Given the number of posts about the drama and infighting here over the last week, I thought it might help a few people to read a different perspective on how to avoid some of it.
There will always be drama but it can be reduced. I have learned over the years that staying out of some arguments is the best way to deal with them but they don't really need to happen in the first place. I have a few lessons learned that may help some of you, and they may not. It's still only going to cost you a few seconds of your time so it's probably worth a look.
1. Don't take things personally - even if they seem targetted at you. "Poseurs own Yamahas". Well most of the owners of that bike would disagree. Someone making that statement could be joking, or just trying to provoke people or kidding. Arguing the point or entering a rant about Honda owners is just asking for drama. Just take it as a joke if you can, or politely disagree.
2. A rule I now use in traffic is to not judge people by a stupid move. EVERYONE does something dumb or inattentive once in a while. Even those with a lot of experience may not be in the right headspace, may be distracted by their passenger or whatever. It allows me to calm down a lot in traffic despite the absolute bonehead moves you can't help but see on the road. When I make a mistake, I don't want someone thinking that I am stupid, uncaring or unsafe all of the time.
On a forum - we shouldn't judge others by a few posts. It's easy to make the assumptions based on spelling, choice of words and attitude - but you aren't sitting on the other end of the computer with them. You also know that text is much harder to communicate in then face to face modes because we lack all of the social cues. Repeated posts that are inflammatory do tend to highlight the online character of someone and it's easy to assume that in real life they are jerks too - but the 'net offers some protection from others that lets a lot of people shoot their mouths off. Don't rise to it. Staying calm and posting a polite rebuttal shows a lot more character and helps your credibility.
3. It's mostly impossible to argue someone into submission. Given that two people have wildly different points of view - it's unlikely that your logic is going to throw a chokehold on theirs. Make an effort to get your point out to others (not necessarily the opposing person) and then exit the thread with some dignity. "I've said my piece and you're clearly not convinced, but hopefully others can see where I'm coming from. I think that's all I can say on this." -- there's no winning on the Internet.
4. Don't lower yourself to making personal or inflammatory attacks against people. It's ok to do it to your buddies, but doing it to someone you don't know or only engage online is like hitting the "DRAMA PLEASE" button.
5. Avoid language that could be misconstrued or inflammatory. Retarded springs to mind for example.
6. If you're making a joke that could be misconstrued, put a smiley in to ensure it's taken as a joke.
I do on occasion lose it despite my best intentions but find that most people respond better to my posts when I am calm and polite. Everyone needs to go for a ride and chill....damned weather needs to cooperate though.
I get a lot of value from BCSB (chain lube thread is pure gold for example) and would hate to see a lot of the old-timers leave due to the increasing flaming going on here. Thanks!