The title of this thread is a bit dramatic but I wanted to get your attention. Actually web traffic is healthy and growing but the evolving culture but this forum concerns me. The forum is almost completely free speech but the health of community depends on it being a moderated forum. About 95% of you do not need to read this post because you are not the problem but please read it anyway.
I started the site because I wanted skiers who knew more than myself to have a place to talk about skiing so I could read what they said. It was a personal quest of knowledge. I (we) built this community from a small group of skiers into the largest web site / community / media source in water skiing. In the beginning the rules were pretty clear. Snarky, sarcastic or negative posts were only endured in small doses. The very first Ballers all had a fair amount mutual respect for each other and visited the site for information as well as fellowship.
The rules about complaining about ski industry companies took a few years to evolve and eventually became “If a manufacturer wronged you personally then you could tell your story but if you had not been personally wronged your personal negative message about a product or service was not welcome.” Currently, I do not see much flagrant violation of this rule but I do see an alarming amount of disrespect. It is just enough to make the ski companies feel uneasy about the BallOfSpray forum. I hope everyone realizes that the water ski industry reads this forum.
When you are snarky or disrespectful or dismissive toward a ski company or fellow baller you are insulting someone and you are making me look bad. Yea this is about me because I own every word on this web site. My job is to make this web site as interesting and entertaining as possible for as many skiers as possible. My #1 goal for a long time has been for the forum to be a resource for skiers. If that is too contrived or confining for you then I suggest you go somewhere else.
So what does all this mean? I am starting by asking you guys to consider your tone. If the owner of company X or skier Z was in the room would you make the same comments? You saying his gloves or ski or boat or event or score is crap is like me saying your mom is…. (insert inappropriate and offencive comment about your mother). Maybe your mom is a hideous beast (humor) but I think we can agree that anyone who points it out may be an A-Hole. Don’t be an A-Hole.
Last thing. This is not a discussion. If you do not like or respect the way I run the site then I can’t help you. I am 100% not going to publicly defend they way I manage the site. If you really have a question please email or PM me.