“What I look for when seeking the Perfect Message Board”

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by freeandfun1, Jul 12, 2005.

  1. freeandfun1
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    freeandfun1 VIP Member

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    Generally, message boards are meant to be a place where people can come together to discuss ideas, debate issues and learn from others. There are good message boards and there are bad message boards. I seek the perfect message board.

    In my experience, a bad message board is one that provides neither guidelines nor requirements for participation and does not expect nor require its members to participate in an intelligent manner. A bad message board offers its member nothing as it is quickly inundated with posts containing nothing but hyperbole, rhetoric and biased opinions based on questionable “facts” that are totally unsupportable. A bad message board will appear silly, immature and anarchistic thereby causing the mind atrophy and its members to leave seeking a new home.

    A good message board is one where people can come together to discuss ideas, debate issues and learn from others with limited interruption. It will consist of an acceptable environment that is intelligent and challenging and thereby provide some intellectual growth.

    I am searching for the perfect message board.

    In the perfect message board the members are contributing to discussions on the topics of the day in a substantive manner based on facts, personal experiences, and intelligently considered and expressed opinions. In the perfect message board the members respect each other even when they do not agree and even if, once in a while, they get little hot under the collar.

    Free speech is an essential requirement for my perfect message board as is the requirement that the participants exercise their free speech rights in a coherent, mature and intelligent manner. That does not mean everybody has to agree; that would be pointless. Opposing views are a necessary part of learning as they provide one with perspectives to consider that will either reinforce what they already believe or force them to reconsider their existing points of view. Therefore, the perfect message board is a place where free speech is accepted and encouraged but where the members are required to maintain a higher standard of discourse.

    Lastly, the perfect message board will have established reasonable rules that are enforced by moderators that understand what is required to provide an intelligent arena for discussions. It will require its members to participate in an intelligent and thoughtful manner and will not tolerate members that offer nothing but confrontational and mindless garbage. It will recognize and respect the intellectual capabilities of its members thereby fostering and maintaining an intelligent and learned environment for their benefit.

    What do you look for when seeking your perfect message board?
     
  2. Annie
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    Annie Diamond Member

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    Free I think this is well said and I agree. I also think there should be 'fun' and an ability to share ideas without feelings getting hurt too much.

    Personally, I think some wrong turns were made during the Schaivo threads. I personally was hurt when some came at me for not agreeing 100% with what they were saying. Then it seemed to me, (perceptions ARE in the eye of the beholder), that some were using anti-Catholicism and throwing 'closet lib' around a bit too much.

    Did I pm them? No. Did I get angry enough to post on 'far right'? Yes. Was I wrong to do that to posters I had known quite awhile? Yes. I'm sorry. I've said that to some of those that bothered to talk to me afterwards, I've tried to reach out to some I knew I offended. That's all one can do.
     
  3. GotZoom
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    GotZoom Senior Member

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    When I moved to Italy, the first friend I made gave me this advice. He said that if I wanted to "survive" living among the locals, do not talk about:

    1. Religion

    2. Politics

    3. Sports

    Well, I listened to him for about a month. Then, well...I couldn't resist. Not talking about sports: Impossible!! Especially since I was a Rossonieri and nobody like AC Milan. Then the conversations turned to politics and religion.

    But what happened surprised him. There weren't any fights, no chairs thrown into the piazza, no one got slapped. We had spirited conversations, did some yelling and screaming, but at the end, we toasted each other and went on our way.

    It is when people take an opposing opinion as something personal. Just because I don't believe your stand about something, that doesn't mean that I hate you. And, if I call someone an idiot (or whatever), I feel you are an idiot for what you posted; not in life in general.

    I think there are some people who don't share my same opinion. As a brief example, I was neg-repped by someone simply because I agreed with someone's post in a specific thread. The person who neg-repped me didn't like the person I agreed with; so I was dinged. Guilt by association I guess.

    People...this board is for conversation. Sharing of thoughts and opinions.

    I don't know about you, but I like hearing and discussing different ideas and opinions. I learn from it. It makes me a better person.

    If we turn into DU, we all will be missing out on a great experience.
     
  4. freeandfun1
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    freeandfun1 VIP Member

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    My entire point with this is that there are many of us here that I consider bright, intelligent and articulate. Then you have those that offer nothing by hyperbole, rhetoric and are, frankly, confrontational just to be confrontational. And that is on both sides.

    The first message board I ever belong to was one that Stratfor used to host. There was a very intelligent mix of liberals and conservatives and although things would sometimes get heated during debates, NOBODY accepted people coming in and throwing out crap like gabby and a few other have. Their rule was, "if you can't participate in an intelligent, concerted and informative manner, then we don't want you here". If somebody was to come in and start acting like gabby, they would get booted and have their subscription fee refunded. And at the time, their subsription fee was something like $300 a year (I used it for business intel and that is how I found it).

    Members like Deaddude, Isaac Brock, and even spilly and bully to an extent, that could voice their opinions in a clear an concise manner without resorting to abject mannerisms, comments, etc. were welcomed no matter how many of us may or may not agree with them. The site drew all kings of folks and even had some really good Washington insider liberals that were smart and good make you wonder about your idealogy on occassion. It wasn't whether one was conservative or liberal that got you accepted, it was your ability participate in intelligent conversation and debate. Frankly, I miss that.

    A person like Gabby would not have been tolerated at Stratfor because they offer nothing to a discussion. Their contribution is retread trash that has been proved over and over again to have no legs and their rhetoric is so inflamatory it takes away from what should be legitimate discussions.

    Unfortunately, after 911 they had to shut down the Stratfor board because too many members worked in or for the government in sensitive positions and therefore, it became an opsec issue.

    All I would like to see is the moderators here step in from time and time and let folks like Gabby know that if they have nothing to offer conversation wise, then they should look elsewhere. Do we really want this place to become another DU or Yahoo chat room? I don't think so. I have met online here a lot of people I respect - even a few liberals and I hate to see that get lost because of a few idiots that basically take over the board by pissing everybody off with their incoherant and illiterate ramblings.

    I think sometimes the members of this board - and yes, that includes some of the mods - don't respect what we have here enough. I think that many see this as a place to come and try to be the big guy or gal and they don't at all attempt to make this the first class discussion (that is the key word, DISCUSSION) board that it could and should be with the quality of many of the members we have here. I admit that even I have fallen into that trap from time to time. However, if the intelligence level of the baord gets watered down any more, in my opinion, this board is going to deteriorate to a level where I will no longer desire to participate.

    As you saw in my little essay, I don't want a place where everybody is walking in lockstep with each other. That serves no purpose. But I do expect to be able to engage in debate with members that aren't mental midgets.

    Lastly, I know what you are saying about during Shiavo. I too felt that things got a bit out of hand. Hell, even you and I went at it a couple of times but we were both capable, mature enough and willing to get over our differences. I think that is very important.

    I would venture to say that there are just as many conservatives on here that act like gabby as there are liberals. They just don't get called out to the mat very often as many of us are guilty of letting them slide just because they are often espousing similar beliefs to ours even if it is done in a rude and cursory manner. That isn't right either.

    Let's make this a place where intellectual minds (not elitist - intellectual) can gather to exchange views, opinions and ideas. If we do that, this will be a first class joint!
     
  5. Annie
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    Annie Diamond Member

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    I agree with most of what zoom posted. I don't think the problem here has ever been like DU, where just being a conservative, strike that, not being a full out and out leftist will get you banned.

    Still it seems now that the very letter of the rules will be followed, which I don't think anyone has a problem with. The trick is to keep this from turning into Yahoo boards, with swears and dirty pics.
     
  6. no1tovote4
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    no1tovote4 VIP Member

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    I look for free speech and as little Moderation as possible when it comes to what people post. Much like government, board moderation should be based on a victim mindset. If there is not a direct victim, there is no reason to ban.

    That's just my opinion.

    That being stated, I like this board alot. While it leans heavily conservative there are lefties on the board, mostly those with a good constitution.

    I also look for intelligent debate. There are some posters that I miss on this forum like Civil Liberty but you can largely find intelligent people posting their opinions on this board, even if some express themselves more colorfully than others.

    I also look for ideas. I like boards that people will post some things I would not normally think about, or haven't for a long time. Ideas are the food of the mind and mine has a large appetite, I look for people that also have that same appetite. You can find boards that have very little moderation where people are morons and contribute little, and boards where that same moderation level is used where the members are awesome it really depends on the community that forms. Jim has done a good job attracting decent members and a good community of regular posters has formed.
     
  7. dilloduck
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    dilloduck Diamond Member

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    I agree---and I sure would like to know who is trying to corrupt it by colluding with other board members. Behavior like that is intolerable and will create an atmosphere of paranoia.
     
  8. freeandfun1
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    freeandfun1 VIP Member

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    the $64,000 question.
     
  9. dilloduck
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    dilloduck Diamond Member

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    and I guess the reality is that this is not a democracy. The board is privately owned and operated. Freedom of speech is made very clear---there are no rules about freedom of association. Ultimately NO one is going to " take control" becuase they simply can't. With the mod system in place we have a system to control the board but at the same time, that creates a group with power and special priviledges that others don't have. This in itself creates two "teams" if you will. I could care less what "team" I am on but will stand my ground for my right to be here unless I break the rules. While rules are necessary to provide guidance, they can get so confusing that they are open to interpretation. Hopefully the warning system will be used to prevent people form misunderstanding or being misunderstood.
     
  10. freeandfun1
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    freeandfun1 VIP Member

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    I guess my points (maybe not, maybe I am the one missing something here) in the initial post has been lost...

    Free speech is a must. But then again, if the free speech isn't adding anything substantive - as in intelligent debate, etc. - what is the point? Free speech doesn't have to mean letting any nut in here that wants to make a ponit by throwing out crap and seeing if it sticks. I hope for a forum that encourages and requires from its members intelligent and engaging discussions. Not just one hit wonders, or post and never reply, etc. It makes you wonder if some of the most confrontational posters that really don't engage in debate but throw shit out and run are creations to keep things "exciting". I would rather engage in a cerebral debate that forces me to think instead of just reading the same ole crap over and over again from one hit wonders.

    Just my two cents which many probably view as not even being worth that....
     

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