Author Topic: What do you expect/want from the staff of the forum?  (Read 3868 times)

Tank

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What do you expect/want from the staff of the forum?
« on: May 01, 2012, 05:11:49 AM »
Just calibrating my behaviour to expectations.

I see the role of forum staff in two areas.

Mechanistic

Just keeping the forum running. Deleting spammer posts and accounts. Merging duplicate threads. Splitting derailments. Deleting duplicate posts etc.

Moderation

Implementing the forum rules and thus maintaining the 'feel' of the forum as a whole.

Have I missed anything?
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OldGit

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Re: What do you expect/want from the staff of the forum?
« Reply #1 on: May 01, 2012, 05:15:25 AM »
Starting lots of interesting threads.

Tank

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Re: What do you expect/want from the staff of the forum?
« Reply #2 on: May 01, 2012, 05:18:52 AM »
Starting lots of interesting threads.
I hope you're not implying that I start uninteresting threads  >:(  ;)
If religions were TV channels atheism is turning the TV off.
“Religion is a culture of faith; science is a culture of doubt.” ― Richard P. Feynman
'It is said that your life flashes before your eyes just before you die. That is true, it's called Life.' - Terry Pratchett

Tank

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Re: What do you expect/want from the staff of the forum?
« Reply #3 on: May 01, 2012, 05:21:54 AM »
Starting lots of interesting threads.
Seriously. All members can start threads and fortunately do. I wouldn't put any higher expectations on staff than members in that respect. In fact I think non-staff have more time to start threads (interesting or otherwise) as they aren't pratting around squashing spammers. But only a marginal difference.
If religions were TV channels atheism is turning the TV off.
“Religion is a culture of faith; science is a culture of doubt.” ― Richard P. Feynman
'It is said that your life flashes before your eyes just before you die. That is true, it's called Life.' - Terry Pratchett

OldGit

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Re: What do you expect/want from the staff of the forum?
« Reply #4 on: May 01, 2012, 05:41:42 AM »
It was a compliment  ;).  Seriously, I think you do a grand job; you balance friendliness and authority very well.  Also you do start some interesting threads.

Tank

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Re: What do you expect/want from the staff of the forum?
« Reply #5 on: May 01, 2012, 05:45:25 AM »
It was a compliment  ;) Seriously, I think you do a grand job; you balance friendliness and authority very well.  Also you do start some interesting threads.
Thank you. So by definition my behaviour meets/exceeds your exceptions as a forum user/member. That's good.
If religions were TV channels atheism is turning the TV off.
“Religion is a culture of faith; science is a culture of doubt.” ― Richard P. Feynman
'It is said that your life flashes before your eyes just before you die. That is true, it's called Life.' - Terry Pratchett

Buddy

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Re: What do you expect/want from the staff of the forum?
« Reply #6 on: May 01, 2012, 05:48:55 AM »
I think you guys do an awesome job with this forum. And unlike a lot of other forums I have been on, you guys interact with the members. I really like that. :)
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Tank

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Re: What do you expect/want from the staff of the forum?
« Reply #7 on: May 01, 2012, 05:54:01 AM »
I think you guys do an awesome job with this forum. And unlike a lot of other forums I have been on, you guys interact with the members. I really like that. :)

Interesting. You add a new point 'interaction'. Now I assume you mean interaction as in taking part in discussions as a member not just as staff/moderation? Or do you mean we're friendly? So am I right in saying that you have had expectations that staff do not interact with members?
If religions were TV channels atheism is turning the TV off.
“Religion is a culture of faith; science is a culture of doubt.” ― Richard P. Feynman
'It is said that your life flashes before your eyes just before you die. That is true, it's called Life.' - Terry Pratchett

Buddy

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Re: What do you expect/want from the staff of the forum?
« Reply #8 on: May 01, 2012, 06:13:52 AM »
I think you guys do an awesome job with this forum. And unlike a lot of other forums I have been on, you guys interact with the members. I really like that. :)

Interesting. You add a new point 'interaction'. Now I assume you mean interaction as in taking part in discussions as a member not just as staff/moderation? Or do you mean we're friendly? So am I right in saying that you have had expectations that staff do not interact with members?

What I meant with interact was that the moderators not only participate in discussions, but do so in a friendly manor. With the other forums that I mentioned, the majority of mods seemed cold and unapproachable.
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Ali

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Re: What do you expect/want from the staff of the forum?
« Reply #9 on: May 01, 2012, 06:21:22 AM »
I think you guys do a great job.  The only rule I'm confused about is the "no preaching" rule.  I get it in theory, but I think that it also tends to squash any sort of debate we might have with theists (sometimes fun to debate with people who disagree) because if they go back to "well the bible says..." that typically gets called out as preaching.  But realistically, if a theist is going to defend a religious position, it's hard to do so without "preaching." 

On the other hand, I think that as a mod it's your job to uphold the rules that admin (Whitney) has set for her site, so since "No preaching" is a rule, you're right to uphold it.

Anyway, I think I'm rambling.  I think you all do a fine job.

The Magic Pudding

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Re: What do you expect/want from the staff of the forum?
« Reply #10 on: May 01, 2012, 06:31:09 AM »
Lots of people come here and say they like the atmosphere, I do anyway. 
I think the balance of nurturing the community and keeping order is excellent.
Being helpful when you can, not seeming to enjoy using the mod hammer.
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I'm glad you're not perfect though, that would be really annoying.  :)


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Re: What do you expect/want from the staff of the forum?
« Reply #11 on: May 01, 2012, 06:52:17 AM »
I think you guys do a great job.  The only rule I'm confused about is the "no preaching" rule.  I get it in theory, but I think that it also tends to squash any sort of debate we might have with theists (sometimes fun to debate with people who disagree) because if they go back to "well the bible says..." that typically gets called out as preaching.  But realistically, if a theist is going to defend a religious position, it's hard to do so without "preaching." 

On the other hand, I think that as a mod it's your job to uphold the rules that admin (Whitney) has set for her site, so since "No preaching" is a rule, you're right to uphold it.

Anyway, I think I'm rambling.  I think you all do a fine job.

Ramble away! No, you're not rambling at all. This is one of the areas I think about a lot and I think it's one of the more difficult to moderate. Glad you bring it up!

Over the years, I've tried to steer away from participation in threads that I think will devolve into pure preaching, simply because those are threads that tend to really tick me off. I tend to simply moderate them. The problem for me comes when I don't agree with other members or mods on when the line is crossed into preaching. It's really difficult to come to a consensus on what preaching is sometimes. It depends on the thread, the member's history of preaching or not, their intent or perceived intent, and quite honestly, our mood at the time we see it! Often we have to take a step back and wait before deciding something is preaching.

Fortunately, we have a good moderator discussion area where we can talk and work out how to handle those times. And the variety of personality and backgrounds of mods is so helpful. Worldwide perspective, genuinely diverse areas of expertise, etc...really helpful when discussing issues.
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DeterminedJuliet

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Re: What do you expect/want from the staff of the forum?
« Reply #12 on: May 01, 2012, 07:25:25 AM »
I think the moderation team here does a great job! Personally, I am very happy. Tank, I'm glad that you contribute to the forum on a personal level. I think the community would suffer if you didn't. I realize that it must be a difficult thing to balance for you.

As for the "no preaching" rule, I'm kind of a fan. I agree that it's hard to know where the line is, but, honestly, I think it ties into the civility rules here. If someone comes in and says "You are sinners. You need Jesus." It's much easier to ban them for preaching than it is to ban them for being uncivil - because even though WE consider calling us all sinners uncivil, to them, it's just fact. You know what I mean? I think we'd have a lot more theists crying martyrdom if we removed the no preaching rule and we had to start banning their preachy behaviour as being uncivilized.

One thing we could do, however, is maybe start a "complaints" forum? One of the other forums I used to frequent had one. That way if anyone has an issue with a particular case of moderation or rule enforcement, they could take it to the forum and there'd be a designated spot to discuss their grievances without cluttering up the rest of the threads. Just an idea.

Overall, I think this is the best moderated forum I've ever participated in :) 
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Tank

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Re: What do you expect/want from the staff of the forum?
« Reply #13 on: May 01, 2012, 08:04:51 AM »
I think you guys do a great job.  The only rule I'm confused about is the "no preaching" rule.  I get it in theory, but I think that it also tends to squash any sort of debate we might have with theists (sometimes fun to debate with people who disagree) because if they go back to "well the bible says..." that typically gets called out as preaching.  But realistically, if a theist is going to defend a religious position, it's hard to do so without "preaching." 

On the other hand, I think that as a mod it's your job to uphold the rules that admin (Whitney) has set for her site, so since "No preaching" is a rule, you're right to uphold it.

Anyway, I think I'm rambling.  I think you all do a fine job.
The 'no preaching' rule is a difficult, but unfortunately necessary one, required on atheist web sites. There are a small number of highly vocal evangelical types who will spam atheist forums with scripture. That's really what the rule is there to prevent.

One can quote from one's holy book to explain the reasoning behind why 'such-and-such' is done or has happened. One could say 'I don't eat shellfish because it says so here chapter:verse.' But to assert 'One must not eat shellfish because it say so here chapter:verse.' is preaching ie using a holy book of unqualified provenance to support an assertion. Another example would be copy pasting tracts from a holy book with no valid reason for doing so.
If religions were TV channels atheism is turning the TV off.
“Religion is a culture of faith; science is a culture of doubt.” ― Richard P. Feynman
'It is said that your life flashes before your eyes just before you die. That is true, it's called Life.' - Terry Pratchett

Tank

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Re: What do you expect/want from the staff of the forum?
« Reply #14 on: May 01, 2012, 08:14:15 AM »
Lots of people come here and say they like the atmosphere, I do anyway. 
I think the balance of nurturing the community and keeping order is excellent.
Being helpful when you can, not seeming to enjoy using the mod hammer.
Enthusiasm for the forum helps and an appreciation for a stylish hat.
I'm glad you're not perfect though, that would be really annoying.  :)
I shall endeavour to continue to be creatively imperfect, while still appreciating hats.
If religions were TV channels atheism is turning the TV off.
“Religion is a culture of faith; science is a culture of doubt.” ― Richard P. Feynman
'It is said that your life flashes before your eyes just before you die. That is true, it's called Life.' - Terry Pratchett