I keep a pretty close eye on the forum and I cannot remember your posting as being that controversial. I must have missed something ... Or, was the nasty stuff in a PM?
I take your comments seriously Mike since I know other 'flamer forums' think they are not so bad either. BUT I just have not seen systemic mean spirit in the public area of the forum. Our moderators are pretty thorough so it's usually quite the opposite. I hope all Members are aware that they can and should report any abuse ... Public or private ... to the moderators
I don't know what we can do to stop nasty PMs but one thing that might help with first questions is to change the name of a first time poster from "newbie" to " New Poster" or some such. Then we won't tend to confuse them with someone who is new to clay.
OK, I'm not trying to say this is a bad place. I'm not trying to say this is a "flamer forum"... If I gave that impression I'm sorry. My point was sometimes we approach folks from the position that we know better than they do, we criticize them unfairly as oppose to offering a professional critique. We launch into these criticisms without asking clarifying questions that might change the advice we're giving them. And sometimes that makes us wrong, and we turn people off. SOMETIMES... So, sometimes we scare people off. Justsayn... My opinion...
Now it's not a question of a mean spirit. It's a question, in my opinion, of a bit of arrogance on the part of some people, not all. It's like you said the other day. Someone posts in the glaze forum. "I'm an expert on this topic, I know topic "A" is dangerous, I'm an expert. I don't need help on topic "A", I know the rules and safety issues related to "A". I have a question on "B". Please don't post on "A", because I know my stuff on "A", but if you would be so kind to answer my question on "B", I would really appreciate it..." And then what follows? A page and half on topic "A" with one post actually saying; I'm not sure we were direct enough with the poster... This is the same thing that happened to me. It's not that anyone is being "mean", they think they are doing the "right thing". But, they think they "know better" than the person who just said they're an expert, and have good reasons for doing it that way.
If I remember correctly a moderator did intervene, and return comments were along the line: "Hey some people just don't understand the true nature of their problems."
You see... that's the "I know better" attitude, and my entire point is that it becomes exclusionary, it puts people off. And, it turns them away. So, I'm saying we should consider and reflect on the idea that maybe we do affect people more than we realize. That's it. I'm not saying we take them out back and beat the tar out of them, throw them in the kiln and cremate them, then draw and quarter them (sequence maybe out of order). I'm not saying we are cruel. I'm not saying we are bullies. I'm saying our attitude affects others and we should consider that as a factor in why people don't come back. It's not an easy thing to accept, we all want to believe we're good people. We all want to believe we're wonderful people, we do nothing to "scare others off".
But, maybe sometimes we do... Maybe we would all do well to consider there are lurkers watching and reading our posts and how we interact with one another... How we critique. How we respond. How we assume.
- Mudslinger Ceramics likes this