Jun 14, 2001 3:35 PM
|Okay, after reading Grumpy's post, I felt guilty. I have been so thankful for this community. I wouldn't have purchased half the bike I chose or pushed my goals so far except for this board. But I often feel badly when posting and wonder if people would rather I (newbie) would just go away. I also noticed a number of more experienced riders have gone missing recently. hmmm.
I supose there are any number of forums someone like Grumpy could visit, where newbies do not post. Perhaps the RBR Niche is that its a newbie friendly site.
How many of the regular, long-term posters/experienced riders wish that the newbie's would find another place to go? Does my/or any other newbie posting here detract from the purpose/quality of the board?
Suggestion for Gregg! Do a chat focus group. I've been part of online focus groups before, and they can really help you establish a statement of purpose. Plus, if you hand select participants, it will make the long term members feel some ownership and will give them extra reason to stick around.|
|Kristin, stay. Not only have your travails been||bill|
Jun 14, 2001 3:48 PM
|spectacularly entertaining (and, please believe me, however condescending that sounds, I really don't mean it that way -- you sound like an interesting person, you really do), but, as I have moved from neophyte to well, not greybeard, but at least not neophyte anymore, newbie questions challenge what I think I've learned. If you really want to learn a subject, try to teach it. So, newbie questions give a guy like me the opportunity to teach a little, and I think that some of the genuine greybeards probably feel the same way. Too many of the same questions gets a little old, but, as long as there's balance, it's not a bad community. I think that the board will ebb sometimes, but then it'll flow.
Don't feel bad about a durned thing. Your enthusiasm is infectious and appreciated.
|yeah, what Bill said and...||bigdave|
Jun 14, 2001 9:03 PM
|You have been helpful too. I still am ever grateful for offering ride suggestions in Chicago, even though my schedule didn't work out in the end.
And... like all good teachers beat into your head, there *is no* dumb question. Everyone starts somewhere. Never be afraid to ask... just try to ignore the knuckleheads that spout off and ridicule you. And take solace in the fact that they are probably as miserable a person as they come off sounding. Who needs them?
|Yes, stay. Don't listen to grumpy. Listen to sneezy and Doc. nm||redman|
Jun 14, 2001 10:14 PM
|re: Grumpy Poll||Alan B|
Jun 14, 2001 4:16 PM
|You know, you were the example that came to mind in writing my reply to Grumpy, but by the time I hit post I had neglected to include your name. I doubt any of us went untouched by your experience and what you've ADDED to the forum. (Just last night I told my wife about the pasta recipe and the forum response.) You, quite frankly, are the perfect example of why the forum works as is and why it is important for those who have been around awhile to help the newcomers.|
|you are not the problem - we need moderators||Dog|
Jun 14, 2001 4:32 PM
|Kristin, you are not the problem. While certainly if someone has been around here a long time, many over a year, we do see some questions over and over. It's not the simplicity of the questions, but the repetition that becomes a bit boring. When we post often, and if we do it in a thoughtful way, then some of us almost feel obligated to continue to respond. Doing so really doesn't bother me, but I do think people should do a search first, as many topics have been thoroughly addressed many times.
I've seen, too, that if the more thoughtful contributors don't respond, then the juvenile, sarcastic, arrogant, jerk types usually lurking around come out of the woodwork to flame away the newbies. When I see someone sincerely asking for help, I want to help, and if I don't, they get blasted. So, it seems it becomes somewhat difficult to post thoughtfully, but not regularly.
However, even the repetition is not all that bad. What really irks me are the jerks. People who seem to find pleasure in degrading, trivializing, or just being nasty. I really can't stand that. That's not to say that even a heated, very contentious argument can't take place. I've been a part of a few myself. But, stay dignified and mature about it. People calling others stupid because they asked a question, or posting threads about 'who is the biggest jerk' is just wasteful and obnoxious. No need to get personal, particularly if someone else is being sincere, even if they are completely misinformed or have a different opinion. Those things just really turn me off.
You know what this site really needs? A moderator who keeps tabs on things, and has the power to edit or yank any post - yes, a censor. That could maintain the dignity and respectfulness of the site, yet permit freedom to address all the issues. Hey, we all know the rules, they are posted here. No one has the RIGHT to post here, it's entirely by permission of the owners, and according to their rules. So, appoint some moderators with the power to edit - it could be as simple as changing one or two words in some posts. Establish a complaint procedure if the users feel the moderators are being unfair. I guarantee the over all quality of posts would improve. I'd be here far more under those circumstances.
|Another suggestion||mike mcmahon|
Jun 14, 2001 5:24 PM
|Maybe Gregg can put a short blurb at the start page of the message board, something like: "Attention New Posters" telling them that numerous topics have been covered in detail and suggesting that they start by running a key word search before posting a question. The message could be phrased in a way that wouldn't discourage new people from participating in the board but would still cut down on repetetive questions. Just my .02.
|Though I'm no newbie...||boy nigel|
Jun 14, 2001 5:00 PM
|I don't at all mind people asking for help on things which concern them. I only wish I had a roadbikereview.com around when I was still a "newbie." I had to learn from watching and occasionally asking. I didn't really have access to too many experienced riders--at least not on a How-do-you-do-this? or What-does-this-mean? or Why-this-and-not-that? basis. I know a fair amount about bikes and how they work, but there's always so much more to learn; one of the things that makes this "hobby" so fascinating to me--besides the exercise and fun part of it.
Newbies: Ask away. I enjoy the thought of being able to help someone out with their problems, questions, or concerns. I've always been pretty patient about teaching things, and I enjoy the process.
There will always be "newbies," and that's not a bad thing.
|It's why I post...||TJeanloz|
Jun 14, 2001 5:43 PM
|As much fun as it is to discuss the aerodynamic advantages of a lenticular vs. flat disc wheel, let's face it: it's an entirely frivolous discussion. I would much rather answer "stupid" questions that new people have about safety, sizing, and other things than argue with a bunch of "experienced" cyclists about whether Merlin, Litespeed, Seven, or Colnago are the best bike. And I'm sure somebody's going to be insulted that I didn't post their favorite brand to that short list.
As I see it, the whole purpose of this forum is to have experienced riders share their knowledge with newer riders. There are others out there, notably Cyclingforum.com, that have a 'club' type atmosphere and would admonish (or at least not reply to) a beginner question. And I highly recommend that site for people who want to discuss really esoteric issues, but rbr.com has always been a little bit more basic and down to earth.
|I'm with you (nm)||Dog|
Jun 14, 2001 6:03 PM
|What about Serotta! How could you forget Serotta?||redman|
Jun 14, 2001 10:22 PM
|Sorry, can't let a short list go unpunished.|
|re: Grumpy Poll||Skip|
Jun 14, 2001 5:51 PM
|Newbies are not the problem. The longest graybeard was a newbie at some point. As Doug pointed out, sometimes it seems that topics are re-introduced by a newbie, unaware that not only is it a frequent Q, but maybe was asked/answered 2,3, or more times the previous week. What this board really needs is a FAQ page, for anyone to seek info from first. The Campy/Shimano debate, best lubes for chains, pros/cons of float, wheels, etc. topics have been brought up and answered many times before - a FAQ page, with the ability to update and for new posters to add their .02 concerning a topic would surely help.
The real PIA for me are the flamers, that offer nothing constructively or intelligently to this forum, and often seem to flame away for no other reason than to try to incite a riot, yell fire in a theatre. Freedom of speach is good, but flames, and topics of "Who is the biggest AH", "Most useless information", etc. serve no purpose in this forum, and should be weeded out by management.
|re: Grumpy Poll||gmagee|
Jun 14, 2001 6:01 PM
|Grumpus made a comment about Bicycling magazine; "they recycle all the info every six months".
There is a reason for this; there are new people every day deciding not to drive their car and actually ride a bicycle instead.
To help in the dissuasion that they are making some will buy a magazine. Not to learn about race results or how to decrees a bike that they can't even pronoance the name of, by 3oz.
Or some will go into a bike store and ether be talked to like a 3 year old. Or a student of metallurgy and physics. All to end up buying a bike that not necessarily the bike that is right for them but the one that the shop had instock.
Some will do research on the web, only to be told by people on the web that before they ask a question that they should research it first, before wasting their time in asking.
I thought that when I found this site it was a fantastic place to exchange thoughts, tips, information and even the unexpected recipe without the putdown that is in full supply at the LBS.
It is silly because the simplest questions are the easiest to answer. Especialy if you have already done it 400 times.
Please try to remember that "one more person on a bike is one less person trying to run you and me over with a car".
|It's good to see||peloton|
Jun 14, 2001 6:11 PM
|Doug Sloan and TJeanloz posting again. I think the largest portion of why so many of the posts have become repetitive is the lack of insight of people like Doug and TJeanloz (and others who we don't see anymore). When you lose quality contrtibutors, it only makes the bad stand out more.|
|Good point||mike mcmahon|
Jun 14, 2001 6:14 PM
|I was thinking the same thing: It's nice to see Ted and Doug back. I hope it's not a temporary return.|
|What problem are you trying to solve here?||mr_spin|
Jun 14, 2001 6:30 PM
|If you want a free-flowing exchange of ideas, you have to accept the good with the bad. Sure, there is a lot of junk here, but there's also some pretty good information and thoughts, too. And sometimes, even a nasty post contains the answer you are looking for.
You don't have to read every post. You don't even have to understand every post. It's a big world out there, and you probably haven't seen it all. You definitely don't have to respond to every post.
Can I do without the personal attacks? Of course. But you know, different people take things different ways. Some people get easily offended, others laugh it off. Sometimes the context just gets lost, and what is supposed to be friendly joshing is viewed as an attack.
Can I do with the flames? Oh yeah. But again, what is a flame? Some are clear cases. Others are a matter of opinion. Who's to decide?
Can I do without the newbies? Absolutely not. To me, that's half the fun. I have experiences that I can share, knowledge that I can pass on. Bring on the newbies. You have to start somewhere. Besides, even the "experienced" riders keep rehashing the same old debates! Campy vs. Shimano, Steel is real, blah, blah, blah, etc. Remember, you don't have to read it!
The bottom line: where there is no conflict, there is no passion. That is the absolute truth. If you start chasing off people because you don't like what they say or think, all that will be left are extremely boring people doing extremely boring posts. And this board will die a slow death. Meanwhile, everyone interesting will move somewhere else and start the whole process over again. It's a cycle, but that's why we're cyclists.
|rbr.com is my only link to the cycling world||STEELYeyed|
Jun 14, 2001 8:17 PM
|other than when I travel to rides and tours,reading the reviews here and lurking in the boards are my whole cycling education,I am a proud graduate of "RBR University", if you will,and with a small,but seasoned group of professors(you know who you are) that will respond to the most basic questions is why I have continued to visit this site,there are going to be bad posts and flames and trash talk,but thats the price we pay for free speech and open forums,I feel like I belong to the road "fraternity" now by watching,listening,and an occasional post to this board,and I have no reservation sharing what I have learned,no one is obligated to post here, or answer questions, but that is what makes this board what it is.
|Stay with us !||davidl|
Jun 14, 2001 7:03 PM
|The forum should include not exclude. Every new cyclist is a boost to the sport. This is the greatest sport going and everyone should be made welcome. The last thing the sport needs is another elitist clique on the internet. I do think that Doug's 'pact' is a good idea to improve the quality of the posts.|
|Yes, and the other women too||mike mcmahon|
Jun 14, 2001 7:20 PM
|Having more female voices on this board has been a real boon, in my opinion. Hearing a different (or not different) perspective from new and seasoned riders like Kristin, lonefrontranger, rollo, Delia, and others has been one of the bright spots on this board. Keep up the good work.|
|Possible solutions... my .02||nn23|
Jun 14, 2001 8:01 PM
|Two of the most common complaints that I see in this thread are that certain questions just keep repeating and secondly the flaming etc that goes around.
If some of the more knowledgeable folks out here could get together an FAQ I'm certain repeat newbie questions could fall by 50%. If nothing else, a newbie like me would find the FAQ educative and increase the quality of questions being posed.
As for the 2nd problem of junk posts the solution goes like this... (I first saw this implemented for a discussion group of an advanced graduate class I was taking)
- Each poster starts off with say 1,000 points.
- Every post cost 10 points.
- Every post posted by anyone can be optionally rated as thumbs-up, thumbs-down by every other registered user.
- The total number of thumbs-up and thumbs-down will be displayed against each post.
- Depending upon the total number of "thumbs-up" or "thumbs-down", the posters points increase or decrease.
- The posters cumulative points will also be displayed along with the posters name.
Now as a reader, one will be able to either automatically (thru preferences) or visually filter out posts that have more thums-down than thumbs-up or are posted by someone with very few points (say 200).
|It's hard enough to stay current....||Len J|
Jun 15, 2001 6:28 AM
|with the board. If I had to vote on every post, I'd get too tired to respond. Just me though. Not a bad concept, I just can't see the practicality.|
|of course they should leave||fuzzybunnies|
Jun 14, 2001 9:57 PM
|and take everyone with them that wishes to post resposibly to some site that flamers can't find. But since such a site currently doesn't exist they should continue to show up here till than. TTFN|
|re: Grumpy Poll||tincanman99|
Jun 14, 2001 10:33 PM
|I have been only riding about a year. I have learned tons on this forum that I would not have been able to find out otherwise. |
I looked at Grumpy's post. The man needs to lighten up in a big way. This is not life or death we are talking about here. This is something to be enjoyed as part of life. If he can't deal with new cyclists than maybe he should not be here on this board. This moron had better realize one thing, the more people that ride the better it is for the sport. I remember reading about 3 years ago how road cycling was dead and nobody was doing it anymore. I live in NJ and we have tons of road cyclists. A lot more than I saw a couple of years ago. More cyclists mean a healthier sport, healthier bike shops and everything else that goes with it. Lots of cycle companies were on the edge of extinction because nobody wanted road bikes. Everything had to be a mountain bike. Now if he can't appreciate the fact that the younger cyclists by buying a bike saved these companies than he needs a lesson Economics 101.
Grumpy needs to grow up and get a life. For Pete's sake stop whining and go out and ride...
Jun 14, 2001 11:17 PM
|I totally didn't expect such a response. Thanks for all the encouragement!! Sometimes one loud voice in a crowd appears to pervey the entire crowds opinion. I'm glad this isn't the case. And I'm really glad to see some of the old (in wisdom, not years) posters coming back online!!
Many stated that they can do without flames. I couldn't agree more. But I would like to draw a distinction between flames and flamebait. Flames are mean and offense in manner--designed to generate anger. Flamebait, however, is another story. It walks a fine line--every now and again meandering to the wrong side. But some of my favorite posts started this way. (unicycle fit issues, visits from famous bunnies, etc...). I've enjoyed the humorous side of the board.
|re: Grumpy Poll||Starliner|
Jun 14, 2001 11:28 PM
|Drop the newbie label and forget about it. When you're pedaling down the pike for the umpteenth time, your're a rider of experience. So what if a jersey passes you when you're gassed. You've thrown the dice, now you're a player. So just get it on.|
|Newbies are the future of any sport.||eoind|
Jun 15, 2001 3:17 AM
|If beginners aren't encouraged to continue with their new sport or hobby, what chance do we have of getting cycling better accepted by the population at large and the lawmakers of tomorrow? The more cyclists there are on the roads, whether they are riding $4000 road racing machines, or $100 bikes to ride to the local shop, the better it will be for all of us.
If this board does anything to discourage new riders from continuing, then it is doing a disservice to us all.
|Great Post Kristin....||Len J|
Jun 15, 2001 5:46 AM
|I was also bothered by the implication in Grumpy's post that Newbie's should go away. This was probably obvious by my response. I think that Newbie's add a texture to the board that is irreplacable. Both, by bringing thier unique personalities (not talking about anyone in particular) but also thier unique perspectives on thier riding problems. For me, I am sometimes reminded of why I got into riding, as I read a Newbie post about the excitement of thier first 50 miler or century or when a newbie posts (obviously Hesitantly) about a problem & help and advice comes back to them in buckets. I would hate to lose this.
I agree with most others that the problem is the personal attacks. They get really old. In my experience, people that need to express themselves this way are really looking for attention. The easiest way to drive them away is DON'T GIVE THEM ANY ATTENTION. I suspect that if every personal attack, Flame whatever was simply ignored. If the next response was as if the attack had not occured, then I suspect that the Attacker would go somewhere else for thier attention. This is very difficult. I felt somewhat attacked just the other day and my first response was reflexive. Luckily I took the time before I sent it to think about what I wanted the board to be. I changed my response and tried to take the high ground & not "Get down in the mud". It worked.
My .02 is that we don't need outside help to police the board. We all have control over our own behavior. We also can help each other see when we are "rising to the Bait" by some signal (Maybe "Souiee") :). It is sometimes easier for someone else to see this than the person attacked. Choose not to respond to personal attacks. I do believe that a FAQ section (even if it were just links to frequently asked posts) would be helpful, however, there is a benefit to both newbies and vets in wrestling with how to explain the problem & or the solution.
This post has given me new energy for this Board. Thanks.