Thank you for your thread, Ezekiel. I've stayed off the forum threads lately for this very reason. Because other than some heartfelt words for the heroic Patrick Malone (Lugnut), there seems to be scores of people who are scouring the threads simply to attack other members and flex a bit of righteous mental muscle. Personally, I've got better places to be than in the middle of Vitriolville, but I too am hoping that this community will respond favorably to your requests.
All the best,
Ezekiel you are 100% correct,i had a member tell me to f... off after i refused his offer.
howard,ive noticed that too & ive also noticed that the muscle flexers & the grammer police seem to be the 1st to call somebodys gear "unresolving".
Ezekiel, I appreciated where you are coming from and it takes a certain character to even bring this to other's attention.
But I'd like to point out (if you haven't already noticed), that those on Agon are no different than those in any other hobby or walk of life.
When a population is small, there appears to be greater accountability and respect for one another. But whenever a town, a business, or even a web-site grows, the accountability and respect for others lessens and sometimes disappears.
Riots and mob-mentality simply don't have much of an impact when only one or two partake.
So my advice to you is cheer up!! It'll only get worse. :)
I first signed on to AudiogoN in '97 or '98. I don't remember exactly when but the site was quite civil. Then within about a year, it totally fell apart. You could write absolutely nothing without somebody flaming you. The more you posted, and became known, it was like certain people were laying in wait for you so they could make some sniping remark. And there was no moderation of the posts. It got so bad that I just tuned out for about five years. I came back a year or two ago and I find it's greatly improved. Maybe it's just the perspective of time between now and then, but I think that it's a lot better now. However, it still took a year after my return before I felt it was worth my time to try posting again. Now that I've started posting, and opened myself up to attack, I don't find it's a problem yet. However, there certainly have been a couple of times when criticism or comments to my posts seem to be personal more than fair differences of opinion. A couple of days ago, I took some heat and ridicule in a thread for suggesting that people should be honest. The positive side is that now I know the usernames of some people that I certainly will never do business with.
I think that we could help ourselves a lot if we point out the trash. A moderator may let a flame through if it's a one-off event. However, a one-off flame to you and a one-off flame to somebody else and a one-off flame to another person turns into a pattern that identifies a particular individual. If the same name is brought to the moderator's attention again and again, they become noticed and perhaps tossed off the site. However, if an intemperate post is not brought to the moderator's attention, all the individual flames get lost in the thousands of posts. I have no problem at all with ratting out on the trash, because they drive away the good people to the detriment of us all. It's happened to this site before.
Thanks Ezekiel for your post,I totally agree with all you said.I haven't had anybody use bad language yet but sure did find rudeness.There is no reason for it.
Best to all
Been here a while and yes, since a few of the old troublemakers got the boot;it has been mostly calm. I'm not sure if you are refering to rudeness in the threads or dealing with buyers and sellers.---BUT, I guess rudeness is everywhere. Actually,we all have our own yardstick for our own behavior or judging the behavior of others. I have bought and sold and learned much from the site. To get what I have now I would have spent much more and would have had a hard time selling my old gear. Do love this sight??-- Well,U-betcha.
You're correct. My suggestion is to kill them with kindness. I actually have seen this work recently. There is a certain poster that is very knowledgeable but very argumentative and insultiing with highly respected members here. In this case English may not be his first language which adds to the problem. The short story is that he apppeared to attack a respected members opinion. That member simply replied that he was sorry if he was incorrect rather than escalating it into an argument. Surprisingly, the attacker came back expressing an apology if he came across too harshly. This guy had been criticized repeatedly for his aggressive behavior to no avail but one incident of backing away from an argument did it. In this case we may be on the road to recovery.
Let's just keep things in perspective here too. For every jerk that waits in the wings to pounce on a different opinion there are multiple wonderful people that contribute quietly and with respect. We simply need to ignore the twisted types or be nice to them. Remember, it does take two to fight.
While there are a few bad apples here and there on Audiogon, I've been impressed by the respect, helpfulness of other members in threads and in transactions. Yes, lets point out and banish those who use profanity, excessively rude or just plain dishonest, but let's also acknowledge how well the community works. I'm continually impressed by the integrity of this online group.
I think the digital people tend to be harder and edgier, while tha analog folks seem softer and more forgiving...
Unfortunately, life is entirely made up of varying degrees of good and bad, and that includes Agon.
The upshot? There seems to be much more good here than bad. Loads of knowledge, experience and camaraderie.
Yes, there are some knuckleheads, disruptors and detractors, but by and large, I feel like it has been worth my time to hang out here. Besides, the price of admission is pretty reasonable, don't you think?
Ezekiel, thanks for your post on this topic. It is valuable to consider. Spates of rudeness in the Audiogon forum threads seem to come and go, but usually the conversation here seems to me much more civil and respectful of others than some other places on the web. And I think that is because, largely, people posting here maintain a high degree of respect for each other when crafting their responses. It is not always the case, and sometimes a thread will totally degenerate.
The key to maintaining civility, in my opinion, lies with each of us who participate on Audiogon. I think we have a shared obligation to step in and "name it" when conversation becomes disrespectful of others or when personal attacks start up: to point out the inappropriate behavior specifically, describe why it is inappropriate and ask that it stop. Each time any one of us avoids doing that, we give license for that poor behavior to continue and to draw others in.
None of us should be "the forum police," but I value the comraderie and respect for each other that exists most of the time here on Audiogon. So, over time I've decided to be willing to step into conversations to name bad behavior that I think is destructive of this thing I value. And I've been pleased to see others join in doing so as well. (Lugnut:
I think you and I may have different takes on the resolution of the interactions you describe, but I agree it all seems far better in recent weeks and I hope it will continue on this more civil basis.)
As you said so well:
"Let us all remember to respect the other person and let this stay a fun job, hobby or whatever it my be to you! Remember it starts with us all!"
To which I would just add, don't turn aside from the hard work of pointing out behavior that consistently is not civil or not respectful others, because the quality of the forums is up to all of us.
Nicely put, by one of the most polite, honest people I have ever had the pleasure to deal with.
I agree with the people above who said kill them with kindness and they will eventually leave, or be weeded out.
I would like AudiogoN to be the place that you describe, Ezekiel. It would simply great - friendly people, knowledgable, fun to deal with, etc, etc.
Reality is that it just isn't going to happen!! It's just the way we human beings behave towards each other (particularly in the West) when a lot of us get together in 1 place. Sort of like living in a big city (NYC or Chicago or LA or SF or Boston). People in these big cities couldn't care less & like some of my friends say "people won't even piss on you if you are on fire!" The Orient (as far as the USA is concerned) is generally far more people-friendly & tolerant but with the globalization of economies, I'm sorry to say that, it is changing for the worse.
The larger AudiogoN becomes, the more distant people get as there is a bigger probability that one could be wronged in a transaction.
To AudiogoN's credit, there are some very, very nice people who still frequent this place for both discussions & sales. I've had the privilege to deal with them & my many thanks to them for those smooth transactions.
Anyway, what this means to all of us is that we have to communicate more & figure out for ourselves if we want to deal with that buyer or seller. IOW, we'll have to adapt our techniques for a growing, far-flung AudiogoN. Nature of the beast, I'm afraid.
I wish that I could eat my above words & hope for an improvement of the situation!
FWIW. IMHO. YMMV.
It's very easy for people to hide behind the anonymity of the Internet when posting to these forums. Some people may just get more argumentative than they normally would in person. And I agree that as the size of the audience grows the more impersonal it becomes. But it also only takes a few scoundrels who regularly post rude and negative posts to give the impression of a general lack of respect.
In life and on Audiogon I have the personality flaw of being a mirror. I greet a smile with kindness and reward rudeness with swinging swords and a shower of arrows. I'd been on the offensive a few times lately and didn't like that I resorted to that. I'm sorry everyone!
Group hug everyone...
NOW GO AND EAT YER DAMN WHEATIES!
Thankfull that I seem to not read these heated posts; I just think the place has gotten better over the 5+ years I've been here. ---Any of the old-timers here might remember the guy who wanted to take you on if you dissagreed with him.---(Literally) Then the rest would fight it out to agree with him/ or not.Oh' bring back the old-days! /(not). Expecting resepct is like expecting perfection.
For the most part, I agree that the majority of folks who post and trade here are reasonable, and on the "up and up". A few bad apples do spoil the whole bunch, so we can't stand for it. Shower them w/kindness, call them on it when they abuse the 'Gon, and as a last resort push the management to remove them when nothing else works.
If we hold ourselves to treat each other as friends, everything will solve itself.
We just need to all reminder each other that it's okay and healthy to disagree on issues, but we can do that without personal attacks. Cheers,
Ezekial, Thank you for initiating a discussion which has evoked so many valuable responses. I think this shows there are still many who value Audiogon as a refuge from the outside world, which can be even more traumatic.
The most important thing is for the congenial majority not to remain silent in the face of unfair, or downright obnoxious, postings. Simply posting something appropriate, and in a civil manner, acts as a counterbalance. Many of us have adopted this technique instinctively whenever harassment rears its ugly head. That's why when reading through discussion threads one can see comments on both sides on most issues.
By reviewing sales feedback, and any past discussion postings, it is possible to gain some insight into the person on the other end of an Audiogon transaction. Providing a place for safer buying and selling, at fair prices, is still the most unique Audiogon function, for many of us. If someone seems to be out of line then no one has to engage in transactions with such an individual.
Eh, i think most people are easy to get along with here on Agon, ive had a few brushes with the occasional jerk, but even then most of the time it was just a simple misunderstanding.
Heck, considering the amount of people visiting this site, It seems amazing to me that this forum is still one of the best places on the net. I've had nothing but positive experiences with the people here. And since I am living in a hick town where audiophiles are harder to find than Bin Ladin, its my home away from home. As a rule we audiophiles tend to be extreamly civil in our dealings, and I for one am Proud to be a member of this site. Gosh.
Scpetscott, I'll pass on the word to ol' Dubya to move the focus of his search from the Afghan/Pakistan border to your neck of the woods, heheh.
I too have had good luck here as I've come across many friendly and helpful people. Ya there's an occasional jerk but most of the people are just the average folks who are generally good people.
I think the important thing is to step back and try to understand that this is a discussion board and other people have different concerns and opinions. I'm personally an argumentative person so I don't mind arguments but I can understand that some people absolutely hate it. I've gotten myself involved in some of the threads on ethics, which tended to produce the most heated debates because it is the most personal, and it's even more important to be rational and consider where the other person is coming from. A lot of us are strong minded and have our own principles and opinions. If you receive a flame, is it really because the poster is rude or because you've said something that can be quite discriminating to some people? To me, it's always about intentions.
I have been working with a local teenager that is interested in hi-fi. After running through the basics of system building and explaining why it is typically better to deal with "dedicated audiophiles" from Agon rather than Ebayer's, we found an amplifier that was within his budget. I had them directly contact the selling party via Agon's emailer and submit an offer to buy the unit. The Agon seller agreed to accept the offer plus shipping fees and forwarded their address to send payment to. The budding audiophile then responded back with questions to the seller about packing and shipping for the item as i had told them that it was a very heavy piece ( 60+ lbs ) and that taking care of such matters before it was shipped was very important.
After not hearing back from the seller, my "audio student" asked me to drop the seller an email in order to speed up the process. Before doing so, he forwarded me all of the email correspondence between them so that i knew what was going on. Everything looked good as far as i could tell and just figured that the seller had been tied up for a day or two. The next response back from the seller was that he was unaware of any transaction taking place and there was a deal pending on the amp with someone else.
Needless to say, i felt really bad for my "audio student", having picked an "audiophile knucklehead" to conduct his first transaction with. Given that the Agon seller had two positive feedbacks, i had hoped that they were going to be easy to work with. After reviewing the emails, i can honestly say that there was a commitment made between the two and the seller was at fault on this one. Not only was this "audio newcomer" let down in this transaction, we all were as audiophiles and members of Agon.
Like i said in a recent forum thread, "welcome to Audio Review take II". Sean
I am sure I have been a jerk here on more than one occation. Annoying, I suppose. Never with intent, but perhaps because of general ignorance and carelessness. Most of the time I will observe this- question it (in retrospect) and I do feel sorry when I feel I may have acted in an offensive manner, especially when I have offered an opinion where I am ill equipt to offer one. enthusiasm overrides reason, and I know this is not helpful, and I know it can even be annoying. So, I officially apologize to all those I have offended here. Truly! But my point is, that even as I know myself I know that I am not alone in this sort of behavior. People can act in a disrespectful manner without intent- would, in fact, be upset if they thought they were doing so. Whereas I may not know very much about audio (sigh), I know this is true. I have always been impressed by the way members here seem to understand this, and have by large shown great tolerance and understanding when confronted with disrespectful behavior. Asking for respect is just another way in which people act respectfully. Demanding it is not. If you are asking where the respect has gone, you might also take time to consider where you yourself have placed it.
Ezekiel, thanks for the opening. To be honest, I've been posting only for the past year on Agon, though I've intermittently followed threads over the past three or four years. While some exchanges have become contentious, the great bulk are engaging and full of useful information or insight. My profession requires that I scan weblogs on a regular basis and the behavior at some of those sites are much more discomforting. Obviously, several things are at play on BBs where the members get to know each other, at least in the electronic sense: familiarity (often) breeds contempt, and, there's no accounting for taste (in latin, de gustibus non est disputandem). I agree with Lugnut that intelligent, measured - and whenever possible - kind responses will result in more productive exchanges. And this is about high end audio - if only we could convince our politicians to debate more important issues in a rational, dialectic fashion.
Interesting reading and thanks for the kind words!
I have a member sending me nasy emails for years. He left me a - feedback thinking I was somebody else he realized his mistake and retracted but still sends me insulting emails. Other members dont seem to read the add ask ? like does it have a box or where are you located what is the condition ,these are all covered in the add .But I still answer.Then you get the bottom dollar guys ,you list a very low firm price.And they ask many many ? like above, only to follow with whats your bottom dollar. As a child I sold antiques and live bait later used motorcycles .People act dif. when they want to purchase .I havent seen a increase , its just human nature.
Yes, there are many nice people on Audiogon, but there are others that are rude, condescending, insulting, and just downright nasty. They seem to thrive on degrading those who ask questions they think are stupid, or those they have taken a dislike to. And some of these are popular posters on Audiogon as well. Interestingly, I note that some of those I'm thinking of have not posted to this thread. That should tell you something. I've taken some of their abuse in my threads.
You are absolutely correct, this should be a place where people have a common bond and be thankful that they can meet and converse with others that share this hobby. It's nice that you, Ezekial, have had the guts to stand up and say this, and I'm glad you did.
Well, it was suggested above that people politely call out those who are being needlessly rude. So I did, and boy did it backfire. All sorts of accusations from the other end. In retrospect, it seems like the best thing would have been to just ignore it. So that, I guess, is my suggestion. When someone posts something rude, the best thing to do is just go on with life.
Ignoring is fine if it's an isolated incident. However, the guy I fine to very rude on a very regular basis hits every thread I'm interested in(hint: analog), and leaves his footprints, fingerprints and buttprints on all of them. The sad part is that he is obviously knowledgeable, but has no social interaction skills whatsoever. Ignoring him just doesn't work. We've tried...Cheers,
Lousyreeds1, I have to agree with Sbank. So long as it's an isolated incident. However, like, Sbank, I too know of one whom I consider to be nothing more than an opportunist (when he's not Mother Theresa and he's not Ralph Nader) who is always on the prowl ready to destroy whomever he can when the opportunity is right for him.
At this point in time I show no mercy for him whatsoever, as I've witnessed his attempts to destroy entire civilizations! Oops, I meant companies, reviewers, magazines, and enthusiasts alike for not following him or his advice.
Why not let it go? Because I've witnessed too much desctruction by this one-man-wrecking machine and I've tried just walking away several times, even giving his maturity the benefit of the doubt. But every single time he has turned out to be just like the ACLU. He never, ever loses, he just keeps coming back again and again until he finally wins.
Besides, if I only destroy he who is trying to destroy many, am I not entitled to at least a little fun?
Stehno: I asked to let by-gone's be by-gone's at the beginning of the year. I've refrained from "attacking" ( as you would put it ) any reviewers, manufacturers, corporations, etc... since that time. In fact, i have purposely and publicly walked away from threads
that were destined to turn into a disaster since that time. If you can't let things go, so be it. The fact that you went out of your way to make such a post tells me where your heart is. I realized a long time ago that you can't make everyone happy all the time, no matter how hard one tries. Sean
Oh, hi, Sean. Attacking (is not how I put it). I intentionally and specifically used the words destroy and destruction.
I'm not sure who you asked to 'let by-gones be by-gones'.
But if you've turned over a new leaf then I say congratulations, time will tell, and Lord willing, you and I will never need to converse again.
Kumbaya, my lord...Kumbayaaaaa. Kumbaya, my lord, Kumbayaaaaaaa.
Stehno: While i meant what i said, i don't know how much more public i could have made it. If you or anyone else somehow missed these posts, here they are for your perusal. As per your wishes, i'll try to keep our interaction down to a minimum. Given your attitude in the two above posts, i would appreciate it if you would reciprocate the favour. Sean
It is fuuny I tried to sit here and think of something to say that would help this problem and this is all I could stayed with. Remember the rhyme that says; "sticks and stones may break my bones but WORDS can never hurt me". I guess we all know that is not true because they do hurt and are remember. I guess that is why we need to watch what we say because we are all different and what might be a joke to one might be a cause to fight for another.
Obviously, if you're a liar or a cheat then you have NO place here. However, disagreements of opinion on all things audio is a good thing. It promotes discussion and learning. I try not to attack a person, but rather his/her ideas/opinion if I disagree. I think i have done that. Nevertheless, I have been accused of being ignorant, instead of my idea being something that is disagreed with. No problem, I have thick skin and admit to enjoying a good discussion (argument). What I've learned is attack the opinion NOT the person.