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Monday, July 19, 2010

Surviving Fire Forums

Some great stuff from the Backstep Firefighter, worth a good chuckle, and should be required reading for the new, wet-behind-the-ears young bucks coming online and thinking that the interwebs connection means they made it to the big time.

Certainly some of these elements are true for law enforcement forums.... but I suspect the dynamic is somewhat different on that side, and almost certainly less forgiving.  I don't go there myself.  I'd get pegged.

Snippets from the article reprinted with permission.  Or, you can skip these little previews and go read this gem in its entirety here.


Forums and Blogs

Nearly every fire website has a forum section. This is supposed to be an area for open discussion, hence the word forum. Unfortunately too many folks use forums as a new version of high school. Here in the internet age you can relive all your adolescent efforts to be the popular person, getting in the right cliques and picking on the nerdy guys. Oh, by the way, you may want to open a new tab and look up satire, sarcasm and humor, just so it doesn’t get ugly. Some of you might not be able to tell that I’m writing in a new font style that makes you read my words as if Jerry Seinfeld was saying them. If I’m coming across like R. Lee Emery, you need to reboot your computer. That’s not true, but check your inner tone of voice while reading this. I’m pretty sure someone will get ticked.

“Did you read what he wrote?”
“No, what was it?”
“He said I was behaving like I was in high school.”
“He said it, or he wrote it?”
“He wrote it, but it was the way he wrote it, sneering. Little twit.”



Stupid Questions

You see, blogs are for writing, as in paragraphs, and they’re meant to be read, digested, and thought over. Blogs are not for asking where you can find green bulbs for your roto ray. Roto Rays in Virginia, 703-437-3353 by the way. I bet some of you have it in your phone contacts. That’s not a blog subject, that’s a stupid question. They used to say that there was no such thing as stupid questions. Then came search engines. Stupid questions were born because the folks who created search engines didn’t plan on having to account for lazy folks using the internet to find remedies to their conundrums. Yeah, that’s right, conundrum. Look it up. Don’t post it in the forums and ask what it means, but get your lazy butt up and find the dictionary.

“Diction-wha? Is that the game where you draw pictures?”

People complain that the biggest problems with forums are stupid questions. These are questions where the answers come from one or more of the following sources:

1. Your chief
2. Your officer
3. Your senior man
4. Your rookie handbook
5. Your parents
6. Google
7. Khasim at the local 7-11


Forum Seniors

No, not elderly readers who get the feature spot closest to the top. I’m talking seniors as in class bullies (see, brought you back to that high school reference). Where in the name of everything sensible and just did an insignificant thing as post counts equate expert witness testimony?

“Today, the CDC has announced it has offered ‘fireslayer301’ the position of Chief Investigator in NIOSH’s Firefighter Fatality Prevention Program. Mr. Slayer brings to the position his five years experience on and 2,764 post counts.”


Photos and Videos
Everyone loves good firefighting photos and videos, ones that show a working fire or complex extrication, or detailed training. What is disappointing are the ones that make you wonder ‘why bother?’ Seriously, do we need to see five videos of your quint responding, with each video being 15 seconds long?

“Dude, I just uploaded a vid of 33’s new engine responding!”

Lemme guess, they made a right on 202, or a left?


So there you have it, a basic guide to having a successful fire forum life. For some of you, this means not posting at all.



All right, you know you want to see the whole thing.....

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