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The internet gives us all a platform to make our voices heard. That’s incredibly powerful, but with that power comes responsibility. That’s right, like any citizenship, your internet privileges carry with them responsibilities. “But I’m no troll,” you say. That’s not enough; there’s more to being an upstanding citizen of the internet than just not trolling. Here’s how you to embrace the responsibilities of your citizenship and become a model internet citizen.
Q&A website Web Apps brings the novel forum-meets-social-news setup of the very popular programmer site Stack Overflow to the web application arena, providing advanced users of web applications with a forum to ask and answer questions about their favourite web apps.
Commenting on Lifehacker offers a great way for readers to share tips and chat, but for rich, full-on how-to guides and the like, Productive Geek provides a solid forum.
Site forums are useful for asking and finding answers to specific problems, but the fact that the same query appears multiple times isn’t always evident. In its latest tweak to search results, Google is grouping together forum posts on similar topics from the same site.
Not long after Lifehacker posted about imminent changes to eBay Australia’s discussion boards, we got an email from the company’s PR wallahs. The good news? Next week’s redesign of the discussion boards will include a general discussion board for non eBay-topics, branded “Community Spirit”. That’s a welcome development for eBay chat enthusiasts, although only time will tell how closely monitored discussions on that new board prove to be.
Next week, eBay Australia is planning a relaunch of its discussion boards, which will include new personalisation options and some other technical policies. However, the change will also see a number of changes to discussion board policy, including a likely ban on general (non-eBay) discussion on any of the forums. Unsurprisingly, that proposal has proved unpopular with many longtime eBay users, who argue that the change is yet another example of eBay putting short-term profit ahead of community development (an issue that regularly flared during last year’s abortive attempts to make PayPal compulsory). Do you think eBay has the right to control what gets discussed on its site, or is it going to far? Share your thoughts in the comments.
Human-powered search site Mahalo launches a familiar-seeming group Q&A forum, Mahalo Answers, with a Google-like twist—having the best answer might just earn you a few bucks from the question-asker. In other words, it’s intended to be a cross between the pay-for-answers seriousness of Google’s now-shuttered Answers tool, which tilted toward researchers and super-specific questions, and Yahoo’s own wide-open Answers. Mahalo is seeding a few hundred thousand “Mahalo Bucks” (worth $0.75 in real dollars, cash-able after accumulating $40) to current Mahalo members and testers for spending on answers. And to prevent fraud and cheap-skating, askers will have four days to pick an answer before other users choose it for them, and rating systems are intended to kill off spammers and griefers. If Yahoo just isn’t cutting it for you, or you’re looking for a semi-serious answer to a question you’re willing to spend a few on, Mahalo Answers might be the place to sound off. Mahalo Answers [via Wired]
Windows only: Browse web forum threads and posts like RSS feeds with Web Forum Reader, a free Windows application. Adding forums you frequent to the app is done through an easy-to-grok wizard, and the program parses through the topics you haven’t looked at with better speed than you’d find on often ad-loaded forum pages. You can also have the program track and alert you to changes in certain threads, and load your forums into tabs for quicker navigation. Web Forum Reader is a free download for Windows systems only. Web Forum Reader [via gHacks]