Sunday, 20 June 2010

A funny thing happened on the way to the Forum

I used to frequent a Forum for a period of time. Have you ever done that?

That's the way to take a random and hopefully not representative sample of the Internet community and God what a depressing experience that is. I popped back in there for a couple of minutes this morning before I came in to draft today's Journal entry and it was never like I'd been away.

Yep - my blood pressure was through the roof and I was frothing at the mouth at the pointless crap people will take the time to put forward in debate. Now I know that many will regard the stuff I write here as absolute rubbish, but you came to me. I don't put this forward as an opinion or argument and I don't put myself forward as a subject matter expert or guru in any particular knowledge or lifestyle area. I'm just a bad man living in the English Midlands recording his thoughts and days.

Forums or fora, apparently either plural is acceptable, are quite interesting places to dip in to but never make the mistake I made and join one. They are populated by some of the most truly dreadful people you will ever encounter. I've seen them all including "The only gay on the forum" who posted a lot of camp innuendo but knew absolutely nothing about the subject being discussed. I mean what is the point in waiting 5 minutes for a Microsoft OS PC to boot up plus a further 3 minutes to get some form of Broadband connectivity only to post "I cant help but I'm sure that someone will be along soon who can". For Christ's sake! Would you not re-read that before hitting the Post button and think "well that makes me look like a bit of a fuck wit doesn't it".

We are talking about common interest groups - I intentionally avoid the term community as the only sentence relevant to Forums with "Community" in it should also have the words "Care, in" and "the". - sorry, we are talking about common interest groups where Post Count is King. Every User has a post count which records the number of times they have made an entry in the Forum. Be very careful how you regards this statistic. The uninitiated might will think "Oh that person has made millions of posts, they must be an absolute expert on the subject". They might, but then again you might find that 87% of their posts are made up of "LOL" and "Hugs" and "Capital letters are regarded as SHOUTING".

If you are underneath a Ford Capri from the early 80's and need to know the easiest way to remove the rear axle do you really want to put your trust in an anonymous man who works all day as an Accounts Clerk and then spends his evenings in front of a computer either putting unmoderated bullshit in to a Forum or cruising free porn websites? That way lies bruised knuckles and a large piece of metal falling on your upper body, or if you are him, a huge post count and a sore wrist. Get yourself a Haynes Manual or talk to the Guy down the street who spends his evenings lying underneath a Capri.

It amazes me that people access Fora via the Internet but then seem to forget that they are using a colossal information repository and ask the most basic of questions. I kid you not, I checked out the Forum I used to frequent and a Poster was referring to a Lhasa Apso. I'm not going to go in to why they were asking about a dog on a Poultry forum but, and this is the point, they posted " Lhasa, I'm not sure of the spelling". Have these people never noticed that Google actually has "Do you mean" functionality where it checks the spelling our your searches and gives you alternatives in case you can't spell. How stupid are you when you type a word that you aren't sure how to spell, point out that you aren't sure how to spell it and don't bother using the Internet to check the spelling. Would you want to take advice from a person with that level of intellect?

I could go on ad infinitum about that Forum but I will finish with this. A poster titled their post as URGENT - Sick Chicken and then went on about how concerned they were and how they needed immediate advice as they were absolutely beside themselves with worry over the sick bird. ..... Yep ... so bloody concerned that they went to their PC and wrote a post. Didn't think to pop it in a cardboard box and run it over to the vets.

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