A Guide to Stage it Forward - Why We Delete Posts

Home Stager

It has been the topic of discussion many times - why did my blog get deleted?  Why do we have to be monitored?  Isn't this censorship? I don't think it's fair...and so on and so forth.

To set the record straight once and for all, I  thought I would write and post a 'guide' of sorts to help everyone understand why we do the things we do and to avoid the inevitable backlash of blog deletion.  Because I will delete a post if I have to, no matter how much people throw a fit about it.

So, here it is in black and white.

Why would your post be deleted?

The Point of Stage it Forward is posted at the side of the page for all of to read and understand the purpose of this group.  It states:

HOME STAGERS, this is an informational and networking community that believes the Home Staging Industry will grow and mature by reaching out to and sharing with other Stagers. This one FREE site allows Home Stagers to connect and share with their colleagues and clients. Our diverse background is our strength. By respectfully sharing and helping each other, we can all grow and develop so that ultimately the consumer is educated on the benefits of Home Staging and enjoy the benefits of quality service.

So, if it is not clear enough, let me explain.  The purpose of this group is to move the industry forward through communication with each other, the RE industry and the general public about the concept and benefits of STAGING.  It is also our purpose to elevate the professional image of our industry by working together to that end and doing so RESPECTFULLY.  Therefore, posts should be limited to the subject matter of staging and concepts we can all apply to our staging businesses for healthy growth.

So, if your post does not fall into that category by any stretch of the imagination, it will be deleted.  Period.

Why do we have to be monitored?

Last time I checked, SIF had in excess of 2400 members.  Not all are active members as many have joined so that they can use our group as a resource to learn more about what we do.  That is the point of the group, so that is why they click over to read what we have written about staging.  They do not come to read about family events, dance lessons or general pointlessness.  There are other groups for that and that is why they join those groups as well.  AR has set up the group features to seperate posts into categories, like online file folders.  Would you look in the photography group for a post about home inspections? No.  Unrelated posts clutter up the group and make it hard for outside readers to wade through the junk to get to the gems underneath. Isn't that the heart of what staging is all about?  Our group should be staged for effect, no?

Is it Censorship?

No.  If it were, we would rewrite your posts to make them completely acceptable to everyone and that is not the case.  There are many posts that I personally have found offensive that have been left up because they do apply to the staging industry, no matter how insensitively the writer crafted their thoughts. WE do not have the capability of picking and choosing what parts of your blog will stay in the group, just whether the whole thing will and there is only on criteria for that - Does it apply to the staging industry or our individual staging businesses or blogs? 

I don't think it's fair.

Simply put, that's too bad.  We are all adults who are capable of following a few simple rules and if you do not agree with the rules as they are written or enforced, well, I can't do anything about that.  There are so many groups where your unrelated - to- staging post would apply that you really are missing out by not seeking those groups out.  I have found some excellent recipes in the recipes group and have learned loads of personal things about other stagers in the Stagers Coffee Clutch that makes me feel close to them, even if we have never met.  I would never have done those things if I had not ventured away from SIF.  Broaden you horizons.

There are a few other reasons to be deleted that you should be aware of:

1. Multiple posts. Sometimes you may accidentally post a blog multiple times.  We will delete the excess, if you don't do it yourself.
2. Clear violation of AR Community guidelines.
3. Inappropriate photos within the post. We are about professionalism, people, semi naked people don't really project that image. (It has happened)
4. Inappropriate content, even if it is somehow made to look staging related. Again, professionalism. 

Now, on to the last item relating to deletion:

The moderators are human.  Sometimes we miss things.  When the AR guys feature a post on the main page, it changes its position within the group listing and can sometimes lead to our having missed a post or two.  If you point out that one post was deleted while others weren't, it may just lead to the deletion of all of the other posts you have mentioned.  Or, maybe the other posts could have some small nugget within the content that can be applied to the criteria mentioned above while the deleted post didn't.  It's a judgment call.  Please trust our judgment.

So, if you want to continue to post whatever you like with total disregard to the focus of the group, we can't stop you.  But, we can delete you.  The good news is that we cannot delete it from your personal blog or any other group you may have posted it in.  That is up to the moderators of that group, so you may want to check their guidelines as well.


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Kristina Leone
Lionheart Home Staging, LLC - Minneapolis, MN

I didn't realize that this was an issue, but I appreciate the clearly established guidelines that you posted for this group!

Aug 14, 2008 08:16 AM #5
Kathy Passarette
Creative Home Expressions - Mount Sinai, NY
L.I. Staging/Decorating

Kimberly ~ It's too bad you had to explain this - again.  Having taken over the administration of Staging Crafts & Creatives Group I have deleted a few posts myself already.  I even put a post there as a "gentle reminder" to post according to the group's guidelines, because I don't like to delete a post, but will.  I'm sure this may come up again as this is the largest group for Stagers and more and more new people are joining. 

Aug 14, 2008 08:22 AM #6
Julie Davis, Amy Blank - Rediscovered Interiors, LLC
Rediscovered Interiors, LLC - Andover, MN

Thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  As you can see, I agee with you :)


Aug 14, 2008 08:42 AM #7
Kimberly Wester
Valparaiso, IN

Ginger - You are welcome, and again, I appreciate all of your support!

Kristina - Sometimes it is, sometimes it isn't.  Today it is and I wasn't going to let it go  by unnoted again.  Hopefully this will put it to rest for a good long time!

Kathy- I know, right?  But, we do have new members join every day, so a refresher now and again can't hurt.  Now I have something official to bump up or any of us can link to whenever needed.

Julie - You are welcome!  I'm glad you agree!  It's nice to know I'm not alone!

Aug 14, 2008 09:03 AM #8
Melissa Marro
Keller Williams First Coast Realty - The Marro Team - Orange Park, FL
Jacksonville Real Estate and Home Staging

Got it!  I try to remember this and post to the Coffee Clutch when possible - but it is disappointing that no one seems to be moderating that area.

Aug 14, 2008 10:16 AM #9
Janice Sutton
1st Stage Property Transformations - Murrieta, CA
Home Stager - Temecula Murrieta

You go Girl!!!  I read you Loud and Clear!  Keep up the excellant work. :)

Aug 14, 2008 12:13 PM #10
Alicia Barrington
Houston Home Staging Presents Alicia Barrington

At the risk of being deleted <G>.   I find SIF to be a fun place to chant, rant, waste time, and invest time.  The stagers in my town don't exactly get together every weekend to braid each others hair, drink wine, and chit chat about the week's work, so I come here.......a place,(like Cheers) where everybody knows my name (for good or bad).

I think we all run the risk of forgetting to laugh at our own foibles.  I think some of the off-track/off-topic blogs are a nice addition.  Makes us look human, makes us look accessible, fallible, and de-mystifies the Home Staging industry for REA's, other real estate professionals, and for the public.

AR is still an obscure spot for the public to visit.  SIF is buried even further.  Statistically there's no one (yes stagers are people too, we aren't 'no one' <G>) really reading this stuff.   We're kind of like antique dealers who keep each other in business by buying from one another (and rarely selling to an outsider). 

I'm loving the new (?) transparency, where we're talking about inventory levels.  Showing each other our warehouses, and sharing information that previously seemed to be hidden from view. 

I'll be the first to agree, a blog about my dog's gaseous emissions was not my proudest moment, and more often than not, I appreciate a tap on the shoulder politely reminding me that there might be a more appropriate spot for my blog!  Well, I'd certainly not want to be the editor of one of these things, because it's ever-so-true: "no good deed goes unpunished".  So Kim, keep up the good work! 

Aug 14, 2008 12:40 PM #11
Kimberly Wester
Valparaiso, IN

Melissa - Who is the moderator of that group? Do you Know?  I haven't been there in while...

Janice- Thanks!

Tom - I agree and disagree with you.  The stagers in my area are not hanging out together on the weekends either, but if we were, would we want the public to be privy to all of our leisure activities? Would we want them to know that sometimes Susie Stager drinks a little too much? Probably not.  The same goes here.  What is acceptable in social situations in not appropriate in the professional.  The transparency you refer to is good if it is a glimpse inside our professional lives, not our personal lives so much.  In the words of Maureen Henry, you can 'overshare'.  You have to decide what is appropriate for you professional image.  It's all about the balance of things, I guess.  That is why the coffee clutch was created - so that we could share the personal without it being a representation of the industry.

Aug 14, 2008 01:08 PM #12
Kathleen Lordbock
Keller Williams Realty Professionals - Baxter, MN
Keller Williams Realty Professionals

I will try very hard to follow the guidelines for every group that I am in but there are just so many. If I get deleted I will not be offended ( probably won't even notice). Keep up the good work and do not dispair, you are appreciated.

Aug 14, 2008 01:16 PM #13
Maureen Bray Portland OR Home Stager ~ Room Solutions Staging
Room Solutions Staging, Portland OR - Portland, OR
"Staging Consultations that Sell Portland Homes"

Kimberly ~ Thanks for doing such a great job in this somewhat "thankless" volunteer position. I'm on board 100% that SIF should be a place for professional sharing with each other and the public.  There's a wide variety of other appropriate Groups on A/R for sharing more personal stuff. A/R is a great resource ~ but hopefully it won't replace anyone's social life.

Aug 14, 2008 01:17 PM #14
Brian Bloom
www.AllinOneStaging.com 1-630-292-2710 - Bartlett, IL
All in One Staging Inc. - Home Staging Consultant, Redesign Expert

I think you are doing a fine job Kimberly...

You and I had emailed about posts being erased many a time, and I can assure everyone Kimberly is not and can not erase your post off your computer. only from the group.

So the post that disappear sometimes I think are just a glitch in either your computer or AR's web provider and has happened to alot of us here, alot less as of recently.

Anyway I do appreciate the hard work the monitors have here reading all the post, knowing some to be boring and pointless and have nothing to do with Staging what so ever.

So keep up the good work monitors, you are weeding out the posts that clearly have nothing to do with moving this industry forward...

Rich has posted a great article about the pointless point seekers and what can be done to try to discourage them from continuing to post pointless material for AR points.


Aug 14, 2008 02:27 PM #15
Michelle Minch
Moving Mountains Design Home Staging, Pasadena, CA - Los Angeles, CA
Home Staging Los Angeles and Pasadena, CA

Kimberly: I agree with your guidelines 100%. Stage It Forward is meant to be a professional forum about home staging and helping other through the sharing of professional information. Please, keep up the good work as Moderator. I'm sure it can be incredibly frustrating. You are doing a great job!

Aug 14, 2008 02:29 PM #16
Betty Haney
Haney Consulting - Calgary, AB

Kimberly with the number of stagers on SIF I am not surprised that a blog or two has to be deleted.  What I am surprised about is that people get angry when they are deleted even though they didn't follow the rules - go figure...  Anyway, you do a fabulous job and moderating a group is not easy.  Thank you.  Betty

Aug 14, 2008 02:33 PM #17
Debbie Wheeler
Real Estate Staging/Rooms Rearranged, LLC - Chandler, AZ
Chandler, AZ Rooms Rearranged RESA, IRIS

Kimberly - You are doing a great job!  I did my few blogs without reading the rules but I think I did okay-I didn't get (deleted) what would my Mom say, if that happened.  I am a firm believer that if you know better - you do better.  If I'm bad, slap my wrist.  Thanks for educating us newbies.

Aug 14, 2008 03:01 PM #18
Kimberly Wester
Valparaiso, IN

Kathleen - It is hard to remember what posts go where, that is why moderators exist for every group - to keep everyone on task, so to speak.

Maureen - Agreed!  If we are only hanging out in one group, we are not maximizing the potential benefit of AR.  However, we should not get so involved that we never speak to people face to face.

Aug 15, 2008 02:07 AM #19
Kimberly Wester
Valparaiso, IN

BB - In your case, I did choose to respond because I had not deleted your post or comments at all, so there definitely something else amiss that needed to be addressed.  I'm so glad that was easily repaired.

You do bring up a good additional point - deletion of comments.  Only the person who posted the comment and the person on who's blog it was posted can delete a comment.  We do not have the ability (or desire) to censor comments.  Each individual must decide if what they have posted is something they want the public to read, or the blogger can decide if it is something they want associated with their post. 

Aug 15, 2008 02:13 AM #20
Kimberly Wester
Valparaiso, IN

Michelle - It is only frustrating from time to time, but thanks for the vote of confidence!

Betty - Yep, it is amazing how much foot stomping goes on over post deletion.  The more frustrating is when they choose to do it in a publid blog rather than a personal email, but like I said, it is more of a reflection of them than the moderators, so I just don't comment.  I don't make the rules, I just follow them... thank you!

Debbie - Thanks for understanding!

Aug 15, 2008 02:18 AM #21
Leah J. Armstrong
House to Home ReDesigns & Real Estate Staging Vancouver B.C. - Port Moody, BC
Home Staging Port Moody B.C.

A good reminder to always remain professional, and move the industry forward.  Thanks.

Aug 15, 2008 09:43 AM #22
Terrylynn Fisher
Dudum Real Estate Group - BuyStageSell.com - Walnut Creek, CA
HAFA Certified, EcoBroker, CRS, CSP Realtor, Etc.

I hear your frustration and we all need to walk a mile in your shoes before judging.  And, no one here is doing that.  But I needed to say that.  It is a difficult and thankless job, however, alot of us here say THANKS Kimberly for the time you give to this, it makes our brief stay here pleasurable.


Aug 15, 2008 07:18 PM #23
Virginia Tatseos
Stage-Show-Sell - Bloomfield Township, MI

Kimberly,  I also feel that you are doing a good job.  I have  hard time keeping up with all the posts.  I very happy that you created this post clarifying the rules.

I love reading them all even though, at times, I wonder why they are posted in this group.


Aug 17, 2008 10:08 AM #24
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