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No, Really: EVERYONE Is Welcome Here


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I wrote this post almost seven years ago when I founded donrockwell.com. It's topic #14 (please refer to it, briefly).

Quite often, I'll write people and ask them how they are, what they think of the site, and what I can do to make it better for them. Last night, I got an incredibly thoughtful reply, and got permission to reprint it here. Please take note of the second paragraph - I think it's extremely important for all of us to remember. New members are welcome and embraced here, and always will be.


I am well and currently spending good quality time on the Acela but they are out of wine, so I am sad. Thank you for asking though. I am not sure there is anything I would change on the technical side. I like the set up but if I think of something I will let you know.

On the non-technical side, I might change one thing but I am fairly certain you have no control over it. I read daily but don't comment much. I know, I know, I should and I will. The one thing I have noticed over the course of about the last year is that the "regulars" or old-timers seem much more intolerant of new posters (and are sometimes just downright mean). I get it that the community was small at first and very close-knit so I don't begrudge the territorialness (is that a word?). I don't use yelp or chowhound so I can't compare and maybe it is the same over there. I also get that these are the internets and all if fair in love and war and blah, blah, blah. As my mother is fond of saying, I am not a "shrinking violet", but snark and condescencion are quite different. To be honest, my thinking over time has been concern for you and the website and that newcomers might be scared off by some of the reactions or responses to their posts, thereby directly impacting/undermining your efforts and work. But who knows, I'm just a lawyer not a shrink so maybe it is just me "getting" certain personalities over time and becoming overly irritated with them. I would be curious to hear if you have seen this pattern occurring?

I should share that I was with a group of people a few weeks back and I brought up your website. Of 8 people with very diverse backgrounds, 6 of them knew of or follow the site. I think the groundwork has been lain (laid?), whatever, is there. People know where to find you and I think that is half the battle. Once we get them here, I just want to make sure they stay.

Keep up the good work. Your tireless efforts are admirable and certainly not under-appreciated. The offer still stands if you are taking contributions for the sticker effort. (And I promise I will post more!)

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