Which Straight Dope forums leave you feeling inadequate?

The Cafe Society is mine. 80% of the film, TV, and music references go right over my head, and I don’t have a strong enough opinion about the remaining 20% to really be able to say much. I have my favorite movies and songs and artists, of course, but I compared to other Dopers, my tastes seem so unsophisticated. Often when someone says something sucks, they are referring to something I like. Because I wasn’t an art major in college, I don’t feel intelligent enough to defend anything. I just like what I like.

Second runner up is MPSIMS. The forum is like a clique, full of inside jokes, undecipherable acronyms (I still don’t know what MMP is), and everlasting games with elusive rules. There are posters there you don’t see on any other forum. I’ve been a member of the board for five years, but I still feel like a newbie when I lurk through MPSIMS.

Note, I still visit both CS and MPSIMS, but they aren’t my favorite forums. I tend to go to the Pit first, followed by GD, IMHO, and then GQ. I spend the least time in CS and MPSIMS.

MMP = Monday Morning Post, started by a poster named Rue DeDay. I am not sure of the spelling.

It moves to fast and in too many places for me.

Beginner’s Guide to Glossary of Terms on Straight Dope Message Boards

I like GD, Cafe, the Pit and I check ATMB daily. GQ I read and I try to only respond if I actually know what I am talking about. I note a lot of posters rarely refrain themselves in this regard. :wink:


I tend to stay out of The Pit, GD and Cecil’s and Staff Reports areas. Until recently I felt comfortable offering opinions and hunches in GQ but now unless I know answers I stay out.

I can agree with the sense of being an outsider to many of the topics in CS and the new acronym thing is troubling if I can’t locate it (or something close) inUrban Dictionary or by way of Google or Yahoo! I’m totally lost on most Pop Culture more recent than the 80’s but I can hold my own on older stuff and there are enough other geezers around to satisfy my basic desire to have fun with such things.

I’m most comfortable with MPSIMS and IMHO since the rules are less stringent and less hot blood gets flowing. I’m a sucker for silliness so I tend to gravitate to where that’s an order of the day.

I agree with you completely about MPSIMS. It makes me feel completely outside the Straight Dope loop. I also find that I can’t really muster up enough anger about anything in the BBQ Pit to feel like I really fit in there, either. I’m not a big fan of Great Debates either, though that’s due more to the fact that there are only a limited number of topics and a limited number of positions that can come up in those threads and so the forum is constantly repeating itself. I generally stick to Cafe Society and IMHO.

Sounds exactly like my preferences.

When I go to MPSIMS I feel like an intruder at times. Oh well.

Feelings of inadequacy characterize my general default condition while participating in any forum, but I am especially in awe of the BBQ Pit. The only time in my life that I’ve ever used profanity with that degree of eloquence was the time I got formaldehyde sprayed in my eyes.

I support your choices although I reverse the order to GQ, IMHO, GD, and them the Pit. I post to all forums but Cafe Society was invented much later after I joined and I almost always forget that it is a forum to this day and skip right over it. If I get bored with the rest, I am always thrilled that there is an almost untouched one left to explore.

Still, MPSIMS and Cafe Society have never made me feel inadequate. It is quite to the contrary but that is just my personality. I don’t understand them completely but that is like saying I felt inadequate because of chess club, the Dungeons and Dragons Friday Night Club, the audio-visual club, he photography geeks, or the hopeless men circle-jerk collective. I respect the knowledge that they have that I don’t but I still feel like taking some of them under my arm and giving them head noogies much of the time but that applies to geeks of all stripes everywhere.

I don’t like movies or current pop-culture much so I don’t fit in well with Cafe Society. I also have a very nice life outside of this board. Although I love this board very much which is obvious based on my join date and post count, I have no desire to build anything else around it.

Inadequate? In MPSIMS? Bwah? That collection of fluff and nonsense? Total garp, all of it. (That’s why I basically live there. :smiley: )

None of the forums make me feel “inadequate.” There are some I generally skim (GD) just because I have better things to do than argue with idiots. I do enough of that at my job, and at least there I get paid. The Pit is fun if for no other reason than to see what sets people off, and sometimes I feel like joining in on some Recreational Outrage.

Well, I feel inadequate to even go to GD, because I don’t care to debate religion or politics. I read the Pit, but I hardly ever post there. I’m not angry enough to rant about injustices. I don’t dislike anyone here enough to pit them, and I don’t join in the pitting of others. I guess I don’t suffer from Recreational Outrage.

I do all right in CS in the old music threads, but not the ones about current music, TV or movies. I’m generally in IMHO and MPSIMS, although I’ve never posted in the MMP. It feels a bit like a club that I don’t know enough people to join. I just come here to talk with people about things I know about, and share opinions.

Are you a Doper? Then the MMP is open to you…dive on in. Friendly people and it’s not like the thread is ever even remotely on topic, whatever that topic might be.

When I first joined, I think I spent the first year in the Pit, reading mostly.

Now I’ve branched out into, MPMIMS Cafe Society and Great Debates.

I almost never (I think twice maybe) contribute in Great Debates.

Even when I know something and can contribute, in response to something that makes me want to, my hotheadedness, quick-on-the-trigger posting style and real knowledge without reference to academic journals and scientific studies make me hesitant.

General Questions doesn’t generally draw me in as much. Nor does IMHO. Oops.

monstro, I’ve actually wondered about your absence in Cafe Society and here.

Many of GD threads can use fewer attempts at cites and more thoughtful participation.



I’m around! Most of the threads I’ve started have been in IMHO.

I think most of my posts are in the Pit.

All of them.

A little more seriously, GD is interesting but too heavy and often a thread is pages long before I get to it. I rarely drop by there. GQ sometimes touches on something interesting but I rarely get staisfaction out of a thread there. I just avoid the comment forums completely.

CS, I don’t follow popular culture, so it’s hard for me to participate, except for the odd video game thread. Currently not reading it, though I have in the past. The Pit…some damn interesting threads in there, but I have a hard time working up enouch vitriol to bother with more than reading in there.

IMHO and MPSIMS are pretty friendly, but I’m young, sheltered and probably a bit naive, so I tend not to post much even there. I just don’t have much experience in the world relative to other posters. MPSIMS I mostly visit for entertainment and occasionally to broaden my horizons a bit. IMHO at least I know I can put my two cents worth in and hey, who cares? It’s just a poll.

All in all, I enjoy reading the Dope, I just wish I had something to contribute more often.

Not a one. I can engage in all of them (and have). Depends on the subject, not the forum.

However, I do find two forums to be more to my liking than the others (Cafe and BBQ Pit)

GQ makes me feel so inadequate I never go there. I perceive it to be where the smartest, most hardcore Dopers are.

GD also makes me feel inadequate, but I go there to soak up the deep thoughts, the passionate defense of those thoughts, and the sharp debating style of many accomplished Dopers. Maybe someday I’ll dip a posting toe into those waters.

ATMB gets an occasional browse; I might post if I had something pertinent to add.

CS, and IMHO are easy peasy for me. It’s hard for me to articulate why I hate this Republican administration so much, but it’s easy to chime in on why Lakisha was voted off Idol or why brussels sprouts suck. Okay, so I’m shallow. Sue me.

The Pit is, by far, my favorite place to browse, if not post. I think it’s the swearing, but it might be where I mentally vent by proxy.

Which brings us to MPSIMS. As others have said, it feels pretty closed and cliquish to me. As a rule, I am much more of a lurker than a poster to the SD in general; my posts usually go pretty much unnoticed and that’s okay by me–I’m a bit of a clam. But to jump into the party that is Mundane and Pointless? No. I’ll read it on occasion, but almost always feel that it is a party to which I have not been invited. And I’m much too introverted to crash it.

I don’t know about inadequate but I rarely post in GD because I think the forum really demands well thought out and researched posts, and I rarely have the time to give it the attention it deserves. I have a lot of respect for it as a forum, though, and for most of the people who post there regularly.

I feel quite comfortable in GQ as long as it is a topic I know something about.

I have posted in the Comments forums occasionally, not intimidating.

CS, again, if it is something I feel I know a lot about. Popular movies since 1977 or so, rock music from the British Invasion until about 1995 but with an emphasis on 1980s punk/New Wave. Some popular TV shows from the late 60s to 2000 or so. Homebrewing, some cooking, NFL and MLB.

IMHO is probably the least intimdating of all the fora. I mean, its your opinion, so by definition it can’t be wrong.

Some threads in MPSIMS might seem cliquish but I honestly have never felt a cliquish vibe. Really, anyone who plays by the rules should feel free to jump into any thread.

I rarely read or post to the Pit, unless something really strikes me as needing a response. Not a matter of being intimidated though, again just not having the time to spend there.

I am shocked – shocked! – to learn that people find MPSIMS cliquey or intimidating. The MMP feels a little cliquey to me, which is why I don’t participate in it – but the rest of it is just harmless BS. It’s where my bookmark takes me, and where I post the most often (well, there and Cafe Society). I read GQ regularly but only post there sporadically – read the Pit sporadically and post there infrequently (I lack the bile to be a good pitizen) – and don’t even read GD because arguing isn’t my idea of a good time.

GD scares me. I read it sometimes but I almost never post in it.