NZ Glen : BodyCombat fanatic

Something’s GOT to change…

Posted on: February 2, 2010

Imagine an organisation literally changing the world for the better. A company improving the lives of millions of people around the globe. A company lead by an army of tens of thousands of motivated, energetic and passionate instructors who are for the most part underpaid, but who do it because they love helping people, love the smiles, love the results their members enjoy, and love being part of something truly special…

Then imagine that same organisation has an official website, with an online community made up of instructors and participants. You would think, quite obviously, that this community would also be a place to come for motivation, education and inspiration, right?

WRONG. Dead wrong… In fact that couldn’t be further from the truth…

For an organisation that strives to change the world, one body at a time the Les Mills online forum is a haven of negativity, personal attacks and down right nastiness. It’s quite simply the exact opposite of everything the Les Mills brand is, and should be. It is literally dominated by a small group of people who post with an absurd frequency, turning almost every thread, no matter how innocent, into a flood of personal attacks and abuse.

And something’s GOT to change… quickly.

Case in point. Here’s a post made by a person completely new to the forums just a few days ago (I’ll edit it for brevity – full post here):

I decided to try a Bodyflow class yesterday… I gave this class my all, and I think I did extremely well. Immediately after class I was so wobby I could barely walk down the gym’s 40 stairs to leave. then last night and especially today I am extremely lame/sore all over. …Wow this must be efffective. Is it normal to be so incredibly sore for a person who is new and not in the best physical shape? Many thanks for your kind reply.

Seems innocent enough right? Someone tries a Les Mills programme for the first time, is terribly sore afterwards (we’ve ALL been there) so goes to the official Les Mills website to get some advice as to whether it is normal, and if it will continue to hurt this much! You’d think she’d receive support, advice, and reassurance yes? No. Here’s the second response she received:

Another fake ident and trumped up post. Where do these come from? I know, do you? What strikes you as odd about this supposedly first post from a supposedly newbie? Then there’s the hopelessly helpful responders. Talk about a need to be needed.

WTF?! The thread then quickly deteriorates into personal attacks and mud slinging, and goes waaay off topic. Posters telling each other to drop dead, name calling; “loser” and “B*!*T*C*H” – I think you get the idea. And I wish, I truly wish this was an isolated case, but it’s not.

It’s gotten so bad that some of the forums most worthwhile members have left. A recent example is given in the post “Whilst no one will bade me a farewell..”

I think I’m over the whole LM threads.
There are so many amazing, intelligent posters, and so many great questions. Yet, those who copy/paste, those who demean instructors,(and participants), *** me to tears..
So, I’m done ( with a sigh of relief from many I imagine)..until the day things change

To be honest I’m in exactly the same boat. I’ve posted twice all year. I used to contribute fairly regularly, but it’s just not worth all the drama. An otherwise valuable thread will very quickly deteriorate.

Seriously, imagine if you were thinking about trying a LM group fitness programme out and went to the forum for advice… what would it tell you about the company… after being abused for posting a serious and legitimate question would you ever go back to the website… would you ever go back to the class?!

The forums need moderation… an active LMI staff member to quickly delete and if necessary ban those that don’t contribute positively. It needs this and it needs it now. For an organisation that strives to motivate, educate and positively change the world, its official site is the exact opposite.

My $0.02. Be interested in your thoughts….

Addition Feb 6 2010: Since the writing of this post LMI have removed the profile one of the worst perpetrators of personal attacks and abuse – so we are making progress. Unfortunately he simply created another profile using a slight change to his blocked user name and began posting again. This profile has also been deleted but in all likelihood he may try again so I urge everyone to ignore his attempts to bait you/us, and immediately report any abuse to LMI. Keep up the great work everyone! 🙂

Addition 15 Feb 2010: Les Mills have deleted all the profiles made by the main offender AND  deleted all the threads linked to in this post (which is a great thing!) They seem to be actively policing the forum and it is a much nicer place to be… GREAT WORK LMI and everyone who contributed to this – we rock!

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114 Responses to "Something’s GOT to change…"

I use to post a little and read the forums often, however over the couple of months I hardly looking at them for some of the reasons you’ve highlighted.

I’ve found the http://www.groupfitness.org/ forums generally a lot friendlier, although pretty quiet so far this year.

unfortunately youll always get those people on the internet who think that just because people wont see their faces, its ok to be a douche.

freeform “anonymous” communities are like that. and its hard to moderate too without having a team of people constantly monitoring the forum.

then youll have all of the people who will start flaming because their posts were deleted “for no reason” and its violating their “freedom of speech”.

its a shame that people like this are driving dedicated positive people like you and others away from the forum.

hopefully the more dedicated positive members of the les mills forum community will step up and stamp these losers out of existance.

This post has been needed to be written for a long time.

The notion that people can name-call and bicker on the OFFICIAL LMI site is a bad look for the company, and defeats the purpose of having them in the first place. The positive instructors and participants who are passionate about the programs and really vested in seeing them grow to new heights are being driven away and their feedback is being lost. BLAH isn’t freeform feedback, so the forums really could be a goldmine of information for LMI, though it’s being neglected and is turning into a cesspool.

The people I have encountered through the blogging community – yours and my blogs – have been amazing, and their feedback on the programs is incredible. We rule our blogs with an iron fist, and let’s face it, we can’t do anything with that feedback because neither of us work for LMI. If LMI did the same thing with their forums, they could be getting all of that amazing feedback for themselves.

While it would be nice to think that the dedicated Les Millsers of the world will ‘stick it out’ in the fora, they shouldn’t have to. That’s exhausting, and those dedicated Les Millsers, quite frankly, deserve much better.

There seems to be one person consistently posting CR*P on the LM forums. Why have their posts not been moderated? I certainly can’t find any (and I mean ANY) good sense from any fricken thing they comment on. UGH…totally over it LOL Maybe moderators should be a consideration….
@pascal, totally agree, you have them everywhere….sheesh though….they’d be off mine in a lickety-split o.O

I couldn’t agree more with everything that has been said above. As someone who has been a victim of the kind of harrassment aforementioned, it has meant that I no longer read the forums for the programs that I love, purely because of the people in there that feel the need to belittle others to feel good about themselves.

I know that LMI want the forums to be a place where people are comfortable about giving more candid feedback, but when you have no one there to act as a checks-and-balances person to make sure everything is alright, it turns to chaos just like it has in recent months.

I do hope that LMI consider some form of moderation in the future. It would certainly help.

Holy bleedin’ batsh*t! I can’t believe that someone new to LM would be given a barrage of negativity like that!!

Imagine what they’d say to me if they saw a pic of me (I’m size 20) after I mentioned I do pump 3 times a week + combat three times a week? They’d call me a fat obese lying biyotch.

What happened to.. ‘Hey glad you could join the LM world of fitness!! Of course you will be sore but the best thing to do is get back into it.. the soreness will die down once you become used to it. Good on you for having a go” response??

So shameful. In fact I just might add my dollar’s worth to that thread. Aren’t we trying to encourage people to come? Get the world fit and off their (_I_)??

I did – I also reported the culprit who seems to do nothing but take enjoyment from causing a furore.

@annie – I’ve used the ‘Report Abuse’ function SO many times, it seems to do nothing!

The first time I used it, a Jam instructor made a crass comment about a good friend of mine ‘appearing from behind Gandalf’s ass’, which is not only disrespectful to my friend, but disrespectful to a program director of LMI. You would think that LMI would be unimpressed with disparaging comments towards program directors, but I don’t think any action was taken, which is very disappointing.

Yeah after I reported it I kinda thought that it would fall on deaf ears.

I can’t get over the contrast eh? You go into a LM class and feel the energy, the positivity and then go to those forums..

*lead balloon*. Very disappointing. Glenn, can you at least mention something to Rach?

Totally agree. There is nothing about those posts that sounds like the Les Mills we all know and love. Who ARE those people?! Wish they would police the boards better and just block the repeat offenders. On the Body Pump boards, there are a few regulars who seem to spend all day on there tearing each other down. No matter what you post, they make it about them. Really sad.

Couldn’t agree with you more Glen. I haven’t checked the message boards in ages because of this issue. A potentially very valuable resource is being ruined by a few negative people.

Kudos to you Glen, a very eloquent post. I have been reading for awhile but have never been so compelled to comment until now.

Thankyou to you, and a number of others (some of whom have already commented) who do make a POSITIVE contribution to the global LMI community. I feel so privileged to be a part of it, especially when I attended filmings, however, there are those few who do tend to spoil it for everyone else.

It doesn’t look good for LMI. Even if those posts ARE planted by LMI, somebody who searches google for something like ‘first bodybalance class’ it’s not the kind of first impression they want potential participants to be getting.

I totally agree with you Glen! I generally only visit the pump threads, and I don’t go very often, but I am usually looking for information shared by other instructors that might give me fresh perspectives on the latest releases, new cues, helpful teaching tips, etc. There are two people on there that seem to have a long standing gripe w/one another. I tend to just ignore their posts or squabbling, but it would be nice if it wasn’t there at all.

I’ve been teaching for 6 yrs and feel confident in my skills, but I never get cocky and I feel like there is always room for improvement….no matter how long you have been doing this. It would be easy to get lazy and just show up and push play………that’s not me. I strive to bring something new to my classes every week, keep it fresh and try to keep motivating and pushing the members and myself to be the best we can be. I think we can learn a lot from our fellow instructors around the globe that will make each and every one of us better, FOR OUR MEMBERS, and that is why I visit those forums. It’s a shame that there are a handful of people who can ruin that for others…….as a member of the LM community, I am embarrassed that this new Flow member received that sort of response. There should definitely be some sort of moderation going on in this community.

I am the moderator for a group of parents whose children have a very rare form of leukemia. We keep this group very private and each member must be approved before they can join into the conversations. We have a set list of rules for those who are in the group. Now while the LMI forums are not quite as serious as a cancer support group, I still feel it would be beneficial to have a list of rules for the members who want to post their comments and opinions. If you break these rules, you are given a warning and then removed if you do not follow……or, a moderator can view your comments before anyone else even sees the bullying/negative remarks, and those comments can be blocked. I imagine it would be quite an undertaking for someone, or many “someones”, but I agree that it makes Les Mills look bad for “allowing” this to happen.

Sorry for rambling so much on this……..I have read your blogs in the past and always look forward to what you have to say. I have wanted to reply many times, but just haven’t taken the opportunity. This time, I had to reply and commend you for stepping up on this issue. I do not see my fellow instructors as some sort of competitors (as some do), but more as an extension of my own family. We all have a goal in mind when we get involved with these programs, and most of us are not in it for ourselves…….we love what we do. We see the benefit in it for ourselves, but we are not satisfied with keeping that joy and passion to ourselves……something this good is meant to be shared with others. We want EVERYONE to see/feel this good and see/feel the benefits of these programs. Nobody should be allowed to make such rude and inconsiderate comments on a forum like that.

It’s not just the Les Mills site – everywhere on the internet is that has an open forum has this problem. It really gets depressing. *sigh*

“Seriously, imagine if you were thinking about trying a LM group fitness programme out and went to the forum for advice…”

YES, YES, YES.

This is my biggest issue with the forums. They’ve become so skewed in negativity that I worry that my participants – or potential participants – will stumble upon them and get this very negatively-tinged view of the Les Mills programs.

A few weeks beofre we released BodyJam 51, a handful of my participants came up to me and said, “We read on the Internet that BodyJam 51 is really terrible. Can we just skip over it and do some older releases instead?” They got this opinion from a thread on the Les Mills forums. A thread devoted to taking a crap all over BodyJam 51. The opinions of a vocal minority – one supremely self-righteous dude in the UK and a few of his minions – very nearly derailed the BodyJam 51 release in Calgary, Canada.

I know the poster you’re referencing. He’s annoying as hell, but I think (I hope!) most people can figure out pretty early on that he’s utterly crazy. I take greater issue with the threads wherein one person decides they don’t like a release/a song/an exercise, and decides to start a thread to proclaim their whiny, self-absorbed opinion of such. Thread titles like “BodyJam has gone downhill,” “BodyPump 70 is the worst release ever,” and “What do you hate most about BodyCombat?” really bother me.

Unfortunately, these people can – and do – veil their crappy attitudes by using the blanket statement, “It’s an online forum; I’m allowed to express my opinion.” Yet all of the opinions shared seem to be negative. It must suck to live in their world…

I always want to shout, “Hey you! If you think these programs suck so badly, WHY DON’T YOU STOP TEACHING/ATTENDING THEM AND LEAVE US ALONE?!”

There are lots of cynical, grouchy people in the world; it’s such a shame that so many of them seem to be Les Mills colleagues of mine.

@Erin, as you would probably recall, I used to post on the Jam forums a lot around the time I had completed my module training. I was that passionate about the program that I relished being able to discuss it with like-minded people.

That all changed, especially when the base/plus split came about in 47. That self-righteous poster you referred to above was so negative about the split that any kind of attempt to have a civil, informed discussion went right out the window. I know it’s an online forum, but I don’t think I had ever been so belittled in my life (and all because I was merely a trainee instructor).

I would hate for any other up-and-coming instructors to visit these threads and gain the impression that all LM instructors are so self-absorbed to that extent. LMI really do need to nip this issue in the bud before it is too late (and I do pray that it isn’t).

Glen I totally agree. I actually have gotten concerned, as said poster seems to be getting more nasty and inappropriate every time he posts. I actually flagged his B*I*T*C*H stuff as abuse. He’s totally out of line and starting to sound scary. The fact that he’s not THAT far from me makes it worrisome, although the idea of taking a drive and seeing what he acts like in a class setting as a participant is an interesting thought. I wonder if he’s as much of a blowhard in person?

I think that LM really needs to step in. He’s become a cancer of epic proportions to the forums, and is probably scaring away a lot of people who really could use a straight answer and encouragement.

Thanks for this post.

well sometimes they see theirselves as the funniest person in the world, I don’t find the funny side… the problem is that everybody can join and say whatever without control…
u’r so right glenn

I just managed to have a read of the thread that was mentioned in Glen’s original post. I shouldn’t be surprised, but I am still shocked to have read through all 8 pages of that thread to see so much vitriol and bickering on the part of the person who replied to the OP. Everytime I see that name now, I just get filled with such dread for what I imagine is about to unfold.

As much as it pains me to say this, LMI really need to pull the finger out from their butt and do *something*. It is like the powers that be have their heads in the sand like a bunch of ostriches, oblivious to what is going on around them. There are two posters on the forums who really need a decent kick up the butt in relation to their behaviour.

This needs to stop, LMI. And the more people who highlight the issues, the better the chance we have to restore some sense of “normality” (for lack of a better word).

@mlynn, I’m gonna do the same. Heck, it might not do anything, but it’s become a matter of principle now.

@Scott – yes I agree groupfitness.org is good, the forums at lesmillstalk are great too, both those forums are moderated quite strictly hence why they are better.

But the thing is newbies will always go to the “official” site first… and therein lies the problem. If (and when) they head there they’re attacked by the very small minority who post there with the greatest frequency; well it’s just not a good look.

The biggest offender has posted there 10 times as often as myself as an example (140 posts vs 1,400) – I’d need at least another 9 of me to drown that one guy out alone… there’s just not enough hours in the day!

I just posted the following via Report Abuse. I hope it gets others to do the same. You know what they say… strength in numbers, and everything else…

“To be confronted with such aggressive behaviour like this from the first reply to the original poster is very concerning. And it is a view that is held not just by me, but by many of the other people who take the time to post on these forums. This kind of behaviour from this particular poster has gone beyond a joke now and is making a laughing stock of the LMI brand. To say the least, I am disappointed with the lack of action to date on the part of LMI to combat this particular issue head-on. In fact, I wonder if this post will even be read in the first place, based on past behaviours.

Do something, anything, but whatever you do, don’t let this go on, because it has become a farce in the true sense of the word.”

Do something, anything, but whatever you do, don’t let this go on, because it has become a farce in the true sense of the word.

Hear hear.

Nice job Patrick… maybe if we all do it something may happen. I know LMI/LMNZ read this blog too so maybe the fact we all feel strongly enough to comment may tell them something.

I know at the end of last year LMI issued some warnings to people, things improved slightly at the start of the year – but now it seems they’re back to being worse than ever!

I was one of those ‘newbies’ and I was extremely disappointed. I have seen both good and bad elsewhere. The best I have found was at http://www.thecathenation.com and the worst at oeplayers.net for taekwondo.

The taekwondo site is exactly like LMI – you go there in hopes of getting good information from those that have been around for awhile. And while there are several very good posters trying their best to educate and welcome they get lost in the political mudslinging that seems to invade every single thread. It amazes me how something like what should you eat before a match turns into this person shouldn’t be allowed to do this or that because of something they did 20 years ago. It is just ridiculous.

However cathe has tremendous moderators and I have NEVER seen a negative mud slinging thread. There are criticisms even of cathe herself and they are addressed. Nobody is perfect and change only happens when someone speaks up. cathe herself pops on from time to time and that is very nice as well.

I think it is a corporate responsibility to make the decision: 1) end the forum once and for all or 2) become an active member at the highest levels and KEEP IT IN LINE. But allowing it to continue in this manner only gives LMI an otherwise fabulous organization a very big black eye.

“I think it is a corporate responsibility to make the decision: 1) end the forum once and for all or 2) become an active member at the highest levels and KEEP IT IN LINE. But allowing it to continue in this manner only gives LMI an otherwise fabulous organization a very big black eye.”

I agree 110%. Whilst it would be a massive shame to have the forums shut down they need to make that decision (I know LM have shut them down once before – then restarted them with link moderation – something spammers have now worked out how to bypass!)

Thanks for your thoughts Rebecca – rest assured you’ll never be attacked here! 🙂

Wow…I had no idea!! I just read a few and am appalled!! It seems some people have no other use for their time. I suggest a good Body Combat class to work out the frustrations!!

I read in almost every post some very negative comments (usually it’s the same posters). I use to get upset by them, but learnt to completely skip over any post by those people. I still want to stick around on the forums to give support/information to the new comers. It would be really bad if the negative people completely owned the forums from everyone leaving. As you said Glen, it’s the first port of call for newbies, and they’re going to need support.

I agree that there needs to be more moderation to help prevent people feeling attacked by others, because that’s far from what Les Mills is about.

Hi Glen,

My real job (as opposed to my hobby teach Pump and Step!) is working at an Email service. We have a forum that’s independent from us which runs discussions about our site:

http://www.emaildiscussions.com/forumdisplay.php?f=27

None of our staff have moderator privileges there – but what the owner of the site has done is:

a) label all of our accounts as “Staff of FastMail.FM” so it’s clear that we have an official capacity

b) select responsible posters who frequent the site and given them moderator privileges – with the obvious caveat that anybody can appeal to the site owner if they’re unhappy with the behaviour of a moderator.

The moderators are very good at enforcing the rules (to the extent of editing out inappropriate comments, advertising and accidentally posted private information) – but even better, they will enter a thread that’s getting off topic or too heated and just ask everyone to calm it down.

They also combine threads where appropriate.

I was impressed when I saw how well built this community was when I started work here 5 years ago (I’m the “new guy” still!) – so I’m sure it’s possible to do.

LMI wouldn’t even need to devote massive resources to it – just pick some posters with a good reputation and give them moderator status and some clear rules about when to step in and how to behave.

I just ignore him from now on….

Glen, over the ~2yrs I’ve been reading you I’ve developed lots of respect and admiration for you. Your great personal and professional motivation as well as your passion and respect for what we do is incredible and contagious. I love what you write and I’m appreciative that you take the time to do it with such level of ethics. Because of your positivism is why I MUCH prefer to read your blog rather than the LMI community space. I agree with you and I wish there was someone monitoring it closely. I am open to hear what people have to say about LM. I understand that not everyone LOVES it, and they don’t have to. However, like you said, it is clearly a group of people who obviously have nothing else to do with their time other than nag about it.

Thank you for bringing valuable positivism and enthusiasm to the community, in your own way.

With any forum it seems to be two choices:

1) worst parts of humanity run rampant without any real moderation; or

2) power-drunk mods censor the life out of it.

Without real structure and a community of people with the SAME goal, it is destined to implode in that way.

Maybe you should take over as admin and run a broom through it. 😉

wow i had no idea this kind of stuff was going on and LM hasn’t deleted it? LM is always so positive maybe they should use some of that money we pay for all our videos and hire someone to keep track of it 😀

@Alex – aww thanks matey you just made my day!!! 🙂

@Viv – hehe – I’d certainly run a broom through it alright! I’m actually an administrator on wikipedia – which means I can not only block individuals on there, but also IP addresses – even entire blocks of IP addresses in case people just restart new accounts using a portable IP address. That is the kind of facility they need on the LMI website… obviously some of the trouble makers would (and have threatened to) simply restart accounts… to be able to block their IP address would be ideal.

@Jessica – you know I wonder why it’s still there too. I know LMI are looking at it literally right now – so maybe it’s in the works (fingers crossed)

Well Glen,

Never has a truer word been spoken..and yes, it was me the posted the “Whilst no one will..” thread.

The reasons for that thread were obvious. Not that I have been too much of a “target” for certain people, but because whether we agree or diagree on topics, there still needs to be a strong element of support for participants and instructors.

The new lows the fora has sunk to (thinking the BB thread in particular), is a disgrace on many levels. And no, contrary to a cretain persons belief, I am not a self appointed “gatekeeper” by any means..just check out post figures and it should be quite clear.

Now I’ve prattled on, let’s hope something official is done to keep the LM name as a supportive team of people wanting to bring as many people into GF as possible.

Hi Guys.
I hear what you’re saying… I gave up on the forums quite a while ago.

You know what, it wouldn’t be that much work for someone you know.
When someone finds their (unhelpful ) posts just don’t show up because they’ve been moderated, they either Tow the line, or go elsewhere!

At the end of the day, after a couple of attemps, because they’re not getting the desired results the individuals no longer cause a stir. Yay \o/ – better community for all!

…And, the moderator still has time to slip down to do fav daily class!!!
(-tounge in cheek, I understand the guys down at LMI and LMNZ are very busy… esp when it’s time for filming / quarterlies).

Now that I come to think of it, has someone brought up the idea with Phil?

Fi/Ray – the horribly sad thing is that this carry on is driving the really positive contributors (like everyone here for example!) away. We could choose to ignore the hundreds and hundreds of negative posts – but why should we have to? At this rate all that will be left is the negativity and then what does that say about the brand?

I can’t compete with someone who posts 10 times as often as I do – I don’t think anyone can.

The forum could actually self moderate “if” the report function worked. As soon as we saw a personal attack we could hit the report function – that member would be warned…. then if it continued blocked.

Unfortunately I’m not sure the ‘report abuse’ function does anything as be the sounds we’ve all tried using it and the posts are still there!

In yuku we can right click on the username and then choose ‘ignore posts from this member’.
It’s bliss!!!

@Annie – OMG now that would be awesome!!

Got this question. If the forums are not moderated as someone mentioned in that thread – then why the HELL do they have a report user function?

Best way to get rid of this troll is by ignoring him. I know it’s hard but it does work – eventually, as long as all those involved get the memo.

Dude’s a lonely old man with nothing better to do than troll – can’t believe he works at a youth outreach centre – imagine that kind of influence.

Good question… why do they have that function?! I’ve not seen it ever do anything…

Well, the thing is you, I, and the other experienced LMers can all happily ignore him (and for the most part we do) it’s more the affect on newbies that worries me. That lady who posted the BB question for example – I can’t imagine what went through her head when she read the barrage of replies… many abusive, and almost all off topic.

He really works at a youth outreach centre? Lord help us all….

Yup…it’s all okay with those of us who “get” the modus operandi of certain posters.
However (there’s that word again), it’s the newbies who get hammered from the get-go..the self same people who should be hearing encouragement, tips on technique,expectations etc.

I suspect the more intelligent posters are happy to be contradicted or disagreed with (as long as anything is backed up with some form of knowledge). The fora isn’t there for us all to be in complete agreeance.

It is there for people to behave like civil adults.

I just think it’s such a pity that the LM brand is allowing itself to be seen in such a poor light as opposed to stepping in and allowing a ositive spin on the product.

And yes Glen, I don’t have the time to post like many do..not that I would/want to anyway…..

I agree the forum has become a disgraceful. I use to post everyday now i post once every while. I am so sick and tired of reading everyones comment abusing each other, it use to be a fun forum to read up on all the Les Mills gossips now it looks like its a mad house.

Where are the moderators??

Things need to change … i would hate for the forum to be closed but if there is no way to control those who make all the trouble i don’t see the point to have it running …

I couldn’t agree more. I’m so glad you wrote this Glen. Hopefully this will trigger a change.

Wow – it’s so great so many of you have spoken out – HOPEFULLY someone from LMI acts on this?? *hint hint*

I’ve had a tonne of feedback on facebook too – some examples:

Peter: Spot on – that is exactly why I stopped looking at and posting on the forums – now I only ever visit the site once in a blue moon.

Jean: OMG!! That’s such a shame!! I wonder why they don’t block people who act so horribly and completely out of line with the LM philosophy…

Elizabeth: When I started Body Combat I was reading the relevant posts etc to do with Body Combat and was COMPALTELY put off….

Dora: I’ve been a les mills instructor for years… love it. I’ve long ago given up on the les mills web site, it’s indulgent and a den for narcistic bores. A complete waste of time!

C’mon LMI… time for a change!

Well to add my 2p ….

Glen, I completely agree that the forums should be moderated. As others have said, they give a pretty appalling image of Les Mills as they are on the official site. Anyone new to the programmes could easily be put off.

However, I do feel some of the comments on here are a little over the top in wanting to take things too far the other way. There is a fine line between moderating and allowing freedom of speech. I fully agree that any personal insults, swear words, aggressive posts etc should be taken down. But Erin above seems to be suggesting that no negative threads should be allowed! Which would be waaaaaaaaay too over the top. As Mmmarshmallow pointed out the forums could be good sources of feedback for the programme directors – positive and negative.

Great post Glen, hope someone sits up and takes notice 🙂

Well I will put my hand up and be honest saying I am a regular poster on all 3 of the above mentioned websites, and while I’ve engaged in some ‘ friendly banter’ with other forum users (both participants & instructors). I don’t think I have been rude / mean to other posters and I’ve certainly not sworn or used other ‘expletives’.

As Glen & others have mentioned there seem to be a small few (probably about 10-15) posters who hijack the forums and rant about anything and and everything and they go on and on and on and on…. about the same old sh!t…

I go to those websites to ask advise on something, see what others are talking about, find out the name of a track if I can’t tell the name by the lyrics / music and find out what others think of the latest release…etc… stuff like that. I will admit to getting ‘caught up’ in someones rant quite a few months ago, but I don’t bother now – I’ve got better things to do with my life!

I do agree that the LMI site needs some sort of moderation.. I belong to another forum (not LM related in any way) and I put a post on there and it was removed because I had the word ‘sex’ somewhere within my post & I was warned and told I had to follow the ‘forum guidelines’ – LMI needs something like that.

some posters from the LMI site just need to be banned… but they would probably just re-register with a new user name

My e-mails get scanned and any ‘junk’ mail goes to my junk folder and I just delete it. I can choose the senders who I don’t want mail from… LMI should adopt a similar policy…

groupfitness.org & lesmillstalk.com are the better sites, but as Scott mentioned they are pretty quiet at the moment….

as you said Glen – I hope the powers that be at LMI are watching this and they take action…

I agree Nick..we’ve all said things on fora that, benefit of hindsight, have a moment of D’Oh!!!

Again, the “other” sites are great. However (that seems to be a favourite expression of mine lately..) as Glen said, people will head straight to the official site when they are newcomers.
Sadly, they are met with derision, and then an ongoing fued..I post as Fitgirl, unashamed of 99% of any replies..I tend to PM people with responses, and, when I do post, I hope it is(generally, aside from a few snipes) with an answer and with a sense of humour.
I just feel the brand is being sorely let down on what should be an informative, fun(it is just GF after all) forum..as previously statd, we don’t ll agree, nor do we have to..we just need to be non confrontational..haha,says she who requested that the poster we’re all talking about took his arguement off the fora and if he wanted to continue it with me, to do it away from the threads.And I wasn’t even arguing..but at least I suggested he took it away from the forums..
That went well.
Moderation is required, if for nothing more than to keep the mud slinging out..
I shall now attempt to shut up on this awesome post…

this is awfull. One of the replies said that he just had a bad date the other night?! So what, that doensn’t give him/her the right to take it out on someone else!

I’m not an instructor om LM, but I enjoy going to the classes. And I enjoy reading your blog too Glen. And I say, you are right. That forum needs a team of moderators.

Remove those people from the forums, as they appearantly cannot contribute to the contents of it.

Ok, first up apologies if I’m one of the posters in the group of 10 or 15 who have hijacked threads in the past – if I have it’s only because I’ve not been able to help responding to a particularly obnoxious post so please feel free to slap me back in to line if necessary.

Next up, I have to admit that this blog is required reading every week and helps keep me sane during the week at a horrible day job (even if it is a bit of a tease / torture hearing about launches / filmings etc).

Now that’s out the way I couldn’t agree more on the timing of the post – I kinda drifted away from the forums for while there as it was getting a bit unpleasant even then however I’m still a bit stunned at how a post from someone brand new to the program has degenerated (let alone having the response implying it was a plant from LMI and then further down to calling people their b*tch). Hell, I can believe in Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny and the tooth fairy but I just can’t believe “For the record, I’ve heard from LMI web staff and program staff both publicly and privately, and all positive.”

I’ve just realised that I’ve been participating in Les Mills classes for about 6 years now (ok, I know there’s people who have been involved for far longer than that – but even going to the gym was a major step for me as I completely and utterly loathed sport as a kid) and instructing for close to two years and hate the thought of one loose cannon (a few other words sprung to mind but I thought I’d keep it clean rather than sinking to their level) tarnishing the various programs and actually driving posters with far more experience and knowledge than they’ll ever have away from the forums.

What was that quote about I may not agree with what you say but I’ll defend your right to say it? In this particular poster’s case I’m willing to make an exception and hope for some moderation.

Glen, thank you. Last year I decided to quit from the LM Forums because some people were too rude and aggresive to me, and I couldn’t understand the reason. They also mocked of me because of my english, that’s strange, because the LM programs are supposed to be practiced all around the world.

Can the forum admin “watch over” these posts? Are the posts not considered over the top enough to weed out? Has no one been banned who constantly causes drama? Many forums do not allow posts that include some of the described actions….

For a company who strive to tightly control their products I’m somewhat surprised by the lax attitude toward the discussion forums. I’d really recommend that LMI employ or assign a current staff member to consistently moderate the forums, and not just for spam. It takes a lot of work to facilitate a successful and cohesive online community!

Wow I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a strong response to a post before… why is it obvious to everyone except the powers that be at LMI that something needs to be done?

One of the major perpetrators of the personal attacks and abuse just claimed he’s never received a single warning from LMI – how can this be true?

Hi. I very rarely go to any of the forums except for BodyVive. It’s what a fourm should be. Supportive, informative, passionate about the program. There have been a few times people have tried to hijack a topic, but mostly we’re ignored. Vive is blasted in the other forum of course because apparently its “beneath” the rest of the programs, whatever. I am the sole viver at my club and without the feedback I get from that forum it would be rough to do my job well. God help the one who tries to turn that place into the devils playground!!!! If you’ve left the forums, come to Vive!!! We’d love to have you!

Here’s an idea for lesmills.com
they should temporarly close down the forums – with a message showing like
“the Les Mills Forums have closed temporarly, as we are upgrading them to an exciting new format”

LMI should make changes, employ the services of a moderator or 2, and when someone goes to start a topic, or reply to a topic a ‘warning’ message should come up first

Forum Guidlines
This forum is for constructive discussions about Les Mills and Les Mills group fitness classes. It is NOT to openly criticise individuals or to talk about non Les Mills related topics
Please keep your posts to 200? words or less
This forum is being moderated and your posts may be edited according to forum guidelines….. something like that anyway

Just my 2c worth!

I didn’t realise as many people thought the same as I did.
I used to persue the forums quite often but have become dismayed recently by the petty bickering that continues to perpetuate.

Some sort of moderation would be good and to be honest easily implemented! I’m not sure what LM thoughts are in that sense.

I also really think some sort of distinction between who is a certified instructor and who is just an enthusiast is extremely important. When punters go for advice and are given feedback by other participants pretending to be experts – the whole site loses cred.

Love to see a new set of forums!

@Rob

I’ve read your posts and am quite impressed BUT——– basically you are playing into the hands of a troll , feeding him unfortunately.

I know it’s hard to do (and I myself have been tempted to give him a verbal flogging) but the best way to handle a troll is to not feed it.

Can you bite yer tongue and simply ignore him from now on? Then mostly, he’ll be ranting to himself .. 🙂

Guys – we have the power to move mountains! Check this out: http://www.lesmills.com/RexFury <– gone!

That is awesome!!!!

Well done Glen!

Good going Glen!

that’s great Glen – but he might just re-register using another user name… lets hope he doesnt!

Would be interesting to know if it was voluntary or not. If not then let’s hope it’s a full IP ban… that’ll stop any registering under a new name…

Word on the street is that it was involuntary, and LMI banned some people (ie. more than one person) from the site. At least it’s a start!

Oh to be a fly on the wall (I know — that’s biyotchy ) but hehehe…

Yeah LMI blocked more than one profile apparently – not sure who else at this stage. Possibly a coincidence with all of our efforts – but most likely not so great work guys! 🙂

Yep, I got the call from someone at LMNZ today who filled me in on the action that LMI had taken – was great to hear it from the horse’s mouth! Great work, guys 😀

power to the people 🙂 Whoohoo!

Good work everyone 🙂 @nzglen do you know if they have assigned someone to moderate cproperly now or if was just a one-off clean-up?

Nice work guys, negative vibes not needed 🙂

@Ali grrr! Maybe he’s learnt his lesson? 1 post and no abuse just yet, at least he can’t claim he’s whiter than white and lmi have never told him off…

I’ll be watching his profile very closely… As we all will no doubt!

BUGGER – just as i suspected… a change in username ever so slightly and he re-registers as if he is brand new to the forums….

Oh best thing we can do is simply avoid him and any others that desire to be ‘noticed’

@Nick… let’s hope that he has indeed learnt his lesson, as Glen said. The last thing we want is for any more furore to erupt. If anything though, it has put *everyone* on notice (including LMI themselves).

Just have to agree… I planned to write some answers in those forums some time ago but after writing my post, I decided not to submit. And my reading time just sinks from visit to visit 😦

Does LM know he’s made a new profile?

he is now Rex_Fury … he as already started posting again *cringe*

Hmm, methinks it’s his version of a “show of strength”..and also “proving” something he has stated previously..how easy it is to just come back and set up again.

It appears he is responding to a whole lot of old threads he commented on..may I suggest he shall continue to bump up the posts so his name is on last reply on every Programme?

As long as he(and everyone else) minds their manners…

Give him a week before he begins to unleash again..”You vigilantes cannot beat me, the all powerful wordsmith”..or words to that effect….

Best thing to do is spread the word – to completely IGNORE him…. to not respond to any of his biyotching. He only does this so people bite. He gets great pleasure from people responding angrily to him.

Dude’s got issues.

Perhaps it’s worth all of our time to go to this page: http://www.lesmills.com/global/en/members/team/community.aspx where they are asking for feedback for designing their new site.
All of the stuff about moderation etc is probably useful information for them.
Go for it!

I did that… where it said ‘any improvements’ I typed ‘moderation of the forums”.

Great idea Ryan – we all need to suggest that!

Okay, I had a look at the site, and for those who don’t know me, I am an utter technobimbo..exercise person,computers mess with my head…however, it appears he is(can?) only respond to old( I mean 2007) threads.
Whether he can contribute to current threads is yet to be seen.I still believe he is doing this as an act of power as we LM people are not capble of shutting him out as he is far superior..and yes, I figure he’s reading this too..Hi Rex!
So, if the posts are being pushed to the top by him..I suspect we all ignore, and answer relevant posts..or current ones perhaps..does anyone(far more tech savvy than me) know if it possible to respond to old threads, not current and a way to block??

He’s playing the game, as suspected he would.

Sad really, as it still makes LMI look bad.

Techno savvies, correct me on my epiphany here yes, yes, I’m not bright after all)..
Methinks new threads would be better to start if he can’t add comment?
I have no idea how this all works..thank God I’m a decent instructor!!

Perhaps time for me to chip in too, mainly since I am one of the guilty parties engaged in the bickering.

Now, many people clearly feel that the arguments are disruptive, unhelpful and generally lower the tone of the LM forum. And they are absolutely right.

My involvement was more about trying to stimulate thought and action. By simply allowing the instigator of the offensive material to go unchecked, it effectively gives him a carte blanche to repeat that behaviour. Net result, one aggressor goes on attacking at will with no recourse. Which then discourages new members from posting for fear of reprisal.

I don’t dispute that a lot of ill feeling was created, and will accept criticism of my behaviour without argument. However, what I will say is that in the end this has resulted in some good. The unpleasant element, if not removed, has at least had his wings clipped and hopefully will think twice before posting such outright hostility again.

It is a great pity that such a shadow was cast over what used to be a friendly, open and happy community. Hopefully we can rediscover the atmosphere of before. Many friends from that forum have posted above, and I extend my thanks to all those who contributed in some way to the resolution.

Hey Rick

Thanks for posting and your honesty.

I’m gonna make a prediction here. The dude in question isn’t the type to have his wings clipped. He still thinks he’s in the right and is only biding his time to start his rubbish again – ie going underneath the radar until he finds the right opportunity.

I hope that there is someone watching. I think he knows that some of the forum members are watching him closely and he doesn’t want to give them an opportunity to complain to the powers that be… but in time, he will try and he will post something inflammatory.

Best thing to do (and the most difficult) is to ignore him and don’t give him any power what so ever 🙂

I’m with you guys – ignore ignore ignore!

I think Rob, Robert, and I have been doing a pretty good job thus far, eh? 🙂

Yes, you have! Let’s continue ignoring him.

I am just p***ing myself right now reading that thread! Frog pose indeed! 😀

Second profile has also been deleted… yay! Keep up the great work everyone… including LMI! 🙂

excellent. I flagged him for abuse earlier today when he was attempting to “moderate” my posts. Sweet.

Well with new releases coming up, LM knows that newbs will ventur into the forums. I think someone there must have noticed all the reports about said culprit and they just had to do something..

I guess it’s like cleaning up the house for new visitors… dont want the newbs to see dog poop on the tiles now do we? hheheh

Well done to LM for that.

Oh forgot to mention; (and just thought of it now)

I think it’s a good idea to not even mention said culprit under any circumstances over there.

He might not have a profile at this point in time, but may be reading those two threads in question. I just posted on them and too am guilty of still talking about him.. this is another way he derives his satisfaction

ie ‘I may be gone but I’m still being talked about’.

Any attention junkie will derive much pleasure from being talked about so… myself included, can we not mention him at all in the LM forums from now on??

Souds like a great idea!

Yes, well…we all knew ego would fight back.

He’ll continue to come back, and I suspect, use Rex so we all “know” that he can come on back whenever he can.

Ah well..fingers crossed he can be banned once and for all as when he blows, the vitriol will damaging to all parties..LMI and public face being the worst hit…enjoy your weekend people!

Argh, and someone’s been replying to him in the Body Vive forum *facepalm* And now he wants to see them ‘up close and personal’ *vomits*

I wouldn’t doubt if he was replying to himself in the BV forum. The rest of us don’t talk like that!!! Especially when a new release is about to be out!!! LMI isn’t going to put up with this forever. They can’t allow one person to take down an international web site!!!

if they had moderators it would be one thing that’d help, but they should also have official and qualified people who can answer questions with authority, so that threads don’t descend into misinformation.

He’s gone again…. Will he be back for round 4?!

absolutely Glen – he will try and beat the system again and again and again….. everytime he gets banned he will come up with a new username and re-register….
what they (LM) need to do is put a stop on e-mail addresses – e.g if he goes to re-register again and uses his e-mail address, a message should pop up saying ‘Sorry, an account has already been created using this e-mail address’…. or something like that…
But then he will probably just register a new e-mail address with hotmail.com or gmail.com and get back into LM that way….

as said before, best thing to do is ignore him…. and I think we are doing a pretty good job at that so far!

geeeeez have they never heard of an IP ban??

@annie – it may be possible that the forum functionality on LM.com does not have the capability for a blanket IP ban. The powers that be may have thought that it was unnecessary at the time.

Having said that though, there are extreme cases where an IP ban is the necessary option, ie. this one.

if they ban an IP address wouldn’t it ban everyone with that same IP (internet provider?) address??
e.g. if Rex is using vodafone as his IP and LM put a ban on his IP, wouldn’t that mean anyone who also use Vodafone as their IP would not be able to go into LM site??

@Nick – well possibly. With IP blocks there’s always almost “collateral damage”.

Here in NZ the majority of ISPs use portable IP addresses – that is when I log in from xtra at home I may be on a completely different IP address to the one I was on yesterday. However, here at work it’s static and if Les Mills blocked me from here then I (and everyone else here) would be blocked.

In the states it’s even worse – AOL for example your IP could change during the session many times – on wikipedia if we have a vandal that’s causing massive damage and that vandal is on AOL we pretty much have to block the entire AOL range – you can imagine the damage that does! Sometimes it’s necessary though (page move vandals are the worst where they set up bots to move massive amounts of page names to “xyz is POOP” or something equally as mature!)

So LM could IP block the user in question if they were on a static IP – it would be really easy. Otherwise – yes – potentially major headaches.

But you gotta do what you gotta do sometimes!

You can ban someone’s IP address which kills them and allows others to use the board.

I know that there are some IP bans which will target a certain range of IPs and this causes collateral damage.

Depends what LM has.

Hi Glen,

Is there any chance LM admin can permanently remove these 3 threads so we don’t have to be reminded of all the negativity and so that no more new comments can be added to them.

2 from General
– RF – Now it’s Bu Bye!; and
– Whilst no one will bade me farewell

and

1 from Balance
– Why am I so incredibly sore?

Yay….LM Admin removed theabove threads 🙂

Yay….LM Admin removed the abovementioned threads 🙂

yay! Anyone would think they’re reading this! 😉

Amen to that~! Thanks Glen!

My own 2 cents: Moderation against personal flames and crazy-rambling is a must, but mods must be wise to differentiate between constructive criticism and madman talk.

For example, regd. Erin’s comment (#15), I personally felt that BJ51 was not up to par and I also put in my own thoughts. So there should still be a place for respectful dissent, not just a rainbow of LM-love 24/7.

For example, regd. Erin’s comment (#15), I personally felt that BJ51 was not up to par and I also put in my own thoughts.

Oh that’s fair enough – though there’s a difference between offering your opinion, and completely slating those who have a different opinion to you… which I feel that certain people did in the BJ51 threads – everytime someone said “I actually like BJ51”, there was a response along the lines of “Well then you’re a boring retard!”, when there could have been healthy debate and discussion instead.

I agree marshmallow. Well said.

Just out of interest – I went into the 3 main group fitness forum sites yesterday, and I have to say that the ‘official’ LM one was the least appealing…..

The text / font is too small and to light in colour (or am I getting to old to read it? LOL) and as we have seen people can get away with saying virtually anything – plus their ‘suggest a song’ link is crap…. There are songs people have suggested for Body Combat, that are already in Body Combat – I e-mailed LM 2-3 months ago about this and nothing has been done

The other 2 sites, while they are not as popular as LM.com – they look more appealing, seem more user friendly, and seem to have some sort of moderation if I am correct?

But I totally 2nd what Marshmallow said – there is a difference between offering your opinion, or rubbising someone else who has a different opinion.

I totally agree. LM is such a great company with such SUPER programs!!!
A dedicated fan & and BJ and BP instructor

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