Reading this thread made me realize that I am here for over 7 years.
So I was wondering what made me stay that long and why I keep comming back?
In my case it all started with the need of a new keyboard this transitioned into an exploratory phase where I scrambled ebay for anything that is potentionally a mechanical keyboard. Some workshops here and there and a bit of "keyboard porn" now and then. But I've settled to an HHKB for quite a while now but I still come back every now and then to have a lovely chat (or ramble about how shitty Razer is).
I'd say it's more quiet than back in 2013 when then whole thing started to gain attention, but that's something I like about this place.
We have the best input device related Wiki there is, we should cherish it!
The overall politeness and quality of conversations is pretty darn high!
Close work with manufacturers happened here, that's something to be proud of!
Yes DT is more oriented towards vintage keyboards and less flashy but I personally like that.
What I am trying to say is that DT does not fit in the pattern how mainstream users consume information and preserve knowledge nowdays. But is that really something DT should strive for?
I think it's important to define what "Relevant" actually means when we are speaking about input devices? That has to be well articulated so that we can move in the correct direction.
Let's talk numbers of the 3 relevant keyboard communities:
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Loyalty Index: 0,48 %
Daily comments: 1353
Daily posts: 243
(Daily = last 24h not an average)
DT-Member-Factor: Reddit is 23x bigger
DT-Activity-Factor: Reddit is 2x bigger
DT-Post-Factor: No data available
DT-Threads-Factor: No data available
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Loyalty Index: 2,72 %
DT-Member-Factor: GH is 4,8x bigger
DT-Activity-Factor: GH is 2,3x bigger
DT-Post-Factor: GH has 5,7x more posts
DT-Threads-Factor: GH has 6,6x more threads
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Loyalty Index: 5,49 %
Please take those numbers with a grain of salt, it's just a snapshot. We need to consider different time zones when calculating the Loyalty Index (Stupid name I know).
But it shows what I think might be something. The DT users are the most loyal ones.
Also if you compare the thread and post numbers we are way behind, I couldn't compare this with Reddit since I lack overall data. But is quantity really a good benchmark? And does it mean that DT is not relevant anymore?
I don't believe this to be honest. Numbers can't tell quality and I believe strongly that quality is the key to stay relevant and to set yourelf apart from other places.
Let's talk about keyboard snobbery as a hobby!
The spectrum is quite wide, it goes from building a keyboard knowledge base over vintage boards to workshops/mods all the way to pure esthetics and karma whoring. Way different interests and motivations.
From my personal experience I don't think that any of those 3 places perfectly combine all aspects of the
Forums and subreddits are technically and psychologically entirely different. Reddit has a platform wide reward system called karma, which is a huge motivation boost for most people to become an active member. But the overall content is extremely short lived and forgotten withing a few days or even hours. Karma also makes it quite hard for quality posts to gain attention if they don't meet the current flavour of the subreddit. The masses decide what's hot and what's not, which I do not like. I've seen brilliant posts that deserved way more upvotes but it was not what the users wanted, so they faded away never to be found again. Also people will ruthlessly punish unpopular opinions with downvotes. The result is an angry mob moderated safe space, the prefect breeding ground for ignorance! Due to it's nature, it's the worst place to store profound knowledge, because nobody cares or will ever find your initial post if the mods don't pin them in the subreddits description page. Also the wiki is a joke, but to be fair it's not the place where people seek knowledge, it's about showing off and getting those upvotes! I thik that's also one of the reasons how this hobby has changed in an unpleasent direction, a lot are just consuming like crazy and on the way they like to get some karma back for their insanely rad custom board.
Forums on the other hand are a blessing when you are looking for knowlege, serious discussions and actual dialogs without being shut down by regular users. You have a better way to search threads and posts, find what you are looking for. The overall quality of content is better. Especially here at DT. You have a few threads reagarding the same topic where everyone is engaged in a conversation unlike the endless stream of re occuring shitposts in a subreddit which gets boring relatively quickly. It's less repetitive in my opinion. And let's not mention our wiki, which is outstanding and definitely takes the cake here!
But what's the conclusion now?
The word "relevant" gives me trouble, because I am not sure what the goal is and if the result is somethig I'd enjoy?
I've heared some great ideas, like reviving the workshop section. That's always been my favorite one, I like to witness a creative process where the end result is something unique and intriguing influenced by a community around it. Even better if I learned something along the way!
I must say that I also like the idea of expanding into new areas to build towards a more diverse community. At the end it's Deskthority right? The authority about everything you'd like to put on your desk and not just keyboards. Be it mechanical pencils, notebooks or other input devices. If the endresult is something wonderful and "tres chique" count me in!
I personally believe that the next big thing are mice, one has to start investing some time there.
The gap in quality between a custom board and a mouse is absolutely bananas right now... Just one needs to break a lance for it!
Yeah let's talk about our goals for the future! Geez that's a long one.
Weltschmerz is biting me in the arse!