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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


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.




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