This is not intended in any way to be a rebuttal to your post, but only to accentuate what you have so aptly described as the probable cause of our Talkshop problem and the learning process necessary to move forward in a more positive direction.
In the aftermath of our Gogouyave melt-down and as we try to establish some "harmony" in the shop, it is worthy to note that “our proceeding with caution” comes at the expense of yet another lost; that is, “maintaining the integrity of the board with discussions among those with dissenting opinions on various subject matters”. This, in my opinion, was one of the greatest benefit our Talkshop provided and the damage done to that aspect of the forum may be irreparable, only to be salvaged by time.
And Inasmuch as some may have chided DNJ, (God rest his soul) whether openly or not, for taking up the mantle of discussion as indicative of his continuously replying to most posts, in retrospect, his contribution, though not recognized at the time was a major ingredient of the once “favorable Gogouyave”, notwithstanding those of the other posters who have made their unceremonious exit. What we seem to be left with now can hardly be seen as communicating. Instead, it seems to be a platform just for talking; devoid of the debatable aspects of the forum (the ‘two to Tango’, effect) which is vital for its continuity. Also, the use of “real names” (instead of sobriquet) with all its good intentions of providing reference to making a more positive identity of the posters, could turn out to be an impediment to postings, especially on this open forum like ours.
The optimism in me however, would like to view this as asymptomatic of the “growing pains” of this new millennium, where communication via social media network affords one to choose one’s audience, hence the people they communicate with. But as we had prided ourselves as being that of a homogenous, close-knit community, that too might beg for a re-visitation as we choose to practice avoidance in fear of some perceived confrontation that awaits us, in the interest of protecting our “privacy”.
So, the question that begs to be asked is, can our Gogouyave Talkshop maintain the hold of its intended purpose without the social interaction of communication among its readers and posters?
A more forward approach for our posters is to acknowledge that there is nothing wrong with stating one’s agreement or disagreement with an opinion, in fact it is healthy; even better, if an alternative point of view is promoted and defended, then the entire board would benefit from the discussion. We would always run into problems when the discussion becomes personalized especially when real names are associated with them. But the alternative of making pontifications and homilies without challenges and defenses serve no purpose other than the temporary appeasement of a thought process which few may be blessed with but one that robs the board from the benefit of a learning moment.
The rule of thumb should always be “to be mindful of your audience and gauge the conversation/ writing in a manner that they would understand”