Ever wondered how many people actually participate in forum discussions? I mean actual, individual, REAL people? I can't help but to wonder lately if the religion and politics forums aren't populated by six or seven real people wanting to really converse and then overcome by a select few who adopt extreme personas just to rile everyone up? And is there a level of paranoia that's hit a crazy high, or is it just my mistaken observation?
Not really. Have you visited other forums elsewhere? There usually at every forum even sub-forums with specific interest are a few predominant persons leading in some manner and some way. Then there are members, then participants, then spectators. It is not any different than a town meeting. It is what the town meeting is about that a difference may occur with regard to participation.
Social interactions are social interactions. With the making of friendships, friendly relationships, discovery of acquaintances, and then groupings a social order will form. Sometimes that social order is predominant and spider webs form with relationships.
There is the core group, which can change, with each of those having followers with similar likenesses. Just like the town meeting with the supervisors sitting on the stage and speaking at the podium each has followers.
For instance, I am in a core grouping at a forum for diabetes. Here I am a spectator who comments sparsely and many times of too much length. Oh well . . . I rarely interact as I have not the time as I am more active elsewhere.
But, HP says I will have better scoring with participation. So, I participate. I would much rather be discussing diabetes and lifestyle rather than religion or philosophy. But, I read that forum here all the time to learn much more than comment and participate.
Hiya, tsmog. You make some good points. Maybe it depends on the topics.
Yes . . . choices do matter, time to commit to the forum at topic, and of course everyone has feelings and those prompt emotions. I like reading many of the forums, yet I am selective as most are. The first two years here at HP I rarely, rarely to the extent of months between participated with a comment. This year, not working, I try to 'post' to meet the suggested participation by HP. I still have reservations regarding participating because of keeping up with whatever is time consuming for me with how I allot my time
(Footnote: I am on HP between say 2AM PDT and 8AM PDT. Who is here? )
While I do think that forums are visited by real and individual people, I am not sure that the opinions expressed are always those of the individuals seeking to engage in meaningful social networking.
In other words, I do wonder how many "real people" are, in fact, trolls sent to Hubpages (and other online forums) to promote ideas that are outside of the mainstream.
I will go out on a limb here, but I am (I must admit) stunned by the predominance of rabid right-wing and extreme religious viewpoints repeatedly expressed in many forums.
It seems, at times, the one cannot have a discussion without someone insisting on hammering away at some very extreme (for lack of a better word) positions.
I am shocked by the frequency of mean-spirited commentary; cyber-bullying; personal attacks.
But...I am also shocked by the numbers of conspiracy theorists and the number of science deniers who seem to troll these pages.
I'm not so much stunned anymore, but, my goodness, it can be interesting to watch!
I see the extremes on all sides, truthfully. What I find interesting is the number of folks who don't give up...and I mean are so persistent that they do only seem to pause for their bans.
Hi M2C, I participate in forums or question and answers if I have knowledge in that area. However perhaps there are some people out there that try to create a forum scene for whatever reason.
I don't think there are many sockpuppets on the forums. Mostly different people, some of whom happen to have similar attitudes.
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