Last week I set out to talk about the internet in an in depth way, with the idea that I would try to avoid painting things with broad strokes. I mentioned that I have a lot to say about the weird and wonderful web. Now it’s time to get to it.
First up, I figured I would talk about the subject I know the least about, so let me know if it’s lame.
Yeah, that way I have plenty of time to be told I’m wrong and learn my lesson…
Forums have a definite place in the structure and ranks of the internet, offering a place and opportunity for communicating ideas and information. The ability to be heard on a topic, and discuss with others interested in the same ideas gives a lot of us geeks some kind of hope.
And that ability also gives us a bad reputation.
I haven’t ever been a member of a forum, but I’ve read them many times. I spent quite a lot of time perusing places like DakkaDakka and Bolter & Chainsword, and I continually came away from those experiences profoundly disappointed in … well…just about everything…
Somehow, the very nature of forums allows the worst of us to come out, and act like jerks to each other. I found instance after instance of downright creepy and mean attitudes, snark and general jackassery.
Forums have very little direct impact on me or my business. However, when a topic is hot or very popular on one of the sites, we get some conversation in the store. That’s usually a pretty good thing, and I am generally grateful. It pains me to see people getting butt hurt over them, but when customers want stuff or talk about whatever they heard about on the ‘net, I can’t complain too much.
I know there’s a lot I haven’t addressed- but I don’t know a lot about forums. I’d love to hear what you have to say, and talk about it with you further in the comments.