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post #1 of 31 (permalink) Old Sep 10th, 2010, 04:21 AM Thread Starter
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Please read this thread Blasters-Help Needed. Why are we here?

For some time now I have noticed a negative tone creeping into the Blast. It has not come from one person or group. And when compared to General Messages we are still an oasis of calm and peace. That is my point though, the Blast is not General Messages. Increasingly I have had posters PM me with their concerns. Some posters, members who have been with us for years, have told me they are avoiding this forum because of the direction we are heading in.

As co-mod I take responsibility for this. As founder of this forum I think we can do better.

So my questions to you are these:

Why are you (or we, as a group) here?

What is our mission as a forum?

What values do we embrace?

What ground rules (or house rules) do or don't we create?


These are the questions I would like your input on. DavidK and I will use your feedback to create a permanent thread that details the mission, values, and house rules of this forum. For the next couple of weeks we need your ideas to make this happen. When a final product is in sight we might submit this to a poll for Blasters to vote on.

Last edited by Rollo; Sep 10th, 2010 at 04:34 AM.
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post #2 of 31 (permalink) Old Sep 10th, 2010, 11:03 AM
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Re: Please read this thread Blasters-Help Needed. Why are we here?

Hi Rollo
I'm glad you asked. Things have definitely gone downhill in recent months. For me, the beginning of the end was that thread about Serena Williams. I used to love checking in to reminisce about matches from years ago and retired players. There was also a real depth of knowledge being shared. Unfortunately, all I see now is posters insulting players and each other. The trolling is not as bad as in GM but it's still very unpleasant and nasty, and most of it is very personal. (These 'coulda-woulda-shoulda' threads don't add anything either IMO) I'm not surprised that some posters don't want to be involved in that kind of idiocy. Let's get back to being kind to each other. Vigorous debate should be welcomed but there should be a stop to the personal insults (about players and fellow posters).
Pat

Pam Shriver: What is your worst memory of The US Open?
Martina Navratilova: Losing to you,bitch
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post #3 of 31 (permalink) Old Sep 10th, 2010, 01:39 PM
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Re: Please read this thread Blasters-Help Needed. Why are we here?

Hi Rollo
I'm not on the forum since a long time.I was only a reader before and was undecided to register because of my bad English.I've noticed since a few times some irrelevant and insulting posts.For sure we all have our Fav but i try to respect the others .I'm here to reminisce about retired players and share knowledge and " gossips " with others members .The first rule is to stop personal insults (on GM "bitch" is an usual word ) and respect other's opinion,some have no sense of humor ...
Tennis is no longer a sport played by gentlemen but it would help if his fans could remember
I agree with Pat with the stupidity of 'coulda ,woulda,shoulda ' threads .As i said " Avec des si on mettrai Paris en bouteille "
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post #4 of 31 (permalink) Old Sep 10th, 2010, 03:13 PM
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Re: Please read this thread Blasters-Help Needed. Why are we here?

I haven't posted at GM in over a year. I finally reached my limit when posters argued that a certain player should be killed. It amazes me that the mods tolerate such stuff. To tell the truth, I haven't posted much here either over the last six months or so. It's still by far the superior board of the forum though.
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post #5 of 31 (permalink) Old Sep 10th, 2010, 04:55 PM
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Re: Please read this thread Blasters-Help Needed. Why are we here?

We all share a hobby that's called watching (or playing in some cases) tennis and following certain players.
At some point a fan needs to realize that when your fav lost a match the opponent had as much right to win as your fav so no reason to bash/hate the opponent. Doesn't mean you can't be a fan anymore, but without anger or hate it's just more fun imho

It annoys me on general message too. Some act like by example Wozniacki is evil because she is able to win matches. It almost turns me into a fan

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post #6 of 31 (permalink) Old Sep 11th, 2010, 05:09 AM
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Re: Please read this thread Blasters-Help Needed. Why are we here?

Hi Rollo, though my visits have been sporadic (to say the least!) in recent years, when I do pay a visit, it is always to visit this forum. Rarely, if ever, have I left it without learning something or with a smile on my face, which is why I love it.

The work that you and others have put into this forum needs to be protected. I worry that if threads here start looking as though they belong in General Messages, it may turn some away, and undoubtedly, those 'some' will be the very people that we want to hear/read from.

I'm not sure how these boards work, but if it's possible, perhaps when noticing a thread heading out of control, it could be deleted and send a warning to those involved that they will be refused posting access if it happens again. It's not an ideal solution I know, as a thread can be filled with wonderful posts leading up to the change of tone and losing those posts isn't really a desirable outcome.

I expect others will have many more (and better!) ideas but in any case, I will support whatever you decide to do, or not do, Rollo. I consider this forum to be your baby and will always drop in while you, Pam Shriver(!) and many others are a part of it.
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post #7 of 31 (permalink) Old Sep 11th, 2010, 11:09 AM
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Re: Please read this thread Blasters-Help Needed. Why are we here?

To indulge in our love/lust/admiration/fanaticism for Pamela Howard Shriver, without being mocked, ridiculed, or committed as we would otherwise be in the outside world.

Best left-right combination by a German (and that includes Max Schmeling): Steffi Graf. All she did in 1987 was knock Navratilova out of #1 and try to knock Evert out of the sport. (Mike Lupica in "The Best and Worst of Tennis in 1987", World Tennis)

"A couple of years ago, we nicknamed Steffi Graf's forehand 'Jaws'. And that music would go perfectly when she starts running in to the net, swarming on that little ball." (JoAnne Russell, during the 1988 Wimbledon final between Graf and Navratilova)
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post #8 of 31 (permalink) Old Sep 11th, 2010, 11:11 AM
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Re: Please read this thread Blasters-Help Needed. Why are we here?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pat Bateman View Post
Hi Rollo
I'm glad you asked. Things have definitely gone downhill in recent months. For me, the beginning of the end was that thread about Serena Williams.
I dread the day the Williams sisters and Sharapova retire, and hordes of Cult of Williams nutters and Masha Maniacs descend upon BFTP. I think that might be the right time to check out of here for good.

Best left-right combination by a German (and that includes Max Schmeling): Steffi Graf. All she did in 1987 was knock Navratilova out of #1 and try to knock Evert out of the sport. (Mike Lupica in "The Best and Worst of Tennis in 1987", World Tennis)

"A couple of years ago, we nicknamed Steffi Graf's forehand 'Jaws'. And that music would go perfectly when she starts running in to the net, swarming on that little ball." (JoAnne Russell, during the 1988 Wimbledon final between Graf and Navratilova)
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post #9 of 31 (permalink) Old Sep 11th, 2010, 05:01 PM
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Re: Please read this thread Blasters-Help Needed. Why are we here?

Just to add my thoughts....albeit I'm not sure how much my experiences will help here, as what has bothered me involves situations that I'm not sure a moderator can do much about.

I would say the worst incident that made me become scarce here was when, admittedly after I had posted some FAR too over the top comments about Justine, He Who Must Not Be Made (WELLLLLL, let's just say, the name rhymes with "Bust") posted some truly ugly comments about me. Which pretty much led to nobody coming to my defense. Which was the final nail that made me go, hmmmm, this isn't the place so much for me anymore. It taught me much of what I had suspected. And, I just don't allow myself to be treated that way, especially when I'm aware of not much if any concern from a group after such rudeness. Which is understandable, since it appears that some like me just keep fading and fading.

Also- and admittedly this is I suspect is inevitable with any group- BFTP has become cliquey in a way that feels like it excludes some- including many of the "old-timers." To be fair, maybe this didn't bother me so much when back in the day I was more in on (if not truly ever fully part of) "The Clique." On a more positive note, I've truly actually gotten some morbid humor about posting stuff now and then (my sense of humor is, ahem, eccentric), and then being effectively ignored. It does give me a feeling of a strange kind of freedom- HECK, post whatever I want, I'm just That Crazy Aunt in the cellar everyone tries to ignore anyways, who cares?!?! But, it doesn't exactly also make me feel like posting a ton. So, in other words, I do feel that this group could stand to confront itself at least now and then and ask, do you wish to remain a group of a certain set # of folks who just continue to talk with yourselves- or are you open to expanding the group talk? If so, it would help to acknowledge more folks. AND of course, this doesn't apply to everyone here. Sadly, this message will probably only impact the "wrong" people- the folks who don't exclude others.

I've also suggested before that, perhaps it would help to have a thread or two to discuss anything and everything?!?!? This has worked well on other forums. An inherent problem with BFTP can be that- let's just say that, after awhile, there's only so much that can be said about Tracy Austin's pigtails or whether or not Chris' lob over Betty Ann Dent was hit with a Continental or Eastern grip in the 1978 Lynda Carter Spectacular, before you run out of things to say. (Until Anne Kremer retires, and then the conversation briefly ignites yet again.....) Sure, now and then Chris and Martina can be counted on to help us out with their respective Old Skank "marriages"- but even that, bless their old trollopy hearts, can only get you so far when it comes to ongoing conversations.

Certainly, we former BFTP Deities will continue to lurk about in our Miss Havisham fashion when, say, a poster like the terrific Iain (apparently currently working on His Own Private Miss Havisham status, bless his heart ) brings some much needed energy to this place. I'll always keep checking in now and then to see how The Old Gang is doing- when we of course can somehow manage to shake the dust off or our 19th Century wedding dresses long enough and post again. Plus, you KNOW the great Nancy Richey means I'll keep checking in- and, bring on more of the Wendy Turnbulls and Virginia Wades and Peaches Bartkowicz and Julie Heldmans and (etc., etc.) to post- and you won't be able to get rid of some of us. (Hint, hint.)

Also, it's impossible to keep everyone happy. I'm sure there have been times when I've been part of the problem. For example, some just don't like it when you dare to joke about players. My attitude is, HEY, I'm not on Roger's/Venus'/BJK's/Monica's payrolls or anything- and last I looked, I'm not Roger or Venus or BJK or Monica (.....or AM I?!?!? )- so, all's fair when it comes to the players- as long as you don't go TOO far over the line (as, again, I know I have in the past.) However, again, some do not want anyone to have fun at any players' (and/or their favorite players') expense. Who's right, who's wrong? Who knows?

PLUS- talking more about me being part of the problem- some just don't like, ahem, LONGGGGGG posts. To which all I can say is- OOPS.

SO- Rollo, please know that none of this message has been directed to or at you at all- you've always been terrific at what you do- but to the group as a whole. A group does not sink or swim because of a moderator- all of this is truly the responsibility of the group. Perhaps all of this is inevitable. Almost all groups have an expiration date, and then it's time to move on, and there's not much you can do about that? We shall see.

In any case, Rollo, thanks for this opportunity to vent- which, apparently, I needed to do more than I realized. It's IMO always healthy and a good idea to ask a group to check in on its status now and then. (AND, at least all of this is a shot for some more morbid humor for me when even THIS novel somehow inevitably manages to get ignored.)

Edit: No mo' goin' all gangsta Pixie Lamm on you ass. Now Nelslus All About Kübler-Ross'in' Acceptance in The BFTP Crib. Word.
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post #10 of 31 (permalink) Old Sep 11th, 2010, 07:02 PM
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Re: Please read this thread Blasters-Help Needed. Why are we here?

Quote:
Originally Posted by nelslus View Post
I would say the worst incident that made me become scarce here was when, admittedly after I had posted some FAR too over the top comments about Justine, He Who Must Not Be Made (WELLLLLL, let's just say, the name rhymes with "Bust") posted some truly ugly comments about me. Which pretty much led to nobody coming to my defense. Which was the final nail that made me go, hmmmm, this isn't the place so much for me anymore. It taught me much of what I had suspected. And, I just don't allow myself to be treated that way, especially when I'm aware of not much if any concern from a group after such rudeness. Which is understandable, since it appears that some like me just keep fading and fading.
omg!!! i always think of you not being too sensitive about what others say, and would never think to defend you against a random side-swipe comment, as I also assume --maybe wrongly-- that everyone just ignores the 'clutter' comments that are inevitable on a public board, especially in a world where manners & consideration have so deteriorated. I feel bad that you had that reaction... as I always enjoy your wacky long posts!

I think the reason BFTP has tended to be so much better about decency than the GM (which is a place i dont even think to roam) is that those r where kids post. Here are 'the older folks' who still have some sense of pride in some idea of proper conduct. But I dont think theres a way to 'fix' that on the boards unless someone wants to police & babysit the ever-changing crowd.

I also assume the reason people do come & go is because, just as nelslus said, there's only so many ways to discuss 1978. But people who claim to be against 'what ifs' are just not living in the reality of tennis boards discussing the past. There are a million possible scenerios in LIFE, and only 1 scenerio gets to be played out at a time. That's what makes it interesting. We don't just come to BFTP to fill in the 'results from 1974' page. If someone doesn't like to think, which involves engaging different variables & hypothesis, then they'll usually stick to the threads that don't involve the story-line side of history.

Healthy discussion should always be encouraged; its from kicking up the sleeping dirt that we @ the Blast always stay way ahead of mainstream broadcast commentators about the history of our sport. For me, THAT is why we are here. Otherwise we would all sit around & say 'whoever wins the most slams is the best' & could live out a colorless, opinionless, nuanceless existence & can all safely and sheepishly think the exact same things.

Last edited by daze11; Sep 11th, 2010 at 07:13 PM.
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post #11 of 31 (permalink) Old Sep 11th, 2010, 10:19 PM
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Re: Please read this thread Blasters-Help Needed. Why are we here?

OK - my 2c worth.

I can't speak for 'us', I can only speak for me - so here goes:

Why are you (or we, as a group) here?

I'm here for the enormous amount of 'unknown' or 'hard to find' statistics, results and bios of players from previous eras. As most here would know, the amount of knowledge here is unrivalled in the tennis world and WAY better than that available for male players on the interweb. It is great to find kindred spirits who are also doing research. In general this is a great community and people like to share information rather than saying 'this is all about me' and 'i know better than you' or 'your opinion doesn't count'.

I enjoy the chat and debate about former players, although it's sometimes the heat of some of these debates that cause me to take a break. I can usually see both sides of a story though and know that BJK isn't the 100% 'saint' that she's made out to be and Margaret isn't the 100% 'devil' she's made out to be (and vice versa). In the world, nothing is 100% black and white and it's great to see that most in this community (rather than the relatively childish GM community) can see both sides of the story and that it's not 'my way or the highway'.

I still post in other threads on TF and enjoy quite a few discussions about current-day tennis. There are plenty of sensible fair-minded tennis fans in GM and other boards on here, though they are generally out-numbered by some of the rude and sometimes crazy majority. And at times - particularly after a beer or ten - I don't mind getting just as crazy and sometimes even rude!

I know some other BFTP posters of the past and present (via p-msgs/email)- as well as myself have also thought the Blast can be cliquey. I don't think this will change really - it's like any group of people interested in something or other. They can get comfortable and cliquey and sometimes seem almost resentful of others joining in. Human Nature, I guess.

What is our mission as a forum?

I would like our mission to be to provide a comprehensive history of the sport including results, photos and accurate research. We should also allow debate and chat about 'what ifs'.

To that end, I think it might help if BFTP was split into some sub-forums - eg:

* Tennis History (possibly seperated into years, decades, eras or logical splits such as Pre WW1, Pre WWII, Post WWII, Pro, Recent History - eg 1990 onwards) - some are going to cross-over, but this would be a start. Another thread might be 'Legends' so that players such as Lenglen, Connolly, Navratilova, Evert etc that have multiple threads about them could be grouped away from a 'Players' sub-forum where everything about Peaches or Durie or Fromholtz could be included in just one discussion thread
* BFTP Chat (there seem to be way more general chat threads in here than there ever used to be that are more about where people are holidaying than anything to do with tennis from the past)
* Probably some other sub-forums too as I'm sure to have missed an important breakdown

Perhaps if there was a specific Player forum, there might be more chances that other former players such as Nancy might contribute to their own threads? I dunno, but you can always hope. Nancy's contribution here is just brilliant and a shame it's not replicated. Then again, people in her thread DO seem to be a bit more respectful than in some other topics.

What values do we embrace?

Respect for the Past
Respect for each other
Respectful of the fact that not everyone will always agree with you

What ground rules (or house rules) do or don't we create?

1) Ask yourself if your post complies with the values.
2) Stay within the topic or go to a more general BFTP chat thread.

----------------------------------------------------------------

These are just some thoughts off the top of the head.

Thanks for all your work Rollo (and David too) in editing all of the major research/results threads so they are such a useful resource for any tennis fan.

Since I've been so long-winded, that should also make nelslus feel a bit better!

Last edited by GeeTee; Sep 11th, 2010 at 10:28 PM.
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post #12 of 31 (permalink) Old Sep 12th, 2010, 01:31 AM
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Re: Please read this thread Blasters-Help Needed. Why are we here?

Rollo, you do a great job of moderating here. Please continue. The most civil board imo is the one on the www.tennis.com site and the moderators there are very strict. Consequently posters (mostly) observe and there is very little slagging off. (Even though people who post there complain there is, not in comparison to other boards.) Even people who are totally obnoxious, shouting down every other expression of opinion on other boards, rein themselves in there.
The main part of this site is beyond hope I think as are some other boards (tennis warehouse etc) where the moderators seem to allow extraordinary idiocy, rudeness, berating other posters etc.
I also think the coulda, shoulds, woulda threads are dominated by trolls, aim to provoke, and rarely have any reasoned discussion. I would be for just deleting them.
Reasoned discussion of different viewpoints is all good and welcome and interesting - even here though, that quickly goes to slurring of either poster or player, neither any fun.
It would be good to foster discussion along the lines of nobody's perfect, not even your favorite player of all time, but aim to keep that within courteous and reasonable bounds.
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post #13 of 31 (permalink) Old Sep 13th, 2010, 03:13 PM
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Re: Please read this thread Blasters-Help Needed. Why are we here?

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Rollo, you do a great job of moderating here. Please continue. The most civil board imo is the one on the www.tennis.com site a nd the moderators there are very strict.
Thanks. I think I'm gonna join that forum since GM here is such a mess. I'll continue to visit BFTP, even though I only rarely can contribute anything that's of interest.
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post #14 of 31 (permalink) Old Sep 13th, 2010, 05:47 PM
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Re: Please read this thread Blasters-Help Needed. Why are we here?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chrissie-fan View Post
Thanks. I think I'm gonna join that forum since GM here is such a mess. I'll continue to visit BFTP, even though I only rarely can contribute anything that's of interest.
The difference is, when you go THERE, you realize they have almost no information.... almost all posts cater to the current generation (even in the past players area) and when you read a thread or two there ABOUT the past, you realize they are CIVIL because none of them have any information whatsoever, and so there's nothing to get riled up about ...the best they seem to achieve is scratching the surface...and not the kind of scratch that accomplishes anything.

I'm glad I looked though because now I am reminded what an amazing resource this forum really is to the tennis community, since the alternative is tennis.com!!!!!
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post #15 of 31 (permalink) Old Sep 13th, 2010, 06:09 PM
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Re: Please read this thread Blasters-Help Needed. Why are we here?

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Originally Posted by daze11 View Post
The difference is, when you go THERE, you realize they have almost no information.... almost all posts cater to the current generation (even in the past players area) and when you read a thread or two there ABOUT the past, you realize they are CIVIL because none of them have any information whatsoever, and so there's nothing to get riled up about ...the best they seem to achieve is scratching the surface...and not the kind of scratch that accomplishes anything.

I'm glad I looked though because now I am reminded what an amazing resource this forum really is to the tennis community, since the alternative is tennis.com!!!!!
I agree Daze,i've been there a couple of times and din't learn anything from their threads,it's very superficial .This forum is by far the best and i'm glad to have met people as interesting and nice
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