Town Pub

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Re: Town Pub

Postby michael » 24 Jan 2016 23:17

rod taylor wrote:Personally I think the new policy has contributed to the pub's decline. It's a pity.

Cause or symptom?
I think the quality of discussion was already in serious decline (trolling, abuse, cliquey personal arguments crossing from one thread to another). The policy was a result of the problems. The continued decline was inevitable with or without the 'wall' boarding up of yet another Sydenham pub. A number of regulars didn't want to step inside this boarded up pub, while others revel in their new found freedom to bar brawls. Any sober man/woman entering the establishment would either be appalled at the views of the regulars, but not surprisingly all the regulars think that everybody agrees with them.

Personally I suspect that almost all the interesting conversations to be had on forums has disappeared. Facebook means that we have positive reinforcement for our own views from our like-minded friends, Twitter encourages us to be rude to people we know nothing about, and the bottom-half of the internet encourages us* to make outrageous statements in the comfort of anonymity.
* And when I say 'us', I really mean people who believe they are always right, and that other people actually have an interest in their half-baked views. And I guess I have to include myself in that, otherwise why would I bother writing this nonsense, that will be ignored by all. Afterall, I'm really just procrastinating when I should be writing the minutes of another worthwhile meeting where we try to actually achieve something useful.
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Re: Town Pub

Postby rod taylor » 24 Jan 2016 23:26

I'm not sure I agree. There have been generally interesting and thoughtful discussions recently on women only pools, Israel and yesterday and today on the lack of black representation at the Academy Awards.

Whilst there has been a decline, it is not the rule. In all three I learned things I did not know before, so it certainly is not completely useless.
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Re: Town Pub

Postby Rachael » 25 Jan 2016 07:10

I would tend to agree with Michael. What are the stats on who posts in the Pub pre and post the lock-in?

There have indeed been some interesting conversations recently that I have tried to contribute to, but most carry on pingponging between a few regulars as if I've said nothing. Maybe I'm just not being scintillating enough.
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Re: Town Pub

Postby michael » 25 Jan 2016 07:32

Rachael wrote:, but most carry on pingponging between a few regulars as if I've said nothing. Maybe I'm just not being scintillating enough.

please don't blame yourself. it says more about those unable to engage with views that don't come out of their own mouths, or those they are there to troll. that is always the frustration of contributing to a forum full of trolls and individuals with agendas that they will bring into every discussion.
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Re: Town Pub

Postby Pally » 25 Jan 2016 14:10

Rachael wrote:I would tend to agree with Michael. What are the stats on who posts in the Pub pre and post the lock-in?

There have indeed been some interesting conversations recently that I have tried to contribute to, but most carry on pingponging between a few regulars as if I've said nothing. Maybe I'm just not being scintillating enough.


I feel exactly the same Rachael ....! :(
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Re: Town Pub

Postby Maria » 25 Jan 2016 14:35

And I also totally agree with Michael: as you see, you were neither wasting your time nor are you now being ignored.

When recently many of our neighbours held our local annual new year celebration the Forum came up on the conversation. Except from me, the consensus was that it was a total waste of time where negative, aggressive, hostile, and/or provocative opinions are not so much discussed as thrown at each other - and that they no longer want to be "any part of it"; but yesterday when I posted something about the list of traders businesses etc in the Town Café I promised myself that was the last time I actively contributed - so perhaps I am no longer an exception after all.

I shall continue reading the great Town Hall, and gaining hugely from recommendations in the Town Café, though: such a fantastic local resource, thank you!
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Re: Town Pub

Postby rod taylor » 25 Jan 2016 15:37

What is starting to make me feel very sad indeed, not to say a little embarrassed, is how much time I wasted on a part of the forum that is held in such contempt by the administrators, the contributors themselves and the wider public.

I may be the only one here to say so but I enjoyed much of the discussion and did learn a lot communicating with various locals on topics extraneous to Sydenham. I think the first thing the admin should do is take down the invitation to 'flame war' that greets those at the entrance to the Pub...might be sending out the wrong signals!

Having said that my reservations about the Pub chime with many of the above, but particularly with Robin.
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Re: Town Pub

Postby chrisj1948 » 25 Jan 2016 15:59

Maria wrote:..., the consensus was that it was a total waste of time where negative, aggressive, hostile, and/or provocative opinions are not so much discussed as thrown at each other - and that they no longer want to be "any part of it"...


You have reminded me that, in the time before Big Bad Wolf was banished, the subject of the Sydenham Forum came up amongst a group involved with the Sydenham Arts Festival. I was astonished at the vehemence with which all others said they no longer visited it because of the standard of debate was so unpleasant. I begin to suspect that the old Admin was being libertarian by merely isolating the Pub from unregistered view rather than closing it down completely.

Regards
Chris
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Re: Town Pub

Postby mosy » 25 Jan 2016 16:19

The "Am I invisible?" aspect is something that tended to happen during the pronounced A&B show or B&C show but to be fair the effort and time I'll spend to engage in intellectual arguments depends hugely on the topic. In other cases, I don't need to have my miscellaneous posts acknowledged from politeness, but find it does help if I add "What do you think?" as I'm genuinely interested in the views of others because, not just those of people who agree with mine..

As to subject topics, anyone is welcome to start their own thread that interests them, so there's really no excuse for moaning about subjects that are posted yet not broadening the scope with their own is there?

The Pub did get silly when more posts were about sniping than the thread topic, and worse that they revolved on the Town Centre pick up reel, so if The Pub does "go public" again, I'd prefer that Pub posts weren't scrolled there - they're largely irrelevant to Sydenham as a rule.
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Re: Town Pub

Postby stuart » 25 Jan 2016 16:51

rod taylor wrote:What is starting to make me feel very sad indeed, not to say a little embarrassed, is how much time I wasted on a part of the forum that is held in such contempt by the administrators ..

Rod, I don't think so. Is that any comfort?

Stuart
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Re: Town Pub

Postby _HB » 25 Jan 2016 17:07

Yeah, I always value your input Rod. You and Robin's contributions tend to be the common denominator in the better quality discussions.
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Re: Town Pub

Postby Robin Orton » 25 Jan 2016 17:11

To pick up Maria's and Chris's points, I don't think it's only postings in the Town Pub that cause upset. I know some people who were involved in the Sydenham Centre (Naborhood Center as was) mosaic project who were extremely hurt by the tone of some of the very negative and unconstructive comments that were posted anonymously in the Town Hall.
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Re: Town Pub

Postby Rachael » 25 Jan 2016 17:57

Robin Orton wrote:To pick up Maria's and Chris's points, I don't think it's only postings in the Town Pub that cause upset. I know some people who were involved in the Sydenham Centre (Naborhood Center as was) mosaic project who were extremely hurt by the tone of some of the very negative and unconstructive comments that were posted anonymously in the Town Hall.


I remember that discussion. Was any of it aimed at the organisers of the mosaic personally? If so, that would be unfair. But if it was about the artistic merit of the mosaic, I think that's fair game, and if you are going to impose something on the public realm you have to be prepared to fight your corner.
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Re: Town Pub

Postby Robin Orton » 26 Jan 2016 08:09

Rachael wrote: But if it was about the artistic merit of the mosaic, I think that's fair game, and if you are going to impose something on the public realm you have to be prepared to fight your corner.

You may be right, Rachael. But perhaps the clue is in the word 'game'. I was merely trying to point out that what to some people is robust and frank criticism can feel to others, who are not used to it, like a personal attack. That may put them off from having anything more to do with the forum.
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Re: Town Pub

Postby stuart » 26 Jan 2016 12:42

Robin Orton wrote:I was merely trying to point out that what to some people is robust and frank criticism can feel to others, who are not used to it, like a personal attack. That may put them off from having anything more to do with the forum.

There was a quote I heard recently on Radio 4 on the use of language:

"The British are too polite to be honest, the Germans are too honest to be polite"

Thankfully the national stereotypes may be disappearing but an honest critique can be lost if its wrapped up in sugary doublespeak. If your opinion is that is a poor piece of art than you should say it - and why. The problem with that event was precisely as you say - the criticism was taken personally.

Now my mum loved Mantovani. I can hate Mantovani and still love my mum. I can think that piece of art is poor and still be grateful that people took time to collect money and devote time and effort into trying to improve the Naborhood Centre.

I was shocked to hear the criticism was taken so personally. Are we all to walk on eggshells all the time in case someone somewhere is offended by any criticism? We would have lost the basis of free speech and honest discussion. Which frankly is more important than art.

What worried me were the intermediaries who critiqued the discussion rather than help the offended to come to terms with the principles and benefits of public debate. Robust doesn't mean rude or personal. AFAIR that discussion wasn't.

Stuart
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Re: Town Pub

Postby _HB » 26 Jan 2016 13:17

Good points stuart. I mostly agree. Whilst some of the back and forth in the pub can occasionally cross the line (and yes, I know I'm guilty as much as anyone) there are occasional contributors in the pub who are very poor at accepting any kind of disagreement or dissenting view without it producing a major flounce. This is also counter productive to generating good discussion.
_HB
 

Re: Town Pub

Postby Pally » 26 Jan 2016 14:06

stuart wrote:[quote="

I was shocked to hear the criticism was taken so personally. Are we all to walk on eggshells all the time in case someone somewhere is offended by any criticism? We would have lost the basis of free speech and honest discussion. Which frankly is more important than art.

What worried me were the intermediaries who critiqued the discussion rather than help the offended to come to terms with the principles and benefits of public debate. Robust doesn't mean rude or personal. AFAIR that discussion wasn't.

Stuart


I have not seen the thread on the mosaics.

I agree that free speech and honest discussion are vital components of good debate! And as you say robust does not mean rude or personal. And therein lies the problem I think! As you know I have in the past critiqued a discussion ....but only when I percieved that rudeness, personal comments or boring nit picking repetition were killing the debate! I have been told Im too sensitive but that is most definitely not my motivation! On occasions I have watched potentially good debates die because of approaches, some of which clearly come from understandable frustration!

My sense is that some enjoy the rudeness and baiting but I could be wrong on that one! Either way, there seems to be a general sense that the tone of some debates is putting off a wider audience ...a shame!

The solution seems still to lie with the posters!
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Re: Town Pub

Postby Robin Orton » 26 Jan 2016 14:54

_HB wrote:... there are occasional contributors in the pub who are very poor at accepting any kind of disagreement or dissenting view without it producing a major flounce.

Using words like 'flounce' to describe people who retire hurt is, in my view, exactly the sort of language which alienates people. 'I withdraw graciously, you bow out, he flounces'?
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Re: Town Pub

Postby stuart » 26 Jan 2016 14:59

Pally wrote:My sense is that some enjoy the rudeness and baiting but I could be wrong on that one! Either way, there seems to be a general sense that the tone of some debates is putting off a wider audience ...a shame!

The solution seems still to lie with the posters!

That is too easy. It must be partly shared by us all. When someone is unacceptably rude then tell them (politely?) they have been rude. Accepting rudeness just encourages it. The real difficulty, which I have sometimes succumbed, is to reply in kind. That just helps to lower the discourse one more notch.

I guess its also up to the rest of us to support someone who has been insulted. This does need to be graduated a bit. A newcomer should be fully protected, one of the old lags, rather less so.

Stuart
Last edited by stuart on 26 Jan 2016 15:06, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Town Pub

Postby _HB » 26 Jan 2016 15:04

Robin Orton wrote:Using words like 'flounce' to describe people who retire hurt is, in my view, exactly the sort of language which alienates people. 'I withdraw graciously, you bow out, he flounces'?


Well, in some cases the description is apt. In others perhaps less so. But point taken.
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