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  1.  (10038.1)
    So here’s a thought.

    The “best pub in the Universe” thing still stands. That’s what this forum is, that’s what it will continue to be.

    Later: darts.

    But the analogy breaks down when you come to the other splendid function this place serves, and that’s as a hub: a library, a drop-in resource, a re-up store for Junkies Of Wrong. I think Whitechapel’s at its shiny best when everyone’s getting involved in the making, collecting, hoarding and discussing of Nuggets of solid neoculture. (A wanky term. You know what I mean.)

    Sketch threads, reinvent/redesign, tell-us-a-story and so-on: those puppies aren’t going anywhere. But I also want people – strangers! non-members! webnauts from the outside! – to see this place as an unbeatable goto-site for their knowledge-building, time-killing, opinion-forming needs. At the moment we’ve got the “Around the Web” thread, among others, and they’re a pleasure from start to stop.

    I’m thinking about formalising it. Chopping it up a bit. Say, one thread for NEWSFACT, one thread for SCIENCEMAKING, one thread for MEMELOVE. Maybe there are others. Maybe start one each week, refresh them after a month… something like that. I ponder onwards.

    You know that thing where you email a link to your officebound mates – (today it’s an article about a woman who severed her husband’s pizzle and fed it to the garbage grinder; or a study of a time-dislocated particle which revolutionises invisibility tech; or a picture of RainbowCat firefucking its way through the twin towers like an Apocalypse Angel) – and the bemused recipient replies: “Where do you get this stuff?”

    I want the answer to be, always always always, “I heard it off someone in a pub in Whitechapel.”

    Discuss/Suggest/Improve.
    •  
      CommentAuthorAlan Tyson
    • CommentTimeJul 14th 2011 edited
     (10038.2)
    I am liking this idea in general - I do want to ask, though, what would be the benefit of cutting up, say, the Around the Net thread? Seems like a lot of stuff gets directly cross-pollinated there, which you might lose if you split things up. Someone looking for a meme might miss an interesting bit of news, because they don't normally look at news, etc.

    I predict that once the U.S. Election swings into full Mass Ultimate Panic Mode, this place will really grow wings as a news source, but that's a response to a specific event, albeit a pretty drawn-out one. I can see threads for that sort of thing, but a general New Weird Shit thread seems to work best as a singular entity, at least to me.

    Then again, let's experiment with the split-up model a bit, and see what happens! It's very likely that I'm wrong, and we're missing some part of the Anti-Boring Equation but keeping everything in one cesspool. Maybe we should make this coming Autumn a testbed season, and try out new things with forum format and thread organization - what works, we'll keep, and what doesn't, we'll forget.
  2.  (10038.3)
    My concern regarding threads such as the proposed NEWSFACT is that they tend to become unfriendly to newcomers after a few days, with hundreds of posts piling on top of each other, some talking about a certain post while another post sparks another conversation that overlaps with other conversations and some posts deserving of discussion end up being ignored in the mess and then there's the thread shutdown at the end of the month that might happen during an interesting conversation. Ultimately, it doesn't organize things. Some threads are suited to this format -- "Around the Net" is an endlessly entertaining stream of madness, for example -- but I've always felt that something being given its own thread sparks more discussion and maintains the focus better -- such as a particularly shocking piece of news or a delightful new invention. And it keeps the front page dynamic and interesting. Also funny, especially when a thread went wrong and Warren closed it with "SHUT UP NOW" as the last post.

    So I suggest creating more categories instead of monthly threads. We've got Main Junction, London Zoo, FREAKANGELS, Music, Printheads, Art and Moving Pictures, Internet, Mad Science, Fantastika!: SF & The Weird and Blogs. Perhaps a Politics category? Or just News? And a category for the art threads would be interesting as well, organizing all the original content created here.

    I might be misremembering, but during WC's first years, the front page just refused to stay still. There was always a new thread about a specific subject, some of those threads going past a hundred posts, others not even past three. WC's lost a bit of that over time, and it's one of the many things I always loved about this place.

    *shakes walking stick*
    •  
      CommentAuthorinfomancer
    • CommentTimeJul 14th 2011
     (10038.4)
    This place is definitely a good source of "Where do you get this stuff?" items. I'm reminded of the old Newskrusher threads we used to have that were filled with whatever deviant news items we came across. I liked them a lot, but I recall Warren having a reason for discontinuing them. Perhaps we could check up on those reasons and try to correct the problems? I'm definitely in favor of this info-dump/crowdsourced weirdness sort of idea, Si. I think Alan is right that this is generally what our Around The Net thread is for at the moment (which I've already professed my love for), though I'd be fine with splitting them up a bit more topically.

    I'm also okay with the above suggestion of "new item, new thread" though that may create a headache for you mods to be constantly monitoring those threads, large or small, and always making decisions about relevance and/or wankery.
    •  
      CommentAuthortexture
    • CommentTimeJul 15th 2011
     (10038.5)
    I definitely agree with Andre - some things need their own threads, and making more categories would possibly make this easier to manage. However I would also say that were there a thread called MEMELOVE, I'd be on it all the time. I think as long as we can avoid duplication (MEMELOVE sounds a lot like ATN / IDNNTST) then having one long uber-thread on a topic, which then generates tendrils into single-issue threads, could really work. I think what pulls in new people though is things like Webcomics Week and the Art Challenges. That's when you see an influx of newbies - when Warren gives people a chance to parade their fancy bits of whatever kind.
    •  
      CommentAuthorBeamish
    • CommentTimeJul 15th 2011
     (10038.6)
    Would it be possible to make a small group of sticky directories? You could have a news link that opens up to a set of threads, that way there wouldn't one stupidly long threat about everything news instead new topics could start their own, while still being contained and not polluting the main thread. That there can be NEWS - ART - COMICS/PRINT - HUZZAH's - SOCIAL, but still leave some threads to fend for themselves on the front page, like Around the Net.
  3.  (10038.7)
    Can I suggest NEWSKRUSHER returns, but as a category? Make it a distinct home for actual news items - as opposed to memes, videos and cat bukkake GIFs. Keep one thread for general small news felch, option for threads of deeper import.
    •  
      CommentAuthormister hex
    • CommentTimeJul 15th 2011
     (10038.8)
    I once proposed a "Best Of Whitechapel" thread, to kind of acclimate newcomers into the Whitechapel Way Of Doing The Internet, show them what's been done, how it's been done and what not to do but Warren told me to fuck off and go back to work.

    ... Which is what Si will probably do.
  4.  (10038.9)
    I'm simply not mean like that.

    Buy me a drink, then fuck off.
    •  
      CommentAuthorFauxhammer
    • CommentTimeJul 15th 2011
     (10038.10)
    Weekly and monthly "appointment threads" are a good way to go, I think. Less clutter on the front page, less clutter inside each thread.
    •  
      CommentAuthorNeila
    • CommentTimeJul 15th 2011
     (10038.11)
    It might be interesting, since Whitechapel is already sort of "that place you hear/learn things" sometimes not always things you wanted to, and usually stuff that gets seared into your brain and may never leave. D:
    On many occasion I have mentioned something I saw on here and cited Whitechapel as the source.
  5.  (10038.12)
    i miss the remake/remodel art threads. when are we gonna get another one of those?
    •  
      CommentAuthorBeamish
    • CommentTimeJul 15th 2011
     (10038.13)
    @imaginarypeople I agree, I hope Warren hits us with one more before he goes.
  6.  (10038.14)
    we need a Warren related remake/remodel as a send off
    •  
      CommentAuthorAlan Tyson
    • CommentTimeJul 15th 2011 edited
     (10038.15)
    @vandalhandle: Yeah.... but if I know Warren, he'd probably hate that.

    ANYWAY BACK ON TOPIC: This'll sound odd, but with some of the recent discussion that I've been participating in, about Whitechapel being the home base for a whole colony of von Neumann Whitechapels (one of Facebook, one on Google+, one on Turntable.fm, etc.) that the forum should play around with that idea more - maybe have a "we should infect this next" thread going, which stands to be on the lookout for more ways to spread Whitechapel to the wider internet.
  7.  (10038.16)
    I approve of infection.

    All good comments and suggestions, folks. Keep 'em coming.

    (P.S: I'm a huge fan of the remake/remodel threads too. They will return.)
    • CommentAuthorDarkest
    • CommentTimeJul 16th 2011
     (10038.17)
    Sort of a contact details for Whitechapel. We can be found at...

    We have the Around The Net thread for most of the random stuff from the the net.

    The only thing close to a good idea is a sort of thread that people can keep everyone updated on their projects.
    I've been using the Weekend threads and Vile Hugging but truth be told I'm not that great at it. Izzat what MEMELOVE is?

    Anyway I have procrastination to catch up with.
    •  
      CommentAuthorAzabith
    • CommentTimeJul 16th 2011
     (10038.18)
    not sure if MEMELOVE is the sort of thing we want to setup, we do post the occasional meme in AROUND THE NET thread but that woudn't be Whitechapel's main attraction point. I say the remake/remodel threads get plenty of traffic when they happen and is a great way of getting more people on here.
    • CommentAuthorDarkest
    • CommentTimeJul 16th 2011
     (10038.19)
    Ah I was adding a space, Me Me love, ha.
  8.  (10038.20)
    I prefer to use the term "as found on Whitechapel"