Skip to comments.Mod Lecture Series- Freeper Community Update
Posted on 10/26/2009 4:32:01 PM PDT by Admin Moderator
This is a public service announcement from your friendly neighborhood Admin Moderators (Sidebar gave us some attitude so we shoved him in the closet for a while. He never recovered from the Yacht incident) For a while, we have noticed some things happening that we need your help with. The Free Republic community is strong; we are almost a family, albeit very dysfunctional at times. Like any community, we have new members joining us daily. Unfortunately, the air of suspicion and the desire to keep things the way they are has fostered a feeling of distrust with new members. Almost every day, we see new members join, then, because of comments of suspicion, they often dont return. For any community to thrive, it must grow. Because of this, we are asking for your help. Here are some important things you should know:
The Internet has changed greatly since Free Republic first started. When we formed, few people had their own websites, now, everyone has their own blog. With this, there is an attitude change where someone who doesnt understand how our community works may be more interested in self-promotion than we have been used to in the past. We dont want to change the overall feel of this site- it is about our shared values, not about self promotion, however, we dont want to drive people away simply because they link to their own blog. There are blog pimps who want nothing more than to promote their own sites, but for most people, it is simply how they start out sharing their thoughts on a matter. Encourage these members to take part in existing discussions.
Many new members may not communicate well what they believe and it gives the appearance they are not 100% kosher in their Conservative beliefs. This may have nothing to do with their Conservative credentials but simply how they are communicating their beliefs or how the media/pop culture has told them what to think. Be an example and discuss what you think is wrong. A liberal trolls true colors will reveal themselves while a new member who is honest, but may not communicate well, may learn from the conversation.
Remember, how you respond to a topic not only reflects your thoughts, but also is a reflection of the community and Conservative values. We need to be an example of positive conservative values when responding to members, especially new ones. As mods, we make a strong attempt to screen all new members. Every new sign-up goes through a period where their posts are reviewed. This helps us eliminate most trolls, porn and commercial spammers, and those who dont fit in with our Conservative values. This isnt a perfect system, but it does help us make sure that by the time a new member reaches the community, there is a greater chance this person is the type we want around. Some slip through, yes, and you can always help us by hitting the abuse button. (of course, we do let some world class morons through every once in a while as Live Chow- after all, the kitties have to have toys.)
With all that said, we need to grow. We need to be far more welcoming to new members and guide them into how to use our community best. With this said, we are issuing a challenge to our long time Freeper family. We would like to start up a welcome wagon type of ping list or group whose job it is to welcome new members, show them the ropes, and guide them through our community. This could be as simply as giving new members a kind welcome, guiding them to how to post topics or replies, or just making the experience pleasant.
As this is your community, we would like your thoughts, ideas, and most importantly, for some of you to step up and help us with this.
We are passing the ball to you. What do you think?
1. Search engine that works.
2. Modern posting system that does not require arcane gyrations to embed pictures.
3. Did I mention a search engine that works?
We need these.
Lead Mod joined the church of Scientology. She is currently going through extensive auditing.
Or, in the interest of supporting the forum we could link the posting of new threads to the commitment of at least $1.00 per month in monthy donations to FR. Non-donators could comment but not start new threads.
I'm sure most would donate more, but JimRob posted just the other day that there are so many FReepers that if each contributed $1.00 per month we'd never have to have FReepathons.
I’m talking about the OCD some people exhibit with regard to things they don’t like and the need to pound their message into the ground and ping all their like minded pals everytime the subject of their hatred comes up so they can all pig pile on the offender. It’s possible to make one’s case without being insulting or derisive, but some FR regulars don’t get that.
Now, having said that, once we're 110% sure we have a flaming troll on the barbie, is it now OK to download the F-bomb on them? (Hey, life calls for some sort of compromise and reciprocation with all involved parties, does it not? )
Thanks for the remembrances. Things were on a much smaller scale back then and I guess in all honesty we looked out for each other. I always enjoyed that phase of FreeRepublic.
Today we have a much different climate and as the admin stated the internet has changed drastically in its capabilities/usage and design. It’s a quicker, faster response and many more have input to either praise or disparge.
I now find myself limiting my posting to select topics that may interest me that given day. I still help when I can but it’s not the same in today’s environment.
Anyway thanks for the kind words and you have a nice evening.
In my early days I posted a reply on a thread and made a misstatement. Very quickly, hoardes of folks stopped by, not so much to correct me, but to belittle me. It was hard trying recognize that most Freepers were actually pretty decent folk.
I see newbies getting this treatment today and I feel sorry for them and embarrassed for FR. We ought to cut folks some slack, and by all mean, beat them up if they truly turn out to be trolls, etc.
I appreciate this thread. This should cut down considerably the FReepmail I get from angry FReepers on the Religion Forum calling the VK to ZOT this HERETIC or that APOSTATE.
What about sending a FReepmail welcome letter to any new user with FR mission statement, FReeper etiquette hints, and links to html sandbox and FR acronyms?
I'll do it... but it just seems a waste...
Are you series?
Being nice is nice...but, I flat refuse to join hands and sing Kumbya or It’s a small world after all...maybe a good drinking song would be ok.
As it stands it is almost impossible to "fit in" without lurking for a number of months then screwing your courage to the sticking place before offering yourself for sacrifice at the discretion of the FReeper's mood that day. And I say this as someone who LOVES this site!
A bit of a leash and training for noobies plus a little (maybe just a tiny bit) of restraint on the part of us with more experience (I only have one year here) might make things a little easier for good conservatives to get up to speed and discourage trolls and idiots from bothering us so much.
You misspelled "horde."
Should have known something was up when she started posting all the Tom Cruise threads.
In my case, I arrived here because someone who I greatly admired suggested I stop in. Once here, I was very impressed with the high level of discourse, compared to the places I haunted at the time.
I was so impressed, in fact, that I simply didn't join for about a year, but read here every week. By the time I actually joined, I had a very good feel for the community, and didn't make any egregious newbie errors in posting.
To tell you the truth, I'm sometimes surprised at the abandon with which some new people dive right in, on day one, before ever really getting a feel for the place.
Naturally, a lot of those newbies make terrible faux pas, right from the start, and are quickly sighted down on as trolls.
I was like you when I started, cautious and careful what I said, and so pleased when I started getting replies! Lol
Don't think in all my years here, that I've ever seen as many new signups as we've had in 2008 and 2009, and I have been amazed that they seem to post so many of the threads! To join and immediately post a thread 'might' make some suspicious.
My main complaint with some new FReepers is ‘language’, there seems to be more bad language. Even if ‘dashes or symbols’ are used it is clear what the meaning is. When some use profanity, it seems to incite others to follow suit. I can't help but feel that many new Freepers are very young when they do this.
I saw a new FReeper post in the middle of the night and in a less than 15 word sentence she had three cuss words about needing some wine!
I try to stay away from 'Michelle' threads because the meanness does bother me. Save the hate for the deeds, there are plenty to choose from.
One change I'd recommend is banning anyone who posts "see my tagline[sic]". C'mon! If you have to draw attention to it then it isn't so hot in the first place, is it!
Oh, include for banishment those who post "I re-did [sic] my tagline[sic]" - after which the reader is instructed to *GASP* "see my new tagline[sic]".
And two week suspension for using 'tagline' rather than 'tag line'.
Other than that I will certainly do my part in making new members feel at ease and comfortable here.
OK, you’ve gone too far now. I’m gonna have to do an opus.
A post full of it. It being Common Sense.
Have a “new members only” thread to introduce themselves as well an information thread about what Free Republic is about.
I like floggings.
Make it a good one. The last few have been really weak and not really worth ridiculing.
Well that explains the "10 minutes in Heaven" FReepmail I got.
An initiation? Cool!
xzins, please be a good fellow and help Darksheare dress the Wombats in their armor whilst I go heat up the 50 gallon vat of custard.
Will somebody please set up the trampoline?
Damn, Crip. You've never recovered from whatever happened on that thread, have you?
Go on - post another vanity. Really, I'd love to read it. I'll bet it'd be a good one. I even promise not to call the Vanity Police on ya ...
In the new spirit of FR friendliness, let me be of assistance, noob.
It's bad manners to talk about people without pinging them.
Oh, and for the record, I should hope that supporters of McCain, Romney, and other RINOs/DIABLOs feel unwelcome on FR!
Ok, I’ll be nice...
[there are so many FReepers that if each contributed $1.00 per month we’d never have to have FReepathons.]
I’ve written that on threads before with not a single reply! How easy it could be!
Yeah, I was nailed last week for being a “newbie.” I have been here for more than a year.
JimRob agrees but I'm not at all sure he wants to change the volunteer system.
I'm relatively new, I pay a very modest monthly fee now but started with just a few small donations at first. Because I know there are thousands of FReepers that find it hard to give much I try to think of ways (they might not be good ways) to help increase FR funding. Jim has been very responsive to my ideas but always indicates that he likes it as it is. It's his site and I feel less guilty about posting a lot now that I am at least monthly.
Getting a *lot* of small monthlies could go a long way toward helping out FR IMO.
We need these.
Man, I would so love for JimRob to add a WYSIWYG editor here. Would make putting up interesting-looking posts a breeze if we didn't have to use HTML for everything (including a simple paragraph break).
One thing that REALLY gets me fired up is when someone new asks an innocent vanity question, this person is called a troll and is ridiculed. The real trolls are obvious but the newbies aren’t aware how spastic some members are with the ZOT.
Name the names, CG.
My first and only thread posting was a vanity.
You’ve posted a total of 1 thread and 66,163 replies.
Try again it can’t be any harder than this one.........
Freepathons ain’t bringin’ in the cash like they used to, Eh? We need more Newb Blood? (Monthly donor here; part of the solution, not part of the problem.)
Fine. I won’t call out the Noobs. Actually, as Moderator, that’s YOUR job, so since I’m already tapped out, pulling the wagon that all the other FREELOADERS here are riding in these days, I’ll stop doing your job, too.
How’s dat? ;)
Romney gave his state RomneyCare. Right now we have another guy trying to install something like it in the nation. As Conservatives I hope we agree that this is wrong.
Why would I possibly support Mitt Romney. Why would I be anything but miffed that a guy tries to pass himself off as a Conservative, but still pushes this junk?
As for McCain, I’m not going to waste my time listing all the things he has praised Obama for doing. It makes me sick to my stomach thinking that guy could be our president.
So yes, I guess that makes me an evil angry person alright. Imagine that, I’m one of those sickos that actually thinks our Constitution is almost sacred, and that it should be upheld.
God forbid anyone on the right should want me on their side. /s
How could I oppose Romney and McCain like I do? I’m so damned ugly...
I think its an indicator.
Actually, in our conversations, donations never came up. This is out of frustration seeing some potentially good people sign up and after a few comments, were driven off simply because they didn’t understand our culture.
For most, this isn’t about doing more, it is simply about being civil and understanding how internet communities are changing.
No, he wants to stay on donations only and I agree. A ‘paid’ forum operates under a different set of rules AND regulations.
I prefer mail in checks so I send a check for three months at a time.
Looks like you were able to recognize your own unfortunate approach to communicating without me having to say your name at all.
If the laws, regulations, etc change then I see it. He hadn’t mentioned that.
There is a forum on this site called...”Bloggers and Personal”. That’s what it’s called. Seriously.
Now I am a Blogger but I also am a prolific poster on this site. I understand that prolific doesn’t necessarily mean good or even desireable but go with me here, I don’t post a link to my Blog once a week and run off. I actively participate in discussions and many enjoy what I offer.
But I simply cannot win. I go to this part of the forum called, again, read it...BLOGGERS AND PERSONAL. Silly me, this makes me think it’s okay to post a link to my Blog...a synopsis.
I don’t think I’ve ever encountered such cruelty and nastiness in my life and at times I want to sob out loud.
What happened to the FreeRepublic I used to know? For I am no newbie, that’s for certain. I joined this forum right after the attacks on 9-11-01.
I get cartoons of Blog pimps, nasty comments, told my Blog is ugly. I only post links to my Blog once a week but to try desperately to be fair I put right on the front page, in big capital letters...VANITY TO MY BLOG! Just so that folks who don’t want to be bothered can scroll right on by, scroll right on by, don’t let me offend you. And yet there are people who have to take time out of their busy lives and write nasty things and I wonder what joy people get out of taking time to stop and be mean.
I don’t put my Blog synopsis and link on that forum to garner hits. You get a couple of hundred hits, maybe, but that’s peanuts in the world of this big bad internet. I put the link to my Blog because I love to write, I love to Blog, I’m not normal some might say, I want to share my thoughts.
Why oh why is this so bad?
I contribute to FreeRepublic’s fundraiser. I try to be fair and decent but this site has somehow come to be a place for a few very mean people whose goal in life is to show how nasty they can be.
Hey, it’s not that often and it’s not that many. The vast majority of Freepers are good people. Used to be only Liberals were mean. But it only takes one really, really mean commenter and it can ruin a day. I can’t imagine how on earth a new poster handles it. They probably head for the high hills.
I happened to check into a thread by a relatively new Blogger and he was getting eaten alive because he put up a post to his Blog. I defended him, I told him that this was the Bloggers and Personal forum and he could most certainly post a link to his Blog here. Blogging IS a way of communicating today and hey, go ahead, start another forum for strictly Freeper Bloggers if need be but dear Lord stop with the meanness.
I do so appreciate the time taken to post this and I will volunteer to help in any way possible to welcome new posters. I know FreeRepublic has gotten involved in some of the tea parties and is getting more recognition every day. I’d hate to think that we’ve all gotten so small, mean and narrow minded that we implode and rot into ourselves.
No more cheese threads in "Breaking News??"