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Old 08-20-2009, 09:59 AM   #1
GinnyG
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Snarkiness on Ravelry
I've been on Ravelry for a couple years and have not participated much in the forums (who needs ravelry forums when we have KH ). But for some reason this summer I have gotten involved in some of the groups.

There are some great groups for specific "stuff" (mittens, fair isle, dale of norway etc) and I've gotten some wonderful information and ideas from the.

But I've noticed that on some of "general" forums that people can be REALLY Snarky, I mean REALLY judgemental and critical. I wondered why that was.

Here and on other forums I am on we don't always agree and occasionally things get a bit heated but GENERALLY we are respectful and kind. On Ravelry I've seen people get torn to shreds for posting an opinion or thought others don't agree with.

Is it the volume of people involved? It certainly isn't lack of Moderators. I've been trying to stay away from the non-knitting threads because I usually end up stressed over it.

Anyone else noticed that it's not always a kind and gentle place? I'm not intending this as a Ravelry bash (I love Ravelry), just thoughts on why some forums are kinder than others.
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Old 08-20-2009, 10:11 AM   #2
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I think it's a lot to do with the sheer numbers. Then there's some people who just like to disagree with other people. Most of the ones I read don't generally get too bad. If someone posts a snide or negative remark, others will generally take them to task for it and often the OP apologizes. It's hard to judge tone with just words, and rav's interface doesn't allow for emoticons, which can help.
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Old 08-20-2009, 01:06 PM   #3
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I've noticed this problem with a lot of forums that have a large member base. I think some people feel less inhibited in the forums where there is a large member base and significant amount of posters because there is a degree of anonymity and the feeling that they can say what they want without repercussion in the "real world".

Then, there are those people who seem to live off conflict. And, what better way to be involved with conflict than in a public forum where there are hundreds, if not thousands of varying opinions.

There are also people who seem to not have a firm grasp on language and/or an inability to correctly put into words their opinion/s.

And, of course, there are people who are just mean. I was a member of a forum years ago for stay at home moms...Man, the rudeness on that forum! I quit going. It turned into nothing but battles between stay at home moms and working moms, moms criticizing other moms over their methods of child raising, women bad mouthing other women because of the clothes they wore ("they shouldn't dress like that, they're moms!"). It was terrible.

After years of spending little bits of time on various forums, there are only 2 I still visit. KH, of course, and a forum a good friend of mine runs and I'm an admin at. At both forums, the drama isn't there and there's a true sense of community and "family". Of course there are disagreements but the majority of the time we all try to post our opinions in a way that won't offend another member because of the feeling of "family" that has developed.

One last thing I've noticed is it seems the more specialized a forum, the less conflict. The forums that are based on a single common interest, such as KH, seem to be more friendly than general interest forums or forums with many various topics. They seem to lack the bond that common interest forums have.

Anyway, that's my take on it!
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Old 08-20-2009, 01:20 PM   #4
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Considering the few number of people here compared to Rav and we still have issues occasionally it stands to reason they'd have a lot more problems. Knitting Help is much more user friendly when it comes to sharing our love of knitting and camaraderie. It's easier for us mods to nip things in the bud before things spiral out of control.

I have only a few groups compared to many people and they tend to be specific rather than general. Like Chic Knits where the designer is involved and can help you out with her patterns.
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Old 08-20-2009, 02:07 PM   #5
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I think the main forums on there are really argumentative. Even for a simple question such as asking for an opinion I've had people hit disagree without commenting, which is confusing as it wasn't an appropriate response. I can't remember what the question was, but something like: "do you think this would look better in blue or green?". I think there are plenty of trolls out there to cause hassle. In the groups I've joined there haven't been any issues, and sometimes when I've read something to be offensive I've gone away and thought about the context in which it was posted and realised I had misinterpreted the response.
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Old 08-20-2009, 02:13 PM   #6
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I know what you mean. When I first joined Ravelry, I got my feelings hurt so bad that I almost left, but then I decided not to deprive myself of a wonderful source of information, patterns, and interesting tips, just because of a few hateful people. I just had to amend how I used ravelry, learn which groups seem to be the most welcoming, and not post if a thread gets heated. Since then, I haven't had any problems. I figure if someone just wants to be nasty, I feel sorry for them.
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Old 08-20-2009, 03:32 PM   #7
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I really dislike the buttons on the bottom of the posts on Ravelry and other forums. ESPECIALLY the "disagree" button, it's to vague and frequently misused. It seems that sometimes people use it just to be mean. I was much happier when I learned how to TURN IT OFF!

I agree that sheer numbers makes it easier for people to be cranky but it still takes me by surprise when someone posts something looking for support and they get torn to bits. It's like the only place some can flex their muscle is the internet!
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Old 08-20-2009, 04:10 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by GinnyG View Post
I really dislike the buttons on the bottom of the posts on Ravelry and other forums. ESPECIALLY the "disagree" button, it's to vague and frequently misused. It seems that sometimes people use it just to be mean. I was much happier when I learned how to TURN IT OFF!
You can turn it off?
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Old 08-20-2009, 05:05 PM   #9
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I have been torn to shreds there personally - and not for much at all. On two occassions, someone got ahold of my blog posts. The ppl who linked to them actually thought they were funny & had good advice (one was about you know you're a knitter when.. and the other advice to LYS to keep local business - which I prefaced with how much I'd rather support my LYS). I didn't even post anything and WAM! I got all sorts of horrid insults and meanness. KH is at least respectful. Sure ppl disagree here, but ppl aren't insulting you as a person because they disagree. Hate that ppl feel the need to be rude and mean. Didn't their mothers ever teach them that if you can't say anything nice, you shouldn't say anything at all?

I am the administrator and a mod for 'Moving Beyond Rectangles' - a group for newbies and advanced beginners. I do not allow snarkiness there. I don't care how many times a question is asked. It's important to the poster. I believe in treating everyone the way you'd want to be treated.
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Old 08-20-2009, 09:53 PM   #10
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I agree with you. In fact, I was hoping someone might bring this up at some point. I have been very discouraged by the attitude and lack of respect many of the members have for each other on Ravelry. I stopped even reading most of the postings because they only make me feel like I don't want to be on there anymore. I came back to KH exclusively the last three weeks and don't feel that bad feeling at all that I would get when on the forums on Ravelry. They do have some good info and patterns, etc. but I can get most of that on this website. I am a slow knitter and don't need alot of different things to work on.
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