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BessH
Permanent Resident

3095 Posts

Posted - 07/17/2002 :  01:22:42 AM  Show Profile  Visit BessH's Homepage Send BessH a Private Message
Something Bev said in another forum topic prompted these thoughts;

She was praising, with much justification, Clara’s light hand on these forums. She doesn’t try to control the discussion in any way, trusting to the courtesy of the members to keep things civil. IMHO we do a darn good job of upholding our end of the courtesy thing. But where I wish we could improve is when people take a forum topic and really change it into something else. Lots of times I see a topic heading and click on it to find that after awhile someone has changed the subject and others chime in and where I thought I was going to read about a particular cast on I’m now reading about a cooking recipe. (not real examples, mind, more of an illustration) I may be very interested in the recipe too, but since it is so completely off from the forum heading, I’m disconcerted. And if I were a new member I would probably be frustrated. In fact, I find that when the topic strays I just quit reading that topic and that’s too bad, since maybe others have posted on the original issue but I will miss it.

I feel the same when a topic becomes something of a personal conversation between two people.

And this is absolutely not a criticism of Bev - she was saying a good web site with a forum is one where the owner doesn’t try to bully the members - just that her words prompted my thinking in this direction and I thought I would spread my opinion all over the place....BUT in a new forum.


Rebecca
Permanent Resident

USA
1119 Posts

Posted - 07/17/2002 :  04:35:19 AM  Show Profile Send Rebecca a Private Message
I agree with what you're saying. We need to FOCUS a little more on the topic. If people want to chat, they should find a knitter's chat room to keep themselves busy during the day.

I have learned a lot from the forums but it is taking more and more patience to get to the meat of a discussion if it is more than 3 days old. There will eventually be so many topics that we may not have the time in the day to keep up.

Rebecca

...found easily in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia...
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Clara
queen bee

USA
4404 Posts

Posted - 07/17/2002 :  04:43:20 AM  Show Profile  Visit Clara's Homepage Send Clara a Private Message
Bess, this is absolutely inappropriate. Get offline now!

Tee hee... was that heavy-handed enough for you?

Sorry, I had to do that! But seriously, you bring up an interesting point. There's no denying that the forums have grown tremendously over the past 7 or so months. It was a lot easier to keep track of every thread in those "early days" (way back when I had to walk six miles to my computer, barefoot, up-hill both ways ) than it is now. I think many of us rely on the "Active Topics" feature to stay relatively on top of what's new.

How do we keep the original spirit of the forums - a kind, friendly, lighthearted and accepting place where everyone is at home - while maintaining some sense of order?

My feeling is that, as long as it's humanly possible, I'd like to keep as light a hand on things as possible. I can think of only a few cases where I've seen postings that were either inappropriate or potentially insulting of other people in the forums. In these cases I do take action behind the scenes. What is that action? Well... any offending parties will find out.

Whenever you see something odd going on, I'd be grateful if you could send me an email or private message about it. I'll check it out immediately.

And in the meantime, how do other people feel about this issue? And thanks, dearest Bess, for speaking up!

Clara
Your friendly Knitter's Review publisher
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kepkake
Chatty Knitter

USA
251 Posts

Posted - 07/17/2002 :  05:24:09 AM  Show Profile Send kepkake a Private Message
Hi everyone,
I agree that although it does take longer to read all of the messages, I can't help but enjoy the chatter. I guess I'm guilty of adding some personal information not related to the topic at hand. I would like to say that I used to frequent the TKGA BB often but stopped because, except for a few instances, I found it to be rather dry and impersonal. I love this forum for the very opposite reason. I would hate to see everyone just answering questions without a personal anecdote or two. Isn't there a reason that the forum has grown tremendously in the last 7 months? I understand the need to stay on-topic and agree with it...just don't lose that personal touch when doing so. I'll get off my soapbox now. Happy knitting.

Wendy
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BessH
Permanent Resident

3095 Posts

Posted - 07/17/2002 :  06:12:41 AM  Show Profile  Visit BessH's Homepage Send BessH a Private Message
Wicked bad Clara. I won't and you can't make me. nya.

Wendy Please don't think I'm advocating dry impersonal factoid answers. I tried very very hard not to sound like that's what I was saying. But i am sure that when someone is truly bringing up a different topic he knows he is doing it - And a different topic is so very welcome. I just wish that person would say so. In fact, what I h ope people will do is to say in one forum topic something like "oh this discussion of yarn shops makes reminds me of the wonderful shop in the town I used to live in. I'll tell you all about that town in a NEW topic I'm starting, labled "MY HOME TOWN" under Random Thoughts."

That way everybody who wants to can move on over to the home town forum and those who want to talk about yarn shops can keep talking about that.

I do hope people can see the difference.

In the end Clara will just have to buy a bigger file sever. But that is her problem.

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kepkake
Chatty Knitter

USA
251 Posts

Posted - 07/17/2002 :  07:19:41 AM  Show Profile Send kepkake a Private Message
Hi Bess,
Thanks for writing back. I thought that you wrote your thoughts sensitively and not offensively in any way. I'm sure others will see that. I was really trying to point out how much I like this forum. I agree that it would be nice to stay on topic but not at the expense of the friendliness. You brought up a very good point. Have a nice day.

Wendy
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knitkitty
Chatty Knitter

USA
161 Posts

Posted - 07/17/2002 :  07:59:31 AM  Show Profile Send knitkitty a Private Message
I feel that Bess makes some sensible, organized, civilized points, and that it would be easiest, as KR grows, to stick in neat topics. However, human nature being what it is, certain posts spark ideas and while you are there, you talk about it. I have noticed that many times a comment in a topic is what finally gets newbies to post, often right there and not in the Intro section. Guess they find that too formal and intimidating(???) I have been guilty of welcoming them in the topic, seeing no point in scolding them for inappropirate posts. I know this is NOT what Bess is asking - policing and being afraid to post. I think the example of saying "check out my new topic" is a great idea.

I also notice that the direct questions seem to get answered in the first bunch of posts anyway. I am like Wendy, I love to read the chatter, it is so friendly and helps us to get to know one another. I just enter Active Topics each time I come.

Perhaps it is a personality thing - some want to come to learn, some want to chat, most want to do both. I believe that KR has done a great job allowing both to thrive here. Maybe some are to shy to start new topics, thinking they are not important enough??? And some of us are still learning to use forums and boards. Which is why it is good to hear a little guidance on proper use.

I don't have any answers for the perfect balance, but I am very happy to be able to come and visit with you here daily.

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Chrys
Chatty Knitter

USA
212 Posts

Posted - 07/17/2002 :  08:19:27 AM  Show Profile  Send Chrys a Yahoo! Message Send Chrys a Private Message
I have to agree that I rather enjoy reading some of the chatter too. It makes the message board seem more like a conversation between friends rather than a dry question/answer page. However the suggestion of pointing them to a new thread is a good one if it starts to stray way off topic. If nothing else the new topic might be of interest to someone who would not have clicked on the original topic heading.

Christy

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Clara
queen bee

USA
4404 Posts

Posted - 07/17/2002 :  10:29:34 AM  Show Profile  Visit Clara's Homepage Send Clara a Private Message
Don't worry guys (or gals) - nothing's going to change. I don't want anyone to feel in the least bit nervous about posting anything at any time, period.

Obviously, if it's a discussion about knitted lace, if you make a lengthy post about your friend Susan and her love of hotdogs, it could be a little odd. But then again, I'm sure you'd find a way to make it appropriate for the lace discussion!

And one final note that may help explain the honest and well-intending place that my dearest Bess is coming from: She's a librarian by profession. Organization is in her blood! (Wouldn't you say so, Bess?)

Clara
Your friendly Knitter's Review publisher
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Patience
Permanent Resident

USA
1080 Posts

Posted - 07/17/2002 :  10:35:00 AM  Show Profile Send Patience a Private Message
Dear Bess,

On KR we really didn't have alot of off topic discussions early in our virtual meetings did we? Recently however, I've seen a bit of a shift to discussing non related things on a particular subject. That's not a problem at all if it's brief and something interspersed into the original subject, but when it gets picked up by others and carried into a completely different topic, then it can get annoying to those who really want to read ALL the possible answers to the matter at hand.

To see a major example of the above happening on a topic that is already posted, take a look at how page 1 differs dramatically from pages 2 & 3 of Completion Issues (sub title: too many projects?, and I think you can see where Bess is coming from.

Certainly, making a few comments within the subject is not what is being looked at here, at least I don't get that impression. I see it as a subtle hint that we should just take the extra time to click into the proper topic to discuss just what's on our minds at the moment. By no means would I want to see our beloved KR get cold and predictable, but going along with Bess's suggestions, just keeps all the good info, suggestions, techniques, and general knowledge in the appropriate places. Just MHO, and thanks for the opportunity to share it with all of you.


Warmest Regards, Patience
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BessH
Permanent Resident

3095 Posts

Posted - 07/17/2002 :  11:10:34 AM  Show Profile  Visit BessH's Homepage Send BessH a Private Message
And one final note that may help explain the honest and well-intending place that my dearest Bess is coming from: She's a librarian by profession. Organization is in her blood! (Wouldn't you say so, Bess?)


worse than that... I am a VIRGO librarian!! I happen to think alphabetized spice cabinets are good things.

no... i think they are better things

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lemons
Permanent Resident

1692 Posts

Posted - 07/17/2002 :  12:27:45 PM  Show Profile Send lemons a Private Message
I suppose, then, this is not the place to remark that an employee of mine once announced that she had her stovetop salt & pepper placed in alphabetical order???

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schoolmama
Permanent Resident

USA
2310 Posts

Posted - 07/17/2002 :  4:06:00 PM  Show Profile  Visit schoolmama's Homepage Send schoolmama a Private Message
I, too, have noticed that we stray off topic sometimes, but I do want us to keep our friendly atmosphere, too. Maybe we should have forums especially for just chitchat sometimes? I am not a Virgo, however, I have been a volunteer librarian, as opposed to a paid one, and I keep my spices in alphabetical order. BUT, I think it was because someone suggested it and I thought it was a cool thing to do. Some people think it is weird that I do that, but I don't care. Anyway, I enjoy a lot of the chatter, but I think we should try to stay somewhat on topic, or start a new one, if we get too far afield. Barb

"OF ALL THE THINGS I HAVE LOST, I MISS MY MIND THE MOST!"
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Marjorie
Seriously Hooked

New Zealand
605 Posts

Posted - 07/17/2002 :  6:23:20 PM  Show Profile Send Marjorie a Private Message
One of the things that keeps bringing me back to KR is not just the wonderful knitting information but also the relaxed,friendly approach to it.I have really enjoyed over the short time being here watching friendships developing and soaking up all the information.I can definetly see where Bess is coming from but I think that you have to be careful that that lovely warm,welcoming feeling isn't lost which is what makes this so very special.Alot of people get involved because they don't know anyone else that knits and they want to make new friends and have companionship and KR is one of those rare forums that I feel gives it all.I love the humour too.My family look at me sideways when they walk in and catch me laughing at the computer.Thanks Clara for doing such a grand job.
Regards
Marjorie

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Lissa
Permanent Resident

USA
4942 Posts

Posted - 07/17/2002 :  7:10:19 PM  Show Profile  Visit Lissa's Homepage Send Lissa a Private Message
I had noticed the same thing, and am guilty of doing it myself (my job woes, etc.) But I think the reason is that I don't feel as though y'all are JUST a knitting info resource - I feel (and many of you have proven to me that I've made true friends here. Perhaps when we want to have one-on-one discussions, we could email each other personally (by clicking on someone's name, we get to sent them messages). That would reduce some of the direct response stuff.

BUT I'M NOSEY!! I WANT to hear/read what's going on with my knitfriends! I do agree that discussions about anything beyond "Hi, I'm here" should be started in other than the intros thread. It's both easier to get answers (we don't all read the intro thread all the time) and to chime in on new topix.

Clara - you're the best listmom ever. Bess, et al. - I LOVE reading what you have to say!


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pritty
Chatty Knitter

217 Posts

Posted - 07/17/2002 :  8:47:52 PM  Show Profile  Visit pritty's Homepage Send pritty a Private Message
Admitting to wearing the organinzed Librarian badge too.
quote:

And one final note that may help explain the honest and well-intending place that my dearest Bess is coming from: She's a librarian by profession. Organization is in her blood! (Wouldn't you say so, Bess?)





Kathy, knitting Mama to Madeline
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Pookie
Chatty Knitter

255 Posts

Posted - 07/18/2002 :  08:50:20 AM  Show Profile Send Pookie a Private Message
I guess what bothers me about the "stick to the topic" concept is that it's -- if you'll pardon my use of a sort of harsh word -- unrealistic. What if we actually physically belonged to a knitting group that met to knit together. Would we only be allowed to talk about knitting?

For the record, personally, I AGREE with the "stick to the topic" concept. I get excited when I see there's been a new post to a topic I'm interested in, and I feel equally disappointed when the new post has nothing to do with the topic. But I understand that it's human nature to chit-chat and segue from topic to topic so I'm okay with it.

Pookie

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BessH
Permanent Resident

3095 Posts

Posted - 07/18/2002 :  3:26:32 PM  Show Profile  Visit BessH's Homepage Send BessH a Private Message
Ahh, but Pooie,

Nobody, especially not me, has suggested that people stick to one topic. My suggestion was that if you were going to radically change the topic it would be more polite to the rest of the readers to say you want to take things in a different direction and will do so on a new forum with such and such a name. Not for every personal anecdote, but for radical changes. or even, for a series of subtle changes in a row that result in a radical change. This is not a very great effort. New forum topics are easy to start. They are great fun to discover.

This is not a physical knitting group. Virtual situations demand different etiquette. Look how easy it is to misunderstand people without their body language or voice tones to guide us. Smilies are fun, but they are not the same as a flesh and blood face. For that matter, I would guess that most of us were taught that if we were going to change the subject we say “excuse me, I want to change the subject”. That’s all I was suggesting in my original post. And then - that people do so in a new virtual space.

I worried that, if I posted this, people would say "don’t stop me from being friendly", as if completely changing the topic - taking it away from the original poster - is a very friendly thing to do. and in spite of my greatest efforts in trying to be clear and realistic, it seems people still think I am advocating unfriendliness and rigidity. I rather think starting a new topic is being friendly to the original poster and to the general membership.

Sigh

language is very difficult.


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marfa
Permanent Resident

USA
2043 Posts

Posted - 07/18/2002 :  3:28:35 PM  Show Profile  Visit marfa's Homepage Send marfa a Private Message
How do.
Bess, this is a terrific post - thank you so much for starting it. You (& Patience & Clara) have said what I have felt for a while plus you articulated it beautifully. We all will verve some times when we are talking ablout a particular subject - that is human nature. A frustration vibe comes in for me when folks have posted something that is totally unrelated to the folder heading or the topic at hand. My response to that has been twofold: I have responded w/a post that mentioned a folder heading that was on topic and I have also skimmed a bit in that topic area & then opted out to another that did stay w/the original thought.
My computer time is brief & for me, these minutes I get at the end of my work day are precious - they are for all of us, I know. What I mean is that I would love to see the posts stay on track so we don't verve off like a meeting that goes on & on...
Thanks again, Bess. I do like your Virgo organization!

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BLN3320
Permanent Resident

USA
3808 Posts

Posted - 07/18/2002 :  6:11:41 PM  Show Profile Send BLN3320 a Private Message
Sorry I offended all of you. Beverley

"Be kind to your neighbor, he knows where you live!" Perhaps many of you should heed this.

Bev
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pritty
Chatty Knitter

217 Posts

Posted - 07/18/2002 :  7:12:08 PM  Show Profile  Visit pritty's Homepage Send pritty a Private Message
Sorry to say this, but chill out woman! It makes me sad that you think you need to start every post for here on out with some sort of passive agressive remark. Bess is entitled to her opinion, but please don't let it stop you from participating. Only you can stop you from doing what you want.



quote:

Sorry I offended all of you. Beverley

"Be kind to your neighbor, he knows where you live!" Perhaps many of you should heed this.

Bev



Kathy, knitting Mama to Madeline
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