Member Rara Avis
And, regarding the multiple posting 'newbies,' no, nobody probably did inform them.
Sign up a new username. Use test0000 (where the numbers change, and I'll know I can safely delete any users that start with "test"), and then read the email you receive. Sadly, you will probably be one of the FEW who read it, because it's obvious a lot of newbies don't.
But that's not all bad, either. If you come here just to post your own poetry, of course, a half-dozen from one person real close together is going to be irritating, but it rarely last very long. And if you come here to actually read good poetry, you might just feel it doesn't last nearly long enough. I would dearly love to eliminate the bad poetry and impose no limits at all on the good, but I'm not nearly smart enough yet to tell the difference. Probably just as well, too. Because the people who come here to learn tell me that even the bad poetry serves a valuable purpose.
This is a social site as much as it is a poetry site, and as such, it is in "the nature of the beast" that cliques are formed, and friends reply to friends. So... you can fight it... or you can just remove yourself from it.
Third alternative? Become the bridge between a couple of those cliques.
Put another way, there are those who join cliques, those who refuse to join cliques, and those who choose to simply ignore cliques. The first limit both themselves and the forums, while the latter accept no limitations.
I am peeved at multiple complaints more than multiple posts
Complaints are GOOD things. Those who complain obviously care. We don't have to agree with the complaint, but we definitely have to listen to it and acknowledge it.
However, if we're going to examine the motivations of those who reply, it can certainly be no less valid to examine the motivations of those who complain about those replies.
We've had our un-bump feature for quite some time now, whereby a Member can reply to their own originating post without bumping the thread to the top. About a week ago, while reading through Open, I noticed it was being subverted by one or two people. Some were intentionally using an alias to bump their own poetry, and a few were using even less obvious tactics. I changed the programs so that a thread couldn't be bumped, not just by the same Username, but by the same computer.
Two days later, I received an email from a very irate Member, complaining that she and another Member shared the same computer and were now unable to bump each other's poems to the top. I didn't bother to reply because she ended her tirade with a threat to leave pipTalk if I didn't fix the problem immediately, and I don't respond real well to threats (that's my first understatement all month). Still, even though I largely ignored the email, it has preyed on mind for several days.
People come to pipTalk for a lot of different reasons, and I've always said that every single one of those reasons is valid. There is NOTHING wrong with coming here just to get attention for your writing. If that's the only reason they stay, however, they probably won't stay long. There are tons and tons and tons of people reading poetry here, probably more than anyone realizes, but relatively few who habitually respond to what they read. The Open forum is like buying a magazine at the newsstand, and every time you open it up it has magically updated to a new issue. There's nothing wrong with wanting your poem to be in two or three consecutive issues of the magazine. That's human nature. It only becomes wrong when you are willing to sacrifice someone else's spot to do it.
There are many different reasons people come to pipTalk and all of them are valid, but I'm going to be honest and admit the software is designed to reward and entice those who want to learn. If your poetry doesn't get the response you think it should, maybe it's time to assume some responsibility for that instead of looking for someone else to blame. Are you targeting a wide audience or a very narrow one? Did you say something new or simply repeat the same tired cliches? Are you being too obscure or too transparent? Did you choose a hard-to-read font or make other presentation decisions that overshadow the poem? Did you check your spelling or even read what you just typed before posting it? If you really want a lot of replies, go find the poetry that gets a lot replies and figure out what they did that you don't do. Learn!
Please note that I am NOT suggesting everyone should write for a wider audience or only post poetry about unusual or even arcane themes. You don't have to use mixed case if you don't want to (thanks to e.e. cummings) and you don't even have to worry about spelling. Those are all individual decisions that each poet has to make for themselves. But they also have to realize that those ARE their individual decisions, as are ALL the other things that determines how many replies they get. I'm not saying you have to change your decisions. I'm just saying, until you accept responsibility for them, you don't even have the choice.
A poem is a child of the heart, and it's normal we'd want our children to fare well. But once they leave the nest, they have to rise or fall on their own merit. The parent has done all they can for that child, and at best can only vow to do better with the next.