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Last Year's Most Active Threads

by Jeff Steele — last modified Jan 01, 2024 10:50 AM

Wars dominated the topics with the most engagement last year and two threads from last year's list made return engagements.

Happy New Year to everyone in DCUM land. To start the year off, I am going repeat something that I did last January 1st. Instead of looking at the most active threads over the weekend as I would normally do, I am going to review the top ten most active threads for the entire year. Most of these are ones that I have discussed in blog posts so I won't say very much about each thread. But, this might provide an interesting overview of the topics that dominated DCUM in 2023. As is suited for a New Year's countdown, I am going to start from the bottom of the list and work towards the most active.

The tenth most active thread of 2023 was titled, "APS Closing Nottingham" and posted in the "VA Public Schools other than FCPS" forum. I originally discussed this thread on July 3, describing plans by Arlington Public Schools to send current Nottingham Elementary School students to other nearby schools and convert Nottingham into a "swing space" to be used by students of schools that were being renovated. The thread reached 180 pages before I locked it. Ultimately, as one poster wrote, "Notties always win...", and APS reversed its plans and will keep the school as it is.

The ninth most active thread was one that was number 6 on last year's list. Titled, "Options for opposing Connecticut Avenue changes?" and posted in the "Metropolitan DC Local Politics" forum, this thread is representative of the obsession a number of posters have with bike lanes. The thread was started by a poster who opposes plans by the District of Columbia government to add bike lanes to Connecticut Avenue. The thread is currently 369 pages long. Bike lane opponents such as those in this thread have been successful in delaying the project. If things proceed according to the current schedule, it will take DC longer to build these bike lanes than it took the manned space program to send a man to the moon. That is still too soon for many of these posters.

Eighth was a thread titled, "Single Issue Voter: Controlling The Borders" and posted in the "Political Discussion" forum. I discussed this thread in a blog post on May 15 expressing my view that conservative politicians and media tend to hype fears of immigration when it is politically suitable. I note that as former President Donald Trump faces increased legal problems and the economy defies near constant predictions of a recession, immigration is once again dominating conservative media. I expect that will continue to be the trend until election time.

Number 7 on the list was a thread titled, "VHSL Girls Lacrosse Spring 2023" and posted in the "Lacrosse" forum. If there is anything that DCUM's soccer and lacrosse forums have taught me, it is that I would much prefer that my kids join a biker gang than participate in organized soccer or lacrosse. Participants in both forums act exactly as you would expect crazy sports parents to behave. I discussed this thread in a May 15 blog post. But, soon after a thread for 2024 was created and a poster wrote, "I enjoyed all the crap talk, but I do think it’s time to move on." The thread is still open but has not been updated since July.

Sixth on the list was a thread titled, "Physicians Assistant yelling ‘HELP ME’ while stealing a CitiBike ?" and posted in the "Off-Topic" forum. This was the most active thread that I discussed on May 16 and described an incident in New York City in which a viral TikTok video appeared to show a woman taking a bikeshare bike that had been rented by a teen boy. It later turned out that the truth was more complicated and the woman was within her rights to take the bike. The thread lasted for 222 pages before I locked it. By that time it had degenerated to little more than repeated arguments about race, privilege, and misogyny.

In the fifth position was another thread that was part of last year's top 10 list. The thread was even number 5 last year as well. Titled, "Jen Hatmaker" and posted in the "Entertainment and Pop Culture" forum, the thread is currently at 548 pages, up from the 313 it was at this time last year. Last year I had no idea who Jen Hatmaker was and now only have a vague awareness that she is a blogger of some sort. Nevertheless, I receive very few complaints about posts in this thread so it mostly exists in its own little world about which I know almost nothing.

On October 7, Hamas launched a surprise attack on southern Israel, killing, raping, and kidnapping civilians and soldiers alike. In response, Israel has launched one of the most devastating attacks in modern history, displacing almost the entire population of Gaza and killing at least 20,000 Palestinians. Discussions of the war have been among the most active on DCUM every day since October 7. I have closed the threads once they reached 1,000 pages and the third iteration, titled "Gaza War, Part 3" and posted in the "Political Discussion" forum, was the 4th most active thread of last year. This thread was the most active thread that I discussed on December 11 and is currently 246 pages long.

The third most active thread was about another war. Titled, "Ukrainian victory over Russia is inevitable" and also posted in the "Political Discussion" forum, this thread was one that I discussed in a May 17 blog post. The thread is currently 428 pages long and mostly consists of posters calling each other trolls and agents of either Russia or Ukraine. One recent poster summed things up by saying, "DCUMS is just a blog for nobody rando's". Personally, I think "Nobody Rando's" would be a great name for a punk rock band. I'd even keep the punctuation error because what is more punk than ignoring grammar?

Number 2 was the second part of the Gaza war discussion titled, "Gaza War, Part 2" and, of course, posted in the "Political Discussion" forum. This was the most active thread that I discussed on October 30. In that post I described how the topic is dominated by accusations that some posters are antisemitic and claims by others that posters label any criticism of Israel as antisemitism in order to surpress pro-Palestinian speech. Such back and forth not only continued throughout this thread, but even into the third part.

The most active thread of 2023 was, as you can probably predict, the first of the Gaza war threads. Titled, "Looks like a new Gaza war has started" and, obviously, posted in the "Political Discussion" forum, the thread was started in the early afternoon of October 7 when there was very little understanding of what exactly was happening. The thread grew at such a rate that it was obvious that it would be the most active thread for my next blog post. So, rather than wait, I wrote a special edition blog post devoted exclusively to the conflict. Prior to this thread, I normally closed threads when they reached 500 posts and this was the first that I allowed to grow to 1,000 pages. As such, the part 2 thread and this one are the longest threads ever on DCUM.

As was the case with last January's list, almost none of the most active threads this year are, strictly speaking, parenting topics. One is about a school and another about youth sports, but most of the others are about politics. However, as I also said last year, this reflects interests that are deep but not wide. The political threads generate a lot of activity, but only from a relatively small group of posters. Others forums, including those that are parenting-related, tend to see more, but shorter threads. Posters get an answer to their question and interest in the thread dies down. In political threads, discussion can go on and on.

Anon says:
Jan 01, 2024 06:57 PM
Your reviews of threads make me laugh every time.
Anonymous says:
Jan 02, 2024 08:58 AM
I still have no idea who Jen Hatmaker is.
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