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See Dictionary:SoapBox

  1. A carton in which soap is packed.
  2. A temporary platform used while making an impromptu or nonofficial public speech.
To engage in impromptu or nonofficial public speaking, often flamboyantly. (Informal)

on (one's) soapbox
Speaking one's views passionately or self-importantly. (Idiom)

Some people take offense when wiki writers jump up on their soap box and prattle on. Sometimes a soapbox position is good for starting a page/discussion, but then it might be better to step down from the soap box and collaborate in the ensuing discussion, lest you be thenceforth ignored like all the other raving loonies with bizarre notions standing on wooden crates in the public park.

Initial SoapBoxing is often useful, but continued SoapBoxing is often unproductive, being one of the SourcesOfConflict.

It's useful to provide an outlet for soapboxing. It provides an outlet for public commentary. Actually, it's more like an outlet for bizarre public commentary. If you let the loons talk on their soapboxes, they won't bother the real discussions. It also provides a good contrast to distinguish the serious discussions. On the other hand, if the soapbox moves into the main hall where those serious discussion are, then communication breaks down.

This is akin to a pressure valve then. It lets the loons blow off steam, unfettered, to whoever will listen. I imagine an OnlineCommunity construct for this would be a place where comments could be posted but they have no (or less) permanence, being purged or deleted on a regular basis. Quite possibly a TechnologySolution would be appropriate here, in the same way that the closing time of the Public Park would be a technology solution (i.e. gates locked, not a matter of personal choice). KuroShin's story queue might be considered such a thing?

No. KuroShin's DiaryCollective? is exactly such a thing.

But the DiaryCollective? isn't ephemeral by design. It is more akin to a VanityPress. My reasoning for considering KuroshinScoop? is that it is ephemeral -- stories enter it, comments get bandied about, and all that falls away like dust when either the story is promoted to the site, or is kicked to the kerb.

What is the distinctive essence of SoapBoxing, that which makes it different from other expressions of opinion? I would hope it would be its temporary and ephemeral nature, either by design, circumstance, or preference.

Scoop includes a diary section. It's ephemeral in the sense that after a couple days, the diary entries fall off the site and are generally ignored after that. I don't think that ephemerality is a requirement, just a quick exit from the public limelight. But note that disappearance is not exactly equivalent to destruction. Just ask a magician's assistant.

See also ConflictResolution and SourcesOfConflict


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