Post rarely or not at all? - Page 2

Want to talk espresso but not sure which forum? If so, this is the right one.
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#11: Post by RapidCoffee »

another_jim wrote:Dan thought it would be better to open this topic up to all who post only rarely, or not at all. Is there any way the discussions can be improved either in tone or content?
If so, it might be a first! Electronic discussions (especially in blogs and newsgroups) have a tendency to get out of control, for several reasons. There have even been attempts to legislate civility which, as you can imagine, fail miserably.

When typing on a computer, it's easy to forget that there is a thinking, feeling human being on the other side of the conversation. We do a decent job of striking a balance between civility and freedom of speech here on H-B, but obviously we could do better. I've got no magic bullet. Periodic reminders of the site's excellent guidelines for productive discussion might help. One rule that might be worth adding: think twice before hitting the "Submit" button.

I hope we'll hear more from the intended audience (rare posters), not just the well-done variety. :)

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#12: Post by Spironski »

HB wrote:Hmm-m, La Scala Butterfly, Gaggia Factory, Mazzer Major (!), Xpressivo Barista. Your setup is certainly far from "mediocre" in my book.
Pfew! Thanks! :wink: it is just with all those Roburs, GS3's, and Synessos flying around here....
I'm not a fan of the Expert/Intermediate/Beginner approach, though perhaps a general "New to espresso" forum is appropriate? This could give the lurkers, many of which are likely new to the whole world of espresso (previously having no idea that such a world like this even exists) access to answers.
I am no fan of this also. And what is wrong with lurking? It gives people time to read and learn. I learned a whole lot by reading post and all the resourses on HB. I stayed "in the background", not asking questions that were too stupid and annoying. And when the time was ripe ( or is it: when I was ripe?) I joined... That seems okay with me?

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#13: Post by TeMpTiN »

Jason i think your right on.

I agree that the typed word on a screen removes much of the nonverbal cues we have when face to face, also the under use of punctuation, and HTML (bold, underline, etc.) makes sarcasm and inside jokes hard for new comers to grasp. (See wiring diagram to convert US nuclear sub in to worlds largest remote control coffee roaster, or the plot to hyjack a direct tv satellite for the first one in space)

I cant remember having seen any one being overtly rude when pointing an individual to the search button, a how to, or the a list of threads they hand picked on the topic that would be good reads.

Personally I think there are a number of us out there who do not post very often as we just don't have any thing of substance to add. One thing i like about this board is the treads don't trail off in to pages of "great Idea" or "What that guy said" before you get to a response or update that has some meaning.

Edit: while i have been a member of HB for two year i was reading here and over at CG for a bit before that. Both are good resources but i believe that this board is a a bit more focused and because many of the people here are not the type to compromise on quality (testing particulate distribution with a Laser Particle Size Distribution Analyzer) this drives up the costs involved, as well as average age experience of the people who afford to maintain this kind of hobby. To me this helps keep things civil and the high school politics to a minimum. If i had the kind of money i have spent and am looking to spend on coffee equipment in high school or college,............ well some things should just be left to the imagination.
I have 8 methods to make coffee and growing.
LMWDP #176

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#14: Post by fredfal »

I think I'm part of the intended audience of this post. During last year's Holiday Contest, when Dan came up with the new entry criteria for frequent posters, I checked my profile, and sure enough, I posted just about one post per month all year. I do, however, check this forum every single day.

Really, my only reluctance to post is based on my level of expertise. I just don't usually think that my contributions would actually contribute to the discussion (does that make them something that's not a contribution?). I actually like it sometimes when we get "newbie posts" that don't seem like lazy pleas for someone to do their work. At least with these, I can respond with something somewhat helpful.

All forums have their experts and their less-experienced members. They all have people who post all the time and the lurkers. These two factors need to be related for the forum to be useful. Who wants to read a forum full of inexperienced people posting a bunch of made-up stuff? I never see that here (I know, never say never).

I wouldn't change a thing.

Edit: Great. TeMpTiN answered pretty much the same way I did as I was typing. I could have just said "what that guy said".

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#15: Post by HB »

fredfal wrote:I could have just said "what that guy said".
Good one. :lol:

Here's an interesting statistic on infrequent posters: More than 15% of the FAQ-worthy threads were initiated by those with 10 or less posts. Approximately 35% of the FAQ-worthy threads were initiated by members with less than 40 posts.
Dan Kehn

Ken Fox

#16: Post by Ken Fox »

The "heated discussions" occur among people who are forum regulars. By far the most common response I have seen from regulars to "stupid newbie questions" is the no response whatsoever. For a whole lot of reasons the more experienced participants of this board simply don't read (and respond) to questions they deem "uninteresting" or posing the same repetitive questions that one sees again and again on any sort of internet "interest group."

I have seen almost zero in the way of truly knowledgeable people here going to the trouble to insult or demean people who lack the background to pose "interesting" questions. I would not attribute this behavior to civility, but rather to a lack of time to even bother with newbie type threads. In a way this is bad, because I have seen threads here that have been occupied solely by people who seem to lack the experience to give truly meaningful answers. At the same time, in order to interject yourself into such a discussion you might have to point out that respondents #2, 3, and 4 don't know their butts from third base (an "Americanism" meaning they don't know anything) so given that choice, of being confrontative or failing to respond, most will simply avoid such threads.

What, me worry?

Alfred E. Neuman, 1955


#17: Post by oconee »

I'll respond. I think the fundamental question is whether H-B regulars are willing to 'suffer the fools (gladly)'. I consider myself one of the 'fools' (not meant in a disparaging way). I feel that the discussion is generally very positive and certainly I have not ever felt that posters were treated poorly. As fredfal indicates, I don't post often because I really don't have much to add. I started a post regarding the development of lower caffeine coffee and did not participate in the discussion because it soon took a path where geneticists were making expert comments. I read every post, its just that the level of expertise of the posts rose immediately above my limited knowledge of the topic. I think that was probably poor 'netiquette' to not participate but I gained a lot from the discussion. Some perspective may be useful, and I expect (though I don't know) that many lurkers are in my same position. I have a very basic espresso setup and have no experience with different equipment technologies (only lower level single boiler machines). I have only had a serious interest in coffee for about 18 months (since my wife and my trip to Italy). I am technical by nature (engineer) and really enjoy learning about the tools/toys/methods of this hobby (obsession?). This leads me to spend the majority of my time reading what those who have more knowledge than I have to say. I have felt some level of exasperation at times with posters who do not take the time to read the reference material that is available on this and other sites before asking a question. At the same time, I have observed a lot of patience with a poster that has tried to gain some knowledge on their own but still asks a basic question (I am probably one of those). That level of interaction 'feels' appropriate. This is certainly a site that is primarily driven by espresso aficionados with many years of experience with many different types of equipment and different coffees. I (and I again am willing to bet many others) gain a lot of valuable information from these experienced posters because I can learn from them without having to learn everything from scratch myself (kind of like the drawings on cave walls showing how to kill a bison more effectively made things easier for those that followed). So please continue to make those drawings on the cave walls and I will continue to read them. If at some time I gain enough knowledge to actually add to the discussion I will; until then I will be one of the lurkers you are talking about. And I certainly appreciate Dan and the posters time and efforts.


#18: Post by Gus »

For me, the lack posting has little to do with the tone or content of the forums. The tone and content is what brought me here. In my case the low number of posts has more to do with respect to the forum as a group of skilled individuals and as a free resource. It seems disrespectful to ask a common question to a group of technically oriented enthusiasts. This is your club so to speak, and you are nice enough to let anybody hang out. I just started hanging around. I don't want to be the guy that just shows up one day and starts talking as much as, or more, or louder than everyone else. Or worse, doing it without regard to the fact that my question has probably already been asked before and answered many times. Maybe this stems from my other passion, building choppers. In that community, a certain hang around period is advisable before one starts talking with or to an old gray beard, much less shooting their mouth off for fun, friendly or otherwise. I am not impressed by talking the talk as much as I am by performance. Besides most of you guys are jockeying a knowledge base and equipment stable that I can only hope to justify one day through progress in skill and understanding.
I am here to learn how to understand what is happening and how use that knowledge to progress. It is hard for me to come up with questions that have not already been covered extensively. It is also hard for me to believe that with my limited experience and understanding I have much to offer to the current level of most of the discussions. Another thing is I try to be sure to read an entire thread before posting a reply. I often find that if I do think of a question or possible alternative viewpoint, before I get to the end of the thread, someone else has asked what I was thinking. "I agree with Bill or Jack or Steve, or Denis" is for the most part a useless post for someone new to a forum. From a seasoned player it lends credibility to another person's post, from a newbie or new member it just adds to your post record and carries no real weight.
Another thing is that it takes time to apply all of the reading and eventually begin to understand the principles and variables that are at play. I can only practice so much before I am shaking so bad I can't lock and load. For example, it has taken me constant focus on dose, grind, distribution, tamp, evaluation, note taking on results, rereading, and re-searching through several choice threads to start to get a grip on my donut extractions. I have been through 10 lbs of coffee. I am happy to say, with help from the information on this forum, and without making repetitive posts, today I pulled my first shot that looked exactly like it is supposed to. I have been very close for a long time, but had been fighting this slight donut problem. The dwell time was only about 4 seconds and the extraction would always be fairly even, but it would start from the edge and fill quickly to the center, letting a few drops go on the way. I consulted the forum and decided to revisit my dose and distribution. Along the way I also adopted a new understanding and appreciation for tamp as it relates to the thickness or depth of the dispersion block. Not that tamp is as important as the other steps, (tamp twaddle un and due) but a better way for me to get a quality result. Out with the scale and "push to 30lbs", in with slow even pressure to a given depth. Today I pulled a shot that started with 14 grams of coffee, ground and WDT'd for redistribution. No tapping, just leveling. The shot had about a 6 second dwell before coffee oozed slowly from each individual perforation in the PF basket. It filled in evenly and coalesced to the center before even a single drop fell. When the surface density reached a critical level, maybe 3 seconds after the first drops appeared, a single stream filled with stripes and flecks formed and flowed evenly with no significant signs of channeling and no spritzing. The cone grew evenly as well and the flow did not appear to increase as it grew. The shot ran about 27 seconds before the first sign of blonding. I cut it at 29 sec and produced about a 50ml shot. The crema was smooth and an even chestnut color. The aroma was like warm caramel. It contained no hint of bitterness or sourness. The taste was strong and on the acidic side. It was not bitter and did not taste burnt in any way. Behind the acidity I was able to pick out the caramel again. The mouth feel was velvety smooth. I have not figured out the difference between mouth feel and body yet so that remains a mystery still. The shot did not exhibit the chocolate notes that I have experienced with milk, so I will continue to search for that. Was this the best straight shot I have pulled so far? Yes. Is there still room for improvement? Yes. Was the next one as good or better? No. Am I further along now in my understanding? Yes. Have I completely solved all of my issues? No. But today's progress brings me a little bit closer. Will I eventually need to upgrade to the next level in equipment? Hopefully. I am excited about the prospect. Does this post have relevance? Maybe. Do I think I will eventually gain enough understanding of all of this to begin to post more often and with relevance? Maybe. Is this post too long? Probably, and that may be another reason I don't post a lot.

Thank you to everyone who has contributed to the content and discussion here. It has helped me to get to this point. Thanks despite the fact that the next equipment upgrade will likely run the same cost as a donor bike for a chopper project.


Insert catchy phrase of choice here

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#19: Post by AndyS »

RapidCoffee wrote: One rule that might be worth adding: think twice before hitting the "Submit" button
Well, that's simple enough. Just modify the software so that when after a poster hits the Submit button, a window appears saying, "Honestly now, many times have you thought about this post?" Then there could be a series of check boxes from zero to say, twenty. Checking anything greater than one automatically gets the post submitted!

I've thought about this post three times
VST refractometer/filter basket beta tester, no financial interest in the company

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#20: Post by TeMpTiN »

Do they have one those over at

I did not think about this post nearly long enough
I have 8 methods to make coffee and growing.
LMWDP #176