My thoughts


#1

(Below are my opinions and are just that, opinions. Please take with a grain of salt)
Hey guys captsis here

@spacewolfplays already had an excellent write up with many points addressed that ill try not to repeat.

First off, the platform itself:

Discourse seems to be very much a “modern” platform with a slick UI. You know what I mean. Here’s my issue with it. To be quite honest UI design for a new community like this will make it or break it. and I don’t believe this is the right direction to go in.

As someone who just joined but has lerked since day one I can tell you my first thoughts are it is very clunky and difficult to navigate. Geekhack has a very traditional BB style interface and this is decidedly NOT that obviously. First thing to change IMO would be the forum software to something more traditional. People don’t like change and it will definitely hurt adoption rates. User friendly? maybe? But i have a feeling that the people this forum will serve will not particularly enjoy the interface (I am in no place to make concrete assumptions however)

as norbauer said the interface is indeed jarring and I probably will get used to it. But in my experience most will see this and wont be bothered to learn a completely new UI.

Secondly, Politics:

This site I can confidently say was a knee jerk reaction to the - granted -, pretty big news. I predict a similar situation ala Reddit Vs. Voat for those familiar. I cant predict the future but I cant say I see KT ever outdoing GH which is already essentially a niche within a niche.

Massdrop is a… controversial subject for some. Many arguments on both sides but when it comes down to it ultimately breeds division in the already small community which is NOT helpful. I don’t claim to know a solution but i think something like this needed to happen. There no going back really and if this site is going to succeed this isnt something that can be half assed. This site needs to be FULLY embraced.

I understand KT was created just in case but think about it. This sends a message that there is a lack of faith in Massdrop and the admins to not screw something up. which to be fair is not unwarranted. BUT, this will definitely rock the boat.

Thirdly The Future:

We are in completely uncharted territory here. Has/is a long term plan for the site being made? Let’s say Massdrop does fuck it up and a Hurricane Rita level evacuation to the site happens. Then what? what if everything goes smoothy with GH? How is that going to look? I feel like there was an extreme lack of foresight in this area. Will the site even last? or will it become the new Geekhack? Honestly I believe that if everything DOES go smoothly, KT will honestly look pretty bad here. I am not saying KT was stupid and shouldn’t be a thing as I addressed above, but we must consider ALL possible scenarios here.

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE hear me out. I have complete faith in KT’s ability to succeed but there needs to be a plan if it doesn’t. I am not trying to start a beef with anyone. Just a reasonable and friendly discourse. Any critiques or comments are absolutely welcome and feel free to hit me up on Discord.

Long live the keeb community!

<2

captsis


#2

KT is doing just fine on its own. I think it provides a different way to consume content and interact. There is no reason to replicate geekhack. Hell, I’ve only lruked on GH, but KT got me to create an account and actually participate, so KT must be doing something right.


#3

C’mon, everybody knows it’s Reddit Vs. Tildes now :wink:

There’s no sensible way they could migrate to any other forum software without losing everything already posted here, and I’m personally pretty pleased with Discord.

  • Discord works a HELL of a lot better on my iPhone than any other phpBB-style forum software I’ve ever seen (and thank fuck it never prompts me to install the goddamn tapatalk app)
  • Discourse has keyboard navigation built in (vim-style keybindings for up/down, chained go-to-page things like ‘gh’ for ‘go home’, etc). I discovered this entirely by accident but I absolutely love it as someone who uses keyboard nav for reddit, gmail, vim, and now Discourse. None of the BB-style forums have this, at least none that I’ve seen. You would think a keyboard discussion forum would be easily navigable by, y’know, keyboards, right?
  • Discourse’s dark theme is approximately 900x less hideous than Geekhack’s dark theme.
  • Geekhack and other BB-style forums never seem to reliably return me to where I left a conversation, and Discourse seems to be REALLY damn good at this.
  • Oh, and, Deskthority and Geekhack both still exist. So if you really want a BB-style forum, nobody’s forcing you to hang out here.

Lest you think I’m just some Discourse fanboy, I’ve never even used another Discourse-based forum before this one. I was just as shocked and pearl-clutching as many of you when I saw they went with this software, but I decided to give it a week or two before making up my mind about how I felt.

And now, a week or so in, I feel like I know. I like it a lot more than BB-style forums, and I think all of you who are complaining about it are whiners. :smiley:


#4

The UI of keebtalk is exactly what makes me keep coming back. It’s fluid, fast and responsive and I really appreciate that.

I don’t like BB style generally it always feels like I’m trying to download warez in the 90s. As someone who has never been particularly active on the other big forums I’m personally finding discourse really engaging.

I don’t want to see the keyboard community stuck with phpBB for another 10 years personally and I like that people are trying to bring something new and more modern.


#5

I would leave immediately. The god awful phpbb interface on GH is one of the bigger reasons I never even bothered to make an account there. It basically doesn’t work at all on mobile, it’s super clunky, and it looks like absolute garbage.

The other reason was the cliquey toxic community which fortunately seems to have mostly stayed in their festering little GH hole and allowed KT to quickly grow into its own community.


#6

I mostly browse KT on my phone, getting my mech board fix in small doses throughout the day. For this use application, it really cannot be beat. The other forums are fine, but better on desktop.

KT has more of the feel of chatting with friends to me.

Horses for courses.


#7

Even though the UI is different than GH, I’m getting used to it pretty fast. On the whole, I’d say I think it’s a better experience. I say this probably not fully knowing all of the features and functionality.


#8

A+ shitpost


#9

We are a communicative bunch, much facilitated by super-high-quality input devices. I don’t begrudge the state-of-the-moment feedback. It feels good to let it all hang out using a keyboard that perfectly suits our individual desires, this is why we love our hobby.

I figure that with enough time and experience, folks who are critical will understand the benefits of the KT option and grow to like it. The Discourse platform is like an onion, it kind of stings the eyes at first, but there are layers.

I think that we will win you over.


#10

Sometimes it feels like I’m the only person in the world that doesn’t think that geekhack is impossible to navigate on my phone. The text is big enough for me to see in vertical mode but is even easier to read if I turn my phone to landscape.


#11

The problem is that, for readability, there are pretty solid rules about how to format text. Things like maximum line length, line height, etc. Geekhack is not completely unusable on modern phones since they’ve become pocket supercomputers, but it’s pretty hard to read because the formatting doesn’t adapt to the device, and even on regular PCs, it completely ignores all the rules. Also, without pinching to zoom in, links like the page numbers at the bottom of conversations are practically impossible to hit with any degree of real accuracy.

And that’s just READING content on GH. Have you ever tried writing a post? I have an iPhone X and the performance literally lags a full second behind my keystrokes. Something their JS widget is doing is real bad.

So sure, you CAN use it on a phone, but it’s hardly a good experience. KT is hands down superior on mobile.


#12

Huh almost all of my posts on geekhack have been on my Pixel XL version one and I’ve never had any issues. Maybe it’s an apple thing? Either way you make a good point. Those issues just don’t bother me I guess. I also refuse to use the mobile app for reddit so maybe I’m just weird :joy:


#13

Maybe! Or maybe it’s a Safari/Chrome difference; I’ve only tried in Safari on my iPhone.

Ha, well, the official Reddit mobile app is awful on iOS, so I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s garbage on Android too. On iOS, though, I love Narwhal - it’s fast, it looks great, and it supports all the features I care about. I’m sure there’s a good one on Android, but I have no idea what people use for Reddit on your side of the fence.


#14

Not my point. I’m not just bitching about the UI. I’m saying that OTHER people may. I am suggesting what I think would be a good option.

Interesting. It seems I was incorrect in my assumption that this site was mainly made up of ex GHers at the moment


#16

You literally said:

I’m saying, if that’s what you want, then clearly this isn’t for you. And that’s cool! Not every site has to appeal to every single possible user. But I think it’s silly to argue that what the keyboard community needs is another “more traditional” keyboard forum. Those already exist.


#17

Personally I am ok with the interface and will get used to it eventually. I was talking about other people that dont have the patience to get used to it unlike myself.

See for context

I think KT is breaking new ground. But in order for the site to REALLY succeed the forum software needs to be something more palatable.


#18

Seems like the site is doing pretty well to me! :slight_smile:

I’ve certainly seen more activity here than on GH or DT since launch. On the one hand, it’s shiny and new so a bunch of us are all kicking the tires, but on the other hand, you’re absolutely right - people don’t like change. However, it certainly doesn’t seem to be hurting the adoption rate at all so far.

I think only time will tell if the activity levels off here, or if this is nothing compared to what’s coming. I have a pretty strong feeling it’s the latter.


#19

I think a lot of Geekhack lurkers came over, but most of the “old guard” stayed put I think. A lot of the “population boom” here was more tied to the shout out from Brian and Huey on top clack imo


#20

Personally I was only lurking in GH … I just can’t tolerate old forum UIs anymore. Having a fresh community with a better governance and better software convinced me to actually join and participate. I don’t see how we could not have both communities running side-by-side. Old communities tend to be hard/difficult on newcomers … I might eventually invest some time in GH, but to me KT is already where I prefer being.


#21

I don’t know if I count as a pure lurker, but according to my profile over there I’ve posted 57 times (0.016 per day).

I think I may have posted more than that in the 10-11 days I’ve been active here.

EDIT to add: Yup, I just counted my replies here, not including topics I’ve started, and I have over 70 posts here already.