BrownBagger wrote:It's a private website launched and operated by people who want to provide support to colorectal cancer patients and others with digestive disease and disorders. They entrust the mods, who are volunteers, with maintaining a smooth-running operation that serves the membership. I imagine they're upset that it's gotten this far out of hand, as am I. But that's the way it goes.
I'm posting as a member of The Colon Club's Board of Directors, but with a couple of caveats:
I'm speaking only for myself, not for any other board members
I've driven 1500 miles in the past four days going back and forth to the Des Moines Get Your Rear In Gear event for the release of the 2013 Colondar, so the only knowledge I have of the threads giving rise to the current situation comes from reading all of the responses to this thread that were posted up until about 10:45pm EDT tonight
Putting up a message board is easy -- the difficult part is its "care and feeding," so to speak, which manifests in the need to find qualified and competent people to help you moderate it. It's not as simple as finding people who happen to spend a great deal of time online and letting them volunteer to run the forum that is one of the public faces of your organization. I don't take lightly my responsibility to ensure that the people we select (and allow to continue) to be moderators have proven themselves over time to be level-headed, sensitive, and able to see all sides of a situation before making decisions about how to handle the problems that occasionally arise. In my three years on the forum, I've seen our moderators meet all of those criteria. There have been a number of cases in which they've had to walk a fine line, and I think they've gotten it right. I'm sure I don't know of all of those scenarios, as it's not really my job to know them -- that's why we have moderators in place. For the record, I do trust them and I would call each of them people of integrity.
I also have to trust other forum participants, though, especially when the "vibe" of the forum starts heading south. Everyone is entitled to his or her opinions, and neither conflict nor dissension on a message board is a bad thing -- until, of course, it turns into something that crosses a line and includes personal attacks. I've seen major ebbs and flows of the collective mood happen a few times over the past few years, and this is the first time I'm speaking out....because the fact is, as BB said, that it's just how it goes sometimes, but also because I want everyone to know that the Board of Directors does indeed keep up with what's happening here. You probably don't notice us very often, but there are a couple of us who post with some regularity, and I at least try to read the posts every day.
So to try to be fair to all here, since I believe that everyone has the right to have their voice heard until and unless they've given up that right based on their forum behavior, I'm going to bring up to the Board over the next couple of days that we really do need to have a sticky that stands apart from Molly's welcome message to address the "rules of the road" for participation in this forum. It's not fair to the moderators to have to take the heat when something like this happens and we can't immediately point to a set of netiquette and guidelines for our users, and by the same token it's not fair to forum participants who don't have any specific guidance as to where the line is drawn.
I appreciate and value the thoughtfulness I've become accustomed to seeing in posts from Eric and Kyle, so I'll admit that I'm personally unhappy to see the tenor this particular thread has taken. Outside of this thread, some people were able to find contact info for The Colon Club's president and sent her emails on this very topic over the past couple of days -- and I think it's great that people feel comfortable enough to do that. I'll apologize on her behalf for the late responses to those emails, since we were pretty busy with the Colondar release this weekend, and all of us were traveling home over the past couple days. I'm going to give those who didn't dig to find the contact info another method to get in touch with us if you feel you need to do so -- you can either PM me or email me at chris at colonclub dot com and I assure you that I will share your message with the Board. I'm also going to send all of them a copy of this post so they know that I've added my two cents to the discussion.
Thanks for taking the time to get involved.
Husband to Staci, diagnosed at age 32
Clinical dx Stage II/III rectal cancer, 7/2009
APR surgery 11/09 leading to...
Pathological dx Stage IIIB, ypT3N1M0, 11/2009http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/staciwills
Member of The Colon Club's Board of Directors