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PeakOil is You

PeakOil is You

Forum Realignment

General discussions of the systemic, societal and civilisational effects of depletion.

Is this realignment a good thing for Peakoil.com

Poll runs till Fri 27 Sep 2019, 15:53:01

NO!
1
9%
Maybe?
1
9%
YES!
9
82%
Could be better, idea how below.
0
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Total votes : 11

Forum Realignment

Unread postby Tanada » Thu 20 Jun 2019, 15:53:01

In light of recent complaints and suggestion about the structure of the forums and how they influence participation I have made an adjustment.

For the purposes of this experiment in increasing participation I have moved the regional discussion forums to the open section, where anyone can see and read the threads in these forums. You still need to be a member to post in the open forums, but now you can see more of the discussions that might entice you to join for that purpose.

If you all think this is a terrible idea I have no doubt you will let me know within minutes of these changes going live. We have been looking for ways to increase participation and if this strategy succeeds you will have my gratitude. If it fails, well the way things have been going I don't know if anything could be considered a total failure but I have been proven wrong before.
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Re: Forum Realignment

Unread postby Plantagenet » Thu 20 Jun 2019, 16:26:16

I applaud this decision.

I've suggested doing this multiple times in the past as a way to be more transparent to visitors about the amazing variety of things that get discussed at this site

I have another suggestion.

If we are trying to attract more members, how about we change the banner line at the top that reads "Exploring Hydrocarbon Depletion" to something that more accurately describes the full range of what get discussed here.

I suggest something like "Discussion about Oil, Natural Gas, Alternative Energy, Politics, Economics, and Climate Change"

Or "The Oil Age and What Comes Next"

Or maybe ...something else entirely that you or somebody else suggests.

So HOO RAY to ending the "private threads. And please also consider that the current banner headline no longer captures what the site actually does.

CHEERS!
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Re: Forum Realignment

Unread postby Ibon » Thu 20 Jun 2019, 18:28:01

Let's hope this has a positive impact
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Re: Forum Realignment

Unread postby asg70 » Thu 20 Jun 2019, 19:38:14

It would also help to finally update the underlying software and do a reskin.

Just having new forum software with more modern features like the ability to LIKE a post would be good.

It's just the way it is, it feels like a mausoleum especially the ancient (and oftentimes creepy) photos in "Peak Oil is You".

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Re: Forum Realignment

Unread postby dolanbaker » Fri 21 Jun 2019, 02:12:23

Use a format that is mobile phone friendly, this will open up the site to a whole new audience.
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Re: Forum Realignment

Unread postby Tanada » Sat 22 Jun 2019, 11:13:12

dolanbaker wrote:Use a format that is mobile phone friendly, this will open up the site to a whole new audience.


As far as I can tell the 'Tapatalk' function still works for mobile users. In addition to that the little page icon in the address bar lets anyone with a mobile device switch to text mode for easier reading on any particular bit they are interested in.

Creating a whole new infrastructure for mobile users would be a Herculean task and at present the viewership doesn't support such an investment, unless I misread the situation badly.

I believe what initially drove readers here was the fuel prices spiking up in 2005-2008. Then once prices more or less stabilized from 2009-2013 those who took the longer view stuck around in anticipation of another major spike. The price collapse in late 2014 destroyed the narrative this place was built upon, that prices were rising and would keep rising to the breaking point. Prices have been low to moderate from January 2015 to present which makes proclamations of imminent doom just sound silly.

I also think the FaceBook PO group sucked up much of our possible recruitment, and that page is dominated with hard core doomers who chase out any moderates or optimists as quickly as they can. When the digital generation does a search on Peak Oil if they have a FaceBook account they see a group and visiting that page gives the impression that all is doom and gloom. Revi is a regular participant on that page for example.

For those who don't remember back around 2009 this group split with a large contingent of hard core doomers migrating to a new page called Malthusia. The constant self reinforcing gloom and doom kept new member attraction to a bare minimum and they have as far as I can tell closed down the same way The Oil Drum and other PO websites have. In a very real sense we are the 'Last Man Standing' of legacy Peak Oil sites.

If I had the time and energy I would consider creating a more reflective Peak Oil group on FB and controlling the uber doomers the same way we do here, but I lack the energy for the concerted effort that would take. I have been a moderate who acknowledges the possibility of a crash most of my time here and I still firmly believe Peak Oil is a crucial issue of our civilization. But the constant drumbeat of doom has a very limited mass appeal. One of the founders of this group and early forum admin (my position currently) actually threatened to ban me because I was always challenging his uber doom prognostications. A year or so after he was removed from the staff I was invited to the Moderator group, and a few years later to be Forum Admin. I never sought out either position and actually turned down the opportunity the first time it was offered. This place consumes a huge proportion of my daily online time even with the minimal traffic now because only one other member of the moderator pool remains active and his access is limited.
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Re: Forum Realignment

Unread postby Ibon » Sat 22 Jun 2019, 18:19:54

Tanada wrote:But the constant drumbeat of doom has a very limited mass appeal.


I know of two projects here in Panama where doomstead expats bought land and sold lots to fellow doomers as a resilient community prepping for collapse. One did fairly well 10 years ago selling lots and is still in existence today but the glue of doom that was supposed to hold this community together hasn't faired well and I think for the same reason that Malthusia website failed and to a degree why we have also lost members. Doom better damn well happen within that mythical 5 year time frame otherwise members get down right ornery.

The other project here adapted somewhat and switched over to a more positive message expressly stating that they were NOT doom and negative oriented but just wanting to live low impact low consumption sustainable agrarian lifestyle. Food forests is how this project has marketed their place.

I have always been a fairly positive optimisitc voice on this site in terms of the long term prognosis molding human culture in sustainable and positive ways but I am also an advocate of seeing consequences as solutions and leaning into them instead of trying to "cure" them. Moving through the consequences..... I am personally somewhat surprised how little this resonates with most folks. You would think in a population of 7.5 billion with the writing clearly on the wall that there would be more curious members coming here and also forming other similar sites.

Call it the grand inquiry on how humanity will move through the coming ecological impasse.

There really is very very little juice out there in the collective to discuss this stuff even when it is framed in ways that project silver linings in the coming hardships.

Astonishing really.
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Re: Forum Realignment

Unread postby Newfie » Sat 22 Jun 2019, 19:13:44

My recollection of Malthusia’s demise was more that it was a one woman show and when life caught up with her there was no one to pick up her effort.

But yeah, doom sucks. I used to peek in on Desdemona Despair but somewhere along the line it just got too much for me. One story in particular, for reasons unknown to my conscious, got to me. I think the site is still there, I support it’s existence, I just can’t do that anymore.

I have no clue how this human experiment will unfold. That’s the one Iron clad thing I’ve learned, the unexpected happens. For that reason my “preps” such as they are, focus on remaining flexible, agile. As noted above best to not get locked in on any one particular scenario. Although I still feel we are most vulnerable to a global financial collapse, there are many other possibilities, more than I can, or desire to, imagine.

I’ve set myself some personal goals I’m about right now. Working on my fears and anxieties and ambitions. It’s all I can handle for the moment. The world will have do without me for a bit.
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Re: Forum Realignment

Unread postby AdamB » Sat 22 Jun 2019, 22:06:37

Newfie wrote:My recollection of Malthusia’s demise was more that it was a one woman show and when life caught up with her there was no one to pick up her effort.


Are we talking about Shanny? For years she was trying to get to like Paraguay, did that ever come off? I remember her once trying to sell me her plot of land in east Texas that last I heard she was headed to, to get away from Oklahoma and the hubby.
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Re: Forum Realignment

Unread postby AdamB » Sat 22 Jun 2019, 22:09:16

Tanada wrote:I also think the FaceBook PO group sucked up much of our possible recruitment, and that page is dominated with hard core doomers who chase out any moderates or optimists as quickly as they can.


Probably, and chase away indeed! Got me twice already. Unfortunately, that level of echo chamber has produced a group of nothing but sheer stupid. Far worse even than the doom-o-philes circa 2004-2008, regardless of website.
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Re: Forum Realignment

Unread postby Newfie » Sun 23 Jun 2019, 06:43:16

AdamB wrote:
Newfie wrote:My recollection of Malthusia’s demise was more that it was a one woman show and when life caught up with her there was no one to pick up her effort.


Are we talking about Shanny? For years she was trying to get to like Paraguay, did that ever come off? I remember her once trying to sell me her plot of land in east Texas that last I heard she was headed to, to get away from Oklahoma and the hubby.


Yes Shanny, could not remember the name, not unusual, I need to check my drivers license once in a while! LOL

I was there until the end I guess. She was trying to make the Texas joint habitable for her and kid(s?) Having a tough time. Eventually she just quit managing the board and it died.

I hope she is doing well. The little I knew of her I liked very much. She was facing tough times.
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Re: Forum Realignment

Unread postby AdamB » Sun 23 Jun 2019, 10:10:54

Newfie wrote:Yes Shanny, could not remember the name, not unusual, I need to check my drivers license once in a while! LOL

I was there until the end I guess. She was trying to make the Texas joint habitable for her and kid(s?) Having a tough time. Eventually she just quit managing the board and it died.


Yeah, I remember the change of heart visa vi Texas, we had discussed having lunch at one point when she was still with the hubby. I don't recall how that ultimately turned out, by the time I left the site it appeared to be pretty touch and go, and Paraguay seemed like a dream solution rather than a practical one.

Newfie wrote:I hope she is doing well. The little I knew of her I liked very much. She was facing tough times.


She was. By now the kids are probably more grown than not, hopefully that all came out okay.
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Re: Forum Realignment

Unread postby Keith_McClary » Wed 26 Jun 2019, 23:38:59

Newfie wrote:I used to peek in on Desdemona Despair but somewhere along the line it just got too much for me.

I peeked in. There is not much there that I haven't seen on the various science websites or MSM.
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Re: Forum Realignment

Unread postby jedrider » Thu 27 Jun 2019, 09:27:23

asg70 wrote:It would also help to finally update the underlying software and do a reskin.

Just having new forum software with more modern features like the ability to LIKE a post would be good.

It's just the way it is, it feels like a mausoleum especially the ancient (and oftentimes creepy) photos in "Peak Oil is You".


Please, no 'likes' and, especially, no 'dislikes'. I think that promotes a passive audience because it takes something, some verve, to post (and, hopefully, not waste everyone's time) and it's a good incentive to being heard, to being registered in the world. It's easy enough to find 'reddit.com' with all the likes/dislikes and it has very narrowly defined topics that are somewhat enforced, such as 'peakoil' and 'climate', etc. It's very good, in fact, and certainly gets a much larger (and younger) audience. There is a very big drawback to having too large a subscriber base, though, which dilutes the message. 'reddit.com' also has a 'climatedenial' topic and they quickly remove any nonsense that our climate is changing or that the change is caused by mankind's activities or that we should really think about doing something about it (which will lead all of us to worshipping the legacy of Chairman Mao, or something)!
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Re: Forum Realignment

Unread postby C8 » Mon 01 Jul 2019, 22:27:22

Hello Tanada!

You undoubtedly do not remember me as I haven't been commenting for many years now but I have a few threads I still see every so often from the "good old days". Are Pops and Rockman still here? Alive?

Anyway, the reason I am writing now is that I feel PO.com should have more visitors and have long felt you guys are your own worst enemy in some ways. I think the realignment thread thing you are doing is a step in the right direction but it won't really move the needle much TBH. I feel that to prevent flat-lining soon, more radical change is needed, specifically:

1. Get rid of the guest vs. member concept altogether- open all content up to everyone and you will get more viewers who find their interest on your pages. Your site is not popular enough to warrant a "wall" between casual viewers and regulars.

2. Rename yourself. "Peakoil" is too limited for all the subjects you discuss and it is a term that has become a punchline in the MSM. Many probably laugh when they hear of this website and don't bother to investigate it. They aren't naming cars "Edsel" for a reason.

3. Do something about your news board comments. Anyone who does chance to come here probably gets put off by all the nasty, juvenile attacks by the same 4-6 people who dominate the news comment section. Nobody with any sense of self worth would sign up to be a member after reading the comments- and sadly, this section is the first thing guests see. I think you guys have grown used to it- like a bartender growing used to the foul body odor smell of his few "regulars" and wonders why he doesn't get new customers. Which leads me to the next point:

4. Start moderating like you mean it. PO.com lets the bad commentators drive out the good with personal attacks, mockery, and smearing others. The reality was that, during the heyday of Peak Oil awareness, the OilDrum had tons more participation than PO.com ever did. The reason was that their moderator vigorously steered people towards a productive discussion. People want intelligent but respectful debate. Your subject matter is intellectual, but your style is juvenile. You are PBS at a monster truck show- no wonder you can't find viewers. Yes, you will get a lot of push back from the "regulars" here- but guess what? They are often the ones driving everyone else away because they love controlling this website like a private club.

Its somewhat ironic that a website devoted to the decline of civilization is itself declining because of a failure to enforce civilized discussion.

Finally

Peakoil.com has become what it observes- an institution that cannot change in the face of crisis. I realize that this website is controlled by an owner who is against change, because I have brought these issues to mods before (years ago) and they usually reply some variation of" "the owner won't allow it" or the "owner doesn't believe in this" usually followed by some dubious moral "higher ground" argument.

So I don't expect any of these ideas to ever come to pass. PO.com will probably stumble on like a zombie until it falls to the ground and goes offline for good- which is sad, because your topics are so interesting. Its just a pity that you guys can't see the same warning signs for yourself that you see in the world.
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Re: Forum Realignment

Unread postby Carnot » Tue 02 Jul 2019, 05:36:10

I would agree with CB.

This forum has been hijacked by a few whose sole purpose is to belittle anyone that believes in Peak Oil, rather than engage in constructive debate. Anyone who mentions oil depletion and the peaking of the oil supply is ridiculed. No wonder this site is nearly dead. I for one cannot be bothered to read the abuse given out and am even less willing to receive the puerile comments if my comments are not in line with the mob of peak oil deniers. Perhaps expunging those who make offensive comments would be a step in the right direction.

The loss of The Oil Drum was a moment to rejoice for the mob, now they are trying their damnedest here.
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Re: Forum Realignment

Unread postby Newfie » Tue 02 Jul 2019, 15:11:32

Mods do what we can. I follow a couple of other forums, not normally content related, and they are generally more orderly. With some serious caveats.

When the discussion relate to the general topic (sailboats and cruising) things go fairly well. Yet even there all sometimes the threads revolve into sophomoric ego matches.

If there is a thread that touches on some more lively topic then things can quickly get as bad as here. Lots of name calling, rhetorical trickery, personal attacks, etc. Climate change is a sure fire carnage but also things like Which anchor is best?, catamarans or monohulls?, guns aboard? I mean really? Anchors? But it is so.

A big part of the “problem” is that we at PeakOil tend to deal with high octane, inflammable topics on a regular basis.

Not in any way to condone personal attacks, which I agree have gotten out of hand.
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Re: Forum Realignment

Unread postby Tanada » Sat 06 Jul 2019, 12:11:55

Number of posts: 1243661
Posts per day: 195.89
Number of topics: 26858
Topics per day: 4.23
Number of users: 34952
Users per day: 5.51


Here are the sad facts. We have 34,952 registered users as of today. Of that pool of potential 6 persons visited between midnite and the time of this post.

That kind of says it all, we are desperately low on participation. If each of you goes out and recruits just a single new member we will double our participation rate.
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Re: Forum Realignment

Unread postby Outcast_Searcher » Sat 06 Jul 2019, 12:56:42

Carnot wrote:I would agree with CB.

This forum has been hijacked by a few whose sole purpose is to belittle anyone that believes in Peak Oil, rather than engage in constructive debate. Anyone who mentions oil depletion and the peaking of the oil supply is ridiculed. No wonder this site is nearly dead. I for one cannot be bothered to read the abuse given out and am even less willing to receive the puerile comments if my comments are not in line with the mob of peak oil deniers. Perhaps expunging those who make offensive comments would be a step in the right direction.

The loss of The Oil Drum was a moment to rejoice for the mob, now they are trying their damnedest here.

So let me see if I understand this. So it's fine when the perma-doomers like Shortonoil and Armageddon call people who disagree with their points all kinds of childish names, etc.

(BTW, their points, re results over time are almost always wrong, and they're often not backed up by results or by any but cherry-picked, out of context, or just wrong (from poor sources) "data").

But when other posters point this our using objective data, results, serious sources, explain why they think they're wrong, etc., that's abusive and ridicule? Something seems badly amiss here, IMO.

...

Now, I'll admit, the tone here has gotten too frequently uncivil, on BOTH sides of many discussions. The moderation lets most things slide, and posters have adapted to that, since there are so many insults, etc. that it, IMO, becomes a habit to snipe. I've pointed this out before. I've occasionally done it, when getting tired of a literal RASH of insults by the doomers -- as though enough insults validate their points. (And I'm NOT criticizing the moderation here -- I'm pointing out their stance. They only have a finite amount of resource, for one thing. I'd prefer they use that to keep the site stable, and provide access and search to the body of posting history, as they do.)

But to blame only one side of the debate on this is completely wrong, and just shows your bias in the belief system, IMO. Kind of like a political argument.

And for peak oil, the discussion SHOULD be about facts, data, trends, etc., not about a political belief system.

Now, notice. I have disagreed with you, and haven't called you a single name or attempted to insult you in any way. I've just explained why I believe our POV's on this differ, especially re assigning blame to only one side, especially given the blatant behavior here of much of the side you support. That has been my normal mode of discourse over 95% of the time -- the exceptions being when I am pushed by too much name-calling and blatant making things up by the usual suspects on the side of fast crash doom.

My purpose here, as I stated when I joined long ago, has been to learn about oil production and energy overall, primarily as an aid to investment. Ridiculing has no place in that. But data, re making things up DOES. Is peak oil at some point a mathematical certainty? Absolutely. Is there any reasonable evidence to believe it is in our face as many proponents continue to claim -- absolutely not. And not even for the next few decades, re causing a big problem re available supply.

You claiming that the lack of true evidence for short term peak oil doom, due to a world largely awash in oil through at least 2050, re various good sources like the IEA, EIA, BP Statistical Review, etc. is due to "the mob" is VERY telling.

Look -- if peak oil / fast crash doomers want to create a site where PEAK OIL DOOM is claimed in every post, and any dissenting opinions are disallowed, fine. Unless something changes, that is not this site. And that's no site I want to have anything to do with -- if I want something like that, I have zerohedge and a whole variety of doomer blogs which aren't worth the space they take up in the ether.
Given the track record of the perma-doomer blogs, I wouldn't bet a fast crash doomer's money on their predictions.
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Re: Forum Realignment

Unread postby Outcast_Searcher » Sat 06 Jul 2019, 13:08:16

Tanada wrote:
Number of posts: 1243661
Posts per day: 195.89
Number of topics: 26858
Topics per day: 4.23
Number of users: 34952
Users per day: 5.51


Here are the sad facts. We have 34,952 registered users as of today. Of that pool of potential 6 persons visited between midnite and the time of this post.

That kind of says it all, we are desperately low on participation. If each of you goes out and recruits just a single new member we will double our participation rate.

I can try and do that. Realize though, that if I recruit, say, 3 folks who visit occasionally and post VERY occasionally, that isn't going to ramp up the participation count a lot.

For my friends, I can certainly say that allowing far less insults and uncited opinions stated as "obvious fact", and uncited "facts" from fact-free doomer blogs, it will be far easier to get such folks to "sign up", and participate over time.

FWIW.

Oh, and isn't just READING participating? Are users who read but don't post counted for a given day's "participation"? (Sorry if that's blatantly obvious, but it's not clear to me from the above stats.)
Given the track record of the perma-doomer blogs, I wouldn't bet a fast crash doomer's money on their predictions.
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