Whynot jabbers, complete with a peepshow analogy. — Brooklynian

Whynot jabbers, complete with a peepshow analogy.

It should be no secret that the internet is becoming a smaller place, one that is dominated by a few big sites. Many of the smaller sites are simply fading away.

The phenomena is somewhat complex, but even the big sites are reporting that they are getting fewer comments on their stories despite having lots of readers.

In layman's terms, the internet is said to be changing from an orgy in which everyone participates, to something that more resembles a peep show.

With that analogy in mind, would readers like to comment on what they would like to -um- see?

At present, lots of you are looking, but your level of enjoyment is not always clear.

Eventually this site may completely disappear, but -until then- the goal is to have as much fun with it as possible....

Based on the hits recorded, you seem to read a lot of my coverage of Crown Heights, but are there any aspects or type of stories that you enjoy more, or less?


  • I get my neighborhood news here. More specific & local than Gawker/Gothamist, and I can always count on Brooklynian's forums to tell me about a new business way before it opens. Or what might be happening at a vacant lot. And you guys frequently scoop the Patch!

    I'd comment more, but I don't feel as "in the know" as a lot of the other posters. Unless I have real "news" to add or a discussion point that hasn't been brought up, I usually refrain from posting. I guess I still feel new?

  • We are able to scoop The Patch not only because we are "crowd sourced", but also because she (the editor) obviously uses us as source material.

    The courtesy of a cite would be nice, but I have to assume she doesn't do that because she feels we are competition. We are not competition. We are a somewhat hard hitting message board.

  • I prefer this to blogs for sure. I love that a post can be revived and brought to the top. That one can read the history of a place, or see the changes in an area, or see the progression in issues. I now live in Ditmas Park and while the Corner blog us great, I can't comment on old threads, start my own topics, etc. it's merely read someone else and maybe comment on it - but someone else gets to decide on the original topic.

  • Xlizellx: I agree, the format is convenient to me as well. The threads are really handy. I also like how this site covers issues that blogs or most news sites wouldn't: missing pets or found strays, for instance. I think I first started posting here when I found a kitten on the street.

    whynot: I love the phrase "hard-hitting message board."

  • This message board is unique (to me) in how local it is. Its great and shouldn't change. Traffic is low but it is what it is.

  • Site founder here. Whynot, you are the rock star of CH coverage. The peep show analogy is apropos, since nowadays people have trouble keeping up with their social networks, let alone the neighborhood site. I think it's great that there are still a bunch of community websites out there in the age of Facebook. It would be nice to see more neighbor to neighbor interaction on Facebook as well. I think that's happening more often now as people start up groups for their micro neighborhood, block, or even building in some cases.

  • Yes, one of my critque's of Facebook is that it does not allow people to meet NEW people as well as interact with people they already know. There are a few neighborhood facebook groups around, but they seem to be the exception.

    And, a lot of workplaces block facebook, but Brooklynian flies under the "get to work and stop messing around with friends" software.

    Hence, Facebook isn't too useful in terms of meeting neighborhood people while you are supposed to be working.

    Which brings us back to Brooklynian. Like many small websites, this one depends upon word-of-mouth. From what I have acertained, "word of it" started out at the then-epicenter-of-some-people's-earth: Soda Bar on Vanderbilt.

    It then got the most hits when users were scared ("Were those gunshots?!"), or hungry/thirsty ("Is that vacant place going to be a bar or restaurant?").

    To the amazement of many, gunshots have become pretty rare, and there are now bars and restaurants everywhere in PH and Western CH. As a result, a lot of our traditional readers (yup, we are a demographic) are no longer starving OR scared.

    So, what now?

    Do we morph into something else (Warning: CH could get a message board devoted to indepth NYC policies), or do we try to recruit people who might be of the "blogging, starved, scared demographic" who now likely live in an area which PRESENTLY seems sorta similar to how the area around Vanderbilt was in 2003 ?

    ...Yea, I'm thinking about the area between Nostrand and Brooklyn Ave.

  • Whynot, thanks for all you do to keep us informed. I appreciate reading your posts though rarely comment because I'm just not a big fan of online dialogue. I feel bad if I don't respond to comments in a timely fashion.

    I think one topic I would enjoy more coverage and dialogue on are activities and opportunities for youth and more in-depth coverage of our schools. A lot of us who started on this board years ago now have little ones so that topic is a bit more relevant than the arrival of another restaurant.

    Also, I would venture to guess that you already have a lot more readers East of Nostrand then you realize and we're not all exactly the "blogging, starved, scared demographic."

    Hope that's helpful!

  • Redd: Because we are all unpaid volunteers contributing to these boards, rather than paid journalists, the only way we can "cover" topics of interest is for folks who are knowledgable about those topics to contribute whatever information they happen to have, and then (hopefully) others will respond with additional information on the same topics.

    Please feel free to start new topics whenever the mood strikes you, and/or to post on existing topics.

  • Redd-

    As someone without little ones, my knowledge of that scene is limited.

    For example, I have been in the Brooklyn Children's Museum one time. Ditto the zoo. I've never been to Music Together, shopped for a daycare or child care, preschool, or elementary school.

    Despite being 44, straight and married, my life is different than many.

    RE: Our readers. They constantly surprise me. Just when I assume that we don't have readers in Albany Houses or within the Orthodox neighborhood, I get a PM or I stumble upon a link to Brooklynian on one of the micro newsgroups or websites that caters almost exclusively to the area.

    No, the readers are certainly do not all belong to the "blogging, starved, scared demographic" ...those demographics have just made a memorable impression on me over the years.

    Very observant readers are able to realize my area of "coverage and interest" tends to be sort of circle. At the center of the circle is my apartment. The furthest ring of the circle represents points where I turned around, because the dog was looking a little tired.

    On occasion, I also get quality info from contacts within the real estate industry, some non-profits, the various business districts, and government types (NYPD, Community Boards, etc) who insist on confidentiality. These readers are powerful, but (as a result of their concerns) they have chosen to not post even behind an avatar.

    Once I establish that they are reliable, and they establish that I am trustworthy, I find discreetly work in their "offline" information. These connections likely make me seem smarter than I am, and I always welcome more of them.

    ...but as Booklaw points out, anyone can start a thread. This board is somewhat dominated by my interests by default, not intent....

    I have found lots of reporters use the site for raw material, and often reach out to posters for interviews...

  • I just want to thank whynot, booklaw and admiN for all your hard work! It's really is rare to find a site as awesome the Brooklynian and I know it's a lot for y'all! So thanks! =DB

  • I second that. Since Brownstoner and DNAinfo among others rip stuff from Brooklynian (and Whynot), Brooklynian is often my first stop on my wasting time spiral.

  • While I had worked in the neighborhood for many years, I only moved to Crown Heights a year ago. Since then, the Brooklynian forum has been an invaluable resource for connecting me to what is happening in my new community. It has definitely made my transition from a neighborhood that I lived in and loved for 13 years a lot easier (like many people, I was priced out). I look every day for information on community initiatives and events, any type of business openings, and construction in the area. While I don't comment often, I am very appreciative of all the work being done here to connect people and share information.

    As far as what I would like to see more of, whenever possible, is coverage of what's happening along Kingston Avenue. I know that it isn't changing as rapidly as Franklin or Nostrand, but I always look forward to reading about what's happening closer to my home. In the future, I will try to be more active in posting anything that I may know about this particular area.

    Thanks Whynot, and other frequent contributes, for all of the time and effort that you clearly put into this board!

  • Just want to chime in to thank whynot, admiN and all the other regulars on this board for keeping me informed about my neighborhood and surrounding 'hoods. Since moving to Crown Heights 5 years ago, I have begun to rely heavily on Brooklynian.com for my hyper-local news (often times even for news going down on my own block).

    So, thanks to all who contribute, respond and hang out here! I hope this site stays around for a long time.

  • Hola, fellow Mod here. I'd like to thank you all for participating in the boards and I do urge newbies out there to post and share your thoughts and stories. If you are shy, remember there is always the Lounge: http://brooklynian.com/forum/the-lounge-random-stuff/

    The Lounge is a perfect place to jump in and get your feet wet. Post a funny video or just share what is on your mind. We're not all about crime/politics/and restaurants. This is also a great place to chat and make friends.

    And on that note, how about a Spring Brooklynian happy hour at Vanderbuilt or Woodwork sometime soon? A nabe mixer? Sometime in the last week of April?



    (the Vanderbuilt area is not CH, but it does allow our Slope, Sunset Park, Carrol Gardens and beyond folks to participate in a local event)

  • I was thinking said happy hour would happen at Nostrand Avenue Pub, once it opens.

    ...It is getting pretty close to opening, and there is a subway station for those of you who live in other areas.

  • NOOO!! :lol: I'll start a new post and let the locals decide, it's not up to just us.

  • I am having a beer at the Nostrand Avenue Pub once it opens, and you can't stop me.

    Damn Mods think they rule the world....

  • We are pro-drunken tomfoolery at all and any times. Go forth and imbibe! :drunken:

  • I've been imagining some of these CH people who drive up my hit counts and/or rarely post as interesting and good looking, so I will simply announce when I am going to Nostrand Ave Pub and see if anyone shows up.

    ...worst case scenario, just a few of us show up and then eat yummy food on the Ave.

    Keep your Democracy to yourself.

  • I'm a looong time lurker.

    I feel guilty I don't contribute while I get SO much out of this board. I may continue not posting and feeling guilty, but I wanted to at least give a big thank you to all the regulars who provide so much useful and interesting and hyper-local information.

    A special shout out to whynot who must currently be producing 90% of the content.

    As far as what I would like to see I am very interested in urban, cultural and socioeconomic topics. I am also very interested in all the discussions around race, probably because I am a dark, "ethnic-looking", hyper-educated Hispanic woman who often has weird interactions with people who completely misread me.

    Again, thanks to all the frequent contributors and I hope this board continues on forever.

  • whynot wrote: I've been imagining some of these CH people who drive up my hit counts and/or rarely post as interesting and good looking

    taruca wrote: dark, "ethnic-looking", hyper-educated Hispanic woman


    If you add that you are single, you may single handedly get lots of people to join us.

    BTW, we may get the most people if you don't disclose your sexual orientation. Keep interested people optimistic!

  • Like others, I stumbled upon this board when I first moved to the neighborhood five years ago and found it a HUGE resource/asset when I was scared/hungry/thirsty/curious.

    I've also been meaning to go to an outing but I tend to work late and tend to miss them. Bummmmmmer.

  • It seems there are fewer posts here now than when I first joined. Twitter attrition?

  • Could be Twitter.

    Could also be that the original posters moved out of the neighborhood, or changed jobs and now no longer have as much free time.

    Others could find the topics discussed here to be repetitive, and have concluded they have nothing more to say (or read) on the subjects.

    We seem to be maintaining readers, but losing commenters.

  • To clarify, are there Crown Heights - centric Facebook pages and/or Twitter accounts? I'd love to follow but haven't found them myself...

  • I don't do the twitter thing.

    In terms of CH centric facebook pages, I am sad to say that the ones I know of only focus on Western CH.

    As one goes east, there seems to be less people wasting their free time on the web.

    ....I suspect this is related to having less time at a computer when they are supposed to be working, or not being on line as much.

    Personally, this puts me in the uncomfortable position about writing about a neighborhood that I do not belong. I'd really like someone to start posting about everything that is already happening on Nostrand and starting to happen on (gasp) Kingston.

  • I love these boards! To me, Brooklynian is Gothamist for real Ny'kers, without the bourgeois snark, and the 15 year old trolls from Florida, pretending to be NY'kers (albeit, racist, sexist, homophobic and generally misanthropic Ny'kers).

    I comment on what I feel I can. There is not much posted about Sunset Park/Boro park, where I live. I live right by the top of the top of the Park.

    However, I love this site for enabling regular folks like me to ask questions about Brooklyn and NYC living in general and get honest answers.

    Even if I don't always comment, I have learned so much from Brooklynian.

    Neighborhoods (Crown Heights in particular),

    About how to deal with everything from:

    mice, noisy neighbors, crooked realtors, crappy landlords, the postal service workers who steal packages and magazines, what to do when the strip bar/all night club moves to your neighborhood, what Brooklyn hospitals never to go to when you are really sick, what stores will hold your packages when you re not home, what craft fairs or interesting events are going on, great new restaurants, and what constitutes "gentrification" etc

    From Brooklynian I have also learned NEVER to say:

    "is it safe here---(insert neighborhood)--- at night"

    "those people"


    "it's their culture"

    and anything that the user MHA may find racist, class-ist or objectionable

    I love this board and I especially love one character that make this board so much fun to read *cough* Armchair_warrior *cough*

  • Personally, this puts me in the uncomfortable position about writing about a neighborhood that I do not belong. I'd really like someone to start posting about everything that is already happening on Nostrand and starting to happen on (gasp) Kingston.

    Definitely will keep an eye out on what's going on around Nostrand

  • Thanks WhyNot - what are the FB pages you know of for Western CH? I think it's thoughtful to hesitate writing about an area you are less familiar with, but could also be a great excuse to get familiar. Just my 2 cents!

    Keep up the great coverage!

  • There is a Facebook group called Neighbors of Brooklyn Jewish Hospital, there is a blog I Love Franklin Ave, the Prospect Heights Patch is sort of a blog as well.

    I can't cover CH between Nostrand and Kingston as well as I do "west of Nostrand", because my primary method of gaining info (walking my dog) takes place within a pretty set radius of my apartment.

    ....but I do love how posters are stepping up to cover that part of CH.

  • whynot_31 said:

    There is a Facebook group called Neighbors of Brooklyn Jewish Hospital, there is a blog I Love Franklin Ave, the Prospect Heights Patch is sort of a blog as well.

    I can't cover CH between Nostrand and Kingston as well as I do "west of Nostrand", because my primary method of gaining info (walking my dog) takes place within a pretty set radius of my apartment.

    ....but I do love how posters are stepping up to cover that part of CH.

    All exist, yes, but ILoveFranklinAve has slowed down and scoops other places more often (no fault to Nick, I totally get lives changing!!)

    The Facebook page is more specific to the building (heat, laundry, water, things for sale, etc)

    The Patch is done but again scoops Brooklynian or Brownstoner a lot.

  • When xlizellx says scoops, I believe she means "gets a lot of its info from".

    As in "It seems apparent that The Patch gets a lot of its info from Brooklyian and Brownstoner, yet does not cite them as one of her sources. The editor uses Brooklynian and Brownstoner as raw material, which she then puffs up by getting a few quotes from the proprietors"

    As in "ILoveFranklinAve has slowed down and gets its a lot of its info from other places more often (no fault to Nick, I totally get lives changing!!)"

    When ILFA and Brownstoner use Broklynian as a base for their stories, they have the courtesy to cite Brooklynian as a source.

    We should keep in mind that very little info is "new", and that posters on Brooklynian get their info from a variety of sources as well.

    However, we encourage readers to cite their sources. Most seem to.

  • That would of course be an unusual use of the term, "scoops", which usually has pretty much the opposite meaning.

  • I agree. ...but because xlizellx has stated she is a teacher, I fear being sent to the principal for correcting her. I had a mean 4th grade teacher.

  • Look...I'm on spring break. Thank you for translating, Whynot!

  • whynot_31 said:

    I am having a beer at the Nostrand Avenue Pub once it opens, and you can't stop me.

    Damn Mods think they rule the world....

    Ha! I happen to randomly be friendly with one of the owners of the soon-to-open Nostrand Pub. He was just over for poker night last week. I will definitely be getting a beer there once he is able to get up and running!

  • Hmm, maybe one of the reasons for the low post count are disappearing posts. It seems the the forums are eating some of my posts. I type something in click "send post" and poof nothing. Weird thing is I can see my post but its not showing up on the forum as last poster.

  • NTFool -

    Please see if you can get us inside info as to when it will open. K thx


    That is a known problem with this platform. We also get "can not connect to database" errors. I attribute that to this being a low budget operation.

  • The lack of posts VS views is getting absurd. Are we sure the view counter isn't busted?

  • Not all of the views are by humans.

    Search engines are part of every post's count.

  • Ah that explains it. But it does seem that the forum is getting quieter all the time. I remember it being fairly lively when I first joined up.

  • As readers are aware, the old format finally crashed to the degree that it was deemed no longer useable. We are now using a format that is more reliable, but lacks the PM feature, and is verrrry slow.As a result of attrition, the site now almost exclusively focuses on western Crown Heights. We seem to have attracted and maintained a core group of knowledgeable readers, which includes people who are quite active in local affairs. But we need some more active members in order to keep this interesting. There's no way this site sustainable strictly on the basis of my knowledge, and the info that I am regularly provided by reliable (yet confident sources).So, in the near future I am going to begin an old fashion business card campaign. Let's give grandma some oxygen, and see if she'll stay alive a little longer...
  • Thank you, Whynot. I've learned a lot from this board (and I don't mean just what's coming up behind the scaffolding on each corner, but from the thoughtful debates on the neighborhood's rate of change as well). It would be a huge shame for it to fizzle out and I appreciate all the efforts the moderators have made to fix the bugs and keep the site running. But I worry that the slowness will weed out all but the most patient readers and vociferous spambots. I know there are moments now when I don't post because I don't have the time for the trial and error it can take. I only barely understand net neutrality, but I wonder if perhaps the site's slowness is due to lack of funds? Could one pay for a faster server? If that's the case, I would gladly call for a collection. I would be happy to skip a dinner out or two to give the site a fighting chance.
  • A faster platform has been found, and AdmiN will move us over to it when he is able.Then, there are plans to tell former users (via email) that we have improved, with the hope that they will return.Until then, we endure a slow site and I am a 17 tear old dreaming of racing the equivalent of a 2001 Toyota Corolla that is presently in the shop.I imagine it as turning into a corvette, while only fixing the spark plugs.Or something like that.
  • The site doesn't seem to be slow anymore, at least for me.
  • Yes, the upgrade does seem to have made it quicker
  • So, should we email former users and tell them our new platform is now 66% less annoying?

This discussion has been closed.