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A Thank-You to Long-time Contributors

moeilijk's picture

Moeilijk wants to say "Thanks" to all the contributors who have been here more than two months. All of you have made this site worth visiting. Your blogs, comments, attempts to help and bizarre sense of humour have really made a difference in my life.

I've been noticing the weekly greetings to new members, and while you are indeed welcome, it's really sad that this welcome is being done in a way disrespectful to longtime and current members. You see, the welcome messages only started after 15+ longtime members were banned from the site. All of their blogs and comments, all of the help that they had doled out over the past 10 years is now gone.

Anytime information is purged, it's sad. But it's particularly sad that this 'banning' happened without discussion, warning, or opportunity to improve. So all of us have lost this valuable resource. And honestly, I miss being able to read some oldie-but-goodie posts from long-ago, and I miss hearing from those posters in the here-and-now.

But that's me.

What's also me is this. I think about the resentment and anger that admin must have towards existing members. Imagine taking the effort every week to look up how many new users, and make a post about it, when for years, admin paid barely an annual visit. And this celebration of new people, in the wake of jettisoning the old in a manner that lacked honour, respect, and integrity, feels tawdry.

I don't take it as an insult, although I assume it's meant to show the older users how little they matter. What I do is imagine how angry and resentful I would have to be in order to behave this way - to even go so far as to turn off commenting so that I don't have to hear that I might be behaving poorly - and then I imagine being this person, who does this. Who turns a lovely site full of all kinds of people into one where comments get turned off and blogs are deleted and users are banned....

And I'm ashamed. Not for myself, but I feel the shame admin should be feeling for this conduct. It is unbecoming.

And I hope you all read fast and furious, because I imagine this little burst of dissension will result in me being banned, even though I obviously have violated no terms of conduct nor have I crossed any lines of appropriate online conduct.

If I am no longer here, you all have my best wishes for happy and fulfulling lives. And if I get to stick around, you still have my best wishes for happy and fulfilling lives!

Love, moeilijk


thisisnotmocking's picture

You've always been a blessing. And you have such a way with words.


Simpleton21's picture

I'm not a long time user (a little over a year) but I feel like your assessment of the admin is a little harsh. I feel like she is trying to really welcome new users. I don't know who all got banned or why but I do know when I first started coming to this site I was afraid to even make a post b/c of how harsh some of those old users were in their delivery of advice. I know that sometimes the truth hurts and sometimes it comes across harsh but some of the old users that I no longer see commenting came across pretty bitter. I think the admin just wants new users to feel welcome and like they can vent without getting completely bashed for doing so. The site is for step parents to vent...not come here and be bashed and judged for venting.

thisisnotmocking's picture

So, you really don't see that any of the (newish/er) people posting might be in the wrong? And the head patting and kudos they get just might hurt their life and relationship, irl?

I definitely agree that the welcome posts are passive aggressive.

Simpleton21's picture

I didn't say that at all. I do think a lot of long time users are more knowledgeable as they have been dealing with steplife for longer. I haven't seen any head patting and kudos from new users either. I don't even know who is old vs. new most of the time.

I just didn't put any thought into the welcome posts at all and didn't view it as passive aggressive. I don't know the admin and have never had any problems. Even when I have received harsh comments on older blogs I didn't delete them or report anyone. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. I really thought the admin was trying to welcome new users. I do think some of the users that I have noticed missing were very capable of giving very good advice. I was just saying that sometimes the delivery of the advice was harsh and could have been worded better to still relay the same message and actually help others instead of putting them on the defense immediately.

moeilijk's picture

Submitted by Templeton21 on Mon, 09/18/2017 - 6:46pm.

I'm not a long time user (a little over a year) but I feel like your assessment of the admin is a little harsh. I feel like she is trying to really welcome new users. I don't know who all got banned or why but I do know when I first started coming to this site I was afraid to even make a post b/c of how harsh some of those old users were in their delivery of advice. I know that sometimes the truth hurts and sometimes it comes across harsh but some of the old users that I no longer see commenting came across pretty bitter. I think the admin just wants new users to feel welcome and like they can vent without getting completely bashed for doing so. The site is for step parents to vent...not come here and be bashed and judged for venting.


It's ok to disagree with me. I won't ban you for it.

But I will point out that your statement is not cohesive. It sound like you were afraid to say something in case someone was 'tough' on you. So now you have nothing to worry about. Are you blogging constantly now? Are you getting useful advice?

Do you not think it's possible to welcome new users and be gracious to existing users?

Simpleton21's picture

LOL, well I'm glad you won't ban me for simply having a difference of opinion! That is very mature! I wasn't trying to argue. You could be correct in your assessment. I just didn't view it that way. I honestly haven't read the welcome new users blog and I didn't realize that the admin just started doing that after banning a bunch of users. I only check this site out at work when it is slow. I missed all the drama of whatever caused so many people to be banned.

I have no problem with constructive criticism at all. Some of those users came across as very bitter and hateful in their comments when it wasn't necessary. The same message could be relayed with some empathy is my point. Yes it took me a while of reading before I decided to blog when I first joined because I saw some people get ripped apart. This is supposed to be a supportive site! I don't think I blog anymore or less seeing as I didn't even realize so many had been blocked until seeing your signature line and some of those were users that I felt had good advice.

I definitely think it is possible to welcome new users and be gracious to existing users. I think it would be nice if users could just block other users and not involve an admin - like fb. Then the admin wouldn't be involved in that mess.

WalkOnBy's picture

I think the question is "why the welcome now" when those of us who have been here for years have never received such a message.

It's her site, she can do or not do what she wants, that's her prerogative.

BUT, I would think she would also want the old-timers to feel welcome, too????

thisisnotmocking's picture

It feels like a weekly, passive aggressive, eff you. To me, anyway.

sunshinex's picture

I don't think the old users ever "bashed" anyone per say, they simply lived the steplife for a long, long time and had a lot to say to people coming into it. They were filled with a lot of wisdom and I appreciate all of the advice and guidance I received from them - no matter how harsh it seemed at the time. Moeilijk, I fully agree with this post. It's not right nor is it fair.

Veritas's picture

I miss several of them a lot...and I have an entire Evernote folder full of copies of posts, especially from Step Aside and Echo, that helped guide my way over the last 5 years...I know nothing about the "why" of what happened behind the scenes here but I will say there is less tension in the posts, even with differences of opinions.

It even struck me, reading some posts this morning, that I saw a new poster be a bit snarky to the OP...that has once again become the exception instead of the rule and yes, I do like that. I fully support individual opinions, I just never did dig the anger Sad

moeilijk's picture

I've never been particularly angry or aggressive in my posts (or so I think, anyway, lol!), but I have noticed that I just don't comment much anymore.

I feel inside, "Uh-oh, can I say something that might be taken the wrong way or will that get me the boot too?" That's a really useless attitude for members to have on a discussion board, and I'm sure I'm not the only one.

I remember getting some advice, years ago, about swearing. It was, "If you swear, remember that people will notice the heat and invective and not what you say. If you want to be understood, be articulate. If you want attention, swear."

I apply that to online etiquette. People who are unkind or crass or 'snarky', they are doing so because they have nothing to say. But beware! Sometimes our unwillingness to 'hear' what we don't like, leads us to decide that the speaker is a big fat meanie. When really, it's just our resistance putting up another wall, to keep us exactly where we are.

thisisnotmocking's picture

All of the actual users that were booted... in moe's sig line... after many years of membership, I don't ever recall name calling by them. To anybody.

Doorsy's picture

Really? Cause i know ladyface said some harsh stuff about Gunners male organs. Fruitsalad was mean to many people. Just because you didn'tsee it doesn't mean it didn't happen. Many people quit posting because of them. You act like they died but they have come back with a new name already.

WalkOnBy's picture

Some people cry "meanie pants" when confronted with the truth.

Just because someone says something with which you may disagree does not mean they are being a meanie pants, right??

thisisnotmocking's picture

Lol lady did get kinda mean at the end of her pregnancy and shortly after. But it was so out of character, it was funny. And you could say that to her.

moeilijk's picture

I don't think flags were addressed for years. There was one particular poster who I flagged regularly, for language and lewd suggestions if others didn't agree. After several months, and one day where I must have flagged the same person for the same conduct/comments 20 times... I emailed admin.

As far as I know, all those flags were never addressed. My email was certainly never responded to.

WalkOnBy's picture

which kind of brings us back to the "why all of the involvement lately" question, doesn't it?

sunshinex's picture

Lady was one of my favs. I attribute a lot of my success in steplife to her! She gave me the best advice and it really helped me turn my relationship around.

Disneyfan's picture

"Some people cry "meanie pants" when confronted with the truth.

Just because someone says something with which you may disagree does not mean they are being a meanie pants, right??"

I swear I don't know how some people function in real life. Anyone who thinks Lady was a meanie must navigate the real world concealed in bubble wrap.

If these folks are so concerned about "mean, nasty' posts, why aren't they up in arms when CHILDREN are called whores and bitches?

lieutenant_dad's picture

THAT has always bothered me. We can't call someone stupid (which is fair and fine), but someone can call their steps or exes horrible names, or wish violence or death upon them, and they are STILL allowed to post.

BethAnne's picture

Moe, respectfully, a few things for you to think over.

What do you think is worse, people thinking twice before posting a response so as not to be offensive or people thinking twice before posting because they fear being attacked and bullied and that they may not get any useful advice out of it?

I always love reading what you have to say precisely because you do take the time to give respectful and thoughtful responses and feel that you are indeed a great contributor to the site. I am sorry lots of people got booted and that many had offered useful perspectives over a long time. However I feel that there definitely is a more positive tone these days on here and from my perspective that is nice to see. I too have held back many times posting stuff or seeking help because I could predict how quickly responses would go downhill. I had also received unsolicited abusive responses from those that I had previously had a lot of respect for and seemed to otherwise be 'good' members.

Your assessment of Admin is based on your sadness at the loss of the information and members that you cherished but not a true reflection of the work that goes into maintaining a site like this (presumably as a side gig to their regular life/job). I do not believe that the welcome to new members is as devious of a plot as you imagine.

If your feelings are a bit overwhelming right now perhaps consider taking a break from the site and focusing on other friendships.

WalkOnBy's picture

" I do not believe that the welcome to new members is as devious of a plot as you imagine."

What is your thought on its presence?

It might not be as innocent as you imagine, either, right??

BethAnne's picture

I like to give people the benefit of doubt and that admin is trying to build up the site and encourage new members. Just because old members are not (and were not) specifically welcomed is not a slight on old members. I do not feel I need a specific welcome after having been here for almost 4 years. I am here because I get something positive from the site, not for the thanks or recognition that I receive.

WalkOnBy's picture

but what are your thoughts on why now? Just some random decision and a total coincidence?

You feel how you feel, others feel how they feel.

Room for all...

ItsGrowingOld's picture

Personally, I think the welcome is more about site rebuilding. **shrugs shoulders**

moeilijk's picture

I don't think it's a devious plot. I just think it's immature and snide, and I'm saddened by that behaviour. Because admin sets the tone.

I agree that getting rid of abusive posters is not bad.

I would love to see the work that goes into maintaining a site like this. So far, I see the weekly welcome posts, before that the banning-binge, and before that... one small change to make all the comments load at once rather than as a series of pages. That's in about 7-8 years.

I am unaware of any protocol for guiding or directing members, new or old, if that is needed. Which would seem to me the basis of creating any kind of atmosphere. Until lately it was a free-for-all. Not all right, but not all wrong either.

I'm not sure what you meant by taking a break and focusing on my other friendships? That came across... odd.

And honestly, I think everyone should think two or three times before writing or saying anything. And I think everyone should think two or three times before thinking they've understood anything they've read or heard.

I think an environment where I am worried about being removed from the relationship for saying the wrong thing to the wrong person is not at all the same as thinking twice to avoid being offensive.

Being offensive doesn't come easily to most people, but being offended does.

BethAnne's picture

We will never know admin's intentions. If you feel it is passive aggressive then that is your opinion but it might be worth considering why you are viewing things in the way and why you are placing these motivations in someone you do not know.

I do not have the first idea of how much work goes into this site, but i have over my years here seen spam posts and spam accounts get deleted (and I presume admin is behind the great reduction in the number of those over the last year or so) and new forum posts added as well as sporadic banning of members (for whatever reason) and efforts to get the site back online when it goes down in addition to the changes you have mentioned. At the end of the day though it doesn't really matter how much work is put in or if admin has recently started putting in more work than previously to the site. It is thier website and they can run it how they like. It is not a democracy and does not have to be fair or transparent.

If you feel the site could do with more clear guidelines then perhaps you could suggest some to admin or try to work with them to author some. Personally I have managed to not be offensive or abusive (and I feel that you do a great job too) but if you think that others would benefit then give it a go.

The taking a break comment is because I have seen you repeatedly referring to the members who were banned and the loss of friendships and information. This happened a few months ago and yet it is still eating at you enough to take the time ( even on your birthday - happy birthday btw) to make this post. I thought that maybe taking a little time to reflect on why and focusing on other parts of your life might be healthy for you. I am in a similar situation to you, not working outside of the home and living in a foreign country with few friends and no family around. I know how isolating that is, I know how sad it makes me and how low I can get. I was trying to empathize with you a little and help you to try to refocus your energies on something positive, I am sorry if that came across otherwise.

In all of our relationships we risk loosing them if we are offensive or abusive towards the other party. Most adults know how to avoid that in real life. Sadly some feel freedom online to speak without consideration. Sometimes people will take offense at the most thoughtful and considerate posts but those are not likely to get anyone banned, even if flagged. Directly deriding someone or calling them offensive names or following them around the website and harassing them are the types of behaviors that are more likely to have someone banned. You know this. I have never seen you act in those ways. You are safe.

moeilijk's picture

BethAnne, I appreciate your kind nature and your efforts at moderation. In this case, though, I think you might presume too much. Maybe it just came across the wrong way, you're right.

Passive-aggressive refers to someone's behaviour, but it's not a motivation as much as it is an experience. Some people would say it's the behaviour of someone trying to be aggressive but they do it in a hidden way so that they can get away with it. Others would say, it's the experience of being very uncomfortable about an interaction, because of feeling end-runned in terms of being free to disagree or even discuss for example. I don't think admin is doing something special to be aggressive or sneaky, but I dislike the way discussion has been suppressed. Opinions on the value of that discussion clearly differ, but the fact that it's prevented is a problem for me.

Agreed, the site can be run however admin chooses. There are some ways to shape the atmosphere in certain directions, and a long absence followed by mass bannings and weekly cheery greetings to the new people is certainly a certain direction.

I think you are referring to a discussion I had on another blog recently, and this blog, in which I talked about my comfort level in terms of the investment I make of my time and energy here. I guess that's repeatedly, since I was trying to explain the same idea in different ways.

As an adult, I feel capable of doing what's healthy for me. I know it can be easy to feel like all expats lives are the same, or that all people who don't work are the same, but that just isn't the case.

I may never develop friendships here on the level of friendships I had when living in Canada. But that's because I'll never know a new person since kindergarten. And most of my friendships are conducted in French or Dutch, none of which are my mother tongue, so I guess a level of nuance and closeness might not be there. And I face lots of frustrations... but I have a good life. I only need meaningful connections, not plentiful.

Indeed, online behaviour can be quite shameful.

MollyBrown's picture

This site has slowed down since the banning. Now it is common to see what was fairly busy forums go 12 hours to a day without a response.

notsurehowtodeal's picture

I think the worst part of the banning was the eradication of all of the posts by the banned members. I sometimes advise new users to read the blogs of other posters who have similar issues. Now, many of those blogs are almost impossible to read as so many replies are missing.

Anotherstep2 once said that one of the downsides of information being available only in electronic form is is gives one person or entity the power to make it all disappear. Here is a real life example.

Aniki's picture

"...the worst part of the banning was the eradication of all of the posts by the banned members."

^^^Exactly this.

THOUSANDS of helpful, instructive, INSIGHTFUL comments are lost. Hundreds of people who kept blogs to refer back to those comments or posted in the forums no longer have that option. Very sad.

DaizyDuke's picture

To be honest, I think we all need to build a bridge and get over it. People weren't randomly banned. They were banned because comments they made (over a long period of time) were flagged as offensive and while I am one of the most sarcastic, laid back chicks in the bunch, I can tell you even I flagged a couple of them for just being downright hateful and nasty. There is just no reason for that. But I bet there's people here who miss those people, because they had good advice or were never mean to THEM. Just as there are others who were banned, who I had no issue with. To each their own.

Bottom line, this is a dang anonymous blog spot. For all we know, people giving advice here could be prisoners at Attica, with nothing better to do. Right? You kind of have to take the whole site with a grain of salt.

I will agree that the weekly "welcome" posts are a tad annoying and in my opinion, probably overinflated (sorry but I just don't see a random slew of 200 some new users cropping up because 10-15 people were ousted??) but just as with trolls and posts I'm not particularly interested in, I just scroll on by. I mean who cares. Should I be offended when I get a baby announcement, because nobody sent out an announcement that it was MY birthday?

WalkOnBy's picture

and you'll cry if you want to Smile

hugs and happy birthday to you, my dear.

You get to feel any way you want to about how you feel about STalk events <3 <3 <3

ESMOD's picture

All I can think is "they do know that those banned posters are likely among the "new" members right????

advice.only2's picture

Yes "they" will start coming back and stirring the drama up again...the ones who really helped, they see the writing on the wall and chose not to come back, but found other havens.

Dawn-Moderator's picture

The welcome is basically just that, a WELCOME. It says that the site is an active site. That is it.

I will be on this site DAILY checking for problems and seeing who is new. This also helps me get rid of spammers, sometimes before they even start posting.

I blocked the comments on my welcome posts because they were out of control. If you have a problem, send me a pm about it. When you continue to blog about it, it seems that you just want public attention.

You won't get blocked for not agreeing. You will get blocked if the way you disagree is with abusive, name calling comments/posts.

Moderating this site is a tough job. No matter what I do, someone will be unhappy.

moeilijk's picture

When I blog about something, it seems I just want public attention? Is that just for me, or for all the attention-desperate bloggers on your site?

I've pm'd you before. You haven't replied in at least 4 years.

I'm glad you've decided to be on the site more often. I do see less spam, so thanks for that.

I hope you do moderate this site. That will be a positive change.

I felt like opening this discussion because it was important to me. I don't think everyone who posts a blog is just looking for public attention; I think many people have challenges or frustrations in life and they are looking to get some help along the way.

I think people are more likely to go to Twitter or Instagram 'just' for public attention.

Dawn-Moderator's picture

Not blogging in general but blogging on THIS topic, yes.

I don't have many step issues anymore except for moderating this site. So I have a lot more time to spend getting Step Talk in good order.

When we do get the new site finished, there will be more changes. Hopefully for the good.

I have gone through all of the emails and reported abuses. They are currently up do date.

moeilijk's picture

This is the only blog I've posted about THIS topic. I have commented on three or four other blogs in recent weeks about THIS topic. I haven't had much else to say because THIS topic weighed on me heavily. Also I was on vacation for a few weeks before that.

So I'm surprised that you would make the effort to comment on my need for public attention, in general or on THIS topic. It feels really... passive-aggressive. As though you want me to know that you think I'm all kinds of wrong for my views or opinions, but you want to make sure there's no discussion about it.

I look forward to a moderated site. Or at least, I hope I do. We'll see.

Aniki's picture

Dawn, is there any guestimate as to when the new changes will be put in place? The Block option, for instance?

Dawn-Moderator's picture

Unfortunately, there is no guestimate. Working on the new site is only as time permits. Life keeps getting in the way as well.. Sick pets, surgeries, selling our house and moving to a new town, etc.

Working on the new site is on the perpetual TO DO list. There is a lot to do. The site will have an different look. It will also be mobile friendly. It will have some form of "like" button and the block feature.

We will make announcements when things start getting closer....

Tuff Noogies's picture

dawn - "Not blogging in general but blogging on THIS topic, yes" - is this implying that the content of personal blogs will be censored as well as the comments? that's how it appears, especially in view of the tone of responses to mentions of banned "users" - i hope i am wrong.

Dawn-Moderator's picture

It has always been the policy that if a blog is offensive or overly vulgar, yes, it will be removed.

Tuff Noogies's picture

since 'offensive' and 'overly vulgar' are totally subjective, and you moderate this site, let me ask you this - how will there be a standard to determine if someone has crossed the line? it would be nice if something like that was in place, or a pre-determined method of handling (for example, pm warning, followed by a public warning, followed by a temporary suspension prior to an outright ban).

there are lots of people here from all over the world, with a wide variety of personalities and cultures, who all have different opinions of what they find offensive or vulgar, or simply topics that just just don't like. a set definition of 'offensive' and 'overly vulgar', along with predictable disciplinary actions, might be something to consider.

moeilijk's picture

One term for what you're describing, Tuff, is "procedural justice." That's when the rules of how a decision is reached are clear before-hand, when all parties are listened too, the person deciding is gathers all relevant information, and the possible outcomes are known in advance.

Comparable to a judge at court. Of course, some decisions are still poor, but in general, there is a level of clarity about the process to be used, the information to be gathered and considered, and what might happen as a result, which most people find reassuring, and keeps the 'order' in 'law and order'!

Otherwise, it's just chaos and personal bias or preference. No one ever likes that, except some people don't mind being the beneficiaries.

Dawn-Moderator's picture

We are looking it to different options with the new site. As of now, I am warning via private message and keeping track of who has been warned and when.

Also, Google doesn't like vulagarity and asks us to remove things from the site that THEY consider vulgar.

And yes, some of it is subjective. I can try to add some more specifics but that will be on the new site.

Indigo's picture

I appreciate Dawn's & other Admin's work on this site. I do not pay a subscription to come here every day, but my life is better because of the posters on this board.

I have lived through several "purges," and my "friends" list is usually decimated as a result, but I do not stop coming here and reading. I don't agree with every pruning that occurs of posts or posters --- however, I have found sometimes, that things happened I wasn't privy to and completely justified the moves. Other times, I laughed when I "met" new posters who suspiciously reminded me of old posters.

I like that this board is freeform but relatively civilized. It was intimidating when I first joined with outrageous comments, name-calling, hijacked threads and such. Hopefully, new members have a better experience.

HowLongIsForever's picture

Long time lurker, registered somewhere around the last banning I think. The tone of the site has definitely changed. I think she's lost her moxie.

Whatever happened to take what you need and leave the rest?

I'm not saying that bullying or harassment should be acceptable and glossed over (I'm also not saying that's what banned members were doing) but I do think it's possible for people raw in a situation to be on the defensive and not ready or able to hear the advice they're given.
Yes, it reads harshly - whether that was the intent or we've read into it with our stripped nerves.
The combative nonsense trouble making plain as day? Those should have been handled more firmly than the generic "will have a block feature" stance for months on end before the most recent implosion.

The whole situation seemed like a poor place to put one's foot down after the site had been left to its own devices, again, for so long.

It takes resources to host and run a successful site, the least of which is time and a little bit of give a shish. That should be recognized and appreciated, not just in regards to the administration but also the active membership.

We've punished the posters that kept this site alive, informative and separated it from the other sites that are afraid to admit to the darkside of stepfamilies by way of banishment. We've punished the remaining members by obliterating an entire virtual library of knowledge.

But re: the weekly welcome stuff? Feels smarmy and autobotesque. No need for an admin presence when they've let the inmates run the asylum but now that they've run roughshod over the people that tried despite it all? Rings false and patronizing, a bit of a slap in the face.

I think the lack of ownership for the neglect and abandonment the long standing membership is feeling is a mistake on the part of the administration. And blogs like this will continue until that is resolved.

Perhaps the transformation is intentional, in which case it's a poor way to go about it.
If not, there's an opportunity to address it.

However, I suspect we are back in the business of autopilot, ignoring the warnings to put your hand on the steering wheel until it's too late.

Dawn-Moderator's picture

No, it is not intended to be smarmy. And no, it is not back on autopilot.

No slap in the face intended.

moeilijk's picture

You could have said that to me, instead of saying I was blogging just for attention. That would have addressed all the concerns I raised in a more effective manner.

thisisnotmocking's picture

I thought I was fairly smart. You made me google a word even google doesn't think is real lol but I got the general idea. Thanks fer learnin me summpin today.

bearcub25's picture

Admin is trying to get this site back to the way it was many years ago. Get rid of so much negativity that was keeping others from reaching out and posting. It was something that they needed to keep on top of for the past few years.

Before the banning.....'Someone would say I am new and this is my first post.'
Then, you have the 'Only a member for a week, it must be a crew'. Then you had the personal convos about drinking, sex, private jokes in the middle of someones post. Then posters arguing with each other who was more right than the other ones. Then when the poster isn't seeing they are being given good advice, you had the 'Get out of your parents basement', 'I can't wait for school to be back in so the skids quit posting', name calling, general outright nasty behavior.

Why would new people want to post or vent or get advice when you are just kicked like a dog when you are already down about your life.

Aniki's picture

I've been here not quite 3.5 years so I'm not familiar with the original site.

What completely baffles me is that, with the number of new users in the last few weeks (isn't it over 200 now??), is why there aren't more forums posts and blogs and comments. The lack of traffic is surprising, given the high number of additional peeps.

Dawn-Moderator's picture

Maybe it takes new users a little while to get comfortable and see how things work. Some just choose to comment on other posts first.

When we are mobile friendly, Google will send more new users here.

WalkOnBy's picture

I found this site waaaaay back when via google....why do you say it's not google friendly?

StepUltimate's picture

I found this site in November 2016 by googling... trying to find other step-parents in my shoes. Read for months before joining & posting.

Dawn-Moderator's picture

It's not mobile friendly. If you look at the site on a mobile device, you have to keep adjusting and moving around to see everything. With the mobile friendly version, you won't have to do that. It all fits on the screen you are using. Google likes sites to be mobile friendly these days.

steppingback's picture

There are some banned that I don't get either. However, by complaining about the welcoming of new posters you are exhibing an even greater degree of sensitivity than those attacked by some of the banned. Just my opinion but this is slightly hypocritical.

moeilijk's picture

Could you clarify what you mean?

You're stating that by objecting to the welcome message I am displaying even more sensitivity than some posters who were attacked by members who have since been banned displayed, is that right? And you find this hypocritical?

I don't object to the message, just the manner in which it has been handled and more specifically the contrast between this message and the prior longstanding policy of zero contact with members.

I don't have much stake in how others perceive me, a lot of their perception is about them, not me. That being said, I probably am a more sensitive person than average. I choose to live a life that I examine on a deeper level than some. But I can't speak to the sensitivity anyone else displayed, nor to what their experience was if they were subject to abuse. That would be presumptuous, at a minimum.

I think there were a couple of abusive posters that got banned along with the rest. I don't think there is any parallel between being 'sensitive' to a barrage of hateful and offensive attacks on personal characteristics and qualities and my distaste at the approach admin has taken with the welcome message.

I think you're suggesting that I feel that people who were abused by users on this site should not mind anymore - do I understand you correctly? Or are you suggesting that I shouldn't talk about what bothers me, because others have had worse experiences on this site?

moeilijk's picture

"... it's because those of us remaining now know what will and will not be tolerated."

I would like to think so, but I don't agree. That's essentially what underlies my OP - I don't think there is any more clarity about what's ok and what's not. What I see as a change is not a prompt sitting-up-straight at the dinner table, but a complete freeze as I, for one, am not contributing because it ISN'T clear what will get me booted. And because I don't want to invest my time and energy here only to have all my words (and great advice or at least good spelling) disappear forever.

But perhaps things will improve.

moeilijk's picture

" Submitted by Dawn on Mon, 09/18/2017 - 8:15pm.

The welcome is basically just that, a WELCOME. It says that the site is an active site. That is it.

I will be on this site DAILY checking for problems and seeing who is new. This also helps me get rid of spammers, sometimes before they even start posting.

I blocked the comments on my welcome posts because they were out of control. If you have a problem, send me a pm about it. When you continue to blog about it, it seems that you just want public attention.

You won't get blocked for not agreeing. You will get blocked if the way you disagree is with abusive, name calling comments/posts.

Moderating this site is a tough job. No matter what I do, someone will be unhappy.


I thought about this for a while, because this comment really bothered me, for two reasons. One is a housekeeping reason - I know many sites use a widget to keep track of new users, online users, lurkers, etc. So I am surprised to hear that the only way to keep track of new users and alert interested parties to ongoing activity is for admin to post a weekly message.

The other is a global atmosphere reason. I opened a discussion about how I feel about some of admin's decisions for managing the atmosphere of the site. I can understand that when people talk about feelings, the issue and the person can get conflated. So I can understand that admin felt personally attacked by my expressing negative feelings about choices and conduct on the part of admin.

And I suppose that's why admin began down the road of name-calling - that when I continue to want to discuss something that bothers me, I "just want public attention."

I think that we, collectively as posters, come here and post a new version of the same story of our lives daily or weekly for months, or even years. We have the same problem with the same people in our lives, over and over and over. Not only do I think it would be hurtful to tell anyone here, "You're only talking about your problems because you want public attention," I think it would be untruthful.

I think many people, if not most people, talk about their problems to get them OUT of our lives and into the world. That way, the problem can be separate from us, and isn't part of who we are. That helps us look at our challenges and issues with a bit more distance. And doing so in the company of others allows for new perspectives. That gives us more information, new ideas, and builds creative problem solving.

And, bonus, we build a sense of solidarity, of camaraderie, as well as a sense of normalcy when sometimes, daily life is far from normal. And sometimes, we even get actual, practical advice on how to change something.

WalkOnBy's picture

What really bothered me about Dawn's comments to you was that she seemed to be saying that you shouldn't or couldn't blog about what you are personally feeling. I hope she comments and tells me that I misinterpreted her comments, but I think that's how YOU felt and it's certainly how I felt.

As the title states, this is a website for step parents to presumably grumble and vent about step parenting, but we have many posts that are off topic all the time. I always wonder if posts about feelings are actually not off topic since, at least in my experience, being a step parent affects just about every aspect of my life and it seems only natural that it creeps in everywhere.

What I disliked the most about the ban-related posts were those who seemed to be absolutely elated - and you know who you are - about those who were lost. I find that to be not only in poor taste, but incredibly immature. It is my hope that those posts and their posters were addressed privately, but who knows?

The particular braggart about whom I am thinking seemed to feel a sense of emboldenment when the caca went down, which only speaks to the capriciousness that subjectivity can often bring.

I have moderated sites before, it's a giant pain in the ass, that is for sure. I hope that we eventually get some kind of "this is okay, this is not" as well as some options regarding privacy and blocking when the new site is up and running.

Aniki's picture

"...being a step parent affects just about every aspect of my life..."

Isn't that the truth?! We've seen stepparents on here who have had their insurance, family relationships, social life, sex life, privacy, home, furbabies, pantry, health, and more adversely affected by stephell. :O

Aniki's picture

WOB, in this matter, I believe they are interchangeable (although *infect* in more accurate...).

MoominMama's picture

I just took it that they wanted to welcome new users. I didn't think about it that much. I definately edit my thoughts before I comment these days though and I've been here for years.