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Author Topic: IMPORTANT: Rules/Guidelines/Etc Change Suggestions for New vBulletin Board  (Read 11949 times)
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« Reply #15: June 05, 2011, 05:18:25 am »

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.

The only thing I could think of would be to have tptb always 'put a mod hat on' via the red boxes whether issuing an actual warning or not (such as in a friendly reminder situation) so as to be very very clear on when the person is acting as staff and when the person is speaking in their own name. Simply signing a post as staff is easily overlooked and can be confusing when the post also touches on the discussion at hand.
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« Reply #16: June 05, 2011, 06:47:34 am »

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.
Yep, it certainly is possible - while I don't go back as far as Randall, I got into dial-up BBSes way back in the early '90s, so I've seen lots and lots of poorly-run forums.

But, it's not sheer luck whether a forum has staff that does these things, or that doesn't.  It's a matter of having a host/sysop who is more interested in running the forum well than in how much power s/he has, and who chooses staff who are also more interested in the forum itself than in power.

I'd much rather be civil (as a Cauldron member) and just (as staff) to people I don't care for, than see TC go down in petty flamewars.

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« Reply #17: June 05, 2011, 06:51:10 am »

I'd much rather be civil (as a Cauldron member) and just (as staff) to people I don't care for, than see TC go down in petty flamewars.

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Agreed, totally.
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« Reply #18: June 05, 2011, 08:23:19 am »

Because mods, like anyone else, can make mistakes.

Of course we can, but because mods here tend to be mature individuals, mistakes get noticed and corrected -- often before the member even has to try to appeal in a PM. There is also a hierarchy of staff so that action can be reviewed by others with the actual authority to do something about it.

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

They can but that seldom happens and higher ranking staff members put a stop to it when it does. The Co-Hosts can do so and no one can stop us (but that's true of the Admins/Board owners on any board), but the staff do tend to let us know when they think we are losing it. And since we picked them because we thought they had good heads on their shoulders, we generally at least listen. As the Co-Hosts and many staff members are older and long outgrew the feeling of power than some get from the ability to ban people.

Quote
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.

This is some of your problem, I suspect. Forget about TCC. This board has nothing to do with TCC (or any other board on the Internet). Our rules are probably much different, our goals are different, our culture is different, our people (both staff and regulars are different). We don't do things the way TCC (or most other boards) do. (Hell, I don't even know what TCC stands for or where it is.) Most of the problems I've seen the folks who have come from TCC over the last few days have been caused by jumping in here feet first and incorrectly assuming that our rules and culture were pretty close to what they were used to on TCC -- only to discover they weren't.
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« Reply #19: June 05, 2011, 09:53:09 am »

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.

That doesn't happen here, actually. At least not what I think you're describing. I've seen that on other boards back when I used to get out more, but the vendetta thing really doesn't happen here. If you're here for a while, you'll see that.
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« Reply #20: June 05, 2011, 10:03:16 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?

What Marilyn said. And also, the reason they come up multiple times is because new members who don't understand the board's purpose and culture bring them up. Were it established members who have been around long enough to actually judge whether or not a rule doesn't work, then I would say yes, scrutiny would be called for.
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« Reply #21: June 05, 2011, 10:07:39 am »

What Marilyn said. And also, the reason they come up multiple times is because new members who don't understand the board's purpose and culture bring them up. Were it established members who have been around long enough to actually judge whether or not a rule doesn't work, then I would say yes, scrutiny would be called for.

Yeah. And Randall and I would have the staff talk about it, and then we'd probably come down into the public board and ask for ideas. That happens from time to time (like this thread, though this is more generalized) because we realize that more input makes for a better board. And sometimes we will change stuff. Some things, though, are here permanently because of the nature of the discussions. Also, we realize TC is very different from most pagan boards, so the rules are going to have to be different, too.
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« Reply #22: June 05, 2011, 11:16:45 am »

Yeah. And Randall and I would have the staff talk about it, and then we'd probably come down into the public board and ask for ideas. That happens from time to time (like this thread, though this is more generalized) because we realize that more input makes for a better board. And sometimes we will change stuff. Some things, though, are here permanently because of the nature of the discussions. Also, we realize TC is very different from most pagan boards, so the rules are going to have to be different, too.

And some things have been navel-gazed to death, with the resulting answer being "yeah, we're not perfect, but we're doing the best we can for the community we have."
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« Reply #23: June 05, 2011, 11:26:43 am »

And some things have been navel-gazed to death, with the resulting answer being "yeah, we're not perfect, but we're doing the best we can for the community we have."

Yeah. And, ultimately, a lot of the rules are here BECAUSE of the kind of community TC is. That means there are some rules that simply will not change unless the forum does...and that's probably not going to happen.
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« Reply #24: June 05, 2011, 02:03:18 pm »

Followed often by foot-stomping, arm-waving flounces.

And occasionally by juvenile and annoyingly half-assed attempts to hack the site.  Like the kiddies on  Facebook who will press the report button over and over until an account gets suspended.

Tiresome.

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« Reply #25: June 05, 2011, 03:05:46 pm »

Of course we can, but because mods here tend to be mature individuals, mistakes get noticed and corrected -- often before the member even has to try to appeal in a PM. There is also a hierarchy of staff so that action can be reviewed by others with the actual authority to do something about it.

They can but that seldom happens and higher ranking staff members put a stop to it when it does. The Co-Hosts can do so and no one can stop us (but that's true of the Admins/Board owners on any board), but the staff do tend to let us know when they think we are losing it. And since we picked them because we thought they had good heads on their shoulders, we generally at least listen. As the Co-Hosts and many staff members are older and long outgrew the feeling of power than some get from the ability to ban people.

This is some of your problem, I suspect. Forget about TCC. This board has nothing to do with TCC (or any other board on the Internet). Our rules are probably much different, our goals are different, our culture is different, our people (both staff and regulars are different). We don't do things the way TCC (or most other boards) do. (Hell, I don't even know what TCC stands for or where it is.) Most of the problems I've seen the folks who have come from TCC over the last few days have been caused by jumping in here feet first and incorrectly assuming that our rules and culture were pretty close to what they were used to on TCC -- only to discover they weren't.

The fact that criticism of moderation is forbidden, or at least tightly restricted is one thing that you DO have in common with TCC and it's something that caused a lot of problems there.

I can see that the culture is very different, many of the other rules may be as well, I haven't been here long enough to see how they are applied, but that particular rule is nearly exactly the same, and lack of accountability in the moderation team, to the members not just to each other, was what killed TCC.
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« Reply #26: June 05, 2011, 04:06:36 pm »

I can see that the culture is very different, many of the other rules may be as well, I haven't been here long enough to see how they are applied, but that particular rule is nearly exactly the same, and lack of accountability in the moderation team, to the members not just to each other, was what killed TCC.

1) The Cauldron is not a democracy. The members do not run this board by majority rule, by who yells the loudest, or in any other way. Lyricfox and I run this board. We only answer to ourselves and to the fact that if we do not run the board well enough everyone will leave. It's worked well for 13+ years.

1a) We do listen to our members, of course. The longer they have been active here, the more weight we tend to give to their opinions. This may not seem fair to newcomers, but then newcomers generally do not understand the board's culture and have little experience with the way we do things.

1b) Some of our staff have been around for years and know Lyric and Randall well enough to tell them when they are going off the deep end no matter how annoyed Randall and/or Lyric are.

2) The staff is not accountable to the membership of this board, they are accountable to Lyric and myself. It's worked well for 13+ years.

3) This board is not TCC. I'm sorry you had a bad experience there, but we aren't responsible for that nor does the fact that some of our rules are like their rules mean much.
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« Reply #27: June 05, 2011, 04:17:34 pm »

Yeah. And, ultimately, a lot of the rules are here BECAUSE of the kind of community TC is. That means there are some rules that simply will not change unless the forum does...and that's probably not going to happen.

Or report the site as an attack site on Firefox so that the browser's security ad-ons block the site and people freak out because they think TC was hacked?
Not that anything like that happened recently, or anything.   Roll Eyes
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« Reply #28: June 05, 2011, 05:17:02 pm »

The fact that criticism of moderation is forbidden, or at least tightly restricted is one thing that you DO have in common with TCC and it's something that caused a lot of problems there.

I can see that the culture is very different, many of the other rules may be as well, I haven't been here long enough to see how they are applied, but that particular rule is nearly exactly the same, and lack of accountability in the moderation team, to the members not just to each other, was what killed TCC.

What Randall said.

I have no idea what TCC is or was like or anything else. But like Randall said, this board is not TCC or any other board. This rule works for us and has worked since I first showed up on The Cauldron in 1999.

People can appeal a moderator ruling to the hosts, but that appeal MUST be off the board. That is never going to change.

(OMG....is TCC The Celtic Connection? Because if so, I knew of that board 10+ years ago and this forum is in NO way like it. Never was. Never will be.)
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« Reply #29: June 05, 2011, 05:34:52 pm »

(OMG....is TCC The Celtic Connection? Because if so, I knew of that board 10+ years ago and this forum is in NO way like it. Never was. Never will be.)

I have vague memories of joining that board years ago before I discovered TC.  I didn't have much experience yet with message boards and can't remember what sent me searching further.  I don't remember making more than three or four posts, though.

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