04-25-2016, 10:10 AM
In your discussion about a Foundational Knowledgebase, you mentioned building it on a wiki platform. I got the impression that would displace or at least lessen the prominence of the web forum side of things. Am I reading that right? Wikis are useful for me, but I've never been able to see them as communities. I'll dip into a wiki on, say, Frank Zappa's music to pick up information on a band member's involvement on a certain track, and then I'm gone. Maybe that's just me. I frequent other wiki/database sites that have full forums, but the forums are never very vibrant.
When the Mises Institute shuffled off its forum (now the very sparse libertyhq.freeforums.org), it was to purify a knowledge platform so that it could proactively provide information with little opportunity for unedited feedback. Instead of a 50 or 100 people posting multiple times a day (as with rpf), mises.org has 15 or 20 people who provide a post once a week or once a month. That to me is stiffer and less resilient.
I would also point out that "Liberty Forest" didn't become a very significant brand for anybody here that I know of. Nobody seems to refer to it as such. I presume everybody still thinks of it as Ron Paul Forums. And I think that's because the words "Ron" and "Paul" when joined together don't really encapsulate an individual human's identity any more as much as they are shorthand for a kind of compassionate conservatism where all the stupid fascist bits have been corrected by sensible libertarian and constitutionally derived solutions. Replacing "Liberty Forest" with "Guide Point" is neither here nor there. Replacing "Ron Paul Forums" with "Guide Point" presents a couple of problems -
1. It will seem like a little bit of a betrayal to some.
2. You will unnecessarily have to build public perception of a brand from the ground up, probably with no significant marketing capital, instead of just using the words "Ron Paul" to signify the same brand.
It's very valuable to know there's a place I can go where people are trying their best to perpetuate the ideals that Ron Paul espoused in the 2008 & 2012 presidential elections and during his terms as congressman. I have only once seen one instance in which RPF has seemed to violate the spirit of Ron Paul's ideas, and that was when trumpmania was at its worst and seemed to be proceeding unabated. The situation was subsequently corrected. RPF is my newspaper, because I know if something happens in the world that champions or threatens my values, I can pop onto the forums and people are probably already actively commenting on it and sharing information. That said, if it can't earn its keep on that basis the owners have the right and legitimate motivation to change it how they see fit.