Improving the boards

Hi Music boards team,

For those who don’t recognise me (I’m not in too many music threads), I’m one of your friendly moderation team.

As is usual on the social boards, we’ve been going through a period of realising that the forums aren’t as friendly and welcoming as we’d like them to be. A number of users have left recently for some unpleasant reasons and we want to put in place some things to improve the DiS community for everyone and make it a more pleasant place to join.

But Drowned In Sound isn’t the social boards alone. You’re all part of the same community and in the interests of starting to break down some of the barriers that have always existed between the two big boards of DiS we’d want to make sure you’re all included rather than dictated to by the social board masses.

There’s a thread pinned to the top of the social boards where we’re starting to collect and discuss ideas and changes we’d like to make (Making DiS a safer space: next steps). If you have the time and/or you’re interesting in helping the DiS community become better together then please dive in - and if you have some thoughts but you’re less keen on sharing publicly then let me or any other moderator know and we can share on your behalf. Your other mods are currently.




There’s a Social board?


What happened on the Social boards? General arguing or something more serious?
I never venture away from the Music boards!! :grin: :love_you_gesture:


Genuine question, what if there was a TV / Film board or a sports board?

It seems like we’re likely to try that out. Would you poke your nose in?

I think so. I love football and films. As long as you don’t change our beloved music board :grin:

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I’m sure the social boards are marvellous (ok, I go there), but wouldn’t it be the tail wagging the dog for a social spin-off to do the mockers on the music boards of a website that had music as its focus?

The music boards work brilliantly as they are, with numerous excellent rolling threads, healthy (and pleasant) discussion on a whole range of artists, gig discussions, etc, etc, etc. Any beeves on the music boards are usually in jest because it’s just entertainment. I’m not sure anyone anywhere could keep weighty socio-political arguments in check on a board like this - those sorts of discussions are perhaps better had in person where the nuances and potential escalation of a conversation are easier to read for all those involved. I learn a lot from the boards that I don’t pick up from anywhere else (even when not participating), and I think that is helpful.

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These were my top 2 suggestions when discussing it with the mods yesterday too

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I offen wonder whether adding entire boards (like w sub-reddit) for some of the rolling threads would make them more welcoming and drive more conversation.

Like, I love the Ambient thread but I can’t keep up. I would love an ambient music community I could dip into and see the most talked about records and guides to new releases. Rather than it all trying to exist in a massive thread.


The advantage of a single thread is you can “search this topic” (whatever it’s called) for an artist you think you may have heard of in the thread (rather than having to search multiple threads, I never find that search very productive). Also it’s nice to see ruminations on particular albums a few months after they’ve been released.

Hey funkycow (and @Rolley1982),

Just to be clear, there’s not been any suggestions about changing things significantly with the music board that I’ve seen so far. The two main things right now are splitting social into multiple boards - in part so there’s a little bit less of an us-and-them vibe between music and social and in part to make social in general a bit more accessible - and getting together to form a site-wide code of conduct for members. Don’t be racist, behave in good faith… the kind of thing we all expect, but written out.

I really mostly wanted to let you guys know because I hope that semi-barrier that’s always existed between music and social can gradually be broken down so none of us see either as “the other place” and it’s the DrownedInSound community rather than the music boards and social boards as many of us currently see it. :slight_smile:


Just a heads up that there’s a thread on the social board on potential new sub boards

@funkycow I asked a couple of questions from about post 73 about where the music board fits in. I got some interesting responses I think.

@sean your idea about the Ambient chimed with my thoughts also and I asked whether Music sub boards would help with better engagement (from the social side at least even if it doesn’t bring in totally new users) but the response to that was 100% negative. Which is fine and it helped me to understand the dynamics of the boards and how it works technically but it would be good to get some other Music board centered voices heard.

Hopefully users who stick to the Music boards can have decent input into new sub board decisions. Do we need a new thread or can it be covered here or can us Music Board centered users maybe just try and head over to that topic? @wileycat linking you as you started that thread.


Just being polite!

My post was mainly as this thread links the safer space thread but not the ‘potential new sub boards’ thread and it seems like a broad consensus is growing on how the boards might look but it would be very easy for a lot of the users who mainly look at the Music board to miss that particular thread,

So just a heads up really. Thanks.

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I always thought that this was just a “joke” (banter between boards) rather than a genuine thing. No worries, and thank you for all your work (all of you) in making this place somewhere to spend time in an enjoyable way. It’s made lockdown a lot easier (and I’ve family at home, so I imagine it’s a real lifeline for a lot of people)…

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Please don’t split the music board. I can’t see any value in doing that other than diluting it’s effectiveness as something that currently works really well.
I’m unclear on the rationale for changing the social. As I don’t use it I can’t say I mind what happens there! Whenever I opened it previously I saw some interesting topics so condensing them may be advantageous…
I also don’t think there is a genuine beeve across the boards?

I think I agree with the sentiments in that thread that compartmentalising isn’t particularly helpful. These rolling genre-specific threads are great for finding music that appeals to your interests. In no particular order of greatness, the following types of thread are brilliant:

  1. Release day threads - act as a great sub for the old reviews pages on DiS, where users in the know or users you trust can highlight new releases for you to check out.
  2. Rolling genre threads - these are often run by different people year-to-year and work really well if there’s a specific type of music you want to keep up with.
  3. Artist threads - great for in-depth discussions of individual artists / bands.
  4. HGATR - good banter threads.

Don’t really gig much, so not interested in those, but I’m sure they’re helpful. These all work well at the moment. I remember on the old boards, the Music topics seemed to update much less regularly than the Social boards, but is that the case now?


I always assumed this and of course it largely is but I think there might be a degree to which it sort of became self fulfilling.

Wider picture though is that there a lot of social board people who don’t seem to bother with the music board. Personally I think that is a shame but maybe those users simply aren’t interested.


The threads you mention are all fantastic and others of course too like the album of the month threads. That’s basically why I asked the question in the sub threads discussion.

There definitely seems to be a perception that music boards are just people ranking Radiohead albums or old blokes mansplaining techno or whatever. But if anyone is interested in music there is so much rich discussion and so much openness to talk about all and any aspect of music. I mean even in the hgatr threads where there is an artist you’d expect everyone would dislike there is always someone with a lovely insight into why that artist is important to them.


Absolutely. I was very hesitant about the new format boards when they came in, but I think the ability to embed things (was that there before?) has made them much more accessible, and you’re right, there’s a real richness to the discussion now. I can’t think of the last time Radiohead was mentioned.

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I think this is really reassuring to hear, so thanks. I’ve tried to follow some of the discussion on the social board, but there are several threads about it, some if them are already huge (I dipped into the not all men thread the other day and can see there are already 1,000 new posts since!), some of the posts themselves are very long, several are made by or mention anonymised users and reference several other long threads for context or previous beeves. I think I understand some of the broad themes though and have had a lot of thoughts swimming round in my head all week - but not had time or headspace to get them down and try to put them into any kind of order.

I was a bit worried from what I’d read that there was some element of “this place has outgrown its original purpose as a music discussion forum” sentiment on a social board thread mostly contributed to by users who would likely identify primarily as social board posters. It wouldn’t be fair to see any kind of fundamental repurposing of DiS without the engagement of those who weren’t necessarily part of that conversation. We all have our own relationship with this place/things we want to get out of posting here and I don’t think that coming here mainly to keep up with new releases or discuss a particular niche genre of music you’re passionate about makes you any less of a valid member of the forum than someone who wants to get stuck more into serious discussions about improving society. Nobody should feel they have to justify their place on DiS.

The discussion above about perceived differences between the music and social boards is an interesting one. I’d say a lot of it feels to me like harmless banter, but noticing stuff occasionally about it being the place for the ‘worst’ posters, ‘music board passes’ and MBFTSB do contribute to a slight sense of ‘othering’ (is this an appropriate term to use in this context? Apologies if not). Its not a big problem, but I generally think twice about whether to post on the SB as a bit of an outsider, stick to a few familiar threads and often feel a little anxious after I do post there (I’m sure there are plenty of irks that work the other way too). It always makes me think in a lighthearted way that no matter how progressive a group likes to think itself, an us and them will still develop in some form!

These are all really minor issues though - I’m only really posting them to try and get them out of my head and not in any way trying to draw equivalence between this and more serious sources of upset that others have raised. I can’t expect (and dont necessarily need) to feel as much acceptance from DiS/other DiSsers as those who make hundreds of posts a week and regularly share more intimate details of their lives…and that’s ok.

Just as I think it’s probably ok for some of the more niche threads to be populated by enthusiasts and be to some extent impenetrable to casual users. I’ve got two degrees in politics and can’t make any sense of the Labour Party thread because I dont know a lot of the personalities or details of party machinery that are being discussed. I dont really follow it, but I’m happy for there to be a dedicated space for those who do to discuss in whatever depth they like. For me, the issue in these threads is when people come in who are not necessarily regulars and get railroaded or ‘corrected’ by users who are more forthright in their opinions. I agree with @funkycow mind that there may not be much really you can do about this with unwieldy socio-political discussions, and so maybe one to accept as human nature. There are a lot of personality types and different personal situations on here, which I try and take onto account when I’m on the receiving end of a surly reply/get ignored, and the general problem with discussing politics anywhere is that everyone thinks their own take is the right/common sense one.

Hmm, slightly longer than expected. Not sure if this adds much to the debate or not…or would be better posted on the main SB thread…or just deleted?