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  1. tarnished
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    tarnished Contributing Member Contributor

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    Another?

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by tarnished, Dec 8, 2009.

    I come and go on this site fairly regularly, with some big breaks inbetween. I can say, reliably, every single time I come on there are more restrictions. Its anything from no more links, to no more negative rep, and the list goes on and on. I for one like my sites moderated. Let me make this clear: I have tons of respect for the amazing mods on this site. However, I am starting to wonder if this site is to heavily moderated.

    I understand that sites need restrictions and moderators to keep running. I've run several sites and internet groups and had friends who have had. Ive run several with a few thousand ACTIVE members. This members stayed active because of the loosely moderated and FUN forums. They understood that they could joke around, but racial slurs, targeting members, and overall acting out would be punished. We were very succesfull until the video game we were about faded out.

    Ever since I came back from a few month hiatus from this site I have noticed how much more inactive this site has been. There are many fights between mods and members, and members and members. This is sometimes caused because almost everything is moderated and critisized here. The overall attitude isn't positive, because nearly everyone is being watched at all times, and PLENTY examples of bias in Modshas been displayed, whether it be favoritism in members and helping them or getting over involved in arguments and abusing mod status.

    Its my belief that this site is a free site and therefor me being her is a priviledge, not a right. And I respect that. So my only wish her is to send a message to the mods: Chill out. Its only a site, and if someone wants to leave negative rep, unless there is a CLEAR and BLINDING bias in their decision to leave that rep, let them!

    If I want to cite a youtube source or show a cool clip to go along with a topic- whats wrong with that? This is the ONLY forum I go on were this isn't allowed.

    Just some food for thought. I don't see any reason for this be be locked, I haven't singled out any members, cussed, or been a complete ^(*%$$. ( I hope), and I would find it a little comical if this was banned.
     
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  2. Unsavory
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    Unsavory Active Member

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    I don't see what good can come from negative rep, honestly. It just perpetuates sour feelings and if a problem is genuine there are still ways to deal with it. As to your other points, I agree and disagree. There are plenty of rules here that I wouldn't set myself but I don't consider any of them to be that big of a deal.
     
  3. LadyLazarus
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    LadyLazarus Senior Member

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    I agree with Unsavoury. The only rules I don't quite see the point of here are the youtube one and the one about never disagreeing with critiques. *shrugs* It's a lot better than other forums I've been on, though.
     
  4. Ashleigh
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    Ashleigh Contributing Member Contributor

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    I agree with this, and I know very well that it happens. However, how do you know that mods and members, aswell as members and other members have been arguing?

    Also, no good will come of this thread. Cog will be watching like a hawk and the do-goody kids (or the wolves in sheep's clothing) won't leap in until they see a chance to reprimand someone in the name of Wf.Org just to score brownie points. Eventually it'll just get closed.

    Personally I think the lounge is the problem. People use it purely for ego-boosting purposes and for forming cliques. Nobody wants to talk about writing for fear of admitting that they never actually do any. If we want the site to go back to being workshop-based, then the lounge has to go. That way, only people interested in writing (instead of mindless 'what's your favourite colour?' discussions and b!tchfests) will remain. Who knows, perhaps we'll be able to have a decent lounge area in the future - just not now.
     
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  5. Unsavory
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    Unsavory Active Member

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    Whether you meant it that way or not, I found that to be a most entertaining rant, Ashleigh. And even though there's truth to what you say, I can't imagine the lounge going anywhere.
     
  6. Ashleigh
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    Ashleigh Contributing Member Contributor

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    Thanks, lol. And me either - I like lounges, it's not like I don't use this one. However, I'd like to use it for better purposes than the ones we see here nowdays. There are too many tag-alongs.

    The only way around not deleting it would be more rules.....and then even the decent members would stop being active.
     
  7. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    The Lounge Lizards are not the problem here. Yes, in some cases there's too much socializing as merely a way to pass time. This isn't Twitter, and shouldn't be a hangout just for people who are bored. But if they aren't making much use of the writing aspects of the site, they also are not, for the most part, causing trouble either.

    The links issue is not new, and neither is negative rep. The latter has had to be emphasized, but it does NOT represent a change in policy. Recent incidents have required us to make an announcement, and to make the policy clearer in te rules.

    There is no excuse for using rep to take anonymous potshots at other members.

    In fact, every negative rep I have encountered has been used to say something that, if said in open forum, would result in a warning or infraction. If I or another moderator does see a negative rep that does not fall in this category, we do have the discretionary power to let it pass. I do not think this will come up, though.

    So if anyone wants to complain, then complain about people who use the absence of a clearly written rule to justify aggressive behavior. Most "changes" to the rules are exactly that: clarifications because of members who argue that some behavior "isn't against any rule I can see."

    As for the writing activity on this site, I dispute the assertion that it is suffering. Most critiques, other than quickies by new and unaware members, are steadily improving in depth and coverage. The contests are getting more entries than ever. The writing issues threads are lively and thought provoking.
     
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  8. LordKyleOfEarth
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    LordKyleOfEarth Contributing Member Contributor

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    I am going to disagree with you tarnished. I am a member of MR2OC.com, which is a HEAVILY moderated Toyota MR2 message board. It is regarded as the best and largest source of data regarding all years of the MR2 globally. There are roughly 43,600 registered members and the site has around 2,000-3,000 visits daily. The community there has grown steadily since October of 2002, when the site went live.

    I mention MR2OC because it is an oddity in the car message board world. No one fights, or flames each other. Users are respectful. It has an Off Topic section (like the lounge) that remains worksafe and doesn't spread into other forums. It is Nothing like Hontatech or NASIOC.

    It accomplishes all of this, by having a heavy rule set coupled with strict enforcement. People get banned all the time. Despite this, the community grows. The creation of moderated space makes people feel safe coming to a site. I know I can go there, ask any question, and get an honest, correct, response.

    I am relatively new here, but I've found the moderation here to be fair. I have had my disagreements, but in the end I understand why the mods did what they did. I have been given warnings and infractions, and rather than bitch about it, I changed my behavior on this site. I know that I can leave at any time, and that membership here is a privilege, not a right.

    In the short time I have been here I've been able to get lots of writing related questions answered. I feel that I have improved my quality of writing. I have found friends who encourage me to continue writing and to send stuff to publishers (that has then been accepted). I use the lounge and the review room.

    Just my $0.02,
    Kyle
     
  9. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    I would like to give my opinion as the newbie mod and long time aficionado of the wf.org landscape.

    No dynamic is going to make everyone happy. This is an impossibility. Given a choice, I chose structure over chaos. Each and every one of us is going to draw the line in the sand in a different place as to the frontier between one and the other.

    I personally believe in due process and thus feel that since there are better tools available to the members that do allow for the inclusion of due process when there is a an issue or conflict, those tools should be made use of as opposed to other tools that serve as a mode of summery judgement.

    Like Kyle, I am a member of many forums. Some are writing forums, many are not. The forums that have a moderating presence are the forums that retain my loyalty because they retain a level of expectation to which I, as a human, have become accustomed and which lends a sense of comfort as to what I can expect when I spend time there.
     
  10. ChimmyBear
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    ChimmyBear Contributing Member Contributor

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    I for one, find this site to be one of the best writing forums on the web. I have checked most of them out and I'm a member of a few of them but this is where I am the most active.
    The community is strong here. It is a safe place to come and share your work, ideas, and find a welcome voice. The rules are needful and in part what makes it a safe place.

    So what, we can't give bad rep or slam the tavern with too many posts of idle chit chat. The fact is, if we respect our fellow members, respect the rules, respect the Mods, then we aren't going to break the rules by imposing our will against those rules. I don't even think about those restrictions because my mind doesn't think in ways which would break them.

    I have so many friends both old and new, and find that PM's work great when I want to talk with my friends. The game threads are the best for passing time when I'm bored. :rolleyes: :)
    I like where this site is and how well it has come together. It keeps me sharp for writing and serves the creative community well.
     
  11. Torana
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    Torana Contributing Member Contributor

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    I have been a member of quite a lot of writing forums, and out of them all, this is the one I frequent the most and have spent most time on. The only other one I used to visit alot was the one I met Dan at, and well... I kind of wish the moderating had been tighter there as it may have stayed alive, but they allowed some things to happen there that turned a lot of members off wanting to stick around and in the end, only a small number of 5 remained partially active. No one was even game enough to suggest to their friends to join, not even I was after the events that unfolded there.

    I agree, that this forum is heavily moderated and at times you feel like every single word you post is being watched and analysed and you think "Maybe I shouldn't post that as it could be misconstrued" but at least here, there is order and not total chaos like there was once upon a time.

    As for lack of activity, it has been worse in the past. Every year the forum has quiet times and I do know that a lot of the long standing members have basically left now and so have a lot of regulars. I myself spend little time on here now as I don't write much anymore, but I do still do reviews, and mostly I do private reviews that have been requested by members.

    I don't think that the lounge poses any major problems really and I don't see how the forum will benefit from its removal either. Every place needs an off topic area and at times, the lounge has had some wonderful threads where people have had decent conversations about topics.

    I have been here for a rather long time and see a lot, but I will say, since I first joined this forum, it has grown and grown for the better. It is a lot more active now, especially in the review room, than it has ever been. Well, more active in a constructive way that is. Give it time and you will see the forum grow again and become far more active.
     
  12. NaCl
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    NaCl Contributing Member Contributor

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    My opinion of this site is simple...It ain't broke. Don't "fix" it.
     
  13. KP Williams
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    KP Williams Contributing Member

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    The only times I've had a problem with how this place is run is with the occasional questionable thread locks. On other sites I visit(ed), when posters got off topic or started an argument, they were either warned or their posts were deleted. Either way, the thread itself was left intact almost every time, and the topic got back on track. But here, sometimes, it's just locked. Not all the time, mind you--I haven't personally seen it happen in the last few months--but those are the moderating decisions that leave me scratching my head.

    Otherwise, I'm content with the way things are here. :cool:
     
  14. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Often that is because one or more inflammatory posts had to be removed from the thread.

    If a thread is generating conflict, it's not enough to douse the sparks and wait for it to flare up again.
     
  15. Agreen
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    Agreen Faceless Man Contributor

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    This is pretty much what I was going to say- by its nature, negative rep exists only to introduce negativity into the forum setting. Whether by discussion over pms (by rule, the first step in another forum I visit for handling disagreements) or if necessary mod intervention, I think there are more productive ways of handling problems- personally, I can't think of a situation where instinct would tell me to leave negative rep rather than report a post.

    For the rest of the OP, I get why you feel that way- I only visit one other forum regularly, and its rules pretty much boil down to don't make terrible posts, and don't post anything illegal. For the nature of that site, loose rules work. But I could never see that site having something as productive as the writing workshop here. The specific example of no youtube links gives me pause sometimes as well, but then again I realise if I could, I'd probably just post a ton of Phil Kessel highlights and Opeth videos. This forum, at least in my experience, seems largely focused on developing writing skills and so I guess I can see why unrelated topics are discouraged.

    I'm still disappointed some threads end up closed, especially ones I enjoyed participating in, but I don't think an individual thread is worth sacrificing the community over. Also, from my experience the mods here do an excellent job in both ensuring the rules are met and helping foster an environment conducive to the writing workshop. As for the usefulness and environment of the lounge, I don't really know what to say- aside from a few threads that match my interests I don't post that much here. The reviewing parts are probably my favourite area of the forum, but I like being able to talk about music or football or whatever on the side as well. I will say that by nature I'm a lurker, but I now have over 1,000 posts here. This leads me to believe this forum is welcoming and positive.
     
  16. Mercurial
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    Mercurial Contributing Member Contributor

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    It's threads like these that cause people to leave. Not necessarily because they agree with the OP, but because they cant stand the negative atmosphere threads like these perpetuate.

    I've been a member for three forums over my time with the Internet, and I've left each one not because I had a problem with the way a site is run, but because the "cool" thing becomes to hate on the rules and question authority without much reason. This one, I'm sure, will be no different.

    The negative reputation issue is not new, nor should it be questioned --it's just an easy way to irritate someone "just because." The good ones can bring a smile to your face, but I dont think anyone really cares about reputation points. However, the red ones are just... rude. What's the point in keeping something that only brings about bad feelings? You're a writer --express yourself verbally, instead of with the click of a mouse.

    If you have a problem with the way a forum is run, here's some novel advice: You can take issue with the moderators (instead of calling attention here), and then you can always leave.
     
  17. Ashleigh
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    Ashleigh Contributing Member Contributor

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    Then again, you could always argue that if the option isn't allowed, then the option shouldn't be there. It's practically inviting people to comment on every negative thing instead of making reports - it isn't always necessary. Sometimes, you just wanna let the person know how it made you feel, and it's not like it has to stay anonymous.

    People have given me negative rep points for no reason and I know damn well that pretty much everyone on this website has used negative rep before - if we aren't allowed to use it, then there shouldn't be an option. That's like putting up a 'NO ROBBERY' sign in front of your house, and then leaving all the doors and windows open with your prized possessions out on show. Can we honestly expect people not to make use of it whenever something p's them off? No way.

    I say the negative rep button should just be taken off.
     
  18. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    ditto that, for me!

    i've been doing what i can for writers on writing sites for years, have left sites that became so contentious they did more harm than good, and this one is the best of the lot, by far... has been from its inception [having been a welcome haven for others like me who couldn't stand the goings-on at its almost-namesake] and still is today... and with the high quality of mods/admin and [the vast majority of] members we're blessed with, will undoubtedly still be, for a lot of tomorrows...

    let's hear it for us, kids!
     
  19. hiddennovelist
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    hiddennovelist Contributing Member Contributor

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    That's the nice thing about this being the internet, though, isn't it. If someone makes you that angry, you don't have to respond in the heat of the moment. Instead, you can turn off your computer, cool off for a bit, come back later and respond in a more adult manner.

    I would be lying if I said I had never seen a thread closed or a post deleted and been frustrated by it, but I don't think it's been anything worth complaining about. Like Saulty said, if it ain't broke, don't fix it.
     
  20. Ashleigh
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    Ashleigh Contributing Member Contributor

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    But you're still assuming that they'll be able to think properly when something annoys them - why would it be any different on the internet? If anything, it's easier to get your rage out. You could walk away from an argument IRL, and you could turn your PC off on the internet. However, in a moment of anger - nobody really does that, and those that do can't say they always have or always will either.

    That's a very idealist view you have.
     
  21. Agreen
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    Agreen Faceless Man Contributor

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    Eliminating the option for negative rep would be best, I agree. I honestly hadn't realised it was so common- I've not encountered negative rep on this site.
     
  22. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Agreed, 100%. But only Daniel can do that, when he has time, and if is easy enough to implement in that limited time.

    It hasn't been an urgent matter until now, because most people have been pretty well behaved, and haven't used it maliciously. The few reported incidents were dealt with quietly.

    Misuse of it is not at all common. It happens occasionally, but saying the "most people do it" is a distortion.
     
  23. KP Williams
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    KP Williams Contributing Member

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    I didn't even know we had a rep button until now. :rolleyes:
     
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  24. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    This conversation is going down a rough road and is quickly turning away from the topic and onto those discussing the topic.


    I was unhappy with it's presence from the start but did not feel it correct to stifle the OP's right to express himself.

    I am not at all thrilled with the tone it is taking and before this fire flares up I am putting it down.
     
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