For those of you who aren’t familiar with Dr. Hook (poor you), the title of this post is taken from the chorus of one of their less-serious songs (hard to believe, but they did get much less serious than “Roland the Roadie Loves Gertrude the Groupie”) which you can savor right here to put you in a good mood before you read on . . .
It’s time for my semi-annual what is the problem with Gather’s many Gertrudes post. Like Dr. Hook, I have a serious side, too. Seriously, joking and songs aside, what is it about people and groups?
Feeling particularly brave the other night, I ventured over to my home page, clicked on the by groups tab, and thought I’d fallen into the Twilight Zone of Gather - sometimes referred to as Explore/posts. That feed, which I thought I had so carefully controlled through near-anal screening of groups and connections, was full of crap that I would pay to never see again.
Most disappointing was the discovery that a group that is supposed to house articles about President Obama’s appointments, bills, and policies was pimping a birther article and a couple other poorly-written insults to President Obama. I understand that the owner (whose work and opinions I respect very much) doesn’t want the group to only praise the President, but what does a birther article have to do with an appointment, bill, or policy? And why should people who care about appointments, bills, and policies waste our time (and Gather clicks) on people who only want to spread lies and/or hurt the President?
There on the same page, I saw a one-line post about NOTHING, promoted by a writing group and a good news group. Because I enjoy the owners of those two groups, and trusted the content in their groups would reflect their intelligence, I clicked on that post. Oh, the disappointment. It truly was one line about NOTHING, and had been posted to (give or take a thousand) five thousand point-whoring groups. This was neither good news nor writing, in my opinion.
Since joining groups is about the only way to meet people with similar interests, I am disappointed when--through my fault or the group owner’s fault--I discover that a group isn’t what I expected. I am especially disappointed when the topic is something that is important to me, like writing or politics.
Group Owners, you’re exposing my poor memory and that isn’t nice. I need to know I can trust you because there’s no way I can keep up with every Gertrude in every group. Now that Tom says hits determine value (quality? points? something like that?) I want to be more vigilant about where my hits go. I can’t do that without your help.
I understand what a tough, thankless job group ownership is with so many starry-eyed Gertrudes running around. I know so well that I am going to close a few of my groups and use my monitoring time more efficiently. I am also going to use the my groups tab more often, and leave groups that owners are not moderating.
First, I would like to ask a few questions of the Gertrudes out there
- What are the advantages to posting everything you write to every group you join?
- Do you get more hits when you post to three groups that have all the same members?
- Do you check to see if all 1,000 group owners have accepted your work in their groups?
- Do you leave groups if the owners reject your work?
And, to the group owners who tolerate them.
- Do you attract new members to your group when you accept content that doesn’t belong in your group?
- Do you get more points for having more members in the group?
If you really didn’t know Dr. Hook before, I’ll leave you with a couple of their serious songs. Both are on my crying CD and my all time favorite songs list..
Carry Me, Carrie
The Last Morning