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Old June 8, 2018, 01:49 PM   #1
sigshepardo
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I Feel Like TFL Is Dying

When I joined this forums in 2011, I really enjoyed it. My questions were almost always answered with logical and correct information. People were very helpful. This was the place for help and useful information.

After I enlisted I too quite some time off of TFL and hadn't really picked it up steady until recently. In my last few months being active on here I have noticed some very troubling patterns and changes from 2011.

Several times I have seen the question "does anyone have experience with this". Then I see senior members replying with their often misguided thoughts and ABSOLUTLEY no actual experience. Completely failing to actually help anyone but instead just blow steam cause they want somebody to hear them.

I had a guy try and start some guff with me because "my 22 groups looked like shotgun patterns and something was wrong with me" Point of this one was that he was he didn't know the whole story but needed to put in his misguided opinions anyways.

These aren't a once in a while things. I keep seeing these two patterns consistently here.

I'm not sure what the issue is exactly. Perhaps its people speaking when they shouldn't. Perhaps it a lack of actually truthful knowledge left here. I want to enjoy this place. It want it to be a useful place with helpful people. But I'm struggling to find that. I'm struggling to ask questions here because I have begun to highly doubt the credibility of the responses.

I don't want to let TFL go, but I'm running out of reasons to stay. Anyone feel the same? What can we do?
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Old June 8, 2018, 02:02 PM   #2
Chainsaw.
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Forums are an interesting insight into human behavior. I've noticed patterns of behavior just in different pages on this forum. Neither good nor bad, just, interesting. One thing you have to keep in mind with online forums is the anonymity, people get to hide behind their screens. That being said TFL is well regulated and 99% of the members are polite and cordial.
A few of the regulars most definitely push the bounds and their OPINIONS pretty hard sometimes. I've read a number of times things where some will say everything short of "you're a flopping moron" in regards to something that can meary be boiled down to opinion. Its definitely irksome but for me at least, not enough to warrant giving up TFL. I still really like it here and have learned that just like anywhere else, some folks words hold more meaning than others. There is a vast wealth of knowledge here as well as lots and lots of good, well intended people. Dont let the detractors get under your skin to much.

One thing I've found to help is improving the way I ask a question so that another person can interpret it as well as can be expected.
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Old June 8, 2018, 02:25 PM   #3
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Unfortunately, people will find whatever soapbox they can to spout their opinions as facts. Thank goodness there is still a lot of members here with a lot of knowledge and experience who aren't afraid to call out those who are merely spouting off their opinions. Staff is also fairly good at keeping things civil. There are plenty of other forums, but I still hang out at TFL.
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Old June 8, 2018, 02:39 PM   #4
HiBC
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OP, I understand your concern.Heck,I might be one of the people you are talking about.
Its not unusual for me to begin a post with " I have ne experience with ...."

I think "Caveat Emptor" applies.Let the buyer beware. Our internet provides us with nearly unlimited information,from network news to the words of politicians to YouTube You can find medical advice,love advice,legal advice.....
And as long as its free,itsall worth every dime you paid for it.
You can buy gun magazines.Some authors are better than others. Some write questionable material.Sometimes,instead of the internet,the issue might better be taken to a gunsmith,or Doctor,or Lawyer.

If you are prospecting for Gold,you start with a shovel full of mud. Its up to you to pan it down to leavings,fool's gold,and flecks and nuggets of value.

Its up to you to decide who is credible. And even then,you might trust 90%. Save 10% skepticism to take care of yourself. Everyone is fallible.Most do the best they can at helping you.

What may keep the site useful is the quality of your own filter.

Ultimately,make and own your own decisions.

Even when 20 different "experts" with opposing opinions get into a lively discussion with 4 sidetracks,,whizzing contests,etc...A lot can be learned,even from the opposition.,You come to recognize personalities and styles.

If nothing else,you can get on your own search browser,or conduct your owntests,or step up to a lathe or a file and "get her done" then tell us what you learned.
There is no free lunch

Last edited by HiBC; June 8, 2018 at 02:55 PM.
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Old June 8, 2018, 04:46 PM   #5
NoSecondBest
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sigsheparado, I agree with you 100%. It gets tiresome when anyone with a keyboard and no actual experience still tries to answer the question. I think most of them read an article or two and become instant experts on the subject matter. I often wonder what the average age is on here. I suspect it's getting younger and younger, and the actual "hands on" experience you're asking for simply isn't there. I guess you have to start your thread saying "I'm looking for actual experience only, not opinions, guesses, or changing the subject". That might cut it down by a third or so.
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Old June 8, 2018, 04:58 PM   #6
CalmerThanYou
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This forum is well run, and is way more civil nd informative than most. Seeking advice on the internet is full of pitfalls and varied opinions.
If it REALLY matters any internet group is likely not the best place to solicit advice. Seems like you were offended by one or two errant comments. Take it for what it's worth.
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Old June 8, 2018, 05:18 PM   #7
LeverGunFan
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Some time ago a wise person suggested that before we post a reply to a thread, that we should ask ourselves if we are adding anything new to the discussion or just saying "me too". I see too many threads wander off into the weeds, sometimes it's more helpful to not reply to a thread....
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Old June 8, 2018, 05:29 PM   #8
MTT TL
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I have had experience with dying message boards. What happens is people get tired of it and stop showing up. That hasn't happened yet.

Heavy moderation helps a little around here. Some moderators are quite a bit better than others leading to it being a little uneven.

Lots of good gun boards out there. If you get tired of this one just move on.
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Old June 8, 2018, 06:38 PM   #9
Caldart
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It all boils down to, you can't give people nice things.
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Old June 8, 2018, 07:17 PM   #10
peterg7
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As this country becomes more course and less civil one can expect that to bleed into gun forums as well.

there’ll always be chest thumping when you get guys talking guy things but what surprises me is how much attitude towards fellow gun owners have changed.

It used to be that a gun was enough for commonality and back when a more significant portion of the gun community were hunters the commonality bridged the gap between Rural and city gun owners.

Now it seems that everyone tries to fit into groups as per their interests, creating polarizing attitudes.


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Old June 8, 2018, 08:35 PM   #11
Hal
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Quote:
I have had experience with dying message boards. What happens is people get tired of it and stop showing up. That hasn't happened yet.
Sure it has - three times I can recall....you just haven't been here long enough to have seen it.
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Old June 8, 2018, 10:53 PM   #12
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I see the same happening with other gun forums too.

It's a changing world.
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Old June 8, 2018, 11:12 PM   #13
Chainsaw.
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In fact it just happened to me over on another page of this board, snarky butt comment that added nothing to the conversation but gloat and coarseness. Entirely unnecessary.
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Old June 9, 2018, 12:02 AM   #14
Mal H
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Chainsaw. (and others) - when you see something like that, report it. Use the triangular icon with the exclamation point in it.
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Old June 9, 2018, 10:22 PM   #15
Targa
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This forum is pretty tame in my opinion which I appreciate. As far as people speaking with out knowledge......well, that’s a staple of any forum.
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Old June 10, 2018, 12:32 AM   #16
JohnKSa
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Quote:
As far as people speaking with out knowledge......well, that’s a staple of any forum.
There are sources of information which, to one extent or another, carry some implied endorsement of the experience/knowledge level of the person(s) providing the information. Forums are sort of the opposite of that.

The appeal is that one can scan a wide range of experience and opinions in one place. The downside is that each member is responsible for deciding which opinions and information to endorse and therefore accept.
Quote:
Perhaps its people speaking when they shouldn't. Perhaps it a lack of actually truthful knowledge left here. I want to enjoy this place. It want it to be a useful place with helpful people. But I'm struggling to find that. I'm struggling to ask questions here because I have begun to highly doubt the credibility of the responses.
Good moderation attempts to insure that the exchange of information is polite, that participants are not intentionally providing false information or stirring up trouble, and that participants are capable of rational interaction.

Good moderation is not focused on insuring that everyone's opinions align with the currently accepted norm; it isn't really about being the "truth police". There are some exceptions where safety or legalities demand more stringent control of the information posted, but for the most part, members should be allowed to post what they feel is correct even if the staff has different opinions on the topic.
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Old June 11, 2018, 10:01 AM   #17
Mike Irwin
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Traffic on this forum is slowing down.

Fact of the matter is, though, that traffic on MANY forums is slowing down.

I personally believe that a lot of it has to do with the rise of Facebook and its many interest forums that mirror forums like TFL.

As forum traffic slows and posts become fewer, I suspect we tend to see more snark, not because there's more of it, but because the message traffic from people who are answering the question honestly doesn't drown it out nearly as quickly.

As Mal said, if someone tries to take your thread off the rails, or gets a case of ass, report the post and we'll look at it.
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Old June 11, 2018, 10:28 AM   #18
Louca
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Quote:
One thing I've found to help is improving the way I ask a question so that another person can interpret it as well as can be expected.
^^That. Right on. That is the best advice to everyone posting (including me, here). Yes, my post here is me essentially saying, "me too". But my reason for doing that is I think it is so important. Be accurate, be clear, and be concise.

Quote:
It want it to be a useful place with helpful people. But I'm struggling to find that.
Then be the kind of person you want to find here. Others are looking for the same thing. I have found this to be a very useful place with very nice and helpful people. Not everyone here is that way, but most of them are. So I do ask myself if my reply is useful or helpful to someone else. And I feel I can reply to something even if I am not an expert, and even if I do not have direct experience. Indirect experience (e.g. I have a friend who ...) can also be useful. It's probably safe to assume that most replies are not from experts - most of us are probably not. If an original poster wants expert advice only, or direct experiences only, then that should be stated.
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Old June 12, 2018, 02:38 PM   #19
stephen426
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Another thing I appreciate about TFL is there are some VERY knowledgeable members on here and they are not afraid to call out those who are talking out of their behinds. While that may be perceived as snarky, I think it is necessary to call out those who post without any real knowledge or experience. I think a rating system like Quora would be helpful or at a minimum, rating members by votes or endorsements to help newer members decide who is worth listening to.
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Old June 12, 2018, 06:26 PM   #20
WVsig
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In my time here I have seen a lot of ebb and flow of the membership. Lots of good, knowledgeable members have been run off over the years for one reason or another. There is still a good pool of knowledge but it is often drowned out by noise. We all at time contribute to that noise. I know that I do. I think that a lot of "knowledgeable" people stop posting because it is not worth arguing with people who clearly do not know what they are talking about. After awhile the best and most knowledge often simply leave. People like 1911tuner come to mind.

There is also a lot of "group speak" and it creates an "echo chamber" where particular voices and opinions are treated as facts and placed above other valid opinions because of the "title" below the user name. If you agree with that voice your time here is easier and more enjoyable. If you don't too often your voice is silenced in the name of servility. It is not as bad as say the Sigforum but it happens here. I know people don't want to acknowledge this but it is true. In some sections of the forum it is almost the law.

There was a time that the classifieds were and active part of the forum but these days nothing moves there. No one comes here looking to buy or sell anymore. This used to bring a lot of users here IMHO.

One of the issue I see with TFL is that it runs on a very old platform. IIRC vBulletin® Version 3 was released over 10 years ago. It is ancient by todays standards. We cannot "like" posts. There is no way to tag good posts vs bad posts. It has been scientifically proven that "likes" and "recognition" drives traffic on social media sites. I know that the software is not cheap and it does not buy itself but this is an old platform and it is showing its age.

In the end all message boards and sites like this have their rise and fall. These days I find the most active and helpful sites are much more focused on a particular platform or particular geographic area. Reddit and FB groups are also taking away from the membership here. Lots of things are contributing.

Hopefully it won't go the way of the dodo.
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Old June 16, 2018, 08:14 AM   #21
Charlie_98
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Just remember, in any open forum anyone can say anything... it's up to you to distill down what you get in answers, particularly with technical questions (think reloading, for example.)

Firearms, like cars, motorcycles, computers, or any number of highly specialized things, also brings a certain amount of expertise and experience... and also some serious opinions... right or wrong.

Personally, I think TFL is a little off the rails... I see some pretty odd questions (I'm being polite...) and some even... uh... odder answers that I typically don't see on other forums, but it's a reasonable venue, it runs well, and I take it for what it's worth.
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Old June 16, 2018, 11:11 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sigshepardo
I don't want to let TFL go, but I'm running out of reasons to stay. Anyone feel the same? What can we do?
I read through your complaints. You have an interesting view of the world that doesn't seem to be based entirely in fact. You have 149 posts since 2011 and you have started 31 threads, like this one. In many of the threads you have started, you have made queries, gotten responses, and in many cases have abandoned your own threads without following up in any form or fashion and/or not answering question posed to you in the threads. You often abandon your started threads without any gratuity for the help received.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sigshepardo
In my last few months being active on here I have noticed some very troubling patterns and changes from 2011.
In the "last few months of being active" on here? I take it that you mean this to be the last few months of non continuously being active on here because you haven't exactly been active on here the last few months. You have 21 posts since May 3 (just 5 weeks), one post in January, then nothing until back in May of 2016 when you had 1 post and then two in January of 2016.

So when you talk about TFL dying and how you don't like the changes that have occurred over time due to the patterns you see, try to understand that you haven't exactly been the solution for helping keep TFL going strong. You don't post very much. When you do post, 20% of the time it is a question to resolve some issue(s) you have and then it isn't uncommon for you to even bother staying with the thread or answering queries posted to you by responders who are trying to help you.

You don't like the way TFL is going? Don't be a part of the problem. Be a constructive and active member. Actually interact with your fellow members, particularly when you are the one wanting help.
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Old June 17, 2018, 03:03 AM   #23
Rob228
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Some people equate # of posts with experience. Its not the case, but they won't let you think otherwise. I only stop in once a week or so now due to the amount of constant posters that have little to no actual experience, training or knowledge. The handful of people that actually know what they are talking about is the reason I do come back. The worst offenders hang out in the Tactics/Training and Pistol forums.
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Old June 17, 2018, 06:35 AM   #24
JohnKSa
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Quote:
Some people equate # of posts with experience. Its not the case, but they won't let you think otherwise.
I see this complaint a lot. What I don't see is all the posts by TFL members claiming that their post count makes them experienced.

What I DO see a lot of is people assuming (and complaining) that when a member with lots of posts speaks confidently/authoritatively, they must be doing so based on the number of posts they have.

There are many reasons a person might speak confidently/authoritatively but apparently a surprising number of members don't see it that way--they believe that it can only be the speaker is doing so because they have a lot of posts.

1. A large post count makes a member experienced in posting and in following the TFL code of conduct. That's about it.

2. If a TFL member tries to use a post count to inflate the value of their opinion (in matters unrelated to how to post on TFL or follow TFL rules), or to devalue someone else's, report it. That kind of thing is nonsense--it wastes everyone's time.

3. The ONLY thing post count is officially used for is to determine eligibility to post ads in the TFL gunshow subforum.
Quote:
The worst offenders hang out in the Tactics/Training and Pistol forums.
Looking at the number of posts made in those portions of TFL will help explain why anytime there's a lot of anything at TFL, it seems to happen more in those subforums.
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Old June 17, 2018, 07:06 AM   #25
Nathan
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Interesting.... I'm not sure I have much to add.....much has been covered

Maybe a couple additions.... Our tendency towards internet group think is a bit annoying. I can look across the handloading section and see nearly every post telling me to avoid max loads or even above the halfway point. Anybody hear of John Linebaugh??? He has developed some above max Ruger 45 Colt loads that work....and shoot well. He would be shut down and posts pulled from here. I'm just going to say h110 has a unique pressure characteristic, IME.

I've actually seen the avoid max loads and then somebody looked at data and posted the load was under min!

Maybe I could add the recent trend towards posting without proof reading...I've seen posts with no real point go on for months....with no op response. Isn't this just respect?

Last, do I really need experience to post on somebody's special topic? I have been reloading more calibers than I care to count for ~20 years. I have made everyone of them hit my accuracy target. I have never blown up a gun. I have had 3 squibs in my life. I can probably give you pointers on a 30 carbine revolver load, even though I have no experienced that. Direct experience is not always the best teacher. Often, knowing how to approach tasks the first time, set targets, evaluate results and adjust are far more important skills.
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