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Thread: MERB and how we use it

  1. #1

    MERB and how we use it

    Being a silent lurker for a long time, I got to read and appreciate MERB on a regular basis. My first impression was that it was interesting to read with all its reviews and threads about our hobby. Unfortunately everything seems to have degraded in the last few months:

    • There is now a whole bunch of threads about all kinds of unrelated subjects ranging from the Yankees, movies about the death of the president, the war in Lebanon, bicycle victims, Black holes and the life on earth, and many more. It's as if some members are competing for the highest number of posts.
    • There are less and less reviews on MERB, and the few members continuing to post reviews are challenged by white knights wanting to save the world. People like blonds, other like brunettes, some like quick services at $160/hr and others prefer extended dates with HDH ladies with more attributes than just physical ones. Not having the same taste doesn't mean one guy is better than another. Why fight?
    • Speaking of that, many members are so opinionated it's almost as if they wanted to take control of other members' opinions and MERB content in general. Many threads are degenerating in flame wars.
    • MERB is slowly loosing the diversity of opinions it had before. Many less prolific posters are gone (big ones too), and most of the posts are now coming from the same guys.
    • And more


    Any opinion what we could do to make a better use of MERB? Or can we do anything?

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by Black Hole
    [*]Speaking of that, many members are so opinionated it's almost as if they wanted to take control of other members' opinions and MERB content in general. Many threads are degenerating in flame wars.
    ....

    Any opinion what we could do to make a better use of MERB? Or can we do anything?

    Yes, I would invite all you lurkers to start writing how you feel about Merb and to start sharing your reviews. I have never slammed an honest review.

    GG

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by General Gonad
    Yes, I would invite all you lurkers to start writing how you feel about Merb and to start sharing your reviews. I have never slammed an honest review.
    Gonad, I noticed you seem to have many differences with many members, surprised you would reply to this. But thanks for the welcome.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Black Hole
    There is now a whole bunch of threads about all kinds of unrelated subjects ranging from the Yankees, movies about the death of the president, the war in Lebanon, bicycle victims, Black holes and the life on earth, and many more. It's as if some members are competing for the highest number of posts.
    Dude, get a grip. This section of the forum is called "the Lounge" and its raison d'etre is simply to provide a place for members to engage in discussion over a wide range of topics. Have you taken a look at how many replies/views there have been to the Yankees thread in particular? Clearly it is a topic which a great many members of this place are interested in discussing and that alone justifies its presence here. Frankly I am glad that people around here are willing and interested in discussing things other than escorts and sex-- it makes for a much more well rounded community.

    Why fight?
    Because whenever you have a medium where contrary opinions are expressed there are bound to be flaring tempers. That's just human nature. The mods around here seem to be pretty on the ball-- I imagine if there was anyone who was a serious detriment to the vibe of the community they would be pretty quick to deal with him/her.

    Speaking of that, many members are so opinionated it's almost as if they wanted to take control of other members' opinions and MERB content in general.
    If you could find me one discussion forum in the world where people like that didn't exist I would be amazed.

    MERB is slowly loosing the diversity of opinions it had before. Many less prolific posters are gone (big ones too), and most of the posts are now coming from the same guys.
    I can't comment on that as I have only been here a couple months, however in that brief time I found this community to be an invaluable asset to the Montreal trip I took at the end of the summer. Furthermore, given that I have no plans to return at this point there really isn't a reason for me to continue to be here, practically speaking, but nonetheless here I am. Why is that? For what it's worth I have found this place to be a nice little community with a diversity of opinions and plenty of fairly decent people. In other words, I think you're overreacting a tad.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Black Hole
    Gonad, I noticed you seem to have many differences with many members, surprised you would reply to this. But thanks for the welcome.
    I have my difference with certain opinionated members and I will not back down from someone because they are senior members. I earned my credibility one post at a time. Am I a prolific poster? You bet but I am also fair and I will always welcome new blood on the boards. So welcome!

    GG

  6. #6
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    Some ideas...

    Quote Originally Posted by Black Hole
    Any opinion what we could do to make a better use of MERB? Or can we do anything?
    I think BDC and GG responded adequately to most of the points you made, but I appreciate the spirit of your post--that maybe we could suggest some improvements--so I will take this opportunity to offer a few thoughts I've had in the last week or so. Nothing too developed, but who knows, maybe one of the ideas will be useful:

    1) I sometimes find the lounge section chaotic. New but trivial threads clutter up the top, while really useful stuff gets buried. Yes, I know, there is a search function, but just like I don't want to search every time I go looking for my dictionary, I don't think members should have to search for a mainstay thread. Examples of key threads might be: a sexual health and etiquette thread, the current restaurant thread, the current hotel thread, maybe the current book thread, a wine thread and a Montreal "what to do" thread. By keeping these at the top of the lounge thread list or in a separate "Tools" section, we will promote the content (for example, sexual health), put the threads in a prominent place so people who are new to Merb will find them right away.

    2) Recently I had the idea that I should start a thread called "Merbites Digest: Uplifting and Humorous Stories to Brighten Your Day". It would be section where we could tell our funny sex-related stories. Like the night you and your SP spread olive oil over the kitchen floor for a slip-sliding fest, then the maid came in the next day and fell on her ass. Or the time you locked yourself in the hotel hallway butt naked. Maybe we could vote each week or month to decide the best story. I would suggest that commentary on the stories be carried out through PMs, so the thread itself remains a tidy collection of our most interesting adventures. I think such a thread is necessary for two reasons. First, there are brilliant stories scattered throughout the site, but what are the chances they will be found. Second, we all have stories from years past. Maybe some of our members even have stories from Saigon during the war, or even WWII. This thread would be a medium for us to tell our fondest and funniest memories.

    3) Has anybody ever suggested initiating the "Merb Awards", where annually a committee of members would vote on different categories. (Best Budget MP, Best Mid-Range MP, Most Reliable Escort Agency and so on.) Maybe we could even pitch in and buy trophies.

    4) Maybe I lurk around the political threads too much, but I get the impression that members are over-accentuating their differences and that this is creating bad blood. And let's face it, talk is cheap and all our arguing over Hezbollah, capital punishment, abortion accomplishes no more than if we jerked off over a toilet. I wonder if there isn't some way we couldn't actually do something more meaningful that at the same time would promote comradery between us. For example, maybe we could all chip in and sponser some kid in an underdeveloped country. Or maybe we could do something that is of local benefit. I have friends who have been doing relief work in Chiapas, Mexico for the last two years and their emails make clear that there is no shortage of good things a few Merb members could do if they put their heads together.

    These are just a few ideas I've had.
    Last edited by Fat Happy Buddha; 09-04-2006 at 05:02 AM.

  7. #7
    Veteran of Misadventures
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    Hi Black Hole,

    I have been on MERB since it began back in 2003. There have always been flame wars on this Board. In fact flame wars are part of every Internet board. They were common on TBD, Canbest, and they exist on other Boards like TERB and Utopia Guide. However, the Moderators on this Board in my opinion do a very good job controlling flame wars, sometimes issuing warnings when things seem to be getting heated. I think the Moderation on both of the Montreal boards (MERB and M/E/R/C) are superior in this respect to what I have seen elsewhere.

    The reason for flame wars are fairly obvious. It is very easy when hiding behind a computer and communicating with someone you can't see face to face (and in most cases never will), to respond in a vulgar, accusatory or sarcastic and nasty manner. It's the nature of the Internet. It makes heroes out of cowards.

    With regard to reviews, I think review totals are in fact down somewhat, in large part due to White Knight Syndrome. For my part I try not to chime in too much on the reviews of others, because of the YMMV factor. A lot of posters do not seem to understand that their experience with a particular SP is not necessarily going to be shared by everyone else. I think I try to give reviewers more latitude than I did in the past, understanding that their point of view may be different. We all need to do a better job of this with reviews that are clearly legitimate, but don't necessarily reflect our own point of view on the SP in question.

    We definitely need to see more negative reviews, or reviews that have some negative component. I have noticed that there is a tendency to make a review 100% positive or 100% negative, with no middle ground. I don't think I have ever been on a date with any SP that I could honestly say was 100% positive or negative in all respects. I think reviewers possibly could be a little less bashful in sharing negative things about an SP, and doing it in a diplomatic way.

    Just an example of this: I recently wrote a very positive review of Precious of Eleganza. In the course of that review, I mentioned 2 things that could be viewed as negatives: (1) I had to carry the conversation with her (as she was new and somewhat shy); and (2) she could do more with her hair. Now there really wasn't anything wrong with Precious's hair. Her hair looked the same as many other cute Asian girls I have seen. But I really thought that if she did something more with her hair, she could be a total knockout. I see this as being constructive criticism, nothing more or less. And we need to see more of that in reviews.

    By the ways, welcome and thanks for posting this topic, Black Hole.
    Last edited by EagerBeaver; 09-04-2006 at 10:39 AM.

  8. #8
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    I agree with BDC's suggestion to consolidate certain threads. One of the biggest problems is the hotel threads. There are numerous threads on hotels, many having the same topics of discussion. What happens is that a newbie pops into one of these threads, and then asks a question that has already been answered, some times ad nauseum, in another thread.

    For example, the threads that are about Priceline, Hotwire and other online hotel bidding services should be consolidated with the current thread, "Hotel Bidding", under whose umbrella at least 4 or 5 other threads can be fit. I have seen repeated inquiries and discussions about issues that have already been hashed, rehashed, double rehashed and sometimes triple rehashed in other threads on the same exact topic.

    I am also in favor of consolidating review threads on the same SP. We used to have review threads on girls for one agency (there is a very, very long thread on Satin Dreamz, for example). This was cumbersome and led to unwieldy threads that made research difficult. However there should not be more than 1 thread on any one SP.

    I see new threads started on an SP, and invariably the thread starter either doesn't know about the existing thread, or says something like "I wanted to start my own thread." I fail to see any valid, non-selfish reasons for starting a new thread on an SP who has already been reviewed.

    Let me use an example. Eva of Eleganza has many reviews, in multiple threads. She also had reviews under the name of Annabelle, as she started at Eleganza under the name Annabelle, left the agency, then came back as Eva.

    In the Eva review threads, it became apparent to me that many posters were completely ignorant to the existence of the Annabelle reviews. Why were they ignorant? Because after the name change, although there was discussion of the name change, nobody ever went back and linked those threads together.

    Furthermore, there are now multiple Eva threads. I can see that some posters who have posted in one of the Eva threads are not aware of the others. Research is made more difficult by the fact that Eva chose a 3 letter name, Eva. So as a result, all of that other info out there about this lady, most of which is very positive, goes unread and unresearched. Incredibly, someone recently asked me if there was any info about Eva on the Boards! There is a treasure trove of info on this lady, but 80% of it goes unread and unresearched due to Board clutter, laziness, ignorance and organizational confusion.

    Although I think the Mods have generally done a good job here, this is one area that needs improvement. I personally feel as though this type of "Board clutter" inhibits effective research, adds needless threads, and wastes bandwith. There should be a very clear policy articulated as to consolidation of certain threads on certain topics. I am not sure what the policy is, or even if there is one.
    Last edited by EagerBeaver; 09-04-2006 at 12:26 PM.

  9. #9

    Thumbs down 2006 Jerry Lewis Telethon

    Quote Originally Posted by Fat Happy Buddha
    For example, maybe we could all chip in and sponser some kid in an underdeveloped country. Or maybe we could do something that is of local benefit. I have friends who have been doing relief work in Chiapas, Mexico for the last two years and their emails make clear that there is no shortage of good things a few Merb members could do if they put their heads together.
    FHB,

    I like your last idea. By and large, hobbying is a very selfish activity. It might be wise to take the time to think and act for the less fortunate members of our local and global society.

    This is Labor Day weekend, which means another Jerry Lewis telethon for kids with Muscular Dystrophy and people suffering from ALS and other rare neurodegenerative diseases. I invite all of you to take the time to pledge some money. Here are the details and the link to the official website:

    Adults who used to watch as kids now introduce their own children to the 21˝-hour, star-studded variety show that simultaneously entertains, informs and raises funds for the service and research programs of the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

    First broadcast over Labor Day weekend in 1966 by just one TV station in New York City, the unique event starring popular comedian Jerry Lewis quickly caught the public's attention - and raised more than $1 million. Now the show will be broadcast on " 190 MDA Love Network" stations across the country.

    In 1998, the Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon made history as the first telethon seen around the world via Internet simulcast, hosted by RealNetworks on MDA's Web site.

    An "interactive" show long before the computer age popularized the term, the Telethon's drama comes from the ever-increasing fund-raising total posted on the tote board - by hand in 1966, now electronically. Jerry's goal of raising "one dollar more" than the previous year's amount has been more than met almost every year, thanks to the generosity and compassion of the American public. Last year's record total was $54.9 million.

    Link on how you can help:

    http://www.mda.org/help/

    We can all think of thousands of other worthy causes to donate to. I believe that it is a personal choice where you spend your charity money but it is important to think and act for the less fortunate people out there.

    GG
    Last edited by General Gonad; 09-04-2006 at 05:40 PM.

  10. #10

    One explanation on why we have multiple threads on the same lady...

    Quote Originally Posted by EagerBeaver
    Furthermore, there are now multiple Eva threads. I can see that some posters who have posted in one of the Eva threads are not aware of the others. Research is made more difficult by the fact that Eva chose a 3 letter name, Eva. So as a result, all of that other info out there about this lady, most of which is very positive, goes unread and unresearched. Incredibly, someone recently asked me if there was any info about Eva on the Boards! There is a treasure trove of info on this lady, but 80% of it goes unread and unresearched due to Board clutter, laziness, ignorance and organizational confusion.
    EB,

    One explanation on why we have multiple threads on the same lady is what Special K once brought to my attention. If, for example, I write a review on Eva on a thread started by some other memember, then I run the risk of my review being deleted should that particular member delete his inititial review.

    I think that is one reason why mutliple threads exist on various ladies. Some members fear that what they wrote might be lost if the inital review is deleted from the board.

    GG

  11. #11
    The Jerry Lewis Telethon is a great way to contribute to a worthy cause. It's one of the rare cases where the money you contribute actually goes where it's supposed to and where it makes a difference in peoples lives.

  12. #12
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    Consolidation and deletion

    Could it be possible that some threads, like hotels and resto. (to name those) be made permanent...once all threads on the same subject matter are consolidated...so that they could not be deleted save with the permission of a mod.....and even so, after consulting with high rated members such as EB and some others.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by General Gonad
    EB,

    One explanation on why we have multiple threads on the same lady is what Special K once brought to my attention. If, for example, I write a review on Eva on a thread started by some other memember, then I run the risk of my review being deleted should that particular member delete his inititial review.

    I think that is one reason why mutliple threads exist on various ladies. Some members fear that what they wrote might be lost if the inital review is deleted from the board.

    GG
    GG,

    That's true but I don't agree with the deletion policy insofar as it applies to reviews.

    What should happen is if a reviewer chooses to delete his own review that starts a review thread, the other reviews therein should nevertheless be allowed to stand. However, it is extremely rare for a review to be self deleted. So I think the concern is not all that well founded, except in the cases where a poster decides to leave and delete all of his posts.

    I came to change my mind on this policy based on experience, GG. Before you ever came on this Board I had started a Montreal Restaurant Thread - not the new one, but rather an old one.

    Shortly after I started that thread, I deleted about 1,000 or more of my posts on MERB. My true post count on this Board is probably close to 5,000. The reason for this mass deletion was that a Montreal agency owner gave out personal information on me to another hobbyist who knew me by my MERB handle only. That hobbyist then communicated to me the personal information he had been given, by PM. At that point, I felt severely betrayed and was not going to participate on the Boards again. However, the information that was shared was never used, except by PM. This occurred about 2 or 3 years ago. I am not going to discuss it further by PM or otherwise so please don't ask me to.

    After I deleted the old restaurant thread, I received an avalanche of negative PMs complaining that valuable information was lost. I realized that by addressing my own personal concerns, I had inadvertantly deleted a lot of valuable information. As I recall, Special K was one of the strongest complainants. I think I did apologize to MERB at the time of the deletion of that thread. I did try to recreate some of my old restaurant reviews.

    Due to that incident I created the "New Montreal Restaurant Thread." In case anyone is wondering, that is why it is so named.

    Bottom line, this "delete one post, delete them all" policy for threads is not a wise policy IMHO. I think posters should be able to delete their own posts but not the posts of others. In any event it illustrated how imprudent this policy is. The recent sudden departure of Oliver Kloseoff also caused a loss of valuable information for some people. The Mods need to seriously rethink this policy IMHO.
    Last edited by EagerBeaver; 09-04-2006 at 01:45 PM.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by EagerBeaver
    Bottom line, this "delete one post, delete them all" policy for threads is not a wise policy IMHO. I think posters should be able to delete their own posts but not the posts of others. In any event it illustrated how imprudent this policy is. The recent sudden departure of Oliver Kloseoff also caused a loss of valuable information for some people. The Mods need to seriously rethink this policy IMHO.
    I agree that thread starter should not be allowed to delete the whole thread, but should be allowed to delete only their own posts.

    Maybe the Mods (or Fred?) can explain to us the reasons for the current policy and whether it is still a good policy or should be changed?

  15. #15
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    RK,

    I believe the explanation I was given at one time is that if you take away the first post, the rest of the thread becomes disjointed and incomprehensible, especially if posters are quoting the deleted post. While there may be some truth to this, it does not justify the deletion of other posted reviews of the same lady within the thread, which is the info that posters like SK fear would be lost.

    I think there must be a way to retrieve and repost that info (i.e. the other reveiws), and that is what should happen. This might create some work for the Mods, but perhaps they can enact rules or policies that will severely discourage the deletion of reviews so that they don't have to do all this work. Just a thought. For example, require the poster to give a reason for having to delete the review. If it is "I am leaving the Board and want all my posts deleted", I am not sure that is good enough. You can simply have the handle de-activated.

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