The differences in communities
I’ve noticed something over time and was having a conversation with my wife and this thought came to mind. Last year I decided to purchase my first dirt bike, I really have not ridden once since I was a teenager. But after watching my son ride his for the last couple of years, it seemed like it was time for me to jump in. I did not want to miss out on the fun any longer and riding together would be a great way to spend more time together.
Both of our bikes were purchased used, so there was been some minor fixes that we have been working on. I’m a bit geeky and do not have much of a mechanical background, so we like to do research on the internet before starting a project. If the project is too big or complex we might just take it to a local shop.
What myself and my wife noticed is that the motorcycle community is a bit unique. In researching different topics and asking for advice we were amazed at how helpful people are. There is a bit of a brotherhood amongst the motorcycle community, whether online or in person. I’ve always noticed that bikers always wave to each other when riding on the streets, they don’t know each other but they respect each other. They don’t ignore a guy riding a BMW bike with a suit and tie on versus a hardcore biker dude with a Harley. They all wave, no judgments.
We also noticed that web pages with comments and forums focused on dirt bikes had a very similar brotherhood. People would ask questions on how to fix something or modify something and they were not attacked for their choices and called stupid. No one was saying why are you doing it like that your an idiot. They just helped, people offered suggestions gave helpful feedback. This behavior was observed across all types of sites, was not isolated to a single forum.
I had recently had pulled my bike out of the garage and was giving it a check over before getting it ready for the spring riding season. Checking the fluids and other routine maintenance and then was working on getting it started the first time. It was not cooperating, I was probably out there for an hour and totally frustrated. Up the driveway came a new neighbor that had moved in over the winter. We had not had a chance to meet him, he was a fellow dirt biker and offered some tips. Within a few minutes, it was running and I could have not been happier.
Now let’s have a look at the tech community. Don’t get me wrong there are a lot of very nice people that are more than willing to help others, especially in the VMware community. But there always seems to be a small group of people that will instantly jump into flame or attack mode, just because they think that some is taking the wrong approach or choosing a product that they don’t like.
Not everyone approaches problems in the same way, they are not looking to be attacked because they are looking for advice. People seek out others online to try and learn from their experiences or get help on how to approach or fix something. Many times you are not the first person to have a specific issue, and there are plenty of helpful people that answer posts on forums and write helpful blog posts. But in the tech community and others there is a healthy amount of people that want to do nothing else but jump in and cause trouble. They attack people for their methods and choices without offering anything helpful to the conversation.
I’ve often wondered why people exhibit this type of behavior? There are probably a lot of different reasons. Is it that the motorcycle community is just more confident in themselves? They don’t need to try and prove they are smarter than the next person? Do they have no interest in being an internet tough guy that hides behind his keyboard and feels superior? I have no idea why.
I’m pretty sure that we also don’t see executives from Honda writing biased blog posts against Kawasaki or attacking each other on Twitter. They are both focused on building an excellent product and taking care of their customers. Having a war with your competitors does nothing positive for your customers. It does not affect their buying decision in a positive way, it makes you look petty or rude.
So the next time that you are about to jump on someone for something online, maybe take a deep breath and think about what they are really asking for. You have a few choices, you can be a mature person and just keep your thoughts to yourself or you could offer something positive or helpful to the conversation. There is nothing to be gained by attacking others.
Don’t read too much into this blog post, it was not inspired by any recent trash talking or blog posts. Just a few thoughts I had on this recently, hopefully I don’t get too attacked in the comments
About Brian Suhr
Brian is a VCDX5-DCV and a Sr. Tech Marketing Engineer at Nutanix and owner of this website. He is active in the VMware community and helps lead the Chicago VMUG group. Specializing in VDI and Cloud project designs. Awarded VMware vExpert status 6 years for 2016 - 2011. VCP3, VCP5, VCP5-Iaas, VCP-Cloud, VCAP-DTD, VCAP5-DCD, VCAP5-DCA, VCA-DT, VCP5-DT, Cisco UCS Design