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doug reeves: unfluencer
Staff member
VAF Forum Posting Rules

The big ones:
  • Just RV.
  • No politics.
  • Don't be a jerk.
  • Don't promote your business unless you are an advertiser.

....below find basically the same, but in more detail....

Just RV discussion here, please.

The online world contains huge pockets of hate. It gets chaotic, with people sniping and screaming at each other nonstop on every hot button topic under the sun. Online civility seems to be more and more rare.

There are roughly 195 countries in the world depending on who you ask - most with internet access. All with governments, politics, aviation associations and politicians trying to get their messages out. Many polarizing. Humanity can be cruel and barbaric. Life isn't fair. There is more than enough sadness, hate and tragedy to go around online and millions of sites exist to report it. We get it (shoved in our faces 24/7).

My business model from the beginning here was/is to create a tiny oasis from all that. Be a sport and let us enjoy this insignificantly small digital spot free from the rest of the flying fecal matter. Give us sixty seconds a day here where we can just see RV news and discussion, without being bombarded with politics and the hatred that consumes many of our online experiences.


If you want to talk politics, or geo-politics, or religion, or wars, or bass fishing or watch repair you'll have to go elsewhere. There are millions of sites for that. Make sure you tell 'um there what monsters we are for wanting to talk only-RV on an RV-only website.

Posts violating the rules (below) get deleted by one of the volunteer moderators. They may or may not contact you - they have lives and you just need to accept that. Pretty much that's it. Don't be a jerk and stick to RVs.

Make an effort to be nicer to each other. Try to make somebody else smile with an uplifting, motivating post having to do with RVs and the wonders of flight that they allow us to experience.

Below is essentially the same, only in a lot more detail.

And have a nice day.



Let's start with the two big rules...

  1. JUST RV.
    I love me some STOLish Piper Cub type planes, but this isn't the place to get help mod'n your J3C-65.
    Posts should not contain a single molecule of anything even remotely resembling politics. Period. Push it and get banned. Forever. If you think I'm kidding, I promise you I am not.
In greater detail......

1. No COMMERCIAL promotion, including URLs in forum signatures, unless you are an advertiser.
It's stealing, and those who steal are without honor. Consider arriving at the restaurant you've sunk your family's life savings into, only to find a guy has parked a food truck in the middle of your parking lot. Yeah, I get it...the economy is tough, but stealing is stealing.

If you are not an advertiser on VAF, DO NOT display your business name, URL, phone number, mechanic credentials, etc. in your signature or posts, or promote your business through the VAF Forums, VAF email or Private Message system.

Stealing is stealing....and you know it is stealing.

2. Threads SPECULATING about the causes of a crash/incident before the Probable Cause document is issued are not allowed here. Offer condolences to the family and friends, of course! Once the governing agency's PROBABLE CAUSE or FINAL REPORT has been listed online, then by all means we can discuss the mechanics and minutia of the accident until we are blue in the fingers, hopefully learning something that will make flying safer for us.

3. No Politics, Government or Aviation Association Talk
Listed as one of the 'big two' above, but needing more detail. Posts that contain the words Liberals, Democrats, Republicans, Bush, Obama, Pelosi, Limbaugh, etc. If your post even remotely smells of politics, it's toast.

Discussion about how EAA or AOPA, or any other aviation organization is run isn't for here.

4.Language and tone
...that would be inappropriate in the polite company of strangers and their young children shouldn't be used.

5. Keep the topic RV-related somehow.
Listed as one of the 'big two' above, but needing more detail. Anything not RV is fair game for deletion.

You have a new baby, you let us know! Fighting a medical condition and need support? Post away. Wanna make fun of my scooter in the 'misc' area....I'll let it slide, Clyde. Put these type posts in the 'Test/Misc' area so they can be auto-deleted after a few weeks (so they don't clog up the archives).

6. Create your post in the appropriate area.
Put classified listings in 'Classifieds', for example.

Put time sensitive posts like 'Local RV builder on the ch 5 news tonight in XXXXXX' in the 'Test/Misc' area, as we can easily delete it later (so it doesn't clutter up the archives).

7. Civility, and not typing whatever comes into your head
This is intentionally vague, and gives the moderators a LOT of discretion. If any one of them is rubbed the wrong way with a post, it's toast. If you can't be civil at all times, don't participate.

RE: Anonymity
A short note on anonymity in online forums, specifically the negative effects. There is a good deal of data that you can find with little effort (search Anonymity and Online Communities). It's worth some of your time. For those here that choose to 'hide under the radar', that's of course perfectly fine, but just know that if there is any gray area when making a call in regards to moderation, if we don't know your name, or you never show your face, blank out your N-number in all photos, etc....don't expect to be given the benefit of the doubt.

While you could be Ethan Hunt, spy extraordinaire in hiding, you could also be some company's disgruntled employee. Just saying...

RE: Social Media Sites
While there is some good social media aspects, there is also some really, really bad. VansAirForce.net is not trying to be social media (and the posting rules here reflect that). Social media brings with it multiple, well documented, significant harms. Social media sites rely on dopomine-driven feedback loops to survive, and that is not what I'm offering here. Pop in, pop out and maybe check back in tomorrow for a minute.

"...something I think we're going to be hearing more about in the near future, is that there is a fundamental mismatch, between the way our brains are wired, and this behavior of exposing yourself to stimuli with intermittent rewards throughout all of your waking hours. It's one thing to spend a couple of hours at the slot machines of Las Vegas, but if you bring a slot machine with you and you pull that handle all day long from when you wake up to when you go to bed, we're not wired for that. It short circuits the brain and we're starting to find that it has actual cognitive consequences. One of them being this sort of pervasive background hum of anxiety. Now the canary in the coal mine for this are students from college campuses. If you talk to mental health experts from college campuses, they'll tell you, that along with the rise of ubiquitous smart phone and social media use among the students, came an explosion of anxiety related disorders."
-- Dr. Cal Newport

RE: "Influencers"
Nothing against them at all. They are entrepreneurs and capitalism is a wonderful thing. I want them to succeed! But, if the primary reason you're wanting to use the VAF Forums is so you can promote your videos and 'cross-pollinate your brand', 'raise engagement' and 'monetize' with every post being a reference to some new and exciting piece that starts with 'Hey Gang!', proceeds next to 'register to win and be sure to Like us!', then 'buy my sponsor's merch!' and winds up with 'follow me on these 30 other social platforms'...please don't bother signing up here. Again, if mostly what you want to do is push your videos, twitter feed and/or instagram account, please don't sign up. There are plenty of platforms out there for that type of thing, and VansAirForce.net is not one of them. I'm positioning this site as the exact opposite of those, as a matter of fact. If your autosignature has seven different social media platform links in it, yes, we're looking in your direction.

And I really do wish these folks well, and have absolutely nothing against them trying to make a living. I just prefer VansAirForce.net not be used as an 'influencer' anything.

Dopomine-driven feedback loops and social media's effect on mental health and cognitive ability is a real thing. It's tearing at the fabric of society, and it's worth some of your time to research. If I come off to you as Don Quixote titling at windmills, then I would venture to guess you haven't given much thought to the link at the beginning of this paragraph.

Thousands and thousands of hours spent staring at your phone are hours that could have been spent building, flying or maintaining your RV (and physically interacting with others doing the same). Cocaine, slot machines and social media sites all tickle the same spot in the brain. But hey it's your brain and you can stop anytime you want, right? <rolls eyes>.

Check in on VansAirForce.net for a minute or two every couple of days, then go enjoy your RV (and your life). Don't check on it 2,600 times a day.

Posts that will be deleted 100% of the time:

  • Lawsuits and/or vendor bashing (advertisers or non-advertisers). Because on the internet, bitter, disgruntled ex-employees can be made to look like 'regular' builders. It's happened. More than once. Take it to yelp or facestalk.
  • eBay, Trade'a'Plane, Barnstormes, etc. links in the classifieds. Posts that say 'go to so and so site and search for XXXX'.
  • Non-RV posts.
  • Bumps
  • Posts complaining about why a post was deleted. This is called 'mod-baiting'.
  • Posts complaining how the site is run. Email to me is the way to do that.
  • Duplicate posts
  • Links to video clips showing illegal and unsafe flying (like buzzing a house or rolls over a congested area).
  • "For Sale: Car, boat, 1965 Cessna C-172....selling to buy RV tail kit." (the one exception: an airpark home or lot)
  • "Funny video clip of guys blowing up anvils." ....although I gotta admit that WAS a pretty funny clip.
  • Posts promoting individual-sponsored group buys.
  • Post that list links to what an average person would consider a competing site.

Bob Collins built an RV-7A and writes for Minnesota Public Radio. He wrote a nice thread here that I'm copying below:

"Poor Doug. I hated to see him lock down a thread that was unbelievably helpful but he clearly had no choice.
You know, I run a blog for a living which involves a lot of writing, but without question most of the energy I spend during the day is on moderating comments.
For some reason, people have an increasingly hard time making a cogent point without resorting to a "shot" or an insult as if that somehow strengthens the merits of the argument.
Look, people who don't even put their real names in their profiles, nobody goes to Oshkosh to get insulted, nobody wants a customer in their store who tells them what jerks they are, nobody wants the old-timers streaming out of the little terminal when they land so they can be told how much their airplane stinks.
What they want is fellowship, friendship, and intellect.
I get it. It's the Internet and people always seem to want to "play to the crowd" on the Internet. But unless you put two feet on the floor when you get out of bed in the morning, stretch your arms above your head and say, "this is the day I'm going to be a jerk to people on VAF," then your strategy is misguided and illogical and illogical actions do not support the points you're trying to make that you think are logical.
This is more than just Doug's virtual living room. VAF is our Oshkosh, our store, our plane, our airport terminals and nobody -- but nobody -- like it when people act like jerks.
So I beg you -- I, a person who's presently sick of America's enchantment with boorishness -- be nice. Practice it. Start here, then take it out into the world with you.
RVs and aviation are an escape from the real world.
We have a stake in high-quality, low noise on VAF; that's what makes it a haven for us. Let's redouble our efforts and insistence to protect it.

Doug Reeves
Site founder/owner/janitor.

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