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The business of GardenWeb

Posted by mary_c (My Page) on
Fri, Jul 6, 07 at 13:50

I think all the bickering has gotten a bit out of hand, but I'm going to go out on a limb here, and probably offend everyone.

First let me say - I do not mind off-topic posts.
Second - I did not complain about them. If I'm not interested, I don't read.

But if you look at this from GW's point of view, you're interfering with their business.

How? you may ask. Well, this site is a quilting forum. GW stays in business by attracting new users who will then view ads. If there are lots of off-topic postings on the Quilting site it makes it difficult for new users to find what they're looking for. It also make the group look cliqueish and intimidating. Several people I have recommended the site to have been reluctant to post.

GW's solution to this was to provide us with the Conversations Forum. And if you all start posting your quilt posts in the Conversations, the moderators will likely move them back to the Discussions side for all the reasons already pointed out.

Last, but not least, you did agree to the forum rules when you joined. This isn't a democracy.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: The business of GardenWeb

You're right Mary. We did all agree to the forum rules when we joined. But we were all happy with the way it was going. GW wouldn't have changed it if SOMEONE hadn't complained to them. Unless it's out & out blatant cussing or such, then they don't come in & start moving stuff around. So, I'll ask again - who was it who complained & got the forum all screwed up? Come out, come out whoever you are!


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RE: The business of GardenWeb

But, Linda...Mary's point is that we can't have it our way even if we were happy (or accepting) with the way it was going. Garden Web management has the right to come in and move stuff around if they see fit. They probably do not see the situation as the forum being all screwed up but see it as sorting out the Off Topic messages from the On Topic ones - except that since they don't know quilting, they don't really know what is Off or On Topic.

Even though I might not agree with someone's reporting this to GW, they do have the right to report when messages are not being posted in the correct places. We also have the duty to report when spammers hit our forum with trash talk, advertizing of their web site, or blatant ads for selling. Then GW can cancel that poster's membership and remove the offending post. That's their job as management of the forums.


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RE: The business of GardenWeb

Quote "But if you look at this from GW's point of view, you're interfering with their business." unquote

Yes, I guess we are interfering with GW's business but if it wasn't for us THERE WOULD BE NO BUSINESS TO INTERFER WITH! (on the quilting site). If there are few or no posts new people won't come to read those ads or to stay.

QUOTE: "How? you may ask. Well, this site is a quilting forum. GW stays in business by attracting new users who will then view ads. If there are lots of off-topic postings on the Quilting site it makes it difficult for new users to find what they're looking for. It also make the group look cliqueish and intimidating. Several people I have recommended the site to have been reluctant to post." unquote

As a newbie to this site I have never had a problem finding what I search for nor have I found the site to be cliqueish or intimidating. Down at the bottom of the page is a search feature that works! If I can't find it I only have to ask and I get lots of useful, friendly answers. As a matter of fact of all the sites I visit this is the only one I regeristered with and use (until now).
If most of the quilters here move on due to this problem the six of you left will have a hard time keeping up this site. As I said before new users won't come and stay to read the ads if there are no posts.

QUOTE "GW's solution to this was to provide us with the Conversations Forum. And if you all start posting your quilt posts in the Conversations, the moderators will likely move them back to the Discussions side for all the reasons already pointed out." unquote

As a newbie here this sounds like this site has had this problem BEFORE NOW and GW made the conversation area back then. Since it was hardly ever used I guess most of the people didn't want it. I wonder if it is the same people who complained now that complained back then?

QUOTE: "Last, but not least, you did agree to the forum rules when you joined. This isn't a democracy." unquote

Yes, but it's a shame when such a SMALL minority can persuade the GW team to ignore the majority wishes.
I wonder which would hurt the GW site more? The six getting mad and leaving or the 76 getting mad and leaving?
Because it is a democracy NO ONE has to stay here! If anyone doesn't like the site they can move on!


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RE: The business of GardenWeb

You know that is a really good point Mary. I had not thought of it that way. We do need to keep in mind that it is not actually "OUR" forum.

On the other hand, as interacting with other people goes, I know I don't care to be around the TYPE of people who are such busy-bodies and sticklers to rules that they would actually report "OT" threads to someone.

So it's really two separate issues. Where do we want to spend our time? In this case, since GW has "rules" the "I love rules" people win this battle, even though they are in the minority. And I understand WHY GW is going along with them. Though it may actually hurt their business in this case since it seems over 90% of the current members now feel less affection for the forum. But maybe they can easily replace us with others if we choose to leave.

As for those of us who like the more social side -- where's that link to the forum Lisa set up again? Today I can't find it....


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RE: The business of GardenWeb

"quote>You're right Mary. We did all agree to the forum rules when we joined. But we were all happy with the way it was going. GW wouldn't have changed it if SOMEONE hadn't complained to them. Unless it's out & out blatant cussing or such, then they don't come in & start moving stuff around. So, I'll ask again - who was it who complained & got the forum all screwed up? Come out, come out whoever you are! "quote>

yeah, right, with this attitude, someone is definately going to "fess up"

I'm relatively new here and I joined to discuss quilting. I personally don't care for it when over half the discussions page is OT. I won't complain to the moderators/owner, I just won't come here as often. All the other forums I participate in have an off topic area to post about family, friends, personal stuff. This forum has the same area, so I don't get what all the broohaha is about. You are only one click away from the main forum...is it so hard to perform one mouse click?


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RE: The business of GardenWeb

I do understand Gardenweb's position. What I don't like is the mean spiritness that seems to be floating around. Some people just seem to need drama in their lives and search for control where-ever they can. I don't come here for that, I come here to share my interest in a hobby and to feel among friends.

But, as my DH reminded me back when the Lazy Mazy stuff was going on...this is the internet, people from all over the world can read what is on here and you have to expect some nutty people among them. (I am not calling anyone reading this a nut - he was referring to the LM situation but he has a point).
K.


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RE: The business of GardenWeb

I haven't been on this site that long and right now I do not feel comfortable posting anything on the Discussion Side....someone is there lurking to report any little faulty thing done. I'm not into this bickering crap and it has not been a happy week on this forum.

Today we are sharing and caring on the Conversation side and I've enjoyed the posts unrelated to the bickering. Other forum like Sewing, Kitchen Table just have Conversations and maybe a Gallery. You would think GW would want to improve a site to attract more users and we have expressed that different pages are a problem for some people to long in.

I say lets move along to better topics and better times together.
Jean


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RE: The business of GardenWeb

I personally don't like sites where every different thing has to be posted in a different place. I can never remember where something was that I wanted to follow up on. Nor do I have the time to change pages so often.
Although, I do understand other don't have this preference.

If it were me that were unhappy, I wouldn't have complained, but gone elsewhere. Everywhere you go there is someone who just likes to cause trouble. I think they enjoy it.

Lynette


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RE: The business of GardenWeb

I knew this post was going to stir up a hornet's nest.

My only point was that all the other forums on GW have their off-topic sites, and people seem to be able to use them.

Use the forum however you wish, but don't be surprised if it all disappears. It has happened in the past.

Eh, forums come and go. I would be really sad if this one went! But such is life, and you still don't get a vote.

Mary - feeling sad at the possible loss


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RE: The business of GardenWeb

Don't assume someone went running to GW about the infighting. Among boards on this site, rumors circulate about what boards are having problems with name calling, bickering, etc. GW could have heard about the problem from within another board. I just don't see why if all the other boards can use a conversations area, what is the big deal about it being used here?
Also, even though there is a search engine it is not always the easiest to use. I searched baby quilts recently to try to find one that had just been posted. Literally 5-10 pages of posts over the past few years came up and many didn't have baby quilts in them. It would be easier to go through several pages looking for a post if all the non-quilting posts were somewhere else.


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RE: The business of GardenWeb

This particular forum NEVER had a Conversations section until about a year ago when another member with a bee in her micromanaging bonnet complained to the Higher Authorities and specifically ASKED for a Conversatioins section. Ever since then, it's been snipe, snipe, snipe.

Marti in Mexico


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RE: The business of GardenWeb

AMEN Marti. Colleen


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RE: The business of GardenWeb

Yip that is what I was thinking that was about the time I started coming here... grace


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RE: The business of GardenWeb

I am so glad Marti posted the beginning of our problem. I guess many of us "old" members lol felt surprise! we didn't know anyone objected to the forum in those days, and the new member who went to GW wanted to help,modernize us ??The forum found out about the added site after the fact, most of the forum were still saying we liked things as they were. SOOOOO, we stayed right where we were, I think this is the first time I have ever posted here! and it takes my old computer,dial up, fingers too long to go to another area. But I will try and do what is right. MHO Rene


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RE: The business of GardenWeb

I understand what you mean about the business of GW and all that, but I wanted to address this: "If there are lots of off-topic postings on the Quilting site it makes it difficult for new users to find what they're looking for. It also make the group look cliqueish and intimidating. Several people I have recommended the site to have been reluctant to post."

* * * *

Now, this is what I don't agree with. The "OT" posts do take up space on the main page so you have to scroll through more posts to find the one you are looking for. But the quilting posts get s lot of traffic too, and are bumped up quite regularly. As a newbie here, the conversations don't make the group feel cliquish to me. I'm really glad I found a group of caring and interesting people to learn how to quilt from. I would be much more wary of sharing ANY information about myself, including my address, if they weren't so open and talkative with each other. It seemed like a relaxed and friendly place to learn. The sort of atmosphere where you are more likely to ask a question than not to.

I also feel that this is getting out of hand. We should not have members threatening to ONLY post on the conversation side. We should not have people blatantly criticizing other people's opinions or what they choose to post about. So there were some members who wanted less OT posts, that is their opinion and they are entitled. But neither should we completely change the forum (against the wishes of the clear majority) just because some people complained. There must be a compromise somewhere, because having to keep up with all of this is just getting tiring, frustrating and absurd. This ruins the forum more than any amount of off-topic postings, and discourages anyone from stopping by. We are mature people and this cannot be the best way to handle our disagreements. I don't want to have to continually switch between conversations and main page. I like the forum the way it was . . . I don't read all the OT posts either, but as long as they say OT in front of them (most of them you can tell anyways), who cares if you have to skip over them. I've learned a lot of really useful quilting information here, regardless of how many baby pictures are posted. Most of them are real cuties anyways :) All my questions have been answered politely, promptly and everyone has been welcoming and very helpful. I think that's all a real newbie to a forum is looking for.

From my point of view anyways :) I'm sorry the post got longer than I had intended.


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RE: The business of GardenWeb

"We should not have members threatening to ONLY post on the conversation side."

I have moved to the conversation side, not as a threat, but with the thought that all types of posts can go on that side. For the time being I don't even have to type OT. It is sometimes difficult to decide exactly where I should post some threads and this is my easy-out.


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RE: The business of GardenWeb

I didn't mean it as a criticism :) Its hard to say what you mean when you're only typing :) I meant it more along the lines that it shouldn't HAVE to be this way. I know we can all just post on the conversation side, but then all the quilting posts will be there too, and it just seems unnecessary. You know what I mean?


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RE: The business of GardenWeb

I hope the powers-that-be are reading all these threads. Maybe our forum could be titled "The Quilting bee" forum, something like "The Kitchen Table". If we were all together at a retreat, or a small group, we would be visiting about all sorts of things in our lives, as well as the quilting tasks at hand, and if we post O.T. in front of those threads that have no mention whatsoever about quilting, those not interested could just coast by - something like reading a magazine - skim through the articles you're not interested in and read the ones that you want. This whole situation saddens me!


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RE: The business of GardenWeb

I agree with Cziga and others that we have to get over this, somehow. I confess to feeling sympathy with the impulse some have had to start posting everything on the Conversation page; but I am also afraid of maybe carrying things too far and losing the forum altogether. Remember--there is at least one "reporter" (Other words come to mind, but I'll have to let you all imagine them, lol.) among us!
We are stuck with a Conversations page (probably from around the time I joined, too--thanks for telling us, Marti) and with at least one person--whose inclinations the rules unfortunately coincide with--willing to get GW to go counter to the preferences of the majority. But, as MaryC pointed out, it isn't a democracy. The bottom line for businesses is almost always, "What will bring in the most money?"

So in this situation, what would make it easier for us all to find the kind of posts we want? It goes against the grain to suggest this, but it seems to me as if the best thing might be to post quilting-related matters in Discussions, leaving family and other personal stuff in Conversations.

What do you all think? It looks like for now we have no choice but to give up on posting OTs in Discussions, so unless the majority plan on shifting everything to Conversations, it would be good to have some agreement on what "quilting-related" means. To me, swaps are definitely in, as are requests for anything about quilts, and even threads that lead to our comparing fabrics, ugly quilts, and the like. Any other ideas?

rnmomof2: Alas, there are only 2 choices for how to do a search--"This Forum" and "Entire Site". "This Forum" is made up of the whole quilting forum, and you will always get results from all three of its sections, although labeled only "Quilting Forum". So, sorry, but the way it is now, even with the recent changes, you are not going to get the kind of restricted search results that you would like. Maybe you could suggest to the moderators that they allow us to add options to search only in Discussions, or only in Conversations, or the Gallery.

Considering MaryC's experience (just in case OT-type postings begin to slip in again where they shouldn't be), when recommending the forum we'd better warn people that even if it looks cliqueish, it isn't, and reassure them that they will be warmly welcomed. I have usually told people that the forum has a warm, family-like atmosphere, and I hope that is not going to be lost.


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RE: The business of GardenWeb

The business of GW depends on people. They must keep people interested in coming here to keep their business going. Lucky for them there are lots of people, so they are less concerned about how we feel about all of this than we would like to think.

I have been a member of these forums for years--yes, back in the days when it was Spike's world. I have always loved this forum. Personally I preferred it before there was a separate conversations area. Now that pictures can be posted within the messages, I forget there is a gallery. I like things simple. But, more important to me is the people and the sharing that happens.

I have links to dozens of other quilting forums. Most of them are set up so that you you must go to specific forum categories such as swaps, or charity quilts, or applique quilts, or tips and techniques, etc. I seldom "visit" those forums, though I will go if I am searching for information on a specific topic or technique. I have to file and categorize and follow rules and be careful of the special requirements of various personalities all day long in my job. On my own time, I like things a little looser. This forum fit that bill.

When I come to this forum, I LOVE the energy and the variety and the creativity that happens because of the free-flow of topics and conversations. I only click on the topics that look like they may interest me, whether they are on topic or off. Sure, having a discussions category and a conversations category is not a lot of separation, only and extra click or two, but frankly I never visited the conversations forum until all this started up--I forget it is there.

In all the years I have been part of this forum, the only time I have not enjoyed my visits are times like now, when members get into a fight and snipe at each other. I am not saying there should not be a difference of opinion, but I really cringe and feel terrible after reading posts pointing a finger at one or two members, demanding they identify themselves, or naming them when complaining about the change. That makes me feel waaaaay worse than any of the rules we might have to follow to participate in this forum.

I will continue to participate in the forum and I will click between the 2 categories if I must, but if I am not enjoying what's going on, I'll visit less often, just as many will do.

Can we please just get back to sharing this fun and sanity-saving craft we all enjoy so much. I choose not to dwell on one thing that I do not like here, or to direct any negativity towards whomever may have felt more strongly about the set-up of our forum than I. I prefer to enjoy the fun and learn from each and every one of you as long as I can.

I just couldn't keep reading and keep my mouth shut. I hope others feel the same and we can put more energy into the good things and let the bad go. Please.


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RE: The business of GardenWeb

Great idea empress! Now how do we go about doing that when some of us feel betrayed by people we trusted? Now it seems we've lost the trust we had in the others here. We felt that we could come here with quilting problems & successes and also other problems & successes in other areas of our lives. We do understand that this is a quilting forum but to most of us it was also a family. We are hurt & angry. I'm not sure how we're supposed to just get over that. I remember how people felt when the bitsandpieces scam was brought out into the open. Do y'all remember that? She was kind of not a big part of the forum but we were still hurt about it. Now this happens & some of the very involved people were the ones in this. If anyone can think of something we can all do to get over this & move on, I'm open to suggestions. Cause at this point, it's eating at me.
Linda


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RE: The business of GardenWeb

Noocha, the best way to get over the hurt and pain you are feeling is by doing something creative. Go to your sewing room and make something, take a pic when you are done and post it and tell us about it!
Doing other things and not constantly thinking about what took place helps to let go and we must move on and continue sharing, caring & having fun.
(((Hugs))))
Jean


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RE: The business of GardenWeb

Thanks Jean. I'm still working on it.


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RE: The business of GardenWeb

Wonderful idea, Jean. I hope many will give it a try.

Linda, I am truly sorry this has gone far enough that you feel betrayed. I know how hard it is to get past a feeling like that and go on.

Please, no one take what I am about to say personally. I am definitely not aiming it towards any person.

We each are entitled to our feelings and we cannot help the feelings that happen to us in any situation. We can help what we do with those feelings and how long and hard we choose to hold on to those feelings. Personally, I have chosen to disregard names altogether in this situation. One person, or more likely many people, have a different idea about how this forum should be set up or run than I do. They are entitled to feel that way, as I am entitled to my feelings.

Those people are still the same ones who have so generously shared their knowledge with all of us. They have started quite interesting and informative topics on the forum. They have applauded those who share their finished quilts, they have sympathized when life kicks other members, they have given opinions and advice when someone has asked, and they have answered questions with very helpful information.

I choose not to worry about who "did" this, I will not remember who needed to place blame or point a finger about this, and I will adjust to the changes--as long as the conversations, technical and less-so, continue to be positive and informative, entertaining and inspiring.

I hope everyone else can eventually choose to get all the good out of this forum that we have in the past, because I would hate to lose any of you and your contributions to my enjoyment of quilting.


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RE: The business of GardenWeb

One other thing Jean. WHERE do we post pics these days? Seems like they 'should' go in the gallery but I've never posted one there. I don't think I even know how to post one over there. Suggestions?
empress, you're right again. But in this case it's still easier said than done for some of us. Still working on it.


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RE: The business of GardenWeb

We will continue to post pictures as before on Discussions, however, some choose the Gallery. The Gallery was there before we were able to enbed a picture within a post.

The only change I see is we are asked not to post OTs on the Discussion board. If you have pictures to go with your OT, include them with your post.

Empress, you have said it so well. Noocha you are certainly not the only one feeling a little uncertain about things..I did but I am getting past it. If you read the posts on the Discussion board, I think it demonstrates everyone is making an honest effort to bring the forum back to a normal functioning level...and that is what it will take..some effort from each of us. No one wants to lose our friendships, love, sharing and caring that we STILL have.

Each day we wake up, we can do something that makes us feel good or we can do nothing and feel crappy. It is our choice! (from the journal of a grieving mother)
I hope you feel better soon. Keep us posted.
(Hugs)
Jean


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RE: The business of GardenWeb

Noocha,

I'm really sorry you're so distressed about all of this. I am too.

Recognize that it may NOT have been a quilting forum member stirring up trouble. The GW moderators frequently patrol forums at random. If they see something that they feel violates policies and rules, they take action. It's happened before on other forums, and it will probably happen again.

Pictures are always on topic, so if you can, post them on the discussions side. The gallery was instituted for those who didn't have an independent photo site, and needed to post photos from their hard disk. Most people now have the capability of uploading to a photo-hosting site, which makes it easy to post in a message to the board.


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Update RE: The business of GardenWeb

Mary, thank you for clarifying the purpose of the Gallery.

Now you are confusing when you say "Pictures are always on topic, so post them on the discussion side". If you are posting about your blizzard (OT) on the conversation side and you have taken some pictures of the storm, you would include them with your posting, right? I think I explained this correctly!
Jean


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RE: The business of GardenWeb

QUOTE "Recognize that it may NOT have been a quilting forum member stirring up trouble." UNQUOTE

Recognize also that it MAY have been a quilting forum member stirring up trouble!

This will be my last post on this subject but I have to say
I was thinking last night that whoever or if there was a complainer doesn't bother me as much as the way the post moving was done by GW!

How much nicer it would have been if someone from GW would have come here and posted a small notice at the top of the forum similar to what they did when they were have technical difficulties a few months ago.

If they would have posted something like: "Just a reminder to please keep OT postings on the conversation page. We will soon be moving OT posts to that area. Thank you."

What a world of difference that would have made to everyone.
I don't think there would have been many hurt feelings if they had done the move that way instead of steam rolling over everyone. GW could use some lessons in diplomacy!

The old saying "you can catch more flies with honey than you can with vinegar" comes to mind.

Well, as usual I didn't get as much quilting done as I had hoped to over the weekend so I will get to it today!
You folks have a nice day!


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