Outside Eyes!

Discussion in 'The Dockhouse' started by Mawill, May 8, 2007.

  1. Mawill

    Mawill New Member

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    Hello,

    I have been struggling with this issue for a bit - and not sure where to put it - so - I'll add it here. If it needs to be moved, so be it, I don't mind. But I thought I would put this out there for people - maybe it belongs under politics.

    I have a friend who was interested in Lasers and was going to get involved. He was asking about the 'community' and the 'association' and to what extent I could, I tried to encourage him. I pointed him to the class site, invited him to a few of our weeknight races, and pointed him here.

    He came back to me the other day and said he did not think that the Laser was for him. When I asked why, he said that he had read the Forum and that a large portion of the forums, or at least the ones that get the most posts are the ones where people are 'discussing' or as he put it 'bashing' various issues with the class or each other.

    Whether it be that the sails are too expensive, the class is too slow to respond/change, the association is unhelpful, he said he'd was amazed at the level of what he percieved to be complaints - rather than healthy discussion. He also pointed out that a lot of the threads from people who were looking for information about starting up had very few responses - leading him to think that Laser sailors don't really want to help out.

    I must say, I was a bit stunned. That is until I looked at this forum through his eyes. Topics start out as discussions and are quickly highjacked into rants - which can sometimes become personal. I am NOT pointing fingers, as I am guilty as charged.

    But it did open my eyes to a very simple fact. People look to this site as a place to find out about the Laser and to some extent the people that sail them. To outside eyes, we appear divided, grumpy, cheap, sometimes mean - I don't think that this is what we are, but as they say Perception is everything - or someone must have said that!

    Just a thought - please be gentle and not all at once!

    Thanks,

    Matt
     
  2. Chainsaw

    Chainsaw Brmmm Brmmm

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    Look at it this way, Matt:

    The best surfers, sailors, racecar drivers, chefs... the best of every profession, are usually pretty upset when they're not doing what they love the most.

    History is scattered with wife beaters, drunks, drug addicts, all manner of criminal bad mouthers, funpokers, goodtime girls, grifters, cardsharks, bums, shysters, shirkers, malcontents... that become artists when they're doing their thing.

    That's life.

    We're human dammit! Let us be, don't make us be good matt, pleeeese!



    Yesterday I went sailing.

    Today I'm off to rob a bank.

    Tomorrow, I sail again.
     
  3. Mawill

    Mawill New Member

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    LOL -

    That is good - very good.

    I don't have any solutions - nor do I hope to make people be good - that is a far too matronly role for me.

    I was really very shocked when he said that - I have never looked at it that way - but sometimes, I think people use the anonimity of the Internet as protection from civility.

    So rob a bank, come back, make a huge donation to the Laser Class to subsidize all sailors everywhere.

    Yesterday I sat in a cube
    Today I sat in a cube
    Tomorow, I suppose I shall sit in a cube
    Day after that, I will go sailing!
     
  4. Merrily

    Merrily Administrator Staff Member

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    Thanks for bringing this up. Often this forum is informative, and occasionally riotously funny. But these inside eyes see this forum as needlessly contentious. Especially when the same topics are hashed and rehashed. This matron tries, and the word civility is what she uses. I begin to object when I see posts that say things that you wouldn't say in front of a 12 year old girl. Think of that, because they are part of our Laser community. There is already a Sailing Anarchy for those who want no holds barred rant.

    Let's rededicate ourselves to creating an informative friendly forum. The recent upgrades to the Wiki could go a long way to helping newbies, too, and it also could help the long timers who do get weary of giving the same information again and again. Please pick a topic and start writing! I've done a little and will get to it again later this summer.
     
  5. Chainsaw

    Chainsaw Brmmm Brmmm

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    Now, here is the perfect example, Matt. Take Merrily. Eloquent, educated, robustly opinionated even, but in the nicest way. Best of all, she only wants to keep the children safe - in their 4.7's.

    BUT

    once on the water, Merrily becomes a sailing she-devil!

    :eek:

    Don't be fooled Matt, she will push you into the committee boat, for fun!
     
  6. Ross B

    Ross B Guest

    you cant judge a class as a whole, especially a worldwide class as this, by its forum, thats just plain ridiculous...

    you have to sail with the people a couple of times, in person, they are more than willing to help, some more than others, but thats life

    this is an Olympic class, there are lots of rock stars, every club has em, some are more willing than others, and there are plenty of douches, but there are those handful which are great people that everyone loves and make the difference

    it all depends on where you look

    its the relationships you build along the way that matter, IN REAL LIFE
     
  7. Rob B

    Rob B Active Member

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    This is something I 100% agree w/you on, (I think it may be a first!). You develop friendships and meet great people at the events and actually sailing NOT on the internet. Sailors are very opinionated in general and quite often opinions expressed over the internet don't come across all warm and fuzzy. Is this guy looking for a girlfriend on the internet too? If so, I'm sure he will be disappointed there as well.
     
  8. Chainsaw

    Chainsaw Brmmm Brmmm

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    If I hadn't have put you on my ignore list I would be able to see this post and agree.
     
  9. Ross B

    Ross B Guest

    lol

    I don't think Sail4SC has me on his ignore, I saw him looking at one of my threads

    I sail against him alot too, seems like a nice though guy
     
  10. Mawill

    Mawill New Member

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    I don't think I said let's not have opinions – I have my own - Actually, I am the worlds foremost expert on my own opinions ;-)

    I DO think I said 3 things:

    1) Try to express ourselves without getting personal or complaining. – “'bashing' various issues with the class or each other.”
    2) Try to stay on topic of the thread. “Topics start out as discussions and are quickly high jacked into rants”
    3) Try to help out the people that post asking for help - especially ones that seem to be new - we can all see the post count. “lot of the threads from people who were looking for information about starting up had very few responses”

    For example - let's look at the gentleman that asked about a Blade Bag. He had a perfectly normal question - he did not want to spend a lot of money on a blade bag and needed advice! Maybe he has a 25 Year old Laser at the cottage and wants something to carry the gear to the lake without making trips back and forth, maybe he needs something to help his kid out, whatever his reason… He got about 3 good answers and then it went downhill. Words like cheap bastard, to which people agree to, and then we go into lessons on financial planning, economics, the relative rewards of McD's vs Sailing etc. This was the guy’s first post ever and he was looking for help - will he be coming back? Will he assume if he asks some guy at a regatta how to rig the Boom Vang he’ll get a good answer or some snide remark?

    So yes, you are correct, people will help ONCE YOU HAVE A BOAT; people will show you how to rig properly if they see that you are doing it wrong – BUT YOU NEED A BOAT TO RIG. If you don't and are looking to get involved in something – something that costs 000’s of Dollars/Euros/Yen/Pounds - how do you decide? You go to the website and have a look - at least that is the way it usually works for me. Maybe you read some posts to see what is up - to see if people will help you get along, ask some questions. Or if you are a parent looking into it as a possible class for your kid – what is that called – 'Helicopter Parents'. I was saying that if I were to view this forum through those eyes, I’d think twice.

    To assume that people look at discussion forums and NOT draw conclusions from them seems to me ridiculous and fanciful. My post was NOT about using this forum as a way of enticing people into the class or of stifling our opinions – rather it was an attempt to ensure we do our best NOT to drive people off.

    Matt
     
  11. Ross B

    Ross B Guest

    hey, I eventually provided the man with an answer, and he was asking for something kind of hard, I am currently unaware of a mainstream shop that sells a bag for under 100

    you can go to any run of the mill sailing canvas shop, and they will probably build you one for just under 100, or very near it, same with a sail loft

    and I just had a bone to pick with Mr. Sweden, I mean honestly... well look at the thread..


    and Matt, shorten up those posts of yours, only I am allowed to provide a ridiculous amount of examples and use "financial planning, economics, the relative rewards of McD's vs Sailing" as an example, and yes, even "etc" is mine too, its in the rules!!!
     
  12. Chainsaw

    Chainsaw Brmmm Brmmm

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    Your opinion is driving me off. :D

    Equally, there was a GM aged gent who was looking to get back into sailing a laser the other day. He wanted to know if he should buy a pro'ed or standard boat and what he'd get for the extra clams.

    First reply hit the nail on the head. Some topics just don't have a big discussion surrounding them. So total posts for that thread: 2

    Must have missed the "cheap bastard" comment. Will go have a look in a minute. :cool:

    It is equally important that newbies articulate their questions. The carry bag question is an example. The poster didn't define their reason or circumstance. Assuming what is really happening makes for long unhelpful threads. So the original poster has to expect some left-field replies.

    The risk we take with bringing everyone into line unecessarily is boredom and a homogenisation of opinion and style.

    One man's words may not speak to another man, yet a third man hears everything.

    (what's that chainsaw? ~yawn~ you really are a bore, chainsaw, you know that? :rolleyes: )

    Lets cut each other some slack, let's extend the olive branch of laser sailing to all...

    lets pull the dolly of tolerance up the beach of laserforum.com for all returning sailors...

    :eek:

    even newbies who don't know the rules and shut you out at the leeward mark. (oh i'll have my revenge, newbie, be afraid newbie...)
     
  13. Wavedancer

    Wavedancer Upside down? Staff Member

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    Wow; it's very rare (and such a pleasure) that I agree with BOTH Merrily and salsa 88082. BOTH bring up valid points. And just to amplify on one point, this internet community (OK, not always a community) of Laser sailors is but a very small fraction of the world of Laser sailors. In my club of about 30 Lasers, not more than a few read this forum and very few ever contribute. Too bad that Mawill's friend didn't realize that. He/She is missing out on a lot of excitement.
     
  14. Merrily

    Merrily Administrator Staff Member

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    Awww...how did you know?

    Really, there are a lot of warm and fuzzy responses here (to each other) dismissing Mawill's complaint. I think he is on to something. It's been pretty raucous here lately, without actually being that helpful. I used to be more militant, I think, but I just got tired of telling you guys this stuff.

    Remember, The Laser Forum is a place that anyone should feel free to ask questions, without fear of ridicule, and with the expectation of getting an answer, at the very least a referral to a thread using the Search function.
     
  15. Chainsaw

    Chainsaw Brmmm Brmmm

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    Do the words silver platter mean anything to you?

    I'm surprised at you, turning our newbies away with such ridicule
    :D
     
  16. Ross B

    Ross B Guest

    Chainsaw, you might agree with me here, but the beauty of SA is that you gotta get flogged for awhile before your take seriously, hell, even I'm still getting flogged! But aside from that, your pretty much guaranteed LOTS of good information, and can get your question answered right quick

    it seems people want this forum to be lovy duvy with hearts and sprinkles everywhere, and safe for the children (there shouldn't be children on the net unless supervised by adults, but thats a different story, AVOID IT!!!)

    its all great and dandy, and I'm sure it could be done, but its not the end of the world when some one calls someone a name or some such thing. Like the midget in a recent South Park episode said "words are like bullets, they pass right through me" you guys gotta remember, if you don't like what someone said, IGNORE IT, and MOVE ON!! no one said you had to reply to everything


    but I'm sure we could all be decent human beings, and helpful to each other....
     
  17. Merrily

    Merrily Administrator Staff Member

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    I don't understand what you mean.
     
  18. sk8ingsailor

    sk8ingsailor Member

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    yeah, obviously people never check out SA to see what sailings about!
     
  19. Chainsaw

    Chainsaw Brmmm Brmmm

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    I'm having you on, Merrily. In the carry bag thread you recommended a silver platter.

    Humour or ridicule? Depends on the person. Can't pre-spin your words to suit everyone out there. You'd end up sounding like a car maintenace manual.

    Lets all just be ourselves.

    (including Ross... and sk8ingsailor)
     
  20. sk8ingsailor

    sk8ingsailor Member

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