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Old 25th Nov 2006, 10:59   #28
Senior Palimpsester
suckles at the teat of the Palim-God
Join Date: 2 Dec 2004
Posts: 2,929
Default Re: OLD WOLF - a short story

Originally Posted by leyla View Post
there's a danger that stating that people should only post when they have something that will 'really move things forward' will inhibit many people from posting because they will fear that their post is not profound enough. If we are only to post when what we say moves debate forwards, there may be performance anxiety and angst about whether or not to post normal chatty comments on a subject.
Leyla, it's a matter of degree. Of course some chatty inconsequentia is fun and very fine; nobody's suggesting we do away with it altogether, that would be silly. Besides the enjoyment factor, easy chat oils the wheels of debate and discussion very nicely. But it's not fine when it becomes the main fare; when the chatty banter is poured out to such a degree on each and every thread that it starts to throttle any real debate. We've had this start to happen before, and thankfully, it's been nipped in the bud before any real damage was done. But if it's left unchecked, this place would soon become the idle gossip shop that so many other forums descend into.

I also know many Palimpers love reading witty posts from the likes of Nou, Hekaterine, JS etc that don't necessarily move debates forwards but are hugely hilarious. Will we have to censor ourselves if our proposed post isn't interesting or funny enough?
Well, to be blunt, yes, that would be a very good idea. If a post isn't interesting or witty, what is it, other than blether, as amarie put it? Again, it's a matter of degree. We all dive in occasionally with stuff that's not hugely irrelevant and not always scintillatingly witty or informative, but most don't overdo it. I've deleted quite a few posts that have struck me as rather useless or less than entertaining. Why clog up a board with stuff that doesn't really bring anything of substance or fun to the party?

Also, the comments against backslapping niceness are a bit bewildering because I believe that anyone who writes 'nice' comments genuinely means them. I certainly do, so if I write something encouraging or complimentary, it's always 100% meant - after all, I can also be a real miaow when I choose to be. Is encouraging people and complimenting them on their strengths necessarily cloying?
Again, it's a matter of degree. Being nice is - well, nice! But if every other post is topped and tailed by a hefty dollop of mutual admiration and compliments, however genuinely meant, that niceness begins to appear not only meaningless, but highly irritating. It becomes a habit that after a while almost becomes de rigeur. And just as with the mindless chatty banter, it stifles any real debate - and becomes, frankly, suffocating.

I think change is inevitable in any evolving group - obviously the group has to set its own boundaries and rules. If people don't speak for fear of changing the status quo, stagnation is a risk.
Yes, but it is fear of stagnation that has prompted all this, I think. The fear that the Palimp is going to follow the route of so many other forums that become little more than a girl's night in. Too much chat about boyfriends, kids, domestic trivia, embarrassing moments, hormones etc .... all stuff that's fine and dandy if you like that sort of thing, but an anathma to many others ... including me! If you want that sort of girly thing, then there are a zillion other places on the web you can find it in abundance. Personally, I hope to god the Palimp never goes down that route.

That said, it would certainly be great if all palimpers got on, and I'm sorry if anyone was offended by mention of hormones - perhaps since Hekat, Beth and I all work in the health sector, natural processes are more everyday to us than to some other palimpers. No offence was meant.
Oh Leyla! I don't for one little minute think you meant any offence. You are beyond a shadow of a doubt, chatty, fun and a real people's person - but you're still missing the point. Nobody here, I'll safely wager, is in the slightest bit offended because of talk of bodily functions, that wasn't the problem. And I must say, I didn't take any offence at that remark at all - but again, it's back to this matter of 'degree-ness': of late this place has started to sound like a girly get together and there's just been rather too much of that flavour of chat. Again, I accept that's what some people want to talk about, but there are many of us who really don't, and when that girly talk stuff starts to take over the whole show, it's worrying and a little frustrating.

In short, there is always room for everyone, providing everyone accepts that the founding ethos behind a forum, such as this, needs to be respected and that most of the older members of Palimp joined and are still here, because of that ethos - and because they have established a very real bond of trust and in many cases, affection for their fellow members. Simply put: they don't want to see it evolve into something else entirely.
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