Why the title?

"Pioneers take the arrows"

Oh, wait. I should be upbeat and taking arrows doesn't sound like an upbeat thing to say.

So, let me amend that statement.

It was courage and vision that led the pioneers to leave behind a comfortable, settled life and trek West to begin a new life in a new place. Many of those from the East that went West found a strength within themselves that they didn't see while they were in their old life. Instead of being one of those that just kind of went along with the others in the old life, they became leaders and visionaries in their new lives.

The sentiments of that last paragraph come from a favorite author, Louis L'Amour, in many of his books. So, I can't really say that it is an original thought from me. However, what he said is truthful.

Welcome to being a pioneer. Look ahead and ignore the "barking dogs" that give you negative opinions and comments. Louis L'Amour also spoke of the barking dogs.

In some of his stories, it was usually a father or older man telling a young boy how it was that when the Westward bound Conestoga wagons rolled through towns, the dogs came out to bark at them. His character then told the young listener that the barking didn't stop the wagons from going on to their destinations.

Following the advice of the Louis L'Amour characters, may we all forge ahead with our plans, after carefully considering all consequences and leave the "barkers" behind.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Forum Moderation

Back in early October, Howard and Linda Payne at RV Dreams were preparing to take a trip to Africa with two other RV couples, one couple of which were natives of South Africa. Since they would be gone for a bit over a month, Howard recruited myself and another forum participant with the username of GENECOP to be moderators.

While Gene had been or currently is a moderator on other forums, this was the first time I had an opportunity to participate in the forums in an entirely new way. I was first humbled to think that Howard had enough respect for me to ask me to serve in such a way, and I certainly took it as an honor.

It is an interesting task because one suddenly finds oneself looking at a forum post from an entirely different perspective. I guess it would be like a police officer having an entirely different perspective with the public and with drivers in particular.

I also saw the opportunity as a way to pay Howard and Linda back for sustaining such a wonderful website and forum as the one at RV Dreams. If I could help them by being on the lookout for spam, I would also be helping the other forum participants by keeping out the riff-raff such as spammers and those with the wrong attitudes.

Now, not having had any experience with such an undertaking, I suddenly found myself with a new respect for the moderators over on a firearms forum where I also participate. Those gentlemen (or ladies) are responsible for keeping a bunch of “gun-totin’” individuals curtailed in what they say and how they say it.

In fact, when someone gets banned for an inappropriate comment, the word “Banned” pops up under that user’s username and avatar. It always leads us to wonder what they did to get banned. However, on that forum, one doesn’t ask why someone got banned. Otherwise, one could be construed by the moderators as “questioning their authority” and be banned just for asking.

Fortunately, the folks on RV forums (and RV Dream’s forum in particular) are really nice people and seldom get out of hand. That is not to say that there aren’t misunderstandings. In my duties as moderator, I “chided” one individual about his choice of wording and he felt like I had “thrown him under the bus,” so to speak. That was not my intention in chiding him. He has been an online friend, and I hope that he remains a friend today.

Now, let me get back to the aspect of me trying to keep the riff-raff off of the forums. There was one in particular that kept spamming with comments about some kind of LED lights that were clearly not related to RV’ing. I must have deleted his posts and banned his IP address at least 8 to 10 times. He got to the point that he was somehow able to post without increasing his post count or show up on a “last entry preview” so that I had to literally go into each new posting and see if he was there.

While I wasn’t able to get rid of him with Moderator functions, Howard was able to with his Administrator functions when he got back. I had kept a log of the actions that I took and relayed that to him upon his return.

Now, because of the aspect of banning is a real necessity, and remembering the shooter’s forum’s moderators being quick to ban for even somewhat minor infractions, they always referred on that forum as the moderators being equipped with a “ban hammer.”

Well, guess what??? I found one…….

…….check out the horns and the “come on” gesture with the free hand.

Kind of like, “Come on, Dude (or Dudette). Try and mess with me.

Spammer Hammer

To be honest, while I think most everyone on the RV Dreams forums would sense my strange humor, I have really been hesitant to post this there. But, since this is my blog (thanks to Google and Blogger and Live Writer and imaging software), I can safely post it here.

Oh, by the way….

….I’ve been asked to continue as a moderator. Again, but in spite of the image above, I feel humbled.


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