Happy New Year, everyone! I hope that 2005 is a fruitful geocaching year for all!
I wanted to take a moment and mention something that I think needs mentioning. Please take this all with a grain of salt, and not as a comment geared towards anyone in particular. Rick -- I hope I'm not overstepping my bounds by writing this message. If so, let me know.
Back in the late 80's/early 90's, I ran a computer bulletin board. Before the internet, this is where everyone met online to share messages, files, games, etc using a dialup modem. The internet has since killed this. *sigh* I miss those days. ANYWAY. I learned a lot in those days, that really can carry-over to systems like geocachingmaine. Rick et al do an amazing job here, but we the people are what make it blossom.
One of the things I learned "back in the day", was that e-mail and forum messages need to be taken with a grain of salt. You have no idea what the message poster's attitude or intent was by reading a message. It is hard to convey a tone or inflection in an e-mail. What I may say in jest may be completely misunderstood (or Miss Understood, as my message title says) and can be blown out of proportion so easily. I'm just starting to notice a few messages in the forums where I can sense some anger building, and I don't want that to happen. Everyone on this site is an integral and important piece to the larger puzzle. We don't need fighting and warring amongst us.
Here are a few things I think will help alleviate this:
1. Use "Smilies". Smilies were originally designed to help other users tell when they were trying to say something funny, or tongue-in-cheek. If you are posting something that may be sarcastic, funny, or tongue-in-cheek, throw in a smiley so that people will know that that is your intent.
2. Use Italics. Italics and bold are other things that can help convey your true meaning.
3. Use acronyms. "LOL" and "ROFL" are among the acroymns used to denote laughing ("Laughing Out Loud" and "Rolling On Floor Laughing"). Again, this more clearly helps the reader understand the intent of your message or statement.
4. Go with the flow. Take EVERYTHING you read with a grain of salt.
5. Have fun, but don't push buttons. It's easy to get into a message war. Learn when to let things go. It's not worth it.
Here's an example of how misundestandings happen. THIS IS JUST AN EXAMPLE
Misunderstood statement: You guys are so annoying.
Better: You guys are so annoying!
Doesn't the second statement really convey a completely different meaning?
There's a lot more that could be said, but just keep these few things in mind. I don't want to see something good go sour. I think the world of all of you. I don't post messages very often, but I do read the forums here almost daily.
Take care, and have a peaceful 2005.
Rick-- there seems to be a limit to the number of image tags (smilies/italics/bold/etc) that you can use in a message -- can this be bumped up? I'm at the limit with this message!