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Old 04-17-2009, 08:49 PM
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Default A MESSAGE FOR ALL MEMBERS

For the nearly ten years I've been managing the Backwoods Home Magazine website and this forum. For much of that time, the forum needed only the occasional visit to make sure nothing was amiss with the software. The idea that it would need people to watch over it never even occurred to me. All the members were adults and behaved like adults. On those rare occasions when an adolescent stopped by and behaved as adolescents often do, the adults simply went on being adults and eventually the adolescent moved on. Perhaps once a year one would cause enough trouble that a member would contact me and I'd send the kid packing.

My how times have changed.

Before I go on, I want to thank the majority of members to whom what follows doesn't apply since you've never found it necessary to cause trouble of any kind. You've said your piece when you felt the need and never "got personal" with those with whom you disagreed. Indeed, most of you simply keep to the self-reliance and how-to boards, so the reason for this message may be a mystery to you. If you are one of that group, thank you.

As for the rest of you, the times have changed and, for good or ill, the BHM Forum is about to change with them.

Those who have been members here for a long time know that I have always resisted banning people. I have always believed in free, unfettered, civil discourse. I have been denounced by liberals as supporting the conservatives and by the conservatives for siding with the liberals. I've had Christians complain I let non-believers get away with everything and I've had atheists accuse me of favoring Christians. In the past four or five years, I've pretty much been accused of everything at one time or another. I always thought it funny, because all I ever asked of members was that they remain civil and treat each other with respect. And, perhaps funniest of all, I actually thought folks would behave that way. I kept searching for the right formula, the set of rules that would cause everyone to see the light and stop taking out their own insecurities and frustrations on other members.

Yes, I was delusional, but you'll be happy - or not - to know that I've finally seen the light. I've finally come to understand that no matter what I say, no matter what I do, some people are simply not capable of rational, thoughtful conversation. Some people just cannot stop themselves from making personal remarks about others, or from denigrating those who believe differently than they do. They can't help making snide or cutting remarks or making their mission to "keep honest" another member or even hound them out of the forum. I've finally come to understand that some people are just nasty and others will never be happy unless they have someone to fight with.

Quite honestly, this epiphany has already made me feel better because now I realize I don't have to babysit the babies any longer. I don't have to referee arguments, or stop fights, or listen to complaints or read endless threads full of people sniping at each other.

Instead, all I have to do is what I've resisted for so long.

So here's the new deal.

These boards are here for members to discuss issues and topics. They are not here to discuss or comment upon other members. As long as everyone sticks to issues and topics, all will be well. Anyone who feels the need get personal with another member will find they can no longer log in. And the previously posted rules about civility and profanity and such still apply.

There will be no warnings and no more "vacations." I don't care if you've been a member for five days, five months, five years, or if you've been here since the beginning. If I find you've crossed the line into personal remarks about members, or if you break one of the other posting rules, you're out. If I even think you're trying to bait other members, you're out. If you start threads and then refuse to participate, you're out. There's probably more stuff but I'm feeling so good now I don't want to spoil the high.

The way I see it, this new deal will lead to one of two outcomes. Either everyone will start behaving like rational, respectful adults again or eventually, everyone will be gone. Either way, I no longer have to deal with the pettiness and nastiness and childishness. I can already feel my blood pressure dropping.

That's it. Everyone starts clean as of the time of this post. (5:49 PM 4/17/2009)

Now, who wants to be the first to see if I'm serious.


Oliver
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When I'm posting in an "Official" capacity, you'll know it. The rest of the time I'm just sharing my opinions like everyone else.
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Old 06-14-2009, 09:30 PM
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Not me Oliver , I figure I've been riding the line to close at times anyhow so I'm fixin to change my ways. Besides in a few years the prez will be wanting a piece of the action on these threads then no one will be here. Ya done did a mighty fine job so far my friend keep up the good work
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Last edited by flatwater; 06-14-2009 at 10:33 PM.
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