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Author Topic: IMPORTANT: Rules/Guidelines/Etc Change Suggestions for New vBulletin Board  (Read 11893 times)
RandallS
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« Topic Start: May 22, 2011, 12:17:07 pm »

As most TC members know, we are planning on moving from this SMF board to a new vBulletin board this summer (hopefully by July 1st). This is a good time to look at forum rules and guidelines to see if any changes are needed. If you have a change suggestion you'd like to have considered, please post about it here.

You will need to suggest the change AND tell us why the change would make the board/website better for everyone.  (Note: "most boards I visit do it this way" is NOT a good reason for making change.)

The following two items are definitely "off the table" as they are unlikely to change:

1) The direction of the board (debate/discussion over fellowship, aimed first at experienced Pagans instead at newbies).

2) The quoting requirement (The Hosts would still rather shut the board down rather than do without quotes with backlinks to the message being replied to -- nothing anyone can say is likely to change this.)

Just about anything else will at least be considered.
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« Reply #1: May 22, 2011, 06:02:54 pm »

As most TC members know, we are planning on moving from this SMF board to a new vBulletin board this summer (hopefully by July 1st). This is a good time to look at forum rules and guidelines to see if any changes are needed. If you have a change suggestion you'd like to have considered, please post about it here.

You will need to suggest the change AND tell us why the change would make the board/website better for everyone.  (Note: "most boards I visit do it this way" is NOT a good reason for making change.)

The following two items are definitely "off the table" as they are unlikely to change:

1) The direction of the board (debate/discussion over fellowship, aimed first at experienced Pagans instead at newbies).

2) The quoting requirement (The Hosts would still rather shut the board down rather than do without quotes with backlinks to the message being replied to -- nothing anyone can say is likely to change this.)

Just about anything else will at least be considered.

Might I suggest "piss off enough staff members and you will get an automatic ban?"  Wishful thinking, I know but I can't really think of anything that needs to be changed.
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RandallS
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« Reply #2: May 22, 2011, 08:51:58 pm »

Might I suggest "piss off enough staff members and you will get an automatic ban?"  Wishful thinking, I know but I can't really think of anything that needs to be changed.

That's already there: the "rude and annoying" rules. Smiley
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« Reply #3: June 04, 2011, 07:17:37 pm »

As most TC members know, we are planning on moving from this SMF board to a new vBulletin board this summer (hopefully by July 1st). This is a good time to look at forum rules and guidelines to see if any changes are needed. If you have a change suggestion you'd like to have considered, please post about it here.

You will need to suggest the change AND tell us why the change would make the board/website better for everyone.  (Note: "most boards I visit do it this way" is NOT a good reason for making change.)

The following two items are definitely "off the table" as they are unlikely to change:

1) The direction of the board (debate/discussion over fellowship, aimed first at experienced Pagans instead at newbies).

2) The quoting requirement (The Hosts would still rather shut the board down rather than do without quotes with backlinks to the message being replied to -- nothing anyone can say is likely to change this.)

Just about anything else will at least be considered.

I don't like the fact that criticizing the moderation is forbidden.  That strikes me as something that makes abusing moderating powers really easy and extremely tempting.

I'm not saying that the mods are prone to abuse those powers, but they are human like anyone else, and when the possible negative consequences of something are reduced, or eliminated, that makes it much more tempting.
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RandallS
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« Reply #4: June 04, 2011, 08:26:41 pm »

I don't like the fact that criticizing the moderation is forbidden.  That strikes me as something that makes abusing moderating powers really easy and extremely tempting.

Noted.

However, criticizing the moderation isn't forbidden. Arguing/Criticizing specific mod calls in public is.  If you have an issue with a mod call you need to discuss it with staff in a PM or email.

Quote
I'm not saying that the mods are prone to abuse those powers, but they are human like anyone else, and when the possible negative consequences of something are reduced, or eliminated, that makes it much more tempting.

That's good because you haven't been here long enough to have any idea whether they do or don't. Smiley
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« Reply #5: June 04, 2011, 09:38:04 pm »

I don't like the fact that criticizing the moderation is forbidden. 

My understanding is that it's not forbidden, it just that one should do it through PMs instead of in thread. Personally I think this is great, because it's annoying to have an otherwise informative and thought-provoking thread turned into a discussion about the rules. Particularly if it's a discussion that's happened tens of times before.
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« Reply #6: June 04, 2011, 09:53:43 pm »

My understanding is that it's not forbidden, it just that one should do it through PMs instead of in thread. Personally I think this is great, because it's annoying to have an otherwise informative and thought-provoking thread turned into a discussion about the rules. Particularly if it's a discussion that's happened tens of times before.

This.
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« Reply #7: June 04, 2011, 10:44:11 pm »

I don't like the fact that criticizing the moderation is forbidden.  That strikes me as something that makes abusing moderating powers really easy and extremely tempting.

I'm not saying that the mods are prone to abuse those powers, but they are human like anyone else, and when the possible negative consequences of something are reduced, or eliminated, that makes it much more tempting.

Why would you even want  to  argue a mod call  on the  board? Personally when I see  a member arguing  with a mod on the board I tend to see that  as  jealousy  and  an attempt to  have a mod "fired" so that said member can take over the  mods  job. I have  seen  this  happen on a few  boards myself. I have yet to see a mod abuse their powers here  at TC and in my honest opinion I think the  mods   here  do a great  job  of catching  things and snipping them before they  get out of hand. As for the rules  here  at  TC I think they are great  just the way they are. In my  experience,  on the internet  seeing a few other boards  changing  software/hosts, if they  change the rules it tends to confuse  long time members and  makes things worse  rather than better.
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« Reply #8: June 04, 2011, 11:16:48 pm »

Why would you even want  to  argue a mod call  on the  board? Personally when I see  a member arguing  with a mod on the board I tend to see that  as  jealousy  and  an attempt to  have a mod "fired" so that said member can take over the  mods  job. I have  seen  this  happen on a few  boards myself. I have yet to see a mod abuse their powers here  at TC and in my honest opinion I think the  mods   here  do a great  job  of catching  things and snipping them before they  get out of hand. As for the rules  here  at  TC I think they are great  just the way they are. In my  experience,  on the internet  seeing a few other boards  changing  software/hosts, if they  change the rules it tends to confuse  long time members and  makes things worse  rather than better.

Because mods, like anyone else, can make mistakes.

They can also pursue personal vendettas where they don't like someone and moderate against them unfairly.

Again, I am not saying the mods here do that, as was mentioned I haven't been here long enough to know.  It happened all the time at TCC where I used to post (both mistakes and personal vendettas) so I know it is very possible.
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« Reply #9: June 04, 2011, 11:35:06 pm »

Again, I am not saying the mods here do that, as was mentioned I haven't been here long enough to know.  It happened all the time at TCC where I used to post (both mistakes and personal vendettas) so I know it is very possible.

well thankfully THIS  isn't TCC  Undecided , I think  the  mods  here  have  more  maturity and  frankly  more pressing matters to tend  to  than making  up  personal  vendettas, for the most part I  see more  personal  vendettas against  mods  rather  than the other way around....... just  saying!!!!
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« Reply #10: June 04, 2011, 11:48:45 pm »

My understanding is that it's not forbidden, it just that one should do it through PMs instead of in thread. Personally I think this is great, because it's annoying to have an otherwise informative and thought-provoking thread turned into a discussion about the rules. Particularly if it's a discussion that's happened tens of times before.

I'm new here so please understand that I am only inquiring, as I have no experience with this here... but if the same discussion comes up tens of times, might that not be an indication that it is an issue which is calling for scrutiny? Clarification, perhaps?
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« Reply #11: June 05, 2011, 12:15:07 am »

I'm new here so please understand that I am only inquiring, as I have no experience with this here... but if the same discussion comes up tens of times, might that not be an indication that it is an issue which is calling for scrutiny? Clarification, perhaps?

The kind of repeated discussion she's talking about tends to be

mod: remember X rule
new member:  it's stupid
mod: no it isn't.  This is why we do it....
other members chime in with support, argument, or clarifications
new member:  I don't like it
mod: too bad
new member: something that means roughly - 'I am a special snowflake and shouldn't have to follow rules I disagree with.

Sometimes accompanied by accusations of embarrassing said new member with public moderation, personal vendettas because they've been reminded of more than one rule, and hints of collusion, cliques, and dastardly behaviour by untrustworthy staff members. There is often a failure to distinguish when a mod is debating them as a member versus cautioning them as a mod (hint - mod hats and signing with titles), threats that the forum will die if the mods don't stop being such Fascist Meanie Poo-Poo Heads, and arch suggestions that all the cowed and afraid members are sending them emails and PMs of support.

Followed often by foot-stomping, arm-waving flounces. (which are then cruelly rated and commented on by the un-cowed regular members)

BUT occasionally followed by thought and understanding of why we do things the way we do and maturation into valued members from spoiled entitlement trolls.  Many of us have clear memories of our own cringe-worthy early days and how embarrassing/difficult it was to get past them, and are glad we did get past them.  We even obey rules we don't entirely agree with because we have come to see the sense in them, or decided it doesn't matter so much in the grand scheme of things.

Many of us come to like it here quite a bit. 

Absent (no mod hat, no formal name, no staff signature - this is my own unapproved and unashamed opinion)
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« Reply #12: June 05, 2011, 12:26:27 am »



It gets tiresome to play this out in public time after time.  Arguing with mod calls is thus done by PM.  Each such PM gets discussed in the staff folders and believe me we are a varied enough crew that all sides get discussed before further action is taken or explanatory PMs are sent.  We are not a monolithic structure with one will and one voice.

An example - earlier today a mod warned a new member for a post he/she made.  This was reviewed by Randall, who canceled the warning quite publicly and gave us his reasoning and general advice for future such circumstances in the staff folder.  Our deliberations don't need to be public - the results usually are.

You will rarely, if ever, however, see a mod get their hand slapped in public.  This is done privately for reasons most of us appreciate.  You can see the results on the board.  Sometimes we will apologise publicly for something we realise we have been wrong about, and sometimes the apology will come after having our error privately pointed out to us.

Maybe not often, but we do make mistakes.  Perfection is a dangerous illusion, especially to the person trying to project it.  We're human.

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« Reply #13: June 05, 2011, 01:05:33 am »


You will rarely, if ever, however, see a mod get their hand slapped in public.  This is done privately for reasons most of us appreciate.  You can see the results on the board.  Sometimes we will apologise publicly for something we realise we have been wrong about, and sometimes the apology will come after having our error privately pointed out to us.


As it should  be, any  hand slapping needed for staff  should stay  private and off the main  board. There is  no reason for  us regular  members to  be  involved, other than an apology to  the  member(s) if needed. If mods are  hand slapped on the general  board   then there wouldn't be any  reason  for  private staff boards. Again  just  my  2 cents worth,  not  really sure if I am making  sense  at all at this point of the  day too many  kids in the house today (7 kids  between the ages  of  5 and  17  Shocked ) my  heads still hearing  the noise!!!! Cheesy
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« Reply #14: June 05, 2011, 04:56:52 am »

Why would you even want  to  argue a mod call  on the  board? Personally when I see  a member arguing  with a mod on the board I tend to see that  as  jealousy  and  an attempt to  have a mod "fired" so that said member can take over the  mods  job.

I think it starts and ends with trust and the willingness of mods to do a good job. I have never felt the inclination to call on a mod decision here (I've never even been near one) here, because it is so very clear that those decisions are taken with consideration, the mods are engaged, and you can approach staff where they will review it seriously. Then there is also absolutely no reason to take something out in public.

On another board however, I've seen the rule 'no public discussion' used as a way to avoid criticism at all. Any situation was dealt (or not dealt) with individually, without overview or longer term perspective, which led to a very hurtful person being able to slip through the cracks for months, while people who stood up against him (even reasonable, with arguments and without name calling) being punished and even banned.
Private complaints were dealt with not only privately but also personally - it wasn't being communicated with the other staff and they were personal opinions. Anyone who was not the mod screwing up said it wasn't his/her business. The hosts did not respond for ages and still failed to see the bigger picture. It did take some (or actually quite a lot of) public outcry to finally do something (ban the person) - the mods that neglected the problems never got called up on :\

(I left the board. It was the only possible option for me.
However, I still feel sad about it, it cost me a lot, since I've been ill and at home and it was important to me. I haven't been able to find something like it yet, which makes it sad that it so much being glossed over as "if you don't like it, you leave." I left. But I've lost a lot and it wasn't necessary.)

Ok, longer story short: if the mod system starts failing, public debate can be needed to get the seriousness of trouble across. But by then serious damage has been done. It should be one of the last resorts, and here that hasn't been necessary by far. And I don't think it needs to be in the rules.
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