I have had a long running battle with Groups and I really think there is a place for such things but not within the Greater Newsvine Community. Any Group can be a community unto itself but it shouldn't use that affinity for cliques or exclusiveness to detract from the Greater Newsvine Community. I recently had a Tracker Notice that Calvin's article about Raymonty had something I should see. It was right there on my Tracker but it had a little bowlegs phrase to go with it. (No Asshat Zone) Not being especially familiar with all the aspects of Groups and such I wrote a comment to the article thinking here were some people who should and would learn something from my point of view if they were not following the article as presented elsewhere. What a mistake that was!
I have to preface what I tell you now with what my comment was when submitted to the Asshat Group. What I said was I was surprised to see this alternate iteration of Calvin's article and that I in no way wanted to be a part of the Asshat Group. So what happened? I just received an email saying I had been inducted into the No Asshat Group. I was taken against my will! They have kidnapped me. I have to admit, this Group contains members that I admire deeply and respect with all my heart. It has friends I have had for over three years and some who I have wined and dined with. In short, it is not the people I reject. It is the Group. Why would anyone not want to join such a great bunch of people?
The acceptance of me into the Group is one of the major reasons I do not want to be in this or any other Group unless it becomes absolutely necessary to my survival. Any Group that would accept me with no commitment on my part can't be that great. I spend enough time contributing to the Greater Newsvine Community, I don't want to dilute that effort by sidetracking my talent, time and techniques to a watered down version of Newsvine without all the whistles and bells. If there is something such a Group has to say that they can't say to the entire community then it must be counter community connected. I won't participate in such efforts.
Since this type of article (the one I am writing and you are now reading) is verboten in general circulation I will not publish this to All of Newsvine. Instead I will check mark as many Groups as possible hoping to reach as many of the Greater Newsvine Community as possible. I feel it is my duty as a journalist in the American tradition of Free Expression and Freedom of the Press to make sure I publish to as wide an audience as possible. It is not that I want to harass or impose on those who are not interested in what I have to say. No, it is that I want to make sure my word is available to all who might want to hear it or to comment on it. This has become increasing difficult to do on Newsvine given the restrictions and preferences of many of the more established community members.
I particularly resent that meta (you define the term, no one has done so to my satisfaction) is not allowed to be published to the world. I also resent that we have members who will pick on novices and newbies for minor infractions of terminology, content and ideology. I resent certain members feel put upon by headlines that garner attention. The headline is not the story, it is the gatherer of audiences. It is the train that hits you at the railroad crossing, not the headlamp that should have warned you away. I resent that the media (Newsvine) is rapidly becoming the message rather than a road for messengers to travel. And I also resent anyone thinking my comment to their Group is a request for admittance rather than a plea to open up.
Some of you may think I have finally flipped my lid. You may be right. For a long time I have recommended that all members of the Community be known quantities/qualities. I am seriously considering taking that one step farther. I am thinking of restricting my comments, interactions and contributions to only those I know and can expect to be open and truthful in this Internet world. If you suddenly see me bypassing your article or not voting or commenting or uparrowing on your material don't take it personal. It may be because I don't know who you are or why you are here. I am not about to start turning down Friend requests or being obnoxious in my approach to strangers but let it be said I am thinking more and more of putting my money where my mouth is and dealing only with a Known Community.