Originally Posted by Alphonse
This forum is a huge benefit and a tremendous resource to us all. The vast majority of the participants here are great and behave in a way that is respectful and contributory in the questions they ask, their answers and opinions, and/or their informative posts.
Unfortunately there seem to be a few participants who much prefer to hijack someone's thread or worse yet, troll. We all slip occasionally but there are some participants that are as consistent in their poor behaviour as the sun coming up each day.
I have two hopes for the board.
1. The trolls go away
2. The thread hijackers learn how to create an original post with their own topic.
Now, I have said it here in my own post versus pointing someone out in a specific thread.
Apologies for my rant - nuf' said.
I agree 100% with you. This forum has descended into near-uselessness for me. I dread having a problem that I'll have to ask about on this forum. I usually don't even bother asking any more - I can't remember the last time I got a truly useful answer here.
I participate in a car forum, a camera forum, and I run my own forum, and this one is by far the hardest to get answers from. Where I can, I make sure on the other forums I run/moderate that we don't do the same thing to users of those forums.
When you post a question, you can almost expect:
1. Several responses from people blaming "pet" causes - for example, any air conditioner problem is met with several responses that your campground has low voltage.
2. Several more trolling/trying-to-be-funny responses that might give you a smile but have zero added value and are just more clutter to wade through.
A few people will give the effort to actually give you an answer; those are the people you treasure. But, then, when you follow up with further information, a whole new wave of people will see the post and suggest answers that were already discussed previously because they haven't read the entire thread. More clutter.
The "newest posts" information contribute to the problem, because people don't notice what forum they are in. I frequently see people answer questions about the Sprinter-based motorhomes as though they are on a trailer. Okay for some questions, useless and/or outright wrong for others.
I just wish more people, in their rush to be helpful, would just take a moment before hitting the "Post" button, and say to themselves, "Does this post actually help?" If the answer is "no", browse on without posting.
For those who argued that the trolls are a good thing, what about the poor sap that has to wade through a bunch of clutter or outright incorrect information to find the answer he or she needs?
If it would help, I can call out the trolls when I see them. I don't mind.
This thread made me realize that some people might not even realize they're doing it.
I think part of the issue is that the forum has too few moderators, so they don't see half of the problems unless they blow up into a flamewar. I see threads mis-filed and not corrected. One time I reported one and asked if the moderators want us to report them, but I was ignored, so I didn't bother reporting any more. There are well-known trolls running around and nothing is done about them, but you can bet if they get you to react your post will be deleted, but their post will stand. (Hint: That's what makes them TROLLS.) I see people post multiple threads on the same topic, and the threads aren't combined, causing even more clutter.
We know the built-in vBulletin search is useless, but even a Google search these days is getting more and more useless because there are a million threads and posts, because topics diverge so much, and any thread could contain literally any information.
I do have suggestions to help, in addition to my real and joking suggestions above: First, we need to do more FAQ threads which are locked to all but the author of the thread (and moderators). That would help reduce the clutter and trolling a LOT - a question that is already answered saves the person asking time, reduces clutter, and reduces the likelihood of Johnny Smartass posting just to amuse him or herself because they've seen the question a dozen times before and are bored. For example, how many threads are there about campgrounds around DC? Fifty? The options haven't changed in the 16 years I've lived near DC.