What is it about internet discussion groups that occasionally bring out the worst in some people? Typing somewhat anonymously behind a computer screen sometimes gives license to certain people to lapse into the 'You Stupid Idiot' syndrome when they are typing their superior answers to someone's perceived stupid question, when they would never have the balls to say it to someone's face. It turns into a bickerfest, a virtual game of whackamole on the computer screen, the arguing and petty squabbling more important than the original subject, which has become long forgotten and unanswered.
That's one reason I've never joined one particular professional photography organization, whose chat group I found bursting with condescension by some experts to those wanting to learn. It is possible to be helpful without those extra hurtful words, but sometimes it seems one can get drunk on power when you peck the words out on a keyboard.
On some days, Ridecamp on Endurance.net, full of passionate endurance riders, has experienced this YSI syndrome. Most days, most years, it's filled with good questions and answers and information exchange about all subjects endurance, from beginning riders to veterans with tens of thousands of miles.
On one particularly, um, passionate day, I came up with another 'Camp some people might want to join:
But the more I thought about it, the more categories I realized we needed, to be politically correct and all, and not get mobbed by those who didn't quite fit in either 'Camp.
And so, I came up with a number of spinoffs for different folks:
Rudecamp for the Rude People
'Toodcamp for the Religiously Right (and I'm not talking religion, I'm talking I'M RIGHT and YOU'RE WRONG)
Snidecamp for the Disparaging
Dudecamp for the Stoners
Stewedcamp for those Far Beyond Help
Moodcamp for the Manics
Broodcamp for the Deep Thinkers
Nudecamp… well, better not, because of young riders
Prudecamp for the Prim and Proper
Pridecamp for the Holier Than Thou
Winecamp, either Red or White
Whinecamp for those who just want to whine, about their fellow riders, their horses, the weather, and fellow 'Campers
Rantcamp (thanks Keith Kibler, for this one!) so you can just let it all out
Runtcamp for the Little People
Spiedcamp for those who left Ridecamp but need to do a little espionage on other people in other 'Camps.
Friedcamp for those who just can't take the other 'Camps anymore
Bridecamp for those in, or about to be in, a select group
Shiedcamp for those who are too timid to try any other 'Camps
Criedcamp for those brought to tears
Diedcamp, for those who have passed on but still like to keep up with the other 'Campers
Please pick your proper groups and sign up. Some cross posting might be allowed for humorous purposes. If you post in the wrong group, John will design an algorithm program to sort your replies into the right category.
In all seriousness, Ridecamp is a great source for endurance information and advice, in the current discussions and the archives. It's just that once in a while, in a sport with such passionate people as endurance riders, Some People wake up on the wrong side of the bed and don't get their coffee for the morning, or for whatever reason need to feel better about themselves on a given day and pontificate in a special way that only finger punching on a keyboard can produce. It's not personal.
And if it is - and this works for any internet group - just have a laugh, take the best away from it and do 3 simple things: Delete, Delete, Delete.
We can all laugh about the online stuff, because you can see from the photos out on the trails what a completely serious sport this is.