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Question 3: Talkboard tensions

 

Old Nov 9, 15, 10:46 am
  #1
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Question 3: Talkboard tensions

From a member. This year's Talkboard has had a lot of public bickering, name calling and snark amongst its members. Do you see yourself as a person who is capable of standing above such? In what way can you contribute to a friendlier and more tolerant FlyerTalk?
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Old Nov 9, 15, 11:42 am
  #2
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Originally Posted by SanDiego1K View Post
From a member. This year's Talkboard has had a lot of public bickering, name calling and snark amongst its members. Do you see yourself as a person who is capable of standing above such? In what way can you contribute to a friendlier and more tolerant FlyerTalk?
If I must be quite honest, this is the reason I decided to run this past week. I served my one term (2012 and 2013) and kept my promise (partially to myself) that I would not run for re-election after that term. I did what I set out to do and decided to give someone else a chance.

The public exchange and bickering between TalkBoard members recently reminds me of something that happened in my term when term limits were put in place.

There are mechanisms to deal with TalkBoard members who are incalcitrant or who are unwilling to do the job. Publicly, the TB is part of the TalkTeam and must, just as moderators must, be civil publicly. I promise that I will be if elected to the TalkBoard.
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Old Nov 9, 15, 12:41 pm
  #3
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Well, obviously I'm not as I was a big part of the "problem". If reelected I will work harder at being more diplomatic and deferential.
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Old Nov 9, 15, 1:44 pm
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This is one of the reasons I have not previously run for TB as I really don't like that style of "discussions" (and one of the reasons why I like the Marriott forum as most of the members there can and do have differing opinions yet we don't digress down to that level of posting.)

I'm hopeful that I can help keep the discussion focused on the topics and issues at hand and not be "snarky" between each other. If anyone wants to see how I post and handle "discussions", I'd just point you to looking at my posts in the various FT forums/threads I've been active with.
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Old Nov 9, 15, 4:06 pm
  #5
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I was the quiet one
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Old Nov 10, 15, 11:13 am
  #6
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It has been unfortunate that there was a lot of public personal bickering by some TB members this year, as it detracted frequently from discussions of items that were of importance to FT. I understand the frustrations that led to it, but ultimately the question that needed to be asked was, did the bickering help FT & FTers? (No).

There will always be differences in opinions and that's perfectly OK, but ultimately differences should be discussed civilly. And if any TB members are not doing their jobs properly there are mechanisms that can and have been implemented.

BTW - it's actually against TB guidelines for public sniping at each other

C. Responsibilities

i. TalkBoard Members
a. All TalkBoard members are FlyerTalkers first and foremost. TalkBoard members are expected to conform to the Terms of Service and conduct themselves with civility in a spirit of cooperation for the betterment of FlyerTalk. Personal attacks, disrespectfully calling other TalkBoard members’ motives into question and petty bickering and sniping will not be tolerated.

Whether it's on a regular forum or TB forum I try to be respectful of others & also try to get threads back on track when they go pie-shaped with snark or bickering. It's inevitable that with 500,000+ members & even 9 TB members that there will be some disagreement. But as FT TOS says, attack the idea, not the person. I try to keep that in mind when posting & will continue to do so.

Cheers.
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Old Nov 10, 15, 8:21 pm
  #7
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I believe that I have in the past done a good job of focusing on the issues at hand and keeping discussion focused on the positive. I intend to keep true to that tradition as a member of the next session of the TalkBoard.

The biggest key in contentious matters is to remember to focus on the facts and ideas and not the person. The FlyerTalk guidelines actually speak quite nicely to this, as do the TalkBoard guidelines, and it's when we lose sight of those requirements that discussions become unpleasant.

Remembering to believe the best about other people is another way that can help to keep discussions friendly. Whenever anyone posts something I don't like, I try to see the argument from their perspective, understand their rationale, read their posts in the manner that casts them in the most favorable light possible, and, if necessary, disagree with their posts in a logical and factual manner.

Is it reasonable to expect our more than half a million members all with different personalities and perspectives to get along in perfect harmony? Of course not. But I try to do the best I can to add to a fun, respectful, collegial atmosphere in my circles, and I believe we can further refine FlyerTalk's processes to extend that out further to keep our forum as welcoming and positive a place to post as any.
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Old Nov 11, 15, 2:54 am
  #8
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Bickering, personal attacks, and snark were a problem this year. It really put me on the fence about whether or not I wanted to run for TalkBoard again. As much as I love FT and being apart of the community...I did really debate this.

On occasion, I did let myself get wrapped up in some of it but I really tried to make a conscientious effort to not fall into the drama...as supporting these sorts of discussions just makes things ugly. Being human, it does happen.

If re-elected, I'll make an effort to minimize the drama as it just takes the focus away from the issue(s) at hand.

That said, good debate should be fostered and promoted.
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Old Nov 11, 15, 6:23 am
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I was tied up for a couple of days and unable to devote any time to these questions. But now I'm free.

Discussing important matters is not always pretty. We disagree strongly about some things and express those disagreements in ways that never bothered me at all. We are big boys and girls and don't need to be protected from debate.

The "problems" this past year can fairly be attributed to a single TalkBoard member whose behavior irritated probably everyone -- and certainly me in my position as TalkBoard president. That member remains on TalkBoard for another year, but we have changed our procedures in several ways to prevent one person from gumming up the works. I do not expect similar problems to occur next year.

Bruce
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Old Nov 11, 15, 6:35 am
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Originally Posted by bdschobel View Post
The "problems" this past year can fairly be attributed to a single TalkBoard member whose behavior irritated probably everyone -- and certainly me in my position as TalkBoard president. That member remains on TalkBoard for another year, but we have changed our procedures in several ways to prevent one person from gumming up the works. I do not expect similar problems to occur next year.

Bruce
I think blaming one person for the issues of the past year is uncalled for. Multiple people have been involved in and provoked ongoing bickering, arguing, etc. across different topics and discussion.

While one member has been more apt to be slow to vote in many cases (much to the frustration of some), the vitriol directed towards them might demonstrate to some why this TB member has chosen to wait so long to vote?

Per the guidelines, members have had two weeks to vote. Be it 8 of 9 people vote on the first day the vote is open or the last...it's within the established rules.

Vilifying them while they're still within the parameters of the guidelines is further uncalled for.
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Old Nov 11, 15, 6:40 am
  #11
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My statement is absolutely true. I'm not apologizing for it.

Bruce
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Old Nov 11, 15, 6:44 am
  #12
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Originally Posted by bdschobel View Post
My statement is absolutely true. I'm not apologizing for it.

Bruce
Bruce,

Just to clarify for the wider audience, you'd argue one member caused many of the problems in the past year?

Cheers.
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Old Nov 11, 15, 6:45 am
  #13
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That's what I said. And it's true.

Bruce
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Old Nov 11, 15, 6:48 am
  #14
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Originally Posted by bdschobel View Post
That's what I said. And it's true.

Bruce
Having been present for these discussions, I'd beg to differ.

There was certainly back-and-forth between more than one member (myself included at times) over different issues and topics throughout the past year.
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Old Nov 11, 15, 6:55 am
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No need to beg!

Seriously, you and I seem to be talking about two different things. Intense debate was never the problem, in my opinion. It was unnecessary delays in voting, one breathtaking failure to vote entirely, and relentless pedantry regarding correction of obvious typos and the like. But that member is not up for reelection this year, so we may have to deal with such behavior for a while longer. Fortunately, and I take a lot of credit for this, we changed our procedures to prevent one member from bringing everything to a grinding halt. This isn't the U.s. Senate!

Bruce
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