Paradigm Shift

What happens when several thousand people belong to an online group that has a long-standing set of rules, and then the rules change mid-stream?  A paradigm shift.

I have just watched this happen.  I have belonged to an online group that has become my internet “home”.  But because of the paradigm shift, it no longer feels like home.

Let me explain.  The term “paradigm shift” was used in the book The Structure of Scientific Revolutions by Thomas Kuhn. He described a paradigm (in science) as what was observed, the kind of questions to be asked, how the questions were asked, and how the results were interpreted

In business and the Social Sciences, however, it refers to sudden changes in perception, or a sudden change in point of view.  It usually means this change is positive, or progressive; as opposed to negative or regressive.


So in MY little corner of the world, here is what happened.


Site owner got angry because their toes got stepped on.

Owner banned a member.

Other members got angry that said member was banned.

Membership is restless and asks questions.

Things are said in “public” that should have been private.

“Inside” business info is shared with the “outside” world by owner.

Owner now looks totally unprofessional.

Membership starts to balk, stall and choke.

Owner now asks for “help” with making NEW RULES.

Membership complies by offering suggestions.

Owner balks, stalls and chokes.

Members start leaving.

Owner makes up own set of new, harsh rules.

More members leave.

Owner sends out rules to membership with ultimatum: obey rules or leave.


Gee….. wonder what next step will be ???


See?  A paradigm shift.  Many of us thought the site was “safe, fun and educational”.  Thought we could agree to disagree and learn from each other.  Appreciated learning about new products in our industry, regardless of who sold them.  We never thought of it as advertising, but as learning.  We thought networking was a good thing, thus shared our blog addy, websites, who was a good teacher, who to buy thread from, who had a hot deal this month on pantographs, who was going to be teaching at the upcoming show.  None of this is allowed now.  And one has to wonder what the next step is??


The paradigm shift that saddens me the most is this.  We used to believe in each other.  We knew we could count on each other.  We knew help was a quick posting away, or a phone call or email. 

The shift is that with moderators that are “hidden” and “secret”, with “private” forums to discuss who has posted something today that they shouldn’t….. including on PRIVATE OFFSITE BLOGS……members no longer know who they can trust. 

This particular paradigm shift is not positive or progressive.  It is negative, regressive, oppressive and downright censorship. It has all become so ridiculously tiresome, paranoid and STUPID, that frankly I DON’T GIVE A DAMN anymore.



24 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. sammi
    Jul 25, 2007 @ 21:34:48

    WOOHOO!!!!!!!!!!!! Let’s post this to quiltropolis & MQP lists!!

    WOOHOO ! Spoken like I never could have ……..


  2. LJH
    Jul 25, 2007 @ 22:09:20

    Yep, that about sums it up. I went into lurk mode after the attack on my friend, but felt like I was turning my back on my other friends (only a handful of whom I’ve met in person). After the owner posted a rather half-assed apology I started to participate again, but keep hearing the old Righteous Brothers song “You’ve lost that lovin’ feeling”.

    Glad to have these blogs to keep in touch, hope there’ll be more over time.



  3. Vicki W
    Jul 25, 2007 @ 22:11:11

    Very interesting post. I participate in LAC but not as much as most so all of the ruckus was a surprise to me. I have been very frustrated that they have not shared openly the motives and the new rules are silly. Thanks for posting your perspective – you always have a thoughtful view of things. It will be interesting to see where the board goes next.


  4. Jan
    Jul 25, 2007 @ 23:13:05

    Sending you a hug… and yeah…. what keeps coming to my mind is Toxic…. toxic people want to keep secrets…. toxic people want division… toxic people seek to seperate and control….. hide…. eliminate anything else….. and in the end destroy everything around them. I’m pretty sad and fed up myself…. and if there is anything else I need to know, please email me… lol… signed paranoid in longarm land 😉


  5. gaylemckay
    Jul 25, 2007 @ 23:25:24

    Oh no…… THAT OTHER site is the paranoid one. Please! Any type of paranoia is unattractive. But on a sight owner, it is downright destructive.

    I have found a new, friendly neighborhood to play in. Email me if you want to know where it is. Umm, Sammi I think you know where that is….. and Jan, you do too.


  6. John Lawson
    Jul 25, 2007 @ 23:58:11

    How many of you actually know the facts? This is exactly the reason we came up with terms of service. They were there all along in the beginning when you registered on LAC – we had to update them because some people made a fuss about something small.

    Obviously you did not read the part about – if you have an issue – bring it up with us so we can help provide a solution or answers before posting to the whole world. If you no longer wish to be apart of LAC – all you have to do is just say so. My mother and I have been through a long gruelling week this past week. I staed up past 3 am working on those terms of service that I simply got from (world wide leader in technology information and their forums) and put LAC in place.

    Why is it some people baulk at ANY rules put in place? LAC is a community and what have we done that so offends you? I mean really? I don’t ever recall anything. And yes I have logs to prove that too.

    We move things to the moderator / private area to protect the integrity of the forums. That is not really that hard to understand. We are more then happy to discuss – at length – over email – why, we have done all that you are questioning we have done. We have absolutely nothing to hide as Linda and I (and our whole family uncluding my family) all love the Lord and strive to operate in that manor. We have done nothing in our eyes that would be displeasing to Him – but if you feel we have – we’re sorry you feel that way.

    The whole matter is moving on – we’ve gotten so many supportive emails and I can tell you that people STILL bringing an old issue that has been beat to death up – are in a major minority. We’re not asking you to “conform” or “accept” – but maybe a little R..E..S..P..E..C..T for the people who pull all nighters and take the brunt of every action on LAC.

    I really have nothing left to say on the manor other then it is dead and I think I need to make that point — once again… and again… and again…..


  7. Christine
    Jul 26, 2007 @ 03:29:20

    The thing that perhaps concerns me the most is what would appear to be the general acceptance by the membership to go along with one particular rule involving censuring based on outside activities!!! Hello, doesn’t anyone else see how STUPID that idea is?

    I have had to resort to screen printing EVERY private message and locked topic because they have an unsettling way of simply DISAPPEARING. Anyone who inquires does not get a public answer. Everything is so hush-hush.

    Very disturbing….


  8. KK
    Jul 26, 2007 @ 03:39:49

    Gayle – you summed it up so perfectly. While I have only been “there” since December of last year – I was so pleased to have found a place where I felt I could grow in my longarming, share and feel encouraged. I still visit every day but there is this bad taste in my mouth. The only way I can see that the owners would have realized how ridiculous they were being is if everyone on the list had left enmasse. Empty sandbox. No one left to play with or bully around. No revenue. Big cash outflow to refund subscriptions (whatcha want to bet that would have stopped happening??). And if they have the time and people to monitor every private blog out there – more power to them.


  9. Penny Bubar
    Jul 26, 2007 @ 06:13:58

    So, I guess you all will be leaving that other “toxic” site. Sorry to hear it.


  10. Jan
    Jul 26, 2007 @ 07:38:16

    I am still disturbed?? bothered?? That as some people have left, their names have remained, but one person who is very talented, left quietly, peacefully, with grace and dignity…. has been changed to GUEST!! Even with the pictures of her quilts!! They kept her work and changed her to GUEST!! So she is getting no credit for her quilts…. now I don’t even know that she knows that has happened…… but I can tell you… that hits me totally the wrong way….. and why isn’t it uniform??? Why are some people left unchanged, and some wiped completely off, except to keep the benefits of using anything good they left with no credit…


  11. myolivebranch
    Jul 26, 2007 @ 08:13:06

    this “shift” has been very disturbing all the way around. it mostly makes me sad although at times i’ve felt confused, mad, hurt, frustrated, insulted, sympathetic, deceived,

    what?? there’s a new neighborhood in which to play?!?!


  12. Judy W
    Jul 26, 2007 @ 08:29:39

    Paradigm Shift….a new term for me, so I had to look it up and think long before I answered, but Gayle I believe you have hit it on the head. I’ve gone to lurking and listening and not posting as well.

    I’m reminded here that when our kids misbehave, we don’t just blindly trust them again, we tell them they must earn back our trust. Keeping things hidden does not earn back trust.

    Jan changing someone to “guest” in my opinion is not right. A member should be able to leave without having their work turned to anonymous work. When a member leaves, their postings should stay, there SHOULD be a way to block new postings from said person WITHOUT trying to wipe that person’s identity off the surface. Although if someone leaves I doubt highly they would attempt to continue to post.

    Surely if private conversations can be logged and monitored, new postings from a former member can be available to be seen by the remaining members WITHOUT wiping the former member off the face of the forum? Their work and thoughts are still valid and theirs regardless of membership status.


  13. gaylemckay
    Jul 26, 2007 @ 09:06:07

    NOTE: I never named the sandbox that I used to play in. Nor have I named my new one. That was intentional. I believe in playing nicely.

    I also believe in freedom of speech. Therefore, I approved all comments on this topic, regardless of what the opinion was. I dont believe everyone has to agree with me.

    It DOES amuse me however, that someone who doesnt know me from Adam, has read my blog way out here in cyberspace, and feels a need to correct me. He has every right to do so. And it may help others (like the hundred people who are not quilters that read my blog) understand what kind of crap we have been putting up with.

    Thanks for the visit John. But it may be wise of you to pick up your marbles and go home now.


  14. Johnny
    Jul 26, 2007 @ 09:20:02

    One little technical thing I think all of you missed that I have posted numerous times – When we delete a user – the PHPBB forum system automatically changes the name to Guest – this is not something we do – it happens on EVERY PHPBB forum out there because that’s just how the program runs. It’s like Ctrl+C is copy on word – that’s just how it is – the user didn’t make it that way.


  15. Jan
    Jul 26, 2007 @ 09:44:51

    Gayle, is there anything I can get for you this morning? A mimosa?? Some coffee?? Anything to help your morning more festive?


  16. gaylemckay
    Jul 26, 2007 @ 10:40:03

    Jan, thanks, you already did. I have the giggles now. 🙂


  17. Jan
    Jul 26, 2007 @ 10:55:45

    Oh good!! Anyone want a good game of whirlyball?? 😀


  18. Suzanne
    Jul 26, 2007 @ 12:32:37

    I know what we all need.


    Plain and simple.


  19. TK
    Jul 26, 2007 @ 17:46:21

    Being a non-quilter, you’ll have to take my opinions of this whole matter with a grain of salt. But here’s my thought.

    Regarding the gentleman whom I presume is the owner of the site of ill-repute, you summed it all up for me right here:

    “I staed up past 3 am working on those terms of service that I simply got from (world wide leader in technology information and their forums) and put LAC in place.”

    First, you have several misspellings. Not a big deal. I could care less. But combine that with the self-contradiction of staying up all night to simply replace CNET with LAC? Sounds like you need to focus more on your sewing needles and less on your website. Leave the web to the professionals and the professional amateurs. Just like I leave quilting to those that sew.


  20. Paula
    Jul 26, 2007 @ 21:38:44

    Chocolate, yes!!!! I’m so sorry to see so many familiar faces being spread about now. Thanks for letting me know where your blog is. 🙂 I value your opinions and still have lots to learn from your vast experience.


  21. alison
    Jul 27, 2007 @ 06:26:41

    There are heaps of ways another group site ould be set up – but why not go for your own? The cost compared to your equipment and supplies is little really – I’d recommend paying out the dollars to register YOUR OWN DOMAIN and have a website designed to be kept there (IT students value these projects for their experience and something to put in their portfolio.) People will always be able to find you and your work at, and then augment that with a blog on which you can show latest or new stuff, ideas etc. And, you can even quite easily start a new group. No matter who is right or wrong over what detail – if it is causing you so much anger and stress, leave, get out – create a healthier less angry environment around you and your work, and then as TB advises, focus more on the needles, less on the website and MOVE ON. YOu have nothing to lose and everything to gain.


  22. Thearica
    Jul 27, 2007 @ 06:55:28

    This whole thing started over what?….someone making a changing decision in their business and then several took it upon themselves to make it their business to give their opinions on that decision? Sounds like me about 6 years ago when I decided to leave my, now, ex-husband. Everyone thought they knew everything about why I left when in fact they had no clue. But did that stop them from wagging their tongues. Certainly not! Gossip is an ugly thing ladies. The tongue is the devils workshop. Please remember that the words you judge someone else with are the same words you will be judged by. The “other” site was “all that” to all of you until……Isn’t it amazing how fast people can turn on one another in the blink of an eye no matter how much we have professed to be friends with someone. I don’t call that friendship…you don’t pick and choose which day you will be friends and which day you will not…If you are my friend in good times, you will be my friend and believe in me at all times.

    And who hasn’t made a typing error before? Please raise your hand.


  23. Christine
    Jul 28, 2007 @ 15:56:59

    Wow, Wilma! And I thought what they were doing with my little bit of intellectual property was bad! I wonder if your material will get corrected?

    Guess I am actually glad I’m gone. Just want my instructions removed. It just has not turned out to be a simple request. Sigh…


  24. Lynn Douglass
    Jul 30, 2007 @ 14:16:10


    You still know how to put things. Hear hear!


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