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Ramble Index

Public Unsubs by list members and Deleted Posts by Moderators

Friday, September 21, 2001 2:04 PM
Rant or Ramble: Public UnSubs and Deleted Posts

Is this a Ramble or a Rant? Moderators have a whole different kettle of fish to deal with when involved with the list. We can add people directly, we can unsubscribe folks. We can delete posts. We can see when someone had joined and when they leave. 
As people come and go you see particular types of list users and things that happen over and over that don't make any logical sense.  My California read on things that don't make any logical sense is them folks are uncentered and in need of some metaphysical bandaids. Every moderator has their own particular pet peeves and public unsubscriptions and arbitrary post deletions are two of mine. One deals with list member behavior and the other is of list moderator behavior. So if you don't want to hear grutching in the ranks of this list moderator stop reading this post right now.
Ok, this is about public unsubscriptions and what posts get deleted here on this list.
I deleted from the archives the duplicate posts of mine that went through on an Outlook hick-up. I'm also starting to delete the "unsub" posts, no need to bother the digest folks with that and this morning's "unsub" posts weren't even snipped of the original message. Another rude thing to do too in my opinion. It involves two other people more closely by using their communication for a public leaving.
If you're sorely confused about how to take your leave of us here write to me privately. I'll give you autonomy in walking you through the process of leaving quietly. Just like I walk people through the process of getting on this list and setting their email preferences. I'm here to help you learn how to do these things on your own next time. 
Like I've asked before would you go to someone's home, partake of their hospitality, be privy to their inner most thoughts, know their hopes and dreams and then without so much as a "nice clay tips, thnx" you leave out in a public way? Slam the door on the way out why don't ya? It just chaps my hide, ok? Politeness in all things is like a good car, it gets you from one place to another with ease and in style. It's a matter of using email lists like this with the same amount of common courtesy as you would the rest of your "real" life. There are people behind these posts as I've been yammering about recently.
It takes the same amount of effort to send a public unsub post to the entire list showing the lack of good sense, as it is to unsubscribe like an independent and responsible list user. Same amount of clicks involved. What it does take is some thought and consideration.
I'm not just tweaking consciousness for this list alone. If you're on one list you're more than likely on others. Don't do this on other lists either. Just bad form is all. Moderators are forewarned of certain list joiners who leave a trail of weird behavior. We give each other a head's up if we see familiar email address on other lists we've had unpleasant experience with. We can see them coming like storm clouds. Or we'll get a "help me on this" post from another moderator or list owner and lo and behold the familiar email address of a known disturber of the peace. After a while you see patterns in behavior.
This one lady joins craft lists, doesn't contribute or make friends, and when she's wanting off of a list she sends through each and every post back to the list with "unsubscribe me". 30-40-50 posts saying the same thing, until the list members are annoyed, posts are flying through the list telling her how to unsub or where to "get off". The moderator has to step in and what is that lady telling us in her behavior? "I'm too lazy, unthinking, rude and passive aggressive to take responsible action and get myself off of a list I got myself on to." That's what it says to me anyway. When she did it on this list I unsubbed her and wrote her a finger shaking letter. Stop that! When I saw her do the same thing on another clay list I gave the list owner the head's up and we commiserated for a couple of email exchanges about such stuff.
I'd like to break all list members of the habit of unsubbing through an email list. Any list. It makes the one who does loose face. "Oh hey there, I don't know what I'm doing and I'm going to let all of you know and I don't care." I'm not the only moderator or list owner who doesn't find this common discourtesy annoying. I'm most likely the only one who'd make effort to explain why this behavior should be curbed. There are alternatives that are less disturbing. It's one of the "disturbing of the peace" infractions to me and I'm putting this rant up on my website in the Ramble Index. This puts me on my soap box. 
On other lists or other forums where negative debate was allowed un checked there have been some unsubscriptions that are now legend. That won't happen here because negative debate and arguing isn't tolerated here, things don't escalate to that point. I made it a point to step in when the weed first pokes its head up through the smallest crack in the sidewalk, I don't let it grow to the point where we have a major breech to mend. If someone does a flaming negative unsub on this list, as had happened recently, the new list members will be stunned in the outrage it caused, the posts of support for the list, the solidarity it created. Sound familiar? The reaction on this list to a flaming unsubscription was the same as our reaction for this last week, banding together, reforging our bonds, become closer.
I thought I'd also let you know what sort of posts I delete. I don't delete posts just because I don't agree with a claymate. I don't delete a post when folks have flipped out and lost the last of their cool and sent a YIKES through the list. These are not necessarily "bad" posts. They are a call for help, clarification or reassurance. They are a call for us to take some sort of compassionate action. So since they will be replied to I leave them in. I don't delete posts that caused some list members to be moderated, for I will address the issue on the list and the thread should stay intact for posterity. I clean up duplicate posts now a days, the public unsubs, posts that got sent before the reply could be typed...happens more often than one would think. Just janitorial stuff really.
I don't rewrite history to make things look better to me for this is arbitrary misuse of the rights of being Moderator or List Owner. This has been an issue on other lists. One very large clay list got the whole list moderated recently, posts were deleted that were part of a thread, folks unsubbed involuntarily and given no explanation and the other list members were noticeably upset. Their upset was shown in other public posting areas. Know now that this won't happen here. Moderation is on a case by case basis. Opportunity to set up private dialogue with me is given to all who are moderated.  Once I feel the person has understood how they disturbed the peace and how it effects the creative environment they are allowed to post to the list again after sending a kiss and make up post to the list as a whole.  There is always explanation, always room for learning how our writing effects other people, always room for improvement. Unsubscribing a list member without explanation is thuggery. School yard bully boy stuff, just because one has the ability to use force doesn't give them right to do so.
As this last week and some days have gone by the more I am sensitive to keeping the peace and providing an environment that is governed with common courtesy, responsibility and accountability. The more I realize that this list is a microcosm of our world. We are international and working in many languages filtering into English here. Effort must be made in how we use that communication in a email list like this and in any other public written forum. Are we going to uncenter people or are we going to help each other be more stable? Are we going to send out ill will, even in puny forms as a public unsubscription? Or are we going to share good news?
We have responsibilities in contributing to a group mind that are connected to all the eyeballs that read these posts. Is your post going to be like Curley of the Three Stooges and you poke the eyeballs of the reader in some rude way? DOINK!!  Or are we going to amaze and delight each other by sharing our lives, our clay and mini works? Choice, what is your choice in this?  
Stepping down from her soap box

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