CREATING A "Big 8" NEWSGROUP HELL
Corporate Bureaucracy and the Weekly ChatsJune 7, 1996
Something is to be said about the workings of the world. I'm not sure I'm the one to say it, but I use this forum for practically every other kind of rambling. So why not one on this...
As some of you may know, I'm in the process of proposing to moderate a newsgroup I helped found less than a year ago, sci.psychology.psychotherapy. Shortly after its inception, it began to become overrun by numerous off-topic articles on everything from scientology to pedophilia to some posters who didn't have the first clue about Usenet etiquette (and, unfortunately, still do not).
This has been the most difficult proposal I have ever written to date. It has also been the most difficult to get to a vote, based upon some people's paranoia about moderation taking away all sorts of freedoms they think are somehow guaranteed to them on Usenet. Moderation isn't meant to take anything away and in contrast, is supposed to add something to the newsgroup long lost -- signal. That is, on-topic articles having to do, first and foremost, with psychotherapy topics, by professionals and laypeople. Everything else is secondary, even according to the group's current charter.
Every time I propose a newsgroup change or addition in the "Big 8" hierarchy, I live to regret the process. Because it is tiring on me (to try and answer everyone's concerns, which range from the logical and well-thought-out to the emotional, sarcastic, and ad hominem attacks), I swear to myself I will never do another. And within 6 months, I forget and propose something else. One of these days I might learn. After doing dozens of these, you'd think I would.
Once upon a time, years ago, you could make a reasonable proposal, there'd be some rational debate on specifics, and then a vote would be taken. The whole thing seemed easier, more sensible. Now, everyone under the sun thinks they know what's best for X newsgroup, without ever having read a single Usenet group creation FAQ or knowing little to nothing about Usenet's history. Blah. And so it goes...
Anyway, thanks for letting me vent!
Someone recently wrote me some e-mail which I thought, with their permission, I'd share with you. Corporate bureacracy apparently sucks...
"Why is it that when an employee who works for a company suggests something isn't being done right, that employee is ignored and even frowned upon for his insight and knowledge base? And then, when the same thing is told to the company by a highly-paid, outside consultant, that information is suddenly important and valuable, as though it was the first time they've ever heard it?"
It really is a Dilbert-esque world, eh?
Well, since NetCentral's untimely and unexpected demise (I still don't know what happened to this Web-based chat service), my weekly chats have gone back to the WebChat Broadcasting System (WBS). I also decided to simulcast on the IRC's undernet, since that is so much more quicker to use. For more information on all this (including links to downloading IRC software), see my chat information page.
The future holds RealAudio chats on Saturdays in the near future. If you haven't seen or tried RealAudio yet, and you have an audio card in your computer, you should take a look at it. It's going to be fun! I'm also testing out a Sunday evening chat on the Prodigy commercial service; we'll see how that goes.
If you want the whole shi-bang of over 3,500 separate resources that have to do with psychiatry and mental health online, then you might want to visit Psych Central. It's the largest and most comprehensive site of its kind in the world and we're looking to build upon it in the upcoming years, acting as a super guide to mental health online. If you didn't find what you needed here, look there next!
That's it for this time... As always, keep in good mental health!
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 27 Jan 2007
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