A Bit About Metal Detecting Forums

11 Feb

This post is again, mostly directed at new and new-ish metal detectorists.

Chances are that one of the first things you did after you decided Metal Detecting might be the hobby for you, was to hit the Internet. Upon doing so, I am willing to bet you ran across one of the many metal detecting forums out there.

I remember when I ran into my first metal detecting forum. I chanced upon TreasureNet, arguably, the Big Daddy of them all. Man!, to say that I was star struck is an understatement! Some of the things those guys post there are just epic. And the stories! Oh! Some of the stories posted there made me go to bed with visions of untold treasure dancing in my head.

I was so in love with the hobby and with the possibilities, that I entirely missed the warts. I then found several other metal detecting forums where I learned much of what I know today.

Forums are a great way for information to collect and for information to be processed. They have an organic way to correct themselves via peer review. These forums are veritable metal detecting universities. Read them often however, and some things may begin to rub on you. My desire with this post, is that you will learn to take what’s useful from these forums and ignore the rest. There is a risk when reading posts in the forums, that you will throw the proverbial baby out with the proverbial bath water.

For one, ALL the metal detecting forums are misnamed. They all should be named something like “Mostly about metal detecting forum”. Many personal opinions about many non-metal detecting related subjects are posted in these forums. I would be ok with this were not for the mean spirited posts. And I am not talking about flaming wars here, whereas a heated discussion about a particular facet of the hobby takes place. It seems all the forums have rules and regulations about inflammatory or degrading speech but often, posts of this nature are allowed to develop quite nicely before anyone jumps in and stops them.

This is understandable since all forums are ran by volunteers and no one should expect volunteers to stay glued to their computers to correct things. Still, the behavior continues and it is a real possibility that at one point you may get tired of it and stop visiting the forums. This is unfortunate because, the forums are by far the most effective way to disseminate new information about our beloved hobby.

Some forums have a section specifically designed for all non-metal detecting discussions but my experience has been that many people ignore these sections. I think that most people who post hateful attacks (and yes, political affiliation attacks are hateful as are racial attacks and gender based attacks) don’t see their behavior as wrong.

If you are a police officer, a person of color, or if you live an alternative life style, you may be offended or angered by some posts. It seems to me that this happens in bursts, often after a particular person joins a forum and gets to make a lot of noise before leaving. Again, keep in mind that the majority of the people visiting these forums are decent, hard working folk who don’t post about their views because, well, because these are supposed to be forums about metal detecting.

Expect near-religious zeal about metal detecting brands. I actually think this is kind of healthy. Some of us, have tried many brands of detecting equipment but some, find their love and stay with it for the long run. No harm done. Just be respectful when expounding on the virtues of your chosen machine. Go Ace 250!!! (I couldn’t resist)

Most of the forums are heavily conservative. This reflects the demographics of the average metal detectorist. Now please, I am not in any way suggesting this is a bad thing, It is just the way it is.  However, it can come as a shock to a non-conservative when they visit a metal detecting forum, expecting discussions about metal detecting,  to find a number of posts that have nothing to do with metal detecting and the prevailing flavor of the conversations is conservative.

Another thing about metal detecting forums you might as well accept is that they are male dominated and male centered. I’ve seen valiant efforts made by some forum administrators to make their forums more gender neutral or female friendly but they might just as well try to stop the tides of the oceans.

Last, there is a lot of information in the forums of dubious value. I won’t mention specifics because that may fall in the category of opinion. Personally, I try everything. That’s how I know the information was useless. LOL! Or maybe I just didn’t do it right…

All I’ve said so far becomes evident as you continue in this hobby. Although the forums are not perfect they are an invaluable resource that may require a bit of adjusting on your part. It will be worth it.

Thank you for looking!


One Response to “A Bit About Metal Detecting Forums”

  1. LG December 2, 2015 at 12:35 am #

    Very well said! My experiences with forums in general (I’m just 12 hours into being an Ace 250 owner myself, totally new to this hobby) is that they are 99% opinion. If that’s what you seek, they can be priceless. But if it is cold hard facts you are looking for, forums don’t always deliver.

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