This is my point: true hospitality is not a "two way street", it's a one way street-an attitude exhibited by the host or hostess that makes the visitor feel welcomed and accepted.
It's a two way street really as is all communication.
Just saying, I've been a member for a couple of years now, have received no arrogant nasty pms, my tuppence worth of thought mainly from observation, and experience, but no tertiary studies in this field, seems to be tolerated by people, or if ill advised thoughts by me, corrected by others.
So the poster and the people giving thought, time and expertise freely sometimes have to change the perspective and read in a non reactive state.
No one is out to get the poster, often the further questions are to clarify the question.
Posts can be answered by the experts or others, as the advice is free, the poster can take it or skim over the irrelevant.
I feel Old Lady's post here is because we alll think about the questions asked, take time to answer and then the vacuum that follows sometimes is a bit like getting a book taken away just as you turn the last page...
I posted a year ago seeking help for a productivity issue, I was asked to post a photo of the pot that we were making, so I did along with detailed assembly instructions used by our potters. I got slammed for the amount of clay I use to make my pots, the wavy side walls of the one pot I posted in a photo, and hammered because I didn't know how to throw, and was told to go slip cast. People were talking out their koondingies about stuff they knew nothing about. We had good reasons for doing things a certain way, but it defied clay-wisdom, so "NO SOUP FOR YOU!" This was in open forums.
It got so bad within 24 hours I took down the photos. The PMS traffic was worse. I took the posts to industry consultants who laughed at them, and pointed me to my competitors who are doing exactly what I wanted to accomplish.
I haven't solved all of my challenges yet, but' I've seen video of a single person attaching up to 1,000 handles a day, and of throwers with yields of 200 cylinders a day. Things I was told would ruin the art form and turn Potter's into "slaves". And, the people were happy!
I've been here for a few years too. I've seen kids come who fell in love with clay and wanted to set up a table at their local farmers market, and the wolf pack comes out. Your work isn't good enough-go to school for 10 years. "NO SOUP FOR YOU!" And, they aren't nice about it either. They don't encourage they discourage. If I were that kid, I wouldn't come back either.
Why do you give your time freely here? Before you answer that think about the original question... "What ever happened to...?" It's about them, not us! It's easy to deconstruct my argument-oh it's just Mike, not my experience. Just one PMS, never happened to me. Never seen it, so it never happened. But, then why this thread?
OldLady even says in her original post, "...there are lots of examples..."--I agree! She also asks, "Do we scare them off?" I'm suggesting we give this question careful and prayerful consideration. Don't dismiss it so easily. Think it over as individuals, how can each of us be a better host or hostess? Maybe we could send an encouraging PM to newbies inviting them to return, or like their first post, or let them know they can message you with questions. Or just tell them you're looking forward to seeing their gallery go up.
Relationships don't form when two people sit across the dance hall waiting for the other to get up and ask them to dance. And, they won't form if we take on a holier than thou attitude either-I already have a relationship with God, thank you very much!