Stephanie of JC Hosting, the former host for AbsoluteWrite who pulled the plug on their site with one hour notice, has an entry up at her site where she talks about business as usual and pulling her own writing site out of mothballs. I’ll grant you that Stephanie has remarkably bad timing with putting her own writing forum up – at virtually the same time as AbsoluteWrite was shut down – and it looks really, really, really, really bad. In reality, however, we can’t read Stephanie’s mind and we don’t know if this was planned or coincidental.
Which leads me to my next point.
I’ve read through the comments on her entry, and as is unfortunately a bit usual for some in the AW crowd, some are more than just a little bit nasty and way over the top. But then, this is the same type of attitude I’ve seen in some parts of the AW forum – like the paying markets forum where people will gang up on those who post with new writing opportunities. Suspicion abounds and sometimes, it gets pretty nasty.
This same thing is happening on her site.
Let’s assume for a moment that yes, Stephanie did take advantage of circumstances, hoping to get some traffic for her own forum. Yes, it’s a bad move, but it’s also human. We all – and I do mean ALL – make stupid decisions that we regret later and don’t always know how to undo things or make things right. Well, in reality, we can’t undo, but we can do as much damage control as possible. We can apologize and we can do everything in our power to make things right.
Vilifying Stephanie to the point of cursing her very name and being insulting to her is not nice or necessary. Attacking her character, condemning her, self-righteous indignation on the part of the person attacking her, is not necessary. None of it will do any good except for making that poster feel vindicated for but a brief moment.
No, I’m not defending Stephanie’s actions, nor am I excusing them, but I do know that I don’t know her well enough to be able to ascribe motivation. I also know that none of us – with the exception of Stephanie, JamesC, and possibly Jenna – know the full story. None of us.
And there’s another consideration… By attacking her personality, by condemning her and calling her names, we’re not giving her an opportunity to change her mind. We’re not giving her an opportunity to change her behavior. You’ve heard of the whole self-fulfilling prophecy thing? It works. Both fortunately and unfortunately.
What do you want out of all this? What is your goal? Is it to spew hatred without regard to the outcome? Or do you want to make the world a better place? Do you want the AbsoluteWrite forums back up and running? Do you want Stephanie to make things right to the extent that she can? Do you want to encourage good behavior or bad behavior?
Think about it before you post – what do you want to see as a result of your actions? Once you’ve figured it out, model your actions on your desired outcome.
No, it doesn’t guarantee that you’ll get what you want, but it will minimize yelling and screaming and spewing vitriol that serves to do nothing more than polarize. It will also maximize on opportunities to communicate in a meaningful way and hopefully encourage both or all sides of a conflict to come to a peaceful resolution where everyone wins.
Really, we don’t want to just score points. We want to win the game.
- So, changed her mind again
- Stephanie Cordray speaks up
- Absolute Write got their forum database back
- JC Hosting folding?
- Angela Hoy comments on the AbsoluteWrite situation
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