Originally Posted By: Mike O’Handley
This post was automatically imported from our archived forum.
Hello to All,
I received a private e-mail from someone about an hour ago, informing me about this particular thread. I suppose I would never have known about it, except that today I have been sort of actively embroiled in a debate with Mr. Burkeson on another board.
First, for those of you who don't know about The Inspector's Journal, it is a free webzine for and about those in the home inspection business. It is similar in some respects to the other public inspector's forum hosted by my friend, Brian Hannigan at Inspection News (http://www.inspectionnews.com).
Second, as much as I appreciate his placing a link to TIJ on this board, I wouldn't characterize TIJ as "an old inspection forum for the recently set free." TIJ was only started last year and was placed in stasis soon after. Also, Mr. Burkeson is incorrect, revival of The Inspector's Journal was not due to "Rank and file defection of ASHI," nor was internal ASHI politics more than a very small part of the reason why TIJ was taken out of stasis.
There has been no significant rank and file defection over there and I seriously doubt there will be - no matter what comes of ASHI branding. Home Inspectors are a stodgy lot, generally unwilling to change their habits easily. Sure, some may leave because of the branding thing, but the number that continue to join ASHI will probably easily outstrip those who leave. Yes, NACHI will garner some of those who leave - as well as some who join ASHI and choose to hold joint membership - but rank and file defections are not now taking place in large numbers. That is my belief, and I think membership numbers next year will prove it out after the branding dust settles.
Now, to The Inspector's Journal
I launched TIJ in March of 1992. TIJ was begun as a completely private effort of mine with the backing of only one sponsor, who'd agreed to barter my work on their software in exchange for hosting, programming and maintaining TIJ's site. Unfortunately, putting together a webzine every month, while still running a fulltime home inspection business and helping someone completely overhaul a software program, takes a prodigious amount of effort and I burned myself out after two installments. Myself and my sponsors then made a conscious decision to place TIJ into unannounced stasis, until I could complete the majority of work on their program and was able to devote more time to the webzine. So, we stopped pushing it to search engines and let it quietly fade into the background while we took care of business.
I won't deny that some of what is happening within ASHI helped to prompt me to pull the sheets off the furniture at TIJ about 3 to 4 months earlier than we'd planned, but what is happening within ASHI was only a small part of the reason. TIJ's sole focus is, and will always be, to be a place where inspectors can learn from each others' successes and mistakes - much like you do here - unencumbered by feelings of loyalty toward any particular HI organization or overbearing postings of a political nature.
Now, that said, I have to take issue with the rest of Mr. Burkeson's remarks. To wit:
"But be warned, heavy handed censorship will be employed if necessary, "
followed by a quote of mine. Let me explain my statement so there can be no doubt as to my intent over at TIJ.
I said, "Anyone that comes here and wants to help others, share their experience and just jaw with other pros is very welcome. We're just a bunch of guys kickin' back talking and we like each others' company."
That is exactly how I want anyone coming to TIJ to feel. TIJ isn't a place where one has to worry about toeing a party line. It doesn't matter to me whether visitors to TIJ belong to professional organizations. If they do, I don't care which one. It doesn't matter to me how much experience one inspector has over another, all are welcome at TIJ and all are welcome to post questions, no matter how trivial. All are encouraged to provide help or information of value to other home inspectors, no matter what their background is, and everyone is entitled to respect. Isn't that what is expected here?
I also said:
"Those who arrive here with a chip on their shoulder, a political agenda, a confrontational, know-it-all or pedantic attitude can pack their bags and leave 'cuz we don't want 'em here."
All true. TIJ is about helping other inspectors to become more technically and professionally proficient. It isn't about egos or who's been in the business longer. It isn't about whether one organization is better than another. It isn't about providing a place where a single HI can consistently and continually dominate every thread unchecked with pedantic minutia, in order to show how much he or she knows. It isn't a recruiting venue for HI organizations.
I won't let TIJ be a place where one can expect to come, flame an organization or person and expect support, because that isn't what we at TIJ are about. Someone wants to vent? That's fine, just don't expect to be allowed to beat the object of your flame to death, because it won't be allowed. Get your frustration out, then move on. The rest of us might feel sympathy toward your plight, but we all have our own troubles and don't want to hear incessant whining. We go there because it is a place to kick back and relax. We don't need to have our tranquility screwed up because one or two people had a bad day.
I like to think of these forums as sort of like a local pub where regulars meet every evening and just kick back and jaw about....whatever. In this case, home inspections. Sure, like any room full of people talking at once, there'll be occasional disagreements, even rudeness toward one another. But, overall the group knows that they are expected to be polite to one another and that there are expected rules of decorum. Violate them, and the bartender might issue a rebuke. Continue to do so, and he might come over the bar, grab you by the scruff of your shirt and toss you out.
I think that if you follow the link to the thread Mr. Burkeson posted above, you'll find the rest of that thread is anything but timid or reserved. The group at TIJ just chooses to get is said and moves on. No expectation of acquiescence to a set philosophy, no expectation that those reading what is posted must agree, no overbearing, pedantic crap to clog things up.
Do I, will I, draw the line? You bet. I won't allow discussion of politics or religion to clog up things at TIJ. Guess that's a carryover from my military days, but it always assured a smooth-running platoon. In fact, the only two times that I ever had any of my troops get in a fight, involved violations of those rules. There's plenty of other forums where folks can talk about that stuff, so I prefer to keep it out. My forum - my choice - my right.
If that sounds like heavy handed censorship - so be it. Nonetheless, you're all invited, even Mr. Burkeson. Just dust the chips off your shoulders, leave your politics and religion with the hat-check girl at the door, remember that we like friendliness - not crabbiness - and come on in.
ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!
Kenmore by the Lake, WA
Editor, The Inspectors Journal (http://www.inspectorsjournal.com)