WIHMMB – Reason #1 Message Board as Blog

The first thing we should do is define what is meant by message board as a blog. I am not talking about those long, ruminative posts about a poster’s life that would not be out of place in a journal or blog, those are fine (or at least as a category they are fine).

And we are not talking about fluff, in general. Fluff is good, fluff is what I excel at. There will always be a room for quality fluff on any board I administrate. Mind you, I said quality fluff, not inane, pointless fluff (IPF). Which is what Message Board as Blog (MBaB) is: pointless, content free filler posted with annoying frequency.

Sometimes it is in the form of a threads like these:

  • OMG My cat farted and fell off the sofa LOL
  • I am eating Doritos
  • Vent: I am out of ice cream
  • I am watching Tommy Boy LOL (bonus points if a scene by scene description of Tommy Boy is offered)
  • My butt itches

You get the point. A subset is the easily googled question of fact (EGQoF), such as

  • How many ounces in a cup?
  • What is the link to JCPenney.com?
  • Question! (not always technically an EGQoF but almost certainly IPF)

There is a stealth category of MBaB wherein the offender uses threads started by other people to post their IPF. The topic at hand could be anything from favorite foods to the War on Terror, somehow expert MBaBers will find a way to insert their IPF. Many times this will involve what they are eating (they seem always to be eating something), the weather, a childhood memory; whatever it is, it will be at best tangentially related to the thread at hand, leaving people puzzled as to why they thought to share. It is related, but not quite the same as Purposeful Attempted Derailment (PAD).

The problem, of course, is how to complain about MBaB without looking like a bit of a petty jackass. There is something unseemly about telling people how many and what kinds of things they can post especially if you can’t give a solid reason why it is so bothersome. The truth is, I’m not sure if I can explain why it is so vexing other than it seems intrusive and smacks of attention whore-ry. Most people are instinctively programed with a policy of tit for tat – when others continually tit, you feel obligated to tat, even if such obligation doesn’t really exist. Then resentment sets in and soon you begin to think that forces more sinister than stupidity are behind this.

Try to explain this and the Well Just Don’t Read It crowd swoops in and it all becomes a clusterfuck of massive proportions and the MBaBer will either cheerfully continue his/her continuous drivel or worse, become a martyr and take every opportunity to mention how everybody picks on him/her, even if nobody is paying him/her the slightest bit of attention.

Since shaming them is out of the question, the only two policies are ignoring them (most popular) or attempting PAD of the IPF threads, which is very risky because of the chance of the MBaBer being encouraged by all the responses to their thread. Or the third way, which is to start quality pointless fluff (QPF) threads of your own, knocking the IPF off the first page and off your screen. The problem is, there is a fine line between IPF and QPF and it’s very easy to fall on the wrong side and get a reputation as an MBaBer. Best to only attempt this if you are popular and have many friends guaranteed to make your thread a success.

Best Wishes and Happy Posting!

DLD

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