How To Get The Best Out Of Internet Forums

I've been spending quite a lot of time on forums lately. I'm beginning to wonder why, really. They are a monumental waste of time, if you stop to think about it. But at the same time they are kind of addictive.

I don't know about you but i'm a serial forumist. What does that mean? Well it means that I join a forum and then start to get deeply involved with its discussions. Spend hours of each day on that one forum, to the exclusion of all else, even other forums. Then I seem to get a backlash where I begin to detest that one and all it stands for. Then I find another one and the same cycle begins again. See what I mean, serial forumist.

Or perhaps the phrase should be "serial monoforumist" to distinguish me from the other kind. The "polyforumists". These are the people who will probably go on to be extremely successful in later life. They can organise themselves so that every day (in every way) they visit each one of a systematic portfolio of different forums, make a small but deeply significant contribution, and then leave. I am of course full of admiration and envy of these people but I haven't got the smallest chance of ever emulating their feats of endurance. I would just find it dreary in the extreme, going through all those links, waiting for each one to open, etc etc. And then forcing yourself to leave just when things are getting interesting! No, I wish I could, but it's just not me.

Now tell me, what type of forumist are you?

13 comments:

Mulled Vine said...

I find the phrase "waste of time" interesting. Are some things more worthy than others then, particularly if there is no absolute standard whereby to measure such things...

Winton Bates said...

My participation in forums doesn't fit into either of the above categories. The topic has to be interesting, but I only participate when I have nothing better to do.

I admire the people, like yourself, who start discussions and then stick with them.

Sofia said...

@ Mulled Vine: Your criticism is well-founded. My use of the phrase "waste of time" is indeed a long way short of my usual high standard of objective judgement. And what, after all, is time but the merest illusion?

Sofia said...

@ Winton Bates: Thank for your complimentary remark, which is much appreciated.

Yes, many forum discussions are brain-meltingly dull. That's why I like to start new discussions, so I can ensure they'll be interesting (to me, at least).

BTW, on the Europa Forum yesterday, someone accused me of being punctilious and pedantic! (Ouch, that hurts!!)

Sofia said...

Oh, and just to be really punctilious, I should correct my own typo error! The first line of my previous comment should, of course, read: Thanks for your complimentary remark...

Joseph M. Fasciana said...

Dear Sofia,

I never participated wholeheartedly in any forum. I would rather spend my time jumping around without any rhyme or reason to different blogs. I find myself reading a large portion of random blogs even if they aren't that remarkable, or my cup of tea. I will readily admit to you that these enjoyable new found desires to read compulsively have had it's toll on the productivity of my own blog. I feel unhappy with my own limited posts. There are many so thoughts racing throughout my mind, and I have limited myself to this political strain, which I now find more interesting only as an exercise that will hopefully help me learn how to write and to learn grammar. I would much rather share the knowledge of my life's trappings. I need to get a better grip on the knowledge of grammar, I feel that in turn will boost my confidence to write without the fear of sounding illiterate. Someday soon I hope to go there. In the meantime know I always enjoy stopping here at your place to share some words with you.

Regards,

Joseph

Vivi-Mari Carpelan said...

I'd be interested to know what exactly drives you? Are you doing this in order to move your own brain cells around or in order to interact with people? Or are you just killing time?

Sofia said...

To Vivi-Mari: Just addicted to it, I guess! No, seriously though, the title of this post was intended to be an ironic comment on all those self-help slogans you see all over the internet.

I just think I'm doing this for the same reason that Joe has so eloquently described in his comment above. I'm trying to learn how to write well by practising in a "live" context. I hope one day to take up a writing career...

Clarisse Teagen said...

hmmm. i've never been on forums much. .
Do you usually go to the blogcatalog ones?

Cyrus Rumi said...

Very informative blog...Thank you for sharing this with others...

I will shortly add it to my links section on my blog.

Cyrus

Winton Bates said...

What has happened to you? Have you now become addicted to being a non-forumist?

mitayashi said...

i found forum more effective to spread my blog while getting info what people want comparing to social network like facebook.

anyway, you've been away for too long :D i miss your writing!

tseyu said...

Dear Sofia,

You don't need to keep practicing your writing to learn how to write well. You already do. Look at the conversation this entry generated...I have ideas buzzing like bees in my head!

I must admit to you that I live a serial monoforumist lifestyle [and I do love your neologism]. Not just with forums but with everything I do: I jump in to every project with all four paws, kneecaps, and earlobes...that's why I must have a housekeeper: when I try to clean the bathroom I get so into seeing the thing through that after five hours I end up with 3 square inches of sterile wall. (In my case some unnamed shrinks I know would call my lifestyle "obsessive/compulsive", but that's beside the point here.)

I came to your blog via the talents of one Adam Tramantano, who also writes beautifully, who follows your blog, who has 2 beautiful children and a beautiful wife, and whose gray matter I happen to be in love with (but that's beside the point here).

I am just very happy I came to your blog because: 1) I love your writing; and 2) the interaction between you and your commenters has inspired me to blog a bit, myself. Thank you!

Tracy :)