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I say we take everybodys PM privileges away until they can learn how to use a chatroom properly again.  I think its utterly ridiculous that we can have upwards of 20 or 30 people in chat yet nobody is saying a word.   PM is not a right, is it?  It's a privilege.  It would also force people to use the different rooms for their intended uses.  

You have to think about what value PM has in sustaining this community.  I dont think it adds anything of value.  Think of all the people who just sit in PM and dont contribute to general chat and dont contribute to the forum threads.  There are people we see every day in the chatroom but we dont know anything about them because they contribute absolutely nothing to the discourse either in chat or in the forums.  How are they helping the community?  How many of these people are here for the wrong reasons?  How many of these non-contributors end up getting banned for atrocious behavior?  I would say a large percentage of those who ultimately get banned are from this group of non-contributors.  

At the very least, PM should be granted as a privilege that is earned.   New members should have to fulfill certain requirements before granted access to private messaging.  

I dont know what the answer is ultimately.  But the status quo seems ludicrous at best.  I have tried numerous times to get conversations started in Main chat only for them to fizzle and die, usually because nobody bothers to come out of PM.  That's what people are there for, and that's what people are concerned with.  So it's not for my lack of trying.  We need to decide as a community what kind of chatroom we want to have.  

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Easy there big boy let's not be too hasty.  I will not bow down to your fascist rule of the chat room you capitalist pigdog. 

All jokes aside, you might be onto to something with not giving new members immediate access to PM.  I see many people that have never spoken a word in main and have zero forum posts sit in chat lurking for hours.  Zero activity in the forum and in main chat is a red flag for me and more often than not it's been a good indicator of who to avoid.

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Hey give the poor folks a break! Some people don' t have the confidence to participate in main. Some people prefer one on one chat. They might not have anything to contribute to the actual conversation going at that given time. When I first joined it took me a few months to contribute to main discussion and even longer to post in the forums. Some people are more sociable and extroverted than others... it' s just a fact of life. We can' t exclude people just because they stay in pm. I think the most important thing is that they are getting something from this site and they are here, regardless.

Saying that don' t be afraid to chat in main or post in forums... we are really a nice bunch and don' t bite- at least not hard anyway😂

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Members are free to use the site how they feel comfortable (as long as they are abiding by the guidelines). I am not going to force someone to use the main chatroom. When I first joined the site, I would have been horrified and likely left the site if I was told that I *had* to talk in public :shake: (this was a new and scary thing for me). Private felt more comfortable. :behindsofa:

We plan on engaging members more on "Hosted Chat Nights" for in-depth discussions on Q&A -- that we hope bounces chat a bit back up. But we aren't ever going to push someone away from a site they are getting support from. I want to address the 'privilege' part that you mention -- the site in itself is a privilege (i.e it's a free site); if we were talking about a brick and mortar forum -- chat in the whole would be a privilege.

People that talk in PM might not bring public content to the site. However, there are some people that again, prefer PM, and help our members talk through their needs in a safe way. That itself is valued. The first person I ever spoke to on here -- only spoke on PM to people (and a lot of people got annoyed), but they taught me a lot, about my needs, about how to find my needs safety, and encouraged me to keep exploring.

It's OK to lurk and be silent. And it's OK (and great) if you join in too.

Can you think of ways we can possibly encourage (not force) members to join in public chat? :)

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Generally I don't do chat. I will pm people who I feel happy to engage with in the main forum. I don't on the whole pm people I don't know and don't reply to one liners from people. 

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6 hours ago, AfterGeometry said:

I say we take everybodys PM privileges away until they can learn how to use a chatroom properly again.  I think its utterly ridiculous that we can have upwards of 20 or 30 people in chat yet nobody is saying a word.   PM is not a right, is it?  It's a privilege.

You have to think about what value PM has in sustaining this community.  I dont think it adds anything of value.  Think of all the people who just sit in PM and dont contribute to general chat and dont contribute to the forum threads. 

How are they helping the community?  How many of these people are here for the wrong reasons?  How many of these non-contributors end up getting banned for atrocious behavior?  I would say a large percentage of those who ultimately get banned are from this group of non-contributors.  

At the very least, PM should be granted as a privilege that is earned.   New members should have to fulfill certain requirements before granted access to private messaging.  

Weneed to decide as a community what kind of chatroom we want to have.  

Main chat is not a right. It is a privilege. Everything on here is. 

How are they helpful to the community. Hmmmm, I had a number of chats last night with people that were very helpful as I was in the middle of a meltdown. I would never have shared my issues in the main chat room. It's nobody's business. 

How many people that post on the forums are here for the wrong reasons? And by this, I'm assuming the only "wrong reason" to be here is to cause someone else harm, either intentionally or unintentionally. 

Most of my close friends come from PM. It is less thrratening for new members sometimes. Besides, most of my growth in this area has been due to private conversations that would have never happened in main. 

My vote is for a chatroom that welcomes people and their individual needs whether or not we agree with them, as long as they fall within the lines of safe, sane, and consenual. 

What I don't see is how judgemental posts that want everyone to behave the same way and think the same things, is helpful to making our community an open and welcoming one where people will feel comfortable sharing their questions and needs without fear of someone jumping down their throat because they don't agree or understand. 

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And, for what it's worth, I've been in chat plenty of times when I see your name as active but never see a single post from you. Maybe you're not paying attention, maybe you signed on but you're doing something else and forgot it was open, etc. 

Maybe this happens to other people too. 

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To be honest I'm not always sure if I'm signed on to chat or not - when the board had it's update last month or so I kept getting notifications coming up which I closed. Not being nasty - I just can't deal with multiple messages like that. 

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the idea about withholding CHAT ROOM PM privileges is worth considering IMO. no need to set any "activity" requirements, a simple "age of account" requirement should help. there is still the private site email (not sure how to describe that feature) that would allow newbies to send private messages if they really felt the need.  I'm thinking even something as simple as 2 or 3 days "time out" on first joining, would make a difference.

@gingerlee raises a good point - the chat room software is such that it is impossible to tell who is "actively" logged in, who is lurking, and who is PMing - I think there have been times where I may have been logged into the chat room for days without knowing I was logged on.

chat room dynamics are a tricky thing to get just right - I hear of more people complaining about the Lack of chat in the room, but I also see threads saying - why do they allow X type of chat, that should be banned! or - I was actively chatting about Y and the moderators shut me down - that kind of thing.

@Child of Light I really like the idea behind hosted chat nights organized around a certain topic, looking forward to seeing how that idea develops

Gator

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I have seen other sites withholding chat until a certain time + 1-2 amount of posts (to help with spam). However, the worst offenders in regards to generalized rule breaks seem to be coming from long term members on SN. This wouldn't 'cure' the aspect of members wanting to lurk chat and not feeling comfortable speaking publically though! That's a whole different issue altogether.

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AG...I thought we got through all the judgmental stuff? This entire site is a privilege for all of us. It's a free site paid for by COL. She is allowing us to make suggestions, but we should not be making demands and putting down the choices of other members.

I am one who hates the silence in the chatroom, but this stems from the past when we had numerous active members who used chat. The site has changed since then. Back then most of us were older (40's to 60's), mature and long time active members in the spanking community. We all had a lot of experience and we used the chat room to discuss our interests, helped newbies and answered questions. Nowadays, the site has more newbies and younger members, than ever, with little to no real life experience. They are nervous and scared, afraid to talk and ask questions out in the open.

Technically it is none of yours or anyone else's business why each individual member is here. Everyone should have the freedom to talk openly or talk in private. From what I've noticed, most who are banned are the ones who use chat openly and cause problems, not the ones who are in PM. PM is used between Mentors and Mentees, friends, admin and members, for privacy, etc. People have met their significant others through private chat, they have met their Mentors and mentees that way and some of us have made life long friendships through private chatting. Yes, there are lurkers as well, but that's all a part of using the internet. Block them, report them and move on. Not everyone wants to air their lives in open chat. I am an open book, but there are still things I will only discuss in private.

I have helped countless spankees and submissives through private chat. They have told me they would never be able to ask the questions they have asked me in open chat. There will be some who will never use open chat and there will be those who eventually get comfortable with it, but it should be a choice...not forced on them. The decision should be up to the individual not a few select people.

The site is changing a bit and it's for the good of everyone. The chat filter has been lifted and adult subjects that were once banned have been opened for discussion. This alone will help chat in the long run, but it will take time. 

The hosted chat nights will be a great addition as well. I hosted many of those on COL's other site a long time ago and we had great attendance, great discussions and positive feedback. Those help to show everyone that we aren't here to judge and that they can feel free to open up and discuss TTWD.

Also, as ginger said....you are often signed into chat and not talking in main chat. Are you lurking, talking in PM? It doesn't matter. The choice is yours.

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5 hours ago, Child of Light said:

Members are free to use the site how they feel comfortable (as long as they are abiding by the guidelines). I am not going to force someone to use the main chatroom. When I first joined the site, I would have been horrified and likely left the site if I was told that I *had* to talk in public :shake: (this was a new and scary thing for me). Private felt more comfortable. :behindsofa:

We plan on engaging members more on "Hosted Chat Nights" for in-depth discussions on Q&A -- that we hope bounces chat a bit back up. But we aren't ever going to push someone away from a site they are getting support from. I want to address the 'privilege' part that you mention -- the site in itself is a privilege (i.e it's a free site); if we were talking about a brick and mortar forum -- chat in the whole would be a privilege.

People that talk in PM might not bring public content to the site. However, there are some people that again, prefer PM, and help our members talk through their needs in a safe way. That itself is valued. The first person I ever spoke to on here -- only spoke on PM to people (and a lot of people got annoyed), but they taught me a lot, about my needs, about how to find my needs safety, and encouraged me to keep exploring.

It's OK to lurk and be silent. And it's OK (and great) if you join in too.

Can you think of ways we can possibly encourage (not force) members to join in public chat? :)

AAAAAMEN!!!

I sometimes chat in the main room, but my reason for coming here is to chat with certain friends I've made, and that takes place in PM.  And if it gets interesting, I'm likely to ignore the main.

My vote is to not do ANY of the things suggested (no disrespect to others) - no bot that kicks you out if you're not chatting.  No "have to maintain a certain number of posts to have access to chat".  We already have another spanking chat site out there with constantly changing access privileges.  

Any yeah - an enormous way to encourage others to chat would be to reduce the judgmental quality that I feel too often gets brought to this site.  Spankos feel weird, embarassed, and ashamed of their interests - that's common.  Their not going to be encouraged to join in if someone is going to criticize or fault them for their desires, fantasies, or interests.

 

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We also need to remember that this could be someone' s first time, ever,  addressing their spanking needs and that can be a daunting process. We were all in that situation at some point. They might have conflicting feelings about it, feel uncomfortable with them etc- this is true for some people where it isn' t the first time they are addressing them. Some will come on here just to read the forum posts so that they feel less alone or to educate themselves. Others will find support or comfort, from certain,  people in pm. 

As a community we need to support everyone' s needs and make them feel comfortable- give them somewhere that they feel safe and free to express their needs...

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For me, I get overwhelmed in general chat and only went to the chat area at the request of someone who stated that it would be easier for us to chat there, in PM so that it could be a real time conversation. As well, my experience has been that when I have gone in chat within less than one minute I have about 12 PMs. I won't apologize for not being able to keep up with general chat in addition to that. I think it's important not to judge anyone's intentions simply because we see them in general chat and they appear to not be participating. 

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@gingerlee

@shygurl

Again I am being accused of being judgmental, where frankly I dont see it. At the end of my essay I throw up my hands and say ultimately I don't know what the answer is.  I put forth some various ideas to consider, that's all.  I dont understand why everybody is so thin skinned and quick to take offense around here.  That doesn't help with the free flow of discussion.  Obviously in the thread I am not talking about regular contributors or veteran members.   It seems like people just see my name now and want to be offended. 

 

 

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18 minutes ago, AfterGeometry said:

@gingerlee

@shygurl

Again I am being accused of being judgmental, where frankly I dont see it. At the end of my essay I throw up my hands and say ultimately I don't know what the answer is.  I put forth some various ideas to consider, that's all.  I dont understand why everybody is so thin skinned and quick to take offense around here.  That doesn't help with the free flow of discussion.  Obviously in the thread I am not talking about regular contributors or veteran members.   It seems like people just see my name now and want to be offended. 

 

 

That's not it, it's how you phrase things. Try being more gentle if you aren't being judgmental. 

Ok, you aren't referring to the regulars and veterans, but it's the new people that need PM the most. They need it to ask questions, to feel comfortable, to figure out if they want to be here, etc.

I wish there were more talk in open chat, but getting rid of PM is not the answer. It's an important part of chat and the site as a whole.

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11 hours ago, AfterGeometry said:

Again I am being accused of being judgmental, where frankly I dont see it.

Please take another look at your original post:

" I say we take everybodys PM privileges away until they can learn how to use a chatroom properly again.  I think its utterly ridiculous that we can have upwards of 20 or 30 people in chat yet nobody is saying a word."

That's a huge judgmental statement, in which you accuse people of not using a chatroom "properly"--based on your own concept of "proper." You then go on to say "I would say a large percentage of those who ultimately get banned are from this group of non-contributors," which is again a very judgmental statement about non-contributors, and unsupported by facts. Maybe it's true; maybe it isn't--I have no idea. But shygurl thinks just the opposite, that most banned are those from open chat. It seems to me that only the moderators would know for sure.

Overall, your entire post is judgmental, devaluing people who use chat only for PM. The only way to not see that as judgmental is if one accepts without questioning your view that PM-only is bad.

Personally, I have no horse in this race--I don't use chat, either open or PM. But I am concerned that people, particularly newbies, will be put off by this attitude, and not find the support and community they are looking for.

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57 minutes ago, DougK said:

Overall, your entire post is judgmental, devaluing people who use chat only for PM. The only way to not see that as judgmental is if one accepts without questioning your view that PM-only is bad.

You're responding to a post in this thread that was addressed to two specific people, but please don't keep that from stopping you.  At any rate, please find an example elsewhere of a chatroom where it's "proper" to have 20 to 30 people in it but nobody is chatting.  I think the reason chatrooms were created initially were to facilitate group conversation amongst individuals who had similar interests.   Merely noticing that ours doesn't run that way a large majority of the time is hardly being judgmental.

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AG, I don't come here looking to get offended. And I dontget offended by everything you say, but this is one of those posts that really bothered me. If you don't want people thinking you are veing judgemental, tone down the language. 

You say you don't know what value PM gives to the community, so we posted what value it has given us personally. 

Also, if you don't want to seem judgemental, maybe don't attack everyone that has a differing opinion of yours. There was no reason for you to attack Doug like that. 

You say that you were only responding to two of us but he clearly saw the same thing in your original post that we did. Why is that not okay to express?

I enjoy talking to you, I enjoy debating with you from time to time. However, if you truly want to foster open discussion, maybe lose the inflammatory language. You could have posted your questions and even your suggestions in a way that would not feel attacked and judged. 

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**Thread Lock

The Staff and I have talked about this. We are pretty firm on the aspect that for SN, it isn't appropriate to block members from PMing on chat (in the sole purpose to get chat active again); we may revisit this at another time for other situations; if needed (i.e spam, trolling...); but not something we are currently going to impose. We encourage more threads like this to be started of ideas of how to make the site better (or how to encourage chat) that aren't of this idea. Feel free to start another thread on other idea's (this one idea is a no -- but that isn't always the case for other ideas).

Thank you for everyone's thought processes on this thread. In the future, we are going to create a "how to" guide, to format and draw out plans for members to template/ base off of.

 

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