Thing 13: Forums

(Thanks, Toothpaste for Dinner)

Okay, we get it. Usenet is old. Usenet is actually super old. If internet years were like dog years – and they are – then Usenet could be your grandmother. But the reason we still talk about it is because it started a trend that got incorporated into nearly every aspect of the World Wide Web. As… soon as the World Wide Web was started, anyway. Usenet is actually older than it.

(I know.)

I’ve actually already blogged about several websites that use forum-style threaded conversations. Sick of Livejournal yet? Yes? Too bad. Livejournal’s “comments” section, which are beneath every post in a community or personal journal unless the poster specifically removes that option, open up compressed threads more conveniently when there is reply after reply after reply after reply after… yeah.

And if you clicked on any of those links, you’ll notice that everybody has a little icon by their username which is 100 pixels by 100 pixels. Even in the more traditional boards, these are pretty common – although they’re often 75×75 or even 50×50. DeviantArt makes great use of their message boards, especially the ones that show up underneath every individual piece of artwork. This is great for people to leave constructive feedback or even just a compliment, although they do tend to get mired down in a plethora of winking faces and other emoticons.

And, actually, can we talk about these things for a second? These little happy faces and banging-their-head-against-the-keyboard-faces and the flirty kissy faces? Because they are tacky. They have been tacky. 1996 is a long time ago, now, and we have moved on to better things like image macros and animated gifs to make our point if words are not enough. Into the future, people! Class up these forums, wherever they might be!

And seriously. No more emoticon images.

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