Barbara's New Rules: Stay Tuned!

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Postby GiniDee » Sun Mar 28, 2004 2:47 am

Hi All - I'll repeat myself here just enough to say that I'm with Vict. I'd appreciate it so much if people would take the ten minutes it takes to search for the old threads on their topics before posting new ones. Is it laziness? I missed planescape's original post, but I also think that this board is for wishes and dreams, not therapy. Barbara's whole life is about creating encouragement and the type of environment that supports finding and reaching our wishes and dreams. Whether we're thinking positively or not, I know that. But there are some obstacles and problems we are simply not qualified to deal with or solve. I'm losing the positive feelings and sense of support that led me to these boards. Maybe it's just me, but the balance of the environment here seems to be changing, and not always for the better. But like I said, maybe it's just me Image
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Postby howcross » Sun Mar 28, 2004 7:21 am

A couple of thoughts. I'm a newbie to this board, but not to Barbara's books and ideas or to online communities. I think someone else mentioned that the bulletin board system used here is not the latest version--that might be worth looking into. Some of the features that I have found helpful on other boards are (most have already been mentioned): - "Sticky" posts. They go to the top and stay there. Great for descriptions of what is supposed to go in a particular area. - Previewing posts (a feature on many bulletin board system). I wouldn't have had to edit this one if I had been able to preview my post and see that the angle brackets I used to indicate links were not processed! Oops. I've changed them to parentheses. - An administrator level of some sort. Call them forum monitors, call them timekeepers (an online analog to timekeepers in teams)... there are almost always people who have the ability to move posts, delete posts or entire threads, edit posts, and so on. A lot of the conversation I've seen lately is of this variety: "Your post is in the wrong place and only you can move it. It should go (name of thread)" and a brief description of what to do. Or "Please delete this thread that you stared because you are the only one who can delete it." One of these brief, polite notices turned into a long thread itself! Very frustrating for the old-timers, I'm sure. - Subscribing to threads. From what I read in the FAQ, one can only subscribe to threads one starts. I have found it very helpful to be able to subscribe to threads that others started, too. I've posted in several threads in the last few days, and quite honestly I can't remember where all of them are. I'm depending on the list of daily activity to see if someone responded, but what if no one does, and I want to go back and edit my posts in the hopes of making them clearer, or asking for more info? I guess I'll do a search on my own userid, but an email subscription has proved very handy on other boards. - Standard responses to standard questions. Others have mentioned this, and I wanted to add my support. It can be very helpful to have a bunch of read-only threads (perhaps in a Newbie section) that can be cut and pasted as needed. Alternatively, links can be posted in response to newbie questions. In conjunction with administrator access, standard canned responses make it easy to respond to a newbie along these lines: "Thanks for your post. We're glad you're here! The people on this bulletin board usually look for certain kinds of posts in certain places... the (information/question/wish/dream/obstacle/request) you posted will get more attention if it here (link to thread.) So, I've moved it there for you. You can find it by clicking this link (link_to_new_location). You also might find these areas of the bulletin board helpful: -link to newbie info -link to faq And here are some more links to to interesting sites on the Internet: -link to wishcraft download -link to whatever else seems appropriate for this poster" - Avoiding admin burnout. Rotate, rotate, rotate. No one should be a timekeeper/admin for very long. And finally I want to say that this is a tremendous resource—and I know you've all become overloaded and bombarded lately. Hang in there... it will get better. You should see what's happened on some of the big Atkins boards now that low-carb is the In Thing. Holy cow. Barbara has been on public television a lot during this pledge season, and there will be a big surge of board activity. It should plateau and then level off as people discover that posting "Please give me money and a job RIGHT NOW" isn't quite the idea around here. So... thanks for all the marvelous posts and brainstorming and links. I've been reading the boards for about three days and I have a whole bunch of juicy new bookmarks and ideas that I'm SO EXCITED about. Hopefully my next posts will be success stories and team formation. Thanks again. And Barbara, I've probably bought and given away 20 copies of Wishcraft over the past 10 years, and recently I've been doing the same with "... If I Only Knew What it Was." I owe you such a debt of gratitude... thank you thank you. Ann [This message has been edited by howcross (edited March 28, 2004).]
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Postby pamnco » Sun Mar 28, 2004 8:42 am

Dear Ann, Excellent summary and list of suggestions with your phrases already well thought out. I am new to boards, this is my first, and don't have that experience to cull from. Whaddaya mean I can't get MONEY and a new job NOW??? Image Image I'm a red head with a Yorkie and everything?! Seriously, thanks for that thoughtful reply. Ditto.
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Postby soni » Sun Mar 28, 2004 10:40 am

As far as starting with an intro post right off the bat, I don\'t think that breaks the rules. I personally prefer it and certainly those of us who have been around the boards would prefer to know the story behind the newbie suddenly offering all this \"new\" advice! :-) I think an intro that says \"hi\" and \"this is who I am and what I\'m doing and where I\'m at\" and closes with the equivilent of \"any input or discussion would be appreciated; meanwhile, I\'ll go mingle and contribute for a while\" seems like a great foundation for a newbie poster\'s membership in the community. Perhaps a good/bad demo intro post could be part of the new rules section, so that newbies can get an idea of what constitutes a good (or bad) intro post! Edit: Of course, being the suggester of such a solution I would, of course, be willing to do my share and write up said demos, if needed. [This message has been edited by soni (edited March 28, 2004).]
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Postby Quest » Sun Mar 28, 2004 12:28 pm

In defense of Planescape's initial post, it did not come across as a request for therapy. Not any more so than the posts about clutter, weight, suicidal ideation, family of origin, forgiveness issues, staying stuck, toxic jobs/bosses, etc. Yes, his topic may be viewed as more intense, but his initial post and its content were not inappropriate for posting in the "Deep or Shallow Discussions" forum. This is the forum intended for posts 'unrelated to action toward achieving dreams'. [This message has been edited by Quest (edited March 28, 2004).]
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Postby GiniDee » Mon Mar 29, 2004 3:09 am

You all are humming with great ideas! I think if I'd had to post something about myself first thing, I never would have gone onto these boards. I would not have known what to say! Image I just jumped right in to share my knowledge with whoever could use it - or give encouragement wherever I could. Image These days, many of the newbies are asking for resources or advice I gave elsewhere already. Others are dreaming in areas unfamiliar to me, where I have no knowledge whatsoever. And a few are struggling in areas beyond my scope - or the scope of these boards. It's a terrific community here. I hope we can all come up with ways to keep us on the same page, so we really can be of service to each other. All the best - GiniDee Image
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Postby annaphila » Tue Mar 30, 2004 7:04 am

Well, I've been on the board for a few weeks and have gotten some great ideas from everyone. I just wish there were categories that people can go into and read past posts, such as travel, or writing, or horses, etc. It would save the newbies all of this trouble.
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Postby Vict » Tue Mar 30, 2004 10:27 am

annaphila~ That is what the 'search' function is for. Type in 'horses' as your keyword and find what's already here. For topics that will have LOTS of hits (like writing), use more keywords to narrow your search (like 'writing' 'fiction', or 'writing' 'food').
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Postby JazzMuse » Tue Mar 30, 2004 10:13 pm

Hi Sherboarders - I was also in on the Planescape post. I'm sad that things turned out as they did. Even though I believe he did choose to overreact, he was in a deeply sensitive space and I could understand why he would be upset. Here are my suggestions: I wonder if there could be some kind of caring and clear standard message from Barbara that could be a Sticky post at the top (see howcross's post) that could have resource links and a note that, as untrained well-meaning volunteers, posters can only handle so much so please try ________ first and feel free to come back when you're ready. Maybe a trained veteran poster could volunteer to be a direct contact so people don't feel completely left out in the cold? Then if someone still posts an inappropriate thread anyway, it could be deleted by an administrator and an email of Barbara's message in it could be sent to them so people know it's a general policy and not anything personal. Hope these ideas help to create a safe space for everyone - newbies and veterans. That said, I'd also like to send out some appreciation.... MDG, Vict, GiniDee, Jezicka, soni, Scorpio Moon and all other regulars - Thank you so much for everything you do to keep the Sher boards a great place to be. I know I've learned tons from all of you. howcross - Thanks so much for your insight on new bulletin board advances that could prevent many issues from becoming a problem. I hope Barbara is able to add these new features soon. Barbara - How awesome for you to have this veteran bulletin board in the first place! Wishing you all the best, JazzMuse
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Postby GiniDee » Wed Mar 31, 2004 4:08 am

So Barbara - What's the next step here? What can we do to help make it easier for everyone, especially the flood of newbies Image What can we do to help YOU? What would you like to have happen? You're the resident Board Goddess here - we all await your revelations! Many hugs - GiniDee Image
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Postby Tituba » Wed Mar 31, 2004 5:43 am

If you look at Barbara's Schedule, she has events throughout April and will be in Turkey in May. She may not have time to respond to this thread for awhile. [This message has been edited by Tituba (edited March 31, 2004).]
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Postby artist3 » Wed Mar 31, 2004 7:05 am

Hi Barbara, How about creating a new link at the top of the page (near FAQ), called Rules? Thanks, Kim
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Postby Serial Diver » Wed Mar 31, 2004 5:20 pm

While Barbara's away, we can each have a positive influence by making conscious choices about which posts to respond to. As Dr. Phil is fond of saying, we teach people how to treat us. SD
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Postby Jezicka » Wed Mar 31, 2004 6:12 pm

WOW! You guys have really been cookin' while I've been gone! What a terrific collection of suggestions from both new and long-term board members! My head's swimming with it all (and with jet-lag and incipient cold Image ) -- so I'll just throw out a few things here at random... I love the suggestions for using some of the newer 'board' technologies-- however, I'm not sure at all how much time/energy/money Barbara has to spend on changes. From what I've seen, computer tech. stuff does NOT seem to be her thing. Merk, the web guru here, does respond very promptly to comments and questions on the web page forum, so perhaps he can tell us how easy some of the suggestions here might be to implement and whether it would be worth his time (and presumably, therefore, Barbara's money) to implement. Assuming that basic changes to the way the board itself works do not happen, I think making the first forum the 'introduction' forum with a limited number of posts (so that you don't have to scroll down or go through pages and pages) would be very good. It wouldn't have to be 'read only' but could be set up so that new posts could not be made added by 'the general posting public'. The forum could have 'FAQs' on a particular area. (Netiquette, for instance, the Innkeeper's rules, suggestions for new posters, and tips on how to find what you're looking for here- including where to look to see if there are multiple pages, checking the dates on posts, looking at posters' profiles and how to use 'smilies'.) There could be threads for people to post 'best of' suggestions with links to threads of certain topics (careers with animals, writing, singing, 'stuckness', wanting too many things- and many others that come up repeatedly and frequently have wonderful, inspiring happy endings). Darn. What I usually do is open a second window so I can read the thread I'm posting to and respond to individuals-- but I'm just to lazy and sick to do that tonight! Anyway, thanks to everyone and all the great suggestions!
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Postby Scorpio Moon » Wed Mar 31, 2004 6:29 pm

A final thought about the Planescape situation I originally brought up: I just wanted to say thanks to all of you for not being overly critical of me for writing a message which hurt Planescape's feelings. I know I can't be responsible for his reaction, but, even to this day, I feel badly and wish I had handled the situation differently (or had not done anything at all). So, again, thanks for being understanding. [This message has been edited by Scorpio Moon (edited March 31, 2004).]
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