I believe that RA provides does provide a useful function sorely lacking in the Territory. It neatly fills the gap between the serious news outlets (which generally gloss over the local issues) and the all the insight of a magazine gossip column.

As regards to the personal sniping (hostility) that has started to occur… I find that that if you simply ignore it, the snipers get fed up and eventually move on.

Woody Mann-Caruso 12:36 pm 09 Oct 07

RA rules. Everybody here is tops*, mostly because they can give as good as they take. The robust thrust and riposte over most issues discussed here is healthy for everybody, and by Jeebus, it’s good for democracy. So what if the occasional bit belly button of lint slips past the quality filter – just gives us all something else to pounce on and talk/whinge about. It’s the “Riot” ACT, not the “orderly refereed debate over crumpets and cucumber sandwiches” ACT.

*except Ralph^
^Just kidding – love ya, moit. 😉

Mr Evil 11:55 am 09 Oct 07

“Hahaha Mr Evil, you reminded me of that $5 pizza tighwad.”

Yep, he/she was certainly one of them!

Jazz 11:55 am 09 Oct 07

Thanks for the vote of confidence swaggie.

Cameron, I’ll try to cover each of your points but if i miss anything, feel free to ask again.

For the last 6 years we’ve been exceedingly lucky to have johnboy spend so much of his personal time managing the admin of the site. Firstly while he was working at capmon and later when he was trying to get the Concatenate up and running as his own business venture. In both of those roles we were fortunate that he had access to a lot of news feeds and had the time to pick and choose the great stuff to put up here.

The other Four of us: Che, NTP, Kramer and Myself have all had full time day jobs and still do that we try to fit running this site around. Unfortunately those dont always permit us several hours in the morning to trawl through news feeds and as a result we rely heavily on the submissions of the readership for news and views of interest.

It doesnt surprise me in the slightest that the site has changed as a result. This year to date 163,335 people have read The-RiotACT. In total that equates to 557,123 visits and 1,603,694 page impressions. Just because you dont agree with what those ~160k people want to read, doesnt make their contributions, or opinions in the form of comment any less valid than anyone else here. I was also surprise to learn just recently that the ACT has a turnover of around 36,000 residents every year. Not surprising then that new views come on here from time to time.

One of the things that we have tried to stay true to is that we offer an open forum and ACT & region based content. As Maelinar points out, we do have standards.

If people want to put their own spin on a story then let them (unless defamatory, stupid, wrong or not about Canberra in which case we’ll can it), they’ll get rebutted or supported with comments.

Its just the same as if we admins put a certain spin on referencing an article from the ABC, Canberra Times or a Press Release.
Yes it can be a whinge fest because thats what people like to do and they want to tell their opinions.

We’ve been putting a lot of work in behind the scenes on a new RiotACT that will let you skip over the stuff you dont want to read & follow more closely the stuff that does interest you. Its still a little way off just yet.

GnT 11:43 am 09 Oct 07

Every single forum I’ve ever been on always seems to have a thread saying “this forum used to be great, now it’s gone all bitchy”. My opinion is that people discover a great site and start posting with enthusiasm, then someone posts a comment that they don’t agree with, and they form the opinion that the whole site has gone downhill.

RiotACT is an open forum. IMO every story, as long as it’s local and not offensive, is legit. If you don’t like reading someone’s rant, don’t.

It has changed since it was the Johnboy show, with much more variety and many more punters having a go at posting stories. I’d like to see this continue.

hingo_VRCalaisV6 11:39 am 09 Oct 07

Hahaha Mr Evil, you reminded me of that $5 pizza tighwad. Good times.

Growling Ferret 11:36 am 09 Oct 07

Maybe John Howard and Kevin Andrews actions and words on tolerance and understanding of others are filtering through to the wider community.

Just wait until someone posts about some teenager from some ethnic minority picking his nose at Civic Interchange – the place will explode in moral outrage!

Mr Evil 11:23 am 09 Oct 07

I’m a bit over the crap that seems to appear here like:

* some ‘virgin’ poster has a grudge against a shop/business/restuarant and decides to come on RA to have a whinge – and then becomes all hurt and upset when we don’t all bend over backwards being helpful and understanding because we think they’re pathetic.

* someone comes on here wanting to know about some murder committed at the Private Bin in the late-80s, then got all high and mighty when the thread wandered off topic slightly because we weren’t all going out of our way to assist his/her research!!!!!

Basically though, I do think we’ve all gotten a bit less tolerant and grumpy here: maybe it’s global warming?

S4anta 11:17 am 09 Oct 07


I this penny arcade pretty much sums it all up.

Maelinar 11:13 am 09 Oct 07

Read this comment.

“I know it looks like we run any old crap here, but we do have some standards.” – Johnboy, July 2006

Swaggie 11:12 am 09 Oct 07

RA just seems to continually evolve in an ongoing process largely due to (as the OP states) the influx of new readers / posters. Constructive comments do seems to be overshadowed at times by useless comments and the departure of JB had a big impact, he did rather make his presence felt on a day to day basis, but admins are largely doing a top job – no change required IMO.

RandomGit 11:11 am 09 Oct 07

I’m disappointed that discussions of old, no matter how heated they got, have turned into the usual pack of jackals ganging up on dissent.

In other words, people shutting down discussion rather than fuelling it has become more prevalent.

hingo_VRCalaisV6 10:44 am 09 Oct 07

Let it all go through. It keeps people entertained. At worst, it is good for a laugh.

If someone has spent the time writing the article, then I think it is legitimate, or at least they thought it was.

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