TBD on Ning

What I got out of Rules for Forum Guidelines

I want to thank everyone for participating in this discussion.

Hope there wasn’t too much blood spilled.

First, a few disclaimers: I started this discussion in order to try to find out how the membership of the site felt about the current tone of discussions. Some members had expressed dismay about the direction in which they perceived the site to be moving.  Some members felt that there was nothing wrong with the way the site was developing.

Some of the concerns were: Are new people turned off by the perceived lack of maturity of some of the discussion areas?   

How much censorship is needed to keep the site from degerating into a swampland that mature adults would not be care to visit.

Why are we here and what would we like the site to be.

Is the current design achieving the desired result?

After 162 replies this is what I think emerged.

I have purposely ignored any posts which I felt did not address the purpose of this discussion.

I take full responsibility for the entire process.  If you have a problem with this report, please PM me.

If you want to comment please feel free to do it in the comment area, or PM me.

I do not think anything contained herein should offend anyone,  but if anything does, please feel free to comment or PM me.


I have read and reread the comments.  Here are my suggestions.


I.                    Moderators

1. Once you accept the moderator designation, you become an authority figure.  When you comment, you will be perceived to be speaking as a moderator unless you make it perfectly clear that you are not speaking  as a moderator.  You should be able to do this by stating such.  At all other times you will be perceived by some as a moderator.  I would hope that when you state that this comment, or thread, is a personal statement not made in my capacity as a moderator. Everyone else would treat you as a regular member.

2.  It might be better if the moderators posted under different names for official and non official postings.  Remember askbukoski.

3. If you are going to comment on a post/thread/discussion/whatever as a moderator, do it as early in the process as possible.

If a discussion looks like it is going South, it probably is.


II.                  MAIN PAGE

1.       There were numerious references made about “Smut” on the main page.  I think this must refer to the opening sentence or paragraph that is displayed as part of the “Most Recent discussions or groups".

2.       Currently there are featured members and groups displayed on the main page. WHY? What purpose does this serve? How are they chosen?  Would it be  better to use the  space on the main page to identify and explain the main components of the site. This would include Q &A, Forum,  The Welcome Lounge,  Blogs, Chat, and Groups.

3.       At present “The Welcome Lounge is the only area at that level that has a lead in introduction. The others just dump you in with no explanation whatsoever.  Chat opens up a page with no explanation whatsoever. Remember this is an over 40 group.  Twenty years ago most people were not familiar with computers.  Most of us still need written explanations about how to navigate around a site. The first time I went into chat I had to shut down my computer to get out of chat.

Forum just opens a page titled Forum discussions. If you go to the dictionary and look up Forum, one of the definitions is; A square in ancient Roman cities used for doing business. We are not allowed to use it for business.

4.       Maybe “The Welcome Lounge” would be the best place to introduce the other sections.  Each section should have a short introductory paragraph explaining what the section is about and what rules of conduct govern.

III.                Inappropriate Content Flag.  There are suggestions that this should be reinstated.

IV.                A general statement of caution that this is an adult site and individuals might find some of the material offensive should be posted. Recommended action to be taken if material that is offensive to you is encountered should be included.

V.                  Another possible solution is to require that anyone who posts a discussion of any type be responsible for monitoring the material posted. Guidelines about the material that might be encountered would be posted and the discussion leader would be available for comments/complaints.  This would mean that discussion originators would have to accept PMs about the discussion.  

I will be closing the discussion at 8:00am tomorrow the 21st of Jan. 2010. Anyone who has additional comments can post them here or start your own discussion.


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Replies to This Discussion

Bee is obviously an intelligent and insightful woman. Guess what, we didn't scare her away. Bee said "I liked this site almost as soon as I landed here, and I hope it doesn't change a whole lot." I trust her judgement, she's exactly the type of member I'd like to see more of here. This site isn't going to be for everybody, nor do we want it to be.

May I call you newbee? :)
Nah! I read where your dad called you Bee, I like it.
I just hope we don't send a horse to a committee for tweaking, and end up with a camel.
I would like to thank Robbie for initiating this discussion and the rest of you for participating constructively in it. I think for the most part my views agree with Maria's, so I won't reiterate what she has said.

I would like to say that Robin, Kat and company made a wonderful site and tool on the old TBD site. It was the friendships and connections forged there that made it impossible for many of us to leave each other when the site closed. I saw the move to Ning as "parachuting" to a new place that would allow us to keep "the family" together (I have no idea how others saw it). That said, Ning is a different environment, one where every decision of how to structure the site is not up to Robin. The old site was her creation, her baby, but Ning was (and is) a completely different place.

I wondered, like some of the rest of you, how seemingly Kat managed to be everyplace at once. This was only possible because of the way Robin had set up the ability to "flag" inappropriate content and Kat's devoted compassionate (and paid) dedication. TBD was their main focus AND they had a staff. TBD on Ning is a different animal. All the members of the community now share a greater responsibility for what our community will become.

I was honored to have been asked to be a moderator and am proud to serve with my fellow moderators who are always trying to do the right thing with respect to members. Our arrangement is a bit more cumbersome than having one or two people making all decisions, and we don't have the technical support (neither flagging or personnel) that the old site had, but we attempt to do our best and to be fair and responsive. I have learned a lot from the other moderators and from Robin and Kat. I do understand that things can be frustrating at times, but I urge all of you to exercise patience and understanding both in dealing with each other and the moderators.

Discussion like this are very helpful when ideas are shared and comments are constructive. Flaming and what someone described as "pissing contests" are not helpful, and if you really must engage in them, I (and many others) would prefer you do it via personal message (PM). I would further ask that the offending parties ask themselves what is to be gained by continuing snarky comments toward each other? It has been my observation that those people who are willing to address each other through PM are either trying to have the last word, or actually trying to reach understanding with the other person. Those who refuse to take their flaming disputes private are usually trying to create unnecessary drama with the purpose of getting attention or dividing the community for some other purpose. In either case, they are not supporting the community.

I've taken my fair share of lumps and have my share of mistakes, but I try to learn from them and move on. I'm sure we, as a community, can make this TBD in this place something we can be proud of, if that's what we choose to do. It won't please everyone, but nothing ever does. Thank you all for your continued participation, support and ideas. I welcome your suggestions and feedback.
I agree that certain discussions should be in the appropriate areas, if there is any chance of anyone being offended. I also understand about the continuing discussions about "censorship," or the removal of posts, which prevents anyone from responding.
Your and I do mean YOUR discussion has been fixed, with your "all appropriate and so nice words" from those who are acceptable members. As was I challenged; I ask you read it now and ask yourselves. Is your attitude and judgment truly what you want? It's not a community of any sort that does not treat all members with the same judgments. However Vernon you are IMO 100% incorrect. Some of us would like a community where all people are welcomed. Not a group.

You can move it, delete it or leave it there, the decisions for what this community is and will further become have been made and the site entire site should be by invitation only, because that is how it is run. I am very sad for a group of you, but still and always I wish you the very best.
And of course Robbie, feel free you are the leader of this forum or one of your monitors delete the only opposing and unacceptable person please I welcome it.
I loved the old TBD . Things aren't quite the same here , but I'm OK with it . Since it's still a fairly new site , I expect it to take a while for things to fall in line . Until it is , I have no problem moving from a discussion I don't care for . I do not offend as easily as some on here . Kinda obvious that I'd make a rotten martyr . I guess what other people say doesn't impact my life . At all . Opinions and assholes , we all have one . I don't feel the need to tell someone they've ' hurt ' me . I simply avoid them . Easy to do . How in h... can someone you don't know and who does not pay your bills, AND is online , hurt you ? Because if that's the case , that ' hurt' person may need more to occupy their time . I could care less what any one thinks about me . If you don't like me , do us both a favor and avoid me . I haven't found any ' gangs ' on here or the old TBD . Lots of people think alike and are entiteled to . The moderators ? I love 'em and have a great deal of respect for the unpaid responsibility they have taken on . I support them 100% and have never kissed ass in my life...and never will . I do not require anyones approval in order to feel good about myself . ( which is usually why people put other people down , it makes them feel superior poor things ) So I , personally don't have a problem with ning . When I no longer like it , I'll LEAVE .
(If a spelling error is found , it's because my spell check is down .)
I knew there was something about you I liked Janice, other than raising a fine son.

kinda should have been "kind of". Please make a note of it.
I feel the moderator's do a great job and should be commended. Whenever a moderator posts in a discussion, I always know it's as a member of TBD. When they post as a moderator, it's very easy to tell that they are moderating and not being just another member commenting. I agree with MysticalMaria on not having to tell people every single time she or other moderators post something, that they are doing so either as Moderator or Member. Seems silly to me for them to have to do this.

As far as the front page, we don't need to see the most recent discussions listed, groups, members, pictures or blogs. It's nice to see which birthdays are coming up and a little Hello. It would be nice, IMO, to direct new people visiting to the Welcome Lounge and the newbies can take it from there.

If it's decided to move this thread to a group, I believe the Members Help With Ning would be the place to take it. If you need to be a member of that group, it's easy to do. One simple click of the mouse and you're a member. Simple.. And then you may join in on any and all discussions in the group.
Hello, all you wonderful discussion participants.
I have been out of the loop most of the day. You may not have noticed, since I went off and left my computer online to tbd. NOT ON PURPOSE.
I just finished reading throuh the posts on this thread and I do appreciate all the input.

The following are my conclusions.

1. The front page should be designed to be as appealing and unoffensive as possible to "ALL" potential customers. How to do that probably needs another discussion.
That discussion should be amoung the moderators and the site disigner/originator, with input solicited from the members. Or, if that requires more time than the volunteer monitors can invest, which would be perfectly understandable, each moderator should choose a volunteer to represent them.
member input should be solicited for two reasons;
A. many good ideas come from the membership.
B. When a person feels they were allowed to participate, they feel a strong attachment to the outcome.

2. I'm not sure what term to use for the various sections, so I'll just call them sections. I am refering to Q&A, Forum, Welcome Lounge, Blogs, and chat. These are the sections where the discussions take place.

Main, My Page, Members, Groups, Members help With NING and Community Guidelines, fall in a different catagory. Why is INVITE at the same level. I guess I've never looked at it. I will later because I don't want to inadvertently lose what I have so far typed. (:>)
I think each of these sections should have an introduction and some applicable guidelines identified up front. Then if someone wandered into something that is offensive to them, they would or should not have a complaint. As long as the offensive material came close to adhering to the guidelines for that section.

Now, a few footnotes:
I have purposely avoided addressing the emotion on display in the overall discussion. I am not upset about it, I feel it might even be healthy. But my reason for starting this discussion was to try to make tbd a better place for all. A place that would be appealing to newcomers and old timers alike. At least until they had a chance to get sucked into the wonderful place that tbd has been.
The things that cause offense usually fall into the following catigories; 1. SEX, 2. BAD LANGUAGE, 3. PERSONAL ATTACKS ON CHARACTER. 4. MAKING FUN OF BODY OR MENTAL ATTRIBUTES. I'm sure there are others but I'm not going to try to address them here. I would hope that the moderators can come up with short guidelines for each section that will address these. It might also be adviseable to require discussion originators to set guidelines. I have heard the argument that that might stifle discussion. I submit that it must be decided, which is worse; stifling questionable discussion or trying to sort out who is right in an dispute about offensive material when no gidelines were easily accessable?

OK, I have rambled on far to long.
Studying this. Thank you Robbie. I'll return later on.
Here goes....I do not need a Mother...had one, she did good. I do not need a father...he did good in his own way.
I am a mother...have done okay so far.
That being said, I don't think the rest of the people who participate on TBD need a parent to slap our wrist or send us to time out if we've said something that "might" be out of line or forbid upset another member.
This is an open forum...it's free...It doesn't cost a dime to participate or leave. Don't like the tone? Move on...leave it lay...
Most participants for good or bad will leave their mark. Some will have a following, some will not.
TBD should remain as diverse and interesting as the real world. The minute there is micromanaging there begins the dissolution of basic American rights. Freedom of speech...
Just because I'm nodding my head when you speak doesn't mean I'm agreeing..I'm acknowledging that I hear you.




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