Over the years, message boards have often existed for the sole reason of selling us something. Be it a site for owners of RV’s, boats, ATV’s, sporting equipment, houses, condos or vacation homes, the forum is there for you to exchange ideas with unknown salesmen infiltrating the group, and posing as just another human on the other end of a keyboard. Cruise message boards have been no different, but with the popularity of family cruising, the cruise message board has become a cut throat business. Existing freely for many years under the guise of a group of people who all like to cruise, free enterprise and social media have made it easier to do research into a message board’s true intension and loyalties. No one minds some revenue to the person who maintains the message board interface and makes sure it functions properly, they are providing a service that is time consuming and should be compensated. They also keep the site from becomes clogged with people looking to exploit their good fortune in finding a place where there are more potential customers with every post. The line is crossed when they feel they are so big that they can control everyone who posts on the site and mold them into robot posters who do their selling for them.
Like the sovereign nations of history, there is always the problem of the people who have minds of their own, and start to question what they are getting in exchange for their tax money. How different was the historical French revolution from the people who question what their online presence is helping to promote? When I visit a website, and post a comment or message on their site, who is benefiting from my patronage? Anyone who joins facebook, plays their games, “likes” another page representing a product, or service and pulls their friends into the fold, is supporting facebook. We all understand that, and facebook does give you ability to join and support pages that do send you to outside sites. In other words, they are smart enough to realize that by “allowing” you the freedom to leave “their” site without retribution, they give the illusion that they “share well with others”. We all know this, like much of the etiquette we have to use in our society when we really do not feel so gracious, people are more likely to seek out your company if they know things will maintain a pleasant course, regardless of the topic discussed. Facebook has this policy down to a science, and that is what has made it so popular. In the past, many of the cruise message boards have allowed people to link to their facebook pages and pictures, and set up facebook chats that they can’t provide to their members. An extension of the cruise message board roll calls, has over the last couple of years, also spawned a corresponding facebook page. This allowed people to use both, and better get to know their fellow cruisers. Since people rarely use their real name on message boards, the facebook link gave you the ability to get to know each other and to friend each other in the facebook format. This way you could friend people with similar interests other than cruising, and you could discuss those things on facebook, without posting them on a cruise message board that saves your posts forever and refuses to ever remove them. Anyone can read public message boards, and your relatives bout with cancer that you felt you needed to vent about with one or two of your cruise friends, now has public worldwide distribution. We have all been on roll calls where, as time passes, and people become closer, topics stray from cruising. Facebook has alleviated some of this, as these private discussions can now be shared through facebook. This has stopped pages of posts to weed through on the message board of family illness, pets, children’s report cards, and parenting advice. In other words, the two roll calls complimented each other and allowed both to grow. Like allied nations, they give up some of their hold on their people, to share resources and support each other in time of crisis. People with the ability to visit other places and relocate, often come home anyway. What happened to the nations too afraid to expose their people to a possibly better or different culture? What happened to the nations that isolated themselves throughout history and kept complete control of their people? Look back in history and you will find that the people found a way to escape, except due to the retribution, they rejected their nation and never went home.
History repeats itself and I can’t think that the heavy handed warning that appeared on a cruise message board today will have its desired effect. Carefully worded as to disguise the true threatening nature of this notice, the dictators who tried to seize and seduce nations, come to my mind.
We love Facebook just as much as you do, but effective immediately we will no longer allow the promotion of Facebook groups created for specific cruise line sailings on our ROLL CALLs.
Without going into too much detail, we feel this is in the best interest of members who enjoy participating on ********** ROLL CALLS.
If you currently have any Facebook groups listed in your online signature, please remove them.
Finally, thank you for your anticipated cooperation.
History has proven that demise gets more imminent when isolation policies are established, this has been true of nations throughout history. I’d like to share the thoughts that occured as I read this notice this morning.
Without going into too much detail, …..boring you with the facts you would need to realize that this message board is really an ad agency for our sponsors
we feel this is in the best interest of members who enjoy participating on ********** ROLL CALLS.….and might not realize that Facebook interface is far more useful in cruise planning
If you currently have any Facebook groups listed in your online signature, please remove them….or we will remove them for you, as there is no individual opinions allowed here, unless you put OUR opinions in your own words and post them for OUR benefit in your signature…
Finally, thank you for your anticipated cooperation.…because if you do NOT cooperate we will sanction you, suspend you, ban you,AND TAKE YOUR FIRST BORN CHILD!!
Questions/comments can be sent to me at community@*********.com….BUT THEY WILL NOT BE ANSWERED OR RESPONDED TO AND YOU WILL BE BANNED FOR QUESTIONING THE WISDOM OF THE BOARD MANAGEMENT
This gives me a choice, as it really says I must choose where to place my loyalty, and indirectly, my tax money. Let’s see, should I chose the site that “allows me” to mention another site and is not threatened by me discussing sites other than their own, or should I chose the site that threatens me for even mentioning that other sites are available to enhance my vacation? Let me think back to history and decide which nation of the past I would have wanted to live in. Do I want freedom and democracy, or do I want dictators with severe consequences for even wondering if there are places to live that would more fit my needs?
The proclamation has been made and I am being told I can no longer use both sites for my cruise planning. They are forcing their will on the people and with poorly veiled threats, forcing you to edit out any evidence that there might be any other roll call in existence. It is the online version of standing in front of the executioner with one last chance to save you neck by signing an alliance and loyalty to the King of the Kingdom. In the past, many people thought that freedom was worth losing their life over. In honor of those very people, I have made my personal choice. That is why facebook is so popular, and their cruise roll calls so much better.
copyright December 10, 2011 Rita Alexandrea