Is NOM going the direction of some other online groups?

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alas
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Is NOM going the direction of some other online groups?

Post by alas » Sat Jul 20, 2019 11:09 am

NOM has been kind of slow lately, with only two or three new comments some days. We get very few new members. There’s only a new post once a day or so, and I watched the same slowdown with other blogs and discussion groups that I followed. Many of the Mormon discussion groups seem to be dwindling or dying. Some of the bloggers I used to follow have left the church and may of may not still be blogging as totally unbelievers. Example of KiwiMormon. A few years ago, the online Mormon feminist groups took a serious hit with Ordain Women getting so much backlash from the old men in dark suits. There was just this sense of discouragement and “why try” that infected the feminist community. Some of the feminist groups are still operating, but not with as much interest. Feminist Mormon Housewives is as good as dead. Their latest attempt at a gasp for breath is not even feminist or Mormon, but just discussions on cool literature :? I don’t really follow many other Mormon discussion groups, well Hawk Girl and Bishop Bill, but I drop in enough to notice they are not as active as they used to be. There is the problem of some internet discussion has moved to Facebook, and there is more of a feeling that we can’t change the church to make it more loving, less fundamentalist, less homophobic, so why bother spitting into the wind. Many Feminists have left the church, and others have just gone quiet, not daring to be outed. It just seems to me that leaving the church rather than staying attached as a progressive or doubting Mormon is much more common on the blogernacle as a whole. We have discussed before than NOM seems to have become more of a stop on the way out rather than a way of life, but will NOM still exist in a few years, or go the way f Feminist Mormon Housewives, with nothing but people who used to love it but now have very little to say?

Thoughts?

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jfro18
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Re: Is NOM going the direction of some other online groups?

Post by jfro18 » Sat Jul 20, 2019 11:26 am

I think to a certain extent NOM is always going to be a stop on the way out because we've all seen the middle road can only work for so long (with few exceptions).

But that said I think this group is fairly tucked away, so there's no good way to find it where as so many people post on Reddit regularly whether it's the exmormon subreddit or even the less selfie-oriented mormon reddit which is much more filled with nonbelievers than nuanced believers.

This board has been a huge help to me because it's not always full of anger like reddit (and even less so than Mormon Discussions), which is important when you're balancing a mixed faith marriage with finding out all of this insane stuff about the church.

The question is whether enough people stay in the group and continue to post as new members trickle in... I only found out about this board from someone who used to be more active on NOM 1.0, and I don't think I've seen it mentioned really anywhere else be it reddit, podcasts, other boards, etc.

Which I kind of like because it doesn't have that over-the-top anger of reddit and because it provides good discussion with "regulars" that feels more like friends than random online strangers. To that point even if my wife someday leaves I would still post here while I would probably stop checking reddit and the other stuff altogether.

I wonder if it might be helpful for us to refer this board to people we know going through these issues... I know a few people that might benefit so maybe I'll send them the link as they study and hope that it can get some more life into the board that's been so helpful to me. I just never knew what others wanted as far as trying to grow the board here versus keeping it somewhat cozy and quiet?

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blazerb
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Re: Is NOM going the direction of some other online groups?

Post by blazerb » Sat Jul 20, 2019 11:42 am

Part of the problem may be that "NOM" doesn't really describe most of us here, anymore. We're mentally out if not resigned, for the most part. At least that's what it looks like to me. I don't mind. This is a comfortable place to read what others have on their minds. However, it may discourage others on the way out from coming here. From what I've seen on reddit, there is an impression that we are still faithful mavericks trying to maintain belief.

I don't know what to do about that. jfro may have the best idea. We can talk up the site with others.

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wtfluff
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Re: Is NOM going the direction of some other online groups?

Post by wtfluff » Sat Jul 20, 2019 11:54 am

alas wrote:
Sat Jul 20, 2019 11:09 am
''' There is the problem of some internet discussion has moved to Facebook, ...
Thoughts?
I think Facebook and other forms of "social media" are more the cause than anything else.

Message boards with the format of NoM are a thing of the past. Folks seem to prefer the drive-by format of Facebook, Instagram, and Reddit more that bulletin boards nowadays. (Reddit thrives for other reasons also...)

I personally have watched a few bulletin boards like NoM related to other of my pursuits dry up and die in the recent past. Poof! It feels like a part of my life just vanishes into the ether instantly.

The online world we live in nowadays is truly weird.... :?
Faith does not give you the answers, it just stops you asking the questions. -Frater Ravus

Keep the company of those who seek the truth - run from those who have found it -Václav Havel

Brilliant.

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glass shelf
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Re: Is NOM going the direction of some other online groups?

Post by glass shelf » Sat Jul 20, 2019 12:04 pm

I think it's the death of message boards in general as other forms of social media are places where people are already hanging out.

I used to be a regular poster on a sewing mb, and it's pretty much dead. Interestingly, many of us meet for get-togethers, but we still don't return to the board. We just have a FB group instead. It's where people are already doing so many other things, and it's a lot easier to share pics, message, etc.

The benefit that NOM has over something like FB is that it's more anonymous.

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jfro18
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Re: Is NOM going the direction of some other online groups?

Post by jfro18 » Sat Jul 20, 2019 12:14 pm

glass shelf wrote:
Sat Jul 20, 2019 12:04 pm
I think it's the death of message boards in general as other forms of social media are places where people are already hanging out.

The benefit that NOM has over something like FB is that it's more anonymous.
This is another big part of it - these formats aren't really conducive to the 'quick' post format of reddit or facebook, although again I like that because we can have a long thread about something over weeks that doesn't just disappear as it would with reddit or facebook.

And I think this being separated from facebook is key for me - I made *one* anti-church comment and my sister in law immediately told everyone (at least my other sis in law and my wife) in the family that I did it... so that will be the only and one church comment I make on that account. At least here I can post without worrying about who is looking which I think is important for everyone.

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Emower
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Re: Is NOM going the direction of some other online groups?

Post by Emower » Sat Jul 20, 2019 12:33 pm

I went inactive on the board a while ago, got my head right, and the other day decided to try and come back and post a little bit more, just in time for the ed123 episode. That was fun.
I have some thoughts and discussions I would like to have, and everytime I sit down to do it I just think, "what's the point?" What am I trying to do? I don't really know, the church is not a big factor in my life now, why bring it back in?
If there aren't new people coming in, this place is sure to peter out. I think Reddit captures most new people. As others have said, the anonymity in addition to the softer tone will always make this board somewhat relevant, but what it seems to need is new people with current issues willing to engage in new discussions with thick skin. The regular posters here are generally of the same mindset, and it seems probably pointless to have the same discussion over and over again. How many times can you say, "it all boils down to the logical explanation, Joseph made it all up" before you become numb?

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2bizE
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Re: Is NOM going the direction of some other online groups?

Post by 2bizE » Sat Jul 20, 2019 1:27 pm

Maybe we need to start doing video blogs on NOM??? :lol: :lol: :lol:
~2bizE

Blashyrkh
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Re: Is NOM going the direction of some other online groups?

Post by Blashyrkh » Sat Jul 20, 2019 3:24 pm

First off I really appreciate you bringing up this question. I am a typical NEM. I basically attend for my wife. I had a heart attack this week and the ward members were more supportive than I can imagine. I live in an older ward and I had a 70-year-old couple mow my lawn. There is an 78-year-old man finishing a bathroom as we speak that I started a month ago. That being said I still find thebeliefs to be nonsense. I used to love the compasionate and caring opinions and views of my friends on here . however, the reason I dont visit NEM much anymore is because IMO it has become nothing more than left-wing opinions and people tearing into anything conservative. Old, white guys are the spawn of Satan and if you don't bow down at the LGBTQ alter then you are an ignorant piece of crap not even worthy of the wasted air you breathe. I get enough unwanted politics forced on me throughout my day. I want to come here and not have to deal with the same stuff. I have my political beliefs which have nothing to do with my former religion. Being torn down here because of them made me feel unwelcomed and once again forced to the outside of another group.

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alas
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Re: Is NOM going the direction of some other online groups?

Post by alas » Sat Jul 20, 2019 4:16 pm

Blashyrkh wrote:
Sat Jul 20, 2019 3:24 pm
First off I really appreciate you bringing up this question. I am a typical NEM. I basically attend for my wife. I had a heart attack this week and the ward members were more supportive than I can imagine. I live in an older ward and I had a 70-year-old couple mow my lawn. There is an 78-year-old man finishing a bathroom as we speak that I started a month ago. That being said I still find thebeliefs to be nonsense. I used to love the compasionate and caring opinions and views of my friends on here . however, the reason I dont visit NEM much anymore is because IMO it has become nothing more than left-wing opinions and people tearing into anything conservative. Old, white guys are the spawn of Satan and if you don't bow down at the LGBTQ alter then you are an ignorant piece of crap not even worthy of the wasted air you breathe. I get enough unwanted politics forced on me throughout my day. I want to come here and not have to deal with the same stuff. I have my political beliefs which have nothing to do with my former religion. Being torn down here because of them made me feel unwelcomed and once again forced to the outside of another group.
I have noticed that one thing we used to moderate that is not moderated anymore is political opinions, or maybe better put, political bashing. It used to be that if you posted something that was purely political, rather than a comment on how the church got involved in politics or how you didn’t fit in at church because of your political affiliation, that it was moderated. But now comments that are critical of all Republicans, or all conservatives, or the POTUS are allowed. Someone was outright told to shut up because of her disapproval of gay sex. And although a couple of us told the poster that we felt the opinion should be allowed, there was never any moderation. So, I really can see how those who feel negatively about LGBT issues would be driven away. The group as a whole has become very left leaning, and very anti Trump.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I kind of like the reduced moderation from what we had on the old board, but then I am out of the church so things like calling the church a cult that got moderated on the old board are fine with me. But they probably are not fine with those freshly disillusioned. So, I have wondered if the lack of moderation of things that might offend someone still on the fence has driven away new comers or those who check out the site to see f they like it. For those of you who remember Further light and knowledge and how it imploded because of people being nothing but angry, well, FLAK was a break off of NOM for those who disagreed with Dathon about moderation. They wanted to keep the intellectual discussions of NOM, but allow the anger, and it was eventually the free expression of anger finally killed them.

So, just some thoughts I am throwing out as someone who has been around longer than most.

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Evil_Bert
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Re: Is NOM going the direction of some other online groups?

Post by Evil_Bert » Sat Jul 20, 2019 6:45 pm

FLAK was interesting to say the least. My sister-in-law was on there and one of the more angry. I have never been that angry about the whole thing. I think I have been here for going on 14 years. Originally posted as Sonny Barnett on NOM1.0.

As for the politics I just ignore it. It isn't worth getting worked up over. I have considered blocking a poster or two but haven't because I just can't get that worked up.

I think that more people find Reddit just because it is easy. Maybe we need to do some search engine optimization to be easier to find.
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Hagoth
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Re: Is NOM going the direction of some other online groups?

Post by Hagoth » Sat Jul 20, 2019 7:56 pm

I have noticed that this and other non-related forums tend to slow down this time of year and then pick up more in the colder months, so that might be one factor. One group I used to read pretty much ground to a halt in summer months and then came to life in the winter.
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jfro18
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Re: Is NOM going the direction of some other online groups?

Post by jfro18 » Sat Jul 20, 2019 8:32 pm

Evil_Bert wrote:
Sat Jul 20, 2019 6:45 pm
As for the politics I just ignore it. It isn't worth getting worked up over. I have considered blocking a poster or two but haven't because I just can't get that worked up.

I think that more people find Reddit just because it is easy. Maybe we need to do some search engine optimization to be easier to find.
I think both of these are good points.

The politics stuff is somewhat inevitable given the current climate. I would consider myself center-right but less convservative than I used to be... and I really dislike Trump and I really dislike the way he uses emotion to keep his core base so engaged. So I see the similarities to the church and I believe others do too. At that point it's not really about the politics but about the methods Trump uses to energize/incite his supporters... although I get why that's taken as a slap at Republicans in general.

And I think so many people use Reddit so they can easily find Mormon subs and just jump in headfirst... this site you need to find on your own or have it referred to you, so it's just not as easy, and in some ways being more cozy can be intimidating especially if you're still trying to figure things out.

But maybe it would be good to get some fresh blood in here -- I would love to see more conversations as well as more perspectives, although I do think it would be hard for any believing member to really post in here regularly because at the end of the day you're defending something with emotions that can not stand up to facts. I know that sounds a little too black and white, but it just is what it is.

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Re: Is NOM going the direction of some other online groups?

Post by græy » Sat Jul 20, 2019 9:34 pm

I've noticed the slow-down here too. But, our IRL ward drops by ~30% attendance during the summer months, so I just assume the same is true here. Everyone is having way too much fun camping, surfing, or travelling to post about the pros and cons of our particular religion.

Please don't die NOM, I have no where else to go. :(
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hmb
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Re: Is NOM going the direction of some other online groups?

Post by hmb » Sun Jul 21, 2019 9:58 am

I like to pop in and see what's new. How people are dealing with NOM-life. Resolutions to questions or problems. I don't say much because I am not comfortable in social settings (in person or online), and feel like an outsider to the core group. To be fair, I've felt like that since jr high school. I know it's my own internal issue. But still, I am always interested to read the posts here. I hope it doesn't fade away. I certainly appreciate the moderators of NOM, keeping it running.

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Re: Is NOM going the direction of some other online groups?

Post by RubinHighlander » Sun Jul 21, 2019 11:06 am

This feels akin to the other recent trend we were having a discussion on, the one about if the Youth are actually leaving in droves. Could the slow down on NOM, the fact that most all of us that may have started off on the early days of NOM, have now evolved our faith transitions to the end of the spectrum. Could this be a sign of the slow down in the separation of wheat and tare? Now that the information on the historical facts has been widespread and available for several years now, maybe the spike is over and we are entering an era of flat line for TSCC and it's former members/believers? As NoMos and NOMs, are we running out of things to talk about for TSCC? It's down to their mundane changes now. Unless they do something drastic, like allow gays to marry in the temple, or show their finances, or get rid of garments or the WOW, the rest seems pretty nit picky?

There will always be a percentage of TBMs moving to NOMs but perhaps the surge is over?
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Re: Is NOM going the direction of some other online groups?

Post by Ghost » Sun Jul 21, 2019 12:29 pm

I originally started participating (more) at NOM after Facebook and other factors killed the Mormon-themed forum that I used to frequent (Mormon Stories Second Ward).

While I understand why Facebook is a popular discussion platform, it's such a bad one that it's a shame so many groups end up being consumed by it. Reddit at least is not designed for purposes at odds with having discussions, but for whatever reason I've never felt inclined to create an account there. I just browse a few groups occasionally.
hmb wrote:
Sun Jul 21, 2019 9:58 am
I don't say much because I am not comfortable in social settings (in person or online), and feel like an outsider to the core group. To be fair, I've felt like that since jr high school. I know it's my own internal issue.
My personality type is similar. At times, I've made an effort to participate more in situations involving other people, but I don't think doing so will ever become natural for me.

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nibbler
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Re: Is NOM going the direction of some other online groups?

Post by nibbler » Sun Jul 21, 2019 1:20 pm

If it's about seeking support or validation...

Back in the day when I first joined sites like NOM 1.0 and StayLDS I remember thinking, "I thought I was the only one." I felt so alone in the things I was experiencing. Fast forward to 2019 and it feels like every ward (and even most families) have had someone leave the church. And here I refer to people that have left church that used to be 100% all-in, people where it's more obvious that the go-to excuses of being sinful or lazy don't fit.

If you're new to a faith crisis or new to starting to look at church with a critical eye and you're looking for support and validation you'll probably think of the people you know in real life and reach out to them before you think to look for a message board to fill that role.

"Doubters" is now a regular topic of conversation, even during general conference. I wonder whether the recently minted doubter in 2019 feels as alone as I did back in the day, or do we all feel alone until we make the first connection?

Closed facebook groups are filling the support role. I think it's more cathartic for people to interact with a face rather than an avatar. Plus one thing I'm seeing that I didn't see 5-10 years ago is members being openly critical of leaders on social media. That's something I just didn't see in the past. It may be a sign that Mormonism is finally starting to mature to the point where members can disagree with leaders. If not it needs to get there quickly. I mean, who cares if Brother Jones ribs Nelson over the whole "victory for Satan" thing? I'd rather have someone like Brother Jones in my ward than the half dozen people that go around chastising members that say the word Mormon. There's room for both. Where I'm going with this is that I think people are less and less "afraid" to criticize in public now and are increasingly unconcerned over whether others can associate their criticism with their name and face.

Seasonal...

There's usually an uptick in posts around general conference to seek support for the latest things that were said that will drive a wedge between the believer and unbeliever. Or in response to the latest outright attack on the "doubter." Same thing when a policy change hits, there will be an uptick on the forums. Outside of that, church is boring and finite, eventually the path we walk becomes just as boring and finite.
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Re: Is NOM going the direction of some other online groups?

Post by FiveFingerMnemonic » Sun Jul 21, 2019 1:46 pm

Perhaps Mormonism is in the early stages of a "Glastnost" and "Perastroika".

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Just This Guy
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Re: Is NOM going the direction of some other online groups?

Post by Just This Guy » Sun Jul 21, 2019 5:32 pm

Right now, I think a lot is seasonal. It's summer and people are out doing stuff. Yard work, projects, vacations, etc. We are not inside as much where hopping on NOM is as good a way to spend time. Also, thinks have been pretty quiet on the LDS front lately. Nothing more than the normal level of BS. Not as much to spark a conversation.

In a few months when the weather grows cold, the computer becomes more interesting way to spend the time, when the church drops a bomb of one sort or another, we can expect to see an uptick in posting.
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