Threads critical of SDMB

Can the staff or policy of the SDMB be criticized without fear of reprisal? How Kelli’s innocuous thread was considered a disruption is a mystery. It was plainly obvious that she did not “have problems with the posts”, but was concerned about and was criticizing policy inconsistencies that quite a few people agreed with. She questioned authority (and I use the term loosely), and was shut down. The Melin affair, an internal one, pales to this. If anything, her thread was inappropriate in the Pit due to the lack of discord and the civility of the posts. This thread is about this meassage board.

I take “Don’t do it again” to be a warning, but I wish to hear about the ‘or else’ so I can be duly warned myself.

I was wondering, do you folks get any feedback from Cecil on what the board does to the kind of mail he gets?I know the sunglasses question appeared her somewhere, then perhaps the same person sent it to Cecil. But have some people given up sending questions to Cecil?

Well thank you, sunbear. That just about clears everything up.

No fear, Sunbear. Cecil still gets plenny of questions. Some people send questions to Cecil AND post them in the Message Boards. No problem, that’s fine.

Most of the questions, frankly, Cecil tosses without a second glance. (Actually, Cecil’s wonderful assistant Jane usually does the first round culling.) They’re often things that could be found in about five seconds with any reasonable dictionary or encyclopedia. Or they’re questions that Cecil has already answered in a column or in one of his books. Or they’re written by a second grader with no writing style and are practically incoherent.

Of questions that go through that first screening, there are many that Cecil passes over to the Straight Dope Science Advisory Staff, for possible use in the Mailbag feature. These are basically questions that Cecil thinks are of mild interest but he doesn’t want to bother with, or waste a column on.

He’s my boss, but Cecil is … well, lazy, among his other endearing traits. He doesn’t work unless he gets paid, and then he does as little as possible. Great brain, but not what you’d call “motivated.” So he writes his one column a week, and he isn’t about to write more.

That’s how it works.

Hmmm… this thread seems to be losing its original topic, but I just have to follow up on the latest post:

If I want Cecil himself to answer (or at least briefly consider, then toss away) a question, is it enough to post it on the MB, or do I have to write to him personally as well? I would assume the latter. Am I right?

I would send it directly to him – that way you’re sure. Sometimes he’ll see a post on the MB (and sometimes one of us will forward it on to the appropriate lackey if we think it’s worthwhile), but you have a much better chance if you just send it straight to him.

As long as the topic got lost, (no it didn’t it’s still up there) I can’t figure out where we Members got the idea that this was our MB. If we don’t like the way we are treated we can go somewhere else, even start our own site. SD brought the ball and bat, if we don’t want to play by their rules, however capricious, we can go to another sand lot. The rules are vague and interpreted loosely, even liberally, and I think that works out to our advantage.My neighbor may let me pasture my cow in his field, that doesn’t mean I can build a soddy ,move in, start plowing his field, and then start bad mouthing him because he told me to stop.
Pooch, you don’t want to know about the ‘or else’ it was awful.The door burst open, a horde of savage fiends, brandishing thesari, encyclopediae, almanacs, all kinds of horrible implements came rushing in…


Shoot, mr john! And all along I thought you were a communist.

I can understand how people come to feel the this is their board. Members may feel they are an integral part of what defines the SDMB. Yep, stockholders through their participation and contributions by their hits at this site. No, members are the product. Wait, they’re customers. Guests? Family? Iguanas?

Iguana reporting for duty, Pooch. No, I will not be out of line under this thread beyond this current post, sir.

I sure wouldn’t want to be moderator. I would do it for another board where we have 60 members. We don’t even need a BBQ pit. The offenders leave voluntarily.

As I said, it seemed clear to me that the thread in question was posted only to stir up trouble. The OP had not asked me about it, not written to me…just wanted to cause a fuss.

I’ve closed another thread by the same poster…who apparently is unaware that I’ve closed threads by OTHER posters (plural) that were also attempts to cause disruption. Since one of the things she was complaining about is that I don’t apply the same standards to everything, I would think that she’d be pleased that I do, indeed, close such threads no matter WHO posts them.

Lynn/SDStaff Lynn
For the Straight Dope


Challenging or questioning = stirring up trouble

Can the excuses POSSIBLY get more pathetic?

Contestant #3

The OP here was about Kelli and some controversy but no one provided a link or ref. to the original controversy. I hate missing out on the fight. Who did what to whom, please?
PS C#3 why are you still here if things are so pathetic?

Because I’ve been asked to study and document actual cases of pathetic excuses…

So…it looks like I’m here for the duration honey!

Contestant #3

You NEVER call me honey!

Sorry for no link. Check the Pit. And while I did write about Kelli’s thread, I’d like to think of this thread as simply about threads critical of the SDMB, which is how I saw Kellibelli’s thread.

Lynn responded, I got the message–I already new the message. It’s okay. I have this thing about control and level playing fields. I was having a bit of a laugh reading both of her threads and the closing hit a nerve.

I’m all for moderated threads lest they turn into something like the insanity of a Yahoo board. That the SDMB has style and draws such diverse posters with wit and character says a lot for both the members and the staff.

No, it’s not my board, and yes, I can go somewhere else. But I see it like a business. Like your favorite pub and suddenly you find that some of your favorite R&B tunes in the juke box have been swapped for Barry Manilow.

Here at the end of this post I’ve come to agree it is kicking a dead horse. Thwack-thwack-thwack…it ain’t movin.

Your kickin it in the wrong place, pooch, besides I told you what could happen if you pasture livestock over there. As an apathetical, apolitical, agnostic i have stated my position, but in the spirit of the thread, “Bitch, bitch ,bitch, carp, carp, carp, Con#3, gripe, gripe, gripe.”( note that I did not say aproctal, though Aproctus was the name i signed my columns with when i published a news papaer by the same name in the 70’s.

“Something inciteful that some one else once said”- Suhm Wonn (1397-1334)

Pooch: I don’t know about moderating, but I quite like the UBB format for discussions. I have another UBB board, where we are not quite so serious about it, and we allow editing of posts afterwards. Yahoo boards are a lot more hard to follow, and the software is not so flexible. Plus I haven’t really found a whole lot of topics under Yahoo worth discussing. It’s dominated by teenagers in the topics I would discuss.

Chats I don’t do at all.

Sunbear, I agree with you totally. The Yahoo boards are next to useless when it comes to actual topics of conversation. Their chat-rooms, not matter WHAT the topic, usually consist of,“VB505 here. Whats da 411?”