The Advisory Council

Discussion in 'Communications' started by Kadue, Sep 23, 2002.

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  1. Kadue Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 20, 2000
    star 5
    Where to start? Well, first let me say that this will be a long post, but considering the issue and the weight that it essentially carries, I'm not going to leave small things out.

    Recently there have been small questions brought up in numerous threads here in Communications about the AC, its role, and how effective it has been in carrying out this role. This was picked up on by some moderators, and thus a discussion of these issues started. It moved to the AC for discussion amongst the current AC members, and now we're here so that everyone can help in deciding over this issue.

    The AC was created as a way for the wider membership to have a larger input into the running of the boards through members that would have a direct line to the admin team, and would be able to have input into policy decisions before implimentation. The members of the AC were also able to act as anonymous messengers, bringing up issues that people felt needed to be discussed, but for various reasons did not wish to do so publicly. Currently it has been in use for around 6 months, and has seen two groups of rotating members, with a third group to be brought in soon.

    But, has the AC lived up to what was expected by everyone of it, and is it still useful to have in aiding the moderators run and improve the forums? Are there any ways in which the process and the group could be improved so as to better serve the JC? These are the questions that we are striving to answer, and what we are wanting your input on.

    What follows is excerpts from the discussions of moderators and AC members is regards to this issue. Please read them, but do not try and infer ulterior motives behind these. Many are taken from the middle of posts, and have lost some context. All of these were posted as part of discussing how we can work to improve the forums. Also note that not everyone's individual views are expressed. This has been either due to it being similar in wording to others, or that in any attempt to pare it back to make it relevant for the purpose of quoting, I would have butchered the message, and thus left it to said people to re-express themselves here.

    the concept behind the AC was to have a group of regular members to advise the Administration. To me, this implies that the administration is so out of touch with the regular members that we need a 'special group' of regular members to tell us what the regular members want.

    Does anyone else see this as absolutely riduculous? As an insult to every member of the administration? Frankly, if we, as mods/managers/admins are so out of touch with the general populace, then it is time to hang up the colors folks, becasue we no longer have any business being here.

    For this reason, I have always felt the AC is a bad idea (starting way back when I was a regular member). It sends the wrong message about the administration and it is completely ineffective.

    I had always thought it could be used as sort of a judiciary, receiving complaints about mods from the regular members and then doing something about it, whether that was confonting the mod on behavior or recommending some sort of punishment. I had wanted it as a sort of "checks and balances" to the ModSquad, but I think that between a lack of cohesion in the beginning, focus on issues... ...the AC has failed.


    I agree with what has already been said, the AC really doesn't seem to be working or even necessary to me either. Perhaps instead of a group like the AC we could use random PM polling to test out ideas we want feedback on, or as JMT did with the JCC reform, just take it straight to the people and cut out the middle man?

    I believe that we can effectivly tap into the thoughts and desires of the users without the AC. I envision us utilizing the regular threads, supported by random PMs to users (this was a huge hit guys), to gather information regarding the issue being discussed.

    Furthermore, these threads should not always be in communications...they need to be in the forum under conside/>/>/>
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  • jediguy Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 10, 2000
    star 5
    Well, I believe that the AC has failed for the simple reason that they have ceased to become a ?representative of us?, and more like a separate entity that may or may not be discussing things that will be to our benefit, and we?ll never know because we never hear from them. Please forgive the analogy, but I think the AC is like Communism: sound and noble in theory, but unworkable in reality. If more moderators participated in Communications discussions, then I think that the AC could be safely abolished.

    I?ll post in more depth tomorrow.
  • DarthSapient Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Jun 26, 2001
    star 10
    I agree that all admins should post in Communications on a regular basis. We all have our areas of interest, but Communications is all of our responsibility.
  • Vertical Former Head Admin

    Member Since:
    Apr 6, 1999
    star 6
    I agree, also. I think Communications should be frequented by anyone who is charged with the responsibility of moderating the forums.

    Vertical
  • legacyAccount Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    May 22, 2012
    while i don't think that, for example, EU mods should have to vote in JCC threads if they don't visit JCC, however i think that mods should be posting in communications as much as they post in the mod squad. like has been said, the mian problem i've had, at least, with the recent AC is the lack of communication. i have no problem PMing members with my concerns, and i've done that, but we never (or rarely) get feedback. and since we don't have access to the AC, we don't know if it's because nothing's going on, or if we're just not being told what's going on.

    maybe by having shorter terms in the AC, people will be more willing to get involved while they are there. the begining of the term seemed rather active, but not it's dead... is there really nothing to talk about, or are people just not taking advantage of it, because the inital enthusiasm has worn off?
  • Vertical Former Head Admin

    Member Since:
    Apr 6, 1999
    star 6
    I think once the whole initial enthusiasm wears off, AC'ers (and mods alike) simply aren't as active there as they should be. I've often thought shorter terms might help that out, too.

    OK, so there's a suggestion for improvement:

    - Shorter term limits for AC'ers

    Let's keep 'em coming in.

    Vertical
  • KitFist0 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 10, 2001
    star 4
    I think the AC isnt working right ? So why not just get rid of it ! We tried it didn't work. Personnaly I like the random PM poll, it makes sense but it couldn't but 100% random because enventually you get stuck with trolls and socks answering your polls. I think that the people that think that Mods are out of touch with the regular members are so wrong a Mod just has more responsability then them. All mods should post in Comms because it concerns them, they might one day be faced with a similiar problem in their own board.

    I think Pm polling is good, but with some guide lines, like you ask many different types of users from different types of boards.
  • jediguy Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 10, 2000
    star 5
    In addition to shorter terms, I think there should be a weekly "What are your issues with the JC?" thread in Communications, where AC members can get idea from the users to discuss in the AC. This could also serve as a more regular 'AC update' thread. The present ones have been woefully slow.
  • DarthSapient Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Jun 26, 2001
    star 10
    Look at the first page. I'm pretty aware of people's problems with the administration. 8-}
  • jediguy Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 10, 2000
    star 5
  • Darth_Dagsy Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 18, 2000
    star 6
    *sigh*

    As I remember it, the AC had a number of reasons for existing. The AC was supposed to be a place where mods could bring policies to a small group of members so that public reaction could be gauged. The AC was supposed to give the administration insight into new and novel ways to deal with problems with the boards (be it problem members or whatever). The AC was supposed to be part of a feedback loop for the administration, one where AC members could pull up mods and let them know if they see something wrong happening.

    The AC was never supposed to be something that stopped regular members from communicating with the mods and vice versa (ie, an extra layer of beaurocracy). It was never meant to be about playing politics...getting friendly with this mod, or jumping on the bandwagon, or sucking up, or anything of that ilk.

    It was supposed to be a little board where a few regular members could have frank and open discussions with the administration to ensure that the board ran more smoothly.

    But it hasnt run more smoothly. Members havent been coming to the ACers in large numbers (or at least not when I was on board). The administration havent paid much attention to the AC. Likewise a number of ACers havent paid much attention to it, both in my time that, and since. The AC hasnt been letting people know what is going on in there. How can members trust a group of people that wont tell them what is being discussed?

    How can we improve the AC, and get it working properly? There isnt really anything following that others havent said somewhere, but anyway:
    * A few more rotating members, ones that will pay proper attention to the forum. Make sure that those that go in, understand the responsibility of being an ACer. Make sure that they will actually post in there. Make sure they dont abuse the board by just sucking up or whatever. And if they dont do this, give them the boot.
    *Whomever said staggering the rotating members...sounds good, but it isnt worthwhile unless you rotate maybe 3 per month.
    * Make sure the administration decide to go in there. Policy changes can discussed without drama. Mod conduct can be discussed without drama. But none of this will happen if the administration dont bother turning up.
    * Make sure the administration are completely open with the AC. When the AC first started, Vertical told us that there would be no secrets. We could discuss anything. Needless to say I was very worried when word came to my ears that the administration wouldnt discuss certain matters with the AC (after I left).
    * Make sure the AC keeps a high profile. That means ACers are visible in forums, and arent simply recluses. The ACers should be in Comms on a regular basis to discuss issues. Let the members know that they are here, and are listening. Just like a mod should be here, discussing, so should an ACer. That also means that the AC has to post updates more often. Let people know who they are, and what they are doing.

    Vert, I think you said that shorter term limits were an option? I really dont know...3 months in the AC does go awfully quickly. At least it did for me.

    I dont really have much right now, I've been trying to avoid thinking about this sort of stuff. Maybe I'll chime in with a bit more later...
  • Jedi Greg Maddux Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 3, 1999
    star 6
    I agree with the shorter terms. I think that six weeks would be plenty. Shorter terms = possibly more enthusiasm = more members = more ideas. I would also have no problem with repeat AC terms, as long as they're not consecutive, and maybe just two different terms a year (kind of like pulling a Grover Cleveland).

    The AC basically needs to get more involved. Something needs to be done to grab the attention and catch the energy of the ACers. Five rotating members is plenty, but I don't want to see people who frequent YJCC 70% of the time representing the whole JC. One or two "career" YJCCers per crew is plenty.

    Perhaps the mods and the ACers can plan a project. For example, I do like what JMT did to YJCC (asking the members what needs to be done in that forum) but instead of having a mod create a thread, an ACer can do it for his/her particular forum. I'll do my best to detail below:

    Scenario: Fresh six week AC term, five brand-new AC members.

    Week 1: All ACers get familiar with the AC and what their purpose is.

    Week 2: ACer from Spoilers Allowed creates a thread asking what should be done to improve forum. All ACers are expected to contribute (while some might be spoiler-free, there's no legit spoilers yet, plus it's the forum itself, not the content that's being discussed)

    Week 3: ACer from FanFic creates thread asking what should be done to improve forum. All ACers are expected to contribute.

    Week 4-6: Same situation, different forums.

    I'm not saying that's all the AC should do, but it gives them a purpose and it shows that they care about their forums. I'm sure more ideas can be discussed.

    Questions? Comments? I'm listening.

    GO 'CLONES!
  • RidingMyCarousel Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 20, 2002
    star 6
    As I stated in the Mod Squad update thread for this week, I think that ACers should be selected by the Mod Squad, as well as the AC. This would give more diversity into the group and would put people into the group that two sides thought would be good for the job.
  • Herman Snerd Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 31, 1999
    star 6
    Does anyone else see this as absolutely riduculous? As an insult to every member of the administration? Frankly, if we, as mods/managers/admins are so out of touch with the general populace, then it is time to hang up the colors folks, becasue we no longer have any business being here.

    That only works if the folks who are out of touch were actually aware of that fact.


    I find it amusing that we're considering shortening the term of AC members to keep them "fresh and excited" while mods are there for as long as they want to be. Wouldn't the "fresh and excited" argument work just as well for them?

    I would say to throw in an extra month to rotating AC members. Make it four month terms and rotate three times per year. No way is six weeks enough time. By the time someone is brought in and gets caught up with what's going on, how much time is left?
  • farraday Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 27, 2000
    star 7
    I agree that three months is a bit short.

    However I would like to ask for a few other things.

    If an AC member is negligent, then throw him or her out and replace them instead of waiting 2 more months.

    Get rid of the permanent members. If we're rotating there's no need for them.

    12 members. Four month terms. Three leave and three new people juion every month.

    The problems with the mods using them are their own. Several times the AC has served as a good place to bounce ideas around and keep mods from making stupid decisions. If the mods fail to use it it's their fult not the ACs.

    To my mind the AC members shouldn't just be waiting for problems, they should be cruising the board or forums they visit always willing to bring up a question or topic.
  • Herman Snerd Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 31, 1999
    star 6
    As I stated in the Mod Squad update thread for this week, I think that ACers should be selected by the Mod Squad, as well as the AC. This would give more diversity into the group and would put people into the group that two sides thought would be good for the job.


    The purpose was to give the members a better chance at being heard. There's no need to let the mods pick AC members because they're the only ones guaranteed an actual vote in anything that happens.
  • farraday Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 27, 2000
    star 7
    Whatever you do, don't let the mods choose the AC members.

    They tend to only choose people they think will agree with them.
  • DarthSapient Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Jun 26, 2001
    star 10
    That doesn't apply with me. The only way to bring about progress and positive change is to surround yourself with all the opinions, all 360°.
  • farraday Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 27, 2000
    star 7
    Yes Sape.

    But that's only true if the mod in question wants change.
  • Lord Bane Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    May 26, 1999
    star 5
    Very true; change can often scare people.

    What are everybody's thoughts on making the AC a read-only forum for regular users, meaning they could see what was being discussed and keep themselves better appraised of the goings-on?

    The main problem is when sensitive issues come to light. Closing the doors for a while could cause some trouble.
  • farraday Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 27, 2000
    star 7
    I disagree.

    The mods would be less willing to deal with the AC if it was open to everyone, and closing it when there was a problem would only cause more drama in Comm and demands to know what was happenng before a decision was made.

    AC members need to be more active and be seen to be more active in the forums, not in the AC.
  • FlamingSword Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 4, 2001
    star 6
    I know the advisory council exits, but I don't see them do anything. In fact, I don't even know who is on it right now.

    It might help to clarify who is on the Advisory Council and what their purpose is. You might not need to open their board up to the General Populace, but it might be nice if we knew what was going on through updates or something.
  • legacyAccount Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    May 22, 2012
    12 members. Four month terms. Three leave and three new people juion every month.

    i like that idea alot. that way you're there for a long enough time to do stuff, but the group doesn't get stagnant... every month there's a new group of people with new ideas, to keep the rest of the group motivated and excited.
  • Qui Gon Jim23 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 11, 2002
    star 5
    I absolutely agree with making the AC read-only for regular members. Actually seeing it work would boost participation by other members, IMO. The biggest problem with the AC right now is that we as regular members have no idea what, if anything, is going on in the forum. If all members were able to read the forum, then we could more effectively voice our concerns and ideas to AC members without it getting out of control as is often the case in Comms.

    And if there's nothing confidential going on then I see no reason for the AC to be private.
  • farraday Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 27, 2000
    star 7
    But there are confidential things going on in there.

    Well, if not right now there should be.

    Basically if it's going to be a read only forum there's no difference between it and Comm except that regular members can't post.

    In which case it might as well be removed.
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