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Do you think thread creators on imageboards are playing a meta game against others in order to get attention?
Or are people just making threads for fun because they want to get input on opinions?


It depends on how fast it is


Well, I have to try pretty hard to get your attention on Kissu at 6AM


Exactly what I was about to say. Fast boards force you to play the meta game if you want anyone to see your thread. That's the reason fast boards are full of template threads; people are imitating what they've seen work.


>meta game against others
By default, no. The game only exists when people are playing it, and plenty of users are only trying to express themselves, not hog the spotlight.
"Against" is also a loaded word that implies a sort of zero-sum game where some will necessarily lose out on attention if others are better players, which I don't believe to be the case. Time is a finite resource, but that doesn't mean that if two threads are on page 1 and one gets more replies than the other, that the second thread is losing out. It's still on page 1, it has the same level of visibility. If it's not getting attention, it's because it didn't click with others, not because of competition.

As it was discussed in >>98021, visibility is not the end-all-be-all of activity, you need to have something to dig into. This is the case regardless of any other thread present on a board. You can go out of your way to optimize your post, but this is ultimately independent of a board's speed. The role of templates is more about being a low-effort starter with wide appeal, contrast this with a front-loaded effortpost that will inherently attract less people due to its more limited scope. You can think of the OP of a general thread as being the endpoint of templates, zero-effort copypasted starters whose creators actively try to not compete with each other beyond being the first one to make it, and the community limits itself to a single thread at a time. It doesn't actually matter if the one that posted it was you, me, or that other guy over there, the starter is designed to be a space for content and works as a mere container. The OP may feel a sense of pride in being its creator, but no cares. The attention is not his, it's the thread's.

It is, however, possible to make a thread whose intent is to take attention away from something else. It may try to get users to ignore a certain kind of content, as it commonly happens when trying to self-moderate, or using generic threads to obscure a notable one by pushing it down the catalog. In political circles, the latter is called a "slide thread", it exists despite how insane the schizos abusing the label are. But even then, neither is about gaining attention as much as it about depriving others of it. That's not a competition, it's an attack. The scenario where a user analyzes other people's posts and makes optimizes his with the intent of taking away from others is much more marginal than it seems and even in the largest boards it doesn't match the majority of threads made. In general, it's more useful to simply say that they making an effort to craft an attractive thread.

>thread creators
Actually applies to all forms of posts, not just replies. See >>98073.
>Or are people just making threads for fun because they want to get input on opinions?
This is a narrow description that leaves out a large chunk of existing posts, such as when a user is too upset to enjoy what they're doing, and isn't looking for any input.


>actively try to not compete with each other beyond being the first one to make it
That is the meta-game, the same game played by the "first!" commenters on video sites, blogs, etc.. On imageboards they impose artificial restrictions on themselves ("one thread per series") so that they can compete for the honor of being the thread creator and winning this edition for their waifu or whatever, then others compete for being the first post in that thread. Whether it's for back-to-back threads or recurring event threads, the game is about making the thread as early as possible without it dying before the migration/influx occurs so that your thread will be the prime target for gathering posters.

It's a game that works when the majority of posters reject the idea that a thread needs to hook people and instead aim for maximizing visibility, not just of the thread but of every post within it. Bigger threads mean more people seeing what's in them, so if you want to be heard or get a response, you're forced to use the winning thread. The result is that those threads become amalgamations of all the other related threads that would have been made and competed on the quality and appeal of the OP instead of on raw numbers.


>compete for being the first
That's actually a good point. I had thought of it as a continuous thing, rather than this single point where you either make it or you don't. They do race to be the first, and that's a competition. True.

>competed on the quality and appeal of the OP
This is the part where I don't agree. To borrow from biology, "fitness" is not the same as competition. I don't think it's right to use the latter term to describe people who aren't trying to compete at all. Look at the threads >>96625, >>88567, >>102927, >>92605, >>78784, they're not competing against anything, they're not making any effort to do so.

>artificial restrictions
Tangential, but I definitely do not agree with this. The practice of a monolithic general thread is older than imageboards and developed naturally from the observation that when a single topic becomes too popular, it can suffocate everything else. It has arisen many times in many places, many times without needing a mod to impose it. Generals are a necessary evil.


I was referring to threads about a similar topic rather than completely unrelated ones like that, as the "competition" there is about the appeal of the topic rather than between OPs. If there are three thoughtful OPs about elements of Star Twinkle Precure's story and characters up, it is much less likely that people will go into a thread with "thoughts on Star Twinkle Precure?" as the OP.

Having reasons for restrictions doesn't have anything to do with their artificiality. Outside of a few specific places, there aren't official rules or technical constraints that enforce the general structure and people can ignore it if they want, it only exists because users impose it upon themselves. It's like how Pokemon players agreed not to make teams of six Mewtwo in order to keep battling against each other fun. It's necessary to keep the game going, but it's not inherently the only way to go about things.


>Or are people just making threads for fun because they want to get input on opinions?
On here it's always for fun. I don't really post in places where you have to compete really hard to get replies or anything. And I don't post many serious threads either, mostly it's to share an image or some OC on /jp/.


File:[Serenae] Hirogaru Sky! Pr….jpg (335.45 KB,1920x1080)

I think it's true on 4chan, or its biggest boards, because the population is so large and there really isn't the camaraderie that a community is supposed to have. People will routinely create an incendiary OP even if they want a happy enjoyable thread because outrage gives a competitive edge over regular threads. This has been the case for quite a long time so people can even recognize when it happens.
It's really an unfortunate state of affairs, but people make due with what they have a massive userbase is certainly full of many benefits as well.

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