Animated Gifs


Ian

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I am so close to disabling the ability to add animated gifs to the forum, as it seems to be the main topic of conversation on here, rather than ponds. I don't have a problem with a single, small animated gif in a signature - but some of the sigs on here are really distracting when reading threads. Likewise, the occasional gif in a thread can be funny, but it's just getting out of hand now. I don't want this forum to steer away from being a place people can come for pond advice, otherwise it will end up dying a slow death as new members won't want to post, as they won't get the in-jokes.

I've had two messages from new members in 2022, as they've left because their thread got derailed. I posted an announcement about this a couple of months ago, but things are still going way off topic in threads, meaning we have to skim over posts to find on-topic discussion.

Something that should have been the occasional bit of fun, has now become something divisive on here. I don't think I'm alone in being frustrated by it, but it's something that has been tolerated.

I am hoping this post will be taken as a friendly reminder that we need to tone it down significantly, otherwise the forum will just end up becoming a general chat/banter site that discourages new members.
 
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addy1

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Welcome thread or chat thread only would be my suggestion.
 
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are you including animated gifs in signatures with this? Or just posts? And it's my opinion that such does not take away from the help we give and does indeed help bring newbies not only back, but give them more reason to stay and be fruitful members of GPF, instead of getting their problem resolved, then never seeing them again. Perhaps I'm in the minority, but would like to hear from newbies if my thoughts are correct.
 

j.w

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I too thought some banter would be ok as long as we also kept on track w/answering questions for the posters. The fun just kind of softens the getting to know them and letting them know we are a friendly bunch. We mean no harm and hope things can be settled so everyone can enjoy the forum and not leave due to some kind of commotion. I can make my gifs smaller and fit them in only when it makes sense. Been using them off and on for my whole time here and didn't realize they were that big of a threat.
Peace and Goodwill to all
1645206619522.gif
 

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I’m not a newbie, but I get lost and lose interest when threads get derailed. I can only imagine how a newbie might feel. Whether it’s the animated gifs or not, derailed threads just aren’t fair to the OP — especially if the OP is a newbie. Maybe the animated gifs aren’t the culprit, but they do seem to set up for the derailment — they are a distraction. It is hard to slog through post after post of friendly banter just to get to the point.
 
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For the record, imo it is NOT the hello gif or happy anniversary, happy birthday, that's a issue in the posts , on the contrary they can be cute humorous and moving.

IMO when signing into a post and there's 5 posts with 3 or 4 gifs each signature that are always the same ones dancing around it feels like i signed into blues clues.

one gif as a this is a reference to who i am and expressing ones self works

Don't believe i started this feud but i sure stirred the pot. Story of my life

I'll also add I believe we all enjoy @j.w library of gifs they have always been positive it would be a shame to loose that friendly animation in the posts
 
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j.w

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I’m not a newbie, but I get lost and lose interest when threads get derailed. I can only imagine how a newbie might feel. Whether it’s the animated gifs or not, derailed threads just aren’t fair to the OP — especially if the OP is a newbie. Maybe the animated gifs aren’t the culprit, but they do seem to set up for the derailment — they are a distraction. It is hard to slog through post after post of friendly banter just to get to the point.
Weren't you one that a few years back was unhappy cuz your ipad would not allow you to use the animated gifs? Yes I remember that as you were trying to figure out how to get them and had asked me how. I don't see them as a distraction, the gifs, unless they are huge and I try to make them smaller in size now except the welcome ones. Some of those are bigger but seems people who join mostly like those. Makes them feel welcome. Some people like to get to know each other and a little fun chit chat along w/what the poster is asking about makes things feel a bit friendlier. I remember tho you said you were not really a people person. Nothing wrong w/that but some people like to communicate w/others and have some fun. It's ok tho to be "Just the facts maam" kind of person :)
 

Mmathis

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Weren't you one that a few years back was unhappy cuz your ipad would not allow you to use the animated gifs? Yes I remember that as you were trying to figure out how to get them and had asked me how. I don't see them as a distraction, the gifs, unless they are huge and I try to make them smaller in size now except the welcome ones. Some of those are bigger but seems people who join mostly like those. Makes them feel welcome. Some people like to get to know each other and a little fun chit chat along w/what the poster is asking about makes things feel a bit friendlier. I remember tho you said you were not really a people person. Nothing wrong w/that but some people like to communicate w/others and have some fun. It's ok tho to be "Just the facts maam" kind of person :)
you misunderstand. I’ve always wanted to do animated gifs. I’m not against them at all. But I am not fond of threads getting derailed when a topic is suddenly about the chit-chat involved with the gifs…..rather than the topic.
 

j.w

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you misunderstand. I’ve always wanted to do animated gifs. I’m not against them at all. But I am not fond of threads getting derailed when a topic is suddenly about the chit-chat involved with the gifs…..rather than the topic.
We were working on adding conversation to a thread by having a bit of fun while also answering the posters questions or ideas. Some seemed to enjoy it, some didn't, oh well life goes on! Everything is heading towards less freedom in this world so might as well be here too.
You wrote this above:
Maybe the animated gifs aren’t the culprit, but they do seem to set up for the derailment — they are a distraction. It is hard to slog through post after post of friendly banter just to get to the point.

So can't you see why I thought you didn't like the gifs? You say they are a distraction or a set up for one.
 

j.w

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We can just go on as usual like nothing is happening in here. I'll keep posting my gifs and see how it goes. I hope it doesn't get so that we can't enjoy some fun together as a community of forum human beings but if so then who knows what it will be like here.
 
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I’m not a newbie, but I get lost and lose interest when threads get derailed. I can only imagine how a newbie might feel. Whether it’s the animated gifs or not, derailed threads just aren’t fair to the OP — especially if the OP is a newbie. Maybe the animated gifs aren’t the culprit, but they do seem to set up for the derailment — they are a distraction. It is hard to slog through post after post of friendly banter just to get to the point.
im not a newbie either nor am i a long term member and i have enjoyed kind words and good advice every time i have asked a question. but i have to admit as of late i find the off topic and gifs a distraction to the point of annoyance, i dont always login because sometimes its like looking at an arcade game flashing on and off and i find that very distracting, this forum has been very helpful for me as a person and as a pond owner and i love the human touch expressed by 99% of the members and a bit of banter is welcome, i just dont like all the animated noise that seems to take over most threads. im not looking to get into any arguments/confrontations. this is just my opinion. cheers mark
 
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Ian

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Thanks everyone for the comments on here and via PM. I think the overwhelming consensus is that the off-topic within threads has to stop, as it's putting people off coming to the site and/or skim reading threads. I read a few older threads this morning and I found them so hard to follow on occasion, as the topics were full of in-jokes and not related to the original message - sometimes it was so unrelated I had absolutely no idea what was going on. It sounds like others also found this too..

I've tried to gently nudge and post reminders about it, but it hasn't worked - so if things go wildly off-topic again I'll have to clean up new threads with posts like that. I want to make sure that we're a pond forum where people feel welcome and get great advice, not a chat room where anything goes in technical/help/question threads.

I don't think many people mind the occasional gif in a post or small animation in the sig. However, I think it's sensible to limit it to just 1 small one in the sig. I've not deleted/edited anyones sig, but I see that a couple have changed already. If you have more than 1 in your signature, please choose your favourite and stick to that.
 

YShahar

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Chiming in late here, as I only now discovered this section of the forum. As you can tell, I’m new here! That said, I have to say that I immediately felt at home here.

I think the real question is what sort of forum this is to be. If it’s a forum to ask a question, get it answered by someone with experience and then move on, then that’s one type of forum. If it’s a community of like-minded people to enjoy each other’s company and share their expertise with others, then that’s a totally different kind of forum.

The reason I felt at home here from the beginning was that there was a sense that this forum was of the second type—a venue where I could chat with others who share my passion for ponding—in short, a community.

So while I’m not a fan of the animated gifs (blinky things tend to set my nerves on end), I feel that without the in-jokes and the general banter, the sense of community is lost. If I want simply to ask a question and have it answered, I can google it. What attracted me to this forum was the sense of being part of a community of people from all over the world—people who may disagree on politics or religion or whether cats or dogs or koi make the best pets—but who all share a passion for ponding.

Personally if this is to be just a question-and-answer type forum, without that sense of community, there is little to keep me here. What's more, I don't think that it's possible to have a really good question-and-answer forum that isn't first built on a communal forum (at least not for free). From my experience with other forums, without that sense of community fostered by in-jokes and banter, veteran members simply don't stick around long enough to be able to answer questions posed by newbies. And when they leave, they take their experience with them. The end result is simply a forum of new people answering questions posed by other new people; with a concomitant loss of relevance and actual lived experience.

In order for the veterans to stick around long enough to be helpful to newbies, they need to feel that the forum gives them a place where they can bond and belong.

So yes, it can be distracting to have too much off-topic humor interjected into threads. At the same time, asking for it to stop altogether is like asking people in a board meeting not to engage in any social chit-chat and just stick to business. The meeting may run more efficiently, but the social bonds are weakened, and the sense of common cause is also lost. An online forum is no different in this sense from an in-person community.
 
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j.w

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@YShahar I like your way of explaining it and I agree and would hope that this forum can be a bit of both. Have fun and gain information too. I'm going to try and keep my gifs to a minimum size w/not a lot of flashy lights and real quick movements. The only thing is my signature one that shows up under all my posts will stay the same as it is but did you know you can go to your account settings and turn off being able to see peoples signatures. You can't turn off the ones in the message part of the posts tho. Some I put into the Welcome thread may end up being a big larger at times but they don't need to be flashing or jumping around like crazy but they will have some movement to them.

I think we need a better explanation of what we can and cannot say or do in posts especially in the tech ones @Ian . Must there be no social communication of any kind or can we be friendly and add a bit of humor or whatever to them also? It's hard to not be friendly to people in any posts and always just stick to "just the facts Maam".
 
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Chiming in late here, as I only now discovered this section of the forum. As you can tell, I’m new here! That said, I have to say that I immediately felt at home here.
you go girl...... @YShahar .... for W.H.O...... PREZ
 
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Is there a way to split off a new thread from an original post into a ... more casual, fun, conversation thread that would leave the original post/ Question with on topic answers separate from the tangent thread, where the off topic group can have at it, including a community building GiF-fest?
(If I had the time and expertise, I'd Gif a cake and an eating the cake, too, and probably both a pineapple pizza and a normal pizza, too.) Sorry Ian, coudn't resist. But is a split thread feasible?
 
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I was thinking along the same lines but more a outlook sorta style if you respond to an email that response is like a drop down so the original post could show as it does now but if someone just want to respond to a more personal post that was not the original or in regards to like having the reply function maybe there could be a bs button , computers not my specialty
 
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Heya all, i thought alot before posting on this thread, im almost "new" of this forum, but after that i'm almost Living on it every days after my join and I saw the complex net of chatting friendship etc of everyone....there are some that are more serious nd some that are more jokers...like a normal community...
I'm a joker that try to stay on edge of the rules when I can...at end is just a way to disconnect from the ugly real world and find a nice place. And like Yshahar said this forum looks like more a family then a internet work...

But after that, and is so strange, is the only forum that I signed in that mjssing a rules codex to accept prolly coz is the good mind of people to respect eachothers and try to be good(we are all almost adult, i think to be 1 of the younger with 33).

Like in the world there are rules to follow and there are who have to vigilance on it(addy in primis, then ian) but this dont mean that they are the bad police.

Like @YShahar said the old members can turn bored and leave the forum so the offtopic keep this up, but we need to remember that is a tech pond forum at the end...for that I create the off topic bar, but seems diesnt work; and to be more readable anigif in signatures can disturb(not for me, i had, and after ian made this i just deleted all by my own, for respect)
Usually the offtopic start after the OP got the answer, but can understand the problem anyway...

We lost the big messer of the forum, but 1 big pool of infos and tricks for that and ill try to keep him back into forum; is Brokensword and like I said before we are adult and dont need hide behind a finger. Ofc is a BS problem, admin nd mods just doing their work.

Im agree to 1 small sign and to try to keep all more in line...Nd im up to help to warn to keep in topic the thread just in friendly way.

If you read all this thanks a lot and I wish we can find a way to keep all up. This is the best forum that I found like info e community

(Sorry if something wrong, but im on my cell)
 
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addy1

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Since I joined....................loooooooooong time ago, many of us have drifted off topic in a thread. It happens and will happen again. Something said brings on a totally different topic then everybody reins in and goes back to the original issue, usually pretty quick.

The off topics recently became to intrusive on some of the threads where someone needed help. The gifs to many too big. Did I enjoy the chat, at times, did I get lost on to what the thread was about, yep. Both Ian and I tried to remind everybody, not directed at any one person in the forum, to keep it at a lower key.

If it is your thread and you don't care it goes off topic, state that is so, like @YShahar commented in her first thread.

The forum is getting busy again, a lot of one time posters will show up. They just want a answer and move on.

Others come to stay and enjoy the virtual friendships we have made. Part of those virtual friendships is to chat, have fun, goof around, but only if it does not effect the OP's issue thread.

It is a balance, we usually balance it pretty well.

Can we blame covid..............yep.....(everything can be blamed on covid)......... a lot of people have been isolated, stuck at home, slowly getting back to normal life. The forum is a release a way to reach out and touch others.

Winter boredom if the cold has you stuck in your house.

A lot of reasons to get into a roll of having fun, laughing, posting funny gifs etc etc

Please all enjoy the forum, just keep in mind the OP usually posts because they need help, give them that help. Then have fun in another thread.
 

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