Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Mastering the trivial: Why many online communities deteriorate

If I opened this article up by slamming someone else via the internet, you wouldn't want to read it would you?
I hope you answered "no" to that question.
Over the past few years I have interacted, like many of you, with numerous online communities, message boards,
forums, & blogs.
Some are definitely worth staying with since they provide a constant flow of timely concepts, strategies, and even a little humor.
These are valuable resources and can be accessed frequently to improve your understanding of any given subject.
Since my profession is fitness, I seek out the best sources of information available. To me, that means people with noteworthy "track
records" (who are not usually the most vocal about their accomplishments) interact there offering a vast array of good solid information.
Valid training principles can be applied in many different ways, and with varied tools & equipment without being compromised.
Verifiable results follow proper application of principles like these.
As it is prone to happen on the Internet, and in day-to-day life, people tend to gather with like-minded people. That can be a great thing.
However, if we think we are the "owners" of the truth and that other opinions are unimportant we are heading downhill fast.
When a person from makes a statement that really infuriates you, you might be taking it too personally. If you think the other guy's opinion is just plain stupid, you might be right, but look at it again and see if you can learn anything from it at all.
With the anonymity of the web, people who may be very insecure or cowardly might come across very forcefully in a verbal manner.
When it seems there are no consequences for a person's actions, they can get pretty skewed in their perceptions. Some people just want to rant, some want to copy someone else’s ideas and call them their own, while some actually have something of content to say.
In the midst of all this, truly seasoned athletes may just disconnect and continue their own training without interacting any longer; and you can’t blame them.
Aslo, novices often get clobbered by the “regulars” when they simply ask a legitimate questions. Regulars meaning they might have been on the message board a month longer than the guy who asked the question.
It is my hope that experienced coaches will continue to make solid training information available online. As they do, the results of the people who take their advice to heart and apply it, will further validate their strategies.
This will remain the superior test of information, not who can make the slickest and rudest comments about someone else’s methods.

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