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benbradley
06-04-2007, 09:49 PM
I was on the chat last night, as I had been for most Sunday evenings in recent months with others writing their stories for the Flash Fiction challenge. For a moment the discussion became political, including a comment or two by me, and immediately there was a statement that politics is not to be discussed on the chat.

I don't have a problem with that, and I don't expect to have a problem with whatever other rules there might be (is there also no talk of religion? I fully expect the overall AW board guidelines to apply, such as "don't be a jerk/no personal attacks"), but it's a bit "icky" to find out about a rule only because of and after you broke it. (I'm restraining from writing lots of personal history/fodder for writing - trying not to get added to the flounce faq.)

I wondered if I had missed some post/thread that says what's okay and not okay on the chat, but as far as I can tell, there's nothing on AW with chat rules/guidelines. The research I did found an older thread asking for a chat:
http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=9171
and one a few months later where the IRC chat was set up:
http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=15184
but these are just about technical aspects of getting the chat going, and have nothing about usage/content guidelines.

Can someone who knows all the rules and stuff write something up? I'm not that familiar with IRC and maybe the no-politics thing is part of general chat rules rather than someehing AW-specific, but still, since it's mostly AW'ers on that chat channel, there really ought to be a post of such rules somewhere on AW. It would be a bonus if it were easily found, as well, either added to the newbie guide, or perhaps better as a separate link at the top of the page where the chat is mentioned, such as:
"Click here to visit the chat room, but be sure you are familiar with the Chat Guidelines."

In other areas AW is remarkably clear about what is expected of members, and the mods are remarkably fair (because they're involved with the board and fully understand the dynamics going on between posters). A discussion of chat rules appears to be a missing piece in the otherwise-excellent guidelines.

Cath
06-04-2007, 09:53 PM
Thanks for the suggestions, Ben. I'll discuss it with Peter and the other operators in the chat and see if this is something we need to address and how we do it.

For the time being, we try to keep it within the Office Party guidelines, that means nothing contentious or potentially incendiary. And the basic "respect your fellow writer" holds true there as everywhere on this site. While we try and keep the focus on writing, there are a lot of friendships through the chat that sometimes mean we talk socially. Writing topics will always take priority.

If you are ever unsure what is and is not safe to discuss, just ask the operator present at the time - some have different boundaries to others. :)

Rich
06-04-2007, 09:54 PM
I guess if it wasn't a mod, people were making up their own rules.

Cath
06-04-2007, 09:57 PM
Not at all, Rich. See my post above.

tjwriter
06-04-2007, 10:20 PM
If you are ever unsure what is and is not safe to discuss, just ask the operator present at the time - some have different boundaries to others.

Too true. :poke:

We all have to deal with the operator we are handed whether it makes sense or not.

Cath
06-04-2007, 10:25 PM
Don't forget - chat room operators are volunteers, just like the mods in the main forum!

There are enough regular users in there to know what goes and what doesn't -- and my experience is that the unwritten rules are followed pretty well even when there isn't an operator present.

That said, I think Ben's right to bring this up. I promise to discuss this with the other chat room operators to find a consensus about how we deal with this. I hope that's sufficient.

Rich
06-05-2007, 12:24 AM
I'm confused...as always.

Cath
06-05-2007, 03:29 AM
I'm confused...as always.
Well, why don't you come into the chat sometime and find out what it's all about, Rich. I don't think I've ever seen you in there.

MacAllister
06-05-2007, 05:46 AM
Hi, Ben -- there's certainly been no such official policy regarding what should and shouldn't be talked about in chat. It's never been a question before, and I'm glad you brought it up. I don't blame you a bit for being a bit perturbed, I'd be flat pissed off, if it was announced I was breaking a "rule."

My best guess is that the chat room is primarily about the fiction writing challenge on Sunday nights, so the mods running that challenge are doing their best to keep the focus on the task at hand.

You didn't break any AW rules. I'll visit with the channel ops and see how we can best address this, and in the meantime, we're working on a chat client that would be AW specific, and altogether easier to use, as well.

Again, thank you.

tjwriter
06-06-2007, 05:44 PM
Hi, Ben -- there's certainly been no such official policy regarding what should and shouldn't be talked about in chat. It's never been a question before, and I'm glad you brought it up. I don't blame you a bit for being a bit perturbed, I'd be flat pissed off, if it was announced I was breaking a "rule."

My best guess is that the chat room is primarily about the fiction writing challenge on Sunday nights, so the mods running that challenge are doing their best to keep the focus on the task at hand.

You didn't break any AW rules. I'll visit with the channel ops and see how we can best address this, and in the meantime, we're working on a chat client that would be AW specific, and altogether easier to use, as well.

Again, thank you.

Can I PM you about this topic? I've had some concerns and an issue similar to this before, and I was a littly pissy when it was all said and done.

Cath
06-06-2007, 06:00 PM
OK, I have a question for you guys -- and you can PM me if you prefer not to share it in the thread.

Why don't you feel like you can approach the chat room operators if you have a problem? Are we doing something wrong?

I'm not going to make excuses for anything. I just want to know what the problem is. We can't change our behaviour unless we know we're doing something wrong. And for that you need to tell us, because we don't always pick it up on our own.

benbradley
06-06-2007, 07:26 PM
Cath, I don't have any problem with the mods that would prevent me from PM'ing, though I'm not one to send a PM unless I see something on fire (an obviously severe problem needing immediate attention). Perhaps mods could make it clear that they're available for PM/private chat about any chat-related problem, whether technical or interpersonal (or animal, mineral or vegetable). That MIGHT have prompted me to PM a mod "Who is this and is it a real rule?" If anything, the silence of everyone else on the issue led me to think it was indeed a real rule I hadn't heard of before.


Hi, Ben -- there's certainly been no such official policy regarding what should and shouldn't be talked about in chat. It's never been a question before, and I'm glad you brought it up. I don't blame you a bit for being a bit perturbed, I'd be flat pissed off, if it was announced I was breaking a "rule."

My best guess is that the chat room is primarily about the fiction writing challenge on Sunday nights, so the mods running that challenge are doing their best to keep the focus on the task at hand.
MacAllister, thanks for chiming in.

It's a bit odd in that there IS a stated rule in that you're not supposed to give the week's prompt on the chat, in respect for those not participating at the time (once you read the prompt you're on your honor to write your work in 90 minutes, and some on the chat may want/need to wait until the next day to write), so we're often walking around what the prompt is. But there's lots of light-hearted banter in the chat, and that's a good thing.

Again, thanks for your attention to this.

Cath
06-06-2007, 08:20 PM
Perhaps mods could make it clear that they're available for PM/private chat about any chat-related problem, whether technical or interpersonal (or animal, mineral or vegetable). That MIGHT have prompted me to PM a mod "Who is this and is it a real rule?" If anything, the silence of everyone else on the issue led me to think it was indeed a real rule I hadn't heard of before.

**staples notice to the door**

"Please contact me if you have any chat-related problem -- technical or interpersonal - animals, vegetables and minerals welcome."

That do ya? :)

Fingers
06-07-2007, 12:37 AM
Im with Cath on this. Since Im in the chat room more than any of the other mods, anyone may feel free to pm me here on the forums or in the chat room anytime you see me in there and I will endeavor to answer any questions or help with any 'problems' that may arise in the chat room. I have a sneaking suspicion as to what may have happened last sunday, but I was not there at the time of the incident so Im not going to try and guess what happened. It would be easier to pm me in the chat room as I dont spend as much time in the forums as most people seem to. Hope to see more of the forum users in the chat room.

yer pal Brian

nevada
06-07-2007, 03:06 AM
I was in the chatroom with Ben on Sunday and it was me but I never said it was a rule and it isnt a rule, per se. I was always told ever since I started chatting that it was agreed that we didnt discuss politics or religion as things had gotten heated before and people had become so upset or mad or indignant or hurt that they left and never returned. So it was just something that the chatters had agreed upon to avoid. Several of the mods have said that.

I do remember sunday and I am sure I didnt tell Ben that it was "A Rule" with a capital "R". We were, in fact, all talking politics and as a joke, I said Oh but of course we dont discuss politics in here. lol" LOL meaning that it was a joke. I'm sorry that Ben didn't understand that I was joking.

I've had my fingers slapped for some pretty innocuous things in the chatroom. I got over it. :) Different mods, different rules. Personally, I think we're all adults and we all know "the rules" for decent, respectful interpersonal behaviour and I dont see the need to write up rules for chatroom topics. Like I said, we're all adults. (well, some aren't but they've no problems interacting) But there's just something about politics and religion that makes people forget about respect sometimes. I always thought it was a sensible agreement. And that's all it is. A gentleman's agreement among adults.

Cassiopeia
06-07-2007, 04:18 AM
As general rule because I am an OP on a different channel on starchat, I log channel and private chats. I have the logs from Sunday and I will be hanged if I can even find anything confrontation in what was said. In fact it was so innocuous I went back to read it again. If Ben was offended he did not indicate that to anyone in the room.

I will add to this discussion my two bits for whatever they are worth. Yes, I too was informed that religious, political or topics of a graphic sexual nature were discouraged. There was no rule only polite consideration for others.

I have seen discussions take place in the chat before that split many people away from us as a group because they were offended. I don't mind talking about sensitive subjects as long as we all remember that we are in fact like a large family and need to respect one another and everyone's opinions even if we don't agree.

I have every confidence however that should you decide to, Mac, have a more formal set of rules that we will all be happy to follow along and respect what your vision and purpose of the chat is.

Shweta
06-09-2007, 05:13 AM
Hey Ben,

I put some stuff together with - more or less - consensus from the chat room people. I don't know if it counts as official at all. I never got around to asking someone to sticky it, but I guess I should...
Here:

http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=56421

Alan Yee
06-09-2007, 06:43 AM
*sigh* Now, if I could only figure out why I've been unable to access the chatroom for about a month now. It always worked before, but not anymore. I'm pretty sure it has nothing to do with clearing the cache, which my computer does automatically after closing my browser. My username is probably deactivated, but I can't even sign in under "Guest" and get past the "Connecting to javachat..." message.

Cassiopeia
06-09-2007, 06:46 AM
*sigh* Now, if I could only figure out why I've been unable to access the chatroom for about a month now. It always worked before, but not anymore. I'm pretty sure it has nothing to do with clearing the cache, which my computer does automatically after closing my browser. My username is probably deactivated, but I can't even sign in under "Guest" and get past the "Connecting to javachat..." message.


Have you tried downloading mIRC for PC users or Aqua Xchat for mac users?

www.mirc.com

http://sourceforge.net/projects/xchataqua/

Shweta
06-09-2007, 06:53 AM
I'm not sure it's the cache clearing, Alan. I can't use javachat either.
There are several different irc clients for any given operating system. Some of them make you pay, but some don't, so don't be tricked into thinking you have to pay :)

Alan Yee
06-09-2007, 08:14 AM
Woot! Got the mIRC program all set up, and finally figured out how to get to AW channel. I'm on there right now. And it's added to my Favorites. Thanks!

Cassiopeia
06-09-2007, 08:38 AM
Woot! Got the mIRC program all set up, and finally figured out how to get to AW channel. I'm on there right now. And it's added to my Favorites. Thanks!You're welcome cutie! Anytime :)

nevada
06-09-2007, 09:23 AM
Before this thread goes totally off topic, there are some things i need to get off my chest. I enjoy the chatroom. People are polite, they are funny, we have some great discussions. I've been told that apparently now no topic is supposed to be off-limits and I have to say I totally disagree with that.

First of all, there are quite a few chatters who are underage. We've always been great about censoring ourselves to make sure that nothing inappropriate (well not too inappropriate) gets discussed. And the mods especially were great about providing some guidance from that. But now, from what I understand, anyone can come in and talk about anythign inappropriate and the mods cant do anything about it and us chatters cant say that we dont discuss things like that. Is that really a responsible thing to do considering that some of the regular chatters are 14? and younger.

Secondly, I treasure the chatroom as a place where we can talk about things that no one is going to get too heated about. If there are two things that people always argue about it's politics and religion. Which is why it was always agreed that we wouldnt talk about those things, in general, in order to keep the chatroom a friendly and mostly non-confrontational place to be. But now we have no such restraint and there will be tons of arguments because you know people fight about religion and politics.

Thirdly, no offense meant, but Ben is never in the chatroom. He comes on sundays for the FF challenge, doesnt talk while he's writing and then disappears but somehow those of us who chat regularly and have never had a problem communicating must now throw all agreements aside because he didnt understand that a joke had been made?

And Mac, again no offense, i am only making an observation, in all the months that i have been coming to chat every night (which is more a comment on my pathetic life than anything else) I think I have seen you four times, three times in teh last two weeks and you never seem to say very much. So I wonder how much you can understand about the dynamics of our particular chatroom and the discussions we have. To say that any topic is off-limits is not true. We do discuss politics and religion. Goodness knows we are not afraid to state our positions. Everyone knows that I think that Bush is a moron and that Festus feels that Hilary Clinton is the anti-christ. But nobody argues it and we move on without getting into a deep discussion because we have decided that it's not worth the trouble to fight over.

I cannot stress enough that my statement on sunday was a joke and that everyone except for ben understood it to be one which is why, as ben noted, nobody challenged me.

It just seems to me that some major changes are being imposed where not necessary over a minor incident that nobody even remembers. Changes that I think will not keep the chatroom the pleasant, fun place it is, where members come to chat, where we talk about writing, where the FF challenge is the only time that I write anything lately, where I've made some great friends, and where we can all go knowing that no major arguments will happen (well except for the ones between me and JBI but everyone knows we're just needling each other), and most important to me, young people can come where they are treated with respect and where they can see how civilized adults cooperate and communicate with respect.

MacAllister
06-10-2007, 08:45 AM
Before this thread goes totally off topic, there are some things i need to get off my chest. I enjoy the chatroom. People are polite, they are funny, we have some great discussions. I've been told that apparently now no topic is supposed to be off-limits and I have to say I totally disagree with that.
I don't think I've ever said that. In fact, I'm reasonably positive I've never said that. So you've been told by whom, exactly?


First of all, there are quite a few chatters who are underage. We've always been great about censoring ourselves to make sure that nothing inappropriate (well not too inappropriate) gets discussed. And the mods especially were great about providing some guidance from that.
Part of the problem is that the "mods" in there are volunteer channel ops, and not AW mods. Until very recently, I didn't realize we had permanent channel ops in there who weren't mods, and therefore couldn't reasonably be expected to have any idea what my and/or AW's official policy regarding the chat really is.


But now, from what I understand, anyone can come in and talk about anythign inappropriate and the mods cant do anything about it and us chatters cant say that we dont discuss things like that. Is that really a responsible thing to do considering that some of the regular chatters are 14? and younger.
Where on EARTH would you get that impression?


Secondly, I treasure the chatroom as a place where we can talk about things that no one is going to get too heated about. Lucky you. I could name at least ten regular members who feel like the chat is a place where they can't open their mouths for fear of having the conversation snuffed -- and frankly, they aren't sex-chatting when it happens, they're talking about things like women in Heinlein's novels.

And yeah -- it DOES happen. I have transcripts.


If there are two things that people always argue about it's politics and religion. That's a big assertion with no evidence. People also discuss those things quite intelligently and reasonably.


Which is why it was always agreed that we wouldnt talk about those things, in general, in order to keep the chatroom a friendly and mostly non-confrontational place to be. Interesting use of passive voice, there. "It was always agreed" eh? By whom? Who did all this agreeing? And whose idea was it? I certainly made no such agreement, nor did I issue any such directive.


To say that any topic is off-limits is not true. We do discuss politics and religion. Goodness knows we are not afraid to state our positions. Everyone knows that I think that Bush is a moron and that Festus feels that Hilary Clinton is the anti-christ. But nobody argues it and we move on without getting into a deep discussion because we have decided that it's not worth the trouble to fight over.Errr....so which is it, then?

Frankly, I see no reason to make politics or religion off limits. I DO see a reason to make flaming off limits -- but there's going to have to be some actual discussion of these issues with the channel ops, which hasn't yet happened. So where are you getting your information, Nevada?


But now we have no such restraint and there will be tons of arguments because you know people fight about religion and politics.I know no such thing. And saying it three times still doesn't make it true.


Thirdly, no offense meant, but . . . Another interesting construction, that. Disingenuous, much?


Ben is never in the chatroom. He comes on sundays for the FF challenge, doesnt talk while he's writing and then disappears but somehow those of us who chat regularly and have never had a problem communicating Frankly, I don't give a crap if it was his first chat ever. I'm appalled that there is apparently semi-official AW policy regarding this chat that hasn't had any input at all from the person who pays all the bills around here -- including our legal bills.


must now throw all agreements aside because he didnt understand that a joke had been made? Again, what agreements are you talking about? And where on earth did you get the impression that chat is now going to be some sort of free-for-all?


And Mac, again no offense, i am only making an observation, in all the months that i have been coming to chat every night (which is more a comment on my pathetic life than anything else) I think I have seen you four times, three times in teh last two weeks and you never seem to say very much. Again, interesting construction, that. Frankly, it's none of your business how much time I spend in chat -- I know an awful lot of people who do spend time there. And believe me, my PM box is one of the first places people send their problems to (which is exactly as it SHOULD be.)


So I wonder how much you can understand about the dynamics of our particular chatroom and the discussions we have. Well, now, I'm working on finding out about that very topic right now, aren't I.


I cannot stress enough that my statement on sunday was a joke and that everyone except for ben understood it to be one which is why, as ben noted, nobody challenged me.
Goody for you. You're hardly the only problem facing a continued chat at AW, though. Although I'll freely admit, this whole issue is about to make my stomach hurt for a lot of different reasons.


It just seems to me that some major changes are being imposed where not necessary over a minor incident that nobody even remembers.
What changes have been "imposed" exactly? Seriously. And by whom?

This is quite obviously not the end of this discussion -- but I gotta say, Nevada, you're not convincing me that it's worth my while to bust my ass and potentially lay out bucks to bring a dedicated chat server to AW, for the sake of a small cadre of people who want to have public temper tantrums over new people who dare to open their mouths in what is ostensibly an AW chat about unofficially "agreed upon" supposedly non-approved topics.

nevada
06-10-2007, 05:00 PM
I was informed by several chat members when I came into chat about the change. If i was misinformed, then mea culpa. But I stand behind what I said.

It's funny that this whole thing started over a misunderstanding, and yet I'm being slapped down for speaking my mind. Isnt that what this whole thing is about? People feeling that they're not allowed to speak their mind?

I've never been in chat where a conversation about writing has been snuffed out. We also have had discussions about Heinlein and women. Nobody ever changed the subject. I guess I dont understand people not standing up for themselves. The thing in the chatroom is that sometimes several conversations happen simultaneously. It might be they felt that nobody was participating in the writing discussion. Or it may be that that it wasnt really a discussion but one person's statements and that person didnt like to have his statements challenged.

But if that many people felt that they cant open their mouth then why wasnt that addressed before? I had no idea that people felt like that. There has been an incident where someone had a problem with me, went to an op, and that op talked to me, and the problem was dealt with and resolved immediately and amically. But now it seems that there are "at least ten" people who feel they cant speak their mind. That's more than the total attendance of the chatroom most nights. How come these people's concerns werent taken care of?0

I dont know how to do the multiple message quote, so bear with me. You told Ben that there are no rules regarding chat, and yet you tell me that the problem is that some of the ops dont know what the rules are. That seems contradictory.

Interesting use of passive voice, there
Another interesting construction, that. Disingenuous, much?

No, not disingenous or passive. I'm trying to be polite. I'm trying to not be inflammatory and anger people more. I didnt feel that my post needed to be overly aggressive or confrontational. I didnt feel that swearing would be the way to go. I only wanted to speak my mind about the situation as I understood it, because I love the chatroom, love the people that come there.

This is quite obviously not the end of this discussion -- but I gotta say, Nevada, you're not convincing me that it's worth my while to bust my ass and potentially lay out bucks to bring a dedicated chat server to AW, for the sake of a small cadre of people who want to have public temper tantrums over new people who dare to open their mouths in what is ostensibly an AW chat about unofficially "agreed upon" supposedly non-approved topics.

I"m having a public temper tantrum? Really? I've been nothing but polite, I have not insulted anyone, I have not sworn. I was told some major changes were being made over a minor misunderstanding. If i was misinformed then I should have been more careful in researching my information, but I was not wrong about speaking my mind. I was not the one that took a perceived problem public, instead of approaching a mod or an op, or, heaven forbid, actually say something when it happened.

I have no idea why Ben felt he couldnt say something at the time. I'm sure the logs show that I made a joke. Nobody shut him down. It certainly didnt happen the way you portrayed it above and in fact what you've insinuated in the above quote never happens. It's not like anyone says "Shut up, we dont talk about that. How dare you bring that up?" That's ludicrous.

Medievalist
06-10-2007, 11:26 PM
I was informed by several chat members when I came into chat about the change. If i was misinformed, then mea culpa. But I stand behind what I said.

Here's the thing that you really really don't seem to get.

Absolutewrite.com, the Absolute Write Water Cooler forums, and the name Absolute Write are owned by MacAllister Stone. She pays the bills, and she's the one who gets sued -- and yes, there are lawsuits.



I've never been in chat where a conversation about writing has been snuffed out. We also have had discussions about Heinlein and women. Nobody ever changed the subject. I guess I dont understand people not standing up for themselves.

Let me start off by introducing myself. I'm in chat fairly often, but lately, I'm in there less and less, or when I see who the op is, and either remain invisible or leave.

Why?

Because there's a culture developing where conversation is stifled, and particularly, if you're using a identifiably female name, you're stifled.

I was explicitly told, vis vis a conversation about Heinlein's female characters that it was "feminist," and the chat room was not for political discussions. I've seen other chatters, male and female, in non-scheduled chat sessions, that religion and politics were off limits, and I've also seen some fairly overtly sexually laden flirting -- which doesn't say a whole heck of a lot about the "concern for minors."

Now, since you very clearly don't know me, I'm going to tell you something:

I was using talk and MUT, before IRC came around, and I started using IRC in 1989; I built and ran the first IRC server at UCLA, which is still used for instructional purposes and distance learning.

I know chat -- and the overbearing attitudes of some of the ops have chased away me, and a number of other folk. I just frankly didn't think it was worth the effort to complain. I also am, as I've checked in in the last couple of weeks, somewhat astonished at the way assertions about "it's always been this way," and "That's just the way IRC chat works" are bandied about when both technical fact and 'net culture contradict the assertions.


But if that many people felt that they cant open their mouth then why wasn't that addressed before? I had no idea that people felt like that. There has been an incident where someone had a problem with me, went to an op, and that op talked to me, and the problem was dealt with and resolved immediately and amicably. But now it seems that there are "at least ten" people who feel they cant speak their mind. That's more than the total attendance of the chatroom most nights. How come these people's concerns werent taken care of?

That's pretty much the point Nevada; the culture of the chat room is such that people feel:

1. There's an elite.
2. They make the "rules."
3. The name AW in the room makes people think that MacAllister made the "rules"
4. Someone asked -- and here, on the forums, and in Rep comments, and PMs people feel that they can bring up concerns to MacAllister, because there's an understanding that she is willing to hear them.


I was not the one that took a perceived problem public, instead of approaching a mod or an op, or, heaven forbid, actually say something when it happened

That's the point--no one felt the ops were approachable.

nevada
06-11-2007, 12:21 AM
I have to tell you and Mac both. I'm feeling a bit scorched and I dont really understand the need for this aggression that seems to be turned toward me. I thought i was very polite and non-aggressive in my earlier post.


Here's the thing that you really really don't seem to get.

Absolutewrite.com, the Absolute Write Water Cooler forums, and the name Absolute Write are owned by MacAllister Stone. She pays the bills, and she's the one who gets sued -- and yes, there are lawsuits.

I know this and I do totally get this. I'm not an idiot and I dont appreciate being talked to like one.




Let me start off by introducing myself. I'm in chat fairly often, but lately, I'm in there less and less, or when I see who the op is, and either remain invisible or leave.

Why remain invisible. And if the problem is with the op, why not remove the op? I think there's something insiduous about a person who stays invisible in a chatroom. Not even lurking so we know that person is there, but totally invisible, especially if she has no intention of taking part of the conversation.


.Why?

Because there's a culture developing where conversation is stifled, and particularly, if you're using a identifiably female name, you're stifled.

I am a female and I have never been stifled in chat. Ever. And everyone knows that I am a female. Most of the chatting is done by females. And we've been nothing but supportive of each other. Unless you go by a different name in the chatroom, I've never seen you and can therefore make no comment to any stifling you may have experienced personally. But I dare anyone to stifle me. You can only be stifled if you let yourself be.


I was explicitly told, vis vis a conversation about Heinlein's female characters that it was "feminist," and the chat room was not for political discussions.

I dont see how sexist and politics follow. Heinlein's treatment of women was sexist and if a person told you you couldnt discuss it because it was political you should have explained how that person is erroneous. stood up for yourself. Instead of taking your toys and going home.


I've seen other chatters, male and female, in non-scheduled chat sessions, that religion and politics were off limits, and I've also seen some fairly overtly sexually laden flirting -- which doesn't say a whole heck of a lot about the "concern for minors."

I havent seen much flirting in the room. I guess it all depends on what you mean by overtly sexual and if the minors were in the room at the time. As for religion and politics being off limit, when i started chatting i was informed by the op that those were topics that chat tried to avoid because it got too inflammatory and some people had been hurt or felt the need to leave because of it. It seemed reasonable to me. And we do discuss politics but in a more general way such as the merits of communism as opposed to democrary. We just try to stay away from statements such as "bush is a moron".


Now, since you very clearly don't know me, I'm going to tell you something:

I was using talk and MUT, before IRC came around, and I started using IRC in 1989; I built and ran the first IRC server at UCLA, which is still used for instructional purposes and distance learning.

I know who you are and bully for you.


I know chat -- and the overbearing attitudes of some of the ops have chased away me, and a number of other folk. I just frankly didn't think it was worth the effort to complain.

If you didnt think it was worth the effort why all the brouhaha all of a sudden. EIther it's a problem and you do somethign about it, or it's not and you leave it. If you can't be bothered to change something that is important to you apparently it's not important enough.





That's pretty much the point Nevada; the culture of the chat room is such that people feel:

1. There's an elite.
2. They make the "rules."
3. The name AW in the room makes people think that MacAllister made the "rules"
4. Someone asked -- and here, on the forums, and in Rep comments, and PMs people feel that they can bring up concerns to MacAllister, because there's an understanding that she is willing to hear them.

There is no elite in the chatroom. We welcome everyone, take an interest in their writing, try to engage them into conversation since a first foray into a chatroom can be pretty daunting. JoNightShade came in yesterday for the first time and I'm sure she wasnt confronted with this dreaded "elite" because it does not exist.

Apparently Mac is willing to hear them but nobody seemed to think it was, in your words, "worth doing somethign about it."



That's the point--no one felt the ops were approachable. If that was the case, and since Mac owns all, why didnt you just replace the ops with ones that you felt were approachable.

And i wonder what your definition of approachable is. Ben aired a concern and everyone seems to be bending over backwards for him when really all it was was a smartass joke that wasnt received. I air a concern and I get nothing but aggression and attitude over my concern. If there is going to be a discussion then people should be allowed to speak their mind and ask questions without getting their fingers slapped and being talked to like their five years old and the adults will now step in and explain the way of the world.

MacAllister
06-11-2007, 12:44 AM
Actually, I'm not really even addressing Ben's issue, at this point, Nevada -- I'm addressing the complaints that followed Ben's. I'm not sure why you personally are so very defensive, but you need to take a break and perhaps step away from your keyboard.

I DID in fact address your concern. You said you were concerned it would be a free for all. I said no such thing. I asked who told you so -- and you won't say. You are, at this point, part of the problem, then.

It's frankly not up to you to tell other members how they may or may not use the chat room. It's just not. Whether it's about invisibility, or making "jokes" about what's an allowable topic of conversation -- you're way out of line.

I'm satisfied there's a problem. How much of a problem? I'm not sure, yet.

I'm satisfied that the problem is largely one of communication, both ways.

Now I'm looking for solutions.

nevada
06-11-2007, 12:49 AM
I'm defensive? I'm being told that I'm elitist and that I stifle people and that I obviously don't know who anyone is and I get talked to a like I'm a kindergartner and I'm defensive? Forgive me for saying so, but I'm feeling a little stifled when I'm told to step away from my keyboard. How ironic.

I'll leave it be, because I dont engage in pointless arguments. And as for the problem being one of communications, I think the problem is non-communication. But from the tone of the past few posts, communication doesnt seem to be that encouraged.

MacAllister
06-11-2007, 12:54 AM
Oh please. I think you've more than had your say. Certainly no one has told you to sit down and shut up. No one has told you that you can't talk about something.

I just don't agree with you, and I personally find you hysterical and over-reactive, and certainly you don't seem to read very carefully. That's not the same as stifling you. Trust me -- if I was inclined to do that, there are any variety of means to do so, at the click of a button.

nevada
06-11-2007, 01:23 AM
Oh please. I think you've more than had your say. Certainly no one has told you to sit down and shut up. No one has told you that you can't talk about something.

I just don't agree with you, and I personally find you hysterical and over-reactive, and certainly you don't seem to read very carefully. That's not the same as stifling you. Trust me -- if I was inclined to do that, there are any variety of means to do so, at the click of a button.

Really? Am I being threatened with being banned because you don't agree with me? That's nice. And being told to step away from the keyboard is exactly the same as being told to sit down and shut up. It's just a matter of semantics really.

Has this gone too far? Absolutely. Will I shut up and sit down? Not likely. And as for me not reading carefully, I dont think Ive read anything that hasnt been said. THere doesnt seem to be a lot of tolerance for people speaking their mind and it's not in the chatroom.

MacAllister
06-11-2007, 01:30 AM
Good lord, woman. When you're in any danger of being banned, you'll get ample warning.

Look, you've clearly not been on AW that long -- and I don't recall directly interacting with you before, personally. Ask any of the regulars, though, and I'm pretty sure they'll tell you they disagree with me regularly, and with impunity.

No. I'm not threatening to ban you. I'm not going to edit you. I'm not going to delete your posts.

I'm saying you're helping to blow this entire situation rather wildly out of proportion, though, because you aren't actually listening to anyone who knows anything, or has the power to make changes. I'm asking you politely to please settle down, and ease up on the rhetoric.

Chat room gossip about what may or may not happen isn't going to help the situation one bit.

nevada
06-11-2007, 02:51 AM
Being asked to settle down i can totally deal with. Because I do overreact. I know it and everyone in chat knows it. So I'll sit down and shut up. Carry on. :D

PS I've been here for over a year I think but I stay away from OP and TIO for this very reason. Sorry I got carried away. Like the scorpion said, I can't help it, it's in my nature.

MacAllister
06-11-2007, 03:56 AM
Nevada, we're fine. Promise. :) When members have reasonable problems, though -- it's totally my job to address it.

You're a member too, and I appreciate your concerns. I don't mean to make you feel like I'm not listening -- I'm not going to turn your favorite coffee house into a curry take-out joint. I promise. :)

Cassiopeia
06-11-2007, 03:59 AM
Nevada, we're fine. Promise. :) When members have reasonable problems, though -- it's totally my job to address it.

You're a member too, and I appreciate your concerns. I don't mean to make you feel like I'm not listening -- I'm not going to turn your favorite coffee house into a curry take-out joint. I promise. :)But, I like curry. :(

Can't it be both? :D

tjwriter
06-11-2007, 02:33 PM
I'm going to step up and say that nevada is one of the nicest people I've ever met in the chat.

And also to add, that the problem I PMed about doesn't happen often. I've only gotten mad about stuff like a couple of times. It doesn't happen that often.

From what I've seen, people are welcomed and encouraged to return. The behave is polite and encouraging. Nobody is excluded. We spend time explaining how to use chat functions and what some things mean. Sometimes, people don't participate because they feel they would be butting in, or most often I've heard that it moves too fast for them. It's part of the nature of chat.

Now, I don't know what has been going on the last few months. First my computer crashed, and now my husband thinks I need to sit in the living room with him while he watches something I've no interest in. That's why I'm getting a laptop. Then I will be back. A lot.

nevada
06-12-2007, 03:34 AM
I'm going to step up and say that nevada is one of the nicest people I've ever met in the chat.

YAY :hooray: You like me, you really like me. Thanks TJ. I totally got carried away and acted inappropriately in this thread. I have a temper and it's not as controlled as it should be. I'm glad you find the chat such a good place to be. Can't wait to see you more often once you get your laptop and your husband sorted.