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Old 13th June 2004, 06:21 PM   #1
benny is offline benny  Australia
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Lightbulb Hopefully... An objective aproach to the problems people have on this forum

Hey All,

Please take the time to read this. Yes it is long, but it is dealing with a lot of problems that people raise that need to be dealt with in a more civilised manner. Once done, offer your opinions. But you might notice I said I want to try and deal with these problems in a more civilised manner, so try and keep all replies civilised, and avoid falling into yet ANOTHER fist fighting and finger pointing contest.

Now, there are a number of issues on this forum relating to negativity, fighting, commercialism, hypocritical values, etc. In this thread, I want to try and address a few of the problems.

There are a lot of people that have problems with this forum from what I can see, and most of their problems are for valid reasons. Now, for these people to have these valid problems with valid reasons, there must be a real cause… And yes, there are a number of causes for these numerous problems, which have all been correctly identified. But one problem that has not been identified is the manner in which some people point out problems.

One such example of this is the thread:

“How to make the competent people stay on this forum??”

This thread started out with good intentions thanks to Magura. I myself posted relatively early on in this thread when it was still almost civilised. When I came back the next day, I found the thread had quickly started going downhill, with people finger pointing and falling into yet another fight. Needless to say, the thread was closed.

So how come a thread with such a good intention gets closed??? Well, because people simply resorted to finger pointing AND making personal attacks. Now, if you have a problem with someone, wether it’s what they say, how they behave, or whatever, address the issue in a civilised manner, and this forum would be a much happier place.

That particular thread started deteriorating because of the manner in which people addressed what they saw as objectionable behaviour by a particular moderator. Now, instead of addressing this issue in a rational way, it turned into something I’d expect to hear from kindergarten kids. Even when Magura offered a (not so) subtle hint that the thread was just turning into yet another ‘pie fight’ it still managed to continue to go downhill, in exactly the same way that caused Magura to notice it was turning into a pie fight.

Now, if you have a problem with someone, why not address it in a rational and OPEN MINDED way. Even start a new thread, put the persons name and your problem in the topic, and then say, “I have a problem with _______, which is _______, so could _______ please explain these actions to me.” Send the person an email to notify them that you have posted, this way they have no excuse to say, “Oh, I didn’t see it.” And in the case that they’re a moderator such as the person under attack in the thread I am referring to just so happened to be, ask them in your thread to explain how they can justify their status as moderator in light of their actions. Once this initial post has been made, unless someone wants to raise further issues in relation to this person that they want answers for, no one else post!!! DO NOT start posting personal opinions on this person, as this is how all these threads that started with good intentions go down hill. When it is simply a “please explain” thread, moderators should have no reason at all to close it, unless it starts to hint at a personal opinion on this person. Now, I don’t care if the person you have issues with stole everything you own; don’t say, “Oh, _______ is a lying cheating scum because of _______.” You should wait until that person posts a reply. When they do reply, then reply back in an appropriate manner. If you still don’t agree, QUESTION them nicely, even if you think they don’t deserve nice, and DO NOT ATTACK THEM OR OFFER PERSONAL OPINIONS ABOUT THEM!!! And by all means, keep an OPEN MIND about their response. Try to be objective in all that you say and think about them. Do not let your preconceptions limit your ability to see the wider picture.

Now, another big issue that seems to be raised is that of disputes over issues turning nasty and personal. I am going to simply quote from a part of my post from the “How to make the competent people stay on this forum??” thread:

Quote:
i have only been on this forum a couple of weeks, but i do notice that there can be a fair bit of negativity from some members towards other members, and in these posts it is just a whole lot of closed minded people who aren't open to anyone else's opinions. they aren't able to conduct a 'discussion' and as soon as someone poses a challange to what they have said, they try and knock that person down. from what i observe, it tends to be people who try and pretend they know more than what they do, and will try and avoid having what they said challanged because they can't back themselves up. i notice a lot of imaturity in this forum too, which as a 17 year old, it seems strange having people atleast twice my age carry on like a pack of three year olds. i mean really, we come to this forum to talk about audio... and obviously in a forum with topics of a subjective nature, there will be different opinions, and until proven otherwise all opinions are just as valid, therefore, everyone should open their minds a little and think about what others say. and when someone challanges a point you make, don't resort to calling them a far-kin see-you-en-tea, but justify your opinion, or admit that it was just an opinion or mistake, and that you have learned from what they have said. we're hear to learn and inform, not to act imature... atleast, that's why i'm here... i go out with my firends to be imature and get drunk and pick fights and whatever, but when i come here, i come to discuss audio. discuss doesn't mean simply listening... of course we should question people about something we don't agree with, but in a civilised maner. maybe more like "could you please explain this, as in my opinion...." instead of "hey you F'n'C, thats wrong. if you weren't such a F'n idiot you'd see it's like this ya c!@#..."

see, big diference hey?

another thing i've observed is there tends to be some forums on this site that attract a lot more negative responses than others, and the main forum i participate in seems to attract pretty minimal amount of negativity when compared with others. it seems maybe some areas of audio attract people of different personalities maybe because these areas might have a slightly different culture surounding them or whatever reason... but, but for whatever reason it is, we are bound to find people on this forum who's minds are closed and their ability to think rationaly is clouded by their own pretentions. if these people opened their minds and conducted themselves in a rational manner, this would be a much happier place.
I also want to bring up an issue that I want to treat very carefully, but is one of the problems of this forum. It is that there are some members that tend to create a negative vibe more than others. We have many different people from all age groups, from my age and probably even younger, all the way up to old aged people. We also have many different personality types. Some people I have observed to be very positive and rational, others not so… now, without naming anyone, and trying to avoid personal attacks, such is the personality difference that there is one particular member I find that is extremely paranoid, extremely closed minded, and about 70% of what I have read of his is negative, and often weaves in strains of self pity somehow into what he says. On the flipside, there are a couple of members that I see that treat everything with an open mind, and avoid the negativity. Like I’ve said, there are many age groups, personalities and what not… try to all get along. Please.

There is plenty more I wanted to say, but this is starting to get rather long, so I am going to conclude here, but first, something for the moderators to consider I just thought up. How about starting a new forum called ‘Please Explain’. This can be where people can post any problems they have with a particular member that’s causing them concern. Set it up so they enter what member it is that the post is about, and this member gets an automatic email notification alerting them to this. Once this person has initially posted, the thread should be closed to all but the person in question until they have responded to the questions. This will allow for a more civilised resolution, and give the person in question a fairer chance to reply and justify themselves if they can before the usual mud slinging starts.

Just to finish, could everyone try and keep an open mind in all you do, try and avoid making personal attacks, and if someone is annoying you or attacking you, try to ignore them. This would solve half the problems in this place.

I want to leave this post, and see how this discussion develops if anyone starts replying. Is it going to go down the same old path of “oh, he did it.”… “Oh no, he did it” and so on… or can we keep it rational and objective? The second option would be nice, and I think we could get a long way if we do.

That’s all from me for now… until next time.

Keep it real fellas.
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Old 13th June 2004, 06:26 PM   #2
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Thanks benny, a very thoughtful post, and I hope all members will read and take note of your comments, I will certainly point it out to all the other mods for their consideration.
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Old 13th June 2004, 10:30 PM   #3
Mark25 is offline Mark25  United Kingdom
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Hi Benny,

your heart is in the right place!

In this world there are varied types of people. One way in which people vary is how deeply they look into things. On this forum, and in life itself, we have people that look very deeply into specific things; we could generalise and refer to them as "specialists". Other people are much less specific but cover lots of ground, their more rounded skill set enabling them to be more diverse. We could generalise and refer to these people as "generalists". Between these two extremes we have the majority.

At work within a large organisation:

Specialists tend to focus on the core-business of an organisation. They push the boundaries of technology and science to form tommorows world for us. They tend to have specific work environments, tailored to suit their needs and requirements. As part of the structure of a large organisation, this "environment" is usually supplemented with whole departments aimed at interfacing them with the rest of the organisation. Departments with names like, *service, FM, repairs, etc, etc

Generalists having a more rounded, less specific skill set which lends them to a position in one of the aforementioned non-core-business interface departments.

DIYaudio does not have the structure of a large organisation that so many of us are used to. So we are all thrown into the melting pot together on equal terms. I think the "bumpy ride" you are observing is a result of this.
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Old 13th June 2004, 11:27 PM   #4
Magura is offline Magura  Denmark
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Benny: I can agree with most of what you say.

Having said that, I guess Ill make a post that Ive been biting my thounge not to make back when I made the thread about making the competent members stay, as the thread went waaay downhill before I woke up the day after I made the thread, and it would have been waste of bandwidth to write more in that thread.

A common source of problems is something as simple, and yet so complicated as passing knowledge and learning.

Here we have the old dogs, the engineers, the technicians, the experienced DIY'er, the less experienced DIY'er, the newbee and the spectator.

Two persons of the same level or neighbouring level of knowledge will generally get along well when helping eachother. As well will two persons that both have high level of experience/ knowledge, but not in the same field (but both need eachothers knowledge).

The problem starts when a less experienced person have to learn from an EE. The EE unfortunately dosnt need anything from the less experienced person.....and off goes the male ego and a few other negative (but very human) reactions.

For the EE to bring knowledge to the newbee it takes a lot of patience from both sides. The male ego of the persons in question will have to go elsewhere while this is taking place Furthermore for such an event to become succesfull, the EE will have to be tactical to avoid the newbee ends up with a feeling of being stepped on, or even tumbled down. This is a very important skill for anybody who need to pass knowledge to somebody with a lower level of knowledge....just look at your workplaces. In any management position you will have to posses such skills to quite an extend to achieve your goals. Its the same here, even though nobody gets paid. Its waste of breath to teach somebody, if its done in a way so the person taught feels belittled. In the same way its waste of time asking for help, if one cant deal with wearing a beggers shoes, cause thats what one is wearing when asking for free advice, and even if it was in a proffesional environment, simple respect for the person whom took the effort to help, should keep things at bay.

Magura

Edit: Mark's post overtook mine I see that Mark is aiming at the same, so Im partly repeating Mark....he beat me with a few seconds
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Old 14th June 2004, 01:14 PM   #5
benny is offline benny  Australia
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Hi all,

Thanks for keeping this positive, and more thanks for your useful replies. It is nice that i can finally have a sleep and not come back to a thread that has gone down the gurgler with negative coments.

What you both pointed out is exactly true, and is one of the biggest problems with the forum when people start being negative. I think those points come back to the whole 'personality issues' i raised. Who we are is a mixture of what we do, how we were raised, our genes, our sociocultural background and suroundings, our education and so on... part of us is our profession, so obviously engineers are going to have different opinions to diy'ers... and then again, there's the wider personality issues beyond what we do.. so when you put all these people in the same place, there's going to be conflicts if people aren't civil in their manner. so i think we need all engineers and diy'ers to try and see the other side of the story, and put themselves in the other ones shoes and think what it would be like. They need to see that they are very different people trying to get along doing the same thing, all with their own perspective and opinions.

There's also the problem of the targeting and harassing of people too, wether it's intentional or not, it's still bad. This is why Magura's thread went down hill. It is also why, as you're all aware of by now, Carlos (destroyer x) has decided to leave the forum. I have been in contact with him personally on email, and from what he has told me recently, i can tell you he is not a happy man, and he is very disgruntled at people on the forum... and rightfully so... So congratulations to those who made him so unhappy... and just for your information incase anyone reading this is wondering, he is not Hallojoy.

anyway, i could continue on whith all sorts of observations about the forum, but i have already taken up enough room in this thread for now, so if anyone else wants to bring something to everyones attention, do it here, and do it nicely. Let's keep this thread clean if anyone else is going to respond.

cheers
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