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Old 03-25-2007, 05:53 PM
 
Location: Marshall-Shadeland, Pittsburgh, PA
31,661 posts, read 72,151,428 times
Reputation: 17496

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As this site's popularity continues to soar, I just thought it would be interesting to respectfully request some of your personal opinions about this forum to help others to see what this forum excels at and what may need some improvements. Here's my list:

PROS:

-Posting of photos is encouraged, despite my own personal concerns over bandwith usage. As a person who now has around a dozen photo tours uploaded with another on the way next week, it's nice to see my love of photography helping others in their relocation inquiries about NEPA.

-I've made NUMEROUS friends, both online and in real life. Recently, two other Scranton Area forum members and myself met to chat about the city's future at a local market. We're planning to meet again soon, and one of them has been "filling me in" on "hidden" issues occurring in the city that don't make the Scranton Times.

-The moderation is fairly consistent, unbiased, and usually professional in conduct. In contrast, I'm often nearly brought to tears by some of the nastiest rants against me that you could imagine when I dabble into politics on the AOL Message Boards. It's nice to be able to converse freely on City-Data without fear of being harassed. A former member did a ZabaSearch on my family and began to post personal information about them; he was banned immediately by Yac. I also got a bit "hot under the collar" in an argument, and Markablue punished me accordingly for personal attacks. It's nice to have such great moderators on here!

-The "powers-that-be" are willing to listen to our concerns and are willing to consider suggestions to help make this site a better place. When I recently posted a new poll on the PA forum asking which new sub-forum, if any, should be added as the state's popularity continues to grow, one of the moderators took it upon himself/herself to make it a "Sticky" for me so that it wouldn't get lost in the tangle of newer threads for a week or so. No new sub-forum came out of the poll (likely because the voting turnout was so dreadfully low), but it was nice to know that our ideas are considered.

CONS:

-Is it just me, or are we beginning to add a few too many new forums? We now have an "Other Topics" forum that has a "Politics and Other Controversies" sub-forum which has its own "Immigration" sub-forum, and still others want ANOTHER sub-forum for the "Immigration" sub-sub-forum to make a new sub-sub-sub-forum? The new topics are a nice idea in theory, but it's becoming VERY time-consuming to navigate all of the new forums!

-I don't like how we can't post anything that is copyrighted, even if we use proper citations and references to give credit for the work. I'm not much of a legal expert, but I've seen other forums that permit their users to post copyrighted material if they cite their source to give it credit for its usage. There have been MANY AP stories that I wanted to copy and paste into new threads for others to peruse and discuss in a lively debate on the "Politics and Other Controversies" sub-forum, but I instead had to summarize the articles in my own words, which probably made them lose a lot of their value (as I'm notorious for being a boring windbag).

-This forum has become very addictive to a number of people. Is there any way that a new "help line" can be established to provide recommendations on how forum addicts, such as yours truly, can "break the habit?" For example, I got home from work today at 2:30 PM, and then I went for a 7-mile run until around 3:15 PM. I've been on City-Data roughly since then, and it's now going for 7 PM. 3-4 hours per day on this web site isn't out of the ordinary for me.

-Forum members are very "touchy." When people are considering relocation, they want "the good, the bad, and the UGLY" about the area to help them in their decisions. Instead, I see many people slamming those who have NEGATIVE opinions about an area. Face it, folks, even "utopias" like Greenwich, CT, Newport, RI, Malibu, CA, Boulder, CO, Naperville, IL, and Minneapolis, MN have their pitfalls, and you're doing a favor to nobody by keeping them hidden from newcomers. On the flip side, I've noticed the reverse-effect from "haters" bashing the "lovers." This is most evident when someone tries to point out something positive about Detroit on the MI forums and is booed and hissed at by the "Detroit sucks" crowd. In my opinion, some love Scranton; some hate Scranton. You can't make everyone love or hate an area, so why even try?
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Old 03-25-2007, 07:53 PM
 
Location: Long Beach, CA
2,071 posts, read 11,576,339 times
Reputation: 1794
Great post. Check out the LA forum ........ I cringe. I live in Long Beach, but to read the LA forum, OUCH, you'd think we are rich snobs living in the ghetto. Far from the truth.

Again, good post.
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Old 03-25-2007, 09:24 PM
 
Location: In exile, plotting my coup
2,408 posts, read 13,855,155 times
Reputation: 1858
Pros:

1. Being able to converse with "real people" from other parts of the country, parts that you're interested in. This is the glory of the internet. You're able to learn insider information before setting foot in a community, little things that the realtor or city websites may not tell you, about problems with local water, about how loud airplanes are, about the plans for a new shopping center across the street, etc. which are little quality of life issues that can influence a person's decision on where to move.

2. I think the moderators do an awfully good job, especially considering that their job is essentially a thankless one, a volunteer job that comes with a lot of grief.

3. While there are quite a few jackasses on here (see "Cons"), it's easy to forget the huge number of friendly folks who go out of their way to help out strangers, giving them links, the names of organizations, job ideas, church groups and the like, when someone posts an inquiry. People really just go out of their way to help people, oftentimes people who have no clue what they want, and oftentimes receive no thanks in return.

4. It's nice to see some hometown pride on here from places not given a lot of credence in the national media. It's nice to read up on places like Scranton, southeast Ohio, and other communities that aren't regularly profiled in the New York Times as the "next hotspot".

I should point out that while I have more Cons than Pros here, I really do love this site, but for whatever reason, negatives seem to come easier than positives.

Cons:

1. Not being allowed to hyperlink. I understand the reasoning behind, but it still is a tad irritating.

2. The racism. This is a very subjective issue and I respect that moderators walk a fine line and must exercise some personal judgment when determining when a post steps overbounds and moderators generally remove the most egregious of posts but I'm continually surprised by some of the posts that are allowed to remain on the site considering the terms and conditions laid forth. It's a bit dejecting to see so many racist views, both outright and implied, spouted off so frequently, and also seeing several posters who have admitted racist and anti-Semitic views receiving such high numbers of rep points.

3. Lots of angry and bitter people. As I stated in the "Why do people here get so angry" thread, I'm a member of quite a few different message boards, and this one by far has the most angry, bitter and nasty people on it. I'm not slamming the entire board. This is really just a very vocal minority, but it's easy for their shrieking to sort of take over a thread. I think it's due more to the fact that the board in it's primary intent, serving as a tool for relocation, is likely to draw people unhappy for a variety of reasons with their own areas, so they sort of sign on here with a chip on their shoulders.

4. Realtors with intentions of their own, often downplaying certain issues in a community.

5. Topics beaten to death. Not to single out posters or anything, but threads about Oil City and "beautiful women in the South" are just doin' my head in. This generally happens in waves where one thread will trigger another and then someone will start another branching off from that, and if it keeps continuing.

6. We need more smilies.
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Old 03-25-2007, 10:27 PM
 
192 posts, read 832,112 times
Reputation: 233
I haven't been here all that long, but for what they're worth here are my impressions thus far.

PRO:

(1) There is so much firsthand information on both general and specific areas, and the "ins and outs" of each, that really doesn't seem to be found in one place (site) anywhere else.

(2) The moderators DO seem to be very fair and balanced most of the time (but see one comment below).

(3) In the various General Topics sector, there doesn't seem to be any suggestion of clique-ishness which is something I saw a lot of at a site I frequented before coming here. That site dealt with home building and renovation issues, so its focus was different, but it also had a General Topics sector as well. There was a definite sense of certain people belonging to the "In Crowd" on that site, which was offputting to new or less-addicted (?) members. It reminded me too much of highschool! I don't get anything resembing that impression here, which is a good thing.

CONS:

(1) Other than the geographic forums, there do seem to be a lot of subdivisions of topics. This makes it a bit like searching through the Yellow Pages when you're not sure what category a business belongs in.

(2) I agree with dullnboring's Con #2. I've seen some amazingly vitriolic posts on the New York forum from one particular member who lives on Long Island and continually rants on and on in every available thread about the "terrible things" that a certain ethnic/religious group is doing to the area in which he lives. It's quite tiresome as well as distasteful. Of course I don't know if he has been warned by the moderators or not; but if he has, he doesn't appear to have changed his ways very much. Or perhaps in the past he was even worse??!

(3) I agree with dullnboring's Con #3 as well, entirely! Certain members who have their own axe to grind will jump on ANYONE who brings up a topic to which they can attach their soapbox, and away they go. Many times what starts out a civil, thoughtful and informative thread is quickly derailed by these "nattering nabobs of negativism" into nothing more than a mudslinging fest. It's frustrating.
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Old 03-25-2007, 11:19 PM
 
Location: PA
669 posts, read 3,073,534 times
Reputation: 285
I would agree with the "too many forums". It's getting ridiculous. Education, World, this that...put them all INSIDE Other Topics, so the main page isn't so LONG!
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Old 03-26-2007, 12:24 AM
 
12,983 posts, read 13,673,245 times
Reputation: 19709
I don't know if this is a pro or a con, but it's addictive.
Addictive like crack? Or addictive like Krispy Kreme donuts?
That is the question...
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Old 03-26-2007, 01:56 AM
 
923 posts, read 3,377,563 times
Reputation: 204
One of My Few concerns are:
When a few "Internet Terrorists" take over a state forum "Spewing" their
Relentless Negative Rants on Everything/Anything concerning the entire state...

A few people can and do Scare away people...
A very unbalanced approach.

Other than that I believe this is an A+ Excellent, informative,educational and interesting site...
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Old 03-26-2007, 02:38 AM
HDL
 
Location: Seek Jesus while He can still be found!
3,209 posts, read 6,423,586 times
Reputation: 8584
Talking Oh my, dullnboring stole the thoughts right out of my head

Please put me down for everything that DNB said. How's that for short and to the point???
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Old 03-26-2007, 03:24 AM
 
Location: Somewhere.
10,409 posts, read 23,747,258 times
Reputation: 8879
Pros: Alot of really amazingly nice people hang out here.
I like the many topics and all the states. Gives me something to do on nights when I'm bored silly.

Cons: Not having a "whos online" list.

Negative people spewing misinformation about life in some states. As far as I am concerned, there is something nice about every state. Some people are just negative souls and they just hate everyone and everything.
Plus some of these same people do not live in the states in question, but continue to spew their negative mis-information and scare potential new residents away.
(I know, there's always the ignore button. )
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Old 03-26-2007, 03:30 AM
 
923 posts, read 3,377,563 times
Reputation: 204
Quote:
Originally Posted by PinkString View Post
Pros: Alot of really amazingly nice people hang out here.
I like the many topics and all the states. Gives me something to do on nights when I'm bored silly.

Cons: Not having a "whos online" list.

Negative people spewing misinformation about life in some states. As far as I am concerned, there is something nice about every state. Some people are just negative souls and they just hate everyone and everything.
Plus some of these same people do not live in the states in question, but continue to spew their negative mis-information and scare potential new residents away.
(I know, there's always the ignore button. )
The ignore button, lol...I am going to soooo use that...Thanks
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