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That’s a neat social trick, because if you know you’ve been banned, most people will work around that.They’ll clear their cookies and work to figure out how to get around the block; but if they don’t know they’ve been banned, and they seem to be able to post, it won’t do any harm to the environment.When local news aggregator Topix decided to set up online forums last December for every city and small town in America, they figured the forums would be a loss leader.After all, online forums have a bad reputation for unfettered discussion, gossip and slander, leading most news organizations to abandon them altogether online.What happens is people come and don’t want to participate because it’s turned ugly.You have to weed out the bad stuff and bad people every day.
When we got people to get off of just consuming our old read-only site to posting in a forum or reading a forum, they were much more involved.
It’s a great story but you can’t find it because there’s this flood, this torrent of other stuff.
So how do you promote that up to the news page so that people can read the best 10 posts rather than everything? If the roboblogger gets something wrong, they can remove the story from the page.
And people on forums are usually more focused on the discussion than on clicking on ads.
But for Topix, the forums have transformed the site from a simple search engine and news aggregator into a series of online water cooler discussions that riff off the news of the day.