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jim thornton
February 17th, 2011, 12:26 PM
I just finished an article I've been working on for quite some time on the subject of male blowhardery, political and religious rancor, and the various other items, from the sublime to the trivial, that so often provoke fits of moral outrage and antler cracking in our boneheaded gender. Not that women do not also indulge themselves here. But we guys, I think, are particularly vulnerable to being sucked into the bonfires of righteous rage.

All of this, I should add, preceded the recent "Troubles" (to borrow the Irish term) on our beloved forums.

I have heard whispers here and there that there may be some high ranking members in the powers that be who are openly urging the abolishment of these very forums so many of us enjoy so dearly!

Please, do not get me wrong here: I am not trying to stoke yet another conflagration of righteous rage, and I doubt seriously that our forums are truly imperiled.

However, I also think that it might make sense to consider, at least, some options for enhancing civility in what is already a generally quite civil forum (especially when compared with some of the other snark tanks out there.)

Two modest proposal for your consideration:

1. Encourage as many of us here as possible to use their real names as user names, and perhaps even enable these to be hyperlinked to the swimmer's "swimmer info page." Not only would this reduce the anonymity that provides cover to snarky comments (caution: this classic cartoon may offend some of you so click the link advisedly: http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2004/3/19/ ), but it would also allow us to actually get to know each other better.

2. I recall when various off-topic threads became enough of a problem that we instituted the NSR section of these forums. This has proven to be a pretty effective way to keep the main forum focus on swimming. People who want to discuss other topics now have a way to do so that doesn't bother swimming purists more interested in, say, the latest repairs for SLAP lesions or breathing patterns for distance events. Both the swimming and NSR forums, to be sure, are still expected to be civil and avoid the kinds of topics that so frequently lead to flame wars. With the demise of the technical suits, I fear we have lost the last and best source of swimming-related flame material out there. Naturally, those of us in the species Homo capitis iratus will almost always find new sources to go off on.

Hence my second proposal--a "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em" solution. Add one more discussion area, tentative title The Wild West (unless, that is, our California brethren find this offensive), in which anything goes. This third forum should prominently post an "enter at your own risk" warning, along with the standard boilerplate about tolerating nothing criminal, etc. But other than such bare bones proscriptions, posters in The Wild West would be free to post anything they want about anything they want.

I suspect that after an initial flurry of rubbernecking, boredom would set in (spittle-dappled blather gets old quickly), and the audience for The Wild West would start to drop. At the risk of re-offending anybody with this cartoon-- take a second look if you dare! http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2004/3/19/ -- you will notice that having an audience, under the catalysis of anonymity, is critical in the conversion of an average normal guy into, well, I think I shall let the cartoon speak for what this conversion leads to.

So, what say ye all?


Real name postings?
The Wild West?
Both?
Neither?

That Guy
February 17th, 2011, 12:56 PM
My online persona tends toward chaotic neutral regardless of whether I use my name. Plenty of you know who I am anyway. :thewave:

Edit: BTW, there's a somewhat less offensive version of the cartoon that Jim linked. And it's a T-shirt. http://store.penny-arcade.com/products/pat070381

jim thornton
February 17th, 2011, 01:12 PM
My online persona tends toward chaotic neutral regardless of whether I use my name. Plenty of you know who I am anyway. :thewave:

Edit: BTW, there's a somewhat less offensive version of the cartoon that Jim linked. And it's a T-shirt. http://store.penny-arcade.com/products/pat070381

Thanks for the sanitized link!

For what it's worth, Mr. or Mrs. or Miss That Guy, I do not know who you are! But I have become increasingly suspicious that you are using Guy in a fairly pantheistic sense (may be wrong adjective here, but...) in that you, sir, may be a woman!

Cut to scene of That Guy loosening a hair bun, shaking the long glorious locks loose, and removing her glasses.

"That Guy!" exclaims Cary Grant. "You're a woman!"

Cut to scene of That Guy removing feminine facial mask to reveal he is actually Richard Nixon.

"That's not a woman!" exclaims Austin Powers. "That's a man, baby!"

jim thornton
February 17th, 2011, 01:19 PM
One additional note here.

One of the options for polls is that you can make all votes public. In the spirit of the subject matter at hand, I decided to enable this option. (You can see who voted which way by clicking on the number of people who registered votes for each category.)

Usually, when I have posted other polls in the past, I just opt for the default option, i.e., voters remain anonymous.

And usually such polls get tons of votes.

The fact that this one have received quite a few views already, but relatively few votes so far, does seem to affirm one of the central tenets here: anonymity seems to make people a lot bolder in expressing opinions, even, it would seem, on matters that are not particularly controversial.

orca1946
February 17th, 2011, 01:43 PM
When real names up front or attached to "about me"are use , people tend to rant & rave less. I vote for this option .:applaud:

knelson
February 17th, 2011, 01:47 PM
I voted neither. Most people choose to post their actual name, but I really have no problem with anyone who wishes to remain anonymous. I wouldn't mind having a Wild West forum, but I don't really think it would add anything, either.

That Guy
February 17th, 2011, 01:53 PM
Thanks for the sanitized link!

For what it's worth, Mr. or Mrs. or Miss That Guy, I do not know who you are!

You're not fooling anyone - I'm on your Facebook friends list for crying out loud!


But I have become increasingly suspicious that you are using Guy in a fairly pantheistic sense (may be wrong adjective here, but...) in that you, sir, may be a woman!

Cut to scene of That Guy loosening a hair bun, shaking the long glorious locks loose, and removing her glasses.

"That Guy!" exclaims Cary Grant. "You're a woman!"

Cut to scene of That Guy removing feminine facial mask to reveal he is actually Richard Nixon.

"That's not a woman!" exclaims Austin Powers. "That's a man, baby!"

:rofl:

The Fortress
February 17th, 2011, 01:58 PM
I voted neither. Most people choose to post their actual name, but I really have no problem with anyone who wishes to remain anonymous. I wouldn't mind having a Wild West forum, but I don't really think it would add anything, either.

Likewise. I dislike the idea of every word I write coming up on google. And while I don't mind the idea of a Wild West forum, I can't see why USMS would want to be associated with it.

Warren
February 17th, 2011, 02:10 PM
I enjoy reading most of the controversial threads in which people get heated like the one this summer about cheating at the pacific masters championships and the recent controversial threads. I have to admit though people can take it too far some times. A lot of you probably know who Ion Beza (sp) is. That guy got banned from like every swimming forum on the internet. I donít recall if he posted on this site but if I had to take a guess, I bet he did and got banned. On the raceclub site it got to a point where I just didnít read his posts anymore. He basically told a bunch of coaches and world class swimmers that they were idiots and didnít know what they were talking about. For me, it goes both ways I like reading some of the any thing goes stuff but some people take things too far sometimes, so Iím not sure on this one.

Chris Stevenson
February 17th, 2011, 02:17 PM
I voted neither because I think the forum is usually pretty civil, and when it isn't I think the moderators do a good job reining it in.

As far as using real names, I imagine people have their reasons if they don't and I respect that. I am just not creative enough to come up with a good fake name...

In this early going, votes seem split between the two extremes. It would be interesting if that trend continues.

JMiller
February 17th, 2011, 02:17 PM
Please, do not get me wrong here:

Huh, you actually want me to understand your point?



So, what say ye...


Honestly Jim, your writing on these forums seem to push the "free speech" envelope past the point of mild liability. Hardly free, yet not entirely criminal because you're entitled to an opinion. What do your anonymous posts look like?

Thrashing Slug
February 17th, 2011, 02:29 PM
Speaking as a member who doesn't have to moderate or manage the site, I think the forum is fine the way it is.

For all I know there could be huge amounts of churn going on in the background because of all the rule-violating posts that need to be moderated. If that is the case then maybe something needs to change. However, I think it's impossible to fairly evaluate the situation right now, in the immediate aftermath of what was probably the most blatantly inappropriate, off-topic, and offensive letter I've ever seen published in a magazine.

Adding a Wild West section to the forum would drag it away from its current status as a swimming forum and more towards general anything-goes Internet discussion. It would detract from the value of the site, and it would damage the image and public brand of USMS.

Attempting to force people to use their real names would unfairly penalize the compliant by taking away their control over their own privacy and Internet presence. It also wouldn't work. People would find ways to make up whatever names they want. Personally I have no need to be anonymous, I just don't want every single thing I say on here to come up in a search. Those who know me know who I am, as does USMS. The casual searcher doesn't need to know my name.

If USMS starts trying to control us by clamping down the rules, I'll probably just quit using this and talk about swimming on Facebook instead. At least there you can control who sees the posts.

Thrashing Slug
February 17th, 2011, 02:32 PM
As far as using real names, I imagine people have their reasons if they don't and I respect that. I am just not creative enough to come up with a good fake name...

I've grown somewhat attached to my fake name, although I do plan to change it one day when I fix my stroke and break a preconceived, essentially meaningless time barrier that I've set for myself :D

When that time comes (this year maybe?) I will have to come up with a suitably creative, but different name.

aztimm
February 17th, 2011, 02:37 PM
My online persona tends toward chaotic neutral regardless of whether I use my name. Plenty of you know who I am anyway. :thewave:


I have no idea who you are either, but you have replied to some of my questions with some great information and generally seem like a nice person (male or female I don't know).



A lot of you probably know who Ion Beza (sp) is. That guy got banned from like every swimming forum on the internet. I don’t recall if he posted on this site but if I had to take a guess, I bet he did and got banned.

He was on here, don't remember exactly when. There was a little friction between him and some of the regulars at the time (I'm not even sure who were regulars then).




I've been on the USMS forums since the mid- to late-1990s. There was a different system and at some point during a conversion it lost post counts, sign in info, etc so I think my join date here just says 2002.

Anyway, over the years, people have come and gone. Topics come up, sometimes heated discussion happens, but usually the discussion dies, or maybe some users go away. I'm not a steady contributor, and I'll go through phases when I look every day to others when I may skip a month or 2.

I moderate on another forum (travel-related), that has many many rules, and people that are probably even more passionate than here. Every week a new person joins and posts something that has been asked many times...and the responses are usually, "Do a search." Trying to mediate between old and new, different levels of users (and travelers), etc is up to me. I'd rather leave this forum mostly the way it is, as it has seemed to survive just fine for the past 15 years.

jaadams1
February 17th, 2011, 04:09 PM
Thanks for the sanitized link!

For what it's worth, Mr. or Mrs. or Miss That Guy, I do not know who you are! But I have become increasingly suspicious that you are using Guy in a fairly pantheistic sense (may be wrong adjective here, but...) in that you, sir, may be a woman!

Cut to scene of That Guy loosening a hair bun, shaking the long glorious locks loose, and removing her glasses.

"That Guy!" exclaims Cary Grant. "You're a woman!"



After reading this...and thinking that I do in fact know who That Guy is...this is very disturbing. :bolt:

That Guy
February 17th, 2011, 04:55 PM
That guy got banned from like every swimming forum on the internet.

i think this post disproves that?

That Guy
February 17th, 2011, 04:56 PM
After reading this...and thinking that I do in fact know who That Guy is...this is very disturbing. :bolt:

This is my favorite thread in at least a week. :cheerleader:

jim thornton
February 17th, 2011, 05:05 PM
Honestly Jim, your writing on these forums seem to push the "free speech" envelope past the point of mild liability. Hardly free, yet not entirely criminal because you're entitled to an opinion. What do your anonymous posts look like?

I actually don't do anonymous posts anywhere. My criminal aliases, however, have included, but are not limited to, Jamesuardo, Mr. Jimi, Jimslie, Jamesbo, Jimmikins, Jimby, and Mr. James Scott Thornton, Sir!

I use these different names for my different not-entirely-criminal activities. Jamesuardo, for instance, tends to be the persona most frequently used during attempts at seductive womanizing, though Jimmikins has also played a role here, especially with younger targets. For embezzlement, theft by deception, and other attempted financial misdeeds, I find Mr. James Scott Thornton, Sir! works to inspire confidence in the minds of the unwitting. And false confidence is the bread and butter of us not-entirely-criminal confidence tricksters.

In terms of my postings, you say my speech is "hardly free," but with the occasional exception of offers to send readers a shiny quarter if they mail me a SASE first--which I suppose the mean-spirited could interpret as a scam to get free stamps for my personal use--I must take exception with you. Truly, all my speech here is free!

And I shall give you a money-back guarantee for anything I have written that didn't meet your satisfaction!

Just send me a SASE.

jim thornton
February 17th, 2011, 05:06 PM
I've grown somewhat attached to my fake name, although I do plan to change it one day when I fix my stroke and break a preconceived, essentially meaningless time barrier that I've set for myself :D

When that time comes (this year maybe?) I will have to come up with a suitably creative, but different name.

Might I throw out for your consideration Slicing Slug?

Allen Stark
February 17th, 2011, 05:43 PM
I enjoy reading most of the controversial threads in which people get heated like the one this summer about cheating at the pacific masters championships and the recent controversial threads. I have to admit though people can take it too far some times. A lot of you probably know who Ion Beza (sp) is. That guy got banned from like every swimming forum on the internet. I donít recall if he posted on this site but if I had to take a guess, I bet he did and got banned. On the raceclub site it got to a point where I just didnít read his posts anymore. He basically told a bunch of coaches and world class swimmers that they were idiots and didnít know what they were talking about. For me, it goes both ways I like reading some of the any thing goes stuff but some people take things too far sometimes, so Iím not sure on this one.

Actually I'm pretty sure USMS was the first to ban him.I have also heard he is really a nice guy in person.

Rich Abrahams
February 17th, 2011, 05:56 PM
Actually I'm pretty sure USMS was the first to ban him.I have also heard he is really a nice guy in person.

Actually Allen, "inoffensive" is a more apt descriptor of Mr. B in person demeanor.
Rich

gigi
February 17th, 2011, 06:05 PM
When I first came on this site I chose a username that's one of my nicknames because I was afraid to have my "real" name bandied about on the internet on a site that I really didn't know much about. I think for women especially it's a tricky issue, since putting our names out there seems to fly in the face of every "safety-tip for girls" we've ever gotten in our lives. In the time since I've joined here though, I started using facebook (where I use my real name) and nothing bad has happened...yet, anyway.
I think encouraging users to use their real names would be a good thing and I voted that way in the poll, but since I don't use my own real name here I guess my user name should really be "big, fat hypocrite"!
But since I started here as Gigi, I shall remain here as Gigi.

jim clemmons
February 17th, 2011, 07:26 PM
Actually I'm pretty sure USMS was the first to ban him.I have also heard he is really a nice guy in person.

Yes, he is nice in person. I spoke with him at a number of meets.

And I don't believe he "liked to incite" people, at least I don't think he did it purposefully. Some people just happened to get incited for various reasons while interacting with him.

:chug:

fanstone
February 17th, 2011, 08:52 PM
Oh, how I yearn for yonder days, in the 1990s, when you could post anonymously to Runnersworld.com (except for the main guy, the "moderator". who knew your thingie address.) I once posted as Camille Paglia and a girl actually welcomed Camille and did not know that I, Camille Paglia the writer (google her) was a runner, she also did not know that Camille Paglia probably ignores the existence of the magazine. The fights got nasty, and they invented the "rants" for posting flame stuff. Eventually they denied access to anonymous and I talked to the moderator, a nice guy, Parker Morse, and he told me they were afraid of litigation and suits and so forth. I was younger and angrier and could pick a fight or throw a hook, provoke, and sit here in Brazil hurling insults all over the RW Forums. Only merited insults. A couple of guys threatened to go personally and visit some enemy and have a real fight! Those of you who were runners remember well this I am talking about, between 1996 and 1999. Cool Running was worse. I posted as Alexandra Paul, and complained that everyone doubted my athletic abilities, even though she (not I) had completed the San Diego Marathon, and ran some Iron Mans. That was a cute athlete, in that beach life guard series, with the other cutie, the canadian girl with big boobs. Enough of reminiscing. I won't mention the big, huge flame wars that I had with other m.ds and professors of anesthesiology and intensive care on an international list. I would throw the bait, get beaten up, and wait for the ivory tower guys to come to the rescue. silly billy fanstone (my signature, after I was called that by a now deceased professor from Australia.

jim thornton
February 17th, 2011, 11:12 PM
Yes, he is nice in person. I spoke with him at a number of meets. And I don't believe he "liked to incite" people, at least I don't think he did it purposefully. Some people just happened to get incited for various reasons while interacting with him.:chug:

Ah, Ion! We hardly knew ye. Rich and I, along with Ian Smith and some other nice swimmers, had dinner with Ion in Cleveland the summer they held LCM Nationals at Cleveland State. He really was a nice fellow in person.

I have a theory that the Internet is frequently the shortest conduit to the id.


Oh, how I yearn for yonder days, in the 1990s, when you could post anonymously to Runnersworld.com (except for the main guy, the "moderator". who knew your thingie address.) I once posted as Camille Paglia and a girl actually welcomed Camille and did not know that I, Camille Paglia the writer (google her) was a runner, she also did not know that Camille Paglia probably ignores the existence of the magazine. The fights got nasty, and they invented the "rants" for posting flame stuff. Eventually they denied access to anonymous and I talked to the moderator, a nice guy, Parker Morse, and he told me they were afraid of litigation and suits and so forth. I was younger and angrier and could pick a fight or throw a hook, provoke, and sit here in Brazil hurling insults all over the RW Forums. Only merited insults. A couple of guys threatened to go personally and visit some enemy and have a real fight! Those of you who were runners remember well this I am talking about, between 1996 and 1999. Cool Running was worse. I posted as Alexandra Paul, and complained that everyone doubted my athletic abilities, even though she (not I) had completed the San Diego Marathon, and ran some Iron Mans. That was a cute athlete, in that beach life guard series, with the other cutie, the canadian girl with big boobs. Enough of reminiscing. I won't mention the big, huge flame wars that I had with other m.ds and professors of anesthesiology and intensive care on an international list. I would throw the bait, get beaten up, and wait for the ivory tower guys to come to the rescue. silly billy fanstone (my signature, after I was called that by a now deceased professor from Australia.

Ah, silly billy fanstone! We all have some silly billy in is, I suspect.

By the way, I had a friend in graduate school who had an affair with Camille while she (my friend) was an undergraduate at Bennington.

Or maybe I dreamed this.

In any event, my id remembers it fondly.

The fact that anesthesiologists can have flame wars over, say, how much Versed to give a person, or the relative merits of laughing gas vs. a hammer blow to the head, just further proves that guys will fight with extreme prejudice about anything under the sun!

All for the attention of Camille! Who, of course, only has eyes for Ursula.*


*not her real name, just in case I really did dream about the affair.

Chris Stevenson
March 10th, 2011, 10:56 AM
I saw this article on Slate today:

http://www.slate.com/id/2287739/pagenum/all/

There are some good points (and even a reference to the same link that Jim made).


Posting a comment is a public act. You're responding to an author who made his identity known, and your purpose, in posting the comment, is to inform the world of your point of view. If you want to do something so public, you are naturally ceding some measure of your privacy. If you're not happy with that trade, don't take part—keep your views to yourself.

Although the general assumption here is "commenting on a posted article by a public author" rather than a free-for-all forum such as ours, there may be something to this point. If you make an opinion -- sometimes a pretty strong one -- public, shouldn't you declare yourself?

Is a little loss of privacy a good exchange for an increase in civility? I think the forum is usually a pretty civil place but I also haven't been involved in serious heated back & forth, personal attacks. In other words, others might have a pretty good reason to disagree with me on the level of civility here.

thewookiee
March 10th, 2011, 10:59 AM
but I also haven't been involved in serious heated back & forth, personal attacks. In other words, others might have a pretty good reason to disagree with me on the level of civility here.

UNC SUCKS. Does this count as a personal attack?

The Fortress
March 10th, 2011, 11:04 AM
I saw this article on Slate today:

http://www.slate.com/id/2287739/pagenum/all/


Although the general assumption here is "commenting on a posted article by a public author" rather than a free-for-all forum such as ours, there may be something to this point. If you make an opinion -- sometimes a pretty strong one -- public, shouldn't you declare yourself?



I don't agree with the other assumption in the article that one's "purpose, in posting the comment, is to inform the world of your point of view."

Chris Stevenson
March 10th, 2011, 12:21 PM
UNC SUCKS. Does this count as a personal attack?

Evidence of questionable judgment perhaps. I can see why one would want to hide one's identity when posting such nonsense.

thewookiee
March 10th, 2011, 12:35 PM
Evidence of questionable judgment perhaps. I can see why one would want to hide one's identity when posting such nonsense.

Chris, my screen name is not used to hide my identity. Ask Roger himself. My screen name is my name, esp. around these parts. In public, my friends dont come up to me and say "hey, (insert govt. required name) how are ya?" They go , "hey wookiee!"

SolarEnergy
March 10th, 2011, 12:41 PM
When I think about you American Masters' forum, the first thing that pops in my mind is certainly not disgrace or even excess of controversy.

I constantly refer your forum to people I know.

When I think about your forum, I think about all of you great posters (Chris, Allen, That Guy, Linsday etc) who are contributing to maintain what I consider to be one of the best sports forum currently available worldwide.

Keep up with the good work!

As for the nickname/real name dilemma, well, these options aren't mutually exclusive. I just updated my profile and signature to show my real name. I like the idea of using a nick (my nick) as it's available most of the time and I am always using the same nick on all forums where I contribute.

That Guy
March 10th, 2011, 12:51 PM
When I think about you American Masters' forum, the first thing that pops in my mind is certainly not disgrace or even excess of controversy.

I constantly refer your forum to people I know.

When I think about your forum, I think about all of you great posters (Chris, Allen, That Guy, Linsday etc) who are contributing to maintain what I consider to be one of the best sports forum currently available worldwide.

Keep up with the good work!

As for the nickname/real name dilemma, well, these options aren't mutually exclusive. I just updated my profile and signature to show my real name. I like the idea of using a nick (my nick) as it's available most of the time and I am always using the same nick on all forums where I contribute.

Thanks Solar! :wave:

pendaluft
March 10th, 2011, 02:17 PM
I think the question of what comes up under your name when people google you is a reasonable reason to use a screen name. About 10 years ago, I wrote a scathing review on Amazon of a comic book using my real name. I am not afraid to stand behind the review (and there is even a US Senator who reviews comics on Amazon), but for a while, when patients would google my name (which everyone does) high up on the list was that review. It came up a few times and I always felt strange.

Seems like there a lot of people here with forum names but many people know who they are -- seems like a decent compromise.

That Guy
March 10th, 2011, 03:58 PM
I saw this article on Slate today:

http://www.slate.com/id/2287739/pagenum/all/

There are some good points (and even a reference to the same link that Jim made).

Although the general assumption here is "commenting on a posted article by a public author" rather than a free-for-all forum such as ours, there may be something to this point. If you make an opinion -- sometimes a pretty strong one -- public, shouldn't you declare yourself?

Is a little loss of privacy a good exchange for an increase in civility? I think the forum is usually a pretty civil place but I also haven't been involved in serious heated back & forth, personal attacks. In other words, others might have a pretty good reason to disagree with me on the level of civility here.

Chris, you've touched on a fascinating topic. The Slate article mentions how easy it is to create fake personas for purposes of writing anonynous comments, fake reviews, etc., but they don't know the half of it. The fake opinion business is scaling up to fake consensus via persona management software.

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/02/16/945768/-UPDATED:-The-HB-Gary-Email-That-Should-Concern-Us-All (http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/02/16/945768/-UPDATED:-The-HB-Gary-Email-That-Should-Concern-Us-All)

Terrified yet? :afraid: Anyway to get back on topic, trying to get rid of anonymity on the USMS forums by turning on "real names" wouldn't accomplish a whole lot since on the internet, the pool has already been thoroughly peed in, and it's only going to get worse.

sftom
March 10th, 2011, 05:44 PM
I'm glad the powers that be are looking into this issue. Several years ago I raised similar questions about the tone of this board, and I received several private e-mails from other USMS board participants who felt the same way. I also decided, when I was met with what I recall as derisive, public comments from some who are participating in this very thread, to drop my USMS membership altogether.

I think USMS should be trying to reach out to and encourage participation by a greater share of the "swimming community" (yes, that's a rather loosely defined group, but a shared interested would seem to bind folks together nonetheless), and the board should be serving that purpose more effectively. Having people post in their real names might help to keep in check the ego-gratifying and disrespectful excesses that seem to have permeated this board.

JimRude
March 10th, 2011, 05:49 PM
I'm glad the powers that be are looking into this issue. Several years ago I raised similar questions about the tone of this board, and I received several private e-mails from other USMS board participants who felt the same way. I also decided, when I was met with what I recall as derisive, public comments from some who are participating in this very thread, to drop my USMS membership altogether.

I think USMS should be trying to reach out to and encourage participation by a greater share of the "swimming community" (yes, that's a rather loosely defined group, but a shared interested would seem to bind folks together nonetheless), and the board should be serving that purpose more effectively. Having people post in their real names might help to keep in check the ego-gratifying and disrespectful excesses that seem to have permeated this board.

Why are you back? And why use an alias?

thewookiee
March 10th, 2011, 06:09 PM
I'm glad the powers that be are looking into this issue. Several years ago I raised similar questions about the tone of this board, and I received several private e-mails from other USMS board participants who felt the same way. I also decided, when I was met with what I recall as derisive, public comments from some who are participating in this very thread, to drop my USMS membership altogether.

I think USMS should be trying to reach out to and encourage participation by a greater share of the "swimming community" (yes, that's a rather loosely defined group, but a shared interested would seem to bind folks together nonetheless), and the board should be serving that purpose more effectively. Having people post in their real names might help to keep in check the ego-gratifying and disrespectful excesses that seem to have permeated this board.

What are you trying to say? People on this board are rude or something?

orca1946
March 10th, 2011, 06:18 PM
If you have a valid idea, out your name to it!!! :applaud::blah:

Rnovitske
March 10th, 2011, 09:08 PM
The poll option does state "encourage."

Celestial
March 10th, 2011, 10:17 PM
I've grown somewhat attached to my fake name, although I do plan to change it one day.

So when you change your name can I have it? I love it! It's exactly how I feel sometimes. . . :)

Bobinator
March 11th, 2011, 08:29 AM
I too have grown fond of my name Bobinator!!! I know that anyone who calls me by this name is a swimming friend; I used a different alias in running and my other activities.
I say if the kitchen is getting too hot stop cooking! Otherwise jump in the soup and have some fun!!

smontanaro
March 11th, 2011, 02:03 PM
I'm one of these Internet antiques who remembers when you could log into the GNU ftp server at MIT without a password, when you could send Jerry Yang an email asking that he add your web site to Yahoo!, and when people still knew how to spell "googol". I remember the day the Morris worm hit the net. Consequently, I've always been accustomed to using something like my real name. After all, back then there were no bad guys. There were certainly no advertisers on the net.

Which brings me to my question. I've apparently gone out of my way to make it easy for advertisers to lump (no pun intended) all my varied Internet activities together, so why do they still show me these muffin top weight loss ads??? Are they trying to tell me something?

Thrashing Slug
March 11th, 2011, 06:38 PM
So when you change your name can I have it? I love it! It's exactly how I feel sometimes. . . :)

OK Celeste you have first dibs. Sadly, I realized during the last 25 of a 100 fly at a recent meet that I will be using this name for a while longer. :p

gdanner
March 12th, 2011, 01:02 PM
It doesn't bother me if people choose to remain anonymous. Sometimes users are more comfortable giving their opinion that way. There is value is having full disclosure as well. I think people are more likely to trust information if they know the source.

Celestial
March 14th, 2011, 05:37 PM
I think it's sad that we are apparently not considered "grown up" enough to moderate ourselves. One of the things that I enjoy most about both my swimming workouts & my tennis matches is all the trash talk! Trash talk is just that - not intended personally, probably not true or realistic & is supposed to accompany a sense of humor. Hopefully we notice those who have thin skins and are personally affronted by our good natured kidding & trash talk & will leave them out of the fun. And I can't give up my "nick name" until people stop calling me Celestial. . . unless I become the new Thrashing Slug! (Which may well happen in a couple of weeks when I swim in Atlanta!) :bump::bump::bump:

That Guy
March 14th, 2011, 07:57 PM
I think it's sad that we are apparently not considered "grown up" enough to moderate ourselves. One of the things that I enjoy most about both my swimming workouts & my tennis matches is all the trash talk! Trash talk is just that - not intended personally, probably not true or realistic & is supposed to accompany a sense of humor. Hopefully we notice those who have thin skins and are personally affronted by our good natured kidding & trash talk & will leave them out of the fun. And I can't give up my "nick name" until people stop calling me Celestial. . . unless I become the new Thrashing Slug! (Which may well happen in a couple of weeks when I swim in Atlanta!) :bump::bump::bump:

We're not grown up enough to moderate ourselves! Sure that's sad, but this is the internet, what can you do?