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Courtesy and Respect . . . and Tolerance

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  • Kenneth
    I want to thank those who have expressed their concern about the tone of some recent posts. I had wanted to bring up the topic yesterday after reading some
    Message 1 of 3 , Oct 16, 2002
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      I want to thank those who have expressed their concern about the tone of some recent posts.  I had wanted to bring up the topic yesterday after reading some messages over the weekend, however, I was away from the computer most of the day and wasn't able to.

      Let me just share my thoughts about forums and what I expect of this group.

      I've been participating in and, in some cases, moderating chatrooms, message forums, and email lists since 1996.  In these six years, I've seen plenty of online arguments and have even had the misfortune of engaging in some. 

      I've also observed that many of these arguments occur because of problems and misunderstandings that arise due to the nature of online communication.  That is, we can't hear and see what the person is saying when they're saying it. 

      For instance, a statement that is meant to evoke a laugh may easily evoke anger instead if it's missing something as simple as a smiley.  Also, most of us think quicker than we type and sometimes we may leave out a thought or statement while typing that changes the meaning entirely of what we do manage to type.  I noticed this just last week in another group.

      Another frequent cause of online arguments is that we are just very different people with different experiences and different ways of expressing ourselves online.  Some of us may be used to forceful debates where a participants every statement is scrutinized and challenged, often with irony and sarcasm.  For example, if you've ever read any of the letters of St. Jerome or Martin Luther, you'd probably find their tone to be downright insulting.  However, the fact is that they (usually) meant no offense but were only writing in what was then a common style of rhetoric.

      Then there's the simple fact that sometimes we just aren't at our best.  Sometimes we have bad days and take it out on each other only to regret it deeply later.

      So . . . what do I expect of this group?

      First, I don't want anyone to feel inhibited here.  I want people to feel that they can always express themselves, ask questions, and state their opinions without having to somehow alter their personality. 

      However, I don't think it's asking too much that we attempt to keep our posts courteous and respectful.  Granted, we won't always agree with each other, and sometimes we may find that we don't even like each other, but we should still be able to express ourselves and our disagreements without being disrespectful of others.

      Keep in mind though that this is often a difficult means of communication.  As I've said, sometimes our posts don't come across the way we intended, so let's try to give each other the benefit of the doubt, at least initially, and not be too quick to take offense.  If it becomes clear that someone is being offensive, let me know by emailing me at TolkienDiscussions-owner@yahoogroups.com.

      I'll post some more detailed posting guidelines in another message shortly.

      Kenneth

       



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    • Arwen Undomiel
      I would like to say I very much agree with the guidelines you gave, and thatnk you for setting them in place! Arwen ... tone of some recent posts. I had
      Message 2 of 3 , Oct 16, 2002
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        I would like to say I very much agree with the guidelines you gave,
        and thatnk you for setting them in place!
        Arwen

        --- In TolkienDiscussions@y..., Kenneth <justkenneth@y...> wrote:
        >
        > I want to thank those who have expressed their concern about the
        tone of some recent posts. I had wanted to bring up the topic
        yesterday after reading some messages over the weekend, however, I
        was away from the computer most of the day and wasn't able to.
        >
        > Let me just share my thoughts about forums and what I expect of
        this group.
        >
        > I've been participating in and, in some cases, moderating
        chatrooms, message forums, and email lists since 1996. In these six
        years, I've seen plenty of online arguments and have even had the
        misfortune of engaging in some.
        >
        > I've also observed that many of these arguments occur because of
        problems and misunderstandings that arise due to the nature of online
        communication. That is, we can't hear and see what the person is
        saying when they're saying it.
        >
        > For instance, a statement that is meant to evoke a laugh may easily
        evoke anger instead if it's missing something as simple as a smiley.
        Also, most of us think quicker than we type and sometimes we may
        leave out a thought or statement while typing that changes the
        meaning entirely of what we do manage to type. I noticed this just
        last week in another group.
        >
        > Another frequent cause of online arguments is that we are just very
        different people with different experiences and different ways of
        expressing ourselves online. Some of us may be used to forceful
        debates where a participants every statement is scrutinized and
        challenged, often with irony and sarcasm. For example, if you've
        ever read any of the letters of St. Jerome or Martin Luther, you'd
        probably find their tone to be downright insulting. However, the
        fact is that they (usually) meant no offense but were only writing in
        what was then a common style of rhetoric.
        >
        > Then there's the simple fact that sometimes we just aren't at our
        best. Sometimes we have bad days and take it out on each other only
        to regret it deeply later.
        >
        > So . . . what do I expect of this group?
        >
        > First, I don't want anyone to feel inhibited here. I want people
        to feel that they can always express themselves, ask questions, and
        state their opinions without having to somehow alter their
        personality.
        >
        > However, I don't think it's asking too much that we attempt to keep
        our posts courteous and respectful. Granted, we won't always agree
        with each other, and sometimes we may find that we don't even like
        each other, but we should still be able to express ourselves and our
        disagreements without being disrespectful of others.
        >
        > Keep in mind though that this is often a difficult means of
        communication. As I've said, sometimes our posts don't come across
        the way we intended, so let's try to give each other the benefit of
        the doubt, at least initially, and not be too quick to take offense.
        If it becomes clear that someone is being offensive, let me know by
        emailing me at TolkienDiscussions-owner@y...
        >
        > I'll post some more detailed posting guidelines in another message
        shortly.
        >
        > Kenneth
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > JustKenneth's Homepage
        >
        >
        > ---------------------------------
        > Do you Yahoo!?
        > Faith Hill - Exclusive Performances, Videos, & more
        > faith.yahoo.com
      • Sharon
        Agreed, on all counts! Thanks. Sharon ... six ... online ... easily ... smiley. ... very ... in ... only ... keep ... our ... offense. ... message
        Message 3 of 3 , Oct 16, 2002
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          Agreed, on all counts! Thanks.

          Sharon

          --- In TolkienDiscussions@y..., "Arwen Undomiel" <arwen1858@y...>
          wrote:
          > I would like to say I very much agree with the guidelines you gave,
          > and thatnk you for setting them in place!
          > Arwen
          >
          > --- In TolkienDiscussions@y..., Kenneth <justkenneth@y...> wrote:
          > >
          > > I want to thank those who have expressed their concern about the
          > tone of some recent posts. I had wanted to bring up the topic
          > yesterday after reading some messages over the weekend, however, I
          > was away from the computer most of the day and wasn't able to.
          > >
          > > Let me just share my thoughts about forums and what I expect of
          > this group.
          > >
          > > I've been participating in and, in some cases, moderating
          > chatrooms, message forums, and email lists since 1996. In these
          six
          > years, I've seen plenty of online arguments and have even had the
          > misfortune of engaging in some.
          > >
          > > I've also observed that many of these arguments occur because of
          > problems and misunderstandings that arise due to the nature of
          online
          > communication. That is, we can't hear and see what the person is
          > saying when they're saying it.
          > >
          > > For instance, a statement that is meant to evoke a laugh may
          easily
          > evoke anger instead if it's missing something as simple as a
          smiley.
          > Also, most of us think quicker than we type and sometimes we may
          > leave out a thought or statement while typing that changes the
          > meaning entirely of what we do manage to type. I noticed this just
          > last week in another group.
          > >
          > > Another frequent cause of online arguments is that we are just
          very
          > different people with different experiences and different ways of
          > expressing ourselves online. Some of us may be used to forceful
          > debates where a participants every statement is scrutinized and
          > challenged, often with irony and sarcasm. For example, if you've
          > ever read any of the letters of St. Jerome or Martin Luther, you'd
          > probably find their tone to be downright insulting. However, the
          > fact is that they (usually) meant no offense but were only writing
          in
          > what was then a common style of rhetoric.
          > >
          > > Then there's the simple fact that sometimes we just aren't at our
          > best. Sometimes we have bad days and take it out on each other
          only
          > to regret it deeply later.
          > >
          > > So . . . what do I expect of this group?
          > >
          > > First, I don't want anyone to feel inhibited here. I want people
          > to feel that they can always express themselves, ask questions, and
          > state their opinions without having to somehow alter their
          > personality.
          > >
          > > However, I don't think it's asking too much that we attempt to
          keep
          > our posts courteous and respectful. Granted, we won't always agree
          > with each other, and sometimes we may find that we don't even like
          > each other, but we should still be able to express ourselves and
          our
          > disagreements without being disrespectful of others.
          > >
          > > Keep in mind though that this is often a difficult means of
          > communication. As I've said, sometimes our posts don't come across
          > the way we intended, so let's try to give each other the benefit of
          > the doubt, at least initially, and not be too quick to take
          offense.
          > If it becomes clear that someone is being offensive, let me know by
          > emailing me at TolkienDiscussions-owner@y...
          > >
          > > I'll post some more detailed posting guidelines in another
          message
          > shortly.
          > >
          > > Kenneth
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