it's time

Want to request a new feature? You've come to the right place...

Postby technopatra » Sun Nov 23, 2003 11:26 pm

Bob wrote:Such data stored on the server may potentially be used by admins, moderators, or whomever has access, for undisclosed purposes.


Whoa there, sugar pie. I love a conspiracy theory as much as the next guy, but that's just plain silly.

I think you are vastly overestimating our time and resources, and vastly underestimating our motivation.
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Postby Kinetic II » Sun Nov 23, 2003 11:58 pm

Right now TP you may be right. The ORG does not have the resources on many levels to exploit this kind of info. However things change and I could sit here and think of scenarios where info collected could be used for alternate purposes in the future. Information still holds value even if it's not the most current stuff...so even having it around in an archive could cause problems later.

Hmmm...this leads me to taking a look at the ORG's privacy policies, which I haven't ran a search on to see what, if anything exists. Anyway I'll shut up now, I'm just in free association mode and rambling again.
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Postby technopatra » Mon Nov 24, 2003 12:18 am

Kinetic II wrote:Right now TP you may be right. The ORG does not have the resources on many levels to exploit this kind of info. However things change and I could sit here and think of scenarios where info collected could be used for alternate purposes in the future.


Care to share those? Call me naive, you may well be right, but I can't imagine there being anything in stored in the data that would be more useful than the discussions themselves - which are free for anyone to mine as they wish.

Unless I hear something specific, I just can't understand your and Bob's concerns well enough to be able to take them seriously.

Help me get it.
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Postby Niacin » Mon Nov 24, 2003 6:09 am

Badger wrote:
In what we may assume to be an ideal plonking scenario, no one would know whom anybody else is plonking.


That's how I've always envisoned it. Nothing public, no stats, no shaming, no popularity contest.

Just want something that I can click that erases/removes/blanks out all posts by cretinous, clue-deprived asswads (and there innumerable sock puppets) while I'm logged in here.

If you could figure out a way to remotely electrify their keyboards so they get a 40 amp shock each time they bang out their slavering drivel, that'd be a plus.


I completely agree and thusly will supply Badger with much beer.

As far as the usability of plonk statistics, I'd like to think that eventually, said plonkee would figure out, "Hey, I must be plonked or something. What am I doing wrong?" but I know said plonkee will just change their username or something, so I don't see much value in the plonk as a correctional tool.

What would the mods/admins do with the plonk statistics, anyway? Take away the plonkee's lunch money?

Cheers,
Max
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Postby technopatra » Mon Nov 24, 2003 12:37 pm

Bob wrote:I would certainly welcome successful, working examples of a killfiling scenario in the context of a web-based bbs similar to the eplaya, in which the killfile data is stored semi-publicly on the server rather than privately on users' machines.


Me too. I would love to learn from some other admin's experience.

But to put all this in perspective, let me again reiterate that the plonking discussion is entirely academic, as I did not find an existing plonking mod that satisfies the user requests, yet, anyway.

It's entirely possibly that we won't , and don't have time to develop one in the near future. We are going to be exploring other mods that are already avaialble, first, and it could be that those ease the pain of navigating the boards to such an extent that plonking itself become less desirable. We'll have to wait 'n see.
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Re: Point of clarification

Postby antron » Mon Nov 24, 2003 5:50 pm

technopatra wrote:This mod does not seem to actually exist, yet. I spent the afternoon hunting the phpbb site for a plonking mod, and the closest one they have is an ignore user that it set by the admin, and hides the user system-wide (but he user doesn't know it, they still see their own posts".

...

Did you or Antron actually find a mod somewhere that is user- rather than admin-controlled?


i'll look again. it does appear that the link to the first mod i suggested is broken.

i'm also interested in finding a mod that is quiet. that is, it doesn't publicly disclose who is or is not ignored.
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Postby Booker » Tue Nov 25, 2003 8:43 am

Such data stored on the server may potentially be used by admins, moderators, or whomever has access, for undisclosed purposes.


I'll take this argument more seriously if you can point out a bit of data to which it would NOT apply. I'm a lot more interested in potential uses of my address/contact info, which the LLC system stores someplace for the benevolent purpose of sending my postcards and newsletters and JRSs, particularly in light of the recent decision to send political messages to the SF-announce list. Sure you're tilting at the right windmill, Don Bob?

we are trying to enable features that reduce the need for moderation . . . We will leave it to the user to decide what is appropriate use.


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Re: Point of clarification

Postby DE FACTO » Tue Nov 25, 2003 1:03 pm

Retracted post. The "Friend and ignore list" posted under "Communication from eplaya technical team to user community "
by precipitate and technopatra suited my purpose just fine.

thank you both.
Last edited by DE FACTO on Tue Nov 25, 2003 2:32 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Point of clarification

Postby technopatra » Tue Nov 25, 2003 1:17 pm

antron wrote: i'm also interested in finding a mod that is quiet. that is, it doesn't publicly disclose who is or is not ignored.


I realize that I've been nodding my head on this point, but no one can see me. Erk.

Yes, I absolutely agree that we do not want to wield shame - those who feel the need to publically address someone's behavior will continue to do so, but no plonking stats, should be they instituted, would be made public.
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Postby Don Muerto » Tue Nov 25, 2003 1:26 pm

The possible non-existence of a plonking mod that fits the bill got me thinking outside the box.

What about a manual plonk feature?

With burninman's corps of volunteers spread throughout the world I am sure we could find folks willing to visit these slobberdonkeys right in their own home and deliver a PLONK!

A quick clip to the head with a coconut-tipped baton for every e-turd left on this BBS would clean things up rather smartly IMO. Badger's electric shock idea has merit too, but the technical challenges are formidable.

(ok, that probably wasn't helpful, but I *really* want to try a manual plonk on a couple of people...)
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Postby drowned_saved » Wed Nov 26, 2003 2:55 pm

Don Muerto wrote:Badger's electric shock idea has merit too, but the technical challenges are formidable.

car battery and metal coil bed frame. the real trick is strapping them down.
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Postby Don Muerto » Wed Nov 26, 2003 3:14 pm

It was the real-time keyboard delivery that I couldn't wrap my mind around.
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Postby Bob » Wed Nov 26, 2003 10:19 pm

technopatra wrote:....Help me get it.


What's to get? It's a fact that if a plonk feature is enabled, that data would be stored and available on the server to those with access. The eplaya is essentially still just text on the page. Plonking would add a layer hidden from users, but accessible to admins.

It would be nice in the process to consider disclosure about how that data may be used -- same as with typical disclosures about use of personal data such as name, email address, etc.
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Postby Kinetic II » Wed Nov 26, 2003 11:41 pm

TP, my fear is that my personal info might wind up in the wrong hands. My fear is I'm going to end up on a marketing list someday. Or...say 10 years from now I run for elected office. My opponent decides to go muck racking and finds that info. Don't tell me it's impossible as I'll laugh hysterically and with a smile of possible awareness. Anyway I simply want private info kept private or purged after awhile.

Who knows...someday myTMI posts could come back and haunt me. If I can take some steps now to make it a bit more difficult and push for more privacy awareness, it might just pay off.

(End free thought mode.)
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Postby precipitate » Thu Nov 27, 2003 9:24 pm

1. If the LLC ever sells our names to an external party, I'm quite certain
the lynch mob will be quite easy to form.

2. Your TMI posts are already out there for ANYONE to read. No need to
log in. The spiders don't seem to index the eplaya, but no reason they
couldn't. If you're afraid, be afraid now, not in some nebulous future.

3. Yeah, OK, your data is in their database. Your plonkees and your clicks
and your posts and your IM and your ICQ. Deal with it. What, if anything,
do you think they'll do with that data? Are you afraid they'll decide to take
a draconian stance and forcibly evict anyone who's been plonked by more
than, say, ten users? C'mon. Of what practical value is that data that it
needs to be protected so vigilantly?
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Postby Bob » Sat Nov 29, 2003 7:40 pm

So what's wrong with disclosure by admins that the data either will or won't be used? I don't have an absolute opinion either way -- if a convincing case could be made for making it part of actively moderating the board, or establishing a rating system, maybe I'd go for it. Not likely, but maybe. If it's not going to be used, what's wrong with just saying so?

I've intimated nothing about how the data may be used by admins -- more a concern that greater controversy might result from having the feature than not having it, mostly among users.

How about drafting an FAQ entry for plonking? I'd like to see how somebody in favor of it is going to explain it, especially to novice users, "in the spirit of Burning Man". And I'm still waiting for good examples of a plonk feature in use on an existing web-based bbs.

I could be wrong, but I think those who already display the tendency to parade every random thought on the eplaya are likely to be extremely vocal either about using the feature to filter out others, or accusatory about those they suspect of using it to filter their posts. I'm not talking only about the usual suspects, btw.
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Postby technopatra » Mon Dec 01, 2003 10:49 am

Bob wrote:So what's wrong with disclosure by admins that the data either will or won't be used? I don't have an absolute opinion either way -- if a convincing case could be made for making it part of actively moderating the board, or establishing a rating system, maybe I'd go for it. Not likely, but maybe. If it's not going to be used, what's wrong with just saying so?


No problem. I can't think of a single way that the data would be used, and you've provided me with no feasible examples. So I'll say that it won't be used. If, for some reason that I can not currently fathom, that changes, everyone will be notified.

side note: we would not ban someone from the boards for being plonked a number of times. We would only do so if they break some major rules. Being continually annoying is not grounds for banishment.

Bob wrote:I've intimated nothing about how the data may be used by admins -- more a concern that greater controversy might result from having the feature than not having it, mostly among users.


Your concerns were heard and well addressed. As previously stated and clearly outlined earlier in this thread, everyone would have a chance to weigh in before this feature would be implemented.

Bob wrote:How about drafting an FAQ entry for plonking? I'd like to see how somebody in favor of it is going to explain it, especially to novice users, "in the spirit of Burning Man".


If we decide to go with the plonking feature, that will be provided. And I do apologize for the delays in getting the Community Guidelines done. It will go a long way to addressing folks concerns, when done.

Bob wrote:And I'm still waiting for good examples of a plonk feature in use on an existing web-based bbs.


This feature would be an experiment based on the users vocalizing a need for it. It's been requested, and we are doing due diligence to explore it. As much as I would like to, we have neither time nor resources to embark on a research project to validate the use of this feature outside the context of this bbs.

Bob wrote:I could be wrong, but I think those who already display the tendency to parade every random thought on the eplaya are likely to be extremely vocal either about using the feature to filter out others, or accusatory about those they suspect of using it to filter their posts. I'm not talking only about the usual suspects, btw.


Your arguments are definitely provoking me into doing some deeper thinking about the plonk. There are different perspectives to consider:

a) the potential plonker
b) the potential plonkee
c) the overal health of the boards

I still believe that this is empowering folks to manage their own experience. When you come across a camp on the playa that you don't like, you can communicate this in several ways:

a) be a total dick
b) tell the folks there that you flat out don't like their camp and why
c) make nice suggestions for improving their camp
d) give it a chance as is and see if it grows on you
e) walk away and don't come back

If we consider a thread to be on par with a camp, and the user as the party we are trying to appease, the plonk feature (is from what I understand of the user requests), a way of improving their experience by avoiding people who consistently choose a) as their preferred method of communication.

On the other hand, when we are looking at the worst-case scenarios, we take a different tack. Say someone is pissed when they find out they are plonked. Their options are to :

a) leave the bbs altogether
b) consider why they have been plonked, and try to show better behavior
c) ignore the plonking and go along as normal (since they weren't plonked by everyone
d) create another account
e) start spamming suspected plonkers or perform other

A would provide relief for some (many?) at the expense of one.

B requires a level of introspection a plonkee may not have acquired. Also, they are not given the opportunity to show the folks who plonked them that they have grown, since they are no longer visible to those that they offend. They would have to rely on word of mouth, or contact folks privately to be unplonked.

C everyone is happy - the plonker is relieved, the plonker is unaware or doesn't care that they've been plonked

D could indicate that the plonkee has reformed and is starting anew, or it could mean that they are just doing a same stuff under a new name, which renders the plonking useless.

E is the action of an irrational person and can probably not be prevented. If not plonking, someone who is apt to react this way will have some other trigger.

There may be more use cases to consider, as well, and we should all think about these consequences before we move forward. But the fact is, there are at least a dozen folks begging me for the plonk, one person vociferously fighting it, and a couple of people who kind of don't want want it.

I encourage you to continue this debate with them, as that is where the decision to include it or not is going to lie.
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Postby technopatra » Mon Dec 01, 2003 10:52 am

Kinetic II wrote:TP, my fear is that my personal info might wind up in the wrong hands. My fear is I'm going to end up on a marketing list someday. Or...say 10 years from now I run for elected office. My opponent decides to go muck racking and finds that info. Don't tell me it's impossible as I'll laugh hysterically and with a smile of possible awareness. Anyway I simply want private info kept private or purged after awhile.

Who knows...someday myTMI posts could come back and haunt me. If I can take some steps now to make it a bit more difficult and push for more privacy awareness, it might just pay off.

(End free thought mode.)


Ditto what Precipitate said. These boards are public. Anything you write is publicly stated and publically accessible. You are the one who controls your data, not us.
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Postby antron » Tue Dec 02, 2003 12:15 am

none of the problems, or the options are new. here's the documentation of the thought process for one vibrant community.

http://www.cc.gatech.edu/classes/AY2001/cs6470_fall/LTAND.html

what kind of place do you want to build?
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Postby Kinetic II » Tue Dec 02, 2003 12:32 am

Antron, that link helped me with something I'm working on. Thank You very much for posting it.

There are a few others who will pass through here that might want to take a look......hint hint.
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Postby technopatra » Tue Dec 02, 2003 12:05 pm

antron wrote:none of the problems, or the options are new. here's the documentation of the thought process for one vibrant community.

http://www.cc.gatech.edu/classes/AY2001/cs6470_fall/LTAND.html

what kind of place do you want to build?


Thanks for the resource, Antron. I'll read through this today.
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Postby technopatra » Tue Dec 02, 2003 1:00 pm

Wow Antron, this is incredible stuff. Thank you so much for bringing it to our attention. I'm sending this to everyone on the eplaya team, and hope to use it as the basis for our discussions on the Community Guidelines.

Bob, I also hear what you are saying about needing a board philosophy. This is a model that has worked well in my professional endeavors, and I agree that this must be a high priority, so that we can check ourselves with any rule-making and feature-adding we do. Framing our decision-making within the context of the agreed-upon philosophy/value system/social contract is so elementary and brilliant that I am ashamed we didn't come up with it first.

Thank you both so much. This has truly altered my perception of how we can have a successfully free yet supported online society.
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