Friday, April 9, 2010

Reasons why I don't do online forums

In the past, I had been extremely active on online auto forums, from to and ultimately  The attraction to these forums is meeting people and being friends with individuals with the same interest.

Don't get me wrong.  Forums are very useful especially when trying to understand something one is new to.  I leveraged the forums to understand my car as well as where to take my vehicle to get it serviced.  In addition, the community was very helpful in sharing their experience and advice.  All of the "posts" written contributed to the SEO/ organic ranking of the forum and helped the owner of the forum generate revenue, but I didn't mind that considering the service the various forums provided. 

What eventually drove me away was the moderators of these forums.

The intent of moderators is to serve as corporate citizens and make sure the forum is running smoothly and everyone gets along.  Unfortunately, many individuals who volunteer for these positions are the same individuals who would decide to become police officers.  Ironically, some moderators on the forums I belonged to were actually, guess what, cops.

In case you can't tell, I don't have the world's highest opinion of police officers.  Based on my experience with them, they thrive on power.  Almost feels like individuals who become police officers or detectives were the unpopular kids who were picked on as a kid.  The prerequisite for becoming an officer is also just an associate's degree -- not exactly someone I would trust to know the law and protect me vs. being abusive with their power.  Most people who work in the government sector are also unionized, this gives even less incentive for them to actually do their job.  Sad really.

But I digress.  Moderators of forums reminds me of the old online BBS moderators like EOTL ("End of The Line").  They spend all day trolling through the forum and love feeling important.  What they don't understand is that in return for them feeling important, they are basically making money for the owner of the forum for free (aka being used).  If I was an owner of a forum, I wouldn't mind either, as long as I continue to cash in my checks.  Because forums are privately owned enterprises, moderators decisions do not have to go through votes, which makes it even easier for these individuals to go on power trips.

Why do moderators of the forum thrive in that environment?  Simple, because in real life, they are nobodies.  It is only human nature to want to feel important and think you have a purpose in life.  Sadly, some people can online find it online in make believe world.  Alas, I have enough interesting things going on in my real life to not bother putting up with them.

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