Vaping communities: all for none and none for all?

Until recently the notion of joining an internet forum seemed an alien concept to me. Why should I need to post messages to a hypothetical board on a server somewhere in the world for others to see? Well, I never really felt the need to until I started vaping a year ago. Since no one I knew personally used electronic cigarettes, I turned to the internet to answer the many inane questions I had about vaping; How do I fill a cartomiser? What is the difference between an eGo and a Riva battery? What the hell is squonking? (I now believe it is squeezing the bottle of juice in a box mod for a bottom fed atomiser btw.)

Consistently I found that answers to the questions I was asking where being returned by a small number of electronic cigarette forums. So I started lurking on the sites, reading answers to the questions I wanted to ask but was to afraid to post. Eventually I plucked up the courage to start posting on some of these sites and quickly found them, on the whole, to be inhabited by friendly, generous and knowledgeable people.

However, more recently I have started to see cracks in the façade. People frequently post about groups within the forum memberships, classified hunters who prey on members by buying collectable gear up cheap and selling it at inflated prices and even derisory posts to one forum about another and its members and vice-versa.

Such a change in attitude in vaping forums concerns me, are we still members of inclusive communities that try to help each other out? Can multiple discussion groups co-exist in cyberspace? I really don’t know… Already vapers have distinguish themselves from the “smelly’ smokers and their use of ‘stinkies’. Just why this needs to be done is beyond me. Do vapers feel that they are the ‘illuminated’ ones and need to be separated off from tobacco users? Is it a knee-jerk reaction to try and prevent any kind of government regulation on e-cigarettes and e-liquid as being tobacco products? Or is it just that some vapers are as bad as the ex-smokers who complain more loudly than anyone else about the horrible smell from the smokers standing outside the pub door?

Now for the first time since posting on e-cigarette forums I had a thread that I created deleted by the moderating team because it linked to a discussion on another forum site. Whilst not particularly upset by that fact, and I understand why they felt the need to do it, it worries me that this must be the new status quo.  Not only are we sub-dividing ourselves from smokers in a bid to be free of any legislation that may impact them, we are now subdividing our own communities into the ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots’, or the ‘carto’ and ‘rebuildable’ users, ‘noobs’ or ‘know-it-alls’ and it would seem potentially forum affiliations.

I personally do not look down on or complain about smokers, nor do I categorise myself as a particular type of vaper. I wouldn’t even say I have a preference for one forum over another. I pride myself on the fact that I try to remain neutral about all of these things. Given the pressure by legislators, pharmaceutical companies and tobacco giants be placed on vaping surely we must be a more united community?  To quote the great man himself:

“When there is no enemy within, the enemies outside cannot hurt you.”
Winston Churchill




3 thoughts on “Vaping communities: all for none and none for all?

  1. Hello,
    Came across your blog researching other stuff but I found your post about the forum insightful and echoing some of my own feelings. I am afraid to post because as a small eCommerce owner I am too afraid of some biased vape snob hammering me or a user who is affiliated with a supplier trying to discredit my hard work. It is scary the level some people will go to be right about something (wether they make it come true with semantics or excessive research) just so they can rub into another users face then claim sorry a few posts later. (technically I always felt if they were sorry they would edit the offending comment, why does it need to be sealed in cyberspace?)

    We will see, maybe its not that bad, some of my experience is based on a tech forum I am a member of. where the main contributors slam on newbies and the moderators let it take place because they provide “useful content” I may take a stab the vaping forum some day but for now I am a lurker still.

    Thanks for sharing.

    • Sorry for taking so long to reply. I somehow missed this comment! All I would suggest is to persevere and find the right forum planet of the vapes is a very friendly bunch. Primarily UK based but there a growing number of members stateside. Ignore the biggest forum (I think you know which one I mean!) that is horrendous!

  2. I’ve participated in forums for years from stuff as diverse as cigars, cars, games, Disney World, and lately, e-cigarettes. To be honest, while the forum in question has done some stuff that’s made me shake my head in recent months, it’s nothing new. Pretty much every forum is like that to one degree or another. There’s always politics, and often times, the spectre of over-moderation raises its ugly head. I still hang out in the e-cigarette forums, though not as much as I used to since my own site tends to keep me busy. In most forums including the e-cigarette one, the sort of ugly politics is still outweighed by the useful information available. What generally happens is that only people who spend a good chunk of time actually see the ugly underside of pretty much any forum on the internet.

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