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Crosswind
Topic Author
Posts: 2536
Joined: Sat Nov 25, 2000 4:34 am

What's Gone Wrong With The Forums?

Wed Jun 13, 2001 7:15 am

There has been much debate on how to improve the quality of the forums on airliners.net, but most of this debate has centred on what changes can be made in the future to improve, or at the very least stop the decline in quality that has been ongoing for the last 12 months or so. There have been various suggestions made, some of which may or may not be implemented at a later date.

However, most people visit here almost every day, and some clearly much more frequently than that! So why not use whatever tools we already have at our disposal to keep the forum at a reasonable standard of quality, and not let it get spoiled by pointless topics or personal disagreements....starting now! I believe that myself, and many others, may not really have been doing this.

When there is a topic is posted that has been discussed to death, or is simply pointless or childish - there is sometimes a great temptation to post some sort of reply, often to correct some inaccuracy or wild conjecture and to put a more reasonable opinion forward. I think the best things we can do if we feel a topic merits it are two-fold;

(1) Use the star ratings, let whoever started the topic know how you feel about it's suitability for the forum - I'm going to use this function more from now on to register my feelings on a particular topic.

(2) If appropriate, suggest deletion of a thread. If a topic really has been discussed to death, is childish, immature or another "Why don't United order the 737NG?" thread, then it adds nothing to the forum, and will be counter-productive in directing attention away from the more interesting threads. Why not suggest it be deleted if that's how you feel? This method of registering your feelings is far more appropriate than actually replying.

However, I personally find it very difficult to let a post that is full of factually incorrect information stand unchallenged, and I’m sure many other people do as well. There also appear to be a certain hardcore of members who hold certain set views who flatly refuse to re-evaluate those views or consider anyonelse’s opinion, even in the face of stated facts to the contrary

One of the biggest problems facing the forums appears to be attention seeking. Some members appear to put forward an endless stream of topic starters in a desperate effort to get people to reply to them. Unfortunately these topics usually are poorly-thought out, rarely based on any real facts and have been discussed many times before. They contribute nothing to anyone’s’ knowledge or understanding of aviation.

There are also far too many misleading topic headings, which you click on with interest, and then find the actual thread has little to do with the title - again usually an attempt to get people to read a thread because it wouldn't otherwise attract any attention. I don’t think people should really be tolerating misleading topics, if what you’re typing can’t generate any replies on it’s own merits, then that’s told you something hasn’t it.

Something else that appears to be a growing problem is the posting of photos directly into a thread in their full-size format. This is unnecessary, and causes threads to take a very long time to load. Why not just post the small-size photo links – if we want to see the large version we’re all capable of clicking on the image to enlarge it, just like the instructions say.

There are some very arrogant people here who think their right to hold an opinion also includes the requirement that everyone else should accept that opinion, and they also fail to see the difference between a statement of opinion;
“I think United will never order the 737NG”
And an implication of fact
“United will NEVER order the 737NG”
Of course those statements would never be backed up with any reasoned argument, supporting their claims. But when you as a respondent come back with a reasoned reply, stating that while it’s unlikely United will order the 737NG, it’s not impossible because…, you often get something like;
“Hey, I’m entitled to my opinion. Don’t flame me,” or something similar screamed back at you.

Maybe not everyone has noticed, but there are far fewer aviation professionals here than there were just a year ago. A very large proportion of experienced, knowledgeable people have left airliners.net because they were fed up. They weren’t bored, but fed up with the constant stream of posts full of mis-information, fed up with being challenged by 16-year olds who claim to know it all and fed up thinking they always had an uphill battle just to get the simplest point across.

It is exactly the people who are spoiling the forum that are losing out most due to their attitudes. They have most to learn, yet they have already lost most of the professional input into the forums for everyone, that element looks unlikely to ever return. Any insights or information such people could have offered is lost. The refusal to accept any information or opinion that does not tally with their views, no matter how well founded, will mean anyone with much knowledge will leave before too long.

The forum will be transformed;
From having people with a wide range of experience levels in aviation, from a wide variety of backgrounds eager to discuss and share aviation experiences,
To a place where a few people all sharing similar opinions can fight amongst themselves about issues which really aren’t of any interest to the rest of the aviation community.

Do you agree or disagree?
What can we do now to improve things?

Regards
CROSSWIND
 
JetService
Posts: 4611
Joined: Mon Feb 21, 2000 1:12 pm

RE: What's Gone Wrong With The Forums?

Wed Jun 13, 2001 8:06 am

CROSS, was your post intended for Aviation or Non-Aviation? It seems your post was aimed at the other forum. Seems this forum is to provide the non-av topics so aviation people won't get frustrated and leave. Brilliant actually. Since the revenue is driven by advertising, it seems these extra non-aviation eyeballs looking at the site and registering are a GOOD thing as long as they don't drive other members away. If your message was aimed at the other forum, then I certainly agree with you; if its aimed at this one, then I disagree and say...'that's what this is for!'

Dan Patrick of ESPN says it best. You can't stop silly posts, you can only hope to contain them.

"Shaddap you!"
 
User avatar
Crosswind
Topic Author
Posts: 2536
Joined: Sat Nov 25, 2000 4:34 am

RE: What's Gone Wrong With The Forums?

Thu Jun 14, 2001 2:45 am

Jet,
Post was aimed at what goes on in the Aviation Forums! As far as I know there aren't any major problems in the non_av forum, but I don't spend any time here...

Regards
CROSSWIND
 
IndianGuy
Posts: 3126
Joined: Fri Jul 07, 2000 3:14 pm

RE: What's Gone Wrong With The Forums?

Thu Jun 14, 2001 3:02 am

I agree that the level of discussion has indeed gone down.

But how far will ratings help? COnsidering that the same kiddo's who write such childish stuff r also going to do the rating? Perhaps Johan should nominate a team that does the rating of posts.

Also i would like to make a point against censorship. Lets not have any of it here! A forum is made up of members, and i dont think anyone wants to see this forum turn into a "police state".

Basically we stick to the rules. Like no discussing politics in the aviation_forum. But sometimes this rule has to be bent. Like eg. a discussion involving Boeing and Airbus products could also include a debate on the political aspect like subsidies. On another note, a disucssion over "Air Traffic between India and Pakistan" could involve a debate on aspects like Terrorism and Kashmir issue, simply because the overall debate would become meaningless unless these issues are also included in the discussion.

I remember i was once unfairly ticked off by Johan for putting another member in his place when he went on posting abusive stuff about India both here and elsewhere. I am still smarting over that one!

Also if a debate is getting increasingly abusive, as it sometimes does, the members should make a gentlemans promise that they take the "battle" outside the forum and mebbe settle the issue over emails.

I am personally in touch with around a dozen friends made on this very forum, and i am sure that could be a very nice way of dealing with disputes. In short, instead of censorship, lets have a system wherein members keep the place clean.

Also how about aranging meetings of airliners.net members? I would love to meet many of the members i "see" here on this board!
 
OO-VEG
Posts: 1214
Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2000 5:31 pm

RE: What's Gone Wrong With The Forums?

Thu Jun 14, 2001 3:13 am

Yes, the discussions are going downhill. I have noticed it at one of my posts where I asked a question about runways. Well read it for yourself. The number of replies is 30 or so, but only 4 are worthwile reading.
http://www.airliners.net/discussions/tech_ops/read.main/17375/6/

And this is just an example. I don't think it is wrong to talk about this low quality but therefore we have the non-aviation forum, haven't we?

P.S. little disadvantage. The people to who this topic is adressed to probably aren't reading it or do not feel adressed to. Pitty.
 
EGGD
Posts: 11880
Joined: Sat Feb 24, 2001 12:01 am

RE: What's Gone Wrong With The Forums?

Thu Jun 14, 2001 4:13 am

Yes i fully agree. I admit to being involved in these discussions, correcting people when they are wrong, but its a habit. We all make mistakes, and we won't learn unless we are corrected.

I also enjoy a bit of flaming, although i am not proud of it, it is part of my nature. I also get involved in arguments, and in contraversial conversations. I am not an angel but i feel that i can make some valuable suggestions and intelligent posts.

well, thats my view.

EGGD
 
gkirk
Posts: 23346
Joined: Thu Jun 15, 2000 3:29 am

RE: What's Gone Wrong With The Forums?

Thu Jun 14, 2001 5:04 am

I use these forums, to learn new things, especially about the British Aviation scene. I also like o express what I know, and if Im wrong, I like to be corrected.
I also use the non-av forums for having a bit of fun, especially in the TWFirst Volumes.
However, I may not be as old as some of you people, but in my opinion I dont think that the questions I ask are silly most of the time. But if you think that i always ask stupid questions please tell me. I use these forums to gain extra knowledge, but if something is wrong with that then so be it.
Just my thoughts, however I do agree some of the younger members could use the Search function more often.
Graham
When you hear the noise of the Tartan Army Boys, we'll be coming down the road!

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