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Why They Lurk


olbluesguy
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I link to old GC threads all the time, it never occurred to me that anyone would find this practice frustrating.

It's like walking up to the information booth and asking a question, and silently being handed a pamphlet. It's not that pamphlets aren't helpful and don't have their place, but it's, like, Hey, I was talking to you...

 

And you have to be cautious with feedback. I get, by far, the most "atta-weasel" emails when I'm at my most obnoxious. Here and elsewhere.

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I've signed up to many, many forums, and this one is (as others have said) one of the nicest and most helpful. A little flamage around the edges, but really quite mild.

 

 

I agree, and I've been active in on-line discussions since the good old dial-up BBS days. It's the nature of the medium that there will be a few sparks flying now and then. Most of the discussions here are civil and intelligent (moronic cheese-counting threads excepted).

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...

And you have to be cautious with feedback. I get, by far, the most "atta-weasel" emails when I'm at my most obnoxious. Here and elsewhere.

Your caustic wit is entertaining, Auntie, but in my opinion, you are at your best when you hold that in check and offer an even-handed and well reasoned argument--or your characteristic, chatty and cheerful encouragement for newbies.

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Less helpful to downright frustrating: links to old GC threads.

I link to old GC threads all the time, it never occurred to me that anyone would find this practice frustrating.

 

In fact, I did it in this very thread! ;)

 

I get lots of thank yous, either public or private, so I'll continue to respond to posts this way. It would be unfortunate if this frustrates some people, but I think the old threads can be very helpful and are often quite entertaining.

I agree with you -- keep up the good work!

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...quidnuncishness...

What a great word!

I looked in my handy college dictionary by webster circa 1951 and found on its yelowing pages That the word isn't there ,but could mean

A diplomatic agent of the Pope who chews a cud.

go figgure!

quidnunc, A nosy person; a busybody.

also, a gossip, one who thinks they know everything. ;);)

 

(Edit): I made up quidnuncishness, but you get the point. ;)

Edited by sept1c_tank
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It was soon after that the regulars took a week off from posting. I’m not sure if the tone of the forums changed then or if I just started to know some of the more “vocal” posters and found I wasn’t scared of them anymore.

Jackie

I remember when that happened - I was fairly new here, too. I'd been caching for years and just never bothered to check this forum out. I also think some of the "know-it-all-ism" went away after that week they took off. I think there's been more people with a helpful attitude, and less intolerance for the way others do things.

 

But I want to say that evidently my skin is a little thicker than many peoples' because pomposity amuses, rather than annoys me. While I do find this a friendlier and more relaxed place now, I didn't think it was so bad before. The written word can be hard to understand because there's no way to show tone, inflection, and so on.

 

Now what I want to see is everyone here take a week off and go hide more caches!

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I have noticed two critical elements of loudest/raucious posters:

 

1. They tend to be the same people, no matter the topic or the OP - they have an opinion - it's not always a contrary one.

 

2. They tend to sound and may be very reasoned & intelligent in their comments, whether they are alone with their ideas or in agreement with the masses.

 

3. When I have met the ones who are loudest in the forums, they seem recluse & anti-social in public - simply do not mix well, smile very much or reach out to others. The ones sitting with their backs to the walls, watching.

 

What can we do with these observations . . . I bet someone can tell us what it means.

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Interesting how someone can frame a "markwell" as a negative. There is lots of information here and some subjects have been hashed over ad nauseam. I don't see anything wrong with pointing newcomers to previous discussions where they may find a wealth of information.

 

Again its a matter of perspective. Joenewbie can say "Geez, thanks for the info, I have some reading to do" or, "Hummmph, I'm offended that imy post wasn't worthy of an entirely new discussion of this topic".

 

Don't you think the manner in which those links are given to the newbie means a great deal to the way the newbie reacts? I've seen people post things like: "Sheesh! Do we HAVE to dig this carp up again?" and include some links. I've had it done to me, in fact. To the newbie, who may not know how to find older material, that would be perceived in a negative manner. So he feels put down.

 

To be fair, I've seen more people posting something friendly and giving links to previous discussions than I have the other way. But we're evidently breeding them with thinner skins these days . . . .

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... "Sheesh! Do we HAVE to dig this carp up again?" and include some links. I've had it done to me, in fact. To the newbie, who may not know how to find older material, that would be perceived in a negative manner. So he feels put down. ...

People who don't want to deal with newbie questions should stay the heck out of the Getting Started forum...that's my raucous opinion. Harrumph!

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I lurked for quite awhile in this forum before I posted anything. I have seen posts to new cachers questions that I thought were rude, but for the most part everyone here seems helpful. I know everytime I have asked a question most people have gone out of their way doing research to give me a good answer but I've also had a smartxxx or two put their 2 cents in. I just ignore them. But even one or two rude posts can scare away someone new. It is very intimidating coming onto this forum and I guess any forum when you don't know anyone. I felt like this was a big club that I wasn't a member of and just didn't fit in. Its not as intimidating anymore and I'm still shy but you guys can't help that. And since I know some of you a little better now you really scare me ;) .

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I don't approach geocaching as a 'club' interest. I geocache alone (mostly) and have only met 4 other geocachers while out-there (I don't avoid 'em, just don't need another social outlet). I post fairly regularly on our local forum and may be considered the least friendly to do so.

 

However, geocaching isn't right for everybody. When someone is driven out by words alone (even harsh criticism), they, by definition, didn't belong. If we coddle every whimpering whiner, we'll become a bunch of whimpering whiners.

 

As for this being a fairly benign forum, I think we all realize it behooves us to not be too handy with the flame-throwers, because most of us have vulnerabilities (our cache hides) that are 'at risk'. I like that about geocaching, each cache exists only with the explicit tolerance of all its' finders. In fact, it wouldn't take many organized dissenters to decimate the entire structure. We balance on a precipice of etiquette.

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However, geocaching isn't right for everybody. When someone is driven out by words alone (even harsh criticism), they, by definition, didn't belong.

Perhaps you mean the geocaching forum isn't right for everybody?

 

and I think that is exactly what we are talking about, "what is too much..(oh, what do you want to call it?)...forcefulness and how affects cacher postings?"

Edited by BlueDeuce
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I thought we were talking about why some merely lurk rather than engage in the forums, with the related subject of why some are turned off to the forums and geocaching in general (I'm sure it was mentioned somewhere up there). In any case, like geocaching, like forums... Or should I say, talking about geocaching is just a subset of the activity. So when I make an observation about the activity, I'm also including that subset. Or how about, I'm just expanding the subject from why newbies are turned off to the forums to why they're turned off in general? I swear, I'm not off-topic! ;) Please, Mr Wizard, I'm not ready to go home...

Edited by edchen
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I don't approach geocaching as a 'club' interest.  I geocache alone (mostly) and have only met 4 other geocachers while out-there (I don't avoid 'em, just don't need another social outlet).  I post fairly regularly on our local forum and may be considered the least friendly to do so. 

 

However, geocaching isn't right for everybody.  When someone is driven out by words alone (even harsh criticism), they, by definition, didn't belong.  If we coddle every whimpering whiner, we'll become a bunch of whimpering whiners.

 

As for this being a fairly benign forum, I think we all realize it behooves us to not be too handy with the flame-throwers, because most of us have vulnerabilities (our cache hides) that are 'at risk'.  I like that about geocaching, each cache exists only with the explicit tolerance of all its' finders.  In fact, it wouldn't take many organized dissenters to decimate the entire structure.  We balance on a precipice of etiquette.

I'll re-read this when I'm drinking...maybe it will make sense to me then. ;)

 

El Diablo

Edited by El Diablo
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He's assuming the old west politness by gun theory. If you're impolite your cache could risk some hostile action and vice verse if you're polite, your cache will remain without hassle.

 

With exception to maybe a small handful of people, that really isn't the case here.

 

I've pretty much stayed out of this thread because it all got pretty well said for both sides of the fence.

 

My observations:

 

This forum is very tame in comparison to others I have been on. There was one I went on for a time that explicitly stated in the first sentence outlining the forum rules; if you can't stand the heat, get the h*** out.

 

I have observed a person will become called a forum bully when they post a strong opinion and are willing to stand behind it rather than fall in line with an assertion that was put in place by the name caller.

 

Some newbies coming into their very first forum (ever) are very easily offended because they take everything personally. Some even expect to have their opinions validated before you post an opposing one. It gives them a sense of respectability without really earning it. They think anything opposing their opinion is a personal attack on themselves. They believe they got their hands spanked for even having the audacity to type their opinion forgetting the fact they face oppposing opinions everyday in Real Life Face-to-Face conversations of the same level and it is very difficult to convince them otherwise. That's from direct observation.

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I started this thread because I was realy suprised to see on another thread how some people who lurk felt about the forums.

I feel the topic has been well represented by some of our finest forum posters,and I thank all for their input.

Tomorrow I will shut this down and start wondering about something else.

Till then. ........................................................................................

Everyone have a Happy new year, and take a rookie under your wing for 06 .

I hope a lot of them were lurking here and see that we realy do care.

Ol'Bluesguy

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I have been "guilty" of lurking some since I started caching this year. Why? Well, I hadn't really thought about it. I guess that I just didn't have anything to say that I felt was important enough to share with everyone. Is there anything that says people HAVE to post? not that I've found.

I have read some posts by people who I assume have been posting for some time that I felt read as short, abrupt, maybe even borderline rude. It is important, I think, to remember that how JohnPublic, sitting in their own homes, reading what you said using words only - no body language, no tone of voice, none of the other cues that make up interpersonal communications - interprets your post could be very different from what you intended. I have worked in jobs where most of the communications took place via radio - where all you have are the words and tone of voice. You'd be amazed how often someone can sound rude and obnoxious when they weren't intending to be. Yes, we have smilies, but again, how is someone interpreting your choice? I go to pick one and always wonder what it means to someone else. About a month or so ago, Eartha stepped into what appeared to shaping up to be a knock-down, drag-out "fist fight" in the GeoCoin forum (wish I could remember where for sure, I'd link it) where she said much the same thing.

I don't think that interpreting a string of words differently than they were intended always equates being thin skinned, although I'd be the last to agrue that there aren't people in the world, and statistically in GeoCaching as well, who are. I think the biggest thing everyone, oldie, newbie, middle-agie (?) EVERYONE needs to keep in mind when they post or read a post is how others interpret it.

Anyway, now that I've blown up a whole gross of baloons with my hot air, I'm done. If I have offended anyone, I'm sorry, I truely didn't mean to. Just wanting to share some of my experience. Thank you, best of the season to you all, and cache well in the new year.

(edited to correct for the dyslexic fingers.)

Edited by pairomedicchick
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I guess I lurk for a variety of reasons, the least of which is that I fear what people on here will say back to me. I read the forums religiously, but I don't reply to anything really.

 

The top two reasons are

 

Laziness, I'd have to relog on the forum screen to post something and I don't really feel like going through the hassle only to offer the same opinion that many others already posted.

 

The other is privacy. I cache alone; my wife refuses to come (she says that this is way to nerdy of a hobby for her). I don't go to group caching functions, I've never even run into another cacher while out looking. If I played basketball at the YWCA once a week I wouldn't feel the need to post comments about it on the internet either.

 

The other thing about the forums that I have to say, and I know this will draw out comments, but I'll say it anyway. I like the basic rules of the game. Find a cache, sign the log book, etc. It does seem like the more 'local organizations' and such that are created, the more silly rules and standards are created. If you don't like micros, don't legislate against them - don't look for them. If you don't like TB hotels, don't use them. I'm just saying that there doesn't need to be more rules. Everyone has freedom of choice, if you don't like it, don't do it - BUT don't stop somebody else from doing finding/ creating them. There is room enough under the umbrella of Geocaching for everyone to do what makes them happy.

 

Thats my 2 cents.

 

jason10.

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I guess I lurk for a variety of reasons, the least of which is that I fear what people on here will say back to me. I read the forums religiously, but I don't reply to anything really.

 

The top two reasons are

 

Laziness, I'd have to relog on the forum screen to post something and I don't really feel like going through the hassle only to offer the same opinion that many others already posted.

 

The other is privacy. I cache alone; my wife refuses to come (she says that this is way to nerdy of a hobby for her). I don't go to group caching functions, I've never even run into another cacher while out looking. If I played basketball at the YWCA once a week I wouldn't feel the need to post comments about it on the internet either.

 

The other thing about the forums that I have to say, and I know this will draw out comments, but I'll say it anyway. I like the basic rules of the game. Find a cache, sign the log book, etc. It does seem like the more 'local organizations' and such that are created, the more silly rules and standards are created. If you don't like micros, don't legislate against them - don't look for them. If you don't like TB hotels, don't use them. I'm just saying that there doesn't need to be more rules. Everyone has freedom of choice, if you don't like it, don't do it - BUT don't stop somebody else from doing finding/ creating them. There is room enough under the umbrella of Geocaching for everyone to do what makes them happy.

 

Thats my 2 cents.

 

jason10.

You should post more ... this forum needs more people like us (I mean you). ;)

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The other thing about the forums that I have to say, and I know this will draw out comments, but I'll say it anyway.  I like the basic rules of the game.  Find a cache, sign the log book, etc.  It does seem like the more 'local organizations' and such that are created, the more silly rules and standards are created.  If you don't like micros, don't legislate against them - don't look for them.  If you don't like TB hotels, don't use them.  I'm just saying that there doesn't need to be more rules.  Everyone has freedom of choice, if you don't like it, don't do it - BUT don't stop somebody else from doing finding/ creating them.  There is room enough under the umbrella of Geocaching for everyone to do what makes them happy. 

 

Thats my 2 cents.

 

jason10.

You should post more ... this forum needs more people like us (I mean you). ;)

My friend, you said it very well!

 

Thanks for posting, and........

 

Happy New Year to everyone! ;)

 

John

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I've posted on a great many internet forums and these are by far the best open forums I've ever been too. I've seen other forums with this level of friendless and general maturity but they've always been closed to the general public.

 

The nature of geocaching lends itself to more mature people taking up the hobby. The forums reflect this. Sure, there's going to be flamers and trollers and general idiots, but generally I've found one doesn't need the thick skin that you do need in other forums to post here.

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The other is privacy. I cache alone; my wife refuses to come (she says that this is way to nerdy of a hobby for her). I don't go to group caching functions, I've never even run into another cacher while out looking. If I played basketball at the YWCA once a week I wouldn't feel the need to post comments about it on the internet either.

 

The other thing about the forums that I have to say, and I know this will draw out comments, but I'll say it anyway. I like the basic rules of the game. Find a cache, sign the log book, etc. It does seem like the more 'local organizations' and such that are created, the more silly rules and standards are created. If you don't like micros, don't legislate against them - don't look for them. If you don't like TB hotels, don't use them. I'm just saying that there doesn't need to be more rules. Everyone has freedom of choice, if you don't like it, don't do it - BUT don't stop somebody else from doing finding/ creating them. There is room enough under the umbrella of Geocaching for everyone to do what makes them happy.

 

Thats my 2 cents.

 

jason10.

1. I cache alone frequently although my Chauffer hasn't said the N word. When he does come, he frequently just sits in the car and waits for me, hence the name. I like the solitude sometimes, the fact that I can walk at my own pace, listen to my headphones if I want, do what I want without having to committee it. I also cache regularly with another couple, and like having someone to chat with, someone else to help me find the cache, so when I have to DNF it I know it's not just me. I've been to a couple of events, really enjoyed meeting others. If you get a chance, I really recommend it. Doesn't mean you'll like them all, but I bet you meet some you'd like to visit with sometimes.

 

2. Let's all stand up and give the man a big hand gor his final thoughts. Bravo.

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