Alex and Maryann - there appears to be a discrepancy between what is explained in Alex's letter, and what is available on the new Forums - and it makes a big difference in terms of function.
I'm afraid I may have misread the new measures as well. But I'm puzzled and not sure. On the one hand, all I see that allows open discussion is the new private "public" Forum apparently intended to deal with publications. The two other Moderators or Administrators forums do not allow public discussion - I fail to see how this is significantly different from the old "send us a PM" policy, which is what I believe prompted Quincy's and Marybeth's reactions.
But the letter states, "She (Maryann) might move posts deemed suitable for members only to this private forum where all members with access privilege are still be able to view it or post to it." I gather from this that the new Forum called "Pub" will also serve for broad, member-based discussions of "turbulent" topics, and not just for publication discussions. If so, I'm a reasonably happy camper, because essentially the ability is provided to carry on an open conversation on sensitive issues. If not, I agree with what Quincy had to say. Without an open conversation, where members (with a set minimum number of posts, to assure serious commitment) look in and provide further feedback and input, Administrators are not going to get a good sense of what the membership feels. It encourages more misunderstandings, more unhelpful backchatter.
I think a clarification of the apparent difference between Maryann's statement, and the structure of the Forum, would help. (It might simply be that no discussions have been moved there, so no thread appear yet. I can't tell.)
I also recognize that open discussions can get out of hand. We're all going to have to work on that one. It is my sense that the Administration does realize that a great many of the problems which have occurred are due to the insensitivity and overreactions cited in the opening section of Alex's letter; and hopefully the membership also realizes that if we meet a more open and reasonable Administration approach with a more reasonable and less passionate/accusatory response, it will work to everybody's benefit.
Ultimately, it boils down to what David just said. Time and good will.
Last edited by Michael Cantor; 12-20-2009 at 12:07 AM.