Discussion in 'Communications' started by jp-30, Oct 2, 2008.
Thank you for listening.
If you think that is what you are there for then I think you are missing the point of you being a mod.
As grant points out you will just distance yourself form the user base of the forum you are supposed to be modding, I thought the whole point of someone being promoted is, as has already been pointed out in this thread and that is because you have proven yourself as a good poster who can them come along and help improve and guide the forum you mod.
In no way did I think the whole prupose of someone becoming a mod is to forget what you were here for (posting and interacting with other users) to then just check up on what everyone else is doing to make sure they are not breaking the rules.
That's not the purpose, of course, but it becomes that. Eventually, over time, you begin seeing coming here as a job. You want to have a crack at trying to mod a place like this and see how long it takes for you to stop being a 'user' and start being a 'mod'. I'm sure Harps will back me up on this but it only took me about a month, maybe less
Amen. After a while this place was job, not a place for fun. I went to other websites for fun. Seriously, I began to hate this place, which is why I stepped down.
I understand this, I really do, I am not trying to cause a stir just pointing out that if that is truely how he feels then perhaps he should think about it...
However, by the way he wrote his reply it looks like he enjoys it, I may well be wrong but that is how it came accross to me.
Hmm, can you explain the reasons behind that? It seems counter-intuitive to me. I don't know how you can properly enforce a community's standards without seeing yourself as and being a part of that community.
For example, that's part of why there were a lot of problems with Ophelia when she first started. She wasn't really a well known, long standing JCC user, and most of her known presence in the forum came from the Big Brother recap thread, which was only started a few weeks before she was promoted. She wasn't really an assimilated member of the community, so she had trouble with a few calls about what kinds of threads and edits were appropriate and not in JCC.
It seems to me that the best mods are the ones that can mod and still manage to maintain their social relationships with regular users. Take Katey, or Rhondaroos for instance, they were/are friends with a lot of the regulars in the JCC. Yet, neither would hesitate to ban someone if they went out of line, and not for nothing but if I pushed the line far enough to get a ban from one of them I'd know I deserved it and there would be no hard feelings whatsoever. They both managed to remain to do their duty as members of the MS, while maintaining their already established relationships with other users.
They aren't the only ones that I've seen able to do that either. In fact, I was banned a week or so ago by a fairly new mod, who is a friend of mine. I obviously went over the line, and was punished for it. There were no hard feelings, and something as mundane as that didn't ruin our relationship.
I don't think it's always a one way street when it comes to situations like that though. It'd make mod's duties easier, as well as more accessible in their respective communities if people that interacted with them paid more credence to the fact that they do have to follow policies and that in most cases it's not personal.
On the flipside, there are plenty of mods I've seen in the past that do hold grudges, and do enjoy their e-power to much, and could care less about the users that they're supposed to be representing and regulating. Those are the ones that need to be questioning whether or not they need to stay in that position, not the ones that can do their job as a mod, yet manage to keep a good relationship with the regular users.
It's not hard to see how some mods have gotten burned out, especially if friction is felt between them and regular users that they enjoyed posting with before they were modded.
I have always disagreed with the gray area as a default concept though. There is plenty more that can be clarified in the actual TOS, than there is. There are specific situations when mods have to make judgment calls, but there also seems to be a lot of judgement calls based on personal dislike of a user. There has to be balance in there somewhere, and I think it'd be of benefit for the MS to look into that. Because from what I've seen, a lot of people have either quit posting here as frequently or downright left the site because of "misunderstandings".
That's a truely sad perspective to hold - a mod should simply be a community member who has extra responsibilities. Creating any sort of them-and-us is an easy way to destroy a community.
Whoa, I think I just fell in love with Jello. Again.
You always want us to be able to explain our decision, but whenever we do, it's treated as... well, like Jello said - and he's not even exaggerating much. There is never any reason for that. Ever. I bet a "Would you mind terribly bla because I think it could be cute" would work 1000% more often than "You're wrong, out of touch, and you smell funny".
In essence, the question is always what the reasoning was at the time of the locking. If the question was if it really needs to stay closed (with a reason or two in the thread's favour) we might stop explaining our initial decision and start thinking about the next, much nicer one. Especially for threads that get locked "only" over one of our spam-related rules.
When has that happened the last time?
There's no doubt that there will be times like this, and for some people just taking a break doesn't do the trick. And eventually, all mods "burn out" - so to speak. I think a lot of it has to do with the atmosphere in the forum, the team you work with, both in your forum and in MS and how long you can make yourself step back and take breaks, as well as how you deal with users. I got into trouble myself when I spent all my time on here, and it gets even worse if you're an admin. And you can't please everyone, and people will get upset and you have to work on being consistent and communicating well. But hopefully, there are more "fun times" than times with drama, if not -- then stepping down is the best thing you can do for yourself and your forum.
Notice that Jello mentioned that both sides share part of them 'blame'. Perhaps users have gotten pissed off in the past because when they have put their point of view across is was meet with 'We hear you. We're listening. You don't agree. We've fine with that' (and often not even as 'nicely' as that). At that point all people are left with is to bitch and hope if they bitch enough something will get done. Both sides feed each other.
I know the discussion has moved on, but my point was centered around someone making three crappy threads per day. If they do that, simply to hit the three thread maximum, that's a problem. If they post three crappy threads once, it's a mod's duty to point that out to them in a "careful now" type fashion, just as a mod would lock a parody spree thread with a 'pls stop now' message. If someone continues to post three crappy threads per day, they're up for a ban or whatever - and if someone continues to participate in a parody spree then they'll get punished too.
It was a nice comparison IMO. In both circumstances, continued action is punishable under poor posting rules, but an isolated incident is no real concern. Discouraged. If you have three great threads burning a hole in your brain, then post them... but posting three to get to three (which is very obvious) should be eyed with caution by a mod. A quick PM to the user in question to point out that that sort of behaviour is discouraged is a fine idea. It's only if they keep doing it that it moves into spamming teh place up territory.
So parody sprees, IMO, are to be discouraged not disallowed. They're locked because they make a horrid mess of the front page... simply tidying up. So you'll get your thread locked if you participate in a parody spree, but you won't get punished. If you keep doing it, you're crossing teh line into punishdom.
If there's room to pick the comparison apart, by all means pick away. It just struck me as a good way to explain where I was coming from on the parody spree thing.
What's the best way to facilitate that happening? There are a handful of times that I've PMed mods about questionable edits (or non-edits) but it seems like a lot of the time I get shrugged off as "I know what I'm doing, so stop asking." When I ask other mods about it, they don't give any input, and instead tell me to take it to the locking mod, which doesn't really help if I think that the locking mod is in the wrong, but the locking mod doesn't. A couple of times (when I've known that I'm right) I've brought 506 in, and he does back me up, but then in those cases I feel like I'm being a snitch (SOANDSO MOD ISN'T DOING THEIR JOB!!!) and it feels like it goes way further then it really needs to.
So what's the best way to facilitate that happening.
There are five of us in JCC.
There are a number of possible reasons why a mod might not reply to your request the way you want them to, but that doesn't mean you can't PM someone else even if we're not on at the time.
Even if the mod isn't going to change their decision, they should at the very least take on board the comments of the user. Appear to be working with the user at all times, even if it's just to maintain good relations. Provided the user doesn't too easily take the mod to be standoffish, and the mod doesn't too quickly judge an email from a user ('regular contributors' - so to speak) as meddlesome, then thee should be common ground aplenty.
I was wrong in the JCC -- a lot. You just gotta say, "Ooops, you're right." There is nothing saying that a mod is right 100% of the time, and getting defensive usually leads to negativity on a forum, and I was as guilty as any other of getting defensive -- especially when times are stressful. As a mod, if you think what you did is right, and the user isn't as well-informed on your decision, stand up for your decision, absolutely. Hear them out, explain why you locked/edited/banned in a positive way, and go on with life. If it comes down to it, 506 can be the deciding factor, but Them vs. Us is never good.
If rhonderoo was wrong...
I don't want to be right.
Let's hold hands and create a focus group!
oh! oh! oh! oh!
Can I join?!?!
You can be mod.
We'll call ourselves the Allow Really Many Parodies Investigative Team.
While I agree with that, the response that I've gotten before is "I don't know because I didn't do it - take it to the locking/editing mod," which doesn't really help.
If you get that reply from one of us again, I would either reply and tactfully express your displeasure for such an answer and request they help you however they can, or pm a third mod and explain the situation and who you've contacted already. Or both.
Even if we think the original mod action was in the right, you have a right to an explanation. However, there may be times when the rest of the team isn't sure why one mod took action on something because of context/whatever, so we might not have an answer for you right away. But that doesn't mean we should ever shrug you off and tell you the mod in question is the only one you can talk to about it.
To add to that, I have to ask what's the point of Comms if we can't seriously confer and discuss policy and certain mod actions/decisions with the staff. I haven't seen it from their view, but a lot of the people in here that are discussing this subject have. It does seem like a lot of the time a brushoff is a response to a complaint, however small it be. Now, I'm friendly with a lot of mods, but I'll be honest I hate having to take things to them, when they had nothing to do with something that I may feel was handled incorrectly. I prefer to keep them in the friendzone, because I don't want the user/mod relationship to become awkward with a friend. However, going to some mods is just plain pointless due to some of the response that you either receive, or flatout don't get a response to.
That's why Comms is important to this site, because trust me there have been plenty of times in the past where a lot of us have either been brushed off, or not gotten a response. While it may be their position the higher up it goes, it's not always fair to have to go 506 over something that could have been resolved otherwise.
Roper/Carmen: Well, it doesn't look like there's any answer but--effort and patience. We're all here--or at least should be here--because we enjoy the place. I don't think it's very fun to lock up a storm, and my natural moderating instinct tends towards leniency. That said, I have noticed lately that sometimes I worry if I go too far--so I'll go and lock something that seems off to me.
Maybe I'm wrong. All my glory and grandeur aside ( ), sometimes I'll mess up. I think you all know I've reversed my decisions before. I feel bad about making a bad call, and feel worse if it seems like I'm doing a terrible job. It would be easier, I think, if I recognized that there's no need to 'save face' and that I can reverse my decisions for the better of all.
But if I'm going to do that, I'd hope that in the cases where I don't reverse my decisions people can at least see where I'm coming from, or even if they disagree completely, live and let live. It's not the end of the world if a thread gets locked--unjustifiably--if we're all civil about it. In fact, I think it's better for the health of the community if sometimes people didn't fight tooth and nail for every little thing and let some things go.
So I think that if I make an effort to sit back and reÃ«valuate my decisions from a totally clean slate when asked to by a user and actually reverse them when it seems right, then I'd like to see users able to let things go if decisions don't go their way. I am more interested in social harmony than getting my way or your way every time, and I think that it can be "everyone's way.
Because you guys are right, I'm a user too. So are all the other JCC mods--each and every one of us posts in various threads. Sometimes there's an adjustment, sometimes stress can lead to an unintentional separation, but at heart, it should never be "us vs. them" and if the pack mentality of the users was toned down and the ivory tower of the mods lowered then things could go well.
But that requires effort from all sides. That requires people to let things go and stop hounding people for mistakes in the past--it's one thing to ask for accountability, but it's another to beat a dead horse. Nobody wants mods to be alienated from the users or users to be alienated from the mods.
EDIT: Also, you shouldn't always assume you've been brushed off. I take every complaint seriously--even if I completely disagree with it--and I think most of my colleagues do too. Sometimes things take time, and sometimes things are done behind the scenes. Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.
That's beautiful, Jello. *sniff*