Last weekend I did a poll asking the question, “Why are you considering leaving Newsvine?”
That poll returned these responses,
The poll the weekend before gave up a slightly different picture,
Those polls seem quaint in light of recent developments don’t they? I wonder what the results would be, among longtime viners now? Probably too soon to tell yet?
But, that doesn’t really answer the question of why I did polls? I did them as a way to generate discussion, to have fun and help viners learn about the general Vine community. I also did it for the selfish reason of wanting to know who my audience was in relation to my being a writer. Knowing the audience is one of the first things they taught me to do when I was taking Communications courses in college. So that’s it, nothing nefarious, no other ulterior motives, I’m not even sure why I had to explain this in the first place? I do give one other reason below. But, the question kept coming up, and now you know.
One of my first polls was from a classroom lesson about the “Silent Majority” in every group. I had always suspected there were people voting up articles and comments that never made their presence known except to up-vote. I long ago realized some of my articles had more votes than commenters. And, sure enough just like my classroom lectures postulated, there are about 60% of viners that are lurkers only, actually in this case 64% of viners are silent. That revelation also caused me to want to reach out to them, I did this by creating polls that they could answer without fear of personal attacks. See, one other question I asked was why do you not engage in discussion on the Vine? The why is interesting – the tone of discussion on the vine turns them away.
On the majority of the polls themselves, I did learn unexpected things on nearly every poll. And, that was a pleasant surprise. I know other viners mentioned their surprise also. You can look back at my old polls to see what viners said, they are listed below.
Since the mods left I started polls with more pointed questions, “Would you invite mom to Newsvine? Do you think the Moderators should be part of the general Newsvine community? and a couple of polls regarding, Are you thinking of leaving Newsvine – and another – Why are you thinking of leaving Newsvine? These seemed to leave some viners a little angry and I became the target of some. Well, nothing ventured nothing gained – and to put it another way, if you don’t like what I’m writing – don’t bother reading it.
Ultimately, I don’t like bullies and I don’t like the ‘tone’ of the Vine. I personally think that was the reason the Vine was shrinking – although now we all know that shrinking will not be the case – for now. As to the ‘tone’ of the Vine this is what your brothers and sisters are thinking,
One final thought, I have always strived to create a nice and calm place for viners to have fun and meaningful discussions, so I have nearly always asked for partisan politics to be left out of the discussions here. The normal cut-and-paste, talking point, Internet memes popped up all over my article/poll creating ever so tiresome slap-fights so dear to many on the Vine. I get it, you want to say what you want to say, so be it... but, it does make me wonder if Newsvine will survive if the nastiness continues?
I also want to get a couple things out of the way, yes I know there is no better place on the Internet… right? So trying to make this place better was a fool’s errand to begin with…
And, yes I understand polls very well, as it was a subject I also learned while attending my Communication courses. I know that to give an honest poll the questions have to be asked in a way that doesn't lead the person polled to the answer the pollster wants. And, I'm very well aware that the sample sizes of some of my polls are low enough to be nearly useless, but than again maybe the size of the Vine isn't what we all thought it was in the first place. How many times do people have to be reminded to take everything they read and see with caution?
And, yes I know the Vine has always been the same, people whining about how terrible others are and… and… and… Take a look at this article and check the Way Back Machine and tell me how bad things were. Hell, there are comments on some of the articles on Way Back Machine pages that have more votes than I’ve seen articles get on the Vine for years, why is that?
I also know that you’re so tough that bullies don’t bother you and you just have to suck it up buttercup, or put people on ignore if you don’t like it. That’s a good way to grow this community… really, see how well it was working?
My point is why not try to make things better – well now Pandora’s Box is open and turns out she’s pissed! -- so why bother?
How am I doing so far? I hate bullies and always have. They don’t frighten me, but I really hated to see my friends leave because they could no longer deal with being bullied by gangs. I do know that the occasional personal attack is to be expected and I don’t consider it to be bullying. What I’m talking about is when gangs of bullies support each other in attacking one viner, that’s when my blood starts to boil. So, to those that bully and those that even up-vote or worse yet, openly encourage bullying… well the Vine is what you made it… but, it makes me wonder how many meta articles will pop up on the front page lamenting these very same questions over and over... why is the Vine dying? Where will go? Could we have done better, or was it always the other guys that were the problem?
To those who participated in my polls thank you, and to those who respected my wishes and kept the partisan garbage out of my polls, I doubly thank you.
So, long for now – I’m not leaving – yet. But, I will be in the quiet places as long as they survive, or not.
If I don't get back before the Vine is gone, please will the last person on the Vine, turn out the lights?
by C. Cory Spencer -- a.k.a Masterlink
list of the polls I posted,