Mr X, , Spoonfeeding. and The Inside Joke

Discussion in 'Messages for All Guests and Members' started by mdboatbum, Dec 6, 2011.

  1. mdboatbum

    mdboatbum Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I'll start off by saying I love this forum. It's informative, fun and extremely worthwhile. Sometimes, however, the posts can be hard to read. In an effort to help (and not preach) I just want to pass along a few nuggets of sage wisdom I learned many years ago that hopefully some of you will take to heart and help to continue the wonderful atmosphere around here.

    1. Mr X. Mr X is not well informed on the topic at hand. He speaks the language, but doesn't understand many of the customs, nor does he have much prior knowledge to the content in your post. Please be mindful that he will be confused if insufficient background information is given. A caveat is, we must know our audience. Someone with a little time on this forum is likely going to know the basics, but maybe a totally new person might not.

    2. Spoonfeeding. This is the practice of not giving Mr. X credit for not being a total moron. While he may not be familiar with the finer nuances of whatever topic you're describing, he does possess basic knowledge that most people above age 9 do. Going too deeply into the minutia of the subject matter and/or supplying unnecessarily abundant background makes for a lengthy and difficult to read post. We get it, you modded your ECB. A 300 word monologue on a trip to the hardware store to buy a screw, including part numbers, photos and a diagram of the store isn't entirely necessary.

    3. The inside Joke. This is becoming the bane of a lot of internet forums. Useless abbreviations, Little pet names for certain processes and references to long ago posts which are buried in the annals of this forum serve only to alienate the uninitiated and irritate most everyone else. While most of us know what an ECB or a Fattie is, some might not. CBP took me a while to figure out. When replying to a post, especially one started by a newcomer, please be mindful that they may not be in on the lingo. Pop's Brine is likely a foreign concept to new people.  Furthermore, the knee jerk response to a newbie question of immediately telling them to search is (with the exception of Craig's very polite posts offering the answer in addition to a suggestion of using the search tool) somewhat offputting to a new person. Yes, we all know that the minion method has been covered a thousand times, but is it so hard to politely explain what it is or where to find it?

    I hope I don't sound like a jerk here. I really intend this to be a polite reminder that there are a LOT of people on this forum, and a little forethought to what we're posting goes a long way. And one more thing, I know a lot of people post from their cell phones so it's a lot easier to use abbreviations and shorthand, but please at least try to get close to the proper spelling. And maybe use complete sentences complete with punctuation.

    If this does come off as obnoxious pontification please feel free to let me know about it. I assure you though, that was not the intent.
  2. dutch

    dutch Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Mdboatbum-What a great reminder for those of us who call this wonderful place home.  I have been guilty of what I call the "Old Timer's Mentality"-seen a question posted time and again and not taking into consideration that the poster has little or no expedience with the art of smoking and that is why they are here-to learn whatever bits of wisdom that we can send there way. Telling them to use the Search feature at the top of the page kind of defeats the purpose of SMF being a helpful and friendly place.

    Last edited: Dec 6, 2011
  3. cowgirl

    cowgirl Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I second what Dutch said.  Great post Mdboatbum!
  4. scarbelly

    scarbelly Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Thanks for the reminder - great post indeed
  5. forluvofsmoke

    forluvofsmoke Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Excellent points, and well taken!


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