Le Meow: Private Group Vs. Community Inclusiveness

We should talk about this community thing and how much the forum is accessible / visible to people looking at endmyopia. Since the last oopsie go-around with the forum, this hasn’t really left my tiny little brain.

The forum has been growing.

We’re working on the iOS measuring app (or at least it will be “we” soon, once I get the first version out to you).

And the podcasts we’ve been enjoying together.

It really sort of feels like the forum would be such a nice piece of the whole puzzle for people to know about, be able to browse, be tempted into joining. Get them away from Facebook as the obvious option, too.

We shouldn’t underestimate barriers of entry. I myself would possibly be dissuaded by quizzes and waiting for approvals and e-mail confirmations and all that. The whole thing currently has a keep-you-out vibe about it, for sure.

But of course I get what the uproar was about last time. We don’t want to remove the houses front door and hope for the best. I get it, totally.

Just consider this scenario: You’re searching the Internet about eyesight. You dislike your glasses.

You find endmyopia. The site. Or some Youtube videos.

How much of a difference might it make to you sticking around, browsing, scrolling, reading, if you had access to this forum, at least read-only mode, relatively easily? Seeing how much people discuss things, how much insight and care and detail is invested into the actual process of reversing myopia?

Right now the headliner of endmyopia is Jakey’s silly old rambling face. That’s NOT the best possible ambassador to the proceedings. :joy:

Could we open things up a bit, on a trial basis perhaps? Set some kind of contingencies, like an experiment parameter, agree to go back to old ways, if it fails to make us happy?

Again, in no way is this pushing you to accept any change. I’m just floating the idea of ongoing evolving, letting people see under the hood, adding to our welcoming-ness a bit.

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Sometimes it would be nice, when people are asking questions, to be able to point them to a thread in the forum, rather than try to get them to take the quiz so that in a few days you can direct them to a thread. So I get that.

Read only for non-members for sure. :wink:

Personally, I would be fine with it. I don’t imagine we would become inundated - people still be lazies.

Of course, if we do go that way, some people would need time to remove anything they may want removed… Or maybe request certain of their threads be visible only to certain membership levels? I don’t know what is possible and how much work that is. Just putting it out there as an idea.

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My problem with that is that while it’s not intuitive but this setting lowers engagement. If you allow people to just read, but they don’t have to register then we will have a ton of lurkers. They will search and read but never register and write. Of course the forum will have much more views, but maybe even less or similar post count as currently.
Also it would mean that the forum will be indexed, which may or may not be a problem.
I would rather lower the entry barrier but let only registered people see it.

Or you mean register (without approval) for reading but quizz for writing? Would that be possible?

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Massive. Barriers of entry damage enthusiasm to try things out like this, seeing a forum full of people talking about this gets people in. This encourages people to know the forum exists and maybe come in at the same time. It’s about protecting the interests of the future users of the forum over the present users of the forum - and there hopefully will be more users in the future than the present.

Jake and nobody else image VS internet community with discussion image is the dichotomy, and the latter will win every time.

Former is the same thing all of the Bates method guys do, here’s our great person who’s been doing Bates for N years, $299 pay up frontloaded course. Endmyopia needs to be as far removed from the current optics of other vision improvement stuff online as possible. That means community, mutual sharing of ideas in the avenues, as few reasons for distrust as possible. We’re doing pretty well there.

But… ‘You find endmyopia. The site.’. To see what people are saying you can:

  • Try the Facebook group (that you need to have Facebook for, be aware the group exists)
  • View a limited number of YouTube videos that’s one to many, be doubtful/imagine everyone is a Fiverr actor. Also those comments sections are dumb most of the time (hey bro does urine work?)
  • Discord server, an even more niche platform
  • A forum that doesn’t even let you view anything until you register (what secrets are they hiding??)

I’m not sure why making the forum public will lower engagement. The people who can’t read when it’s private don’t read and have zero engagement. We’ll get lurkers, when before we got nothing - that’s an improvement. I think the post count will go up.

I have no idea how those contingencies would work to be honest, one group of people wants it private, the other group wants it public. So one group are failed in being happy, the other group is happy. Certain threshold of basic questions? Well, the mods will just delete two basic questions to every one that currently is posted, and it’s always a longshot from Facebook.

People who posted too much personal information about themselves failed to follow the rules of the internet… get a pseudonym and profile picture without your face. Mods can start a username rename thread.

We should look after the interests of future Endmyopia before the present Endmyopia, and get this inevitable move in making the forum public out of the way, before we inevitably do it anyway as things get bigger and we’ve lowered our effectiveness between now and then.

That 3,600 of trust level 0 users? There are probably 2-3x that number of users who would be exposed to more community Endmyopia content if the forum was public. Potential articles and outlets waiting to be written about this stuff by bespectacled journalists when we differentiate ourselves more from typical vision improvement sites too.
image

tl;dr: Open the country, stop having it be closed

Addendum: My ideal forum settings: Everyone can read, only registered users with a verified email address can post. I don’t see a reason for the moderator (Jake) queue to approve new forum members, as the majority of forums bigger than this don’t use this feature and allow users the instant gratification of making an account and getting stuck in. How many people in the mod queue are declined an account? If it causes problems reenable the mod queue. Verified email address (should) stop a lot of riffraff spam bots. ‘Forum’ button in the top right of the site where all the other buttons are.

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You can’t do that with a forum which is operated by Jake. If you really want to go with the community route, then it have to be totally community created. Not affiliated with Jake at all. Otherwise it will always be “another group of that cult leader” (yes, I’m aggravating here of course).
Go now, rent a server, create a forum and gather people. Or create an unofficial endmyopia subreddit. Those would be “internet community with discussion image”. Anything else is still “Jake and nobody else” with a dash of internet community.

I think it’s 100% achieved. Or what you miss on this front?

Because of human psychology. If you are already registered then you just click and write a post. If you can read posts without registering then you see some interesting, wants to write a comment, realize you need to register for that, and then just go “ah… who cares”. Which may mean that we get 100 new user in a given time, instead of 5, but from the 100 only 2 will write, while from the 5 there would be 4 active member. Of course the numbers just made up to show what I meant, maybe the overall user number increase would result in overall improvement. Or not.

I would have no problem with that if currently we would be talking about the settings of a totally new forum for Endmyopia. But the original intent of the current forum was not this totally open thing. As Jake said nothing set in stone regarding Endmyopia so sure, forum settings can change. But this would essentially mean that we are creating a totally new forum, just “migrating” the old posts, instead of just change some settings.
But as I mentioned in the other topic I’m not against this. Though we should clearly state the rules and strictly enforce it, otherwise it would be just a FB-free FB group. Which may be beneficial, but personally I would not like it :slight_smile: (and most likely would not be active, just like I’m not active in the FB group).

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And only 500 of them was seen in less then 7 (!) months. So 3100 opened the forum for the last time longer then 7 months. I think making the forum public would greatly increase this latter. But only a slightly the former. While definitely alienate some current members and increase the number of “weed” topics. Overall it’s still may be beneficial, but it’s not as easy as “more user = better”.

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I think the posts in the forum will speak for itself and stand on their own merit, anyone dismissing the public forum posts as ‘just some more posts by that group of that cult leader’ are missing the point of reading and debunking the points we make here - they’re not really the target. Strictly speaking the forum is more operated by @Laurens than Jake.

The material is still mostly made by Jake, through no fault of his own considering he made everything. Free, consistent community contributions are not easy to come by, but ideally you’d have several Endmyopia channels all making content in their own style. @gemilymez talks about ‘personality access points’ which I love, a personality for everyone wanting to get into this stuff (Jake isn’t everyone’s cup of tea by the looks of things)

ATM though, vision improvement with Mark Warren, vision improvement with Nathan Oxenfeld, vision improvement with Rebecca Turner, vision improvement with Integral Eyesight, vision improvement with Jake Steiner.

Don’t get me wrong, I think we’re doing a far better job than everyone else in avoiding the BS that stops stuff spreading - and if Jake was anything like the others I wouldn’t be here. Our SEO could be a lot better though, and that’ll only be achieved through more activity to EM domains, tricks and hacks with SEO will always be inferior to raw engagement, correct me if I’m wrong.

We need an approach geared to the viral spread of information, not the top-down approach that literally all other vision improvement sites seem to use. That will differentiate us and give reason for media outlets to talk about us.

If you want a diamond-studded example of how a free community spirit made something massive, look no further than https://nofap.com/ and Alexander Rhodes. Bazillions of YouTube videos talking about it, everyone’s all smiley. Alex is harassed by the porn industry and $130,000 in donations for legal fees.

Look at dis forum https://forum.nofap.com/index.php

Wiki page denies basic reality about porn use in the lead section too: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NoFap, when you have a biased Wikipedia article about it you know you’ve won!!

[Charge not led from the front, rather a magical community spirit]

Yeah, or not. Discord server has no barriers to entry currently and it’s only boosted engagement, with no problems. Previously there was a slightly obscure verification process.

If EM grows by 10x, Jake has say 200k subscribers instead of 27k, would the forum still be private needing a registration? What about 1m? At a certain level of size, the idea of a private Endmyopia forum becomes silly and holds us back - better to do the thing that’ll grow us. NoFap forum, really good example of people in a health sphere, talking about personal issues, and boosting community engagement.

I think that this is an overcomplication, and it remains to be seen how forum usage would change, but for sure nothing is set in stone. I have inclinations that a public forum will boost engagement, posting and reading.

I don’t think lurking is necessarily a bad thing. Even for approved members, it is better to search if their question hasn’t been answered yet before posting a new topic, and there’s a big chance that it is the case. Although I haven’t registered until this year, I knew the site for a few years and never joined the forums (I don’t remember being exposed to the info about their existence), even though it could have made a difference for me to read.

I am new enough here that I don’t know of the past experiences and the reason why some people might be reluctant. But I think that the forums would help some people with the learning curve, and those who read long enough and find true value in it will eventually want to interact.

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The nuclear option would be to make this Discourse forum install the ‘legacy forum’ (the sequel, Electric Boogaloo), and disable account creation as well as posting. People who already made an account can see the posts from the past. New forum is made from the start everyone knowing it’s public. Sounds like a really bad idea to me, everything would recover eventually though. Only if there’s an impasse that is reached. But there really should be a public forum.

Hey, I know you said the wiki page got it wrong, but this sounds neat:
NoFap.com sells “premium memberships” and “store merchandise”.”
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NoFap

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Yeah, I think there’s a lot that can be learned from larger entities in the health improvement sphere :smiley:

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1% rule (Internet culture).

Lurkers gonna lurk.

According to the 1% rule, about 1% of Internet users are responsible for creating content, while 99% are merely consumers of that content. For example, for every person who posts on a forum, generally about 99 other people view that forum but do not post.

This is more or less an immutable law.

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I agree with Jake, all the pre-joining quiz can be really denotivating to join. I remember putting it off a few times… when I was joining.

Some forums use a private & public sections. Public section for some topics which they want to get publicity. Private section for other discussions. Maybe that route can be used. It will increase the number of visitors (lurkers) and the search engines will most probably index them.

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Public forum cultivates more community discussions, and improves SEO + getting the message out there. Feedback loop begins, where people come back to the forum and that boosts engagement and outreach, further boosting engagement and outreach… posting will go up :grin:

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If people aren’t keen on making it public (I know, you won’t be one of those unkeen onee, @NottNott :wink: ) a possible place to start would be to remove the quiz so registering is one step easier (and quicker). :woman_shrugging:

Ultimately, Jake has poured his heart and soul into building up EndMyopia. Whichever direction he wants to take it, 100% support from me.

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Ah, that makes no sense. Everyone can delete their own posts if they don’t want to see them anymore or even anonymize their user. So if we go public, go public with this one, there is no reason to throw away a lot of useful discussions. That never was my intent.

I don’t really like that, because either the private section won’t be used, or we essentially have a totally private forum. In the case of the latter it may look like it’s a dead forum for a not registered user.

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On the topic of forum changes, I’d also suggest changing ‘Le Meow’ to ‘Endmyopia Forum’, or preferably something more funky that has ‘Endmyopia’ in it. Possibly take the existing longform ‘Le Meow’ in the exact font and just change the text. Change the forum theme to something with more high energy that goes with the site theme, yellow/orange.

Aaaaaaand, no graffiti. Or street art. Without understating problems, it is possibly the most offputting thing ever.

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Heresy!!! Sacrilege!!!

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I put it out there because of concerns many people have said like ‘the original intent of the current forum was not this totally open thing’ - so people made posts without anticipating it would be public. It’s a really silly idea that overcomplicates things and I don’t think it’s a starter.

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No I think it wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing to hide sections where some people might put their personal information (like the introductions, or community outreach, …). That way members of the community will have a safe place to which they can keep all the things they want to protect from unverified lurkers.
But of course all the main discussion needs to happen in the public section, or there would be no point at all.

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