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Thread: Possible new forum: A Safe Space for Planners

  1. #1
    Cyburbia Administrator
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    Possible new forum: A Safe Space for Planners

    I'm looking at creating a new subforum: "A Safe Space for Planners". The idea behind this subforum -- and the concept is still gelling -- is that planners are under public scrutiny, and sometimes we might want to discuss a project or issue without fearing that it could be see by the public. A private forum would provide some of the advantages of a listserv -- mainly, privacy, the lack of search engine access, and the ability to reveal your personal information.

    Access would be restricted. One idea is to grant access to practicing planners and related professionals that request it, who have some number of posts. There may also be the ability to attach very large files.

    This would NOT be a snark forum, or an exclusive club for privileged Cyburbians.

    Your thoughts?
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

  2. #2
    Super Moderator luckless pedestrian's avatar
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    I think it's a good idea and it would be helpful to know who the list of people are that have access to it - I hold back a lot, no really I do, because of lurkers...

  3. #3
    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
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    Perhaps a post count threshold is the best approach, but a bit higher (I'm thinking maybe 100+ posts to really insulate against digging public, plus it encourages more active participation that way). And also some specific rules about outing Cyburbians, decorum as far as discussing firms/clients, etc. I think there is a definite benefit to being able to discuss issues we're aware of with firms, changing principles, instability at a city/firm hiring, etc., but we also want to avoid it turning into a gossip column. Likewise, some of us, particularly those of us in the public sector that work in small departments (1 or 2 planners on staff) would appreciate being able to share projects they are working with to get the take of the Throbbing Brain of Cyburbia TM.

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Herman Göring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

  4. #4
    OH....IO Hink's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Suburb Repairman View post
    Perhaps a post count threshold is the best approach, but a bit higher (I'm thinking maybe 100+ posts to really insulate against digging public, plus it encourages more active participation that way).
    I would probably like to see it a bit higher. Honestly if we are going to be open I would rather it be with those who have been around a while, and are going to most likely be around a while longer. Not sure what number I like, but I feel like you can get 100 posts pretty quickly then peter out.

    I love the idea though.
    A common mistake people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools. -Douglas Adams

  5. #5
    Cyburbia Administrator
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    852 users with 25 posts or more, 287 active at some time after January 1, 2012.
    539 users with 50 posts or more, 223 active at some time after January 1, 2012.
    375 users with 100 posts or more, 187 active at some time after January 1, 2012.
    246 users with 200 posts or more, 159 active at some time after January 1, 2012.

    I really don't want to set the bar of entry too high.
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

  6. #6
    OH....IO Hink's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Dan View post
    852 users with 25 posts or more, 287 active at some time after January 1, 2012.
    539 users with 50 posts or more, 223 active at some time after January 1, 2012.
    375 users with 100 posts or more, 187 active at some time after January 1, 2012.
    246 users with 200 posts or more, 159 active at some time after January 1, 2012.

    I really don't want to set the bar of entry too high.
    Funny how you only gain 36 from 50 to 100 and only gain 28 from 100 to 200. So from 50 to 200 you are only gaining 64. I guess that is almost 30%...

    I think Suburb Repairman is probably right... after reviewing only Huck (April 2012) has joined in 2012 and has 100 posts. Which makes me believe that you would have to stick around for at least 6 months to get 100 posts. I think that is a reasonable request of someone before they join our sacred garden.
    A common mistake people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools. -Douglas Adams

  7. #7
    Cyburbia Administrator
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    Quote Originally posted by luckless pedestrian View post
    I think it's a good idea and it would be helpful to know who the list of people are that have access to it - I hold back a lot, no really I do, because of lurkers...
    That's a good point So far, I'm thinking ...

    * 50 posts.
    * Practicing planner or in a related field (working, unemployed, or retired).
    * Real name in a sticky post, so we know who's in there. (Blueshirts on Cyburbia: "I can't trust those with anonymous usernames.") If you don't want to reveal your real identity, no access.
    * No snarking on or outing other Cyburbians. This is not a secret snark forum.
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

  8. #8
    Cyburbian ursus's avatar
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    I'd like to throw my hat in the ring. I know it's something that I would use, and would benefit greatly from as a professional (don't worry, I'm using the term loosely).

    Also, I'd like to second Hink's (unintentional?) name suggestion. "The Sacred Garden". Points to the man with the flair for the dramatic. I like.
    "...I would never try to tick Hink off. He kinda intimidates me. He's quite butch, you know." - Maister

  9. #9
    Cyburbian boiker's avatar
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    I'm in. I know we tried something along these lines in the past with "peer review". I want to see something like this take off.
    Dude, I'm cheesing so hard right now.

  10. #10
    Cyburbian mike gurnee's avatar
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    I worry about being "outed". One of us who goes over the edge, copies stuff and sends to a so-called friend. I worry about others finding the thread (bosses, attorneys). But I like the idea.

  11. #11
    Cyburbia Administrator
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    Quote Originally posted by mike gurnee View post
    I worry about being "outed". One of us who goes over the edge, copies stuff and sends to a so-called friend. I worry about others finding the thread (bosses, attorneys). But I like the idea.
    I understand the concern. Thing is, nobody gets outed for what's posted on a listserv, and the forum would be closed to those without access. No read or write access, and not even visible on the homepage, except for those with 50+ posts who have requested access, who are practicing/unemployed/retired professional planners/academics/architects/LAs/related.
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

  12. #12
    Cyburbian Mud Princess's avatar
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    Maybe I'm being overly paranoid, but I'd worry about personal info "spilling over" into non-restricted threads. And I don't think 50 posts is enough of a prerequisite -- I'd prefer a minimum of 100.

    I like the overall idea of a "safe space," though.

  13. #13
    Cyburbian btrage's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Mud Princess View post
    Maybe I'm being overly paranoid, but I'd worry about personal info "spilling over" into non-restricted threads. And I don't think 50 posts is enough of a prerequisite -- I'd prefer a minimum of 100.

    I like the overall idea of a "safe space," though.
    That would be my concern as well; personal/professional information I've shared in "The Sacred Garden" accidentally being spilled over onto other forums. However, I'm FB friends with people on here and no one has ever used my FB information and exposed me on here. So maybe I'd be cool with it.

    I also think we should make it at least 100 posts. Once it's up and running, you may see people start to post pad just to get into the "Sacred Garden", and see what secrets she will reveal.
    "I'm very important. I have many leather-bound books and my apartment smells of rich mahogany"

  14. #14
    Cyburbia Administrator
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    Oh God ... now that I think about it ...

    The Secret Garden

    I know people like it, but it seems like a forum about menopause.
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

  15. #15
    Super Moderator luckless pedestrian's avatar
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    or we can call it de noc sans public

  16. #16
    OH....IO Hink's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Dan View post
    Oh God ... now that I think about it ...

    The Secret Garden

    I know people like it, but it seems like a forum about menopause.
    I would go to a forum about menopause.
    A common mistake people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools. -Douglas Adams

  17. #17
    Cyburbian hilldweller's avatar
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    I like the idea of invite only, and after 200 posts or something.

  18. #18
    Dan, why not limit it to Cyburbia+ members?
    The content contrarian

  19. #19
    Cyburbia Administrator
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    Quote Originally posted by OfficialPlanner View post
    Dan, why not limit it to Cyburbia+ members?
    There's not very many of them.
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

  20. #20
    Cyburbian dw914er's avatar
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    Plus, being able to buy into the forum would defeat the idea that it's hidden from lookie-loos.

    I like the idea of the section though.
    And that concludes staff’s presentation...

  21. #21
    Zoning Lord Richmond Jake's avatar
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    I wonder if comments I made in such a thread would be subject to a public records request under Florida statutes? Personally, I would probably error on the side of caution.
    Nonetheless, I'm attracted to the idea.


    EDIT: If I don't use my work computer, I suspect it won't be subject to a public records request.
    Annoyingly insensitive

  22. #22
    Cyburbia Administrator
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    Quote Originally posted by Richmond Jake View post
    I wonder if comments I made in such a thread would be subject to a public records request under Florida statutes? Personally, I would probably error on the side of caution.
    It shouldn't, because this isn't a public Web site, nor any kind of government agency. Cyburbia is privately owned. You won't be using email to post to the site, unlike listservs. Also, we purge log information after a week or so, because it would take up terabytes of space if we kept it permanently.
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

  23. #23
    Cyburbian chupacabra's avatar
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    I think it would be pretty useful. If I ever have enough posts I will ask to join.
    You can grow ideas in the garden of your mind.

  24. #24
    Cyburbia Administrator
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    Quote Originally posted by chupacabra View post
    I think it would be pretty useful. If I ever have enough posts I will ask to join.
    I think 100 or so would be enough, depending on where the posts are. Maybe 50 to 100 posts in the "on topic" forums, excluding the Student Lounge. dw914er is right; it shouldn't be pay-to-play.

    Confidential Career Issues - right now, it's pay to play. Maybe that should change, too.

    Quote Originally posted by Hink View post
    I would go to a forum about menopause.
    And wouldn't you know, a garden forum would have a subforum about menopause.
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

  25. #25
    OH....IO Hink's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Dan View post
    There is just so much to learn....
    A common mistake people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools. -Douglas Adams

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