Possible fundamental changes in JC membership

Discussion in 'Communications' started by KnightWriter, Sep 10, 2003.

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  1. KnightWriter Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 6, 2001
    star 8
    During 2003, it has seemed to me that the interests of the JC membership as a whole has changed from how it once was.

    In the past, possibly as a function of being a smaller site and community, there seemed to be a stronger interest in the membership regarding what happened with JC issues. Communications once teemed with more life and opinions, and there appeared to be more people interested in how things work on the boards.

    If you check out archive.org and take a stroll through a few old Communications first pages, it's wildly different from how it is now. A great many threads that would be instantly locked today (and rightly so in most cases, based on what I've seen) were open then, which to me points toward a more diverse community interest in the health of the JC.

    Related to this is a drop I and some others have perceived in the number of truly good or standout moderator candidates. In the past, there were often or even usually times when there were numerous candidates you strongly felt would make a good moderator. Now, it seems that we're lucky to find even one of these in each forum. We still have many good forum contributors, but those aren't automatically the same thing as people who are interested in the overall JC, how things work or those who might make good moderators.

    Why is this the case? I'm of the opinion that the overall JC membership is less interested in issues that relate to the JC itself (not necessarily administrative concerns) and prefers to post without getting much involved in how things work here. There are still exceptions of course, but my point is that such a thing is becoming the exception, and that it's a cause for concern for the boards and their future.

    Thoughts?
  2. OBIX1 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 7, 2002
    star 6
    well,it seems like to me that some people might not really care what goes on.but I think it's good to get involoved in what's going on.like me,I don't always post here alot but I like to see what's going on with things.and like to here what inprovements are being made and stuff.I think that if you have time you should check out this forum and get involvoed sometimes :)
  3. Aragorn327 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Aug 20, 2001
    star 6
    Well, for myself at least, I used to always lurk in Comms, and read up on nearly every thread/issue going on.

    Then, I began to stop posting in the JCC so much, moving more into other forums, mainly Games, lurking in Lit...as I settled into these other forums, I didn't care as much for the issues concerning the JC as a whole.

    Maybe the solution to this would be to somehow make the forums more inter-connected? Because, if I mainly post with and talk to a particular user group, I won't be as interested in voicing my opinion on whether or not religion should be allowed in sigs, or whatever the most recent debate should be.




    Not sure if I got across the point I'm trying to phrase, but, um...yeah.
  4. halibut Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 27, 2000
    star 8
    ok, I don't see how the title of this thread relates to the content of your first post (because you didn't actually mention any fundamental changes!), but I'll try and respond to you as best as I can with my opinions!

    During 2003, it has seemed to me that the interests of the JC membership as a whole has changed from how it once was.

    Undoubtedly with the influx of new SW films

    In the past, possibly as a function of being a smaller site and community, there seemed to be a stronger interest in the membership regarding what happened with JC issues. Communications once teemed with more life and opinions, and there appeared to be more people interested in how things work on the boards.

    Yes, but you have two groups of people now. Those that have been here pre-and during-TPM, and those which joined afterwards.

    As you say in your post, rules and regulations have changed (as they need to), and there will be some of the original 'posse' that don't agree with the new changes, but accept them. Hence, they will happily potter about making posts, but have grown to not take a vested interest in the new changes and policies. Especially in recent times. I have seen a LOT of threads questioning policies, and I have NEVER seen one which has made the administration reconsider their stance. I'm not judging, but merely making an observation. I, for one, agree with most of the changes, but it could be seen (especially to a newer member) that once a decision is made, it is not open to debate. One could also say that this is how it should be. I have no doubt that forum-changing decisions are not considered lightly by the admin, but it is now clear (moreso than before) that if the mods say something goes, then it goes. There seems to be little point in coming to Comms to debate such changes.

    If you check out archive.org and take a stroll through a few old Communications first pages, it's wildly different from how it is now. A great many threads that would be instantly locked today (and rightly so in most cases, based on what I've seen) were open then, which to me points toward a more diverse community interest in the health of the JC.

    You seem to contradict yourself here. You say that threads were open which caused more 'community interest', but you also say they would be locked now. Surely that answers your question. See my points above.

    Related to this is a drop I and some others have perceived in the number of truly good or standout moderator candidates. In the past, there were often or even usually times when there were numerous candidates you strongly felt would make a good moderator. Now, it seems that we're lucky to find even one of these in each forum. We still have many good forum contributors, but those aren't automatically the same thing as people who are interested in the overall JC, how things work or those who might make good moderators.

    I can't comment on this, as I am not a mod, and have no idea what happens in the Mod Squad during Mod-Selection time. With a few exceptions, I have never had a problem with those you have chosen, and am quite happy, therefore, with the procedure you use. As Kryten says to the Inquistitor (Red Dwarf Season 5) "The rules are yours, not mine"

    Why is this the case? I'm of the opinion that the overall JC membership is less interested in issues that relate to the JC itself (not necessarily administrative concerns) and prefers to post without getting much involved in how things work here. There are still exceptions of course, but my point is that such a thing is becoming the exception, and that it's a cause for concern for the boards and their future.

    The JC is an ongoing project. It seems to me that the admin have learned through experience that the best solution is to discuss it amongst themselves and implement the rules. Leaving decisions to the public (for the mostpart) is non-productive. As a friend of mine says "Only one man can drive the bus". This is true in my hobby of film-making too. With such a large group, there has to be so
  5. deltron_zero Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 1, 2002
    star 6
    I agree with halibut's three factors for comms activity diminishing, especially point "b" which goes back to back to his points about the futility of debating anything in comms. There are only so many circular arguments you can have before you realize you aren't getting anywhere. I would also add a few other factors.

    d) "Drama" - I think a lot of people have just had enough. It can be hard at times to have a civil discussion in this forum. This combined with the fact that some people take what goes on here WAY too seriously alienated some, maybe even many, from discussion in comms.

    e) Possibly an overall decrease in board activity - of course admins would have the statistics to verify whether this is the case or not, but it would make since considering we're in the lull between films.

    f) The end of the "JCC Reform" - this I think was the cause of much of the strife and "hot topic" threads in the past. Once the reform was finally put to rest I think a lot of people stopped feeling like their right to have fun here was being infringed upon by the administration.

    Anyway, I still lurk in comms, and I'm sure I'm not the only one, I just rarely feel a need or desire to contribute to the discussions that have taken place here of late.
  6. halibut Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 27, 2000
    star 8
    There are only so many circular arguments you can have before you realize you aren't getting anywhere.

    Well, let's look over this point. I did say this (in different words), but there are other factors.

    What sort of topics get locked? There are nearly ALL topics that either

    a) aren't topics for comms
    b) are topics that should be sorted privately
    c) are topics which have been dealt with OVER and OVER before

    a and b are often together. ie "Why was this thread locked" or "Why is someone banned"

    An example of c is the recent "This is ridiculous" thread regarding swearing in binary. It has been stated over and over that swearing is not allowed, and people try and flaunt this through 'clever' means, get found out, and moan here.

    To me, it has been made clear that this forum is for

    a) pointing out technical errors on the boards

    b) suggestion policy and board changes

    It is not, and has NEVER been, a place to air personal grievances.

    There has been more of the personal grievance threads posted here in recent months, and perhaps that's a reason for the flop in activity here

    Another thought is that because the 'JC project' has been going for so long, that many of the problems have been ironed out.

    I have about 12 boards on my favourites, of which Comms is one, and I will always go here when I see that exclamation mark next to it!
  7. The_Abstract Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 16, 2002
    star 4
    Not in any particular order...


    1. The membership of this board has skewed younger in the past few years. Many people here are not suitable for leadership positions because they aren't mature enough to handle them. Also, younger members are more concerned with the social aspects of these boards, and not necessarily who's responsible for making it happen.

    2. Many people post here because it balances the burdens real life may place on you. I think there is a perception here that moderating is a burdensome task and most people don't want that responsibility when they come online.

    3. Communications is basically a place where users can ask questions or clarify issues. There's a "Moses Coming Down Mt. Sinai" vibe. It's not so much discussion or dialogue as thrust-and-parry. Decisions are made behind closed doors and often carry the air of finality once they are presented to the community. Once the "administration" makes a decision, it pretty much will stand.

    4. Some moderators take their powers way too seriously. In fact, there's little moderation going on at all. It's more of the "Should I press the button?" mentality. Most often, that answer is yes.

    5. As a whole, words like Administrator/Manager convey a sense of power that is pretty much non-existant. Yes, some people are qualified here to fix technical problems, but I don't see many other qualifications that distinguish those "in power" from the rest of the population. As stated by Knightwriter, "I and some others have perceived in the number of truly good or standout moderator candidates." What exactly does that mean? People here contribute in their own particular way, but I don't see a lack of dedicated fans. In fact, if these boards are as popular as they are claimed to be, then you should have no problem finding the right people. However, it's been my experience here that mods are often rotated and called back up after absences, and that we hear very little about the process of moderator selection. What exactly is the big secret? Random anonymous poster X gets extra tools and colors over anonymous poster y. It's not rocket science here. I imagine you'll find out within a few days if someone can handle the job. I'd move for a more open process for mod selection. What's wrong with the democratic approach?

    6. Is there is no purpose here other than to be the biggest Star Wars message board out there? What kind of fan are you catering to? What do you want this community to be? What is the purpose for this being here at all?


    Mostly, everything boils down to respect, courtesy, and most importantly attitude. (and I don't mean that in a Poochie sort of way) Yes, you can have specific policies drawn out. You can implement specific guidelines. But does it sound like it comes from a unified community or under the duress of legal consequence?


    I figure (and I'm no math wiz) about 200% more :D and 300% less [face_plain] .

    If you're going to have an open door policy, make sure people feel at home here.



  8. xie Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 25, 2002
    star 5
    I feel you [the MS] should stop looking only at the "goody goody" people who post lots of happy posts when you look for mods.

    All of the mods right now fit a very basic form. They are ridiculously friendly, and never are "drama people" or anything like that. Everyone has input, but its very much the SAME input. Everyone is afraid of offending people.

    That's half of the problem, the mods now [in general] are too lock happy, and don't look at it from any other point of view.

    Look outside the "box" for your moderators, and things will start to change.
  9. halibut Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 27, 2000
    star 8
    The_Abstract A sound post, but a couple of things.

    Decisions are made behind closed doors and often carry the air of finality once they are presented to the community

    Yes, that's true, but that's realistically the only way to do it

    What's wrong with the democratic approach?

    Come on, do you REALLY see this working? As you said, there are SO many people here, and to be honest, the vast majority wouldn't recognise the qualities of a fair and decent mod. This idea would cause a LOT more problems than it would solve them, if indeed it would solve any at all.
  10. DarthBreezy Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jun 4, 2002
    star 6
    Well, like the others, I don't see where any 'fundamental changes' are actually adressed, but I too will throw in my .02 for what it's worth.

    We still have many good forum contributors, but those aren't automatically the same thing as people who are interested in the overall JC, how things work or those who might make good moderators.

    Now what exactly do you mean KW?

    Did you ever ask these potential mods if they were interested in the over all workings of the JC? And what DO you look for in a poster to be elevated to Moderator? If you're looking for posters who aren't subjected to 'misbehaving' once in a while or getting involved (willingly or unwillingly) in the Drah-Mah that pervades this place (with the amount of traffic this place recieves, a little Drah-mah is to be expected) you wouldn't have a single moderator or canidate left... Being a moderator (or fan force rep or whatever) doesn't automaticly strip a person of their humanity.

    Not trying to be obtuse or accusitory, but perhaps you're looking too hard?

  11. putsomeBactaonit Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    May 2, 2003
    star 4
    Xie is right. There are major groups at the JC, how about taking people from those different groups for consideration.

    There are more than just good posters and 12 year olds out there.

    But I'm pretty sure that the MS wants people who follow the TOS, which rules me out.
  12. xie Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 25, 2002
    star 5
    There's different ways to follow the TOS, and it seems the MS really only leans towards people who STRICTLY follow it, and are banless, etc etc.

    You know the phrase "It takes one to know one"? Well maybe that applies to moderators/"bad" users as well.
  13. GRANDADMIRALAXLROSE Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 8, 2002
    star 7
    I think that maybe the MS should look for people who are good forum contributors and let them contibute to that forum as moderators. If a weak spot is fixed it helps fill out the entire forums even if that person is only helping just that one forum.
  14. putsomeBactaonit Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    May 2, 2003
    star 4
    I think you're probably right Xie. I mean you can't tell me that mods followed the TOS STRICTLY when they were regular users. That's like hella hard.

    The fact that someone has a few bans under their belt should not automatically remove them from consideration for modship.

    Biases and grudges should be looked at more. We don't want a BYS mod who will ban any Baser s/he sees.


    edit: not saying the bysers can't be mods.


    Free Papercutshurt
  15. halibut Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 27, 2000
    star 8

    Not trying to be obtuse or accusitory, but perhaps you're looking too hard?

    But I'm pretty sure that the MS wants people who follow the TOS, which rules me out


    I would be interested to know what percentage of the JC members are mods. I would imagine it is VERY small, so I don't think that

    a) they're looking too hard or
    b) looking for people who follow the TOS isn't the best course of action to take

    As I said, I don't know the procedure, and I don't think that I want to, or that it should be made public. With a few exceptions, I don't have a problem with any of the mods (in fact, I think there is only one current MOD who I don't think should hold that position).

    I feel that this thread might be going slightly off topic. It should be about why people think that members don't have an active interest in board policy, NOT how you think MODs should be selected
  16. The_Abstract Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 16, 2002
    star 4
    halibut

    I should have clarified myself on that point. It seems with so many members a list of candidates should be drawn from the ranks. Since KW stated he (and some others) were having trouble finding enough people, perhaps a democratic primary of some other format for popular dialogue can be constructed.

    My concern is the openness of the whole thing. For instance, YodaJeff recently left the AOTC Forum, but no one heard a peep about a new mod until a few days ago. Generalized responses like "this is being discussed" et al. don't point towards any such dialogue taking place.

    If the mods don't care about what regular posters think, then why should we care about what goes on with the administration?
  17. KnightWriter Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 6, 2001
    star 8
    I feel that this thread might be going slightly off topic. It should be about why people think that members don't have an active interest in board policy, NOT how you think MODs should be selected

    Good point, and I'd like to keep the focus on the overall picture here, not just moderator selection.

    As to your question about Communications threads in past times that would have been locked today, many of them were questions that would naturally be taken to a moderator, or otherwise wouldn't fit this forum now. However, my basic point was that there seemed to be more of an interest in Communications and an interest in the present state of the boards and its future.

    Part of what I'm looking to discuss are the qualities and actions in people who have a genuine interest in how the boards function, and for the future, and the seeming decline of the number of people who clearly show these qualities. Leadership could fall under this category, but that's not the only thing to consider.

    If the mods don't care about what regular posters think, then why should we care about what goes on with the administration?

    I think most moderators care what regular members think, and we welcome constructive input and thoughts into various issues here. Sometimes, things aren't really up for debate any longer (as has been mentioned already), and there are other circumstances that vary, but on the whole, I know I like to see thoughtful input and feedback on things throughout the JC.
  18. halibut Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 27, 2000
    star 8
    The fact that someone has a few bans under their belt should not automatically remove them from consideration for modship.

    It does depend on what they are banned for, but I am sure that at least one mod has experienced a banning before, but I'm not bothered if they have or haven't. That's not what this thread is about
  19. halibut Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 27, 2000
    star 8
    Generalized responses like "this is being discussed" et al. don't point towards any such dialogue taking place.

    I'm sure you don't mean that. Do you have any doubt that such discussions go on in the mod squad?

    If the mods don't care about what regular posters think, then why should we care about what goes on with the administration?

    Well, to be frank, if you don't care, then why post here? And also, there are VERY few mod promotions that the 'regular user' disagree with.
  20. GRANDADMIRALAXLROSE Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 8, 2002
    star 7
    Everyone wants to be a moderator. If they say they dont they are likely lying. But many of them dont really understand what that would mean. I guess im trying to say that the average poster is disintrested in how to make the boards better, how to keep the boards moving well and things like that. It seems like the influx of new people are here looking for episode 3 spoilers (or sometimes 3NSA discusions) and dont have much care, for a lack of a better word, about all the work being done so that they can make their posts and rarely does anyone read the TOS or the specific forum rules/guidelines.
  21. halibut Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 27, 2000
    star 8
    However, my basic point was that there seemed to be more of an interest in Communications and an interest in the present state of the boards and its future.


    Indeed, and I think that in the past, the board was an 'infant' with need of guidance and advice. That advice has been followed, which has led to fewer general problems. The board is now an 'adult' and can stand on its own
  22. putsomeBactaonit Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    May 2, 2003
    star 4
    I care about what happens on the whole JC, only because I don't understand it, and no one has explained it to me.
  23. AssassinDroid21 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 6, 2002
    star 4
    Sometimes, things aren't really up for debate any longer (as has been mentioned already), and there are other circumstances that vary, but on the whole, I know I like to see thoughtful input and feedback on things throughout the JC.

    Maybe a lot of people just gave up with Comms because of this issue. For example, the Swearing and Homosexuality rules here were debated for weeks by dozens of users, but nothing about it changed. It's my opinion that when people see that, despite all of their best arguments and discussions, nothing will come out of it, they get e-intimidated by the board and don't venture back here; they think it's useless to argue a point when it won't change anything.
  24. putsomeBactaonit Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    May 2, 2003
    star 4
    exactly. you can't make threads about the things you want, in comms, because mods will lock it, such as certain users or whatever.



    Free Papercutshurt
  25. DarthBreezy Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jun 4, 2002
    star 6
    I think most moderators care what regular members think, and we welcome constructive input and thoughts into various issues here.

    KW, there are a LOT of issues that concern 'regular' posters, indeed, some may even concern the performance of Moderators in certain forums but many posters won't speak up for fear of either being misconstrude as either vying for a posistion or being put in the position of critsising a freind or even if their concerns are justified, being labeled a 'troublesome poster'.

    Sometimes it feels like a no-win situation and people just say 'to hell with it'.
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