Town Square

Post a New Topic

Responsibilities of Town Forum posters

Original post made by Peter Carpenter, Atherton: Lindenwood, on Nov 3, 2011

The Town Forum can be a useful place to exchange information provided that each individual poster complies with the Forum's stated rule -"Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. " and the Forum's Terms of Use.

It would also seem reasonable, if the Forum is to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion, that we research a topic before we post our comments. For example, it would be helpful if people would read the entire thread before posting a comment that asks a question which has already been answered.

It would also seem appropriate that we do some research before posting a new topic with a titillating tile including words like scandal and secret. The Almanac's own archives are easily searched using the search box on the top of each Forum page.

Comments (17)

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Cyrus Leo Sulzberger II
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Nov 3, 2011 at 11:32 am

[Post removed. Please do not attack other posters, which violates terms of use.]


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Nov 3, 2011 at 11:47 am

Cyrus - Perhaps you could make a constructive comment - while I am chilling out.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Nov 3, 2011 at 12:04 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Hopefully this thread will evolve into a serious discussion of how we, the users and posters, can work together to make the Forum a more thoughtful place for sharing information and opinion. The Editors set the rules but clearly those rules are frequently violated to the detriment of this electronic community. I would hope that others have input and that we can collectively create a Forum etiquette that serves us all.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Joe
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Nov 3, 2011 at 12:08 pm

Peter - Are we to conclude, from the language of your proposal here, that sarcasm has no place in this forum?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Nov 3, 2011 at 12:14 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Joe - As sarcasm is defined it would in fact appear to be inconsistent with being respectful IF it is directed at an individual:

Definition of SARCASM

1
: a sharp and often satirical or ironic utterance designed to cut or give pain
2
a : a mode of satirical wit depending for its effect on bitter, caustic, and often ironic language that is usually directed against an individual


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Nov 3, 2011 at 12:19 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Wit, however, would seem totally appropriate for this Forum:

wit
1.
the keen perception and cleverly apt expression of those connections between ideas that awaken amusement and pleasure. Synonyms: drollery, facetiousness, waggishness, repartee.
2.
speech or writing showing such perception and expression. Synonyms: banter, joking, witticism, quip, raillery, badinage, persiflage; bon mot.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Joe
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Nov 3, 2011 at 2:16 pm

This is an online forum where I can mix it up with complete strangers. The web is a rough and tumble world.

Wit, which takes time and energy and passion to create, I reserve for my friends.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Nov 3, 2011 at 3:17 pm

Joe - strangers and community are antithetical.

Do we want a place where we can sling mud and attack strangers or do we want a place which is a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by WhoRUpeople
a resident of another community
on Nov 3, 2011 at 3:36 pm

Peter, I do think a thoughtful dialog on this subject is one worth having. In fact, I would hope that the editors would join in and be open to perhaps modifying some of the terms of use, or perhaps better said, their application of those terms. Here are my top few inputs on the subject.
• Reading comprehension is apparently becoming a lost art these days.
It amazes me how often I read posts on an article where the poster
has come away with an understanding of what they just read that is
180 degrees off of what was actually written. I think this is often
a symptom of people wanting to "read in" their own agendas. We
should avoid doing that.
• There will always be those who think debate has to be competitive.
Someone has to win the arguement and someone has to lose. The tru value to a good debate is to learn more about the subject so that you can reinforce or modify your position on the subject. It is this "win-lose" attitude that leads to personal attacks. We should avoid doing that.
• Quite often I find myself asking questions on this forum because it is obvious to me that there is a poster who possesses deep knowledge of the subject. Rather than doing research on my own, it is easier to ask the question. What we should avoid is then arguing with the answer we get just because we don't like/agree with it. Thats when we should go off and do our own research.
• Finally, I woulld like to vet one of my pet peeves. That is the ability of a poster or the editor to "restrict" comments to registered users. I don't know how many times I've gotten involved in a dialog, only to have it suddenly "restricted" just as it was really getting interesting. Can we avoid doing that?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Joe
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Nov 3, 2011 at 3:57 pm

Peter - Strangers and community may indeed be antithetical, but this is not the real world where strangers can meet and become part of a community.

This is the online world we're talking about, a world that, lacking a person-to-person live relationship with one's interlocutors, is antithetical to community. It's a world apart and always will be.

I have fairly refined deliniations having to do with the word "friend," for example. None of them have an online dimension.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by WhoRUpeople
a resident of another community
on Nov 4, 2011 at 2:01 pm

First, ALmanac, if what I am about to post violates terms of use, I'll apoligize in advance and say I'm going to try my best to avoid doing so.
There are several other threads currently on this forum that underscore the exact issues that Peter so appropriately brought to this discussion. THe thread with regard to the Fire District Boards recent action, and Peter's patient and informative reaction to wild comments is an example of people either not reading, not comprehending, not being willing to do a little independent research, or just plain being unwilling or unable to recognize that there can be a different point of view. The thread with the infamous word
"scandal", related to the the fact that Atherton is currently
utilizing the services of a temporary police chief while they search
for a new one, but, OH! the former chief was kind enough to work off
his vacation pay due (I don't care if it makes financial sense for
him too) is an example of using headline words to insight a negative reaction. This won't
change, nor is it unique to this forum, it is instead symtomatic of this type of forum. What a shame; collectively we could make it not so.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by foxy
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Nov 4, 2011 at 2:42 pm

Fox News has taught America than hateful, off-topic, and non-truthful statements are perfectly acceptable forms of political discourse. Like it or not, that is the 21st century.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Nov 4, 2011 at 2:53 pm

" Like it or not, that is the 21st century."
I don't like it and I don't think that it is inevitable. I participate in many online forums and almost all of them have evolved an etiquette of mutual respect even among strangers in order to facilitate the purpose of each forum. If the purpose of the Town Forum is indeed to "be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion." then I would hope that the participants here can do the same. If someone posted the kind of trash talk that gets posted in this Forum on one of the many forums I follow the other participants would jump on them in an instant and thus such behavior simply is neither tolerated or, more importantly, at all common.

If people want some place where they can 'mix it up with strangers' then I hope that they look elsewhere. Our real communities are in desperate need of honset, respectful dialogue and this electronic community could do a lot to contribute to that need. Why can't we raise the standards in this Forum to that end?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Joe
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Nov 4, 2011 at 3:06 pm

Electronic forums are not true communities because electronic exchanges are ephemeral at best.

Writing itself is a profoundly inadequate form of communication, far, far from the qualities of talking with someone in person, less so on the phone, but still preferable to communicating through writing.

And writing to someone via the screen used for all kind of other purposes, the diversity of which is probably stunning, undermines the whole thing.

"The medium is the message."

Go ahead, Peter. Try to deny it.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Nov 4, 2011 at 3:25 pm

Joe - it is partially a generational issue but the fact is that there are thousands of strong and viable electronic communities. You obviously are do see them as such. That said, why not let those of us who wish to have an electronic community do so without being disrupted by those who don't believe in them?

Or, alternatively, start your own topic on this Forum where you can 'mix it up' with others who share your views.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Joe
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Nov 4, 2011 at 3:38 pm

Thanks for your exchange with me on this, Peter.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by R,Gordon
a resident of another community
on Nov 5, 2011 at 6:09 am

I think the main problem is that the most critical people here are just too tight with the editor and think age takes a preference over new younger thinking.
You are mostly too CLUBBY and he does your bidding.


Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.

Email:


Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: * Not sure?

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields

Local picks on 2015 Michelin Bib Gourmand list
By Elena Kadvany | 6 comments | 3,352 views

Ode to Brussels Sprout
By Laura Stec | 20 comments | 2,569 views

Go Giants! Next Stop: World Series!
By Chandrama Anderson | 1 comment | 1,911 views

Charter School Proposal Steeped In Unintended Consequences
By Erin Glanville | 40 comments | 1,777 views

Measure M-- I am not drinking Greenheart’s expensive potion
By Martin Lamarque | 13 comments | 558 views