Photo: Wong's Bar, Bangkok.

Idle banter forum

Robust dialogue

Posted by BruceMoon on 12/8/2009 at 05:27

Here on Travelfish there are some opinionated people. On this, I'd have to look at myself as a leading 'exemplar'. But, I'm joined by some great company.

In some respects, the beauty of Travelfish is that these we opinionated contributors provide concrete contributions and (sometimes) contrasting views. To my mind, the prospective traveller is the better for the engagement.

As it transpires, the robust interaction often allows detail to emerge that may otherwise have been missed.

Yes, there are times when some namby-pamby takes offence because their sweated-over travel plan is picked to pieces. Sobeit.

And, there are times when a couple of contributors hold strong views towards opposing ideas and 'go for it'.

It's clear that some new to this site view the robust exchanges as unnecessary or threatening. On the plus side, those that persist offer their appreciation.

Notwithstanding, it is my view that the various contributions are based on a view to enhance the experience of the (prospective) traveller. If its the wishy-washy one wants, there are other sites.

Over the past few weeks, its been noticeable that a couple of gutless clowns have begun flaming anything they don't like, with accusations that the information they don't like is neither factual nor via experience. That is not robust discussion. We are all entitled to have different viewpoints. Clearly, these clowns hold their ego so high that they overlook the purpose of Travelfish: to assist other travellers.

That is all.

Cheers

#1 BruceMoon has been a member since 27/12/2008. Location: Australia. Posts: 1,941

Posted by somtam2000 on 12/8/2009 at 08:28 admin

All I have to say about the above is that BruceMoon's view of what constitutes constructive participation in Travelfish is considerably at odds to mine.

Travelfish is a travel planning site and community that aims to help other travellers plan and enjoy their holiday in Southeast Asia. You're equally welcome to the site regardless of how much or how little planning you've done and I'm not bothered if you'd struggle to mark Thailand on a map -- if you've got a question to ask, ask it!

I want to make the following three points very clear:

Firstly, patronising and abusive posts are not welcome on Travelfish. It is not hard really, if you have nothing constructive to say, then don't say anything.

Secondly, and I can't believe I even need to say this, creating fake accounts so that a member can have conversations with themself, will not be tolerated.

Lastly, There are many travel discussions boards out there -- if members feels the above two points are unreasonable or unduly restrict their ability to berate others, then I strongly suggest they consider moving their focus onto another site -- Lonely Planet's Thorntree would be my recommendation as they appear to have a higher threshold for this kind of stuff than I do.

The above are not up for debate - I will deactivate accounts of members who persist in the above.

Ok, I hope I've made myself clear -- back to work.

#2 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,498
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Posted by swag on 12/8/2009 at 09:50

Hi all, intersting post this. My own experience of Travelfish is I have been a member for a couple of years now.I personally don.t have much time for the idle banter and the politics of it all but that's just me.Over time I have seen some members come into this forum with a fairly negative perspective.My response is no response.I whole heartedly agree with Somtam's view that if it's not constructive don't bother.Wether this site morphs from independent travel advice to S.E asia to more a blog based site requiring a number of moderators is not for me to say.Personally I would find that regrettable and a loss for most of us.Maybe there needs to be just a tad more restraint.
regards
swag

#3 swag has been a member since 28/3/2007. Location: Australia. Posts: 331

Posted by MADMAC on 12/8/2009 at 11:34

I agree with Swag.

#4 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957

Posted by Nokka on 12/8/2009 at 16:01

A couple of years ago when researching a trip to India I tried to use Thorn Tree. However, the forum had a large number of regular posters who were rude to newbies, childish, patronising, arrogant, reckoned they knew it all. After I'd found a forum called India Mike (similar to Travelfish) I never went back to Thorn Tree.

Travelfish is an excellent resource and very useful for travellers; the majority of posters are well-mannered and considered. Some aren't, but I suppose that was why the Culture and Politics part of the site was started, so they could fight in there.

Maybe, a further new part of the site needs to opened. Like in Monty Python it could be called 'Room for an Argument'. Bruce would be in there all day :)

#5 Nokka has been a member since 6/4/2009. Location: United Kingdom. Posts: 259

Posted by Jon_Mak_Mak on 13/8/2009 at 01:49

"Firstly, patronising and abusive posts are not welcome on Travelfish. It is not hard really, if you have nothing constructive to say, then don't say anything."

Abusive? Shit, my days are numbered! ;)


"Secondly, and I can't believe I even need to say this, creating fake accounts so that a member can have conversations with themself, will not be tolerated."

I can't even believe I read that. lol Thats just crazy!!! Any idiot would know that you (the site owner) can see lots of info about the users like email/Ip address etc..

I put 2 & 2 together and get 4 I think. hahaha, So funny.

Just wanted to add that travelfish is a cool forum with lots of cool people contributing in various ways. The more newcomers with interesting questions the better! I always try to welcome new people and it really pisses me off when some twat patronises them on their first post.

snip by somtam2000

:)

#6 Jon_Mak_Mak has been a member since 21/2/2007. Location: United Kingdom. Posts: 464
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Posted by BruceMoon on 13/8/2009 at 14:18

Stuart

You wrote...

"I can't believe I even need to say this, creating fake accounts so that a member can have conversations with themself, will not be tolerated."

I trust this is generic, and not pointed at me. Coz it'd be a factually groundless crap assertion otherwise.

"patronising and abusive posts are not welcome on Travelfish. It is not hard really, if you have nothing constructive to say, then don't say anything."

As you've noticed, and as I've written, a robust presentation has its place. I've also suggested to you that there are - in my view - means by which 'newby' questioners can be helped to undertake appropriate research BEFORE asking questions. As I've elsewhere written, allowing idiot questions without then seeking to promote user-self-research as a minimum standard encourages a dumbing down of this wonderful site. If that's our preference, sobeit.

There is a large implication in your comment...

"All I have to say about the above is that BruceMoon's view of what constitutes constructive participation in Travelfish is considerably at odds to mine."

Either you don't like my participation (and would prefer I go away), or you'd prefer ppl adopted a form akin to your view. To this point, I don't see where you have articulated what you consider to be constructive participation (other than express what you don't like).

As noted above, maybe its time to both set a 'standard' for what constitutes a reasonable question for Travelfish, and at the same time indicate what you consider to be the criteria for constructive participation.

Cheers

#7 BruceMoon has been a member since 27/12/2008. Location: Australia. Posts: 1,941

Posted by BruceMoon on 13/8/2009 at 14:21

If that's our preference, sobeit.

Sorry, that should be...

If that's your preference, sobeit.

Yes... the edit button...!!!

#8 BruceMoon has been a member since 27/12/2008. Location: Australia. Posts: 1,941

Posted by Jon_Mak_Mak on 13/8/2009 at 14:22

ahh, Your the boss Somtaam! ;)

But that last line was actually the main point of my post I think. never mind.


Maybe, unlike some (what was it you called them Bruce?) "gutless clowns" I should be more direct from now on.

#9 Jon_Mak_Mak has been a member since 21/2/2007. Location: United Kingdom. Posts: 464
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Posted by Skimonkey on 13/8/2009 at 21:43

Posted from within Vietnam.

Brucemoon

Two extracts taken from your post.

"As noted above, maybe its time to both set a 'standard' for what constitutes a reasonable question for Travelfish, and at the same time indicate what you consider to be the criteria for constructive participation."

"I've also suggested to you that there are - in my view - means by which 'newby' questioners can be helped to undertake appropriate research BEFORE asking questions."

I'd be the first to admit that I have asked some effing daft questions in my time, however, what your talking about here is changing human nature, people are always at some point going to ask off the cuff questions, some times reactionary and without "appropriate reserch" . A lot of people who use this site will be doing so from work etc and dont have the luxury of huge swathes of time at their disposal to do said reaserch.

Asking seemingly (not stiched this time) idiotic questions often can lead to solutions or proposals that may not have otherwise been forthcoming, I think somtam made a similar point on this comment.

How can a standard be set for a resonable question, what parameters could be applied accross such a diverse range???

#10 Skimonkey has been a member since 16/4/2009. Posts: 40

Posted by exacto on 14/8/2009 at 02:55

I think it is important to remember that this website is the result of thousands and thousands of hours of Somtam's effort. It is his baby, his creation, and he gets to say how things will be.

Somtam has said that new posters are welcome to ask any question they choose and should be free to do so in an abuse-free environment. That should be the end of the discussion.

Personally, the reason I've stuck around for as long as I have on this message board is exactly that sense of community Somtam mentions as well as the remarkable lack of patronizing, abusive posts over the years. I'm delighted to see that those positive, friendly values are again being emphasized. Thanks Stuart. Regards.

#11 exacto has been a member since 12/2/2006. Location: United States. Posts: 2,626
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Posted by Lother on 14/8/2009 at 03:10

I agree with exacto 100 %, well said. The strength of Travelfish lies in the friendliness and love!

So what if someone asks how to get from Bangkok to Siem Reap for the 1324th time. If I don't feel like answering or pointing them in the right direction for the 1324th time, I don't have to reply. Usually someone else will, and that's great. In any case, cranky tirades help no-one.

#12 Lother has been a member since 12/5/2006. Location: Earth. Posts: 214

Posted by SBE on 14/8/2009 at 06:47

Can I just get this straight Bruce. You think TF would be a lot better if it featured:

1. Systematic comment, criticism and denigration of other people's ideas and opinions AKA "robust debate".

2. Newbies being prevented from asking any questions on the forum until they'd done their homework (Some kind of entrance exam before they can join the forum perhaps?)

3. Newbies who've been let in then having their sweated-over itineraries picked to pieces and being called namby pambies if they object to being talked down to by experts like Bruce Moon.

4. Getting called a "gutless clown" if your "robust debate" happens to be aimed at Bruce Moon rather than a newbie.


Bruce you are onto a real winner here. I suggest you go and start your own travel site so you can implement all these splendid ideas.

Come back in five years to let us know how it's going so that Somtam can kick himself he didn't listen to you! ;-)

#13 SBE has been a member since 14/4/2008. Location: Global Village. Posts: 2,002
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Posted by somtam2000 on 14/8/2009 at 11:22 admin

I don't want to see patronising and abusive posts on Travelfish. I'll leave it at that thanks.

#14 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,498
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