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I am a 35 years old french woman. I have a job. Plus two delicious kids. When I was a kid myself, I invented stories which lasted for weeks. It was my inner life, that I protected with a good wall of bricks from the noise of other people life. One day, already a teenager, I realised that even if other people grey rumbling noise was hurting, I had better cope with it. I am still tring.

Some years ago, I started a third life on the net. I fear it is increasingly eating my meat life. I suppose I can't bear seeing years escaping me one after the other. It is not just enough to satisfy me. I feel so much hungry. Despite people telling me to focus on my children, my husband, my job (supposingly enough to satisfy any honest woman, and certainly enough to keep me busy full time), I need to meet other people, to talk to them, to just observe and listen to them, to understand more, to do things with them, to laugh or even cry with them, to make them feel better, and to feel better myself from seeing them happy.....

Eh! part of this, I came looking for around here. I need to understand better what I live everyday, to break my own walls of protection while staying secure, and use the bricks to build bridge between people, communities, and perhaps between reality and virtuality.

Welcome, Florence. Always nice to see a new name :) --MartinHarper

Florence, welcome at MeatballWiki. Where are you from? -- HelmutLeitner

Thanks :-) Helmut, I am french and currently living in France. Thought mostly a reader, I like this place, so thought that on top of being a bridge between communities, it could perhaps be a bridge between reality and virtuality.

That's the great vision, yes. But sometimes it seems to tear us apart. We need more hearts like yours, more readers that feel to become involved, to keep the bridge from breaking. How to you see this? Which way should we go? If you had a free wish, what would it be? - HelmutLeitner

Difficult to say. I have changed a lot since I joined the first wiki. I see things differently. I was only a reading visitor a long time. Then anonymous editor for an even longuer time, just marvelling over the power relying in that save button.

Then I discovered a small wiki, perhaps 100 baby pages. Everything to do. A whole place to build. The second marvel of wiki : people ! Building required to be a person, not an ip. Bridging was required, because there were misunderstandings over important principles, drifting and risk of fork. I immediately felt the surge to mix people of both places. To be here and there myself. And to make as many people join both places as well. I tried to persistently remind each place of the existence of the other. That worked. I tried to have people navigate from one place to the other. That was less successful. Most people prefer to stick to one place. Wanderers are a minority. I tried official organisations to be set. That failed. People on wiki, are too much anarchic :-). I tried to build bridges on some policy topics; that did not work very well; that worked bad actually. The smaller place will tend to refuse "copying" what is being done in the bigger one, just to show with pride they can "do" it themselves (even when they actually do not do it at all :-)). To me, that is a sign of refusal to merge communities. Many people fear loosing identity in big communities. They prefer to stick with their small group. And recreate the wheel. Perhaps is it best ?

I understand now, that it is no use trying to make people move, when they do not feel like it. So, I move alone.

I discovered MB in august 2002. Amazingly enough, because I needed information on hard banning :-) In view of MB goal, it is best that most people here are wanderers (bridge people). But I wonder how many are just quiting one wiki to another ? Or how many just go every now and then in different places ? Counting on my fingers, I have at least visited, 12 wikis in the past 2 years. Being involved for more than say 50 edits, in 5. It is tough, because one can never know, remember, respect, all the differents rules and habits in all places. And never really know more than a couple of people at a time in each place. That looks like hopping :-). One feel teared of between all places because of their differences. I followed only from far away, all your troubles with the other community. So, I supposed it is the tear you are referring to, not your work wiki. I just know, that if two places are tearing you apart, because both have good and bad aspects, that is also such an enrichment to belong to the two places. To compare and ponder over what separate and what unite them. This is double trouble, but double joy. And one important thing : each time one feels one place is too hard on his spirit, he may go spent most of his time on the other. One can see other problems, other marvels. The other problems make us realise it is never all white anywhere. And the other marvels feed curiosity; We can bring treasures back ;-) But if some people just can't fit together at all, better that two places exist and that these people do not wander; Let the time work on top of it. Much better for peace of mind.

Btw, to keep track of what is going on in other wikis, MB needs his own members to be grasshopers themselves. Otherwise, the sources will become circular. Or MB needs people renewal, but then it must not be too closed to outsiders. And it is dangerous for the community that too many people join at the same time.

Bridge with real life ? That would be my free wish. But it is only a nebulous idea for now :-)

I'm also a member of some wikis and I share some of your experiences. One can build bridges but maybe disappointing few will walk over them. Sometimes this seems to be a question of timing or patiences, a year or two may help. Some build the bridges in the wrong directions and the effort is lost. Every single wiki seems like a bridge in itself, a bridge to the public, an open door. A wiki is a bridge. People may be bridges between communities and cultures. Communications build bridges between people. Peace builds bridges between communities. I think you brought an important metaphor to Meatball that will prove fruitful. You should write more about your "bridge with real life", even if you call it "nebulous". But relax and enjoy the GuestRole. Florence, I think you have an important message for Meatball. When you feel to, expand on it and create all the pages you need. If you need feedback or help, I'd be happy to do what I can. Feel at home. -- HelmutLeitner

thanks for your kindness and welcome Helmut. I am very slow :-)

I see your peace talk process with interest. Most people indeed think peace requires to wipe out an issue and let it die slowly in our memory. That is true, but not until the roots have been extirped. As long as the roots are still in someone, the plant of resentment will grow. It will take much longer to die. Then, it is balance between those who forget easily and those who do not. Both sides have troubles understanding the other. Often, the one who forget more easily and in silence will decide to oppose a wall of silence to the other. And the one going on on the topic may be seen abusing other one patience.

Forgive and forget indeed. But note that what is usually suggested by those who wipe out topics of discords is forget and forgive rather. That is different. Have you ever thought of having two words ? ForgiveAndForget and ForgetAndForgive?

Personally I have not. Online communities have a lot of experience in conflict, how to fight, but little experience in making peace. One is bound to make errors in the process, I've already made a number of them, but this is how one can learn to do it right (or at least right the next time). ForgiveAndForget often seems to me a ForgetAboutThem?, a FightingByIgnoring?, which may be a valid response to difficult people that invaded the community, but invalid towards long-term members that were forced into the RightToLeave by the circumstances. Online actions are often seen like a game, but they may suddenly turn into bitter reality. That would be the time to step back, reflect and revert to a "saved game position" before the fundamental errors were made. So I would prefer a ReflectLearnForgiveRevert?. -- HelmutLeitner

Discussion centralized on HelmutLeitner.

Despite people telling me to focus on my children, my husband, my job [...]
What do people know? I always become angry at such one-sided, byzantine advice. Everyone needs a (independant, self-controlled) life. While this obviously includes work and family, it also has to include personal interests. I'd say you're on the right track if you do things you like doing. -- DavidSchmitt

I hope...I am often distracted on my way. Thanks for your comment :-)

21 janvier : Encore une journée ratée.

Your comments were welcome, but seemed largely in response to deleted text, so I thought it was confusing. Well, it confused me... --MartinHarper

no problem Martin. I also thought I had to put my stuff back in my house before the storm started :-)

Florence, thank you for taking the time and sharing your experience at AnswerToCliffordAdams?. I think the KeptPages function has a problem, but I hope that your contribution can be restored (oh I just saw Robert has a copy on his homepage). I would like to add it - without the direct references to Robert - to RequestToLeave. Would you mind? I think that you are right in stating that it is not a value judgment if someone does not fit into a community. To describe the contrary of what Robert has thrown at me as a muffled athmosphere ... or Meatball as not open ... is debatable. I think that Meatball strives to be very open especially for normal people that behave like in everyday life - civilized. To open for the perhaps 1% that like extreme fighting and insults means to close for perhaps 85% of normal people that can't stand that. While the internet is still for those with the "thick skin" I think it would be a big step forward to change that. -- HelmutLeitner

Thank you Helmut. You are most welcome of course. Yeah, bottom point is that it is not a value judgment if one does not fit into a community. I qualify MeatBall as not very open essentially because of the RealName requirement, which is extremely rarely asked on the internet, and which effectively limits the number of contributors (note that I make no value of judgement on that requirement here). By "muffled" atmosphere, I certainly do not mean there are no conflict, but I perceive them as much more civilized than on the wikis I know :-)

Sunir likes to decribe Meatball as boring. Perhaps he may like to extend that to "Meatball is a boringly civilized, muffled online community, that most people will like to avoid". :-) -- HelmutLeitner

Salut Florence, à propos de la TR j'ai eu CharlesNepote hier soir au téléphone qui peut être partant. Tu peux prendre contact avec lui ? -- ChristopheDucamp

oki, je le contacte ce week end Christophe. Flo

hi florence. voici ton arbre de wiki personnel (http://www.communitywiki.org/de/FlorenceTree). j'espère qu'il te plaît. -- sigi (voir aussi http://www.emacswiki.org/cgi-bin/community/WikiFolks

euh...merci :-)

nous pouvons l'appeler: un pont sur entre les wikis :-) --sigi

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