A Leaf out of East Dulwich Forum's book?

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Dom Johnston
Posts: 68
Joined: 13 Jun 2018 13:45
Location: Sydenham

A Leaf out of East Dulwich Forum's book?

Post by Dom Johnston » 26 Sep 2018 11:12

Hi everyone,

So, finally the house move seems to be finalising and we are looking to complete and be part of the community from the 26th October. Very happy to be joining you all Sydenham!!

I'm moving from East Dulwich, and I've been a member on the forum there for quite some time now and it's a very very active community board with items for sale and wanted, what's going on, family rooms, lost and found and the community are posting on there lots throughout the day.

Since I've been on this site (and please don't think this is at all a criticism), updates and posts aren't very regular at all.

For instance on here are 3 posts in the for sale section and 8 in the wanted in total. This can be topped in about 15 minutes on the EDF and I'm sure that there are lots of things that people will take if you no longer need it. After all, one man's trash is another man's treasure!

Surely there are people who have had work carried out that can recommend their tradesman? Or tradesmen/women who are looking for more work?

Shops that you'd recommend? or avoid for that matter?

I know Sydenham has a proper community (much more so than ED), so I think it would be good if we could make this place more active, arrange more community things and basically get to know each other as part of the wider community even more.

I appreciate that it's a big ask and isn't going to change overnight, but it's such a great way of keeping people informed of events and changes and offering services and good as well.

Who's with me?

Jollylolly
Posts: 88
Joined: 8 Nov 2015 12:28

Re: A Leaf out of East Dulwich Forum's book?

Post by Jollylolly » 26 Sep 2018 13:43

I moved from East Dulwich a few years ago too. If i want to sell stuff in Sydenham I use the sydenham specific FB sites and find that free stuff goes in seconds, especially if I post it on sydenham mums. Friends of Mayow Park also has its own FB site and so does sydenham library. I get far fewer no shows than I did with ED forum as with someone’s profile etc i reckon you are less likely to do this not being entirely anonymous. I think the ed forum may have started before the whole social media thing so has an advantage there. I notice the forest hill forum is not that active either.

I actually found the ED forum started to get annoying with all the dog poo posts :lol: I also prefer to be ignorant about every single burglary that happens within 1 mile of my house.

I know it’s probably annoying if you are not on social media to find out about stuff though and agree with you there.

My whole Facebook feed is about sydenham really as I have joined Sydenham mums, buy/sell sydenham/forest hill, what’s going on in sydenham, friends of Mayow Park and therefore I am always in the know.
You could look these groups up. I pretty much rejoined Facebook for this as sadly that’s the way the world has gone.

I come on here if I want to find out about planning applications etc. And more serious stuff, so in a way I quite like it.

Hope you are enjoying sydenham!

appletree
Posts: 95
Joined: 30 Jun 2015 09:40
Location: Sydenham

Re: A Leaf out of East Dulwich Forum's book?

Post by appletree » 26 Sep 2018 14:17

I agree that the EDF is much more engaged and busy than the forums in Sydenham and Forest Hill. The problem is that there need to be enough members to be sufficiently active. The SE23.Life forum has posts fairly regularly, more so than SE26.Life (the other Forest Hill forum is moribund). This place also has a bit of activity, enough to make it worth checking daily. But nothing like the EDF. Maybe a campaign in other social media would gain more members for these local forums?

admin
Site Admin
Posts: 2546
Joined: 20 Sep 2004 21:49

Re: A Leaf out of East Dulwich Forum's book?

Post by admin » 26 Sep 2018 15:56

I'd be delighted to see an increase in traffic on the STF, so any suggestions to encourage that are most welcome!

admin

Tim Lund
Posts: 6684
Joined: 13 Mar 2008 18:10
Location: Silverdale

Re: A Leaf out of East Dulwich Forum's book?

Post by Tim Lund » 26 Sep 2018 17:03

Dom Johnston wrote:I know Sydenham has a proper community (much more so than ED), so I think it would be good if we could make this place more active, arrange more community things and basically get to know each other as part of the wider community even more.

I appreciate that it's a big ask and isn't going to change overnight, but it's such a great way of keeping people informed of events and changes and offering services and good as well.

Who's with me?
I think Appletree and JollyJolly are pretty accurate, but there is still a lot of negativity and over passionate arguments here, although most of us have just got bored of it all, or decided that the Forum is less useful as a place to engage in debates. I understand that the current Admin doesn't want to be identified, which I can understand, but it rules out the obvious step of meeting up with him/her and talking over more openly how the Forum might be reinvigorated. I'd be happy to meet up for a one to one on this, or in a larger group, but I suspect there are too many others who don't want to be identified.

Sydering
Posts: 12
Joined: 22 Sep 2018 18:13

Re: A Leaf out of East Dulwich Forum's book?

Post by Sydering » 26 Sep 2018 20:12

I too have just moved from East Dulwich, having lived there for 8 years and enjoying it thus far. But I do agree about the forum. I've been lurking this forum since we've moved and there doesn't seem to be much going on.
JollyJolly you mention that most things are Facebook. Could some of that be posted on here? Is already on here? In this social media age, I do like to enjoy a certain level anonymity! But I do want meet people in the area and be part of the community.

Jollylolly
Posts: 88
Joined: 8 Nov 2015 12:28

Re: A Leaf out of East Dulwich Forum's book?

Post by Jollylolly » 26 Sep 2018 20:42

Wow there are just so many things on Facebook feed it would be hard to post them all here. A new group called Sydenham Se26 community is on Facebook and seems to be closest to forum. There are over 15 posts today (inc people advertising their businesses- mostly oven cleaning) There’s posts from library about adult crafts, to someone running cookery class for kids, loads of chat about the travelers at Bell Green, stuff from poodle club etc etc. I agree that it’s a shame it’s not all on here, but just how people go about finding news these days. For advertising activities social media is friendlier, as you can add pictures easily etc.

I think the ed forum is definitely not as active as it once was. 2 groups I was involved in on that forum there moved swiftly over to private Facebook groups.

I think forums are great for lengthier chats on local issues and with the anonymity a forum gives, people can really share their views without losing friends/future friends who may recognise them from a profile pic. There’s room for both outlets. Whenever I ask for a recommendation on here I get a few private messages or posts and for some reason I trust those more than any I get on FB (or the ed forum! Had some right crappy trade recommendations from there ! :roll:

Ghlpc
Posts: 318
Joined: 2 Aug 2013 14:02

Re: A Leaf out of East Dulwich Forum's book?

Post by Ghlpc » 26 Sep 2018 23:13

The EDF starts off with topics of interest or relevance, then they often descend into a barrage of messages where someone nit picks upon words used, or takes offence, and it goes completely off thread.

I use it only to keep up with news about businesses and the area in general, but avoid the silly posts like 'noisy children' or 'someone parked on my drive'...etc etc. I would say only 1 in every 10 threads is actually worth reading on EDF, the rest is all crap really.

On here of course we don't have the same level of numbers as EDF but I think a lot of threads are more relevant.

SE23life is interesting, although a lot of repeat posters and often the same person starting up lots of threads as if to boost its activity somewhat.

The For Sale section on EDF is brilliant though, I've bought and sold on it for years. Some amazing bargains.

JMLF
Posts: 582
Joined: 12 Dec 2013 19:41
Location: United Kingdom

Re: A Leaf out of East Dulwich Forum's book?

Post by JMLF » 27 Sep 2018 06:44

Regarding “traffic” and getting more people actively using this forum for a wider variety of things I think if you look at se23/se26.life and the differences I would say:
1. Ease of use (e.g: putting on pics or links)
2. Use across platforms (having a clear linked twitter/facebook groupetc)
3. A lick of paint so to speak for the forum to be more modern/bright/attractive

Would be the things I feel would make the biggest difference. Saying that I have no idea how difficult or time consuming it would be to make these changes and to make sure it all works well before rolling out a “new” STF on the world!

Dom Johnston
Posts: 68
Joined: 13 Jun 2018 13:45
Location: Sydenham

Re: A Leaf out of East Dulwich Forum's book?

Post by Dom Johnston » 27 Sep 2018 07:57

I think Tim has a great idea. Along with Admin (if they are happy to) meet up over a coffee or a beer and basically just throw some ideas out there to see how more traffic can be introduced.

I do agree that the look of the EDF is slightly more user friendly and it is brighter, so I think a revamp (depending on the work and time it would take of course) would be a good idea.

What I can gather is that there are lots of people who do use this or want to use this, but for one reason or another, don't... I'm not sure if it's fear of keyboard warriors or no sooner do they log on, they lose the inclination to post something, but if we can make it a real go to place for local people I think it can really become a hugely helpful tool.

I guess it just needs the people who post/visit more often on here to take the lead and start posting. Even if it's something that seems mundane and not particularly exciting, I do think the more posts we can get on here, then more will follow!

KEVD
Posts: 92
Joined: 19 Feb 2012 11:31
Location: Sydenham

Re: A Leaf out of East Dulwich Forum's book?

Post by KEVD » 27 Sep 2018 08:41

I agree with a lot of the points made. Not enough people post on here for fear of a backlash. The more people post the better the forum will get. The EDF is very busy compared to most. If adding links/pictures could be made easier that would improve the traffic to the site. Depending on how time consuming it is to make these changes.

JMLF
Posts: 582
Joined: 12 Dec 2013 19:41
Location: United Kingdom

Re: A Leaf out of East Dulwich Forum's book?

Post by JMLF » 27 Sep 2018 10:35

Picking up on KEVD - The SE23/26.life forums have a number of things in place to try to prevent dodgy/rude posters etc.

It’s a difficult balance for privacy but they do ask:
Put a picture of yourself on ideally
If you meet a member who has been confirmed (I can’t remember the exact term) then you also get the seal of approval to show that you are the person posting (and not under another pretence)
People can’t have more than one account
linked to an email

The admin spends a lot of time/seems to be constantly online (a mix between the amount of posts that go up and the fact he works in social media/IT) so regularly gives warning/deletes messages if felt they break protocol etc.

It seems to work on the whole though appears to take a good bit of know-how and time - apeople are being honest/open about who they are, are verified and therefore may not be as negative (etc.) as they might or personally attack people/ideas.

All very difficult I think to balance between privacy and not being an admin who some people may push back at and say subjectively decides what may or may not be appropriate etc.

TredownMan
Posts: 156
Joined: 28 Sep 2017 15:38
Location: Sydenham

Re: A Leaf out of East Dulwich Forum's book?

Post by TredownMan » 27 Sep 2018 13:27

If the .life forums are full of insights like this:

https://se23.life/t/veteran-homeless-in-lewisham/3218

And this

https://se23.life/t/hard-leftists-disru ... gs/9503/21

Then I'll pass. Thanks.

michael
Posts: 1271
Joined: 26 Sep 2006 12:56
Location: Forest Hill

Re: A Leaf out of East Dulwich Forum's book?

Post by michael » 27 Sep 2018 13:47

One of the problems that all forums suffer from is over-dominance by a small group of people - whether they present a completely uniform outlook on life, or dominate opposite ends of the political spectrum - you end up with a conversation dominated by a small number of individuals - usually dominated by the same old issues.

Forums die when they are overly-dominated by one or two individuals, acting deliberately or inadvertently as Trolls. Sensible people are naturally turned-off from such forums where these 'trolls' dominate all discussion. EDF has enough people on it to dilute this effect but the Sydenham and Forest Hill forums routinely suffer from this problem. And it doesn't help when community activists feel unwelcome and under constant attack on the forums (even if such criticisms are perfectly valid - the way it can be expressed on forums often becomes antagonists and against the community ethos that so many people I know try to develop).

When the trolls and 'moderators' are the same people it is a serious problem.

I agree that moving to Discourse forum software would be hugely advantageous to local forums and incorporates some of the advantages of Social Media ('like' buttons providing easy feedback beyond trolling). I suspect that if it is possible to migrate STF to se26.life then it would be equally possible for somebody to 'upgrade' STF, and I would encourage the team to consider this technology upgrade.

But technology is only part of the solution. Getting local people to join the forum is the biggest challenge to widen the diversity of opinions. STF is in a relatively good position to rebuild in that some of the worst trolls have stopped posting, have left entirely, or have been purged (no idea if that has happened). If STF was willing to sacrifice the anonymity - in the way that has been done on SE23.life, then I suspect Sydenham Society might more readily engage with the revamped forum.

admin
Site Admin
Posts: 2546
Joined: 20 Sep 2004 21:49

Re: A Leaf out of East Dulwich Forum's book?

Post by admin » 27 Sep 2018 14:43

I'd be happy to hold a meeting in a local pub sometime next month to discuss updating aspects of the STF.
Give me a chance to sort when it can be.

admin

Robin Orton
Posts: 3216
Joined: 9 Sep 2008 07:30
Location: London SE26

Re: A Leaf out of East Dulwich Forum's book?

Post by Robin Orton » 27 Sep 2018 15:07

michael wrote:. If STF was willing to sacrifice the anonymity - in the way that has been done on SE23.life, then I suspect Sydenham Society might more readily engage with the revamped forum.
I agree. Although I can understand that some posters may have personal reasons for wanting to remain anonymous, I think on the whole it is a bad thing for a neighbourhood forum. People shouldn't hide behind invented log-in names to slag off their neighbours - it's the online equivalent of putting poison pen letters in disguised handwriting through people's doors.

(There was a prolonged discussion about this in this forum a few years ago. The majority of those posting didn't agree with me.)

JGD
Posts: 577
Joined: 5 Feb 2018 11:39
Location: Perry Hill, SE6 (yup that's Catford)

Re: A Leaf out of East Dulwich Forum's book?

Post by JGD » 28 Sep 2018 09:26

michael wrote:
If STF was willing to sacrifice the anonymity - in the way that has been done on SE23.life, then I suspect Sydenham Society might more readily engage with the revamped forum.
This point alone has many strong pros and cons.

Admin anonymity could be seen to be a distinct advantage - particularly when the function is performed here in a relatively benign manner - which is something I perceive to be the case in the short time I have had a presence on here and for the longer period before as a non-participant observer. The admin/moderator role on other forums has seen some poor examples of admin/mods acting in a very aggressive fashion (including making coercive commentary about lack of loyalty to fellow moderators) and at worse bending their forum roles to make their own case.

User anonymity is another matter - I tend to use the same ID on any forum on which I am a member - and people get to know you - for better and for worse.

However i don't see that SydSoc's reticence about engaging on the forum has much to do with this issue. The majority of dissenting voices about SydSoc's behaviours and decision appear not to be admin related. Pandering to a particular party or body also has inherent risk - like driving off those with different or more balanced outlooks.

I think this would make for an excellent debate.

alywin
Posts: 697
Joined: 27 Aug 2009 12:33
Location: Penge side of Sydenham

Re: A Leaf out of East Dulwich Forum's book?

Post by alywin » 28 Sep 2018 21:48

Quote feature doesn't seem to be working, so:
Disagreement is fine IMO, but forum moderators must step in and address any personally-targeted / ad-hominem behaviour quickly and transparently, and to nip it in the bud. If necessary, suspending persistent offenders, and announcing the suspension to all members.

On the forums I run, we find less than 1% of members generated 99% of work for moderators.
Yep, I'd say the 1% was probably about accurate on the forum I moderate, too.

Do you think it's fine to announce suspensions? We've always thought there might be privacy issues involved. In fact, I'm not even sure our software shows up suspensions to the general public.

Re anonymity, though, I'd be highly reluctant if I had to sign my full name. I mean, I'm generally careful about what I post on here, but if I had to post my real name someone could get hold of the phone directory and locate me precisely, and I'm not keen on that idea: I might have said something about a neighbour, or just made some comment which might put my own security at risk.

Talking about moribund forums, has anyone been on Virtual Norwood recently? :-(

Robin Orton
Posts: 3216
Joined: 9 Sep 2008 07:30
Location: London SE26

Re: A Leaf out of East Dulwich Forum's book?

Post by Robin Orton » 29 Sep 2018 07:54

alywin wrote:
Re anonymity, though, I'd be highly reluctant if I had to sign my full name. I mean, I'm generally careful about what I post on here, but if I had to post my real name someone could get hold of the phone directory and locate me precisely, and I'm not keen on that idea: I might have said something about a neighbour, or just made some comment which might put my own security at risk.
Fair enough, but I'd just like to say that I've posted under my full name for many years on three different local forums and have never had any problems. In fact, I think it's helped me to meet real local people who I wouldn't have done otherwise.

Tim Lund
Posts: 6684
Joined: 13 Mar 2008 18:10
Location: Silverdale

Re: A Leaf out of East Dulwich Forum's book?

Post by Tim Lund » 29 Sep 2018 16:56

I'm with Robin here - one of the many good friends I have met through this Forum. It shows my age, but growing up, almost everyone was 'in the phone book', as I am still, so anyone can find out where I live, and my home phone number.

On the other hand, if people want to use an alias, then that is fine by me, and there are situations where I think it is reasonable, e.g if you want to post something which you don't want someone with financial power over you to see, such as an employer, or a landlord.

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