A Noticable Trend - Advice Giving

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Ganado, Aug 27, 2015.


  1. Ganado

    Ganado Monkey+++

    I have noticed a trend and I have a request of all members.

    In the past, I have noticed that someone will post a question, and instead of answering the question, some members go to giving advice about a side topic unrelated to the posters original question.

    When someone posts and asks for specific advice, as well as provides additional information, so we can understand where they are coming from and what their circumstances are, please don't go off on them and start giving advice that isn't related to the original question.

    Why is this important? And why am I requesting this from all members?
    When we do this, (go off on an advice giving tangent) we're assuming that the other person can't think for themselves. It treats people like they are idiots rather than assuming they are intelligent thinking people. My experience with most preppers, is that they do think long and deep. They chose this lifestyle as a result of thinking things thru. So to willy nilly just give advice, makes us look like jerks or the kind of insecure people who needs to tell everyone else how to live.

    My request going forward, particularly when we have new people to the site, is that if you are concerned for something they are doing, then ask them about it. Please do provide unsolicited advice in the form of telling the other person how to live on a topic they have not asked about.
     
    CATO, JohnSteven, stg58 and 11 others like this.
  2. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member

    Thanks for bringing this up @Ganado and I agree with your observations. This input is valuable and even more-so since you are a relatively new yet pretty active member of SM which gives you a perspective on our 'tone' that us old guard may lack.

    We all have special areas of expertise and like to try to help new members when a question touches on that area. The problem is that we sometimes try to display our credentials as experts for commenting on a topic by barraging the OP with a series of high level questions or by attempting to cut from A to Z to solve their real problem as we see it. This can certainly overwhelm someone and could possibly turn them off to SM as a place to learn and eventually contribute. We have also evolved a beehive like structure where our guard bees tend to rush off to interrogate any intruder with the (well intentioned) goal of determining friend or foe.

    Another huge issue is one of perspective. One member's idea of SHTF can be 180 degrees from another's. My definition of terms like: off grid, self sufficiency, solar backup, or even survivalism in general are not necessarily aligned to other's definitions of the same. This is fine and expected in a diverse community like SM. The problem is when a new member who has "chose this lifestyle as a result of thinking things thru" asks about a small solar panel and battery system as a backup for __________, and the solar panel experts on the forum think "pssht, I have a bigger, better system just for charging my eBook reader...." and voice this criticism of the new member's ideas it is counter-productive to a site like ours and the original intent of the forum.
    We want our new members to become regular members. This is a good reminder that we need to treat our new members with hospitality that's best conveyed by engaging them with questions first before offering unsolicited opinion and advice that matches our definition of a solution to their problem.

    I love criticism since it tends to show me a side of something that I was previously blind to. I hate being the last person in a group to know I'm not good at something. Thanks again for bringing this to light.
     
    CATO, JohnSteven, Dont and 7 others like this.
  3. RightHand

    RightHand Pioneer in a New World Moderator Founding Member

    I have a slightly different perspective. I look at SM as a common meeting room, a place where we can ask questions, get answers, hear alternatives, get to know one another a little better. Now, if the question involved how to screw in a lightbulb and someone responded with how to erect a tent in the dark, that would not be cool but if they responded with the difference between a lightbulb for a refrigerator and one for a lamp, it might illuminate (hehehe) the discussion. On the other hand, I might respond with a comment about removing the old broken lightbulb with a potato (I've heard of this but never tried it)

    The bottom line, for me, is that I'm not good at following rules, tend to carve my own path and you can follow me or not, and when the rules start to interfere with the congenial atmosphere, the rules, like the government, should be disregarded or overthrown.

    I usually like the kitchen table type discussions we usually have. My thoughts go in 100 different directions at the same time and I sometimes enjoy taking that side trip that isn't on the map.

    JMHO :)
     
  4. Ganado

    Ganado Monkey+++

    I don't have a problem with tangents. Forgive me if I didn't communicate this well.

    The issue is giving unsolicited advice. A discussion that goes in different direction is entirely different than advice giving.
     
    melbo likes this.
  5. RightHand

    RightHand Pioneer in a New World Moderator Founding Member

    I understand your frustration but I also believe it is natural in a "community" for the residents to share their experiences. Some people like to comment on every post that is written in any forum but I know it is not with a malicious intent, rather a desire to share a past experience. If I'm not interested in that person's response, I just skip over it.

    This reminds me of dealing with a troublesome co-worker. A few years ago, we hired a person for a management position with the company and while he is talented in his field, his comments to others always come off as condescending or as if responding to a challenge that was not intended. After almost a year of conflict with this person, I decided that I would listen to the words only and totally disregard the tone of voice, the facial expression - anything that was not a direct statement. After than, I found that I was able to respond to the words and not let my tone of voice exacerbate the conflict. Today, I have an excellent working relationship with this person, with give and take problem solving dialogues. I don't know if this really addresses your comment but I think it is relevant. Please don't read it as unsolicited advice because it is just my response to your post.
     
    oldawg, melbo, Altoidfishfins and 2 others like this.
  6. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member

    I totally understand (and promote) off topic tangents, unsolicited advice, rule breaking and general BS amongst members. I read the OP as a concern for coming on too strong to new members and overwhelming them to the point that they might leave and never come back.
     
  7. Yard Dart

    Yard Dart Vigilant Monkey..... Moderator Site Supporter++

    I believe that we need to not come on so strong to the new folks.... sometimes it feels like they say hi and some one wants to drop the throttle and hit 80 right away..... moderation in how one handles a newer member while they are getting the lay of the land would be good. When one sees a neophyte post.... one should understand that they are getting their toe in the water for the first time here.... let them explore and become part of the community. Discover who they are first before you judge them on their readiness.... and so on. Give them time to adjust to the flow/flavor/personalities.... what have you. I do agree that at times, some come off as the all knowing right out the gate.... we should allow that person to express themselves, ask their questions or say howdy.... without the gatekeeper mentality attempting to do some kind of secret handshake Q&A right off the bat.
     
    Brokor, chelloveck, melbo and 2 others like this.
  8. vonslob

    vonslob Monkey++

    I consider myself to be a new member and I can tell you my experiences here have been overwhelming positive. There have a few negative ones but the positive ones outweigh the ugly 100 to 1. There are so many knowledgeable people here and met people I would not hesitate to invite into my house. I have made friendships here that are very valuable to me. If I had an issue with the forum it is that it make me feel inadequate sometimes because I do not have enough to contribute, kinda like drawing from the well and not having helped dig it.
     
  9. RightHand

    RightHand Pioneer in a New World Moderator Founding Member

    vonslob, sometimes we aren't aware of the value of our contributions because they seem mundane to us. All that really means is that certain things are second nature to you - this is a good thing. What we sometimes have to remind ourselves is that what we have learned has value not only to us but to others. Never feel inadequate; information is the currency for success.
     
  10. vonslob

    vonslob Monkey++

    @RightHand thank you for that and I understand what you are saying but when you are standing in the middle of giants it is easy to see your weak points. @Yard Dart just posted a thread about what you do not know and my list is large, I see it as a way to evaluate what needs to be worked on. For many years I thought I was preparing but all I was doing was stocking up on stuff when I should have been concentrating on skills, which is a mistake I have been working on correcting and that is thanks to this place.
     
  11. Yard Dart

    Yard Dart Vigilant Monkey..... Moderator Site Supporter++

    And that was the point of that thread I created... we never stop learning... there is no giant in the woods that is all knowing. One can be prepared with "stuff"... but one will not be prepared if they do not know how to use that "stuff", nor survive off of what else they may be able to discover through resiliency of their efforts......
     
    Tully Mars, kellory, Dont and 4 others like this.
  12. RightHand

    RightHand Pioneer in a New World Moderator Founding Member

    As YD said, there are no giants in our woods only lilliputians who have learned to stand tall and speak freely.
     
  13. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member

    There have also been many changes in attitude and outlook over time. I'm amazed at the difference in my thoughts on things now vs 10 years ago. This can be as difficult to convey to a new member as it is to impart experience and knowledge to a child.
     
    Brokor, Ganado, vonslob and 2 others like this.
  14. RightHand

    RightHand Pioneer in a New World Moderator Founding Member

    I remember the time when I didn't consider myself a "prepper." I pursued things that were of interest to me, mastered, more or less, skills that were useful to me, and followed my family's Yankee ways of taking care of myself and being prepared to confront times of need that were more frequent than times of plenty.

    It was through the guidance and friendships what I have made here that I began see that my way of life was not the norm but the exception and those who shared my philosophy gathered in small corners of the internet like SM where we could share knowledge and experiences without feeling like the oddball at the cocktail party.

    I really believe the phrase I often use - we are all either learning or teaching every day of our lives.
     
    melbo, ghrit, BTPost and 3 others like this.
  15. Mindgrinder

    Mindgrinder Karma Pirate Ninja Jedi Bipolar WINNING M.L.F.

    i disagree....
    I totally enjoy being told how to speak or think...
    It's the mods job to filter me and edit my posts for whatever reason they fancy.

    Dead in a fire...i will only post in "the inferno" or general discussion....from now on.
    Move all my threads to inferno at the slightest whim you have @mods.

    MG
     
  16. RightHand

    RightHand Pioneer in a New World Moderator Founding Member

    LOL We have to do something to keep us busy and thus entertained [LMAO]
     
    Tully Mars, melbo, Dont and 2 others like this.
  17. Ganado

    Ganado Monkey+++

    [​IMG]
     
    Mindgrinder likes this.
  18. Mindgrinder

    Mindgrinder Karma Pirate Ninja Jedi Bipolar WINNING M.L.F.

    [​IMG]
     
  19. Ganado

    Ganado Monkey+++

    Lol. It's the peace loving Canuck in you that makes you such a troll. ;)
     
    Mindgrinder likes this.
  20. Yard Dart

    Yard Dart Vigilant Monkey..... Moderator Site Supporter++

    MG is a master gardener, gorilla gardener, slayer of fish and a smart techie sort of fella.... I have never thought of him as a troll... more of a brother from the North....

    We all have the same objective in survival, yet different opinions on how to achieve that goal, means and methods. And in that pursuit, we are all right, and none are wrong so as we achieve success in our planning and execution of that goal.
     
    Tully Mars, HK_User, Ganado and 3 others like this.
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