There has been an unusual amount of debate — often somewhat acrimonious — on Brighthand lately. Much of this has centered around the Palm Foleo and the Apple iPhone. Debate is generally good, but it can have a dark side, too.
Over the years, Brighthand has frequently seen skirmishes in the long-running Palm OS vs. Pocket PC war. In these, a small group of people will re-hash the same arguments one more time: Palm OS is easier to use/No it’s not, Pocket PC is more powerful/No it’s not.
Going over the same territory for the hundredth time was interesting only to those actually having the argument, and it chased away most other people, especially as the participants gradually lost their tempers and started screaming insults at each other. The moderators would then have to step in, delete the insults, and punish the people who had broken the rules.
All this was a huge waste of time because everyone participating had already made up their minds on the issue, and no one else was reading their comments.
It’s Started Again
This is starting to happen again with both the Apple iPhone and the Palm Foleo. Those who are interested in them have a hard time discussing the specifics because a few people want to endlessly argue over the relative merits of these devices.
I can understand their frustration, because I feel it too. Yet another argument on "The Foleo is over-priced/No it’s not" or "The iPhone is over hyped/No it’s not" is of little or no interest to most people, as these topics have already been discussed into the ground..
People who are interested in the Foleo or the iPhone would like to talk about them, not have the same argument over and over. They want to be able to discuss the features of the iPhone’s Safari web browser, not hear that a Treo can do that, too. Or ask questions about how the Foleo synchronizes with a smartphone without being told that there are laptops available that can do that, too.
Agree to Disagree
There are two options at this point for those who have been participating in these arguments.
In my opinion, the best of these is to move on. Agree to disagree, at least for the time being. In time, the market will decide if you were right or not.
If, on the other hand, you insist on continuing the iPhone or Foleo debate, you can, of course, do that. But you need to find a thread where it’s appropriate. Don’t just stick it in the first thread you come to. You need to realize that just because it’s a discussion on the Foleo doesn’t mean that it’s appropriate for you to chime in to say that you saw an ad for a Windows laptop for less than $500.
I have some suggestions. If you think the Foleo is over-priced compared to low-end laptops, read through the 400+ comments in this thread. If you think you have something original to add to this discussion, then feel free.
Or if you think much of the success of the iPhone is mostly a result of it being over-hyped, then you can share your thoughts in this thread. Don’t keep bringing it up every time someone says anything Apple related.
In general I’m in favor of lively debate, but re-hashing the same points over and over isn’t a debate. It’s an argument, and that’s not something that’s welcome on Brighthand, especially when it’s interfering with genuine discussion.