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Minas Tirith Forums » Minas Tirith Site Announcements » The Official "MT is going downhill" Thread (Page 1)
Author Topic: The Official "MT is going downhill" Thread
White Gold Wielder
Steward of Minas Tirith
Citizen # 2

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I have been quiet on this subject for a long time. In most cases, any disturbance between citizens has been short and localized, so I felt a response wasn't warranted.

Lately there have been rumblings from deep within the city and many citizens have left or are threatening to leave. This I cannot have.

I have been working on a long, detailed analysis of my feelings and opinions on this matter, but it makes me sick to work on it. It all seems so unnecessary to remind people of the obvious. Well, I’m going to do it, but I’m not going to waste my precious time writing a theses to do it.

Here’s the deal in a nutshell. Minas Tirith was created for literary discussion. It has since evolved into more of a general community, but I will not allow the chat aspects to destroy what I and everyone else has worked so hard to build.

But what can I do? It’s a fact of a message board admin’s job that there are only two tools I have to fix things – talking and banning. Honestly, the only thing I can take away from people is their voice, so my choices are limited in what I can do to affect change when problems arise.

The thorny part of this problem is deciding when to wield this ultimate weapon. Does a short, snide remark deserve a day’s banning? If a person gets mad at someone and they both act like idiots, should I spend the time tracking down who started it, or ban them both for a weekend? If sarcasm were a crime, I’d be banning myself for life! I fear this heavy-handed approach will do more harm than good.

Currently, there are several people that have ongoing fights that never seem to end. Believe me, I understand the need to defend yourself. There have been times on some boards when I was given a slap in the face and I found myself returning the favor with a punch in theirs! However, I have not experienced the relentless taunting and bickering that has been the norm here as of late. I plead with you all to take a look at yourself and reconsider your behavior for the good of the city.

If things don’t improve again, don’t be surprised to find yourself staring at the banning notice when you try to login. I might experiment with short-term bannings as a disciplinary tool, but I would only use this as an act of desperation. If it’s either you or Minas Tirith, you will lose. If you find yourself banned for a short time, don’t bother to plead your case or accuse me or not banning everyone involved. Life isn’t fair and neither is MT. I don’t have time to read post after inane post, judging each word and meaning in an effort to be hyper-fair and ban everyone guilty. If you get banned, then you deserved it. If your archenemy escaped my wrath this time, the situation may likely be reversed the next time.

My advice, don’t make enemies. Of citizens or of me. My Ent-like slow-to-awaken wrath is growing. Please take this warning to heart and either make peace with those around you or get better at ignoring them.

How’s that for the non-thesis version? []

As usual, please post your comments and opinions on this here. I am sorry for not joining in on some of the fine discussion on this topic lately, but I feel a fresh start was needed with a definitive word from me to start it off.

Oh, and in future, please let any talk on this subject be here. Sometimes I am not aware of discussions about this that are buried in other threads until they are over!

From: Chicago | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Nash Rómerandir
Guard of the Citadel
Citizen # 2903

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[Notice: I abandonned my dear [] in my heading! It's rare enough to make a notice about it]

Again: [] Action of some kind must be taken...

I tried to stay clear from the ongoing troubles but it's really ruining MT... Lack of respect seems to be a growing trend around here and it bothers me a lot! (And I know I'm not the only one)

A small argument with chosen words can be fun sometimes, but when people let their "reptilian cortex" take over and go as down as insulting each other it's really unacceptable!

On a "milder" note: I would have really liked to read the "thesis" version of the above post though []

From: Cuiviénen (well, people call this place France) | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Faramir Took
Guard of the Citadel
Citizen # 3268

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Good idea, WGW! [] I know of one situation that may be over, or lying dormant, that may have needed the instigator to be banned temporary. That's all I want to say.
From: Joisey | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Roll of Honor Thorin
Guard of the Citadel
Citizen # 816
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I'm not sure what to say except for thanks, WGW. A Tolkien Community is wonderful. A community that happens to have some Tolkien discussion is mediocre. A community that is divided into Tolkien and Non-Tolkien is sad, to be polite.

I've always loved MT, even though I have joined at least four other Tolkien boards over the years. They all have their good points, but MT is the only one that really has great points, in my opinion. I've always been impressed by the way you handle things here, and can not recall a single incident in the past 24 months where you have acted when you shouldn't have. Put the hammer down if you feel the need.

[ 07-25-2003, 08:22 PM: Message edited by: Thorin ]

From: Helsinki | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Nehraime
Guard of the Citadel
Citizen # 2470

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WGW-
I understand where you're coming from. If it is becoming to be a burden to you, then you should take action. You are the Steward, of course. And, we will all respect your decision no matter what it will be, or atleast I will. I feel sorry for you that you have to deal with this. Unfourtunatley, I feel that in some aspects, I am probably pushing MT downhill in my own lack of participence in the Lit threads.
I hope that we can pull MT upwards, now that we are aware of how dire the situation is.

From: NYC | Registered: Aug 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Tuor
Guard of the Citadel
Citizen # 374

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It seems to me that if people are threatening to leave, then the problem is theirs.
From: Oklahoma | Registered: Mar 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Roll of Honor Herendil
Guard of the Citadel
Citizen # 1494

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You might as well add me to the list of 'threatening people'. I am planning to post less on MT and instead post more on another board, because there seem to be much more people there who are actually interested in discussing Tolkien. I don't know why MT has become such a Tolkien gaming board (not to mention an 'everything-else-but-Tolkien' board). There are a lot of people gaming and that is all good, but I don't like how they seem to abandon actual Tolkien discussion. I have noticed a few new members that first participated in the discussions but then stopped doing that and now they are only participating in the games.

I don't see how MT will improve any time soon, it will probably go the opposite way. I feel sort of attached to MT, want to make it better and not be so selfish, but one member can't do much, and I am getting tired of posting at a Tolkien board where Tolkien discussions are a side issue, so I don't have much choice.

Sorry for the rant.

From: Nowadays: The Lord of the Rings Fanatics Forum | Registered: Jan 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Roll of Honor Anariel Aureva
Guard of the Citadel
Citizen # 3741

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When I first joined MT about a month or two ago, I absolutely fell in love with the literature forums. It saddens me that people are more interested in "chatting" than in discussing Tolkien's works. When I answered the required questions to be admitted to MT, one of the questions was: What do Tolkien's literary works mean to you? (or something to that effect). I throughly enjoyed answering this question, because it made me examine why I truly love Tolkien's works. I have heard that some members at MT haven't read a single one of his books. Maybe to reduce chatter, we could make it harder to be accepted as a citizen. If we only allow serious Tolkien fans to join, then the literary forums will thrive once again. I don't mean that everyone who hasn't read LoTR should be kicked out, but maybe steps could be taken for the future to make MT a more Tolkien centered website. We should also find a way to popularize the literary forums with the citizens we currently have.
From: Laurëanórë | Registered: Jun 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Roll of Honor Braeden Fireheart
Guard of the Citadel
Citizen # 1953

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*hugs WGW* Thank you.

------------------------

I’ll freely admit I’m a citizen who doesn’t visit the literary forums that often. My reason for this has nothing to do with not wanting to discuss Tolkien, or feeling like the odd one out because I don’t know as much as the frequent visitors. I don’t go because I don’t always like getting into deep discussions about things – anything. If I’m really interested in a subject, then sure, I will take part in it… But mainly I’m just a person who sits at the back of the class and listens to everyone else’s input.

The only time I truly venture “up north” to post is to take part in the games that have been created. While they may have made the literary forums less productive; for me they have made the forums more attractive. My favourite one is the Password Game, as I know, even with the tricky clues, that I will learn something from it. Each person who has a go has a different perspective on Tolkien’s works, and this comes out in the way they form their clues. I would suggest this works for almost every literary game [except the Word, and maybe Scramble games].

Maybe a good way to get people more involved in the actual discussion threads is to incorporate them into the game threads. I’m not sure how to go about that exactly, but no doubt a gamer could come up with a solution… Even if it’s just for their turn.

I have been trying to pay less attention to the Pony, but once you’ve been sucked in, it’s difficult to break free. I have registered at other Tolkien boards, but none of them have been as warm and encouraging as Minas Tirith. I know it’s been rather cold lately, and this is due to people not sorting out their problems privately… Even subtly mentioning grievances can harm the public atmosphere.

My main areas of involvement are the role-plays [as long as others are posting in them], my own club/inn in the Pony, and the Password Game. If I exceed my posting in other threads, I slap myself on the wrist and try to do better next week. []

From: Mnemosyne's loft | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Aylah the Wind Sister
Guard of the Citadel
Citizen # 2740

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When I first started here a MT almost six months ago, I used to post in the literary forums a bit.
My problem with them was that, although I liked most of he discussions, I didn't feel as if I was really 'welcomed' there by the older members, and eventually I stopped going altogether. Tht, and the discusions that I posted in always seemed to die very soon after I posted in them.

I think Braeden's idea of turning discussion into a game is a very interesting idea.

Also, I think if the people who posted in the literary forums were a bit more friendly, I think we would have more of the newer citizens posting there, and not the same five people all the time.

Just my thoughts.

From: lets just say I have a ton of washing to do... | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
ZENITH
Guard of the Citadel
Citizen # 400

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Is of the opinion that many citizens feel intimidated by the lit forums.
From: The Mens Room. ENGLAND | Registered: Mar 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Roll of Honor Lostfiniel
Guard of the Citadel
Citizen # 2983

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I read the lit. forums quite a bit. I hardly ever post in them. I understand that they are for us all to expand our knowledge of the books and of Tolkien, however, I don't always feel that my current knowledge of the books is not strong enough for me to make many or any good contributions to the threads. I am working on it though. My library of reffernce books at home is expanding and so is what I have learned. The lit. forums do intimidate though.
From: Carlsbad, California | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Peony Brandybuck
Guard of the Citadel
Citizen # 2062

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Yeah, I'm going to second the thoughts of most of the people that have posted. I used to drop in on the Lit Forums, but I would post and try my hardest to contribute, and people would just ignore my posts and go on with their conversations. It is my belief that if you feel as if you're not wanted in a thread, that you shouldn't post in it, because that will just waste your ideas and the fair Steward's valuable space. Plus, why make yourself look like an ass? So eventually I just stopped going to "up north" (it seems trendy to call it that now), and I don't think I will ever go back. People have given me pep talks, as recently as today (Thanks Gandy [] ), but I still won't do it. And I'm sorry if I'm one of the ones that are making this board so bad by not supporting those forums, but get on me all you want... I've made the bestest friends here, and I owe so much to this site, and WGW, and I would never ever leave. Not in a million years.

About the recent fighting... I have my opinions, that don't really matter to many people because I'm just a lowly hobbit, but I know in my heart who's wrong, and who's right, and I don't need to prolong the fighting with my comments, even though I wanted too in the very beginning. A certain person kept me out, and now I'm glad he did. Those who know my feelings, know them. But what I feel really bad about is that, by doing this, we are horribly TRASHING this city, and really disrespecting WGW and that's sad. But that's ALL I'm going to say. If you have something to say back, click the little scroll up there and send me a PM.

-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-
Palabra A Tu Madre
-Peony Brandybuck

Listen to my friend Billy Zane and read my blog

From: Bywater | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Thingol of Doriath
Guard of the Citadel
Citizen # 2718

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Thanks WGW! This has been on my mind as well... the petty bickering has made me reconsider my involvement here. I have already made my feelings known in another thread, but I will summarize here: RESPECT. []
From: Sverige! | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Tuor
Guard of the Citadel
Citizen # 374

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I am only aware of a handful of people that MT could ill afford to lose and it appears as if they have already been 'lost'. A few of those that that come to mind are Nimruzir, Fingolfin of the Noldor, Maglor, Maerbenn, and Cian. A few of these still post from time to time, but I don't see them too often.

[ 07-26-2003, 10:03 AM: Message edited by: Tuor ]

From: Oklahoma | Registered: Mar 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Tuor
Guard of the Citadel
Citizen # 374

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I guess who one would include has to do with one's view of what is important.
From: Oklahoma | Registered: Mar 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
CRAM it
Guard of the Citadel
Citizen # 3224

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Reading through the last few posts makes me realize what a unique community MT really is. Everyone has something to contribute to the wholeand I feel like I'm actually talking to multi-facated people, not just unknown one-dimensional posters that are out there somewhere in Internet-land. If anyone has taken any kind of leadership course or program, you will know that you are immediately taught what the qualities of a good leader are. One of the qualities that makes a good leader is that they are aware of their strengths and limitations - that they give their all in what they are good at and try and improve their weaker, less-developed skills. Abandonment or at least taking a break from a group is natural in order to rejuvinate the spirit, everyone goes through this. These people that have left the community or are appearing less frequently then before - it's their choice.

My point is that people are leaving MT for whatever reason. Groups constently evolve and change and it's up to us, the people who choose to stay, to each take on a leadership role and give what we can to the community. Once we make the community into what we want, a vibrant and open community with healthy conversations in all of the threads, former members will be back and new members with the same passions will want to join.

From: Canada | Registered: Jan 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Roll of Honor Lassë
Guard of the Citadel
Citizen # 3063

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Tuor, MT could ill afford to loose you.

WGW:
quote:
Minas Tirith was created for literary discussion. It has since evolved into more of a general community, but I will not allow the chat aspects to destroy what I and everyone else has worked so hard to build.
I don't think there is a probloem with the activity-level in the litterary forums. Of course one can always wish for more quality and more activity, but I'm actually quite impressed by the standards and the activity.

It is not very often that new tolkien material is released, so there is a natural limit to the number of topics to discuss. I'm not saying that everything is already said, cause there are still a lot of threads that hasn't reached a 'conclusion' yet, but I think that it is wrong to say that because the pony has 100.000 posts then the pony is the heart of minastirith.com. I know that no one has claimed that, but it has been implied that the pony took up too much attention. I say: let people post as much as they like in the pony, as long as the chatting don't spread to the litterary threads.

And concerning the 'intimidating' aspects of the litterary forums. I think that the people saying that they don't feel welcome, or that they are ignored, are grossly overreacting. I'd like to see some evidence to the claim, cause I don't remember ever having read a thread where people were rude to people who made meaningful posts. You can't expect everyone to comment on your post (like in the pony), and it's definately your own problem if you interpret the lacking responses as "people are ignoring me". Don't wear your emotions on the outside of your clothes when posting in the litterary threads (I'd say the same about the rest of MT, but that's not the point here).

Oh, and I'd rater have a relatively slow litterary thread of high quality, than a thread with enourmous growth but only little quality. If all the pony-addicts (including myself) were to reply to every litterary thread then it wouldn't be worth the time to read them.

From: Berlin | Registered: Jan 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Tuor
Guard of the Citadel
Citizen # 374

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It seems to me that what WGW believes is most important is literary discussion. My list was made with this in mind.

[ 07-26-2003, 10:41 AM: Message edited by: Tuor ]

From: Oklahoma | Registered: Mar 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Raven
Guard of the Citadel
Citizen # 1284

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quote:
A certain person kept me out, and now I'm glad he did. Those who know my feelings know them.
He got you to?
[]

Okay, I know I'm not exactly the most liked person and I realize that I might have something to do with this bickering but nonetheless here's my two cents.

MT really isn't just another message board, it's a community. I for one have yet to see any other message board where such friendships are made and where the people here really do generally like each other. It would be rather stupid to expect 2,000 plus people to get along perfectly and have no rows. In fact we should be proud that this is a rare occasion. Although it could have been greatly avoided if it wasn't for a few citizen but I'll shut up there before i get yelled at. []

On the Lit forum-as said there is only so much about Tolkien's work that can be discussed. And yes, the 'regulars' could be far friendlier but it's not wholly their fault. It partly has to do with the fact that a lot of people jut doesn’t feel like typing long, detailed posts to contribute to the Lits-I would be lying if I said I wasn’t one of them. I do still, like many other people still regularly read the threads there. On game threads I have no problem with them, yes some of them should be restarted like inns to save space and yes some of them shouldn’t even be in the Lit thread because they don’t really apply but other than that I still think that there are wonderful and cause people to look into Tolkien’s work and notice things they didn’t before.
[]

-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-
We work in the dark - we do what we can - we give what we have. Our doubt is our passion and our passion is our task. The rest is the madness of art.

From: Garden State | Registered: Dec 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Roll of Honor Miz Lobelia
Guard of the Citadel
Citizen # 1612

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It is important to remember that when we are visiting with our friends face to face we often have an idea of how rotten a day they had at work, or how many drinks they have had, or that they seem to be getting coming down with something, or that dispite their tendency to be constantly in-your-face they are always there when you need them. In other words, we have a better idea of when to cut them some slack when they are testy or slightly out of line. That is necessarily lacking on a written board, and even smilies don't make up the difference. We all need to automatically cut others some slack, and make sure that our own posts are worded with care.

The certifiably nasty individuals should be reported to WGW for official sanction, of course.

It is hard when you feel like you are being ignored in a literary thread, but sometimes it's because you are responding to something a few posts back and either that person has left or the thread has moved on. And sometimes someone responds to you days later! You never know.

I must say, though, that it is discouraging when the first response to any thread you start is a list of all threads even tangentially related to that subject with the implication that you did not do your homework, you bad person you. That has scared a lot of people from the literary forums. While I realize that there is a limit to how many Tom Bombadil threads we need, there are diplomatic ways of doing this: "Welcome, NorrisNewbie! I see you are a fellow Bombadil fan. We would love to have you join our discussion in this thread (link)..." See how much nicer this sounds than "This has already been discussed here and here and here." And, frankly, if it is not a total duplicate of another thread why not just let it stand?

It would be nice to have the gaming threads in a separate forum since they often give me false hope that someone has posted something new in a literary thread. The lantern is lit, I anxiously enter the forum and - nothing. Poo.

And now, you can all go read my tribute to Wetwang poem in the Hobbiton Garden Club because I'm feeling ignored..... []

From: Seattle, WA | Registered: Jan 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
CRAM it
Guard of the Citadel
Citizen # 3224

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quote:
Poo.
Heh. Very nice summary of your feelings []

Just read your poem Miz L. Very simple yet thoughtful.

From: Canada | Registered: Jan 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Roll of Honor Elentári Tintallë
Guard of the Citadel
Citizen # 3734

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I often feel ignored in the literary forums as well. When I post, the discussion seems to just carry on without any regard to my statements. It feels like everyone is just saying, "Oh, what does she know?" Whenever I go into a Lit. forum, there is never anyone there with me. Most of the discussions have been decided, so I feel that I cannot provide further input.
From: Nórë Vercieva- i Opelë | Registered: Jun 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Tuor
Guard of the Citadel
Citizen # 374

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The same thing has happened to me a number of times.
From: Oklahoma | Registered: Mar 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Jóhnny, the Jester
Guard of the Citadel
Citizen # 579

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i like this its sort of like a time out, i think this idea will help, but also no mater what happens you cant make a complaetly "peace-full" zone, its has been deamed impossable.

on another note, i will say, in the quarles, people take sides, which dosent help the mater, but then again, i am constantly picked on because of my spelling, but alas I am still here, so if we can find peace, then why are we hear, just to sit and argue? i think not, we where all drawn here to talk about the writings of JRRT, and if we cant do that then why even try.

a say that was told to me that might help,

quote:
If you cant laugh at your self, whats the point of joking at all?
my thoughts as fallow

Sincerly,
White Dwarf

From: Q-Tip | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Create a New Topic  Create a New Poll  Reply to this Topic Minas Tirith Forums » Minas Tirith Site Announcements » The Official "MT is going downhill" Thread (Page 1)
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