Urban planning community

+ Reply to thread
Results 1 to 10 of 10

Thread: What's wrong with Planetizen?

  1. #1
    Cyburbian Wannaplan?'s avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Gale Crater
    Posts
    2,859

    What's wrong with the Planetizen subforum?

    How come this forum has such a low level of activity? The articles linked from Planetizen are interesting. Are planners too timid to respond? Or are the issues irrelevant? Or is Planetizen irrelevant? Nobody on Cyburbia talks about Planetizen. Who reads Planetizen? Does Planetizen have any impact on planners?

  2. #2
    Cyburbian SGB's avatar
    Registered
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Champlain-Adirondack Biosphere Reserve
    Posts
    3,387
    Quote Originally posted by Wanigas?
    How come this forum has such a low level of activity? The articles linked from Planetizen are interesting. Are planners too timid to respond? Or are the issues irrelevant? Or is Planetizen irrelevant? Nobody on Cyburbia talks about Planetizen. Who reads Planetizen? Does Planetizen have any impact on planners?
    I suggest the low level of activity in the Planetizen Forum is due to a number of items, including:
    • Not all readers of Planetizen may be aware of the forum on Cyburbia.
    • For professional planners who have been in this career track for a while, not all of the Planetizen articles are interesting.
    • Discussions that do occur on Cyburbia Forums about Planetizen articles more often than not are started in a topical forum instead of the Planetizen forum.

    So, what to do? I offer the following:
    • If you find an interesting article that offers a topic or breadth of information not often found on Planetizen, submit it to them for posting.
    • If a Planetizen article grabs your fancy, start a discussion about it in the Planetizen forum instead of elsewhere on Cyburbia.
    All these years the people said he’s actin’ like a kid.
    He did not know he could not fly, so he did.
    - - Guy Clark, "The Cape"

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Seabishop's avatar
    Registered
    Nov 2002
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    3,691
    I think one of the problems is that the "discuss this article" option isn't very prominent.

    Do you have to register with Cyburbia to comment in this forum? If so, the registration might be too much for people with a quick comment.

  4. #4
    Forums Administrator & Gallery Moderator NHPlanner's avatar
    Registered
    Apr 1996
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Posts
    7,609
    Quote Originally posted by Seabishop
    I think one of the problems is that the "discuss this article" option isn't very prominent.

    Do you have to register with Cyburbia to comment in this forum? If so, the registration might be too much for people with a quick comment.
    I do not believe you need to be registered to post in the Plannetizen Forum.
    "Growth is inevitable and desirable, but destruction of community character is not. The question is not whether your part of the world is going to change. The question is how." -- Edward T. McMahon, The Conservation Fund

  5. #5
    Cyburbian nerudite's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Edmonton
    Posts
    5,502
    I think another reason that it isn't more active, is that, as a subforum, it isn't featured prominently in the forum list. I know that it takes me a few days sometimes to realize that there is a new thread or post in this forum. Unfortunately, I don't have time to read all the articles on Planetizen... but I do try to browse through them about once a week.

  6. #6
    Member
    Registered
    May 2004
    Location
    Portland, Oregon, USA
    Posts
    6
    I read it as a citizen of the planet interested in where we are going... if I was more employed than I am I'm sure I wouldn't have time.

    To my mind it has some of the most interesting articles on the web... I love the collection of articles I find here.

    The fact that nobody comments much is interesting. I noticed it too. I presume that the noninvolvement of nonplanners/nonprofessionals in Planetizen more or less parallels the noninvolvement of people in their communities, and reflects the narrowing of most human life to "job and home." People accept that big decisions about the built environment are made "by someone else" and they mostly content themselves with making transportation and housing choices that work around the existing environment... the idea of being concious about and involved in that set of issues is foreign to most, is it not?

    Unless these issues are part of your job, they are just part of the background noise of life.

    Now, if someone like me (underemployed, overeducated, "between jobs") gets interested in urban planning issues, they might do what I have done... read Planetzen and other sources, but then spend energy getting involved locally. In Portland, I went out and got involved in the "City Repair" organization. All planning is local, right? So what is there to say about the problems of Miami here in Portland? It's interesting, but pretty far away, and rather abstract. I bring things from Planetzen to my life and involvement... I do not bring much from my life to Planetzen.

    There is no sense (in my opinion) in which someone who is not a professional in the field would feel invited and comfortable posting here. I only do so now and then because I have an outsized ego and too many degrees for my own good.

    I think for most people looking in, this would clearly seem to be a place for professionals. IF the goal is to bring non professionals into the forums, they would have to look and sound different.

    my two cents.

  7. #7
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
    Registered
    Mar 1996
    Location
    Upstate New York
    Posts
    14,585
    Blog entries
    3
    PLANetizen does get a bit more traffic than Cyburbia, and has a lot more buzz among planners. I don't have exact numbers, but according to Alexa, Cyburbia is the Internet's 274,997th most popular site. The APA ranks 140,617. Planetizen ranks 112,535. In this review on WorldChanging, a correspondent writes:

    A friend who's an urban planner at Urban Land Institute says this's one of many good sites, but the favorite of him & his cronies is Planteizen: http://www.planetizen.com/
    On the other hand, according to Google, though, PLANetizen only has 1,430 backlinks compared to Cyburbia's 1,780. Both have a PageRank of 6 or 7, depending on how the score is calculated that month. Cyburbia shows up as the first link for a Google search of the term "urban planning", and #11 for the word "planning" alone.

    It's amazing how many people I meet who have never heard of Cyburbia, yet visit PLANetizen every day. I see quite a few sites linking to PLANetizen but not Cyburbia; when I ask for a link, it's often refused.

    The link to Cyburbia on PLANetizen isn't very prominent. Links are only on an article summary page, in a small font size. Cyburbia links to PLANetizen are more prominent; the front page, this subforum, and the Kiosk forum. PLANetizen links to Rich Carson's planning link index instead of the Cyburbia resource directory. Aside from the link directory, there's no direct competition between the sites. I won't intrude on PLANetizen's turf (i.e. create a slashblog or RSS feed of planning news), because it's Chris Steins' bread and butter. I'm hoping he won't start a bulletin board.

    This subforum was one a top level forum in the Cyburbia Forums. Even there, it saw little use. My philosophy is that there should be as few top level forums as possible, so http://www.cyburbia.org/forums/ isn't cluttered or long.

    Really, it all comes down to "does Planetizen depend on Cyburbia more, or Cyburbia need Planetizen more?" To be honest, it's probably the latter; PLANetizen is now THE pre-eminent and most well-known planning site out there. Thus, I live with the small link.

    A link to this subforum could be featured prominently on the front page of Cyburbia, below the PLANetizen news articles. I don't know if Chris would increase the font size of the link on his page, though, and how much good it would do.

    (Attached: Cyburbia main page link to PLANetizen, PLANetizen second level page link to Cyburbia)
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails planetizen.gif   cyburbia.jpg  

    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

  8. #8
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
    Registered
    Mar 1996
    Location
    Upstate New York
    Posts
    14,585
    Blog entries
    3
    Quote Originally posted by moshea
    Check out zdnet.com's talkback section that they put at the bottom of their articles for a good example as to how to address #3. It's not as good as it used to be before they redesigned their site, but it gets the point accross. They reader natually flows down to the comments after reading the story. See http://zdnet.com.com/2100-1105_2-528...=zdfd.newsfeed for an example.

    To implement something similar would have to come from the PLANetizen end, and it wouldn't involve Cyburbia at all. That would defeat the purpose of the partnership.

    The whole idea of linking to this forum -- which requires registration -- is to increase membership to the Cyburbia Forums. Cyburbia drives traffic to PLANetizen by having prominent links; PLANetizen does the same with the link, small as it may be, in news articles. This subforum, which is really a part of Cyburbia, is co-branded and customized for PLANetizen.

    Why registration? As I've said many, many, many, many times before ...

    1) It prevents casual spam
    2) It prevents confusion from users posting a message under whatever name they want to.
    3) It builds a sense of community among those that participate, though ways that would take about 20 more paragraphs to explain.
    4) It allows for easy implementation of other features, such as private messages, message blocking, tracking of read posts (from your end; I don't see what you've read), and other fun things.

    When the Cyburbia Forums didn't require registration, it got about 10-20 posts a day, and things were a mess. A #c$king mess. Now the Forum gets about 200 to 300 posts a day, and there's a much stronger sense of commuity than ever; witness user gatherings (Alefests), for instance.

    Besides, if you're willing to subject yourself to a very invasive registration procedure, revealing your address, age, gender, income level, and occupation, just to read a Chicago Tribune or LA Times article, you can register for Cyburbia. All we ask for is a name and e-mail address, and unlike the LA Times, we won't spam you or distribute information to "partners."
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

  9. #9
    Member
    Registered
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Los Angeles, California
    Posts
    16

    Planetizen Forums On Cyburbia

    We remain grateful to Dan and Cyburbia for providing this resource for interested Planetizen readers to discuss articles that appear on Planetizen.

    At various points we've tried different approaches to increase traffic to these forums. However, the feedback we've received from users is that they're looking for a more slashdot [slashdot.org] disussion approach that puts the comments closer to the articles.

    We have been evaluating a variety of technologies to best provide this feature. In the meantime, we are greatful for this customized forum.

    When I discuss planning websites with our users, Cyburbia is always one of the first websites that comes up in the discussion; I think that it remains a tremendous resource that continues to garner a great deal of mindshare.

    Thanks,

    Chris

  10. #10
    Cyburbian ludes98's avatar
    Registered
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Scottsdale, AZ
    Posts
    1,263
    Quote Originally posted by Chris Steins
    However, the feedback we've received from users is that they're looking for a more slashdot [slashdot.org] disussion approach that puts the comments closer to the articles.

    We have been evaluating a variety of technologies to best provide this feature. In the meantime, we are greatful for this customized forum.
    Hmmm one might think that means the end of the Cyburbia Planetizen subforum.

+ Reply to thread

More at Cyburbia

  1. New Planetizen rankings
    Student Commons
    Replies: 24
    Last post: 25 May 2011, 4:47 PM
  2. Wrong Song or Wrong Singer?
    Friday Afternoon Club
    Replies: 24
    Last post: 06 Nov 2006, 6:40 PM
  3. Replies: 4
    Last post: 27 Jul 2004, 2:06 AM
  4. What's wrong with Planetizen?
    Friday Afternoon Club
    Replies: 8
    Last post: 24 Jul 2004, 6:33 PM