Saturday, October 21, 2006

Forum addiction

I am more of a lurker when it comes to the bulletin boards I follow, but I threw my hat into the ring by starting a thread (called "The Father's Signals"--spoilers) at the forum run by the Cormac McCarthy Society a few days ago, and it has been a real trip, an emotional rollercoaster, even.

It starts with an idea that you have that you think is novel. You scan prior posts to make sure no one else has come up with it. Convinced your idea has some novelty and insight, you craft your post as economically as possible to make sure that people will (a) read it, and (b) understand it. Then, you post it and sit back and hope people post.

That was a fun stretch of time there, the waiting. I soon realized that what I really wanted to have happen was for people to say "great point; I agree completely." At first, in other words, I wasn't interested in having a dialogue at all. It's funny how angry I found myself getting when people would start taking "my" thread in directions I didn't intend. You know, when they start saying things like "that reminds me of something else I was thinking about . . .." I hate that.

They started to come in, the replies, and there were actually a few "I agrees" in there, but what really got me were the "no ways." That irked me. That got me writing follow ups and started the arguments in my head as I tried to craft the perfect responses that both met them head on but did so in as short a post as possible.

The thread's up to 43 replies now. I need it to die so I can start thinking about other things.


PirateGecko said...

That last part about the thread needing to die made me laugh a lot more than it should've. I'm more of a lurker in formers and those sort of things as well. Probably because I find all these forums full of idiots who use that dreaded "chat speak" that makes me want to claw my eyes out. Anyway, I hope you're able to move onto other things soon.

T-Seabs said...

I gave up on forums long ago. I don't even like to search them for solutions or information on something important unless they are my only option. is a model forum if a forum can be defined as being a board where a dozen or so senior members and their oppinions, conflicting or otherwise, dominate over the posts of all other members. Threads become so out of hand that junior members with personality conflicts (some that admittedly only joined to rile people) are banned.
The political rules that apply to a forum never let me enjoy them for the community I wish they would foster. Several people that have had websites since the beginning of the internet will comment that they dislike the anti-elitist attitude of the net and that often ignorant and abrasive people feel that not only is their information just as valid, but even more correct than an expert. Ironically in forums elitism runs rampant by some of the same kind of people that depreciate the credentials of the 'elites' that are often just seasoned professionals in the field.
I geuss the term cyberpunk exists for a reason beyond the sci-fi genre.

Anonymous said...

I find forums to be a nice little release; it's where you can unintentionally act like an elitist or you can be the nicest person ever and be extremely passive everytime someone calls you out on something. Unfortunately message boards are littered with more morons than people who know how to put coherent sentences together, but nonetheless, there's always that good conversations for every ten threads.

Mr. Hill said...

I eventually gave up when it got down to one othery guy and me refusing to reach any sort of consensus. It's a civilized board, this one, but you could tell this other guy was being kind of stubborn, even though I (I think) made a few concessions I didn't really need to just to make him feel better.

Kindness is rarely repaid on the internet.

Anonymous said...

Yeah this is great
although some has lacking but it;s juts a bats that's bite1!!
Have a nice day ahead!!!


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