‘Mormon Matters’ Looking for New Collaborators/Writers/Podcasters
John Dehlin posted this announcement at Mormon Matters, which I’m copying-and-pasting below (and adding my encouragement that you consider contacting John … if you’re already blogging, participating could be as simple as cross-posting your work to Mormon Matters).
Mormon Matters is looking for a few new collaborators to re-work the design and purpose/mission of the blog. We are basically considering 2 things:
* Bringing back the weekly panel podcast format, adding in live calls from listeners to the mix (like weve done a few times on Mormon Stories), and
* Looking to turn Mormon Matters into more of a Huffington Post-like blog for Mormon issues
If any of you are interested in helping to manage or support Mormon Matters in this way, please email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
We remain the 2nd or 3rd most highly trafficked Mormon blog in the Internet.so if any of you are interested in being part of the broader Internet discussion, wed love to talk.
* Really, really good writing skills or conversational ability (for the podcast)
* A constructive approach towards the LDS church and Mormonism
P.S. I see that Flatlander has mentioned Cleese v. M. Python in comments, and I happen to have a clip of some courtroom video from that trial:
Well, why not.
As one of the original posters back when John turned MM from a podcast to a blog, we’ve always been nothing but encouraged by John. Not long after that, John removed himself from day to day operations and left it in the collective hands of the permas. bloggers came and bloggers went. Things happened from time to time and we resolved them amongst ourselves. All the while, John was nothing but very, very supportive and a great cheerleader to us. From time to time, he would post, sometimes asking first to bump someone else and sometimes not. It was generally cool.
But, this time something different happened. We didn’t question the post, the moderated comments, the closed comments. We questioned the wisdom of moving a post to the top in support of another post on Huffington Post. (A bad one, IMO) The MM post had no new content, and no comments allowed, so why was it there on top? that was the question. John’s response was a terse, “my blog, my rules.” At least that was how I interpreted it.
Things went rapidly downhill from there. When Cheryl suggested perhaps we should open up comments since the post was on top, which I never thought she was serious about, the cascading removal of admins, author rights and the panel mailing list began.
As I said, we’d always been able to resolve any issues by chatting about it, so I suggested a Skype or IM session (but you already knew that from FPR). John has earlier indicated that he had no time to talk to us, but then seem to have a lot of time to comment and post all over the bloggernacle, I, for one was puzzled.
At that point, with no admin rights, no author rights, etc, it became clear that we were no longer welcome at MM. So, Hawk and Cheryl and the others decided to start our own blog.
I for one truly regret this. I always thought until the fur flew that we would resolve this. I still have nothing but admiration for John and his efforts. I don’t always agree, but i know his heart is in the right place. This was a curious departure.
I am very much looking forward to our new blog, which will debut very soon. And I admire greatly the best bunch of folks I’ve never met.
let’s be a bit more kind. We’re all in this life together.
John has done a lot of good work but in the end, there’s always an agenda. It’s always about validating his identity and it never occurs to him that it comes at somebody elses expense.
Stop trying to save other people, John. Instead you need to reflect about how your self-interest informs your behavior.
That’ll help you with the issues that Wry is talking about.
BiV @p1:50 — Thanks, totally! That was a great adventure, wasn’t it?
hawkgrrrl @p1:49 — I think it’s admirable of you to make it clear that things are square between you and John D. and that you support each other’s projects moving forward. It’s hard enough recruiting good bloggers in the best of times (and good luck trying to recruit a whole new team in one shot because of having a very public spat with the existing team…). By making it clear that there’s no bad blood, that will make it easier for John D. to find writers for his new site.
I’m not sure what he means by “a HuffPo format” though. Like, having a series of pages on different subjects, all with interesting new content every day? That would be cool. He’s done some amazing things, so maybe he can pull it off.
I’m looking forward to seeing the other new blog, too! Does it have a name yet? I don’t want to just call it the “MM Mutineers”. 😉
I will also add that the back channel conversations from the “old MM crew” are supportive of John. None of us had a problem with his post. None of us were going to open comments on his post. We did question whether closing comments was a good idea (and unanimously agreed that it wasn’t). John interpreted this to mean that one of us was going to open comments without his permission–WHICH WAS NEVER ANYONE’S INTENT. We all knew John started MM, and none of us would have done anything so subversive.
I think all the permas thought shutting down comments was a bad idea, because at MM we have a strong history of letting every comment stand that wasn’t profane or hostile (though there has been some hostile comments on other posts that I was personally uncomfortable with). We have a reputation of not censoring people like other blogs on the bloggernacle. We all think closing down comments is a bad idea, and do our best to manage commenters without editing them or shutting down comments. Yes, we disagreed with the way John handled the comments on the post, but we weren’t going to open them back up without his permission. I feel comfortable stating that without exception, each one of us was shocked to be labeled a mutineer.
We all recognize John’s talents, and I think we all want to rebuild the bridge. I still have great respect for John, and it saddens me that he has had so much criticism heaped upon him this week. I want Mormon Matters to succeed, and I want our new blog to succeed as well. (An announcement and URL will be coming soon.)
I’m sad how things ended at MM, but I wish John nothing but the best. I consider him a friend, and I know this has been an especially stressful week for him. It’s been stressful for us all. But I sincerely hold out a hand of friendship to him, and hope he continues to do the good work he has been doing. I know I will be following his projects, and I hope others will too.
Something like this, maybe? 🙂
That’s our system here at MSP as well
Again (like you) I don’t want this to look like this is heaping more criticism on John D. (who was acting under a great deal of stress in this situation), but I think that editing/deleting/closing-down comments is often counter-productive. The theory is to eliminate unhelpful remarks that derail the discussion, but in practice it tends to generate this meta-discussion (“Hey Admin — why’d you delete my comment? Got something to hide?” etc.) that derails the discussion worse than the original unhelpful comment. (Exhibit A: this whole discussion. 😉 )
I’ve found that just letting the comment stand (so there’s no mystery about what was said), then following up with a polite remark that the comment doesn’t conform to our commenting policy (so that others know not to respond in kind), keeps the conversation ball rolling better.
p.s. Since I’ve mentioned our commenting policy a few times on this thread, I’ll just remind everyone of what it is:
Thanks for linking to my post, Mormon Heretic. And, again, best of luck with your new project.
Chino and Chanson, I don’t frequent MSP very often, but I appreciate your discussion of this topic. And thanks for linking! I’ll try to stop by more often!
Does anyone rebmmeer Steve Evans complaining about poaching? but who am I to talk. I guest-blogged at BCC: once. Once.I’m sad John Fowles is leaving us and I look forward to reading his future contributions at BCC: or anywhere else he chooses to blog.It certainly is noteworthy that BCC: is willing to move beyond the liberal label and bring on someone who has a reputation as a conservative. Can’t blame them for seeing Mr. Fowles as an asset.