Bonus geek points if you finished the title of this post in Spock’s voice.
I’m sorry I’ve been away for so long, I have a horrible habit of coming up with things to write, however I’ve got something I need to get off my chest, and quite frankly if anyone from my local community reads this blog, it may raise a few hackles, but it also may bring to light a few things that we, as a fledgling community need to address.
Our community relies very heavily on FetLife for communication, and interaction, we’re a small town (maybe 65,000 people) with 520 some people Tied to the city according to profiles, of these 520 people, only a handful are part of the discussion group we have. This Group has 119 members, 32 of which, are from the neighboring “big city”, and 11 being from other places scattered around both the province and country. For the sake of simplicity well call it 36%. 36% of our total “group” is people from out of town, or former members that have moved away.
Normally 36% of something isn’t bad, HOWEVER – when someone from our town posts something which might have been better served as a journal entry or note on their own profile, and is IMMEDIATELY jumped on by 2 of the people from the neighboring city, badly enough that the post was deleted, I might add. With no reprisal from the group moderators I have a bit of an issue.
Now, you’re Probably thinking – well you could have said something to defend this group member, and you’re right, I actually fought myself to NOT post….adding to drama and perhaps starting a fight because text is horrible to convey delicate wording would serve no purpose other than to alienate myself. Now I understand networking, and external relations with other communities, however, there comes a point where people stop becoming Liaison’s and start actively setting tone for inter-community interaction which imo, unless you are at 75 to 80% of munches and above have no right doing.
As a growing community we need to foster a sense of belonging, a defense for both active and prospective members, from the inside first. Fetlife is 90% responsible for our outward image to the “vanilla’s” and new or newer members, where they feel safe, protected and know that they will have people who will intercede on their behalf if the need arises. It’s fantastic we have members of other communities that feel comfortable enough to come hang around our little corner of FL, BUT we should expect them to show some decorum when interacting with, and disagreeing with our members.
Remember that some of the interaction out-of-town folks have as a first contact will play no small part of how comfortable a new member will feel coming to a munch, if a person does reach out, or posts after a long Hiatus, thier first new interaction should not cause them to Burrow underground and say “fuck it”, if FL is the extent of thier community involvement – then they should feel safe in doing so.
Safe, Sane, Consensual is one of the BDSM mantras, it should also apply for simple communication – comfort and safety in communication for our members might lead to the Bigger munches and community events we hope for.