Something’s GOT to change…
Posted February 2, 2010on:
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!