Thursday, January 05, 2006
One thing that I have learned is that you can not please everybody. On the new message board, I have drawn criticism from both sides of an issue. It is the "damned if you do, damned if you don't" sort of thing.
When the site was first launched and nobody even really knew about it, I debated whether or not to let the message board stay with open access and have people post as "GUEST" by not registering and logging in. That gave a degree of anonymity where people didn't have any sort of accountability or be known at least as the same person posting several comments. I figured that I would let the board go along for a while and see what develops.
When the site hit the N&O article, people who were banned from 4042.com for behavior that was a bit obnoxious flocked to my site, told me how excited that they were to post here, and were all nice. However, they were a bit bitter in talking about the other site.
I knew that once the news article got around, I would draw criticism on the 4042 forum. People there tend to be very critical and harsh. Sure enough, someone started a thread criticizing my site and the people who came to it. They condemned the posts and me for "allowing" their posts (as if I can monitor every post every moment of the day).
In discussing moderators and board control, it was discussed that I should probably set up the board to require that only those who register be able to post. I checked my traffic report and found that a lot of people from 4042 were coming to my site and posting negative comments as "GUEST". I don't want anarchy. After consulting a veteran of online forums and reading criticism, I decided that it would be appropriate to require registration in order to post. I made the change.
I immediately got whining from those who just started coming to the site questioning my decision and claiming that I am killing the site. The person who was most opposed to the idea was under a misconception as to what site traffic numbers are like and the benefit on a small site of having s special interest group dominate the board and flood it with traffic. I got a few "nastygrams" accusing me of ruining the site, killing my own web site, and that things were too good to be true for them.
In doing what is right, you don't please everyone. People who want to post as "GUEST" don't have the courage to own their own convictions and hide behind "anonymity". I have no problem owning my opinions. It is appropriate to the venue. Basically, if someone doesn't like how I set things up and run them, they can go do it themselves elsewhere.
I have busted my tail setting up my site and improving it over time. For some newcomers to disparage it annoys me. I offer the service freely, at my own expense. It is no cost or obligation for use of my site, and some individuals are wanting to take, not give. That is a bit selfish and petty, in my estimation.