Mac Power Users News

After thinking about it for a while (and reading the replies in Mac Power Users Merchandise), would it be outlandish for the Mac Power Users brand to expand outside of weekly podcasts? One thing I have noticed about this community is that…

  1. It is fairly active compared to similar communities
  2. It is full of respectful users
  3. It is powered by forum software that’s modern

Those three elements have not really been captured by any other Apple communities. Some other Apple communities have an advantage over Mac Power Users though.

News!

They create news articles (or even blog posts) to go along with their communities. Those news articles help to keep people engaged and constantly discussing them. I think it’s just a matter of trying to decide if you should prioritize quantity or quality instead. Many Apple communities began small. They grew and had a large enough userbase to start creating news articles regarding Apple. The news articles helped to significantly increase their userbase and engagement (especially community events).

It might be a big question to ask, but I wonder why the Mac Power Users brand doesn’t branch outside of their weekly podcast and end up doing the same thing as other Apple communities? Maybe it would even give @anon54919170 an excuse to stop reposting MacRumors articles on Mac Power Users. :smile:

Thank you for your attention.

2 Likes

I second this idea! I would drop out so many other feeds and keep it all centralized with MPU.

I disagree and I’m going to do my best to articulate why.

With regards to your second point:

This might just be my own experience but most comment sections on news sites (both regular and tech oriented) are filled with just negative comments and don’t really contribute any new discussion on top of the original article.

There’s an intentionality to posting news items here. It means “I found this article really interesting. I want to speak with people with regards to how it may or may not change power users workflows.”

To your third point:

Discourse isn’t designed for News. This news section would have to be built out in a separate platform and then crossposted here? Or have a comments section there?

I think adding News will actively diminish 2 of the 3 points (which I agree with!)) you’ve provided about what makes MPU forums successful.

Perhaps an alternative? It could be interesting to take MPU forums synchronous through voice, video, or in person (post COVID).

11 Likes

I agree. I respect OP’s good intent but I especially appreciate that this community and the podcast takes the slow approach. News are everywhere enough as it is and it brings on the spot, instinctive reactions. The Internet has more than enough of that.
Sorry, @justin_vega. :sweat_smile:

9 Likes

Yes, and the people here are different. In a good way… :grinning:

Discourse can be designed for anything. It’s heavily customizable using plugins and themes.

There’s even a Facebook theme! :laughing:

What about high quality news with a respectful userbase?

The closest I’ve ever seen to this is https://readup.com. And a heavily tech oriented readup would definitely be interesting. As I said earlier I don’t think news as a digital medium is conducive to productive conversation. The deliberate act of posting something in a forum provides a natural filtering that allows the interesting conversations to occur.

3 Likes

In part the people yes, are great. But it’s also the interaction model that currently exists.

3 Likes

It seems to me that the podcast already fills that role very well, covering major all major releases of software and hardware through 1h30. :slight_smile:

5 Likes

More Power Users is sort of doing news, or at least it’s a little more newsy. Connected and Upgrade are good tech news podcasts.

My experience (briefly) helping run a MacRumors competitor leads me to recommend anyone run far, far away from trying to provide 10+ timely text posts a day in addition to moderating the kind of forum traffic they attract. Especially with today’s ad rates for that.

8 Likes

The news posts here get very little discussion anyway. Most of the “news” just isn’t that interesting or worthy of discussion. Plus every tech site on the internet already covers it all.

10 Likes

First of all, I agree with those three elements @Justin_Vega has mentioned. Those are the reasons why I am active in this community. And to be more precise, it is the ONLY community in which I am truly active.

Why? Plain and simple: it is laid back. It is a friendly environment and it lacks news. :blush:

And then again, it does not! If there is really something interesting, it is being brought up by the participants in this community. And if somebody has posted a very thoughtful article or blog post on her/his blog and mentions it over here, I enjoy reading it. But that is enough. For me at least. :slight_smile: Honestly, I do even fear that a news feature could change this community into a direction that potentially could ruin the positive experience I have had over here since day one when this community went live.

There are communities that discuss rumors (macrumors.com or appleinsider.com) and communities that discuss more substantial news like tidbits.com.

Yes, I get the point that it is not the same as if there were a dedicated platform over here that enables everybody to basically host a blog here, but still… This is the MPU community. It runs on servers being paid by the MPU podcasters. I do not think that they might be very keen to run a platform, a server for their users so that they can host their blogs on it. Apart from the costs, there even might be legal implications. I have no idea about the situation regarding those matters in the US, but I know that it would not be that easy in some other countries.

Long story short: I appreciate the experience over here. So much so that these days, the MPU community is a place where I spend a lot more time than I would have listening to the podcast - which was the reason why I signed up over here in 2018. It is totally different in comparison to all those superficial communities or websites where there is this constant bombardment with “news” and its “comments”. I would hate to see the MPU community change into that direction.

EDIT:
One thing to add: I think that most users over here do get their daily dose of news from a lot of sources. There might not be much value in re-posting news from other websites that most of us have read already - at least without sharing personal views and opinions about them. Most of those posts do not get any answers. I do not mean that in a negative way, it has happened to me, too. :slight_smile:

7 Likes

Yeah, seriously. I have 21 days read time. That’s ridiculous, lol.

I’m definitely in the “it’s not broken, so let’s not fix it” camp on this issue. Like others, I know the suggestion is well intentioned.

2 Likes

I personally have way TOO MUCH news in my life and am actively blocking it as much as possible. My participation in this forum would decrease if news was officially added to the mix. I really like MPU and I think they have achieved a great balance over the years.

I do not believe that NEWS is an advantage that other communities have. It’s just a difference.

To think about your basic premise from another angle, have you considered that maybe, just maybe, the reason this community has elements 1-3 while others do not … maybe it is because this community has less news?

3 Likes

maybe it is because this community has less news?

I have spared this thread one more rant as to how sociopathic engagement is on the modern Internet, but yeah, I believe so. :slightly_smiling_face:

2 Likes

My point is that Mac Power Users could easily differentiate themselves from the crowd.

I concur with much of what has been said in this thread. I for one do not need nor want news on this forum. There is a plethora of news sources, we don’t need another one. :slight_smile:

3 Likes

None of them are bearable though. This place is unique. Why not take advantage of that?

Because clearly most of the community doesn’t come here for that.

1 Like

I think this point is very relevant. I too would love to have a news forum where everyone was polite and respectful, but I have to ask myself why so many news sites have so many negative comments and sometimes arguments back and forth. Is it possible that news attracts those kinds of people more than the kind of forum that is MPU does? I share the concern expressed by others that adding news to the MPU forum would attract the people making those negative comments on the other sites.

3 Likes

Apple News websites are perfectly fine in an RSS reader, where comments do not show.

1 Like