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Make Equipment forum a “Flame Free Zone”

Discussion in 'Suggestions' started by uncfnp, Apr 21, 2018.

  1. Bryan@Vintage Double Hose

    Bryan@Vintage Double Hose Instructor, Scuba

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    One of the "challenging" things for me is when a piece of my gear is commented on by posters with 1000000 x more posts than actual dives who have never owned, dived or even seen in the flesh the piece of equipment being discussed but yet paint it in a negative aspect because of some abstract conclusion they came to after seeing a few pictures and description on the web. New readers see this diver posting 100 times a day on SB and could easily come to the conclusion that they actually know what they are talking about and as an "expert" on diving and diving equipment overall.
    If there was a way to separate "opinion' from actual experience with the equipment being discussed it would be more beneficial to the new diver.
     
    chillyinCanada and Akimbo like this.
  2. The Chairman

    The Chairman Chairman of the Board

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    We're actually discussing having a dedicated "My First Kit" forum in "Basic" with a link to it in "New to Scuba". In fact, we're discussing special rules to add to the "Basic" rules. If you have any ideas about them, now would be the time to suggest them. I'm going to ask @Akimbo to post the set he came up with to give you an idea of what we're discussing.
     
    randpchi and lowviz like this.
  3. MichaelMc

    MichaelMc Divemaster Candidate

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    This is not quite the proposal under consideration, but some gentle version of "ScubaBoard Buyers/Renters guide to first scuba gear" would make the entry point less daunting. I'm not sure how to manage it as there will be several versions of 'clearly/likely the best choice'. Maybe for each key item (Mask, snorkel, fins, regs, BC, wetsuit, dive comp, ...) present a few common choices, each linked to short pro/con advocacy. 500 words max per advocacy, which would nudge toward keeping on topic. No 'this is the truth', but reasons for choices. Not sure how to do that unless we have wiki software that allows selecting a few choice proponents within each category, and people willing to be those. And I'm not sure of the legal issues.

    Edit: Even just highlighting groups of options (pro/con) would be a service, (un/balanced, piston/diagram, lowprofile/many windows, etc.). And I am really not sure how to decide on 'common' options, unless you just make it an open list that people can write a pro or con piece on.
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2018
  4. The Chairman

    The Chairman Chairman of the Board

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Cave Country!
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    I agree. Too often a poster asking about Acme's Splitfin BCD is deluged with requests to "save your money" "don't buy that piece of crap", and "buy So and So's Back Plate and Wing". I think that we should stay on topic and if you haven't dove a piece of gear: stop condemning it! This is all a part of Dive and Let Dive to me.
     
  5. Akimbo

    Akimbo Lift to Freedom Volunteer Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

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    For context, these random phrases came to mind when visualizing this new sub-forum. Hopefully they will inspire something better and more complete.
    • This forum is for new divers that are overwhelmed with equipment options.
    • Basic Scuba Discussions rules apply.
    • It is more important for replies to explain the value of features than to promote or condemn specific products.
    • Scubaboard's many Equipment of Scuba Diving forums often underserve new divers who have trouble knowing what to ask or works for them.
    • No piece of equipment is ideal for every diver or application.
    • It is rude and factually wrong to tell a reader that they are fools for investing in a particular product. Every tool has its place and none are perfect.
    • People can read the endless debates over wings vs jacket BC, fins, hose colors, and regulators in other Scubaboard forums. This is the place to educate divers on features and tradeoffs that they should consider or try.
    • Edit: A link to Dive and let dive... dealing with different styles of diving would be useful.
    Ideally, we want a concise forum description (so people actually read it) that conveys the essence of the above. A"sticky" introductory post can expand on the description in more detail.

    upload_2018-4-26_6-37-47.png

    For clarity, "Suggestions" is the title of this forum and the text below is what I am calling the forum description. The introductory post is like this one in the Basic forum. We call threads that stay at the top of the list "sticky" and are indicated by the push pin icon.
    upload_2018-4-26_6-44-35.png
    Your thoughts are welcome.

    BTW, kudos to @uncfnp for this suggestion.
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2018
    Jack Hammer likes this.
  6. Blasto

    Blasto Solo Diver

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    That sounds like a great compromise, no one's toes stepped on.

    I think it can be useful to mention the focus of the forum on complete equipment sets. The nature of complete kit requests is different from "pick the best X" - it adds the task of optimizing relative equipment costs. So you should help the user get the best overall kit for their money, not one best piece of hardware.
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2018
  7. Akimbo

    Akimbo Lift to Freedom Volunteer Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

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    I'm not sure that is a limitation we want to impose. As I understand it, the first rule is no-flaming and the second is everyone goes in understanding that the person (not necessarily a diver yet) has little to no experience and is trying to learn something. They may only need a mask for their first class or a snorkeling trip. They may be wondering what those orange rolls are for that they see divers carrying (DSMBs and sausages).
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2018
  8. Jack Hammer

    Jack Hammer Solo Diver

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    I think it would be nice to have a quick reference sticky that covered the basic pros and cons of the heated gear topics written in as neutral a way as possible. Something simplistic like:

    Mask, Low Volume vs High Volume:

    High Volume: The larger size keeps mask further from face. Larger side skirts offer reduced field of vision. Some find it less claustrophobic. If leaks occur it fills slower due to the larger volume.
    Low Volume: Keeps mask closer to face. Smaller side skirts offer increased field of vision. Some find it claustrophobic. If leaks occur it fills faster due to the smaller volume. ​


    Fins, Split vs Paddle:
    ...
    Snorkles:
    ...
    BCs, Jacket vs Back Plate with Wing:
    ...


     
    Akimbo likes this.
  9. Blasto

    Blasto Solo Diver

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    Yeah, that makes sense.

    [Was editing my post as you replied, moving the extension to here:]

    We have a similar situation on a computer site I run - hundreds of users coming every day to ask "what computer should I build with $X". What we did was create a separate forum, System Builds, and while there aren't any special newbie-friendly rules, the mods do stop extended debates.

    Our unwritten rule for that is no more than a few posts per user on any one component, unless the OP is involved in the discussion. If they're not, leave your suggestion and go on. That could be useful as a guideline - don't carry on discussions irrelevant to the OP.

    We also have stickied threads such as 1k/3k/5k build, with stickied suggestions, but that's done to manage the volume of requests. Applied to scuba, would make more sense to split by purpose (tropical, cold water, DIR) rather than price.

    All in all, if I had to do it, I'd probably format the section as this:
    * Stickied threads for common single-item questions (not required, just provided). Separate threads for jackets and BP/W, of course, to avoid the debate.
    * Full kit questions generally expected to have their own thread.
    * A couple stickied threads with ready full kit suggestions and room for discussion.
     
    RayfromTX and Akimbo like this.
  10. Akimbo

    Akimbo Lift to Freedom Volunteer Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

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    The problem is writing the stickies. IMO, it needs to be a collaborative effort in order to normalize the the basic "truths". We all have viewpoints, preferences, biases, and (hopefully) good reasons for them. Those reasons don't necessarily apply to everyone. Ideally a the sticky will address the reasons for the biases so readers can decide what applies to them and make the inevitable compromises. Done well, it is a very challenging task that deserves a lot of care.
     

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