So I've been a member on here for years. I mostly stick the shadows and creep posts. Recently I have noticed something that I think should be brought up. It is 2016 and younger generations rely more and more on computers, message boards etc to get information. With that being said I don't understand the need for admins to be condescending, ignorant or in some cases just pain assholes to people looking for information. It's 2016 most people now a days will readily post a questions instead of searching. In some matters DS are telling people to use the search function on topics that may not have been updated in a year or more. I can understand directing people to use the search function or Google. But being condescending and providing "walk through instructions" (one example) on how to use Google is far from professional or acceptable. The search function on this page is not the most user friendly around. I'd like to think that we haven't driven away some future generations by having some retired or currently serving CAF member being the ******* that is the first contact that these people have with the CAF.
I totally agree with the OP. This is not a welcoming environment. I joined about 7 years ago and learned my lesson very quickly not to post here unless I really needed to. I kept my activity to a minimum. Sometimes it is a good source of information but mostly I hear admins, moderators or other old users giving crap to people. If you are going to take time to respond, either respond with some information or do not respond. Do not waste your time and add a reply that does not contribute anything.
Thanks for your posts. They identify some of the key issues that this forum and DS try to find the right solutions to pretty much everyday.
I don't have my DS hat on right now, but I will use some of my experience as an user and DS of this forum. Nor do I speak for Mike Bobbitt or fellow DS. Just my 2 cents.
Army.ca is the most credible forum based open source site on the Internet for CAF and CAF related discussions. The user base varies from privates to RSMs, from junior lieutenants to generals. Reservists to regs to special forces. Current serving members to retired. Of all trades and varied lengths of service. And a mix bag of civilians of various walks of life. The collective knowledge and the experience of the user base is what gives this site credibility.
This is why the DS operates the way we do, is to protect that credibility and integrity of the site.
This site is not a typical Internet forum. While we are open to everyone, our audience tends to be current or ex CAF members. While this forum is meant to be an informal place for people to talk, there is always that bit of military atmosphere here. And for a lot of civvies, they don't understand this.
The way I imagine this site is that it's like a mess where everyone can mingle, be informal, share a few stories and drinks. But there is still a hierarchy and military etiquette still exists. If you're a junior sgt and you want to talk to the RSM in the mess, you don't have to come to attention, but you better not be wasting the RSM's time. If you're a junior lieutenant and you want to talk to the CO, you better not be wasting his time.
This is why we keep harping things like do a search before you ask a question or think before you speak. And we lay the ban hammer on serial offenders. Heavy handed perhaps, but we frankly don't have the time to waste and we only want people who will add to the site. IIRC, all of DS are current or ex CAF members, some SNCOs and senior offers, with long time as DS on this forum.
We had a period where jtfnintendosnipers and university kids went unchecked and it was a serious headache that took a while to get rid of. We had complaints from current and ex serving members that felt that the site was losing credibility and integrity with too many users shooting their lips off and adding just white noise to the site. (And I still hear from some members that this site is too lax sometimes and the reputation of the site suffered) Plus some legal issues that came up and such that forced Mike to adopt certain SOPs.
In the end, our primary target audience is current and ex CAF members, and the 90% solution SOPs that the DS came up with won't satisfy everyone. But as far as the DS is concerned, this is the best solution we can work with. (And this is the guideline Mike mandates us to work under)
So, this site is not for everyone. It's not reddit or other forums, but this site will always be CAF oriented with certain military atmosphere. (IE, we don't use the term 'Moderator', but 'Directing Staff' with similar responsibilities, but different tone) Most of the topics discussed on this board is CAF or CAF related. We want to be open to everyone, but we know that the way this site operates is not to everyone's satisfaction. It is a bit of acquired tastes.
Having said that, if you have done your due diligence and need an answer or help, we will get it to you or direct you to someone who can. Full stop. Example, if a civilian interested in joining CAF uses this site, gets his/her questions answered, joins CAF and later turns around and helps out another civilian looking to join CAF, that's a big win.
This is my informal guide to posting in Army.ca
1. Be professional
. If you're a current or ex serving member, how you present yourself, even only on the Internet, adds or subtracts from CAF reputation. If you're a civilian looking to join the CAF, some of members posting here may be your peers, superiors or subordinates. Make a good impression. You'd be surprised how small the Canadian military is.
2. Think before you speak
. If you're going to post something, make sure it's logical, reasoned well and be prepared to back it up.
3. Stick to your lanes
. Talk about what you know about or experienced. Because otherwise, you will get called out if you're wrong and get hammered.
4. Do your research before asking a question
. People will likely be more willing to help if you try to find the answers on your own prior to. And it's a skill encouraged in CAF.
5. Listen more than you speak
. While we encourage active participation, I find that I learn more on this board by listening more than I talk.
5. Have fun
! In the end, this board is meant to be enjoyable. I have made friends through this board that I would have not otherwise had the chance to, and I am very glad for this board.
Personally, I want to thank all the users that participate on this board. Your feedback is critical to solve any issues or improve this forum. Please do not hesitate to contact the DS (report to moderator button or PM function) if you see anything that requires a DS's attention.
My 2 cents