The Amadan

I Remember When...

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...I first came to the BoTK.

Everyone was so friendly, and encouraging.

We talked about kilts & accessories, history, music, and had a few laughs along the way.

When I had a newbie question, brothers jumped in to answer, without cramming their view down my throat.

When I asked an oft-repeated question, they kindly pointed me toward the section that I needed to research, rather than repeat the same info, ad nauseum.

I made some good & lasting friends, many of which I've had the pleasure to meet in person.

Lately, I've seen some disturbing trends.

We should be allowing our new brothers & sisters to "get their feet wet", and get an overall "feel" for the forum.

Instead, repeatedly, I've witnessed new members post a question or picture, only to watch it digress rapidly, and spiral into a shouting match.

Infrequent contributors come out of the woodwork, with the sole purpose of pontificating upon their view or credentials, then slip back into silent oblivion. Regulars use it as a soapbox for their slant on morals/ethics. Etc. etc., etc. I could go on & on.

And only a few try to keep things civil & on topic.

I'm sure of a few newbies, who won't be coming back.

What happened to the nurturing, fun place, that used to be a kilt newbie haven?

Don't give me any crap about people & forums grow and change... being civil, nurturing and kind to new members never went out of style, in my world.

Ironic: a guy who calls himself "the Amadan", is ashamed of his brothers & sisters, for their behavior.

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Mate, I'm one of the first to bark, but it's only ever at people who beg me to do it. I try to be a reasonable fellow, even when my instincts are screaming "bite this prick's face off!". I personally believe this forum needs a firm. If you dont know what that is, I suggest researching British Football. Now, time to chew some faces.

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And I remember when I was impatient to check what was posted...and when we didn't go over a month without something new posted in the Members section...

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Familiarity breeds contempt unless lots of forgiveness is applied ... I think we just run short on forgiveness.

Add to that our tendency to add voice inflections to folks posts that may or may not be accurate and misunderstandings abound. Over time we begin to assume the worst possible interpretation of what other folks say, we assume their remarks are personal and spiteful when they may well be neither.

I try to use emoticons, but for many of those folks who I figure don't like me even the emoticons are often interpreted as being sarcastic, I think. Some folks are ignored by individuals as well as loosely associated groups, I think, which only drives those who are distant even further apart.

Maybe we need to stop assuming the worst of each other. Maybe we should actually pick a day to slap all of our collective sins against each other onto a kilt and burn it in an online ceremony. To regain what we once had we have to go back to where we once were, back to a time before we all offended each other.

Forgiveness is a powerful thing and the best hope for us as a Brotherhood, I believe.

Kilt ON!

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I remember some proud times too. Sad to see the changes. Boards, including kilt boards, come and go. One troll can take down a board.

I keep checking in....optimistic....maybe...never know....

Ain't nothin' worse than having a newbie jumped...unless he's a holier than thou pontificator out of the chute...

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I miss the innocents that this forum had when I first joined. Many people have left that I wish still posted here.

I totally agree with Amadan. If the rudeness existed then as I have seen here in the last year I doubt that I would still be checking in.

Jim

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Obviously I haven't been here long. I only joined the other day. In my introductory thread I was warmly welcomed and even had some invitations to meet other posters nearby. I'd have to search pretty hard to find something I could twist into an insult, other threads where I've posted included. I don't expect any special treatment as a noob, just the respect I'd give any stranger. I'm also not one, though, to come into a discussion guns-a-blazin', although I do admit to a tendency for sarcasm, and I have yet to find a decent sarcasm font. I have seen some threads where people were maybe rude to each other; I have also seen some of those same posters come back and apologize or clarify, something not often seen on internet forums.

We'll see how it goes as I get more immersed, though. :beerchug:

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Stanman, glad to hear that you felt warmly welcomed... that does make me feel a bit better.

It doesn't matter if you've been here 3days, or 3 years... your voice should (IMHO does) count.

I'm not advocating special treatment for anyone, newbs included. I simply feel we should give newbies the opportunity to have their threads stay on topic, before we grab it, and veer off on a personal crusade. I can cite one recent thread, started by a new member, on only his 2nd or 3rd post, that digressed into an off-topic-pi$$ing-contest... he hasn't been back.

Perhaps I'm living in the past, but I recall a time when the powers-that-be would vigilantly steer threads, to stay on topic.

Just seems a tad disrespectful, IMHO, to take someone else's thread, and run off on a tangent.

And, yes, the sarcasm font is desperately needed.

I'm also a bit preturbed, at the "infrequent flyers"; members who only show up to voice their personal indignation, and then disappear. No, there's no criteria stating how often one must post, here.... but let's be realistic: Showing up, only to bolster one's personal credentials, hardly garners respect, nor does it contribute to the forum, as a whole.

And this BS of pointing fingers at sub-groups, is just that: BS. Perhaps it's time to realize that when more than one person doesn't like what you have to say, doesn't mean anyone's dogpiling... it simply means that more than one member doesn't care for your point of view. Get over yourself. As I sarcastically observed, in another thread, I wasn't aware that revealing my affiliations, with other groups, was a requirement, nor do I feel it has any bearing, here.

And yes, I belong to a sub-group: I prefer the Great Kilt over the modern (little) kilt. Call me a heretic.

So, you'll all simply need to forgive me (or ignore me... I'm no attention whore); Even happy-go-lucky silly Amadan can get a bit pi$$y, from time-to-time.

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So, you'll all simply need to forgive me (or ignore me... I'm no attention whore); Even happy-go-lucky silly Amadan can get a bit pi$$y, from time-to-time.

Well, Tony, at least we agree that forgiveness is needed.

But forgiveness only works when it is given both ways. I forgive you for singling me out, again, and passing off my legitimate concerns as bull****. Telling me to get over myself? Really, Tony, I forgive you for that too. But will you forgive me? If your answer is yes then maybe we can start a much needed trend.

We've both been here since the beginning ... what is wrong with the BotK has much more to do with we oldies than it has to do with any newbies. Personally, I'd like for all of us oldies to lighten up a bit, beginning with me and you, Tony. You and I are perfect examples of what I was talking about.

A little mutual forgiveness between two oldies seems like a good place to start ... ignoring folks, well, we've tried that and it doesn't work.

Kilt ON!

Chris Webb

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Well going back and looking at the last thread I posted in I think I'm at fault for helping steer that one off topic. For that I apologize.

I will also admit to be one that will post something and then not respond again in that thread. I do that on purpose. It's not to troll but so I'm not starting fights. If what I have posted is replied to and it seems to me after reading it that the person responding has their mind set on what they believe then I see no reason to argue with them. Easier (on everyone) to just let it be. A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.

I try to give out some info to people asking questions if I have some and haven't been beaten to the punch. Some of yous guys is quick! :) I'll state my stance on something or someone if I feel I need to. Hence my response in another thread about Matt Newsome. I felt that his work as a researcher was called into question so I suggested that it be read before being dismissed. The mind is like a parachute principle.

Should I not have not have done that? I guess not in that thread. It just helped blow the whole thing off track. Again I'm sorry.

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@ CW:

Forgiveness? Huh?

You are entitled to your views, and so am I.

I don't come to BotK for absolution, nor am I here to extend absolution, to others, for intangible opinions.

I'm here for kilts.

Now, there are a very few tangible instances, that occured here, that I am in no hurry to forgive.

Forgiveness, where there is no remorse, makes it too easy for the perpetrators to find new victims (for example: if a merchant shafts a customer, and does nothing to rectify the situation... sorry, no forgiveness. I don't want them fleecing anyone else). Call me cynical.

I (indirectly) used you as an example, regarding the finger-pointing at groups. You are not the only to point fingers, here.

Please don't take this the wrong way: You are not the center of my universe. Therefore, you are not the sole subject of my statements.

What you extrapolate, from my statement, is your choice.

I disagree, regarding the ignore feature; it depends upon the method for which it is used.

There are subjects that, simply, do not interest me. Other topics exist, that agitate me. I don't care to indulge either type, for reasons I'm not obligated to elaborate on. Some members have a predictable tendency to post frequently in those topic areas/mannerisms.

I have a choice: I can manually avoid (ignore) said authors (and the afore mentioned subject matter), or I can utilize the forum feature, to do so automatically... either way the end result is the same. I took the lazy way out. No apologies, either. It's not a matter of cowardice, nor slapping anyone on the face... it's about convenience. I'm likely to bypass those posts anyway, might as well allow technology to help me out.

Taking this thread back, from the personal, and returning it to my original train-of-thought:

I am merely throwing out the idea, that maybe we (particularly the older members) should take a moment and review our posts & mannerisms, here.

I am no exception.

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Hi, I believe that civility of discourse is on the wane in our society, and I think it is a shame. This forum can be a place where civility is still honored among gentlemen and ladies.

I strongly encourage us to be friendly and welcoming to newcomers. If they ask a question that has been covered well in the past we can give our own two-cents worth (so they don't feel like they are being dismissed) and then send them to the appropriate discussion thread for more info. I also think that newbie questions are not a good place for simmering arguments among senior members to take flame. I have seen the responses to one of my own beginning questions sail off without me into what appeared to be an old argument about a somewhat related topic.

That being said, I have the impression that there are some long ongoing differences of opinion among the members concerning issues about which they feel quite strongly, and I don't think those discussions should be squelched on the forum (or else the forum will only serve newbies). Having moved past most of my beginning questions I find these arguments to be quite interesting and informative. Perhaps we could do a better job of using different areas of the forum for handling newbie questions and having it out on other issues.

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As an "OLD MEMBER" here, I also have many of the same concerns. I am, sadly to say, often "caught up" in the "problem".

Here are a couple of my personal thoughts.

I. My responsibility.

A. Acknowledge the Newbie & respect that He/She is NEW & most likely Joined us with a LOT of ???. Many if not all are those that over the years have been "addressed" to the point, we "oldies" think - OH S**T, not this again. :blink: ( white hose, flat caps, pleats ETC, ETC )

1. I need to reflect on the above & accept the Responsibility, as a person who can possibly assist Him/Her.

2. Present what little I know on the subject as best I can in a NON condescending or confrontational manner.If I "feel" that it would be of value, direct the person to "past discussions" on the subject. ( if I can find them :unsure: )

B. SELF MODERATION = Before I answer, THINK.

1. Many of the ?? that arise, are those I have a BIAS/OPINIONATED take on. :rolleyes: Before I succumb to "voicing" them,I need to evaluate if the individual needs to know & then how I should present them Correctly. ( see below.)

2. Present the basic answers as unbiasedly as I can. then advise Him/Her that there are many ( Me included )have some VERY biased thoughts on the subject & direct them to discussions/Brawls.

3. Moderation of my other Bros & Sisters. I realize that this is touchy, but when a Post starts to go "SIDE WAYS" We "old ones" Can/Should step in & put it back on "Track".( & that includes Me when I "screw up"

Although This should be "handled" by the "Forum Mods", Sad to say, they do not ( for what ever reason ) & therefore, IMO, we who call the BOTK Home & desire it to be what it should be,NEED to accept the responsibility.

Puffer

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Well said, Puffer. I'm printing off your post now so I can put it right by my danged computer. I recognize that I'm part of the problem too and, frankly, I'd like to get back to enjoying this forum like I used to. Thanks for your post.

Oakley, you are a very observant and insightful Brother. You pretty much summed it all up regarding newbies and oldies. Lots of the newbie questions could be directed to the Basics of Kilting Section. I certainly agree that noone should ever be discouraged from asking a question or bring up a topic no matter how many times it's been brought up before.

Tony, well, I still forgive you and you can't stop me. :P:D

Chris

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Tony, well, I still forgive you and you can't stop me.

Fair enough. LOL.

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I tend towards the paradoxical. While I try VERY hard to be civil, welcoming & friendly, I'm also one of the first to start a fight if I think a verbal headbreaking is the only wayy to pull an idiot into line. I'm a gentleman thug. I cant help it, it's the way I am. I'm also honest, loyal & will fight to the death for your right to hold a different opinion. Jack, most of your comments are right on the money. I cant however agree with the bit about helping to moderate each other. Not our job, people put their hands up, & have made it very clear that it's their exclusive preserve. Yep their abscence is more than obvious, but they want the job then either sh!t or get off the pot.

With regard to the newbies, I'm glad theyre here. I'll answer their questions (even if it IS for the umpteenth time) because it makes it obvious that we'll take the time to interact with them. I'll use their preferred name when I learn it so as to make them feel an individual, rather than a faceless internet identity. I'll suggest they research a subject without supplying links so they have the fun of achieving by themselves. By doing this, I hope they can find their way into one or another of the subgroups that can & should exist. I've explained my reasoning behind this in another thread. Suffice it to say that it's NOT elitim or cliquishness.

And I'll continue to break heads if I see it as warranted.

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I'm a gentleman thug.

I take this to mean, that back in the "old days of dueling" if challenged, you would not take your "glove", slap the piss ant & tell him to meet you on the "Green". Instead,you would warn him to "not go there". If he did, you would just "cold cock" the SOB. & if he continued = "lights out" ??? :sunny: :sunny:

Puffer

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I'm also honest, loyal & will fight to the death for your right to hold a different opinion.

And I'll continue to break heads if I see it as warranted.

CHILI:

All joking aside, I appreciate that comment. I mentioned to Tony in a PM if I have crossed the line in debating an issue it was not by intent and I didn't mean to. I think you can have spirited discussions without resorting to "well that opinion just shows what a jerk you are". Truth be told more than once I have seen a reasoned discussion here and thought you know what, that really does make sense. So in much the same vein I wholeheartedly agree. I know in other nameless other kilt forums where certain discussions seem like public affirmation. I neither need or want that. I kinda of enjoy it when you jump in with both feet. Growing up the dinner table in my house we'd often have really lively arguments and if you couldn't verbally hold your own you were forced to the sideline.

Enough.. I need to put my flat cap on and adjust that interior buckle on my kilt. :P

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I take this to mean, that back in the "old days of dueling" if challenged, you would not take your "glove", slap the piss ant & tell him to meet you on the "Green". Instead,you would warn him to "not go there". If he did, you would just "cold cock" the SOB. & if he continued = "lights out" ??? :sunny: :sunny:

Puffer

Kind of right, but there'd be no warning. I'd ignore the pissant first time. Then after the second, I'd shoot him in the face. Or (a little football humour) to put it visually:

ICF1.jpg

CHILI:

I kinda of enjoy it when you jump in with both feet. Growing up the dinner table in my house we'd often have really lively arguments and if you couldn't verbally hold your own you were forced to the sideline.

Enough.. I need to put my flat cap on and adjust that interior buckle on my kilt. :P

Yep, exactly. Cant take the heat then get out of the kitchen. Oh btw, I'm a huge fan of flat caps (I have some rippers). One day I'll give away an old Scottish trick with flat caps ;)

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Regarding the level of moderation present on this (or any) forum, I must say that I prefer the laissez-faire approach. We are all adults here, and the very existence of this thread shows that the Brothers are perfectly capable of self-moderation for the most part. I think mods should step in only when posts become personally insulting, such as name-calling and such. Thread-jacking is a bit more tricky, since I think it depends on the thread. Sometimes conversations just take a left turn as part of the natural flow, other times things do need to be brought back on track.

Some people speak their minds and put it all out there, and others sit back and observe more, only speaking when they feel they have something to add. This is the way of things. There is room for all. Are there cliques or sub-groups? That is human nature as well. We tend to be drawn to gather with people like ourselves. On this forum, some may prefer to wear their kilts in a very Scottish way with the "proper" type of jackets, etc, and some prefer to wear them more like just another article of everyday clothing. I enjoy seeing how someone wears their kilt in the traditional way, and I also enjoy seeing those who are very non-traditional.

One thing to remember about forgiveness: If/when you forgive someone, it benefits you, not them. If you walk around carrying a grudge or feeling insulted, you are the one with the burden. If you forgive the offending person, you are telling yourself that that person no longer has any power over you. Holding resentments burdens you, the other person is not affected in the least. The other person doesn't even need to know whether you have forgiven them, it matters not. You are releasing yourself.

Have a great day.

Stan

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I have to agree, Chris. There's a measure of rationality & civility that I find very refreshing. Stanman, thanks for taking the time to fit in with our quirks!

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Nice work Tony. This has become a good discussion about the atmosphere and direction of the forum. I'm certainly glad I read it. :)

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I think this is most indicative of one of the major problems, here, for some time:

Fixing the barn door, after the horses have escaped... and forgetting to bring the toolbox.

As seems to be the trend, of late, it is literally days before any sign that the administration or moderation teams have bothered to check in.

(Yeah, yeah, I know... volunteers and all that. Been there/done that)

My main concern, in this topic, was about new members, how they are treated, and how they see the manner in which others are permitted to act.

We kept hearing a query of "how do we get new people to sign up, and how do we keep them, here?" A special council (which appears now to have been strictly lip-service) was even set up to help address this concern. What was the result? Waste of time. Most of the inquiries/suggestions made by said council went without acknowledgment. This, plus the lack of timely mod/admin appearance shows a marked lack of concern, IMHO.

Hijacked threads, started by unaware newbies, have run astray, with only a few oldtimers futilely attempting to bring them back on course.... no mods. In one, an alleged expert (who contributes nothing to the forum) arrived only to pontificate about his credentials (while further hijacking a newbie thread)... no mods. Another newbie's thread was so mangled, it appears he won't be back.

So, how is this helping to capture and keep new members?

It's ironic: There are a few members, about whom many others bitch, regarding the content of their posts... but at least, they show up and contribute. They don't just pop in, late, with a few condescending words, and trot off, again.

This place is chock full of great people... wonderful, interesting people. But the complacency of the administration is dragging it down.... Presence builds confidence; Absence promotes distrust.

As for me: I'm exhausted from the last 18 months. I've worked harder, than many would concede, to promote and recruit for BotK. I can't shake the belief it was for naught.

This advocacy for new members was my last hoorah.

I'm not going to give any farewell speech, nor burn any bridges, nor claim that I won't read a post or two, here & there.

I'll still proudly wear my BotK t-shirts, reflecting upon its glory days.

I'll simply say: My time can be spent more productively, elsewhere.

(please note: none of the above was typed in "angry font". Just telling how I feel. My views do not necessarily represent the opinions of anyone, other than myself)

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