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 Post subject: L19 in decline?
Post #1 Posted: Wed May 10, 2023 5:15 am 
Oza
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Is it correct to say activity has dropped a lot in the recent months and there's a shift going on to other forums, notably reddit/baduk?

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Post #2 Posted: Wed May 10, 2023 6:20 am 
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That seems to be two unrelated things. Yes, redit always has a deluge of new posts. No, I don't think there is less activity here than is typical.

Then it does appear that April was tough: https://www.similarweb.com/website/life ... /#overview

Maybe more of the estimated $1.0 to $2.0 million annual revenue could be reinvested :lol:

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Post #3 Posted: Wed May 10, 2023 9:44 am 
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Post 247000 was written on July 22, 2019.
Post 252000 was written on Dec 19, 2019 (5 months after).
Post 257000 was written on June 1, 2020 (6 months after).
Post 262000 was written on Nov 28, 2020 (6 months after).
Post 267000 was written on August 28, 2021 (9 months after).
Post 272000 was written on March 20, 2022 (7 months after).
Post 277000 was written on March 9, 2023 (11 months after).

So L19 seems to be slowing down. We need a new scandal to stir up activity.

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 Post subject: Re: L19 in decline?
Post #4 Posted: Wed May 10, 2023 1:30 pm 
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That would suggest an average of 22.6 posts per day for that period. That seems like a lot.

Besides something relating to how the data was gathered could it be the case that most of the posts are in some topics that gather endless posts.

I tried to upload a graph for the data but I think L19 file system under ./files can't handle any more files.

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 Post subject: Re: L19 in decline?
Post #5 Posted: Wed May 10, 2023 5:32 pm 
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Knotwilg wrote:
Is it correct to say activity has dropped a lot in the recent months and there's a shift going on to other forums, notably reddit/baduk?


I just stopped playing go. I do check here now and then, though.

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 Post subject: Re: L19 in decline?
Post #6 Posted: Thu May 11, 2023 2:06 am 
Gosei
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kvasir wrote:
That would suggest an average of 22.6 posts per day for that period. That seems like a lot.

Besides something relating to how the data was gathered could it be the case that most of the posts are in some topics that gather endless posts.

I tried to upload a graph for the data but I think L19 file system under ./files can't handle any more files.


I just clicked manually, the link of post number XXXXXX is
Code:
https://lifein19x19.com/viewtopic.php?p=XXXXXX#pXXXXXX


Some of the posts have been deleted, however I think only a small minority of posts are not visible.
22 posts per day is not so much, the current thread has generated 6 posts in less than 1 day so far. Threads about cheating have generated much more activity.

About 10 years ago, a significant proportion of activity was due to Malkovich games.

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Post #7 Posted: Thu May 11, 2023 2:52 am 
Oza

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I remember being lambasted here for pointing out a decline in activity here, though I was more concerned with a decline in discussion than in mere number of postings.

That still applies now. Apart from less activity we have seen a sharp decline in quality. The likes of Bill Spight have not been replaced, and the inability to upload diagrams and photos has rained on what was left of our parade.

I personally don't see reddit as an alternative. The difference is between a theatre and a circus. I can admire many circus performers immensely, but essentially it's still for kiddies.

I sense two insuperable problems, both much bigger than the diagrams problem. One is the continual "videofication" of life. This is a major impediment for me, as a deaf person, but I think it hampers the enjoyment of very many people - people who are used to speed-reading, people who like to go back and look thinks up, and people who generally don't want to be slaves to their phones and PCs. Some video problems may be assuaged with time. The all-too-common abysmal sound quality (both sound level and pleasantness of voice) may be improved. Decent subtitling may become the norm. There may come a time when indexes are added to the end of videos. The ability to zap ads may be enhanced. But I don't see these or other solutions coming from within the go community.

The other problem is AI. There are basically two types of go fan. One is the "I wanna be strong" player. It is easy to see why AI appeals to them, and so more actual playing activity may now be going on (with the caveat that it's online and not face-to-face with other humans). The other group is more interested in the wider social and cultural aspects of the game, which essentially is almost entirely about human-to-human contact and/or interest in other humans. I am certain from my own observations and from conversations outside L19 that this group is in sharp decline (east and west), and, sadly, that may explain part of the decline in L19 activity.


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 Post subject: Re: L19 in decline?
Post #8 Posted: Thu May 11, 2023 6:41 am 
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jlt wrote:
kvasir wrote:
That would suggest an average of 22.6 posts per day for that period. That seems like a lot.

Besides something relating to how the data was gathered could it be the case that most of the posts are in some topics that gather endless posts.

I tried to upload a graph for the data but I think L19 file system under ./files can't handle any more files.


I just clicked manually, the link of post number XXXXXX is
Code:
https://lifein19x19.com/viewtopic.php?p=XXXXXX#pXXXXXX


Somehow I immediately realized that it was the post IDs. Maybe this was discussed before. I have no idea if they skip numbers or not and they could still be consistent even if skipping numbers is frequent. I just don't know.

I can't post the graph but I don't think the post volume is that important:
- Around 30 posts per day from mid year 2019 to tail end of 2020
- Around 17.5 posts per day from autumn of 2021 to end of spring 2023

I don't think most of these were about playing Go. Could it be a good thing to have less posts?


jlt wrote:
Some of the posts have been deleted, however I think only a small minority of posts are not visible.
22 posts per day is not so much, the current thread has generated 6 posts in less than 1 day so far. Threads about cheating have generated much more activity.


I don't think generating thousands of posts is enough reason to bring up every cheating accusation and rule dispute that one knows about. Sometimes it's interesting to discuss such things. However, if no one brought them up then likely no one (that was in the know) was very interested in discussing it here. Personally I'm more likely to read about controversy surrounding possible cheating in Go than anything about snooker and flatulence. All kinds of topics are probably welcome by different participants but there really could be more about playing Go.

I don't mind that there aren't 30 posts everyday to read, or rather not to read.

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 Post subject: Re: L19 in decline?
Post #9 Posted: Thu May 11, 2023 7:04 am 
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kvasir wrote:
if no one brought them up then likely no one (that was in the know) was very interested in discussing it here.


No, it also means that some would like to discuss more but a) lack time, b) lack exchange with particular absent members (e.g., I used to have a good amount of discussion with Bill) or c) are restricted by the TOS.

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 Post subject: Re: L19 in decline?
Post #10 Posted: Thu May 11, 2023 8:50 am 
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The forum does feel a lot less active than a couple years ago. I can' t really complain since I myself am a lot less active.

Apart from the explanations adavanced by John Fairbairn, it seems to me that this is a global trend across forums. Most forums I read 10 years ago are now dead or barely alive. Maybe people migrated to social media. Reddit, for instance, while woefully inadequate for discussing go games and positions, is not doing too shabbily. My pet theory is that the ability to connect and keep in touch easily with various communities in one place and with only one account is the main reason for that. Creating an account on each forum you're interested in is somewhat bothersome.

Other than that, and still using my personal experience, the inability to post sgf files (and diagrams?) must have played a role in the decline. What use is a forum about the game of go if you can't post a game?

Last but not least in my mind, I often felt/feel like the topics I could have posted about were/are too insignificant. For instance, I have read about shogi over the last few days. I have no intention to pick up the game but it's interesting to read about it. One thing I noticed is that the players and other people on photos from title match (referees, etc.) are often wearing traditional Japanese clothes while this has become, to the best of my knowledge, non-existent among go players. Even 20 years ago, Yoda Norimoto was the only one doing it on a regular basis. So, assuming my impression is correct, what can explain the difference? Is the shogi world more traditional minded as a rule? Is there an official regulation to that effect? Is it just due to the whims and fancies of a couple of players?

Do such questions warrant their own topics? I often feel like they don't but maybe I'm wrong and I should post about these.


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 Post subject: Re: L19 in decline?
Post #11 Posted: Thu May 11, 2023 9:12 am 
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RobertJasiek wrote:
kvasir wrote:
if no one brought them up then likely no one (that was in the know) was very interested in discussing it here.


No, it also means that some would like to discuss more but a) lack time, b) lack exchange with particular absent members (e.g., I used to have a good amount of discussion with Bill) or c) are restricted by the TOS.


That seems bit like semantics. Like it could be rephrased as reasons for not being more interested in starting those discussions rather than a rebuke.

Anyway, I think that those posts generate lot of replies but the fact that many related events didn't have a discussion here means there can't be that many people who think to start them. If this is the case then how can we say that less volume is something bad? Large volume of posts is likely related to some narrow topics that I think are not why people check this place for new posts.

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 Post subject: Re: L19 in decline?
Post #12 Posted: Thu May 11, 2023 9:20 am 
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Shenoute wrote:
Do such questions warrant their own topics? I often feel like they don't but maybe I'm wrong and I should post about these.


Why not?

Btw you can still post SGFs if you paste the content of the file like this (downloading the file might not work). Using GoWrite2 is also helpful when making diagrams since you can export diagrams in the right format to the clipboard.

Code:
[sgf]
(;CA[UTF-8]FF[4]AP[GOWrite:3.2.0]GM[1]SZ[19]ST[2]FG[259:]PB[ ]PM[2]PW[ ]GN[ ]
;B[pd];W[dd];B[pp];W[dp];B[jj]
)
[/sgf]


Game hidden to save screen space.


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Post #13 Posted: Thu May 11, 2023 9:55 am 
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kvasir wrote:
Btw you can still post SGFs if [...]
So that's what aeb was telling me the other day! I didn't understand his/her reply then. Thanks!

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 Post subject: Re: L19 in decline?
Post #14 Posted: Thu May 11, 2023 11:44 am 
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I watched a video not too long ago that said even google search is in a sort of decline because people have moved from things like forums and blogs to social media sites that don't index their content so that search engines could pick them up.

The layout of the site is really good if there are a lot of active users making a lot of topics, indeed but when the site isn't so active, too many sub-forums is a disadvantage if some people check by sub-forum. So perhaps absorbing a Sub-forum like 'Study Journals' into the sub-forum 'Improve Your Game' makes sense.

Initially when I started on L19 and sensed Joaz Banbeck thought making more topics for different things is a good idea I tried to do so to some extent, but maybe some situations are exceptions where the spark of conversation. Oddly enough I've just come back from watching the 바둑 League, and Hoshiai Shiho's streaming challenge for the first time, and will embark on a similar project on my study journal

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 Post subject: Re: L19 in decline?
Post #15 Posted: Thu May 11, 2023 12:23 pm 
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kvasir wrote:
I don't think generating thousands of posts is enough reason to bring up every cheating accusation and rule dispute that one knows about. Sometimes it's interesting to discuss such things. However, if no one brought them up then likely no one (that was in the know) was very interested in discussing it here. Personally I'm more likely to read about controversy surrounding possible cheating in Go than anything about snooker and flatulence. All kinds of topics are probably welcome by different participants but there really could be more about playing Go.

I don't mind that there aren't 30 posts everyday to read, or rather not to read.


To make things clear, I don't want to start a new discussion about cheating. I'm just saying that controversial threads generate a lot of activity in general. Besides, discussions on this forum tend to be rather high level and laypersons may shy away from them (even topics on snooker and flatulence sound almost serious). When was the last time a beginner came here and asked to explain a 20k tsumego?


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Post #16 Posted: Thu May 11, 2023 1:45 pm 
Oza
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Last time I checked I could upload games like this. Has something changed? Testing.

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Post #17 Posted: Fri May 12, 2023 8:16 am 
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John Fairbairn wrote:
and the inability to upload diagrams and photos has rained on what was left of our parade.


I don't understand this - we can still do that as we could in the past, no?

John Fairbairn wrote:
I personally don't see reddit as an alternative. The difference is between a theatre and a circus. I can admire many circus performers immensely, but essentially it's still for kiddies.


I don't know why L19 would be intrinsically be different from reddit/baduk. Both are discussion forums.

John Fairbairn wrote:
I sense two insuperable problems, both much bigger than the diagrams problem. One is the continual "videofication" of life. This is a major impediment for me, as a deaf person, but I think it hampers the enjoyment of very many people - people who are used to speed-reading, people who like to go back and look thinks up, and people who generally don't want to be slaves to their phones and PCs. Some video problems may be assuaged with time. The all-too-common abysmal sound quality (both sound level and pleasantness of voice) may be improved. Decent subtitling may become the norm. There may come a time when indexes are added to the end of videos. The ability to zap ads may be enhanced. But I don't see these or other solutions coming from within the go community.


The main drawback video has over text (with diagrams) is that humans can't quick scan a video and have to sit through it to decide what to skip and where to go back to. Text & pictures you can quick scan and study in an order not imposed by the creator. But ...

Video creators have the big advantage of using the 4th dimension to their advantage. And writers too often suffice with just spitting out text for their own glorification rather than the reader's benefit.

I'm often quoting the videos by 3Blue1Brown as an example: you learn about math in 20 minutes what you typically need 2 days of reading for. That might not please book authors but students know why they choose video. Also, youtube is a very competitive environment, pushing video quality to the highest standards, in content and form.

John Fairbairn wrote:
The other problem is AI. There are basically two types of go fan. One is the "I wanna be strong" player. It is easy to see why AI appeals to them, and so more actual playing activity may now be going on (with the caveat that it's online and not face-to-face with other humans). The other group is more interested in the wider social and cultural aspects of the game, which essentially is almost entirely about human-to-human contact and/or interest in other humans. I am certain from my own observations and from conversations outside L19 that this group is in sharp decline (east and west), and, sadly, that may explain part of the decline in L19 activity.


I agree that AI will appeal to the "I want to be strong player". But AI doesn't prevent the other, more cultural, group to continue doing what they're doing. Usually when a domain is being enriched with something, like Go with AI, the general interest grows rather than declining. When Hikaru was at its peak, probably pleasing the cultural side more than the improvement seekers, I don't recall the latter being in sudden disarray. It added to the overall atmosphere.

So, yes, I believe video and forums with better capabilities are taking over from L19.


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 Post subject: Re: L19 in decline?
Post #18 Posted: Fri May 12, 2023 8:22 am 
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jlt wrote:
kvasir wrote:
I don't think generating thousands of posts is enough reason to bring up every cheating accusation and rule dispute that one knows about. Sometimes it's interesting to discuss such things. However, if no one brought them up then likely no one (that was in the know) was very interested in discussing it here. Personally I'm more likely to read about controversy surrounding possible cheating in Go than anything about snooker and flatulence. All kinds of topics are probably welcome by different participants but there really could be more about playing Go.

I don't mind that there aren't 30 posts everyday to read, or rather not to read.


To make things clear, I don't want to start a new discussion about cheating. I'm just saying that controversial threads generate a lot of activity in general. Besides, discussions on this forum tend to be rather high level and laypersons may shy away from them (even topics on snooker and flatulence sound almost serious). When was the last time a beginner came here and asked to explain a 20k tsumego?


I realize that you were joking when you said that "we need a new scandal to stir up activity" :)

I was trying to point out that those large threads, full of disagreements, misunderstandings and semantics have an oversized impact on this kind of statistic.

I'm not sure when was the last time a beginner asked about tsumego specifically. I have noticed that such posts sometimes go unanswered for a few days. I usually check "View new posts" but it appears to clear twice a day if I'm logged in but if I'm not logged in I can get a list of new posts going back 6 months :-? It's easy to miss a post.

A different thing related to interacting with new posters. Sometimes it's no fun! For example I don't participate much in review requests. My impression is that most players asking for reviews online ask for a review of the same game on many websites at the same time (i.e. L19, OGS, GoKibitz, Redit, ...), have played 10+ more games since that game and don't reply to anything anyone comments, not even to say "thank you". The others ask less often. It's my own impression and I think others will have different perspectives but for some reasons the "Game analysis" board is almost dead. Maybe this is because it's not fun?

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Post #19 Posted: Fri May 12, 2023 9:53 am 
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DDKs sometimes ask for game reviews on the OGS forum. When I answer those requests, I sometimes get thanks, sometimes not. Here on L19 I don't see many review requests, probably because not many DDKs come here, and stronger players feel that reviewing with AI is good enough.

Another problem you pointed out is that we miss posts from new members. It seems that if a new member posts a message at time T, it needs moderator approval. So the message appears only at a time T'>T after it got approved. But if I marked all forums read in the interval [T,T'], I can't see the message in "View unread posts" so I miss it.

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Post #20 Posted: Fri May 12, 2023 10:22 am 
Oza

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Dieter:

I get a no-no message when I try to upload illustrations. Can't remember what it said exactly, but my reaction is not to research it but to just give up and go away. I'm the wrong generation and I've got plenty else to do.

I have posted to reddit and don't read it very often, so I may have a distorted view. But it comes across to me as more of a group of kids shouting and screaming in the playground. I'm quite happy if people want to see L19 as a group of old codgers sitting nursing a pint of Guinness in the ingle of a pub - even if I don't drink or go to pubs.

I'm not convinced by your maths video example. I don't doubt its effectiveness for you, but IU think you are viewing it as an existing maths experts, and one advantage of the video format is that they can jump in and start at a high level, this giving you what you want in a short time. But for beginners in any subject, I think the slower pace of books is very often an advantage. Beginners' brains need more time to absorb new concepts. Horse for courses. But I also happen to believe that most western go players belong in the categories that need more time absorb new concepts :)

My sense of the thinking of people on the "cultural" side of go (and chess) in response to the advent of AI is along the lines of "why should I bother taking an interest now?" To give a specific example, many go players have marvelled at and enjoyed the games of the likes of Shusaku, Sakata or Cho Chikun (or whoever). But now AI tells us their famous moves were crap, and it rather takes the shine off that player. That's not just an AI thing. Fans lose interest in a player and, by extension his sport, for things like drug-taking, cheating and sexist remarks. Even worse, when fans are suspected of losing interest, sponsors lose interest, and the spiral continues. All pros need to shine. Twinkle, twinkle BIG star.


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