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What can we do to help?

(192 Posts)
LaraGransnet (GNHQ) Wed 22-Jan-20 16:27:56

On this thread a few of you mentioned that you felt cliquiness could be putting new posters off. We obviously want everyone to feel comfortable posting on Gransnet - old or new - without feeling they have to be part of any group. Is there anything we could do from our end to improve things? We're all ears...
And thank you everyone who contributed to the earlier thread. Sending virtual wine over to you all.

kittylester Wed 22-Jan-20 16:37:46

Thanks for the wine! Cheers!

I can remember, when the world was in black and white and I first joined, that I thought gn was cliquey but it was really that the people who were here before me knew each other from posting. And there were far fewer posters then. Greatnan gave me a talking to about it and it all made sense.

So, not sure what can be done except for new people just to keep ploughing on and for us to be welcoming.

New posters shouldn't expect their posts to always be acknowledged - I get ignored most of the time!

endlessstrife Wed 22-Jan-20 16:40:04

I’ve definitely felt cliquiness. I suppose it can’t really be helped, as some people have been on here years, and virtually “ know” each other very well. I can’t really see how you could change it. Maybe a thread which you can only participate in if you’ve been here less than 6months! I still really enjoy it, especially if I’ve helped someone.

janeainsworth Wed 22-Jan-20 16:51:48

If someone thinks there’s a clique and they are not part of it, there’s nothing anyone else can say or do to convince them otherwise, because that’s their perception.

The truth is that some Gransnetters know each other because they’ve met in RL at a meet-up or two. Or they might have exchanged PM’s about something that they don’t want to air on a public forum, nothing wrong with that.

When you know someone it’s inevitable that you’ll ‘talk’ to them on the forum in a less reserved way than you would to someone with a username that you’re not familiar with, just as in RL you would be more careful about how you talk to someone you’ve only just met, than someone you’ve known for 30 years.

So it will be apparent to other Gransnetters on the thread, that Gransnetters A and Gransnetter B address each other in a familiar way.

Some people will just think “A and B obviously know each other.”

Other people will think “Ooh A and B are in a clique and I’m not in it.”

I’m afraid there’s nothing you can do about these sensitive souls Lara so stop worrying about it!

BlueBelle Wed 22-Jan-20 16:58:02

I know there is a welcome thread but not everyone uses it I think everyone should have to introduce themselves before they start posting that way they will get a ‘hello’ back and feel a bit more ‘belonging’ and we older posters will have a much better idea of who is who we all know some fakes, some advertisers etc creep on, whereas if they needed to introduce themselves before posting it ‘might’ deter some of that

BBbevan Wed 22-Jan-20 17:02:29

I think that if old posters recognise a new poster they could acknowledge the new post. It is very off putting to be ignored.

Squiffy Wed 22-Jan-20 17:04:05

Lara Perhaps a welcome email to new members which alerts them to the fact that not every post gets replied to. It's not a personal snub!

It is disconcerting if you're not used to going on a forum. GN was my first (and only!) foray into the world of Non Real Life and it did seem clique-y at first, but that's just a perception and not the reality!

Mapleleaf Wed 22-Jan-20 17:14:45

I haven't felt a sense of cliquiness as such, but there are forums or threads where I tend to avoid posting on or withdraw from because they can become somewhat heated and unpleasant and if you dare to voice an opinion which differs to the main one, you can be on the receiving end of some, shall we say, vociferous opposition. It's not worth becoming embroiled in these threads as views can be pretty entrenched and you are unlikely to alter someone's opinion. I don't think that is cliquiness though, it's probably more a case of the regular posters who have differing opinions enjoy the "spats" that may arise between each other. I know, I could continue to post on these kind of threads, but really, what's the point? I'd rather spend time on the threads where your opinion is respected, even if it's different to someone else's and then move on to something else. The Politics and Religion forums tend to be places to avoid on the whole, if you don't want to risk being shot down in flames as opinions can become somewhat heated on some of the threads there!

I suppose when you first join, it might seem as if there are cliques because a lot of posters have been posting for a long time and recognise each other and exchange pleasantries and refer to things that a poster has mentioned in the past quite frequently, but the thing is, the longer you post then you, too, become recognised as a regular poster and other posters might mention you in their posts sometimes - though this is not guaranteed. I honestly don't think that that is anything personal and that you are being deliberately ignored, but just the nature of forums that have lots of posters on them, which means not everyone is always going to get a mention by other posters. Also, the more you post, the more comfortable you will feel mentioning other posters yourself.
I'm not sure, therefore, Lara, what can be done, other than keep a look out for anything deliberately nasty which may be aimed unfairly at a poster and report it for you to investigate.

Yiayia4 Wed 22-Jan-20 17:20:08

I'm sure most posters and that includes me would not expect to be acknowledged all the time,however a kind word when needed means so much.

KatyK Wed 22-Jan-20 17:25:31

I have been a member for a few years now. I first joined as I was struggling with a problem. Everyone was kind and helpful. I have tried to help others too. I try to stay off contentious or political threads as they can get a bit heated and I'm not into that. I've never really seen GN as cliquey but lately I've been 'told off ' a couple of times for my posts.

endlessstrife Wed 22-Jan-20 17:32:08

janeainsworth, the sentiment of your last sentence is patronising, and the very thing that could people off. I personally don’t care. I don’t know you, and I just move to another thread, but it is unkind.

endlessstrife Wed 22-Jan-20 17:32:59

put people off I meant

Jessity Wed 22-Jan-20 17:51:03

Isn’t it true though that no matter what you join, whether a virtual group or a club or society, a new job, etc., in RL, you’re going to feel “on the outside looking in”.

It’s surely unavoidable, those already there are bound to know each other virtually or face to face.

Newbies like me just have to keep reading and occasionally, slightly nervously, make a contribution.

CanadianGran Wed 22-Jan-20 17:59:14

I'm relatively new, but feel one has to just jump in. Of course there are members that have been around since forever, and have met IRL.

I think also some members have way more time to reply, and get in to 'arguments/heated discussions'; perhaps this is where some newer members feel they cannot get a word in edgewise, so don't bother.

I love Gransnet and enjoy dropping in!

quizqueen Wed 22-Jan-20 18:01:35

I would like to know how to stop people sending me personal messages-I have never asked for them and certainly never open them, and I have no interest in being in the gransnet clique. I just want to post my opinion on topic I am interested in; whether others agree with it or not, I care not.

Calendargirl Wed 22-Jan-20 18:11:08

My first post was asking for advice about something on the House and Home Forum. I received several useful answers, and I acknowledged these and gave feedback when the issue was resolved.
New posters might find it helps to feel more integrated if they try the ‘asking for advice’ forums before using the more controversial ones.

janeainsworth Wed 22-Jan-20 18:13:29

Endlessstrife Do you go around in RL accusing people of being patronising and unkind?
What an apt username you have chosen.

janeainsworth Wed 22-Jan-20 18:17:38

I think anyone who thinks GN is clique-y is being oversensitive.
It's not patronising or unkind to say so.
You are free to disagree with me, endlessstrife, but it's actually you who is being patronising and unkind to express your disagreement in that way.

Elegran Wed 22-Jan-20 18:18:04

quizqueen If you go to your profile, you can select whether or not you recive emails. If you want to receive some (in case you win a competition?) but not others, then go to your own email filters and choose to delete emails whose subject includes the words "has sent you a message on gransnet" You will never again have to see another private message from a Gransnet member.

endlessstrife Wed 22-Jan-20 18:30:44

jane, is RL ‘ real life?’ No, but then I’ve never had the need to. Thankfully, my username reflects my surname, not my life.

Elegran Wed 22-Jan-20 18:35:37

It is impossible to pretend NOT to know someone when you and they have been posting for eight years or so! Inevitably you pick up their meaning faster than you do for someone you don't know so well. That isn't a clique! A clique actively reacts to a new voice by standing shoulder to shoulder and rebuffing them.

I don't know how you can avoid a new member from feeling like - well, like a new member! That is what they are.

Remember the first days at a new school? All those new people whose names you didn't know, who had lived different lives to you for five years, whose hair was done a strange way, who couldn't tie their shoelaces or fasten their own butons so you thought they were babies, or who were so fussy about what they ate that you wondered whether they would die soon from starvation? Some of them seemed to ignore you, some acted bossy, some lived near to one another and knew each other well. However, after you had met them daily for a week or two, they were your friends (or enemies!)

Elegran Wed 22-Jan-20 18:46:39

To GNHQ - The only thing that might make it easier for new members is to receive a welcome email when they first join, explaining how to use the site and what to expect from the forums. If that turns out to be too long, then make it fairly brief and include a link to a page on GN with a more detailed account.

After that, I am afraid you just have to jump in and swim. That is what all of us have had to do. We may look incredibly competent and confident, but we had to learn at first, just like the little five-year-olds in a the classroom for the first time. Post often about little things to get your username into the stream, and try not to either rant or whinge about the other posters - neither will improve your relationship with them, any more than ranting and whinging at school or work improves things with other workmates or schoolmates.

Nortsat46 Wed 22-Jan-20 18:55:49

I have been posting for less than one year, so relatively new. I don’t agree, I really don’t think GN is cliquey at all.

You need to make the effort, get in and post regularly and respond to others posts. People have welcomed and responded to me ... (of course not every single post ...).

I steer away from the political threads because I find them too adversarial. And I have had my fingers burned 2/3 times by people being unpleasant, but you just have to ignore it.
Surely, we are all grown women, who have experienced love, loss, child rearing, the world of work, health challenges etc. Therefore a few snippy responses/lack of responses is not going to deter us?

My experience of GNs who are facing challenges in their health or with family members, is that the GN army of lovely women jump straight in to support ...💐

sarahellenwhitney Wed 22-Jan-20 18:58:09

Life can be very lonely when you live alone and GN gives those of us who are alone or even feel alone for one reason or another to have 'our say'. Not all welcomed but that's life.

BlueBelle Wed 22-Jan-20 19:16:00

I thought it was cliquey when I first joined about 6 years ago and started posting no one spoke to me I felt insignificant ignored and felt I killed every thread dead I didn’t even look at GN for a year after the first few tries but then I came back had another go and got stuck in
Yes I admit I was over sensitive and had only ever been involved in a small local forum where everyone answered you and suddenly I was posting without anyone noticing me I didn’t realise that was normal I thought it was me
I m glad I did come back I get a lot out of the forum now, tips for TV and films, i pop into a few controversial threads occasionally make my point then disappear you don’t need to say some things more than once and I m not looking for an argument I try and help some of the problems and have made a few good virtual friends
I wouldn’t like to be without my daily visits