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Should the Miscellaneous Forum Stay or Go?
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Deepika
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Deepika  Friend of PR
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MA
Member since 11/28/01
Posts: 11596
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Date: 2/22/10 4:10 PM

Message Boards are a vital part of PatternReview and I love hanging out here so much. I believe there is an amazing amount of generous exchange of information here. That said, we have all seen a pattern in certain threads in the Miscellaneous Forum which has often caused a lot of hurt feelings-- not just for the participants but also among the moderators, which I absolutely HATE! I've spent a number of sleepless nights thinking about the solution for this.

Should we shut the whole Miscellaneous Forum down?

This is, after all, a sewing site. But I am usually never in favor of shutting things down completely unless it becomes absolutely necessary. So I've brushed that idea aside.

Should we aggressively moderate the Misc. Forum? Delete whole threads at the slightest inkling of a problem?

While that may seem okay in the beginning, we may also end up losing some intelligent discussions. I'd prefer not to do this.

Should we not moderate the Misc. forum at all?

To do this, I'd have to hope that all concerned will understand that they're on our own here, and that no action will be taken regardless of any type of conversation. That too, in my opinion, will not work given the extreme opinions we've seen in the past-- it goes back to hurt feelings again.

I know that everyone means well here. But things often get misconstrued. And lets be honest here: Nobody likes rules. Nobody likes to be told what to do and what not to do. But we need them, and we need to follow them. Rules are what keep us civil. They allow us to converse in this virtual, faceless medium safely and easily.

For me, even more important than rules are the people who enforce the rules. In this case I am talking about the Moderators of this board. It is easy to say "We understand how hard it is for you to moderate". But you really have no idea what it takes to moderate the Miscellaneous board unless you have done it yourself. Moderation requires a calm and composed mind to be able to make decisions in the interest of the site. It also requires making some really tough calls that are sure to upset at least one person, maybe more. And if coming up with that decision isn't hard enough, the moderators sometimes even receive unpleasant messages from members, attacking them for their decisions. Sometimes they even are threatened, either publicly or via private messages.

This is NOT going to be tolerated. I am afraid there is no other way of saying it.

I can't tell you what to feel or what not to feel if its your post or topic which was deleted, but I do ask for your trust. And I am hoping you will give me that.

And if you have any concerns, I invite you to write to me at support@patternreview.com instead of the Moderators.

As always, thanks to all of you for helping me make PatternReview a wonderful place to be!

------
- Deepika
Founder, PatternReview.com
Blog: http://www.deepikablogs.com

Gelbean
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Gelbean
Intermediate
PA USA
Member since 2/17/08
Posts: 855
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In reply to Deepika


Date: 2/22/10 4:22 PM

Thanks Deepika for not shutting down the miscellaneous forum. Things can and do get a little heated in that section but I think for the most part the threads are interesting.

Thanks to the Moderators for all you do to keep the peace. I can't imagine how much of your time is spent reading topics that may not even interest you just to keep the boards a fun and safe place to interact for the rest of us.

------
Bonnie






Karen6790
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Karen6790  Friend of PR
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Date: 2/22/10 4:41 PM

I'm in favor of keeping the Miscellaneous Forum. PR members aren't just sources of information about sewing - I've gotten lots of great advice and ideas from the Miscellaneous Forum.

I have seen some discussions get out of hand, and I am very sorry that the moderators have to take the heat for doing what is a very difficult job. I would suggest continuing moderation but if there are any kinds of threats or intimidation, either public or by PM, then I think the person making those threats doesn't deserve to be a member here. We can agree to disagree, but there's no agreeing to that kind of behavior, especially toward someone who's just trying to keep this place pleasant for all of us.

My 2 cents.

------
Karen

There's always room for one more cat, one more book or one more yard of fabric.

http://sewingbytheseatofmypants.blogspot.com/

Mufffet
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Mufffet  Friend of PR
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VT USA
Member since 8/14/05
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In reply to Deepika


Date: 2/22/10 4:46 PM

If you keep misc. forums, they need to be moderated. Not read by moderators AFTER posting but screened before the posts go up. My own opinion is that there is no need for misc. forums. But that opinion is only mine, and only because of experience in the past decade and a half on the internet, not just the WWW. As PR grows, we seem to have some problems on the sewing forums from time to time too, and that is too bad. Deepika, do whatever makes it easier for you!

------
"Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible."
--Dalai Lama

I have sewing machines

ClaireEmily
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ClaireEmily
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AUSTRALIA
Member since 9/28/08
Posts: 408
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Date: 2/22/10 4:53 PM

I am in favour of keeping the Miscellaneous forum. I have read many interesting and educational threads there, and feel it helps make PR more of a community - that people care about things in each others lives other than sewing. It has been also really eye opening for me to read opinions of people who live very differently to me.

That said, I find it very sad that obnoxious behaviour occasionally happens on PR, and it is very unfair for the Moderators who have to deal with it. I do think that it needs moderation. We should all pull our socks up and be more careful about what we post.

------
Claire - Melbourne, Australia

Kathleen Fasanella
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Kathleen Fasanella  Friend of PR
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NM USA
Member since 1/12/05
Posts: 740
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Date: 2/22/10 4:54 PM

Actually, I *do* understand how difficult it is to moderate and then to endure the consequences of people lying and bad mouthing you over it on their sites. I do understand having your gut wrenched, being upset and nervous all day -or week- about an ugly turn of affairs to the extent you don't even want to visit your own site.

By virtue of what you've created, you're in a role of leadership. You don't get a how-to manual when you evolve into a leader anymore than you get a DIY guide when you have a kid. You'll have to make some calls that will make you unpopular, it comes with the territory. You'll make some bad decisions sometimes. Through it all, the people whose opinions you value most, will have the capacity to appreciate the difficulty and complexity of your growth as a leader. You will never please everyone, it's impossible. In the end, only you can decide because you will live with the consequences. If being a leader were easy, everyone could do it.

While this forum is public, it's not public property. Users confuse the two. Having an opinion is not the same thing as 1) being right and 2) being entitled to voice that opinion. One does not have the right to yell "Fire" in a crowded theater. Being entitled to free speech ends where private property begins. That is the law, most don't know it. And that is not to say you need to become draconian and stifle discussion but as a leader, it is incumbent upon you to exercise authority, wisdom and discretion lest it devolve into The tragedy of the commons.

Leadership is lonely. It's hard. You may not have chosen the role but that's where you are now. If you lacked personal fortitude, you wouldn't have gotten this far along.

------
http://fashion-incubator.com
Lessons from the sustainable sewing factory floor

Leora
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Leora
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OR USA
Member since 2/7/04
Posts: 2142
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Date: 2/22/10 4:55 PM

I'm not sure if you are asking us what you should do or just telling us not to threaten moderators. But, if you are asking, then I would say to ban anyone who threatens a moderator. Plain and simple. No excuse for that behavior. They shouldn't have to take any abuse and come back smiling and explaining their decisions. They don't get paid enough :)

I think people know when they have crossed the line, although, come to think of it, I would probably get in trouble for male-bashing. But! I wouldn't get all mean toward a mod for calling me on it. I probably wouldn't "get" why it wasn't allowed but if thems the rules then thems the rules.

Also, if I may, please ban people who take out more than one username as that is a waste of your resources and annoying. It is an underhanded way to get away with causing trouble on an otherwise, I think, peaceful board.

------
Leah

My blog:
http://www.journeytocouture.com

My idea of housework is to sweep the room with a glance.

Jatman
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Jatman  Friend of PR
Intermediate
MI USA
Member since 6/26/06
Posts: 1310
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In reply to Deepika


Date: 2/22/10 4:58 PM

Deepika,

I have mostly enjoyed the miscellaneous forum. But I really don't enjoy the topics that seem to invite head-butting. If you cut off the miscellaneous area the problem will likely just infiltrate the other areas of the board as people go off topic and don't have any place to continue the conversation. I hope you continue to keep moderators in the miscellaneous area because I think it could get really ugly really quickly if you don't.

Personally, I wouldn't miss any topics that seem to be inviting trouble. If those were closed quickly I would probably enjoy this board a little more. And maybe people would focus their energy here on more productive areas like helping people who have posted sewing related questions.

JT

cgHipp
cgHipp  Friend of PR
Beginner
SC USA
Member since 11/8/06
Posts: 872
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Date: 2/22/10 5:03 PM

I love the Miscellaneous forum as is! I wholeheartedly disagree with moderating posts before they're posted - that really stifles conversation and creates a ton of work for moderators. I think dealing with individual offenders on a case-by-case basis is the way to go.

------
I rip what I sew.

leigh7911
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leigh7911
Advanced Beginner
TX USA
Member since 10/20/05
Posts: 1185
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Date: 2/22/10 5:05 PM

Stay!

If moderating Misc. is becoming too much of a burden for the moderators, then my first thought is to have the moderation backed off a bit. Will I get in trouble if I say that sometimes this site seems a little TOO nice and sweet? I like it when the heavier topics come up, but I feel that sometimes we're all being so careful to not step on anyone's toes that it stifles the debate and discussion.

Of course, this is not a debate site, it's a sewing site. If the decision is made to take down anything not directly related to sewing, then so be it. If it stays however, I just don't see the need for the poor moderators to have to become the Polite Police. Maybe Misc. could become a "join-only" forum? Possibly even age restricted? Then (if this is indeed the direction decided on) the less moderation wouldn't be a big concern. Shoot, there could even be a message that we have to check as read that pops up anytime someone starts or replies to a thread about how the section will not be watched as closely as others.

------
... but what do I know?

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