case studies

We're doing it wrong...we know

Postby technopatra » Mon Mar 22, 2004 9:17 pm

DVD Burner wrote:case studies:

shall I stop collecting these so called users?

I'll admit to being an "OOP"s kinda guy.


Yeah - they don't post, being bots and all, so theypose no threat. I've disabled a couple of them to see what, if any, response I get. The emails and ICQ addresses are fake.
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Postby technopatra » Mon Mar 22, 2004 9:26 pm

precipitate wrote:> it would be a reasonable thing to copy'n'paste the relavent topics and
> coalese them into a new thread.

I disagree. It would be a reasonable thing to have enough moderators that
the relevant bits could be administratively migrated (intact, none of this
relying on people's proper use of BBCode for quoting, etc.) to a new
thread.

But I think the crucial issue here is that, in the absence of actual
moderation, it is silly to expect these threads to remain a pristine
repository of information. And I'm not sure that's their intended purpose.
And taking it upon yourself to cut and paste things, while possibly having
an admirable goal, is potentially a lot more disruptive than just leaving
stuff alone.


Agreed with all of the above, which brings the moderator question back into play.

We've been chatting about having a group of erangers - folks who would be like rangers, the first responders. They wouldn't actaully have admin permissions, so they would focus on vibe patrol and be able to encourage folks back to more winning behaviour when they get too far out of line. They would then report issues that need formal responses to the admins, who would then go be bad cop. The only drawback is that the admins might end up being a bottleneck.

We could have a more empowered group of moderators, tho. I'll look into hwat it would take to break out the admin permissions, so we could have moderators who could lock, move, and merge threads, but not delete any posts. That is a permission I am only comfortable having web team volunteers do, as the potential for abuse drops significantly when you answer to a team of people.

What think, guys?
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Postby juanicoheal » Mon Mar 22, 2004 9:35 pm

I say go for it. It seems that there are is a group that already reads <almost> every posting on the board, and reports back to the 'policies' forum with concerns.

The only problem IMHO is that these same will have to keep their hackles in check when it comes to the flamers.
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Postby III » Mon Mar 22, 2004 10:41 pm

my thoughts are that we may be ready for a group of moderatro types, with no extra privileges, and very limited ability to do anything under the color of authority. there's not enough experience to be able to provide uniform guidelines for all the situations we'd run into, and different people would handle them very differently.

it's why i created a case studies thread in the first place, so we could develop some community consensus on how to treat those situations. and once there's a consensus it can be presented to the rest of the community by pretty much any spokes person. if that requires blocking threads or other adminsitrative action, and no one from the web team is willing to be an active participant in the online community, those responsibilities could be delegated to *one* person that the others find trustworthy (i.e. probably not me...)
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Postby III » Mon Mar 22, 2004 10:43 pm

>>moderatro

i meant moderator. damn y'all for making be one of those "but you know what i mean" people.
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Postby rodent » Tue Mar 23, 2004 3:37 am

III wrote:>>moderatro

i meant moderator. damn y'all for making be one of those "but you know what i mean" people.


Suuuuuure... keep them thinking that. Don't let them know that by day, you're mild mannered III, programmer and blinky sunglassed icon... but by night... you're MODERATRO!!! Evil Villan of the Eplaya!!! Dispensing moderation to the unsuspecting masses!!! MODERATRO the HEY-CHILL-OUT-Y'ALL!!! Fear the power of MODERATRO!!! He'll quiet you down... FOR EVIL!!!!


(sorry, couldn't pass that one up)
we now return you to your regularly scheduled nit-picking.
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Postby DVD Burner » Tue Mar 23, 2004 3:48 am

just posting behind Rodent to prevent him from changing that last usual funny.
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Postby rodent » Tue Mar 23, 2004 9:54 am

DAMN... and I was going to add "Marvel at his Battle Ready, Flame War Preventing Arm... um.... thingy... uh... OF DOOM!!!"

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Postby juanicoheal » Tue Mar 23, 2004 1:11 pm

- and with those blinky glasses - he can see right through you.
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wordcrime

Postby Panther » Wed Mar 24, 2004 9:46 pm

technopatra wrote:We've been chatting about having a group of erangers - folks who would be like rangers, the first responders. They wouldn't actaully have admin permissions, so they would focus on vibe patrol and be able to encourage folks back to more winning behaviour when they get too far out of line. They would then report issues that need formal responses to the admins, who would then go be bad cop. The only drawback is that the admins might end up being a bottleneck.

viewtopic.php?p=42018#42018
ePlaya Forum Index -> ePlaya Feedback -> Policies & Our Community -> case studies


Comrade,
A second alternative exists that can supplement the E-Ranger patrols, to keep things from getting "too far out of line":

Recently, a user had to be castigated for posting a topic with title - "[eplayan's name] is an idiot." The Eplaya Admins could put a ban on the word 'idiot', essentially preventing such a violation of the TOS from every happening again by making this statement impossible to render on Eplaya in the present. Such past violations can be rectified as well by doing a search and replace on those words, eliminating them from the records. Remember, who controls the past, controls the future: who controls the present controls the past.1

In fact, it's word usage that is altogether causing the problem. We could save on time by cutting down on many of the words being used. There are many words that can be eliminated. Of course, the greatest wastage is in the verbs and adjectives, but there are hundreds of nouns that can be got be rid of as well. It isn't only the synonyms; there are also the antonyms. After all, what justification is there for a word which is simply the opposite of some other words? A word contains its opposite in itself.
Take 'good' for instance. If you have a word like 'good', what need is there for a word like 'bad'? 'Ungood' will do just as well-- better, because it's an exact opposite, which the other is not. Or again, if you want a stronger version of 'good', what sense is there in having a whole string of vague useless words like 'excellent' and 'splendid' and all the rest of them? 'Plusgood' covers the meaning, or 'Doubleplusgood' if you want something stronger still.1

Panther :)
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1 Orwell, G. "1984", Harcourt Brace and Co, 1949
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Postby precipitate » Wed Mar 24, 2004 10:21 pm

> Harcourt Brace and Co, 1949

Yeah, before they got that commie Jovanovich involved.
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Postby DVD Burner » Wed Mar 24, 2004 10:57 pm

so will this mean I wont be able to call the bush followers idiots anymore? :cry:
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Postby juanicoheal » Thu Mar 25, 2004 12:15 am

er, um - Excuse me -

Panther,
Are you purporting censorship of the eplaya?
Or should I just exchange 'dumbfuck' for idiot?

Maybe you can still call me a newbie for my naivete, but I didn't think censorship of opinion or expression was an ideology held by the citizens of this community.

I agree that people, at times, should just keep their opinions to themselves. However, removal of words from the acceptable dictionary cannot be touted as a cure.

Pedantic name calling and flaming are violations of the TOS and CG, and should be dealt with accordingly, whether by TP and the admin team, or erangers. Limiting the dictionary is a violation of the FIRST amendment to your constitution, and therefore the laws of California which in turn dictate the operation of this board.

---------------------------------------

I have to say that the result of the topic thread you are refering to; the subsequent lock on said thread; apology thread; and 'insulted' eplayan showing truthful insight to castigated user's initial topic title in his own topic thread has been a rather amusing progression to observe.
{if I have gotten any of the links incorrect, I'll go directly to 'apology' and make ammends}

----------------------------------------
your subject was a fitting description - "wordcrime"
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Postby precipitate » Thu Mar 25, 2004 12:28 am

<poke>

<poke>

<poke>

It's not a violation of the terms of service, even when it's annoying.

I point you to the Urban Dictionary definition of troll.

I am currently undecided as to whether Panther is amusing or annoying. At
least Panther proofreads well.
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Postby Badger » Thu Mar 25, 2004 12:33 am

Agreed.

And anyone volunteering for the role you've described Tecno should be dismissed immediately.

A few names come to mind that make me uncomfortable were they to be catapoulted into the monitoring thing.

Sometimes a tap on the shoulder might be the way to go with this.
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Postby juanicoheal » Thu Mar 25, 2004 12:38 am

I was refering to the blatant name calling, and direct attack as violating the TOS, and most of the time it's dealt with pretty darn quick by the community.

And I can't proofread werth shit....... even when I try.
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Postby precipitate » Thu Mar 25, 2004 12:43 am

So this brings up an interesting question (one which probably should not be
asked) in regards to moderation.

Moderators need to be above criticism, to a certain degree. They must be
perceived to be impartial, regardless of their personal preferences.

Is it possible that Badger, or I, could be effective moderaters were it done
with another login? Is it possible that such personas could attain enough
credibility to guide the eplaya community?

I ask because the personalities that now have both enough time on the
boards and enough impartiality are limited to technopatra. And I know
she doesn't have enough time to do the job.

So how do you handle it?

I'll cross-post in suggestions.
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Postby III » Thu Mar 25, 2004 1:56 am

>>Limiting the dictionary is a violation of the FIRST amendment to your constitution, and therefore the laws of California which in turn dictate the operation of this board.


that's a joke, right?

(and am i drifting too much?)
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Postby DVD Burner » Thu Mar 25, 2004 2:08 am

So would "you are one wanna be aristocrat of the worst kind" qualify as Pedantic name calling and flaming? :?
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Postby technopatra » Thu Mar 25, 2004 2:12 am

Precip is correct in that I can not devote as much time as I would like to adminning these boards. I have a day job that eats a lot of my screen time, and sometimes I just don't even want to look at my computer when I come home from work. There are just too many conversations, and to be honest, it's diffuclt to remember to pay attention to the ones that do not personally interest.

More to the point, tho, I don't think the boards should have a single voice of authority. This is not my personal domain and I do not want anyone to view it as such. I would like there to be other trusted impartial voices contributing to the stewardship of this community.

We recently had a discussion at Burning Man HQ about the success & failures of running a team by a counsel rather than having one leader. The pros far outweigh the cons, and some of the pros - like the fact that diversity breeds greater understanding among people, that it's more enriching and engaging to be a participant than a superior or subordinate, and the outstanding opportunity to prove that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts is ever present - are so integral to this community that they have made their way into our governance. The fact that our philosophies actually guide us at this team management level is something that makes me proud to be a part of the Project.

In the spirit of sharing the governance, here are some observations I've made about being an admin that I think will apply to the experience of being a moderator, as well. These are not rules written in stone, but rather some things that have affected my approach and I feel are worth considering.

1 - Your personal opinion on a particular topic is not relevant, and in fact, is counter-productive to your job as a mediating presence.

2 - Swallowing said opinion can take practice and many deep breaths.

3 - Never, ever, ever, ever post your first response to any issue. give yourself the leeway to write a rant and get any emotion out of your system - then DO NOT POST IT. Toss it and start another one. This is a good approach even when you think you are being cool right off the bat. (I kind of wish more people would do this all the time)

4 - Most people are receptive to constructive feedback about their behavior. It is always worth approaching someone to see where they are at before making any judgement - internally or externally. If they are not receptive, well, just so long as they're not breakin' any rules, leave them and their attitude alone. The community is smart and sensitive enough to support who they want.

5 - Be aware of your effect on a conversation. As a person of authority, people to take your words with a certain amount of weight, and you have to be conscious that you are not blithely throwing that weight around. What may seem like mild statements to you can come across as final words, which kills conversation. Sometimes not contributing to a conversation is the best thing you can do to keep it alive.
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Postby DVD Burner » Thu Mar 25, 2004 2:19 am

damn Ms. T you're quick. I just got through the other threads before I got to this one and you already have written a book.

touche'
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Postby Badger » Thu Mar 25, 2004 11:29 am

Referring back to The WELL here in the bay area. One of the ways that they moderate is for a particular person - usually one who shows themselves invested in the topic (and board) - to adopt a particulat area/topic/grouping. Any complaints about the moderator's style can then be pushed up the pole to the admin where the complaints are evaluated. Still, the role requires a thick skin.

Just an idea.
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Postby Chai Guy » Thu Mar 25, 2004 12:00 pm

For me anyway, I'm not so much concerned about the ocassional flame war or thinned skinned yahoo getting bent out of shape as I am about things like crossposting, posting in inappropriate areas (i.e. posting a question about shade structures in "Newbie Information" rather than in "Structures").

I would like to see more management of threads, moving threads and consolidation of threads that would make using this board as resource more effective.

Going right along with that idea, I'm finding that some of the threads are being deleted or "auto pruned", thus requiring new threads on topics that have already been covered in great detail (i.e. teenagers at Burning Man).
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what she said... and he said!

Postby emily sparkle » Thu Mar 25, 2004 4:43 pm

mz. technopatra wrote:
Precip is correct in that I can not devote as much time as I would like to adminning these boards. I have a day job that eats a lot of my screen time, and sometimes I just don't even want to look at my computer when I come home from work. There are just too many conversations, and to be honest, it's diffuclt to remember to pay attention to the ones that do not personally interest.


wow, i only get a few moments a week to spend reading the eplaya -- and today i chose this thread. how apropos.... for me, it's a combo of all the things above and the fact that my house only has one computer and it's no where near my couch! i love my little job though. technopatra's time puts me to shame!

of course, i didn't have time to read the *whole* thread... which brings me to chai's comment:

I would like to see more management of threads, moving threads and consolidation of threads that would make using this board as resource more effective.

Going right along with that idea, I'm finding that some of the threads are being deleted or "auto pruned", thus requiring new threads on topics that have already been covered in great detail (i.e. teenagers at Burning Man.


this could be a full time job for at least one person. what a blast it would be, how connected you would feel to the community! :)

[/quote]
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Postby Guest » Thu Mar 25, 2004 5:00 pm

Due to Precipitate's mean spirited attitude toward newbies, she needs to disqualify herself from being a moderator on the eplaya.
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Postby Chai Guy » Thu Mar 25, 2004 5:00 pm

this could be a full time job for at least one person. what a blast it would be, how connected you would feel to the community!


I wouldn't envision it taking up too much time, I would gladly volunteer to help consolidate threads, and move things into their proper place.

I guess my main concern is this, I've been on these message boards when they were just a single thread. Since then I've seem them wiped out several times. My hope would be that we could retain this information so that we wouldn't have to start from scratch every few years. (in re: to autopruning)
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Postby Ivy » Thu Mar 25, 2004 5:54 pm

Due to Precipitate's mean spirited attitude toward newbies, she needs to disqualify herself from being a moderator on the eplaya.


She's not a moderator and never was. Problem solved.
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Postby III » Thu Mar 25, 2004 6:32 pm

>>I've been on these message boards when they were just a single thread.

drift: cool - someone who predates me & robthewop. what handle did you post under back when? (i think we joined up when it was 4 threads, and no registration)
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Postby Tancorix » Thu Mar 25, 2004 6:52 pm

There are no moderators. It's just two main admins, and maybe Spanky once in a while if I remember right.

In any event, despite all the gripes the board imho is working well enough that it doesn't need moderators. Maybe a little thread realignment but otherwise, let it go.
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Postby Chai Guy » Thu Mar 25, 2004 7:50 pm

cool - someone who predates me & robthewop. what handle did you post under back when?


This was back in 97-98 and I was more of a reader than a poster back then. I posted under the names Da' Mayor, and later E.D. but I doubt anyone would remember because I very rarely posted.
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