Mundane & Useless Threads

To: "" <>
Subject: Mundane & Useless Threads
From: Chris Ross <>
Date: Fri, 19 Apr 2013 14:09:25 +1000
Hi All,

expanding on what Allan posted, I would suggest don't forget this is the Internet.

I've posted on quite a few forums and Birding-Aus is really quite tame and people generally very helpful, if somewhat easily distracted into mundane threads like myself. I don't recall seeing any real full on flame wars or other such phenomenon that happen elsewhere. (If you don't know what a flame war is look at this link: )

People vary in their skills with the written word and can come across as blunt, pedantic or even bullying, even when that is not the intent. Forums or mailing lists are also somewhat anonymous, where some people may be more inclined to blunt or unpleasant than they would in other situations. Then there is the lack of body language, intonation, timing which can change a message or convey sarcasm or humour that doesn't happen real well in typed responses, so make it easy to step on toes without realising it. This is common to every internet forum/mailing list I have come across to a greater or lesser extent.

Then there are the reports from people getting personal emails with abusive/bullying replies. I haven't received them on birding-aus, but have received them from other forums once or twice, on one occasion I received a near immediate retraction/apology. Unfortunately this is part and parcel of participation in internet forums, the anonymity encorages some people to behave this way, it's generally only a small percentage but they tend to be highly visible and can easily taint the whole feel of the forum.

My suggestion is that there is little you can do about people who misbehave on forums other than ignore them, set your mail filter to delete their posts before you read them and enjoy the posts that interest you. A little bit of moderation and calling people to order does help but really on an internet mailing list where you can send a personal email at the touch of a button there is little you can do about it, other than recognise there are those in the world, who behave that way and be prepared to delete their mail and ignore them. It's no different to selecting your friends in real life. In other words don't let the misbehaviour of a few upset your enjoyment of what is on offer from everyone else.

A forum type environment allows greater control compared to a mailing list where personal emails are visible, you can hide email addresses, using personal messaging instead and many forums allow blocking of messages from individuals and moderators can definitely intervene and deny access to people who refuse to play nice. But even on a forum I've seen people take offence at a post and leave even though they obviously enjoyed participating.

Seems to me you have to be a little thick skinned to get the most out of internet forums. My philosophy is to ignore the 1% of bad apples and get on and enjoy what is on offer.


Chris Ross
Helensburgh NSW

"There are different personalities in the group and it sometimes means that the words don't always come through softly even when the author means it that way,
you can't change what others say only our own response.

Happy Birding

Allan Richardson
Morisset NSW"


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