Psycho-Babble Administration Thread 300134

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Re: small town boards NikkiT2

Posted by jane d on February 10, 2004, at 13:46:07

In reply to Re: small town boards jane d, posted by NikkiT2 on February 10, 2004, at 12:56:15

> "No. Definately not. But everyone except for the first class has taken their turn reading posts about how great things were back in the old days and realized that the old days meant pre-them."
>
> I think you'll find that an awful lot of us "old timers" are actually saying that we like it better now.. Theres things and people we miss, ofcourse.. But many of us love the safety here these days.. things like that
>
> Nikki x

Nikki,

No offense intended. After all you "old timers" are the ones who made me welcome, helped me pull my foot out of my mouth a few times, and then offered me dry socks to wear. But a few people HAVE said that. I don't believe it's meant in the way I paraphrased it but I also don't think that those people realize it could be heard that way.

Jane

PS Can I have another pair of dry socks please?

 

Re: small town boards Dr. Bob

Posted by jane d on February 10, 2004, at 14:18:01

In reply to Re: small town boards, posted by Dr. Bob on February 10, 2004, at 0:58:10

> What's wrong with gated private communities? If everyone can join one if they want? People will only want to belong to clubs that won't have them as members?

Everyone can't join gated communities. That's the point of them. And it's hard to be fond of them when you know that you are the kind of people they were designed to keep out.

I think the gated community analogy applies best to the "invitation only" boards which you are no longer suggesting. The stuff below applies to the size limited boards you are talking about now.

> Exactly, this is like a big city now!

No. I don't think it is. Not yet at least. But I think adding boards is another step in that direction. I'm not sure quite how you want this to develop but I keep seeing links on the page to dozens and dozens of boards.

>
> Right, that's what the people being observed would be doing...

I see it more like being performers a stage set up to look like a small town than participating in an actual town. The point I was trying to make before is that the more you try to make it look like a small town the less likely your actors will realize that they are on a stage. Kind of like "the Truman Show" if I'm thinking of the right movie.

>
> Bob

Perhaps this is no longer relevant to the thread but I got the impression that you were surprised at how strongly opposed some of us were to the invitation only plan. I think this brings back some nasty memories of childhood and adolescence and the way exclusion from the in group could be deliberately used to hurt someone. I don't think that particular form of harassment is a part of boys culture at all. There's a book called "Odd Girl Out" which describes this fairly well. Its mostly interviews with girls about their social interactions (to put it politely). If you are curious about the reaction you got you might like to take a look at the book.

(I've tried to put in the link. Or course you may want to keep in mind that amazon tried to sell their customer information once and may well try it again but this is a fairly innocuous purchase)

Jane

 

Bob

Posted by Elle2021 on February 10, 2004, at 16:06:19

In reply to Re: small town boards Dr. Bob, posted by jane d on February 10, 2004, at 14:18:01

Dear Bob,
Does this idea of "gated communities" have something to do with your research. I mean, are you doing some experiment to see how all of us will react to these by invitation only boards? (i.e. will people with the same disorders stay in the same group, be in the same community etc.) I get that feeling. I think it's a bad idea, and even worse, it would limit the amount of information that can be exchanged here.
Elle

 

Future of Babble

Posted by gardenergirl on February 10, 2004, at 17:33:22

In reply to Bob, posted by Elle2021 on February 10, 2004, at 16:06:19

Dr. Bob,
I have tried to stay out of this, but I have noticed a number of posters asking for your reasoning and goals for Babble. I don't feel like these questions have received adequate answers.

So, although experience should teach me otherwise, I am going to ask the following questions.

Do you have a strategic plan for Babble? One that includes a mission, values, and goals? If so, then any changes to Babble would come from a place of planning and congruence. Making decisions would be easier as you would make them based on your mission, vision, and values. I'm guessing it would feel to those of us who use Babble that your decisions make sense if they came from such a model. Rather, it feels as if you are just blowing on the winds, or perhaps whims of ideas rather than from a place of purpose.

Perhaps business students at your university could help you with this. I highly recommend acting in congruence with a defined strategic plan. It really cuts down the dissonance.

gg

 

Re: small town boards Dr. Bob

Posted by judy1 on February 10, 2004, at 18:25:03

In reply to Re: small town boards, posted by Dr. Bob on February 9, 2004, at 19:51:37

>
> > perhaps it would help to have a poll
> >
> > judy
>
> The thing is, I think people who are here now are going to be relatively satisfied with the current system. Otherwise, they wouldn't be here now...

actually, I was thinking there would be some support for your new boards and was interested in seeing how much. and as one poster wrote, a poll would give a sense of empowerment, at least a sense of feeling involved with your decision. as someone who has been around for 5 or more years, I've seen many changes here- with the advent of PBCs and blocks my favorite (although I know many would disagree with that). I never expected these boards to remain static. I also know that when I feel particularly vulnerable I only post on PB2000, with complete faith that I won't be hurt by people I've interacted with for years. I think that is part of what you're trying to achieve with your new boards.
It pains me to see people so upset with the possibility of these changes. I truly hope they stay with their support systems they have created here, and wait to see what if any impact these changes have on them.

 

Re: small town boards

Posted by Dr. Bob on February 11, 2004, at 1:20:35

In reply to Re: small town boards Dr. Bob, posted by judy1 on February 10, 2004, at 18:25:03

> I find your responses often making me feel incomplete. When you answer a question with a question I feel very no validation at all, because I often feel that you are not understanding the point that the poster is trying to make.
>
> It feel that by simply answering with a question that you are avoiding the discussion - trying to diffuse the discussion by spreading out more ideas without tying anything back together. I guess I feel like I hear a lot of the possibilities that must be going on in your head, but I do not have a sense of how you see them tying together.
>
> fallsfall

Well, sometimes it's true, I don't understand the point...

I think of asking questions as a way to promote discussion rather than to avoid it. It may spread out more ideas, and it may not be clear how they tie together, but these aren't always simple issues.

----

> I *think*/I *hope* that you really believe that the idea of 'small town boards' will be beneficial to the well being of many present and future posters to the board. That said, if you do, in fact, believe this ... then perhaps you need to post something a bit more detailed about how this is supposed to work.

What kinds of details do you mean?

> I must say that I, too, find it annoying when you respond to a question with a question and when you respond with an extremely brief answer that leaves many other questions and possible interpretations. That is a communication problem.
>
> Penny

Sorry about that. If you have other questions, just ask...

----

> > The unofficial groups are available to everyone?
>
> That kind of sounds like "put up or shut up"

No, I really just wasn't sure what you meant. Did you mean that the chat room is available to everyone? Or that people are free to form their own unofficial groups? Or actually that there's some listing of existing unofficial groups?

> I've felt guilty before over just finding friends for myself there and then leaving.

I don't think you need to feel guilty about that. Finding friends is great, and no one's obligated to stay.

But it's interesting that you leave, maybe you feel more comfortable is a less open setting? :-)

> > What's wrong with gated private communities? If everyone can join one if they want?
>
> I think the gated community analogy applies best to the "invitation only" boards which you are no longer suggesting.

Maybe, but I don't know, that was Dinah's analogy...

> I see it more like being performers a stage set up to look like a small town than participating in an actual town. The point I was trying to make before is that the more you try to make it look like a small town the less likely your actors will realize that they are on a stage.

A stage in what way? Because others can watch?

> I got the impression that you were surprised at how strongly opposed some of us were to the invitation only plan. I think this brings back some nasty memories of childhood and adolescence and the way exclusion from the in group could be deliberately used to hurt someone.
>
> Jane

I know it's not always easy to leave the past behind, but aren't people *here* usually pretty friendly? All of a sudden that would change?

----

> Does this idea of "gated communities" have something to do with your research. I mean, are you doing some experiment to see how all of us will react to these [new] boards?

You could think of it as trying to see if some people feel more comfortable with a different type of board, but I wouldn't consider it scientific research. And there's no hidden agenda.

> I think ... it would limit the amount of information that can be exchanged here.
>
> Elle

Because, for example, poster P from small town board A wouldn't be able to post on small town board B? That's true, but (1) P could post on an open board (where people from B could read and reply) and (2) people from B might feel more comfortable having their own board and post more there (where P could read but not reply).

----

> Do you have a strategic plan for Babble? One that includes a mission, values, and goals?
>
> gardenergirl

The mission is peer support and education? And the plan is to foster that by maintaining a supportive milieu? That probably doesn't count as "strategic"...

----

> > > perhaps it would help to have a poll
> >
> > The thing is, I think people who are here now are going to be relatively satisfied with the current system. Otherwise, they wouldn't be here now...
>
> actually, I was thinking there would be some support for your new boards and was interested in seeing how much. and as one poster wrote, a poll would give a sense of empowerment, at least a sense of feeling involved with your decision.

Well, I think someone's more likely to be involved if they post here than if they just vote, but I take your point, let's give it a try:

http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/psycho-babble-open/surveys?id=1178539

> when I feel particularly vulnerable I only post on PB2000, with complete faith that I won't be hurt by people I've interacted with for years. I think that is part of what you're trying to achieve with your new boards.

Right, the idea is for people to have a place they feel comfortable, connected, safe, etc.

> It pains me to see people so upset with the possibility of these changes. I truly hope they stay with their support systems they have created here, and wait to see what if any impact these changes have on them.
>
> judy

Change is always hard here. I think feeling upset can be a sign that people like things the way they are, which of course is good. And they don't want to lose that.

But there's always room for improvement...

Bob

 

Thanks :) Penny and (nm) fallsfall

Posted by Dinah on February 11, 2004, at 7:00:58

In reply to Re: small town boards, posted by fallsfall on February 10, 2004, at 9:56:08

 

Re: small town boards

Posted by Dinah on February 11, 2004, at 7:55:47

In reply to Re: small town boards Dr. Bob, posted by judy1 on February 10, 2004, at 18:25:03

> It pains me to see people so upset with the possibility of these changes. I truly hope they stay with their support systems they have created here, and wait to see what if any impact these changes have on them.

Judy, I can only speak for myself. But my concerns aren't for the changes there would be to me, but the changes there would be on the board. The changes that would happen if people felt they needed to retreat to their own enclave to feel safe. The changes that happen in a real community when that happens. It's a hot topic in my city, and in others as well. What happens when a city starts being walled off from itself. It's not that I feel personally involved. I don't live inside a walled community, you don't even have to be chosen to live there or receive an invite, just buy a house. Not all the houses are really expensive or out of my ability to buy. I don't live right outside a walled community, feeling unsafe and wishing that I too had an officer at the gate to keep out the riffraff. I'm not envious of those inside the walled community. Admittedly I might mind the smell of the hot dogs coming over the fence during the fenced in community block party, while I can smell them and listen to the laughter, but can only join in by phoning someone inside and having a conference call. And there might be a teensy part of me that would be *glad* that they had walled themselves off if they only wanted to associate with each other. And perhaps a determination to not invite them to our block party. But I hope I'd overcome those petty feelings.

It's true that if I did live right next to the walled community, and saw it every day, and heard them talking about how glad they were to have the walls and the security guards, I might feel a bit stung. And even if I knew these people weren't actually afraid of *me* and weren't trying to exclude themselves from *me*, I would also know that maybe some of my neighbors didn't know that, and felt hurt at the implications of walls. Not me personally. But others that I live and work with. And that would hurt *me* to know that others felt excluded or as if they were viewed as threatening. And that's where I'm coming from.

Of course I appreciate the support system, and more importantly perhaps, the friends and acquaintances I have made here.

But it's also nice to be heard and understood by the mayor. And it hurts when the mayor you always voted for, supported, and stuffed envelopes for appears to make light of your concerns and values. I've heard a lot of people say that before me, so I know I'm not alone in actually caring about Dr. Bob's actions. Most of the attrition from the people who get really involved in the boards, and who care about the board (and care about Dr. Bob too), don't come from the lack of walls. They come from what Penny and Fallsfall were discussing. From feeling that Dr. Bob didn't hear them and understand them and take their concerns seriously, even if in the end he had a different opinion and made a different choice.

I don't think Dr. Bob wants this. I don't think he wanted to lose Lar or any of the other worthwhile posters that may not have left if they had felt heard and understood and taken seriously. I don't think he wants this, but I think it's happened enough that it's something he should keep in mind.

I'm glad you've never been hurt by Dr. Bob or felt invalidated by him (psychobabble I know, but apropos). I hope you never do. But if it ever happens to you, you'll know how much it hurts. And there'll be no safe enclave *here* from that particular hurt.

 

Re: small town boards Dr. Bob

Posted by fallsfall on February 11, 2004, at 7:57:34

In reply to Re: small town boards, posted by Dr. Bob on February 11, 2004, at 1:20:35

Dr. Bob,

I would like to participate in the survey, but I don't know what I would be commenting on. My support or lack of support is dependent on some of the details of the implementation. As I understand it, these details have changed - and I'd like to be sure that I'm deciding on the most current set.

Would you like to define the current proposal, or would you like someone else to specify what they think it is, so that we can all be on the same page?

(It would be helpful if your answer to that question was one of these:

A. Dr. Bob will define the current proposal
B. Dr. Bob will ask a specific poster if they will define the current proposal
C. Dr. Bob will ask for volunteers to define the current proposal, and then choose one of the volunteers to do the work
D. Dr. Bob will ask that any poster who wants to should post what they think the current proposal is and it can be discussed from there (but I'm not sure that this would lead to closure, so I really like the other choices better.)
E. Dr. Bob will ask for volunteers to meet in a chat room to come up with the proposal.
)

Sincerely,
Fallsfall

 

Re: small town boards judy1

Posted by Dinah on February 11, 2004, at 14:12:22

In reply to Re: small town boards Dr. Bob, posted by judy1 on February 10, 2004, at 18:25:03

Judy, I just wanted to apologize if I said anything to hurt you in my prior post. I wouldn't want to do that for the world.

I have often thought that if there was any purpose for the 2000 and 2001 boards at all, it was to help you and Slinky feel safe.

 

Re: small town boards Dr. Bob

Posted by fallsfall on February 11, 2004, at 14:31:42

In reply to Re: small town boards, posted by Dr. Bob on February 11, 2004, at 1:20:35

***Dr. Bob,

***I'm glad that you have responded to so many of the issues that we've raised above. There are some things, though that I'm not clear on, so I'll try to clarify what my confusion is in hopes that you can clarify some of the answers.

> > I find your responses often making me feel incomplete. When you answer a question with a question I feel very no validation at all, because I often feel that you are not understanding the point that the poster is trying to make.
> >
> > It feel that by simply answering with a question that you are avoiding the discussion - trying to diffuse the discussion by spreading out more ideas without tying anything back together. I guess I feel like I hear a lot of the possibilities that must be going on in your head, but I do not have a sense of how you see them tying together.
> >
> > fallsfall
>
> Well, sometimes it's true, I don't understand the point...

***It could be helpful to us if you could explain a little more about why you are confused.
>
> I think of asking questions as a way to promote discussion rather than to avoid it. It may spread out more ideas, and it may not be clear how they tie together, but these aren't always simple issues.

***I certainly agree that these aren't simple issues. I often find, though, that the counter-questions that you raise feel almost more like a defense to me than a conversation. Often I agree, saying "well, yes, Dr. Bob is right that it could be seen in a different way" but then there is no DISCUSSION that follows. So whereas before I was considering one possibility (and feeling a little control in the world), now there are two possibilities - but I have no way of comparing them or combining them. The two possibilities just sit there and never come together. I feel like I can't respond when you do that because I feel like you've told me (or whoever the poster was) that I'm wrong - the world isn't as simple as I think, and that I should get my facts straight the next time before I present something. But I can't do that because you don't give me enough information on your philosophies to construct a more durable proposition. Also, many of your counter-questions seem rhetorical to me. Or they indicate that the difference in opinion is like a religious battle - where there is no right or wrong - only opinions. In all of these cases, I end up with two ideas that don't come together, so I get frustrated and give up.
>
> ----
>
> > I *think*/I *hope* that you really believe that the idea of 'small town boards' will be beneficial to the well being of many present and future posters to the board. That said, if you do, in fact, believe this ... then perhaps you need to post something a bit more detailed about how this is supposed to work.
>
> What kinds of details do you mean?

***This is an example of a counter-question that I find irritating. I found the original question fairly clear, myself. So, I am left with the impression that you are avoiding answering the question (saying "OK, Poster, I'll answer your question, but only if you do more work first").

***Details that I would like:
1. Logistical details - how do people sign up for the rooms, what happens if someone stops posting (and for how long) - does their spot get put up for grabs? How do people know there is a spot open and apply for it?
2. Why do you think the smaller rooms will make people feel safer? Is the only factor in safety the number of people who can respond? Isn't the number of people who can read also a factor in feeling safe?
3. The biggest complaint that I hear from new people is that noone responds to their post. Do you think that smaller rooms will help this problem? There will be fewer people who CAN respond, but maybe those people will feel more responsible to respond? My feeling is that new posters will get fewer responses in a smaller room.
4. What problem are you trying to solve with this small town solution? Are you trying to have groups of posters feel closer to each other? More responsible for helping each other? Less likely to be uncivil to each other? Are you trying to start up a set of rooms where new posters could get their feet wet, or where old posters can go to relax? All of these things COULD be results of the small town solution - but my question is "What is it that YOU are hoping to accomplish? What prompted this?"

***Overall, I am assuming that you think that there will be benefits to the small town boards. What ARE those benefits that you are looking for? We've talked a bit about some of the drawbacks, but it's really hard to weigh the sides when we know so little about one of the sides.
>
> > I must say that I, too, find it annoying when you respond to a question with a question and when you respond with an extremely brief answer that leaves many other questions and possible interpretations. That is a communication problem.
> >
> > Penny
>
> Sorry about that. If you have other questions, just ask...

***Penny wasn't asking a question. She was stating an opinion. "Sorry about that." does not give her (or me) an indication of whether you understand her point, whether you agree or disagree with her point, or whether you have any intention of changing your communication style.

***Though I will say, that your response makes me think that you have no intention of changing your communication style, since it is in the form that I think she is saying she is annoyed with. If you do not intend to change, then it would be clearer for you to say "I can see why you might be frustrated by the additional questions, but this is the way I work." Then at least we would know that we should give up trying to point things out to you that we think would help the board.
>
> ----
>
***This next section got pretty confusing for me, so I went back to see the context of these statements. I think that this exchange helps to illustrate why I find the answering a question with a question confusing.

***********************Jane's post ( ) says:

***> The one [unofficial group] I am most familiar with evolved from the chat room in Open and everyone was welcomed there. Over time some friendships developed there that went beyond the chat room but that chat room stayed open and welcoming.
***Exactly, a friendship could develop on a large board and then move beyond it to a smaller board. While the large board stayed open and welcoming.
***> I wasn't that comfortable mentioning the unofficial groups in the first place and only did it because it's an option available to everyone
***The unofficial groups are available to everyone?

**************[This is the end of the part of Jane's post that I went back to read.]

> > > The unofficial groups are available to everyone?
> >
> > That kind of sounds like "put up or shut up"
>
> No, I really just wasn't sure what you meant. Did you mean that the chat room is available to everyone? Or that people are free to form their own unofficial groups? Or actually that there's some listing of existing unofficial groups?

***The question "The unoffical groups are available to everyone?" could come across as a challenge - in this case it could be interpretted to mean that you are implying that not everyone has access to unofficial groups, and that this means that they would not be a viable alternative to small town boards.

***Perhaps you could have put your 3 (much clearer) questions in your previous post to Jane so that it would be clear to Jane what your questions were. I always assume that you have something specific in mind when you put in a question like that, but not infrequently I'm not sure what that specific thing is. Is my suggestion clear to you - that perhaps in the future you could be more specific? Is being more specific something that you would see as an improvement?

***This is as much as I have time for right now. I'll try to get the rest of my questions into a post this evening. I do think that it is important for me to understand what this particular post of yours is trying to say.

Falls

 

Re: Thanks, Falls fallsfall

Posted by Penny on February 11, 2004, at 14:59:58

In reply to Re: small town boards Dr. Bob, posted by fallsfall on February 11, 2004, at 14:31:42

for clarifying - I didn't know if I should reply to Dr. Bob's post or not, b/c it gets quite confusing for me, and I don't like feeling confused, dull-minded or frustrated. I, too, thought that asking for additional details without specifying 'what kinds of details' was sufficient, and I still don't understand the problem. I can't fully respond with 'what kinds of details' to him because I don't fully understand what he's trying to set up here with the new boards - but I think you, Falls, did a nice job of clarifying what I was wondering.

(((Falls!)))

P

 

thank you (nm) Dinah

Posted by judy1 on February 11, 2004, at 16:24:23

In reply to Re: small town boards judy1, posted by Dinah on February 11, 2004, at 14:12:22

 

Re: small town boards fallsfall

Posted by jane d on February 11, 2004, at 20:07:21

In reply to Re: small town boards Dr. Bob, posted by fallsfall on February 11, 2004, at 14:31:42

Fallsfall,

You've said some interesting things in your post that deserve more time than I have to spend tonight so I'll try to address that later. I just want to comment now on your reaction to my exchange with bob since you aren't the only who seems to have been bothered.

Keep in mind that I did find some of the earlier posts funny and was trying to respond in kind. The flippant tone (and deliberate misstatement of what bob had said) in this exchange came from me.

I thought bob's follow up questions were quite legitamate and I'll probably come back with as many new questions for him as I have answers. Unless the thread changes direction or someone else says it first.

Got to run. I'm hosting a party with no takers over at open tonight.

Jane

>
> > > > The unofficial groups are available to everyone?
> > >
> > > That kind of sounds like "put up or shut up"
> >
> > No, I really just wasn't sure what you meant. Did you mean that the chat room is available to everyone? Or that people are free to form their own unofficial groups? Or actually that there's some listing of existing unofficial groups?
>
> ***The question "The unoffical groups are available to everyone?" could come across as a challenge - in this case it could be interpretted to mean that you are implying that not everyone has access to unofficial groups, and that this means that they would not be a viable alternative to small town boards.

 

Re: small town boards

Posted by Dr. Bob on February 12, 2004, at 1:42:15

In reply to Re: small town boards Dr. Bob, posted by fallsfall on February 11, 2004, at 14:31:42

> my concerns aren't for the changes there would be to me, but the changes there would be on the board. The changes that would happen if people felt they needed to retreat to their own enclave to feel safe.

> I don't live inside a walled community

But we all do live inside walls, don't we? Partly because we feel safer that way? And don't good walls make good neighbors?

http://www.bartleby.com/104/64.html

> Admittedly I might mind the smell of the hot dogs coming over the fence during the fenced in community block party
>
> I might feel a bit stung... even if I knew these people weren't actually afraid of *me* and weren't trying to exclude themselves from *me*

Well, what about a block party? Even if there isn't a fence around it, it's still intended for the residents of a particular block. Others might envy the food or feel excluded, but are people opposed to block parties?

> it hurts when the mayor you always voted for, supported, and stuffed envelopes for appears to make light of your concerns and values.
>
> Dinah

Maybe I should be more explicit about it, but I only have these discussions because I understand that you all feel deeply about things, and care about this community, and I respect that, and value your input.

Still, sometimes I may disagree... And be wrong...

----

> > > When you answer a question with a question I feel very no validation at all, because I often feel that you are not understanding the point that the poster is trying to make.
> >
> > Well, sometimes it's true, I don't understand the point...
>
> It could be helpful to us if you could explain a little more about why you are confused.

When I'm confused I'll ask a question?

> I certainly agree that these aren't simple issues. I often find, though, that the counter-questions that you raise feel almost more like a defense to me than a conversation. Often I agree, saying "well, yes, Dr. Bob is right that it could be seen in a different way" but then there is no DISCUSSION that follows. So whereas before I was considering one possibility (and feeling a little control in the world), now there are two possibilities - but I have no way of comparing them or combining them. The two possibilities just sit there and never come together. I feel like I can't respond when you do that because I feel like you've told me (or whoever the poster was) that I'm wrong - the world isn't as simple as I think, and that I should get my facts straight the next time before I present something. But I can't do that because you don't give me enough information on your philosophies to construct a more durable proposition. Also, many of your counter-questions seem rhetorical to me. Or they indicate that the difference in opinion is like a religious battle - where there is no right or wrong - only opinions. In all of these cases, I end up with two ideas that don't come together, so I get frustrated and give up.

Yes, sometimes my questions are rhetorical. Sometimes the possibilities might not come together. Sometimes it isn't about facts, but opinions, values, etc. And it definitely can be frustrating.

Does this count as a discussion?

> 1. Logistical details - how do people sign up for the rooms, what happens if someone stops posting (and for how long) - does their spot get put up for grabs? How do people know there is a spot open and apply for it?

Those are good questions. What if the main page of each board listed its members and how many open spots there were? And included a simple sign-up form, fill in your name and click here... I was thinking it would be automatic as opposed to involving any "application".

Maybe someone would have to give up their spot if they didn't post for a month? I don't know, what do you think?

> 2. Why do you think the smaller rooms will make people feel safer? Is the only factor in safety the number of people who can respond? Isn't the number of people who can read also a factor in feeling safe?

I think the key may actually be predictability. Having fewer other posters means responses are more predictable.

Hmm, so maybe spots shouldn't just open up if people stop posting, since it's unpredictable who will fill them... That was an advantage of the invitation-only idea...

I agree, it might feel even safer if others couldn't even read, but reading helps others connect...

> 3. The biggest complaint that I hear from new people is that noone responds to their post. Do you think that smaller rooms will help this problem? There will be fewer people who CAN respond, but maybe those people will feel more responsible to respond? My feeling is that new posters will get fewer responses in a smaller room.

I don't know, it could go either way. And might depend on who else is there...

> 4. What problem are you trying to solve with this small town solution? Are you trying to have groups of posters feel closer to each other? More responsible for helping each other? Less likely to be uncivil to each other? Are you trying to start up a set of rooms where new posters could get their feet wet, or where old posters can go to relax? All of these things COULD be results of the small town solution - but my question is "What is it that YOU are hoping to accomplish? What prompted this?"

I'd just like more people to feel comfortable. And connected. Then there could be all kinds of secondary benefits like the above.

The big city vs. small town issue has come up before. You can see for yourself how this particular thread started...

> > > I must say that I, too, find it annoying when you respond to a question with a question and when you respond with an extremely brief answer that leaves many other questions and possible interpretations. That is a communication problem.
> >
> > Sorry about that. If you have other questions, just ask...
>
> Penny wasn't asking a question. She was stating an opinion. "Sorry about that." does not give her (or me) an indication of whether you understand her point, whether you agree or disagree with her point, or whether you have any intention of changing your communication style.

I understand that she feels annoyed when I respond to a question with a question. How can I not agree? That's one of the things about I-statements, they're hard to argue with. My style is my style, it's not so easy to change your style.

> If you do not intend to change, then it would be clearer for you to say "I can see why you might be frustrated by the additional questions, but this is the way I work." Then at least we would know that we should give up trying to point things out to you that we think would help the board.

I can see why you might be frustrated by the additional questions, but this is the way I work. But I do appreciate feedback and suggestions...

> Perhaps you could have put your 3 (much clearer) questions in your previous post to Jane so that it would be clear to Jane what your questions were.

1. I may just be in the habit of asking open-ended questions.

2. In general, I think it tends to be more effective for someone to explain what they mean than for someone else to guess...

> This is as much as I have time for right now. I'll try to get the rest of my questions into a post this evening. I do think that it is important for me to understand what this particular post of yours is trying to say.

OK, take your time, I'm not going anywhere. :-)

Bob

 

My view

Posted by mair on February 14, 2004, at 13:41:36

In reply to Re: small town boards, posted by Dr. Bob on February 12, 2004, at 1:42:15

First of all, I freely admit that I have not followed this thread all of the way through, so please excuse me if I say something someone else has already said, or if I'm making assumptions I shouldn't.

I was strongly opposed to the creation of the 2000 Board and the 2001 Board. Bob made those of us who qualified for both, choose one. I chose the 2001 Board, which never really got off the ground. After awhile, I decided that the 2000 Board was good for those who used it and not so bad for those that didn't. However, I think it evolved from a set of circumstances that I don't see currently. My recollection is that many of the people who use that Board, asked Bob to form it; I don't remember it as an idea first proposed by him and because the people who wanted it were pretty committed to it, I don't think that all the admin discussion (and hurt feelings expressed by those who felt excluded) really made it be something other than what the 2000 posters first envisioned and wanted. I also think the qualified participants were a very identifiable group of people who had come to know one another over a fairly long time. The "group" already existed - the creation of the 2000 Board just gave them a place to meet. ....And but for the few people like me who qualified for either of 2 boards, the presence of very clear qualifications probably helped cut down on the hurt feelings that go along with any selection process. People were excluded because they didn't meet the requirements; not because someone else didn't want them there.

IMO the potential negative impacts of a selective Board have been minimized only because many of the 2000 participants continue to post on other Boards as well. But even so, there still can be some hurt feelings. It bothers me that a few posters with whom I used to have exchanges that meant something to me, never seem to venture beyond a Board that I can't visit. It tough sometimes to see someone you care about hurting, when you have no way of reaching out to them.

I think what's being talked about here is different. I don't see any real groundswell of support for this. So if it happens, it's going to happen because Bob decided he wanted to try it - in spite of the fact that there is no clearly identifiable group that will benefit from it, and in spite of the fact that so many have expressed strong opinions against it. The potential is that it will be yet another time when valued posters feel that Bob isn't listening to them or doesn't care what they say.

Unlike Bob, I don't think of PB as a city. I think it's still a small town which has some mostly nonexclusive neighborhoods and right now, a seemingly autocratic mayor who sometimes doesn't seem to listen to his constituents. I wish he could see that the impact of his style of communicating can be far more damaging than some isolated lapse of civility.

I guess unlike some others, I tend to think that PB has gotten so unwieldy not because it's undermanaged, but more because it's micromanaged. Too many things here are overanalyzed to death and small events seem to threaten huge changes. All of these emotionally charged administrative discussions detract from what should be the primary goal of the site. The more time people spend discussing administration, the less time they have to offer support to the people who need it. Lots of times what's safe is what's familiar.

Yahoo offers any number of ways for small selective groups to form and function. Why create those groups in the context of a public board which has a very fluid membership?

Just my opinion of course

Mair

PS: I draw a distinction between the meds board and most of the others. I think there is a pretty large group of people on that board who never venture elsewhere, and I think there are many, like me, who rarely go there. So maybe we're really 2 towns.

 

Re: My view

Posted by Dr. Bob on February 17, 2004, at 10:03:36

In reply to My view, posted by mair on February 14, 2004, at 13:41:36

> Bob made those of us who qualified for both, choose one. I chose the 2001 Board

If you'd like to switch, I suppose you're still "qualified"...

> My recollection is that many of the people who use that Board, asked Bob to form it; I don't remember it as an idea first proposed by him

I think I probably did suggest it first:

http://www.dr-bob.org/babble/20000630/msgs/39641.html

> the presence of very clear qualifications probably helped cut down on the hurt feelings that go along with any selection process

I agree, but what I'm considering now is clear qualifications rather than any selection process...

> It tough sometimes to see someone you care about hurting, when you have no way of reaching out to them.

I can see that. But on your end, you could post something on an open board and ask that it be relayed to them. And on their end, at least they're getting support there. Would it be better if they were hurting, but you couldn't see?

> The potential is that it will be yet another time when valued posters feel that Bob isn't listening to them or doesn't care what they say.

Just because I make a decision someone doesn't agree with doesn't mean I haven't listened to them or cared about what they said.

And there's potential for good outcomes, too...

> I wish he could see that the impact of his style of communicating can be far more damaging than some isolated lapse of civility.

Hmm, could you elaborate?

> All of these emotionally charged administrative discussions detract from what should be the primary goal of the site. The more time people spend discussing administration, the less time they have to offer support to the people who need it.

I agree. It's come up before, what the group dynamics might be, and how we might learn from that. A couple examples:

http://www.dr-bob.org/babble/admin/20020627/msgs/6657.html
http://www.dr-bob.org/babble/admin/20040112/msgs/303568.html

> Yahoo offers any number of ways for small selective groups to form and function. Why create those groups in the context of a public board which has a very fluid membership?

It may solidify the membership to some extent?

People are always free to create their own Yahoo groups, and to be independent, but if someone doesn't feel connected to others, I'm not sure how likely that would be to help.

Also, people may be more likely to try an open board here if they get comfortable on a smaller board first.

> PS: I draw a distinction between the meds board and most of the others. I think there is a pretty large group of people on that board who never venture elsewhere, and I think there are many, like me, who rarely go there. So maybe we're really 2 towns.

I agree, there are definitely differences between the boards besides subject matter...

Bob

 

Re: Perhaps a poll?

Posted by Dr. Bob on March 7, 2004, at 15:57:35

In reply to Re: small town boards, posted by Dr. Bob on February 11, 2004, at 1:20:35

> let's give it a try:
>
> http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/psycho-babble-open/surveys?id=1178539

Here are the results, in case people haven't been checking:

Should we add some "small town boards" to Psycho-Babble?

16 replies

0% That's a terrific idea!
19% I think it could be helpful.
6% Whatever.
50% I think it could be hurtful.
25% That's a terrible idea!

Bob

 

Re: Psycho-Babble Newbies

Posted by Dr. Bob on April 21, 2004, at 20:29:26

In reply to Re: small town boards, posted by Dr. Bob on February 9, 2004, at 19:51:37

> > > Hmm, what about a board expressly for newcomers?
> >
> > What's wrong with someone saying "I'm new" on a thread on social and having a couple of other people come back with "I'm new too".
>
> Nothing, but some people may not feel comfortable doing that, and even if they do, that may not be enough for them to feel really connected.

Well, I thought I'd give this a try:

Psycho-Babble Newbies
http://www.dr-bob.org/babble/newbs

It looks like I need to make the purpose more clear... Also, maybe rather than having the board completely to themselves it would be nice to have some official greeters? Would anyone here be interested? Posting is restricted there, so I'd need to maintain a list...

Bob

 

Re: Psycho-Babble Newbies

Posted by Dinah on April 21, 2004, at 20:38:24

In reply to Re: Psycho-Babble Newbies, posted by Dr. Bob on April 21, 2004, at 20:29:26

I'm always happy to greet newcomers. I'll be on Social just delighted to greet them.

 

Re: It occurs to me... Dr. Bob

Posted by Dinah on April 21, 2004, at 23:16:40

In reply to Re: Psycho-Babble Newbies, posted by Dr. Bob on April 21, 2004, at 20:29:26

In reading your opening paragraphs to the board (and possibly what shows up in the registration process) that while you tell people that they might get a wider response to medication questions on the medication board, and a wider response to therapy questions on Psychological, you don't really make it clear that they aren't being shunted off to a Newbie board because that's where they are supposed to post, or because they aren't welcome on the Social Board. Perhaps you should also mention that they'll get a wider range of support and friendship, and be warmly welcomed, on the Social Board.

People who are new to Babble often seem to have trouble navigating even the clearly labelled boards. It may not be clear to newcomers that by posting on that board, they are choosing to speak only to other newcomers. That other people, who don't fit the restrictive requirements of the board, might wish to give support or offer friendship, but are unable to do so because they are unable to post on that board. Newcomers might assume that if they get limited response to their posts, it's because other people are ignoring them, not that other people are prevented from answering them. I say this only because medication questions are often posted on nonmedication boards, and therapy questions sometimes end up on the medication board. It's clear that people don't always read the fine print at a new and unfamiliar place.

Perhaps if you are unwilling to make those facts known *very clearly* in your introduction, the "greeters" could be encouraged to inform newcomers of these facts, and direct them to any replies to their posts that are perforce made on Social by people who are not welcome to post on the newcomer board.

I am also rather sad. The unfortunate truth is that people come and go at Babble, and Babble relies on new blood to keep fresh and to replace those who move on. Well not replace, of course. People can't be replaced. But you know what I mean. I hope the new board doesn't divert much needed posts and posters from Social. (I don't know if you've noticed, Dr. Bob, but the activity on Social is hardly overwhelming.)

That's just my two cents. For whatever it's worth, which I suspect isn't a heck of a lot.

 

Re: Psycho-Babble Newbies Dr. Bob

Posted by All Done on April 22, 2004, at 1:22:04

In reply to Re: Psycho-Babble Newbies, posted by Dr. Bob on April 21, 2004, at 20:29:26

Dr. Bob,

I notice on the newbies board there is a list of current newbies. Have all of these posters posted at least once on another board or did you just pull the list from those that have registered and received a user name? (Side note - I also noticed that sdjeff is included on the list. New poster vs. new user name?)

Also, what is the criteria for being considered a newbie? Is it length of time registered, number of posts, or something else? Once the poster does not meet the criteria, will he or she be notified and no longer able to post on the newbie board?

Thanks,
All Done

 

Re: Psycho-Babble Newbies

Posted by Dr. Bob on April 22, 2004, at 5:15:39

In reply to Re: Psycho-Babble Newbies Dr. Bob, posted by All Done on April 22, 2004, at 1:22:04

> you don't really make it clear that they aren't being shunted off to a Newbie board ... because they aren't welcome on the Social Board. Perhaps you should also mention that they'll get a wider range of support and friendship, and be warmly welcomed, on the Social Board.

Good point, let me make take care of that...

> I hope the new board doesn't divert much needed posts and posters from Social.
>
> Dinah

That's certainly not the idea. Plus, nobody will stay a newbie...

> I notice on the newbies board there is a list of current newbies. Have all of these posters posted at least once on another board or did you just pull the list from those that have registered and received a user name? (Side note - I also noticed that sdjeff is included on the list. New poster vs. new user name?)

They're newly registered posters (posting names). They may or may not have posted yet.

> Also, what is the criteria for being considered a newbie? Is it length of time registered, number of posts, or something else? Once the poster does not meet the criteria, will he or she be notified and no longer able to post on the newbie board?
>
>All Done

My idea is that they would just work their way up the list and then "graduate". There are 400 on the list, and about 85 new registrations per week (right now), so that gives them about a month. I hadn't thought of a notification, hmm...

Bob

 

Re: Psycho-Babble Newbies Dr. Bob

Posted by Karen_kay on April 22, 2004, at 18:06:35

In reply to Re: Psycho-Babble Newbies, posted by Dr. Bob on April 21, 2004, at 20:29:26

Also, maybe rather than having the board completely to themselves it would be nice to have some official greeters? Would anyone here be interested? Posting is restricted there, so I'd need to maintain a list...


**I'd be more than happy to be an 'official greeter' on the newbie board, if you'd allow me, mr. bob. and, i think it's fabulous that you came up with the idea to have a newbie board. i had no idea so many people were registered, yet not necessarily participating. what a great way to welcome them and get them to feel at home. mr bob, you sure are smart. i'd be happy to invite them on over to the other boards and let them know that they are more than welcome to not only participate, but that it would be our honor to have them.

just let me know, ok?

 

Re: revisions

Posted by Dr. Bob on April 25, 2004, at 8:20:19

In reply to Re: It occurs to me... Dr. Bob, posted by Dinah on April 21, 2004, at 23:16:40

> In reading your opening paragraphs to the board (and possibly what shows up in the registration process) that while you tell people that they might get a wider response to medication questions on the medication board, and a wider response to therapy questions on Psychological, you don't really make it clear that they aren't being shunted off to a Newbie board because that's where they are supposed to post, or because they aren't welcome on the Social Board.

I made some revisions, let me know what you think...

Bob


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