Page name: Healing In Elftown [Logged in view] [RSS]
2006-05-13 20:35:00
Last author: Kiddalee
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Healing In Elftown

  Good day. This is [Kiddalee] talking. You may have seen this posted in my house:

A Warning
I'm back after a long break from Elftown. I left because it didn't make me feel good. I think I can give it another try, a greater, but pickier one. The saying, "You only get as much out of a community as you put in," only applies when you avoid taking out what you would abhor putting in.

Yes, like a lot of older users, I left Elftown in disgust and then slowly came back. So why exactly did I leave?
1. Some people here are elitist.
•I don't know if this is still true, but in the past, the guards have gotten away with being downright rude to offenders. I understand that the guards have a right to do their job, to rebuke offenders, to ban the real jerks here, but not to be insulting and humiliating to just anyone who messes up.
•Civilians have been following the guards' example of just hating the idiots here, but as they have less power, they make no efforts to solve the problem by politely telling the poor fools what they're doing wrong and setting a good example. They are more satisfied to grumble amongst themselves or insult the fools blatantly, which only teaches them to keep being spiteful.
•Various people have created wikis especially for listing and insulting people that they dislike. Umm... guys? This solves nothing, and is extremely immature, which of course makes it hypocritical. If someone is that annoying to you, try reporting, blocking, or if you have the authority, banning them.
•Most people online just don't know how to debate. They're too busy getting personal and telling the other side how stupid they are to properly state their case. I admit that I could have avoided these situations if I don't like debating online, but until they just became too full to surf on dial-up, I used to be addicted to the forums here.
2. Too many kids here want to cyber.
•Lately, the sex culture on Elftown and everywhere has become the slut culture among teenagers. I believe they do this because they're trying to hide how prudish they are. The poor kids shouldn't feel bad for being prudish when they're still getting used to their own bodies, though they should be progressively growing out of it. Well, now I'm going off topic.

Do you find it strange that the cyber kids here are the least of my reasons for leaving this place? It's because I tend to avoid things that make me feel disgusted, so I never made them much of a reason by visiting them all the time.

However, the elitists here are much harder to avoid. In all other senses, they are the cream of the internet crop. They're talented artists and writers, they know their computer history, they use excellent grammar, and they're just plain intelligent. I really like a lot of things about them, but watching them spit on the less intelligent makes me feel defiled just for being as smart as them. Do you really think that spitting on someone who has wronged you will stop him from doing it again? On the contrary, it will make him hate you and he'll get worse! If you want to stop them from being like this, teach them, or you're worse than them!

Just so you know, this is not a whiner page. That's why I named it Healing In Elftown instead of [A Warning@wiki] or [Elftown Scars@wiki]. Yes, my view of this town is healing, and I'm even taking action to heal it in ways that I haven't seen enough people doing so. So how have I done this?
•By creating this page.
•By logging back into Elfpack to do some reasearch, then editing the wiki page, Elfpack (versions 3-on), so that it lists a lot of Elfpack's coolest features. Hopefully this will make a lot of people want to join Elfpack and maybe some people who aren't helping Elftown will leave.
•By creating Wyvern's Writers United. I can't believe there hasn't been a page like this yet...
•By creating Why Good Grammar?.
•By creating Great Bios, as a response to I hate long bios.
•By telling off the elitists who made me dislike this place in the forums and on wikis.
See Take Elftown Back Members comment #281 on December 1, in which I showed there are no hard feelings by later leaving a positive comment on the other user's Elfwood gallery;
[334211] and following conversation, in which the opposing parties made themselves look stupid by claiming they actually believe that grammatical sociopaths are this dumb in real life and can't possibly learn. Come on guys, live up to your intelligence if you want the rest of us to.
•By setting an example, keeping my house's bio short, organised and pic free, and with good grammar. Also making a few statements directly in my house.
•By joining wikis created especially for improving Elftown, such as Take Elftown Back and others listed in my house.
•By starting a couple of fun wikis, Vintage Gamers, the Jazz Mini-Encyclopedia, and the Trochaic Poetry Contest, and linking them to Take Elftown Back.
•By submitting a new poem to the daily poem.
•By creating Stupid Pasted Things to help coordinate a movement against the stupid pasted things that are on too many people's bios.
•By becoming active in Black Listing For Cyberers. I guess I'm no longer so lily-livered about the fools that I can't do anything about it.
•By becoming active in The Motorcycle Story Petition which has evolved into something against stupid pasted things in general.

Username (or number or email):


2005-12-08 [iippo]: I'm going to take the liberty of directing people to this wiki when I feel they'd need to... well, see it. Hope you don't mind.

2005-12-11 [Kiddalee]: Ooo, thank you so much! This is very cool. I'm considering plugging it myself, but I'm not sure if that would seem a little... err... cocky.

2006-01-19 [Haruno Sakura]: Kiddalee, I've got to say, I agree completely with the opinions stated in the page above. It seems to me that too many people are taking advantage of the Internet's anomity and doing and saying things that most people would find offensive since they believe that there will be no rebuke. I think that was the reason Elfpack was made in the first place, but few seem to take the liberty of going to a less strict community. By the way, I got here via a link on iippo's page. Thank you. :)

2006-05-13 [Avoral]: Perhaps the intelligent could be a little nicer. But banning doesn't work on the people who give stupid a bad name.

2006-05-13 [Kiddalee]: Yes, it would be nice if they set a good example. I stopped using webspeak when someone asked me nicely. I think I was 10.

2006-06-19 [Stephen]: I'm going to post this in my house, hope you don't mind.

2006-06-20 [Kiddalee]: I'm alright with that.

2006-07-13 [Chrysilla]: I always wondered why everyone can get here. To me it seems this should really be a place for those who love fantasy. I was kinda disappointed when I saw descriptions like "I`m blonde, pretty and i have big boobs". I sent that girl a message asking wtf she was doing on elftown. Ok I know I could`ve been nicer but I`m not on Elftown to meet such people. Oh well... I`ll try to be more active and try to "take elftown back" :D

2006-07-14 [Avoral]: Oh, I've done some culling myself. Fantasy-devoid kids who get attracted because their friends are doing it... They have to go.

2006-07-14 [iippo]: Doesn't that fall under the number 1 reason written on the wiki, because people are elitist? o.O There's lots of space in ET for lots of different people as long as people don't break the rules, and if your interests are completely different, you probably won't end up having to communicate with them anyway...

2006-07-14 [Chrysilla]: Honey this is a comunity for all fantasy lovers. that doesn`t mean it`s an elite. And I`m here to meet other fantasy lovers... If I want to know other people I can use date sites (sorry if it sounded harsh, i`m not attacking now :) )

2006-07-15 [Avoral]: It's not elitism if it's primarily to deal with a problem. I've had to take ye sledgehammer to many an inflated high school varsity kid for harrowing and insulting "nerdy" friends of mine.

2006-07-15 [Stephen]: Well, outcasting members from this site for not liking fantasy is a bit elitist. Elftown is an online community for everyone, that's why there is nothing to precvent or remove people like the "I am 15 and have big boobs" people. Yes, they are annoying, but the eaisest thing to do is ignore them. Of course, you could always get them interested in something fantasy-like as well. =oP

2006-07-15 [iippo]: If it was meant to be fantasy-lovers only community, there would be some kind of audition like "you have to write something that proves that you like fantasy" or something to that effect. Not everybody who joins knows that "ET should be fantasy lovers only" because it doesn't say so anywhere. It would be the same if you walked into a room without knowing that only people with blue underwear are allowed to enter that room, because it doesn't say so anywhere, and then get attacked because you're not wearing blue underwear. You are by all means allowed to think what you wish of ET, I just felt this was the wrong wiki to express it.

2006-07-15 [iippo]: Sides, being 15 and having big boobs might be someone's fantasy, if they are slow to develop and are insecure and uncomfortable in their own body in reality. Just as well as "omg I'm a vampire, really I am" is someone's fantasy.

2006-07-15 [Kiddalee]: I always thought of this as a place not just for fantasy lovers, but intelligent people in general. That means programmers, readers, and artsy-farts. Still, I don't go around wasting my cortisol on cyber kids. I'm here to meet cool people, not put people down.

2006-07-16 [Stephen]: I agree with both da [iippo] and [Kiddalee] - Elftown is a place for everyone. :)

2006-07-17 [Kiddalee]: Hmm. Well, I don't really like seeing the cyber kids here, I just don't waste my time insulting them. This isn't high school. I don't need to do that.

2006-07-23 [Chrysilla]: ok ok... but though i thought this fragment "but if you aren't that interested in fantasy or science fiction, and just want to meet people, you should try Elfpack instead" really meant it's a fantasy lovers comunity... well whatever... ignore me

2006-07-23 [Stephen]: Under the application page? Well, it's just saying Elftown is not made for those people, however, it's not saying they are not allowed here. :)

2006-07-23 [Stephen]: See [381840] for a bit more. The middle paragraph from Hedda. :)

2006-07-25 [Kiddalee]: It was originally meant for Elfwood artists and hangarounds. Let's face it, the best hangarounds are the ones who are actually good company, and don't bog this place down to the point where it gets in the artists' way.

2006-07-28 [Avoral]: Hmm. I do like [Chrysilla]'s stance on things.

2006-07-28 [Chrysilla]: Ohhh thank you... *polishing her sword* Well I think I don't mind the hangarounds as long as they don't trespass my property... nor get on my nerves...

2006-07-28 [iippo]: And there is a simple solution for people getting on your nerves: blocking them, ignoring them, reporting them if they get offensive.

2006-07-28 [Chrysilla]: Oh don't worry I know that... and I have this impression we're running in circles trying to catch our tails. I think I'll just stop watching this page and go get some tan. Have a good day ladies and gentlemen. *Bows*

2006-07-28 [Avoral]: Yeah, true. Considering I keep getting reminded of the temptation to play with the witless/irritating/useless hangarounds.

2006-07-28 [Kiddalee]: I like hangarounds. Just not cumbersome ones.

2006-07-28 [Avoral]: Then allow me to rephrase that.

2006-07-28 [Kiddalee]: Okay. :) Err... into what?

2006-07-28 [Avoral]: *Points*

2006-07-28 [Kiddalee]: Okay. How very expressive.

2006-08-06 [Sunrose]: Hmm about elitist Guards, replying to it whether it is about me too or not.
When I joined I violated the UAR. I initially used netspeak, just because I thought it was fun. But I figured out that many members don't appreciate that kind of writing and stopped using it. I also used to be pretty nice, if I may say so myself. But becoming a Guard and dealing with some of the members here every day has really changed me. In many instances it doesn't matter how nice you are, because they won't listen either way (often won’t even read your message). And at some point you just feel there's no use in being nice, the job itself starts to wear you down. Proof of that are some Guards who just quit their jobs, because they couldn't take it anymore. Before the applicationsystem the abuse of Guards by members was pretty appalling. The only positive way to deal with that, was to laugh about it together.

2006-08-06 [Sunrose]: I retreated myself from many things, because it became impossible to keep up with it all. I had to become what I am to protect myself from falling apart, not because I think I’m better or smarter than other members. Yet it is how some perceive it, because they don’t know me.
Between being nice and elitist is a big grey area, with personal characters and stories behind it. Guards aren’t flawless robots after all. I wish I hadn’t changed as much as I did, but I don’t know how to undo it.

2006-08-06 [Sunrose]: And about the wiki: Some parts of this wiki seem contradicting to each other. On one side you feel that grammatical sociopaths should be confronted in a nice way to change them, that blacklisting people and insulting them is immature. Yet you also say you actively take part in blacklisting cyberers on Black Listing For Cyberers, instead of reporting them or confronting them nicely. While you state yourself that cyberers are probably not like that in reality, just as grammatical sociopaths can probably spell perfectly when they’re in English class.

I love however how you've made positive pages to change things. Instead of pages where peope just whine and sign their name about something bad. I really like Great Bios for instance :)

2006-08-06 [Kitara Softpaw]: I too love the positive pages, but I also agree with Sunrose in that you seem to contradict yourself sometimes. I really like the positive outlook you have taken on things, but some things you say are contradictory to your positiveness. (Yes, i know positiveness is not a real word.)

2006-08-07 [Kiddalee]: I don't see Black List For Cyberers as a dungeon wiki. I see it as a way to actually deal with the cyber kids here. It is doing its part, not just listing people to insult.

2006-08-07 [Kiddalee]: And about being nice to bad grammar folks, and whoever else: It doesn't mean I have to pretend to like them. I don't see the problem with acknowledging that talking that way is a stupid idea. It's not destructively insulting them. You don't have to love everyone in order to be good to them.

2006-08-07 [Sunrose]: How is it dealing with them? It just lists members and in some cases in offensive and judgemental ways. Some of them are labelled as 'cyberers' based on their pictures alone.
Mind that cybering itself is not against Elftown rules, harassment by unwanted cybersex is.
You don't really stop those type of cyberers by stalking their house, they don't cyber through their description but through messages. They can only be stopped by people reporting their messages, often sent out as spam.

2006-08-07 [Sunrose]: It's hard to be nice to someone yet showing you dislike them, that tends to sound pretty sarcastic when put together. Either way I never stated you have to like them, I just found some things on this wiki contradicting. You seem to be opposed to the idea of blacklisting and insulting bad grammar folks and offenders (because talking to them in a nice way would probably change them around better), yet 'cyberers' are blacklisted and insulted with your support. Whether they actually harass someone or not, whether there is proof or not.
This whilst you also state that neither bad grammar folks and cyberers are probably really like that in reality.
So why not try talking to cyberers too, as you said you don't have to love them, but approaching them in a nicer way to change things?
I don't see why these two groups get a different treatment.

2006-08-10 [Kiddalee]: Black Listing For Cyberers is working slowly, but it has found some rulebreakers and reported them. Don't mistake it for a dungeon wiki, which is good for nothing but listing people to insult.
If I am actually faced with the oppurtunity to talk to cyber-folk, I take it. I don't approach them in their houses, because I don't want to appear harrassing. However, if I get in a conversation with them, they learn pretty easily that it doesn't work on me. That is not the same as insulting.
And, there is nothing wrong with talking civilly to someone that you believe is doing things that are totally wrong. That is what we all must do in this world.
I think a misunderstanding here is whether I dislike these people. I can't say I like them, but geez, why would I dislike them? All I see is their stupid web persona. I find their actions annoying, but that's not disliking them. The people I dislike are among those who display their true selves online, because there is actually something there to like or dislike.
Also note that just because I belong to a lot of movements, it doesn't mean I have to follow everything they believe just to be a part of the movement. Some nasty things have come out of some of the movements I'm in, but some useful things have, too. It doesn't mean that everyone in those movements is nasty, or that nastiness is all those movements stand for.

2006-08-10 [Sunrose]: You don't need the wiki itself though to find and report them.
Whether you talk to them nicely is not what bothered me. It's the point that you seem opposed to negative movements, but have joined some anyway. That itself seemed contradicting.
Of course I understand not everything they do and not every member is negative that way, but the fact remains that the movement itself is based on something negative.
I of course see the problem, but when thinking of a solution I'd rather try something in a positive way. Like Great Bios does.
The different treatment point I made still stands.

2006-08-10 [Kiddalee]: How about the fact that you can't get someone kicked out of Elftown for talking to you in bad grammar? That is only one reason.
And what is negative about joining a movement meant to end a negative aspect of Elftown?

2006-08-10 [Sunrose]: That depends on what was said. Most of the harassment reports are about poorly spelled insulting messages. And you can't get someone kicked off for cybering just like that either.
If the movement itself does it with a negative approach.
- I hate long bios -> negative approach; pretty pointless list of people hating long bios
- Great Bios -> positive approach; it actually explains how to make improvements
I never said it's bad to want to end something bad, I said that the way you try to do so can be bad.

2006-08-10 [Kiddalee]: There is a place for expressing what you are against, too.

2006-08-10 [Sunrose]: Of course, those positive wikis do that too though.

As I pointed out earlier, you just seemed to contradict yourself:
•Various people have created wikis especially for listing and insulting people that they dislike. This solves nothing, and is extremely immature, which of course makes it hypocritical.
Later on:
•By becoming active in Black Listing For Cyberers.

Of course you said you don't per say dislike cyberers, but listing them like that doesn't make them feel you like them either.

2006-08-11 [Kiddalee]: Like I said, Black Listing For Cyberers isn't just for listing people to insult.

2006-08-11 [Sunrose]: But that is what happens on it anyway..if you look at wikis.

2006-08-11 [Kiddalee]: That isn't its purpose, and it's still not worthless.

2006-08-11 [Sunrose]: 'Black Listing' is in the wikiname.
I didn't say it was though.

2006-08-16 [Kiddalee]: First, I didn't name the wiki. Take it up with the owner. We like rational opposers. Secondly, it is a blacklist, but it isn't a dungeon. Violators are getting reported by members of that wiki, because of the wiki. Thirdly, I joined for the purpose, not the impression.

2006-08-16 [Sunrose]: Like I said, all I see on the wiki are listed names often accompanied with insulting comments. The name is not helping this impression. It makes it look like a dungeon to me, despite its original purpose.
But I don't think I should try any more to get that point across, since it's obviously not getting across.

2006-08-17 [Kiddalee]: Why haven't you taken up the way it is run with the owner?

2006-08-17 [Sunrose]: Because that (the way it is run) wasn't my point, which proves that it didn't come across and that this discussion is futile.

2007-06-23 [birdsong]: Hello [Kiddalee]. I really enjoyed reading your ideas for a wiki that may bring about change.

I'm unable to construct a precise answer to all the issues listed, as it's late, and i;m exhausted . But i did want to encourage your direction~ of figuring out how things have become warped in this community, and that changes can come about by remembering what an amazing Community Elftown is.

I know that things are not quite as easy as that...but if we realize that elftown is very unique in the way it brings people together. A common thing, a love of art...Hedda really did have a vision with this idea!
It seems that we all could find a way to govern this community...maybe simply by being our brother's keeper...or by protecting the areas of elftown that are precious to us.

There is one last thing that i've been curious about;
I have always wondered if the the ways that Hedda governs Elftown reflects the way his native Country is run?  Heh, now I am off the track, rambling is my curse.
So i thank you for bringing up these interesting issues ;they are critical to Elftown's future.                                    

2007-08-07 [BarleySinger]: I think that the way Hedda runs (or more accuratly ran in some cases) his site has to do with the fact that it is HIS site, not anyone elses site, and that most people who are very good with computers take a while to come to understand social dynamics and the rules and structures that are used elsewhere is the world of humans to stay away from social power problems. For a long time he made his online friends the guards (and friends of friends) with no age requirement or way to keep from abuse of power and no standard of quality in the person. There are no standard forms on the site that force all guards to interact with all problems in the same way (this is what businesses do when you call them...they have a computer system that guides people through their call centre) in order to make certain that nobody is mistreated. Take away the power to mistreat people by using business process and the problem mostly goes away...and that is what people do in conflict resulution software systems. I used to write software that deal with human processes for a living. I offered to help and was rather directly told to bugger off as things were perfect as they were.

But Hedda doesn't like that idea (I would not run a community without that type of software in place) and this is his baby and he is the one who got to deal with the result of people having their art and text content regularly trashed by a few power hungry guards who got off on power not not equitable treatment. They would assume art or writings were stolen when they were not and just take them down without any conversation, and tell teh person they were a theif (a legally actionable accusation by the way). At one point for me this meant losing the art forever due to a hard drive crash at the wrong time. Generally this meant that, on Elftown people were guilty of any accusation unless they were found innocent by another guard who had more social pull with Hedda...making the whole guard thing into a social clique that people joined just for imaginary status and power. As a result people left the site.

Regardless, if I were to change anything on elftown, any one thing, I would get rid of the "Body Type" and "Sexual Preference" information on the site. Way to many people/perverts use that criteria to do user searches on "Big Breasted" "Bisexual" girls of a certain (under)age and chat them up to try and get pornographic web camera pics out of them. I though the site was supposed to be about art, not amature underaged porn and sexual predators.

2007-08-07 [iippo]: You do realise that you are encouraged to civilly report
a) any power hungry guard's bad behaviour
b) sexual predators

Also, I'd just like to point out that
"There are no standard forms on the site that force all guards to interact with all problems in the same way"
Yes there is. There are wikis and forums for crew to read and talk in when there are any issues, be it about members, the way the site is run, rules, crew's behaviour, etc... They are very busy all the time, with a lot of discussion going on all the time.

Apart from that, I kind of dislike the way you keep repeating "power hungry guards" when I've never even seen one - must be very few of them. So please don't generalise, most of them are giving their time to do work for a site they like, only to get abuse and bullshit back from members who don't like the rules and just don't care about other people's feelings. But personally I can say that I'm glad that there are guards to deal with queries, problems and suggestions, because those inhuman "press one if your problem is not unique in anyway, hang up if it is" -things, no program or AI can replace human-to-human communication.

2012-04-26 [deziron dee]: you are absolutely on point, people should learn to curb their tongue here, its not right to insult other people

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