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Passions in Poetry

The CA Forum

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moonbeam
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100 posted 03-21-2009 07:13 PM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

~sigh~  I wonder why people apparently find the idea of treating poetry seriously so incompatible with social networking and making friends.  

Is it so very threatening to PiP to occasionally have more in depth discussions about poems?  That's all I'm suggesting Mike.

Why the sudden "might as well get used to it" thrust?  Why the sudden all or nothing attitude?

I've made many friends here over the years while also treating poetry as a serious art form.

All I'm hoping for is just a little more of that in the other forums.  Is that so very wrong?  Is it a threat to the PiP ethos?  Why so vehement Mike?

As for "rudderless" - well, if something you've been part of for 10 years suddenly vanishes you can be forgiven I think for feeling a little like that.  Whether you like it or not Mike, CA was part of PiP, and for part of the time a very wonderful part.  I'm slightly aghast at your apparent suggestion that all those who were at PiP because of CA were somehow here under false pretences. Maybe you didn't mean that.  
Brad
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101 posted 03-21-2009 07:28 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

M.

Ha!

My thoughts exactly.

I will never understand this either/or thing.  
Balladeer
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102 posted 03-21-2009 08:14 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

No, moonbeam, I certainly didn't mean it the way you are taking it. It was no challenge or either/or in my intention. If I came across like that, I apologize.

Actually, at the beginning of PIP, there was only one forum. The others came at the requests of poets and from Ron's expansion of the site. Treating poetry seriously is not in conflict with social networking UNLESS the seriousness becomes in conflict with the social part. Apparently that is what happened with CA.

In a perfect world, or perfect site, those who want only the social part and are happy to post poems they know are limited, have their place to inter-act and those who want to work on improving their work and receive constructive input from others toward that end would have their area. There's certainly nothing wrong with that and i'm sure that was Ron's thought when he created CA. It would appear, though, that it didn't work out that way and constructiveness gave way to
abrasiveness, insults and clashes of personalities. Since that is the exact opposite of PIP's motives, Ron determined it had to go. I hadn't spent that much time in CA but I'll wager that, if I go back and check, Ron gave more than a few subtle and not-so-subtle warnings before closing it.

No, I'm not saying that those who were here for CA were rudderless, sir, but if they were here for ONLY CA without understanding why this site was created and respecting those guidelines, they were not in the right place. Apparently that's what happened.

No vehemence intended. Sometimes my directness comes out as brusque and I don't realize it or mean it that way. Sorry.........
Ron
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103 posted 03-21-2009 08:51 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
Ron says that PiP is principally a social networking site, a place to chat and make friends.  The poetry is secondary and of relatively little importance.

Ron never said any such thing. Hell, when these doors first opened, social networking sites hadn't even been invented yet. Even Google was just a gleam in Larry Page's eye.  

What I said, Rob, was that poetry is secondary to people. Guess what? In my world, everything is secondary to people. I'm sincerely glad you feel CA provided an opportunity to learn about poetry and become interested in the way poetry works. That's a worthy goal, but for me that's not enough. I wanted CA to provide an opportunity to learn respect and tolerance, too.

FTR, let me be as clear as possible. Poetry is not simply a vehicle for what you call social networking. If anything, it's the other way around. The friendship created in these forums has spawned a LOT of really great poetry over the years, some just for fun and some as insightful as it was beautiful. It's one of those chicken and egg things, I guess. Bottom line, though, is that you can't have a chicken without the egg.

quote:
I will never understand this either/or thing.

Me, either, Brad.

I certainly never wanted an either/or thing. I wanted a forum where we could talk seriously about poetry AND treat people kindly. That's not what we had, though. Instead, we had a forum where a non-conforming poster came in and was treated very unkindly by most of the forum regulars. Again. The either/or conundrum was thrust upon us by people who apparently wanted to talk seriously about poetry so long as it was done the way they wanted it, and damn anyone who might be hurt in the process.

The scariest part for me, I think, was that any long time Member seriously thought that was going to continue to fly?
JenniferMaxwell
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104 posted 03-22-2009 04:00 AM       View Profile for JenniferMaxwell   Email JenniferMaxwell   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for JenniferMaxwell

And why should they have thought it wasn’t going to fly forever? Very little was ever done in the last year to address the issue of  rudeness that kept popping up over and over. I pulled out last fall after it became rather apparent personal attacks, some veiled, others not, and off top, baiting, button pushing posts were going to be allowed to continue and disrupt the forum, that mods and admins were not going to step up and try to keep that sort of thing in check as is routinely done in other forums.

Why would anyone expect that learning respect and tolerance were goals when it seemed the opposite was being condoned.  Recent examples - a mod called one poster crazy, a poet was allowed to do the same to another poster, a deputy mod referred to a poet’s poem as being drivel. Other examples are there if one takes the trouble to look.  

This thread was started approximately two and a half years ago. A lot of time and effort went into pointing out the problems in CA and suggesting remedies to address and correct those problems. What action was taken to get CA back on its feet again? As far as I can see, none.

moonbeam
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105 posted 03-22-2009 05:42 AM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

Mike and Ron

Thanks for clarifying I think I'm a little sensitive right now.  I accept what you both say and thanks for coming back to me.

Just to be clear, I believe Ron's decision to close CA was the right one (in fact I think he was extraordinarily patient, I'd have done it a year earlier at least).  But even so anything which smacks of other members here at PiP being pleased to see it go riles me somewhat, because you see I don't believe its demise was simply a matter a clash between social networking and seriousness.  Of course Ron, I wouldn't suggest that poetry is secondary to people, but I think CA tried to make general chat secondary to discussion about poetry, and I see nothing wrong with that.  

Nor were out of control personality clashes the malaise, rather they were just a symptom.  

Perhaps I'm into semantics here, but my reading of the problem is that Ron closed CA because of the outward manifestations of a flawed system.  I think what gets to me slightly is any suggestion that the problems of the forum suddenly blew up out of nowhere, and that they all arose because the members couldn't get on with each other, or put poetry before kindness, or didn't understand the PiP ethos etc.  

The problems arose principally because the forum could not or would not be structured in such a way as to provide clarity as to purpose and administrative input to backup that purpose.   I am not saying even that it would have possible to achieve such clarity and backup, but in all the 10 years of its existence it lived with that underlying flaw, and every serious eruption arose from it imo.

Ron mentions Monk Frost as an example, and as the final straw.  But let's look at that.  The poster comes into what is billed as a workshop sits down among us and starts to fire of a stream of epigrams of varying quality.  To begin with there is no rudeness and indeed some intelligent commentary.  But most reasonable people in a forum tagged as a workshop and as a place to discuss poetry would expect, for such a place to function, a degree of two way communication, or at least the politeness of a thank you or acknowledgement.  When simply more epigrams followed, and in the absence of administrative intervention, over a course of weeks the replies became more forthright and eventually ironic, and then sarcastic.  In a real life workshop the "participator" would have been shown the door after just a couple of days.  And all this was against a background where the expectations of the so called serious posters in CA had not matched the reality of the place for some time, causing frustrations and loss of active support.  Personally I think those expectations were reasonable and quite compatible with social networking, but, as you know from this thread, I have been convinced for some time that they could never be met with CA set up as it was.  

Please don't take this as a personal criticism Ron because I know CA wasn't all your doing and,as I say, it may be that it could never have worked in the PiP environment, but you say you wanted it to promote respect and tolerance as a prime goal, that's a fine aspiration, but I think once you also added the critiquing dimension you really needed to reinforce or modify the PiP rules to give it some chance of prevailing against the natural inclinations of human behaviour.  Is walking into a workshop and firing off epigrams respectful?  Not in real life it isn't, and as you often say, PiP is a mirror of real life.  Anyway I've said all this a thousand times before.    

CA had to go, but at least let's try to understand why it didn't work, and not simply throw all blame at the inability of members to get on with each other or rudeness to a new poster.  

Rob

[This message has been edited by moonbeam (03-22-2009 06:16 AM).]

Not A Poet
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106 posted 03-22-2009 11:27 AM       View Profile for Not A Poet   Email Not A Poet   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Not A Poet's Home Page   View IP for Not A Poet

Rob, as you probably know, I would have sent Monk Frost on his way within a few days, as you suggested, if the rule had given me that authority. No, he was no "lost soul" looking for salvation. He was nothing more than a disrupter, for the exact reasons you listed. Even though his motivation became apparent quickly, he was still gently urged to abide by the goals of CA numerous times. Yes, those urgings became more insistent as time went on. What other means did the group have of defending its integrity? Honestly, the only thing I would do different, if I had it to do over, is begin moving sooner.

Of course, I can't agree with you that CA needed to be closed. I will always believe it provided a valuable service, and I am certainly not that serious about poetry. Sure, I learned a lot about how not to write and will forever be indebted for that. What I really enjoyed though was the interaction with the other people there, well at least the great majority of the time.

But as was pointed out so eloquently by a Pipster who did NOT participate in CA, "it's a moot point now."

Pete

Never express yourself more clearly than you can think - Niels Bohr

Ron
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107 posted 03-22-2009 11:58 AM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
Very little was ever done in the last year to address the issue of  rudeness that kept popping up over and over. I pulled out last fall after it became rather apparent personal attacks, some veiled, others not, and off top, baiting, button pushing posts were going to be allowed to continue and disrupt the forum, that mods and admins were not going to step up and try to keep that sort of thing in check as is routinely done in other forums.

Jennifer, you have my sincere apologies. I didn't know. Which is not an excuse, but rather an admission of culpability, because I certainly should have known. I clearly need to spend more time reading in the poetry forums.

quote:
The problems arose principally because the forum could not or would not be structured in such a way as to provide clarity as to purpose ...

Whose purpose, Rob?

quote:
But most reasonable people in a forum tagged as a workshop and as a place to discuss poetry would expect, for such a place to function, a degree of two way communication, or at least the politeness of a thank you or acknowledgement.

Why? Are you suggesting that the purpose you spoke of earlier was to promote two-way communication and exchanges of thank-yous? That certainly was never my purpose for CA, Rob, and frankly, I'd be surprised to discover it was yours either. More importantly, it was deliberately never part of the rules or structure.

MY purpose for CA, as with all the forums here, was to promote communication in the form of poetry. It's nice when the communication is two-way, and it's wonderful when the poetry is effective and beautiful, but those are resulting benefits not starting-point criteria. Those things can't be forced upon others. You can hold out your hand, but you can't make someone shake it. The most you can do is try to exclude those who refuse.

Monk Frost was not a disruption in the forum. He didn't hurt anyone and he didn't stop others from doing what they were there to do. His only crime was not doing what others thought he should. Ultimately, it wasn't the poster's actions that provoked an attack, but rather his lack of actions. Grinch seemed to be the only one willing to accept Monk Frost at face value, and I thank him for that.

You're clearly right, though, Rob. Clarity of purpose was obviously missing, and that's my fault. It wasn't for lack of trying, though. As evidenced, I think, by the age and depth of this thread?

The failure of Critical Analysis was, indeed, mine, guys. On many different levels. And I suspect, now, my greatest failure was probably being too stubborn to realize earlier that it was beyond my capabilities. I just didn't have what it takes to make it work.


Artic Wind
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108 posted 03-22-2009 02:49 PM       View Profile for Artic Wind   Email Artic Wind   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Artic Wind

CA forum is in danger of becoming another Open forum with less emphasis on critical analysis and more emphasis on friendly banter............."

This is wrong? Friendliness is a good thing, no?


ARCTIC WIND

[This message has been edited by Artic Wind (03-22-2009 04:46 PM).]

moonbeam
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109 posted 03-22-2009 05:43 PM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

While it's nice of you to apologise to Jenn Ron I can't see how you could have possibly been expected to read in the forum to the extent that would have been necessary to arbitrate with equity all the various machinations.
quote:
Whose purpose, Rob?

Your purpose of course, and that of the other senior people involved in moderating CA I suppose.

But your stated purpose on the tag line was promotion of in depth discussion of what makes poetry work or some such.  I appreciate only now from what you've said recently that there's always been the potential for tension between your prime objective for PiP and the aspirations of some people involved with CA.  It's been there from the start I think, but to begin with there was a lot of goodwill and effort to make things work, active moderation, and active enthusiastic participants.  People get tired, jaded, bored and maybe you got a little more intolerant, the poor mods never changed for years, and I just think the tension or the gap became unsustainable.

If your purpose was to simply promote communication in the form of poetry then perhaps you shouldn't have yielded to pressure a couple of years back and moved CA to the workshop forums.  It would have been more honest to simply say what you just said, viz: "CA is here for the purpose of promoting social interaction through poetry".  Instead, by moving it to workshop you simply reinforced the perception that I'd had from the outset that it was there specifically to offer poets the opportunity to discuss their poems in depth with the aim of improving them.  

No, obviously Monk Frost wasn't a disruption to your perception of the forum, because in your perception the forum wasn't a workshop or a place where two way discussion was specifically encouraged.  In my perception of the forum he was just low level rude, and could quite easily have been asked nicely at any time (as Pete eventually did) to contribute in a more pro-active way.  I hear what you say Ron about not wanting to "change" rules, yet would it have even involved a change?  Just the other day in another workshop, Balladeer who moderates, gently pointed out to Chops that he shouldn't post an unrelated poem in the workshop, but instead in Open.  Just a little latitude on your part could have allowed such flexibility in CA too perhaps.

Maybe this all boils down to a misunderstanding, and  you accepted my point about clarity.  In turn I have to accept the implication from both you and Grinch that sometimes my own very abrasive style of critique has caused problems and probably contributed to you becoming more and more impatient with the antics going on in CA.  For that I'll always be sorry, and hopefully I've learned a lot from the experience and will try not to repeat it.

Rob
Artic Wind
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110 posted 03-22-2009 05:48 PM       View Profile for Artic Wind   Email Artic Wind   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Artic Wind

I have to say though, that there shouldn't be any fear at all that CA was having more friendly discussions, then an actual, deep discussion about the serious topic because some people were being attacked personally by others... Being nice to each other could seriously prevent these from happening. Open poetry just has lots of friendships that were developed. Just hearing that people were getting annoyed by friendships getting in the way with a discussion, got me

But I guess some people just get over excited, and believe strongly about their own opinion, which I understand..


ARCTIC WIND
moonbeam
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111 posted 03-22-2009 06:14 PM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

Sorry Pete, I missed your comments.  I don't think you and disagree about much on this.  I sometimes think that, not knowing what was going on in the background in the mods forums, I would have far wiser just to keep my mouth closed and go quietly away.  But what's done is done.  And we are all older, though the jury is still out on wiser I think
Ron
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112 posted 03-22-2009 06:37 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
  It would have been more honest to simply say what you just said, viz: "CA is here for the purpose of promoting social interaction through poetry".

Never said that, Rob.

My purpose -- again -- was to promote communication (I could say "poetry," but I feel just as strongly about prose). Respect and Tolerance is the lubricant that makes that possible, and social interaction is the inevitable side-effect.

More succinctly? It doesn't have to be either/or.  


moonbeam
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113 posted 03-23-2009 05:50 AM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

Sorry Ron it was late and I got lazy with my phrasing.  I understand.
Juju
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114 posted 03-26-2009 10:16 PM       View Profile for Juju   Email Juju   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Juju's Home Page   View IP for Juju

And it continues...... Wow I have been here almost 7 years.  Wow.

-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

 
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