Wednesday, February 11, 2004

Sometimes a person has to make decisions that are not going to please everyone. If you've put yourself in that position of decision making, then all you can do is make choices that are based on what you have experienced and lead to a condition that you think is for the best.

Yes, I sent two rules to Erik and Allikat. They were made in order to avoid the same situations that caused so much grief before. The first rule was that there would be no virtual snuggling and making out in chat. That behavior -- which was far more common in Nonny and Robert -- annoyed and embarrassed people, and since at one point three moderators were involved (despite Holly and I both asking for them to tone it down), people were under the impression that this kind of behavior was just allowed. We had more complaints about members hitting on others then we'd had before or since. It's amazing how, when the moderators act with responsibility, the rest of the site takes note. I did not want this kind of trouble to start again, and I felt that stating it right out at the beginning was far wiser than waiting.

But that one, actually, wasn't the big problem. Erik (and I assume Alli) agreed.

However, I also said that they could not sit in chat and badmouth Forward Motion, Holly or me.

And this hit a snag because apparently the only way for a site to grow and be a good site is to allow people to be rude toward those who are paying for it. Not offering constructive help, not making suggestions about how to improve the site -- but the ability to say how badly the site is handled or how horrible the people creating and running it have been is apparently important for a site to be healthy. And... well, I disagree. I think that's just rudeness. It is not helpful in any way, except to create trouble by starting factions. I'm tired of factions over how the site is run.

There have been many people who want Forward Motion to be something fundamentally different than it is, and I'm not going to change the site for them. If Forward Motion is not what someone wants, then they are not required to stay at the site. But if you are going to use the bandwidth of the Forward Motion chat, I don't think it's too much to ask that you be polite and not attack the site or the people who have created and are paying for you to talk to your friends.

If someone wants to offer constructive help (rather than attacks), then they should. And often do, in fact. I get emails and private messages every week, and sometimes the stuff is things we incorporate into the site. Just remember that this is a writing site and that any suggestion that will help people fulfill their hopes of becoming published is always welcome. We are a community of writers who come together in one place to discuss writing as the primary focus, and everything else as secondary. And that's the way it's going to remain.

Erik and Alli left the site with a group of people who don't like Forward Motion. And that's fine -- I don't expect everyone to like it. But because of the timing of their departure I decided that in this case I wanted certain things understood from the start. I wanted their word that they wouldn't cause trouble. If they had given it to me, I would have believed them, even after Erik told me that Alli had already told someone she didn't like administration's tactics -- and this hardly a couple hours after she'd returned to chat. I didn't think that was an auspicious start, but it pointed out that I'd been right to bring the matter up right away.

But apparently they can't live by that rule. Too bad. People were glad to see them back. If they had just said it wasn't going to be a problem, then all would be well. And that means just a problem in chat -- what they say on their sites is, of course, their own choice.

Asking someone not to be rude toward the people who are giving them the space to talk to their friends just didn't seem like such a horrible thing to me.

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