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Can AZB Win Back Top Pros and Instructors? - 06-10-2019, 12:35 PM

Many top instructors and top players shy away from posting content on AZB in fear of the avalanche of trolls that are sure to follow and knock. No one has the energy and attempting to help our community often results in far more trouble than it's worth. Forget the fact that many of these trolls can't play and can't teach -- it doesn't matter. It's a sociopathic desire to insult, knock down and chase off professional-level players, teachers and influencers of any value.

Top instructors and certainly nearly all of the pro-level players have chosen to jettison AZB in favor of social media, which is a tragedy for the forum and its community. It's a tragedy because it's avoidable and although it might be hard to fix, but it's not impossible to fix. Imagine a forum where the game's top players would post their thoughts on certain aspects of play. Imagine getting insight from a player as he/she discusses a recent win or loss and what they'd do to make adjustments in the future. At one time, this actually was a reality here at AZB but it didn't take long for a select few of know-it-alls to insult their writing style, their education level or imply they didn't know as much about pool as the legion of keyboard warriors who preyed on their every post.

Social media has spawned a comfortable environment from which they can self-moderate. With Facebook, as an example, if you become a thorn in someone's ass enough to make them turn purple, they can simply block you from their page. The end result is a healthy community of like-minded individuals whose only desires are to learn and engage with the top talent in the industry without the infinite loop of knockers and trolls.

Can AZB ever win them back? Can this forum ever change the atmosphere to be less toxic toward those who wish to share content? Clearly, "the internet is the internet," however, I think this forum can mimic many of the features of social media.

1) Invite all former and current top-ranked pro-level players back and give them moderator privileges in order to protect themselves. Someone can say, "Yeah, well, ____ posts here without problems." Sure -- I'm sure they do, but that's only because they can communicate in such a way on the forum that doesn't attract ridicule. Some players are insanely brilliant during play and knowledge, but they just can't convey it properly without the legion of pro-bashers and grammar police who come out of the woodwork. Should a player abuse that privilege, simply remove them from the player pool and the rights that go along with it.

2) Provide instructors their own sub-forums with moderator privileges within the sub-forum. Leave cesspool forums like "THE AIMING FORUM" be, just simply give instructors a private sub-forum from which to moderate their own discussion. That way, the 5 or 6 guys who pollute every single aiming thread can get kicked, allowing the group who want to learn....learn. Let instructors direct people from the aiming forum to his/her own sub-forum for uninterrupted discussion. Allow instructors to direct people from the Ask the Instructor forum to their own sub-forum for uninterrupted discussion.

Facebook does the above in spades. Users follow their content source and adhere to their rules. In exchange, they benefit from the knowledge. AZB can make a few microscopic changes that net huge beneficial results. Some people in this thread will say, "Mehhhhh... there isn't a problem." Some might even try to attack me for even suggesting such a thing. I think if 5 or 6 certain guys were locked out of CTE threads by Stan and unable to interfere with instruction, they'd go BERSERK because they'd be unable to troll and that's their favorite thing.

Can we get the top players to post here and change this brand from "NEVER" to "I LOVE IT THERE?"

Can we create environments in which people can learn without an endless stream of ridicule and debate?

By the way, I'm not saying create a combative-free environment. Forum wars have always driven most of the site traffic. I'm merely saying to create sub-forums that are moderated by content experts and players to create relaxing educational atmospheres free of any emotional combative energy for those who want to learn.

Last edited by SpiderWebComm; 06-10-2019 at 12:41 PM.
  
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06-10-2019, 12:45 PM

No. Not in current structure.

Too many fingers to have it unguided imo.
  
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06-10-2019, 02:11 PM

Is the "posting of content" just going to be a one way sales pitch or request for money to back entering a tournament and then they disappear for 9 months before another post?

Pretending to be a member of the community is Trolling too.
  
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06-10-2019, 03:29 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe_Jaguar View Post
Is the "posting of content" just going to be a one way sales pitch or request for money to back entering a tournament and then they disappear for 9 months before another post?

Pretending to be a member of the community is Trolling too.
Im with you-Hope they never come back. Possibly there is an exception im forgetting but not more than one.
  
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06-10-2019, 03:31 PM

We got two different narratives on AZ.

Narrative A: the instructor is a selfless expert who just wants to spread information
for the betterment of mankind, and obviously the information is correct because the
they play at a high level. Anyone who argues with them is just a sociopathic troll
who delights in shitting on things and tearing them down.
The goal is simply to scare off the pro by making them look foolish.

Narrative B: the instructor is shamelessly self-promoting and trying to sucker people
with obvious gimmicks that contradict common sense and best practice.
They're only looking to sell DVDs and lessons. The people questioning them
are just trying to protect amateurs from buying snake oil and wasting their time
searching for silver bullets instead of learning the textbook, scientifically accurate
stuff that would help them improve.

In between these 2 narratives, is what actually happens.

Some instructors may have misconceptions, but still play at a high level.
Some have good intentions, but teach bad habits.
Some are motivated by self-promotion, but still are good teachers.

Some of the haters and nitpickers are just trolls.
Some of them genuinely want to clear up a confusing topic.
Some trolls might neverthless make a valid point when they criticize some
contradiction or misleading claim.

I think any instructor... actually, and PERSON who puts themselves out there on the internet,
especially on a forum... has to get thick skin and be willing to respond to at least
the valid criticism (they can ignore the trolls).

If they can't do that, then giving them their own forum (with mod powers) probably won't help.
There will always be those pesky questions.

Separate but related issue: AZ can be kind of a shitty atmosphere, regardless of what
you're trying to teach or learn. The moderation is... not ideal.
So some some people won't stay here regardless.
  
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06-10-2019, 03:49 PM

I think itís an unsolvable problem due to the nature of forums in general. I have trouble picturing a professional pool player wanting to spend time as an Internet forum moderator.




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06-10-2019, 03:52 PM

I'd rather have Dr. Dave than all the pros your thinking of put together.
  
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06-11-2019, 03:35 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by DecentShot View Post
I'd rather have Dr. Dave than all the pros your thinking of put together.
Most definitely.


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06-11-2019, 04:45 AM

What a tremendous offer you're making. You're offering pros to come and teach us from the goodness of their hearts, and all we have to do is to not say anything Critical. Will this extend to reviews as well? Will Max Eberle teach us about the Wonders of the flat Earth, and will we have to endure that spectacle in silence? Will you muzzle the scientists on that as well?

Also will these "moderator" priveleges extend to deleting content, banning members? I'm guessing yes? So it will be a little bit like Chinese Google, I'm guessing. You can Google anything you want, as long as it's preapproved. And you can mean anything you want, as long as you don't say it or act in accordance With it.

I think the moderation on this forum has been fairly heavy handed at times. That being said, I think it has been mostly fair. It has been an open forum for ages, yet it not only remains standing but keeps providing content. It's a great accomplishment. What you are suggesting will wipe that entire history off the map, and for what, schmoozing With salesmen? What you are proposing is to make this a marketing platform and not an open forum. What's the matter, Facebook not cutting it for Your guru anymore?
  
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06-11-2019, 04:48 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by MattPoland View Post
I think itís an unsolvable problem due to the nature of forums in general. I have trouble picturing a professional pool player wanting to spend time as an Internet forum moderator.




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Believe me, the People he's thinking of will have NO PROBLEMS with that at all.
  
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06-11-2019, 05:22 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Straightpool_99 View Post
Believe me, the People he's thinking of will have NO PROBLEMS with that at all.

Who is that?


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06-11-2019, 05:36 AM

And the answers so far have given us the reason they left and wont come back. I for one would love to have a pro forum where each pro has the power to delete posts in their forum they deem unacceptable. No skin off my ass. I would love to be able to converse with them on an adult level and ask questions.

Such a pity it will never happen because of the keyboard warriors.


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06-11-2019, 05:37 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by DecentShot View Post
I'd rather have Dr. Dave than all the pros your thinking of put together.
It seems to me in Dr Dave, Randy G, and Scott Lee, we have at least 3 highly qualified instructors who occasionally make the time and effort to chime in here, but they don't reveal too much detail, and they are savvy enough to not get drawn in to dealing with the trolls. Keep in mind they make their living teaching this game, so I see no reason for them to give it away free on here for those that aren't willing to pay for their expert instruction. Let's not get greedy here, but any tidbits we can get from them from time to time when they are willing to share a little of their knowledge is a generous gift.

Last edited by ChrisinNC; 06-11-2019 at 05:40 AM.
  
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06-11-2019, 05:48 AM

Like the “trusted cultivator” tag some experienced and proven members get elsewhere we could have a “trusted: player,cueist,badass,pro,ball smasher, etc,etc,etc..” tag that shows everyone...this fool knows how to play for real. Then you know that whatever they say carries more weight than someone just throwing out words but can’t run a doubleton-deucy with a self aligning cue.

Do I actually think this should happen? I don’t know. I did see a pro player tag though once on some old thread I was looking at. I didn’t recognize the name. If John Morra showed up on here I’d try to chat him up. Same with Corey deuel. My pool man-crushes.
  
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06-11-2019, 06:04 AM

One of the things I love most about pool discussion boards going back to RSB is to hear about and discuss how players from divergent backgrounds find their way.

Players with backgrounds from carpentry, to plumbing, to academia, the military, students, medicine, cops and robbers, and engineers all bring their unique perspective to the discussion and that is great. Because it’s the guys that have done something other than pool their entire lives that I can identify with.

And for me, one of the things I always find most rewarding is when I can describe my own travails and someone will post in return something like: you know, that really resonated with me.

I like having pros around as much as the next guy. But what I have observed over the years is that most often the pro does not know how he does what he does anymore than prodigies or naturals from other sports. And so, you end with guys trying to describe and explain how to play pool and often (usually) those explanation don’t resonate, and/or are based in faulty logic, or can even be proven to be flat out wrong.

In addition, I believe we are not the pros's demographic (unless they're selling something or looking for a backer). Your average pro is not going to be dispensing pearls of wisdom and insight to the great unwashed here. Generally speaking, pros like to talk to other pros and us bangers like to talk to other bangers. Of course there are those here that put pro pool players on a pedestal and think we should grant them superior privileges, cutting them a wide swath while they deign to walk amongst us. I am not one of those guys.

For me I’d rather read what Bob, or Mike, or Dr. Dave, or PJ, or any number of other guys -- who bring a wealth of varied experience, knowledge and intelligent discussion to the table -- rather than hear from a pro who will not tolerate questioning while fans wring their hands on the sidelines wailing, “Oh please don’t harass him -- you’ll drive him away.”

And what is that “harassment?”

Here, it has been polite questioning and the proffering of divergent opinions and scientific explanations. The response has often been bumper sticker logic and fortune cookie insights and to those of you that like that stuff I say: mazel tov.

But many of us like a little more substance than that. So wail away if you must. But please remember: people can and should disagree here -- it’s a discussion forum and as long as it’s polite, all points of view should be welcome. If you just want to chant hosannas there's always FB.

Lou Figueroa

Last edited by lfigueroa; 06-11-2019 at 06:07 AM.
  
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