I am trying to organize my thoughts here as I type this, so I ask for a little slack on any misspellings or if it is hard to follow. But I think it is time to clear the air. These comments are my own and do not neccessarily reflect the opinions of the other mods. However, since I posted the thread, I will make the stab.
Giulietta is an awesome sailor and has provided more to this forum than maybe 100 others combined. He knows much more about sailing (esp performance sailing) than anyone I know. He knows boats. He cares about people and takes a personal interest in those around him. He invites people to stay at his house, cruise with him, talk to him on the phone. What more can I say? When my wife and child were hit by the 18 wheeler, he was the FIRST person to call me (before even my partners). Did you know he offered to come down? Asked me if I need money? He wanted to know what he could do to help... and meant it. All of this was VERY sincere. Thank you my friend, thank you. I have never forgotten that. Incidentally, members, I have never had the pleasure of meeting Alex or his beautiful wife or his awesome kids. My loss. But as far as Sailnet, it really is a better place because of Alex.
TDW posted here, so I would like to say somthing about him too. He really is a funny guy. He can stand his ground and make his poistion well known, but will also shake hands at the end of the day. He also takes a genuine interest in helping others on this site. I find him knowledgeable and outspoken. But for those that know him, you will like him. I would sure look him up in Australia if I ever landed there.
T34 gives me a harder time than about anyone else here - but it is all in good fun and he and I have had many great offline discussions about boats or just harrassment. He is genuine and a patriot of his country. He will call a spade a spade. His opinions are well thought out and with merit. I like the guy.
Teshannon is thoughtful and considerate. He may not be the most knowledgeable person on this site, but when he gives information he generally knows it. He is one of those people that you would not mind leaving your kids with - like a great neighbor. He has a great personality and is very friendly and genuinely cautious about ever offending anyone.
Sailingdog may come across rough, and often he is, but he answers more posts than Camaraderie and I do put together. Look at how much of his time he devotes to the people here! I am not sure any member has HALF the posts he does. He puts thought into his answers and is a wealth of knowledge - if nothing else, to know where to get the answers.
Bestfried... really is a Bestfriend. Look at what he has done for SimonV! Maybe I am wrong, but I believe the guy flew to his house and stayed with him. THEY HAD NEVER MET BEFORE! He helped him in ever step of the way on finding his boat. He tracks his progress and keeps us all informed. Bestfriend is also an active member in helping others. He makes great replies and gives great advice. And unlike many others, he will admit when he is wrong - on an open, public forum. No one might know the differece. I have seen many others post incorrect information here and have not made apologies. Would you? Have you?
Sailaway21 is someone I would call a personal friend too. I have had MANY offline conversations with him. He has given me advice on the many personal issues I have had to deal with surrounding my wife and child' wreck. Sailaway21 is an absolute patriot of our country - period. Like his views or not, you can bet if push came to shove, that he would defend this country in a hearbeat. He also has a wealth of information on commercial ships. He knows the ways of the sea better than I do. He takes considerable effort to make sure his posts are well thought out and full of information. The guy does not make this stuff up or read it on the internet, he knows it.
I have left off MANY people on this site that I would like to write about... but am running out of time and space. If I have left you off, please do not feel offended. It does not mean I like you any less or any more.
Why am I writing this? Because these are just a FEW of the regulars that come her. These are just a FEW of the people I respect and call friends. They make an enormous contribution to Sailnet and have helped more people than I could even begin to count. How many of you have actually posted a thread without a response from one of these members? Few, I would guess.
I think it is important to know a little somthing about the house you visit (or live in, as it may be for many of us). That is what makes up Sailnet - the people that come here. It is a good group of people that mean well.
I was once one of that core group. I hope that I still am or they still see me that way. But I was asked by Sailnet to take on a Moderator status and help regulate the forum. I will not speak for Jeff or Cam, but I will say that it is VERY difficult. How do you seperate yourself from people you admire and like as much as I like these guys (and gals.... DJ and Eryka for example)?? How can you participate and have fun, provide helpful information, make an inviting place for new members to want to come and feel welcome, be a friend to the core members, and police everything above? How can I tell a friend I think he/she was wrong? How can I not? How can I tell a new member that they deserved what they got - and refraim from nailing them too?? The answer... I don't know.
That is the quandry I am in. Does that make sense? I want to play a strong, moderating role with Sailnet while maintaining my friendships, growing the site, being approachable to new members, and doing so while being impartial. As a moderator, I have to be - even when I want to be otherwise.
I realize that there is no way I am going to make everyone happy. I cannot be all things to all people - neither can Sailnet. As such, I am making a distinct effort to settle matters before they get out of hand and deal out judgement as I feel it is merited.
If you are still following this, let me tell you how I work - in general. This is my personal policy, as a moderator. I do not speak for Cam or Jeff.
In general, when things get out of hand (or hopefully before they do), I try to remove any and all offending threads. I put a "nice" warning or caution in the thread. I try to redirect. In many cases, depending on the thread, I will PM those that I feel are out of line and discuss my feelings. I welcome their responses - where appropriate. But I keep it offline. Many arguments are simple missunderstandings and have been corrected that way. Others are not.
I have found other threads or responses that really set me off. I will delete the thread(s) and I will jump their case offline, and sometimes online where merited. In these cases, I am rarely very nice and they are generally taking a vacation (often permanent). I have NO PATIENCE with viciousness and harsh personal attacks. I GENERALLY do all of this offline, but it is often with as much furor and resentment as many members do online. I can give you MANY cases of this happening (and you might even guess on which members), but I do not feel it is appropriate. I feel it is the neccessary role I must play behind the scenes to keep this place relatively clean and with a lack of hostility.
By the many responses I got to this thread, I feel there was a missunderstanding. There is no way you could know what I do offline. But do not think for a moment that I do not take care of you and make a very appropriate response. This includes both new members and old members alike - though I primarily am referring to our core group. Many of my friends feel that I am being one-sided in my approach. That is not the case at all. You simply have to trust me, Cam, and Jeff to resolve the matter. That does not mean I expect ANY of you to take something visious and turn the other cheek with a smile. All I ask is that you come to me and get me involved. Because when someone gets ugly, I really can have the final word.
I would like to ask a favor here, from everyone. If you feel, after reading this, that there are things I can do to make this place more hospitable and enjoyable (both to new and old) - tell me. If you have a problem with me or my strategy - tell me. Work with me. Communicate with me. PM me. I will give you a number to call me on the phone if you wish. This is NOT, NOT, NOT my Sailnet. It is yours. It is Giu's. It is TrueBlue's, and JohnPollards, and Halekai's, and Mystic Gringo, and The Frog's, and all of the many other folks that come here and make this place successful. I am simply the guy that stands at the door of this house and lets you in, or tells you when to go to your corner or leave.
You are the folks that make Sailnet. Help me to help you make it a better place. I will do my very best to do so.