CD, and Cam,
You provide a valuable service to us, and many (if not all) of us "members" appreciate it. The rest of us are guests here, and should behave as guests.
There is a reason that I participate here and not in SA, and that is the moderation of the discourse. I hope that my presence here adds some value to someone. I know that I get at least as much value from the site as I contribuite. That's why I keep coming back.
That said, you guyz aren't perfect, and I have disagreed with the lattitude that you have allowed in some of the discussions. Unfortunately the lattitude has, on occasion, contribuited to a pack mentality (the infamous Solar thread comes to mind). It is sad that you guys have to police this stuff, and that your moderator status means that you have to keep above the fray. When the discourse turns to personal comments, people leave. I believe that the person that initially pointed me to this site left because she no longer felt welcome here.
It really is a loss when people leave, because we all benefit from each other's experience. The more people that contribuite to the site, the more valuable it becomes. Realize that all of the information here should have a disclaimer; follow at your own risk. (I don't think Nigel Calder is a member
In general, I think that all responses to topics can be categorized into three broad categories. If the dialogue is on something that I can contribuite positive
first hand knowledge of, I am happy to contribuite my $0.02 in the hope that someone can benefit. When the dialogue is on a topic that I know nothing about, but the topic piques my curiosity (ex. "feminine issues"), I sit back and watch. I consider this a neutral
response. For people that want to rant, rag on, or otherwise be negative
there is a topic for that: Fight Club for Sailors. I don't hang there because it's not my thing. But, there is a place for it if you want to go there. Kudos to the site designers for empowering us to create the threads and topics on this site, and manage it's content.
With regard to the replies that provoked CD's original post in this thread: there is a term for a person who is deliberately inflammatory on the Internet in order to provoke a vehement response from other users. They are called Trolls
. If I disagree with someone, I will PM them. I do not reply back with some biting comment, because arguing a point in a public forum would make me a Troll.
Although I have never had to do so, kudos to the site designers (again) for enabling us to ignore posts from a specific user as a means of ignoring trolls.
And, thanks to you two for trying to keep us in line.