Responsibilities of Town Forum posters Around Town, posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of the Atherton: Lindenwood neighborhood, on Nov 3, 2011 at 10:16 am Peter Carpenter is a member (registered user) of Almanac Online
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.
Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of the Atherton: Lindenwood neighborhood, on Nov 3, 2011 at 12:04 pm Peter Carpenter is a member (registered user) of Almanac Online
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.
Posted by WhoRUpeople, a resident of another community, on Nov 3, 2011 at 3:36 pm
• 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?
Posted by WhoRUpeople, a resident of another community, on Nov 4, 2011 at 2:01 pm
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.
Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of the Atherton: Lindenwood neighborhood, 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?
Posted by Joe, a resident of the Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park neighborhood, 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.
Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of the Atherton: Lindenwood neighborhood, 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.