Meta Question

Blondesjon's avatar

Why is it so important to folks that Fluther changes to fit them?

Asked by Blondesjon (33976points) November 29th, 2010

I liken it to an invited guest at my home going to great lengths to tell me how I can improve my place, to better suit them.

Now don’t get me wrong, there’s always room for suggestion, but it seems that the majority of suggestions often fit a very singular taste.

Am I completely off base here?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

114 Answers

marinelife's avatar

No, I have noticed this phenomenon too. It is especially irksome to me when it is newbies who have hardly given the place a chance before coming up with a boatload of changes they’d like to see.

YARNLADY's avatar

Offbase; the Fluther gods themselves frequently ask for site improvement suggestions.

chyna's avatar

Absolutely agree with you on this. Someone walks in and wants to change the flavor of Fluther without really knowing Fluther. I don’t mind someone recommending changes, but to have a whole agenda behind it is a little strange.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

I agree with you :)

jerv's avatar

It is not just Fluther. Many people believe that the whole of reality must change to suit them.

Blondesjon's avatar

<—one of the people @jerv is talking about

what are you all waiting for!?! suit me!!!

Soubresaut's avatar

I don’t know what to say other than, I agree! But, I want to say it. I agree!
Fine to people who have an idea here or there to fix the site, but I hate complaining.

I found it: I happened upon it, liked it, and joined.
I didn’t found it. No way could I create a site this good!
If someone thinks they could do a better job… they could try. And then come swimming back to be a jelly! : ]

phoebusg's avatar

Change will happen regardless. Some of us want to improve things we get involved with (positive change). Some of us find a status quo and maintain that, sometimes automatically for the sake of maintaining that. Due to familiarity, and emotionality – just a couple of potential reasons. Should we have stopped with the invention of a stone tool?

Oh and thank you for creating a new thread instead of hijacking one :)

wundayatta's avatar

@Blondesjon Honey. Sweetheart. You know I love and adore you to pieces. If only that bitch woman hadn’t gotten her claws into you first. I’ll never understand why you’re still with her, but….

I digress.

I’m sure you’ll understand—because I know your esteem for me is as strong as mine for you—when I tell you that you couldn’t be more wrong.

As you well know, because we have talked about this on numerous occasions, and you have always agreed, fluther is for me. ME!!!! It is a travesty that they don’t do everything I tell them to, and honestly, I don’t understand what’s gotten into you. You’ve been acting very quirky lately. They aren’t threatening you, are they? Them—you know who I mean. Because if they are, then they are going to regret it.

Anyhow, Sweetums, I do wish you’d make this question go away. For me. Pleeeeese? I’ll let you play with my bangles…... ;-)

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

I find it odd that a user who wants to “improve” fluther is a user who I haven’t really seen here before… Maybe I just don’t get around enough though.

phoebusg's avatar

I really think we’re witnessing a live bandwaggon effect with some “older” flutherites. Forming an in-group of seniority. I’ve made a similar thread a couple of times. I tried to make it so that it’s more collaborative – allowing for a brainstorming session of any suggestion that can lead to an improvement. Yet, after a time – the intention was again misinterpreted and we’re close to an ad-hominem sling-fest. Which is of no use to me.

To connect to the previous response in this thread. I get it, that you love the current state of something, have an emotional attachment to it. Would like it to be kept that way. And I’d say that you can have both. The beauty of computer science. But in a similar argument, I suppose us – hacky individuals can create a client-based solution to modify fluther output to our liking. Sure, but wouldn’t be better if other can try it out too? Much more efficient. I like services that give you different options about how to look at something.

I’ll always want to improve things I come into contact with. I’m always against complacency, I don’t get too attached. And even though I live in a constant state of doubt, because no corner is good enough to find myself in – I prefer it that way. Fluid, as soon as you’re attached to something, you’ve already restricted yourself. I don’t like systems that force me into one identity over another, just because they aren’t fluid enough. Some good questions and threads can jump out of this I’m sure. But I’ll give it a rest for now and jump on another topic :)

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Don’t really know what you want to get off your chest here – have there been many users demanding Fluther be one way or another – I mean, I just don’t really see anyone like that being taken seriously.

TexasDude's avatar

Fluther is a private online-community that makes its own rules (as it has a right to do) and also is open to suggestions.

Fluther users thus have the right to suggest changes and additions to the site, but in the end, it’s up to the site administrators what happens and the users can choose to like it, accept/tolerate it, or leave.

That’s how I see it. I am annoyed to no end by the occasional relentless trolls who go out of their way to “rebel” because they don’t like some feature of Fluther. If you don’t like something on this site, feel free to politely suggest a change, or leave. (Not directed at you, Blondesjon, or anyone else in this thread).

Jeruba's avatar

I agree with you, @Blondesjon: I do think it’s rude to walk in and volunteer suggestions for improvement (as many newcomers seem to like to do), although not to respond to a direct question from our hosts.

phoebusg's avatar

@Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard exactly. Nothing’s wrong with making suggestions and discussing. There is maybe a stereotype formed about users suggesting fluther changes however. That, I don’t find too useful. But I see it as an underlying threat to people fearing change to something they’re attached to emotionally.

DrasticDreamer's avatar

I’m with @Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard on this one. I also don’t see the problem with new or newer users suggesting things for improvement. Their opinion is no less valid than anyone who has been here for quite a while, if they have true improvement in mind when making suggestions and they aren’t doing it just to stir things up.

Coloma's avatar

I have never given a thought to changing anything.

I come, I go, it’s easy. lol

phoebusg's avatar

@jerv given change will happen anyway. I think it’s more a matter of which. Not that I’m that interested to see one of my ideas come to fruition – what interests me is seeing positive improvement. Often the best way to do that is to brainstorm and try a few different things. I’m just point out that we’re constantly battling to change reality. And we better change this new reality we’ve created (ex, the reality of oncoming environmental crisis).

mammal's avatar

i think it’s pretty good, at the end of the day, decent questions, thoughtful, provocative and imaginative answers, that’s the main thing. Some of the older questions could be resurrected from time to time, maybe.

iamthemob's avatar

I haven’t really seen it enough to be irksome. I think that most of the suggestions I’ve seen come from an honest place.

Cruiser's avatar

This is why I don’t get invited out much as the minute I go anywhere I am rearranging the furniture. If it doesn’t weigh over 300 lbs or have roots 35 feet in the ground I will try to move it! Fluther is what it is and far be it for me to tell these people what to do. This place is very unique and it allows the user to be themselves….even shine and have a moment in the spotlight if you so choose. You have a good day and want to show off…go ahead have a bit of fun. You having a bummer day…chill a while it will be OK. Fluther allows one to think out loud and not get punished too severely for an original thought or even a stupid one less than stellar thought for the moment. ;)

Other forums expect you to conform or they buzz you off. So you only get 3 questions a day!!! It keeps the questions fresh and thoughtful! So what if you can’t post pictures….go to photobucket to do that. This place is a honest to goodness place to think out loud and laugh a little…a lot in fact and even learn a little if you so dare!

anartist's avatar

fluther is an evolving community, changing as it seeks to expand and redefine its mission. People who have come to feel at home with fluther are often resistant to change. It is the nature of any community.

@Cruiser, my mom always rearranged people’s furniture [most notably in her children’s homes]. Sometimes she actually improved things, not that any of us would admit it. The test was whether her changes were in place when she returned.

Cruiser's avatar

@anartist I only do it in hopes of finding loose change or jewelry! XD

Jeruba's avatar

<cheers, whistles, stomps> GA, @Cruiser.

I am resistant to change here not because I am a veteran member but because that’s just how I am; I’m resistant to change anywhere. Change has to prove itself to me. I like purposeful change, change that solves a problem (we should be able to state what problem we’re solving) or fills a need (we ought to be able to name the need) and not arbitrary change just for the sake of change. So don’t generalize from that—lay it at my door as a personal trait if you will, but don’t think you’re seeing in me a pattern that pertains to “older members.” I felt that same way the day I joined. And strange as it may seem, the day I joined I was not a veteran member.

However, I don’t see that as the issue raised in this question. The issue isn’t whether change can be beneficial but whether it is appropriate for users to demand a makeover to their own personal design. And I don’t think it is. Everybody has some notion of what would suit them best. Trying to please each and every demanding user won’t do. Our founders have done a very nice job of it, and I don’t mind letting them know what’s on my wish list, but I support their judgment.

My objection, further, is to brand-new newcomers who immediately want to turn this site into something else—like, for example, the site they just fled from. I’ve seen plenty of newbies come on here with, like, 3 days’ membership and 26 points and post a question such as “How would you like to see fluther changed?” I think that is in poor taste, and I consider it rude.

seazen's avatar

Even more annoying when newbs tell me how to change to suit them.

But I agree with both Marina and the Yarngirl: don’t come in and tell fluther to change, but do come up with suggestions and send them to the founders. And not every thought that pops into ones mind has to be a fucking question. Just saying.

augustlan's avatar

I think we need to make a distinction between those who ask something like “Fluther sucks… why can’t I XYZ?” (generally these are about the guidelines) and those who genuinely have the best interests of the site in mind when they ask “How can we make Fluther better?”. I truly think most of these types of questions of the latter.

There is always room for improvement, and we are always open to new ideas… no matter who suggests them. Not every idea is a winner, but I don’t see why they can’t be discussed calmly.

I really wish that we, as a group, didn’t get so defensive about our site, beloved though it may be.

JilltheTooth's avatar

I’m the neighborhood “easy girl”. I like it just the way it is. Well, except for that pesky thing, and..well…that one…and…
And BTW, @seazen , why the hell don’t you move to my time zone so I can zing clever stuff at you right away? I miss some of your best stuff by being asleep when you start Fluthering…

GQ, Jon!

ucme's avatar

It is what it is, just roll with it. I’m happy regardless. Never thought about it in those terms, never will.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

I don’t know, it seems to me that part of the charm of the site is exactly what you’re bitching about: new users coming up with a list of suggestions, complaints, grievances and wish-list items, and how those originations are handled—or not.

I would also suggest that a lot of ‘new users’ are ‘new IDs for extant users’ trying to get around the three-question limit, asking ‘embarrassing’ questions (as if our answers aren’t embarrassing enough sometimes) and otherwise disguising their ‘real’ identities. I’m not really my dorg, for example. I never care enough to wonder who those jellies might be, but I’m sure they exist.

And because of the general reaction to people requesting certain changes in Fluther, I’m not surprised that some people do it more or less anonymously. So many of y’all only imagine that you’re freedom-loving live-and-let-live liberals, when in reality you’re more reactionary and conservative than Warren Buffett. What a trip.

Seaofclouds's avatar

I think some of the problem isn’t just the asking of the question “should Fluther do x, y, and z to be better”, but more so the OPs reaction when other users say they wouldn’t like it or think it’s a bad idea. Hearing “but such and such site does this and it is better than how Fluther does it”, isn’t always going to appeal to most people here because a lot of people like the simplicity of Fluther and don’t want to see it get complicated to use.

Making suggests via the contact button would probably be a better thing to do in those instances.

iamthemob's avatar

@Seaofclouds – then why have the Meta section?

I think there’s a difference between people saying “I don’t think that would work because…” and “That won’t work.” Many of the reactions are of the latter category, and aren’t about brainstorming or helping, but rather an expression of an opinion stated with an authority that might not be warranted.

Seaofclouds's avatar

@iamthemob There’s nothing wrong with having discussions in meta (it’s also for when people have questions about how something on the site works). But, if the person really just wants to put their idea out there and not really listen to what others have to say, it’s much easier just to send the recommendation directly to the source, in my opinion.

There’s a difference between asking to see if other people think something would be a good idea and insisting that an idea is good because it works on other sites. If you (general you) really think it’s an idea that should be considered by the admins, why post a question about it? Why not send it directly to them?

For example, I once asked how people would feel about an easier way to add topics to their interests and posted a specific idea of what I thought would be nice. I didn’t want to prove my opinion on the matter or insist that Fluther make the change, I just wanted to know if other people thought it would be nice to have. I ended up getting a response to the question by one of the admins saying they were already working on something similar to what I was asking. I wasn’t trying to sell my idea just get a feel of what others thought. That is the difference to me.

JilltheTooth's avatar

I honestly don’t know this, could someone enlighten me… Do the FlutherGods prefer to be contacted directly with an idea rather than have it just mentioned in a Meta thread? I’m afraid it might get lost in the postings, but if it’s not that big a deal, should I go ahead with a direct contact? Did that make any sense? My brain fell out of nose cuz of my cold…

Aethelwine's avatar

@iamthemob When a user asks for input and ideas on how to change the site, it doesn’t help his/her cause if they dismiss those that disagree with the idea and give examples as to why they disagree. If the OP can’t take constructive criticism, why ask the question? I believe this is why my husband asked this question. It has nothing to do with disliking change. The OP clearly has an agenda they are trying to push if they can’t take constructive criticism.

@JilltheTooth I have seen many questions in Meta concerning change that aren’t acknowledged by the founders. I think it would be a good idea to contact them directly. I have done this myself and always receive a reply the same day. but that’s just my opinion :)

JilltheTooth's avatar

@jonsblond: Thanks, I’ll do that!

iamthemob's avatar

@jonsblond – when the responses are clearly based on the poster’s own agenda, or seem that way, is it any surprise that an OP may react to them negatively?

Ivan's avatar

Fluther isn’t a house; Andrew and Ben didn’t create this site for the sole purpose of pleasing themselves. They didn’t even build it to please the people who have been here the longest. I imagine they want Fluther to appeal to as many people as possible. The opinions of a first-day user aren’t any more or less important than those of a long-time veteran. This whole “how dare you come into my Fluther and make suggestions!” mentality is ridiculous.

This is the Internet, folks. Stagnation is death.

Aethelwine's avatar

@Ivan did you even read the second sentence in the details of this question?

phoebusg's avatar

@iamthemob get’s it. The question is “How would you re-design fluther to make older questions more accessible and bring them back to life?”
So right off – it is apparent (unless your head is stuck in a certain stereotype) that this is a brainstorming thread.

I go on to mention some basic elements of an idea – but say “Start off with this or with your own idea, maybe we can help make fluther better.

Yet there’s people coming in and responding to a completely different question. “What do you think of X on fluther?” What’s not what I asked, please re-read. If you have no constructive solutions your input is really off-topic.
“This won’t work” is useless. As useless statements like “you’re stupid”.

“This won’t work because XYZ, and we could maybe solve them with ABC” <—- what I was looking for. The people that got it, and did actually provide input, ideas and solutions responded as such.

When you’re stuck in stereotypical thinking, and cheering loudly on the bandwaggon, naturally, it’s hard to first realise that fact – and be able to break free. But I’m glad this came about, it may lead to a-ha moments for some. And good reflective discussion. Let’s try to avoid ad-hominems, and bandwaggoning and groupthink though.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

Per George Bernard Shaw:

“The reasonable man adapts himself to the conditions that surround him… The unreasonable man adapts surrounding conditions to himself… All progress depends on the unreasonable man.”

Certainly the quote isn’t sexist in the least, there being, of course, no such thing as an unreasonable woman. Clarification mine.

Aethelwine's avatar

@phoebusg When you’re stuck in stereotypical thinking, and cheering loudly on the bandwaggon

Get to know some of us before stereotyping us, please.

phoebusg's avatar

@jonsblond your current actions and responses are clear examples of the above characterizations. I wish they weren’t. I didn’t say “you’re horrible people”, I said you’re stuck thinking one way, and also explained why. It’s a legitimate opinion rather than simple name-calling. Though you may be inclined to read it as such, I’d say take a step back, relax. And stop viewing it as a personal attack.

To be fair, you revealed that you stepped in the thread simply to back up your husband. Now let’s look at the definition for groupthink: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Groupthink does this sound familiar?

I mean no harm and personal insult, but if you take it as such I really can’t help you there – all I can say is, don’t.

JilltheTooth's avatar

@phoebusg : Where did this “To be fair, you revealed that you stepped in the thread simply to back up your husband” happen? I’ve looked through @jonsblond ‘s posts and didn’t see it.

phoebusg's avatar

@JilltheTooth search page with keyword: husband or: I believe this is why my husband asked this question. It has nothing to do with disliking change. The OP clearly has an agenda they are trying to push if they can’t take constructive criticism.

And since I re-read it, forgot to respond that, this wasn’t constructive criticism. CC provides useful feedback as to why something is a certain way and usually leading to how to solve it. This comment is clearly one-sided.

JilltheTooth's avatar

@phoebusg : I don’t see that as stepping in to back up her husband. I see that as saying that she thinks that’s why he asked the question. For clarification. I would have said the same thing and I’m not married to him. I think you misunderstood her motivation.

marinelife's avatar

@JilltheTooth and @phoebusg More to the point, why is he attributing motivations to other users?

I think it is a shame when a questioner attempts to control the responses to a question. You can’t.

phoebusg's avatar

@marinelife yes. It’s true (that you can’t control them), but that often leads to responses way off topic and nonconstructive. Especially when dealing with large group cohesion and groupthink. Why are other users so adamant against any discussion about flurther development? That is my counter question, and motivation to attributing motivations. We’re very close to going cyclic, some of us already are :)

I think there’s major hypocrisy about user freedom, when one’s is being questioned, but when he questions the question suddenly there’s a limit. But this is not about the admins or devs, they’ve made a beautiful sandbox. It’s about the older kids getting to the sandbox first and wanting to control it/keep it a certain way – meanwhile coming up with rationalizations to make this seem more civilized or intellectual :) At least that’s how I see it.

Seaofclouds's avatar

@phoebusg Just for the record, you’ve been here longer than me, so you’re an older kid than me on here. The thing is, just like you have your opinion, everyone else has theirs. Opinions are not right or wrong and we all have them. I doubt you’ll ever see a time where every single person on Fluther agrees about anything unless it’s that it sucks when the site is down. ;) Other than that, it’s just a matter of knowing when to agree to disagree a lot of the times.

phoebusg's avatar

@Seaofclouds sometimes younger kids get in the older kids group, feeling so privileged – end up defending it twice as hard. It’s good to have difference of opinion and understanding giving people space and support for creativity, after all, many used the argument that fluther is a certain way to prime more positive uses. Yes, I’ll agree with the last part :) But awareness is often elusive, thankfully there’s others that act like mirrors, rather than acting like people that lie to you (for personal benefit, or agree to gain esteem in a groups.)

marinelife's avatar

@phoebusg I get that you are into improving things. I even see that getting play for the older questions has some value to Fluther and to its users.

It is as if you had walked into a group and begun pointing out how it could work better in your first meeting. I don’t think you would do that in person. You would wait until you had experienced several meetings, until you had demonstrated your value to the group, until you had formed relationships.

Otherwise, it smacks of arrogance.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@marinelife Just as a side note: how does one indicate to you that they have value on Fluther?

phoebusg's avatar

@marinelife I don’t think age should have an effect to the quality and value of an idea. That’s another group-norm thing, just because it’s there and we may be biologically dispositioned to uphold it – it doesn’t mean it always works. Sometimes we may have to inhibit it.
As far as how long – if that actually came into question, been around 9 months. But I read way more than I post (low lurve score), and my answers are not geared for lurve-whoring, but for speaking what I consider to be true. If you actually unconsciously used lurve score as a form of esteem-counting.
I have no intention of appearing arrogant, but I can’t control perceptions. As far as your response in the original thread, it was unhelpful because it provided no creative alternative, but welcome nonetheless. It got out of hand when the bandwaggon started forming though – and I think that is obvious. Which also highlights some of the needed features discussed in the same thread ironically :)

I think there’s a nice video by monty python demonstrating the above effect, smashing people over the head with a ‘B’ – can’t remember the name, but google it. It’s hilarious, and relevant.

marinelife's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir By the quality of their posts of course.

iamthemob's avatar

I come in on the side of @phoebusg here because I think the set up and commitment of the Fluther community lends itself to some really, really amazing potential.

When I came, I was interested in a couple of aspects of the “crowd” community, and it’s potential to enact real change. I asked a couple of Meta questions to this end, and although some negative reaction was clearly my fault, there was a lot of backlash consisting of a “oh well, here we go again” variety from a lot of older users discounting my suggestions rather than expanding on them. It felt defeatist rather than an expression of an opinion.

Of course, that’s the problem of the internet – we all end up reading intention or agenda into posts that aren’t necessarily there…or don’t really matter. However, my experience put me off the Meta section in terms of discussing ideas with the community. It’s an emotional reaction more than anything else, but I think the beauty of the Meta section is that it’s a way to, in essence, do a customer-collaboration development survey instead of just a founder-only release-and-test.

Personally, I applaud @phoebusg for trying to use it in this way. We all take criticism personally at times, and when an idea is discounted when a user may be stating a concept he knows needs development, it defeats the purpose of growing the community, in my eyes.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@marinelife Then, I believe, @phoebusg does add value to Fluther. Personal opinion.

iamthemob's avatar

Indeed – looking at his contribution, his concern seems to be how we all can share better information more easily. Plus, you know – the random fun stuff we all want to ask about.

That’s my agenda too – and I admit it as an agenda. So I may be biased when I say “I think that’s pretty awesome” – but I do. ;-)

phoebusg's avatar

For everyone that may read mal-intent in either my question(s) or posting(s), know that it’s not what I intend. I try to follow the truth wherever it leads me. I think in the long term that benefits us more than just enabling each other and avoiding conflict. It will arise regardless, the question is, how do you make it constructive instead of destructive?

I’d still buy you all a beer, especially because I don’t drink. Even if I pay for it (driving everyone home). So do me a favor, don’t read mal-intent where there isn’t any. And don’t blame me if I ask why a million times on what you say and come up with a potential explanation.

I should be finishing my paper, so I’m going to “lock myself out”, but I’ll be back later. Enjoy :)

marinelife's avatar

@phoebusg Thanks for that.

Blondesjon's avatar

@Ivan . . . your mom’s a house

Coloma's avatar

Whew..that was a long read! lol

wundayatta's avatar

@phoebusg I’m wondering if you learned anything from your experience with your question about improving fluther and the discussion on this question. Do you see what kind of reactions you got to your question? Do you have any theories as to why you got these reactions? Do you care that you got such reactions? Is there anything you would do different in the future as a result of what you learned in these two questions?

The reason why I think these questions are important are probably obvious. We all have agendas. We want to get things done. Usually we don’t want to build hostility to ourselves or our ideas. I’m not sure what your motives are, because it seems to me that you do have a pattern of behavior that engenders hostility from a significant number of people. Perhaps that is your goal. Is it? But if not, you may want to study your writing and see if you can figure out why you are getting these reactions so often. Then maybe you’ll figure out what to do about it. You’re a smart guy. Maybe too smart. Sometimes really smart people think they can dispense with social niceties because their ideas are so clearly the best.

Your idea may well be the best. But, as I’m sure you must know, being the best is only about ten percent of what makes the sale. Ok, maybe twenty percent. People can’t see what’s best if they don’t hear the message, or are unwilling to hear the message because of how it is presented.

Ok. Far too many hints. Let me know what you think.

One more question. Do you like people who present themselves with an attitude? Especially an “I’m better than you because I’m so smart” attitude? Sometimes I think there’s an advantage in not knowing if you are very intelligent or not.

history's avatar

The origin of the chat and Meta section can be found here. A suggestion was made in public and it was listened to. Same thing goes for Permalinks and Timestamps. All those were brought up in public and after some teeth gnashing they are here.

iamthemob's avatar

@wundayatta – you’re assuming that he was trying to sell the idea, rather than develop it. That means it’s not a yes or no answer.

@Blondesjon – didn’t your wife ask this question a little while ago?

JilltheTooth's avatar

@phoebusg ‘s disclaimer notwithstanding, in both threads he repeatedly used the term “bandwaggoners” about those not agreeing with him; and his reference and link to “groupthink” in his post to @jonsblond was just snide and disrespectful. I, and I imagine most others here, don’t much like the ovine implications. We get what he’s saying, disagreement with his points doesn’t mean we’re sheep, or don’t want to make the site better, it just means we disagree with him.
Edit to add, Well said, Wundy, attitude is very important when trying to make a point.

marinelife's avatar

@JilltheTooth At the risk of being accused of “groupthink” again, well said.

iamthemob's avatar

@JilltheTooth – I agree, but again, it swings both ways. Bandwaggoning was not brought up until and in response to this:

“Perhaps you should stick around a little longer before wanting to redesign the whole site.”

Let’s be honest – that’s snide too. And it’s the kind of response I’ve received at times about similar questions.

I think that @phoebusg‘s tone at that point was straightforward, and read as being rude. Easy to do, of course…the internet again.

However, when we accuse people of causing a certain reaction, we’re often ignoring a cause of their reaction that we contributed to.

I’m not playing, or trying to play, “the blame game” here – but I really think that statements that suggest “no that can’t be done” or “it’s fine the way it is” without anything else don’t lead us to a better system.

chyna's avatar

@iamthemob I’m confused as to why you brought up a question @jonsblond asked?

Aethelwine's avatar

@iamthemob What does my previous question have to do with this? Not once was I rude to @phoebusg. When I asked that question, I had noticed many veteran users ganging up on new users with under 100 lurve. Many times the veterans were justified because the user was a troll, but that’s me always sticking up for the underdog and giving a person a chance. @phoebusg is not a new, and once again, I was never rude to him. btw My husband is not me.

iamthemob's avatar

@jonsblond – Your question regarded letting new members figuring things out without having the community react negatively to them. Your husband’s was about how they shouldn’t speak up until they learn (a harsher interpretation than how it was meant – but this thread was or at least appeared to be a reaction the the Meta question just before it).

They’re two viewpoints which I think should be brought closer together. They’re not mutually exclusive, but they can appear to be. Basically, we’re all playing the blame game at one point or another…I’ve done it I know.

And there are a couple of trolls that I hop on, and indeed…they deserve it. ;-)

Finally, and only because you claimed to have been “never rude” to @phoebusg, what about this?:

“Who is we, may I ask? I was not aware you were part of the Fluther team. Just curious.”

Again, tone is lacking on the internet. But this could clearly have been interpreted as a rhetorical question in reaction to his suggestion, implying “You don’t have a right to make suggestions like this unless….”

Now, knowing you, I know that wasn’t the intent. But it also seems like you were reading an arrogance into what he was saying that you wanted to point out.

And to top that off, I wasn’t claiming that you were rude, or meant to be. But we all, as @wundayatta suggested, need to look at how we say what we do, what context it was in, and what was said before by us and others that could lead to what we see as curt or arrogant language, etc., before we attribute that attitude to the person.

I know you to be a supportive person here – but would @phoebusg, and if not, couldn’t that statement be deemed passive aggressive by someone not understanding the intent?

Aethelwine's avatar

@iamthemob He was speaking as if he was part of the team, or so I thought. It was a misunderstanding on my part. It was not rude, I was curious if I had missed an addition to the Fluther team, that’s why I said “just curious” at the end, because I was. btw- you are pointing fingers.

If you have issues with the wording of my husband’s question, take it up with him and don’t throw in my past questions because they have nothing to do with this. We are two separate people. I can tell you this. My husband and I have been talking about how ridiculous it is because some veterans are upset about the quality of this site now, and they are taking it out on users with questions like @phoebusg,‘s blaming the users for their quality of questions and answers. I can direct you to an example if you’d like. I can’t speak for my husband, but he asked this after our little discussion. I’m thinking this was aimed at them. (wanting to change the site because it has gotten too retarded for them). If you look at my husband’s history of answering questions about change, you’ll see he has no problem with it, or with any newbs.

JilltheTooth's avatar

@iamthemob : On the other thread, the OP’s first reference to negativity was to @chyna when she asked him a reasonable question. His first reference to “bandwaggon” was also addressed to @chyna when she asked another reasonable question. He referred to @barnaclebill’s post discussing the conversational nature of many threads as “black and white thinking”. He accused @Seaofclouds three times of having an “agenda” because she was talking about the fact that the ebb and flow of a thread is totally up to individual users. The attribution of motives started with him. I don’t know anyone here who wants Fluther to stagnate, but to continuously accuse intelligent, responsive people who are taking the time to address your Q as being “negative”, or “black and white thinkers”, or “having an agenda” et al is just frankly disrespectful and inimical to the constructive ideas he kept saying he wantd.

chyna's avatar

@JilltheTooth Thanks for pointing that out. I thought the OP had an issue with me so I got off that thread. I don’t know the person, but he obviously had something against me.

phoebusg's avatar

@chyna you PMed me, I apologized in PM. I reacted to the rest of the negativism and the cannon ball also took you. Some people really can’t let go if found off track it seems. However long you take, take your time I suppose. I’ve learned a lot from this thread about groupthink on fluther – and I think it was necessary, but it’s becoming tiresome. I have other things to do and not enough energy to take on every “snipe”.

iamthemob's avatar

@jonsblond – “just curious” can sound very different in your head if there is a sassy tone added to it. That could be his misunderstanding. He doesn’t know if you’re just curious or saying that rhetorically. And it’s possible he was particularly defensive because there was a lot of “no, you just can’t do that” coming his way.

Your past question I threw back at him because someone answered it and it popped up in my activity. I realized that it was the perfect counterbalance that we have different reactions at different times, and therefore used it. The fact that you two were married was technically superfluous but contextually interesting. So it was more of a “happy accident.” If it was someone else’s question, I would have brought it up anyway. And that’s why I also directed it at him, and not you – because he is a different person.

I am not pointing fingers. I am attempting to point them back – one user gets accused of having a certain attitude, and I’m saying there were responses that he could have interpreted perhaps incorrectly that got this attitude. Like you, interpreting me as pointing fingers. I’m not…except in the way that I’m saying, “Shit, we all do it.”

Like you telling me not to use your past questions. It wasn’t because it was yours, it is because it was a good counter-discussion. But if you put it out there, I get to use it. And again, the only reason why is because it popped up in my activity just before.

@JilltheTooth – I went through the thread, and @chyna did ask a reasonable question…but it was after a bunch of “no’s” or “why do you think your idea was better” and therefore there was a context issue that could influence his reaction. When someone asks “how do we do it” I think an answer or response suggesting “we can’t” is negative, even though I again agree that @chyna had responded in an even tone, and wasn’t actively trying to be rude.

That is negative, it is black and white thinking. Saying that isn’t insulting, but saying it bluntly on the internet can be associated with a negative tone.

@chyna – As I stated above, stating that something is negative isn’t taking “issue” with it if it is raised merely as a fact. Boiled down, you asked him, “Do we really need this?” and referenced the previous critiques of the system even being improved. That’s negating the question…not rudely, but it is. So the description was accurate, and you can take it as it is.

Now, I started this off to say that nobody is to blame because we are all subject to misinterpretation, and all misinterpret the tone of what people say – especially with strong, blunt words. And I have been accused of finger-pointing, taking the side of the person who started the trouble, and lumping people together and using posts in an inappropriate manner. In my mind. And now, I feel ridiculously frustrated, and exit from further discussion. In the end, this is why I don’t use Meta for suggestions because I always feel like people think I’m an asshole when it’s all done.

chyna's avatar

@iamthemob If you feel nobody is to blame, it is funny you have chosen me, @JilltheTooth and @jonsblond to call out. Now I’m done following.

Aethelwine's avatar

@chyna Since we don’t have a mind of our own, jump in my wagon girlie. Let’s go have some fun. :)

Seaofclouds's avatar

Just for the record, when I originally answered this questions, I was not thinking of @phoebusg‘s question at all. I was thinking of past questions with @iamthemob and a few other users. I think it’s funny that some people instantly tied my response here to his question considering that was not the case.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

OH MY GOD, CAN’T WE ALL JUST DRINK EACH OTHER’S MILKSHAKES AND GET ALONG?

CyanoticWasp's avatar

Hear hear, @WillWorkForChocolate. My sentiments exactly. What the fuck happened to the fucking Christmas spirit, anyway?

JilltheTooth's avatar

Do sheep drink milkshakes? <baaaah> I’m willing to try!

ucme's avatar

“What happened to the christmas spirit?” I drank…hic…it all…hic….thatsh what hap…happ…hic happened to it…hic!! :¬)

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

@ucme Is there any left at all?

JilltheTooth's avatar

@ucme : Eggnog milkshakes?

ucme's avatar

@WillWorkForChocolate Oh yeah, no worries. A limitless supply for all who want some :¬)

ucme's avatar

@JilltheTooth Ewwwww, i’ll pass thanks :¬(

Coloma's avatar

I’m still having coffee on the west coast at 7:42 a.m. but I’ll be happy to hostess happy hour later! lol

My two cents….while being open to change one must also be aware if they are coming across as controlling.

As almost is always the case, timing is everything.

The first week of a new job is probably not the right time to start criticizing ones place of employment and staff. lol

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

@ucme Awesome! I’ll take mine with a little Baileys!

CyanoticWasp's avatar

@jonsblond I was kinda hoping for a pizza with pepperoni slices arranged in a heart shape. But a leg of lamb wrapped in an ugly sweater is okay. It’s the thought that counts.

JilltheTooth's avatar

@jonsblond ; Love it! Since you’re the first accused of “group think” does that make you the Santa Sheep ?

ucme's avatar

@WillWorkForChocolate De luck of de oirish to ya!

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

See? Isn’t this a much nicer conversation? Booze and food and sharing? :P

ucme's avatar

Ho Ho Ho! :¬)

Aethelwine's avatar

@JilltheTooth link didn’t work for me. :( Can there be a leader in a herd of sheep? Is that possible? ;)

JilltheTooth's avatar

@jonsblond: Damn. It’s pretty cute, too. It works for me when I check, don’t know why you can’t get it. Maybe we need a Border Collie. Or, wait! Zup’s a herding dog! Let’s let him lead!
<—- Zup

Coloma's avatar

The black sheep is always the leader. lol

Blondesjon's avatar

<—secretly very amused

i guess not so secret now

JilltheTooth's avatar

Thanks for asking this, @Blondesjon , I had fun! And I guess I must be one of the “lurve whores” mentioned somewhere by someone because I’m delighted to have had a chance to acquire so much! XP

Aethelwine's avatar

@Blondesjon you know I try to refrain from PDA here with you (don’t want to sicken everyone), but…. I <3 You.

PoppingBoner's avatar

I am amused too. Seems like a post that turned to to a brown nosing session. ;-)

wundayatta's avatar

Ah yes, @PoppingBoner, you who don’t have the fortitude to have this comment associated with your real fluther name. Amusement does not get you off the hook.

PoppingBoner's avatar

But it does get me off. ;-)

And, real is subjective. Apparently not from your point of view. ;-)

wundayatta's avatar

@PoppingBoner Oops. Real is subjective. I should have said the name most of us know you by. And yeah, I left you with a wonderful straight line. I wondered if you were going to pick up on that.

Anyway, maybe it’s time for you to pop off and have a snack. Or something.

PoppingBoner's avatar

Not without a kiss. :-)

I like notorious. So fitting

iamthemob's avatar

He’s gone now. Did he eat himself?

did I get it right?

wundayatta's avatar

@iamthemob Fuckin brilliant!!!

iamthemob's avatar

I think he’s returned as a celestial phenomenon though.

JilltheTooth's avatar

Thinking our celestial phenomenon has the flavor of another one. This is turning into a game.

Paradox's avatar

You can never please every single person at one time. I guess it comes down to you either like it or leave it. Perhaps suggestions don’t hurt but not every suggestion can become reality at the same time. You’ll never please everyone and this is true for any other website or even in the real world.

prolificus's avatar

When I was younger, I had a habit of making suggestions at work within the first few months. My suggestions almost always involved ways to improve “policies and procedures.” When I offered these, it wasn’t with the intention of usurping authority or making change for change’s sake. Mostly, I offered suggestions because I was trying to increase productivity and simplify procedures. These ideas made sense in my head; they seemed to be beneficial for my area of control. I was deeply disappointed and frustrated when the big boss not only shot down my ideas, but coldly told me to work with the system already in place. Specifically, she advised me of the need for uniformity of “policies and procedures” within a large organization, and basically told me there was no room for creativity even if the purpose was to increase productivity and simplify procedures. Fortunately, six months later I was laid off and ended up working for companies which allowed creative expression.

On a personal level, I have cringed countless times when my mom “lovingly” made suggestions about how I should do x, y, or z. She thrives as a creative person, a problem-solver, who loves to decorate, tinker, and fix things. Without fail, she will ask at some point, “May I make a suggestion?” This comes from the woman who has retold numerous times the story of frustration and annoyance she had with her mother who decorated her (my mom’s) first apartment without permission!

After 30 plus years of feeling utterly frustrated with my mom’s advice-giving “may I make a suggestion,” I have come to the conclusion mother’s behavior neither conveys rudeness nor controlling (when it comes to making suggestions only!). Instead, I’ve realized she abounds with creative ideas and exudes resourcefulness. (Especially after a recent two-week visit, I’ve learned to say “thank you for the idea… that’s something to consider” as opposed to getting hot-headed while trying to defend my turf!)

I’ve provided these two examples to illustrate the point-of-view of someone who has experienced the consequences of offering and receiving suggestions in unwelcoming environments. I do not know if I was a newbie when I posted a Meta question about a wish list for Fluther, but I do know I approached as someone who’s creative and thoughtful with a desire to “make better.” On one hand, I do understand the need to learn the environment (system) first before making suggestions. On the other hand, when someone new approaches with a different perspective, I think it is important to hear suggestions (ideas) the newbie has to offer. The newbie’s intentions may be something as benign as trying to increase involvement (productivity) and simplify user interface (procedures). Personally, I’d rather be open to new ideas (suggestions) than be easily offended when some newbie “rudely approaches the Fluther Kingdom with suggestions (off with their heads!).”

I’ve learned if I’m protective of my turf, then suggestions feel rude and threatening. Conversely, I’ve learned if I’m secure in my turf, then suggestions feel like resourceful ideas for me to handle as I see fit.

YARNLADY's avatar

@prolificus I’ve learned if I’m protective of my turf, then suggestions feel rude and threatening. Conversely, I’ve learned if I’m secure in my turf, then suggestions feel like resourceful ideas for me to handle as I see fit. Good Answer that bears repeating.

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