Why not to address forum posts to one person

Anything about use of this forum : NOT about cycling
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mjr
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Why not to address forum posts to one person

Postby mjr » 5 Oct 2015, 5:47pm

I was asked why I asked someone not to address forum posts to one person. It was off-topic there so I've posted here.

My reasons include:
  • other people may know the answer and feel unwelcome and inhibited from replying;
  • it seems to encourage discussions to become a bit confrontational and personally-abusive a bit more quickly, possibly because authors forget that they are writing to a big audience;
  • it makes it look like you may have clicked "quote" when you meant to click "pm".
Do those reasons stack up?

Are there any other reasons for or against that people would like to add?
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
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Psamathe
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Re: Why not to address forum posts to one person

Postby Psamathe » 5 Oct 2015, 5:54pm

I would agree.

Many people answer a question from their own perspective/experience. So ask a cyclist from a particular town about cycling there and you will be told from their perspective of the roads that cyclist uses. But somebody else from the same area but who avoids main roads and explores the lanes and you might get a very different (but equally true) answer.

It is often the ongoing discussion as posts drift off topic that can be most useful or helpful to others who have a related question.

I think when responding to a particular point raised then there is the quote mechanism. Though the point you are responding to is more important than the name of the person making the point (though probably courteous to include the source of the quote).

Ian

Bicycler
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Re: Why not to address forum posts to one person

Postby Bicycler » 5 Oct 2015, 5:57pm

mjr & Ian :wink: - Whilst I agree that it is often superfluous and should not be overused, it can be an easy way of making it clear whose comment you are responding to without bulky quotation. Sometimes a quotation is needed, sometimes not. I don't think it is any more or less confrontational to address your response to somebody than to quote them and then respond.

If asking a question, I agree that it is best not to address it to anyone.

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Heltor Chasca
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Re: Why not to address forum posts to one person

Postby Heltor Chasca » 5 Oct 2015, 7:15pm

It doesn't bother me either way. If someone addresses me by my forum name Heltor Chasca (the dog's name actually) or those who might know me, by my first name, I take it as part of the (mostly) friendly nature of the forum. I'm not so formal that ALL of us should be offered the question/point of view.

What I find funny (and I'm guilty of it) is that people on here use the '' as a caveat to cover their backs if they've just said something slightly iffy towards another forumer.

I guess it's used in much the same way that motorists park illegally or something typically annoying and then put their hazard lights on as a cop out. Know what I mean?

Bicycler
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Re: Why not to address forum posts to one person

Postby Bicycler » 5 Oct 2015, 7:32pm

I use :wink: quite a bit, but it isn't intended to cover my back. If I regret a comment after reading it back I tend to delete it - I'm quite a prolific editor of my posts :oops: . Communicating on a forum lacks the intonation and facial expressions that allow us to convey subtle information and it is easy for misunderstandings to form. It can be easy to mistake irony for sincerity, and light-hearted banter for personal attack. A wink lets people know you're not being entirely serious

If anything is going to get someone's back up it is responding to others' posts with a :roll: - all too often a precursor to a flame war.
Last edited by Bicycler on 5 Oct 2015, 7:38pm, edited 1 time in total.

beardy
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Re: Why not to address forum posts to one person

Postby beardy » 5 Oct 2015, 7:35pm

One particular occasion when I do it, is when after typing a long response to the last post you press submit only to find another post has been written in between.
The easiest way to avoid confusion and make it obvious that you are not replying to that new post is to stick the name of the poster you were replying to at the front of your post.

Or when you want to reply to that new post. :lol:

Bicycler: I resist the temptation to use :roll: towards anybody on the forum, because it is more often than not just an insult.

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Re: Why not to address forum posts to one person

Postby Bicycler » 5 Oct 2015, 7:49pm

Yep, same here. I think it is fair game to use a :roll: in response to quotes reported in news stories eg.
Bicycler wrote:
Local resident Mr Toad said "It's absolutely outrageous! All these lycra louts should be forced to pay Road Tax like everyone else"
:roll:

But doing it in response to another forum member is borderline trolling IMHO.

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Heltor Chasca
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Why not to address forum posts to one person

Postby Heltor Chasca » 5 Oct 2015, 8:42pm

Those are all reasoned responses I think. I better not address anyone directly Damn there's that wink again. Doh.

I also tend to address people directly as a way of thanking them for their considered advice on a question I've had. I like to trade my personal acknowledgement for the effort they have made on my behalf...b

PH
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Re: Why not to address forum posts to one person

Postby PH » 5 Oct 2015, 9:00pm

IMO at it's very best a forum thread becomes like a conversation, and it would be quite normal in a group conversation to address a specific point or ask a question directly at one person in that group. Just as normal in the too and fro of a discussion would be for someone else to give an opinion or answer that point, as you did in the thread this has branched off from. I don't think we need anyone setting themselves up an an arbitrator of etiquette, even before I saw this thread I thought your asking another poster not to do something inappropriate.
There are of course things I don't like, excessive use of smileys, particularly in the middle of sentences so it makes it hard to read. Signatures that take up half a page or are indistinguishable from the post. And IMO the worst, the poster who hasn't bothered to join the conversation, sometimes saying they haven't read the replies, then goes on to reply to the OP often repeating the points already discussed, I just find it rude. But all the above is just opinion, I wouldn't interrupt a thread to give it, I'd just stop reading the thread or skip a post or get the voodoo dolls and pins out :wink:

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NATURAL ANKLING
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Re: Why not to address forum posts to one person

Postby NATURAL ANKLING » 5 Oct 2015, 9:51pm

Hi,
The thing to do is just remove your feelings from the conversation and just be factual.

I might quote some one but expect and hope that others will give opinions experiences, If I don't quote what I am thinking about I might just be lost in the muddle.

I am really quite sensitive at heart but try not to let any personal comments directed at me change what I say.

I also think that the smilies have different meanings to different people.

A :wink: is to me a sometimes silent "you know what I mean" but I figure that only some will understand if they are thinking along the same lines or experienced the same.

:) is a tongue in cheek remark not meant to offend.

But we are all wired different and that's also different for different sexes.
When I get a kicking so to speak I try and ignore the post for a while but eventually have to look.

If you were to say you wont carry on reading the post or wont read some posters posts etc is a bit like putting your fingers in your ears.

I am not well educated so you will have to forgive my foibles.
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Re: Why not to address forum posts to one person

Postby Bmblbzzz » 30 Nov 2015, 4:38pm

Is this meant to apply to threads or individual posts? I think there are sometimes things which come up in the course of a thread, where one individual wants to address an issue another has raised; whether to answer a question, ask for information, challenge a statement, or whatever. Usually it tends to be something tangential to the main topic.