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An open letter to the 68kMLA community...


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This is turning into a flame war.

 

ALMOST, but not quite as yet, IMHO.

 

There is bound to be a certain amount of acrimony expressed on such a subject.

 

That said, keep it civil, comrades!

 

As an attempt to get things back on track:

 

This is, ostensibly, a military organization. Like all such organizations, especially elite sub-units of such organizations, we've developed a strong sense of tradition/culture over time. This forum was created by a few enthusiastic renegades from the MacAddict forums almost ten years ago for the purpose of liberating the old iron.

 

We have many traditions here at the 68kMLA, one of which is a freewheeling discussion of almost anything imaginable in the lounge, as well as, Off Topic/MARGINALLY On Topic postings in any given thread. There is a reason for the camaraderie that is readily apparent here. There is also a reason that this organization has stood the test of time. If it was merely for the dissemination of 68k lore, why has a richer source of such content such as 'fritter, had its forums turned into a ghost town?

 

I understand that some of the relatively new recruits may only be interested in OT info, however this is a club, and when one joins a club, it is usually (at the very least) considered rude to join and then try to change the rules or traditions of that club to suit one's own specific interests.

 

IMHO, it doesn't really matter why any individual enlists here, all that matters is that the 68kMLA remains a growing, vibrant community (effective military organization) and some of the suggestions made here pose a clear and present danger to the long term health of this organization.

 

Comrades, please read each others posts carefully, take all viewpoints into serious consideration before making a reply. But most of all, be mindful of the fact that we must keep the viability of these forums at the forefront of those reflections, not anyones individual interests!

 

jt =8-|

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Comrades, please read each others posts carefully, take all viewpoints into serious consideration before making a reply. But most of all, be mindful of the fact that we must keep the viability of these forums at the forefront of those reflections, not anyones individual interests!

 

jt =8-|

 

I second that.

 

I think something we should consider is having a "town hall" style meeting/debate on the chat room where all the admins and moderators would be present and willing to listen to input. One question would be discussed at a time and the moderators and admins should take the first stab at answering it/looking for solutions before turning it over to the rest of the members (which should be optional for some questions).

 

No board is perfect but by listening to all input, especially that of members who have been here a while, I feel we can continue to make this the best community possible.

 

Also, to reply to a post a few posts back--the lounge should definitely be unindexed (by search engines) and, in my opinion, locked to the public. As I have pointed out there have been many posts of a personal nature left by some of our members (such as employment concerns, relationship issues, etc) that do not add to our mission as a 68K Mac organization and are, quite frankly, not the business of the general public. To me these posts show a good sense of community, as some of our members who feel the need to vent obviously trust the others on this board, but I will once again back this up with a classic car show analogy. One can drive down the highway showing off his 1966 Oldsmobile Toronado, restored and possibly hotrodded, and can show it off while driving to and from the show. The car can also be left on display for those curious about, say, the dashboard, to see what it looks like. However, if a group of guys are talking about what they bought their wives for Christmas or Hanukkah, they are likely going to do so when the general public is not around asking questions about the cars they are showing. The members are together and engaging in good, healthy talk amongst themselves (after all, socialization is a key element of human life) yet are not broadcasting this in a public area and do not share this sort of information when someone comes around to look at or ask about the cars. It's the same way on here--keep the Mac stuff for the masses to see while keeping personal thoughts or concerns private (and for that matter, off-topic stuff that's not going to add to what a guest would come to this board for).

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Until but a minute-or-two ago I had read none of the preceding discussion but ~tl's original kindling. Temetka's post (notably, but not solely) came close to enunciating the aching centre of the matter: taste. The presence of a Lounge is not inherently out-of-place for this Army, but some of the postings to it are. From comments about trading on eBay to closely personal events in the lives of our soldiers none is ipso facto out-of place, and may be instructive to other soldiers — and our sympathies must lie with any of our soldiers who are so bereft of living, breathing, close-by friendship and support that they feel forced to bare their problems here — but closure of the Lounge to passing bots and the prurient gaze of visitors is one merciful way to reduce their exposure.

 

We live in an increasingly tasteless age. If you doubt that, count the number of in-your-face TV ads featuring pantie-liners, penile disfunction, imaginative sexual practice and the like that will come at you without forewarning in any given week. Must we have visible instruction in the virtues and application of toilet paper caught by a WC-cam before a revulsion sets in? The tastelessness is partly generational and strongly commercial, and you can propose your own potential causes for that. However, there is no legislating for taste, just as there is none against stupidity or belligerence. Nonetheless, a qualified privilege must exist for a special-interest association such as ours, and this Army is well-entitled to voice its displeasure, civilly but unambiguously, if boundaries are overstepped in its forums.

 

In short, let's continue to have a Lounge. Let's also be prepared not to welcome drivel, conscious offence and dangerous overstatement in it. In the special-interest forums, history will be a better arbiter of what should be discussed than we are able to be at this moment. RIP Applefritter.

 

de

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Thanks for your feedback one and all. It's reassuring to know that so many of you care about this community, even if you don't all share the same views on it's place/purpose.

 

First off, maybe it was wrong of me to make a jibe about closing the Lounge completely. That's not going to happen, I agree that it is a necessary part of community. However, my original appeal was more for everyone here to step back, chill out a little, and reconsider their views on posting here.

 

Secondly, I've changed the new posts link (again). It's now two links as you may see... the "View new posts" link will show you all new posts while the (Lounge) link will show you posts from every forum except the Lounge. Hopefully this will mean that people will have the choice as to which way they want to view the posts. The Lounge will stay closed to non-registered members/bots since, but will remain searchable from the forum's search function. As others have said, the content in there is not likely to be the sort of things people would search Google for anyway and it's better for the privacy of those members who do decide to share personal topics.

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I'm going to suggest something that a few of you seem to be missing:

 

It's not about the Lounge, stupid.

 

Look, some of the members of one camp (let's call them camp A) positively hate some of the members of the other camp (let's call them camp B). Perhaps the felling is mutual. I don't really keep in touch with the members of camp B, so I don't know. Now camp A doesn't really like what they see from camp B. Camp A thinks of themselves as true collectors: people who acquire and restore old machines, and find and preserve old software. That's the sort of stuff that they want to discuss, because that's the sort of thing that interests them.

 

Their perspective on the other camp is quite dismal. Sometimes they see camp B as being more interested in socializing than collecting. It is easy to associate their banter with "web 2.0", "twitter", "blogs", etc. because the nature of their posts are mostly pollution as far as group A is concerned. Sometimes that pollution is obvious (discussions of the latest release of Mac OS X), other times it may be less obvious (banter about sources for 68k software, rather than a technical discussion).

 

Now the true collectors just want the pollution to be gone, preferably along with the people who created that pollution (unless they adapt). And the easiest way to do that is to eliminated the hangout spot of group B. Sure it will hurt group A, but it won't be as significant. And that is what matters to most people.

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I'm going to suggest something that a few of you seem to be missing:

 

It's not about the Lounge, stupid.

 

Keep it CIVIL! >:(

 

Look, some of the members of one camp (let's call them camp A) positively hate some of the members of the other camp (let's call them camp B) . . .

 

That would be a serious failing on anyone's part, type A OR type B . . .

 

. . . perspective on the other camp is quite dismal. Sometimes they see camp B as being more interested in socializing than collecting. It is easy to associate their banter with "web 2.0", "twitter", "blogs", etc. because the nature of their posts are mostly pollution as far as group A is concerned. Sometimes that pollution is obvious (discussions of the latest release of Mac OS X), other times it may be less obvious (banter about sources for 68k software, rather than a technical discussion).

 

AS I said before, it doesn't really matter why any individual enlisted, this thread is strictly about what is good for the 68kMLA in the long run!

 

Now the true collectors just want the pollution to be gone, preferably along with the people who created that pollution (unless they adapt). And the easiest way to do that is to eliminated the hangout spot of group B. Sure it will hurt group A, but it won't be as significant. And that is what matters to most people.

 

You're forgetting one VERY IMPORTANT POINT! This community PRE-DATES, by a very large percentage of its existence, all the timesink CRUD to which you would wish to banish some of our comrade's posts.

 

I submit that you are way out of line! The 68kMLA has a long and glorious history, it was founded by renegades who wanted to do their thing. That was about equal doses of collecting and cutting up in the lounge, IIRC. If marchie, ~coxy & most especially cinemo, were around to see what you are trying to shackle this place into becoming, they'd beat you unmercifully with their "sticks of justice."

 

There is a reason we're still here and growing, and it's NOT got a THING to do with those "serious collectors" as you call them. It's about our institutional memory and a lot of VERY CREATIVE/fairly silly folks that know a boatload of info about old macs and are willing to share that info with all comers.

 

However, MAKE NO MISTAKE ABOUT IT, this is our club and HE/SHE WHO JOINS will not be changing the atmosphere around here to suit their own wishes. We've lost some very heavy hitting regular posters around here recently. A couple of them have said it was because we've been overrun with teeny-boppers (I've cleaned that up a bit) that I've tried to look upon as "eager young recruits." These kids just need a little seasoning and will turn out just fine, as did the teenagers who founded this organization. Those that joined up later and took up the reins, like ~tl & bunsen, and all who came before them have matured here to become responsible young adults.

 

Some of the founders and "new chums" have gone their own way, and they are remembered! Some show up once in a while to check in on their Army. ALL are missed!

 

This is, ostensibly, a MILITARY ORGANIZATION and we have a LOT of tradition and some esprit de corps which was NOT developed by "serious collectors," but by an eclectic group of amazing characters!

 

Change the spirit of this place and it'll die off like the rest. If any of you are "die hard/silliness intolerant collectors," you'd better discuss forming your own club, because this club is rapidly losing interest in keeping YOU around!

 

IMHO, of course,

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It's no mystery that all people do not necessarily agree with or get along with one another. What defines us is our ability to at least be civil about our misgivings.

 

I have done my best not to subscribe to either group.

 

It is my opinion that even defining such groups does not add to forum cohesion. Quite the opposite in fact. What it does due is fracture our community and serve to drive a wedge between the members. Doing so not only hurts the forum as a whole, but hurts our reputation and at the very least makes us look like a bunch of sniveling people.

 

What we should be working towards is defining what the problems or mis-communications are and to address those in as civil a manner as possible. The mods and Tom have done an outstanding job of putting up with what frankly, is childish behaviour. Most of us would agree that this type of behavior would not be tolerated in a workplace, so why should it be tolerated here?

 

I have been a proud member of this forum for many years and have been able to meet quite a few interesting people and make some new friends. This forum has provided all of us with a wealth of information and has served as a meeting ground for like minded individuals to come together and hang out. It really bothers me that this has gotten to the point it has. What should define us as a community is not only our systems lore, but our ability move forward as people in the face of adversity and strive to come out not only on top of, but stronger because of it.

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Keep it CIVIL! >:(

 

This community PRE-DATES, by a very large percentage of its existence, all the timesink CRUD to which you would wish to banish some of our comrade's posts.

 

The 68kMLA has a long and glorious history, it was founded by renegades who wanted to do their thing.

 

If marchie, ~coxy & most especially cinemo, were around to see what you are trying to shackle this place into becoming, they'd beat you unmercifully with their "sticks of justice."

 

it's NOT got a THING to do with those "serious collectors" as you call them.

 

This is, ostensibly, a MILITARY ORGANIZATION

 

f any of you are "die hard/silliness intolerant collectors," you'd better discuss forming your own club, because this club is rapidly losing interest in keeping YOU around!

 

Wowa there, you are the one who is way out of line.

 

First of all, I was pointing out that we have a turf war between at least two camps. They probably aren't organised per se, but the attitudes are there. Second, I don't subscribe to either camp, even though you seem to be painting me as the ring-leader of the collectors. Even though I am more sympathetic towards the more serious collectors, my posts definitely fit in with that other camp.

 

Finally, you're way too emotionally involved to even pretend to have moderator status. Look at the (admitedly selective) tidbits from a single post that you made in this thread. That is not moderation. That is participating in the turf war. It is why someone like myself will never be a moderator in a place like this, and it is why you should take your moderator hat off and set it aside.

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I agree that there have become too many "civil wars" within our forum's friendly confines. I think what may be best is to schedule a time in the chat room when we can have a large-scale meeting about the "hot topics" that have been at stake for the past few weeks. This way we can clear up any misunderstandings about the current systems, talk in a civil manner amongst ourselves (if I were running the chat I'd give everyone three strikes before asking them to leave in terms of "keeping it civil"), sort out our differences, and come up with something that is best for the majority of members.

 

We would essentially be drafting a Constitution-type document in the same way the Founding Fathers of America drafted the US Constitution. If you've studied American history you are probably aware that there were plenty of disagreements between them. Debate is healthy from both a civic and psychological point of view and is often the only way everyone can see the severity of some issues. Not everyone on this forum is from the United States, but other countries have gone through similar events in their past so I'm sure most of you are familiar with this process. However, we don't want a "revolution" on this forum. Respect your fellow posters and your moderators and they shall respect you.

 

I think we've already seen a few important things resolved with this thread. People on this forum seem to be taking copyright more seriously now and blocking the lounge to guests and bots is certainly a good thing for our members who post personal topics there. The issues we seem to be having now revolve around what can be discussed in the lounge, whether or not we should have subforums within the lounge (or multiple lounge-type forums), and the fact that posts still cannot be edited after they have been online for one hour. There are probably a few other issues here and may be a few others that pertain to the atmosphere in the chat room (which I do not frequent) so hopefully we could have one final meeting once and for all to sort these issues out amongst ourselves and to put an end to this thread.

 

It has been a shame to see some of our posters leave. I will have been a member for three years on Wednesday and have seen my share of good and bad times on here (including the Great Crash of 2007 where we lost service for a month and had to start over from square one). If we could survive the Great Crash, we can get through this and emerge a stronger board (and stronger members) from it while helping to make the community a better place for everyone.

 

As for those complaining about "teeny boppers"--I think it's a good thing that we have younger members becoming interested in vintage Macs. While they may not have the societal experience or knowledge of various topics (including the law) that our older posters have, they can certainly contribute and may even be able to offer completely new perspectives on our favorite machines. Someone born after the discontinuation of the vintage Macs may have never used them in school or in the workplace as many of us have. To me, it shows a great appreciation for the vintage technology when someone who has known high-speed internet, modern conveniences, and modern operating systems such as OS X for nearly all of their life can sit down and have a good time with a computer manufactured long before their birth. Besides, we need the younger guys to carry on since us old guys won't be around forever; the younger generation needs to take over for us some day!

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I have been a proud member of this forum for many years and have been able to meet quite a few interesting people and make some new friends. This forum has provided all of us with a wealth of information and has served as a meeting ground for like minded individuals to come together and hang out. It really bothers me that this has gotten to the point it has. What should define us as a community is not only our systems lore, but our ability move forward as people in the face of adversity and strive to come out not only on top of, but stronger because of it.

 

My sentiments, exactly. The "meeting ground" and the development of comradery in general and formation of actual of friendships here are, IMHO, a direct result of the example set by the founding members, a healthy mix of seriousness and silliness, that helped this organization grow.

 

I've seen several waves of new recruits enlist, thrive, and mature here at the 68kMLA and have enjoyed every bit of the process, whether it be helping them out with some simple questions and even some rather esoteric info regarding the underlying architecture of the NuBus era Macs and PowerBooks.

 

It has also been an honor to have been able to offer a bit of guidance here or there.

 

It IS all about the lounge and the off-topic asides withinn any given thread here that have made the difference between our success and 'fritter's failure as viable fora, IMHO.

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Am I the only one who is turned off by frtitters layout? That and the fact nobody has updated the Nubus mafia section in ages are a turn off.

 

I first stumbled across Applefritter ten years ago before it was redesigned. I agree, it has an awkward layout (in all areas of the site).

 

Remember the Fruit Shop they used to have on there? They sold Apple IIes in customizable configurations.

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Am I the only one who is turned off by frtitters layout? That and the fact nobody has updated the Nubus mafia section in ages are a turn off.

 

I first stumbled across Applefritter ten years ago before it was redesigned. I agree, it has an awkward layout (in all areas of the site).

Yes, I remember stumbling across it years ago, must have been back in 2001 or so. I didn't even know what an Apple II was, so I didn't revisit until much later.
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I think I've already made my contribution as to the Lounge and other topics under discussion here.

 

I just have one question: Is it really that bad around here? Seriously?

 

There has been some pretty drastic, black and white, us and them, language thrown around in this thread. I for one do not agree that things have gotten so desperately out of whack as to justify this kind of polemic.

 

To me, things seem about right. You can't please everyone, but we do have a thriving, growing community of helpful, enthusiastic, knowledgeable and/or eager to learn souls here.

 

Isn't that what counts?

 

IMHO, everyone needs to put down the flamethrower, live and let live, ignore whatever content is of no interest to them, take a large chill pill, and calm the flock down.

 

Long live the MLA! Hoohaa!

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Presumably there's some behind-the-scenes intrigue that most of us aren't privy to... for instance, I wasn't aware that we had a group A and a group B. I'm actually more than a little concerned about this as I have no idea which group (if either) I belong to. ;-)

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Presumably there's some behind-the-scenes intrigue that most of us aren't privy to... for instance, I wasn't aware that we had a group A and a group B. I'm actually more than a little concerned about this as I have no idea which group (if either) I belong to. ;-)

 

Neither was I, at least until this topic was brought up. If there is indeed a Group A and Group B, we need to unify as one group because this is the sort of stuff that breaks good groups apart and leads to further conflict. We need to keep it civil and when a difference does come up, everyone needs to go about discussing it without flaming each other or the board itself. That is why I proposed a time when we can all get together and talk about this in the chat room. If we are not going to have that chat, I encourage everyone to watch their semantics when posting.

 

Honestly, my biggest concern at this point is the inability to edit posts after one hour. It hurts everyone on this board.

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Again, maybe it was a slight over-generalisation on my part to discuss the membership as if it were two disparate groups. I know it's nowhere near as black and white as that in reality. The majority people here are somewhere in the middle. The "groups" I mentioned in my initial post lie at the extremes of what I gauge as general opinion about the purpose of The Lounge. Please note the emphasis there, this was only my personal opinion and was not intended to reflect the views of the moderation team as a whole (though I know some share that view). However, people at either extreme of the "spectrum" are the most likely to be annoyed by those at the other end. I'd guess that the majority of people here are perfectly happy with the way the Lounge is at the moment, which is great. However, to repeat myself again... this was intended to be an appeal to those members who either: think that the Lounge should be purely for technical topics; or is their personal blog. To them, all I asked was that they tried to put themselves in the other persons shoes and maybe reconsider before posting. That was all.

 

To Scott. This is not a democracy, as much as you would like it to be. Forums don't work as democracies... it has been tried and has failed in the past. We're happy to take input from members under consideration and that may lead to change in the forum rules/policies, but we're not going to start holding "town hall" style meetings or drafting a constitution. At the end of the day, we set the rules and you have to follow them. Also, the post-edit-timout is here to stay. Get over it. Pretty much everyone else has.

 

Again, to rephrase what I said in my original post. Everyone here just needs to show a little more respect to each other's view points and everything here would be hunky dory. That is all this post was trying to stimulate, and it looks like it failed miserably [;)]]'>

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