... now with 35% more arrogance!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Me Me Me

Hi, I'm here to destroy the hobby.

That's what bloggers are about, according to one thread on a forum that shall remain unnamed, because I've seen threads like this on other forums as well. Bloggers have no business blogging, unless they're someone important, they say. Why do people pay attention to these blogger scum?

The pattern in those complaints, in case you haven't noticed, is ENVY. Plain and simple. Somebody, somewhere, is getting attention, and it's not ME. This quote in particular is great: "Bloggers are really only narcissists that cannot get enough response to a post on a forum." Makes it crystal clear what the poster is all about: Responses. Attention. Strokes.

There's also a little bit of defensiveness from the forum people who are not quite so envious. See, forums are getting kind of in-bred; people are skipping off to blogs, to Twitter, to Facebook, to Google Plus, and the forum denizens feel abandoned. Why don't they like us?

I can tell you why *I* think blogs are better than forums: I don't read every blog. Since blogs are essentially the private forums of one person (or, in some cases, a small group,) you can look over a blog and decide if that person has anything to say that interests you. You only have to read what you want to read. Whereas a forum is just a huge pile of crap with some pearls buried in there, somewhere. You have to go digging, and the pile is re-arranged every night while you sleep.

The problem is that forums let absolutely anyone join and post, and the posts can't be filtered based on individual preference. The organization is a rigid hierarchy: the forum is split into boards with broad general topics, perhaps divided further into sub-boards, and finally into individual threads sorted by date of last comment in the thread. You can't hide threads started by known idiots, at least not in the forums I've seen. You can't hide threads that started out good, but that have turned into slugfests between two or three forum regulars who follow each other around and snipe at each other. You really have no clue how good a thread will be until you open it... and the next day, you have no clue whether the same thread has gone bad until you open it again.

Compare that to good ol' Usenet. Usenet started *before* the Internet; it's really really old! It's arranged hierarchically, too... but just about every newsreader has filters and scoring mechanisms that can sort or hide threads for you, based on what you've learned you can trust. Usenet is dying, too, and it's *better* than the current forums. Is it any wonder that forums seem pretty bad?

That's not to say that blogs or social sites are all that much better, mostly because they make the same mistake: they won't include sophisticated filtering abilities. But at least they are better at filtering than forums.

So, to all you narcissist forum dwellers out there: if you want me to pay attention to you, say something interesting, and say it in a place where your interesting comments aren't buried beneath filth.


  1. You remind me why I enjoy 4chan's traditional gaming board (/tg/, if you've never been) as much as I do; despite the faults that an almost completely anonymous forum has, the fact that there are significantly less clashes of personality (since everybody is identified as "Anonymous"), and less blatant attention-grabbing.

    Sure, there are still idiots, but it's also one of the most creative places around. You don't have to know a lot of people or have the right friends to get your view heard, you just have to put it out there and see what people think.

  2. Man, you nailed it. It was after years of trying to "get things together" on forums that I realized it was an utter fruitless waste of time. It would only take one complete moron to send a otherwise good discussion spiraling out of control, to be then locked by power hungry fascist Mods, moving through the forums with their own agenda in hand.


  3. You're preaching to the converted here. Those who are the most stridently vocal against the blogs are generally the same ones who are most stridently vocal on the forums. Funny that.

  4. "Bloggers are really only narcissists that cannot get enough response to a post on a forum."

    hee hee
    If that were true, I'd have more than one follower on my blog...

    1. After posting this "lament" I got 3 more followers on my blog!
      Thanks, guys!

  5. They must spend a lot of time thinking about us bloggers then. You would think if we were so unimportant than they wouldn't have noticed our meager existence. I will stay up late tonight wondering why, oh why they don't like bloggers. ha. Good post. Or can it be good because it was on a blog?

  6. Blogging is a great way to organize your thoughts around activities you really enjoy and want to share with others! If someone has a problem with that then they are poor in the social skills.

  7. Yeah, I think I outgrew forums back when I first created a LiveJournal (um, May of 2001, I think), and for exactly these reasons. It's also why most of the email lists I still belong to are set to NOMAIL (and the majority of the remainder are set to DIGEST). It wasn't until fairly recently that I became involved with the online RPG world (I actually wasn't aware of it until maybe four or five years ago), and I went pretty much directly to the blogs, do not read the forums, do not collect $200.

    The only forums I participated in at all were the SJG Forums, and that only because that was where the official announcements for GURPS were being made (and they seemed to be reasonably well-moderated). Now that I'm not much involved with that game, I hardly even glance at those, either.

  8. Forum bullsh*t sucked the will out of me to participate even on boards that had a great atmosphere and cool posters. There are forums I still visit almost daily but the drive to participate is non-existent. It's sad really.