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  1. #1
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    Influence of People and Forums

    I've noticed on forums and this is also common in real life, but I'll keep with the forums subject. First of all if you are on a forum and one person writes something negative towards your question, it can then start a domino effect whereas more people start writing crap about you or even go as far as name calling, that is when you should just leave the forum.

    And if they go as far as to mention that they are professionals, then you should just laugh because they are grown ups that never grew up, and there only power is on a forum or mailing list where they get the attention. If the Moderators of the forum, mention that they will ban you from the forum, despite that you know you did nothing wrong then those Moderators also are easily Influenced probably for one reasons I can think of. There getting private messages telling them to ban you from the forum, because those people don't like you. Pathetic in a way, what a Moderator should do is tell that person that they have a right to ask a question, and maybe just maybe you pissed them off so they came down on you, and you being the other member didn't like it.

    Anyone can join a forum, a mailing list and claim they are professionals even if they work at a Job in the field do you know really what they are doing ??? Maybe they are the coffee runner and there at a entry level position but don't want to admit it instead they brag and pick on you on a forum. Those who don't claim to be professional, and try to be nice and don't tell someone "hey moron, your a idiot for asking that question" are the type of users on forums that are becoming more rare.

    Forum and Mailing list Problems are rising
    and they can really fuel anger sometimes. It's best to leave that forum or mailing list that you don't feel comfortable on or are not feeling welcomed even after endless tries. A lot of people are on edge to write something they feel will get copy and pasted to someone else, and that is why Forums and Mailing list should not be a place where you expect to gain anything but some opinions\suggestions\and maybe a few laughs and hopefully also the help you are looking for. Otherwise if your not getting any of those mentioned then simply un-subscribefrom the mailing list or forum.

  2. #2
    Follow: @AlexDawsonUK silver trophybronze trophy AlexDawson's Avatar
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    I don't know why you posted this thread, but it seems rather one sided, I am of the Internet generation (chat rooms, email, forums, instant messaging) - not the social network generation but while I have come across my fair share of crazies your making out like the people with issues are actually going to just unsubscribe. I have seen plenty of flame wars and they can get much more than just childish banter, I have seen flame wars decend into real life incidents.

  3. #3
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophybronze trophy mizwizzy's Avatar
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    i thought at first, great a thread thats not the usual drivel - but alas wrong again...you analyze too much huskey, and i think ur a bit weird based on your website

  4. #4
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    Who are the ones that have the issues, the ones having the negative comments directed toward them or the ones posting the negative comments ? I've never seen flame wars continue into real life, that is when it's gone really over board.

    Miz - There is nothing wrong with Analyzing, if one didn't Analyze murders wouldn't get solved, right !!! As for your rest of your comment, whatever.

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    SitePoint Wizard silver trophybronze trophy mizwizzy's Avatar
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    thats fair enough huskey but to analyze a forum and the people in it like you did is just creepy - instead of pigeon holing people why dont you just try and have a bit of fun

  6. #6
    SitePoint Author silver trophybronze trophy

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    Forums and communities like SitePoint with a large number of members from all around the world are quite interesting from a human interaction point of view. Each forum usually evolves its own 'standards' for netiquette and the tone of voice used between members.

    Moderating such a forum is a challenge of its own. You have to find the right balance, or you'll be accused of being either too lax (allowing negative comments and rude behaviour) or too heavy-handed (stifling free speech). Sometimes you'll be accused of both at the same time.

    At SitePoint Forums the general rule is that we want to keep things friendly and professional. That's easy as long as you deal with factual questions, but once in a while there will be debates about issues that aren't black and white. When emotions are involved things can get heated very quickly, and that's when moderation becomes more tricky. Too much moderation will kill an interesting debate; too little moderation can result in a free-for-all cursing contest.

    @SiberianHuskey, if you feel hard done-by at SitePoint Forums I advice you to contact the Advisors or the Team Leader of the sub-forum in question and explain the issue. It might be that the moderators haven't detected an emerging issue, but there may also be other perspectives, of which you are not aware, that affect the way they are handling matters.
    Birnam wood is come to Dunsinane

  7. #7
    Sploghm bronze trophy Victorinox's Avatar
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    I think the OP is referring to his experiences on forums other than Sitepoint.

    Preventing flames requires isolating the flammable material from sources of ignition. Suffering repeated instances of negative reactions across a number of forums presents a strong case for examining one's own attitudes and approach.

    Don't jump into water wearing a caesium swimsuit.

  8. #8
    King of Paralysis by Analysis bronze trophy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Victorinox View Post
    Suffering repeated instances of negative reactions across a number of forums presents a strong case for examining one's own attitudes and approach.
    BINGO! We have a winner...

  9. #9
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    AutisticCuckoo You gave the reply that I was hoping to hear I personally don't have any problems on this forum, that's all I want to say about that. What I was stating in one part of my messages was take this example, lets say there is a guy named Frank. Frank has joined multiple forums or mailing lists, some of which he has no problems on while others he get harassed frequently. Frank has been shown his short comings and he has realized that he has had short comings, so he states he will change. After admitting his short comings and not acting immature, he feels he has come to a truce with the forum community, in which after a short while he hasn't and after asking something he still gets name called as if he's in a school yard on recess. That is just one of the examples I was stating.

  10. #10
    Sploghm bronze trophy Victorinox's Avatar
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    Let's imagine Frank has some kind of, for want of a better term, "learning difficulty" that makes it difficult for him to find answers to his problems via Google or existing documentation. Helping Frank might require explaining things in a very detailed but easily understandable way. People trying to help, not being aware of this, may get frustrated when faced with his apparent preference for being spoonfed as opposed to seeking out the available solutions for himself .

    When someone proves especially hard to help, for example by ignoring or repeatedly misunderstanding instructions or refusing to provide full details of their problem, the suspicion can arise that they are either trolling, lazy or incompetent.

    If Frank was upfront about his needs - assuming he acknowledges them to himself - then perhaps people would be more patient with him.

    Despite facing problems engaging in web forums, people like Frank benefit from a tremendous amount of help. The design community is very supportive and tolerant on the whole and individuals donate vast amounts of time and expertise.

    But when someone is deemed to have transgressed the rules, written or otherwise, or whose behaviour is seen to be objectionable, people will join in dismissing them, and this may extend to mockery, scorn or outright abuse. As in many areas of life, there are those who actively enjoy denigrating others when the opportunity arises. The Franks act as a kind of universal indicator of the latter type.

    Good moderators will step in early to nip nastiness in the bud, but the recipient/precipitant should understand that even if they admit that they were in the wrong they cannot expect all parties to forgive and forget in short order. It takes time to gain respect and more to regain it once lost.

  11. #11
    #titanic {float:none} silver trophy
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    Moderators try to be everywhere and at all times, but obviously that's not possible, furthermore when their contribution is voluntary and they don't receive a salary for it. It always help when someone reports the problem if moderators take too long to step in.

    Oh yes, this is a suggestion to eveyone that read this thread... there's a lovely triangle button under the member details to report a post

  12. #12
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    Victorinox - That is true, but Frank if he has a learning disability may not want to admit to it.

  13. #13
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    Maybe Frank needs more time and a different approach. Not everybody learns the same way. It would be interesting to know why Frank is so eager to learn that particular skill too and what's his motivation.

  14. #14
    SitePoint Author silver trophybronze trophy

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    Quote Originally Posted by SiberianHuskey View Post
    Victorinox - That is true, but Frank if he has a learning disability may not want to admit to it.
    He may not even be aware of it.
    Birnam wood is come to Dunsinane

  15. #15
    Theoretical Physics Student bronze trophy Jake Arkinstall's Avatar
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    It's not a 'learning disability' as such, it's more of an ignorance.

    If you have a coding problem and you frequently ask it on forums before checking google, you're going to get people annoyed.
    Jake Arkinstall
    "Sometimes you don't need to reinvent the wheel;
    Sometimes its enough to make that wheel more rounded"-Molona

  16. #16
    SitePoint Evangelist rhysboy84's Avatar
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    Really the bad communities are a reflection on the bad moderators. The community I've ever been most intrinsically involved in (whilst not myself moderating) was a while back whereby it was a coding website for Blitz Basic, the chap who ran it had very strong religious beliefs and - whilst not for one second suggesting that you can't be moral yet aethist - his "turn the other cheek" mentality of moderating, giving people the benefit of the doubt rather than blanket bans, and being open & transparent helped build the forum, and people were very tolerant because of it, even to spammers (which was bordering on the naive at times).

    I've often used this forum to explain php & coding problems. That doesn't mean I'm ignorant. I am well aware of google, but I've often found that if people explain things to me better than a lot of the technical documents out there - which are aimed quite highly (I had an answer from a Sitepoint member from a PHP question I had that was explained better to me in Twitter tweet than a 4-5 page document).
    I'm Rhys Wynne & I blog at Winwar Media
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  17. #17
    Sploghm bronze trophy Victorinox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by arkinstall View Post
    It's not a 'learning disability' as such, it's more of an ignorance.

    If you have a coding problem and you frequently ask it on forums before checking google, you're going to get people annoyed.
    Laziness more than ignorance, maybe, but I'm willing to accept the possibility that there are people who need things explained in a certain way that Google may not unearth, or that requires a discouraging amount of effort on their part.

    I can understand that some would prefer not to "carry" such people. Others would, but even they may react negatively if they've wasted time through not being made aware of the situation.

  18. #18
    Sploghm bronze trophy Victorinox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SiberianHuskey View Post
    Victorinox - That is true, but Frank if he has a learning disability may not want to admit to it.
    It's a difficult choice, but the hard truth is that Frank can't have his cake and eat it.

    If he reveals his condition then he has honesty and fair play on his side. As I said before, the design community is mainly tolerant and eager to help. A forum that permitted prejudice against someone who was upfront about their needs would not be worth joining, IMO (assuming its terms did not require a specific level of ability).

    If he conceals it, then he just has to accept the consequences of an imperfect world.

    One important aspect for Frank to consider is whether concealment is fair on the people trying to help him.

  19. #19
    Follow: @AlexDawsonUK silver trophybronze trophy AlexDawson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by arkinstall View Post
    It's not a 'learning disability' as such, it's more of an ignorance.

    If you have a coding problem and you frequently ask it on forums before checking google, you're going to get people annoyed.
    While it is easy to dismiss it as ignorance, some people lack the research skills to use Google effectively and be able to find what they require, especially if what they are trying to find is buried under pages of results. Also there is the question over the quality of the results, asking questions at a trusted resource like SitePoint has immediate credibility over some random result discovered in search.

  20. #20
    #titanic {float:none} silver trophy
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    It is starting to sound as if "Frank" is someone from SitePoint.

    Answering questions takes time and if you have to answer the same question to various people because they haven't done the effort to do a search, it is annoying. Yet, too often we assume that they didn't try to search for it because some answers are so easily found in Google!

    It may be good that we have a bit of more patience and suggest that he does his homework for the next time, or even ask him what he did to find the answer. Sometimes we assume too much.

    In exchange, it would be nice if people did try to do a search first and spend a bit of time trying to find the answer themselves.

  21. #21
    Sploghm bronze trophy Victorinox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by molona View Post
    It is starting to sound as if "Frank" is someone from SitePoint.
    I am Spartacus!

  22. #22
    I hate Spammers mobyme's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by arkinstall View Post
    It's not a 'learning disability' as such, it's more of an ignorance.

    If you have a coding problem and you frequently ask it on forums before checking google, you're going to get people annoyed.
    Why not just ignore it? Replying to a post isn't compulsory. That way you won't get annoyed and "Frank" won't feel hard done by. Everyone's a winner.
    There are three kinds of men:
    The ones that learn by reading.
    The few who learn by observation.
    The rest of us have to pee on the electric fence.


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