Picking up on a post BIG D made on his blog, I’ve lately been wondering about the meaning of forums and what comes with it. Some may also remember my previous posts about forums: “10 Things that annoy me about people on internet forums” and “How many forum members does it takes to change a light bulb?”
I’ve been active on various forums for years and so far I’ve not seen a single forum that hasn’t got problems or is full of people that just ruin it. Be it due to staff differences, members that are just overly argumentative and can’t accept that their are other opinions apart from theirs or just the sometimes difficult relationship between forum newbies and longstanding members.
Extracts of BIG D’s post:
It’s started to feel like a Job and it’s not even just the Forum I’m a Moderator on either. I use to love going on forums, I liked finding out people’s view’s on different stories, games, etc and liked discussing how things could be that much better.
However over the last weeks I’ve only found one resource for my forum habit and it’s not even my true love as it where (Xbox 360), it’s a Mac Forum, even though I like my Mac I can’t talk about it that much at the end of the Day it’s just a Computer like the Rest. I’m just wondering whether it’s worth calling it a day and just leave, give myself abit of space and really decide what I like and what I’m enjoying.
I agree with a lot that he said in that post.
Let’s take a look at some of the forums I’m currently visiting or used to be on:
Forum A: Used to be on this forum for over two years. Mainly gaming orientated and mostly frequented by newbies and a bunch of regulars that were divided into several groups. Agreeing with one of the poster’s opinion in any thread immediately caused you problems with others, just because you agreed with them. It was worth it for a while, as some of the regulars were top people, but just got too tedious at the end.
Forum B: I was on that forum for about a year. It’s a massive gaming community, but hold back again by newbies, fanboys and girls and just generally people that think too much of themselves and prefer to argue rather than share their opinions and debate.
Forum C: Again, gaming related. Great forum, loved the community. Well, the community you can see on the forums. There was just so much underlying bitching, endless msn conversations why this member is so crap compared to that one and it was quite nasty.
Forum D: A general forum. This forum sadly died after a big argument in staff that leaked over to the members and created many groups and the admins decided to call it a rest. I’m happy to say that I am still in contact with some members [Josh, if you read this, feel free to comment for once!] and there may be a new project round the corner for some. Keep me posted.
Forum E: A forum I had to leave recently due to time constraints. At the end it didn’t have many regular posters left and there wasn’t much point to it any more. At least there weren’t too many arguments.
Forum F: A forum I staff on which is full of arguments. Many members only post to argue and don’t post at all for weeks if there happens to be the lucky time of no arguments for some time. Staff is divided, regulars leave or stop posting. The forum is over run by people that only joined a little while back and are now creating more and more of an atmosphere that no one really wants to be part of.
Forum G: Another forum I’m staff on as a favour to a friend. The forum is film related and I never realised that film fanboys and girls are a lot worse than gaming ones. There are people madly in love with Tarantino and call him their god. No, I’m not joking. I myself wish I was.
That’s just a selection though, I’ve come across many forums in the last years. So, what happened with all of them forums? Different topics, different languages, yet most have the same problems: Arguments.
- Why are some people so intent on constantly causing arguments in cyberspace? What is to gain from being the winner [are there ever really winners in online arguments?] of an argument on a discussion board?
- Why can’t most people just simply welcome new members to the forum? It’s not like they’re trying to take something away.
- Why can’t people accept the fact that there may be and I know this may be hard to understand that there are other opinion to theirs? Surely it’s about the civil debate/discussion instead of all following like sheep in a herd?
This only applies to normal members though. Staff on most forums do generally try their best and have the best interests of the forums in mind, yet even they can be completely opinionated and completely ignore others.
So what are the alternatives? Create a private forum with intelligent people that can accept other opinions, like a good debate and are no fanboys and girls. Exactly, that number is small. And aren’t you going to end up with everyone sharing the same opinion therefore eliminating any kind of debate?
Change the forums that I’m on? It does feel like they’re too far gone….