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Old 05-06-16, 06:27 PM
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Albany, OR
Posts: 689

Bikes: Co-Motion Divide

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Originally Posted by pdlamb View Post
Turns out you can't count on contributing to keep you from being kicked off that site. While I still cared about it, at least three contributors (people who had sent in money!) were either asked to leave, or hounded until they left because they disagreed with the site's owner.

Whether you call it a community service to bicycle tourists or a vanity site, cgoab is a one-man show. The proprietor does not like people disagreeing with him. Do that, and you risk triggering an emotional response that's expected from a four year old, but not from someone more than 40 years old. One sign of maturity is that, as people get older, they can take a deep breath and decide how to respond to something they don't like. Cg's owner apparently thinks that deep breath is a mark of insincerity, rather than maturity.

It's a shame that cg has been developed to have the best platform for posting a ride journal, but the forum seems to be run for stroking the admin's ego instead of promoting vigorous discussions. I'm glad there are cycling forums that are run like professional sites, even if they also include ads.
Ok, another one who was kicked off the site, this time due to abrasive behavior, way back in 2011 (and again, a demonstration of how long people hold grudges). The ban was due to this person replying to one of my posts about Surly trying to project a "cool" and "radical" image with "but if it entertains you more to take umbrage, go right ahead. (And be grateful for the chance to blow your top, perhaps?)". I took offense to this because it implied that I had taken my position just for "entertainment", rather than it being an actual sincerely held opinion, as well as snidely saying that I should somehow be grateful to Surly. This irritated me, and I told him so, and it just went downhill from there - he dug in by calling me someone who "buys my ink by the barrel" and accusing me of having a "net tantrum". So yeah, I banned him. I generally kick people off who are being abrasive to me off the site. Particularly if they start calling my integrity into question.

I know some people think I'm being extreme when I do this. They think I should just let it all be a big free for all and have everybody being dicks to each other without consequence. But I have seen what happens when you have a website forum that just lets all the abrasive people hang around... naming no names... and it ain't pretty. Repeated attacks against me from users who seem to remain without any consequence is the main reason why I don't bother posting here much any more. So yes, on my own website I do weed out the people who seem inclined to be persistently abrasive, caustic, sarcastic etc. It just sours the atmosphere and makes it so that only the people with thick skins get heard. Not the sort of site that I want to run.

For the record, there are plenty of people who disagree with me on crazyguyonabike and they are still there years later, because they do it politely. I have had huge arguments with some users about all sorts of things, and they didn't get kicked off. It all comes down to, how do they argue? If they start insinuating things about my character, or constantly employing sarcasm or other caustic remarks to get their point across, and if they don't respond to requests to cut it out, then it's entirely possible they may be asked to leave. I run the site, sometimes I have to put my bouncer hat on. It's not a role I enjoy, but it's necessary to maintain a non-poisonous atmosphere. Of course I pay for it at times like this, when all those people who I have banished in the past pop up in places like this to have their go, but that's just par for the course.

And the reason why I don't artificially favor people who have donated in the past is that this would constitute corruption of the highest order - so if you pay me money, that is supposed to buy you some special privileges? That's not how it works. The donations are freely given because a person appreciates the website and the service I provide, but they are not some sort of get-out-of-jail-free card. I will not be bought, and I think the implied idea that past donations should somehow give you a pass for bad behavior is frankly abhorrent in its implication.

And finally, the fact that I am able to clearly remember each of these cases should speak to how relatively infrequently they occur. Some seem to want to portray me as this ogre who throws anyone off the site who disagrees with me in the slightest, but the truth is that long periods go by (years sometimes), with lots of debates and arguments and disagreements, without anyone getting the boot. It's really not a very common occurrence - certainly not anything like what these bitter ex-members are trying to portray.


Last edited by NeilGunton; 05-06-16 at 06:35 PM.
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