The Types you find in a Survival Forum or email list...
This is by far the largest group of survivalist on the Internet. They basically never considered themselves a survivalist until they read the Internet. They tend to see self-preparation as simply logical. Their tendency is to very much prepare for the most likely and mundane before preparing for EOTWAWKI. They'll have fire alarms, CO detectors, a fire plan, a communication plan, some food and water preps, home defense plan for common crimes, and decent to fair short term power outage plan. Average Joe usually has excellent information and gets the most from his internet experience, however he isn't one of the more entertaining personalities on the internet.
Jeremiah is one of the oldest posting survivalist types and is typically found on the sites in existence before this one. He sees survival through the rose colored glasses of 1840 and the classic mountain man. His solution to most things leans towards minimal technology and nature. Jeremiah tends to shun technology and high tech gear. The fact the average mountain man was lucky to live beyond age 35 is totally lost on him. All he needs to survive is a good knife. This is a loner type or in very small numbers. Though Jeremiah believes in guns as a defensive weapon by far his tactic preference is guerilla in nature or avoiding confrontation. Long-term food production, farming/husbandry, isn't on his list of priorities for nature will supply his needs.
The Hermit too is one of the older Internet survival types. This is the classic loner approach to survivalist. His approach to everything is I'm on my own and will live in a cave, compound, or bomb shelter while the world goes to hell around me. He totally ignores that no man is island. His approach to society is to withdraw from it completely. Unlike Jeremiah, the Hermit usually depends on long-term food production in his planning but not bartering. This type also favors the gun however usually defensive only with a stratagem of shoot them first and let God sort them out. The Hermit usually gets along pretty well with the Jeremiah on the Internet and is often found on the same sites. The Hermit and Jeremiah are probably the first to condemn others on the Internet. They're there primarily for others to praise their knowledge but not really teach others for others don't fit in their personal plans.
Another of the older types, Mr. Conspiracy has some secret knowledge only known to him about this master plan to enslave human beings in one way or another. He often uses the words "They" and "Them" to describe the unknown masterminds of this dastardly plan. He has a real problem with authority and almost incapable of teamwork. Mr. Conspiracy is the first to throw up the flag of revolution but probably the last to ever partake. His take on survival is based on paranoia and fear. Nuclear winter, a massive asteroid strike, civil war, government oppression, and EOTWAWKI in general are typically favorite topics. Given enough data this guy would believe we didn't land the moon. Paranoia is his life and his tool. He's a very entertaining read on the Internet but really offers little actual preparation information.
The Gear Whore
This guy totally sees the answer to all survival issues as equipment or gear. He usually has the best of the best brand name based on what someone told him on the net was the best or the coolest image. Having and collecting the gear is often more important than using it and typically he's long on advice and short on practical experience. His BOB is typically at superhuman strength weight load. Although you can typically count the times he's used his gear on one hand, he's quick to be the expert for after all he has the gear. Although he can quote specification after specification on gear, he tends to fall short on the mundane such as cooking or even making a fire for there is little gear involved. The Internet feeds the Gear Whore's ego and he seeks attention and approval of his approach.
Rambo sees survival as the gun. He typically has the state of the art tactical hardware including weapon systems and vests but wouldn't last a week should Walmart close its doors. He lives for the invasion and ultimate warfare. He looks towards this ultimate warfare as almost romantics dream that he desires above all else. Oddly he is hardly ever a veteran. Rambo tends to lean towards weapons training almost to exclusion of all other preparations. Although this site has had its share, the majorities of Rambos is typically on the newer gun sites and often don't post in the Survival sections due to the mundane topic matter. Rambo's favorite color is camo. Rambo's solution to survival is the gun and he doesn't even realize that if he implemented his plan the odds would be very high that he'd be shot on sight or hung from a tree.
This is the most dangerous type on the net. The Poser is totally convinced he knows the secret to survival and is the expert based primarily on what he has read and not what he has lived. He is the ultimate pretender for he believes it. They are the hardest to find out unless you meet them. He won't be comfortable outdoors or using his gear. He typically will have too much gear and once again the top of the top in tactical hardware. If this guy went hunting one day, he's the expert. If he goes camping, he's the expert. The Poser and expert go hand and hand. It's your first indicator. Since his experience is primarily on the Internet, he's one of the first to start his own site or take a dominant role in a new site on the web. They tend to be long on advice but seldom if ever actually go out of their way to meet people. Usually a couple times they will since they believe their expertise is real. After that they decline due to the negative responses afterwards. Anonymity is his ally and as he realizes the extent of this anonymity, his experience at least on the Internet becomes more extensive. He seeks attention and admiration above all else even at the sake of reality. The Poser is often caught up in his lies and exposed by others. I've met some real winners in this category from fake military to fake LEO.
Way too few of this sort on the web. This is the guy who has dirt under his fingernails. He isn't planning for survival but living it on the farm. He visits the Internet for tidbits of information but really doesn't have time to spend a lot of time on the web. He's a fountain of information. If he's on the web, he tends to be all over it but seldom a notable web personality.
The Ships Captain
This is Mr. Bugin is my only plan. Totally dedicated to "The Titanic Syndrome" (my plan is invincible), he'll have unbelievable amounts of supplies but about all his planning is lost with the striking of a match. He's determined like the captains of a ship of yore to die with his gear if the need calls for it. The Ships Captain approaches almost every topic except the destruction of his home or the eventuality of leaving it.
This guy sees finical security as the secret to survival. Historically he has a good basis for his opinion. He's usually a good source of information on finical planning but a tad short on anything outside the home such as wilderness skills or bugging out. He tends to be more practical in his planning with it based on the most likely economic scenarios. Typically this type has something to worry about in this regard and why he's such a good source of information. You see the really rich don't worry about such things.
BOBby is very prevalent on the web. He sees his backpack as the ultimate survival tool and only tool anyone will ever need. He realizes the need for a prepared lifestyle but lacks the dedication to go beyond a backpack. BOBby is usually new to the survival scene and not bad guy, just inexperienced.
The Wannabe could probably be called "The Wish I Had" just as easily. He's the guy who understands the need for preparation but uses the movement to live that aspect of his life he wished he had such as military, LEO, outdoorsman, or doctor. He usually gets along quite well with Rambo or say Jeremiah Johnson but typically not both. In this regard is bias is a tad hypocritical. They are usually quite entertaining Internet personalities and often have lot's of good information. The difference between the Poser and the Wannabe is the Wannabe knows he isn't and just wants to learn or experience what he missed. The Poser is convinced he is what he dreams of. Though typically an amusing Internet character, the Wannabe really rubs the real things the wrong way.
Most posters become jaded with time and then many get over it but some never do. They have learned to ignore the entertainment value of survival forums and feel the information repetitive. Simply put, they are bored. They tend to progress from high entertainment forums to more technical forums until they realize they are even more boring. Its then they either drop off the web or slowly go back to the high entertainment forum. The Jaded will often call for large volumes of technical information not even realizing that should a forum be nothing but lists of information, they'd read it once and never read it again.
The Newbie has just come to realize being prepared is a wise thing to do. He simply doesn't know where to start. Like a bull in China shop, he wades right in. He's a delicate poster still influenced by non-preparation types that early acceptance or denial heavily influence his decision to continue posting or not. He tends to approach topics seen a million times before. The Jaded tends to be his nemesis since they bored with the topics. Every Newbie has the potential to be become one of the other personas. He is the future growth of a forum an essential to the flow of information for every fresh eyes approach to even an old topic reveals new information. His threads are usually a wealth of information if you take time to see it for every time you review the basics, you are actually reviewing your own preparations. Many of the old forums don't have patience with the Newbie and is why they are so stagnant. You see survival isn't an elite club but a way of life.
Last and by no means least is the Heckler. This guy visits the survival forums just so he can feel superior making light of others. The Heckler thinks most survivalist are nutcases and finds what he perceives as their ramblings entertaining. He thinks by ridicule he gains Internet personality status and does not see survival forums as information sources. They live their lives comfortable in their safe zone confident their world will never be shattered and anyone who tries to tell them it will be shattered has to be a nutcase. The media often heavily influences the Heckler or what is popular. Truth be known, they will probably be the first one loaded on a bus in a crisis.
It's a combination of these personas that give a survival forum its entertainment factor. It's the core of this entertainment that keeps bringing people back to read and to post. Otherwise, we'd all just go to the library or browse the net for specific topics. Like a soap opera where you have characters you love to hate, they draw the reader to come back like a light draws bugs. For the average reader, its actually an enlightening experience to realize that the entertainment factor in a forum is what brings them back to the forum. All of the personas play a role.