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Take part in our whisky polls and votes. You can also post your own polls in this forum.

How do you feel about the recent shifts in the styles of user postings, discussion points, & general forum usage?

Poll ended at Fri Aug 19, 2005 10:43 am

I'm glad it has happened.
4
20%
I'm not too fussed.
8
40%
I preferred "the good old days".
8
40%
 
Total votes : 20

Forum user feedback

Postby Admiral » Fri Jul 29, 2005 10:43 am

Inspired by Kallaskander's suggestion on the Tasteless thread....

The general theme, tone and usage of these forums have changed in recent times. Some might suggest these pages have evolved into a more chat-orientated style (one poster suggesting we're treating it like a bunch of friends rambling on at the pub - a positive slant); others might assert that there has been a move away from strict whisky discussion (a negative slant).

I'll put my hand up and say that I'm a little disappointed the way threads are fast becoming excuses to post silly gags, quick smiley faces, and quickly shift off-topic.

What do you think?
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Postby kallaskander » Fri Jul 29, 2005 10:57 am

Hi there,

Admiral, Sir! I was not too serious when I suggested that kind of poll. (Yeah, I`ve had my lecture on German homour already. Did not want to turn that thread in such a way, but thank you for your remarks and comments, honestly!) On the other hand it could show us where we stand exactly. So ok, a poll to end all polls.
Could it be that we are about to prove that this kind of "chatty forum" is not too bad a thing? Let´s wait what the poll tells us.

Greetings
kallaskander
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Postby bond » Fri Jul 29, 2005 12:52 pm

Trust lobbying through private messages will not be construed as illegal.
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Postby Mr Fjeld » Fri Jul 29, 2005 1:07 pm

I don't mind the recent "tone" as it only proves the popularity of this forum is gaining. I understand what you are thinking of Admiral and I guess I'm one of the guilty ones. Your point is especially valid when someone hijacks a thread and turns in into something silly. However, in most cases I believe the question or the purpose has been answered prior to that and I fear that a more "serious" approach would have a detrimental effect on the posting frequency or participation.

The recent situation could be bettered by an "offtopic section" but that would require an active moderator team.

Skål!
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Postby Admiral » Fri Jul 29, 2005 2:27 pm

I fear that a more "serious" approach would have a detrimental effect on the posting frequency or participation.


I understand your concern on that front, but I don't believe it would be the case......there were never any problems with posting frequency or participation beforehand.

Cheers,
Admiral
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Postby Jeroen Kloppenburg » Fri Jul 29, 2005 3:05 pm

Speaking of things moving in a chat format...

I've been experimenting for a while with a 24/7 IRC chat wich also had a interface on PeatFreak.com

In the end I decided not to go ahead with it as I didnt want to step on the same track as spiritofislay.net (if I got the domain correct) who have a weekly chat on wednessday evening.

But if there would be a sufficient interest for a true 24/7 chat ...
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Postby Deactivated Member » Fri Jul 29, 2005 3:55 pm

Perhaps I am guilty of straying off topic myself, but I think the forum would be deadly boring if it contained nothing but tasting notes.
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Postby Lawrence » Fri Jul 29, 2005 4:44 pm

We are all guilty of going of topic of late, I wonder if it due to the fact that it's summer (for most of us) and a number of people are not drinking whisky due to the heat?

Not me, I just add some ice to my whisky.

Also the number of threads have increased dramatically in the last few months, could be that people are simply having trouble keeping up?

Where is the leardership of the Amazing Revilo when we need him most?

However on a more serious note I've noticed that this forum always comes back on track, usually after some gentle prodding from a member or two. I'm sure this thread will do the trick.

This post is Emoticon free.
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Postby kallaskander » Fri Jul 29, 2005 5:22 pm

Hi there,

hello Lawrence, nice try but nothing we think, write ot post is ever free of emotion. And no dram we take is ever free of emotion, which adds to diversity of experience. And makes whisky drinking worthwhile.

Greetings
kallaskander

PS This post is not free of humour. :wink:
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Postby Lawrence » Fri Jul 29, 2005 6:18 pm

Kallaskander, I said "Emoticons" as in the little yellow faces on your left, not "emotion". But well said about whisky and emotion.
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Postby Aidan » Fri Jul 29, 2005 6:28 pm

I don't really mind either way. I think this is generally a friendly place.
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Postby Lord_Pfaffin » Sat Jul 30, 2005 12:37 am

I have yet to see any display of ill will in this forum, rather the comradeship of good penpals. Along with the colour of of topic comments questions are answered, tastes, likes, dislikes and other opinions are discussed. Perhaps the silliness goes too far in some instances, but never anything bordering on the obtuse or sublime. For a bunch of perhaps misunderstood individuals that meet in cyberspace from many countries, upbringings, religions,carreers and characters that just share an interest in whisky and the desire to talk about it, this forum is quite wonderfull.
Thankyou all!!

Ardaíonn ár ngrá muid féin níos airde i gcónaí!
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Postby Deactivated Member » Sat Jul 30, 2005 12:43 am

I'm here to turn myself in.

Would it help if I stop making Australian jokes?

Okay. I'm chief culprit and instigator. And to be quite honest, that isn't likely to change, unless I'm barred from the board. But I have enough respect for Admiral to listen to what he's saying. I'll even admit that, several times lately, I've felt a twinge of guilt when posting various bits of rubbish. If we can liken this place to a pub, then no doubt that certain behavior catches the attention of the bartender. He's been pretty tolerant so far, and no doubt he's watching to see if we can sort this out for ourselves before he resorts to calling the police.

Let us look for a moment at the maligned thread I started and titled "Tasteless". There was in fact a genuine and legitimate question there. Not an earth-shaking one, certainly, but not outside the realm of this forum. I noted that postings under the heading "Tastings" had dropped off considerably, and that I myself had not had a dram for several days. Coincidence? Maybe. Or maybe those of us in the northern hemisphere are actually tasting less lately, because of the weather. It was meant only as an idle speculation, a conversation opener, to see if others were experiencing what I was. But it was admittedly not particularly important, and I didn't mind a bit if the thread turned into a ramble on other things. The attached poll was virtually an afterthought--it came to me as I was typing the words "Is it the weather or what?"--and was intended to spoof all the polls that provide inadequate answers, which is about all of them. I regard such polls as useless, in and of themselves, except as conversation starters. They generally mean nothing, and I don't usually even bother to look at the results. But they are harmless enough, and if folks want to use them to open a topic, that's okay with me. I just never bother to vote in most of them. I haven't voted in this one.

Anyway, the unfortunate thing is that the physical position of the Tasteless poll gave it preeminence over my idle musings and made the whole thread appear entirely frivolous (which, admittedly, it wasn't far from, anyway). Error on my part, and one which I'll no doubt make again: I never let anything serious get in the way of a gag. If that's a flaw in my character, it is one I've had all my life, and I don't see much chance of it changing.

It is summer, and we have been exceedingly silly of late. Okay, so we need to calm down a bit. But I'd really hate to see any sort of formal sanction on banter (and I'm sure you would not propose such, Admiral). We've had quite a lot of people join in here in the past six months, and we seem to be enjoying each other's company. 16 0f the top 35 posters have joined since September 2004. I know how obnoxious it can be when there's a loud and raucous party in the bar; I also know that sometimes you just have to move to the other end of the bar and bear it, and hope it calms down one way or another.

As for myself, for a number of reasons which are not particularly relevant, I have been home quite a lot in the past few months, and, in my characteristically obsessive/compulsive way, I have probably spent far too much time on this forum. It's probably the closest thing I have to a social life these days. How pathetic is that? Get a life, Tattie Heid! But it won't stay that way; it's circumstantial.

A certain amount of banter is normal and natural, and in my mind helps to lubricate the proceedings. Sometimes it just holds the place until someone has something pertinent to say. In any whisky bar I've ever been in, there's only so much talk about whisky; other things naturally come up. I'd bet that's so even at formal tastings, although certainly less so.

If Wendy posts a light-hearted story about Canadian and Danish military keeping their border dispute friendly by swapping bottles of whisky and aquavit, and it turns into a discussion of Rockall, why should anyone really care?

On the other hand, if there are folks who have serious questions and wish to discuss whisky in at least a semiserious way, they shouldn't have to wade through a bunch of nonsense to do it.

So I hereby resolve to try to refrain from hijacking any serious thread with silliness. That doesn't mean I won't joke at all while in such threads, but will try to keep my posts generally in the spirit of the thread. (Long-running, open-ended threads like "What did you drink last night?", though, are fair game.) I hope that pledge will suffice. I do not promise 100% success. I don't know that anyone can say definitively where to draw the line in any given situation; as in everything else, we all have a different idea. But I'll try.

And I still haven't voted in this poll; my answer isn't there. The correct answer is forty-two.
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Postby Lawrence » Sat Jul 30, 2005 2:04 am

Tattieheid thanks for the post and for the introduction to Rockall, the forum wouldn't be the same without you and I would greatly miss you input if you left.

I knew the answer was 42.
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Postby Deactivated Member » Sat Jul 30, 2005 2:55 am

You are kind, sir. If I ever get out to visit my good friend in Seattle, I hope we'll have a chance to visit your fair city, which I haven't seen since 1994, and share a dram and a blether with you.
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Postby WestVanDave » Sat Jul 30, 2005 7:14 am

While I can't say I've had as much time and input on this forum as the notables (Admiral, Lawrence & Mr. TattieHeid et al) - I am a big fan of the humour and good-spirited fun. (Apologies to the many other frequent posters - but hey, hats off to the truly obsessed!!!)

It only seems natural that as discussion evolves and friendship develops the comfort level and colloquial banter takes over from the formal tasting notes and simple polite questions.

Personally, I have had some great laughs reading through some of this harmless (and often mindless) fun.

As many have pointed out - the world of whisky attracts all kinds, but for the most part, collectively, it's a great bunch, always willing to chat and share points of view (serious and otherwise)... bring on the bird guano and let's build our own Rockall.

Cheers, Dave.
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Postby Aidan » Sat Jul 30, 2005 9:13 am

Lawrence wrote:Tattieheid thanks for the post and for the introduction to Rockall.


Tattie, your even getting blamed for things you didn't do.


Anyway, after 1,309 posts in about three or so months, some of them are going to be off-topic.
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Postby Jeroen Kloppenburg » Sat Jul 30, 2005 9:24 am

Somehting like realtime chat might be a lot more suited for offtopic chat then a forum like this =)

Anyway, if there is an interest to experiemnt with soemthing like that, I practically have all still in a working setup. If anyone feels like having a go or wants to help out with it ...

Its all based on IRC but I do have a Java applet on the site for those who dont know much about IRC and/or dont want to =)

The old days of slainthe.org's chat wee always highly amusing. Were all enjoying the chat with a dram (or two). Distilelry oriented online tastings and so. Would be cool to see if there is a base for soemthing like that again =)
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Postby MGillespie » Sun Jul 31, 2005 3:45 am

I'm also one of the frequent offenders, and will try to do a better job of staying on-topic in the future (unless there's a setup for a really good punch line!)

Mark
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Postby Deactivated Member » Sun Jul 31, 2005 4:00 am

Sorry, Jeroen, I'm not very interested in a chat format. It requires everyone to be online at the same time, tends to be disjointed and chaotic, and does not lend itself to the development of coherent thoughts. When I'm IMing with one friend, we always end up with two separate conversational threads! Sitting around a table blethering is fine; a forum like this allows things to develop at a slower and more thoughtful pace. To me, chat is the worst of both worlds. But that's just me.
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Postby Jeroen Kloppenburg » Sun Jul 31, 2005 8:51 am

Yes, for really interesting topical discussions a realtime chat has its disadvantages. But as the general feel of this thread was that there was quite some off-topic chat, I might throw in the idea and see where it would be heading too.

All the participants from the slainthe.org chat will agree with me that it was heaps of fun. And also the distillery chats which were announced a week ahead of time were always working out very well.

Was worth a shot =)
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Postby Admiral » Sun Jul 31, 2005 9:13 am

I suspect this topic / thread has attracted the interest of quite a few of us. Whilst 11 votes (12 if you include Mr T's affinity for Douglas Adams and 42) and 19 replies might not seem like lightening has struck, it has been viewed 325 times in less than 48 hours, so it seems quite a few of us are keen to see what others have to say about the matter.

I'm grateful to Mr T for his honesty and sincerity (hell, it saves me pointing the finger :twisted: hee hee, just kidding! :) ) and I appreciate his analogy that if a raucous group starts making a bit of noise at the bar, others sometimes have to just move down the other end and hope it quietens down.

But my take on it is this: This is a whisky forum. There are a million things that each of us try and squeeze into our day. My passion in life is malt whisky, and so I come here to discuss it.

If I want to show off my ability to construct puns or to swap jokes, there are a million other places I can go to on the internet to exercise this. But I come here to talk about whisky. If I want to share in some silliness, I'll happily put on my Monty Python or Blackadder videos. But I come here to talk about whisky.

I don't mean to sound facetious, and I mean no offence or ill-will towards anyone here, believe me. But when you log on to discuss whisky, and have to wade through non-whisky-related stuff, I do wonder whether I'd be better off looking elsewhere.

Allow me please to share something Bond posted on the "Tasteless" thread:

One side effect is that some of the more knowledgable people on this forum have turned less prolific in their posts, ostensibly because very few posts catch their interest. I personally owe a lot of whatever little I know to several such people on this forum.

We stand to lose a lot if this turns into a relatively non-serious whisky forum and complels some of these folks to look elsewhere.


I fully agree with and endorse these comments. Many of the knowledgeable and previously-regular posters whose thoughts, comments and participation around here were very valuable have been much less vocal in recent times. Now I'm not suggesting that that is entirely due to the recent change in forum usage - there could possibly be other factors also. But where is Erik? Lex? Ruduloph Hucker? Tom? rOb? Gate? BruceCrichton?

Again, I echo Bond's sentiments....we stand to lose a lot if this turns into a relatively non-serious whisky form and compels some of these folks to look elsewhere.

I come here to talk about whisky. :)

Cheers and regards to all.
Admiral
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Postby Aidan » Sun Jul 31, 2005 10:37 am

Maybe if there was another category in the forum index for whiskyish chat?

I was wondering where Lex was, alright. Lex has the most comprehensive knowledge of whisk(e)y of anyone I've encountered.

Then again, we've got valuable new members, like TNbourbon, who knows almost everything there is to know about bourbon. Of course, everyone's a valuable contributor.
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Postby Tom » Sun Jul 31, 2005 11:15 am

Hello everyone,
Things have been hectic around here lately, wich is why I havent been very active on the forum.
This post is probably a necessery evil. Hopefully it wont be blown out of proportions but it doesnt look that way.
Like everything it seems this forum has evolved with time, Like many said here it seems to be more chit chat then serieus whisky discussions. On itself thats not too bad I guess. But I share Admirals findings nevertheless. However If this is how the forum naturally evolves than so be it, I still like searching here for the newest whisky gossip and must say that I value some members input more then most whiskywriters' opinions.
The only thing that is seriously disturbing is the incredible rate of changing the subject in any given topic. It renders the whole point of having topics invalid, Also it makes searching for relevant information a hell.
So the only thing I would ask is if we can please stick to the topic. Naturally one topic brings ideas linked to another, so then why not start a new topic instead of changing the contents of another. I personally find this frustrating for both readers and starters of a topic.
For the rest, this is as good as it gets if you like discussing and sharing with genuine whisky enthousiasts.
Edit: When i say hectic around here i ment at home, not here at the forum.
There is One last thing I would like to get off my chest. It is relevant to the topic because i dont believe this would have happened in the beginning I was here.
What the people here did with Oliver is IMHO out of line.
He's gone now so I may be too late to say this but attacking someone because he is against certain events is not fair at all.
There are things that happen in the whiskyworld that are not nice at all. Everything has a bad side, including whisky and everything around it, It would be hypocrite to only bless everything and turn a blind eye to the bad things that happen. Oliver was perhaps too verbal and too eager to share his annoyance with the Edrington Group, true. But to form a collective group and attack him whenever you see fit in whatever topic simply because he stood alone was ,well cowardly.
I for myself very much care about the negative opinions just as much as the positive, and I am sure with the vast amount of knowledge some members here have they could have pursuaded Oliver to stay open for the positive things the edrington group does. instead everyone simply kicked him like he was a dogg that bit his boss.
Well thats it, I am glad its out of my system.
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Postby Oliver » Sun Jul 31, 2005 11:14 pm

Well put, Tom!
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Postby Aidan » Mon Aug 01, 2005 12:05 am

Welcome back Oliver.
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Postby Deactivated Member » Mon Aug 01, 2005 12:45 am

Well, I'm glad you're here, Oliver, because I'd rather not be accused of saying this behind your back. It was never your opinion about Edrington (or anything else) that I objected to. It was your humorlessness, your lack of perspective, your overdeveloped sense of personal umbrage, and most of all, the fact that you went on and on and on and on about it. You never missed an opportunity to turn the discussion to your favorite topic, how Edrington Group had personally betrayed you while committing the most heinous crime since Judas betrayed Jesus. It was just tedious, and you wouldn't...let...it...go. You brought all that scorn on yourself, and you deserved every bit of it. This has been a better place without you, in my estimation. I'm sorry to be so harsh, but that's the truth as I see it. And having said it, I shall now let that go. If you're back to share your knowledge of and passion for whisky with us, I am more than willing to let the past be past and welcome you back (not that you need my blessing). Just please lay off that one topic; we all know how you feel about it.

Tom, long before I joined this forum, Erik was hounded out of it for the heinous crime of putting his trust in Edrington Group during the counterfeit Macallan scandal. (What is it with Macallan? It's a perfectly good whisky, but some people are just loopy over it.) I reread a lot of that discussion shortly after I joined. He was naive, perhaps, but all he ever did was ask people to wait for the evidence before making a judgment. As it happened, he was wrong, and spectacularly so; maybe he left out of sheer embarrassment. But he didn't deserve the mountain of crap that was heaped on him. In my mind that was a far uglier incident. You'll note Erik's name above in the list of folks Admiral says are missed.

And congratulations, you've succeeded in changing the topic. It's not very hard, is it?
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Postby MGillespie » Mon Aug 01, 2005 1:04 am

I'm glad you're back too, Oliver...while I found our disagreements extremely frustrating (substitute "Jim Murray" for "Edrington Group" in T's post above and the feelings are equally valid), it was interesting to see more than one side of the issue.

May I suggest that we all let those episodes remain in the past and try to keep things more friendly this time...

Mark
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Postby MGillespie » Mon Aug 01, 2005 1:12 am

Here's a suggestion that might solve the problem...I invite your feedback...

Perhaps the moderators would consider adding a "Whisky Life" forum to the site that could be used for the more irreverent discussions we have. That way, we could keep the other threads more on topic...

Just a thought...

Mark
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Postby Deactivated Member » Mon Aug 01, 2005 1:29 am

I suggest calling it "Blether". But in any case, it's a good idea; it could host the lighthearted, the peripheral, and even the entirely irrelevant.
Deactivated Member
 

Postby Lawrence » Mon Aug 01, 2005 6:25 am

Aidan, sorry for missing the fact that it was you who brought up Rockall....it's a great site, thank you.

And just so you all know, even the Malt Maniacs joke around, not all the talk is whisky all the time.
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Postby Aidan » Mon Aug 01, 2005 6:55 am

What is the Edrington Group?
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Postby Lawrence » Mon Aug 01, 2005 7:02 am

They are the owners of the Macallan, Glenrothes, Glenturret, Tamdhu and Highland Park along with some blends. I also believe that they own Glenglassaugh but it is closed.
Last edited by Lawrence on Mon Aug 01, 2005 7:17 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Aidan » Mon Aug 01, 2005 7:14 am

Thanks Lawrence - I obviously missed that whole discussion.
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Postby Lawrence » Mon Aug 01, 2005 7:16 am

Lucky you! To be fair it was an intersting discussion.
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