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Aaah...Hunt has the essence of it...be gentle. If someone (especially a newbie) asks a question, they DO want answers. They just don't want attacked for being so stupid as to not know the right answer on their own. There are always at least two ways to tell someone something. And one of them is kind. And sometimes they make what they believe is an innocent comment and they get attacked. Gentle correction and guidance would go a lot further here. If they get attacked, they will go on the defensive. That is human nature. At that time, anything you have to tell them will be lost. So...if you actually want your ideas to be heeded (is that a word?), be gentle.


In general, we haven't gotten too mean here lately, but we do need to constantly mind our kindness level. When we find someone has their facts wrong, yes, we should help them find the correct facts as FS suggests. But let us do it kindly, not "pounce" on them. (Big cats pounce before they kill you know.)


FS states: "For example, troops can make blue jeans part of the uniform, sod surfing is OK if you dont get a tour permit, and boards of review should test the boy on all 10 official Scout knots is going to get pounced big time."


These statements have all been taken out of context and are NOT what the posters said. They ARE a manipulation of what was said and could be interpreted from the statements. But so could other interpretations. For the most part, the posters (especially the sod surfing) MAY have been reached if they had been helped to see the light instead of being attacked. Now don't get me wrong and don't take it out of context... I think sod surfing is unsafe & not a good idea. (I think it sounds like fun & something MY children would do, but definitely a no-no in Scouting. My children like to go "tire rolling" too...they tuck themselves inside a tractor tire & roll down big hills...stupid and dangerous, but they have fun. We would NEVER do it in Scouts, and they don't do it with my blessing, but that is a different story.) I think "going around" Scout rules by not filing a tour permit and announcing it is "not a Scout function" is wrong -- you know -- not trustworthy. I believe in the method of uniforming -- correctly. I don't believe the BoR should be a retest of anything. (I have gotten into a heated argument with our committee who decided to retest each time -- my husband was the "ringleader" on this one. They "failed" a Scout because he couldn't jump through all the hoops they wanted -- he was nervous & scared. He was "pounced on". He knew all his material, just couldn't spit it out while on the "hot seat".)


I just think it is easier & more desirable to catch those flies with honey than chasing them off with a flyswatter! And the "flies" might be inclined to listen & learn instead of leaving the forum believing there are mean-spirited people here.

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"Often, someone may state something that is not exactly right, yet their intent is clear and somebody is waiting to pounce!"


I stated the above in my original post. The issue of etiquitte or netiquette is a perfect example of what I mean. The intent of the statement is clear and it was pounced on!


Its "netiquette", not "netetiquette".


How can we have a forum if someone makes typo's! I think we should take knotty out behind the barn and beat him with everythnig we got. Perhaps not, it was typed incorectly twice! I think this is a killin offence.


I've been on-line for about 15+ years, so am fairly familiar with the 'problem'.


"so am" What's that? Is it a typo or poor grammer? Perhaps this goes against the scout law?


"I've been on-line for about 15+ years" So, what's the point. I too have been online a while. Being familiar with the problem and not taking a stand against the problem means what in 15+ years? Perhaps taking a stand against being mean and rude happens after the 16th year, 17th year, 18th year, etc.


"And the points that "FScouter" makes is also important to keep in mind."

(Not suposed to begin a sentence with "And"!)

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" "Its "netiquette", not "netetiquette"."


"How can we have a forum if someone makes typo's! I think we should take knotty out behind the barn and beat him with everythnig we got. Perhaps not, it was typed incorectly twice! I think this is a killin offence. "


Interesting comments, consider it was you who made the typos.


BTW, its considerd bad form (ie poor netiquette) to point out minor typo/grammer issues. Major typos that leads to unclear information is a different matter.


" "I've been on-line for about 15+ years, so am fairly familiar with the 'problem'. "


" "so am" What's that? Is it a typo or poor grammer? Perhaps this goes against the scout law? "


Please see my comment above about reporting on other's typos/grammer. You seem to not understand that on-line communication is not quite like formal written communication. Many people put down in what they type what they would say. On-line communication is more akin to spoken communication in that sense.


" "I've been on-line for about 15+ years" So, what's the point. I too have been online a while. Being familiar with the problem and not taking a stand against the problem means what in 15+ years? Perhaps taking a stand against being mean and rude happens after the 16th year, 17th year, 18th year, etc. "


Let me try to make it clearer.


You see the problem as people being mean, rude, etc. While there are rude people on-line, I don't see that as the major issue. I think there are fewer rude people in these forums then prehaps you do (the Issues Forum being the exception :) ).


I see the problem as a lack of understanding about what is/is not acceptable in on-line communication. A lot of what many on-line see as mean/rude behavior is too often a misperception of what is acceptable on-line behavior. And frankly, your followup posts are perfect examples of this.


My statement was to point out my own experience in on-line communication (ie back up what I say by experience). I see no value in railing against perceived meanness/rudeness. I would prefer people educate themselves on what is/isn't acceptable behavior on-line (ie, 'netiquette'), then get into some crusade against 'on-line rudeness'.


Here's an example from my own experiences. Back in the days of Netnews (aka Usenet), an acceptable way to response to people's posts would be to 'cut them up' into paragraphs or even sentences to comment on the particular points (agree, disagree, back up, refute, etc). [btw, this is also acceptable behavior in email lists] I had seen this for years, had others do this to my posts, done it to others posts, and so on. One time I did this with someone's post, and the guy freaked out. He obviously hadn't bothered to educate himself as to what is acceptable (just reading the groups should have done this), so this guy couldn't handle what was a widely accepted way of responding to others, and got majorly bent out of shape.


In other words, he mistook perfectable acceptable behavior as some kind of attack. It wasn't.


My own experience on this and most other on-line forum/discussion lists, etc, is that in most cases the people getting bent out of shape about claims of rudeness, etc, could have been avoided had those people educated themselves about netiquette.


Those of us (like me) used to see this all too often when newbies came on-line. Usually around September when all the new college students (back in the days before the Internet was open to everyone) got their accounts at the begining of the year, and started accessing Usenet, email discussion lists, etc.


There is also the very sensible recommendation that people should 'step back' from an email or posting and take a day before responding. Many times when we come back to such an item, we may find that we are overreacting, and this avoids a possible further issues.



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In my experience, there are those who seem to go out of their way to be offended by something. And, there are those who seem to go out of their way to show how smart they are as often as possible. While both of these traits exist in the "real" world, they seem to be magnified online. And when these traits collide, someone is bound to get bent out of shape.


When you feel your indignation building up, my advice is simple: Go outside and get some sun.


Tod Bryant

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Attack is overused these days to right the wrongs of this world. We could ask ourselves first if sending in the troops shouldn't be a lower priority. I'm trying to think of some things I have witnessed here and used myself. Here's my top ten list for today.


Use the backspace bar often.

Try a different subject column for a day.

Use insightful humor.

Try forgiveness.

Be wrong on occasion.

Ignore it and write as if it didn't exist.

Ignore the person all together.

Try diplomacy.

Get up and exercise 5 days a week at 5 A.M.

Try typing without looking at the keys.


and sometimes it is still a struggle but I try.





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If it is important to us not to be rude, we need to realize that rudeness is in the eye of the beholder.


The fact that what would be seen as rudeness by the majority is not considered rude in the internet elite crowd is only meaningful while one is hanging out in a forum with others of a like ilk.


Is this possibly natural selection at work? Let's see.


1. Someone responds rudely to a post.


2. Person taking the hit can either hang in there or drop out of the forum.


3. Forum evolves into a community in which rudeness is now acceptable.


4. Rudeness becomes the standard for the online community


5. New people who object to rudeness are told they just don't understand the community and that what they perceived as rudeness is actually well within the community standards as to what is rude and what isn't.


6. Person can either accept this or drop out


7. Return to step 3



The problem with this has already been pointed out. There is no "Internet Community" with a universal standard of rudeness. Each forum is its own community with its own standards. You would be roundly criticised if you tried to live in Germany based on the rules for rudeness you learned in the US. Why should you then expect to be able to interact according to rules for behavior in one forum or set of forums when you go to another?


Most online forums could care less if any newbies join. I think it is being suggested that this one should and we should:


a) be kind in our responses - consider how the receiver will receive what you say


b) use real world standards when determining rudeness, not one evolved in some other online community.


And for those of you who have been hopelessly damaged by years of interaction in online communities and want help, pass your comments by me first and I will tell you if you are being rude ;

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A recent posting on the Cub Scout thread has one person taking offense at another quoting a comment they made and then posting...DUH. Poster of the DUH comment writes back and says, sorry it was meant as a joke.


As everyone else has said, it is impossible to tell by reading text on a screen whether a person is being rude or perhaps just using humor that is not understood.


And, yes, we often go off on a tear because something we read angers us and we imprudently neglet to wait a day or two to cool off. For me, I have found that many times someone else has answered a thread and posted what I wanted to say, but in a much clearer way.


Have a great weekend everyone!

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Knottyfox must be referring only to posters from New York City.


(OK, quick! Look around.Folks from the Midwest, California and Eastern Canada are laughing out loud. Folks from outside the U.S. [and the rest of Canada] are saying huh? Folks from the rest of the U.S. cracked a smile. Folks from NYC are lunging at their keyboards.)


Have fun Scouting.


(Just to be sure.That WAS a JOKE ..from a Midwesterner!)


Humor on the internet can be soooo difficult.


Stay cool.


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This is all good stuff! My thoughts are that a Scouter with goodness in their heart may be offended and leave the forums. The forums can be a great resource to us and fellow Scouters. I recently sent a friend of mine in search of ideas to Scouter Forums. He felt as though he was being chastised and did not appreciate the suggestion to go to Scouter. Just because it may be acceptable to behave differently on the net, I still feel as though we should visit with one another as though we were face to face. If someone takes offence to a statement and is clear in their reply that they were offended, a quick responce would be in order. In one of the earlier posts in this forum, someone stated the same situation! Kudo's! Wish I was clever enough to think of it myself. I believe that I have benefited greatly from this forum. I hope to better behave myself with replies.


Thanks to all for sharing in this forum! Keep them coming!!


Knotty Fox

(and a good ole fox too!)

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I find this to be *almost* the most cordial forum I've ever participated in - there was a point, a year ago now?, that I wouldn't have said that, but the pendulum seems to have swung back. I say *almost* because there is a dutch oven forum I'm on that has zero controversy.


That said, I have never once posted something that I wouldn't have said to the individual if that person was standing in front of me. I have been attacked upon occasion (engage body armor and move on). It's been worth it to mine the info I needed.


On the whole, reminders to be polite and kind are never out of line. Unless, of course, I perceive it as an attack on my internet "style" (tongue firmly planted in cheek).


Vicki (edited to correct punctuation - how appropriate is that!)(This message has been edited by Vicki)

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I find this forum to be, in general, a congenial place. A very few times a reply to one of my postings has been a bit sharp. I usually shrug it off, thinking the poster is having a bad day. I am sometimes amused when a couple of posters get their hackles up and go at each other. This is usually not interesting for long and I choose to not follow the thread. I would recommend that if someone is offended by a response that they let it go and move to another topic.

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I like Fuzzy Bear's techniques. Let me add one of my one, that I find I do quite frequently.


When I feel the need to "pounce" on some completely rediculous comment I type out the most vicious response I can think of, totally destroying the author of the offinding message in the most eloquent prose I can come up with. Read what I just wrote. Select all and hit delete and write something else, if I respond at all.



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Let me say that this is the nicest, most polite forum that I've witnessed. Yes, sometimes folks forget their better manners, but for the most part people here try to be helpful.


I recommend, however, that you stay away from the "Issues & Politics" forum. That's a pretty negative place and a waste of my time.

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I echo Vicki's comment: Don't write anything you wouldn't say to someone if they were standing right in front of you. Too many times, people take advantage of the anonymity that screen names provide and become emboldened ( is that a word? No, thanks, don't correct me... ).


I read and re-read my responses before I hit the SEND button. At work and here... sometimes what you initially type may not come across as you intend... edit yourself with a critical eye.


That being said, I'd like to point out that we are all Scouters here, with common goals and interests. I ALWAYS assume that the posters here have legitimate and valid questions, and I ignore the perceived 'tone' of their emails and assume they always have the best interests of their Scout and Scouting at heart.


Anything less would be un-Scoutlike, donchathink?









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