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Ray Popp

Starting to Get Obsessed
Dec 14, 2022
173
249
Google reveals a lot more than YouTube videos: Books, articles, blog posts, and forum postings among them. (In fact, Google produces better search results for this forum than the forum’s own Search does.)
It was actually a different search engine than Google that brought me to this forum. I was using Google as an overall term. Anyway, yes, I saw and read a number of pages of prose and watched some very good videos and some very boring ones ... I am fascinated watching people make pipes ... and I learned a lot about briar from videos ...
 
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Egg Shen

Lifer
Nov 26, 2021
1,073
3,566
Pennsylvania
I liked BROBS. He stirred the pot.
Me too, but it would not work if there were lots of similar posters on here. He was funny since he was an outlier.
Please elaborate.
i feel the dullness but for other reasons. Mainly threads about inane bullshit. It’s bad enough that people are not embarrassed to post them. It’s worse that the mods, out of a sense of trying to be welcoming I guess do not delete them, and worse yet the post will get numerous replies. And then someone “likes” the reply. All the while I have no idea what is being discussed. I’ve been closing a lot of threads over this lately
 
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K.E. Powell

Can't Leave
Aug 20, 2022
479
1,743
37
West Virginia
I'm fairly new here, so I can't really say with any authority what this forum was like a few years ago. But I can say having been on other forums during my college years, that many forums deal with this kind of thing. Random influxes of people due to a search engine algorithm sending them their way here, or a thread having some sort of viral content, or maybe people coming in during down time while dealing with winter weather or some other boredom-inducing circumstance. Some introduce themselves, most lurk, others post and lose interest a few months in and dip. But a few stay and become valuable members. But all that isn't unique to this place; it is something most forums go through.

I will say, however, that I think a lot of folks here underestimate how younger folks (Gen Zers and younger Millennials) don't really understand forums. Most have never bothered with one. The closest thing they have dealt with would be a reddit subgroup or a discord server, and those aren't really the same thing. Forums are kind of considered pretty old-school these days, and what few forums do thrive on the web these days are usually ones devoted to niche topics that have managed to cultivate a culture and expertise all its own. This forum fits that mold.

So, yea. Sometimes old ground gets covered a lot and there are dead periods. But this forum has been a wealth of information for me, and I've been here long enough to develop an appreciation for some of the people here. And sometimes, even common questions can yield new insights. I tend to be stuck in my pipe smoking habits at this point, but it's always good to see what others do, to challenge my perspective. And sometimes, that newbie you help with his or her mundane question sticks around and becomes a valuable member. And that is pretty cool.
 

sablebrush52

The Bard Of Barlings
Jun 15, 2013
19,484
44,432
Southern Oregon
jrs457.wixsite.com
I will say, however, that I think a lot of folks here underestimate how younger folks (Gen Zers and younger Millennials) don't really understand forums. Most have never bothered with one. The closest thing they have dealt with would be a reddit subgroup or a discord server, and those aren't really the same thing. Forums are kind of considered pretty old-school these days, and what few forums do thrive on the web these days are usually ones devoted to niche topics that have managed to cultivate a culture and expertise all its own. This forum fits that mold.
George Dibos was talking about this a couple of years back, that forums would give way to newer formats, like reddit, or other sub groups. I've glanced at reddit pages and some others and I see the layout differences in how a thread gets presented, with replies added with an indentation, that sort of thing, but am not aware of what major differences there are in functionality of any of these formats, other than style of presentation. If anything, some of these pages remind me of a slightly slicker Usenet, but with more ability to interact fairly spontaneously.
 

paulfg

Lifer
Feb 21, 2016
1,554
2,903
Corfu Greece
Nah, just the constant flow of new thoughts. The forum has boiled down to a constant stream of the same five or six questions now.
Unfortunately yes.
after sifting out the new member introductions and the same old Are Dunhills worth it type questions there is not too much new going on.

I guess there is only a finite amount of things to talk about.

I preffered the posts by the likes of Ken Barnes where you could gain knowledge,that for me is what a forum is about
 
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paulfg

Lifer
Feb 21, 2016
1,554
2,903
Corfu Greece
I've been losing interest lately due to the repetitive newb questions, I will admit, but I realize that newbs need to be encouraged. However, I once "suggested" that newbs take a long look at the forums for beginners so as not to bury us in questions that have been answered many times before, and I was told I had a bad attitude by a moderator. So I often just "lurk".
yeah I got that when mentioning the search function
 
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Jan 30, 2020
1,803
5,959
New Jersey
And as much as there are repeat new questions from new members, there’s equally the same old answers by experienced members.

Here, like any field or industry, once someone hits a certain experience level any other thoughts and ideas are regularly dismissed. “Tried that 20 years ago” or “Iv been doing this for 30 years” which is a poor response to alternate thinking.

Somewhere in the middle is where my best interest is in discussions. It just often takes a lot to get there and other times it never gets there but when it does I find it engaging.
 

craig61a

Lifer
Apr 29, 2017
5,722
46,969
Minnesota USA
I've been losing interest lately due to the repetitive newb questions, I will admit, but I realize that newbs need to be encouraged. However, I once "suggested" that newbs take a long look at the forums for beginners so as not to bury us in questions that have been answered many times before, and I was told I had a bad attitude by a moderator. So I often just "lurk".
I think that’s the norm nowadays, in so much as people tend to expect an immediate opinion/answer on anything without putting in the work to find info and formulate their own opinion on just about any subject matter. It’s just the dumbing down of society.
 

Lees65GTO

Starting to Get Obsessed
Nov 29, 2022
245
316
79
Texas
Just noticed there are 915 guest plus 56 members viewing the forum. Have we ever hit 1000 viewing at the same time?
 

Lees65GTO

Starting to Get Obsessed
Nov 29, 2022
245
316
79
Texas
They're called the "January People", part of a wide spread phenomenon that happens with the beginning of a new year when people decide to make changes to their lives. Hopefully many of them will continue to participate long term.
I guess the "January People" have started early this season.:)
 
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sablebrush52

The Bard Of Barlings
Jun 15, 2013
19,484
44,432
Southern Oregon
jrs457.wixsite.com
Just noticed there are 915 guest plus 56 members viewing the forum. Have we ever hit 1000 viewing at the same time?
I really don't pay attention to the lurkers, but Kevin would probably know the answer to that question. We have a lot of lurkers hoping to catch wind of an interesting announcement such as an Esoterica drop.
 

Auxsender

Part of the Furniture Now
Jul 17, 2022
800
4,606
Nashville
I think that’s the norm nowadays, in so much as people tend to expect an immediate opinion/answer on anything without putting in the work to find info and formulate their own opinion on just about any subject matter. It’s just the dumbing down of society.
In my humble opinion, that’s when moderation is needed.
Something like, “Your thread has been deleted this because a 20 second search will give you all you need to know on this topic.”

RANT:
My very least favorite young, new-guy thing is this:
“I have these blends {lists many average blends no one cares about} what should I smoke first?”
It’s so myopic and self centered and vapid. It’s a very “you owe me an answer” vibe to me and I do not care for it.
END RANT
 

yanoJL

Lifer
Oct 21, 2022
1,209
3,661
Pismo Beach, California
...
RANT:
My very least favorite young, new-guy thing is this:
“I have these blends {lists many average blends no one cares about} what should I smoke first?”
It’s so myopic and self centered and vapid. It’s a very “you owe me an answer” vibe to me and I do not care for it.
END RANT
I looked at the Pipes & Tobacco sub on Reddit about a year ago, and there was a lot of that.

And plenty of:
Can someone identity this pipe? Typically accompanied by a photo of a pipe without any detectable nomenclature.
 

Auxsender

Part of the Furniture Now
Jul 17, 2022
800
4,606
Nashville
In my humble opinion, that’s when moderation is needed.
Something like, “Your thread has been deleted this because a 20 second search will give you all you need to know on this topic.”

RANT:
My very least favorite young, new-guy thing is this:
“I have these blends {lists many average blends no one cares about} what should I smoke first?”
It’s so myopic and self centered and vapid. It’s a very “you owe me an answer” vibe to me and I do not care for it.
END RANT
Of course, I’ve only been here 1.5 years so take this for what it’s worth.
 
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sardonicus87

Part of the Furniture Now
Jun 28, 2022
952
9,449
36
Lower Alabama
Well, I have used forums a long time (since 56K modems were typical at home), and I have noticed since then that forums get absolutely much more inundated with the same "dumb" questions that could be easily found with a quick search than what they used to (as it's always been a problem, but it does seem worse now). I wouldn't doubt if their was an uptick the amount of time the same 5 questions gets asked per week (even adjusted for higher member counts/inflation).

One thing I read about last year was that Gen Z in particular, as well as some younger millennials (or younger than me anyway), are never taught how to do a search for information or use a search engine. The reason they aren't taught is that since they grew up with tech and Internet natively, that they already know it. The result is that as adults, they do poorly in jobs that require completing your work on a computer, because nobody trained them how to use a particular software (under the presumption they would just know how to do it). Can't seem to find the article now.

I think that might be part of the issue as well (in addition to not understanding how forums aren't the same as chat rooms or Reddit). In trying to find the above article, I also saw links where people asked on Quora and Reddit "do people just not know what Google is anymore" and the like—which btw, if you think the forum has gotten repetitive with easy and dumb questions, never look at Quora unless you want to lose as much faith in human "intelligence" as I have. There's also an article with a title about how Gen Z runs to TikTok to search for info rather than Google because they prefer visual information. I didn't read the article though, it's not important.

That's a particular problem in itself. I skimmed the article and there's a line about "Google gave rise to institutions, TikTok to individuals". Problem is, most individuals are dumb, give wrong information with authority and confidence they're right, and perpetuate garbage. People seem to be way more trusting of a random stranger with no evidence or qualifications than someone with an actual education and evidence. That's nothing new either though (and also doesn't mean that just because someone is an authority on something, that they should be inherently trusted). Anyway, that whole visual thing doesn't explain asking the same redundant questions 100 times a day that could be easily found with a basic search.

Personally, I graduated high school in 2005. I remember in middle school having typing class and computer class on computers with Win 95. And being taught in high school how to use search engines—they brought a cart around with those black IBM laptops with the red rubber cursor button from classroom to classroom and it was a whole class period thing. Do they not do that anymore?
 

sardonicus87

Part of the Furniture Now
Jun 28, 2022
952
9,449
36
Lower Alabama
Although, if not by using a search engine, how do they find these forums to begin with? I think they just search for a pipe forum (or any other niche thing) so they can ask their questions, rather than even trying to search for the answer directly. It's a bizarre thing I will never understand...

52599214_10161394964180297_8362110671713730560_n.jpg
 

K.E. Powell

Can't Leave
Aug 20, 2022
479
1,743
37
West Virginia
I try to avoid broad generalizations about generational differences, largely because categorization by generation is often just vacuous bullshit whose only consistent use is in being grist for hack "journalists" to mill out clickbait articles. This is to say nothing of how derivative most generational critiques are; from Plato to the weirdo boomers contemplating the fall of Rome in their pickup trucks, the complaints are almost always uniformly the same, regardless of era or nation (e.g. kids are lazy and disrespectful, etc.).

Still, I do think there is something to the specific criticism that this new generation is not as tech-savvy as many would assume. In fact, it is the assumption itself that may be the problem. This new generation is the first one to be born in the digital age when virtually everyone has access to online devices. I think we are inclined to assume that since they literally grow up with this technology, they therefore are capable of using it competently, alas.
 
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