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Posting as merely 'GUEST'

GUEST 14 Aug 01 - 10:55 AM
sophocleese 14 Aug 01 - 09:16 AM
GUEST 14 Aug 01 - 07:13 AM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 14 Aug 01 - 12:27 AM
sophocleese 13 Aug 01 - 10:56 PM
GUEST 11 Aug 01 - 10:50 AM
GUEST,Toledo 11 Aug 01 - 10:28 AM
GUEST 11 Aug 01 - 10:06 AM
Celtic Soul 11 Aug 01 - 12:39 AM
sophocleese 10 Aug 01 - 10:35 PM
Celtic Soul 10 Aug 01 - 08:24 PM
GUEST,merely 'GUEST' 10 Aug 01 - 06:45 PM
GUEST 10 Aug 01 - 03:06 PM
GUEST 10 Aug 01 - 02:57 PM
katlaughing 10 Aug 01 - 02:54 PM
Brían 10 Aug 01 - 02:03 PM
GUEST 10 Aug 01 - 01:47 PM
katlaughing 10 Aug 01 - 12:52 PM
GUEST 10 Aug 01 - 12:14 PM
GUEST,JMR 10 Aug 01 - 09:26 AM
GUEST 10 Aug 01 - 08:45 AM
Bill D 09 Aug 01 - 10:58 PM
Jon Freeman 09 Aug 01 - 09:10 PM
John Routledge 09 Aug 01 - 09:07 PM
Jon Freeman 09 Aug 01 - 09:01 PM
harpgirl 09 Aug 01 - 08:17 PM
Noreen 09 Aug 01 - 08:08 PM
GUEST 09 Aug 01 - 08:02 PM
harpgirl 09 Aug 01 - 07:55 PM
Noreen 09 Aug 01 - 07:54 PM
harpgirl 09 Aug 01 - 07:48 PM
GUEST,Shenandoah 09 Aug 01 - 07:22 PM
Gary T 09 Aug 01 - 07:14 PM
Bill D 09 Aug 01 - 06:07 PM
Noreen 09 Aug 01 - 05:40 PM
Noreen 09 Aug 01 - 05:33 PM
GUEST 09 Aug 01 - 04:52 PM
GUEST 09 Aug 01 - 04:46 PM
MMario 09 Aug 01 - 04:15 PM
GUEST,Shenandoah 09 Aug 01 - 04:00 PM
Don Firth 09 Aug 01 - 04:00 PM
Sourdough 09 Aug 01 - 02:27 PM
GUEST,Shenandoah 09 Aug 01 - 01:53 PM
MMario 09 Aug 01 - 01:37 PM
GUEST,Shenandoah 09 Aug 01 - 01:34 PM
Kjell 09 Aug 01 - 11:16 AM
Snuffy 09 Aug 01 - 08:38 AM
Celtic Soul 08 Aug 01 - 09:09 PM
Sourdough 08 Aug 01 - 07:07 PM
Rt Revd Sir jOhn from Hull 08 Aug 01 - 06:58 PM
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Subject: RE: Posting as merely 'GUEST'
From: GUEST
Date: 14 Aug 01 - 10:55 AM

Shape changers, changelings, and fairies all have a special role to play in keeping us all on our toes, eh?

But this thread is getting too long to load...let's morph it into...

Guest Fairies Welcome Here


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Subject: RE: Posting as merely 'GUEST'
From: sophocleese
Date: 14 Aug 01 - 09:16 AM

I'm not sure "Too many guests are shape-changers" some are and some aren't. Many members are rude buggers at times too. They give me a headache.


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Subject: RE: Posting as merely 'GUEST'
From: GUEST
Date: 14 Aug 01 - 07:13 AM

Sophocleese,

Considering the type of persons in question, I think your expectation that they will ever get beyond square one may not be very realistic. Just keep on keepin' on.


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Subject: RE: Posting as merely 'GUEST'
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 14 Aug 01 - 12:27 AM

I read through most of these postings and now I have a headache. If I take a potshot at somebody, they can return fire since my post is identifiable, which is as it should be. Guest traddle is at least identifiable in this thread, so I could aim a reply back if I felt like it. Too many guests are shape-changers, they set up a topic and then flame-complain if you ask for facts.


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Subject: RE: Posting as merely 'GUEST'
From: sophocleese
Date: 13 Aug 01 - 10:56 PM

Just thought that some of the ideas in this thread hadn't been seen by some who are back at square one again.

I'm glad Guest of August 11 at 10:06 that I managed to say something the rang true for someone, somewhere.


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Subject: RE: Posting as merely 'GUEST'
From: GUEST
Date: 11 Aug 01 - 10:50 AM

Celtic Soul,

See the above post re: keyword searching matching email accounts, IPs, log-in passwords, and content.

Of course you are anonymous to Mudcat in the sense that I don't know who you are. But then, I don't have any interest in knowing who you are, and what you do on-line.

Increasingly, employers are following their employees on-line tracks. Former spouses/disgruntled lovers are using the technology for stalking. Hackers with criminal intent (usually financial exploitation of people's on-line identities) engage in identity theft. People who are engaged in political activist work (especially those on the left, whom the FBI, CIA and other law enforcement information gathering agencies like immigration, welfare, etc) are often monitored for both on and off line activity. And then there are those people who just prefer anonymity for privacy reasons, ie the same reason they choose to have unlisted phone numbers,etc.

Those are the privacy issues. A person who chooses to protect themselves for any of the above perfectly valid reasons, with the technology available to them, simply won't post in Mudcat or anywhere else with a consistent identity (ie email account, passwords, identity labels like many use in Mudcat to log-on, etc).

Again, hope this helps you understand the concerns some people share regarding right to privacy on-line a bit better.


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Subject: RE: Posting as merely 'GUEST'
From: GUEST,Toledo
Date: 11 Aug 01 - 10:28 AM

Oops! Sorry, meant to fill in from line with handle on the 10:06 a.m. message.


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Subject: RE: Posting as merely 'GUEST'
From: GUEST
Date: 11 Aug 01 - 10:06 AM

Sophocleese said:

"Some people need to know who is calling before they pick up the phone and some people don't need to know. But what's the use if you get the technology to let you screen out unwanted callers but cannot resist picking up the phone every time it rings anyway?"

Ah, this is it exactly sophocleese! Thank you for wonderful analogy. Also for the great insight into the "two types of people" who choose to post here as members and guest users. I'm an ideas person, not a relationship person. I'm no recluse, but I have a small circle of intimate friends I socialize with, and I try to keep the circle of acquaintances I interact with personally to a modest level. Being an artist, I need to set aside tremendous amounts of time for myself to get my work done.

I've had an unlisted phone number for over 10 years--before the "technology of privacy invasion" hit full steam. I realize I am now a distinct minority within the US population who even cares about protecting my privacy, especially among the younger set. I no longer post on the Internet using my real life identity. Not because I'm trying to "hide secrets" but because it keeps the number of posts to my email box down to a reasonable level I can manage on a daily basis. Before I made this change, I got a lot of unsolicited emails from wonderful, well meaning folks who wanted simply to chat because of this or that thing they had read that I'd written. It became a huge drain on my time, and I found I wasn't enjoying my time on-line anymore. I love the anonymity of the internet to exchange ideas.

But because I have plenty of good supportive relationships in my life, and I have a busy, full life to boot, I don't come on-line looking for community. I come here to side-step a lot of the emotional undertow of such relationships, and save my emotional energy for the people close to me in real life.

As to the phone thing, I don't have caller id. I often turn off the ringer on my phone. I never answer it when I'm "at work" (which is out of my home). One of the cardinal rules of at-home workers who have learned to use their time effectively is to use technology (ie voice messaging/answering machine) to answer the phone, while you get your work done.

The only real problem I have with Mudcat now is that the forum discussions about music (my reason for coming here) has been overtaken by the "community" that Mudcat has become. So my days here are numbered too (soon back to school year schedules). I'll spend my limited on-line time in forums where music is being seriously discussed, not here.

That's the way it goes on-line. It is cyclical. But when groups get hijacked from their original purpose, it's usually a sign of impending death, not a low point in the cycle. If no one with substantive knowledge about music frequents the forum, Mudcat will have outlived it's usefulness to the music community.

This summer, it looks as though that may just be where we've ended up. But hey--there are still a number of good music forums out there. For every group that bites the dust, another will rise in it's place.

Ciao!


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Subject: RE: Posting as merely 'GUEST'
From: Celtic Soul
Date: 11 Aug 01 - 12:39 AM

I still have one question on this topic, and then I think I will leave its ashes alone.

I am *still* completely anonymous. I have not attached a name I use anywhere else, and I have no e-mail attached either. I really am curious to hear how this makes me "vulnerable" on the internet. I would be very impressed if anyone could find anything at all about me other than what I have posted here.

I do believe that the fundamental conflict here is a battle that cannot be won, however.

I apologize to the Mudcat for opening this can of worms.


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Subject: RE: Posting as merely 'GUEST'
From: sophocleese
Date: 10 Aug 01 - 10:35 PM

We appear to have difficulty dealing with two distinct methods of communicating in the same forum. There are those who like to know who they are speaking with and can be very, almost paranoically, uncomfortable with words without attached humans. They are more interested in the people speaking and in the way their ideas evolve. Then there are those who are far more interested in the words and the ideas on their own than they are in the people who wrote them and they become defensive when asked for some kind of credentials, because the seeking for identity often overshadows, or downright ignores, the intelligence or thoughtfulness of an anonymous posting. At the extremes of both of these views are the people who cannot understand the logic of the other side and then either fade away or become very, very rude and abusive.

When somebody suggests that they have not been treated with reasonable courtesy it makes sense, if you're interested, in finding out how or why. If you're not interested in doing that much then you can keep your keyboard closed. Abuse does not lead to any understanding. Affirmations of "Well I was treated all right therefore you must be mistaken in thinking that you weren't." are pretty much useless.

It seems to me that the simplest thing that everyone can do is realize that not all anonymous guests appear with evil intent. Like an inkblot test anonymous postings often bring out what other members think is intended, which is sometimes pretty foul, but isn't really the intent of the ink. If you are uncomfortable replying to someone who doesn't post a name then don't reply.

Its kind of funny because there has been another thread running about phone numbers, listed or unlisted, and the various ways in which the phone companies can and cannot help or hinder. Some people need to know who is calling before they pick up the phone and some people don't need to know. But what's the use if you get the technology to let you screen out unwanted callers but cannot resist picking up the phone every time it rings anyway?


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Subject: RE: Posting as merely 'GUEST'
From: Celtic Soul
Date: 10 Aug 01 - 08:24 PM

"GUEST" wrote; "It matters not how many times members *say* they treat guests well. What matters is how guests actually feel they are treated here.

A number of guests and current members who are former guests, say they don't feel they are treated equally, or well.

Actions speak louder than too much protestations doth".

Can I just tell you that the *only* time I was made to feel the least bit uncomfortable here was when I first joined, and it was from an anonymous "GUEST" who posts much in the same style you do?

I have no way of knowing if it *was* you or not, as you have no handle, nor did they. All I can tell you is I joined and was entreated to some pretty impolite behavior, and not by any of the regulars.

I am still getting my "Cat" feet here, and have appreciated the regulars patience with me. However, if anything has tainted my experience at all (and it has not to any appreciable degree, as I will not let it), it would be the aforementioned.

So my question would be: Does it matter how I feel I have been treated? Or is your statement (as quoted above) only reserved for those without a name or membership?


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Subject: RE: Posting as merely 'GUEST'
From: GUEST,merely 'GUEST'
Date: 10 Aug 01 - 06:45 PM

I love Mudcat. Where else would someone like me get a thread about himself stretching out to over 160 postings? I am so humbled. Most people simply ignore me, but not the Mudcatters. Especially the inner clique, who are the nicest people I have ever met on the Net. I think everyone on Mudcat is wonderful, kind, and considerate, and I am most grateful for being given my 15 minutes of fame, so to speak.

merely 'GUEST'


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Subject: RE: Posting as merely 'GUEST'
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Aug 01 - 03:06 PM

Trys again...

I know what I post and what I don't post. You don't. If there is one other anonymous guest posting to the same thread as me, I know it. So does the other anonymous guest. And Max. None of the rest of you knows for sure, but we do.


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Subject: RE: Posting as merely 'GUEST'
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Aug 01 - 02:57 PM

Brian,

I don't consistently post anonymously. Sometimes I post with a handle. I've seen other guest users type a handle I've previously used in the From line. Of course, Max and I would be the only ones who know for sure when it is being done.

Based upon my personal experience with this, I suspect some member users are sometimes impersonating guest users.

Only Max knows for sure.

Myself, I could care less if someone wants to try to impersonate me by "stealing" a label/name. This is the Internet, and seeing people impersonate someone in a discussion forum or newsgroup is hardly the worst of what is usually done with identity theft. I'd certainly rather be impersonated by some twit, than have hackers messing with me any day.

It helps to have a healthy perspective in this regard, and to keep uttering this mantra "Its only a amessage in an Internet group, not a textbook on brain surgery to be published within 24 hours."


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Subject: RE: Posting as merely 'GUEST'
From: katlaughing
Date: 10 Aug 01 - 02:54 PM

Each and every anonymous guest knows if there is more than just themselves participating in any given thread, this is so illogical it is laughable.


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Subject: RE: Posting as merely 'GUEST'
From: Brían
Date: 10 Aug 01 - 02:03 PM

???????????

Brían.


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Subject: RE: Posting as merely 'GUEST'
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Aug 01 - 01:47 PM

Each and every anonymous guest knows if there is more than just themselves participating in any given thread, so we do have that "advantage" (if some wish to perceive it that way) over everyone else.

There is also no "proof" as you say kat, that anonymous guests also aren't members posting anonymously. I've seen numerous instances of members wanting to "prove" how easy it is to "steal" a member's identity (and how awful we should feel about that), steal the identity of a guest user they don't like/disagree with, only to fess up to doing it in a follow-up message. I've also seen a number of other posters use the handles I've signed in with previously post as guests. I know it isn't me, but of course, no one else does. I suspect the person doing it is either a member who wants me to bite the troll bait, or a troll who has perused the archive, and figures that by using a previously used handle of someone who has been involved in controversial discussions (whom the members clearly enjoy flaming) can get the fire roaring that much more quickly by posting some simple provocation.

The response by certain members is entirely predictable.

I haven't seen any guests "demanding respect" in this thread. I have seen numerous guests, some members who are former guests, and some members say that there are some pretty hostile and rude members of Mudcat who are doing the discussion of music in this forum a disservice, however.

I don't care what anyone thinks of me. Not because I'm an insensitive lout, but because I'm here for discussion, not friendship and community, just like the above guest.

I love the idea of everyone having to post anonymously! That way egos and personalities wouldn't dominate, and we could have meaningful exchanges based upon what was actually being said about music instead of commenting on one another's personalities and personal foibles.


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Subject: RE: Posting as merely 'GUEST'
From: katlaughing
Date: 10 Aug 01 - 12:52 PM

Can all of the anon. GUESTS of this thread understand they have no valid argument as there is no proof that there is more than one of them? That's part of why it keeps going round in circles.

Imagine a room full of people who are absolutely identitcal, refuse to share any kind of names name with people who have chosen to use nicknames or their real names. The GUESTS then demand respect from all? Doesn't fly. Until a GUEST can be distinguised from another, even by using a simple numeral, it will be assumed, and rightly so, that it is the same GUEST, over and over.

Imagine the Anon. GUESTS of the Mudcat trying to cope with the regulars if everyone suddenly posted as GUEST only? Who would they whine about then?

kat

This is not the same as someone who posts as GUEST with a handle, as Celtic Soul did.


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Subject: RE: Posting as merely 'GUEST'
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Aug 01 - 12:14 PM

This anonymous guest has refrained from participating in this discussion, because the originator of this thread posed an innocent question and then stated that his/her question had basically been answered. However, like other good threads, the topic raised often inspires poignant and intelligent conversation on related themes.

Still, it seemed as though the thread had devolved into yet another attempt by one side to convince the other of the validity of their arguments, and past attempts at this have proven to be futile. There is no reason to think that this attempt or future attempts will meet with any better success. Both sides, from their respective viewpoints, make convincing and logical presentations for their positions.

It is also useless, IMO, to speculate why some members have such adamant misgivings toward guests who post anonymously. Understanding the underlying reasons does not change the fact that these members, regardless of the content of the post, will always have difficulty with those who choose to post anonymously, for various reasons which they have stated repeatedly. They are, of course, perfectly entitled to their opinions, and ultimately, are justified (at least in their own eyes - but often with good reason supplied by anonymous flamers and trolls). It is not to them that the civilized and inocuous content of anonymous posts is directed. Clearly, the message contained in unsigned words is not for everyone, nor should it be.

Disregarding the messages whose intent is to incite incivility or disparage another person, anonymous posts are for anyone whose primary interest is in the message being conveyed within the words. They are for anyone who doesn't mind that one anonymous post may be incendiary, another insightful, or that the author of both posts may be one and the same. They are for the discriminating reader who can ignore what he or she finds offensive, and focus on what he or she finds interesting. They are for those who are less interested in forming friendships or establishing a milieu of mutual support, but more interested in the exchange of thoughts, ideas and information. They are for those who don't care who says it, but do care about what's being said.

Not being able to speak for anyone other than this anonymous poster, it matters less what one thinks of me personally, or whether my behavior is deemed acceptable by the membered regulars, or even whether I am accepted by the established members or relegated to the class of flamers and trolls. The only thing that matters to me is what you think about the words being said here.

Anonymous guests in this thread, have in some instances articulated very eloquently my own inchoate reasons regarding anonymous posts. Many thanks to them for saying what I have been struggling to say for some time.


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Subject: RE: Posting as merely 'GUEST'
From: GUEST,JMR
Date: 10 Aug 01 - 09:26 AM

I agree with GUEST.


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Subject: RE: Posting as merely 'GUEST'
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Aug 01 - 08:45 AM

Jon,

I see no evidence of trolling or wind ups from the guest users in this thread. I do, however, see us (yes, us--not me--we have what appears to be at least three anonymous guest users in this thread, possibly more) contributing to a thread asking anonymous guest users why they choose to post anonymously.

Because one/some of the guest users makes certain Mudcat members feel uncomfortable with their insights and contributions, doesn't make them trolls (certainly not by the common Usenet standard, available at any of the on-line jargon dictionary sites, or general practice of trolls in Usenet groups).

But your claim here that at least one guest user here is a troll, I see in your message just the sort of sadly predictable over-reaction that starts the whole vicious cycle. Because both reasonable, polite guest users and members are now beginning to support the anonymous and identified guest users, we see things once again on the brink of descending into flaming guest users. Justification? Well, you think one of them is troll.

This thread was started by a guest user, who asked other guest users why some would choose to post anonymously. The guest users have been very civil, IMO. Even members have come into this thread to say the flaming of guests was inappropriate in this thread.

Mudcat has a serious problem with a few *member* trolls though, who routinely try and incite other members (as some have noted, there is a regular group of members who can nearly always be counted on to join in and gang up on guest users they don't know, don't like, or just plain disagree with) to leap on the lemming wagon, and start flaming away.

Max allows the guest user to choose how they wish to post. He has stated he is not willing to change the log-in at this time. It seems to me, there is a core group of members who are really pissed off at Max about this, but are taking it out on the guest users because they haven't been able to make Max give them what they want to wit: not allowing guest users to post in Mudcat anonymously. I believe what some members actually expect here is for Mudcat to operate like a private mailing list.

It doesn't, and Max has said it won't. This disgruntled lot seems to have attempted to usurp Max's authority here, and defacto rule the roost by playing gate keeper in ways which Max may or may not support.

But the point is, as long as the forum allows it, members who treat guests badly are clearly alienating some newcomers and occassional users. That isn't very conducive to the discussion of folk music here, especially when there are many other excellent forums for discussion of folk and blues music where one needn't put up with jerks like some of the self-appointed Mudcat cops here.

.05 worth, and the meter is still on. ;-)


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Subject: RE: Posting as merely 'GUEST'
From: Bill D
Date: 09 Aug 01 - 10:58 PM

well, I for one, have done about all I can, and plan to edge quietly out of this debate...My views are known, and I can't force anyone to do anything....I have 'tried' to avoid simplistic insults, while making it clear that I consider totally anonymous 'guests' to be awkward to deal with.

Now, let's see if I can just pay attention to my own admonitions and shut up about it....


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Subject: RE: Posting as merely 'GUEST'
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 09 Aug 01 - 09:10 PM

(by moderation above, I mean don't go too excessive on BS - how excessive is too excessive is anyone's guess of course!)


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Subject: RE: Posting as merely 'GUEST'
From: John Routledge
Date: 09 Aug 01 - 09:07 PM

Jon - Depends on who the GUESTS are. A philosophical statement if ever ther was one!! John


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Subject: RE: Posting as merely 'GUEST'
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 09 Aug 01 - 09:01 PM

One of the troubles I have had in leaving Mudcat is that as I was around a while and still have contacts here, I get to hear about certain threads and can't resist reading. I have read this one now so here goes...

I see what was (although discussed many times over) a reasonable suggestion by Celtic Soul and I see it now turning into in-fighting.

Why? My own opinion which could be wrong is that many of the guest posts here were a troll by one person but it makes little difference except to say if you think it's a troll, stay out - you can't win but can end up drawn into fights.

Either way, some posters here have yet again managed to supply fuel to arguements. Whether the poster is genuine or not, the worst thing you can do is insult - in this case, all the insulters do is draw justification to the plight of the Guest and their mistreatement by members (and I believe there is some validity there - esp when it comes to making controversial comments) and in the worst case, an innocent person could have been offended for giving thier view point.

IMO, the biggest single problem in this forum is not one of guests or IP addresses or anything like that - it is a simple matter of failing to see the other side.

In my time here I have seen what I could call an "anyone can post anything as long as I approve" attitude and an "I can post what I like regardless of what anyone else thinks" attitude...

The set up of Mudcat makes it IMO one of the biggest challenges amongst internet forums i.e. how to exist as a pretty well unmoderated forum with people who's only guaranteed common interest in life is folk/blues music. We don't even know backgrouns, whether some prefer to me loners, whether others prefer a community or what.

We tend to fail at the first hurdles such "as how do we make life enjoyable for the BruceO's of this world and still have it fun for the Catspaws?" There must be a way and I feel sure more effort could be made by all.

Mudcat can still grow (Max willing) but in my whatever time I've been here, I've seen circular patterns rather than any forward movement. Is there no way that we can: Learn to cope with Guests whether they be trolls or not (most aren't and many give good contributions) and maybe accept and work on the fact that our only common interest is music and at least try to understand and help the other side (just in case anyone wonders, I am pro BS but also in favour of moderation or looking for alternative channels that maybe even Max could provide).

Just my rant and thoughts and maybe a hopeful plea.

Jon


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Subject: RE: Posting as merely 'GUEST'
From: harpgirl
Date: 09 Aug 01 - 08:17 PM

...my Lancashire born and bred greatgrandmother and my Lancashire born and bred grandfather always said "Some people ignore the message and kill the messenger....don't be among them, Noreen. You are too smart for that.


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Subject: RE: Posting as merely 'GUEST'
From: Noreen
Date: 09 Aug 01 - 08:08 PM

I should ? Careful...


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Subject: RE: Posting as merely 'GUEST'
From: GUEST
Date: 09 Aug 01 - 08:02 PM

Member users or guest users--we are ALL Max's guests, no? Maybe members need to start behaving more like guests, and less like company that never leaves. <:0


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Subject: RE: Posting as merely 'GUEST'
From: harpgirl
Date: 09 Aug 01 - 07:55 PM

...maybe you should...


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Subject: RE: Posting as merely 'GUEST'
From: Noreen
Date: 09 Aug 01 - 07:54 PM

No.


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Subject: RE: Posting as merely 'GUEST'
From: harpgirl
Date: 09 Aug 01 - 07:48 PM

I agree with you Gary T. There is tremendous pressure to get people who want to remain more anonymous, to fall in line, despite Max's desire to allow this practice. When I come upon an anonymous user who is pointing out our dysfunctionality, I say to myself " Well, what if this is Max saying this?" Does anyone else do this?????


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Subject: RE: Posting as merely 'GUEST'
From: GUEST,Shenandoah
Date: 09 Aug 01 - 07:22 PM

Thanks Gary, for your open mindedness, trying to walk a ways in the shoes of guest users.


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Subject: RE: Posting as merely 'GUEST'
From: Gary T
Date: 09 Aug 01 - 07:14 PM

In this thread alone I've seen evidence that those who choose to post as unnamed GUESTS get grief for it. Though some of those posts involved speaking critically or, as mentioned, provocatively, none struck me as being beyond the bounds of decency or respectful discussion. I think the badgering of GUESTS on this thread is out of proportion to statements in their posts.

One GUEST explained his concerns about security. Several responders didn't share those concerns. It's fine to disagree, but was there any call for the ridicule and belittlement in some of the responses? I think they were out of line.

I understand, and support, being wary of "GUEST" posts. I don't believe, however, that said wariness should preclude giving some benefit of the doubt and some attempt to see things from another's point of view. I have seen scant evidence of that sort of openmindedness.

It is a bit disconcerting sometimes, responding to a GUEST, especially if there is back and forth discussion and possibly more than one person appearing as GUEST. I just don't think that antagonistic posts improve the situation for anyone. Surely we can do a bit better.


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Subject: RE: Posting as merely 'GUEST'
From: Bill D
Date: 09 Aug 01 - 06:07 PM

when Mudcat started it HAD no 'members'... having a cookie-identified name was Max's way of giving MORE features..like your own links and PMs...it also helped flamers and trolls from usurping the name of nice people and creating extra problems. People are STILL welcome to post regularly without a cookie, and many do...but most USE a name. Many serious bouts of name calling and harassment were **SPECIFICALLY** done by 'guests' abusing the system and hiding...so you wonder why we dislike it?

as to USENET....every post I see in, for example rec.music.folk, HAS a named author. It can be changed, but unless you NAME yourself 'anon', you have a name...there are no 'blanks' allowed.

You can be as anonymous there as you can here, but to conduct sane conversations, you need a consistent ID.

catspaw? he has a mouth, doesn't he?..but you sure know where to find him, and can PM or email him if you want to yell at him for it!...I have, more than once...but this debating with shadows leaves me with a bad taste in my mouth.


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Subject: RE: Posting as merely 'GUEST'
From: Noreen
Date: 09 Aug 01 - 05:40 PM

Sorry, Max.

I'm not getting involved in this "discussion". I think all that can reasonable said to an unreasonable person has already been tried, by many caring members.

Noreen


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Subject: RE: Posting as merely 'GUEST'
From: Noreen
Date: 09 Aug 01 - 05:33 PM

...a number of anonymous and named guest users have stated repeatedly in this thread...

Really? When you can't convince us of your point under one anonymous identity you try and pretend that there are several anonymous (and named) GUESTs posting, with the same axe to grind, the same style of writing, and who all appear on and leave the forum at the same time? Give us credit for a little intelligence.


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Subject: RE: Posting as merely 'GUEST'
From: GUEST
Date: 09 Aug 01 - 04:52 PM

It matters not how many times members *say* they treat guests well. What matters is how guests actually feel they are treated here.

A number of guests and current members who are former guests, say they don't feel they are treated equally, or well.

Actions speak louder than too much protestations doth.


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Subject: RE: Posting as merely 'GUEST'
From: GUEST
Date: 09 Aug 01 - 04:46 PM

MMario,

No, I think a number of anonymous and named guest users have stated repeatedly in this thread, the "problem" is only with flamers and trollers.

As a number of us guest users have said, the problem is with members scapegoating and flaming guest users.

None of the guests in this thread have behaved badly, despite some choosing to speak provocatively. As to guest users being insulting, I don't think anyone's message have been more rude and insulting than catspaws.

The double standard for "acceptable" behavior for members and guests is bullshit.


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Subject: RE: Posting as merely 'GUEST'
From: MMario
Date: 09 Aug 01 - 04:15 PM

uhm - shenandoah - the "problem" members here have with guest is ONLY with unidentified flamers and trolls. Other then that we are HAPPY to have guests - named, un-named, regular, irregular, long term, short term, whatever. this has been stated over and over and over and over. However - there are posts - again from unidentified posters - that try to turn this into "guest persecution" . I don't thing any reasonable person thinks it unreasonable to want to know who it is that is slamming a friend - or one's self. And if the un-named is contributing to a discussion - a nametag certainly helps.

"Too attached to ones's mudcat identities?" -why wouldn't one be? My login name represents "me" - my opinions, my thoughts, my postings. It allows people to lookup every post I have made on the forum over five years. If someone shanghai's my id - it is basically the same as if they started sending out e-mail from my account - or signing checks with my name on them.


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Subject: RE: Posting as merely 'GUEST'
From: GUEST,Shenandoah
Date: 09 Aug 01 - 04:00 PM

Soudough,

While I appreciate that you value the community here a great deal, it doesn't mean that is what all users value. And I mean that with no flame intended whatsoever.

Not everyone who comes to Mudcat is seeking on-line community and camraderie. Some really are here to learn and to share in the website as one of many fine folk music resources on the Internet.

I don't know how many of the long-time regular members of Mudcat regularly visit and participate other folk music forums on-line, but it seems a good number of guest users do. I think that is where some Mudcat members just don't get what we are talking about. Some of us feel as though Mudcat, in comparison to other on-line forums, isn't any better a community, nor is the expertise here better than those other communities, etc.

Do you understand what I mean? As I said, I lurk in some other forums, participate on some mailing lists. They all have many fine, knowledgeable, helpful people. Rarely does a posters identity get challenged (flamers and trollers are the only ones who do). Most people in those groups do use their real life identitities, but those who choose not to aren't harrassed like they are here.

There really is a noticeable difference between this folk forum and other folk forums in this very specific (ie over guest users) regard.

When you join a mailing list discussion group, everyone is a member, and so this "us vs. them" mentality never develops. When you post to a Usenet newsgroup, you don't "log-in" you just post. Website forums which require log-ins are a sort of hybrid between those two. I admit I've never been to a website forum which allows both guest and member users to post. In that sense, Mudcat is unique. I just think that extending the membership benefits to the forum log-in is a mistake. Members could have all their benefits they currently enjoy, and the forum could be such that no one had to log on, just as guest users do now.

It seems to me the real problem here is some Mudcat members are a little too attached to their Mudcat identities. Its pretty bizarre, to my way of thinking, that anyone would make such an issue of a log-in handle as a personal "identity" anyway. But that's me.

I'm sure you are right about my opinion being a minority viewpoint here. But because its a minority viewpoint doesn't mean it should disregarded and ignored. A number of guest users this summer have complained about the treatment they have received from members. I think they have the right to be heard and should be taken seriously.

We are all users of the same forum, after all.


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Subject: RE: Posting as merely 'GUEST'
From: Don Firth
Date: 09 Aug 01 - 04:00 PM

I agree with everything Sourdough says.

There may be something to GUEST,Shenandoah's perception that guests are treated badly or being pressured to join.

The problem, I think, stems from the fact that recently there has been at least one GUEST whose apparent purpose here is to spread paranoia and stir up discord. As a result, when regular visitors to Mudcat (members or regular guest visitors) see a post from "GUEST," there is no way to tell if this is someone who is seriously asking for or offering information--or the troublemaker. The immediate reaction under these circumstances is, of course, suspicion. If I respond sincerely and openly to GUEST's post, I'm not sure whether I'm dealing with a normal human being or with some pathetic sod who is going to respond to my response with something insulting. It happens. A lot! So if there seems to be a cold response to guests (and I haven't noticed this, but I've been around for a while so I don't necessarily see things the way a newcomer would), then that's the reason. Guests are welcome! Provided they behave the same way one can reasonable expect a guest to behave in the 3-D world. If someone behaves this way in the 3-D world, it should come as no surprise if the reaction they get is negative. Here, it's easy for someone so inclined to behave badly, because they can hide behind anonymity. This, unfortunately, can give the sickies an opportunity to go around barfing on people.

And as far as being pressured to join is concerned, what people are saying is "Come on in, the water's fine!" not "Join or I'll break your knees." When I first started hanging around, I got the same invitation and felt because of it that I was welcome (Catspaw49 was the first, bless his heart!). But I never felt pressured, nor did anybody treat me badly until I joined. With my life-long interest in folk music, I found a bunch of kindred souls, so--naturally--I did join. I've since found Mudcat absolutely invaluable on many levels--at least to me.

On a down note, if newcomers do feel that they are regarded with suspicion and are made to feel uncomfortable, I am genuinely sorry. But it demonstrates that our gadfly, the troublemaking GUEST has at least partially succeeded in sowing a measure of discord in an otherwise warm and welcoming place. I hope this troublemaking GUEST is proud. Accomplishing that is really something to tell the grandchildren.

All guests and newcomers of good intent, please bear with us.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Posting as merely 'GUEST'
From: Sourdough
Date: 09 Aug 01 - 02:27 PM

I can't agree that this is a flame-ridden site. There are well over a hundred current discussions going on at any time and the number of participants and topics has been growing steadily over the past years. The occasional flame wars that sweep throough other sites makes the whining that some people do here seem very petty.

In my opinion, this is an amazingly comfortable, welcoming, supportive site with people who have gotten to know each other over a period of years.

That its main purpose, to be a source for information, where anyone, friend or stranger, can come and benefit from the knowledge of others, is extraordinary. When a muisc question or lyric search is requested, people race each other to be helpful, to be of service. I like being a part of that.

I think Guest Shenandoah's is a minority view. Max and his helpers have created an extraordinary community. Further than that, the DT database is an achievement worthy of being a life's work and for which tens of thousands of peole are already grateful. And it's free because of volunteer efforts.

I would think that any creation that promotes friendship appreciation of music and poetry, that exists to help people, preserves traditional music and has held to its main purposes for several years has to be worth a great deal of respect. As for the people who have created the database and the site, even more so. That is why so many of the long-time members, when they make suggestions, do so with a tone of appreciation for what they are given.

In the past two years, this site has become a real part of my life. I feel as though I know people here, people who post regularly. I see their names on a post and I can put what they say in a context of the literally hundreds of other messages they have written at earlier times. Over the months, a picture of each has emerged in my mind. I have learned about singers and songs from people who have a first hand knowledge that makes what they have to say rich and exciting. There are people here with whom I would never have had contact with if it weren't for Mudcat. There are songs and stories I would not know if it weren't for Mudcat. Recently, while planning a cross country trip, I asked for suggestions about where to visit. One suggestion I received turned out to be the highlight of my trip. If it weren't for Mudcat, I would never have known the place existed.

I wonder if the few people who do complain about being badly treated here also appreciate the undoubtedly good things about this unique site made possible by the efforts of ohers.

Sourdough


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Subject: RE: Posting as merely 'GUEST'
From: GUEST,Shenandoah
Date: 09 Aug 01 - 01:53 PM

MMario,

Scroll up in this thread, and you will see a number of anonymous guests and guests with handles complaining of being treated badly. Kjell said he/she felt invisible when posting as GUEST Kjell. Many people who are newcomers to the forum quickly realize that they will be treated badly if they don't become members. If you post something of interest as a guest, some member comes in and says "why don't you join"? If you announce yourself as a newcomer, posting as guest, someone inevitably says "why don't you join"? Then, if you decline, you get treated badly.

While some of this scrutiny of guests is well-intentioned, it isn't always well received. Many people are shy and don't want to be singled out that way for attention. Some of us don't want to join, because we've already joined about a million website discussion forums, only to find we rarely participate. Some of those website discussion forums flood your mailbox. And thank you, I know it is an option when joining Mudcat to be on a mailing list. Regulars need to understand that not everyone who comes here wants to be a regular. Not everyone who comes here regularly as a lurker and occassional poster, wants to be a member.

I think there is a lot of bigotry towards non-members here, just as some other guest users who posted previously to this thread have said.

If members choose not to believe that, and continue to harrass and intimidate guest users, this forum will,IMO, suffer in the long run. I feel it already has in the short run.

Your denial about the ways guests are being treated is the very attitude that causes some of us guests to feel like pariahs, to feel invisible, and as though we will never be treated well unless we join.

I don't think that is the way people who care deeply about Mudcat want to be seen. But in recent months, a number of different guests have said that is the way it is for them.

By denying their experience in Mudcat, just because it doesn't match your own, isn't fair to the newcomers.

Peace.


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Subject: RE: Posting as merely 'GUEST'
From: MMario
Date: 09 Aug 01 - 01:37 PM

?? yes - it occurred previous to that - which is why the split occurred.

And you are the FIRST guest I have ever seen claim to have been treated badly aside from the anonymous ones.


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Subject: RE: Posting as merely 'GUEST'
From: GUEST,Shenandoah
Date: 09 Aug 01 - 01:34 PM

Interesting observation Kjell. I think it speaks volumes as to how guests are treated here whether using a handle or posting anonymously. I've seen a number of other guests say the same thing. They felt like pariahs until they joined.

Which is a large part of the problem with having two ways of posting, rather than one. I belong to a number of mailing lists, lurk on Usenet's alt.music.bluegrass and rec.music.folk, and never have I seen the hostility over identity anywhere but here. And I've been on-line in these groups for a bit of a spell.

I just think it is very sad, as Mudcat never used to be this way before Max split the forum technically between member and guest users.

Sigh.


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Subject: RE: Posting as merely 'GUEST'
From: Kjell
Date: 09 Aug 01 - 11:16 AM

I have just recently got my cookie back, I hated being GuestKjell I felt as if I was invisible. But to post without any ID - whats the point, it does not add to the mudcat, it detracts.
Kjell


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Subject: RE: Posting as merely 'GUEST'
From: Snuffy
Date: 09 Aug 01 - 08:38 AM

"So, what does everyone think about Celtic/Jazz fusion, anyway? "

Are you trying to start a REAL flame war??!!?? **BG**


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Subject: RE: Posting as merely 'GUEST'
From: Celtic Soul
Date: 08 Aug 01 - 09:09 PM

Woah.

OK. Apologies all around. It was not my intent to stir up a hornets nest, honestly. I really was only curious, and as a relative newcomer myself, had no idea things on this subject were so heated.

It was also not my intent to say that the guests themselves were "mere guests" (as if they were of less worth, or carried less weight). Rather that the name "guest" is not a lot to go on.

If people are OK with their posts potentially getting mixed up with others, hey cool by me personally (not that you need my permission). I say live and let live. I just wanted to know why.

One such said it was basically laziness. Another says it is internet identity protection. OK. That satisfies my personal curiosity.

So, what does everyone think about Celtic/Jazz fusion, anyway?


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Subject: RE: Posting as merely 'GUEST'
From: Sourdough
Date: 08 Aug 01 - 07:07 PM

Noreen,

Do you really think that is Guest Gargoyle who posted above? Anyone can log in as Guest Traddles, too. That is the only thing that Turnip Guest has suceeded in doing, making it very difficult to separate those Guests with thoughtful complaints from the ocassional one who pops in to burp.

As one of them points out, there have been some flame wars but almost always, at least every time I can think of, they have burned over and scorched bridge have been repainted. Most people learn that the deficincies of purely written communication can lead to misunderstandings. It takes patience and tolerance rather than willful parsing of messages in order to demonstrate superiority.

The worst flame wars come when someone insists on teaching stangers just how intelligent he is and spends hours of effort trying to prove it. Well, we each spend a few minutes on our messages, while the flaming turnip has to put hours into his effort.

If you wander aroudn the threads, you can see how much thought he has put into the logic of his arguments. I sure wish he had put that effort into sharing information rather than trying to correct attitudes. Sourdough


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Subject: RE: Posting as merely 'GUEST'
From: Rt Revd Sir jOhn from Hull
Date: 08 Aug 01 - 06:58 PM

gargoyle-I have decided that you are a bad guy, why don't yougo away? as I said before, when I fond out where you are I will cut your phone wires, so ypu can't mess about anymore.john


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