For quite some time I've been active on various forums that relate to various aspects of the miniature wargaming hobby, and on forums that are generally Fantasy/Sci-Fi oriented, and one thing I noticed is that all these forums tend to attract certain types of people that I will try to classify here.
Type 1: Average Joe
Average Joe comes to the forum, reads quite a lot, posts once in a while, asks a few questions and generally doesn't leave many comments. I have absolutely nothing to rant about when it comes to the Average Joe. The Average Joe's are in most cases 90% of the forum visitors, and they are pretty much nice and well behaved.
Type 2: Grizzled Veteran
Grizzled veterans have been on the forum for a long time, they have over a few thousand posts under their belts, and in most cases they know what they are talking about, their posts are short, well worded, and generally straight to the point. Again, nothing to rant about. You Grizzled Veterans rock!
Type 3: Amazingly Talented Pro
Amazingly Talented Pro's are the reason i visit all these forums and participate in them. These are the guys that did it all, tried it all, and are fountains of knowledge (and I'm not being sarcastic here, seriously). These guys are the best. When they post their work i usually start looking for my jaw around the floor. All I can say is: Keep up the good work, and post more amazing stuff
Type 4: Flashy Pest
Flashy Pests will do anything to be noticed on a forum. They also have a few thousand posts under their belt, but most of their posts are composed of three to four words (sometimes even less) and they generally tend to agree with everyone and say things like: awesome, cool, amazing, good work...
They also tend to have very flashy signatures, interesting slogans, and more or less anything that will get them noticed. All I can say is: Guys, give it a break. Think twice before you post anything, and see if there is any meaning to it. Seriously, give us a break (of course this applies to you Flashy Pest if you are older than 15. I do expect 14 year old kids or younger to act like you do)
Type 5: The Critic
The Critics are an inseparable part of any forum that has to do with crafting. They will comment every posted photo, and they will find something wrong with everything that anybody posts. They will always try to make it sound gentle, yet patronizing.
The only beef I have with The Critics is the volume of their work posted on said forums, which usually amounts to zero. Seriously guys, before you bash everyone's hard work, post your own to be bashed as well.
Type 6: Know-it-all Smartass
Know-it-all Smartass is someone who wants to be taken for a Grizzled Veteran, but they seem to fall just a little short. They will answer everything, comment everything, and they will appear to be venerable fountains of knowledge, and yet from their posts you can feel that their knowledge is off another forum/blog and not experience.
Don't get me wrong here. I have nothing against Know-it-all Smartasses, in fact I think they are needed on every forum. Just a word of warning, doublecheck your sources before you give advice to people, or you might end up giving wrong advice to someone who might find your address and come to break your kneecaps
Type 7: The Innocent Bystander
The Innocent Bystander is the lurker who rarely writes anything, and when it does its usually to get advice. The best part about The Innocent Bystander is that they will ask for advice, and they will get a plethora of good advice, mostly for Grizzled Veterans, and from Know-it-all Smartasses. Their special talent is to take all that advice, shove it under the carpet, and adopt the worst advice possible that Type 8 left in the thread.
My advice to you Innocent Bystanders: When a Grizzled Veteran gives advice, it came from years and years of experience. It will usually be the best advice you can get. Cherish it.
Type 8: Clueless Flamer
This is my favorite type. Clueless Flamers are convinced they are God's gift to the Internet and forums, they did almost everything exactly once, and they are convinced that their words are golden. They will also defend their convictions zealously and they will bash almost everything they don't understand, or disagree with.
Flamers, do us all a favor and get a life. Internet forums don't replace real life. Really. Trust me on this one.
Type 9: Fanboy
Fanboys will stick religiously to a manufacturer/supplier of models/paints/brushes and they will take every possible opportunity to bash everything that he is not a fan of.
All i can say to Fanboys is the same I can say to Flashy Pests: Keep up the good work if you are younger than 15. If you are 15 or older, you should already know that the world is far from being only black and white.
This will sum up my rant for today. If you are reading this and recognize yourself in one of the nine listed types, take it with a grain of salt. I for sure recognized myself in a group or two after re-reading the whole text.