The role of the WNP Message Boards

10/09/09 - posted by Woody LaBounty

Here's the thing, Cliff... The message board is a great place to record memories, a great place for conversation, queries, and perhaps personal reflections on our shared history in the western neighborhoods.

What email, message boards, and the general Internet are not very good at is nuanced communication. A memory that somebody relays in conversation comes with body language, inflection, tone, and an immediate opportunity for the listener to interject, ask for clarification, disagree. Empathy, understanding, and shifting of intent, perspective, and motivation can happen very quickly and almost subconsciously when people talk. But when someone writes a line or paragraph online it loses all that subtlety for the reader. Suddenly one person's typed and posted experience or opinion reads like impersonal fact and people can take offense very quickly. That person responds, usually in a much harsher way than they would ever presume to do in "real life," and a declining spiral of accusations and insults usually results.

That's what I'm trying to avoid on this site. We're not trying to put a happy face on the pastóplenty of posts here remember tough economic times, institutional racism, and the much regretted loss of landmarks and community cohesionóbut the site is not a place to "name names," or hash out personal differences. The community here can't (and shouldn't) act as judge in such disputes and aren't enriched or educated in any way by the conflict.

As for the WNP Meet-Ups at the Cliff House, they're open and welcome to all. Come by and say hello some time.

If you'd like to correspond more about the above, please feel free to email me.

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