31

votes

Is Paleohacks losing its steam/momentum (gasp - going down)?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created July 14, 2012 at 2:30 AM

At the risk of downvoting and some snarky comments here are some recent observations:

1) It is free - which has pros and cons - trolls and spam have of late increased! That comes with the territory. It might be worth having everybody sign up in order to post.

2) Many of the best posts it seems were posted (at least by # votes) were from a year ago (a few from this year).

3) Non-targeted ads - it would be useful to see US Wellness Meats, coconut oil, or other Paleo-friendly ads - but Pharma drugs and surgery (I don't think so)!!

4) Some of the top PH posters (reputation score) already have their own blogs, books, following etc. It seems more useful to keep up to date with RSS feeds. Ex: Melissa McEwen, Kamal, Dr. Kruse etc.

5) Repetitious questions - here is the formula:

a) Please hack _ (fill in the blank - designated body part or lab test)

b) What's wrong with (fill in the blank - some pseudo/engineered or questionable food such as

chia seeds, natto, gluten, grains, quinoa, carbs, etc.)

c) Help - can't lose weight - Oh and I like eating 2 cups of nuts, diet soda daily, and I can't sleep etc ...

6) People dissing Robb Wolf, Mark Sisson - whoever - nobody's a God or infallible but the fact is some of these leaders in the field who have helped to reach a broader audience have influenced more people then some random user on PH (not trying to burst people's bubble but in some cases it is very true). Constructive criticism is useful but that's what is should be.

I've been on PH over a year (less then a year registered) but read posts a year before I signed up but maybe I've learned so much from the old posts I feel my time spend here is worth much less than as newbie (I think it could be very helpful for a newbie). But if newbies are spending time filtering through trolls/spam it could get tedious and more of value to read the traditional Paleo/Primal/Ancestral books and blogs.

On the other hand:

1) There are some phenomenally well-written posts, comments, and links to great info

2) I've gotten some interesting ideas and brainstormed some food for thought (no pun intended). But I wonder if the value drops as self-learning increases.

3) Obscure questions get answered (if they get answered) here probably better than anywhere else

3bc294cb7745a5e99612ff886ca00101

(1186)

on August 14, 2013
at 02:37 PM

Every time I need to know something, I use the search feature and all the answers I need are usually laid out before me. I really appreciate this site for its archives.

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19413)

on August 14, 2013
at 11:09 AM

+1 good move, sir!

Fd70d71f4f8195c3a098eda4fc817d4f

(8014)

on July 24, 2012
at 02:16 PM

YES! English nerds untie! Um...I mean, unite! Just kidding. I'm with you 100% on the horrible spelling and grammar I see here regularly. I understand we have a lot of non-native speakers, and that's fine. But in some posts you can tell the person just has no clue.

D5d982a898721d3392c85f951d0bf0aa

(2417)

on July 24, 2012
at 04:47 AM

YES! YES! YES! Ah, someday, to be able to edit...

D5d982a898721d3392c85f951d0bf0aa

(2417)

on July 24, 2012
at 04:35 AM

What a delightful last sentence.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on July 24, 2012
at 01:24 AM

I should've added that questions do indeed seem a lot more appealing when the subject line is spelled correctly. I mean, it's the subject line. I think it's worth the bit of time and effort to make it read properly.

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on July 16, 2012
at 10:07 AM

^ well its pretty clear that paleo, like veganism, is an identity. In fact probably moreso, because it extends far beyond diet, to exercise, sleep etc. I think thats bound to attract lots of people to it.

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on July 15, 2012
at 12:55 PM

^ And all this just leads to more confusion in new people learning how to eat paleo.

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on July 15, 2012
at 12:52 PM

I wonder if the current stylishness of paleo is partly the problem. There seem to more people here who want to use the word paleo, but eat this, that and the other of their own modifications. Some oats, some beans ('cause there supposed to be healthy ya know), maple syrup because it comes from trees and trees are paleo man, some frozen yogurt because it was part of their 15%. If paleo was a brand, we would say it was being diluted.

7841848bd0c27c64353c583fb7971242

(7275)

on July 15, 2012
at 12:46 AM

Troll threads can be fun. :) Someone downvoting your comments without explaining why, or for no apparent reason, not so fun.

C56baa1b4f39839c018180bf63226f7d

(3499)

on July 14, 2012
at 04:25 PM

StackExchange used to license their software out for use on other servers, but with the later major releases, all SE topic sites are internally hosted on the SE network. For example, "paleo-diet" is a popular tag on the Physical Fitness SE, hosted at fitness.stackexchange.com

121a16aded2bed8dca492d3c9662ef4c

(1327)

on July 14, 2012
at 12:50 PM

I think that categories defeat the purpose of a question engine like the one PaleoHacks uses. Who decides what the categories are? It makes more sense to take steps to improve the overall quality of the questions *and* the answers by updating the software (to add chat and messaging capability, for example) and improving the documentation.

8292546789ca48c32ead34c6e884d059

on July 14, 2012
at 12:04 PM

I keep seeing the titles of the posts on my Facebook page. when they get deleted I almost get disappointed. Sometimes I like a good troll thread.

Cccb899526fb5908f64176e0a74ed2d9

(2801)

on July 14, 2012
at 09:39 AM

Nutrition is a touchy topic because, like religion and politics, people tend to make sweeping assessments of your personality based upon your position. People will often defend their nutritional beliefs vehemently, even to the point of mercilessly bashing others' standpoints, because if they're wrong about their nutritional choices, then that has all sorts of nasty implications for their health, their credibility, etc. There's a lot at steak...er, stake.

Cccb899526fb5908f64176e0a74ed2d9

(2801)

on July 14, 2012
at 09:36 AM

No, but the means of communicating the idea might shift away from specific sites like Paleohacks.

D1908552223e8a97b17f02a90cf795bf

(487)

on July 14, 2012
at 04:40 AM

I second this. We could see more questions and be able to answer more as well.

03a4ec34751186201a56da298ac843ce

(4100)

on July 14, 2012
at 04:27 AM

I agree with you

F5f742cc9228eb5804114d0f3be4e587

(7660)

on July 14, 2012
at 04:03 AM

I agree, I've seen plenty of good discussion material closed because someone thought it wasn't enough of a question or "relevant".

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15 Answers

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20
Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on July 14, 2012
at 03:28 AM

I think paleo hacks could benefit from subsections myself.

*General nutritional discussion

*Weight loss

*Fitness/HIIT/Strength training

*Illness related discussion

*Omega ratios & Inflammation

*Immune system & Bacteria

*Sleep/light/barefoot/paleo lifestyle (nopoo, biswak, whatever)

*Low carb paleo

*Whole 30/perfect health/primal/anscetral and other variants

*Supplements and herbs

*Recipes and food ideas/food and meal talk

Or something like that.

I think some of the interesting discussions get pushed to the bottom because of more standard questions. If there was sections, the more interesting questions would get more air time.

Paleotalks subforum is a good idea too. Be good if not everything had to be a question.

D1908552223e8a97b17f02a90cf795bf

(487)

on July 14, 2012
at 04:40 AM

I second this. We could see more questions and be able to answer more as well.

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on July 15, 2012
at 12:55 PM

^ And all this just leads to more confusion in new people learning how to eat paleo.

121a16aded2bed8dca492d3c9662ef4c

(1327)

on July 14, 2012
at 12:50 PM

I think that categories defeat the purpose of a question engine like the one PaleoHacks uses. Who decides what the categories are? It makes more sense to take steps to improve the overall quality of the questions *and* the answers by updating the software (to add chat and messaging capability, for example) and improving the documentation.

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on July 15, 2012
at 12:52 PM

I wonder if the current stylishness of paleo is partly the problem. There seem to more people here who want to use the word paleo, but eat this, that and the other of their own modifications. Some oats, some beans ('cause there supposed to be healthy ya know), maple syrup because it comes from trees and trees are paleo man, some frozen yogurt because it was part of their 15%. If paleo was a brand, we would say it was being diluted.

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on July 16, 2012
at 10:07 AM

^ well its pretty clear that paleo, like veganism, is an identity. In fact probably moreso, because it extends far beyond diet, to exercise, sleep etc. I think thats bound to attract lots of people to it.

19
A97b68379a576dfa764a4828304d2efb

(4181)

on July 14, 2012
at 03:17 AM

I'm relatively new to the site but I think a more advanced search feature or some better organization of past questions would greatly improve Paleohacks. How could we get a boolean search feature or some kickass index of previous questions? It might cut down on the repetitive / neophyte questions.

I also have a love / hate relationship with this site. Some people are so generous with their knowledge and freely offer incredibly useful information. Others sit in their grassfed towers pouring boiling bone broth on the poor newbie masses.

D5d982a898721d3392c85f951d0bf0aa

(2417)

on July 24, 2012
at 04:35 AM

What a delightful last sentence.

13
A65499f2f8c65602881550fe309cd48c

(3501)

on July 14, 2012
at 03:02 AM

I also think it would be nice if questions that have already been asked are not closed. Sometimes a new and different perspective could be just the ticket for someone. It just seems silly and trite to close a question for that reason if it's been at least a few months in between. Just my input.

03a4ec34751186201a56da298ac843ce

(4100)

on July 14, 2012
at 04:27 AM

I agree with you

11
121a16aded2bed8dca492d3c9662ef4c

on July 14, 2012
at 07:53 AM

I've only been here for a few months, and I can tell you what's already getting on my nerves: the questions that begin with "Does anybody else experience [insert form of social ostracism here]?" In general, I find questions that start with "Does anybody else [blank]" to be pointless and clearly intended to shore up the self-esteem of the poster or fill silence. They don't teach the other members anything, which is the point of Paleohacks -- or so I thought.

This is one of the things I have long appreciated about Ask Metafilter: all the members have to pay a (tiny) 5 dollar membership fee, and questions that begin with "Does anybody else..." are not allowed, period. The quality of the discussion is much better as a result. Quality discussion attracts quality posters, and quality posters mean better questions and better answers. It's a self-feeding mechanism.

The next area for improvement I can see is in the software. Paleohacks uses the Stackexchange engine, but it's clearly an archaic version of it. Would it cost anything to use the newer one? (Perhaps it isn't under a public licence, I don't know). In any event, the search tools and formatting features are much better with the current software, and the new engine even supports chat, which I think would go a really long way to reducing the number of "Does anybody else [blank]" questions (can you tell I'm very fond of those? ;) ).

Finally -- perhaps this is a "nice to have" -- a simple private messaging feature would be really helpful, if only to have a reasonably secure way to exchange e-mail addresses.

To get back to the question -- if Paleohacks is in decline, it's because it's not evolving. It's free, so I suppose I can't complain too much, but Stackexchange is also free, and it's improved immensely since its inception.

It would be nice to see Paleohacks do the same.

PS: I don't see any advertising because I use Firefox and Adblock Plus.

C56baa1b4f39839c018180bf63226f7d

(3499)

on July 14, 2012
at 04:25 PM

StackExchange used to license their software out for use on other servers, but with the later major releases, all SE topic sites are internally hosted on the SE network. For example, "paleo-diet" is a popular tag on the Physical Fitness SE, hosted at fitness.stackexchange.com

10
26b0f1261d1a0d916825bd0deeb96a21

(5798)

on July 14, 2012
at 02:38 AM

Well, to be honest, part of the lack of new posts is due to the fact that a question will be closed, if something very similar has been asked, even if it was asked a year ago. Also, questions that are not really "questions," but maybe PaleoHacks could be branched off into a separate "PaleoTalks" forum. Mark's Daily Apple has a good forum, but it really is geared towards "Primal" way of eating, and not "Paleo," as in Whole 9, Whole 30, or Cordain style. I don't think that this site is meant "for profit," so perhaps some benevolent individual will take it upon themselves to create a free, non-registered user, chat-forum?

F5f742cc9228eb5804114d0f3be4e587

(7660)

on July 14, 2012
at 04:03 AM

I agree, I've seen plenty of good discussion material closed because someone thought it wasn't enough of a question or "relevant".

7
667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on July 24, 2012
at 12:22 AM

I been on this site for a long time. I used to post a lot. I don't write much anymore because there aren't very many questions worth answering.

I think the issue is simply that there isn't that much to talk about once you've got the basics down. Yeah you can discuss some side issues but really what else is there to say? If you wanna feel better than you prolly do on the SAD, avoid grains, legumes, and dairy.

I don't follow any of those rules anymore which is kind of why I don't post much.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on July 24, 2012
at 01:24 AM

I should've added that questions do indeed seem a lot more appealing when the subject line is spelled correctly. I mean, it's the subject line. I think it's worth the bit of time and effort to make it read properly.

D5d982a898721d3392c85f951d0bf0aa

(2417)

on July 24, 2012
at 04:47 AM

YES! YES! YES! Ah, someday, to be able to edit...

Fd70d71f4f8195c3a098eda4fc817d4f

(8014)

on July 24, 2012
at 02:16 PM

YES! English nerds untie! Um...I mean, unite! Just kidding. I'm with you 100% on the horrible spelling and grammar I see here regularly. I understand we have a lot of non-native speakers, and that's fine. But in some posts you can tell the person just has no clue.

5
5f3e1f803d7a9b8704bb11cda26bcf9a

on July 14, 2012
at 05:22 AM

Yeah, I agree there is good and bad here. I skim for info and try to help where I can but I have been responded to in rude ways. Let's just say I don't put as much value in paleohacks since the rudeness or the cutting down of people like Sisson, Kruse, and Wolff. It is unnecessary and looks worse for the site. It makes it look like the site is taken over by people that would rather be mean than to just be respectful of one another. We have a greater enemy out there with big agriculture, big pharma and the so called food industry. We need to come together. But, alas, I don't think that kumba ya moment will happen here on Paleohacks.

Cccb899526fb5908f64176e0a74ed2d9

(2801)

on July 14, 2012
at 09:39 AM

Nutrition is a touchy topic because, like religion and politics, people tend to make sweeping assessments of your personality based upon your position. People will often defend their nutritional beliefs vehemently, even to the point of mercilessly bashing others' standpoints, because if they're wrong about their nutritional choices, then that has all sorts of nasty implications for their health, their credibility, etc. There's a lot at steak...er, stake.

5
7841848bd0c27c64353c583fb7971242

(7275)

on July 14, 2012
at 02:42 AM

I've noticed these things, too. I think it's somewhat cyclical. I definitely have a love-hate relationship with paleohacks. Sometimes there are awesome questions and answers, but sometimes it seems like there are a lot of trite questions and/or snarky responders. I try my best to ignore the people who seem bent on getting a rise out of people.

As for the spam lately, I think it's an effort from a small group of people (or just one person). If we ignore it, keep on voting to close their posts, and continue to post good questions (there have been some interesting ones, lately), then I think the spammer(s) will get bored.

8292546789ca48c32ead34c6e884d059

on July 14, 2012
at 12:04 PM

I keep seeing the titles of the posts on my Facebook page. when they get deleted I almost get disappointed. Sometimes I like a good troll thread.

7841848bd0c27c64353c583fb7971242

(7275)

on July 15, 2012
at 12:46 AM

Troll threads can be fun. :) Someone downvoting your comments without explaining why, or for no apparent reason, not so fun.

4
59fa7cd87fb9d669adf21e5cf3e7ada5

on July 23, 2012
at 10:06 PM

Needs more poop threads. People like to talk about their poop.

3
46c9fbd45b82453f6a2dfe614a853314

on July 22, 2012
at 11:39 PM

Well, lets be honest, how many truly new discussions can be had regarding Paleo lifestyles? I joined here a few months ago and hardly visit anymore because it is the same questions and topics and now trolls all the time.

3
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on July 15, 2012
at 12:08 AM

The site will go through its ebbs and flows.

Given that this question has evolved into a suggestion box of sorts, this is my offering:

The value of these online destinations is a function of the quality of content contained as well as the opportunity for users to give voice (text) to their opinions.

High informational quality content will serve to attract and maintain a broad range of visitors whilst lower quality forum style quips (clever or otherwise) only serves as an echo chamber for a community that prefers to interact with similarly-minded individuals expressing similarly minded opinions.

Whilst the reputation system provides an incentive to post questions and well thought out responses, it seems to me that this also can be 'hacked', that is, exploited by appealing to the "paleo" mass mentality.

It would be worth considering a mechanism that promotes and incentivizes individuals who take the time to contribute highly articulate and researched responses differently from one liners.

3
03a4ec34751186201a56da298ac843ce

on July 14, 2012
at 04:25 AM

I don't think so. Can eating close to the Earth ever really go out of style?

Cccb899526fb5908f64176e0a74ed2d9

(2801)

on July 14, 2012
at 09:36 AM

No, but the means of communicating the idea might shift away from specific sites like Paleohacks.

1
Ba20b502cf02b5513ea8c4bb2740d8cb

on August 14, 2013
at 04:31 AM

Who knows? I'm eating bacon.

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19413)

on August 14, 2013
at 11:09 AM

+1 good move, sir!

1
Ee5dfea588971d6ff9386d390edf9d60

on July 29, 2012
at 09:51 AM

The worst thing about this site is that it seems there is no way to turn off the annoying stupid popup ads to sign up for a newsletter.

0
3a9d5dde5212ccd34b860bb6ed07bbef

on July 23, 2012
at 08:12 PM

Yes. with great rapidity.

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