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I dont care - goodbye

"I don't care" ... what a great publicity line for an attention seeker, except that it rather does close the door if the person or people who are being addressed just say "fair enough".

I've seen the line used a number of times over the years as a "goodbye" on forums, where a difference between the board's operators / moderators and a member leads to one party moving on. I've actually been on both side. I can admit to using the phrase (or at least indicating my lack of concern) when I left uk-yankee some 3 years back when really I did care - very much indeed. And with the boot on the other foot, I found myself this morning in touch with the other moderators on the First Great Western Coffeeshop concerning a member who we had asked to moderate his language / criticisms of a personal nature, and who has, regrettably, chosen to use that phrase as a probable exit.

Of course he/she cares. More than you (and the moderators) might even imagine. Forums and online discussion boards can become a part of people's lives. When they've been posting for over 100 days, with over 100 individual posts, it WILL be a big shock to their system to break it off. Indeed, the very over-reaction to a gentle "please watch what you say - this can be read by children, and also the very people you criticize" message indicates just how much the quitter cares. And if I look carefully, I can see withdrawal symptoms - a visit but no action from the same place ... after midnight ...

Where am I headed? Well - to some extent this post is overdue and cathartic - as it gives me a chance to comment, long, long after it matters to me (truly, I think!) or anyone else - about the time the boot was on the opposite foot and I felt the need to leave uk-yankee (where I was a moderator too). It was over the problem that some of the newer members had with me being (a) British and (b) male in a predominantly American female group; a significant feeling that it was more important for the moderators to be all their peers that to have (in my case) background knowledge for the "travel and transport" section I looked after, with a lot of transatlantic knowledge based on an intercontinental courtship. There were other issues too - a conflicts of interest, and another potential one. There was a community get-together at our home which was for female American members and their non-participating British partners only. This was based on a discussion thread - active male members of the forum NOT welcome was the majority view - it was to be girlie chat in one room and hubbies / boyfriends in another - no doubt boozing and watching the tele was the plan; didn't turn out like that - I ended up being ordered around in my own home by a bossy b**ch who so clearly felt that the American race is far superior to the British that I wondered what she was doing in the UK ... and that when you visit someone in your home, your role is "prince / princess" and theirs is "servant / skivvy". I won't go into the "potential" - it wasn't a problem at that point to me or the people with whom it conflicted, but it could have become one if stirred by - well people like the ones I mention in the previous sentence!

But you can see I really did care (and I still feel hurt) by the very act of bringing it up here some 3 years later. And - I think - it helps put me in the shoes of forum members who fit only 98% not 100%. Regrettably, a forum cannot be somewhere that total freedom of speech on any subject is granted; there are legal issues, there are issues of the forum providing a comfortable place for our general audience, there are questions of diluting real content on our chosen specialist subject. There are also other questions that you might not consider, such as the cost of operating a board that has so much traffic that the money to be paid to the ISP rockets (yes, I have seen that happen - and have you ever wondered who funds a forum?)

In the cold light of day, there's a positive aspect to all of this. There does become a time to move on. To do something different, to set new goals, rather than getting set in a rut. But, seeing both sides of "I don't care" also tells me that it's by far the best if the door can always be left open - many a word has been written in haste and regretted thereafter, and it's in both party's interest for the doors to be left open should they be desired or required to be used in future. And I have reposted on "UK-Y" since my June 2005 decision - 6 later that year, 5 posts in 2006, 1 early last year ... looking back there in the last few minutes - first time in 2008 - I see that the top posters all remain old friends, with the elements over whom I left not in the rankings, but there's only a very minor temptation indeed to add a message somewhere.
(written 2008-03-09, updated 2008-03-10)

 
Associated topics are indexed as below, or enter http://melksh.am/nnnn for individual articles
G903 - Well House Consultants - Running and moderating forums and social media sites
  [4492] Almost so wrong, but perhaps it's right for some? - (2015-05-11)
  [4403] The unbalanced relationship between customer and provider - (2015-01-21)
  [4315] Welcoming genuine forum posters quickly - but turning away off topic advertisers - (2014-11-16)
  [4307] Identifying and clearing denial of service attacks on your Apache server - (2014-09-27)
  [4283] Can a legitimate forum post become illegal a year later? - (2014-07-11)
  [4239] Facebook marketing - early experiences - (2014-01-19)
  [4234] Change to Libel and Defamation laws from 1st January 2014 - (2013-12-31)
  [4065] Handling requests to a forum - the background process - (2013-04-17)
  [4025] Backups, Codebase, Strategy and more - dealing with forum incidents - (2013-03-03)
  [4017] Acceptable User Policy / vexatious interacter - (2013-02-24)
  [3910] Identifying your real customers and keeping them well informed fast - (2012-11-02)
  [3479] Practical Extraction and Reporting - using Python and Extreme Programming - (2011-10-14)
  [2820] Netiquette for forum newcomers - (2010-06-20)
  [2781] The 500 pound question to get you started - (2010-05-26)
  [2569] How to run a successful online poll / petition / survey / consultation - (2010-01-10)
  [2527] Flying tonight - (2009-12-05)
  [2526] A reluctance to move from old shoes to new - (2009-12-05)
  [2386] Computing under the influence of alcohol - (2009-08-29)
  [2254] Forum membership - a privilege not a right - (2009-06-22)
  [2177] Preventing forum spam - checks at sign up - (2009-05-12)
  [2162] Admins thoughts on banning a member from a forum - (2009-05-09)
  [2156] Stopping forum spam - control of the signup process - (2009-05-04)
  [2116] Why do we delay new forum members through authorisation? - (2009-04-03)
  [2103] Ask the Tutor - Open Source forum - (2009-03-25)
  [1972] Pettifog and forum boards away from public view - (2009-01-03)
  [1923] Making it all worthwhile - (2008-12-04)
  [1759] While the world sleeps ... - (2008-08-19)
  [1678] Software - changes and delays. But courses must run on time! - (2008-06-15)
  [1595] First Great Western Weekend - (2008-03-30)
  [1578] Please don't shout at me! - (2008-03-16)
  [1563] Guidlines for posting on a forum - (2008-03-04)
  [1539] A forum is not always the best vehicle - (2008-02-14)
  [1532] Comment spam blocked. Please comment via Forums - (2008-02-05)
  [1523] Ive just received an email from myself. Should I be worried? - (2008-01-29)
  [1485] Copyright and theft of images, bandwidth and members. - (2007-12-26)
  [1472] The Horse goes on and on - (2007-12-15)
  [1362] No Thank You - (2007-09-23)
  [1190] Save the Forum - A regular clean sweep - (2007-05-17)
  [1088] Why use BBC code not HTML? - (2007-02-21)
  [948] Running an on line campaign - (2006-11-27)
  [923] Why shouldn't I spam? - (2006-11-13)
  [919] Freedom for X is denial of privacy for Y - (2006-11-09)
  [841] Forum help - a push in the right direction - (2006-08-21)
  [828] Freedom of speech and freedom to post - (2006-08-10)
  [806] Check your user is human. Have him retype a word in a graphic - (2006-07-17)
  [651] Please Register with Opentalk - but just once! - (2006-03-19)
  [516] Open source questions? Anyone can ask. - (2005-12-03)
  [424] How not to run a forum - (2005-08-24)
  [248] Use me, but use me effectively - (2005-03-16)
  [231] Feedback as lifeblood - (2005-02-28)
  [204] The confidence to allow public comments - (2005-02-06)
  [130] Spelling and grammar - (2004-11-25)
  [115] Expiration dates or times on web pages - (2004-11-12)
  [29] Silence is Golden - (2004-08-26)
  [22] Falling out over the silliest things - (2004-08-21)


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Some other Articles
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This is a page archived from The Horse's Mouth at http://www.wellho.net/horse/ - the diary and writings of Graham Ellis. Every attempt was made to provide current information at the time the page was written, but things do move forward in our business - new software releases, price changes, new techniques. Please check back via our main site for current courses, prices, versions, etc - any mention of a price in "The Horse's Mouth" cannot be taken as an offer to supply at that price.

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