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Re: small town boards Dr. Bob

Posted by jane d on February 9, 2004, at 22:05:32

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

> , and I'm not sure I'd consider people newcomers after 1 to 2 years...

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. :)

> The idea is, the open boards are like big cities. The small town boards would be like, well, small towns. Some people prefer small towns to big cities. Those people might feel more comfortable on small town boards.

I'd count myself as a small towner by nature as a matter of fact. Even though we aren't talking about invitational only boards any more I find I'm still a bit uncomfortable with this version. I think the reason is that public boards are not small town by definition. And trying to make them feel cozy and "small town" is a form of subtle, possibly accidental, misrepresentation. I know this isn't a new argument but it seems to apply particularly well to this example.

> Thanks for the feedback, everyone. Change is always hard here.

You sound as though you feel that you are being attacked from all sides. That certainly wasnt my intention even if it looks like I keep changing my arguments with each post. I'm hoping they are evolving.

> Some people seem to feel it would be elitist to join a small town board. But someone could do that and still visit the big city boards. And if they didn't feel comfortable in the big city, wouldn't it be nice for them to have an alternative? If they felt supported on a small board, they might even be more likely to try a large one...

Put like that it sounds good but it's already hard for newcomers to negotiate the number of boards already here. It doesn't matter how friendly the group is when you arrive if you can't find the place. I think it's easy to forget how confusing this place already can be for a newcomer once you already know your way around. For example, this makes perfect sense to me
but I bet it looks like gibberish to most people here. And I doubt that the list of babble boards looks much clearer to newcomers. And I think more boards would have to increase the administrative burden on you as well which could indirectly make things even more confusing.

> People have already formed their own small groups. Is that elitist? I'm more inclined to see it as wanting to connect than wanting to exclude. But what about those who want to connect, but haven't been able to? Why not try something new to help them?

I hope I didn't suggest that the groups I know of are elitist. The one 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. 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 and because I think that it informally serves all of the same functions that your proposed groups did. And that chat room is still there for anyone to use. (And it's unarchived).

> Also, I wouldn't see it as so exclusionary to let others listen in on what's being discussed...

Isn't the point to have people participate though? There are already more than enough places to just passively observe and i'm saying this as a passive observer myself.





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