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I am still new to this Forum and have used others in the past. A disturbing trend I continue to see is off topic replies to questions posted by users. The big problem is usually the off topic reply is toned to tell the original poster how horrible of a person they are and how they could be doing so many things differently. It's a holier than thou kind of mentality. Now this Board is much better than a previous one I used before finding this one but it still seems to occur on a regular basis. I created a new thread here instead of reply to a few because I don't want to attack a specific person. I'm not talking about any specific responses to posts I have made. I'm still new to the GSD world in general. I have a 2 years old and much much more to learn. The problem I think some forget is not everyone is born into the GSD world. Not everyone starts out an expert. I for sure have made mistakes and have learned a bunch but have much more to go, which is why I try and read training books, training classes, and get involved in forums like this in order to become a better GSD owner.

It's a great start for folks to be on this forum asking questions and trying to learn. Please take a second look when you reply to questions especially from someone you can tell is new and make sure you are being helpful and informative. I don’t' expect every comment to be handled with kids gloves but take a moment to review your post and make sure your not simply telling a person they are totally wrong in what they are doing.

I apologize because I'm not sure this rant makes sense to anyone but me especially since I did not provide examples. I am trying to stay away from examples from this forum as I dont' want it to be personel thing.
 

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There are some things I've seen a lot in my years on this forum, and a lot more in the last year or so.

1) Someone will come on here and in there first five posts, ask the best way to go about making a bad decision. "What's the best way to keep my 8 week old GSD from getting out of the back yard while I'm at work?" "What do you think of this $200 dog I'm going to be bringing home at 6 weeks old? Look, his dad weighs 150lb!" "What's the best way to keep a working-line dog in an apartment when I work 10 hours a day?"
Then, when (very experienced) people on the board try to tell them they're making a bad decision; we're either going off-topic or bashing. "I didn't ask what you thought of letting my 6 year old kid play unsupervised with my 10-week old puppy, I asked how to make him stop biting her! Will you please stop going off topic! I may not be as experienced as some of you, but I know what I'm doing!

2) Someone will ask for advice and then get it from someone who has literally decades of experience in the GSD breed. The experienced individual comes across as opinionated and overbearing, as people with decades of experience sometimes are, and is accused of bashing.

3) Someone will ask for advice and then get it from someone who has no experience but has heard about it on the forum once or twice. The non-experienced individual comes across as opinionated and overbearing, as keyboard warriors sometimes are, and is accused of bashing.

4) The internet is chock-full of stupid people. You're not going to change them, so your choice is to develop thick skin or keep getting offended, skipping from message board to message board.

5) The problem is that you can't tell which one you're dealing with when you're new.
 

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I am relatively new to the forum as well, and have not noticed this at all. Believe me, I've been on some... interesting forums and this one seems very nice.

Certain threads will get what some term "off topic" replies simply because of their controversial nature. The people on this forum genuinely care about dogs and are going to comment on things that are detrimental to dogs and to the breed. I would be more upset to see people NOT commenting on things that could be harmful to a dog! Plus, this is an internet forum with a wide variety of opinions and those opinions are going to be shared. It's not a good idea to join a forum with the idea that everyone's always going to agree with you... because that's impossible. Getting other people's opinions is very important, IMO!
 

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There are also some people who will take any mention of certain subjects that are background issues of a thread and run away with it. There have been times that I was being drawn into theses side discussions so I started new threads. People didn't post to the new threads. Some people do just love to steer discussions astray.

I get led astray easily and I am sorry if I get led into those tangents.
 

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Well written Emoore and Rott-n-GSDs. Emoore's item 4 is spot on abut stupid folks and my hide is fairly thick. Overall, I have found a wealth of excellent info on this site concerning GSD's.
 

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There are also some people who will take any mention of certain subjects that are background issues of a thread and run away with it. There have been times that I was being drawn into theses side discussions so I started new threads. People didn't post to the new threads. Some people do just love to steer discussions astray.
And that's when a moderator should step in and get the discussion back on topic. I'm not saying they don't, since I'm new here and don't know if they do or don't. But that's what a moderator does. I'm sure the mods here do a great job. :thumbup:
 

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The rant made sense-I go off topic all the time-but I am really begining to prefer the pedigreedatabase to this form
 

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And that's when a moderator should step in and get the discussion back on topic. I'm not saying they don't, since I'm new here and don't know if they do or don't. But that's what a moderator does. I'm sure the mods here do a great job. :thumbup:
The tangents usually have something to do with the original subject so it is allowed to run its course for a while. Just have patience when it happens. Sometimes you get a lot of useful stuff from the tangents as well. It is good that the moderators give some latitude.
 

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The tangents usually have something to do with the original subject so it is allowed to run its course for a while. Just have patience when it happens. Sometimes you get a lot of useful stuff from the tangents as well. It is good that the moderators give some latitude.
Oh I agree. I'm talking about when it get's way past what the OP asked or was seeking advice about.

Mostly when a new discussion forms and has nothing to do with the initial topic. That's when I think a mod should intervene and get the discussion back on track. Then a new thread could be started to continue the discussion.
I think as long as the OP is in on whatever new topic is started in their thread, than that's fine. They obviously are interested in it.
But if it detracts from the intention of the thread, then the mods should step in (in my opinion).
 

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I agree with kiwilrdg...mods do a great job here and step in when needed. And many times they aren't alerted to something going off topic, they are volunteers. If you want a mod to step in hit the notify button.
Once you get to know who is who on here, you usually know the individuals that like to stir things up or push their own agenda's.
 

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The moderators stepping in is an issue of opinion. Some think it is too early, some think it is too late. They do a good job in a job that cannot make everyone happy. For example everyone has different outlooks on what is appropriate in terms of religious discussion or on when physical force is justified in confrontations. I agree with some decisions and disagree with others, but they are the moderators.

I wish when a new thread is started to contain a tangent that the posts would continue in the new threads because I like a lot of the tangents.
 

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Sometimes I think replies only seem off-topic, but aren't. An example would be the newbie member who starts a thread asking for tips on how to acclimate their 12 week old puppy to life as an outside pet. The fact that so many will post with explanations on why it isn't a good idea to A) leave a young puppy out unattended in the yard, and/or B) why keeping a dog like a GSD strictly outside is not a good choice isn't really off-topic. More dog experienced members are trying to divert a problem before it becomes a problem, and will lay out the things that can happen when a puppy/dog lives outside. Or why breeding their 11 month old pet isn't a good idea. Or why letting your 10 year old daughter walk your fear aggressive dog isn't a good idea.

I think sometimes new people confuse disagreement with bashing. Telling someone that what they plan on doing is not the best way to go about achieving the results they want is not bashing. Especially when the person telling them is backed with decades of good, solid experience. Looking past the immediate situation and seeing all the long term ramifications of someone's current plan of action is very much on topic, I think. Just because the OP's inexperience didn't see that far down the road doesn't mean that there isn't more road, so to speak.

I do think that what makes some thread interactions get a little tense is the unwillingness of some newbies (and a few oldbies, too) to even consider that they might be wrong. They take disagreement so personally, get defensive and before you know it the thread has turned into a cloud of turd bombs. Which is too bad, because so much learning and exchange of ideas has been lost here in the past year or so.
Sheilah
 

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I see it as conversations. Conversations sometimes twist and turn in different directions. I think it would be pretty boring if every topic had to stay within very narrow bounds.

I think that e-moore's post was awesome and right on. I would only add that I think that after the four hundred and thirty second time of saying that something is not a good idea, particularly in areas that are detrimental to the breed as a whole, patience tends to wear thin, and a new poster of the same question, might get a quicker, harsher response than maybe is warranted.

No, it is not right to chew a new person out for asking a worn out question, but a little understanding goes a long way on both sides.
 

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I see it as conversations. Conversations sometimes twist and turn in different directions. I think it would be pretty boring if every topic had to stay within very narrow bounds.
Absolutely. If the same thing is said over and over, it get's boring.
Many times a thread will progress into other aspects of the original topic. I don't consider it going off topic. Giving advice that maybe the OP didn't ask for isn't wrong either. That's what's good about being on a forum to begin with. To hear all opinions, and to consider things you might not have otherwise known.

I am a jokester and since I'm new here, you haven't see that yet. :D
On another forum where I know people better, we tend to crack jokes to one another. Once, we were joking around on a thread and it started a domino effect. Next thing you know we had a mod who told us to get back on topic.
Did we go overboard? Yes! And the mod was just doing his job and keeping the topic on track.
That's going off topic in my opinion (and yes, I was guilty :p).
 

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1) Someone will come on here and in there first five posts, ask the best way to go about making a bad decision. "What's the best way to keep my 8 week old GSD from getting out of the back yard while I'm at work?" "What do you think of this $200 dog I'm going to be bringing home at 6 weeks old? Look, his dad weighs 150lb!" "What's the best way to keep a working-line dog in an apartment when I work 10 hours a day?"
Then, when (very experienced) people on the board try to tell them they're making a bad decision; we're either going off-topic or bashing. "I didn't ask what you thought of letting my 6 year old kid play unsupervised with my 10-week old puppy, I asked how to make him stop biting her! Will you please stop going off topic! I may not be as experienced as some of you, but I know what I'm doing!

Sometimes I think replies only seem off-topic, but aren't. An example would be the newbie member who starts a thread asking for tips on how to acclimate their 12 week old puppy to life as an outside pet. The fact that so many will post with explanations on why it isn't a good idea to A) leave a young puppy out unattended in the yard, and/or B) why keeping a dog like a GSD strictly outside is not a good choice isn't really off-topic. More dog experienced members are trying to divert a problem before it becomes a problem, and will lay out the things that can happen when a puppy/dog lives outside. Or why breeding their 11 month old pet isn't a good idea. Or why letting your 10 year old daughter walk your fear aggressive dog isn't a good idea.

I think sometimes new people confuse disagreement with bashing. Telling someone that what they plan on doing is not the best way to go about achieving the results they want is not bashing. Especially when the person telling them is backed with decades of good, solid experience. Looking past the immediate situation and seeing all the long term ramifications of someone's current plan of action is very much on topic, I think. Just because the OP's inexperience didn't see that far down the road doesn't mean that there isn't more road, so to speak.

I do think that what makes some thread interactions get a little tense is the unwillingness of some newbies (and a few oldbies, too) to even consider that they might be wrong. They take disagreement so personally, get defensive and before you know it the thread has turned into a cloud of turd bombs. Which is too bad, because so much learning and exchange of ideas has been lost here in the past year or so.
Sheilah
What they said. Just because you don't want to hear it doesn't mean it's not relevant.

I agree with kiwilrdg...mods do a great job here and step in when needed. And many times they aren't alerted to something going off topic, they are volunteers. If you want a mod to step in hit the notify button.
I cannot stress this enough. I think there's still a general impression that we are on here all day, following each and every thread on the board closely. This is a very active board and that is simply not possible. Even in the discussions that I've personally participated in, I'm not always able to read every post. Sometimes I'll read a thread in the morning and everything is going along fine, and by the time I get back on the board after work there are 50 more posts and it's taken a serious turn for the worse. Or I'll read a thread in the evening before I go to bed, and it's gone bad and been locked by the time I get up the next day.

Also, going off topic is not against the rules here. I've been on another board where they remove posts that are even the slightest bit off topic and steer everyone back on track, and I didn't like it at all. We do allow a lot of latitude here and I much prefer that - discussions are more like conversations, which often go off on a related tangent. We try not to interfere too much in a discussion unless board rules are being broken, and won't steer a thread back on topic unless it's clearly headed in a direction that's going to become a problem.
 

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I think the problem lies that most posters on here only have the dogs interest at heart and not the posters, after all we are all dog lovers. So this to me sometimes comes accross as harsh even though i know it's not, its just simple dog lovers looking at a dogs best interest in my opinion and not a poster.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Wow I have to say lots of good responses and I am seeing things in a bit of a differnt light. I totally understand the thick skin thing. I'm not worried about someone telling me I'm wrong I can usually admit it. I also have to admit after looking back at one of the posts that insipired me to write this it turned into what several folks have replied to. A uninformed person getting ready to make a huge mistake and does not even seem to be taking in anything said about the possible mistake. So maybe some of these are people with much more experince seeing through to problems ahead of time.

It does lead to an intersting question of how do you get people much more educated on proper pet ownership. A reocurring theme I have seen is that a lot of people just don't seem to know any better and I have definatley fallen into that category before.

I guess for some people the saying might be best about leading a horse to water but you can't make it drink.
 

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You can only do so much on the internet.
If someone really wants to learn anything, they'll be open to suggestions.
I think the majority of people here are looking out for the dog and what's in it's best interest. And that's the way it should be.
If people get their feelings hurt, then this isn't the venue they should be in.
Thick skin is definitely a requirement. :D
 
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