T Nation

Flamethrowing


#1

I'm a little disappointed, and I'll tell you why.

I've been visiting this forum for over a year and a half. IMHO, the training/nutrition forum used to be a great place for both the experienced to share their knowledge and the newbie to acquire it.

That is changing...and changing for the worse.

I can only shake my head when I see a newbie post some question about training and nutrition and the only responses coming forth is a series of flames and wise cracks such as "Read the damn back issues".

If you are so fortunate as to have the knowledge and experience that another does not, it is good for both the sport and you (not to mention Biotest itself) for you to share that knowledge. I don't give a rat's ass if it's something you've said a zillion times before...that's what a teacher does. And the most experinced in this forum are indeed those teachers.

If you have the time to post at all, why not be constructive?

If YOU were a newbie and posted a question and got flamed and made to feel stupid, would YOU come back? What would your impression of Biotest be? What would be your impression of the types of people who participate in this sport? Think about it.

I'm not saying that referring someone to a past article isn't helpful. Of course it is. But people (especially newbies) can feel quite motivated if an elder statesman or woman takes the time and helps out on a more personal basis. If you have the time to talk smack, you certainly have the time to be constructive.

I've seen these forums become very clique oriented, and that's to NO ONE's benefit. Biotest runs these forums, I'm sure, in the hopes that it will generate new business. And, as we all know, this website ain't cheap.

It's a consideration we all ought to have before flaming a newbie right into the hands of a different company or right out of the sport.

I know that NOT EVERYONE DOES THIS, nor do I mean to imply that to be the case. However, I've seen enough of it in the last 6 months to cause concern.

Mike


#2

Hey, use the search feature....I mean read the damn back issues.

OK, I agree with your point.


#3

I believe in a happy medium. Suggesting that someone read the archives or use the search engine is valid most of the time since many newbies don't seem to realize there's a magazine with over 265 issues connected to this forum. Sometimes they just need informed of this fact.

If someone asks how to train their abs, pointing them to T-mag's dozen or so ab articles is fair and helpful, although I admit this should be done politely, which is tough to do sometimes when someone asks a question that's answered in the current issue. I mean, they had to actually pass up the current issue to get to the forum! But I realize that some are so new they may not know about the FAQ, search engine etc.

There is also a fine line between being new and being lazy. Newbies need helped. I try to point them in the right direction when possible. If they ask for a program, why not just send them to a T-mag program that fits their needs rather than writing one for them? If they refuse to read the articles however, that's just lazy and they need flamed. This is T-mag dammit, not Richard Simmons. We should not cater to lazy people who can't click a link and learn something for themselves. It's the old "teach a man to fish rather than giving him fish" thing.

If someone is ignorant AND lazy AND rude about it (I've seen that trend), they need to be given a chance or two to improve and if they don't they need driven out. Period.


#4

I admit, I've done this, but only when absurdly hideous questions come up, like a question that can be answered in reading the CURRENT issue. I got flamed before, and I'm still here, but I agree with you.


#5

Yes, I agree. The "clique" movement is kind of ridiculous. If I have done this in the past I should be ashamed. I will take special care to answer the newbie's questions first from now on. I am by no means an expert but my profession requires that I help those new to health/nutrition and sports related to it. I think outright first time posts that attack people should also be stopped. Bad posts begat bad responses. Thank you for bringing this up.


#6

I agree with the original post. If you have time to flame somebody, you have time to throw some useful information out. If the newbie question is really so annoying, why don't you just ignore it?

In the T&N forum right now, there is a perfectly legitimate question: Which day is best to schedule deadlifts on? I've been training for a while and even I wrestle with questions like this. Instead of posting legitimate responses, 95% of the replies are pure sarcasm. I'd even bet that some of the responders don't even DO deadlifts, and just wanted to grab the chance to say something sarcastic.

It's your board, so whatever you want it to become, it's up to you.


#7

I also agree with the original post - in spirit - but there's another issue here as well. And that is: if no one ever gets flamed for posting something that's stupid/lazy/can be read in the current issue, what's going to happen to this forum?

Personally, and also having been around for a while, I have seen the forum swing one way and then the other several times. For a while you'll get good questions and discussion from people who know what they're about, and there won't be much in the way of flaming (except for the odd psycho who inevitably seems to find his way in). But then Biotest will launch advertising in some new market, or some teenager will stumble on the site and tell all his friends about it, and then you have a couple of months where you get these idiot questions that no one who has an ounce of sense would ever post.

I agree with TEK in that there needs to be a "happy" medium. If I see a decent newbie post, I'll generally take the time to answer it as well as I can, assuming that someone else hasn't already answered it well. (And sometimes even if they have. More answers along a particular line tend to make the original poster believe that the advice is good, even if it goes against what he's been taught in the past.) But if it's semi-literate, lazy, silly or whatever else, then I'll either ignore it or flame it. And I view the flaming as a kind of prophylacitc response. Hopefully, if other newbies see someone getting flamed and being told to use the search engine, they'll use the friggin' search engine themselves before posting a similarly silly question.


#8

Good post Mike. I have posted before about the mob-mentality. It seems we are all sheep and when one person flames everyone follows suit. Oh well. Me cry now...grammer bad...no make fun kay? :frowning:


#9

So there is an occasional mob mentality thing going on in here? Really? I never really noticed it.

I am glad to see you bring this up. Gives me hope that there are people here worth staying for. Thanks.


#10


I just submitted a post about t-culture in here. I wonder if these topics will be posted there, In fact I wonder if people will even answer the topic. If you are new or a returned serviceman to the forum and noone recognises you your posts generally get ignored, so I just hijack :]

T-forums - Guidelines

The Testosterone Forum is a "meeting place" for T-mag readers to discuss various topics that relate to, well, building muscle and guy stuff. Kind of like hangin' out 'round the water-cooler, chewin' the fat.

You'll be able to interact with other readers and T-mag writers, as well as voice opinions and get feedback regarding all the cool topics, like muscle building, fat loss, training, supplements, diet, anabolics, and basic Testosterone kind of stuff.

Thing is, we don't want a few ornery numbskulls ruining the forum for everybody - you know, a handful of hoodlums controlling the forum, attacking newbies and running roughshod over anyone who rubbed them the wrong way. Well, that's just not going to happen here.

We don't like a lot of rules, though. For the most part, a bunch of "don'ts" and "can'ts," put in the form of a list, tends to overcomplicate things and become downright irritating. That being said, I'm now going to do the unmentionable - lay out the ground rules for the Testosterone Forum....

I know, I know, I said we didn't like rules, but without at leastsome guidelines, we'd have potential chaos.

We don't care if you're brand new to the muscle-building world, or if you're a seasoned veteran of the iron game, this forum's for you. And we want to encourage everyone to participate. To do that, we need to be able to guarantee that no one will get hammered over what they post. And to accomplish this, we're going to check out the messages before they're published, accepting the appropriate ones and rejecting the inappropriate ones.

We'll do our best to post accepted messages quickly, but we do have to sleep a few hours a week. So bear with us and please be patient. We'll get the job done.

Now, on with the guidelines.... They aren't so bad; we've kept it to four:

1) No attacks or personal vendettas. If you have a beef with someone or the way a company does business, take it up directly with them. For instance, if we, or any company for that matter, sent you some supplements and the box was stuffed with too many shipping peanuts and they spilled out all over your white shag rug when you opened the box, the forum isn't the place to vent your uncontrollable anger.

2) No promotions or advertising. This forum is not for advertising or promoting products or services. So please don't try to sneak in a blurb about the new penis-enlargement handbook you've been working on.

3) Messages must be appropriatefor Testosterone. In other words, they must pertain to building muscle, losing fat, training, supplements, diet, anabolics, or basic Testosterone kinds of issues. Oh yes, to accommodate TC, the occasional "sex" thing's cool, too. Just be mindful to reflect the Testosterone tone. As an example, if you've got a thing for farm animals, there are plenty of other forums out there that will fulfill your needs.

4) Ultimately, we're the judge. As unpleasant as it may be, we're going to have to occasionally reject messages. If it happens to you, don't take it personally - just try again, or send your message to T-mag Feedback. And please try to understand our position.

That's it! Be as controversial as you want, just stay within bounds. Now, go have some fun....


#11

Good post Mike although, I get flamed regadless of what I say here. Oh well. I guess it just goes w/ the territories.

In health,

Silas C.


#12

I hope you're not refrring to the "Stop the Nonsense!!" thread! That's not a newbie looking for advice, that's someone looking to argue.

The fact is that the FAQ, previous issues, and/or the search tool are excellent places for a newbie to go. So, I think it's good to politely refer them to these resources if they ask a general question.

But I think it's wrong to "flame" someone beacuse they posted a quetion w/o using these resources.

Lumpy, ya made me feel so bad about the deadlift post. I went back and gave a better answer.


#13

Point well taken, Mike. There's no need to belittle a fellow T-Man or T-Vixen just to impress us with your biting humor.


#14

I think flaming newbies who ask dumb questions is a way of getting rid of the ones who shouldn't be here (the one that gets discouraged when somebody insults them)and the ones who should (the ones who just shrug off people's bullshit and get on with life).

This sorta reminds me of the post talking about having a specific Topic for women. The general concensus was that we've gotten along fine without one, why get one now?

Same thing goes for newbies, we've gotten along fine the way things are going, why change things?

For the most part, we were all newbies at one point in time, and we've all said something stupid and gotten flamed. Its one of the facts of life.

Hell, I still get flamed by 90% of the people here on pretty much every other topic I start.


#15

The arrogance I see on these forums really astounds me. Sometimes I think there might be some validity to the belief that insecure people get involved in bodybuilding, at least the content of the forums seem to bear out that theory.

I think it's ridiculous that someone like fitone has become the brunt of everyone's jokes here. I have to give him credit for not running away so easily. Sure he says stuff that I don't understand once in a while, but I usually just chalk that up to English being his second language.

I also really hate the cliques that seemed to have formed. If you are not part of "the group" it seems to be very hard to get your questions answered, or for much attention to be paid to your thread.

The mob mentality is also quite frightening. If someone says something that is ignorant or uninformed that person is usually met with a barrage of scathing putdowns. Instead of doing this, why don't more people counter their arguments with a rebuttal of why they believe they are wrong, but in a civil manner. I've tried to do this today with NeilG on the really long thread on the T/N board. As a future doctor this is something that will be very important to me, because a reply of "You idiot, what were you thinking?" really won't cut it.

I'm also very amazed by the arrogance displayed by some of the posters. I get the feeling that some of them feel that because they've lifted weights for a few years and read all of the back issues of t-mag that they can now look down on everyone else that is not as informed as them. Listen, no matter how good you are at something there is probably going to be someone better. If you just happen to be the World Record holder and there is no one better then you better believe that someone else is going to be a lot better at something else than you are. I've been reading t-mag since day 1, I was reading books by Fred Hatfield when I was in the 7th grade, I've got an exercise science degree, I got into med school, I was ranked in the top 30 in NCAA Division I in my track and field event when in college, Top 10 in the U.S. for 19 and under (Juniors) at that age, Top 30 in the world for Juniors, I've trained with Olympic Champions, American Record Holders, and World Record Holders, I could give you a big list of Olympians that are personal friends of mine. Maybe I should just be an arrogant prick from now on, I think I've certainly earned it. I'm not though, because first of all what I've done, although good, is not that outstanding, and second of all if I ever did get cocky I could always be called on the fact that right now my physique sucks and I've gotten fat since college. The point is that none of us have any reason to be cocky and look down on others, especially newbies who are asking the same things we were at one time.


#16

I'm sort of a newbie myself, but the problem i've had with the searches is i'm not sure what to put in, i know exactly what i want an answer to but I can never seem to get it using any search engine. so how bout giving people specific topics to look up instead of just saying use the search thing on the left.


#17

Flaming a lazy Newbie is not the end of the world.

However.

The piling on that too often occurs at the very least leaves a bad taste in the mouths of the more civilized and kind members of the forum. Electronic bullying is no more attractive in cyberspace then it is in the schoolyard and those who participate in it need to be dealt with in a similar manner as the schoolyard ones were.

Sneak up behind them during recess and smash their skull in with a Cinder Block.

No, no, that's not it.

They need to be ignored and not goaded on by the mob to continue their boorish behavior and before the "Spike and Chester" show gets off the ground, maybe YOU should step in and be helpful, diffusing the situation before it gets to the point where the Newbie is frightened off.

Although I myself have never been flamed, I also have not ever posted a STUPID question that I have only due to my unwillingness to do any kind of research for myself but if I had, I would think that I should be treated with the same level of respect that I get in "real" life. Why should the keyboard make any of us braver or diminish our manners?

There are many who believe that how a person treats the waiter/waitress is a true indicator of what their character really is, maybe how we treat the Lazy Newbie is the T-Mag version?

"A man's manners are a mirror in which he shows his portrait"

~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


#18

Have I totally missed something? Cliques?

The effort required to make an honest, informative, coherent, and comprehensive post is no small matter. I wrote such a post on lat exercises not long ago; between typing and editing for accuracy, it took me 25 minutes. And that was merely a list of movements for a single muscle group; what am I to say if Joe Random asks how to 'get big'?

I tend to fault T-Mag's page layout for a few of the more obvious questions. The FAQ isn't particularly obvious on the main page; it's obscured by a massive BIOTEST graphic.

DI


#19

I agree with both sides. Sometimes newbies need to be curious and not lazy... do a little legwork. But other times, some things are not so easy to find with the search engine. I gotta admit though... this site would be boring without some good clean flaming to keep us all entertained. And really, sometimes people write post a topic that is so 'out there' it's like they're BEGGING to get flamed.


#20

You took the words right out of my mouth,Mike.I was thinking the same thing a few days a go.I saw allot of questions with no answers or guidance. It was just check the archives..check the archives..check the archives.

 kuddos and God speed