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Ask the Patriarch 207
This site could be more interactive.

from: Jason Allen

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I enjoy this website and its content, I commend you for not compromising this site and your principles by asking for monetary support. However, I feel this site could be more interactive with a forum type format. I think you could keep people interested and involved with daily response, instead of once a week updates.

I understand this requires upgrades, moderators and well, I don't know what else. The point I'm trying to make is, I'm a contributor to a forum based on wetshaving, it has 20,000+ members, I contribute because I appreciate the effort put into the site and I realize they use no commercial sponsors to provide me with a resource that I find valuable. I assume you do not want to be accused of peddling for money for your "church" so you can't be brought down to "their" level, but if people believe in a cause and trust the person sticking his neck out, then there should be no shame, hell, there should be a demand to provide an avenue to support what we think is a just cause.

I hope you will give this consideration, or at least explain in the site reasons why you wouldn't. And by the way I'm not talking about you living off the flock, strictly for support of the site. Thats not meant as an insult, just a clarification of intention. My personal observance of every preacher I've ever met is they always say "God called me to lead his flock." I always thought "and you have the audacity to ask for money to do what the Almighty told you to do?"

So, just something to consider the advance of the cause.

Respectfully, Jason

The Patriarch replies:

Wetshaving forums with 20,000 members? I had no idea that something I've been doing routinely for better than 50 years could generate that much discussion. But enough about your interests...

As to Apathetic Agnostic forums, we already have several, though I hate to say that they are all quite inactive. The interest and critical mass does not appear to be there. Frankly, on our main board, over 90% of new members are either spammers, either looking to spam the board directly or trawling the membership directory for email addresses. It's a pain in the butt just keeping up with deleting them.

Essentially, spammers killed our main board by overwhelming it. Members just stopped visiting it, and it has never recovered.

To be honest, I don't want the added work of an on-site forum. I'm over-involved as it is in the management of the existing main and alternate boards, contrary to my expectation that they would function without my input other than posting as necessary. (If someone wants to volunteer to take on moderator duties from me on those two boards...) As for creating another forum, I just don't have the time for forum management, member approval, message screening and spam fighting that would be involved. I'm not optimistic about the availability of committed long-term volunteers. Agnostics do indeed tend to be apathetic in promoting agnosticism.

I agree that the ability to provide a timely response to an article does generate discussion. There was more discussion on this site a few years ago when I increased the frequency of updates to every day or two. But I found that I don't have the time. Weekly is the best I can handle.

In the interest of giving those who want to comment immediately to an article, I am adding a new line to the page footer section effective this update: "." And the link leads to a new page with a list of our current forums.

Perhaps by putting this reminder on each page, some life might return to one or more of the existing forums.