Why isnt there an election on Moderators?

Discussion in 'Communications' started by k3po, Feb 2, 2005.

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  1. DarthBreezy Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 4, 2002
    star 6
    In your view, what should or would happen next?

    Then a polite summery should be relaid to the mod in question, with a discussion on how to make changes with in a given time frame - if they are warrented - If a lot of people are just groucing because they think a mod is being 'unfair' because said mod is just enforcing policy, then 'tough taters', though perhaps a revised entry to (We'll take Fan Fiction because FF actually has a "FAQ' Sticky) the FAQ is in order.

    If the issue is not resolved, then the Mod should step down (they can publicly site a reason of their choosing, such as RL issues - not an uncommon incident) and a replacement 'vetted' out.

    There's no need to witch hunt and publicy cry for someone's head on a stick, but sometimes Mods don't work out for what ever reason... there's no shame in that.
  2. Jesina_Dreis Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Nov 8, 2004
    star 4
    Pardon my misunderstanding happy .

    No problem...I'm a Democrat, and as such am used to being misunderstood :p

    Say those surveys go out and they come back with mostly good results, but also include some negative feedback about a few moderators, possibly even complaints that have real merit to them.

    In your view, what should or would happen next?


    Then the administration might 'speak' with the moderator about the problems, finding out their side of the particular issue(s), without mentioning the user who complained unless it was necessary. Hopefully, such a dialogue would be enough to work it out. If there was a real, serious, ongoing problem, then it would have to be addressed. I don't think any of the mods on the boards right now warrant being asked to resign/step down/whatever but if there was such a serious situation, then that would be a recourse.

    The steps to be taken would depend on the situation. If there were several complaints about a moderator favoring a group of users or continually discriminating against a certain group of users, then the administration might talk to that moderator, expressing the issue, and asking them to watch it. Unless of course there was a reason for the so-called favoritism or discriminatory editing/warnings/bannings.

    I can't think of a truly serious example.

    If it turned out to be a community thing like, for example, some time back JediGaladriel, modding in fanfic, was accused of under-modding, it might be something to bring up to the community. When faced with those complaints, she posted a thread asking people for input on what things should be modded for and to what degree. It turned out that community consensus was that she was doing a fine job, and it led to standards for things like sexuality and torture being hashed out by the users and the moderator. It turned out to be helpful for fan fic, giving us the guidelines we still observe. Granted, that subject was brought up by unsolicited complaints, but there are probably others that people don't feel that it's worth mentioning.

    Such community discussion threads are something that might be more suited to some boards than others, and granted are already used in some boards. But there are some issues that might be suited for that approach that would have attention called to them by using these surveys.


    Jes
  3. Sara_Kenobi Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 21, 2000
    star 7
    Oh, I'm not against the idea. I think it's great. But for anything to really happen quickly for Fan Ficton on this, I suggest taking it to Fan Fiction itself to see what people think there. Not many writer's and reader's even come to this forum to give their thoughts, and will most likely not read your suggestion if it's in here. If you want something done in Fan Fiction, I think the fastest way to get attention for your idea is to post in Writer's Resource.
  4. Jesina_Dreis Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Nov 8, 2004
    star 4
    This isn't about fan fiction. This is a general suggestion because there are issues all across the boards. I'm just mentioning fan fiction as an example because it's the board I'm most familiar with.

    Jes
  5. -_-_-_-_-_- Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Apr 28, 2002
    star 6
    Didn't we just discuss this?
  6. TKeira_Lea Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Oct 10, 2002
    star 5
    A couple points, while many point out that Comms is the place to openly discuss problems, not many people visit here. I know it took me oh...over a year to find this place. [face_blush] Even then - and especially for people from the so-called nicer (I'll use this term loosely) Fan Fiction forums - the open antagonism that seems to be the norm here can be very intimidating.

    So I don't think you'll see a true representation of opinion in this forum. The quieter, more submissive types will just keep their mouths shut.

    I think Jes and DB have a valid suggestion. But I see it a little differently. I understand the picking of mods is a tough thing. I don't think a popularity contest is the way to go about it either. But the mods are in a position of authority and I think they should be held accountable for their actions. As a project manager I have numerous employs who I hold authority over. And I take them to task on a daily basis for their actions. I review those same people, give them raises, fire them, whatever. As a manager, though, I am also rated by those same people and given anonymous feedback from private evaluations handed out every year. In fact all the managers see each others' scores and any related comments. Those evaluation forms help us do a better job, and fix problems before they get out of hand.

    Any mod who fears that type of concrit - well I can't say I want them as a mod.

    Now for many people that anonymous feedback is the only kind they are comfortable with. I, on the other hand, tend to not hold back. I've had issues with the moderating on the forums I frequent, and I've taken those issues to the mods directly - and to those in charge of them. I'd like to think I've seen an improvement.

    One of the problems even then is that issues brought to the mods or their bosses are discussed in private and resolution or solutions are never taken back to those who brought up the issues in the first place. As a manager who has been behind those closed doors discussions, I'm not suggesting that everyone has a right to know everything, but I believe a simple follow-up - "No, we think your points have no merit." or "Yes, there is a problem. We're doing this, this and this to solve it. Let us know if you don't see an improvement." - is crucial to calming tempestuous waters.

    In my mind communication is the key to avoiding problems, and fixing them.

    I suppose the trick though is knowing who's just griping to gripe and who's not, who has a valid issue that should be addressed directly. I guess I can't answer that because I have no idea how much and often the big guys get complaints about mods.

    So wouldn't a survey of those moderated - maybe on a yearly basis - be a step to getting honest feedback? And that feedback would surely come from a better cross-section than just those-who-always-have-to-be-heard-whether-they-are-right-or-wrong. Then those charged with heading the mods would see that they truly have a problem or they truly don't. Then steps can be taken to rectify the situation...

  7. Darth_Ignant Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Oct 24, 2001
    star 7
    No, Dashy, this is a completely new idea, never brought up before now.
  8. Jesina_Dreis Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Nov 8, 2004
    star 4
    Thank you, TKL. You've said that better than I have.

    Dashy and Ignant - If it has been, then I apologize. But I, personally, have not seen such a survey suggested before, and I've looked through most of the threads in comms the last few months.

    But the fact is, obviously, people are still unhappy if something is suggested again and again. Maybe it's time to try something new. It was said, in THIS thread, multiple times, that the reason ideas often get shot down by the administration is because they are impossible to put into practice. At this point, no moderator or admin has said that this is impossible or otherwise unwieldy. Why not give it a try? Maybe it'll put a stop to the "We want to elect mods" threads and other redundant complaints.

    On other note, and building on what TKL just said, sarcasm like yours, Ignant, is part of what keeps people from coming into comms or participating in discussions of similar magnitude elsewhere.

    Thank you again, TKL, for once again making a well-reasoned argument.


    Jes
  9. -_-_-_-_-_- Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Apr 28, 2002
    star 6
    Perhaps the "users" of Fan Fiction are upset that one mod was actually doing her job and enforcing the rules. If so, I applaud and fully support her for doing that. It is unwise of someone to go to war when their motives aren't genuine, such as being motivated by a moderator friend who doesn't quite pull their load.


    What do I know though?
  10. Jesina_Dreis Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Nov 8, 2004
    star 4
    I honestly have NO idea what you're talking about. I've said at least four times that I'm using fan fiction as an example. If you're implying me in that comment, then I resent it. I'm not "friends" with any moderators. I found this thread on my own. The idea is my own. I have no particular problems with the fan fiction moderators, and I think that for the most part the mods that I'm familiar with (I spend most of my time on one particular board) do their jobs well.

    Let me say for at least the fifth time in this thread, I'm using fan fiction as an EXAMPLE because it is the board I'm most familiar with, and I've come to learn that often an example makes things clearer, rather than speaking in abstract terms. Clearly, using an example is only making things LESS clear for the people reading my posts, so I apologize for that.

    This is NOT about fan fiction. Please refrain from putting words in my mouth, especially when I've repeatedly said the opposite.

    Dashy, if you were referring to someone other than myself, please excuse these comments. But if you are referring to me...you're badly mistaken.

    Jes
  11. Phoenix_Reborn Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 23, 2003
    star 4
    I think Dashy has it right. We have two good mods on fan-fiction and two that need to go. I don't think I've ever seen a mod on saga outside his/her own thread.
  12. _dArTh_SoLo Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 11, 2002
    star 4
    Do you really want to leave it up to the masses who post here who is a moderator and who isn't!? Take a look at 3SA, take a look at JCC. Then we'd get all these factions and people who have their own agendas and that just won't work out. The mods we have now do a remarkable job and should be commended, they have to put up with so much crap they don't deserve, but they put up with it anyways.
  13. DarthBreezy Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 4, 2002
    star 6
    Phoenix_Reborn said it first...

    I happen to agree that fan fic needs a shake up. We have two mods who are strong contributers/assets, and two who should perhaps reconsider whether they are really interested in enhancing the community.

    Just my opinion...
  14. goflickabean Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Sep 22, 2004
    star 1
    Everyone is making way too big a deal out of this. This shouldn't even be an argument. The people that are most qualified to make the decision on who should be future mods are the current mods/admins themselves. They got their current positions for a reason and I think that makes them more than capable of acertaining who would do a good job. Obviously, nobody's perfect. The administration is not free from error and it's not always easy to know from the get go who will or will not work. Only time will tell. But overall, the current system is the better choice.
  15. TKeira_Lea Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Oct 10, 2002
    star 5
    Jes: Dashy, if you were referring to someone other than myself, please excuse these comments. But if you are referring to me...you're badly mistaken.

    You see that?s the point of Dashy?s post. He doesn?t want to be specific or address anyone in particular. In fact I don?t think there ever was a post where someone said they had a specific problem with one mod in the Fanfiction forum. But in his own words ? What does he know?

    A post like that ? which is meant to get the hair up on any number of folks? backs ? is exactly why people don?t come into comms. Nowhere in his post was the issue at hand addressed, rather there was a personal jab aimed at...no one in particular. Why would anyone really want to come in the comms forum and communicate openly amidst unveiled antagonism? What are those in power really afraid of? A little critique? Do they want to know what they?re doing that doesn?t really help this community?

    For the record I don?t think this survey should be limited to merely fanfiction. I think it would benefit all mods, in every forum. I think if I had been given that survey today I might put down something like this?

    Moderator/manager seems to feel it's acceptable to make personal attacks instead of actually arguing/discussing a point. Nor does moderator/manager seek to get both sides of the story. In fact, moderator/manager in question prefers to jump into discussions and hurl personal attacks, and at fellow mods no less, rather than respond to the points being made.


    I?d like to reiterate, I don?t think there should be an election of mods. Those in charge know best what they need, but even I?ve brought in a few managers under me (at work) and realized that they weren?t making the grade. It was then up to me to make a fix.

    If this subject keeps coming up over and over, as everyone says, then perhaps there is a problem. But if the answer is for people in authority to attack those making suggestions, then improving the system becomes seemingly impossible. There is always room for improvement, but the dismissive attitude of some suggests that those running the show feel that their way is best. If it is, then prove it. If the best people?ve got is to make snarky remarks, well then?


  16. Kimball_Kinnison Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2001
    star 6
    If users have any complaints about any mods, you can always PM an admin about the matter. It is something that we take very seriously.

    I have personally investigated every complaint that I have received, and in many cases have taken action to correct problems that were encountered (where possible). I know from experience that the other admins also investigate the complaints that they get.

    However, there is one misconception that does need to be addressed in this thread:

    I understand the picking of mods is a tough thing. I don't think a popularity contest is the way to go about it either. But the mods are in a position of authority and I think they should be held accountable for their actions.

    I agree that the mods should be held accountable for their actions, but the key question is accountable to whom?

    As a moderator, I am not accountable to the users, but to the owners. Why? Because my job as a moderator is not to do what the users want, but to execute the wishes of the owners. Believe me, we are very much accountable to them. I have personally had my actions questioned by the owners on multiple occasions, both publicly (in MS) and privately (via PM and email).

    If moderators were accountable to the users, slash fanfic would be permitted here. It's not. Why? Because the owners want it that way, regardless of what the users may want.

    The list of prohibited words and phrases would be a lot shorter. Again, because the users want it a bit looser than the owners do.

    Many users seem to forget that this is not a democracy, nor is it a republic. This is a oligarchy-based dictatorship. The oligarchs (mods) serve at the behest of the dictators (owners). If the owners decided tomorrow that they wanted to turn this place into a disney theme park, the mods (such as would be remaining) would carry it out, regardless of the will of the users. If you don't like that, you are free to find other boards that operate differently.

    This is the principle of the Free Market in action. The owners are free to do as they wish with these boards, and the users are free to leave them if they wish. The mods are simply the agents of the owners.

    Kimball Kinnison
  17. Jesina_Dreis Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Nov 8, 2004
    star 4
    Thank you again, TKL, for making my point better than I have. :) I'm beginning to wonder if people just aren't reading posts or if they're almost deliberately misinterpreting them.

    You're right. This is EXACTLY why people don't come into Comms. And I agree that mods shouldn't be elected - all the reasons for that have already been stated, again and again. But there is, as you've pointed out, a reason that these concerns keep coming up. There are problems that aren't being addressed, ALL OVER the boards.

    Mods wonder why people don't PM more often, why the users feel that their opinions aren't valued. The dismissal we've received in this thread alone is illustrative of that reason. Earlier in this thread, mods said that if we came up with reasonable ideas and a way to implement them, the ideas would at least be entertained. This idea isn't being entertained, at least by those commenting, and no real reason has been given for why it shouldn't be.

    Let me say one more time:
    • I am NOT advocating election of moderators
    • I am talking about the boards in general, NOT fan fiction specifically

    Maybe now those facts will be clear to people, since they've missed that several times in the last Force knows how many posts I've made.

    EDIT: Kimball - All Breezy, TKL, and I are advocating is another system of feedback that users might feel is more useful - and might actually turn out to BE more useful. We're not talking about electing moderators, and we recognize that you are responsible to the owners. But there is a difference between being an effective moderator and being overbearing, which SOME people obviously believe is the case with SOME moderators. I am not one of them, and I would appreciate not being dismissed as someone holding a grudge against anyone in particular.

    There is a reason Comms exists, and that is, as has been pointed out, for communication between users and the administration. A great many users do not feel comfortable posting in Comms, in part because of the unveiled sarcasm and animosity with with many posters are treated. As well, you've pointed out that you pay attention to complaints and investigate them. The fact is, many people don't think that their complaints will be paid due attention. Something like what Breezy, TKL, and I are talking about would help people feel that their input would be listened to. As I've mentioned, I'm not talking about fan fiction specifically, but I do know of complaints people have about fan fiction that they feel would be ignored. If the administration showed a genuine interest in obtaining feedback - by taking initiative in surveying users - they would be more likely to bring up their issues.


    Jes
  18. DarthBreezy Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 4, 2002
    star 6
    Well KK, I've PM'd you with my honest opinion about the specific situation, yet I still feel very disheartened and wonder if it will do any good whatsoever.
  19. TKeira_Lea Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Oct 10, 2002
    star 5
    KK: As a moderator, I am not accountable to the users, but to the owners. Why? Because my job as a moderator is not to do what the users want, but to execute the wishes of the owners. Believe me, we are very much accountable to them. I have personally had my actions questioned by the owners on multiple occasions, both publicly (in MS) and privately (via PM and email).

    Yes. I agree. Ultimately you are accountable to the owners.

    If moderators were accountable to the users, slash fanfic would be permitted here. It's not. Why? Because the owners want it that way, regardless of what the users may want.

    I don't think that's the point. Accountability always runs both ways - up and down. More so up to the dictator per se, but also down to the masses. The users aren't asking for there to be free rein, but for the mods to listen to their concerns. And I don't mean to suggest that a survey would fix major problems. Those need to go to the head admin most definitely. But a survey might spot weaknesses, holes, potential problems before they crop up or blow apart into true messes. The fact is most people won't speak their mind unless given a forum to do so. I'm just agreeing with the suggestion of a survey. It would most definitely prove - as I've said before - whether the gripers really have an issue or if they're just complaining for the sake of complaining.

    The list of prohibited words and phrases would be a lot shorter. Again, because the users want it a bit looser than the owners do.

    I don't think the will of the owners or their policy has ever been the issue in this thread. It's been how their will/policy is enforced.

    Let's get down the nitty gritty of it. Yes, we're free to leave. Yes, this is an oligarchy-based dictatorship, but I highly doubt the dictators want to see people leaving because their oligarchs are just not doing a good job. Trust me the president of my company - he's the founder and owner - would not look too kindly on one of his managers/oligarchs throwing personal jibes into the technician pool - aimed at no one and everyone. That manager/oligarch would be called in and given a talking to. I'd say that's pretty par for the course in life. The owner wants what's best for his/her company/business/endeavor.

    I've seen the lesson learned too often that people jumping ship is a precursor to a serious managerial issue. So you may suggest that people might leave if they're unhappy, but I don't think the owners want to hear people are leaving because they have an issue with the mods and not the policy. It's their boards; we've got to play by their rules.

    Do you like college basketball? Pro football? Heck any sport? Nothing ruins a good game more than bad officiating.

    This is the principle of the Free Market in action. The owners are free to do as they wish with these boards, and the users are free to leave them if they wish. The mods are simply the agents of the owners.

    I understand the principles of free market. I also uderstand that the owners operate this boards for a reason - money, personal satisfaction, or some other reason I don't know. Whatever their reason I have to believe they want to think they've got the best product possible.


    And just for those who don't know what an oligarchy is...

    oligarchy: 1. government by the few. 2. a government in which a small group exercise control, esp. for corrupt or selfish purposes.
    Webster's Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary
  20. Kimball_Kinnison Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2001
    star 6
    Kimball - All Breezy, TKL, and I are advocating is another system of feedback that users might feel is more useful - and might actually turn out to BE more useful. We're not talking about electing moderators, and we recognize that you are responsible to the owners. But there is a difference between being an effective moderator and being overbearing, which SOME people obviously believe is the case with SOME moderators. I am not one of them, and I would appreciate not being dismissed as someone holding a grudge against anyone in particular.

    Let me repeat what I just said to Breezy via PM.

    I can't deal with issues unless I know about them. I have always been willing to look into any instance of moderator misbehavior. Do I go into FanFic? Not for a long time (the last of my 7 posts in FanFic was almost 3 years ago). I can't deal with a problem that no one lets me know exists.

    My PM box is always open. If there are concerns, let me know. I will look into them, and I can try to get them resolved.

    There is a reason Comms exists, and that is, as has been pointed out, for communication between users and the administration. A great many users do not feel comfortable posting in Comms, in part because of the unveiled sarcasm and animosity with with many posters are treated. As well, you've pointed out that you pay attention to complaints and investigate them. The fact is, many people don't think that their complaints will be paid due attention. Something like what Breezy, TKL, and I are talking about would help people feel that their input would be listened to. As I've mentioned, I'm not talking about fan fiction specifically, but I do know of complaints people have about fan fiction that they feel would be ignored. If the administration showed a genuine interest in obtaining feedback - by taking initiative in surveying users - they would be more likely to bring up their issues.

    Comms doesn't exist just to allow communication between the administration and users. Its purpose is actually a little more specific than that. As described in the rules:
    The Communications Forum exists for the purpose of facilitating interaction between users and the administration in discussing board policies.
    Comms is here to discuss board policy, not as a catch-all to discuss everything between the administration and the users.

    It's not the place to go to complain about specific mods. That would be in PMs to an admin.

    It's not the place to go to complain about a thread being locked. That would be a PM to the moderator involved (or another mod from that forum).

    It's not the place to complain about bans that you have received. The place for that is in unban requests, or via PM.

    Board-specific issues (such as the JCC's 3-threads-per-day rule, or a specific board's spoiler policy) should primarily be handled by PMing the mods for that board.

    These are all examples of communication between the administration and users that don't really belong in Comms, but instead have other mediums.

    As for surveying users, there are many forums that do just that. Literature regualrly posts a thread asking how they are doing, and how can they improve. I know that the JCC mods routinely have asked users for feedback (and often get it unsolicited as well). We've done similar things in the Senate as well. A lot of that varies depending on which board you go to.

    Kimball Kinnison
  21. jp-30 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Dec 14, 2000
    star 10
    > and how would you suggest they be run ?

    Postal Ballot to be sent out, received, collated and counted by Phillip Wise (of Phillip Wise presents fame).

  22. Jesina_Dreis Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Nov 8, 2004
    star 4
    My PM box is always open. If there are concerns, let me know. I will look into them, and I can try to get them resolved.
    The point is, though, that users either don't realize that or don't believe it. We are suggesting a way for users to communicate with the administration in a manner in which they will feel they are being paid attention.

    It's not the place to go to complain about specific mods. That would be in PMs to an admin.
    Which is, essentially, what we're talking about - only we're suggesting that, once a year, the administration solicit PMs from users. Why is that such a problematic suggestion?

    It's not the place to go to complain about a thread being locked. That would be a PM to the moderator involved (or another mod from that forum).
    It's not the place to complain about bans that you have received. The place for that is in unban requests, or via PM.

    We aren't talking about specific instances one by one. We're talking about accumulated feedback.

    Board-specific issues (such as the JCC's 3-threads-per-day rule, or a specific board's spoiler policy) should primarily be handled by PMing the mods for that board.
    Again, this isn't what we're talking about, unless there is a continual problem with how users feel about how rules are enforced.

    These are all examples of communication between the administration and users that don't really belong in Comms, but instead have other mediums.
    Yes, PMing. But the point is, many users DO NOT feel that PMs are useful. That is the whole reason this is being suggested.

    As for surveying users, there are many forums that do just that. Literature regualrly posts a thread asking how they are doing, and how can they improve. I know that the JCC mods routinely have asked users for feedback (and often get it unsolicited as well). We've done similar things in the Senate as well. A lot of that varies depending on which board you go to.
    We're not talking about that kind of survey. Here's an example of what I'm talking about. And, in the interest of avoiding this being turned around on fan fiction, I'll use 3SA as an example, a board on which I lurk from time to time:

    The JC Administration is requesting that the users of 3SA PM [link=http://boards.theforce.net/user.asp?usr=Kimball_Kinnison]Kimball_Kinnison[/link] with their responses to the following questions about the 3SA moderators. For any complaints, please elaborate and/or provide specific examples.
    1. Does the moderator show distinct bias toward particular users or groups of users?
    2. Is the moderator active in the forum?
    3. Does the moderator address users' concerns promptly?
    4. Is the moderator reasonable in interacting with users?


    This is an EXAMPLE, because my point was obviously not getting across in the vague terms I was using. This is the kind of survey I'm talking about, with PM'd responses about each moderator. Maybe do one moderator a week so it would be manageable. I don't know. There are several ways it could be worked out so as to be feasible.

    Jes
  23. JadeSolo Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 20, 2002
    star 6
    As for surveying users, there are many forums that do just that. Literature regualrly posts a thread asking how they are doing, and how can they improve. I know that the JCC mods routinely have asked users for feedback (and often get it unsolicited as well). We've done similar things in the Senate as well. A lot of that varies depending on which board you go to.

    I'll speak for Fan Fiction, since that's the area I spend the most time in. I would really like to see something similar to what the JCC and Lit forums have. Thing is, I would like to see a direct discussion between the mods and users. My complaints aren't so grand that I feel the need to PM an admin. I know what the rules are, and I can live with them. I don't really have a problem with the way the mods are treating people. What I'm concerned about is the actual presence of the mods themselves, and I don't think this situation necessarily warrants PMing an admin - just yet, anyway.

    This is why I would rather have open evaluations for the time being - especially since that might ensure the participation of the mods. So if Fan Fiction Resource is a better place to take this particular discussion, I'll take it there.

    Overall, a reasonable, open discussion between users and mods in each forum might be a good first step. At the very least, maybe people who are too intimidated to post will be able to PM an admin or the local mods with their concerns. But as I said, I don't go outside Fan Fic much, so I don't know how bad the other forums can get.
  24. Jesina_Dreis Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Nov 8, 2004
    star 4
    JadeSolo - that would probably be something you could suggest in Resource. Let me know if you do. I bet the mods would be amenable to the idea. There have been similar things there in the past. :) A lot of our current rules and guidelines have come from discussions.

    Thing is, something like that might not work for other boards. And it wouldn't be suitable for mod-specific concerns, which is the type of thing that Breezy, TKL, and I are talking about.

    Jes
  25. Kimball_Kinnison Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2001
    star 6
    The point is, though, that users either don't realize that or don't believe it. We are suggesting a way for users to communicate with the administration in a manner in which they will feel they are being paid attention.

    How is it the administration's fault if people don't believe that we'll listen if they PM us? Every time that this sort of issue comes up, I tell people that I am willing to listen and look into any complaint. Half the time, no one bothers to PM me (and I see little evidence that they PMed any other admin). Most of the rest of the time I get maybe one PM on the matter.

    I suppose there are a few things that we could do, but I am opposed to many of those.

    For example, we could make public every last complaint, and the result of it. To my eye, there's no need for that, especially after a complaint is resolved. Quite a few of the complaints I have gotten about some specific mods have been sent to me by groups that were opposed the the indivudual being promoted in the first place, and who were actively trying to get the mod demoted. In other cases, I have seen individuals cause a fuss because a mod took appropriate action according to the rules. If incidents like those are publicly released, it only spams the complaint queue, lessening the impact of any real complaints that are listed. If they aren't released, people claim that we are trying to cover things up.

    Another thing we can do is report back to the complaining user what the result is. Again, I am opposed to this, for the same reason that we don't publicly list bans.

    What more can we do to convince people that they can talk to us about problems? If they don't believe us, there's little that we can do about it. As for them not knowing, that same advice cimes up every time that anyone brings up a problem like that. It's not something that we can change any more than we can make every new user find Comms right off the bat.

    Which is, essentially, what we're talking about - only we're suggesting that, once a year, the administration solicit PMs from users. Why is that such a problematic suggestion?

    We constantly solicit PMs from users. As I said above, half the time I tell people to PM an admin, we get almost no response. It has always been the policy that you should PM an admin with a problem. It's even in the rule sticky at the top of each page in Comms:
    Comms is not here to discuss individual issues (such as bannings). If you have an issue with a specific moderator's actions, contact an administrator via PM.
    Yes, PMing. But the point is, many users DO NOT feel that PMs are useful. That is the whole reason this is being suggested.

    I can't control how users feel. If the users don't think that I'm going to listen to them, why would they respond to a thread soliciting such feedback? It's as likely that they would think that such a request was there simply to identify which users are "troublemakers"* and should face additional bans and such.

    This is an EXAMPLE, because my point was obviously not getting across in the vague terms I was using. This is the kind of survey I'm talking about, with PM'd responses about each moderator. Maybe do one moderator a week so it would be manageable. I don't know. There are several ways it could be worked out so as to be feasible.

    I understood your point. I think you misunderstood at least part of mine (as you interpreted some of the examples that I gave in a list as if I were relating them directly to your idea). Why would asking people to PM me once a year about problems with mods make them any more likely to think that I would actually listen to them?

    Kimball Kinnison

    * Don't worry. I've already added you to that list. To see who else is on the list, click [link=http://www.cs.rice.edu/~ssiyer/minstrels/poems/135.html]here[/link].
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