Sunday, 19 May 2013

Things that drive me nuts on forums

I frequent a few forums. Just like the myriad of interests I highlight on here, I go to a few disparate forums. I have for about a decade now. Great way to learn, share what you know, meet fellow enthusiasts, and just plain old having a connection with other human beings.

But increasingly forums drive me nuts.

While it’s great that the internet allows anyone to ask any question that pops into their head, it also allows people to ask the most inane questions imaginable. The “I’m looking for Audi R8 quality but I want to pay Kia Rio prices” threads are one in particular.

“I’m looking for a sleeping bag, that will keep me warm down to -40, pack down to something the size of a softball, fit my 400 pounds, weigh half a pound, come in a colour that pleases my aesthetic tastes....and I want it for $30.”

“I’m looking for a back pack that is super light, really comfortable, totally waterproof, huge volume, have the exact pocket arrangement I want, in a pleasing shade of chartreuse...oh and about $50.”

These questions drive me completely nuts. Look, you nickle and diming cheapskate. You can have some of those features. All of them? And at the most ludicrous price point imaginable? It’s this idea that there is a bargain version of everything. That totally unique, high quality item is made by a skilled artisan working in a first world country. No, the Walmart version doesn’t exist. Stop your snivelling questions about where you can find something of equal quality for an eighth of the price. Let me introduce you to the concept exemplified by a sign behind the counter of one of the first places I worked. “Fast. Cheap. Good. Pick two.”

Which dovetails into feeling compelled to tell everyone it’s out of your price range. I don’t care and neither does anyone else. Whenever someone posts something of superior quality some sockpuppet invariably feels compelled to state how expensive they think that is. So what? This is the best you can contribute to a thread? “Well, I can’t afford that.” Terrific. Thanks for that scintillating tidbit of information.

The inability to grasp the concept of the search button. Which dovetails into another annoyance, the same damn question over and over and over again. Your question has been asked many times and answered many more times. Are people really so oblivious as to not have a clue that a search feature exists, or are they really entitled douche bags who think that they don’t have to bother to look for the answer and expect everyone to go out of their way to re-write all that information all over again, just for them? Forums really don’t need ten threads covering the exact same topic. If it gets asked more than once, merge them, and make it a sticky. Forums at this point should start to function more as a clearing house for info, than as a place for every new to the internet mope to blunder in and ask the same ad nauseum question over and over and over again.

Questions that could essentially be answered with a Google search are another subset of that. LMGTFY.

Reviews that consist of “I just got this in and it looks great.” Really? I realize you’re desperate to belong and all, but could you post a more useless waste of bandwidth? What good is that? Get back to us after you’ve used it for a year. I don’t care that it looks good, I care that it performs good.

Even worse than that are “I just ordered this” posts. I want to reach through my computer and slap those drips.

Stating “gosh, I’d post pictures, but I don’t know how.” This was acceptable a decade ago, when forums were new, but by this point, I don’t think there is a forum in existence that doesn’t have a little tutorial on the very simple process of how to host and post photos. Look it up or get off the internet.

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