Author Topic: Self-policing, and then a quick devolution into discussing impracticalities 40k  (Read 12386 times)

Alaric

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In this case (as the off-topiccer), I had no real way of knowing if the off-topic stuff I posted would be interesting or not, so I had no way to know to cross link it. In this exact case, you splitting the 40K stuff off and putting it somewhere else with a note letting us know where would be a fine solution, but not one that we could do anything about without near-mod powers.

Or a report to moderator feature...

That is what that feature is for! It's not for getting people in trouble, it is for bringing moderator attention to the things that need moderator action.

Alternatively, if you intend to be the second person to reply to something interesting but off topic (or rather, the first to continue going off topic) then make the new topic where it belongs and crosslink. Surely if you feel the need to reply then it must be interesting enough...?

Part of the problem (for me, anyway) is that alot of the stuff I'll write isn't strictly off-topic (in this case, directly referencing the OP's problem topic), but that it is a separate discussion. As I mentioned earlier, bringing it up elsewhere wouldn't make any sense (I don't necessarily have the attention of the OP in a new topic), and PM's don't make sense, since I'm fine with the community weighing in on the discussion. So (for now) it's easier to go off topic inside of a thread; though I'd use a sub-thread, tag, or self-flag off-topic posts if those options were readily available.

In this case (with respect to the off topic part), you were indeed referencing the OP's problem topic but in an off-topic manner. What does 40k's ship size have to do with kaptnkrunch's troubles? It is tangentially related but still off topic. It shouldn't be hard to determine something like that would be best suited as a link to a new topic ("Related to your thread, I have an issue with 40k's ship sizes. Read about it here!"), or perhaps even bring it up in the existing 40k thread. Making an offhand comment about something off-topic is fine; going full-bore into detail (especially when its content is longer than the on-topic stuff!) is not.

You don't need the attention of the OP directly in a new thread. If you put a link with a teaser as to the content that would be sufficient; if the OP (or any other reader, for that matter) were interested he or she would voluntarily follow. This is not intended as a personal jab (I believe you yourself meant well with it) but "I don't have the attention of the OP" is objectively a selfish attitude, and effectively hijacking an existing thread does not bode well for the merits of your own discussion. Just because something is "easier" doesn't make it right, so long as the alternative option isn't overly complicated. Having to deal with sub-topics and flags and bookmarks (none of which are currently implemented, and to who's benefit? such a system only works if everyone participates) is much more complicated than reporting a discussion which needs to be moved or creating a new topic when appropriate (both of which are already in use on this forum, by the members).

However, that isn't how forums work; people come to them to discuss.

"Not how forums work" is a matter of opinion, of which there are varying degrees across the Internet. Obviously my opinion on the matter differs from yours but I do not exclaim that this is how forums are supposed to work. I merely stated that is not the intent of this forum. Yes, people come to forums to discuss. Curated discussion is still discussion, and curated discussion is also productive discussion. Most forums are not social free-for-alls, they are established for a purpose. Discussion can still be had within the scope of that purpose, and most forums also provide a section explicitly for discussion which is not.

Which brings us back to the topic of this thread: self-policing. Both of our proposed systems require active participation by the community to achieve the the goal which we all share. Can a collection of self-tagged posts and self-moderated member community be effective at keeping discussions useful? Of course it can. But if the current community cannot already police itself in following the very simple forum rules then please forgive me for the lack of confidence in its ability to voluntarily adhere to a system of self-organization. Some members will (and do), but just as it is "easier" to go off topic it will be "easier" to just ignore tags and flags entirely - both systems have the same weakness. At that point it comes down to the preferred style of site moderation (self, or by appointed delegates) determined by the owners/administrators of the forum, ZanMgt.
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kaptnkrunch

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I feel like you're trying to model the forums too much like a wiki, Alaric, with an aim of retaining information.

The reason we haven't posted (or wouldn't think of posting in) the 40k thread is because:
A) I didn't know it existed
B) Discussion probably died > 1 year ago

New members find it a nightmare coming here and raising what they think is an interesting point about space-ship design and then being told to read an old thread, with  a discussion they weren't involved in. That would be the point of a wiki. People are here to banter about space-ships, sci-fi, 40k, whatever.

The tangentiality and off topic-ing is generally what keeps threads interesting. The reason I had a problem wiht the posts mentioned in the OP is that they didn't add anything to the discussion they were inserted into.

Cross-linking and forcing an unnatural separate thread then leaves links lying around the original thread is just as irritating as an offtopic post in a lot of ways, and you can be sure the next poster will ignore the link and reply about the offtopic subject in the original thread, and then the discussion is killed and the fun is removed.


For time domain independent data retention we want a wiki. I consider the forums as 'live' and don't generally expect people to have read more than the OP and a couple of other posts in a thread they haven't been with from the start.

I openly admit to not having read the forum rules (or at least don't recall doing so). I've always figured they should be the normal :
-Thou shalt not flame
-Thou shalt not be a dick
-Thou shalt not post NSFW.

I'm also willling to bet that very few have read them and you can't get people to read them at gunpoint.

Rules/laws fundamentally have to be a socio-political compact based loosely on what the community in question feel is the right way of doing things. Laws against things in real life only work because people generally 'feel' them to be true. Look at the drinking age in the US, sure it's 21 for kids protection, but it doesn't achieve much because everyone gets drunk anyway as it's just a natural thing to do at that age - there's effectively no soul or feeling that they should comply for the rule-breaker.


Thadius Faran

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Yesterday I was a bit agitated and was'nt quite thinking straight withall the crazy stuff happening in my life. Tell you what Kaptn I will delete my posts for you and someone can just lock this thread.
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Me2005

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Or a report to moderator feature...

That is what that feature is for! It's not for getting people in trouble, it is for bringing moderator attention to the things that need moderator action.

See, I figured it was for getting people in trouble, hence I don't use it on myself. A "request a topic split" might be a good button to add, that does exactly the same thing as the report button but with a different (less frightening) name.


Alternatively, if you intend to be the second person to reply to something interesting but off topic (or rather, the first to continue going off topic) then make the new topic where it belongs and crosslink. Surely if you feel the need to reply then it must be interesting enough...?

Actually, the rules also say
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*Practice forum etiquette
Avoid cross posting...

So if we're strictly going by the rules I can't do that either.

In this case (with respect to the off topic part), you were indeed referencing the OP's problem topic but in an off-topic manner. What does 40k's ship size have to do with kaptnkrunch's troubles? It is tangentially related but still off topic.

Oh I knew it was going off topic, hence the header between it and the other portion of the post.

or perhaps even bring it up in the existing 40k thread.

That thread isn't initially about what I was bringing up either, and it'd be a severe necro to post in it (basic forum etiquette).


You don't need the attention of the OP directly in a new thread. If you put a link with a teaser as to the content that would be sufficient; if the OP (or any other reader, for that matter) were interested he or she would voluntarily follow. This is not intended as a personal jab (I believe you yourself meant well with it) but "I don't have the attention of the OP" is objectively a selfish attitude, and effectively hijacking an existing thread does not bode well for the merits of your own discussion.

I've tried to open up new topics in this manner before, and it's only been somewhat successful. It usually only works when the topic becomes popular (or controversial) of its own merit, not because I cross-linked it.

Which brings us back to the topic of this thread: self-policing

In my defense, we're actually in a much more in-depth conversation about that than we would have been had I not started an off-topic chain. You fell perfectly into my trap... :D

But if the current community cannot already police itself in following the very simple forum rules then please forgive me for the lack of confidence in its ability to voluntarily adhere to a system of self-organization. Some members will (and do), but just as it is "easier" to go off topic it will be "easier" to just ignore tags and flags entirely - both systems have the same weakness.

I figure that it would still be easy to go off-topic, but it would also be easy to go back and tag that as off topic, or post a sub-topic (threaded topics? Whatever it is when you see replies to a specific post as indented, but replies to the main post as not).

The ultimate goal here is to figure out a system that works for the mod/dev team's goal of organized information and the users' goal of having a conversation. If something is going to change, what should it be to achieve that? I don't know much about how forums actually work, so I don't know how easy/hard it is to add totally new features (a plugin? Programming it? Flip a switch?). User behavior hasn't changed to meet your current expectations, so that's probably still out, unless you want to moderate more aggressively. Your (the mods/devs) expectations could be changed, but I'm not in charge of those (nor are the other users); they're yours/the mod teams/the devs' to set/hold as you see fit. I guess just pick what's easiest and see how it goes.
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Strait Raider

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See, I figured it was for getting people in trouble, hence I don't use it on myself. A "request a topic split" might be a good button to add, that does exactly the same thing as the report button but with a different (less frightening) name.

If you're intimidated by the "report" function, you can always PM one of the mod team.

We've had plenty of use of the report function to inform us of off-topic discussions or to request help in reformatting threads, in addition to reporting spammers and offensive content.

I think it says a lot about the character of the user in how they use it. If you view the mods as the friendly local cop who'll help you push your car out of a snowbank, you're more likely to ask for help. If you view them as the Gestapo then well, you're probably a bit less likely to ask for help unless you want help getting back at your neighbor.

Actually, the rules also say
Quote
*Practice forum etiquette
Avoid cross posting...

So if we're strictly going by the rules I can't do that either.

Cross-posting is the act of posting the same message in multiple threads. (Part of the reason we try to keep specific discussions confined to one thread where possible is to avoid this)

Cross-linking is saying "See this link for background on my argument." Or "I've started a new thread on this here (link) because this is unrelated to the thread topic."

This is much preferable to re-posting walls of text and other posts or carrying the existing thread off-topic, which is confusing to people searching the forums and inconsiderate to people attempting to discuss the topic.

Oh I knew it was going off topic(...)

That's usually a good indicator that you should take the discussion to the "Off Topic" board.

That thread isn't initially about what I was bringing up either, and it'd be a severe necro to post in it (basic forum etiquette).

There is no harm in necro'ing a thread. In fact, we encourage it here as an alternative to making multiple threads on the same topic. It is respectful to reference and acknowledge existing discussions rather than blatantly ignoring them. It provides a single source for information on a topic and helps to prevent excessive reposting.

I've tried to open up new topics in this manner before, and it's only been somewhat successful. It usually only works when the topic becomes popular (or controversial) of its own merit, not because I cross-linked it.

As you state, if the topic has merit, it will become popular regardless of whether it is cross-linked or stuck in an existing thread. Therefore we would appreciate the courtesy of not hijacking other threads and posting under a new (relavent) topic so that the discussion is easier to find and the topic actually reflects the discussion.

User behavior hasn't changed to meet your current expectations, so that's probably still out, unless you want to moderate more aggressively. Your (the mods/devs) expectations could be changed, but I'm not in charge of those (nor are the other users); they're yours/the mod teams/the devs' to set/hold as you see fit. I guess just pick what's easiest and see how it goes.

I disagree. For the most part everyone has gotten along with the rules remarkably well, even those for whom these rules are a departure from what they are used to. We appreciate this greatly as it makes our work much easier. We know we run a tighter ship here than some, but we feel that we have built a more courteous and structured community because of it. We see no need to change these policies at this time.
« Last Edit: April 10, 2013, 02:20:25 pm by Strait Raider »

Aaron

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See, I figured it was for getting people in trouble, hence I don't use it on myself. A "request a topic split" might be a good button to add, that does exactly the same thing as the report button but with a different (less frightening) name.

Adding in a "Request Split Topic" function is beyond our current abilities (unless someone in the community has hidden PHP talents we're unaware of!), but what we could do is either:

A) Rename "Report to moderator" to something like "Comment on Post for a Moderator", or "Highlight for Moderator", or "Bring to moderator's attention" or something..?
B) Make a new group that only has "Split Topic" (and *maybe* Edit Post) capabilities, so not as powerful as a moderator in terms of banning, etc.

We're already considering adding a few more moderators to the roster, so that may just solve that problem.

Re: Off-Topic

A little bit of wandering never hurt anyone, and we don't need moderators to overly police a discussion regardless of it going off-topic to some degree (with the exception of News/Administrative posts, where I am less lenient on it going off-topic). We would like to first and foremost to encourage civility and respect in discussions, which means belligerent hijacking of a thread where the OP is still actively discuss their original topic is out of the question.

A permanent warning before you're able to post ala Blizzard's Battle.net forum might be encouraged in this regard, though less emphasis on general forum rules and more towards keeping this a gentleman's forum.  I.e. 'Contructive Criticism', 'Stay On Topic Where Indicated', etc.  We're all here for entertainment and fun, after all.  ::)


« Last Edit: April 10, 2013, 02:34:46 pm by Aaron »
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kaptnkrunch

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See, I figured it was for getting people in trouble, hence I don't use it on myself. A "request a topic split" might be a good button to add, that does exactly the same thing as the report button but with a different (less frightening) name.

Adding in a "Request Split Topic" function is beyond our current abilities (unless someone in the community has hidden PHP talents we're unaware of!), but what we could do is either:

A) Rename "Report to moderator" to something like "Comment on Post for a Moderator", or "Highlight for Moderator", or "Bring to moderator's attention" or something..?
B) Make a new group that only has "Split Topic" (and *maybe* Edit Post) capabilities, so not as powerful as a moderator in terms of banning, etc.

We're already considering adding a few more moderators to the roster, so that may just solve that problem.

Renaming the moderator button would be a good idea. 'Report' sounds a bit to much like snitching, "Draw to moderators attention" might be better. I generally don't use it probably from an english 'I don't want to waste someone's time unless it's important' sort of viewpoint.

Sub-board or board-specific moderators might make sense for people who are particularly active in 'multiplayer' or 'ideas & suggestions''

Aaron

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Maybe "Leave Comment for Moderator"?

edit:

I have no preference, just looking for "best of the bunch". =P
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Hufer

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Maybe "Leave Comment for Moderator"?

edit:

I have no preference, just looking for "best of the bunch". =P



Report a moderator works fine, if you're basing a problem off one single cause it will work fine once said problem becomes that pig of a problem, problem?

Now if there were a theoretical army of "problems" the ability to police our own Ship Posting threads/Faction threads would be nice, especially because of the limited space in posts and the required amount of space to post ship information.
« Last Edit: April 10, 2013, 03:06:12 pm by Hufer »

Alaric

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"Raise moderator"  (too obscure)
"Alert moderator"  (too much like "report")
"Summon moderator"  (we live off world)
"Attention to moderator"  (awkward phrase)

The point is that moderators are supposed to moderate - that is, steer the discussion (think of debate moderators). Splitting topics and the like are under the purview of digitally "steering" the discussion, i.e. making sure the conversation stays relevant; it's not a waste of our time - it's our job! Sometimes "laying down the law" is necessary, but our ultimate goal is for there to be meaningful conversation. Of course, if you really don't want to waste our time you could do your part (collectively) to help prevent these issues from cropping up in the first place...
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<Czorio> The bittersweet embrace of the Alaric is the only embrace I'll ever know.
<Gabriel> Because Alaric robbed your pleasure...
<Aaron> I feel dirty. Alaric, pls hold me.
<Terah> I don't guess when it comes to you Alaric, I just assume you are always watching...

Niwantaw

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"Summon moderator"  (we live off world)


You mean you don't? But I...
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Me2005

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Hmph, thought I had written out a reply yesterday. Oh well:

"Raise moderator"  (too obscure)
"Alert moderator"  (too much like "report")
"Summon moderator"  (we live off world)
"Attention to moderator"  (awkward phrase)

"Flag (for moderator action)" seems better. The scheme I'm using just has "Report" in the corner, so just "Flag" would be fine. Maybe we should do something thematic, like "Target (for moderator)," "Disintegrate (from thread; has the benefit of being pun-y)," or "Blockade (from this thread)."

Quote
The point is that moderators are supposed to moderate - that is, steer the discussion (think of debate moderators). Splitting topics and the like are under the purview of digitally "steering" the discussion, i.e. making sure the conversation stays relevant; it's not a waste of our time - it's our job! Sometimes "laying down the law" is necessary, but our ultimate goal is for there to be meaningful conversation. Of course, if you really don't want to waste our time you could do your part (collectively) to help prevent these issues from cropping up in the first place...

I know I've seen a number of topics where a mod stepped in and warned us about being off-topic or split the thread into it's distinct parts, and all it ended up doing was killing off the thread. Sometimes we may have drifted off the main topic, but over the course of the whole discussion and we're usually still on-topic tangentially. As long as people are interested and aren't being personally attacked (which has happened; though I try to ignore it when it happens to me and just go after the main points, not sure how successful I've been at that), I'd figure any discussion is good (IMO we haven't had too much in the way of totally meaningless discussion, plenty that doesn't/won't/can't strictly apply to the game though).
But you were dead a thousand times. Hopeless encounters successfully won. A man long dead, grafted to machines your builders did not understand. You follow the path, fitting into an infinite pattern. Yours to manipulate, to create and rebuild.

I know who you are.

You are destiny.

kaptnkrunch

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Back on the original reason for thread:

I would really deeply like the ability to police the HDN roleplaying thread.

Strait Raider

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In a word, no.

Firstly, we can't. Permissions can't be assigned on a thread-by-thread basis. If we gave someone edit/delete privileges they would be able to edit/delete across threads. Essentially they would be a board moderator without access to admin forums or ban abilities.

Secondly, we wouldn't if we could. Starting a thread with your name on it does not give any ownership over the thread. Insomuch as the topic of the thread is your ships or your roleplaying environment, we respect that the discussion should stay on that topic. (within reason) If you want total control over how your content is displayed, you'll have to host somewhere that gives you your own little sandbox. As a forum, this is first and foremost a place where you post your content or ideas for discussion. You take the good with the bad, and unless somebody is breaking the rules, you put up with it. If they are breaking the rules, use the report to moderator button, that's what it's there for.

Erebus

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Back on the original reason for thread:

I would really deeply like the ability to police the HDN roleplaying thread.

Come on let it go. I dont want to sound insulting, but Im pretty sure Thadius is just a little kid, 14 at most. Just ignore him.