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Old 24th Nov 2006, 18:32   #21
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Default Re: OLD WOLF - a short story

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This self-referencing love-in nonsense has become far too cloying on The Palimp of late, and it makes it a less than attractive place to visit.
Too damn right. You'll get no supportive critiques from me. It's a tough old world out there, and I want to make sure that my carapace of disdain for others' creative efforts is firmly in place.
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Old 24th Nov 2006, 19:12   #22
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Default Re: OLD WOLF - a short story

Way to go, Notty! Yup, give me the fond insult over the simpering nicety any day ....
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Old 24th Nov 2006, 19:30   #23
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Default Re: OLD WOLF - a short story

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Originally Posted by Hekaterine View Post
I guess what I found frustrating, and have seen on one or two occasions recently, is people saying 'we don't need such and such on the Palimp' or 'this isn't suitable for the Palimp'.
Or, 'this isn't the sort of thing that used to appear here'. Palimpsest has a fairly steady user base and a number of members have been around for a very long time. One of the things that was most attractive to many was the fact that we pretty much stuck to the main thrust of the site, and people didn't tend to post unless they had a contribution that moved debate forward.

Since the early days, there have been a number of influxes (influxi?) of new members which of course is good as it creates more opportunities for people to discuss things, and the range of topics increases, which is always nice. But it's always been important to everyone that the culture and tone of the site remains true to the original aims of the site, ie a haven from the sort of witlessness one often sees on forums, of posts being made for no other apparent reason than to increase post count, overuse of smilies etc etc etc. The lack of a swearing filter is simply because the people here can be trusted to use the language appropriate to the point they are trying to make.

And by and large, we have succeeded. There has been the odd kerfuffle, but we have managed to get by with only a handful of bannings, a couple of threads being deleted, because the general air of the site meant that people stuck to the golden rule "Don't be stupid" without being told. In general terms of offence, when people step over the line, it soon becomes apparent. I guess the rule is that you can get away with whatever you like as long as the joke is funny enough.

Now, I am not saying that anyone currently posting is being stupid, or that they are spamming the forum. I think that Leyla, Hekkers, and Beth (just to pick on those who have posted here) are lucky in that they joined around a similar time and obviously get on very well, and it is, to be honest, the sort of group-within-a-group that hasn't been experienced in these parts before.

So if some of the established members have a gripe here and there, it's probably only because things aren't quite exactly how they were, or because people are worried that things might change. Believe me, the admins have constant discussions about maintaining the tone of the site and what we think makes it so special. That's why everyone joined in the first place, right? So it's not necessarily that things have gone to the dogs, but more that the concern is there that it might.

So let's have a bit of understanding, from everyone, chaps. Everyone think a bit before they post - are some things best sent in a PM, for example? Does a comment really move things forward? We've had some brilliant discussions recently, like the Dawkins stuff, and having fresh things posted to the Features is always nice. Let's re-focus on what it is we want from this site, and leave all the other stuff to one side for now.

Because, after all, Palimpian of the Year is coming up next week, and that's when things are really going to get nasty.
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Old 24th Nov 2006, 20:04   #24
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Default Re: OLD WOLF - a short story

Oh we loved palimp of the year last year! Well said W, I suppose that the group within a group syndrome is to be expected as the Palimp grows. I still love it.

And by the way Nou, I liked the Old Wolf story too, short and bitter sweet, lovely. Not to deviate from the thread of course!
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Old 24th Nov 2006, 20:27   #25
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Default Re: OLD WOLF - a short story

Yes, tactfully and wisely put, W. If anyone is familiar with what happened to the BBC Big Read forum and its offshoot when both of them completely lost the plot thanks to too much aimless idle banter and, in the case of the off-shoot (I've decided it better to edit out its name), a contagion of sickly 'niceness' and toothlessness, they'll know its not something you ever want to happen here. I'd put the word, 'shudder' in asterisks here but as we all know by now, I'm allergic to such a practice.

On the subj of Palimpian of the Year - coo, yes! What larks ... and am absolutely agog to know what crimes, if any, Palimpians must commit to be nominated. Of course what we need to kick things off is a spot of belligerant trolling ......
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Old 24th Nov 2006, 21:53   #26
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Default Re: OLD WOLF - a short story

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Originally Posted by HP
If anyone is familiar with what happened to the BBC Big Read forum and its offshoot when both of them completely lost the plot
Ah yes. May God have mercy on my soul; I have created a monster.

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Originally Posted by Wavid
The lack of a swearing filter is simply because the people here can be trusted to use the language appropriate to the point they are trying to make.
Can they fuck!
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Old 25th Nov 2006, 0:38   #27
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Default Re: OLD WOLF - a short story

Wav, I agree with much of what you've said but 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.

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?

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?

Re over use of smilies - smilies are useful for when you don't want to use exclamation marks - to me, exclamation marks are like a poke telling your audience to laugh, so I try to avoid them. A smiley conveys the jokey/friendly nature of a post that isn't followed by exclamation marks. Without a smiley, a comment may sound dour or inappropriate - eg when I told JS months ago that he should send his book reviews for publication and that I'd be his agent. Without an exclamation mark or a smiley, it sounds scarily deluded; a smiley converts it into the joke it's meant to be.

I also think Hekat, Beth and I are a bit surprised to be called a 'group within a group' - Hekat and I had never PMd each other until all this, and Beth and I have only exchanged a couple of greetings - we're certainly not an established and/or exclusive group of buddies.

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.

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.

Have a good weekend, everyone (eek, was that cloyingly nice?)
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Old 25th Nov 2006, 9:59   #28
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Default Re: OLD WOLF - a short story

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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.

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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?

Quote:
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.

Quote:
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.

Quote:
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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Old 25th Nov 2006, 15:40   #29
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Default Re: OLD WOLF - a short story

Yeah, and it's not just that we are a bunch of insular stick-in-the-muds who resent anyone coming into our little sphere. If anything, it's nice to log on and find plenty of new posts - it certainly wasn't always like that!

And people shouldn't feel intimidated about sending posts, but rather, by having the thought in the back of one's mind when one is posting, it helps to ensure at least some form of quality control is in place.

And just to reiterate, much of what I have written, and I suspect HP as well, is more as background, to let the newer members know where we are all coming from rather than as a specific rebuke to anyone. Everyone is welcome here, and we certainly don't want to put people off in any way!
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Old 25th Nov 2006, 16:27   #30
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Default Re: OLD WOLF - a short story

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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.
I think it's a tad unfair to suggest that 'girlie' stuff is a recent phenomenon in the Palimp - read back in the Archives and you'll find it in abundance.

And wasn't the original Embarrassing Moments thread started by Wavid last year and didn't he offer prizes?

Not really all the province of the 'girlies' then is it?

NOTE: perhaps the site admin would like to split this thread into a new one (not sure what you'd call it!) as I think it's a bit unfair to Noumenon for him to come back from his hols to find that his short story has been taken over in this way. Thanks.
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