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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

A worrying Forum trend


John_Hartley

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Over the last month, I detect something of a worrying trend.

I can think of at least four new members who have posted interesting and challenging threads or made helpful contributions towards existing threads, only to see them rubbished by other longer-standing members with barely a nod towards the normal politeness for which this Forum is known (and at times significantly less than even a nod).

I thought, perhaps, I was getting a bit paranoid having had some “interesting exchanges” in the last couple of weeks. But I’ve relooked at the threads I had in mind and am sure I have not misread the position. And the alleged “crimes” that warrant this treatment? They may not be who they say they are? For heavens sake, most members use a pseudonym. Or they post something controversial for their first post? Seemingly a heinous crime warranting sarcasm in return.

It, perhaps, answers one of our regular questions of why many new members don’t post at all. If I had been treated so dismissively, in my early days, as some of us have treated these people, I wouldn’t be in a rush to post either. In fact, I doubt I would still be around.

John

(PS: apologies for posting a serious issue in Chit Chat, but I couldn’t think where else to post)

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John,

I agree entirely with your post.

Aren't we all here to learn, contribute and meet people with similar interests? (the girlfriend can only take so much!)

Shouldn't we all be treated as equal regardless of ''rank'' or number of posts? we all have things to add and all have our specialist interests.

Aren't we here because we are passionate about our subject, why should our views be rubbished by others? It is after all, a free country in which we live, just look at the thousands of white headstones which have given us this.

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John,

I would hate for what you have pointed out to be true. Must have missed the posts that you are talking about, but, if what you say is correct, then it is sad that new members should be rubbished in this way by long standing members and a bad reflection on the forum.

Andy

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Yes, I agree too.

It is unfortunate that one bad experience and 100 good ones are forgotten.

Attitudes on forums do tend to "come and go" and although I understand the views of some recent posts I think they do in some cases set the wrong tone.

This forum has always been helpful and entertaining. I believe that momentum will not be deflected, especially as there are members lik eyou John who have good sense and respect (Both ways).

I am sure your post will have the influence you desire.

3 cheers for all the great and good here!

zoo

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John

I too had noticed this trend which is a great shame in my view.

However compared to the roasting one poor unforunate got on soc.genealogy.britain for asking a 'stupid' question, this forum is the epitome of tolerance and moderation.

Well some of us are

:P

Kind Regards

Mike

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As a new member, you've all been very kind to me! I have been a member of a few local forums (wedding planning, city happenings, new homeowner) over the last 4 years and it seems like those boards have similar ups and downs, just like the comments I've seen here about this board (where do people go, why do my posts not get views or replies, political correctness, insult where none was intended, etc.). It's actually reassuring to know it happens here, too.

I'm browsing more than wading right in because it seems like most of you "know" each other and have a lot of background. Plus, I need to figure out some of the short-hand. I don't want to embarrass myself! And for some reason, I can't get the search function to give me meaningful results so I can figure out some stuff without bugging the board with common knowledge. I'm working on it.

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busybee, the problem that John Hartley has highlighted is, I hope, a limited one, so go ahead and ask your questions.

Most members, myself included, have asked about things that others may well have considered to be rather basic, but that is how we improve our knowledge.

If you take the plunge I am sure you will receive courteous and informative responses.

Best wishes

David

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I have been a member of this Forum since February 2003 and was immediately impressed by the informed politeness and decorum of the discussion as compared to other sites where some members exhibited either indifference and/or one-up-manship. We are all students of a very large field of study.

I recall my most sensitive period was the first month and perhaps my first 10-15 posts and while I was both reading a lot of the material and adding a few carefully worded comments. It was during this period that I made a few important contacts and experienced the first of many informed replies to my then current level of understanding.

My ratio of questions for answers, I think, has reversed to answers to questions. The effort to read, research and reply to items within my area of compentancy was established because of the examples of others who took time to reply to my queries.

The Old Sweats/Old Contemptables might make note and take extra care in the development of the newer Privates to Lance-Corporals and onwards. Every organization must take care of its new "recruits" and instill its standards and traditions - the GWF is no different.

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Couldn't agree more John and some Old Sweats could also do with learning some humility when being questioned by newer members. The ranking system on the forum is a fun one and like every healthy forum, everyone, regardless of longevity, should feel they are batting on an even pitch. Many of us may have expertise in different fields and benefiting from that whilst offering our own pearls of wisdom must be the main reason that many of us join in the first place. However, none of us knows it all and we should all be big enough not to take umbrage if we are picked up or called to task by newly joined members. Degeneration of topics into slanging-matches full of sarcasm and facetiousness is not worthy of any of us.

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Couldn't agree more John and some Old Sweats could also do with learning some humility when being questioned by newer members.  The ranking system on the forum is a fun one and like every healthy forum, everyone, regardless of longevity, should feel they are batting on an even pitch.  Many of us may have expertise in different fields and benefiting from that whilst offering our own pearls of wisdom must be the main reason that many of us join in the first place.  However, none of us knows it all and we should all be big enough not to take umbrage if we are picked up or called to task by newly joined members.  Degeneration of topics into slanging-matches full of sarcasm and facetiousness is not worthy of any of us.

Paul,

Great comment. I think sometimes it's easy to also forget that new to a forum, or group, does not always mean new to the subject.

I have also seen this occuring a bit. Recently a member posted in reply to a topic by a newer member "Do you think anyone cares about this?" Luckily the thread went on with the encouragement of others.

Paul

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Paul,

  Luckily the thread went on with the encouragement of others. 

Paul

This is the key sentence.There is no way anybody can stop somebody posting a negative comment If members give some encouragment , especially to newer members their confidence will grow and when they do receive knockbacks they will know that there are members who also support what they are saying and hopefully then hang around.

Roland.

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I quite agree with John that new members should be encouraged. I have already offered some help to new member Busybee who has posted in this thread. I am sure others will have too. I was sad to see a senior forum member recently attacking the bona fides of a new member's first posting. OK it started a controversial thread but that seemed to be the extent of the new member's "guilt".

That said, I think it is reasonable that any member should be prepared to defend statements made, no matter how junior they are. That is in the spirit of the forum, I think.

I also like to see generally daft and pompous postings pounced on in the time-honoured fashion. I know I have been the recipient of this sort of roasting/criticism in the past and it does no harm at all. However, it's important not to take this sort of thing personally and throw your toys out of the pram. Reversing your sense of humour by-pass is a good idea on these occasions.

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Not just newer members; without getting too personal, there is an individual who seems to 'park' on my posts and then post to imply I'm wrong (when I'm not, and they know it) or to completely ignore my previous posting, effectively repeating what I've said. I know where it stemmed from, and I have complimented them on their posts subsequently (no grudge match here) but it IS tiresome. And confusing for new arrivals.

Someone at work says to me 'Stupid question..' I reply 'There are no stupid questions..' (A parallel to the famous Tarrant's 'All the questions are easy when you know the answers')

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Hello

Have not been that active on the forum for a while until the past couple of days, due to other pressures in the outside world, so cannot say I have seen this trend myself. However, I will admit to using a nickname (not, I think, a pseudonym), & always sign my posts with my christian name, although if preferred, I will happily add my full name to my signature block.

Let's hope that any worrying trends, whether intentional or not, are stopped now as a result of this thread. as usual, john, you seem to be the first voice of reason, long may it continue.

Cheers

Mark

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Wasn't part of the 'problem' the issue of a particular member who made certain comments, was removed from the Forum and then IS SAID to have signed on again under different names.

Usually all this passes clean over my head. I just try to maintain a low profile!

Regards to all

Martin

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I've been a member since late January and have always found it very friendly - even when early on I provided an inaccurate answer to a query. Occasionally I've dipped into car forums as a casual motorist and been horrified at the venom when someone posts what is thought to be duff info. And I have a friend (in the UK) who is into UFOs, alien abductions etc and associated forums who got threatened with being sued for libel by someone in the USA.

Mind you, I'm still puzzled by the Pal who told me I was "barking" after I made one innocuous post; I may well be, but I couldn't see how my post had given this away!

As a relative newcomer to PCs, but not to word processing, I'm sometimes conscious that my posts can be a bit stiff - dunno why, perhaps it's the small screen or, in this case, the box. (I groaned when I had to contact my ISP about a problem and found there was only a one-line box to type in.) Emoticons can help, but I'm not sure what some of them signify.

Some of those of us who use nicknames (nommes de guerre?) may do so because it's evident from our posts that we're collectors and we don't want to bring this to the attention of the great outside world.

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I tend to browse the Forum rather than ask too many questions and use the Search facility a great deal. I have learnt a great deal from the knowledgeable and specialists in the Forum.

As time has gone by I ask more questions and even manage to answer a few!!

I have not noticed many examples of impoliteness and I have been very impressed with most members' treatment of the inexperienced.

LONG LIVE THE FORUM

Dave

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I have to say I havn't seen any of the posts that John has referred to but he is quite right to point this out. I have been a member since April 05 and was immediately struck by the wealth of information readily available from members who obviously go out of their way to help out. In several instances I have posted an enquiry more in hope than expectation, to be amazed by the amoutn of information given in reply.

I log onto the forum virtually every day and have always found it a place of knowledge, helpfulness and friendly banter, and of recent sympathy and condolences from people I have never met. Long may it continue (or at least until I have finished my research!!)

Thanks everybody

Patrick

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Hi all , Im another new member, I have only good things to say about this forum, Ive found that if a post is interesting people comment , questions answered even if its- look at a previous thread. Prehaps the most important thing ive noticed is the willingness of members to search things out and offer help to anyone not just mates or old timers. There will always be people with issues they are entitled to their views even if they are wrong. But as this thread has already said tolerance and politness should be the norm irrespective. So keep it up lads and lasses and remember some of us are real novices so be kind. Cheers all Gareth

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As a relative newcomer I can still remember the very friendly and helpful welcome I got when I first posted. Long may this be so. Thanks to John for raising this topic - well-timed and the point is well made (and, I can see, well-received).

Jim

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Phil - yes you will sometimes have someone who crawls all over you picking you up on the smallest points. It's part of the rough and tumble of a Forum like this. If you respond in kind, they often seem to complain of discourtesy.

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This thread was removed temporarily for moderation.

May I take this opportunity to remind certain Pals that further breaches of Forum Rules and etiquette may lead to expulsion.

Multiple registrations are NOT permitted, and such activities are closely monitered.

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