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PostPosted: Thu Sep 18, 2008 7:39 am 
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I am rather surprised by the general lack of mature discourse on Envirolink. It strikes me that each new thread is liable to quickly dissolve into name calling and settling old scores. Some people appear to be here to block rather than facilitate discourse and/or simply make fun of propositions without offering any substantial response.
:idea: I would consider disabling these irritating 'smilies'.

RY

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 18, 2008 8:07 am 
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Roger-

Thanks for your feedback. We definitely have long time members here that seem to enjoy arguing for the sake of arguing. Unfortunately, that is a reflection of the real world, especially when discussing issues that are so personal for many. It is hard for those of us who are volunteers here to really try to shape these discussions and force them to remain on topic and cogent. We've always relied on the community at large to help with that role and it obviously has had varying results over the years.

Disable smilies? While annoyingly used by some, they are frequently a good shortcut indicator for things like sarcasm and emotional state of the poster. Like language use itself, it is usually possible to gauge a person by the frequency and style of smiley usage. Other times it is just a silly way to let off steam. I don't think there's a good argument for disabling them and a lot of users seem to like them.

I do think it is a good message for others to hear that this place is not always that welcoming of new people and ideas. I can already hear the response from the maddening crowd, "but these new people and their fancy ideas are new and different and don't make sense to me, so I must attack!" It's a sad but true reflection of how most communities (online and off) tend to be. Wouldn't it be nice if we could do better?

-josh


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 19, 2009 6:30 pm 
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josh knauer wrote:
I do think it is a good message for others to hear that this place is not always that welcoming of new people and ideas.


It's not "this place." It's one person in particular.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 19, 2009 6:44 pm 
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jahshuwah wrote:
josh knauer wrote:
I do think it is a good message for others to hear that this place is not always that welcoming of new people and ideas.


It's not "this place." It's one person in particular.


Then say what you think the problem is. There's no way anyone can help given such a vague statement.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 19, 2009 7:26 pm 
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Fosgate wrote:
Then say what you think the problem is. There's no way anyone can help given such a vague statement.


A year and a half ago, my daughter and I put together a little community service effort. We wanted to raise awareness about reusable cloth shopping bags as an alternative to plastic grocery bags. The idea grew and we were having fun with it. I made a little blog for her so she could chronicle her efforts. I added a "Donate Now" type of functionality to the blog hoping to raise enough money to buy tons of bags to give away for free in front of our local grocery store. And we were contacted by a couple local newspapers about what we were doing. The idea was quickly snowballing and it was a blast. My daughter was loving it.

Then, my aunt's boyfriend thought it would be a good idea to post some links to the blog on a variety of environment-centric websites/forums/blogs, etc. I discovered one of his postings here. It was clear that his posting here was regarded as spam (i agree with this), and I wanted to chime in and try to clear things up. Well, let's just say it didn't go very well.

One user in particular took it upon herself to inform me that what I was doing was illegal: collecting donations and posing as a false charity. So, the very next day I registered with the State of Florida and tried to learn more about what I might need to do to collect donations. I tried sharing my experience with this user, but I was met with distrust and intense scrutiny as if I were a common criminal instead of a volunteer-minded Dad. Bear in mind this wasn't simple scrutiny, not a raised eyebrow. This was much more like raging fit, a territorial display of venom. It was ugly.

All of this is water under the bridge. I harbor no ill-will.

However, it is worth mentioning that to this day if I Google my own name the number one result returned is an article my daughter and I were featured in, and if you follow the link and read the online comments at the bottom you will find:

"Posted by fraudalert411 on 08.29.07 @ 12:23 AM

This organization is operating as an illegal charity. They have been colecting donations illegally for some time. WARNING: Do Not Give This Organization Any Money!!!!"


Similar comments were made on any online article this person could find. I can only assume this person thought it was some form of instant justice, but it is nothing more than a hurtful stain that will remain indefinitely for anyone to find later. It doesn't matter to this person that they were mistaken in their assumption that I am a criminal.

I did get an apology email from one user here. I thanked him. I don't know what else to do, there simply isn't anything else to do. But, from time to time, when I Google my own name (weird, i know) I am reminded of my bitter experience here.

It's not "this place." It's one particular person.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 20, 2009 10:37 am 
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jahshuwah wrote:
...you will find:

"Posted by fraudalert411"
I did a quick check of the member list and nobody has that name currently registered on Envirolink but that does not mean much. I did some googling and found that the name (and hotmail account by adding @hotmail.com) seems to only hae been used for this slander effort. Of course it could have been a member here but it could also easily be someone who only googled or was browsing Envirolink as a guest. The post in question seems to be gone so I cannot see if the same sort of post was also posted by an Envirolink member. Note I am not connected to Envirolink myself (other then a regular poster) but I do not like my freedom of speech and freedom to conduct benevolent activities to be hindered by someone else so seek the same freedoms for others.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 20, 2009 11:41 am 
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Ann Vole wrote:
Of course it could have been a member here but it could also easily be someone who only googled or was browsing Envirolink as a guest. The post in question seems to be gone so I cannot see if the same sort of post was also posted by an Envirolink member.


Of course it could have been anyone. Whoever it was I bet they were a real animal lover.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 20, 2009 12:16 pm 
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jahshuwah wrote:
Whoever it was I bet they were a real animal lover.
I am not seeing a direct connection in this case but I would say it is likely someone who defines their beliefs as being opposed to someone else's actions. Many (but not all) "animal lovers" define themselves as being opposed to other humans having any control over any animals (including other humans). I have seen the same sort of thinking being behind opposition to recycling efforts like bottle deposits because even though poor people might benefit from returning the bottles of the rich, the implementation is seen as a form of slavery to the poor (instead of a very wonderfull job opportunity for those who are hard to hire as people like me view it). So, there is a good chance that a person who opposes you making any sort of profit from an environmental effort is also the type that would oppose helping the welfare of an animal if such welfare includes any controls over the animal in the process. I point that out because I view myself as an "animal lover" but in a way that says that pets have a better life then wild animals so encourage pet ownership rather then thinking like groups like PeTA who think it would be better for animals to starve or freeze to death as long as they are not slaves of humans in any way.

PS I realize that the point of this is touching on a new topic but only done in service to this very specific topic of the kind of thinking that some posters have who seem to be the source of the complaint at hand (vicious atacks of other people's efforts)


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 20, 2009 12:45 pm 
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I don't think any of us thinks the same way all the time. Sometimes we take a negative point of view, sometimes we take a positive point of view.

I don't fault someone for disagreeing with me. I don't care.

My problem does not lie with comments made here. The lambasting I took here is pretty well contained to this messageboard, and from what I can tell the thread has long been gone.

My problem lies with the fact that, well, let's use this morning for an example. I had a job interview this morning (that's why I Googled my own name the other day, hehe). The interview went well I think. Now I get to sit here and hope that the hiring manager doesn't Google my name and find her way down to the nasty comments left on an article that shows up at the top of the search results. The article should be something that my daughter and I can be proud of, but instead it is something I dread anyone finding. What kinds of questions will be raised when someone reads the comments? It's not fair. And it's permanent. That is WAY out of bounds.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 20, 2009 2:26 pm 
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jahshuwah, your issue is with an action taken that is totally independent of the operation of this board. That such action may have been taken by a moderator here is irrelevant and thus, so is your point.

Ann, this section is for feedback only. If you have an issue or are able to help with one (pertaining to this board, of course), then do so. Otherwise, do not engage in conversation with other posters here.

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