This Special Interest Group has been created to provide an area where poverty issues can be discussed, information about poverty can be found, and where consultation for advocates and clients involved in the Social Services Appeal System can be obtained. What follows is a short explanation of the menu items in this sig. 1 About this Sig: X-You are here! 2 Poverty Forum: Unmoderated discussion group. ( see note below) 3 Poverty Test: Test yourself to see if you are poor according to the poverty line. 4 Poverty Information: General information for poor people and other interested parties. 5 Advocate Referral Services: Where you can find and Advocate in Victoria. 6 Events: Where you can find events of interest to poor people. 7 Resources for Poor People: Bargains, foodbanks, etc. 8 What's New: Notices about changes in the legislation, new groups, new areas of the Sig if they come along. 9 Poverty Issues: Where you can find issues of interest to poor people as starters for discussion. RE: The Forum and some complaints recently received. There has been some poor bashing and personal attacks on this forum and I hope the following will help. The virtual world of Internet and the real world are quite similar. In the real world I will meet people I do like and people I do not. In the virtual world of the Internet I will also meet people I do; or do not like. I do like people who listen to my point of view and will, even if they disagree, discuss the issues with me in a civil manner. I do not like people who do not listen and are only talking with me to make points and to try to win or to make me angry and lose my cool. They do this by attacking me on a personal level or by calling my points of view and thoughts on things names like stupid and pathetic. In the real world, when I come upon a person I do not like I avoid them. If presented with them face to face I am usually polite but cool. In the virtual world I tend to do the same thing. Once I decide that I do dislike a person in either world, I will ignore them and try not respond to anything they say. In the virtual world of email and newsgroups I am really lucky because I do not have to read what they write. Once I have ignored a person in the real world and let them know I do not like them, they tend not to try to talk with me anymore. In fact, I have noticed, that I do not run into them very much anymore. They seem to go away. If you find that you do not like someone, because they are not listening, calling you or your ideas names or just trying to upset you, I suggest you try ignoring them. When you see a post or an email with their name at the top, just delete or go past it by hitting the Q key. Don't even bother reading it. You know you won't like what they are saying, and that they do not listen and will not learn, so why bother with them at all? I say just ignore them. If you do chose to read them and respond, you are only playing their game. You are supporting them if you fight with them. You are providing them with a platform from which to carry on their sometimes viscious game. Once you get the message, hang up the phone. You do not have to hang up the phone on all the people on the newsgroup or Forum you are taking part in. Just refuse to read the posts of anyone who you decide to not like or support. And if they email you, don't read that either. They will go away in a little while. Hopefully you will find this little essay on dealing with people you do not like helpful in your dealings on the Internet wherever you go on it.