never mind

General discussions of interest to readers and fans of Harlan Ellison.

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Re: You probably really want to read this one

Postby admin » Wed Apr 20, 2011 1:29 pm

Jan, I feel like you have a scholarly interest in Harlan as opposed to a worldly or casually literary interest, and when you speak about reviews and material and contributions it's through that prism. I think this is not a bad thing, and that there could be a strong value in having a "scholars" area of the site that has easy access to information and perhaps some discussion or interface unfettered by the popular side of things.

Now as far as the forums - if you know Steve feels a certain way about the way you two have interacted, and part of that is he feels you are too critical and can never let anything go without getting in a voluminous last word, it doesn't strike me as kind to continue in that vein here. Whether or not you have a valid point it's not very classy to put it in anyone's face in the middle of their going-away party.

Your perspective is always welcome on these forums. People with opposing viewpoints are what drive debate, provided they are willing to actually consider the other person's pov. But I am in a lot of trouble if I cannot get help right now. And I need your help with that. I have so far ONE email and one forum posts actually offering when if memory serves it's the only substantive thing I have asked this community for in 15 years of service.

At this point I feel a post-mortem on Steve's tenure, or anything else doomy and gloomy, is going to do little more than drive off people who might potentially help.

Send me your suggestions for the forums. I'll take a serious look and champion anything helpful to whoever the new guy is! Until that happens, I want as blank a slate as possible so whoever is thinking about helping won't feel especially constrained.

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Re: You probably really want to read this one

Postby admin » Wed Apr 20, 2011 1:42 pm

Also, while thanking Barber I don't want to seem unappreciative to the you and the people who have contributed and continue to contribute to this site, especially in riding herd over the forums. This website would be long gone without that. Thank you all.

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Re: You probably really want to read this one

Postby diane bartels » Wed Apr 20, 2011 3:31 pm

Hi Rick couldnt post here yesterday. Can get emails, send them not so much. Left you a post in pms on Facebook yesterday. More than willing to help, but my tech skills are not prodgidous. Nor can I apparently spell too well. More details in the FB post.

By the by, I also think this place works well in its current design. Sorry Jan.

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Re: You probably really want to read this one

Postby Jan » Wed Apr 20, 2011 6:12 pm

"post-mortem" etc.
My comments had nothing to do with Steve. Steve has nothing to do with what makes the forums, in my view, too chaotic for visitors.
I think lack of detail spurred Steve's imagination to assume I meant his moderating style, when I only meant, as before, thread titles like "hey you!!!:)", "You gott'a see this?!?", "aaaargh!" (I made these up), an unnecessarily large number of tiny threads, and extended collections of one-line postings. Steve is the last person I would consider responsible for them. The names are all attached to the threads and postings.
As you said yourself: "Moderators are responsible for making sure people follow the rules and play nice."
That's what I think too.
That's why Steve wasn't mentioned in my posting and why I clarified for Steve: "I have not criticized you personally in one word and I'm not seeing anyone else criticizing you or forum policies."
Was that unclear too? Am I still unclear now?
I only talked about what I consider administative issues.
When I have complaints about Steve, I complain to him, with details.
And where did this thread become Steve's "going-away party"? To me, it seemed to be about the practical future of the forums and Webderland. Steve didn't say anything about leaving, you said everything about site management, changes, needing volunteers, and so on. We shouldn't personalize/emotionalize this stuff.
People hate bureaucratic jobs. When I didn't see people line up to be moderator, I thought it could not hurt to hint that the forums don't have to be accepted exactly the way thay are but that we and/or the moderator can modify it a little to his/her/our liking. That is a good thing.
If someone volunteers to moderate the forums exactly as they are now, good. Since the regulars like everything as it is, and since we cannot ask people who would potentially like it here, or Harlan, I have no objections.
--
Frank... :roll: How about minding your own business.
--
Now I don't have time to deal with the real stuff... Perfect.
Let me just say that I have no scholarly interest in H.E. and that I would not be in favor of having a scholars' area. I try to keep things as unpretentious and "popular" as possible with SPIDER.
I'm not sure at the moment how to connect bibliography, reviews, ongoing commentary, synopses and outside links properly, but unless I'm wrong that's what we have to do. Something has to be the basis, perhaps an interactive bibliography. But I would prefer Zuzel's system and suggest we steal his ideas. Including news on page one.
I personally will not have time to *write* original material (in the latter case book descriptions), since it takes me a long time to think/write in English, and when I have some I try to use it for SPIDER. I can only copy and organize stuff.

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Re: You probably really want to read this one

Postby admin » Wed Apr 20, 2011 6:33 pm

Jan wrote:"
Let me just say that I have no scholarly interest in H.E. and that I would not be in favor of having a scholars' area. I try to keep things as unpretentious and "popular" as possible with SPIDER.
I'm not sure at the moment how to connect bibliography, reviews, ongoing commentary, synopses and outside links properly, but unless I'm wrong that's what we have to do. Something has to be the basis, perhaps an interactive bibliography. But I would prefer Zuzel's system and suggest we steal his ideas. Including news on page one.
I personally will not have time to *write* original material (in the latter case book descriptions), since it takes me a long time to think/write in English, and when I have some I try to use it for SPIDER. I can only copy and organize stuff.


I think that's pretty accurate. I think of it as being a academic librarian. Creation of new content, at least initially, should take a back seat to collation and organization.

With all due respect to Zuzel, who does a fine job, one reason his site looks more like what you want is he probably has had some time to devote to it since like 1998. I'm about to devote a little time to mine. If you're wowed by Zuzel's site, I think you'll like it.

As for the rest, I'd rather talk about the the business of getting on with what you say this thread is about than have a protracted and polarizing discussion about What Has Gone Before. No offense.

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Re: You probably want to read this one

Postby Moderator » Wed Apr 20, 2011 8:51 pm

Jan --

Forgive me if I misread the following...

Jan wrote:I think the forums need an overhaul as well as clear and useful rules before they need a moderator-only person. After the overhaul and with rules at hand, someone should just moderate on robot mode without buts and ifs.
The SPIDER forum is thread-edited, which I always thought needs to be done in the other forums too. This is one click away from Harlan's message board, and it shouldn't be a complete mess of kindergarten threads, one-line postings and exclamation marks. The Annex also turned into what I tried to prevent it from becoming.


...as being second guessing and airing of sour grapes.

It still reads that way, but if it was not your intent then so be it. I don't feel my last six years as mod here need defending, and am therefore not defending it. It may not have been how you would have done things, but then again you weren't drafted, were you?

But I do grant your fair comment as to where we should go from here.
- I love to find adventure. All I need is a change of clothes, my Nikon, an open mind and a strong cup of coffee.

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Re: You probably really want to read this one

Postby admin » Wed Apr 20, 2011 9:44 pm

Honestly, I am not going to fuck with the direction of this bulletin board. However, whoever takes over is going to have some free reign to do some things in the vein in which you were speaking, Jan. I would prefer there remain some boards like General is now, but I feel without a lot of love and attention adding new boards with more filtering or a more firmly-controlled purpose would simply be new, dead boards.

As far as the Annex, it will be the equivalent of a Pavilion overflow for motormouths in its present incarnation. I could certainly send people to another thread for stuff other than casual bullshit.

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Re: You probably really want to read this one

Postby Jan » Thu Apr 21, 2011 12:30 pm

Barber, is irony is going to help us much in this unfortunate situation?
If you think there is any "second guessing" from me, you have forgotten that I was always involved in discussions of policy and administration and have not said anything substantially new.
It was generally determined several times what our democracy wanted in terms of rules and regulations and what the moderator's job would be. I thought it went without saying that I'm not blaming you for what the majority wants and what the current consensus is regarding moderator functions.
When I say the forum is a mess I'm making a statement about its condition that to me is true and worth mentioning given the upcoming changes and Rick's hint that forum policies are under review. I didn't expect you or anyone to enjoy my statement but I didn't expect it to be reduced to sour grapes and second guessing either, or my clarification of it to being "whiney" or continuing in some "vein" of "always getting the last word".
When I post in the forums, I assume that I'm not talking exclusively to 12 year olds and that statements not be over-interpreted in terms of childlike motives. Tiptoeing requires about twice the English skills and twice the time I have.
As the messages in this thread prove once again, the majority doesn't see much room for improvement. Not blaming it on you this time either nor having any major feelings about it.
Maybe you feel a little better now.
--

So who is moderating next? Lori said she would be part of it. Diane and Evil have also expressed some interest.
I think it's best to have two people because no one can always be there.

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Re: You probably really want to read this one

Postby FrankChurch » Thu Apr 21, 2011 1:23 pm

The moderator should be fair, that's all.

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Re: You probably really want to read this one

Postby admin » Fri Apr 22, 2011 6:30 am

admin wrote:J...I am in a lot of trouble if I cannot get help right now. And I need your help with that. I have so far ONE email and one forum posts actually offering when if memory serves it's the only substantive thing I have asked this community for in 15 years of service.

At this point I feel a post-mortem on Steve's tenure, or anything else doomy and gloomy, is going to do little more than drive off people who might potentially help.


I wrote something a little longer here, but it comes down to this: this was dismissed and unacknowledged. So was the short question I asked a while back that I really needed a good answer for. If I'm to be disrespected and ignored, there are plenty of women who can fill that bill.

I don't think this thread is going to get done what I hoped it would. Right now I can't be having bickering or sniping in stuff associated with this. So much time, and so little to do....I'm not going to be asking for advice in here anymore.

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Re: never mind

Postby Jan » Fri Apr 22, 2011 8:46 am

Just when I'm done writing the below, I discover Rick has replaced his message with a new one. I don't know how long the original was here and how many people have seen it. The below is my response to the original one which mainly dealt - in a nice way - with me not paying attention to anything. I only addressed what I disagreed with. Since Rick is now not saying what he said, consider my comments to be directed at an imaginary friend (also called Rick). I assume this will go no further and doesn't need to.
As for helping, I said what I would do in terms of helping and will double-check if I missed anything I think I can respond to or help with in addition.
---
Thanks Rick.
I only saw you say you didn't want to participate in a "polarizing discussion" and that you wanted no post-mortem. There was no request I was "unwilling" to follow or deemed "not appropriate", nor can I fully accept your your reference to "the greater good" that I'm upposed to have "damaged" with my clarification. In fact, an attempt to come back together after a mishap is the opposite of a polarizing dicussion. Barber is my friend and I know him well enough to know that we are close together in all respects where the forums are concerned and that there is not the remotest danger of polarizing discussions occurring. I have a right to clarify what was, due to my own bad writing, misunderstood, and that has its own way of being for the greater good.
I do realize that Barber's reaction was perfectly understandable and justified in so far as my posting was scattergun-unprecise (having written more precise ones on the same subject long ago) and written well after bedtime after having spent most of the allotted time thinking about the future of Webderland and what you may have in mind. (For which I am sorry, Steve.) I never complained about Steve's original reaction except for the part where I was supposed to be co-reponsible for his decision. I tried to explain better instead of saying "go back and read", as if the comments had been perfectly precise.
I stand behind my posting in general - the forums could be more inviting and useful. End of story. My opinion. Not much to do with what we all a priori agree the moderator's job is.
I saw the same shift in Steve's attitude. Still, his ironic re-framing of my comments led me to believe that the thoughts behind them still needed to be clarified as to who I'm making responsible or not. That doesn't mean I didn't see a step in my direction. From an emotional standpoint though, I can't do much with "benefit of the doubt" in that form. Maybe you saw a more decisive shift than I did, owing to the ambiguity of Steve's writing. That's all.
I'm sure it will all turn out well shortly, if we don't take this overboard in terms of drawing conclusions where there are none to draw and personalizing it at the back end. A little trust in me and Steve will suffice.
I think we have all understood each other now and I regret if something had to be repeated ad nauseam along the way.

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Re: never mind

Postby admin » Fri Apr 22, 2011 8:55 am

Yeah Jan, the PM I sent before I took anything down should explain. Not really to not upset you, because when I am not speculating the one thing I *do* know about you is that don't tend to take anything I say personally. When you take offense with me it is usually on facts and points of clarification.

I just realized that for whatever reason I had for wanting to get this behind us, it wasn't fair to put you on the spot or to invite comment a place where I'm the equivalent of a radio talk show host in some ways. I'd unstickied the thread and dropped it in priority shortly after posting, and I thought I had also removed the post before anyone saw it. Clearly the internet is as fickle with me sometimes as it is with Harlan. I have a lot going on right now. No excuse.

I agree with your sentiments and I appreciate your being the bigger man about this. Let's let something good come out of that.

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Re: never mind

Postby Moderator » Fri Apr 22, 2011 9:37 am

Me? Ambiguous? I haven't been told that in a loooong time! 8)

Jan, thank for the clarification. No harm, no foul. Let's move forward and get the project under way -- lots of very exciting things Rick is planning!

As my father used to say when he was in the Navy: enough talk, let's get this ship under way.
- I love to find adventure. All I need is a change of clothes, my Nikon, an open mind and a strong cup of coffee.

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Re: never mind

Postby FrankChurch » Fri Apr 22, 2011 10:51 am

Barber, Jan, now hug! Come on you guys, get mooky. Hold him tight, Barber. Aww.

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Re: never mind

Postby Jan » Sat Apr 23, 2011 4:17 am

Now let's do Steve, Frank & me vs. Rick.


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