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    • CommentAuthorjarod
    • CommentTimeAug 11th 2008
    Does anyone here frequent web sites like 4chan, 7chan, etc.? What's the appeal of them? What do you like about them?

    I've tried to get into using places like 4chan, because it seems like "the" place to be these days, but it's never really clicked for me. Either the interface was too hinky or something. Reading about them at Wikipedia, and thinking about the Wordpress / blog / Loom discussions here, I get the impression that there's sort of a cultural divide between those who blog and those who *chan (which comes from "channel" interestingly enough).

    Maybe it's a level of identity awareness thing. I blog, but I want people to know I'm blogging. People who *chan may be happy enough just to see their posts get reactions. That's an initial hypothesis anyway.

    Any one have any thoughts or experiences?
    • CommentTimeAug 11th 2008
    transient sites are fundamentally just about initial reactions and raw data. If you want to see something and you don't know where else you're going to see it, they're useful, other than that they're just churning frothing holes, with their own culture, sometimes poisonous.

    I tend to class them as things that are more interesting to read about later than to participate in. You either need the enthusiasm to be pitching in and swinging away, or you need the perspective to see the ideas behind it. Neither really fits my experiences with them.

    I like twitter and IRC better, for hanging out and seeing/doing wierd things.
  1.  (3281.3)

    Try Encyclopedia Dramatica. It's like Wikipedia only its entries are dedicated to internet memes (mostly ones started on a chan). I'll start you off (search it for the following things): /b/, lolcats, mudkips, cockmongler, pedobear, over nine thousand, and of course 4chan. The entries are more comedic then informative but you will find out whether you will like a chan there. Its like if the cool kids(pathetic geeks) at your high school(internet) had some kind of live journal community for private jokes(memes). If you find this stuff funny then you may like 4chan. I find some of it funny but I still don't find any pleasure in posting on or reading 4chan.

    WARNING: Chans and Encyclopedia Dramatica are not work safe and filled with extreme graphic content. If you think you can handle some really gross shit /b/tards post try searching tubgirl and goatse (and for the love of God do this search on Wikipedia first).
    • CommentTimeAug 11th 2008
    Heh.. 4chan. Oddly enough, /co/ is probably one of the most useful Comics-themed boards on the internet.
  2.  (3281.5)
    When /co/ isn't posting Scooby Doo on Mystique erotica, it can be quite nice. I found some good conversations in /mu/ too, in between Trent Reznor images.

    I don't do the chans anymore, they're poison. Plus, whitechapel has a much better UI and community.
    • CommentAuthorzebaslam
    • CommentTimeAug 12th 2008
    I enjoy 4chan on occasion. Mostly when I'm at work and want to fuck with the mind of the person who's always peeking over my shoulder.

    But yeah...I think encyclopedia dramatica is a much more...enjoyable?...option. You're laughing with it...not at it. Which I always find to be more fun.
    • CommentAuthorjarod
    • CommentTimeAug 12th 2008 edited
    @outlawpoet, it's the "with their own cultures" that interests me, similar to your description of how you'd rather read about them. The idea that something like "Anonymous" could come from such a culture, when it hasn't come from places like Digg or Slashdot, strikes me as being Very Interesting...although, I'm not sure how.

    @Walker James, Google has been very silent on just exactly what a "tubgirl" is and I'm too scared to click on the YouTube link. :) Thanks for the Encyclopedia link. I'll check that out.

    @Dasai, more so than scans_daily?

    @agentarsenic, I kind of prefer whitechapel as well. It's the reasons you like, UI and community, that piqued my interest. Is it a community that drives a UI or the UI that drives a community? Over in the Ariana And Warren Talk About Net Stuff thread, as well as the Loom threads, most of the UI talk is about WordPress, Ning, and widgets. Those things seem to attract one kind of community, where as Imageboards attract another. The software tribalism, seeing how different communities form around different software, intrigues me.

    @zebaslam, with...not at. Gotcha!
    • CommentTimeAug 12th 2008
    My mind has been so contorted by years of corporate brainwashing, I am unable to write a coherent response. I am now sharing my thoughts via bullet points. Jesus.

    • Any content you create will be dealt with on its own merits. Not by who you are, not by your previous work, just on its own. No expectations, no limits. If your content is even the slightest bit worthwhile, you're likely to see derivative works you never could have imagined.

    • You need to be quick. Threads come and go in minutes. You don't have all day to churn out a masterpiece. Sometimes you have seconds to put your idea into action. 4chan is the reason I can Photoshop just about anything in under 2 minutes.

    • The chans are also where just about every significant Internet meme has come from, and likely will come from for the foreseeable future.

    • The chans are places absent of morality and formal social constructs. Without an identity you have no accountability. Without accountability, things get very interesting.

    Still, it should be noted that (4|7|etc)chan(s) really are the asshole of the Internet. Don't romanticize the chans based on the points above. Again, with the absence of accountability, you WILL see things you cannot unsee. Very likely in your first few seconds. The most sickening part is the day you see those horrible horrible things, things you wish you could have ripped out of your mind with a claw hammer, and you just keep eating your sandwich. /b/ is where my soul died, was exhumed, and was then promptly and repeatedly raped by syphilitic mandrills.
    • CommentAuthorjarod
    • CommentTimeAug 12th 2008 edited
    @aRgus, not to romanticize it, but you bring up something that I'd been unable to articulate until your post:
    The chans are also where just about every significant Internet meme has come from, and likely will come from for the foreseeable future.

    This is what's been nagging at me, but I wasn't sure of...sure how to say...etc. Do the *chans represent a new kind of group dynamic? Is something like "Anonymous" (which is what sent me back down this half-thought yesterday) a new form of user? A bridge between user and computer? You said, "Any content you create will be dealt with on its own merits," followed up by, "4chan is the reason I can Photoshop just about anything in under 2 minutes." Factoring in the derivative art, from a certain perspective, the *chans become a self-generating concept / art engine. Are the *chans a kind of pre-cyborg melding of man and machines, more than other social networks?

    And my own apologies if I seem incoherent here. There's something about the *chans that strikes me as very alien yet very here. It's fascinating, but hard to explain.
    • CommentTimeAug 12th 2008
    @turbov21 You're as coherent as the subject matter allows you to be, and I'm right there with you.

    90% of *chan (at least /b/) is utter shit. It will always be that way, because it is all inclusive. There is no membership, there is very little moderation (some have none). Instead, things that aren't worthwhile don't become topics of discussion, and the disappear forever. There's only 11 pages (0-10) of constantly rotating content. When a thread is gone, it's gone. The worthwhile stuff floats to the top and stays there until the collective is bored with it.

    I think that *chans are less a "pre-cyborg melding of man and machine" and more of a hive. Even with no social incentives to behave or speak a certain way, there is a normalization that occurs. A normalization that's constantly changing. Normalization without conformity. Frequent and fleeting synchronization of independent thought. Again, that probably doesn't sound especially coherent, but it's the best way I can explain it. The best analogy that comes to mind is watching a massive flock of birds changing directions all at once.

    Also I should note that I'm merely a participant, so different people will obviously get different things out of it. I certainly use it as a creative outlet.
    • CommentAuthorjarod
    • CommentTimeAug 12th 2008 edited
    @aRgus, something else you've said sparked another thought, in regards to the "time sensitive Internet" discussed elsewhere:
    There's only 11 pages (0-10) of constantly rotating content. When a thread is gone, it's gone.
    Perhaps the reason the *chans feel so different is because in some ways they're a throwback to pre-Internet media:

    1. Majority rules
    2. Popularity is driven by anonymous masses
    3. When something is gone, it's gone, you missed it.

    Perhaps the unlike other forums, the *chans manage to democratize media, the same way television ratings do, but they also lower the barrier of entry of being popular all the way down to a simple question of talent. Thank you. That's a another angle of thought I hadn't considered.

    Also, in regards to "pre-cyborg melding vs. hive mind," I agree with you. It really is more of a flock consciousness.
  3.  (3281.12)
    @turbov21: Did you look up "goatse" and handle it? I actually think its funny (albeit gross). If it didn't bother then don't be afraid to see "tubgirl". It is not a video and wont be found on youtube (ED & Wiki link to it).

    If you really want to see the worst thing imaginable google "BME pain olympics". It's 45 second video of a man mutilating his genitals: ONCE YOU SEE IT YOU CANNOT UNSEE IT.

    @aRgus: You very accurately defined the *chans except for...
    When something is gone, it's gone, you missed it.
    Maybe technically, but copypasta keeps things alive way longer than they should be.

    Do you define yourself as an "oldfag"?
    • CommentAuthorjarod
    • CommentTimeAug 12th 2008
    @Walker James, I have seen "goatse," though I clicked away very quickly...but I've yet to work up the courage (or properly empty my stomach) to watch 2Girls1Cup. I'll have to look for "tubgirl" when I get home, though. As for the "BME pain olympics," perhaps I'll skip that, because ouch!
    • CommentTimeAug 12th 2008
    @Walker James

    You are correct Sir. Copypasta does endure, as does my 2GB /b/ folder. As for oldfag, it depends on who does the defining. I have 3 years on the Internet hate machine, whatever nfag that makes me.

    @turbov21 Everything you plan on doing is a horrible idea.
    • CommentTimeAug 12th 2008
    God damnit aRgus, I'm glad you finally started hanging out here again.
    • CommentAuthorjarod
    • CommentTimeAug 12th 2008
    @aRgus, it usually is. It usually is.
  4.  (3281.17)
    correct me if i'm wrong but didn't anonymous generally sprout from people fucking with the chan users, not really the users themselves. from what i've read on encyclopedia dramatica the anonymous types seem to generally despise the chan users.

    and ed's not just good for the chans, it's basically a wiki for internet culture in general, from crimes commited through the internet (where i first heard about armin meiwes), and general spoofs of wikipedia and most other internet community sites.

    i found the entries on second life and the guys who raid it from time to time, quite interesting.
  5.  (3281.18)


    that is all
  6.  (3281.19)
    "Anonymous" as an activist entity both is and isn't part of the *chan culture. I'd say that the idea of griefing Scientologists was initially embraced by places like /b/, butthey quickly grew bored with it as it ossified into a more important/regular thing. This pattern is something that you see a lot with how these things (sometimes, but not always, called raids) go. Hal Turner was only funny for a little while; Tom Green, same thing.

    The other problem with trying to speak generally about "*chan cluture" is that that's an inherent oxymoron. There is no unified culture on many of the boards, because there can not be an identification with the people posting around you in the long term. There are no leaders; there are no rallying points. It's just each person who happens to be browsing that page at that moment letting their Id run wild. This is why the term "true face of the internet" caught on, I think, because so many people who are also solid, normal contributors on hundreds of more traditional boards and sites from across the internet also post on 4chan.

    Memes are interesting in that they have to survive a serious gauntlet to last: they have to be funny enough to survive in the short term and stick with x number of users to be reposted, but they also must be mutable enough so that the don't become boring quickly. This mutability, I think, lies at the heart of the most lasting memes to come out of 4chan.
    • CommentAuthorMyles
    • CommentTimeAug 15th 2008
    @nick3pointone4: The thing about anonymous is that anyone can claim to be apart of it, or represent it, so both the protesters and the people who see them as idiots are equally valid members. The idea that "Anonymous" could have a single, shared will or viewpoint is the joke upon which the popularity of the term is based.

    4chan is the ultimate time waster. The constant stream of comments ensures that one need only refresh the page to be greeted by fresh content. I personally favor /co/, as it has everything that makes 4chan great but also tends to lack the eye-searing, brain melting, cannot be unseen unpleasantness that pervades these sites. The shared identify and behavioral code of /co/ users, or /co/mrades, differs slightly from that of anonymous. Their catchphrase is "/co/ is love", which it is, relatively speaking,when compared to the rest of 4chan

    Also, stay away from /b/. You may enter as a heterosexual who enjoys consensual sex in the missionary position, but you will leave a twisted omnisexual perverted rapist freak who can only get off on things whose existence is (thankfully) physically impossible.