I think this pretty much every day, but I haven’t said it in a long time. You, the people who populate our forums and comment threads, are wonderful.
I’ve spent a bunch of time recently trying to turn our YouTube comments into a decent place to have a conversation, and watched as the Internet collectively rejoiced that Popular Science was killing its comments. Both of those experiences have called into sharp relief what a wonderful place Tested is to have a civil conversation. Tested’s forums and comment threads may not generate millions of posts a day, but (aside from the occasional spam attack) I think our signal-to-noise ratio is better than most of the Internet. That’s thanks to you.
Thank you for making Tested a place that you can have an informative, drama-free conversation about controversial topics that would devolve into flame-fests elsewhere. Thank you for being decent to each other, even when you disagree vehemently. Thank you for avoiding the conversations that you know won’t be productive. Thank you for not participating in holy wars. Thank you for politely answering the same questions over and over and over again from new members. Thank you for calling us on our mistakes without being assholes about it. Thank you for not calling people you disagree with names. Thank you for not being sexist or racist. Thank you for not being rude. Thank you for not using ad hominem attacks. Thank you for not being dicks.
Thank you for letting decency define your behavior instead of making us come up with a set of endless rules and loopholes. Thank you for leading by example and helping our new users understand our potentially perplexing lack of rules. A big thank you to all of our moderators, past and present, for working hard and moderating with the lightest of touches.
Our mods have always been special. We only had one active moderator, Magzine, for most of our first year of existence. We've only needed one active moderator for most of the last year--thanks Rallier. We’ve never had more than a handful of mods. Aside from the occasional spam attack, we’ve never needed more than that. When we launched, we asked our moderators to shepherd conversations instead of enforce arbitrary rules, and they’ve done a wonderful job of that. In the last three and a half years of Tested, I think we’ve only issued one ban for bad behavior. That's not to say we haven't had bad behavior, it just means that instead of banning people outright, we've tried to help the offending user understand the right way to behave on Tested. Thanks guys.
The number of people participating in the forums and comment threads has grown dramatically over the last year, and I’ve been waiting for the inevitable rise of flamewars and Internet nonsense that comes with more people, but it hasn’t happened yet. Thank you for that. It’s up to you to make sure that it never does.
I think a big part of why Tested is so civil is that Tested has a handful of very strong personalities up front that are willing to be themselves and who are very open and honest about things, including the subjectivity of their opinions.
On the podcasts especially, you lead by example by arguing and discussing topics on which you disagree in a way that almost never gets out of hand (in a bad way) and any topic goes if someone around the table is enthusiastic about it.
Reading/listening/watching Tested content is very much like hanging out with friends, you know everyone well after a while, you share many interests, and even when you don't share their latest obsession or disagree with their opinions you listen and take it all in. And every once in a while you can make fun of them when they say something silly, without it being taken the wrong way.
Thanks to the whole Tested crew for doing such a great job.
I don't post on the forums or threads as much as I'd probably like to, but I've never not posted something here because I thought I'd just get flamed/trolled/harassed/etc unlike the other more popular websites with comments, and I feel like that's something really special that I haven't seen in many other places on the internet. I think you guys have a really nice little community here that I don't think it would work as well as it does if Tested was anywhere near as big as, let's say GiantBomb's community, for example.
I think you guys are doing a wonderful job with Tested and keeping it's community happy (I know you guys have kept me happy since you guys first started this website back in 2010.) Keep up the good work and remember, Always Be Testing.
Aw shucks Will. *blushes*
I probably don't post on the forms or comments as much as I should, but I still come here everyday just to see what new content has been put up on the site.The best (or craziest part) of the past three years has been the addition of Adam (and Jamie). And here is to three more (and beyond) years of Tested.com! Always Be Testing!
I must say, i generally perfer web enviroments like this. Where people are civil and try to leave language and disagreements somewhere else. Its one of several that I participate in.
At the same time I also try to approach said environments in a manner of "no matter how bad your day is, Smile and stay positive". Its easy to get into the rut of being an asshole online cause you can get away with it. Its much harder to stay in the positive mindset, but the effect on yourself and others can be profoundly encouraging.
Also I would rather share my knowledge with those that find it useful, Than keep it to myself and watch people make obvious mistakes that for no reason other than a lack of knowledge, cause no one would answer their questions.
I know I've only recently started posting here, but I've been listening to the podcast for a couple years now (and contribute to Octoberkast). I definitely like the actual discussions that go on here, and not a race to "First" and how it's the direct opposite of what happens in the default Reddit subreddits. (I struggle with my compulsion to go check reddit every day because of how much I dislike the comment culture there.)
Keep up the good work!
Being a moderator at Tested has been my pleasure, to say the least.
The community is fantastic. A joy to participate in. Part of the reason why we've thrived for so long with so little active moderation is that the community is just that good. On a few instances, the moderator team has had a couple moments where strong-worded private messages were sent out... but for the most part, there has been only one member removed... which is nothing short of fantastic. You can attribute this to whatever you want, but what really matters is that this is how it is.
I feel it is pretty safe to say that in the last 3-and-change years since Tested has launched, but the community continues to act in the virtue that Will has elaborated on. We're not the most active community, but I feel that together we can continue to engage in the civil discourse that has always made Tested truly a top-shelf community.
Mr Smith, you're making me blush!
It is insane that it has been 3 and a bit years since Tested has launched, and I have listened to all of your podcasts since then. While a lot of the post Whiskey content is lost on me (I currently have no time to even think about being a "Maker"), you guys always seem to mix things up and impress with your insight and fantastic content.
I have pointed a lot of people to the site and they have all really enjoyed it.
I work in a secondary school, and the episode of Tested The Show that you guys did on CNC is used as a lesson opener in our Graphics and Design Tech departments for the first time a class gets to use CAD and our Milling Machines, Laser cutters etc.
That being said, how come Tested The Show was only ever one episode?!
Love the site, and keep on keeping on!
Tested is pretty much the only site I read regularly and view almost every article produced. I follow this site and others via RSS feeds, I mostly skim through all my other feeds but always read the Tested posts. As a result of Tested I've purchased a 3D printer and a Sous Vide, this would never have happened if not for the excellent articles and videos you produce.
I love commenting on articles here because I know it won't get lost in a sea of spam, trolling or flaming. I will often get useful replies and can be relatively confident that the author of the post will see my comment and sometimes get a response from them too. It also helps that you have a small group or authors and the personalities really come through in the articles and videos.
Trying to wrangle youtube yeah talk about a effort in futility. I know I'm not the most talkative person on this site hell I've probably made less then 100 posts in the 2 years 3 hell I've got no sense of time I've been here but I've got to say rarely have I ever found a place where someone doesn't managed to act like such a prick that I get ticked off and end up being the one banned by this point.
Thank you for making Tested a place that you can have an informative, drama-free conversation about controversial topics that would devolve into flame-fests elsewhere.
That's because our audience is intelligent and the general public don't come here often due to the nature of the content discussed and published.
I would say the personalities on the sight create a particular following, this along with good moderation and you have a recipe for a decent community. It's been a good few years. It has been really interesting to see Tested grow from this weird little sister site of Giantbomb/ComicVine into it's own big awesome thing. Keep up the good work guys!
Thank you and everyone who works behind the scenes at Tested. Your content is family friendly, often watched and discussed with my kids. Long may it be so.
Although to date, we've never guessed the Makerbot print the mystery object. Not even close.
Will, Norm, Joey, Adam, Jamie, Everyone who helps design and engineer the site, and Gary:
Thanks for making the internet a better place to be a curious person.
Thanks to you guys for making a site worth visiting and commenting on ;-)
im still new to you guys but i can already tell that this is a different community!
I will say this, the level of content creator interaction on the comments and forums kills a lot of the straw man and running arguments. Instead of a discussion about what the content creator meant devolving into a broader and more treacherous argument, the content maker diffuses that when they just show up and say "no, I meant this" or "yeah, that's a good point".
YouTube is the way it is because everyone expects to have no interaction with the content creator. They're mentioned in third person like they aren't ever going to even look at the comments. Like they're invisible to people who post videos.
When you walk out and stand in front of the curtain, we know you actually listen to what we say, and that does a lot to temper the conversation and enforce that this is still social time.
I joined the community because i love the Podcast so much (the fact the Adam knows both Chris Hardwick and Penn Jillette (my current heroes) boughs my mind I hope there are econ nerds like me around here :).
Will (and the entire Crew), thanks for making this a wonderful place to hang out!
I love it here it's a wayward home for civil discussion
Your mom needs a moderator.
I saw you guys on a Twitch ad for the Inventern. Congratulations.
The anonymity of internet makes monsters out of people. I'm so glad this forum is what it is.
Patrick Klepek's Tedx talk was pretty good regarding how easy it is to become an internet asshole I think.
I thoroughly enjoy the passion and camaraderie that groups like this, or the RPF, or Rooster Teeth can foster. It's a truly wonderful thing that people who don't know one another one moment can be offering tips and advice as if to a close friend the next.
What was it..Red Green? "Remember, we're all in this together!" I look forward to many months and years of a groovy community.
I've been a scattered user of Tested since it launched, and though I haven't engaged the community all that often, every time I have done so has been specifically for advice/guidance on various tech problems I've faced, as I'm not that savviest guy when it comes to anything more technologically advanced than a TI-83. And as much as I try to resist it, the average person's life, mine certainly included, is becoming more and more integrated with various kinds of consumer technology, whether in the form of your phone, your car, the way you listen to music or buy things. It's been a hard adjustment for me personally to make, because I've never really paid much mind to the ways in which things advance.
That being said, when I've come to Tested in the past, I've never gotten feedback that wasn't polite, thoughtful, informed, or helpful. This isn't a place where the uninitiated are vilified and infantilized. We're allowed to be curious and ask questions, and when we do, we receive answers that don't make us embarrassed to have asked in the first place. I can't say precisely how many other communities fit that description, but in my experience, they are far too few and too far in between.
Stay classy, Tested.
Beautiful write up, and a a perfect summation of my feelings towards tested.
Every question, no matter how small, how trivial, or how much it has been repeated,has merit.They are met with informed and helpful insight.
Tested is its own little bubble of good will , and trolls just cant gain a foothold.... Now youtube, is that deep, dark place we do not speak about. I stopped reading youtube comments a while ago, they just make you sad..... OR INFECT YOUR COMPUTER
I've popped in and out, but we've become members for our holiday gift. One thing I consistently note in blogs, videos, podcasts, communications from source to community et all is the tone is predominantly written/spoken/communicated as if all listeners/readers etc are male, as if only males would have this interest. Um...guys?...there are a lot of females here.
As a collective New Year's Resolution, could we all work to remove gender from our communications and speak to our collective as adults, as intelligent beings, as friends? My friends have no gender - they're all buddies.
Hoping my new buddies will walk into 2014 as a group - testing buddies
OK, it's getting to be enough of a lovefest in here that I feel like I should say something genuine.
Tested is a special sort of community that, while not unique in its geniality, is uncommon on the Internet. It's what happens when a bunch of smart, passionate, and kind people come together to talk about the things they love with other people who love those things too. I doubt there's anybody here who's indifferent towards the types of topics that get discussed - if someone is going to bother going through the process of inserting themselves into our community, it's because they have an earnest enthusiasm for what it represents. We don't have trolls, because we're not the sort of place that trolls are interested in. We don't have (many) flame wars, because despite any differences we might have, we still at least have that singular passion that unites us, and we understand that at the end of the day, that's the reason we're here. What we do have is knowledgeable people having empowering conversations about fascinating things, and that's what makes Tested great.
Hello, I just made an account to say- THANK YOU to everyone at Tested. Love what you guys are doing, and the amount of content you provide is unbelievable. It's beyond entertaining, and more importantly, extremely informative. You make me want to roll up my sleeves and get in there!
Thanks again, I look forward to anything you're willing to share with us in the future!
P.S. You guys have to coolest toy collection EVER. lol