Cybership Abuzz - The Story

New Haven
Reply Tue 22 Apr, 2003 05:53 am
Just reading a few hundred posts will soon reveal that many Abuzz
participants were uneducated folk who just wanted to express their opinion.

Sorry to burst your bubble, but many posters were well educated ( MD, PhD) and made Abuzz the great site that it was. As far as culture was concerned, Abuzz was the best.

Yes, many chats developed on Abuzz. As you are aware, Abuzz was first designed to be a chat or exchange site for individuals. Nothing wrong with that. The old Abuzz sure beats the political nonsense that now appears there.
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New Haven
Reply Tue 22 Apr, 2003 05:59 am
the most graceful and intellectually curious people


How would you go about recognizing this group of people? I have to assume, Violet that you would use a specific set of criteria, would you not?

Most graceful
? Ballet?
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Reply Tue 22 Apr, 2003 06:38 am
Good thread, Violet.

I joined abuzz about 2.5 years ago and enjoyed it for most of that time...until it was unavailable so much, so full of slanging and accusation of impersonation.

I found that most of the people I wanted to exchange views with had come to a2k...for which I am very grateful.

Thanks to Craven and all the moderators/specialists who keep this garden tended and (most of the time) looking and smelling sweet!
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New Haven
Reply Tue 22 Apr, 2003 07:01 am
I remember you, KitchenPete.
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Reply Tue 22 Apr, 2003 07:39 am

I checked and I joined Abuzz around 2 and a half years ago as well, I just popped back to get some milk and I see some of our friends are still regular contributors there, brought a tear to my eye it did.

I also tried h2g2 and am still registered, didn't like the interface much and never " got it" regarding interactions either.
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Craven de Kere
Reply Tue 22 Apr, 2003 09:51 am
New Haven wrote:
As you are aware, Abuzz was first designed to be a chat or exchange site for individuals. Nothing wrong with that.

I believe that Abuzz was not designed for chat. I also think chat, while there is nothing wrong with it, was what made Abuzz less interesting than the impostors etc.

Much is made of the lack of moderation etc but that could have been changed in a month. What they could not change was that the format was condusive to types of interaction (more chat than Q&A) that they were not aiming for.

I could be wrong (I don't know the early Abuzz) but I think the chat was considered a downside to Abuzz by the owners.
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Reply Tue 22 Apr, 2003 09:54 am
Yeah, there were things they did to try to de-emphasize it. Like the logorithm that chose Top Interactions ruled out a thread if it had too many responses too fast, etc.
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Violet Lake
Reply Tue 22 Apr, 2003 11:03 am
New Haven, are you making fun of my fairytale style? Wink

The intended meaning of "grace" was:

  1. A disposition to be generous or helpful; goodwill.
  2. A favor rendered by one who need not do so; indulgence.

This is from Abuzz's "home" page:

NYTimes.com Abuzz Members are...

Knowledgeable, intelligent people like you.
They're not paid experts, but people who enjoy sharing knowledge for knowledge's sake. They're the distinctly non-technical ingredient that makes Abuzz more interesting than a chat room, more convenient than a news group, more responsive than a message board and more human than a search engine.

Don't tell me you missed that... Wink

Of course, it didn't work out quite the way they intended...
0 Replies
Reply Tue 22 Apr, 2003 03:34 pm
NEWHAVEN, you are entirely correct about the calibre of many Abuzz members. Like you, I often enjoyed the expertise that these qualified members contributed.

But what saddened me was that, just as some discussion was moving along nicely with a professional quoting a study or some statistics, it would be invaded by a member whose comments were chiefly anecdotal, never backed up by any serious study.

I recall some really worthwhile discussions about religious history. The chief rabbi of Los Angeles entered with comment, based on a lifetime of study and personal visits to the area under discussion . Suddenly some dumb rascist barges in making all sorts of wild statements.

Of course the brilliant discussion ended and we all went home.

Lately the worst aspect of Abuzz is the vitriolic intolerance of members who belong to different political parties. Any educated person must realize that there have been splendid statesmen and unforgettable leaders froom BOTH parties over the years but you would never know it from the bias appearing on Abuzz. Reading it almost makes one ashamed of being an American at all.

I attended a religious university where wonderful academic discussions occurred daily. I never heard anyone raise their voice and I for one benefited from those daily doses of scholarship.

In Abuzz, even as I write, should anyone bring up any aspect of his/her
religious views they are broadsided by a blast from some zealot who never answers any questions or even asks questions. He just blasts away
with quotes from some book or other.

Those Phd's and Md's you spoke of must have decided that it would be futile to try to make a point in such a mêlée.

Thank goodness for A2K. I find it provocative and entertaining.
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New Haven
Reply Tue 22 Apr, 2003 03:47 pm
The early days of Abuzz were in the Boston/Cambridge area. The original abuzz went by a different name and was used for intra- and interoffice communication, which would include "chat" activities.
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