Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Badd Apple Speaks

It has come to Badd Apple's attention that a SMALL group of people are setting themselves up as a paranormal watchdog group. They have a new website, where they have already "rated" several sites. Personally, I have a problem with one thing about this website. I'm not opposed to what they are doing, because anyone has the right to set up a website and to state their preferences and give opinions. I do it all the time! But, what I'm concerned about is that people will think, because of the name they have selected for themselves, that this group is a true watchdog group and it is not. The very nature of a watchdog group is that it is separate from the system that that it is watchdogging over. The definition of a watchdog from www.answers.com

A dog trained to guard people or property.
One who serves as a guardian or protector against waste, loss, or illegal practices.

The people behind this effort are members of forums, have owned forums and websites, so they know their way around the paranormal world of the Internet. This does give them some insight, but it also makes them insiders, not outsiders, and as such do not, in my mind, fit the term watchdog. Some may find me a bit picky and maybe even pig-headed on this topic, but I can be a bit of a stickler about names. I think words matter, even if I don't always get them right the first time!

Anybody can set up a website with any available name.
What's in a name? In this case, the wrong message.

By that, I mean their name seems to say something different from what they are, which is a way to rate websites, as well as other things (movies, books, etc.). I agree with them that the current method for rating websites really doesn't work. The current system consists of sites where owners and members vote for their own sites in a ridiculous daily duel of endurance. The numbers are meaningless. I don't know all the good forums and paranormal websites out there. I certainly don't know enough to rate them. I don't know that this group is more qualified to judge than you or I. What I do believe is that your or my opinion may be different from the ones offered at this or any other watchdog/rating site, so keep that in mind. Don't take any ratings or rankings too much to heart. The other problem I have with this group is that others may feel they need to curry favor with this group in order to get a good rating. I'm not saying this is their intent, but nobody wants their site to get bad publicity.

My advice? If you visit this paranormal watchdog site or any others that might crop up, bear in mind that these people are "insiders" and not true "watchdogs." The only way you can get a truly impartial rating is to visit the sites for yourself. Yeah, I know, that can be time consuming, so you'll be tempted to let them do the work for you. It's your choice. It's one way to go about it.

YOU are the only one who can judge a website or forum discussion site and judge whether it fits your interest or style. This group may provide some useful information, but in the end you're on your own to make the final and most important rating, yours. And that's a good thing, because you are smart, you are worthy, and doggonit, Badd Apple likes you.

Click on the title of this post to visit the watchdogs!

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