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    What would be a meaningful way to fight this trend? How to fund not-for-profit spaces for all people, not just children, to let them express in their own ways? (And how to make them appealing?)

    In my teens we had this regional site for fans of pen-and-paper games such as D&D. It’s impact is felt more than 10 years after it’s zenith. I regularly meet - in person - with people who were part of that community and it really bound the users together. It was something we were all in, even if it was virtual. But it only happened because a handful of people made it in their own time, spending their own money. For others. These days, it wouldn’t stand a chance against social networks.

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      Out here in Las Vegas a small group tried putting together /usr/lib, a free tech library and meeting space but it was hard to get any sort of community or younger people involved or interested because it was downtown and people don’t want to drive their kids all the way downtown, or let their kids take the bus. However, downtown was the only viable location for a space like this, because of demand the space had to be centralized to be used regularly, and spaces that could satisfy the demands of smaller, more localised public spaces would require better public organization, which only really manifests in poverty-stricken neighborhoods.

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        Long after I turned 21, Seattle opened the VERA Project, a volunteer run all ages art and music space. The world could use a whole bunch more of them.

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          Do I see right? Poni poni DJs? I want that here now.

          On the other hand, citing their Revised Business Plan:

          Use events as corporate partnership opportunities whenever possible. This strategy lead to $36,000 in corporate dollars for Viva Vera 2012, and $7,000 in corporate for A Drink for the Kids 2012.

          It saddens me that they have not found a loophole yet.

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          Poor public transit infrastructure is a huge part of the problem.

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          I think this article is interesting but off topic for lobsters.

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            It might be. It’s not pure tech and politics are not tolerated. But it’s definitely philosophical and touches the technology culture significantly.

            How often do we just create something with potential and then slap an ad on it? What other ways are there?

            Look at Mozilla: they represent one of the greatest free software projects of our times, yet they aren’t responsible primarily to their users. In order to sustain the development pace they need to submit to Google’s rules. Imagine Firefox shipping with adblock.

            We wanted to create an app for Jolla, so we have talked to the company that owns public transport database in here. Well, we would have to put in an ad and give them 50%. They are basically government-funded, by the way.

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              How so? Isn’t anything the users of the site deem interesting by definition on topic?

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                No. Consider the case where 75% of the users of lobsters are fans of The Beatles. An article about the Beatles would still be off topic for lobsters.

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                  Some articles are clearly on topic. Some can be clearly off topic.

                  But articles that “straddle the line” seem to attract insightful and interesting comments. I’d rather encourage those articles to help get more voices on to this site.

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                    I have considered it and agree with your example. This wasn’t about the Beatles though.

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                Seems over generalized. When I was a teenager, the only online place to go was AOL. Nobody cared about surveillance, except by ones own parents. Also, who are these people accusing teens of selling out for using Facebook?