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Passions in Poetry

Give And Get in Poetry

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turtle
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25 posted 03-19-2009 06:00 PM       View Profile for turtle   Email turtle   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for turtle

I too could gain from a free verse workshop. I have been giving this issue some thought Bob. There is an interesting attempt at providing a three step poetry workshop template at Poets.org. This is geared toward publication using three workshops. A poet edits his poem based on feedback from readers of progressively greater skill levels in each workshop. The intent is, after posting in the highest level of expert readers doing critique, the poem would be ready for publication.

This doesn't work of course. Each workshop is just a big clique of varying skill levels and usually confusing, non supportive feedback. There are several poetry sites that have forums offering progressively greater in depth critiques. PFFA is one of the better known and in my mind is not very helpful.

I went and looked at some profiles here at PIP and found that the "yes", "no" critique choice is running about 50% / 50%. I also found that many of those indicating they might want a critique. had a critique message that begged for mercy.....(chuckle)

I think that providing links to publishers that are looking for submissions might be a good idea, perhaps in Announcements. But, I am doubtful that a CA here would be useful, or popular if geared toward the publication you suggest. I think there may be just too many different individual perspectives on what a critique should be and it might only serve to confuse the poster. (my opinion)

However. I do think a critiquing workshop to teach critique might be both popular and useful. Especially if there were say 1, a beginning writers workshop, 2,  a rhymed verse workshop, and 3, a free verse workshop. Perhaps the best poem from each workshop, each week, could be rewarded with being submitted to 4, a critiquing workshop, where it is critiqued by those participants in that workshop.

There are many good templates on the web that provide guidelines for doing a proper critique. These guides could be used to create a teaching template to use in this "critique workshop" to teach those that want to learn to do critiques. This I think, might put nearly everyone on the same page. Also, those such as yourself  who are passionate about publication, might provide links to publishers and resources in the body of your critiques. Here are just a small sampling of links that offer a critiquing template

www.poets.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=6481

www.authorsden.com/visit/viewArticle.asp?id=16980

http://www.ehow.com/how_2116676_critique-a-poem.html

http://www.poemofquotes.com/articles/critique-poetry.php[/URL]  

........I don't know, I may be barking up the wrong tree here. With only seven members responding to this thread I don't see this as much of a voice for Ron to consider.


turtle

[This message has been edited by turtle (03-20-2009 12:12 AM).]

moonbeam
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26 posted 03-20-2009 09:48 AM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

Bob, from what I've seen you write about poetry on this board there's probably very little blue water between us.  

I think one of the biggest difficulties any constructive critique forum faces is lack of focus.  

My CRHC acronym only goes so far.  Without some sort of target or stated purpose, close reading and comment (which after all can be variously and widely interpreted) can (and will imo) result eventually in rather an aimless, and very "personality vulnerable", exchange of views.  The success or otherwise of the discussions will depend almost entirely on the character of the participants and their own personal desires and aims.  You might say (and I think Ron would) that this is inevitable in any discussion, and desirable as long as it remains civil and respectful.  This is what social networking is all about, and this is apparently what PiP is all about.  In the past, as you can see from the other thread, I've argued repeatedly for a series of guidelines or rules in order to channel discussion and comment.  Ron has resisted this sort of stricture on the basis (I think) that it cuts right across the PiP ethos.  Yet without it, I foresaw (and some might say helped to bring about, as I have a regrettable tendency to react badly sometimes) the eventual closure of CA.  

With hindsight I am still unsure as to whether a CA type forum could ever have been made to work successfully.  I do however think now, having read what you have written, that a clear statement narrowing the purpose of such a forum might have gone a long way towards helping.  But for that to work you first need to agree on what that purpose is going to be.  

It can't simply be to "improve" poetry, for I agree with you totally that the word "improve" when applied to poetry without a reference point is very tricky.  The reference point you have suggested is that of the perspective of "a fair number of publishing professional poets" because that's one you are familiar with.  I happen to think that that is an excellent perspective, and a worthy target to shoot for, but when I've suggested it in other online situations I've met with various levels of disinterest verging sometimes on hostility.

Still, if the stall was set out clearly to begin with then one would hope that only those interested in working towards the goal would participate.

That's the easy bit.  The hard bit is policing.  What do you do when a Monk Frost arrives?  What action, if any, do you take when someone posts a "Hallmark" poem per day with a patent disinterest in writing in any other way?  I can think of a lot of  "what if's" Bob!  Do you exclude people on the basis of what they say or don't say?  If you don't, any new forum would I suspect go the way of CA.  But if you do, then it isn't ever going to happen here at PiP (or if it did, it would mean not just a U turn from Ron, but a full reverse double twist with Triple Salko).

That's all I can think of for now Bob.

M
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27 posted 03-21-2009 06:02 AM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

Ron

I'd be grateful if you'd look at this:

http://piptalk.com/main/forumdisplay.cgi?action=displayarchive&number=84&topic=002677# 12

Thanks

M
Bob K
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28 posted 03-22-2009 07:35 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K

Continuing Our Conversation,

     I think that in order to get critique for a poem in a setting like the one I'm proposing, it would be better to be sure that you offer critique of other people's poems as well.  I think that would be a very good idea because it means that you have to learn to think critically about poetry, in the beginning about other people's poetry and what they should be doing to make it right, but ó as you progress ó about your own poetry and what you need to do in revising your own poetry to make it right.  It's frequently only by trying out various statements about what you think somebody else ought to do, and listening to what other people have to say as well about each others' poems and your own, that you can begin to formulate your own particular way of working.

     That's the practical reason for needing to say things about other people's work.  Politeness does figure in, of course, but that's often not enough to get people to overcome the shyness they feel about speaking their thoughts out loud.  And that's why I say that politeness is really a secondary issue to developing a set of personal poetic "moves" for how you want to do your work and your revisions.

     There are a set of moves in poetry that I believes transcends the issues of formal or free verse that has to do with diction, and stance and concision that are helpful for almost everybody.  Some moves are particular more to folks who write metric verse, I suspect, but the basics of stress and line break are important no matter what approach you take.  I think.  

     The only way that you can find out what you think is by trying to say what you think and having it questioned occasionally and by experimenting in the writing and revision process.  Again:  I think.

     Sincerely,

Bob Kaven
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29 posted 03-22-2009 08:35 PM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch


Bob,

Before you continue wouldnít it save some potentially wasted time and energy if you asked the obvious question? Designing a forum is all well and good but if itís never destined to be implemented is there any point?

Allow me.

Ron,

Is there any chance that the CA forum, or a similar forum, might re-open any time soon?



.
Ron
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30 posted 03-23-2009 11:25 AM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

Soon?

No, it's not likely at all.

Eventually?

Perhaps. It won't be based on tighter rules or trying to force people to participate, though. And the word "critique" won't likely even be used.


Grinch
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31 posted 03-23-2009 02:28 PM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch


Thanks for clearing that up Ron.

Bob K
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32 posted 03-24-2009 03:17 AM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K


Ron,

        What about a workshop forum for free verse writers where writers would have to offer feedback at least three times before getting it for a piece of their own work, and where there would be a limit of say five poems a week permitted for discussion.  Only one by a single writer.  Focus  on the sort of polish that people would need to have for publication.

     Many magazines, you understand, won't publish material that's appeared in a setting like PiP; they regard it as already published, I hear.  So the focus would have to be on learning the level of skill needed.  Or finding magazines outside the forum that would be willing to accept poems, should any come out of it that people want to give a shot.

     I believe this is a different proposal than the one Grinch suggested above.  If I thought it the same, I wouldn't make it.  Further details would have to be worked out to everybody's satisfaction, of course.

     Bob Kaven
moonbeam
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33 posted 03-24-2009 04:01 AM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

What's "soon"?

Good grief, we were 10 years messing the last one up.  A few months or even a year or two for careful reflection and consideration in public (so as everyone can see exactly what people's feeling are, and to ensure transparency and clarity) is in my view essential.

Bob's very kindly started that process, and so long as Ron uses the word "possibly" rather than "never", I think it should continue.

If something like CA ever starts again I think it should be with everyone involved at the outset having their eyes wide open, and a high degree of consensus.

Go to it Bob  

Later.

M
Ron
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34 posted 03-24-2009 06:58 AM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
What about a workshop forum for free verse writers where writers would have to offer feedback at least three times before getting it for a piece of their own work, and where there would be a limit of say five poems a week permitted for discussion.  Only one by a single writer.

I think we're mixing some apples and oranges here, Bob. If you're talking about a teacher-led workshop like the Poetry Workshop, then we already have that structure in place. We just need to find a suitable teacher and coordinate it with Mike and Nan.

If you're talking about another critiquing forum, with a lot of new rules, I again don't see that happening any time soon.

I don't want to get into a long discussion at this point, but let me quickly address just the few new "rules" you've already mentioned, Bob. I don't want to necessarily discourage rules so much as I want to encourage a little deeper thought about new rules.

I've been involved in on-line communities for a very long time. Even before this community, I was a moderator and admin at JimWorld.com, probably the first web developer community ever built. I worked with Jim Wilson for several years before his death in 2003. Most of the people who opened the doors to pipTalk with me I met in other on-line communities. Even today, I moderate and admin at two other very successful web developer forums. I'm sure I haven't seen everything tried in my twelve or so years of doing this, but I suspect I've seen more than most. Here's a few of the things I think I've learned.

You can't force people to participate. Both of the web dev communities where I am involved have forums set aside for web site reviews. People build a web site and others review it. They're a different kind of crit, but they're still crits. One of those web dev communities has set a rule: before asking for a review, a member has to have 25 posts. The result, in my opinion, has been a marked increase in the signal-to-noise ratio, a dramatic rise in "me too" posts. When you try to mandate quantity, quality inevitably takes a hit.

Similarly, you can't realistically limit participation. Not without an awful lot of planning and constant work. If you really want only five poems a week permitted for discussion, you're going to have to come up with an equitable and fair way to select those five poems, and then you're going to have to find someone to spend however much time it takes every week to make the selections. My experience is that will last less than six months. When I did it at the main site, I managed to make it work for almost two years, but I'm probably more stubborn than most. And even for those two years, it didn't work well.

And even though it doesn't currently pertain, here's probably the number one thing I've learned about on-line communities:

You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him read the rules. Ever.    

For those who really want to make up rules, here's the philosophy you'll have to entertain if you want any chance of seeing them implemented.

Never make a rule you can't (or won't) enforce. That just encourages people to break rules.

Never make a rule where an incentive will work better. You want someone to do something? Make it easy. Make a fun.

quote:
Focus  on the sort of polish that people would need to have for publication.

Actually, we've already done that, Bob.

I can't even remember what we called it (anyone?), but we long ago had a forum run by Ruth Kephart, better know in these parts as hoot_owl_rn, a very respected and well published poet. Ruth is still around and likely has a better memory than I do. The focus of the forum was helping people get published.

There's also a small section at the main site dedicated to publishing, though it hasn't been updated in years.

I'm not adverse to exploring this avenue again, Bob, but it's not easy to come up with a sustainable plan. And I'll admit I perhaps find it less than exciting because I know that "good" poetry and "publishable" poetry are two very different critters. I worry that when we encourage someone to write for money or fame, we risk setting them on the wrong path. Still, I'm amenable to discussion.

moonbeam
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35 posted 03-24-2009 11:50 AM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

Bob

I'm with Ron on practically everything he says here (although I think perhaps we need to explore what he means by "published", and whoever heard of a real poet writing for money , money?!).

I may not have had Ron's hands-on experience setting up and running message boards and online communities but I've spent a frightening proportion of my last 10 years in them, and I have enough idea of what might be practical and long lasting and what might not, to be very wary of plunging into any new venture without a great deal of thought and planning.

Of all the things he says, and they are all good, the point about trying to incentivise rather than coerce (perhaps too strong) is perhaps the one that resonates most with me, that, and the futility of placing quotas on numbers of posts (which I used to think might work, but have since seen in operation with precisely the results Ron cites).

I still think that some of the suggestions for guidelines that I made back in 2006 would be helpful in any situation approaching a workshop environment:

More moderators/quasi moderators.  No necessity for them to be teachers or poetic experts.  But essential for them to be active policemen of the forum guidelines, and for there to be sufficient off board contact between them such that difficult situations can be shared

Strong encouragement for posters to say why a poem is liked or disliked (or maybe why an editor might like or dislike it, if you as reviewer have that expertise), and strong encouragement for the poet to say thank you to those who comment and to provide some feedback on the comments received

Re-enforcement of PiP rules regarding comments directed at the person rather than the poem

A suggestion that debate within the threads is encouraged but gratuitous adverse comment about others posters, especially that directed at new or learning posters, discouraged

A zero tolerance policy for any hint at all of personal criticism whether indirect or direct and whether in poems or comments

Posts that repeatedly (more than twice) break the spirit or letter of the guidelines to be gently (in the case of poems) directed to Open, and in the case of comments, deleted and replaced with a respectful message asking the poster to comply with the guidelines  

A real effort to encourage existing members of PiP to participate in CA and to make them feel welcome and their opinions valued

......

On the fun thing, I am quite sure that all sorts of competitions, exercises and fun stuff could be devised to lighten the place.  But take up online is often low, and you'd have to be sure that enough core people were going to be around to share the workload.

For me this is all early days.  I'd want to do a lot more listening, thinking and reading before trying to decide anything.

M
Juju
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36 posted 03-25-2009 04:34 PM       View Profile for Juju   Email Juju   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Juju's Home Page   View IP for Juju

Yeah...  I posted stuff there and would not get feed back for like a year or get some one tell me that I "####"  

When I critiqued poetry I often had harsh reaction, so I think that it was a strange forum.  There was allot of insults and poeple who would not let a dead dog rest.  I felt that allot of new comers felt misplaced in that section.  

-Juju

-"So you found a girl
Who thinks really deep thoughts
What's so amazing about really deep thoughts " Silent all these Years, Tori Amos

Bob K
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37 posted 03-26-2009 07:47 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



     Okay, it's possible we have the beginnings of a negotiation, or something distantly like one here.  We have comments from several people who say what they don't want, and a couple of comments by Ron saying what seem to be things that are less and more tolerable in terms of the way he sees the site.  In addition to the other things Ron does for us here is he is the longest running and most detailed keeper of memory and experience about the place, and the guy who's seen the most trial and error.  Turtle has seen a few web sites where things seem to have worked well, with caveats, and others have a healthy dose of skepticism.  I'm feeling that we can probably do [i]something[i] useful and honorable and not too tedious if we are careful.

     I am nervous that things will become too unthinkingly approving to be of actual help in making needed revisions.  I also see the general worry of folks being simply cruel for the sake of being clever or to salvage what may be seen as slights from poorly phrased prior feedback.  I've been on the receiving end of this sort of thing, though I confess anything I've gotten here has been extremely mild, and I've never enjoyed it.

     If you send out for publication, and get the number of rejection slips that frequently entails however, even if the rejection slips are without comment, you understand that getting feedback, even difficult feedback, becomes something that you wish you had.  If you are writing to have people simply tell you how good you are ó and this is a perfectly legitimate reason to write, by the way; as is writing simply to get one's feelings out to have a look at the;, or to share them with a few uncritical friends ó then writing to have people offer you publication style professional feedback is not what you should be doing.

     My vision of this sort of forum would be targeted to folks like this.  Feedback that's simply cruel would not be encouraged.  It should be aimed at being of concrete help to the poem, not a shot at the poet.  And it should have a point to be made about the craft of the poem in question.

     That's more than enough of me running my mouth for now.  I's like to hear from other folks.
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38 posted 03-26-2009 08:09 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Those were the guidelines of CA, Bob. They weren't followed.
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39 posted 03-26-2009 10:58 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



     Wasn't quarreling about that, Mike.  I stopped posting there, instead.  Folks are allowed to set up the rules of the activities that engage in so long as the rules themselves are legal.  Also, Ron was pretty clear about finding CA a bunch of folk who had other ideas than the ones that were set up as the rules in the first place.  Not a good fit.

     My suggestion is to negotiate a set of rules that's pretty much agreeable all the way around.  With Ron, with anyone who's interested in writing for free verse publication.  I suppose we could take a swing at metered stuff too, but that would encroach on your balliwick, and I'm not too keen about that.  You have your own notions about that stuff.

     I'd like to see the comments have enough bite to be useful in making revisions and in getting poems ready to send out ó though not to magazines, as I said before, that limit their submissions to poems that haven't been looked at in an "open" forum on the internet.

     How or if that happens has got to depend in some part on you, of course, and how tolerable such a forum would be for you, and what you think it might take away from PiP and what you think it might add.  You have considerable seniority here yourself, and a lot of institutional memory about what works and what doesn't work, and what fixes failed and why, and what fixes work and why and all that sort of wisdom.

     In short, What YOU think about the idea?  Plus and minus in whichever order.  Or if your thinking is one-sided, let's hear that too.  At this point, we're gathering information and seeing if there's enough interest to even start the thing up at all, let along make the changes along the way that it would probably necessitate.

All my best,  Bob Kaven
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40 posted 03-26-2009 11:24 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Thanks, Bob, but I don't see where my 'toleration" would have anything to do with anything. Yes, I have some seniority here but that doesn't grant any special privileges to me. Do I think it would be good for the site? I can't say. it's easy to come up with rules. As I pointed out, rules were brought up for CA. When you get into critiquing, you get into personalities unless you have some respected, credentialed person doing the critiquing. When someone wants to introduce facts, it's one thing. When someone wants to introduce critiques or opinions, it's something else. For me in the workshop, it's much easier. Structured poetry has specific rules and guidelines. I simply point out the rules, which are verifyable. Free verse is a horse of a different color. As far as getting something ready for publication, there are many websites out there who will take one through the necessary steps for submittals. Plus, any interest that the subject would bring is secondary to Ron giving permission to do it.

As for me, I have no personal feelings about it either way..
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41 posted 03-27-2009 07:21 AM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch


If you wanted to undertake an autopsy of the CA forum Bob it wouldnít take a member of CSI to spot the root cause of itís demise. You can distil it down to an incompatibility of types.

Hereís the site requirements:

1 anyone can post a poem within the general rules of the site
2 anyone can post a reply within the general rules of the site

You can call those type one requirements and hereís the requirements of the people using the forum:

1 only poems of a certain standard should be posted
2 only replies of a certain standard should be posted

Letís call them type two requirements.

The problems occurred because when people saw what they perceived as posts that didn't match their idea of type two posts. Instead of ignoring them they decided to ignore the type one requirements and reacted with posts that were clearly outside the sites requirements. When that happened the Moderators were given no option but to either edit or delete any post that clearly breached the type one requirements or, based on their own type two requirements, ignore the site requirements and Moderate based on their own standards. This left the Mods out on a limb, they had rules they had to enforce which seemed bent on allowing the type of posts that, in many cases, they didnít agree with.

From the point of view of a lot of members some of the posters that they saw as being disruptive were allowed to continue to post while anyone confronting or criticising them was censored for breaching the type one requirements. In frustration they either blew a gasket and got bounced or packed their bags and walked. The Mods, sometimes just as frustrated, were put in untenable situations too.

You can see from the requirements the quandary Ron finds himself in, he canít abandon the type one requirements without excluding some people and he canít exclude some people without having a clear definition of what a type two post actually is. If Ron doesnít believe that my replies are of a good enough standard does he delete them? Does his standard match Bradís, or Peteís, or Moonbeams?

You could try to build lots of rules to define a standard but the best youíre ever going to get is a whole heap of borderline cases and grey areas leading to inconsistent moderation.

The issue, as far as I see it, was that for some reason people couldnít simply accept that all types of posts are inevitable. At the same time, for some reason, they couldnít just ignore the posts they believed weren't type two posts. They saw them as some sort of an affront and reacted like the proverbial bull faced with a red rag.

Perhaps the answer could have been as simple as giving those people a little help to ignore the red rags.

Why couldnít there have been an ďIgnore PosterĒ list for each member, similar to the library but in reverse, where, if you found someone so annoying you couldnít stop yourself from reacting to their every word, you simply added them to your ignore list and all their posts were magically removed from your view.

If that were in place moderating would have been made easier - if the members had a process to deal with people that annoyed them theyíd have had no excuse for breaking the type one requirements to voice their annoyance. An added bonus is that this solution reflects real life, if you donít like someone you generally ignore or avoid them, confronting them at every opportunity isnĎt generally an expectable way to go.

Out of sight is out of mind?

Grinch - Chief Crime Scene Investigator and Head Bottle Washer



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42 posted 03-27-2009 08:52 AM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

Yes Grinch!  You woke up     .

I think you've painted a pretty good broad picture.  I think your type two definitions are a little crude, in the sense that in my experience it's not the "standards" (unless you mean trivial irritations such as MF) which cause the real problems as tone and intent.  Sure, people used to whinge about replies being "fluff" and used to encourage posters to say "why" they liked something - but there was really nothing wrong with that, and it rarely caused a major upheaval so far as I can remember.  I think what really caused the problems was a kind of cycle of aggravation, caused in turn by the fine line between heavily criticising the writing and criticising the critic or the poet.

The truth is that the more erudite and well read posters can spar between each other using textual pyrotechnics to keep, technically, on the right side of that line, i.e. criticising only the words of the other erudite posters.  The problems arise imv when the, perhaps, less knowledgeable less erudite person posts, and the post is subjected to a less than flattering comment, albeit within the rules of PiP.  Somebody who is learning poetry, or is not entirely comfortable in writing has a limited arsenal of ripostes and is at a disadvantage in expressing themselves, and more often than not will step outside the strict bounds of PiP guidelines and have a jab at what he regards as his tormentor.  At this point the more erudite person (if he is on a sufficiently short fuse) will respond with a post which then also steps outside the PiP rules - BANG!

The point here is that with hindsight it is easy to see that the new less erudite poster should be given more leeway, and the more erudite regular learn to keep his temper.  The problem is though that while the newbie might well decide that CA is not for him and leave, the regular remains to have the process repeated and repeated and repeated.  The effect is cumulative and in the end terminal.

Pffa deal with this syndrome by simply chopping off all newbie insubordination with no second chances and no leeway.  Clearly this approach isn't going to fly at PiP, and I'm now wondering whether we shouldn't turn the apparent difficulty with the overall PiP philosophy on its head and use it to advantage.

What I'm suggesting is that maybe the way to go in any future discussion forum is to accept that the very grey area between attacking a poster and attacking the post is a major problem, and actually strengthen the guideline against attacks on person to embrace also harsh criticism of a contributor's writing whether it be poetry or critique.  Thus the sort of critiques that Sid and I sometimes wrote for instance would become contrary to the discussion forum guideline, even though technically within the PiP guidelines.  One would then hope that the cycle of antagonism would never start, for if the erudite person did not post the harsh criticism, one would presume that the newbie or less literate person would not respond with a personal attack.

I agree with Grinch that a complicated set of rules cannot sustain the forum even with new guidelines.  What I think can help are the things I've said before, and a very strong and active mod/quasi-mod presence.  

And as a final line of defence I think the ignore feature would be a useful addition.  I do however feel that it should be available only in extreme cases and activated by a moderator.  In other online situations I've seen the ignore feature cause mayhem.  A poster will delight in telling another he is going to be ignored, the other will react with affront and pique, and believe me, there are plenty of ways to pursue mischief even on ignore.  And what about new screen names?  So "yes", but with caveats.

M
Grinch
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43 posted 03-27-2009 10:05 AM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch

Oddly enough Moon I have just woken up - Iíve been ill and confined to my bed for the last three days but Iím feeling a bit better now.



quote:
strengthen the guideline against attacks on person to embrace also harsh criticism of a contributor's writing whether it be poetry or critique.


Wouldnít that simply allow the proliferation of unchecked bad advice? If we canít contradict a premise put forward in a reply suggesting that capitalisation at the start of each line in poetry is a bad idea arenít we simply promoting unchallenged, and perhaps obviously inane, assertions.

quote:
I do however feel that it should be available only in extreme cases and activated by a moderator.


I donít know about you but Iím not happy with the idea that a moderator, or anyone else, has the ability to decide what I can read and what I canít read. If it meets the requirements of the site (type1 requirements) it should stay. If it doesnít meet my personal requirements (type2) I need to be the one who decides to ignore it because, quite frankly, Iím the only one who knows what my requirements are and, odd as it may seem, they arenít the same as yours, or Brads, or Peteís or even Ronís. I know what and who I want to ignore as soon as read a post.

In a perfect world Iíd do just that - ignore it - but in CA that didnít happen, my suggestion gives those people who find it hard to ignore things and people that annoy them the tool to do just that and removes any excuse for reacting.

You could do all that of course without any changes to the software at all, all you need is a Moderator who jumped on any deviation from the site requirements but that would just mean that MFís postís remained and all the caustic replies to him would have been deleted for being against PIP rules regarding respect and tolerance.

How much would that wind you up Moon? Wouldnít it just make life easier if MF was free to post whatever he wanted, whoever wanted to reply to him could and whoever wanted to ignore him was free to do so. You wouldnít have to see his posts or any of Radrookís replies and if you decided you did want to see them and decided to start a rant a Mod could simply delete your rant and ask you to ignore any replies that wound you up. Youíd have a tool to avoid posts you donít like and no excuse if you didnít.

Just a thought.

.
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44 posted 03-27-2009 11:24 AM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam



quote:
Oddly enough Moon I have just woken up - I've been ill and confined to my bed for the last three days but I'm feeling a bit better now.
    quote:strengthen the guideline against attacks on person to embrace also harsh criticism of a contributor's writing whether it be poetry or critique.
Wouldn't that simply allow the proliferation of unchecked bad advice? If we can't contradict a premise put forward in a reply suggesting that capitalisation at the start of each line in poetry is a bad idea aren't we simply promoting unchallenged, and perhaps obviously inane, assertions.


I thought you'd gone uncharacteristically quiet.  Glad you are better now .  I shall ask Karen to send you waves of healing thingies.

Oh wow.  I wasn't suggesting that level of restriction on comments, and I think that discussions about what is and isn't bad advice are part of the fun of a discussion forum.  For instance Ron clearly thought that some of what Turtle said was "bad" advice, or "wrong".  It would have been great to see some enlargement and debate about that, with Ron supporting his comment and Turtle defending himself.  Similarly I'm darned sure that some people disagree with my image based approach to poetry, and ~sigh~ gone were the days when we could have a lively debate in a vigorous but civil way about that sort of thing.  Again the atmosphere in the forum wouldn't allow it and the people who would have had such a discussion had left.  

As for negative comment, I think it's as much about how you say things as what you say, and also, who you say them to.  For instance I was in teen the other day and I wrote a short crit which said "this is awful".  That's harsh.  Taken in isolation that would be deleted under the new rules.  But in the context in which I did it (which I won't elaborate on here) it would probably have been ok.  I guess that's why a very strong mod and quasi mod presence is necessary.  A mod seeing that comment out of context and summarily deleting could seriously undermine developing relationships, but that's another issue.  

No, what I was meaning was the ending of the scenario where a regular launches into someone with a full blown, no holds barred "terrible writing" crit.  And of course you can say negative things in a nice way. You can balance the negative with positive, or if there is no positive, then with encouragement.  And it's all about the overall atmosphere.  If the atmosphere in the forum is good then the regulars won't be driven to the put you downs and the sarcasm.  In the very early days we got plenty of idiots entering the forum, but generally there was a weight of positives which prevented serious deterioration.  However it doesn't take long for this to change.  Act early to prevent escalation; but that takes manpower.

On the "ignore" you've convinced me, mainly because your arguments appeal to situations I've been in personally.  I do think however that such a button can be misused as a threat and then a taunt; kind of like sending someone to Coventry at school, remember?  It then all gets a bit juvenile with the ignorer and the ignoree digging at each other via the reactions of the posters they can see.  You'd have to watch out for that, but ok.

As far as the MF incident was concerned (and similar ones) I don't think "ignore" is a solution for the forum.  It might be a solution for an individual, but my view is that letting that sort of thing go on unchecked for day after day undermines the credibility of the forum, both for those participating and those looking on perhaps wondering whether they might jump in.  Not to mention sending out the wrong signals to others about what they can and can't do in a discussion forum.  He wasn't participating in a workshop or discussion forum, it became obvious after a while that he had no intention of so doing.  It would have been very easy to politely move his poems to Open.  I think that you can do that without jeopardising the PiP respect and tolerance guidelines?

Sorry this is all a bit jumbled; a little pulled out today with work.

M
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45 posted 03-27-2009 03:18 PM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch


quote:
It would have been very easy to politely move his poems to Open.


See thatís where we really disagree, MF didnít do anything wrong posting in CA, he was contributing within the rules. That was the point I was trying to make to Turtle at the time, he wasnít in breach of the site rules, the people attacking him because his method of contribution didnĎt match their requirements were the only ones guilty in that regard.

Everyone seems to believe that creating a set of rules to allow his posts to be moved is the answer but I donít think it is. Apart from the fact that Iíve already mentioned - that defining what constitutes a valid post is impossible thereís the possibility of excluding the wrong people for the wrong reasons.

Take MF for example. Is it possible that he might just have been a little shy? Yes I know itís not likely but is it possible?

So in this hypothetical forum arenít you just suggesting that one of the rules is essentially going to be that any shy posters will be discouraged and their posts moved to Open?

I donít think that oneís going to go down well with you know who, and to be honest I think I agree with him.

moonbeam
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46 posted 03-27-2009 04:20 PM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

Ok, Grinch I feel like I'm on a roundabout here.  I think I answered this in the other thread so I'll just copy and paste.  First your contention from the other thread:    

"quote:MF was posting inappropriately in the Workshop so his post was removed whereas he wasn't doing anything wrong in CA, which is why his posts remained.

    Ron has made several references to this but I'm not sure people are getting it - CA wasn't closed because of the actions of people like MF, it was closed because of the reactions of the rest of us.

    He didn't do anything wrong - we did."

Then my reply from the other thread:


Two points here Grinch, first the minor one:

It is possible imv, even within the embracing PiP philosophy, to argue that MF was in fact pushing the boundaries.  The section of the guidelines I cited in the forum makes it clear that responsiveness is greatly encouraged, he certainly wasn't responsive.  Additionally, everyone who's been in online forums where exchanges of views are promoted knows that it's considered fairly rude to enter a place as a newbie and simply post poem after poem, not for days mind, but for weeks, and ignore all responses.  That in my view may breach the PiP guideline on respect.  

However the main point is that of course I get the fact that (if you ignore my minor point above) we did something wrong not MF.  But that's been my point all along.  I accept Ron did the right thing closing CA, because CA was always an environment and a structure where we were likely to "do wrong".  The fault however lay in lack of clarity about the purpose and a failure to appreciate that such a forum could not exist comfortably in PiP without additional somethings.  MF was removed in the Workshop because, as you put it, he was posting inappropriately, he wasn't removed in CA because he wasn't posting inappropriately.  In my ideal discussion forum he would have been, but then I didn't and don't fix the boundaries.  Which is perhaps just as well    

.....

So to sum up, I hear what you say about shyness, and everyone shouild be given lots of chances to get over shyness, of course they should, but MF was a case where a guy was there for several weeks posting poems with no effort to participate whatever the encouragement and provocation.  Maybe he was shy, but he wasn't contributing.  Maybe not contributing in a discussion forum is not against PiP rules, but that's irrelevant to my point which is that whatever the rights and wrongs of the past I'm talking about the future, and in my book such a poster has no place in a discussion forum when there's a perfectly good Open forum for him to post in.  Any more that he would be in the right place in the Poetry Workshop in fact.  It's not some kind of punishment to have your poems moved to Open you know
Grinch
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47 posted 03-27-2009 04:50 PM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch

It is if you wanted an in-depth reply.

Iím clearly missing something here Moon - what harm was MF doing exactly?

Posts in any forum are precious - trust me I know - when I was the Mod of a struggling Forum here at PIP I would have given my right arm for a posted poem and the odd reply and MF would have been welcomed with open arms. Posting a poem is contributing, posting a reply is contributing, granted doing both is preferable but this isnít a perfect world.

Anywho - thatís me off the roundabout for a while.

moonbeam
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48 posted 03-27-2009 06:17 PM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

Grinch

I have a lot to say about what you just wrote, lol.  Maybe tomorrow, out of fuel now.

M
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49 posted 03-28-2009 10:54 AM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

To start with I should say that I don't think that in the scale of things the Monk Frost fracas was of much account whatever.  He wasn't reason for closing of CA and a discussion about him is only useful in so far as it serves to show one small particular instance of why some sort of guidelines might be useful.  

For the record he made 21 posts to CA over a period of just under one month at a fairly regular rate.

Of those 21 posts he received replies to 18.  

Of those 18 three contained specific questions directed at MF by other posters, and one contained a direct comment from a moderator about his posting.

He did not respond to a single one of the comments or questions made about his poems.  

He made one 8 word comment on another person's poem which had absolutely nothing to do with the poem and everything to do with a rather offensive statement about the poet's state of mind, which, inter alia, was a complete, and as it happened, erroneous, guess.

What did he do wrong, and what harm did he do?

1 He spammed the forum.  The level of his posting and his non-responsive attitude eventually led a moderator to say this:

"The 3-a-day rule works pretty well in the fast moving forums. Here in CA, where the intent is to thoroughly analyze each post, it does not work at all. Even one per day is usually too much. It takes time for the group to discuss a poem. The way you are flooding the pages gives a strong impression that you are simply dumping your computer here, possibly because you don't know how to clean it up otherwise. If that's the case, learn to use the Delete button instead.

As moderator of CA, I ask you to please stop the spam. Or at lease slow down to where it might become something of value in a critical analysis environment."

2 He failed to obey a moderator's instruction, posting another poem 70 minutes after the instruction had been given, provocatively entitled "Dare" and referring to the subjectivity of people's opinions (I think).

3 He failed to thank anyone for, or respond to a single comment made on his poems.  At 3 or 4 poems that could be shyness.  At 7 or 8 poems it could mean the poet is very busy in real life, except that wasn't the case as he continued to post poems regularly.  At 9 or 10 poems one wonders what he is doing.  At 13 - 15 poems it becomes a little wearing in a discussion forum.  At 20 poems it is just rude and disrespectful.

4 He patently annoyed other posters.  You might say tough, their problem.  I say, that taken in conjunction with the mode of posting, and the period of time involved, the balance tilted from having goodwill towards him, through giving him the benefit of the doubt, to assuming that he was intent on trouble making.  At that point there was no reason to leave his poems in CA.

5 To anyone of any intellect looking in from outside at the forum his antics showed both MF and other participants in a juvenile light.  The forum would have looked as if it was neither about poetry or discussion, and it would looked unmoderated, drifting and basically an unproductive waste of time.

As for your point about wanting posts in slow forums.  Yes, of course I agree, but not at any price.  If the price of having a lot of posts in a discussion forum is that everyone who has an intelligent or sensible contribution leaves, and the place becomes a one or two man joke shop, then what's the point?  That's what happened in CA, that's ultimately why it failed.  

M
 
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