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Old 04-13-2003, 08:19 PM
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longston longston is offline
Another View. . .
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Mark West, CA
Posts: 787
Lightbulb Here's Some Tips . . .

This forum was created to take the chit chat out of the technical forums so the techs and knowledgeable members there could concentrate on helping people with actual problems instead of having to wade through a lot of opinionated postings and general B.S., some of it good natured, some not.

I have seen a lot of good members with valid contributions leave these forums because of some immature new people who came here and decided to be argumenative and opinionated. There were a lot of well educated mature members who had the precious gift of life experience to share with us. They got tired of having to shout over the static. As the old saying goes, you don't learn from being right, and you never learn with your mouth open.

There is a clear division between people here who come to learn and share knowledge, and those who believe that they already know everything they need to learn except where to get stereo mods and kits to turn their Mercedes-Benz into a Honda ricemobile. If it has to do with colored lights, gold plating, lowering, exhaust mods, louder stereo equipment, or any number of garish abominations, they're eager to learn all about it. But if an opinion is offered that disagrees with their mindset, or has anything to do with making an informed decision, finding facts, improving their knowledge base, offering a rational debate, making them actually think, and/or seeing another viewpoint, they can't deal with it.

I've seen senior members with years of experience as Mercedes owners get flamed because they offered their advice on a brand or type of motor oil that they had good results from. I have personally invested a great deal of time in doing factual research on various topics to find my own answers. And when I have shared what I discovered on these forums, I have sometimes had people argue with me and tell me I didn't know what I was talking about because their neighbor, uncle, friend's dad, or someone else who had done no research on that topic had told them differently. That's fine if you can show factual details to back it up, but to argue on the side of rumor without checking your facts is stupid.

There are a lot of MIA's I do not miss, and would never want to see here again. The people I refer to were irrational, argumenative, outright combative, rude, and were unwilling to resolve their differences with people off of the forum via email. I myself, left these forums as an active member because of the lack of active self-moderation, the disintegration of any form of civility, and the preponderance of smart ass know it all punks who had decided that this was a fun place to vent their neurotic issues, and be disrespectful to people that they seemed to have nothing in common with aside from the brand name of automobile they drive.

Why did I come back? I kept getting emails and phone calls from decent people who I had made friends with on this forum, or who at least missed my viewpoint and ability to express it. I was encouraged by the amount of idiots who had decided to leave the forum to stir up trouble elsewhere. And I was in contact with people here who were aware that things had become so bad that the administration was about to shut down Open Discussion because of all of the open fighting and flames these people were causing. I didn't want to see that happen.

So here's my advice to anyone who wants to leave these forums.

1. Are you the problem? Think carefully about this. What substance do you really contribute to discussions here? Or are your postings all just empty one-line comments. Are you always reacting to what you see as an attack on you instead of trying to resolve what might be a simple misunderstanding? Or do you often get a lot of positive responses to what you have to say?

2. When you post something, did you think about what response it might get? Do You care? Posting here to just get a negative response is inappropriate and contrary to the intent of this forum. Aside from that, not every post is going to be a winner. We all have differing opinions and tastes. If the subject matter isn't your style or interest, then just move on. If what you posted got no response, think about why it was a dud, and don't beat a dead horse.

3. Do you have any respect for seniority? Whether that means that someone has been a member here longer, or is older and/or more experienced than you, try to respect their seniority. This forum isn't like some others where new members are automatically thrown to the wolves and treated like crap. People here usually will give you the same kind of respect you give them. Look to see how long they've been a member, and get to know them better before you give a knee-jerk reaction to something they post. Remember that respect and courtesy is an intersection of two-way streets.

4. Do you use the archives to check on something before you post a question or concern? There are plenty of oil, additive, AC mod, antifreeze/coolant, and filter threads you could read before you start another thread that we've seen over and over and over again. And don't be offended if we tell you so. Also, don't assume just because someone is not specifically listed as a tech that they don't know anything about how to solve your problem. We're all here to exchange knowledge and information.

5. Did you do any research on the issue before asking for help and/or opinions? There are too many times when someone wants to know something about a part, material, substance, publication, method, and/or procedure when they have done no preliminary research on that subject. I would rather see a posting from someone saying "I have been looking at various... , and while... is... , it seems to me that..." rather than see someone ask for information about something they have made no effort to find out anything about beforehand. This is not the Mercedes-Benz version of Google. Do some homework first.

6. Did you understand what the person you are about to flame actually was saying, and are you sure it was directed at you specifically? People have different ways of expressing their individual sense of humor. Sometimes mine can be kind of a combination of Buddy Hackett, Don Rickles, Louis Black, and Triumph the Insult Comedy Dog as interpreted by Howard Stern. I can be very sarcastic, but that doesn't mean I'm trying to insult you. The point is, until we know someone's online "personality", we shouldn't be on the defensive always looking for implied insults. Writing on the internet can be difficult to "read" accurately. That's why the emoticons, or smilies were invented so we could show a form of punctuation that normal periods, question marks, and commas don't convey. If you think someone just insulted you, and you are angry, then . . .

7. Take it offline. Be courteous, and give the other guy the benefit of the doubt. Ask them in a PM or email if what you thought they said is what they meant. I have only had one person that I couldn't resolve a conflict with via email. Once you make the gesture to try to straighten out a conflict, you may be amazed how far off your impression was of what they were actually saying. Or they may have reacted to something you posted before them that they thought was just you being an ass. Give it a try before subjecting the whole membership to your personal problem.

8. Leave if you don't agree with being a valid contributor to a community of people who are here to learn, teach, share, and find out what we all have in common as people who own, maintain, restore, and pamper our Mercedes-Benz Vehicles. Just because you own a MB doesn't mean you are an enthusiast. It also doesn't mean you are rich, handsome, immortal, bulletproof, or better than anyone else. It just means you own a MB. Unless you also have the desire to really use this opportunity to increase your knowledge, improve yourself, and experience what being a member of the "community" of MercedesShop should really be all about.
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- Marshall McLuhan -

Scott Longston
Northern California Wine Country...
"Turbos whistle, grapes wine..."

Last edited by longston; 04-13-2003 at 09:29 PM.
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