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Imzy, the Kinder and Gentler Reddit By Ex Employee, Is Shutting Down (imzy.com) 200

Imzy, a social media site led by ex-Reddit employee Dan McComas, announced on Wednesday that it will be closing its doors next month. The site was launched last year with much fanfare. Imzy sought to offer a community that didn't have trolls, one of the reasons that led McComas to leave Reddit two years ago. Ever since its launch, Imzy struggled to gain traction. According to web analytics firm SimilarWeb, the website was visited less than 400,000 times last month. McComas didn't elaborate why his service was shutting down, though he wrote: Some of you have been here since our launch into beta and some are brand new. We've loved getting to know all of you and seeing you build communities and make new friends. Unfortunately, we were not able to find our place in the market. We still feel that the internet deserves better and hope that we see more teams take on this challenge in the future.
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Imzy, the Kinder and Gentler Reddit By Ex Employee, Is Shutting Down

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  • by sexconker ( 1179573 ) on Wednesday May 24, 2017 @02:02PM (#54478659)

    A community without trolls is like a city without crime.

    • by computational super ( 740265 ) on Wednesday May 24, 2017 @02:07PM (#54478697)
      More like a city without citizens. One man's troll is another man's freedom fighter - if you're going to get banned for saying anything that offends anyone, which is what "safe spaces" always devolve into, you learn not to say anything. Doesn't lead to a very engaging user experience.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Baron_Yam ( 643147 )

        >if you're going to get banned for saying anything that offends anyone, which is what "safe spaces" always devolve into, you learn not to say anything.

        Which is why instead of a 'safe space', you need to find professional moderators your user community will come to trust to be fair about enforcing rules despite the fact that any community rule set will have grey areas.

        Those kinds of people cost money, and given that Reddit-like sites don't seem to generate mountains of the stuff, it's unlikely you'll see

        • I once came up with a technical way to design a system that reduced the need for mods. There were two major issues with it, when I play-tested it. The first was that how it worked was so opaque that most users would never understand it. The second was that it just formed echo chambers. I guess keeping the facebook crowd and the 4chan crowd confined to their own threads would be ok, but then the game for the trolls becomes exploring the limits of the mod system. Are you safe with 10/1 good/troll posts, or ca

          • I guess keeping the facebook crowd and the 4chan crowd confined to their own threads would be ok, but then the game for the trolls becomes exploring the limits of the mod system. Are you safe with 10/1 good/troll posts, or can you bump that up to 8/1? Can you get the mods to tighten the system enough that non-trolls start to get identified?

            Yep. As someone with a lot of trolling experience and a pretty high success ratio, I've always felt that the more rules a place has, the funner of a target it is (at least up until the point where interaction is so regulated you might as well be talking to computers). Whenever I went after a target in a strictly moderated community, I not only had a way better understanding of the rules than them (because I've spent time prepping for it), but also had more experience being on the wrong side of them and knew

            • I can rile the community up about the clear double standard

              That's why Reddit has been so successful - their communities don't care about double standards (embrace them, actually).

            • That works if, and only if, the community doesn't allow taking the discussion to the meta-level. I actually mod for a board that has very simple rules:

              1) Admins are right. In any and all cases.
              2) Yes there are rules. Read them. Heed them. Try to skirt them and test their limits and you'll meet rule 1.
              3) Yes, people know that. No need to point it out to them.

              This requires a few things, though. First of all, VERY mature and level headed admins, and a generally mature board audience that prefers discussing act

              • You're talking about a community with basically no rules other than an admin run dictatorship though. You may have rules (and even lots of them), but actual enforcement is left up to the sole discretion of the admins, and it sounds like they're free to do whatever they see fit. The effect of that is basically that you may call them rules, but it's really just guidelines about the social norms of the place. That's a fine system and probably one of the harder ones to mess with (provided, as you say, that you
                • It's the only system that is troll-proof. If, and only if, you have a long standing history of level headed admin decisions. What makes or breaks this system is basically whether the "residents" are happy with the way the admins handle it. Because only then you'll have "residents".

                  And of course we had our share of people who wanted to test the rules and see how far they may go. In the end, we usually waited for the regulars to complain about their "rules testing" before we went and gave them a sound spankin

                  • Man, I just spent 15 minutes trying to reply to this explaining a great forum ruleset I once experienced, and all I got was "Lameness filter encountered". Apparently paragraphs with some variant of "dick", "admin", and "troll" trigger the filter, and I'm not allowed to post. Ridiculous how sad this place has gotten.

              • by mysidia ( 191772 )

                I actually mod for a board that has very simple rules ....

                Basically, no set rules, the "Mom and Pop shop" approach to policy, "Behave however your boss tells you."; Whatever an admin tells you at any particular time. Some communities might have success with it, but doesn't provide newbies much guidance, And doesn't scale for large communities. Also, such simple ruleset is superfluous, since it is self-evident that admins have the technical powers, once you have a large site and multiple a

                • It does scale pretty well. But mostly 'cause the general level of intelligence is pretty high and entry is by invitation only. That alone makes a lot of moderation redundant because someone of the crowd knows you well enough to vouch for you, and you usually do not want to piss that person at the very least off.

                  I'm currently trying hard to remember an occasion where we actually banned someone. Over the years we have asked a few individuals to maybe abstain because it doesn't look like they would be welcome,

                  • by mysidia ( 191772 )

                    It does scale pretty well. But mostly 'cause the general level of intelligence is pretty high and entry is by invitation only.

                    Um.... "invite-only private walled garden" is pretty much the epitome of being a small tight niche community, where you can probably get away with 1 or 2 admins and an ad-hoc framework.

                    Of course there is room enough in the world for all types and sizes of venues, But that's majorly different in scope from typical communities such as most forums, Usenet, Reddit, or Slashdot whi

              • That approach doesn't scale. You need admins who will read every comment and apply a little thought, making reasonably consistent judgments. Without explicit rules (that can be gamed), in a sufficiently active forum the admins will start ticking people off with inconsistent and unappealable rulings, and by rejecting posts that have genuine thought behind potentially controversial points.

                • the admins will start ticking people off with inconsistent and unappealable rulings,

                  Even with explicit rules you have that issue. Look at umps in baseball or refs in football.

      • One man's troll is another man's freedom fighter

        No. One man's troll is another troll's freedom fighter.
        Either that or the man who is accusing the other of trolling doesn't know the definition of trolling. Trolling is not just someone you disagree with and by definition they bring nothing of value to the discussion.

        Trolls are worth banning. The tricky part is accurately defining the troll.

    • by mi ( 197448 ) <slashdot-2017q4@virtual-estates.net> on Wednesday May 24, 2017 @02:09PM (#54478711) Homepage Journal

      Bad analogy, because crime (in the usual meaning of the term) is just wrong, regardless of whether there are laws/rules against it. Trolling, on contrast, may be useful, informative, and entertaining.

      • by headbulb ( 534102 ) on Wednesday May 24, 2017 @03:14PM (#54479213)

        Trolling by definition is not useful. It may be informative but there are much better ways of getting information through.

        Trolling is just being an asshole to someone else online.

        • by mi ( 197448 )

          Trolling by definition is not useful.

          This was a perfect opportunity for you to supply the definition...

          Trolling is just being an asshole to someone else online.

          Stipulating, that this is your definition, why can't such behavior be useful? For example, that someone else may be an asshole — haunting him out of your favorite forum may be useful to you and other participants...

          • Trolling is just being mean and using those reasons as excuses are very bad excuses for being mean.

            I guess I am asking too much.

          • by Geoffrey.landis ( 926948 ) on Wednesday May 24, 2017 @04:44PM (#54479887) Homepage

            Trolling by definition is not useful.

            This was a perfect opportunity for you to supply the definition...

            Per the original Usenet definition, "trolling" was making a post with the intent of drawing a response, in the hopes of starting a flamewar. You are "trolling" for somebody to bite on your bait. Trolls, in that sense, didn't particularly believe in what they posted, only that it drew a response-- they fed off the energy of the flamewar, and didn't really care one way or the other-- they just wanted to fire.

            So, yes, trolling by definition is not useful.

            The definition has since rather mutated to cover anybody making obnoxious posts on the internet.

            http://gizmodo.com/the-first-internet-troll-1652485292

            http://www.catb.org/jargon/html/T/troll.html

            • by mi ( 197448 )

              Trolls, in that sense, didn't particularly believe in what they posted

              Woa-woah! How does that follow from the definition you've declared? Why does my seeking to draw a response — or even start a flamewar — automatically mean, I do not believe in what I'm saying?

          • This was a perfect opportunity for you to supply the definition...

            I wish we had some kind of book that could provide such things:

            "make a deliberately offensive or provocative online post with the aim of upsetting someone or eliciting an angry response from them."

            That's from the Oxford dictionary. It also agrees with Wikipedia. Why bother claiming someone should define something when someone defining something that is different from the commonly accepted usage of the word is WHAT CAUSED THE PROBLEM IN THE FIRSTPLACE.

      • by citylivin ( 1250770 ) on Wednesday May 24, 2017 @05:30PM (#54480301)

        " because crime (in the usual meaning of the term) is just wrong,"

        It was wrong for slaves to demand to be free?

        It was wrong for americans to separate from their UK masters?

        It was wrong for whistle-blowers to document and report on NSA spying?

        It was wrong for people to be locked up for smoking a plant?

        "Crime" merely means breaking the law. Laws are written by man, and man is not perfect and gets it wrong.

        Frequently.

      • A crime is a crime BECAUSE there are laws/rules against it. That's basically the definition [wikipedia.org] of "crime"...

    • by guises ( 2423402 )
      When everything is legal, there are no criminals.
  • We are the trolls (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Headw1nd ( 829599 ) on Wednesday May 24, 2017 @02:11PM (#54478741)
    As much as one could make this a free speech issue, the sad fact is that trolling is roughly the level of discourse we have sunk to. Every conversation and argument, every argument a fight. We don't want discussion, we want our blood boiling as we curse our foes, our enemies before us and our allies at our back. I'm as guilty as anyone else.
    • by parallel_prankster ( 1455313 ) on Wednesday May 24, 2017 @02:22PM (#54478835)

      This is so true. As someone who has been on Slashdot and Reddit for the past 5-10 years (on Reddit close to when it started), it seems most discussions have become hyper-partisan and you are no longer sure if you are talking to someone who is interested in having a serious conversation about the topic or just wants to vent out his feelings often as facts! And yes, I cant say I am completely clean on this either.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by WDot ( 1286728 )
        Same. My policy on pretty much every commenting system these days (which I unfortunately don't always follow), is only respond to a response if it looks like the person appeared to read and comprehend what I said. I almost never respond, because 99% of responses I read are arguing against words I did not say. Either that or they are simply repeating a point I addressed, as if I did not address it.

        It's not just that it's impossible to convince anyone of your position over the Internet. It's impossible to
        • https://web.archive.org/web/20... [archive.org]
          "So strategy and tactics in the context of political debate is the same as it is in any forum where issues are debated. It is to win over the fact finder, whether that is the jury, public opinion or the actual voters. Everything you do, everything you write, every position you take, every tactic you use, is "on stage" and affects the person in the middle who is watching. He is who you are communicating with. Your communication with the other side is for the purpose of making

      • This is so true. As someone who has been on Slashdot and Reddit for the past 5-10 years (on Reddit close to when it started), it seems most discussions have become hyper-partisan and you are no longer sure if you are talking to someone who is interested in having a serious conversation about the topic or just wants to vent out his feelings often as facts! And yes, I cant say I am completely clean on this either.

        Small well defined subreddits can be really nice communities. There is no Slashdot equivalent, and the mods here seem hell bent on pushing their social and political agendas through the feed.

      • This is so true. As someone who has been on Slashdot and Reddit for the past 5-10 years (on Reddit close to when it started), it seems most discussions have become hyper-partisan and you are no longer sure if you are talking to someone who is interested in having a serious conversation about the topic or just wants to vent out his feelings often as facts!

        Do you not see the irony in this quote? You and the GP are having a nice calm discussion about a serious topic. Perhaps you are just venting? :)

    • And also to hear the lamentations of their women.

    • Crush your enemies, see them driven before you, hear the lamentation of their women...
    • Conan, what is best in life?

      To crush your enemies, to see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentations of der women!
    • Mostly because people don't know what a discussion is about anymore. They learn "arguing" from afternoon tv talkshows where people yell at each other, repeating their phrases over and over without listening to the other side. Or from political "debates" where little gets debated, where the two parties are talking at each other but not to each other, because their rhetoric is aimed at the viewer. Because the viewer is who they wish to convince.

      When was the last time you actually saw a real debate? Or have be

    • https://www.truthmapping.com/a... [truthmapping.com]
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]
      http://cognexus.org/id41.htm [cognexus.org]
      https://www.amazon.com/Dialogu... [amazon.com]

      Others: http://barcamp.org/w/page/4722... [barcamp.org]

      An idea: "The argumentative theory of reasoning" (Humans may be adapted to find solutions to problems and approach the truth through arguing with each other in small groups)
      https://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes... [nytimes.com]

  • People say they want nicer, but look around - people come to the internet to argue. That is what the really want, and what real Reddit (and Slashdot and every other popular forum) delivers. You can't get rid of all dissent without creating an incredibly boring space.

    Some may call that a "Safe Space" but there's nothing self about making yourself weaker by being unable to argue effectively for a cause you believe in.

    • by 93 Escort Wagon ( 326346 ) on Wednesday May 24, 2017 @02:25PM (#54478861)

      People say they want nicer, but look around - people come to the internet to argue.

      No they don't.

    • Arguing can be done in a nice manner. You can disagree with the person's views without immediately jumping into personal attacks, foul language, and worse. All too often, people try to "argue" online not by refuting points and presenting evidence, but by shouting down the other people ("You're an idiot for believing X"), banning contrary opinions ("You don't think Y is the best thing ever? Banned!"), and even making threats like physical violence or doxxing ("John Smith disagrees with us. It'd be a shame if

    • by Pascoea ( 968200 )

      people come to the internet to argue. That is what the really want, and what real Reddit (and Slashdot and every other popular forum) delivers.

      There is a fine line between an argument, trolling, and taking things too far.. I've been around Slashdot for a while, I come here for the (sometimes) intelligent conversations where people are free to disagree with one another, do so regularly, and are generally not dickheads about it. There is nothing wrong with that, and I can look past the "frosty piss" and "appity app" trolls and such. Usually things stay pretty calm here, some name calling, some profanity, but we're mostly adults here.

      Then you del

  • It sounds like a great endeavour, honestly, but I had never heard of it until today. It's a real shame that word never got out there to people. Reddit has really turned into a huge garbage fire.

    • I disagree about Reddit, but I completely agree about Imzy: this is the first time I've heard of it. This reminds me of all the times I've read an announcement like this about some Google service that was being shut down, and that was the first time I'd heard of it. Obviously you're not going to have a lot of users of something if people have never even heard of it.

      As for Reddit, it's fine. Reddit is a HUGE site full of many different forums (subreddits), so you can't paint them all with the same brush.

      • Reddit is a HUGE site full of many different forums (subreddits), so you can't paint them all with the same brush.
        ... but there's literally hundreds of thousands of subreddits so there should be some on there to suit whatever odd interest you may have.
        Every subreddit is totally different, with different moderators;

        You're right. The front page is especially diverse with tons of unique subreddits. For example, if you don't like Trump, here is a small selection of completely unique subreddits that frequent the front page (/r/all):

        /r/EnoughTrumpSpam
        /r/Impeach_Trump
        /r/ImpeachTrump
        /r/AntiTrumpAlliance
        /r/BlueMidterm2018
        /r/drumpf
        /r/esist
        /r/MarchForScience
        /r/MarchAgainstTrump
        /r/Trumpgret
        /r/Trump_Watch
        /r/Fuckthealtright
        /r/OurPresident
        /r/BannedFromThe_Donald
        /r/ShitThe_DonaldSays
        /r/the_duped
        /r/thenewcoldwar
        /r

        • You don't have to look at the defaults. My page is customized for only the subreddits I care about, so I never even heard of the ones you have listed here.

        • by Alioth ( 221270 )

          This is why I don't take the defaults or front page, and my front page is only subs I'm subscribed to. The spammers don't get past that.

    • Why have I never heard of this?

      IMO this, right here, is why Imzy didn't survive - lack of exposure.

      I can't find any story submissions on /. that refer to Imzy, only this story and the one announcing its existence 13 months ago... Fired Reddit Exec Launches Competing Site [slashdot.org].

      You could have the greatest thing ever (e.g.: solving poverty, clean power generation and world hunger) but it's never going to make a difference if nobody actually knows about it.

      • Reminds me of a video I saw about organic food at Walmart.

        Some guy had an organic food company (Stony Mountain?) and he started selling through Walmart. He said that all of his colleagues were really putting him down. Telling him that Walmart was the devil, and he shouldn't do business with them.

        I believe they went on to be the biggest supplier of organic food in the country.

        His question for the rest of the industry was basically, "Do you want to support organic food, and do something good for the world?

  • by 0100010001010011 ( 652467 ) on Wednesday May 24, 2017 @02:19PM (#54478807)

    As a long time internet vagabond I tried Imzy but just couldn't do it.

    The software itself wasn't bad. I could see it gaining traction for a lot of stuff that doesn't quite fit Reddit or forum discussion structure. The 'Choose a profile for this community" as well as "Post Anonymously" functions were great. I'm glad to see that some other website tried the AnonymousCoward idea.

    The problem was it was the mirror universe of the Voat community where after two "Don't do that. That language shouldn't be used here" messages from mods I decided Fuck That Shit I didn't want to go online and feel like I was walking on eggshells around people that couldn't handle 'outside'.

    One particular argument was that they took issue with the word "Coward" when I brought up how Slashdot used "Anonymous Coward". They didn't like the 'connotation' that it bore and calling someone a "coward" for wanting to post anonymously was answered with some logic I didn't quite follow.

    I've said it before but Slashdot's founders seemingly put some forethought into how to design a forum. It's not perfect but it works. "Indeed it has been said that democracy is the worst form of Government except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.".

    Non-nesting forums only work until you hit a critical mass. Trying to have any discussion on Facebook was futile, even within private groups of educated people because of the non-nesting commenting. Then they added it but only made it 1 comment deep. Once Fark comment threads hit a certain number of people commenting it fell apart. However in domain specific areas 'old school forums' still are best. You can find a niche of a niche of a niche forum out there to discuss why your Singer XTNEH2398 sewing machine has this weird issue and there's a half chance that it'll get seen by someone that knows how to fix it. There are multiple car specific forums out there that are infinitely better than Reddit or just a generic car site.

    For large sites I take issue with Reddit's "everyone gets to vote", because it leads to bandwagoning. At least Slashdot's bandwagoning is limited to -1:+5. So while stuff can swing either way it's pointless to continue to pile on more moderation. The random, distributed nature of the moderation also seems to put a low pass filter on the moderation.

    For those that think it's now Overrun with racists and what not I invite you to spend a week on Voat, 4Chan or Stormfront and come back to Slashdot.

    • by swb ( 14022 ) on Wednesday May 24, 2017 @03:22PM (#54479269)

      Why do web based forums still suck so much after all these years?

      Any web forum community I go to seems to suffer from the same problems.

      Too many subforums that don't see any traffic, more or less forcing users into "general" forum that drowns in traffic. "Sticky" posts which are unedited glop, pages long.

      Software that doesn't allow fetching more than a couple of screens worth of messages at a time, made worse by message headers that are way too big and relentless warlording by users with giant footers filled with pictures, dumb quotes, and other bullshit.

      "Mega-threads" -- sometimes hundreds of pages long with almost no navigation or threading capability, and totally edited for content. A near total absence of sane threading capability. Search functions that don't return any useful information.

      It makes me miss USENET.

      • Yeah, sometimes I wonder why people don't generally use Usenet. I don't particularly remember why I stopped. Was it because the client software was crappy? Was it because it was overrun with trolls and pirates? Was it just because everyone else seemed to be leaving it, decimating the community?

        It reminds me of Slack. Everyone I know went crazy when Slack was released, as though it was a new revolutionary product. My immediate impression was, "Oh, great. Someone made a new closed/proprietary IRC clon

        • by swb ( 14022 )

          The clients could be hit or miss, I seem to remember a Mac client around 2000 that was kind of perfect, even including a graphical tree view to show you where you were in a thread, but I also remember being mildly disappointed with many PC clients which seemed more oriented to harvesting binaries than actual message reading/posting. My favorite client was TRN.

          I think the other thing that killed it was back-end ISP news server software. The stock UNIX code most places used was kind of a pig and a fair numb

        • I used Usenet a bunch and was tickled when Google (Groups) made it searchable. It wasn't much later that I saw my go-to spots enveloped in unmoderated spam to where it became too annoying to read and follow.

          And it didn't help Usenet when websites like Ultiimate Guitar came along and freely scraped content from it.
    • I've been wondering about the racism on Slashdot. I've been here since 2003 (hence the username) and it has gotten pretty bad lately. On some posts about 1/2 the posts are absolute trash. I do remember when the GN(whatever the rest were) started, and and first it was at least unique, and impressive that they got so many first posts. Now though, it's sifting through garbage to find the decent stuff.

      But, I do find that Slashdot feeds trolls less than most places, so that is nice.

    • by kuzb ( 724081 )
      The biggest problem has been and always will be that there's no way to tell signal from noise in an automated way that makes sense. Any system will be gamed or abused to push a personal agenda. Any forum that sees to much traffic becomes unusable as it drowns in a sea of voices. Those who post sooner have a greater chance of being heard than those who post later. Good ideas get lost if they're too far to the bottom because nobody's got time for that.

      Even Slashdot is not immune to this. Forums universall
  • If you don't like my posts on Slashdot, you can always go to Imzy.
  • Huh? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by xession ( 4241115 ) on Wednesday May 24, 2017 @03:09PM (#54479189)
    I've never even heard of this site and I have been looking for a reddit alternative that isn't Voat. I've been around /. for a long-long-long time and nothing will likely ever replace its format adequately and I'm fine with that. Reddit has a much broader scope in usage and I really liked that about the site from the mid 2000s to about 2012. But its appeal to that broader scope is what truly made the site absolute trash. It wasn't even necessarily the mass-appeal that reddit finally achieved. It was the realization from marketing companies that it had reached a mass-appeal and started using the site as a new marketing platform for everything from hawking new movies and products to attempting to sway public opinion on certain topics with paid political astroturfers.

    I used to spend entire days on reddit reading often insightful comments and learning things from people who do things you aren't always exposed to. It was a wonderful platform for that. Once they sold out, I can't even stand to be on the site more than an hour before I'm offensively bored.

    As for imzy, the front page isn't very welcoming. If I didn't know what I had just stumbled onto, I might just move on to another website. Seriously guys, I can't even tell what the hell the site is supposed to be from the front page. Theres a scrolling ticker that keep iterating new items that appeal to the concept of "community". What if I don't want to belong to a "community" and just want to read shit other people post? Too bad I guess. Forcing people to sign up to view the content is a pretty antiquated style for a forum that is supposed to sponsor discussion. Also, that video doesn't even need to exist. It says nothing about what the site is about. Hell, I might be more inclined to think I'm watching some trailer for a terribly disjointed game or something. Its no shock these folks are closing shop. They decided "community" meant walled off from the trolls and forgot that they still needed to exist outside of that wall if they wanted to grow.

    If you want to beat reddit, make a website that looks exactly like reddit and use a scoring and modding system like slashdot. Then, don't sell out like a bitch.
  • If these folks want free speech and don't mind being called out in a nasty, but actually friendly, way, they should consider Voat. It's better overall, as long as you're not thin skinned.
  • The problem (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Cro Magnon ( 467622 ) on Wednesday May 24, 2017 @03:43PM (#54479435) Homepage Journal

    The good news is, there's a site with no trolls. The bad news is, it doesn't have any users either.

  • TIL that Reddit viewers are only in it for the flamewars.They have no interest in a kinder and gentler version.

"I shall expect a chemical cure for psychopathic behavior by 10 A.M. tomorrow, or I'll have your guts for spaghetti." -- a comic panel by Cotham

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