"It's the content, stupid." - Quick Notes to Supercharge K.Bin

Like you, I'm a passionate user of K.Bin but lately, I'm noticing that things are getting kinda stale around here. The most recent thread in this, the top-level magazine on K.Bin, is 4 days old. Many other top 25 magazines are also suffering from a similar lack of fresh content. I run /m/scifi and it's been continuing to grow and thrive over the past 4 months for one simple reason. If you want to Supercharge K.Bin, then remind yourself of those four little words every day:

It's the content, stupid.

This should be the defacto slogan of K.Bin - you wanna get people off of Reddit? It's the content, stupid. Stop complaining that Reddit sucks - we KNOW it sucks - but K.Bin won't become the sane alternative if there's nothing to read or interact with, there.

I'm just one person, but I'm doing my part and I know others are doing the same. If we can transition from 1% of the crowd adding new content for the other 99% to lurk and read to 5% of the crowd adding new stuff for 50% of the crowd to respond to and the other 45% to lurk and read, we'll be well on our way to defeating Reddit.

Food for thought - have a great weekend.

a-man-from-earth avatar

The problem is that Kbin sucks as well. For example, /m/science lacks actual moderators and gets flooded with spam on the regular. And even where there are active moderators, moderation actions often do not get federated.

I was hoping these issues would get fixed soon, but here we are, three months after the Reddit apocalypse, and Kbin is still not a fully functional platform. For example, I filed bug fifteen days ago, and this has still not been resolved. And bug has been open since early July.

If Kbin wants to become and stay relevant, it needs more hands on deck.


No, the problem is that you're a person who posted 34 diff. items to K.Bin and two bug reports and you think that qualifies you to comment on K.Bin overall. Not for nothing - what qualifies me to speak on this topic is that I've been posting stuff every day to /m/scifi (with time out for vacations and illness). I know there are things wrong with scifi and K.Bin - but I'm putting the time in to make things better. What are you doing? You moderate /m/men and your stated goal is "This magazine is dedicated to discussions of issues that men and boys face, especially disadvantages or discrimination due to their gender, from an egalitarian perspective." People want stuff to read, not people to point at 'the problem.' K.bin is fine for what it is - if you want 'more hands on deck', go be one of those hands.

GizmoLion avatar

Jesus H Christ... congrats on being the one millionth person on kbin to say "What are YOU doing?" while talking down their literal list of what they are doing.

a-man-from-earth is right, Kbin is in a sorry state right now. I still get asked to login when I want to comment, despite being logged in, at which point it takes me to the home page. Viewing a reply to your comment is still not pagination-aware.

Ernest has said this version of kbin is frozen until he rolls out the next, hopefully the end of September, so by his own admission Kbin as we know and use it is the same pile it was months ago. That said I remain hopeful that the next rollout will be a big improvement.

Back to the topic, if the site isn't easy and intuitive to use, or if it's broken and remains a thorn for a long time, then you can't expect people to go out of their way to do the thing you want them to do. That's not how the world works.

a-man-from-earth has submitted bug fixes to try and improve the site so people might be more willing to stick around and post themselves, while you're just posting content that'll eventually become irrelevant. What are YOU doing? (See? It's asinine right?)

a-man-from-earth avatar

So, I post content (on average once every 3 days, despite my drop in activity this month), I engage in the comments (more than you do, if we're counting), I moderate a community, and I file bug reports in an attempt to make this a better platform.

So yes, I am doing my part, and that does qualify me to comment on the state of Kbin. Suggesting I don't is toxicity we don't need here.

And pretending that Kbin is just fine won't help this platform to become successful. And yes, despite my criticisms, I want this to be a successful Reddit replacement. But it's struggling to become relevant, and I'm frustrated with its lack of progress.

People want stuff to read, not people to point at 'the problem.'

People also want interesting discussions on topics they care about. I know that because for years I was a moderator of a small but active subreddit.

The m/men magazine I moderate used to be the most active one on Kbin, a place you're now proudly proclaiming m/scifi has...

I'm waiting to see if ernest's promised next version of Kbin will actually improve things, especially on the moderation side. Otherwise I have to reconsider where to direct my efforts.

daredevil, (edited )
daredevil avatar

I understand wanting to help the platform grow, but I don't think invalidating the opinions and contributions of a-man-from-earth is a good way to approach it. The holier-than-thou attitude might also have the opposite effect that your original post is attempting to achieve. The lack of active moderators is certainly an issue, along with spam and the existence of various federation issues are problems as well. I get that these things take time, so I'm being patient. That said, I still enjoy kbin and contribute how and when I can.

wagesj45 avatar

It's time to start posting links to our own blogs, again. Reddit brainwashed us into thinking that "self advertisement" was a bad thing. What they actually wanted you to do was instead turn your content into text posts on reddit itself so that we'd get locked into the platform.

Self advertise. Write interesting things on your blog and then share your posts here.

@Die4Ever@programming.dev avatar

Yes I always thought Reddit’s rules against self promotion were pretty dumb. Like how did Reddit want people to find out about cool new things that Redditors make? From other news sources and then post to Reddit afterwards? That makes no sense and just means Reddit is the last place to find out about the cool thing that the Redditor made.

Now with Lemmy and KBin we have the chance to self promote again, and we need more posts anyways.

nicetriangle avatar

Eh those rules seem dumb and are in some ways... but as someone who moderated a roughly 200 and 250k subscriber subreddits for around 6-7 years, I can say from experience that an insane amount of people just tried using the platform to shotgun links to their bullshit youtube channels or content mill tech blogs.

You'd see one of those links, look at their profile and sure enough they just had a huge list of them firing off the same link to 10-20 subreddits, then the next link, then the next. No discussion, no commenting history in those subreddits for the most part. They were just using them as a way to get clicks and nothing more.

Left unchecked, that shit destroys the quality of a community. I know because the first big sub I grew from about 10k to 250k had been left open to that stuff for years and had totally stagnated. As soon as I started cleaning house the place blew up in numbers and quality of content.

The vast, vast majority of people linking their own off-site content on reddit (in my experience as a mod) was definitely people just spamming. And if you let them do it the subreddits go to hell.

rasterweb avatar

I've been blogging since 1997 and prefer to write things on my own site, but yeah, the sort of "rule" on Reddit was to not link to your own blog. I disabled Google Analytics this year, and it should also be free of any ads, so I feel okay about linking to my own (long) posts about stuff, complete with plenty of photos and the occasional video, but I'm still not sure if that is frowned upon as "self promotion" even on the Fediverse...


My counter-argument is a small minority create content and a much smaller minority of them actually create interesting/engaging content.

I'm not opposed to a 'blogs' magazine where people share their own content, but from my personal perspective, self-promotion often skews the OP's ability gauge's the outside world's interest in their musings about the world.

wagesj45 avatar

and if the content is not interesting, it falls by the wayside with no votes. the creme rises, the cruft falls. with more volume, your will get more cruft, but also more creme.

reddit gets tons of spam and absolute garbage posts, but the volume and user voting brings good stuff out.

there will be some shitty blogs, but i think that's an ok price to pay for more content being posted.

glittalogik avatar

More visible promotion of active magazines would go a long way too. Almost every suggested magazine across the top of my nav bar is an empty ghost community, probably made on a whim during the Reddit kerfuffle and then abandoned.


It also feels bad when me and one other person are the only active people in a community and I’ve already advertised. I want to advertise again but don’t want to come off as an annoying spammer.

I’m taking the risk I’ll be annoying—I’m specifically referring to https://kbin.social/m/Musicals (@musicals or musicals@kbin.social in case the link does not work for you—kbin has been having a bug that makes !communityName@instance links like the one I just wrote not always federate out properly from kbin).


Very good point. I understand the desire to give all communities equal opportunity to be promoted, but if the promotions are towards dead-ends, it really does a disservice to the fediverse as a whole

Arotrios avatar

@inkican - Agreed - Kbin will live or die based on its content. One thing that should be mentioned to those on the fence about contributing is how powerful Kbin is as a publishing platform in comparison to either Mastodon or Lemmy - this is one of the few places where you can post and get your content on both style of instances.

There are a couple of factors degrading contribution that could be alleviated by more stringent moderation - particularly the bot networks and downvote spammers. I've seen a couple of instances where folks have gotten bullied out of trying to run a forum, and Kbin's flaws in blocking (a blocked user can still downvote your posts and message you), make ongoing harassment an issue for contributors. No one wants to submit something to have it shat upon.

The other factor is that a number of users set up magazines, grabbing popular names from Reddit, then did nothing to maintain them. I think removing or reassigning these ghost magazines to interested moderators would go a long way in improving the content quality here now that the dust has settled from the Reddit collapse.

From a moderator standpoint, if you're looking to expand the reach of your magazine and get new subscribers (and thus, hopefully, more contributors), one thing I've found that helps expand the audience is using a Lemmy account to crosspost, as the cross-posting functionality is built into that architecture and provides a link back to the original. This both expands the range of the content, and draws subscribers from Lemmy that normally wouldn't see you on Kbin to subscribe to your magazine. Mastodon is similar - a single supportive account there boosting magazine content expands your reach dramatically.

Side note: I run @13thFloor and wanted to say if you or your users ever feel like cross-posting our scifi content from there, or cross-posting your content to our magazine, feel free to do so - we fucking love scifi over here.

Arotrios avatar

For those having issues with the aforementioned downvote trolls, @some_guy and @YourContentSucks kindly showed up to illustrate the problem. These two accounts are accompanied by a third, @cre0 -all the same user. If you're pre-emptively looking to protect your users from downvote spam, keep these accounts out of your magazines - he likes to try to dox folks. This is his theme song.


Cool beans - I'll shoot you a thread about my latest audiobook.

Arotrios avatar

Posted this on the other thread - but excellent work! Thank you!

@MentalEdge@sopuli.xyz avatar

Yup! Unfortunately the activity seems to be going to the lemmy side of things first, due to kbin’s sometimes functional, sometimes kinda-functional federation.

macallik, (edited )

Yeah. I created a thread recently that had over a hundred replies, but over time, each notification became a frustration because the notification link doesn't take me to the actual comment, just the first page. I'm not sifting through 10 pages to read an entire comment and see if it warrants a reply.

Experiencing the same "amazing UI but frustration experience that makes me check out" UX w/ firefish (fka calckey) as well.

@MentalEdge@sopuli.xyz avatar

Using Lemmy with Photon on desktop and Thunder on mobile I’ve not seen any issues quite like that. Thunder used to be a little more basic but it’s coming along nicely.

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