Topics

The purpose of forums, Facebook, and other social media


Deborah Davitt
 

Hi, guys--

I don't often post on the forum, and I wanted to take a couple days to think over how I wanted to address this issue. I hope that I do so with humor and clarity, and without any sense of passive-aggressiveness or snideness. This post is not to call out any specific person, because there have been a couple of different individuals who've done some of the errant "report to moderator" thing.

For me--and most people--the point of forums and most types of social media is to encourage conversation. To promote it, to foster a sense of community.

That means that censorship of messages should be done with a light hand, reserved for posts that go against the etiquette of a given community and which threaten those social bonds. That means, hey, if someone's rude, they get called on it! If they're threatening, they're expelled, if they block an admin out of pique, they're out on their tush. Those are all, in my mind, givens.

However, telling people not to be cordial, that there's been "too much" posting, or reporting posts to moderators as "off-topic" when they're at worst ancillary to the main topic . . .  eh. That doesn't promote conversation or a sense of community, to my way of thinking.

I've been a moderator on the Facebook page for several years now. The mods are there to boot spammers (our group hasn't had any, but I watch my space opera group send spammers and scammers to fiery doom on the regular), to screen for bots, and to keep things polite and kind for everyone.

We're not there to enforce invisible rules that haven't been posted to the "about" section of the Facebook. (Either we post the rules where everyone can see them, or we can't, in all fairness, remove posts for "not following rules that aren't posted.")

And I, in particular, am not there to tell people not to talk about poems just because they're not directly spec. If people don't find it interesting, a post about a non-spec book will just fall to the bottom and no one will see it again. We don't need to conserve electrons. They're recyclable!

And if people DO find it engaging and interesting, they might actually (le gaspe!) have a good conversation about it, poetry, and maybe even craft.

Promote conversation and engagement. Don't stifle it. And don't report things that don't warrant it, unless you want to wear the moderator hat, and then I will step down with a song in my heart. :)

Thank you.


Celdae (Colleen) Anderson
 

I for one, don’t have a problem with multiples of messages, whether it’s discussions, queries, congratulations or silliness. I’ve been in many groups and I don’t know if groups.io does digest but it’s one way for people to sort through the emails. Another is to set up filters. Or you can just ignore and delete. I do this when busy or if I’ve lost interest in a thread.

 

The subject line does it for me. I prefer Outlook and how I can view and/or filter messages. I know Gmail clumps messages with the same subject line together, which I hate, but others love.

 

This way, if  you’re not interested in something, you can always choose your own method of ignoring. Your mail server might have other ways of filtering. And that way, everyone gets their say. 😊 And likewise, I think it’s okay to say you don’t like this way of messaging. We can then discuss and see if people want to change or keep the status quo.

 

Colleen

 

Short Fiction: A Body of Work from Black Shuck Books, UK

Editor, Alice Unbound: Beyond Wonderland, Playground of Lost Toys, Tesseracts 17

www.colleenanderson.wordpress.com

 

From: sfpanet@groups.io <sfpanet@groups.io> On Behalf Of Deborah Davitt
Sent: October 15, 2020 6:29 AM
To: sfpanet@groups.io
Subject: [sfpanet] The purpose of forums, Facebook, and other social media

 

Hi, guys--

I don't often post on the forum, and I wanted to take a couple days to think over how I wanted to address this issue. I hope that I do so with humor and clarity, and without any sense of passive-aggressiveness or snideness. This post is not to call out any specific person, because there have been a couple of different individuals who've done some of the errant "report to moderator" thing.

For me--and most people--the point of forums and most types of social media is to encourage conversation. To promote it, to foster a sense of community.

That means that censorship of messages should be done with a light hand, reserved for posts that go against the etiquette of a given community and which threaten those social bonds. That means, hey, if someone's rude, they get called on it! If they're threatening, they're expelled, if they block an admin out of pique, they're out on their tush. Those are all, in my mind, givens.

However, telling people not to be cordial, that there's been "too much" posting, or reporting posts to moderators as "off-topic" when they're at worst ancillary to the main topic . . .  eh. That doesn't promote conversation or a sense of community, to my way of thinking.

I've been a moderator on the Facebook page for several years now. The mods are there to boot spammers (our group hasn't had any, but I watch my space opera group send spammers and scammers to fiery doom on the regular), to screen for bots, and to keep things polite and kind for everyone.

We're not there to enforce invisible rules that haven't been posted to the "about" section of the Facebook. (Either we post the rules where everyone can see them, or we can't, in all fairness, remove posts for "not following rules that aren't posted.")

And I, in particular, am not there to tell people not to talk about poems just because they're not directly spec. If people don't find it interesting, a post about a non-spec book will just fall to the bottom and no one will see it again. We don't need to conserve electrons. They're recyclable!

And if people DO find it engaging and interesting, they might actually (le gaspe!) have a good conversation about it, poetry, and maybe even craft.

Promote conversation and engagement. Don't stifle it. And don't report things that don't warrant it, unless you want to wear the moderator hat, and then I will step down with a song in my heart. :)

Thank you.


Deborah Davitt
 

Hi, Colleen!

Yep, I personally get a once a day archive of updates from this board. It prevents my inbox from overflowing, and allows me to keep this venue in perspective and retain my sanity. :)

I strongly encourage anyone who is feeling overwhelmed by other people's social chitchatting to embrace the single-email archive approach! It sure keeps ME from getting crotchety!


John Philip Johnson
 

I agree. That there is too much clutter in the world is a huge given fact of our lives, but discouraging public congratulations seems a step too far in our efforts to simplify. 
--
John Philip Johnson


F. J. Bergmann
 

As an officer (for the next couple months, anyway), I don't think it's appropriate for me to go to the digest format (which doesn't save much time in reading, in any case, and is more confusing once the conversations digress). This is one of the main venues of public discussion for SFPA, and I try to pay attention to issues that members bring up.

What I've seen happen before, in other groups, is that gradually people seem to worry that they will be seen as not caring, or even hostile, if they don't pile on to the mass outpouring of congrats for each announcement, and the subsequent responses become an increasingly large share of the group bandwidth. Surely the object is to congratulate the individual in question personally, rather than to let it be seen by others that you have done so? I'm all for group hugs, but this ends up feeling more like a receiving line.

And unless you're summoning the hive-mind, questions intended for specific individuals are probably best sent privately as well.

F. J. Bergmann





On Oct 17, 2020, at 2:15 PM, John Philip Johnson via groups.io <johnjohnson68510@...> wrote:

I agree. That there is too much clutter in the world is a huge given fact of our lives, but discouraging public congratulations seems a step too far in our efforts to simplify. 
--
John Philip Johnson


Deborah P Kolodji
 

I guess I caused the "clutter" by posting about the Basho Memorial haiku contest in Japan that I was so thrilled about.  I do apologize if this caused unnecessary clutter for anyone.

I hope others might enter this contest next year.  There's no cash prize, but no entry fee, just recognition from a well-respected contest and translation of your haiku into Japanese.

In spite of the "clutter", I do want to thank everyone for their congratulations.  It meant a lot to me.  After I had posted it, I had a very rough week due to some medical issues I'm dealing with so the congratulations lifted me up out of a dark place.  So, I appreciate all of you in this community and am glad you are in my life.

I do think that building community is one of the good things that can come out of a list like this, so things that encourage community building shouldn't really be discouraged, but that is just my take on it.

Debbie

p.s.  No need to respond to the list regarding the comment on my health.  I mention it only because that was my experience with this incident.  I wasn't expecting the chain of congratulations and I felt overwhelmed and lifted up by it.


-----Original Message-----
From: John Philip Johnson via groups.io <johnjohnson68510@...>
To: sfpanet@groups.io
Sent: Sat, Oct 17, 2020 12:15 pm
Subject: Re: [sfpanet] The purpose of forums, Facebook, and other social media

I agree. That there is too much clutter in the world is a huge given fact of our lives, but discouraging public congratulations seems a step too far in our efforts to simplify. 
--
John Philip Johnson


David Kopaska-Merkel
 

My personal opinion, and that's all it is, is that over the many years this list has existed we have never seen a huge proliferation of congratulations. For this reason, I don't complain about people using up bandwidth, and I believe we all appreciate a few pats on the back.

David


On Sat, Oct 17, 2020 at 2:43 PM F. J. Bergmann <demiurge@...> wrote:
As an officer (for the next couple months, anyway), I don't think it's appropriate for me to go to the digest format (which doesn't save much time in reading, in any case, and is more confusing once the conversations digress). This is one of the main venues of public discussion for SFPA, and I try to pay attention to issues that members bring up.

What I've seen happen before, in other groups, is that gradually people seem to worry that they will be seen as not caring, or even hostile, if they don't pile on to the mass outpouring of congrats for each announcement, and the subsequent responses become an increasingly large share of the group bandwidth. Surely the object is to congratulate the individual in question personally, rather than to let it be seen by others that you have done so? I'm all for group hugs, but this ends up feeling more like a receiving line.

And unless you're summoning the hive-mind, questions intended for specific individuals are probably best sent privately as well.

F. J. Bergmann





On Oct 17, 2020, at 2:15 PM, John Philip Johnson via groups.io <johnjohnson68510@...> wrote:

I agree. That there is too much clutter in the world is a huge given fact of our lives, but discouraging public congratulations seems a step too far in our efforts to simplify. 
--
John Philip Johnson



--
David C. Kopaska-Merkel
1300 Kicker Rd
Tuscaloosa, AL 35404
he/him/his
 


F. J. Bergmann
 

Let me make clear that I'm eager to see as many _occasions_ for congratulations posted as possible.

F. J. Bergmann





On Oct 17, 2020, at 2:57 PM, David Kopaska-Merkel <jopnquog@...> wrote:

My personal opinion, and that's all it is, is that over the many years this list has existed we have never seen a huge proliferation of congratulations. For this reason, I don't complain about people using up bandwidth, and I believe we all appreciate a few pats on the back.

David

On Sat, Oct 17, 2020 at 2:43 PM F. J. Bergmann <demiurge@...> wrote:
As an officer (for the next couple months, anyway), I don't think it's appropriate for me to go to the digest format (which doesn't save much time in reading, in any case, and is more confusing once the conversations digress). This is one of the main venues of public discussion for SFPA, and I try to pay attention to issues that members bring up.

What I've seen happen before, in other groups, is that gradually people seem to worry that they will be seen as not caring, or even hostile, if they don't pile on to the mass outpouring of congrats for each announcement, and the subsequent responses become an increasingly large share of the group bandwidth. Surely the object is to congratulate the individual in question personally, rather than to let it be seen by others that you have done so? I'm all for group hugs, but this ends up feeling more like a receiving line.

And unless you're summoning the hive-mind, questions intended for specific individuals are probably best sent privately as well.

F. J. Bergmann





On Oct 17, 2020, at 2:15 PM, John Philip Johnson via groups.io <johnjohnson68510@...> wrote:

I agree. That there is too much clutter in the world is a huge given fact of our lives, but discouraging public congratulations seems a step too far in our efforts to simplify. 
-- 
John Philip Johnson





-- 
David C. Kopaska-Merkel
1300 Kicker Rd
Tuscaloosa, AL 35404
he/him/his
 


Diane Severson Mori
 

Ok, perhaps we can agree that members should ALWAYS post about their wins and other occasions for congratulations. And others should feel free to congratulate. if several people have already done so THEN perhaps that would be the moment to congratulate privately (which is just as easy by clicking on Reply to sender (found at the bottom of each post) rather than Reply to Group). We are all adults and that should be an idea that people can abide by. This would mean reading further posts BEFORE sending congrats to determine if it’s still appropriate. It’s not fun to post into an echo chamber either.

Diane

--
Diane
Groups.io moderator
SFPA membership chair


Manhattan
 

Yes, I agree with John.
Feel free to congratulate, distribute back pats, hand out hugs.

Cherry blossom haiku winners.  Poet of the Week status.  Assorted accolades -- yay, we hail thee.

Especially in these crippled COVID times, if an over-supply of good wishes gives a colleague's feelings flying lessons, then why not toss another bouquet?

Mae West said, "Too much of a good thing is wonderful."


* * *  FYI:  There is a  "mute topic" button for any GRINCHES on this list.


     Genial good wishes from Greenwich Village,  LindaAnn
---
       New!   Spooky, eerie, ghostly VideoPoems on my channel -- just for you Hallowe'en hooligans
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCHm1NZIlTZybLTFA44wwdfg?view_as=subscriber


--
Planet-Manhattan
Latest SFF book: "A Route Obscure and Lonely" [Wapshott Press, 2020]
"This mash-up of the gothic and the modern, the grim and the gleeful, is especially delightful when paired with LoSchiavo’s written style." -- Krishan Coupland, Neon Books U.K.


F. J. Bergmann
 

Sounds good to me!

F. J. Bergmann





On Oct 18, 2020, at 2:58 AM, Diane Severson Mori <divadianepoetry@...> wrote:

Ok, perhaps we can agree that members should ALWAYS post about their wins and other occasions for congratulations. And others should feel free to congratulate. if several people have already done so THEN perhaps that would be the moment to congratulate privately (which is just as easy by clicking on Reply to sender (found at the bottom of each post) rather than Reply to Group). We are all adults and that should be an idea that people can abide by. This would mean reading further posts BEFORE sending congrats to determine if it’s still appropriate. It’s not fun to post into an echo chamber either.

Diane

--
Diane
Groups.io moderator
SFPA membership chair







Denise Dumars
 

I strongly agree with John here. It's very easy to just delete all the "congratulations" emails if you see a long list of them. But to say we shouldn't do it--especially if we don't know how to privately congratulate a person--it seems mean to me. I don't care if I open my emails and see 100 "Congrats" to Debbie or whoever because I can just delete them since I know that's what they are, but I still think we should post congratulations if we want to, since poets get little to no recognition except in groups like this. So any little victory deserves celebration in this case is my point of view.
Denise

 
I agree. That there is too much clutter in the world is a huge given fact of our lives, but discouraging public congratulations seems a step too far in our efforts to simplify. 
--
John Philip Johnson


Akua Lezli Hope
 

Preach what soul hampering things you may

tight lipped, ice veined nay sayers

I will never refuse joy, even if it may annoy

I will never deride delight

For all the sparks it unerringly ignites

whose lit fuel creates much needed warmth and light

and helps us survive monster-riddled nights

and endure blood-spattered pandemic days




Akua Lezli Hope
writing and dreaming from the ancestral land of the Onöndowa’ga:' also known as the Seneca, 
keepers of the Western Door in the southern Finger Lakes region of New York State
www.akualezlihope.com




--
Akua Lezli Hope
writing and dreaming from the ancestral land of the Onöndowa’ga:' also known as the Seneca, 
keepers of the Western Door, in the southern Finger Lakes region of New York State
www.akualezlihope.com


The Gardner Castle
 

I love the fact that this group exists as a community discussion and that we support one another. While there's always room for private messages and congratulations, I love the fact that we share these things. Even when I'm not the one receiving those congrats, I feel the warmth & love seeing people share the support. And in terms of replying to an individual, well, unless it's something personal, that's part of the conversation, & I enjoy hearing everyone's thoughts (that is, when I have time to go in & see them). And sometimes I even chime in with a thought I wouldn't have had (or shared) if I didn't see that reply.

Having just said that, I get what F.J. is saying about being an officer. I don't have time to check the list all that often, but if I were an officer, I couldn't get away with that. But is there a way that messages that need the attention of officers could be marked, so that officers don't feel bogged down? Not sure that's feasible, but it seems a shame to limit the friendly chatter, which I've seldom found to be overwhelming. Of course, I have a filter set up that puts all the listserv emails in a folder, in digest form, which F. J. can't do.

If we do expand volunteer roles, like when Rich was suggesting a content editor for a news blog, which makes sense, maybe there could be a volunteer role of "listserv reader." Not moderator, not approver, just someone who is actively reading the messages and can alert the officers if anything comes up that might warrant their attention, such as a need for an answer or clarification. That would help all the officers, I think. (I'm not able to volunteer for this role because I don't see email every day.)

Adele


Diane Severson Mori
 

Thank you, Adele, for that excellent suggestion (that we have a designated reader, or two)! If anyone feels inclined to volunteer for that job (especially if you already read all messages), please do get in touch with the officers at exec-comm@...

Diane

--
Diane
Groups.io moderator
SFPA membership chair