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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Open Discussions About Writing » Hatrackers under siege? Let's fight back!

   
Author Topic: Hatrackers under siege? Let's fight back!
HSO
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As a sign of good faith, I've removed this post. I do have it saved, so -- mind you -- if any thing similar happens again, I'll put it right back.


[This message has been edited by HSO (edited February 20, 2005).]

[This message has been edited by HSO (edited February 21, 2005).]


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HSO
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Likewise.

[This message has been edited by HSO (edited February 20, 2005).]

[This message has been edited by HSO (edited February 21, 2005).]


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HSO
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Ditto.

[This message has been edited by HSO (edited February 21, 2005).]


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rumi54
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What a strange reaction from HSO, but oh well....

1.Since people won't have read most of the exchange, please direct your attention to the post entitled "Is this the right forum?" HSO is angry because we disagreed on a method of collaborative writing and I challenged her to a writing contest, which she declined because I'm a "spammer". I think she has to make a case about me being a spammer, otherwise she looks foolish.

2. Basically, I opened a discussion about whether the way I'm rewriting my novel will work and have directed people to a site www.shadowislandproject.com which explains exactly how you can critique my novel and in return own a part of the book. This seems to be inline with what people do in the Fragments and Feedback section, solicit people to review their work.

3. The moderator has said that the discussion wasn't spam.

4. The emails she is referring to were to 5 people in the Hatrack Groups section, which states "if your group needs new members, or if you want existing groups to know you are available to join".

5. I think HSO is out of line and that the moderator should remove her posts.

ps
My dad is a dentist and I made him an old website awhile back, which is where outreachdental comes from.


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HSO
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You're entitled to think whatever you like. But you spammed some friends of mine, which displeases me. Therefore, you are a spammer.

Good day to you sir. Sorry that your baseball career didn't quite work out, by the way.


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Survivor
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HSO, I do tend to worry that you're getting too worked up over this. I personally am torn between the belief that rumi54 is just playing some kind of elaborate prank and the fear that this is actually the kind of activity a nominally educated person associates with the term "open source". I tend to come down on the latter, because I'm a pessimist.

But I don't think that the forum is really "under siege" because one person (who apparently has no interest in becoming a writer or learning anything about writing) is posting some silly topics and spamming a few of our members. This is just one of those things that happens from time to time. I admit, usually we get a higher caliber of "I'm here to O-N @11 U _||_#3rz!" villains, but that just means that we should take this incident even less seriously.

That said, I've found rumi54 more than a little irritating myself. What on Earth is such a person doing on a site dedicated to the art of writing? Still, I had a few chuckles over that Stouffer v. Rowling thing, so it hasn't been without compensation. Even if that wasn't much to set against the negatives, I think...well, I'll survive


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Keeley
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quote:
Basically, I opened a discussion about whether the way I'm rewriting my novel will work and have directed people to a site www.shadowislandproject.com which explains exactly how you can critique my novel and in return own a part of the book. This seems to be inline with what people do in the Fragments and Feedback section, solicit people to review their work.

Wow! You mean all this time I could have been asking to own part of the stories I critique? I could have made some money off of this? I could have been called a co-author!

Instead, I, with my lack of ambition, just told them what I thought and handed it back to them, thinking all the while that because they wrote it and it was their idea, that it actually belonged entirely to them, no matter whether they took my advice or not.

Silly me.

/sarcasm


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theokaluza
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Maybe I'm not being paranoid enough, but it seems like rumi is trying to come up with a method for writing an 'open source' novel.

Or am I missing something?


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Christine
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I do think that too big a deal has been made of this, although I keep going back and forth about whether or not this is a scam. I guess the bottom line is that collaborative work never appealed to me even with someone I know and trust and if I ever did do something collaborate, if would absolutely be with someone I knew and trusted.
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HSO
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Yes, he is doing that, possibly. Good for him, I say.

But he crossed a line when he emailed Hatrackers who didn't specifically request any information. That is unsolicited email, or more commonly known as "SPAM."

Thus, this topic. Besides, have you noticed how often he "namedropped" the link to his site in nearly all his posts? C'mon, you should be paranoid.

But if you don't believe, join his yahoo group and see what's what. Email me offline, theo, and I'll go into more detail.


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goatboy
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I'm wondering if the ones he emailed were the members recently listed in "Hatrackers in Print"?

It sounds like at least a couple of the people contacted have current threads there.


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catnep
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Yeah, I kind of thought it made it SPAM that he was posting his link all over this site in about every place possible even with so many negative responses. And if he is sending emails, I don't think he ought to get away with that. SPAM just gets worse if you let it go, doesn't it?

I am kind of surprised this is being let off so easy when many of you had gripes (good ones in my opinion) about us newbies, and yet here is one taking blatant advantage and yet it is blown off. I hope you go through with it HSO if he keeps ignoring the obvious hints. Maybe I am just being harsh though.


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HSO
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Well, we need to leave his posts intact for a few days more. Trust me.
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Keeley
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Warning: major rant follows.

You're not being harsh, catnep. It isn't right for us to get upset at the newbies and then say this isn't all that bad.

First, there's all the problems others have mentioned regarding this writing project: copyright, quality, editing, etc. There's so many I don't even want to look at it.

Second, there's a clear misunderstanding on the part of rumi54 regarding emails we send each other on this site. The phrase rumi54 quoted, as I understand it, doesn't have to do with groups formed on Yahoo! or another writing site. It has to do with groups people here on Hatrack form between each other.

That's my understanding anyway. kdw, feel free to correct me.

To invite Hatrackers to join a group that has absolutely nothing to do with Hatrack isn't a crime as long as it's put on the forum and stays on the forum.

Sending unsolicited emails to members of Hatrack advertising a group/website that has nothing to do with Hatrack is, imho, SPAM.

I do not think HSO is out of line in this case. SPAM is annoying at best and sometimes can be a cover for something more insidious. I'm not saying rumi54 had anything but the best of intentions... however, he/she shouldn't be surprised at the reaction she/he has gotten.

So far, I don't think either of you look foolish. Give it a while and we'll see.


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Survivor
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I think that most of the gripes about "newbies" are motivated by the occasional instances of people showing up and thinking that they can just do as they please without any consideration of the reasons this site exists in the first place.

That said, I've always been in the "newbies are tender and crispy" camp. Meaning that I think it's good that we get new members coming here, and I wish that we were able to keep more of them. When we get a problem child, we have ample means of dealing with it. Some of our worst newbies have settled down into valued members, after all. I have to admit that I don't see that happening with rumi54. For one thing, this guy doesn't seem to understand that writing is an actual skill that writers need. The obtuse assumption that getting together a bunch of monkeys and chaining them to keyboards is going to produce a great masterwork...it's just really dumb.

Which is why I'm not going to rush into a crusade to get the guy to shape up. I don't think that he can, no matter what we say to him. So I'm content to wait until he decides to either leave on his own or do something that will provoke KDW into banning him (one notable child spammed every active thread with posts consisting of nothing but the F-word repeated to the size limit for posts: of course, the forum software is set to auto-censor the F-word, but we all got the general idea).


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HSO
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quote:
3. The moderator has said that the discussion wasn't spam.

4. The emails she is referring to were to 5 people in the Hatrack Groups section, which states "if your group needs new members, or if you want existing groups to know you are available to join".


I'm ignoring the other ones for the moment, but #3 states a "moderator" said the discussion wasn't spam. Do we have board moderators other than Kathleen? -- and she was away at a thing for several days. So, we can safely assume she said no such thing.

#4 is just silly [I had another word, but I changed it to silly], in my opinion. 5 emails still equates to spam. It's not bulk spam, but it's still spam.

Here's the thing: Hypothetically, I've got some stale cat food I'm selling on the side. I know some of you here must have cats. So, I look for a topic where someone mentions cats, and I pick out a few emails and hit you up with my proposition:

"Hey, but's it's Purina Brand and you can own it for 3 times the price I paid, you silly gullible person, you. I can even guarantee that some of the kiblets are pre-chewed. Cats love that!"

Other than laughing at me and my lunacy for sending it, wouldn't you be a little disturbed that I tried to sell you something and broken your trust by culling your email address off this site for my own personal gain.

If you don't think Rumi has "business" in mind, re-check that link I posted up there where I said it was "interesting."

[This message has been edited by HSO (edited February 21, 2005).]


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SteeleGregory
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I find this situation disturbing. I'm not at all interested in Rumi54's writing by committee aproach. Similarly I am not interested in writing corporate formula novels like Harlequin Romances or Star Trek or Star Wars or World of Darkness. But, I'm capable of making my own decisions.

How is Rumi54's attempt to get some of us involved in his project significantly different than JBSkaggs asking for submissions to his Fantasy World Geographic project? I suspect they both hope to achieve financial gain of some kind for their efforts.

HSO, you received a single email asking if you were interested in Rumi54's project. You've made no claim that you've received any follow-ups and from the content of his posts, I can see Rumi54 is obviously not a bulletin board bot. You weren't interested and said so. You're not being harrassed.

If anything, your over-zealous anti-spam crusade looks like harassment. You've probably succeeded in scaring off Rumi54 because of your over-reaction to what amounts to an imagined slight.

At the very least, you should let the subject drop. A better thing would be to apologize.

Perhaps, in the future, the correct course would be to send a private email to Kathleen expressing your concerns if you believe you are being harassed.


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HSO
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Steele, I did. Thank you.

EDIT: Sorry, that's not a fair response. Let me try again:

I did email Kathleen privately with my concerns. And no, I'm not harrassing this guy. I'm simply pointing out the obvious, and apparently defending my position on the matter. But, perhaps I'm taking this far too seriously, so this will indeed be my last post on the matter.

[This message has been edited by HSO (edited February 21, 2005).]


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JBSkaggs
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One main difference is that I do not send unsolicited email to people here. Nor do I come here for the purpose of altering Hatrack's mode of operation. I came here because I need help as a writer and with help to try and establish a legitimate traditonal magazine.

Concerning financial gain, every writer on this board hopes to be paid for their writings, myself included. Writers are supposed to be paid for their work. We are here to try and improve our skills at writing (and reading) in the hopes that we will become successful authors. Some of us realize that we may never acheive the noteriety of Card or King but we continue trying.

Has anyone been offended because I talk about Fantasy World Geographic in this forum? If so let me know.

JB Skaggs


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HSO
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Crumbs, JB. You didn't even have a link in your profile to your site until today. You mentioned once in Markets and then barely at all unless you needed stories.

I'd say that's more than fair. You've never posted a link, or if you did it was when someone asked for it specifically.

Your posts are fine, JB.


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SteeleGregory
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JBSkaggs, I think what you're doing is great and in no way offensive. That was my point.

Sorry if I wasn't clear on that.


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Beth
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are you serious, steele? The differences between jb and rumi are obvious to me. jb is a member of this community and treats it with respect; rumi tries to recruit people away from this community into his, because we're doing it all; he also told us we were essentially a psych experiment.

jb posted once or twice about something he knew the members here would be interested in; rumi posted repeatedly despite an overwhelmingly negative response to his ideas. and after failing at his attempts to post, rumi started sending e-mail out.

just not even in the same universe. i agree that an apology is in order, but not from hso.


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JBSkaggs
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Thanks for clearing that up.


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rumi54
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Quick reply.

1. Please note my initial apology as a Newbie to anyone I might have offended when I began talking about the idea in the wrong forum. This was posted very soon after posting a link. (at least showing I had good intentions.)

2. The issues with copyright, contract claims etc...have been challenged but unless someone here is an IP attorney or corporate securities lawyer and feels comfortable discussing current case law governing derivative rights in online work let me know. HSO posted a link concerning a post to an Intellectual Property forum...I'm not sure why, as the idea was reviewed by a number of IP attorneys who posted their positive opinion.

3. I don't think anyone has complained of being spammed, the only people who received emails were people in a different section of this site asking to be a part of a writing group. I've received positive responses and been declined, but no one felt spammed.

3. This site requests people to post critiques in order to have their critiques posted. It certainly isn't a huge stretch to call that sweat equity. You critique and you get feedback, an exchange. My model is you critique and you get equity in the book. Maybe you don't agree, but it certainly isn't offtopic or offensive to suggest it.

4. HSO continues to assail me because after repeatedly telling me collaborative writing doesn't work, I challenged him to writing contest, which he has declined. I'm not interested in causing a problem for this site and will never return if that is the consensus, but HSO is out of line.

5. I only posted on this topic so much because I was being personally attacked for being anything from a spammer to a scam artist. I still think HSO is out of line for making unsubstantiated claims about spamming and continuing to assail me on a personal level.


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SteeleGregory
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Okay, Beth. I just did a search for all of Rumi54's posts.

29 total.
7 with links to his webpage.

One of those is a duplicate because he didn't know which forum to post to.
Two were in posts responding to accusations of spamming.

So, adjusted, I'd call it 28 posts to 4 links.

Neither tally seems unreasonable for a newbie with a side project.

The email he sent to 5 people was certainly not standard operating procedure around here, but hardly a serious offense. A polite rebuke would have been sufficient.

I stand by my assessment that Rumi54 was being treated unfairly.

[This message has been edited by SteeleGregory (edited February 21, 2005).]


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SteeleGregory
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D'oh! Rumi just messed up my statistics.
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Beth
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Whatever. I've outlined my reasons for thinking rumi's behavior is offensive. You're welcome to disagree.

[This message has been edited by Beth (edited February 21, 2005).]


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HSO
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Rumi,

If you would like to post to have your story critiqued (even your novel with 10 writers on board), then that's fine.

You did ask us in that topic to "critique this idea" and we did. We collectively said it was crap. Fine.

But you persisted anyway. You put on your sales hat and you came at us.

I'm not maligning your character. I'm maligning your actions. If you prefer, feel free to email me offline and we'll have a rational discussion and leave the rest of the group out of this.

Fascinatingly enough, guess what my wife does for a living? Patents. Most of my friends are patent attorneys. So, while I'm not personally an expert, I could certainly refer you to some qualified advice on the matter.

With that said, please feel free to have your novel critiqued here. We like doing that. Just don't expect us to buy into your plan, and do not email us asking us to do so.

If you continue to do anything other than participate as a "normal" member, I will be most disappointed and will respond accordingly.

As far as contests go: Who cares? Dumb idea. Proves nothing.

So... shall we start on a new foot, or shall we continue playing "n00bball" with you. (I just learned that word today, I'm pretty excited that I get to use it. It's the little things, really.)


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SteeleGregory
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My interpretation of Rumi's intentions is that he wanted to invite people to his project, not change the way Hatrack works. I like Hatrack just the way it is.

Beth, if I thought his motives were as you describe, I wouldn't defend him.

I just don't want to frighten away new members just because they make mistakes in their first few posts or have opinions we don't agree with.

[This message has been edited by SteeleGregory (edited February 21, 2005).]


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rumi54
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Thanks for the responses. Let's just drop it and spend the energy critiquing someone's work. HSO would you mind taking the post asking people to report me to the ISP down? While I'm open about who I am, I'd rather not have everything out in some random post.

-Will


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HSO
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Never mind...

[This message has been edited by HSO (edited February 21, 2005).]


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HSO
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Posts removed.


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djvdakota
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I am a victim of Rumi's spamming. I did not respond to him. Why? Because from the get-go he sounded like a snake-oil salesman and I didn't want to encourage him.

At best he completely misunderstood the reason for the Hatrack groups and the advertisements we use to solicit new group members. At worst he's a hack writer who wants someone else to do the work for him for little or no actual benefit.

That said, let's take a look at his original post. It reads:

quote:
Hello, I'm a graduate student and want you to evaluate a new method of online collaboration for novel writing. Take a look at www.shadowislandproject.com. It's a way for authors to edit and submit changes for specific scenes of a completed but not published novel. These authors (if their work is accepted) then own a piece of the novel. I'd love to hear what you think.

See, here's the clincher for me. It's the back door approach. Not once in the above does he mention that it's HIS book that he wants to collaborate on or HIS project behind it. He wants us all to think that he's a new writer who is simply asking our opinion on this interesting idea he 'discovered' on the internet.

This guy is a salesman of the used car variety.

And what I thought was really interesting was that he sent me his spam after I had shot down his idea on his original post. That's like that Kirby vacuum guy who comes around about 6 times a year and won't take no for an answer--again.

That said (and all my humble opinion, of course) Rumi, if he plays his cards right, will find an outstanding community of writers here who will gladly forgive and forget his previous faux pas (as HSO, more than anyone, understands) and welcome him into the Hatrack community. BUT, for his sake, it might be best to drop the Shadow Island project, and anything associated with it, from his future Hatrack correspondences. It, and his refusal to let it drop despite the negative feedback and complaints of unsolicited solicitations, have caused enough contention around here, IMO.

I firmly believe Rumi was in the wrong. I firmly believe that HSO was right in discussing it here. If I am wrong I will expect Kathleen to whack me upside the head with her spiked armband the next time I see her.

[This message has been edited by djvdakota (edited February 21, 2005).]


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mikemunsil
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Hey! I don't think anyone else here has used the 'O' word with regards to HSO yet. So, I get to. (correct me if I am wrong)

HSO I AM SO
OFFENDED!
YOU CANNOT IMAGINE HOW OFFENDED
I AM.
EVEN I CANNOT IMAGINE IT.
BUT I AM.
OFFENDED, THAT IS.

OFFENDEDLY YOURS,

mikemunsil, PO
(professional registered offendee #1)

Okay, now with that out of the way. I have 2 comments. Firstly, I thought that rummikub was riding the line of being out of line with respect to this forum and its social contract. Secondly, I support HSO's effort to deal with it. Thirdly *grin*, I am offended by the waste of time on all this. I would rather be reading and critiquing than reading and knee-jerk reacting.


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rumi54
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This is to DJVdakota, which I have to defend since she is rehashing SPAM issues and I don't want The Shadow Island Project to be reported:

1. I misunderstood what the groups section was and sent five emails to members in that section. I've apologized. So you can see what a narrow violation this was:
This is posted in the Groups Wanted section...

"Interested parties may contact me (djvdakota) at the email in my profile. DO NOT POST YOUR INTEREST HERE or Kathleen will be very put out. <snip> Please feel free to ask any questions you may have for us."


As for the shadowislandproject.com and snake oil comments DJV conveniently omitted the following from the email I sent her:

2. "My proof of concept is a group using this ownership structure on a fiction novel I wrote but never published. I wanted to join your group to see if we could collaborate. What do you think?"

My only point is to prevent SPAM charges. I consider the issue dropped.

-Will


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djvdakota
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Oh! So the little "What do you think?" can be interpreted as being relevant to my advertising for new group members, and inserting the "Please feel free to ask any questions you may have for us," was your excuse for doing so?

You wanted to join my group to see if we could collaborate? Did you not read my posts on your initial topic in F&F? Shall I requote for you here?

quote:
What this sounds like isn't so much a collaboration as a "I wrote a pretty crappy book and I'd like someone else to make it good for me. Then when I publish it my name will be in big letters as the author, with the names of the other contributors on the 'Thanks to all those great people who helped make this possible' page."

I still stand by that. What guarantee is there that it won't be your name on the cover? None, since it's all up to some editorial board of your choosing.

You know, I also specifically advertised for one or two people, not a mob. I also thought it was pretty clear that we were looking for an exchange of work back and forth--not a one way ticket to obscurity on the credits page of someone else's book.

Sorry if it sounds harsh, but I stand by the snake oil comment. I really don't think you're in this for the good of anyone but yourself--which is fine. That's a valid choice. But it doesn't belong on this forum, IMO.


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Christine
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rumi: The problem with sending e-mails to people asking to join a writing group is that you did not offer them a writing gropu; you offered them a collaboration project. If you had done any looking into what a writing group means around here, then you would know that we look for people to read our work with a critical or wise eye and tell us what they think. We do not form groups wherein the other group members rewrite storie for us, and in fact when that has happened (in part) I have been incredibly annoyed.
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rumi54
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Christine, I've formally apologized for that...hopefully you just missed it. If not, you are beating a dead horse...
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Christine
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I did...these topics are getting long and confusing.

Ok, I can't help but notice something:

rumi has made some mistakes here. The first was to post in the wrong forum, fragments and feedback instead of open discussion. The second was to e-mail members of hatrack without their permission (for which he has apologized). The last was to offer Kathleen's service as moderator in a contest without asking her first. I had problems with the challenge itself but the only real problem in ettiquette was what I mentioned.

However this started, the people who are now going on and on about this are the hatrackers. I'm not exactly taking his side in this because I think his idea is an abomination, but quite frankly he brought a writing idea to a writing group. If we are rightly suspicious of it that is something that we can discuss and challenge him on, but this has turned into a flame war beyond what it ever needed to be.

I would not have just ignored the topic because I feel that it was suspicious from the start, but it has gotten out of hand. Is it possible that it is simply time to drop this entire discussion? The problem with on-line fires is that they feed themselves. The only way to put it out is through a consensus. I ask you now for that consensus.


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rumi54
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No more posts from me about it...even if attacked.
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Jeraliey
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I'm with Christine on this one.
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djvdakota
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< > (That's silence. I'm done.)
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HSO
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Suspicious or otherwise, I've deleted a few posts. As far as I'm concerned, this is water under the bridge. A new day dawns, I guess.

So, as topic-starter, I hereby claim this topic dead (if that means anything). Anyone posting after me will receive a giant raspberry in repsonse that goes something like this:

Pttttthbbbbbbb! (maybe bigger..., I've had a long day and I'm particularly "scratchy" this evening.)

Right! Moving on, let's go crit some stories... except I won't be. But that's besides the point!


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Mike C
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I guess, as another newbie, I should check protocol, as tagging links onto posts has been mentioned.

I end most of my posts with a url. It's a commercial, though not-for-profit, site. It is, hopefully, of interest to Hatrackers, and I'd like to personally invite you all to come and spend 10 days with me in Italy to check it out. But as for the URL... is it right or wrong?

http://www.write-across-europe.com


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Survivor
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If it's just something that you put on the end of every post, there is nothing really wrong with it once people figure out that it doesn't have anything to do with your posts. KDW has automated signatures turned off, and most people here don't bother with a sig as long as that one, so it could be more confusing than is really necessary. I never had a problem with it.

On the other hand, you have that URL link in your profile anyway. I would tend to say that it's one of those things that doesn't work terribly well as a tagline. It doesn't have a high enough level of "personality" or whatever. It isn't really a matter of permissible/impermissible, we're pretty flexible about such things. It's more that it can make you a bit...like the guy wearing a three piece business suit at a casual party. There's nothing wrong with that as long as you're comfortable with it, it isn't like showing up at a funeral dressed in a baby-doll tee and a mini-skirt. If I wanted to drop by my friend's party after a business meeting and didn't want to drive an extra twenty minutes to find someplace to change or risk hanging my best vest and jacket in the cat's/kid's/amorous guest's favorite hiding place, I would totally do the same thing. And there's nothing wrong with doing it just because you actually feel more comfortable wearing a suit than jeans and a t-shirt either.


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