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Death of BallOfSpray

HortonHorton Posts: 31,064 Administrator
edited February 8 in Classic Threads
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.

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Comments

  • ALPJrALPJr Posts: 2,560 Mega Baller
    Long live Ball of Spray !
    HortonchrisroddyKrausSkiEljaybee
  • jhughesjhughes Posts: 1,124 Mega Baller
    This is one of the main reasons I shut down my site, it drove me nuts.
    Hortonchris55
  • 6balls6balls Posts: 5,793 Mega Baller
    My intent is never to be out of line. When younger I was certainly inflammatory if provoked on-line or in person (you want a piece of me?). Now I try to walk away on-line or in person...I guess this means I'm getting older. The hardest part is not to fire back at someone who is clearly out of line but that just isn't productive, either.

    If ever I am out of line (cuz I'm aware it could happen) call me on it and I'll do my best to repair it...it likely wasn't intentional. @Horton great site...skiing needs it.

    So one of the things nice about this forum is the vast majority of the membership doesn't put up with petty crap and kind of self police the forum to a degree. John when things are clearly getting testy do we just leave it to you or point out?
    Dave Ross--die cancer die
  • HortonHorton Posts: 31,064 Administrator
    edited September 2016
    @6balls there were a couple of threads in the last few months that really concerned me. I am 99.99999% you were not part of the problem. I actually don't think the users that made the posts that are so frustrating had any idea how far out of line they were so I'm just saying to everybody don't be an a-hole. Remember every time you post potentially thousands of people will read your words.

    Support BallOfSpray by supporting the companies that support BallOfSpray

    Barts★ Connelly ★ DBSkis ★ Denali ★ Goode ★ Follow ★ Hobe Lake ★ MasterCraft ★ Masterline ★ 

    McClintock's ★ Performance Ski and Surf ★ Reflex ★ Radar ★ Rodics OffCourseStokes

  • Razorskier1Razorskier1 Posts: 3,425 Mega Baller
    @Horton - a good reminder for all of us. Sometimes discussions devolve in bad ways, and then they just keep going. I'm on the site for the same reasons as you created it. Interact with and hear from great skiers and ambassadors in our sport (and every now and then when I'm really stroking to brag a little). Anywho -- onward and upward -- be nice out there folks!
    Jim Ross
    chrisroddy
  • HortonHorton Posts: 31,064 Administrator
    @cent don't worry the site isn't going anywhere. I'm just trying to get everybody's attention.

    Support BallOfSpray by supporting the companies that support BallOfSpray

    Barts★ Connelly ★ DBSkis ★ Denali ★ Goode ★ Follow ★ Hobe Lake ★ MasterCraft ★ Masterline ★ 

    McClintock's ★ Performance Ski and Surf ★ Reflex ★ Radar ★ Rodics OffCourseStokes

    gsm_peter
  • dwfrechdwfrech Posts: 49 Baller
    To John H.: This site is fantastic. Waterskiing is a sport which does not have a massive media following to publish information about it, where one could read and get second-hand analysis of his sport. That is ow it is for a sport like ours, unlike basketball/football/baseball/soccer - where there are hundreds of armchair analysts figuring out who made the most yards/goals/hits. In waterskiing the accomplishments happen without much fanfare. It is a sport for independent, driven people who don't need fame or recognition but just love to do it. This is the place where on the web you can get new ideas and share things with other skiers. You have done a lot to advance the sport beyond the invisible status where it was just people going out conquering buoys and trying to advance without too much publicity. Not that you are trying to make waterskiing a mainstream commercial sport ... we are all just sharing. It has been great to know there are others who will give you input and it includes all levels of skiing. That alone, the democratic spirit of this site, is notable. Keep it going and I have to say, your effort has gained momentum from a grass-roots following and it seems to be growing. Thank you.
  • mschoewemschoewe Posts: 10 Baller
    I have only used this site for ski reviews or fin settings in the past... I just posted a dissertation on how I am now approaching my skiing comeback. I thought this was about me at first! Haha Whew!
  • HortonHorton Posts: 31,064 Administrator
    @mschoewe no no. You and I do not see eye to eye on sport psychology but this is absolutely not about you.

    Support BallOfSpray by supporting the companies that support BallOfSpray

    Barts★ Connelly ★ DBSkis ★ Denali ★ Goode ★ Follow ★ Hobe Lake ★ MasterCraft ★ Masterline ★ 

    McClintock's ★ Performance Ski and Surf ★ Reflex ★ Radar ★ Rodics OffCourseStokes

  • LeonLLeonL Posts: 2,566 Crazy Baller
    I fall on the side of @6balls. Read his post and think me as well. I may need throttling at times, but I hope not.
    Leon Leonard Stillwater Lake KY - SR Driver SR Judge
  • chris55chris55 Posts: 411 Crazy Baller
    Living in Geneva, Switzerland, the BOS is a huge quantity of informations for beginner slalomer like me and it should really stay that way. I am so glad Mister @Horton put this forum on the web. I say Mister on purpose because it is a lot of work behind and a lot of passion for waterski....so a lot of respect. Thank you for reminding the community for not to be an A-hole.
    MuskokaKy
  • bigskieridahobigskieridaho Posts: 944 Crazy Baller
    I am not sure why there would be any posts that would degrade or jeopardize such a great website. This is a great social tool, whether it is for equipment or finding fellow ballers to ski with in different locations. Keep it up @Horton, love this site!
  • Fast351Fast351 Posts: 271 Baller
    edited September 2016
    I think the golden rule for all "social media" (yes this site is social media) is to never type anything that you wouldn't say in person.

    I'm kind of old school when it comes to that. My first social media forum was IRC, and we had a get together once a year for the people in the continental US (car channel). So I just always understood that you may or likely will meet the people you chat with online.

    Years later when Facebook rolled around, I made it my personal policy not to "friend" people I didn't know in real life. Same rule applies.

    As I've gotten older, I've found I don't need the extra stress of being an a-hole online. Makes life more enjoyable. Oh, and remember anything online is forever. Don't be surprised when you type your name into google you see stuff you posted 10 years ago pop up. Remember future employers will look at that too. I know I do this for everyone I'm involved with hiring.
    Mike van Meeteren
    BlueSki6ballsgsm_peter
  • DefectiveDaveDefectiveDave Posts: 479 Solid Baller
    Sounds like we just want to keep the community positive, which I think is a great policy. Drama and mudslinging just isn't constructive or desirable.

    Perhaps it would be advisable as a community to resolve to make more liberal use of the Flag button? I think if content gets flagged heavily it is a pretty clear indicator that it is not the type of post or content that Ballers desire.

    Of course, it would be up to the @Horton to decide how or if to act, but at least it could send a message and serve as kind of a crowd-sourced, self-policing action.
    Than_Bogan
  • HortonHorton Posts: 31,064 Administrator
    @Fast351 "I think the golden rule for all "social media" (yes this site is social media) is to never type anything that you wouldn't say in person"

    EXACTLY!

    Support BallOfSpray by supporting the companies that support BallOfSpray

    Barts★ Connelly ★ DBSkis ★ Denali ★ Goode ★ Follow ★ Hobe Lake ★ MasterCraft ★ Masterline ★ 

    McClintock's ★ Performance Ski and Surf ★ Reflex ★ Radar ★ Rodics OffCourseStokes

    schafer
  • HortonHorton Posts: 31,064 Administrator
    @DefectiveDave part of the problem is often the content in question look harmless at first glance. Then you really dig into it and realize that you are offending somebody whose contribution and input you really want available to the skiing public as a whole. ( if that makes any sense)

    Support BallOfSpray by supporting the companies that support BallOfSpray

    Barts★ Connelly ★ DBSkis ★ Denali ★ Goode ★ Follow ★ Hobe Lake ★ MasterCraft ★ Masterline ★ 

    McClintock's ★ Performance Ski and Surf ★ Reflex ★ Radar ★ Rodics OffCourseStokes

  • ToddLToddL Posts: 2,861 Mega Baller
    @Horton, we are all going to wonder: "was it me?"

    The reality is that every once in a while, you will have to hit the "reset" button. Reset our attention on the rules and focus our behavior on the positive.
    -- The future of skiing depends upon welcoming novice skiers regardless of age to our sport.
    kstateskier
  • jipster43jipster43 Posts: 1,452 Crazy Baller
    I've had to bite my tongue until the blood ran down my throat a few times, but I've learned to ignore @Horton 's grammar.
    Than_BoganMattPchrisroddyjayskiTexas6
  • JdubsJdubs Posts: 105 Baller
    Maybe I don't log on enough, but I've only seen very positive stuff with the exception of a few political posts, but very few at most.
  • HortonHorton Posts: 31,064 Administrator
    edited September 2016
    @Jdubs
    The stuff that I am unhappy about is mostly weeks or even months old at this point. I do not want to thrash anyone specifically but I just want everyone to know that THOUSANDS of skiers may ready anything you post.

    "the golden rule for all "social media" (yes this site is social media) is to never type anything that you wouldn't say in person"
    - @Fast351

    Support BallOfSpray by supporting the companies that support BallOfSpray

    Barts★ Connelly ★ DBSkis ★ Denali ★ Goode ★ Follow ★ Hobe Lake ★ MasterCraft ★ Masterline ★ 

    McClintock's ★ Performance Ski and Surf ★ Reflex ★ Radar ★ Rodics OffCourseStokes

  • Orlando76Orlando76 Posts: 1,292 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    I guess it's the fishermen's fault. We ruin all things waterski related.
  • DefectiveDaveDefectiveDave Posts: 479 Solid Baller
    edited September 2016
    @Horton,

    That makes sense.

    To be fair and positive about BoS, I hear proportionally more negative stuff, rumors, mudslinging, etc. in face-to-face conversations than here. However, almost all of this stuff is just stupid, easy to ignore, or based purely on personal preference or bias. Sometimes someone just needs to vent about something and then they are over it.

    Of course, the flip side is that those conversations generally don't go past me, whereas BoS serves as a continuously accessible global archive of everything we've said for literally anyone to read (so long as they understand english). So the rules for respectable dialogue are definitely different and we need to be mindful of that.
    Horton
  • ToddLToddL Posts: 2,861 Mega Baller
    One of the things that makes BallOfSpray so excellent is the participation and responses by pro athletes and manufacturers' representatives. I hope they truly understand how valuable their inputs are to the community.
    -- The future of skiing depends upon welcoming novice skiers regardless of age to our sport.
    Ralph Lee
  • Jody_SealJody_Seal Posts: 3,377 Mega Baller
    @Horton.

    We can still harass you right?? B)
    Hobby Boats can be expensive when the hobbyist is limited on their own skill and expertise.


    RazorRoss3Bruce_ButterfieldJdubsZmanBrady
  • motoskiermotoskier Posts: 45 Baller
    Best website EVER
    Than_Bogan
  • BulldogBulldog Posts: 1,036 Crazy Baller
    @Horton Well said John!! Thank you again for your passion and hard work. This site is the best in the business because of you....
    Mike Loeffler - "Someone somewhere is having a real problem today...My bad skiing is NOT one of them"
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