Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Why Forums can be a VERY Negative Experience (but survivable)

Last night I decided that I would join the forums for a mountain biking website that I am, or maybe was (the jury is still out), a big fan of. I thought it would be a good way to speak to the people that have the same interests I have in regards to the lights that I sell. So on I go, I quickly find a forum that is dedicated to “Lights and Night Riding”, and I proudly ventured to suggest someone take a look at ZigLights.com.

What a mistake that turned out to be. I quickly realized that the forums there were more of a gladiatorial arena, the weapons being words and narrow minded attitudes. The people that replied to my suggestion could not get over the fact that the light head for the ZigLights systems uses parts from a Chinese made light. I explained that I did use those parts, but if they did a little research on the ZigLights website and Facebook page, they would quickly see that my lighting system is far above the Chinese light in quality, reliability, and performance. Alas, my words fell on deaf ears. The replies ridiculed my answer with obvious lack of thought, intelligence, and understanding of what ZigLights was trying to do for the mountain biking community. I continued for about half a day, giving answers that were courteous and informative. Again, every answer I gave, trying with all my might to be professional, was given a rude answer. I realized that my best option was to bow out of the forum, wishing everybody a happy riding experience.

I vow never to return to ANY forum.

The saddest part is, for a time after conversing with the negative forum dwellers, my positivity and hopeful outlook for ZigLights.com was shaken. My hopes that everyone would be enthralled with how much effort and thought I put into my lights dictated how my attitude would react to the negative forum replies. I predetermined my own downfall. Instead of entering the forum with a completely open mindset and being willing to maybe accept that many people have a need to bring others down, I entered it with my head held high and with the thought that everyone would be clapping me on the back for my dedication and hard work. Of course I know that many people will not like my lights. But I suppose I expected to be treated the way I try to treat everyone else, with respect and constructive input.

I’m still a bit down (hence the reason for writing this blog entry…good therapy), but I know that things will feel better with a bit of time. I still think my lights are a great product. I still think that I have priced them very competitively for what the customer will receive. And I still will not return to any forum because I don’t want to deal with the small minds encountered there. I just need to regain that positive feeling and attitude. I know...I’ll feel better if I go for a ride…maybe a nice night ride, using an awesome ZigLights light!!!

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