Originally Posted by M2
You can act like there hasn't been an exodus of long-time and excellent posters, but there has been. Some of that is natural. Unfortunately too much of it is directly because of a general complaint that people don't wish to sort through the tripe and that the board often bores their socks off.
I was part of the exodus. It wasn't a planned walkout, just a lot of people asking themselves "What's the point?" and not coming up with a satisfactory answer.
I find it highly difficult to believe you joined and lurked on a board you didn't like. The Internet is a big universe. You had other places to go. You chose to return repeatedly to RedsZone. Too many people aren't making that choice today. I'm hopeful that can change because these should be the years when we're having the most fun, following the Reds when the team is on a roll. The window should be wide open for bizarre, daft and brilliant posts in a way it never was when the board partially had to serve as a coping mechanism for how terrible the Reds were. I sincerely doubt you'll find a big constituency for the notion that the board today is anywhere near something like a high point.
The main thing the rep system achieved (and it works this way all across the Internet) is it put a focus on the good stuff. It provided a way for the community to shine a spotlight on the posts it valued. And it cut down significantly on people who thought they were being brilliant when they were just running around in silly, little circles. Call it Richard Hand Syndrome if you will (though he was gone long before the rep system was instituted). If your pearls of wisdom were consistently being greeted by a wall of rep silence while a wide variety of other posts were getting repped, it let you know that maybe you didn't have quite the reach you thought you did. It wasn't so much what point you made, but how you made it that mattered. Again, more than anything else, rep put a premium on quality. Undeniably we had quality in those days. It's what brought you here.
For the record, what I said was nobody was going to change their opinion based on the rep score of a poster making a counterpoint. However, people change their opinions all the time if someone makes a persuasive counterpoint. That's what the rep system encourages. It's a way for the community to say "Yes, that right there, exactly like she/he said it." It's a virtual highlighter that draws attention to the best stuff on the board.
Right now the best stuff gets lost in the sludge. Perhaps an influx of new posters will change that, but I think it would help to have a mechanism that better identifies the Scott Rolen posts (e.g. be like that post, because that post plays the game the right way).
I've never seen any community that didn't go through cycles. Every message board, membership organization, etc. goes through changes. Nothing ever stays the same. That a bunch of former posters left doesn't mean the board is better or worse.
Edit: as Doug mentioned above, a large amount of the board used to be about discussing stats and the saber movement. I imagine that dried up a lot of the conversation that you're calling "quality." But again, not everyone saw the bickering as quality. Some people just wanted to talk Reds' baseball and not see every conversation denigrate into an Adam Dunn strikeouts/on-base percentage battle of egos.
I don't think the board is as 'fascinating' as it once was, but that's because I think a lot of the controversial stat debates have subsided. I view that as a plus, not as a minus.