By in Writing

Friendly debates?

These are formative days for Persona Paper, and we are the ones who may shape its future. Right now, we can have a real say in the tone and substance of this writing platform through our posts and our comments. We can help to build a community where things like good writing, honest ideas and genuine interaction are respected.

Sometimes that might mean saying things which other people don't agree with. I'm cool with that, but I understand that not everyone will be. Honesty can sometimes lead to arguments and bitterness, and there's probably a greater need for acceptance than for controversy at the moment.

I'm hoping, though, that there will be room for a few good discussions as time goes by. I'm hoping that we can post our opinions on things like politics, religion, gun control and other emotive issues without alienating ourselves from those who might disagree. By sharing honestly we just might get to know each other better.

This would be a remarkable thing. One of the downsides of social media has been that enclaves of acceptance tend to form, where people are drawn to those who agree with them and viciously attack those who disagree. You see this sort of behaviour all the time on YouTube, Facebook, newspaper websites and other places where anonymity and distance allows for false bravado.

Will this be another place where difficult questions are either dodged or attacked? Or will it be a place for open and honest discussion on a great range of topics? I'd like to think that folks like you and me might help decide that.


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Comments

bestwriter wrote on June 28, 2014, 12:43 AM

I would rather someone disagrees with me rather than just ignores me as is happening now emoticon :winking: I am a newbie here but with loads of experience by being on sites such as this. From the little interaction here what I notice is members are not interested in interacting but merely liking a post if at all. For me comment is of greater value even if that comment goes against my philosophy. Hatred is an emotion which is better than total indifference.

You are right. It is the participants that help a site to succeed..

AliCanary wrote on June 28, 2014, 1:56 AM

bestwriter , you are making an assumption when you say that people are not "interested" in interacting. We are generally pretty busy, and there are an awful lot of people and things that demand our time. I will comment when time allows, but at least I can Like a post to show my appreciation and to give that extra reward over a simple view. Of course comments are awesome, but I find it disheartening when people complain about other folks "only" Liking posts. I appreciate that every reader is not going to break their stride, set everything down and write a heartfelt comment on every one of my posts, and I like Likes just as well as comments.

bestwriter wrote on June 28, 2014, 2:26 AM

AliCanary - I see I am the only one who has commented here and just 2 have liked it so far. You are here for the last 10 days and wellknown here by now. I would have been happier if this post was commented on as it is a good post and needs interaction.
Every post does not call for interaction but a post such as this certainly does.

Have a nice day emoticon :smile:

bestwriter wrote on June 28, 2014, 4:38 AM

& AliCanary Oh no!!! I have goofed. I thought this was your post. Sorry.

Scootermac wrote on June 28, 2014, 4:47 AM

bestwriter and AliCanary - Thanks for your comments. It's good to see that we've begun with a disagreement of sorts and I appreciate that you have both spoken your minds in a civil way. You both make points I can agree with. I doubt that many folks have too much incentive to spend a lot of time here right now, so reading and liking is a decent way to show appreciation for someone's thoughts and effort. From what I've seen so far, people are prepared to comment meaningfully when they get the chance - there's just not a lot of us who are active at any one time. But I haven't seen much controversial stuff here yet - It's important not to offend, but I hope people aren't going to dodge posts they might not agree with.

MaeLou wrote on June 28, 2014, 7:29 AM

We have a lot of active members that were sleeping when this was posted, so I'd give it a chance! I know that I was not awake at 2am!

MaeLou wrote on June 28, 2014, 7:30 AM

I don't think anyone is trying to ignore anyone. It's really hard to get people interacting when our exchange rate is so low. People aren't motivated enough, but I find that it's opposite. I see less people "liking" and more people taking the time to comment.

MaeLou wrote on June 28, 2014, 7:35 AM

I think there will definitely be disagreements on here. I think right now with such a small group, people are either hesitant or really have nothing to debate about at this point in time. We hope that our community will accept disagreements and agree to disagree and still write their thoughts without lashing out at one or the other. Of course, don't know what the future holds for this site, but I'm hopeful that we can make it into a great friendly community, and be courteous in our debates.

Scootermac wrote on June 28, 2014, 7:51 AM

Hi MaeLou - I certainly don't want to see arguments develop, but I'd also be disappointed if the community became "enclaved" over certain issues. I'm sure that if members remain courteous we can have some great exchanges of ideas. Thanks for adding your thoughts to this discussion.

bestwriter wrote on June 28, 2014, 11:07 AM

If I have understood it correctly in this post http://www.personapaper.com/article/6454-were-making-changes you have been talking about giving more importance to conversation rather than likes.

Anja wrote on June 28, 2014, 11:24 AM

I don't need anonymity to debate, I am perfectly willing to be hated by name. I think the enclaves happen because there is only one brand of political thought allowed in many cases and those who disagree or have other opinions are marginalized. And, honestly, we're not making more money by being politely silent.

AliCanary wrote on June 28, 2014, 3:04 PM

bestwriter - no worries :)

Scootermac wrote on June 28, 2014, 9:25 PM

Thanks for reminding me of MaeLou 's earlier post. I like the idea of "conversations" rather than just simple likes or comments. The branching comment structure allows for that, whereas it really doesn't over at Bubblews.

Scootermac wrote on June 28, 2014, 9:32 PM

I'm not one to shy away from offering opinions either, but I'd be disappointed if you or I were "hated" because of them. I'd like to think that as this community grows, there will be scope for a range of ideas, including marginalised ones.

SandraLynn wrote on June 29, 2014, 10:41 AM

I would love to see this community grow into a debate-ful one. Agreeing to disagree and/or even getting hot-headed would be good for the site, actually. Why couldn't we get spirited in our discussions, if we are passionate about a subject. This DOES happen all the time at the other social places AND people do it for free. By GOD, what if we were getting paid for it. Crimany.

I have a post in mind about this...sorta...but I'm still noodling the approach...it has to do with...well...I'm still noodling it. My thoughts are jumbled just now and I do want it to make sense.

But you are right, here. We are shaping the site and by gosh I do hope we do PP proud to grow it big and strong. A powerhouse to be reckoned with. WE will do that :) Or we won't. WE own that :)

MaeLou wrote on June 29, 2014, 11:08 AM

Yes, this is what we would like to see! We want the conversational, social aspect to thrive.

Fractal wrote on June 29, 2014, 10:22 PM

I am happy to debate on many things and that is probably my downfall. I will call a spade a spade without hesitation. I am not sure that PP is the place for 'Debate'.
But, that is me... I will join in (or not).
It is similar to the comments section. I may 'like' any given post but I might disagree with the premise put forward by the author so I refrain from comment.

Ruby3881 wrote on July 1, 2014, 6:40 PM

I love the idea of being part of a "debate-ful" community, Sandra! And I'm with Robin, that I prefer civil (or even hot-headed) debate to the enclaves of acceptance. Too often, the whole point of those enclaves is shutting down discussion, despite all of the mutual admiration that tends to go on in them. I want to see conversation thrive, as MaeLou does.

Ruby3881 wrote on July 1, 2014, 6:45 PM

Things are much slower here than at Bubblews or other sites. Try to remember there is a smaller membership here, and with the low exchange rate people are not always able to devote a lot off their time to interacting. It does happen, but the shelf life of a post is a lot longer, and comments will often trickle in a little at a time.

DorothyGale wrote on July 1, 2014, 7:49 PM

I prefer conversations over arguing and debating. It's possible to be polite and still express an opinion, without name calling or inflammatory remarks. Unfortunately, many people seem to have lost that ability, and polite conversation is becoming a lost art.

allen0187 wrote on July 10, 2014, 9:41 PM

I always give my opinion and actually prefer to hear an opposing one. I believe that we can all agree to disagree on certain issues and let a good old fashioned light saber duel determine the outcome. LOL!