What Happened To Pothos?

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derek
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What Happened To Pothos?

Post by derek »

I used to be a regular visitor to Pothos and would sometimes get involved in the discussions, but I wouldn’t dare now. To post an opinion would be to risk the criticism that seems to envelop every thread. It’s grown noticeably over the last couple of years and now it seems like every new subject degenerates into an argument between three or four people.

I now only glance at the Pothos site as something to do at lunchtime – they’re still arguing, yeah…

Derek
agesilaos
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Re: What Happened To Pothos?

Post by agesilaos »

As a likely offender,Derek, I would just say do join in, when things come down to two or the people chewing over the same evidence then things can tend toward the fractious (depending on the people, of course), when more people contribute then it is less likely that things get taken personally and the discussion is necessarily more informed by the different opinions and skills brought to the table, consider the 'Sphynxes' thread, there is dispute but no marked rancour (unless my skin is so thick I don't see it :shock: ) and there must be ten or more different posters, including the arch-arguers!

It would be a chore, I know but if you picked your way through these threads and gave your judgement on the relevancy and strength of the various positions it might pour oil upon the troubled waters (why is there no emoticon for 'dreamer'?).

Some subjects are contentious and some people clearly have invested in their positions; I hope I have not been aggressive towards the non-combatant membership. Perhaps there is too little left to say about Alexander.. if not start a new thread until the others drift off the bottom of the page, in the immortal words of David Soul, 'Don't give up on us, baby.' 8) By 'us' I mean pothos, not those who have spoiled your participation.
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Alexias
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Re: What Happened To Pothos?

Post by Alexias »

I would very much agree with derek. This site has gradually been dying over the last year or so. IMHO, this started with the disappearance of Marcus who represented sensible, informed, but generalised opinions. The current discussions are mostly too specialised and technical, and often off the point from Alexander. Such discussions, although often highly informative, are intimidating for those who don't have in depth knowledge of the ancient Greek world and don't have time to read all the articles cited. The 'closed shop' atmosphere of the same few antagonists slugging it out also doesn't encourage new membership. Nor does colloquial language encourage foreign-language readers to post if they don't understand the personal references.

If this site is to be rescued, we need to start posting generalised discussions that will encourage more people to post, and encourage their interest to learn more about Alexander.
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amyntoros
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Re: What Happened To Pothos?

Post by amyntoros »

It is the members who make the forum. If no one else chooses to post or start new threads then Pothos will stay like this or fade away like the movie forums of yesteryear. A Pothosian obviously cannot be forced to post or reply to posts, only encouraged. It's up to the individual member whether they are interested or not in a current discussion, or if they want to begin a new one. At least the same few people are keeping Pothos alive right now. :|

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Alexias
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Re: What Happened To Pothos?

Post by Alexias »

I recently had exactly this same discussion with someone on Lj about why communities die. The basic reason is lack of new members to maintain enthusiasm. They arrive fired up with new interest and opinions and replace those who have moved on to new interests, but the basic need is to encourage them in the first place. This requires work from someone, usually the moderators who have an idea of what they want the community to be, to make the community interesting and welcoming.

It would be a terrible shame if pothos were to die and those learned people who contribute had no one to share their knowledge and interest with.
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amyntoros
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Re: What Happened To Pothos?

Post by amyntoros »

Alexias wrote: This requires work from someone, usually the moderators who have an idea of what they want the community to be, to make the community interesting and welcoming.

It would be a terrible shame if pothos were to die and those learned people who contribute had no one to share their knowledge and interest with.
Absolutely agree with you here, which leads me back to a remark you made earlier in this thread about the disappearance of Marcus. Yes, he hasn't been on Pothos for a long time and seems to have moved on to an unrelated area of interest. Now, there are other moderators on Pothos but they are not always active because of various reasons (and it would be remiss of me to name them or explain their situation). So, it seems, on a daily basis, we are left with ... me?!!! Unfortunately (for the forum) I also have real life issues which sometimes get in the way, but I do check the forum several times a day and also (daily) deal with the spammers. Just because you, the members, never see the spammers doesn't mean they're not actively trying to spoil this website. I admit it's not all that time consuming, but it has be to done. I would welcome help with this, and with making the "community interesting and welcoming". FYI, I do have several items of interest I would like to post but I just haven't been able to find the time. And, yes, I think that this particular thread needs attention more than anything else which is why I am here. So ... if any member of good standing would like to join Pothos as a moderator do, please, send me a PM and we can discuss this and then forward the information to Thomas. As I said before (more or less) Pothos depends on its members.

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Matthew Amt
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Re: What Happened To Pothos?

Post by Matthew Amt »

When the weather warms up a little more I'll get some photos of myself in my new Macedonian sarissophoros kit and post them. I'll need as many people as possible to ooh and aah over me, ha!

Yeah, I actually try to keep up with those 2 big threads, but they're pretty much down to "No, you said" "No, I said", and attempts to define what makes a personal attack. Luckily it's just 3 guys in 2 factions, rather than the other way around, but they don't seem to be getting anywhere any more. Mind you, I would LOVE to meet all 3 of you! I wish I knew any of the ancient sources even half as well as you all do. (My own fault, of course!)

I hope this board does climb out of the rut. It doesn't have to be busy to be a good place to read and chat.

Matthew
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Re: What Happened To Pothos?

Post by Alexias »

My apologies if it appeared that I was criticising the work that you do, or :oops: that I was asking to be made a moderator. That wasn't my intention. However, I don't want to lose the intelligent discussions on pothos so I will make an effort to make more posts. Trouble is, finding something that won't get laughed out of court by the more experienced members and yet will still entice newbies to comment.
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amyntoros
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Re: What Happened To Pothos?

Post by amyntoros »

Alexias wrote:... finding something that won't get laughed out of court by the more experienced members ...
Now if that should happen I will step in no matter how busy I might be because I do know exactly what you are talking about. I would hope that by now our more experienced members realize they don't have to have a presence on every thread unless they have a valuable (reasonable) contribution to make. :evil:

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Alexias
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Re: What Happened To Pothos?

Post by Alexias »

Welcome, Matthew. We need a little frivolity.
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Xenophon
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Re: What Happened To Pothos?

Post by Xenophon »

Matthew wrote:
Yeah, I actually try to keep up with those 2 big threads, but they're pretty much down to "No, you said" "No, I said", and attempts to define what makes a personal attack. Luckily it's just 3 guys in 2 factions, rather than the other way around, but they don't seem to be getting anywhere any more.
As one of those being referred to ( can you have a faction of one ? :lol: ), I can only say I agree with this. On both those long threads I made appeals to avoid abuse and personal attacks, precisely because no-one, including me, enjoys reading such things, even pointing out that there was really nothing further to discuss. I also appealed, in vain, for a moderator to intervene to deter the 'flaming'. In the end, despite the natural urge to defend oneself, I took the drastic step of refusing to post further in both those threads - but even that did not stop other protagonists from continuing in the same vein!

I would also agree with Alexias that new members are the life blood of a forum such as this. I also agree with Alexias that other, less technical or specialised threads are needed so that more can participate - though it is hard to know where to 'pitch' a level of discussion.
I would add that whilst it may be natural to feel 'intimidated' among specialists, you certainly won't be 'laughed out of court' by anyone, and you won't find any 'specialists' pouring scorn on those who are more 'generalists' on any thread in the forum, on the contrary they usually relish having someone display an interest and make comments.

The only way this will happen is if other members open threads on things which interest them, and not just 'lurk'. That there are topics which interest many, and can be commented on by all is shown by the "Sphinxes" thread with no less than 829 replies by lots of members, which will no doubt spring to life again as soon as more information comes to light, or any of "System 1988"s always interesting posts ! If only more people would take the trouble to post things they come across that might be of interest to members.... :) :D
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amyntoros
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Re: What Happened To Pothos?

Post by amyntoros »

Xenophon wrote: I also appealed, in vain, for a moderator to intervene to deter the 'flaming'.
Guilty again. I'm afraid that as these particular threads became longer and longer and (for me at least) more difficult to follow without backtracking I totally lost the gist of the debates and I admit to just browsing the posts of late and pretty much leaving the three of you alone. Unfortunately this meant I didn't catch a request for moderator intervention, although recently I did think of putting up a "please play nice" type of post but decided that I would probably be wasting my time. Not going to point fingers at any individual though because throughout the threads you have all seemed determined to give as good as you get. Behind all this dissension though there is intelligent and informative debate, albeit a little technical for some readers (good old British understatement there) and I'd hate to have called a moratorium on it. The best I can offer is something I've said many times before. In a healthy debate there is no black and white, no right or wrong, only difference of opinion.

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agesilaos
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Re: What Happened To Pothos?

Post by agesilaos »

Don't feel guilty Amynotoros. 'Moderator' does not appear in either thread, Xenophon did appeal for restraint but only in the context of what, even if he did not see it, posts containing what the interlocutors found offensive; it seems that appealing to people to stop fighting you while still punching them does not work! Any failing in moderation was purely by the posters, as I believe two of them confessed but the third remains steadfast in his innocence :lol: No matter.

I will also say that whilst the three of us have been spitting venom at each other none of us has carried it outside to other threads or with other posters nor would we. Nor will anyone be likely to face some unholy triumvirate, we are unlikely to agree on enough. I have found a tool to asist in keeping things calmer and will contact the others for a discussion on better practice.
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Xenophon
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Re: What Happened To Pothos?

Post by Xenophon »

When you presumably searched for 'moderator', you should have included the plural!

There was this, for starters, on March 17:
More personal attacks? I am a ‘liar’ and ‘pretender’( again! ). I have better things to do with my time than engage with a nasty ‘troll’. It is a disgrace to the forum that the moderators have not done something about this constant stream of personal abuse.
I look forward to you putting forward proposals to keep debate on a more civilised footing.
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amyntoros
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Re: What Happened To Pothos?

Post by amyntoros »

Well, I am at a loss. I've just gone back through about ten pages of one of the threads and all I can say (again) is that ALL persons involved have made questionable comments. Should I just delete both threads as it would be almost impossible to edit them given the number of unsuitable remarks and the fact that these remarks are often quoted in replies? It would be a damn shame to lose the rest of the content/subject matter so I'm obviously reluctant. Therefore, if any one of you thinks you have been unfairly treated then please send me a PM.
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