Sometimes when I drop in here I wonder if it would be useful to have some of the “kook” posts filtered or closed? Folks with no experience proposing dangerous or stupid ideas and being counseled by several experienced paddlers, and the posts go on and on with the original poster returning many times spewing more nonsense. Most forums lately have an option for a moderator to make a comment which could summarize why the original idea was flagged and close the thread. I don’t know if the owners of paddling.net and the makers of some of the unsuitable water craft might face legal exposure if someone comes to a bad end and the threads are discovered here.
I frequent another web site, whose focus has narrowed to sea kayaking. Only occasional rec kayak or fishing kayak threads appear. The users tend to be experienced, but pleased to give mostly sound advice to beginners. This very rarely requires intervention by moderators. So the narrower web site focus seems to accomplish a good result without much moderation.
I don’t think it would be used a lot, but it seems like four or five times a year there are some threads that are just one crazy person trying to justify their world view, and where less experienced people just starting out would get lead astray. A long time ago there were several looney posters in this category and the regulars here did not hold back; the original posters are still the butt of some jokes here, but it is much more civil here now, and we suffer fools lightly to use an old expression.
4 or 5 times a year this place is doing great!.
Recreational kayakers with dangerous pool toys who venture more than 20 ft from shore have been driven off this site by the self appointed elites!
Yes, the forums are moderated but not censored.
You are welcome to flag posts you find offensive so they can be reviewed.
As to litigation, quoting from the FAQ:
“We have a Terms of Service describing your (and our) behavior and rights related to content, privacy, and laws. To use this service, you must agree to abide by our TOS.”
You can find the FAQ here:
OK . SYOTW.
I believe all forums need moderators. Moderation can take a lot of forms but I don’t believe its point is to separate people with great skills and great equipment from those beginning with little skills and poor equipment. Nor should self-moderation by the non-moderator members only focus on others with like minded ideas.
High-risk endeavors are fine if done by skilled people with proper equipment it is even a point of envy by some. On the other hand someone new with lesser equipment as mentioned above are simply told to not get more than 20’ from land.
Having been a member here for over a year now I have learned lots from my time here. I believe there is a lot of members that don’t participate and the small core of people control the narrative.
Where I live there are 1000 high risk uneducated paddlers for every one that takes it seriously. They would benefit greatly by a forum for learning and guidance but it is my opinion they wouldn’t stick around long as they would feel out of place here. That’s a shame as they become stuck at a entry level.
We recently had our annual fireman’s river float here a charity event and they launched 501 canoes and kayaks into the river in about an hour. So it was packed with mostly rec-kayaks. We leisurely floated and paddled the masses. I was surprised this year how many questions I was asked by all ages and types of paddlers about my equipment and stuff. A lot very basic but for whatever reason they were surprised to learn. So many people haven’t even considered what they would do if they were forced to go for a swim.
It is not my place here as a guest to conceder do we want a forum like this to grow or just be a place for some good friends to gather and talk. The forum that I’m an admin of we are up for the job of keeping things civil and safe but at the same time we welcome expansion and growth.
I’m interested in knowing what that one is!
Moderation is not my strong suit.
The moderators on this forum are accessible, responsive, and balanced…and even tolerant of those that air personal grudges every chance they get. I’m impressed.
I have heard very little nonsense spewed here. Quite to the contrary, the usual post is thoughtful and well reasoned. And an unpopular thread or idea should certainly, certainly not, be ‘moderated’, censored. I can give a perfect example. I think the J-stroke is something between aficionado and pure bunk. Switch paddling and the gooney stroke, far more comfortable, efficient.
Now if you post that, I am sure one of the river gods would strike it down, but, I have 60 years of paddling to back it up, 55 years of wilderness portage canoeing. There is a need. There is a very great need for diverse discussion, both popular and unpopular positions. And this particular august group here at paddling.com, ?, is flat out, the best of the best.
As to liability? ALL water sports carry the same danger. Ya know, seat belts, PFD’s , helmets when the water has some large solid chunks in it (rocks and logs) The dangers are ALWAYS present.
I used to marvel at the snow skiers who would run into a padded chair lift tower in the middle of the hill, and then sue the ski area, because skiing is dangerous. At that point, we listen to Shakespeare, we take that pound of flesh,from the lawyer.
Laughing, it is kind of interesting, your post is perhaps, an oxymoron? Shakespeare, St. Paul, Dickens, a tongue in cheek reference. " I gladly suffer fools…"
Based on the number of beginner questions that still pop up, I don’t think they have been driven away.
I think most are responded to nicely and with good advice.
There are those whose minds you can’t change regardless and we’ve seen many of those.
Sometimes it takes direct strong language to calm them down or get rid of them.
I classify myself as a decent aging paddler who can teach others basic stuff so they can safely enjoy learning to paddle. I love it when one of my students bypasses me in skill.
It doesn’t take long to know the people who are skilled and the amateurs on here.
I have gotten burnt out with this place at times with the various “dogma” wars (eg. rudders vs skegs, GP vs Euro, wetsuits vs drysuits, solo vs group paddling, how long a seakayak, ad nauseum). These often flared in response to questions from newbies.
For my own sanity and enjoyment, I generally avoid offering any advice in the open ended questioning by newbies. (Of course, this is not helpful to the person asking the question. But, neither are the dogma wars.) Likewise, I try to avoid getting into a “tit for tat” with someone who has different opinion then me. (Hey, you be you and I’ll be me, okay?).
I do respond if someone queries me specifically, which happens occaisonally. Then I give my opinion (not “gospel”) based on my own experiences and inclinations. If I answer these days, it is with a punt – hey go rent and take lessons with an outfitter. Join a club. Get some seat time and experience with different equipment and go from there.
I think Willowleaf said it best in one of those eternal re-posting poser idiot threads …