Issues with Chans
Very Important Note: I wrote this a long time ago and I don’t necessarily agree with everything I’ve written here. I’ve only minimally changed it to make it more readable, but otherwise kept it the same. It’s being kept here for the sake of posterity.
I’ve observed a few things in the Chanverse that I believe are moderate, or potentially serious, issues.
And it is my opinion, that if classical chan culture wishes to survive, it must overcome these issues.
I imagine there are many who may disagree with me, and I am willing to hear others out.
Despite how old many of the chans are, they have changed very little. To be more specific, I’m talking about the software and not the culture - we’ll leave culture for a little later.
Using Channel4 as an example: it hasn’t gotten any new software features since ~2015. Even when ssz took over in 2020, there has been fairly minimal change.
While it’s undoubtedly impressive this site has been around for almost 2 decades, what significant changes have really occurred?
I should note something so readers don’t get confused: I don’t think any fundamental changes should be made, but that minor changes are sufficient.
My idea of ‘minor changes’ is more along the lines of what the 4chan-x script (including Onee-chan) does to 4chan. The script extends the functionality of 4chan significantly, while still maintaining the general look and feel of 4chan.
I believe other chans, particularly Channel4, would benefit from adding these features directly into their scripts.
My reason for identifying this as an issue is due to how new users will perceive the aged chans. It’s very important to keep in mind that a new user doesn’t see the same thing as a chanfag. What a newfag sees is an ancient website that (sometimes) vaguely resembles 4chan and old forums. New users may then be under the impression the site is dead.
Besides this, a new user may find the lack of 4chan-x-like features to make using these sites a little frustrating - I know I do.
Fear of Growth
I get the impression chans seem scared of growing larger; this is understandable.
Chans don’t want to lose their unique culture and a large influx of new users is sure to kill or significantly dilute their unique culture.
However, and this is very important to note, chans outside of 4chan are very slow. In fact, usersA) seem to frequently complain about the lack of speed. The slow speed of these chans also contribute to the perception new users tend to have - that the site is dead.
However, as long as there aren’t enough users, chans will remain slow. I’m definitely not the first to notice this (it is, after all, basic logic); many chan dwellers have also likely realized this.
This leads to a dilemma. Chans are slow; they can only get faster if they gain more users; new users are undesirable due to the potential loss of the unique culture.
The solution most users seemed to land on was to simply freeze. If neither option (increasing the speed at loss of culture; preserving the culture at loss of speed) is desirable, then making no decision is most desirable. Unfortunately, this means chans will remain slow…as that is the decision that is automatically chosen when no decision is made.
Currently, chans, and their culture, seem to be in a slow decline. I believe I have identified two of the issues facing the chans. I have certainly missed a few, or made a mistake when identifying these two and, for that, I can only apologize.
Essentially, I hope for further discussion on the issues facing chans - and, more importantly, for the solutions to be actes upon. Chans should not remain stagnant forever; they must evolve for the culture to survive.
- Readers shouldn’t be under the impression that I dislike the Chanverse, I actually really love chan culture.
- Readers should also keep in mind that I am a relative newcomer to the Chanverse, so these are more the observations of a newfag than an oldfag.
- A few sections were intended to be included, but I removed them for one reason or another.
- Obsession with Anonymity - I realized this isn’t that big of a problem. Chan culture (among the smaller chans) is already dominated by namefags anyway.
- Nostalgia - I realised I’d just be re-iterating/contributing to what I said in Minimal Growth.
- Many of these observations likely don’t apply to 4chan.