I WANT EVERYONE NEW TO KNOW THEY'RE VERY WELCOME HERE. IT'S IMPORTANT, HOWEVER, THAT BEFORE THEY ASK FOR IDEAS AND HELP, THEY GET TO KNOW THE PEOPLE HERE (MANY OF WHOM ARE ALMOST AS NEW AS THEY ARE). SO THE FIRST IMPORTANT RULE (THERE ARE LITTLE ONES ABOUT NOT MAKING YOUR PARAGRAPHS TOO LONG OR POSTING ANYTHING COMMERCIAL) IS THIS: IF YOU ARE NEW TO THIS BOARD, LOOK AROUND, READ THE POSTS AND SPEND A FEW WEEKS HELPING OTHERS WHENEVER YOU CAN BEFORE YOU MAKE YOUR FIRST REQUEST FOR ASSISTANCE. . THAT WAY YOU'LL KNOW THE PEOPLE HERE, AND THEY'LL KNOW YOU, TOO. THE POPULATION OF THIS BOARD IS GROWING FAST. MOST NEW PEOPLE HAVE THE KINDS OF REQUESTS THIS BOARD IS PERFECT FOR: THEY NEED IDEAS AND STRATEGIES, INFORMATION AND ENCOURAGEMENT, AND NOTHING MAKES THE MEMBERS HAPPIER THAN COMING UP WITH THAT KIND OF HELP. HOWEVER WE'RE FINDING THAT A SMALL PERCENTAGE OF NEW people HAVE urgent problems AND BECOME UPSET AT NOT GETTING THE KIND OF HELP THEY NEED. Then we have a situation that can't do anybody any good and might be doing harm. If all new people will spend at least 2 weeks getting to know -- and trying to help -- other members, the problem might be avoided. Now, to the helpful people on the board: most of you are kind and tolerant even when unhappy people don't like the quality of the help they're getting. Some of you get upset by it. I THINK A THIRD RESPONSE IS CALLED FOR: BACK UP AND GET SOME PERSPECTIVE. I know how upsetting it can feel to be in a rotten position (don't ask about my story, friends) and how easy it is to feel reproachful towards absolute strangers as if they owed you something. You just can't help yourself. That's how it looks to you. But if a new person is willing to spend a few weeks helping others and giving us time to know them it will be clear that they can care about others and aren't lost in their own problems. In that case the help given them might do some good. And if they're unwilling to help others, this board isn't the right place for them. THIS MEANS THAT when you see that someone is depressed or desperate or upset with the help they're getting here, please, instead of rushing in to soothe them or to scold them, JUST BACK UP A BIT. THEY HAVE A RIGHT TO BE UPSET. BUT NOT AT YOU. AND YOU HAVE A URGE TO HELP BUT YOU MUST RECOGNIZE YOUR LIMITATIONS. Wait a little while to save someone's life. Search the board to see helpful they've been with others. Sometimes it's impossible for unhappy people to keep from seeing the world as dark and the people who try to help as inadequate or thoughtless. But it might give them a sense of their own power as well as some perspective to help other members for a few weeks before they ask for help themselves. If they really can't do that, they're in an emotional place that you probably can't influence and, as I say, this board isn't set up for that. If you can direct them to some kind of help line that would be better. Until you've established who you're dealing with, try to remember something I've had a hard time learning, and it's still a work in progress: no one is an endless fountain of help. It's important for givers to exercise patience and avoid kneejerk rescue attempts. Givers don't understand their value to their community. If they did they'd see that it's irresponsible to everyone (not just to them) to burn themselves out. ------ It occurred to me that some people might not be looking at Tigger's thread and might have missed Barbara's wonderful response there, so I'm reposting it (minus the specific response to Tigger). (WHERE'S TIGGER'S THREAD?) [This message has been edited by BarbaraSher (edited May 09, 2004).]Originally posted by BarbaraSher: [b]With so many new people coming into the boards and so many helpful people already here who can't bear to have anyone feel neglected, I think I'll have to set some rules and figure out where to post them. In the meantime, all of you can cut and paste what's here ...
If you have a question, look here first. New users, post here first.
HOPE YOU ALL DON'T MIND BUT I (BARBARA) AM STEPPING INTO YOUR POSTS TO RESPOND HERE AND THERE. MY COMMENTS WILL BE CAPITAL LETTERS. Barbara
Thanks, Jez - Much needed and appreciated. I just ranted about this myself, under Hard Times sessions. It would be great if this rule were permanently posted in the Home page and at the top of each forum. I believe that would help make things clearer for everyone. Thanks for cutting and pasting this! Hugs and healing energy - Gini
Hi Gini! Yes, indeed! Have a look at LittleTigger's thread-- there were some very good responses and suggestions there... I'm voting for a read-only forum to come before 'Wishes and Obstacles', with each rule posted in its own separate thread. That way when we get a commercial solicitation or something that belongs in 'rants and hissy fits' we can just post the URL and otherwise ignore... **GREAT SUGGESTION. I LIKE IT. Waiting for the electrician (or someone like him) right now-- flying off to mother-in-law land tomorrow. Remind me not to crush that dwarf on the way out... [This message has been edited by BarbaraSher (edited May 08, 2004).]
J., You doll! I just wrote this elsewhere, and then saw your new post. I have pasted my reply here, to keep within this topic. Hi, Barbara, You're suggestions here are very thoughtful and a most welcome attempt to address changing circumstances. I like your ideas, and I actually think an FAQ would work as an option, the way Needs and Links does; without much daily action but with alot of pertinant info. there anyway. The issue of timing, and time spent before posting: ie. if your posting date is 4/1/04, then you register, make either 10 outgoing posts to others (you can tick off on a personal screen), and when that's done you get access to a Post It Yourself screen. Too complicated, I know. Gurus? Help? MAYBE THIS WOULD WORK: WHENEVER YOU SEE A NEW MEMBER'S POST, DO A SEARCH FOR THEIR NAME. IF YOU DON'T FIND ENOUGH TO GET A SENSE OF THEM, REPLY WITH SOMETHING LIKE: "WE ASK NEW MEMBERS TO GET INVOLVED BY HELPING OTHERS FOR A FEW WEEKS SO WE CAN GET TO KNOW THEM BETTER AND THEY DEVELOP A SENSE OF BELONGING. YOUR IDEAS AND SUGGESTIONS ARE VALUABLE TO US, SO JUMP IN AND LOOK AROUND. YOU'RE SURE TO FIND SOMEONE WHO NEEDS YOUR INPUT." (OR SOME SUCH THING). It's with registration. Read-only access first, then reply-only, then post. A process. The Read-only shoots you to the Newbie Thread, which is always available above Wishes and Obstacles. There you have the rules, requests, and link to problem solving, and immediate help. THE NEWBIE THREAD WOULD BE LIKE THE READ-ONLY? BUT MAYBE IT WOULD BE A GOOD THING TO LET NEW MEMBERS ASK QUESTIONS AND GET HELP. I LIKE IT. I like the notion of pre-conceived phrases that are polite and specific that can be posted, copied and pasted, and readily inserted by an existing person. Ex. "Your input is important to us, but we would like you to consider these resources to address your issues at this time. Return to the Newbie Link now." THAT'S IF A NEW MEMBER JUMPS PAST THAT FORUM INTO THE MAIN FORUMS, RIGHT? GOOD IDEA. With your initials. Something like that. (Then the "objections" to Gini's replies will stop!!! NOONE tries harder to help, and succeeds, than Gini. She is not the board police and shouldn't take the brunt of objections for speaking out.) Short, bulleted phrases are read easily. Actually, I like the way Gini has to post her responses, and think that would work well in a Newbie format. Unlike mine, here. People will slip their issues into their replies, but that can also be addressed kindly. Another thought, maybe for the future, is a subsection in Wishes of links for categories. Ex. Travel Wishes, Publishing wishes, Computer wishes, Artist's wishes, Money-making wishes, etc. These could be where the topics that already received help could live, and new topics, with new people who have ideas and even expertise, could go. It would help get focus, thin out the whirl of topics, and even overlap with the occasional link. My Wish is that I could make my ideas make sense BRIEFLY, and my obstacle is (are) my ten typing fingers! P. YOU AND ME BOTH. WELCOME TO THE JOYS OF WRITING. [This message has been edited by pamnco (edited March 24, 2004).] [This message has been edited by BarbaraSher (edited May 08, 2004).]
Really good points, Pam! Maybe instead of subsets of wishes (travel, computer, etc.) we could just have in the read-only forum some links to really complete threads on these various topics. I keep trying to hunt out the various threads on animal careers, for instance. Sometimes I find them, sometimes I don't-- and when I do find them they quickly get lost again as the topic moves down the list... Actually, I came back here because I remembered another suggestion I had... What about a 'best of' list? I mean the really inspiring stories, like engelein's transformation from engineering employee to own translation company to opera diva! (If she would agree, of course.) Or Morgan's magic-quick transformation from 'nothing works' to 'wow! That's it' in a few short days. Or the one Mahara has mentioned several times, where a little questioning brought a sudden enlightenment. I found these boards and made one post in 2000 to someone who wanted to start a horse-racing stable. She never responded and that thread died... I think it was a year or two later that I started checking the boards again and I'm pretty sure it was engelein's post that really hooked me into staying long enough to 'learn the ropes' -- and the names. (All your fault, oh Inglish one!) A few examples like that would serve to inspire and enlighten both newbies and old-timers!
Hey Jez - I like that 'best of' idea too! GOOD IDEA, BUT A DIFFERENT ISSUE. MAYBE YOU COULD START A SEPARATE TOPIC FOR IT, GINI (AND ALL). I'M RACING THROUGH THIS, AND THIS LITTLE BIT TOOK OVER AN HOUR. DRAT. I'M GOING TO HAVE TO STOP. I have been inspired by many people on these boards - including YOU with your stickers and seminars! Morgan's Voice of God thread did as much for me as it did for her - watching someone's transformation in process is amazing! (No, Morgan, I'm not just saying this for the brownies ) Pam's Illustration Museum is something I can't wait to see in reality - such a great idea! Many people have helped me in significant ways as well ( too many to name, but you all know who you are ) And there are so many others who are doing wonderful things just by being themselves. Being able to assist anyone in getting closer to their dreams is a miracle in itself - one that needs to be unclouded by misunderstandings as much as possible. We're all human, we'll all make mistakes and miscommunicate from time to time. But as people of goodwill, this community is the best I've ever found for clearing it up and getting over it quickly. Barbara has set up an ideal forum for all of us to shine and help each other shine too. Anything that contributes to more rapport and understanding among us all can only be good. All the best - GiniDee [This message has been edited by BarbaraSher (edited May 08, 2004).]
I put this in the other thread, but think a strong statement about SPAM should be placed so that it appears above every forum. Also what constitutes SPAM. A new forum at the very beginning before Wishes called something like \"How this board works\" where Barbara could list the nuts and bolts would be good. If it is put in an existing forum, it is going to get lost. VERY GOOD. YOU WRITE THE FIRST DRAFT. [ ] The only other thing I\'d like is maybe a forum for classic threads. Maybe we could nominate them and Barbara could put them there. I\'m thinking about the $100. hour thread specifically. Seems like we all cite that one. Everytime I do, I have to search to find it again so I can get the URL. [This message has been edited by BarbaraSher (edited May 08, 2004).]
Omigosh! Thankyou for addressing this, Barbara. And, thankyou to all of you thinking it over. Your suggestions make wonderful sense. Perhaps we are near the time for subject-organized archives, or some kind of 'digest' thereof. Perhaps, if someone were to make a list of basic topics, we could each find our own applicable responses, edit them, and submit them for approval and inclusion. (It's a Gargantuan job, but there are people on this board who'd enjoy it, I know.) There are also 'paths of reading and posting' that seem to apply. ...We seem to follow patterns, over time. I'm not certain how other experienced posters feel, but, to me, the tone of our posts changes as we become comfortable here. No doubt it has a lot to do with our growth, and our time available as we develop our dreams. I often wonder about the few, of many, people whose comments have changed my thinking, yet who no longer post. (I wouldn't dare start mentioning names, for there would be hundreds I'd miss!) All told, there is a degree of appreciation in everyone who finds Barbara Sher's Bulletin Boards, as there is in those who find your books, Barbara. Perhaps we should look at just what newcomers appreciate most and organize accordingly. I wonder if there isn't a 'discussion', or 'socializing' level to posting, as there is to meetings. ...And how much 'socializing' may affect the usefulness of Barbara's methods. Maybe we could learn to make our words more concise, and clear. One thing for certain - we change our points-of-view, for the better, as we become familiar with these bulletin boards. It would be good to know that, up front. I'd even bet my bottom dollar that thousands who have only read here, and never posted, have found sound suggestions and useful encouragement. Maybe all we need to do is ask newcomers to wait two weeks for confirmation of registration. And/or ask a few simple questions about their readiness to post. We have all noticed that Barbara took great care to plan the beginning of every book, speech, workshop, Idea Party, and Success Team to bring everyone attending into warm appreciation of each other. She does this in private conversations, as well, I am sure. I like to think of it as her own 'circle of warmth'. We each have our own, but we often need practice. Mahara P.S. to Pamnco, Your kind mention of my posts reminds me that our words here affect everyone who reads them, whether we consciously remember the fact or not. M. [This message has been edited by MDG (edited March 24, 2004).]
Little Tigger's post made me very sad because I know from experience how caring and helpful people on this board are, particularly to newbies. My first post, which I believe I deleted, didn't get many responses, although the people who did answer were very kind. The second post, which GiniDee mentioned, took off for some reason. Perhaps I just expressed my dilemma better the second time around, after I had read (and responded to) other people's questions. I'm not sure about a set of rules, per se, which might be offputting to people in need. But some gentle guidelines and an explanation of what to expect might be welcome. If that makes sense... Morgan PS GiniDee -- EVERYTHING is about the brownies.
Thanks, Jez! I'd missed this original post too. And putting together a list of 'How to get the most out of these boards' ... would be great ... I forget this stuff all the time, too. Things like, When Posting: * check your post in an hour or a day, if people have responded to you ... respond back and thank them ... and add or clarify a point. Posts work better if they're a back and forth conversation ... (see examples ... and we could pull some from the best of list) YES, INDEED. * try to keep paragraphs to 3 or 4 sentences max. Readibility requires a certain amount of white space ... * If you have a specific question ... ask it near the top of your post ... and then again near the end if it's a long one. If you need to just rant or vent ... let folks know at the beginning that this is what you're doing. AND DO IT IN THE RIGHT FORUM! * short posts are good when they're 2 paragraphs or under ... long posts when they're ??? I have no idea ... (and exceptions could be referred to ... for things like the Word of the Week posts that Engelein hosted awhile ago ... What else? and what do you think? Beth [This message has been edited by bmaskmaker (edited March 24, 2004).] [This message has been edited by BarbaraSher (edited May 08, 2004).]
Also, some thoughts about the technology ... I'm thinking asking people to respond 10 times before posting for themselves is a good idea in theory ... I'm worried in practice you'll just get a lot of hurried replies to people's posts ... This is actually an older version of UBB. So it may not have the capabilities I'll refer to below ... but the newer version will probably have it. There are some boards (like Tony Robbins, I believe) that have volunteer monitors. Basically experienced users volunteer to be a monitor for a certain section ... and when new people join they do in a 'monitored' state ... so their posts don't show up right away ... they get read first by the monitor who then either approves it (or doesn't) for posting ... This actually takes longer to explain than do ... it's automated within the boards, and as the monitor there's literally a button you click that say 'approve' ... This allows for an 'orientation period' where folks can get a sense of the boards ... and what the posts are like ... And hey! OK ... I just had a thought. You could have 2 options: 1) Join, and your membership is as a 'new member' and your posts go through a monitor for the first couple of posts. The way the system is (could be) automatically set up. or 2) If you'd like to speed up becoming a full member (and these categories could be changed, I think), you could attend an orientation teleclass where the 'rules of the board' ... and whatever else Barbara thought was relevant ... could be explained, etc. This would be free ... and I can think of at least 5 people on this board off the top of my head who could lead this teleclass ... it wouldn't and shouldn't actually be something Barbara would do. OK ... you've got my techie head spinning ... Beth ------------------ for more on me, see www.kitchentablecoaching.com
Yes, the idea of moderators/monitors crossed my mind once I saw how busy these boards are. In fact, I was wondering if some of you who post a lot are indeed monitors for Barbara? (An official agreement, I mean?) Because many other bulletin boards this large and busy simply must employ a welcoming person, someone who can mediate squabbles or delete outright unacceptable posts, someone who can keep the slower threads alive, etc. Otherwise chaos erupts! I'm not saying it's chaos yet, but if Barbara keeps having those PBS specials....
One thing that I feel is important for all to remember that there is a certain amount of 'control' involved with 'help'. No matter how kind-hearted a person feels they are, and not matter how perfect their 'advise' is, there is still an element of needing, or trying to control another's life....perhaps as an attempt to avoid their own lack of control in their own life. I THINK IT'S ALSO BECAUSE OTHER PEOPLE'S PAIN IS INTOLERABLE TO US -- THAT IS, IT SOMETIMES THREATENS TO WAKE UP OUR OWN, SO WE NEED TO BELIEVE WE HAVE THE POWER TO HELP THEM. This is not meant as accusatory or negative at all. After all, we learn, we get excited, we want to share and save others from the misery we went through, but, if we look closely, that need for control may be there....just another piece of self-awareness. (believe me, this comes from painful, personal experience.....seeing others as a mirror of what we dislike (or like) in ourselves.) M [This message has been edited by BarbaraSher (edited May 09, 2004).]
Feel free to post my first pity-party/I-can-kill-a-thread posts for the newbies~! When I first came here I was 'used' to only using instant chat rooms. THAT EXPLAINS IT! THAT'S WHY PEOPLE JUST SHOOT IN HERE, ASK QUESTIONS WITHOUT GETTING TO KNOW ANYONE, AND SOMETIMES GET IMPATIENT IF THEY HAVE TO WAIT MORE THAN A FEW MINUTES. DUH! NEVER THOUGHT OF THAT. It took many cuffs to the ears (I learned most from them ) to get the swing of things~! For the newbies a list of what to expect might help. Explain a few things where it is not like a 'live' chat room with instant responses, time/Country differences, one great insight I still remember is that some people can only get on the internet on weekends or at the library. Also having newbies use the search for key words thoughts ("Help..." & "How do I...") could give them insights on how to fine tune their requests if it was not addressed by the thread. Maybe there could be "examples" of WHY new people need to lurk more than post at the start. I am a visual person and if I saw (as a newbie) some of the posts where the 'miscommunications' went on with the 'wording' of the posts, then I could understand better. I do not mean to put any out there but maybe have some "mock" ones. [This message has been edited by BarbaraSher (edited May 09, 2004).]