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BLACKBERREST3

The Psychology of Forum Usage

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BLACKBERREST3    235

I just wanted to create a new topic discussing the effects of forum usage in general. This will answer a few questions/issues people have about them and bring to light a few features that people may not have known about on the forum. Let's start.

Section 1 - How we see

How some of us view the forum:

Spoiler

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image.thumb.png.62d4157ba329f2e4c0fdf5530491378a.png

How the rest of people view the forum:

Spoiler

image.thumb.png.fca991ed800da86dd7eb6f06e5140f59.png

From the above pictures we can see major differences between the two views. The top one has advantages such as filtering and easily finding articles that others have created or responded to. The problems start with the introduction of newcomers. They are not the problem however. This is:

Spoiler

image.thumb.png.a7e209699bd73bd3c9b985aa63184400.png

image.thumb.png.ccb041a2c9088f74378587d6561f3c74.png

image.thumb.png.c053bf0cdf48a0260927115f10c985fb.png

image.thumb.png.90a84a512fe95b2c0df0456a908bf7ef.png

 

The last one I sorted by newest first. You can immediately see what the problem is. There is no option to remove duplicate threads from the search option. Because of the lackluster search function, everyone has trouble searching for relevant threads without spending an hour to sift through them all. If you have a question, the easiest method to do would be to create a new topic. This leads to the unintended consequence of the general section being bombarded with repeat questions. This bombardment also buries topics that could still be relevant today. In the long run, these topics will be lost in the general section unless someone else can tell you where to find it or answer your question from memory. There are other reasons (lack of experience) as to why it is harder to search for information, but this is the most prevalent one.

Section 2 - In General

The general section is also used for much more than questions. People post ideas, theories, builds, concepts, guides, you name it. You might ask "Why don't the devs/moderators create more sections other than general, suggestions, and bugs. In theory, this would solve the problem of not being able to find the thread you are looking for. The problem with this is that not everyone will agree on how to categorize the topics. On top of this, discussions within a thread can bleed into other categories. The quick answer is philosophical in the sense that categories are in essence how our brains perceive information, but not how the world functions in reality. The general section cannot be decided by a few people alone (more on this later).

Section 3 - The Psychology of Topics

From the above two sections, we know how we view the forum. Now how do we interact with it. Let us go through the process.

1. Create a new topic: We know from sec.1 that it is easier to create a new post than to search for one, so we choose the option to create a topic.

2. Waiting for a response: I've seen a few threads that do not even get a response, though this is quite rare

3a. Satisfactory Response: The topic discussions slowly end as time goes on when everyone has said what they wanted. There is a possibility to repeat from step 1 if a person who is involved or has read the thread in question believes he/she gleans new information that is worthy of creating a new topic.

3b. Unsatisfactory Response: The topic discussions generally end much sooner especially when the original poster believes that his/her questions have been unanswered or partially answered. When this happens, there is a higher chance that a new topic will be created.

Now let us go through the process of someone answering a question or responding to a topic on the forum.

1. Notice unread topic on the forum: This goes back to sec.1. You will be able to see new posts/responses easier if you use the "Activity Feed" feature.

2. Deciding to open/respond to a topic: As humans, we instinctively judge the book by its cover. This is unintentional and unavoidable. You will not open every new topic that comes into view. Ain't nobody got time for that. Titles are important for this reason. Example of a bad title and a good one. The content is irrelevant in deciding whether or not you will decide to open the topic for the first time. If you have already posted in a topic, there is a chance you may not want to reopen it thinking that you have already answered the original question. This is one of the main reasons that questions go unanswered. People do not return to the same thread even if new questions are asked.

3. Reading the Thread: The original post is the flashiest part of a topic. Not only is it the first thing people see, it is sometimes the only thing they see. It is common practice/courtesy to read the entire thread before posting so as not to duplicate information. This cannot be helped if two people are posting at the same time. In order to save time, most of us will skim the thread to get a general idea which can lead to accidental misunderstandings, duplicate information, or missed questions/information.

4a. Not Responding to a topic: The majority of people who view a topic decide not to respond. There are a plethora of reasons as to why someone would do this:

  • The mentality "someone else will answer it" 
  • You do not know the answer or do not know how to put a response into words
  • You do not have the time, or simply do not want to respond
  • You have already given an answer and decide this is enough
  • More reasons I can't think of at the moment

4b. Responding to a topic: Assuming you have followed proper forum etiquette up to this point, you are now deciding to respond to a topic. You may respond in a mix of ways such as:

  • Answering a question
  • Asking a question
  • Giving an opinion
  • Giving a statement
  • More reasons I can't think of at the moment

Section 4 - The Effects of it All or TLDR

  • Searching for a thread is harder than creating a new one
  • Creating a new thread leads to a quicker response over posting in the same one
  • The general section is prone to overcrowding and losing valuable information due to lack of time/indexing
  • Your questions will go unanswered due to crowding within the thread, general-section crowding, non-returning posters, etc.

Section 5 - So What Now?

Now we wait. Not much we can do without an upgrade to the forum. That is not the entire truth though. If you have seen my other posts, then you already know where this has been leading towards. You guessed it. Creating an additional layer of sub categories that the community as a whole can control is one way to eliminate crowding in the general section. On top of this, information can be indexed and searchable without the need for a search function. This does not mean that we do not need a search function in general. Also, this does not get rid of the need for the general section or fix the inherent problems with the forum. Where would you post if you didn't have the general section?

Section 6 - Why Post...This. And Why Here?

My questions have gone unanswered more times than I can count and I could not understand why until I started using the forums more. Why here and not the "other services" section? I want this thread to be viewed by more people and since I normally post in this section, I hear from the same people. This makes sense to me even if it were to be called abusing the psychology of the forums. If it makes people feel better, this is related to the uni in a way even though it could be applied to the forum in its entirety. I play ONI more than any other game made by Klei, so there will be no university for DS or DST.

 

Did I get something wrong? Is this relate-able? Got an idea? Share your thoughts.

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Oozinator    2570
29 minutes ago, BLACKBERREST3 said:

4a. Not Responding to a topic: The majority of people who view a topic decide not to respond. There are a plethora of reasons as to why someone would do this:

  • The mentality "someone else will answer it" 
  • You do not know the answer or do not know how to put a response into words
  • You do not have the time, or simply do not want to respond
  • You have already given an answer and decide this is enough
  • More reasons I can't think of at the moment

 

I will respond and add some more points!

  • Lightning hit the house, router broken.
  • Router firmware update failed, router broken
  • Grandma crushed router with wheelchair, router broken
  • Lightning hit cat and has to go to the vet first, before responding, cat broken
  • Lost cash in casino, prepaid card empty,  broken.
  • Something with router or cat.
  • Keyboard not responding, after lightning hit the hose.
  • Lightning hit grandma, grandma broken.

Peter Ulbrichant (1870-1967 ) analyzed it much deeper.

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BLACKBERREST3    235
5 hours ago, Grimgaw said:

Reddit.

True, but it has its own share of issues as well. I was once mass downvoted in the sub reddit for diep.io and I couldn't post comments for it anymore. As I found out later many other sub reddits have a karma bot that prevents people from posting at all and karma carries over. That is literally preventing free speech. Many other people think that the karma system is bs too. I got trolled real hard back then and I can't even remember why. I could (and did) create another account, but I shouldn't have to which is the point. I also don't know how to navigate reddit that well. You can't sort the reddit by view count either which is a non-discriminating way to see what is relevant or eye catching (unless you sticky it to the top, dang discord thread). Reddit is still synonymous to this forum so all of the problems I have mentioned also apply to reddit as well. I could start using reddit as another source of information if it had similar features to the activity feed that this forum has.

5 hours ago, Oozinator said:

Peter Ulbrichant (1870-1967 ) analyzed it much deeper.

Um...what? Google brought me nothing, I don't know who that is.

How does quoting someone invoke autocorrect :lol:

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BLACKBERREST3    235

Can I get a list going for how many platforms people post to.

Right now we got:

  • Official Site Forums (Klei)
  • Steam Forums
  • Reddit
  • Wikipedia

Any more?

I just tried out searching for other articles on the actual study of online forums. Apparently any combination of usage, forum, and psychology will put this at the top of google surprisingly. I found this which is another interesting read.

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Daxterr    396

Wow you forgot some imporant ones...

Oxygen not included official hotline

Oxygen not included discord server (no off topic discussion or ban)

Oxygen not included official skype chat

The oxygen not incuded blogs.

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BLACKBERREST3    235
Just now, Oozinator said:

I am always friendly and helpful.

Oh, I thought you were talking about teamspeak specifically for oni. That makes more sense. I've only ever used it once before switching to discord.

 

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Gurgel    1901

I quite often do not answer because the main things have already been stated and I do not actually have anything to add.

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BLACKBERREST3    235
5 hours ago, Chthonicone said:

When are we going to move on to the physiology of forum usage?

Extended use on forums without rest may lead to carpal tunnel, obesity, or back pain.

 

5 hours ago, avc15 said:

Learn google.fu, every site's upper left corner 'search' box is inferior to advanced Google syntax.

This is awesome, I don't know why I haven't been using this before. With this "site:https://forums.kleientertainment.com intitle:pacu" I am able to find all pages that have pacu in the title without repeats for example. Operators make it so much easier. I'm going to do more searches this way, thanks. I still think that having a list on one page is a time saver especially if you do not know what you are searching for. Sometimes people browse just for the enjoyment of it. I tried to do a couple searches to see if I could find another collection post and I got this.

Spoiler

 

Someone else had a similar idea.

Another Discussion

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Oozinator    2570
1 hour ago, BLACKBERREST3 said:

This is awesome,

Yes it is very awesome and without the mathmanicanilluminati, this knowledge would not be around here so public.
You communicated before, with grand master math and you did not read his signature once?
mathvatar.PNG.76626e09527ea6678c5aab56001fa411.PNGmathsig.thumb.PNG.949e972ce787dde1d4d17cfcd4bd57af.PNG

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Oozinator    2570
18 hours ago, BLACKBERREST3 said:

Section 1 - How we see

How some of us view the forum:

 

 

32 minutes ago, BLACKBERREST3 said:

Um...signature?

Fits the topic perfectly ^^
 

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There's also 2 discords.  One is busier than the other (I forget if it's the official one or the Reddit one, but the pic is O2 inside a slashed circle).  I find they are SUPER fast for answering questions.  They have really in depth discussions while people are working on builds too.  I'm not on there much (I'm not the best at multitasking lol), but @Saturnus seems to be so maybe he has more insight.

@BLACKBERREST3  r/oxygennotincluded is very special.  People are actually nice.  Like insanely nice.  No power tripping mods.  Responses within minutes to problems.  Builds tend to get more upvotes and hang around for a bit, while problem/need help posts go by quickly (but basically always get answered).  I hang out on reddit because I like the tab based formatting a lot.  I can see conversations I don't care to read (like side discussions) and skip over them entirely.  It saves me a lot of time.  Search still sucks.  In fact part of the reason I started making YouTube videos is so I could find what I've posted in the past when I wanted to link someone something I've previously done.

I actually didn't realize you could sort this forum by new topics, and I think I'll try it.  Between not having a mobile app, bumping threads to the top every time someone comments, and no tab formatting... I find traditional forums (in general) lacking and spend most of my time on Reddit instead.

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BLACKBERREST3    235
9 hours ago, Gamers Handbook said:

There's also 2 discords.  One is busier than the other

I think I found the one that saturnus was on. This is actually a better place for people to ask simple questions and get quicker responses from what I've found. For harder ones, you'd probably need the forums or reddit for retention, but it won't be as streamlined. I don't find myself waiting too long either way. I guess if you use both discords, you will never be without people so it has that going for it.  I'll see if I can increase my google-fu powers to combine the forums. ka me ha me ha 

(site:https://forums.kleientertainment.com | site:https://www.reddit.com/r/oxygennotincluded/ | site:https://steamcommunity.com) slickster (path | navigation)

I forgot to add the link for google operators for even more techniques.

 

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xialeth    35
On 10/20/2019 at 5:12 PM, Gamers Handbook said:

There's also 2 discords.  One is busier than the other

This is true, Discord is pretty fast at answering, but I feel like the fact it's so busy is also its downside -- I often check in briefly and can't make heads or tails of the current discussion because it's way more in-depth and started hundreds of messages earlier, sometimes even days, and there's not easy way to get up to speed. Which means that many (advanced) concepts and discussions I'd find interesting are way off limits for me anyway...

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BLACKBERREST3    235
7 hours ago, xialeth said:

This is true, Discord is pretty fast at answering, but I feel like the fact it's so busy is also its downside -- I often check in briefly and can't make heads or tails of the current discussion because it's way more in-depth and started hundreds of messages earlier, sometimes even days, and there's not easy way to get up to speed. Which means that many (advanced) concepts and discussions I'd find interesting are way off limits for me anyway...

The way that dc functions is built in a way to not retain conversations. If you want it to last, you;d have to group message the the people you were talking with. I find it hard to tell if people are talking to me or not on dc when it gets busy.

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