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Old 05-07-2009, 05:13 PM   #61
Daithi
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I can understand why Ea is upset.

When the Conservatory for first proposed the idea was shot down by the moderators. Then it was put to a vote and overwhelming the Mobileread community voted in favor of the the Conservatory. Now it is being shutdown because "private" messages were sent to Alex indicating they didn't like the tone. Then the Conservatory was closed with no warning whatsoever. Try looking at it from Ea's perspective and maybe you can see why he feels shafted.
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Old 05-07-2009, 05:13 PM   #62
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Originally Posted by Alexander Turcic View Post
It's been a challenging week for me and I like to tell you why. As many of you know, about a month ago we added a new forum, the Conservatory, which was meant as a place to discuss off-topic subjects with a certain seriousness, which some have found lacking in our generally well-perceived Lounge. Proponents of the Conservatory argued that it was important to have a place where discussions were kept relevant to the original topic. They also argued that discussions in the lounge were often being hijacked. As a result, the Conservatory was created.

So good in theory. Unfortunately, the Conservatory (and lack of moderation of thereof) went out of hand. I received plenty of honest messages from concerned members who feared that the atmosphere at MobileRead was going to profoundly change with the kind of threads introduced in the new section. Indeed, many of the "serious" discussions started there just seemed to initiate uncomfortable arguments. In effect, even some of our long-standing members began to express their worry about how they should react to the ongoing debates and apparent change in atmosphere.

I take the full blame for not having considered the potential danger in subdividing off-topic discussions into different forum sections. Fact is, MobileRead is a popular online community where e-book fans unite to share their experience with e-books and related technologies. Here lies our focus and it should be treated as such. As for the bulk of the recent "heavy" off-topic discussions - I believe they should be left to the millions of other forums on the Net.

Today I closed the Conservatory. All existing discussions were moved to the Lounge. In addition, a new optional thread prefix has been added depicting when a thread owner wishes to keep a discussion relevant.

Fans of the Conservatory are invited to start a new social group where they can chat in a more private environment about those topics dearest to them.

Lastly, I would like to apologize to everyone who felt personally alienated by the previous change in atmosphere. I promise: I will try my best to listen to all of you and to guarantee that MobileRead stays as friendly and social as it is best known for.

Cheers,
Alex
Yea!!!!!! Glad to hear it! Maybe I'll feel welcome to wander back in from time to time (that is, if I actually get any time).

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Old 05-07-2009, 05:15 PM   #63
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There is an aspect here which has been alluded to; this is Alex's house, so his rules apply.

If all decisions become referenda, and are opened for debate between a site's members then you have the rough equivalent of the Iranian Parliament, i.e. a riot in a shed. It's an unsatisfactory way to conduct policy on an open forum; likely to raise more dissent than this clearly explained decision has. The moderators on all sites are unpaid, occasionally unloved, but generally appreciated. Their task is akin to walking a very fine wire every time they write on a topic. Opinions expressed by them without a moderators hat on may be interpreted as 'the opinion of the management'. Consequently they are usually damned if they do and damned if they don't.

Decisions made in the best interests of a site and the majority of the membership are occasionally controversial and may light a fire under somebody's feet. That's part of life's rich pageant. Mature deliberation usually, I repeat usually, finds the aggrieved member/s reconciling themselves to the situation, as it is invariably beneficial to everybody.

When I have encountered similar situations before I have suggested that the offended member utilise his/her mouse, take a wander through the internettyweb; have a look at the myriad of other sites on offer and then make a decision. I do not intend the previous sentence to offend, simply to explain that there are places which welcome controversial debate and argument.
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Old 05-07-2009, 05:15 PM   #64
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Well, here is a secret... I was one among those who felt increasingly anxious about the content of the Conservatory. Should I have ignored my own feelings as administrator of this community? I think not.
Do you mean the content or the tone? I really do not get what it was that upset people. I participate in discussions in other places on the net and the Conservatory seemed just like a standard discussion place. And if you discuss certain topics you will get polarized opinions and sometimes bad arguments but so what?
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Old 05-07-2009, 05:16 PM   #65
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If you all remember, there was a huge discussion before starting the new forum and Alex and the Mods decided to give it a try. The fact that it didn't work for the majority of the people is the reason it was removed.
Kaz, i accept Alex's decision - but i can hardly see that "majority".

Last edited by netseeker; 05-07-2009 at 05:20 PM.
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Old 05-07-2009, 05:19 PM   #66
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to explain that there are places which welcome controversial debate and argument.
Oh, I thought MobileRead was such a place. My mistake but since the rules are not written anywhere it is hard to get them correctly.
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Old 05-07-2009, 05:19 PM   #67
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[quote=Bilbo1967;450568]You mean people might think twice about using blatantly sexist terms like 'boys club' in a derogatory manner


Oops! Sorry! It's a southern thing. They say our politicians are from the "old boys' club" style of governing. A few career politicians who have been re-elected for 50 years and refuse to change with the times. The phrase is negative and refers to excluding anyone whose opinions differ. I'll change the comment.
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Old 05-07-2009, 05:21 PM   #68
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Originally Posted by Bilbo1967 View Post
As an example, if I had stated that a good reason for closing a forum was because it was 'a bit girly', I'm pretty sure I'd have been run out of town on a rail pretty damn quickly.
Nah, we'd have just stuck a pink bow on your avatar and let you join in the fun.

On Topic:

I voted for the new forum but didn't use it (well I posted once accidentally). Some of the thread titles were so dark that I opted not to read any of the threads in the Conservatory. It didn't seem to be developing into the type of forum I envisioned when I voted for its creation . I've recently peeked at a few posts there because of references to people having problems related to arguments in that particular forum.

I have no problem with its demise. I appreciate that Alex listened to us and gave it a try.
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Old 05-07-2009, 05:23 PM   #69
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Originally Posted by netseeker View Post
Kaz, i accept Alex's decision - but i can't hardly see that "majority".
Although it would probably take a great deal of time, I would imagine if you went back through the threads of the former Conservatory, you would see that most of the posts were from the same subset of posters to MR. Whenever I looked through the topics to see if I had something to contribute, it seemed like I saw the same names over and over again. That was the minority to which I was refering. Forgive me if I am making a bit of an assumption based on my perceptions. I was trying to help clarify Alex's decision making process.

I look at is as I stated before Alex is the owner and it should be "his way or the highway." Simply put, but true.
Kaz
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Old 05-07-2009, 05:23 PM   #70
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As one of the vociferous vipers in the Conservatory, I found that even I didn't like the tone and bailed out. I'm currently doing penance by writing a new Red....
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Old 05-07-2009, 05:24 PM   #71
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I have nothing but support for Alexander on this topic, and I believe he has no reason to shoulder any blame whatsoever for the arguments that went on inside that thread. It is 'our' fault, and by 'our' I am blaming mostly myself. They say you should never discuss Politics and Religion, unfortunately the Conservatory became heavily intertwined with opinions on both. These are hot-topic issues and have caused more ill-will between people since the Conservatory began than any other 'copyright/fight' post that came before.

I will be the first to hold up my hand and say that, despite my better judgement, I acted with a gut-reaction to that thread when one of my cherished beliefs was called into question, as I suspect many others did too. But Mobileread is no place for those arguments, and it never should have been in the first place. As Alexander has said, and I couldn't agree more if I tried, there are plenty of other forums where you can discuss those topics, but there is only Mobileread where you can in turns discuss the copyright/fight debate, the merits (or demerits) of DRM and then laugh your socks off at some sillyness in the lounge.

I for one, am glad to see the back of it and Alexander has all of my support in his decision, which I beleive to be the right one.

Now it's time to heal some of those rifts that were caused due to the nature of the Conservatory and get on with what we all love, reading and sharing that passion with each other.
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Old 05-07-2009, 05:27 PM   #72
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Originally Posted by Daithi View Post
Then it was put to a vote and overwhelming the Mobileread community voted in favor of the the Conservatory.
This is not true. It is not the Mobileread community as a whole who voted, but only those who felt strongly for or against the new forum section.

I see that there are people who may have enjoyed aspects the Conservatory. I can only repeat: When I have to make a difficult decision, I must keep the community as a whole in mind. In this particular case I believe that the community as a whole is better off without the Conservatory.
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Old 05-07-2009, 05:27 PM   #73
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Originally Posted by Moejoe View Post
I have nothing but support for Alexander on this topic, and I believe he has no reason to shoulder any blame whatsoever for the arguments that went on inside that thread. It is 'our' fault, and by 'our' I am blaming mostly myself. They say you should never discuss Politics and Religion, unfortunately the Conservatory became heavily intertwined with opinions on both. These are hot-topic issues and have caused more ill-will between people since the Conservatory began than any other 'copyright/fight' post that came before.

I will be the first to hold up my hand and say that, despite my better judgement, I acted with a gut-reaction to that thread when one of my cherished beliefs was called into question, as I suspect many others did too. But Mobileread is no place for those arguments, and it never should have been in the first place. As Alexander has said, and I couldn't agree more if I tried, there are plenty of other forums where you can discuss those topics, but there is only Mobileread where you can in turns discuss the copyright/fight debate, the merits (or demerits) of DRM and then laugh your socks off at some sillyness in the lounge.

I for one, am glad to see the back of it and Alexander has all of my support in his decision, which I beleive to be the right one.

Now it's time to heal some of those rifts that were caused due to the nature of the Conservatory and get on with what we all love, reading and sharing that passion with each other.
Well said.
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Old 05-07-2009, 05:29 PM   #74
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Originally Posted by kazbates View Post
I look at is as I stated before Alex is the owner and it should be "his way or the highway." Simply put, but true.
Kaz
I can sympathize with Ea's position [edit: tompe made good points too], but bottom line, I agree with Kaz. It's Alex's site and I have no problem going along with his decision.

Last edited by Daithi; 05-07-2009 at 05:31 PM.
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Old 05-07-2009, 05:30 PM   #75
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Now it's time to heal some of those rifts that were caused due to the nature of the Conservatory and get on with what we all love, reading and sharing that passion with each other.
thank you moejoe, for that very thoughtful post. i really hope that we can keep the last sentence in mind and move on together very quickly to more positive discussions here.
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