Your Hobby/Specialist Message Boards - Wars over Gear-Bragging?

In the thread above from the Acoustic Guitar Forum, a guy with a lot of pricey guitars asks if anyone objects to him listing his gear in his sig.

Much frothing ensues - folks saying its bragging, gear heads lamenting the need to apologize for their gear - “isn’t this a Guitar message board?!”, etc.

Does this type of stuff happen on your specialist message boards, even if the monetary stakes aren’t at the same level as guitars? Do folks speak plainly about their gear, do folks get accused of bragging about their gear, etc?

As for me - I am happy to post about my guitars when relevant to the thread, but I no longer list my guitars in my sig - that way I have more influence about how they are included in the conversation…

Update: So, one guy posted listing a few dozen guitars in his sig, as a joke - he doesn’t own them - when that was pointed out, he said he meant no harm. I posted to say “You have to admit you are tweaking the noses of folks who list their guitars, right?”

My post was deleted. Really?!

I think the concept of worrying about gear-bragging is silly at best. But seeing my harmless post get deleted is a different level of frustration - that’s over-modding.

Speaking plainly about your gear is one thing, putting it in your sig attached to every post is another. It’s like you’re saying that it means something about you, which it doesn’t. (if you don’t think it means something about you, why’s it in your sig?)

I belong to a horse message board, and if there’s one thing you can spend insane amounts of money on, its horses and their equipment and doing stuff with them. But its also the case that spending money doesn’t give you skills. Bearing in mind that we have famous trainers and olympians who are members, listing expensive gear in your sig like it means something makes you look bad. No one cares how much money you spent to collect equipment, especially if you know nothing about using it.

OTOH, if you have experiences to share, its no problem. For example, if people are asking opinions on expensive vs. mid-range saddles, and you have an expensive one, your experience is highly relevant and welcomed. No one gets mad ONLY because you mention expensive gear. Its when its not relevant to the discussion, that people find it annoying.

All of that makes sense. Are there threads on the board about listing gear or not, on a regular basis?

Further Update: the mods locked the thread…

On the videographer forum I hang out on, listing your gear in your sig seems to be pretty much expected.

Some of these folks obviously charge a lot more for their work than I do.

AGF is the absolute worst, man. They delete everything in that pathetic daycare of a forum.

Separately, I actually don’t mind when people post their instruments in their sigs; I have one guitar by a really really obscure boutique maker and it’s nice to be able to PM someone to compare notes. Or if someone puts down a Maton EBG808TE I’m definitely contacting that person because I’m GASsing for that one but I’ve never played one before and I’m very particular about neck thickness.

I can’t see objecting to gear lists - it lets you know where the person’s coming from, at least. On the car and motorcycle forums people list current and previous vehicles in their sigs - it helps establish some credibility when they give you advice on repairs, or say “they all do that.” Yeah, in an active thread you’ll see the same info a dozen times, but if that sort of thing bothers you most forum software lets you turn off sigs and/or avatars.

It’s almost needed, since the net is full of people that will give you lengthy/detailed advice about stuff they’ve got no experience with. One guy on one of my motorcycle forums famously derides bikes he’s never even seen, beyond pictures on the net.:rolleyes:

On PC game message boards, i’ll see people posting their computer’s specs in their sig line. I assumed this was for tech support related questions; some games will have different performance issues depending on the computer’s equipment.

I participate on a couple keyboard forums. A lot of people put their gear in their sigs. Sure, it amounts to bragging in some cases, but who the heck cares? I find it helpful at times, when reading replies, to see what that person is using (often in addition to what’s being discussed).

I don’t list my gear. Not sure why.

I never saw any wars break out over it, in any case. Some people are a bit thin-skinned; they should stay off the internet. Listing a bunch of uber-expensive guitars as a joke is funny, unless the intent was mean-spirited. You’d have to know the poster.

I’m a guitarist too, though I don’t haunt any guitar forums.

Motorcycle forum: Everyone lists their current bike/bikes. Except for one well-known collector of bikes, he only lists the top 2 or 3 he rides regularly. It actually helps when people ask technical questions, for advice, or when meet-ups happen

Photography forum: Everyone lists their major gear (camera, lenses, etc), so that others can beter critique photos and offer suggestions, etc

I’ve never seen anyone get upset by equipment in sigs. Listing your gear or bike says nothing about what quality of photo you take, or how well you can ride. It just lists what your tools / toys are, informatively. It’s not seen as bragging at all, by anyone. There are people with brand new expensive bikes that can’t ride their way out of a paper bag, and people with old dungers that can ride rings around everyone else, so there’s nothing to brag about. The ones who perceive it as bragging and get upset about it are the ones with the problem, IMO.

Cycling. Pretty standard. (Mind you, it seems to be important that the name of your gear is European and/or ends in a vowel).

I was going to say it’s not standard in cycling - it’s not done on the mountain biking forums I use. Not to disagree with you, obv there are loads of cycling forums out there.

One reason to not do it is theft, which is obv a big issue with bikes. Given that a ride forum will also have a lot of discussion about where and when you might be riding - adding what bikes you have makes some people a little paranoid over who might be reading the forum [ride-tracking apps like strava give you the option to blank your start / finish point for similar reasons.]

There was a recent ‘show us your workshop’ thread on a bike forum I was reading and a few people posted on how they were reluctant to put pictures up with all their gear on display. A bit paranoid maybe, but if you’ve had a bike stolen (and most riders I know have) then it’s sort of understandable.

I like to go on the Fountain Pen Network. Some people like to post photos of their expensive pens in their sig but I’ve never seen anyone object to it. More often, they post a little hand-written note. I guess that shows skill.

I also go on a board about running. It would be funny if someone posted their shoes in their sig or whatever but I’ve never seen that. People often post their stats (height, weight, race times, etc). That could certainly be seen as bragging but I like to see where everyone is at.

That would be funny, seeing as how into shows runners are. On the forums I lurk on, most people just put what race they’re training for.

It really is a very “gentle” forum ;). It got started as a Taylor forum for folks who primarily play guitar in Worship settings, I think, so it reflects that in its board culture…

It seems to be SOP on the Ukulele Underground forum.

The very idea of using an electronic signature on a fountain pen forum is amusing.

Ah - but how do folks approach discussing their gear? On a guitar forum you will get newbies who come on to say “I only have $300 to spend, not $5,000 for a custom build like some of you guys - and I like my XXX brand just fine. What should I get?” This invariably leads to boasting, bitching and butt-hurt infighting about who can afford what guitars and whether any guitar should be worth more than $XYZ…

Without knowing anything about guitars, I suspect they have a lot in common with road bikes when it comes to discussing them online. Certainly acoustic guitars. Both items appear to be basically done, in terms of humanity’s design and engineering them. They’re not a work in progress, there’s no differences of opinion on how they should work at any fundamental level - they’re both in the trophy cabinet of great stuff mankind has made and invented.

So one might think that this would lead to sterile agreement on how things are. Instead you get the opposite, with us all discussing how many angels fit on the head of a guitar or bike-shaped pin. Enormous arguments on the minutiae of design, or wish fulfillment nonsense like how the 3 grand frame you just bought gives such a compliant ride. It seems like the great refinement that has gone into these items over the years serves to define the terms of debate in a very rigorous way, so that people can easily position and differentiate themselves when talking about such things.

I’m on a different message board where people frequently post news of new stuff acquired. It doesn’t start wars, but it’s interesting to see some members reply with posts that direct back to themselves:

OP: Hey, I just got a new zither! It’s the 2001 Zith-right, and it’s awesome.
Reply: Hey, that’s awesome. I have an original '58 Zith-right [blah, blah, blah - I have vintage.]

And of course, people post their zither lineups in their sigs.

No, this isn’t really about a zither message board, but I’m not bringing minor drama over here from there.