What the hell happened with DN?

3 years ago from Martin Bavio, User Interface Person

  • Caleb SylvestCaleb Sylvest, 3 years ago

    DN took a turn for the worse when registration was opened to the public. Hate to say it, but from my view that's what happened.

    Personally, I was moderately involved in the earlier days but lost interest after open enrollment cause it just turned to crappy posts, poor self promotion, and cruft.

    I still peak at the homepage a few times a week, but probably spend <10 seconds scanning the headlines and moving on.

    46 points
    • Scott ThomasScott Thomas, 3 years ago

      When did open registration happen?

      Scanning the AMA's, I am guessing 3 years ago?

      3 points
    • Martin Bavio, 3 years ago

      Personally, I was moderately involved in the earlier days but lost interest after open enrollment cause it just turned to crappy posts, poor self promotion, and cruft.

      It's exactly the same thing for me, kind of sad that it happened organically for me (increment of my lack of interest) and never stopped to wonder until now, which is probably too late.

      Open-enrollment causing ton of crap content, self-promotion and spam is expected, so probably what failed was the lack of decent moderation?

      8 points
    • Daniel GoldenDaniel Golden, 3 years ago

      You hit the nail on the head. I was one of the first hundred users and it was really fanstastic in the glory days, but at some point the owners (which have changed since it's inception) interest moved to other things and DN got less and less attention. It's been coasting downhill ever since then. There are still moderators who help filter the content out (of which I am one) but there's just so much cruft and spam that it's become difficult to do and justify spending the time one.

      Catalin Cimpanu lead the charge on providing great content and moderating content for years. Even more recently when the community began to take a turn for the worse, he was a trooper in modding pretty heavily. Dude doesn't get enough credit for the work and time he invested in this community.

      You basically summed it up though. I honestly don't think the owners care enough at this point to do anything about the seriously downgraded quality in content. No flack, they're probably justified in doing so, it's just a sad reality.

      15 points
      • Martin Bavio, 3 years ago

        I don't understand why Metalab bought the product if they planned to just not care. Like what was the point of it? Brand awareness?

        5 points
        • Eric Chu, 3 years ago

          It wasn't Metalab, it was the founder of it, Andrew, as part of a holding company called Tiny Boards.

          They bought it for the job board. As long as DN gets more users and more views, they will continue to make more money.

          DN is one of many that they've bought: http://tinyboards.co

          11 points
          • Jim SilvermanJim Silverman, 3 years ago

            they think of DN as a job board. tells you all you need to know.

            11 points
          • Martin BavioMartin Bavio, 3 years ago

            I did not know this. This is genuinely sad. Sometimes business just sucks.

            3 points
            • Eric Chu, 3 years ago

              It does suck, but it's necessary.

              If you were running a popular web forum with server/hosting costs, how would you support it? Out of your pocket? Ads? Sponsored posts?

              I do believe more can be done to keep the quality up, but it's not easy. Lots of communities start off great and die a slow and painful death because it takes a lot of care and upkeep.

              3 points
    • Rob MasefieldRob Masefield, 3 years ago

      Nailed it first go.

      To be fair though... it's just followed the pattern of any/all online forums/communities. They launch to a closed or largely curated audience that is passionate about the subject matter and the quality of the input by members.

      The time eventually comes when bugs have been identified and squashed, and enhancements made to the point that it's time to start thinking about how to start making money from the platform in order to pay for keeping the platform up and running.

      Online ads/promos are largely blocked or just perceived/ignored as "white noise" these days, so the only way to attempt to get these promo efforts to cut through on a free site is simply through traffic. The logical way to easily increase the volume of traffic is to open the platform to the public, especially if that platform has already garnered some traction in the media.

      Inevitably, it's at this point that the focused, informed opinion of the closed community quickly becomes diluted by self-promoters and ill-informed attention-seekers.

      It happens time-after-time, forum-after-forum and DN certainly is no different in this regard.

      5 points
    • Parker Peterson, 3 years ago

      This. I've had my account since the beginning and when public registration opened, the quality of the content dropped significantly.

      0 points