Monday, May 15, 2006

Aran Knitting YAHOO Group

About 4 weeks ago I found a Yahoo group in Aran Knitting. That is how I learned about a book called ARAN SWEATER DESIGN by Janet Szabo. Everybody in this list "worship" Janet and her book so I went ahead and got it from her website www.bigskyknitting.com . The book is wonderful, it is a complete design workshop specific for Aran Knitting. Janet is also the Administrator of the Yahoo group which is extremely strict about content. Janet reads every email and decides if the content is relevant or not. Many posts get deleted because she considers that only postings related specifically to ARAN should be published. Therefore, conversations on other knitting related subjects are deleted and don't even make it to be published in the list. I wrote to Janet expressing my desire of the group to have a more relaxed guidelines regarding posting, after all, all group members in the list are Knitters first, and Aran lovers second and most of us knit many things, not only Aran items. As long as the subject was related to knitting, it seemed appropriate to me to be allowed in the group. This seems to be the position of several people since Janet wrote a note to the group saying that "many people continued to ask her to allow other knitting related postings". The interesting thing is that my post and those other postings requesting a slightly different posting guidelines were never published to the list. They were deleted by Janet before they went into the group. It is sad to me that instead of moderating the group, Janet is censuring it to the extreme of not allowing any opinion that is different than hers in any way. Yes, it is true that she founded the group, but what is the point on opening the membership to the public if only your opinion is allowed?
Janet sent an Administrator Note to the group letting us know she was temporarily going to shut down the group due to the non related postings and people (like me) asking her to have a more open posting policy. Janet unkindly invited these "new members" to "go chit-chat somewhere else".
Janet states how she is tired and wants to take a break from the group which is understandable since she exercises such a controlling and time consuming supervision over it. In my opinion, she should take a big breath and relax and let people enjoy their conversations on knitting and aran. Needless to say, I unsubscribed to the group and head up for friendlier waters. I finally was able to subscribe to another Yahoo group on knitting and another one for socks which so far seem very friendly and more focused in the fun of knitting.
I respect Janet Szabo a great deal for her personal and knitting career achievements and whish her the best in the future but I think she is exaggerating a little bit at macro-managing a yahoo group that should be a relaxing outlet for her instead of a daunting task. It would be a lot more fun for her if she moderated the group instead of censure it. Loosen up Janet! Life is too short to stress out over little things, there is so much to knit too...

3 comments:

Beverly said...

Marlene, there are several other knitting lists and Yahoo groups for general knitting content. The Aranknit group fills a need for those who want to focus specifically on Aran knitting. I see Many of the Aranknit members participating in other groups. Other Aranknit members don't have the time and/or interest in other types of knitting. The Aranknit group fills a specific need, and I want to honor Janet and honor the investment of her time that she makes in this group by complying with her guidelines. I hope you will understand.

Marlene said...

Hi Beverly, I do understand and agree with having guidelines. What I don't like is the way posts are deleted and sensured if they go against the List Admin opinions in any way. That does not seem very democratic to me. Like I said, I do respect and admire Janet but I have the right to disagree with her and give my opinion if that is the case. This is still a free country...

Marlene said...

By the way Beverly the reason your opinion has been posted in my blog even though it is different than mine is because this blog belongs to me and not to Janet. If that was the case, your post would have not been published here. See my point?

There is nothing wrong with having different opinions and disagree as long as we are respectful with each other. You can respect, admire and honor someone and still disagree with her/him.