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#121 of 223 Old 09-22-2008, 10:01 PM
 
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Ok, I haven't read this whole thread... but here's my take on it:

I think the name (as is: Mothering Dot Commune) is kind of bizarre. However, I LIKE the first and the last part - I just don't get the spelling out of "dot". Change that to "Mothinger digital commune" or "Mothering Digital Community" or something, sounds fantastic.

As for the problem of people not really connecting MDC to Mothering Magazine... Well, IMO, it's definetly due to your layout/design of the two websites. I'm a mothering subscriber (digital only, though I've been debating about changing that lately... I like that I have access to it anywhere and everywhere... but I just am not a fan of the format you've chosen. I'd much rather a downloadable PDF, or a more standard-view webage format.... the pure scans of mothering, which I have to scroll around and zoom in/out of to read/see properly, is just kind of wierd to me. Anyhow...), but even I don't really connect the two. I can't honestly remember the last time I bothered checking out the rest of Mothering.com... it just never seemed like a very well-designed well-thought out site. And it certainly doesn't link me to the forums at. all. I just really don't even know how to start going about getting around the rest of the site - how do I find anything? How do I find an article on breastfeeding, or toddlers, or organic foods, or BPA, or... the list goes on. Can I even? I don't know.

So, I think a re-design of the MAIN mothering.com site needs to be involved in all this - you need to make your site more magazine friendly. Put sections up (Breastfeeding, Co-Sleeping, Toddlers, Infants, Childhood, etc), so that I can go to them and find an article about whatever. If you want to continue having digital subscriptions, do so... but let people see what you already *have* online. Almost all magazines & newspapers do this now - you get an abstract, certainly a title and brief description, maybe just the first 2 or 3 sentences of articles and then you can read them or not (depending on age of article maybe), depending on your subscription status. And have the forums be a *part* of all that - keep those sections up top, so from the forums I'm just a click away from fantastic articles on breastfeeding or co-sleeping or whatever....

Anywho... those are just my randomly rambly thoughts!!
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#122 of 223 Old 09-23-2008, 05:14 PM
 
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I like the current name. I have always associated it with Mothering Magazine. Probably because I learned about the magazine first?

MDC just sounds so...well, natural. It's got great flow.

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#123 of 223 Old 09-23-2008, 06:20 PM
 
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I haven't read the whole thread but has anyone mentioned that if you navigate from the mothering homepage you click on "discuss" not an MDC button which might be better.

Perhaps a clickable magazine cover could take you from MDC to Mothering and clickable ........... can't think what....... could take you from mothering to MDC?
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#124 of 223 Old 09-23-2008, 06:34 PM
 
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Originally Posted by alexsam View Post
I also agree putting "magazine" under the motheringdotcommune title would be helpful to you. Mothering is in italics, but unless you know it is a magazine....

I second about putting maybe a clickable icon of the current issue next to the purple motheringdotcommune that could take you to mothering.com (which is about the magazine).

Also, there is a forum to discuss the current issue of Mothering, but it's pretty limited and it seems more like a feedback tool than an actual discussion of things in Mothering mag. If you opened that up- where people might be able to post and discuss their favorite (or not so favorite?) articles in Mothering (not just the current issue, either), you might get more exposure. Part of that also might be people linking back to it from other forums.

Mothering runs articles on all the stuff that gets talked about here a lot. If there was a way for people to easily search on-line articles and resources published in Mothering, it might be really good for everyone. Maybe a button of "Search Mothering Magazine articles for ______" at the top of each page?
I agree. I never check that, partly because I don't get the current issue right away, but because I'd like to talk about specific articles more.

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Originally Posted by AmyC View Post
I agree with all of this....adding "magazine" to the subtitle on the page, and also the feeling that "dot commune" is brilliant & special and it would be a shame to lose it. I type MDC but say Mothering dot commune, and that's cool!
Very simple solution, IMO.

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Originally Posted by geogal17 View Post
1 request tho, for the love of all that is good PLEASE don't add annoying pop ups bugging to sign in or subscribe to the magazine like *ahem* another magazine that shall remain nameless, I hate trying to read an article and having pop ups constantly, my anti-spam doesnt seem to filter them out.
Yes, don't do this, terribly annoying, especially when I've already joined.

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Originally Posted by amydidit View Post
On another forum I go to, a forum for a webcomic, we always had people coming to the forum knowing NOTHING about the comic. Wouldn't be a problem, except people thought the forum was about something it wasn't and it was a bit disruptive. So now in the registration they have to answer a question about the comic before it can be finished. Would something like that be appropriate. Even something simple as "Were you aware that MDC is a community for Mothering Magazine?" and a simple yes or no answer. ???
Good idea!

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Originally Posted by rockportmama View Post
Some news sites I've seen have the option to leave comments right at the end of the articles. Would that be an option? Or a link directly after the article to a discussion? Maybe in a "Talking about Mothering Magazine" forum as OnlyZombieCat suggested? Also, would there be a way to include discussion about the articles in Letter to the Editor? Or, better, a way to submit letters to the editor from the forum?
I think this would be totally awesome.

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Originally Posted by MotherWren View Post
I think its an interesting idea to give paid subscription members some benefits! A multi-purposed kind of idea that would benefit both Mothering and its subscribers. I've no idea what those benefits might be though
Oooh! I might subscribe. I read it at my library and borrow from a friend.

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Originally Posted by SneakyPie View Post
"Mothering Magazine Discussion Forum" is much more obvious. I don't think the whole "Natural Family Living Community" part helps tie the site to Mothering Magazine much.
I think this is true, but I just like Commune. I don't say it often. I'd call it MDC no matter what, probably. I say Mothering magazine's forums when talking to non-MDC people.

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#125 of 223 Old 09-23-2008, 06:35 PM
 
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What do the professionals say?
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#126 of 223 Old 09-23-2008, 06:40 PM
 
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I too love the current name, but also see how the change could be more effective when reaching out and describing to new members, or helping ppl sign up.

I completely love the idea of a chiange, I to agree that we dont want popups fpr the magazine. I love how when you log in you are there, and you have to hit discuss... I love it

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#127 of 223 Old 09-23-2008, 07:05 PM
 
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Originally Posted by JERENAUD View Post
As a Canadian, I stumbled across the forum long before I'd heard of the magazine. Last winter I went *looking* for a print copy of the magazine to give as a gift, along with a subscription. I was in a large city just outside of Toronto and could not find a single store that carried the magazine. I visited every book store, called health stores, parenting stores, etc. I even contacted Mothering to ask where I might find a copy, and was told that I should check xxx store - an American chain book store not available in Canada. It's really no wonder that people aren't aware of a link between the magazine and the forums - it's remarkably difficult to actually see a copy of the magazine!

Erica
: I live just outside Portland Oregon. I have not seen a copy of Mothering in a store in a couple years. I used to buy it all the time.. but I am sure it has been at least two years since I have bought one.
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#128 of 223 Old 09-23-2008, 07:07 PM
 
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Originally Posted by aniT View Post
: I live just outside Portland Oregon. I have not seen a copy of Mothering in a store in a couple years. I used to buy it all the time.. but I am sure it has been at least two years since I have bought one.
Thank goodness I'm not the only Oregonian unable to find it. With how crunchy the state is, I was wondering if maybe I just kept getting there after it was sold out.
(Sorry for the off-topic post.)

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#129 of 223 Old 09-23-2008, 07:10 PM
 
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Originally Posted by JacquelineR View Post
Thank goodness I'm not the only Oregonian unable to find it. With how crunchy the state is, I was wondering if maybe I just kept getting there after it was sold out.
(Sorry for the off-topic post.)
Actually I don't think it is off topic. The magazine itself isn't as visible as the website which is why people either don't know about the magazine or don't connect the two.

You need to up the visibility of the Magazine and get it out to newsstands again.
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#130 of 223 Old 09-23-2008, 07:17 PM
 
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Originally Posted by JacquelineR View Post
Thank goodness I'm not the only Oregonian unable to find it. With how crunchy the state is, I was wondering if maybe I just kept getting there after it was sold out.
(Sorry for the off-topic post.)
The only place it is available in Salem (as far as I have seen) is our locally owned HFS.

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#131 of 223 Old 09-23-2008, 07:55 PM
 
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Originally Posted by aniT View Post
: I live just outside Portland Oregon. I have not seen a copy of Mothering in a store in a couple years. I used to buy it all the time.. but I am sure it has been at least two years since I have bought one.
Ditto sort of.. I see it in Barnes & Noble all of the time and it's in small businesses as well (saw it at an organic/natural foods store, locally owned, in Manzanita, Oregon in August).
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#132 of 223 Old 09-23-2008, 08:30 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Susannah M View Post
The only place it is available in Salem (as far as I have seen) is our locally owned HFS.
Someone said it was available at Peoples.. again a locally owned HFS in Portland. But why is it no longer available at the bigger stores. In California I used to get it at Whole Foods and the first couple years I lived in Oregon at Wild Oats.

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Originally Posted by UberMama View Post
Ditto sort of.. I see it in Barnes & Noble all of the time and it's in small businesses as well (saw it at an organic/natural foods store, locally owned, in Manzanita, Oregon in August).
Aww.. There isn't a Barns and Nobles near me so I never go there. I will have to check Borders next time I go in. I never look at their magazines.
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#133 of 223 Old 09-24-2008, 06:05 PM
 
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I agree that it's not a naming issue, it's a problem with visibility, site navigation, and the look-and-feel of the site.

I think MotheringDotCommune is clever and witty; it's catchy, which is why people use it, and why it sticks in your mind. If the name were changed to something like "Mothering's Digital Community", I would most likely cease to call this place "MDC", and just revert to calling it "the Mothering message boards" or something of the like, because it would no longer be clever or catchy. If you take away the "Mothering Dot Commune", "MDC" no longer means anything.

I agree with adding "Magazine" to the tag line, improving site navigation between the two parts of the site, incorporating a more consistent look and feel between the message boards and the magazine portion of the site (even if that's just more consistency of logos), and reducing/moving the amount of visual clutter and confusion of the plethora of google ads that are currently overwhelming the site and diluting the clarity and user awareness of the site's purpose. Enlisting the services of a professional User Interface designer could be a very worthwhile investment.

And, incidently, I also agree with Ruthla's assessment of the magazine's relevance to mothers of older children. My oldest child is only 4.5, but I found I already outgrew the magazine a year and a half ago. The magazine is great for new moms, but there's very little in it to appeal to more mature families and long-time readers: the occasional (once a year) homeschooling article doesn't really cut it or make a subscription worthwhile (or do the depth and richness of homeschooling much justice), and there's only so many articles one needs to read about breastfeeding and cloth diapering. I was subscribed to the hardcopy magazine for 4 years, but I have not renewed my subscription, not because of lack of awareness between MDC and Mothering Mag, but because Mothering Magazine simply doesn't have much in the way of content that is relevant to my life. But MDC is still very much relevant to my family's life; if Mothering Magazine would like to capture more of that audience in their subscribership, it may be a good idea to incorporate more of the aspects of MDC that appeal to more mature families in the magazine proper.
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#134 of 223 Old 09-25-2008, 09:05 AM
 
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From a business perspective, I'm not sure how a name change would closely link the two. The website address is mothering.com and the community is a subforum. So, from a URL perspective, I don't think you can get any closer unless you changed it to motheringmagazine.com.

You can't really direct the threads, but more people might "learn" about mothering and its content if the articles were discussed in the appropriate subforums. Then users would see an article discussion in the thread and awareness would be enhanced.

From a visual standpoint, perhaps the designs/layout strategy from the magazine could be incorporated more into the community.

I'm not sure if a name change alone will achieve the "brand" recognition you are seeking.

As a PP mentioned, perhaps the magazine content needs to be addressed. For example, breastfeeding is a huge topic, but since we coudn't (I was an ePer) and children eventually weene -- it certainly isn't a huge topic for a wider audience. I'd watch the most active topics, questions, and sub-forums and start incorporating those into the content.

Just my 2 cents. With that said, I don't like change and I will be disappointed when we are no longer mothering dot commune.
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#135 of 223 Old 09-25-2008, 02:33 PM
 
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I also haven't read everything but feel that it the main issue is lack of visibility relating to connecting the online "chatting" world with the magazine issue (I found mag first though the library and later became a subscriber) ...maybe working to get adds for mothering magazine's "main page" instead of whatever junk is put up on the add panels. Like right now I see a huge add for nordstrom rack and a little add for a amazon book on the left of my screen and a little add to boycott nestle at the "top" of the page. Why can't the big side add be something for the mag's site?

Side note: I've searched for lots of different things and Google pulls in a mothering forum thread lots! So i can see where it is a marketing thing to get more people to get the "other half" of the mothering world! I also know lots of people won't bother with it necessarily since it costs money and there is so much you can just get for free on the net.

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#136 of 223 Old 09-25-2008, 03:26 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Chinese Pistache View Post
What about a more prominent placement of "Mothering Magazine" on the site? So when someone finds MDC through google, they'll know exactly where they've landed.
I agree with this. I love what MDC stands for, especially the "commune" part. If people aren't making the connection, is it possible that the problem could be something other than the name? Maybe doing something different graphically would help.

Have you seen the updated user agreement yet?
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#137 of 223 Old 09-26-2008, 05:51 PM
 
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Reading though all the responses I'm getting the feeling that people who were not readers first of the magazine have very different thoughts about the name, purpose and sense of community from this forum.
It does not sound as if they grasp what the magazine has generated in many of us over the years. I like that this forum tries to be continuation of the magazines spirit and philosophy "commune" like.

Mothering has never been just a magazine!
It was a way to identify and learn how to be yourself as a parent and feel a kinship with others when you found out they also read Mothering.

Mothering parenting forums are seen as just another place if the poster does not feel the connection from the magazine. No other site has that essence and finding a way to draw in newcomers to connect that way is a good idea.

Maybe access to the forums should be by paid subscription to the magazine, so it connects to the magazines spirit and message better.

I think the moderators role and their diligence has been an essential ingredient to making this place feel like the magazines spirit, instead of letting it become the snarky free for all at other parenting forums.
NO!!!!!!!!!!!
That would be the WORST thing in the world, seriously! It would make the forums DIE.
Besides, folks who have different views are a GOOD thing. Heck, I'm one of them - we Circ, we Vax, I use a stroller, I don't buy all (or even most) organic food, etc. (Yes, I also own a sling and LOVE it, but that's not the point.)
Honestly, my take is, if differing views aren't welcome, the whole ___ that you (general you) stand for is suspect. If you believe in ___, and you've done your research and know that ___ is true, then why would opposing viewpoints be threatening? Why would someone believing the exact opposite be anything but an interesting conversation piece? If anyone professes to believe in ___ and CAN'T handle dissent, then they seriously need to examine how strong their belief really is.
And this really IS a great, special community. I get that. But saying that no one but folks who believe in X should belong takes away from it's specialness. How about keeping it beautiful by making certain that everyone who's new gets introduced to WHY it's special? If they don't fit in, they'll weed themselves out. If they do, why deny them just because they don't subscribe to a certain magazine?
Does that make sense?
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#138 of 223 Old 09-26-2008, 05:58 PM
 
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Originally Posted by ShadowLark View Post
NO!!!!!!!!!!!
That would be the WORST thing in the world, seriously! It would make the forums DIE.
Besides, folks who have different views are a GOOD thing. Heck, I'm one of them - we Circ, we Vax, I use a stroller, I don't buy all (or even most) organic food, etc. (Yes, I also own a sling and LOVE it, but that's not the point.)
Honestly, my take is, if differing views aren't welcome, the whole ___ that you (general you) stand for is suspect. If you believe in ___, and you've done your research and know that ___ is true, then why would opposing viewpoints be threatening? Why would someone believing the exact opposite be anything but an interesting conversation piece? If anyone professes to believe in ___ and CAN'T handle dissent, then they seriously need to examine how strong their belief really is.
And this really IS a great, special community. I get that. But saying that no one but folks who believe in X should belong takes away from it's specialness. How about keeping it beautiful by making certain that everyone who's new gets introduced to WHY it's special? If they don't fit in, they'll weed themselves out. If they do, why deny them just because they don't subscribe to a certain magazine?
Does that make sense?
This is a bit off topic to the thread (but related to your post), but according to the UA:

Quote:
We are not interested, however, in hosting discussions on the merits of crying it out, physical punishment, formula feeding, elective cesarean section, routine infant medical circumcision, or mandatory vaccinations.
And that's all I'll say on that.
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#139 of 223 Old 09-26-2008, 06:05 PM
 
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Honestly, my take is, if differing views aren't welcome, the whole ___ that you (general you) stand for is suspect. If you believe in ___, and you've done your research and know that ___ is true, then why would opposing viewpoints be threatening? Why would someone believing the exact opposite be anything but an interesting conversation piece? If anyone professes to believe in ___ and CAN'T handle dissent, then they seriously need to examine how strong their belief really is.
Speaking for myself, it's not so much that I'm not strong in my beliefs (I'm absolutely strong in my beliefs, in fact). I come to places like MDC because it is a refuge from places where you're told to beat your kids, wean at the first sign of a problem, or mutilate their genitals because everybody else does it. It has nothing to do with being threatened. I just want a safe place from having to hear that stuff, to be surrounded with others who believe in it too.
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#140 of 223 Old 09-26-2008, 06:47 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Serenyd View Post
The header should say Motheringdotcommune - Mothering MAGAZINE'S Natural Family Living Community

Also, a PROMINENT LINK back to mothering.com would help advertise the magazine.
My $0.02 is I agree with this...add amgazine to the tag below the title and link back to the homepage (I liked the idea of using a clickable pic of the current cover)

I really like the name, MotheringDotCommune
BUT when spoken, most people refer to the forum as Mothering Dot Com

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#141 of 223 Old 09-26-2008, 07:07 PM
 
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If the forums were just for folks with paid subscriptions, we would lose the opportunity to educate and "open the eyes" (so to speak) of people who have never heard of the things that we discuss and advocate here. I for one feel strongly that its a very important aspect of MDC. We don't want to close ourselves off too much or we will lack the ability to effect change on certain levels.

OK sorry to derail!
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#142 of 223 Old 09-26-2008, 07:09 PM
 
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double post
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#143 of 223 Old 09-26-2008, 07:16 PM
 
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I don't think it should be only subscribers either (and I have a subscription). That would weed out any readers who share copies of the magazine in groups, those who want to check out what Mothering stands for BEFORE getting a subscription (it's not exactly the most widely available newstand purchase), anyone who can't afford the sub (it is pricey compared to other magazines out there), and just those looking for information honestly. I found Mothering boards long before I ever saw the magazine in person. It is what helped me to get into the things that Mothering the magazine promotes and stands for and encourage me that the things I was doing in terms of NFL and AP were good decisions! I was also pretty much dirt poor at the time so having to pay to visit the boards would have been impossible for me to do.
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#144 of 223 Old 09-26-2008, 09:09 PM
 
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Originally Posted by LinzluvsGJ View Post
I don't think it should be only subscribers either (and I have a subscription). That would weed out any readers who share copies of the magazine in groups, those who want to check out what Mothering stands for BEFORE getting a subscription (it's not exactly the most widely available newstand purchase), anyone who can't afford the sub (it is pricey compared to other magazines out there), and just those looking for information honestly. I found Mothering boards long before I ever saw the magazine in person. It is what helped me to get into the things that Mothering the magazine promotes and stands for and encourage me that the things I was doing in terms of NFL and AP were good decisions! I was also pretty much dirt poor at the time so having to pay to visit the boards would have been impossible for me to do.

Yes, the boards should still continue to be free, as many can learn from one another and support one another. Some mothers are struggling, especially single ones. I totally agree with you.

I am married to my soul mate and best friend, and I am truly blessed.

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#145 of 223 Old 09-26-2008, 10:24 PM
 
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Originally Posted by MotherWren View Post
If the forums were just for folks with paid subscriptions, we would lose the opportunity to educate and "open the eyes" (so to speak) of people who have never heard of the things that we discuss and advocate here. I for one feel strongly that its a very important aspect of MDC. We don't want to close ourselves off too much or we will lack the ability to effect change on certain levels.

OK sorry to derail!
Yes, this is very important. We often get people who join MDC after googling for info about something like their Dr wants to circumcise their DS for ballooning. They don't know Mothering mag, and may not be into AP/NFL in a major way, but they need help to avoid a painful surgical proceedure for their perfectly healthy little boy. People like that should be able to access us to get help. Then after wards they may stick around.

The point is: if the link back to Mothering mag was more obvious to these newbies who come for a specific problem, then they might discover Mothering mag and become readers. That's why the connection needs to be clearer. Not so that we can exclude nonreaders.

Timmy's Mommy WARNINGyslexic typing with help of preschooler, beware of typos
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#146 of 223 Old 09-27-2008, 12:15 AM
 
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If the forums were just for folks with paid subscriptions, we would lose the opportunity to educate and "open the eyes" (so to speak) of people who have never heard of the things that we discuss and advocate here. I for one feel strongly that its a very important aspect of MDC. We don't want to close ourselves off too much or we will lack the ability to effect change on certain levels.
:

I really agree with this. I want to add that we as a group may be able to learn a thing or two from "outsiders"
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#147 of 223 Old 09-27-2008, 01:30 AM
 
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def. not subscribers only, but maybe perks for subscribing would be neat. Add in your account number to your profile and you get a cool little smiley under your name or a different color or no ads or -something-


The name is fine, the layout is fine. Add magazine to the title, link back to mothering.com, advertise yourself and make Mothering.com look more like the forums, and you have yourself a hit!
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#148 of 223 Old 09-27-2008, 09:36 AM
 
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:

I really agree with this. I want to add that we as a group may be able to learn a thing or two from "outsiders"
Good point!
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#149 of 223 Old 09-27-2008, 12:55 PM
 
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Originally Posted by lovesdaffodils View Post
Speaking for myself, it's not so much that I'm not strong in my beliefs (I'm absolutely strong in my beliefs, in fact). I come to places like MDC because it is a refuge from places where you're told to beat your kids, wean at the first sign of a problem, or mutilate their genitals because everybody else does it. It has nothing to do with being threatened. I just want a safe place from having to hear that stuff, to be surrounded with others who believe in it too.
Guess I opened a can of worms, huh?
I would appreciate circumcision NOT being referred to as mutilation, though. We do it for religious reasons, so by calling it mutilation, you're in effect spitting in the eye of my religion.
Thanks!
I agree, however, that no one should follow ANY practice just to follow the crowd. Informed decisions are the only ones worth making.
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#150 of 223 Old 09-27-2008, 12:56 PM
 
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I really agree with this. I want to add that we as a group may be able to learn a thing or two from "outsiders"
That was my point, too.
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