A thankyou to Typophile

Queneau's picture

Dear Typophile,

When checking the forums in recent times, I can't help feeling a little sad that Typophile is not anymore what it was when I first found it, several years ago. I came in with an interest in typography, but a lack of knowledge. Typophile has been a gateway to me to find my way and expand my knowledge, and to highten my awareness of typography in every sense of the way. I came to typophile in the high days of the Pirate Bay, and all fonts where all but a torrent away. Through Typophile I have learned to see the value of type and type design, and I decided to build a legal collection of typefaces from scratch. This has been a joy most of the time, with some lucky bargains, and some mistakes. Typophile has been helpful here, I hope others on a simular position as my own still find typophile as useful as I found it then.

I guess things don't last forever, and Typophile seems to have lost the dynamic it had some time ago. Que sera sera. The internet and "social" media moves fast, and perhaps there are better ways to discuss type than typophile nowadays... I don't know, as I have not been looking so much. Typophile is and was Typophile, I don't need any other type forum, it has served it's purpose for me, so a thank you to all contributors past and present, who have made me a little type wiser. I will not be gone, and I won't be deleting my posts (what's done is done) but I just want to say thanks when there are still some of you around that helped me on my way.

THANKS!

Queneau's picture

For anyone interested in the phenomenon of Nostalgia, and in Books, I very much recommend "The Future of Nostalgia" by Svetlana Boym. I'm reading it at the moment, and it's very good, wideranging, funny and interesting.

@Richard
I realise Typophile is not dying, I just reflected on the very fact that things change, and that this fact, and the slump seemingly going on at the moment making me a bit nostalgic, for the old days. If you or anyone read this as an epitaph, this was not what I intended, and I'm still very much interested in contributing to Typophile in the years to come.

Typophile is dead, long live Typophile!! :)

Ryan Maelhorn's picture

Long Don't Live Typophile!

Chris Dean's picture

From Twitter: “Further evidence of Typophile’s demise :^( ... | Typophile http://typophile.com/node/59695

Not sure why or what is going on here, but perhaps focusing on positive and productive would be more fruitful. And in-fighting and name-calling within the same thread where people are complaining about just that, and leaving because of it? Really?

How about we start off by making a list, and ask for volunteers.

1. Deleting posts does render a thread somewhat useless, and will certainly cripple us. Obviously, the result is a terms of service agreement. Anyone have any lawyer friends?

2. Today’s newbs are lacking. Agree, but why? One reason IMO, because we’re “well known suckers” for doing their homework. Just stop doing it and help them help themselves. You’re stunting their growth and pissing in your own pool.

3. Search engine: find a coder.

4. Banner: find a no-Flash solution (and a coder)

5. Site re-design: Finish it. I will help. Just email me.

6. Content: Work on the Wiki. I can help. Just email me.

7. Moderators: if the were a more active presence, I believe this would help new users feel more comfortable participating lest they step into the middle of a cat-fight. This does of course raise the point of being mindful of of over-moderating, and deterring participation, but that doesn’t mean we can’t attempt to find a solution. For the thread, this is Wikipedia’s bit on moderators:

The moderators (short singular form: “mod”) are users (or employees) of the forum who are granted access to the posts and threads of all members for the purpose of moderating discussion (similar to arbitration) and also keeping the forum clean (neutralizing spam and spambots etc.).[12] Because they have access to all posts and threads in their area of responsibility, it is common for a friend of the site owner to be promoted to moderator for such a task. Moderators also answer users' concerns about the forum, general questions, as well as respond to specific complaints. They also can do anything to lend a helping hand to a user in need.[13] Moderators themselves may have ranks: some may be given mod privileges over only a particular topic or section (called “local”), while others (called “global” or “super”) may be allowed access anywhere. Common privileges of moderators include: deleting, merging, moving, and splitting of posts and threads, locking, renaming, stickying of threads, banning, suspending, unsuspending, unbanning, warning the members, or adding, editing, removing the polls of threads.[14] “Junior Modding”, “Backseat Modding”, or “Forum copping” can refer negatively to the behavior of ordinary users who take a moderator-like tone in criticizing other members.

Essentially, it is the duty of the moderator to manage the day-to-day affairs of a forum or board as it applies to the stream of user contributions and interactions. The relative effectiveness of this user management directly impacts the quality of a forum in general, its appeal, and its usefulness as a community of interrelated users.

Moderators also have categories e.g. “Global Moderators” and just “Moderators.” Global moderators have the rights to moderate the complete forum while moderators can be assigned only to the sub-forum.[15]

I believe someone needs to be given the authority to give orders and enforce them. Otherwise, we’ll simply end up driving around in circles. Wait, we’re already doing that.

Currently, I see people in panic mode. All I see is a rough patch and a few tweets. Rhetorical question: How does a 50 year marriage work? Because they have magically found “the one” and everything simply works perfectly? No. Because when shit hits the fan they have a cup of concrete, harden up, and work through it together.

And as far as my “I will help. Just email me” comment, I mean it. I already spend 1-3h a day here. I have my own ever-unfinished site, but given the prominence and history of Typophile, I’d be more than willing to divide my attention.

#soapbox

Richard Fink's picture

I have a practical suggestion. It isn't criminal and doesn't involve hrant.

Please, please, subject each post within a thread to a word count and insert a 'read more' link after a set number of words. 1) It encourages people to get to the point. 2) It makes scanning the thread for comments of interest a much quicker proposition.

Of course, the balance of the stylistically truncated comment will still be there in the HTML - search engines won't have any difficulties - and these days implementing a hide/show such as what I'm describing is a snap. I'm sure there are more plug-ins available for it than a developer would want to wade through.

And if it's an issue of concern, a print style sheet can reveal everything hiding behind the 'read more' links so that, on print, nothing goes unrevealed.

Chris Dean's picture

Great idea. Shall we start a “To do” thread?

Done.

http://typophile.com/node/95527

5star's picture

I'm up for #7 ...just email me.

n.

rs_donsata's picture

I think typophilers are tired.

Karl Stange's picture

I think the current thread regarding the Adobe Devanagari Font is proof that Typophile is still capable of reaching great heights in important discussions around type that push things forward for the benefit of everyone. This is the kind of thread that initially drew me into the forum and from which I have learned so much over the years.

George Horton's picture

A sad thread to see after being away for a few years :(
I hope everyone's very well, especially all those who were so helpful and tolerant back then.

Bezier Abuser's picture

As a student who mostly lurks I don't pretend to speak for the whole "class", but I'll make clear some points I think people still don't get:

• All the other students I know who are interested in typography are on typophile in one way or another. There are hundreds of invisible users who are here studying and learning from the immense resource that is typophile, and not posting anything new. Which introduces point 2.

• The search is broken. And it's not pretty. I think the administrator underestimates the importance of typophile as an help to research and understanding, because without search all those lurking people are helpless to say the least, and all this typopatrimony is virtually GONE. This is serious. Does a tree falling in a forest... ?

• Anonymity is generally not accepted, but in a world of search engines it is necessary to hide while learning. Everything one posts on his behalf is potentially reachable by an employer or other professionals, and you can't imagine how much prejudice there is about learning via an online forum. Having some sort of editing or anonymity—or making it not searchable—may help the critique forum too, if you implement some kind of filter (1$ per thread?). Oh but wait, it is already not searchable!

• Hrant isn't a huge issue, not as much as people depict him. If you are on typophile for a while you know what he thinks and believes, and it's interesting (sometimes) to hear such a strong and uncommon viewpoints, though I should say that not banning him once is quite strange. Nevertheless there are people that think of him as the only reason of typophile's decline(?): this is much more extreme than anything ever posted by hrant.

Thomas Phinney's picture

I just want to say that, infighting between certain specific folks notwithstanding, one of the remarkable things that helped draw me into typography as a profession is how friendly and helpful so many people in the field are. Even quite a few Big Name People who don't have as much to gain by it, and are likely to have more of their time sucked up by it. When I first got really serious about type around 1994, I emailed three such people, and every one of them emailed me back and was genuinely helpful. Robert Bringhurst, Chuck Bigelow, and Don Hosek. (Don may be kind of more obscure now, but at the time he was the publisher of a new typography magazine called Serif, and it was very cool.)

Anyway, I for one am happy to try to give back to the community a bit now that I am blessed enough to have a decent-paying job doing stuff I love. That's why I'm on the ATypI board. That's why I took on an intern (Andrea Harrison) recently. It seems like a lot of my peers feel the same way. Andrea had a great experience at TypeCon, from the type crit to... well, everything I think. She felt welcomed and got boatloads of useful information and feedback.

So, as far as I can tell on average the professional type community is pretty cool and helpful to newcomers, and has been for a long time. Yes there's squabbling, and I know some folks have had negative experiences. That's a pity. But in general, compared to a lot of communities... pretty good.

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