How to be a good forum member

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Lady Kate's picture
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Have been thinking that it might be a good idea to set some boundaries on our forum. I myself have been guilty of snarky comments and 'bad-itude' ( it's a word) and for that I'd like to apologize.

I'm suggesting we all bring comments and ideas on how we can improve this wonderful forum and keep it safe for people to voice their concerns, ask their questions and give suggestions without coming across sanctimonious, preachy or hurtful.

Opinions matter and without them, there'd be no Gentle Doberman Forum. Differences arise and that's good too. Doesn't make one opinion right and the other wrong.. just different.

We've watched people get slammed and belittled for their lack of knowledge and hopefully that's why they're here. They get their feelers hurt ( and rightfully so) and leave. They're usually the ones who need a forum the most. Maybe some of them do need to be reprimanded, and I would suggest PM-ing them to do that. We shouldn't embarrass someone publicly.. It makes us look like we're trying to be superior and better ourselves.

So long story longer.. let's pool ideas and see if we can get some sort of By-Laws or Rules of Engagement.. even come up with a name for it. Maybe Webby will like it enough to post it.

Smooches to the Pooches

Kate

cisco9510's picture
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Firstly show some class and respect for others and their pups. Treat people here how you expect to be treated anywhere else. 

It is a forum and opinions are valuable. But be nice about it. 

Lady Kate's picture
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Nice Mandy.. thanks for getting the ball rolling.. I'm going to add some things as I think of them as well

Use Spell check.. it helps your credibility

jeshykai's picture
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Tact is important, I think.  You can have a different opinion from someone, but saying it tactfully in reply to theirs (or countering their argument or statement) is important.  I try really hard with this one because sometimes I have learned things and experienced things that others may not agree with or have different opinions on.  I still want to share my different opinion with the idea that sharing knowledge is important and its a "take it or leave it" attitude.

When someone shares a very personal story and you don't agree with it, I think PM is the way to go about it.  Public bashing is not nice and I find it annoying to read it or experience it.

I think coming from a place of compassion for people and their animals is important.  Not everyone is the same on how they view animals in their life.  If we encourage education, compassion, and enjoyment with our dogs it might change someone else's view who doesn't view dogs the same way.

If you "don't have something nice to say, don't say it" is always a good one.

But unfortantely, sometimes people get hurt in unforseen ways -- and sometimes, being too sensitive, is harmful too.  I think getting hurt and being able to move past it is important, too.

IDK.  Good thing to mull over though.

nupe's picture
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well guys interesting topic....thanks for starting it Kate.....but I have one question....WHAT DO WE DO IF SOMEONE BREAKS THE CHAT RULES????...ARE THEY BANNED....ARE THE WARNED???....see to me this is the internet....typed words wont effect me either way!!!...I naturally try to be nice to people and hope they will do the same in return.... but have learned not to expect much from someone I have never seen in person  in my life accept for their chat room name..lol....sorry did I get off topic there a little?...lol...But whatever you guys decide we will do...I will agree on...*(I am a team player). :)

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nupe you're lucky in that you can not take things personal!! not everyone can say the same (I certainly can't!)

I think if something is inappropriate you "flag" it and then AlphaAdmin can change it and warn them.

Lady Kate's picture
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Good question Nupe.. Aside from marking something that's really icky 'inappropriate" then Alpha Admin can take it off.. I don't suppose there is much that can be done other than monitoring ourselves.

I like Mandy's Golden Rule idea..makes a lot of sense as well as Jess's.

So many times I've seen a question be posed out of sincere helplessness and be answered in a harsh and demeaning way.. The manner in which we hear something in our heads, put it on paper, then when it's read, sometimes takes on a whole other connotation.. read it out loud to yourself.. mark it "rant"

"Shield your eyes'

'Put down your coffee cup'

dunno. that's why I thougth to start this thread.. what can we do? do we need to do anything?

I joined the Gentle Doberman Forum because I thought it meant that the members were gentle..

Oh do I dare lol. I think a warning is nice. I think people get their feelings hurt to easily and I'm not talking in light of the recent posting. Words CAN be hard to read through along with the emotions that come across and I think most of the time they can be twisted or taken wrongly. I think if you kick everyone off that has an opinion you will be stuck with a group of people that cant stand up for what is right, or is afraid of stepping on others toes. I think the administrator handled it very appropriately today. I'm not a fan of coming up with by-laws to belong to a Doberman list. I belong to enough dog clubs with by-laws lol.
 

Lady Kate's picture
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Thanks Des.. as I was scanning postings today.... I think there are some people that NEED to pack up their threads and go home. They seem combative, and not just sensitive.. (we wouldn't own and love our dogs if we weren't' sensitive..) but looking to defend their poor choices..

I don't like By-Laws either.. Just trying to get some guidelines to keep people happy and ready to share their thoughts, suggestions, ideas and advice in a positive manner.

I think it was handled very well today. Several people commented on the thread that they felt it was inappropriate. I think Dabbles was correct in saying that Kat didn't realize that the dogs ears were just left down and would be reposted. I think whoever contacted the admin. and suggested the post be removed was very smart. She was given a warning and a clear statement on what was expected. What more can you ask for.

What I would hate to see happen is catering to people that are doing the wrong thing for fear of offending them. So many people on this list are brand new Doberman owners without experience. While this is a great list to share fun stories about our dogs and the things they do, not so much for good advice. Before anyone takes offense to that (dont read between the lines to much) there are some that do continually give good advice and I respect but mostly this list consists of brand new pet owners that don't have the answers. When you are talking about rules and regulations it takes away free speech. NOt that I agree with the free speech that came out today. While comments like today are not right I do think it was handled VERY WELL.

nupe's picture
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DAMMITT!!!! WHAT DID I MISS TODAY'!!!!  .......LOL

Nupe I think the post that was most offensive was deleted.

DJ's Dad's picture
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Desiree, I know that you are a very up-front and honest opinion type of person, who doesn't believe in sugar-coating the truth.  I admire that about you, because you know how to give an honest opinion without necessarily cutting someone down and hurting their feelings. If your honest opinions ruffle someone's feathers, then usually that person is super-sensitive, in which case, that type of person would most likely get their feelings hurt sooner or later by someone anyhow. 

I dont think that the basis of this forum was to candy-coat things and let people go on doing things that go against the betterment of the doberman breed...to the contrary. I read the Home Page and many of the topics of Gentle Doberman before I decided to join, and I also read a lot of posts and sort of 'got the feel' of the members and how things went here, and I liked it.  Much more so than any other doberman based online group that I have ever visited or been a member of. 

I just hope that the integrity of this forum stays the way it is now, and I am honored to be associated with such knowledgable, honest and fun people as all the members here are.

((oh, and all your dogs are super cute, too))

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Nupe I think the post that was most offensive was deleted.

 

 

OK RN...TY..BECAUSE i GOT A LITTLE LOST THERE FOR A MOMENT...LOL

nupe's picture
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nupe you're lucky in that you can not take things personal!! not everyone can say the same (I certainly can't!)

 

 

 

...Guys I hope I didnt come across as being some...tough or hARd person by my earlier post ABOUT...what do do with people who break the rules'!!...but to be completely honest .....""ITS JUST NOT THAT SERIOUS"""......this is a site to mostly  get or give some knowledge and share some ideas or suggestions..., but to me its mostly for entertainment. Yes some people or more sensitive than others, I understand that, but I think in 2011...the internet is the wrong place to be sinsitive!!!...there are too many assholes with a computer....who can pop in and out of forums..... (I got off track again huh/..lol)

DJ's Dad's picture
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Nupe, I love reading your posts!

nupe's picture
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TY ZD..................UMMM I think?..lol

Dabbles's picture
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Said it once today (different thread from what was deleted...), & I'll say it again:

Because written words don't convey tonal or facial expressions - 90% of communication is body language & vocal inflection, only 10% is the words.

That's why it is easier to email, text, blog...  with people you know & that know you.  The recipient uses their knowledge of you to "image" those things, making misunderstandings less frequent.  Altho' things are still misconstrued sometimes.

After my "altercation" with Todax I personally read & re-read posts, keeping in mind previous postings from that person, but I still fly off the handle sometimes...

sweetpea's picture
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It appears that I missed something here today, and by the sounds of it, it was worth missing!

Speaking as one of the "newbie" owners: 
The honesty on this forum is one of the things I love the most.  I would much rather have someone speak up and tell me if I am doing something wrong, even if it means having my feelings hurt, so I am able to learn and make a change than to have it glossed over while I carry on making my mistakes and not knowing.  Of course there is a certain level of tact that must be used when writing responses, because the way you mean it is not always the way it comes across.  But if there was no honesty, how would anyone ever learn? 

I am willing to eat humble pie if it means I will be a better Doberman owner and that Dakota will be better for it.  I love her and want the best for her, as do you all for your dogs.  I think we all should try to keep the love and passion that is spoken of so often on here(for each other's dogs as well as our own) at the root of our responses and suggestions.  After all the goal is education and community, not to hurt and ostracise each other.

Thank you Paul, I have been known to ruffle feathers.

I do have a lot of info and experience to share and I'm VERY passionate about this breed. I'm not here to make friends "so to speak" but to try and preserve the integrity of this breed and educate when,where and IF people will listen. Not that I don't like the people on this board, I really do  find most very pleasant with interesting stories and things to share and words of wisdom to offer. This is one of the main reasons I even came back to the list. What I wont do however is stand by and let people make uneducated decisions without TRYING to get the truth out.

Nupe I think your words are very true and should be read over and over again, It's not that serious! This is 2011 in the age of the computer, texting, emails and internet groups it is the wrong place to be overly sensitive! I like what Dabbles said above and it stands very true, I also find it would behoove us to take that into consideration. Again I don't agree with the words that were stated today that caused this thread, but find some of the regulars on this list to be overly sensitive themselves. Those that are making overly sensitive remarks do not really know what is going on behind the scenes.

On a lighter note, I think I need to focus on getting back to work and not spending so much time on here trying to change the world lol.

cisco9510's picture
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I would never want some of our older members and more experienced dobe owners to stop giving advice, knowledge, or opinions. That is why I came here and stayed. I think what the idea of this is is to have members realize there are humans on the other side of these little posts and threads and feelings can be hurt.  I value every bit of info i get from members like des and Richard and glengate. Des has helped so much with Cisco's ears! Now that being said if she would have talked to me like Katt talked to calijur- I would have been appalled. You just don't do that. And there have been other times I have seen things that I thought not the time or place, so to speak. Also when people clearly are not knowledgeable on a subject but continue to post opinions as gospel irks me- But what can you do? Like Des said freedom of speech. I guess lets try for a more tactful and gentler speech. Say what you want but do it kindly. And if you can't private message the person.

I think that all of us can be overly sensitive to certain things (even you nupe!) Because we are cyber-friends and acquaintances we don't know what can hurt someone's feelings or how some one is going to read into something.

Maybe we don't need by-laws so to speak... But maybe just having this thread to get our opinions about what happened today will do new and old members all some good....

jeshykai's picture
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I actually did join for a stupid newbor question regarding Steves cropping and the responses I got were thoughtul and educational. But the stories and the community kept me coming back. I have enjoyed the Internet for and have made some lasting friendships (13 year long friendship, still chat everyday). I can only talk about Steve so much to local friends and my sister-in-law and I walk our doberkids weekly and discuss them... But I glean more from here than anywhere else on some of the ins and outs of the breed through stories.

I truly feel the serious questions (health concern & training) should be answered off of the computer by professionals. Some things (like the genetic testing) that aren't common vet knowledge aside, I hope everyone is comfortable enough with their vet to get on the phone and ask questions.

I share things I learned working as a tech but it isn't gospel. I have experience with anatomy & chiropractic care with animals again just tidbits to share...

Tact is a skill I had to learn professionally to handle the "idiots" that came in to the hospital. You can educate without alienating and sometimes no matter what you say or do you piss people off.

Well said.

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I think that all of us can be overly sensitive to certain things (even you nupe!) Because we are cyber-friends and acquaintances we don't know what can hurt someone's feelings or how some one is going to read into something.

Maybe we don't need by-laws so to speak... But maybe just having this thread to get our opinions about what happened today will do new and old members all some good....

 

 

 

Yes....when it comes to my damn New York Jets....I am still pissed...lol

But I hear you Mandy!!!..point taken.

Lady Kate's picture
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Maybe the bottom line is:

It's not what is said, it's how it's said..

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As long as we are all being adults about what is being said then it should all be fine :) As long as we are all here for each other with every question. We can all learn something from one another. :)

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Exactly Kate, well said.  Most of us have "pet" dobermans, gotten because we love the breed, how ever we've acquired them, through rescues, breeders, whatever.  We love them and will defend them as we would our children.  It's an amazing world we've entered with the possibilities with this breed.  We should celebrate our choice.  This site is named "Gentle Doberman", in my mind, not a place for judgement which is what happened.  As Jes said, there is a tactful way of saying things as learned being in the animal world and the public.  We all think our babies are the most beautiful, smartest, most wonderful dog(s) in the world, (am I right? LOL)  and bashing or pointing out ones mistakes in a condescending way is not the way to make one's point.  We come here for knowledge and appreciate the wealth of it on here. I think "preaching" has it's pros and cons, but do it with social skills.... not to someone that has asked not for repercussions on their post, knowing that they are in earnst asking for advice.

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This was a good idea Kate. Let's put together a summary of this topic in a few days, and I'll make it a sticky in the General section.

My input here is simple. I look at everything here in one way: Will this help Dobermans?

I'm pleased with our community here. It wasn't long ago that I would log on and see if anyone posted a question. If so, I'd do my best to give a good answer. Now when I log on there are several questions, and they've all got really good answers. 

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The reason I joined this forum instead of others wasn't because of it's size, or it's pretty page (although it is very pretty), I joined because I liked the fact that everyone was honest and didn't sugarcoat things... much... and everyone cares for the breed!! The fact that people like des and glengate can and will be blunt and don't slap a happy "but it's ok..." @ the end of every sentence made my decision to stay here. I do have a very hot temper... and the bluntness helps me realize they are not chastising me, but are giving me info that I may obviously need.

See... the youngster can be sensible too!!

And Kate, I completely agree with Spell check!! God knows I need it! lolz

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There is a difference between  not sugarcoating things and being plain old mean. I have never felt that Desiree or Glengate have been plain out rude to anyone when giving advice or "constructive criticism" if you will. I always take what they have to say into account- they are our resident experts. Lets not lose sight of what Kate and others here were trying to establish here by starting this thread.

When somebody  is just plain rude and tells somebody that their dogs ears look like sh*! - that is what is uncalled for. NOT MEANINGFUL UNSUGARCOATED ADVICE! We all need that here from time to time. For example- Des noticed a pocket in Raven's ear in a photo- She PM'd and also put a link in my thread that she has probably posted a gagillion (its a word) times to help me. She was not rude and cruel. She told me to catch it or I would have troubles like she has been having with Romeo's ear!

And on the other end of the spectrum - I was just reading a thread about ear cropping and buying a puppy etc. The person was A TYPING IN ALL CAPS which is a major cyber no-no! It comes off as combative to start. And then when knowledgable people (des) gave NICE advice this poster started actually being rude and smart-a$$y towards her and others who were just giving their knowledge to the (im assuming here) kid... It goes both ways!

I do find sometimes we all (because of love of the breed or dogs in general) will get a little bent and be a bit pushy with opinions if we feel somebody is doing something they shouldn't- I could give countless examples I have seen her.

All in all -This is a great place and people come here for help and stories and to talk about thier beloved dogs.

Like I said before "speak" to people on here how you want to be "spoken" to. If some one takes it as harsh then they are over sensitive and there is nothing we can do about that.

I love all the people here who have helped me thus far in raising my little hellions and I look forward to sharing and learning from them for years to come.

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I must have missed that too, but I'm glad!! BOL! I have had enough drama in my life this week with the worrying about our baby, getting the flooring in, the furnace, and still awaiting the new furniture. On a sad note, my Grandmother had to be put in an assisted living facility Tuesday, this was very hard on my Mom.

Anyway, I just want to say thank y'all for being there, and advising us. Sophie is our first Dobe, and I found out, no matter how seasoned you are as a canine owner, there is a huge difference in breeds. I'm grateful, I found this forum. I have not had my feelings hurt on here, and honesty is the best policy. I also am a big supporter of the Golden Rule. If you tell the truth, and treat others how you want to be treated, it's a win win situation. If someone, doesn't want the truth, or real advise, they shouldn't ask. Sophie slurps to all!!!

 

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Again, tact isn't sugar coating things.

So let's stop focusing on our current group and give some pointers we want on a sticky like in one forum it says "give as much info as possible so we can help you."

I'd say :

- be tactful when posting an opinion & keep on mind we are all here because we love our dogs
- outright degrading, rude, abusive posts (as was the case that started this) are not permitted
- opinions an suggestions are just that - if it opposes from your personal truth agree to disagree and stay civil
- seek the help of a professional for serious problems of health and training.

cisco9510's picture
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EXACTLY JES- that is what I was trying to say pretty much in my long winded post- thanks for summing it up so well!

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Must not have gotten to the thread mentioned yet, been so busy lately I barely get time to read anything on here anymore -

 

Respect is something everyone should have - no matter what your opinion on something that doesn't mean others are wrong.  it's just an opinion!   That benig said there are respectful and disrespectful ways to state your opinion and argure for it.  I try my best to always be respectful to everyone.  I don't have to like them or their opinion but even if I don't it's still NOT ok to be disrespectful to them. I do my best to follow this even on internet forums.  I hope that others see what I type in that manner but I"m sure I've pissed off a few people over the years....

 

at the end of the day it's still the internet - and nothing anyone on any forum says is going to ruin my day for a single minute no matter how rude/ignorant or just plain stupid it was.  People get way to sensitive and take offense and read personal attacks into things too easy.,..

 

Talk to people online the same as you would if you were standing in front of them looking them in the face

MASTER G's picture
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CLICK BY MISTAKE

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I agree with all of you guys! I joined this group because my love of dogs and hoping to make online friends that have common interests!

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I don't own a doberman yet, and this forum has taught me SO MUCH I can't even begin to tell you guys lol, I love the community feel and even when someone is being honest I don't feel belittled, I feel educated. I can honestly say that before I found this site I knew next to nothing about this breed, and I check this site on a daily basis to see if there's something new to learn. Just expressing my feelings here, (and I did not see the argument that went on that seems to have started this topic) but I have never had a problem with this forum, and even though I've only been here a month or so I really do love all the great advice on here. I also agree with the 10% is words 90% is unspoken communication, and sometimes that makes it hard to interpret what someone is saying, overall I think everyone should respect everyone, but that doesn't mean be dishonest or shush yourself so you don't hurt someones feelings.

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Wow... was looking @ post mentioned... and I agree... completely unnecessary. I think everything mentioned here is valuable and should be made a Sticky.

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I love this site because it has helped me become a better doberman owner. I am not the best, very far from it. But I want to try to provide the best I can for Laith. The last thing you want is to get on the internet and be bullied when all you wanted was a little advice. Positive criticism is the way to go. If I am wrong, tell me and then tell me ways of how to fix it.  

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 EXACTLY!!!

Lady Kate's picture
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Hey guys... I don't want you to think that arguing or commenting on something you disagree with is NOT being a good forum member

This forum is to teach and to learn.. Tip toeing around issues we feel strongly about shouldn't happen..

When I started this thread, I just felt that maybe things could be stated in a more 'gentle' manner

sometimes.. not..

Just yesterday.. I AGONIZED over someone who bought a dog over the phone and plans to use him for stud service.. The dog has serious issues and the guy is using a SHOCK COLLAR on him to keep him from barking.. and still plans to breed.. " Just for fun"

Things like that almost earns an "innapropriate" flag..

I know we're being extra careful not to hurt someones' feelings.. I myself can get somewhat snarkey and mouthy when someone is doing something to  hurt the welfare of their dog.. and of course our beloved breed.. I do see RED!!

 

So sure..maybe a good  rant once in a while is good for the soul.. Not sure that it will change anything.. I doubt if we'll ever see that OP again.. so a kinder and gentler 'lesson' was probably not worth my time ( and editing)

thoughts?? 

 

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well you know my feelings!

DJ's Dad's picture
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Kate, I think the issue of the petshop doberman/potential daddy was handled very well by all.  The OP felt strongly about her beliefs and her decisions, and stated them in a way that was easily figured out by anyone reading exactly where she stood on her ideas,  but so did a lot of members with opposing arguments.  Nobody seemed to get out of control at all. No name calling or derrogatory remarks were made (at least not as far as I read)  Everyone voiced their opinions in a civil manner.

I give this forum group a TRIPLE A+++

nupe's picture
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^5 KATE!!!....You Rock...Lady!!!

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Thanks Nupe.... I appreciate that and Paul.. that was a GIRL?? OMG here all this time I had visions of.... well... something else..

This IS a place to air our differences.. and I really liked what Kevin said about.. 'If we could talk in person, it would sound different.' ( I'm paraphrasing here coz I'm too lazy to go find it and make those quote-y marks ( it's a word.. ) Besides. I don't want to see that thread ever again.. but I digress... Hmmm.. I digressed to the point that I forgot my point.. Barb.. .I feel your pain!!

Oh yeah... things that are written are read differently.. gee was that so hard??

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Yes I agree sometimes they are read different then intended and I took much offense to kevin today as some know- we had our cyber battle and  both apologized...

NEW FORUM RULE: if you are meaning to be snarky, rude, or mean in your opinion... ALL CAPS, Change the color, Italics... Then we will know! lol!!!

cisco9510's picture
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My Pap always said "Opinions are like a$$holes... Everyone's got one... You just don't need to be one while giving yours"

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unityspirit's picture
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I learned my lesson I was on another doberman forum.. not naming it. I was banned for my opinion that the owner of the forum didnt like I suppose. I logged on it banned me and called me a troll. lol