Re: Board Basics, Misconceptions, and Our View ...

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Posted by Adele on December 15, 2000 at 15:43:19:

In Reply to: Board Basics, Misconceptions, and Our View ... posted by Rich on December 15, 2000 at 05:02:29:

: Hi Everyone ... Posters & Lurkers both!

: I want to thank you all for your posts & e-mail concerning my post "The Rise ... and Decline & Fall ... of Mohicanland." As usual, whenever I let my emotions get the best of me and make a "revealing" post, I am overwhelmed by the sentiments expressed. It is sometimes hard to imagine the affect this Board has had on individuals. I'm happy for that!

: In reading, and considering, your responses, several things became obvious to me. Probably due to the rambling nature of the post, several misconceptions were apparently prevalent. Let me try to clarify those:

: 1 - I was NOT attempting to state that this was about time spent on the Web Site/Board versus my family. All side interests in a person's life can "interfere" with time spent with family, yet we all need those diversions. I do, without question, spend an inordinate amount of time, in one capacity or another, performing web site-related tasks. It's generally fun, an opportunity to be creative, and a great way to positively reach a large number of people I'd otherwise never be in touch with. In fact, at times, this web site/book journey has been a family adventure. Though there were a few less at the time, my kids were along for much of my scouts in the wilds while seeking out locations. We had lots of fun on some of those outings. Those of you who've viewed the "On The Trail ..." CD have had the opportunity to see some of that fun in action ... i.e. the re-enactment of the George Road Ambush by Jesse, Adam, & Chris. Reminds me of this tale ... We were at the site of Cameron's Cabin. It was my second trip, as the first resulted in being in the wrong field. Elaine was with me, as were Miriam & Elizabeth, just a baby. I pulled into the overgown field ... straight into a ditch. The front passenger side went in, lifting the rear driver's side end about 2 feet, or more, into the air. We were alone, in a remote spot ... and stuck! Elaine got on the rear bumper and tried jumping and other contortions to attempt to get the tire to touch the surface as I tried driving out. To no avail. Elaine could not drive a stick shift, so I gave her a first lesson right there. After a little practice getting into gear, I got out on the bumper and we reversed roles. Tried & tried. Still nothing. Not even close. The car, it was obvious, wasn't going anywhere, and neither, it would seem, were we. Stuck with a baby in the middle of nowhere. I got in the car and put it in gear, one last, desperate time. It was as if a giant, gentle hand reached out of the sky & nudged us out of the ditch, for the car easily pulled out, as easy if it were sitting on dry, level pavement. It was the strangest thing. Anyway ...

: 2 - Most of my comments were of a generic nature. I had no one in mind (Chris!!!!) when speaking of the e-mail we get, etc. I was just wishing out loud that the subject matter of so much of our e-mail correspondence took the form of posts ... for the simple reason that I feel many of you would find it of interest.

: 3 - I have not lost any passion for the subject matter, as someone suggested in an e-mail. Doesn't matter that the film has been out for 8 years, for my passion was there BEFORE the film ever came out! PLEASE read our "From the Mohicans' Land To MohicanLand" page for a better understanding of where we are coming from and one major reason for this web site. In fact, the web site itself has become a passion.

: 4 - It is not the quantity of posts that concerns me ... as I pointed out, I am well aware of the Christmas Season, and its effect on web traffic. I am well aware, too, of the cyclical nature of things. We've been through the cycles for about 4 years now. The Board can, and has, gone from 0-5 posts on one day, to 50-60 the next. Quantity is not the problem. Quality is what I was talking about.

: And that leads me to this ...

: Of all the Boards I've looked at, I rate this one as the best. I haven't found a group as intelligent, humorous, talented, and understanding as the group found here ... not all in one place. The potential is fantastic, and we've realized that potential many times. So, this is not meant to be critical in any way ...

: Here's the deal ... The Web Site, all 300 plus Internet Pages, all 1418 images, is our primary focus. The Mohican Board is an extension of our Web Site ... we hope it is, and intended it to be, a reflection of our Web Site. Visitors find the Web Site and, we hope, browse to see much more of it. Often times, the portal to the Web Site is a post, found innocently through an Internet search. AltaVista, in particular, indexes this Board routinely. Our hope, as I stated, is to hook the visitor. Not simply read the post & disappear. Of course, we realize that more often than not that's exactly what will happen, but our goal is to have people stay and browse. So, as an extension & reflection of the Web Site proper (where we have total control), the Board needs to act in much the same manner. Here though, we do not have total control, nor do we want to. Our welcome notice at the top of the Board pretty clearly, we feel, states the expected behavior here. The only thing that hits me as subject to interpretation is what we mean by "revisionist history." That's OUR call, but I think I clearly illustrated what we mean in my "Is This Crazy Horse?" post several weeks ago.

: Now, on the other hand, in order to have a lively & interesting Board, a certain familiarity amongst posters would seem to be a necessary component. If that's to be, chit-chat is a natural progression. So, that leaves a dilemma ... We want a Board that's true to topic, so we don't lose the newcomer, yet a core of "regulars," an essential "component" to having a lively board, cannot be expected to utter "The Last of the Mohicans" between every syllable. Is this an impossible task? To combine the two?

: Certainly not. It's been going on for years now. A healthy balance is the key. We've set the parameters ... not only through our "Welcome," but even more so through the topic covered by our Web Site. We cannot control it all. The posters themselves must take on some of that responsibilty if they want the Board to thrive. Effort must be taken to SOMEHOW link to the very broad subject(s) at hand to give the Board a focus, albeit a decidedly disjointed one. At least in MOST of the posts. As I said earlier this week, that can be the 1992 film itself - and that leads down ALL kinds of avenues (take each actor or crew member, then each film/project they've been involved with ...), the French & Indian War, or one of the main, and most important, themes of "The Last of the Mohicans," the clash of cultures. That opens the door to the entire American frontier movement. We've not even mentioned James Fenimore Cooper ... the possibilities are broad and endless ... one thing leads to another, and as long as that connection can be reasonably made, you've got yourself a post that meets our desired criteria. All that does not rule out, by any means, role-playing type posts. To me, that's just another, creative, way of going about it.

: If effort were more routinely made to start most threads that way, the off-shoots & chit-chat wouldn't seem so out of place to a person wandering in here for the first time. We are not iron-fisted about this, as you all should know by now, and we expect stuff to justifiably be off-topic at times ... just not ALL the time. The trend, it would seem, has not been in that direction.

: That's what we feel makes for a healthy and lively Board. If we're feeling that is what we've got ... an ENHANCEMENT to the Site ... there's no thought of making a final archive & shutting up the active board. If we feel, on the other hand, the Board has become a deterrent to visitation ... and again, I can't emphasize enough how many folks come to the site THROUGH one of these posts ... then, it's something to seriously consider. Space is not an issue, at this time. It's always about positives versus negatives, and yes, a recent negative did weigh in heavily as a catalyst for last Sunday's post. For all intents and purposes, it's in your hands then. Make of it what you will. We'll take it from there ...

: Again, thanks for all the response ... it makes for a good reminder of how much this place really is enjoyed, and we DO want you to enjoy it!

: One other thing, lest it be a concern: IF the Board were ever to shut down, temporarily or permanently, it would have no bearing on the next scheduled Great Mohican Gathering. Once we commit, we commit! Rest easy!


Message received, loud and clear!

Roger, over and out.


PS Do Huggys 'Thoughts' stay within six degrees??!!

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