> One of the objectives for sydneypoetry is to become place to discuss poetry news,
> issues and events in Sydney. To that end one conclusion we've come to
> is that self-publishing our own poems (or publishing a link to poems we've
> self-published elsewhere) is probably not the best way to achieve that outcome.

How are the two at odds? Text does not occupy much space on a computer. Could you please consider having a forum set aside for it? Anyone not interested in reading other people's poems need not go to that forum. Or at least allow the posting of a URL.

Do poets really care about the views of other poets if they do not have a mutual
taste in poetry? Call me a prude if you like but I don't like every style myself.
It need not be "bad" as such, just not what I am interested in right now.

How can we get to know each other? Surely poetry is the best way.
I get the impression that poets are where musicians were ten years ago:
ie nervous that sharing on the internet will destroy the sales of their publications.
Photographers came around about three years ago but not poets.

Perhaps it is because musicians and photographers were able to offer low resolution versions of their work online, serving as an advertisment for the high quality product that may then be purchased?

I enjoy spoken word, delivered live, in the flesh. Self-publishing or youtube can never replace that. I doubt any poets make a living publishing in Australia. Aren't they simply keen to be heard (as long as nobody is profiteering from them)?

With a policy of not allowing us to actually shared our work (not even URL's) this becomes
like most "social networking" sites: impersonal. People don't even say anything about themselves in their profiles. It isn't just your site, it seems to be pretty standard nowadays.

While it is good to have a "What's On" (thanks for that) it would be interesting to hear what others think about the site's policy.

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For the purpose of discussion:

1. The moderation policy for the site is here: http://www.sydneypoetry.com/forum/topics/moderation-policy

In summary – at this time the site has a policy against members self-publishing their own poems.

2. Here is a more extensive snip of the original message from which the opening quote above is taken:

One of the objectives for sydneypoetry is to become a place to discuss poetry news, issues and events in Sydney. To that end one conclusion we've come to is that self-publishing our own poems (or publishing a link to poems we've self-published elsewhere) is probably not the best way to achieve that outcome. If everyone did this it could quickly become a self-publishing free-for-all.
Several people have now posted poems (and received a note like this), and these poems will be removed from the site this week. We would appreciate if you could remove the poem you have posted.

Please be assured this is not a comment about the merits of the poem. We will in future have a place to be published on sydneypoetry.com (ie selected for publication by an editor), but that is still a little way off. At that time we will be publishing our members' poetry – so keep your good stuff standing by.

One thing we do want to know is when our members have poems accepted for publication by journals, or are doing a reading somewhere.
sqgl – thanks for your post on this question. You've certainly prompted us to reflect on the original case for the policy.

Here are some of the actual things that have happened in the site:
- offensive and sexist poetry has been added to the site (and removed)
- a publisher has spammed the site with poetry from one of their titles (removed also)

Here are some other concerns along the way:
- discussion about poetry in Sydney was the original aim. There are already dozens of outlets for publishing poetry, but very little discussion about poetry. It doesn't hurt to have a site somewhere skewed to discussion.
- we do have a plan to put out an ezine – an edited collection of member poetry – when that happens it should have pride of place. How can we do that and also have people self-publishing?
- self-publishing could easily overwhelm other content (one person could publish thirty poems - easily - without some kind of policy limiting their enthusiasm)
- if we have poetry publishing in the site, we need a moderator - but no-one has put up their hand yet.

That's where this policy began.

But as you say – the site is oddly quiet, and it's not all it could be.

So, if we were to change our stance, this is how it could work:
- we could, as you suggest, start a forum category for people to self-publish their poems
- we should still have a policy around self-publishing (covering offensiveness, spam, reasonable limits on volume)
- and we need a moderator to look after it

What do you think? What do others think?
sqgl – I hope you'll be pleased to hear we now have a member poetry category (into which I've moved this discussion), and a moderation policy to go with the category too.

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