Freedom, responsibility and opportunity.

If there was ever a recipe for failure it’s trying to please everyone and that’s just something I’m not willing to do. So while I’m sorry if there’s something about this blog – its layout, format, staff, contributors, participants and whatnot – that displeases you, I don’t see that changing in the future. The idea was to have a place where we could speak about whatever was on our minds and people could freely respond in kind. Your level of interaction is your choice. So far, people are doing exactly that, for better or worse.  I realize not everyone is going to agree with these sentiments or practices but carefully consider one fact: when you make a comment it posts here. I’m not sure some people fully appreciate that but maybe you should. That’s freedom. Your opinions, perceptions, expectations and contributions are yours. That’s responsibility. This is an opportunity. Make of it what you will. 

36 thoughts on “Freedom, responsibility and opportunity.

  1. Of note: I have moderated this blog once and only once, when these freedoms were abused and other people chose to drop docs here and I'd do it again.

  2. The freedom to post freely is a great power, and as a wise man once said, “With great power comes great responsibility”. Gen and Cheri are giving you a great power here, please use it responsibly.

  3. Actually, I admire what you're doing here.

    Almost every blog you trip over is moderated. Most do not allow anonymous comments. If they do, there's a form for name, email and site that must be filled out. Also, you never know which comments you don't see that might have mattered.

    Personally, your open forum ends up being full-on as opposed to the one-sided conversations I read on most blogs. you get a hat tip from me for not being a control freak about your own space.

    Another hat tip, I think you've done well with grace under fire when people blame you for things other people do here and attack you for it. People talk it but you're walking it and it must be a tough line to walk at times.

  4. You have it set so anyone can post here and it's obviously caused a lot of prob;ems. I'd like to know what you intend to do about that.

  5. You have it set so anyone can post here and it's obviously caused a lot of prob;ems. I'd like to know what you intend to do about that.

    First let me point out that your comment went through.

    You chose to post anonymously and did not have to give any personal information to do it. You did not have to trade your personal information or privacy to voice your concerns.

    There was no delay. This comment went right through. It was not reviewed first. It was not moderated or edited in any way.

    Now let me ask you to take a moment and appreciate that. If you still have questions for me after this, I'm open to discussion. Post them here.

  6. The problem isn't hat my comment went through here. The problem is that other people's comments go through here and I think you're dancing around the issue now.

  7. The problem isn't hat my comment went through here. The problem is that other people's comments go through here and I think you're dancing around the issue now.

    I see. So you like the policy as it pertains to you but the same freedoms you enjoy here are the ones you think other people should not be allowed?

  8. Open platforms of discussion are not going to be everyone's cup of team. You can't please everyone.

    STGRB have closed, highly moderated posts where you are only able to see one side of the story, their side. They will only show you what they want you to see.

    That isn't the case here.

    Is there a chance that some people are going to be offended by what another person rights? Of course. It's going to happen. It has happened.

    So ask yourself which would you rather have? The freedom to speak your mind, argue about the facts, voice your concerns, all while remaining anonymous? Or would you rather have to submit your email, your name or other identifiable information with no guarantee that your comment will be posted?

    For me it is an easy choice.

  9. That's not what I said and you know it. Other people's comments have been abusive. What do you intend to do about that?

  10. That's not what I said and you know it.

    But that is where this is going. You have the freedom to post here and you're using it but you're asking me to moderate other people.

    Other people's comments have been abusive. What do you intend to do about that?

    I can tell this is important to you. Please note that I choose which comments I respond to and how.

    In my opinion, you are posting responsibly here. You are expressing what you feel are real concerns for you. Because you're doing it in what I perceive as a responsible way, I am replying to you and this discussion is happening.

    Posting these comments were your choice. Responding to you was my choice. Because of our choices, we are having this discussion. See where I'm going with this now?

  11. We're having a conversation, I get it but your policy lets abusive comments go right through. It makes a lot of trouble and it's your fault and I want to know what you're going to do about it. Stop acting like you don't know what I mean!

  12. We're having a conversation,

    Yes we are 🙂 (Hello, by the way.)

    I get it but your policy lets abusive comments go right through.

    And now we get into the meat and bones.

    What is abusive? Some things are obvious, others are not. Is abusive name-calling? Is it highly charged comments? Is it emotional comments? Snarky comments? Aggressive comments?

    How each person defines abusive will differ, I promise you.

    Should I moderate this blog and only put through the comments I like? Or just the ones that might benefit me? Or only my friends. Or people I know. Or generic comments. Maybe I should moderate the blog so only the comments I feel are on topic are posted? Maybe I should ditch comments altogether.

    Following me yet? Because I think you ate.

    It makes a lot of trouble

    Sometimes it's a head ache for me. Would you like to know why? Because of this…

    and it's your fault

    I own what I do and what I say, no more and no less.

    Do you think it would be fair for someone to get angry with me because of your comments here? What if they didn't like what you had to say? What if they thought you were offensive somehow? (Don't balk, it happens and you know it.) Would it be fair for them to become angry and abusive with me because of the opinions you expressed here?

    No one can or has even tried to argue that the poster own what they post here. To do so would be absolutely ridiculous. The only way anyone has even tried to is to throw the old “these are sock accounts” accusations into the mix and (let's face it) that's a lame excuse most people use when they're upset they're not winning on the internet.

    want to know what you're going to do about it.

    Well, so far I've been beaten to hell like a side of beef in many comments, forums and blogs for defending the right for people to post here. Including yours. Kinda sucks, doesn't it?

    Stop acting like you don't know what I mean!

    But I'm not and I think you know that.

  13. “I own what I do and what I say, no more and no less.”

    You own this blog and you let anything go through. You own that.

  14. What you are not getting is that we will not mod comments….period. If you can't handle that I don't know what to tell you. A blog owner should not be held responsible for the entire class chewing gum. There is no dancing here, I guess we did not spell it out well enough.

    Everyone who says or does anything in life needs to be responsible for whatever they say or do. Period. Each thing you say or do makes a huge and profound effect on other peoples lives. In other words, you have to own your own shit.

    If you can't handle other comments then don't read them, turn the channel, go elsewhere….whatever it takes. No one will be moderated to make some ultra sensitive people feel better. Beside the fact the comments come in so fast and furious sometimes that no one could possibly keep up. Nor should we have to. We have plenty of other things we need to do in our lives. It would be a physical impossibility to get done.

    There are pros and cons in everything in life, but that's life. Denial is not a river in Egypt, at least not for Gen and I. We are just not hard wired that way. We do not take the easy way out on anything in life and we own our own shit, which is not easy, but we do it.

    Gen and I come from a place where we are taught to be vocal, some people would consider anything to be abusive, we are not that sensitive. We are tough broads. I wouldn't know how to be politically correct if my life depended on it. I am not hard wired that way.

    I say what I mean and mean what I say, actually, for me, I'm being extra polite, normally I would just jump in and say what I have to say, so this is a concerted effort on my part to be much calmer.

    We do not plan on stopping or correcting anyone to be sweet, careful or nice. People have to be held responsible for their own posts. This is not a country who silences peoples thoughts or what they write. I'm sure Gen will say something very pointed but nice, I on the other hand cut to the chase.

    If you don't like the comments from other people, or you find offensive then skip over them or don't read them or go watch a tv program. If you remove yourself from the situation then you will not be offended.

    There Gen, you see, I can be polite. *shrug*

  15. You own this blog and you let anything go through. You own that.

    Sounds like she owns it to me. 1) She made her polices clear. 2) She explained them above. 3) I think she makes great points. But your logic is circular, which can lead to you chasing your own tail allot, so be careful of that or your tail is all you'll ever see. (And I'm NOT saying that to be facetious but helpful btw.)

  16. Okay it's me again from our discussion above.

    To be fair you make a lot of points I'm going to have to think about. I think I'm just really angry at some of the comments I've read here and maybe that gets in the way. I'm getting lost in anon comments so just call me Anon7.

  17. Let's use this discussion with a different scenario, shall we?

    Example:

    Molly has 24 classmates. One classmate puts gum in Molly's hair, but nobody knows who did it.

    Do you:

    A.) Hope that the child who stuck gum in Molly's hair comes forward and apologizes. Life goes on either way.

    B.) Blame the teacher and have her reprimand the entire class for one person's bad behavior and ban all gum chewing in class.

    Now, this is all a matter of opinion on what would be the right thing to do. In my own opinion, I would choose A, because punishing and taking away the freedom to chew gum isn't fair to the rest of the students.

    Do you get my point?

  18. Hello again, Anon7.

    Thanks for being honest. Appreciated. If it helps, I commiserate.

    There are many comments that are not my speed that lay down on this blog. You'd be surprised. It's not always the obvious ones. Sometimes I read things that don't sit well with me. Again, not always the obvious things.

    Other times I read things that upset me. It's not easy to be someone's punching bag and sometimes I often feel like that when people blame me for the things other people do and say. Also, when someone is clearly not on control of themselves (whether they're taking swings at me or other people) it makes me wince.

    I'm careful about what I respond to and how because that is what I own. I think the only time I ever stepped in to say knock it off was when the fighting was really getting to me and when someone made snide reference to the doc drops that happened. Otherwise, I try to let people work out their differences and I usually don't get involved.

    A lot goes down here lately. It can be overwhelming to process at times. I wish I had a shorter learning curve but maybe I don't. Well, we all have our challenges, yes? 🙂

  19. I'm sorry, but I am having a terrible time with the idea that here, on HER OWN blog, she has any responsibility to answer to ANY visitor (get that, visitor) for how she chooses to run it. I think she exhibits enormous self-restraint in how she responded to Anon7.

    “People say abusive things here. I want to know what you're going to do about it.”

    Whoosh…

  20. Backing you up like the cavalry here.

    Not naming any names here but Gen's taken a lot of guff here, most recently from a self-important author, and she chose to ignore all of it. I'm talking she didn't respond at all.

    You wanna talk about restraint? Now that took restraint.

  21. Most of the people complaining about this blog own highly moderated blogs where they exert control of every interaction. Coincidence? Didn't think so.

  22. “Other times I read things that upset me. It's not easy to be someone's punching bag and sometimes I often feel like that when people blame me for the things other people do and say. Also, when someone is clearly not on control of themselves (whether they're taking swings at me or other people) it makes me wince.”

    I was on the fence until I saw that last night. I have to say that was horrible to watch. You were amazing. You were so positive. I couldn't have done it. I could not have ignored those kinds of constant personal attacks and kept that focus. It won me over and I just wanted you to know that. 🙂

  23. “What you are not getting is that we will not mod comments….period.”

    But you will remove doc dropping.

  24. Gen is laughing at me because she doesn't get how so many people think she is such a bad ass and I come across as the sweet one, when she knows full well I am the pit bull and not her. Some people have said I am a tempest in a teacup or even a hurricane. *meh*

    I just told her to tell people what I say. “On a scale of how much I don't care from 1 to bite me. Not much”.

  25. The question seems to be on “what Gen is going to do about it” in regards to abusive or trolling comments.

    I'd like to ask what you as a commenter can do about it. I believe it was John F. Kennedy who said, “Don't ask what your blog moderator can do for you, ask what you can do to help moderate the blog.”

    I'd like to introduce a concept called “self moderation”. You can play the role of moderator in the way that you respond.

    Nobody really likes abusive comments, but when a person chooses (note the choice?) to respond to an abusive or trolling comment it gives the comment and the commentor power and purchase. Likewise, a person can choose to do what they do to most things not worth considering and ignore it, robbing both the comment and the commentor of the ability to engage in discourse.

    Instead of relying on Gen to unilaterally decide on what does or doesn't get posted, YOU can help moderate, in the way you choose to respond. In a short period of time, an kind of “code of conduct” will appear and the standard for decorum will increase. The trolls will realize that their comments are ignored, and when a troll cannot spur a reaction from the audience, they lose interest.

    Clearly, damaging posts are moderated. You can see the “scar tissue” from this in one of the threads. But for the everyday troll, self moderation will win out.

  26. Totally off topic, but I thought I would share. Blue Host, STGRB's service provider has very specific Terms of Service.

    One of them, 10.05 states:

    Private Information and Images. Subscribers may not post or disclose any personal or private information about or images of children or any third party without the consent of said party (or a parent's consent in the case of a minor).

    10.14 states:

    Obscene, Defamatory, Abusive or Threatening Language. Use of the Services to store, post, transmit, display or otherwise make available obscene, defamatory, harassing, abusive or threatening language is prohibited.

    If anyone feels as though one or both apply to STGRB, you are within your right to contact Blue Host and report them.

    Blue Host can be found here:

    http://www.bluehost.com/cgi/info/terms.html

  27. Small note (or perhaps not so small?)

    I wanted to thank Goodreads members fro their support. I think a few of you are participants here but sometimes it's hard to tell with anonymous comments. Either way, thank you.

    I know you do more than just buzz about, so when you see those critical comments from others please know that I just shake my head and think “Just wait and see what strength in numbers can do.”

    Also, I want to thank the anonymous artist who made the new icon I now sport proudly on our blog. (See it to the left!) To me it represents our unity and we're proud to wear it here.

  28. When does anyone ever stay on topic on this blog? Answer: Never. I've come to accept that posts are just suggestions for conversations waiting to be had 😉 Thanks for posting such a great resource for people. I am thinking I may make a post or page so people can post resources like this and we can have them all in one place. What do you think? 🙂

  29. I think the fact that this blog allows freedom of speech, even if it can be caustic at times, is such a unique thing right now. How many blogs allow it? Meh…very few.

    The fact that the STGRB site only allows “buddies” to post there, or others who think exactly like the blog owner? Disgusting.

    I love what you have done here Gen. Keep up the good work. I come here everyday to read the newest blog and the comments. I think this is the most supportive site for people who have been shat upon by MD and her sycophants.

  30. Just noticed I (and you) are off the Scary. Run Fast list in their sidebar. I guess they finally fucking realized I am not you and you are not me. Funny how that works.

    -Amanda

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