Atop The SOPA Box
Well, we know at least some of us
consider this an important subject, but I suspect
for most people it's just another facet of politics, and it may not be something they seek out specifically or are particularly interested in.
While many of us basically live on the Internet, for most people it's just another handy tool for socializing or looking things up and not a central
feature in their lives. They may not see encroachments on free communication as a threat to them, even though anything which restricts expression on
the Internet necessarily affects everyone who uses it.
I used to be a big fan of specialized forums and sub-forums because I liked the idea of tucking everything neatly away in its own special place to
(ideally) make it easy to find. But that's a two-edged sword because, statistically speaking, the more steps it takes for people to reach information
from the home page, the less visibility it will get.
So a big caveat for any new forum is making sure it improves
visibility and awareness for a subject rather than hiding it away in a forum few
For various reasons, the track record for new forums is somewhat mixed. If we browse through the
, we can see some specialty forums going strong alongside others that, despite
being quite popular at one time, haven't seen new posts for days.
Personally, I think freedom of communication -- not just on the Internet, but in general -- is important enough to merit its own forum, and for that
forum to have a prominent place on the home page and forum index. It's an issue as old as language itself, is very relevant to world events today,
and that's unlikely to ever change.
My main concern is that such a forum be broad enough to ensure it will have plenty of traffic, while focused enough to keep problems of free speech
and efforts to restrict it in the spotlight.
Ultimately, whether we have a dedicated place for it is up to the owners to decide, but as an ATSer I do like the idea of a forum focused on the