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50+ For All Newsletter

A Brief History of the Fifty Plus For All team

Team History
March 2008
April 2008
May 2008
June 2008
July 2008
August 2008

Our lovely team has had a bit of a chequered past, which is briefly outlined here so that you all know where we come from. (Bear in mind that this is Wombat's personal view, and he didn't actually join until August 2007, so he may get a few things slightly wrong. Plus, several names have been changed because if you can't say something nice...)

March 2007 - They can't take our freedom!


50+ For All was started by refugees from another 50+ team, where quite a few of the members felt restricted by the strict rules about what, where and when to post. The enterprising Davina and Dagmar (as we'll call them) hoped their new team would have more elbow-room and freedom, where people could socialise with and support others without constantly worrying about whether they were posting in the right place. More than fifty members joined the new team in the first twenty-four hours, and the first man joined shortly after that.

October 2007 - The Battle of Thanksgiving


By autumn, the Team Leaders had changed as the founders took a more back-seat role, and newer members volunteered to lead the way. One of the new leaders, lets call her Jocasta, was not (I think) aware of the reasons behind the team's beginnings, and therefore not aware of the team's main watchword - Freedom. Jocasta's intentions were good - she felt that more organisation was needed because some members were finding it difficult to track down motivational threads which were mixed in amongst the more, shall we say, playful conversations. Jocasta's methods, however, were rather Draconian. Conversations were suddenly cut off in mid-flow, and heavy rules laid down for posting. Several team members saw this as a return to the bad old days and the type of thing they had left in the first place. Some resigned, while many that were left began to trade insults and recriminations willy-nilly in a mounting atmosphere of unpleasantness. It was a whole bitch-fight thing.

Still October 2007 - where's Wombat?


I also left (to start up Free'n'Easy, my team with no rules - see below if you're interested), so I missed a few days of the action. After a while, Jocasta and her co-leaders (lets call one of them Jonty, and the other Nancy, for it was indeed her) Sparkymailed me, and asked if I would please return to the team, and at the same time give them the benefit of a male idiot's point of view as a Leader. I agreed. A couple of hours later I clicked the acceptance, and returned to the team, but by then even more brown stuff had collided with the air-circulation device. Jocasta had posted a vicious personal attack on a well-respected and long-standing team member, then immediately resigned, followed shortly after by Jonty who also scattered, well, scat before disappearing. Nancy and I were left wide-eyed in the headlights to steady the ship, smooth ruffled feathers, and try to get things back to normal, while mixing as many metaphors as we could.

February 2008 - The Disappearing Leader


Fast forward a few months, and a hectic week of illness and family commitments kept me away from SP for several days. The first thing I noticed on my return was that Nancy's name was missing from the list of Fifty Plus For All leaders. Checked her Sparkpage - gone. Checked her username - gone. Checked the recent posts to find out what had happened - nothing. I thought that there might be a clue on the site that we use for the Team Newsletter (this site you're looking at now), but discovered that Nancy had deleted all of the files and configurations that we had worked so hard on. (Cue Twilight Zone music - doodoodoodoo, doodoodoodoo) and to this day, we have no idea what happened to Nancy. I really do hope that she's OK, for she gave a lot to this team. However, the deletion of the newsletter stuff indicates that whatever it was that prompted her to leave us, she had the time and inclination to visit Tripod and wipe out all the hard work that had gone into the newsletter. Now, my tendency to drift off occasionally, and a decidedly odd sense of humour, make me NOT the best leader in the world (maybe I'd be about 117th). So - I needed help. I turned to my good Sparkychum Susan to help me out, and was all bobbersome when she agreed. Thank you, Queen Susan of the Peacock Throne! Hopefully between us we can strike a balance that will help all of our members to achieve their goals, while having a good time doing it. That's certainly what I'm after.

June 2008 - more rabbit power


As I've just mentioned, I am not a natural Sparkpeople Team Leader, and most of the teamleady stuff was falling on Susan's shoulders. Capable shoulders though they be, we figured a little more help would not go amiss, and would help inject a trifle more pizazz. (Is that OK? Can I say 'pizazz'? It's not a rude word in the States, is it?). We turned to two of our longer-standing members who were known for their sensible, helpful postings and for rabbiting away at the drop of a hat (I hope 'rabbiting' means the same in the US as in the UK or I'm in trouble) - Ellen (ELLENE1955) and Janice (FLASUN). Now we were four! (or three and a half, cos I'm about 0.5 use).

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