Barbara's New Rules: Stay Tuned!

If you have a question, look here first. New users, post here first.

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Postby cellozi » Thu Apr 01, 2004 11:06 am

What is considered a newbie? What if you are just lurking around for a while. I would find it hard to help someone else. Not because I'm not willing, I'd just wouldn't have the slightest idea to know how. I would just give a tip like "take an aspirin." Why not just introduce yourself for the first month? [This message has been edited by cellozi (edited April 01, 2004).]
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Postby happymagics » Thu Apr 01, 2004 2:33 pm

Hi everyone, I have to say that this thread is making me increadibly sad. First and foremost, I am deeply sad that wonderful, generous posters like Ginidee and others are beginning to lose enthusiasm for this forum. This is the best, most inspireing place I have ever found and I would hate to see it lost. On the other hand. I would hate to see newbies discouraged from posting. I would hate people to feel that they must attain a certain status or level before they can seek help here. I know I have not posted as much as others, but I have tried to contribute here and believe I have been helpful. I know that if I felt that I had to pass some sort of standard before I asked for help, I would never have done it. When I think back over my posting history, I honestly can't remember if I helped first or asked for help first. But I do remember coming here as a lost, confused, soul who could barely manage to keep her home in order, let alone catch a dream. I talked here about weight loss, and ADD and clutter and all the other issues that blur the line between therapy and "helping." This place patiently gave me the opportunity to grow into someone who is moving forward and able now to make a difference in the lives of others. (at least I'm trying!) For many people, it is confusing and difficult to find the old threads on a topic. Moreover, new posts don't simply rehash the old information. They often bring new insights from new people. I always enjoy reading fresh takes on "standard" topics. And would miss them if everyone were just referred to the standard, "So you want to be a writer" thread. Afterall, there are plenty of websites out there with lists like that. Its the fresh and personal voices that make this place special. For me, I learn as much, if not more by answering posts calling for help as by reading responses to my posts. I get the chance to brainstorm and contribute and feel useful. I feel that posters who ask for help are being generous in their own way and don't want them to feel inhibited or unworthy to do so. I feel terrible that some here are feeling burned out. I wish that those who do could simply ignore the posts they don't wish to answer and try to shrug off the occasional rude or insensitive response. Whatever you all decide, I thank you for a wonderful place. -happymagics [This message has been edited by happymagics (edited April 01, 2004).] [This message has been edited by happymagics (edited April 01, 2004).]
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Postby Ikala » Thu Apr 01, 2004 3:29 pm

Thanks so much for that post, happy, I feel better . . . I had just posted this rant elsewhere on the "rant" thread, which now I'm realizing sounded kind of harsh. Sorry for calling the board stupid!!! I did not mean the nice people on the board!!! Personally I have searched and read many back posts related to mine and also posted my own & it was all greatly helpful. Now I hope to help some other people at some point. "OK I think I need to rant because now I'm CONFUSED about this stupid board and since I am new I'm not sure was I supposed to wait and answer other people's questions before posting my own which I did not really do, and though I got good replies now I am sort of paralyzed in terms of posting since I don't really think I know what to say to most people plus won't they wonder who the heck I am?! I don't want to break the etiquette rules but they are completely unhelpful right now! I don't get it!! Before I read about these rules I was an uninhibited poster but now . . ."
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Postby pamnco » Thu Apr 01, 2004 7:31 pm

I think it isn't quite clear that this particular post is a brainstorming session on whether or not there should be some new rules put into place to make it easier for new people to learn what the boards do, and for others who have posted a while to not find themselves restating the same information repeatedly if there's a better way to get it across. And other suggestions as well. It's not a list of confusing rules, it's a list of opinions and suggestions for rule and structure options, being presented to Barbara, as suggestions. SHE posts the rules. Whatever she chooses them to be. If you want to know what those are as of now, please re-read her introductory pages where I think she is pretty clear what her objectives are here. Please realize that I seem to recall just 4 months ago, the average new posts in Wishes & Obst. was about 6 a day. Now it's more like 20, from people who have never posted or replied the day before. At a minimum, those 20 people who had not seen this board the day before they posted today would be considered a newbie. I think that's not derrogatory or unwelcoming, just shear numbers reflecting Barbara's success and popularity. I consider myself still a newbie, and I first posted last December. Image
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Postby GiniDee » Fri Apr 02, 2004 11:17 am

I'm a newbie too, Pam - I only heard about these boards last September from seeing Barbara at a workshop, and joined right away. I read the rules that were there at the time, and probably ignored a few of them. As I said, I didn't wait around, I jumped right in. I didn't introduce myself then, and wouldn't do it now either. I didn't figure out how to do search functions myself until after about a month. Even now, when I search I don't always find exactly what I'm looking for, so I understand the frustrations involved. I do love these boards, and as katchal commented, spend my 'copious amounts of free time' on them. Image At their best, they provide a phenomenal way for each of us to contribute from our professional and personal experience to others in ways that can make a difference. One baby step at a time. Even the mild confusions and kafuffles that have occurred do not dim the true purpose of this board as a giant Success Team. That's what I want to maintain. That support is invaluable, whether I'm giving or getting it. I'm sure I'm not alone in feeling that. Barbara does her job very well, and these boards do reflect that beautifully. (Even the parts about not having to think positively, and getting things done while grumpy Image - my faves ) All the best - GiniDee Image
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Postby Vict » Fri Apr 02, 2004 1:00 pm

I put this originally in the thread that begat this one, but wish to say it again. "One thing I like best about this board is that it is NOT cluttered/bogged down with introductory 'about me' posts. Those do not advance the purpose of this board, and besides, I learn much more about someone by what they say to others than what they say about themselves." I don't particulary see a need for newcomers to reply x number of times before they ask for help - but what I do wish is that they would show enough respect to 'get to know the boards' first. Like knowing the difference between a Reply, a Reply with Quote (that are horrendously misused and suck up space), and Post New Topic. That archives are treasure troves of info, but the originators are likely long gone. That lazy titles like 'Need Help' get ignored by those with limited time to devote to the boards. But that cannot be governed by time limits or asking/answering ratios - some people get it quickly and, even after months, others never do. Heck, how many still do not read the forum summaries to start their new threads in the right place? And sadly it seems way too much to ask that people be familiar with Barbara's work. It's really not hard to form a "Wish/Obstacle" statement. And why would anybody expect the boards to summarize "What's a scanner?" when Barbara has written DOZENS of pages on it? If she can't boil it down to a paragraph, why should we be expected to? Let's face it, we can't help the people who want everything handed to them without doing any work (internal or external) themselves. But many here will still try, Goddess bless 'em. ------------------ Vict www.MeditationBeads.com
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Postby GiniDee » Sat Apr 03, 2004 6:55 am

Vict - I second those emotions Image
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Postby katchal » Sat Apr 03, 2004 8:56 am

Well said, Vict!!!
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Postby Tituba » Sat Apr 03, 2004 10:03 am

Vict made good points. It would be great if there was a read only forum located just before Wishes - something like "How this board works." In there there could be a thread explaining how to edit, delete, quote, search for a thread. Then there could be a thread with Barbara's guidelines. A thread explaining what constitues SPAM. Board etiquette - etc. Hopefully, Barbara can get a minute to read these ideas in the near future. With the amount of appearances she has in April, the flood gates are going to open to alot of new members.
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Postby NT » Sat Apr 03, 2004 5:30 pm

I think it would be helpful to have the rules spelled out as part of the membership procedures and also in the FAQ's section Maybe a short version on the various forums would help, something to the effect of reminding people that the purpose of the forums is helping each other not just oneself, we all grow together (the writers on these boards will have a better way fo wording it)
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Postby pamnco » Sun Apr 04, 2004 7:42 am

When it comes to the point about introductory info, I think the little face icon that leads you to the Profile of the poster is effective. Anytime I wonder where the poster is coming from, I click on that and read up. Maybe the form there could be expanded, for those with more to say? Flashbulb idea: Let's call Posters who have answered too many questions and are feeling burned out POST TOASTIES! Image
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Postby GiniDee » Mon Apr 05, 2004 11:56 am

I'd rather be a Post Toastie than Post Mortem, pam. Image Hope others continue to contribute however they can to these forums - and to the discussion on this thread. There's no one right way to live - or to be on these boards either. It's just that some ways make life easier for others, and some don't. Love to all - keep thinking ! Image
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Postby pamnco » Tue Apr 06, 2004 2:36 pm

Of course there's One Right Way to live! And when I am living it, I'll let you know what it is and you can all come and visit me. Image Gini, Looking forward to your cookie-sugar-drop contributions of the coming week. Image Perspicacious Pam [This message has been edited by pamnco (edited April 06, 2004).] [This message has been edited by pamnco (edited April 06, 2004).]
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Postby barbgal » Tue Apr 06, 2004 3:33 pm

I think I dissent a bit. I didn't read the thread that started this discussion. Nor the one about abuse. But here is what I've seen and feel about this. I think there are, and will always be, people who come to the site in utter desperation. It is also likely that they have little to no social support, for any of a variety of reasons....that they havn'et been able to build them, that they can't talk about a certain problem to anyone, etc. I don't think these people should be restricted from posting, or even told that they have to wait. That would mean that this board would be cutting off the utterly most needy people who come here. Please. think about it. People might have no one and with those that are angry, even poor communication is still communication with a real person, even if somewhat cyber distanced. Knowing someone "sees" you can be such an immmense help. I don't think that this will cause long term problems because the totally desperate are really very few, right? About reading a post that has sexual/abuse content. I think I would have been rather stunned. But I think I would have read only part way, and then perhaps posted that I found it so hard to read the rest, but offered sympathy. If I could and if it was real. There is no rule that says you have to read every post and every line of every post. You would stop reading a book that had too much violence or sexual material, wouldn't you? Members have to know their limits. (andlimitations.) And opinions are opinions, Scorpio Moon. I know that feeling of feeling bad later, after a post, but I don't think you "drove away" the person you respnded to. I think it was just hard for him to stay in the community that now knew what he had disclosed. Some time ago, I thought, gee, if someone were to do a search on just my posts, they would know me inside out!!! Thinking about that accumulation of disclosures was a bit daunting. But we DO want to be known, don't we? It's just hard to take sometimes. best wishes, Barb
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Postby GiniDee » Tue Apr 06, 2004 7:53 pm

Thanks for your thoughtful contributions barbgal. They made me think. But I still don't believe this board is for therapy per se, or to be used as a substitute for skilled professional assistance. That really is not its function, as far as I can tell. Just my opinion. Image
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