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Moderation in this forum

Advocate ,
Aug 06, 2009 Aug 06, 2009

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OK, here goes.


For a long time there has been little or no evidence of any hosts, moderators or Adobe employees in here. John C and kanguyen make very welcome appearances from time to time, and both show an immaculate attitude, but little happens to improve things - although thanks to those who made a proper sticky about the use of this forum.


We have been relieved of a host who was allegedly a Community Expert in 'Creative Suite', but had apparently fulfilled none of the criteria for a Community Expert - such as being an expert in something. Nor did this person have more than a very wobbly grasp of how the forums actually work. With zero credibility, said person annoyed people by moralising and lecturing at them.


So now we have a pretty bolshy group of people who are sitting about, kicking their heels, hoping against hope that someone will sort out this buggy, defective software. Many have made very detailed, constructive suggestions and requests, others have gone to the trouble of making work-arounds. In the meantime they are chatting amongst themselves, which is normal behaviour for bored people in a waiting room who are still hoping for something to happen.


There are people who have used the WebX forums for years and years and appreciated them, even with their faults. These people are still grumpy about being shifted onto something they see as much worse. So there are bad moods around.


In my personal opinion, there have been quite a lot of posts, probably some of them mine, that are unnecessarily off-topic, sarcastic and hostile. A bit of a tug on the reins would be no bad thing in my view.


However, moderating a group such as the one gathered here is not easy. To be successful, it is necessary to show good humour, a sense of humour, a willingness to explain actions, and a degree of courtesy and respect, even to those who are not behaving particularly well at the time. Oz was a shining example, and brought a considerable degree of order to the Lounge (an even wilder corner of the West ) without antagonising anyone - well, maybe just the one serial reprobate who is unreachable anyway.


The proverbial 'firm but fair' - and a very nice bloke.


To suddenly begin mass deletions, without showing any of these qualities, may well be counter-productive.


For me, Jochem has a head start, since I believe he is the possessor of a minor-planet-sized brain and the skills to sort this mess out in minutes if he were given the chance. Good start. Now we need a better balance between discouragement of excessive pointless and snarky posts, information about what progress is being made / might be made / won't be made on forum fixes and improvements, individual help like JC has always provided for people who have weird stuff going on with their account, and a degree of visible humanity - please - to gain the consent of those being moderated.

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correct answers 1 Correct answer

Deleted User
Aug 08, 2009 Aug 08, 2009

I still can't get past the idea that "discussion" was invited and yet at the same time not needed.

Jochem,

I don't understand how you can be so hard-headed and stubborn!  I do understand that when we, any of us, do something, we generally feel we are correct in our actions.  BUT that does NOT mean we cannot learn from others and see that perhaps what we *thought* was correct, is just possibly slightly off-center from being correct.  One must be willing to see that there *are* other ways to look at

...

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Guide ,
Aug 09, 2009 Aug 09, 2009

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Jochem van Dieten is now in my Plonk list. 

Plonk!

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Guest
Aug 09, 2009 Aug 09, 2009

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All the new mods are acting just like the cop who arrested Prof. Gates. "I don't care if you are right or live here I don't like your attitude. I'm going to arrest you anyway".

I've seen this with cops, security guards, and security goons at music events. Give a man a badge or a security shirt and he becomes a jerk. There maybe a small percentage that don't act this way but as a whole this has always proven to be true. Its definitely a power thing. "I'm going to do it because I can no matter how many people I piss off. If you don't like it leave, I don't care, because if you leave it will be one less person complaining. This is a really rotten attitude for Adobe to be projecting.

If my words have offended anyone and any part of it gets deleted then I'm right on the money. I have absolutely no respect for any of the new mods because they have not acted in a manner that would convince me to respect them. This place has become less and less friendly since the switch to Jive, and there is absolutely no sense of community anymore.

If we did not care we would not be complaining as much as we do, no matter what the arrogant new mods believe.

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Advocate ,
Aug 09, 2009 Aug 09, 2009

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I am glad you are stepping in because I am sure you can help me understand something. When I started moderating I had done 4 things as a moderator:

  1. Moved a thread to the correct forum with an explanation. (Mon 19:28 UTC)
  2. Locked an off topic thread start with explanation and link to the correct place. (Tue 08:02 UTC)
  3. Locked an off topic thread with an explanation and a link to the correct place. (Wed 20:43 UTC)
  4. Locked a thread that was going downhill while removing some post about smelly cat food. (Wed 22:19 UTC)

Somehow that was reason for you to start this whole escalation with the "Hey Lock this thread too!!!!" thread. So please enlighten me, what is so terribly unfair about what I did?

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Guest
Aug 09, 2009 Aug 09, 2009

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jochemd wrote:


So please enlighten me, what is so terribly unfair about what I did?

The fact that you have to ask that question shows you don't understand how to moderate.


And we are not here to teach you your job!

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LEGEND ,
Aug 10, 2009 Aug 10, 2009

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John Joslin wrote:

The fact that you have to ask that question shows you don't understand how to moderate.

The one thing that gets constantly lost in the arguments over whether one person or another is a "good" moderator is why moderation has become necessary in the first place. This is meant to be a place for general feedback to Adobe on the forums. While some people have made suggestions for improvements, others have treated it as a place to run wild and test the limits of what they can get away with.

Adobe creates high quality software for design and web development professionals, who are presumably mature adults. If everyone acted as such, there would be no need for moderation. Apart from spam and duplicate threads, I have felt the need to delete only one post in the Dreamweaver forum in the past couple of months. When the poster continued to be abusive, I moved the thread to a private area set aside for Adobe officials to view evidence of abusive behaviour. To my mind, that one thread that turned abusive was still too many. Yet in the past couple of days of perusing this forum, I have seen more abuse and irrelevant chatter than I have ever seen in years of contributing to the Dreamweaver forum.

If people want their views to be taken seriously, the abuse, profanity, and irrelevant chatter needs to stop. If that were to happen, I doubt if any moderator would feel the need to edit, delete, or lock.

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Guest
Aug 10, 2009 Aug 10, 2009

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This forum was a model of good behaviour after the change-over.


Sensible comments were made and answered.


As has been pointed out, when the feedback from Admin dried up in May it was, as someone said, as if the teacher had left the class to their own devices.


It was no wonder that things got out of hand. As another poster said, people were idly hanging around chatting among themselves until something happened.


Well it happened – not the desired feedback but the arrival of a strict new schoolmaster. 

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LEGEND ,
Aug 10, 2009 Aug 10, 2009

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John Joslin wrote:

Well it happened – not the desired feedback but the arrival of a strict new schoolmaster. 

Perhaps that is Adobe's answer.

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Guest
Aug 10, 2009 Aug 10, 2009

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David_Powers wrote:


Perhaps that is Adobe's answer.

Well if it means "Live with it", that's fine by me.


It would just be nice to know for sure.


I manage OK in these forums, having adapted to them.

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LEGEND ,
Aug 10, 2009 Aug 10, 2009

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John Joslin wrote:

Well if it means "Live with it", that's fine by me.

I have no idea if you'll get an official answer from Adobe, and it's not my place (or that of any other non-Adobe person) to answer on their behalf. However, several things spring to mind:

  • We're in the middle of a deep economic downturn.
  • Adobe announced last December that it was laying off 600 employees.
  • As part of its economy measures, Adobe has closed its North America operations for a week in Q2 & Q3.

Given that background, it's highly likely that enhancements to a free service, such as these forums, is not one of the company's top priorities at the moment.

That doesn't mean to say that the people responsible for the forums aren't doing their best, but I suspect they're not in a position to comment publicly. This is pure speculation on my part, but it's also possible that some of the layoffs came from the forum support staff, or that they have had to take on extra responsibilities as part of the economy measures.

I manage OK in these forums, having adapted to them.

I think most users have adapted, and I see new users joining every day. Sure, there are things I would like to see improved, but the purpose of the forums is to discuss Adobe software and the technologies related to them. It's also nice to get to know regular contributors, which adds a more social, community feel; but that's a side benefit, not the main purpose. I think it's time to get back to the product forums, and stop beating a dead horse about the glory that was the past.

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Guest
Aug 10, 2009 Aug 10, 2009

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David_Powers wrote:

I think it's time to get back to the product forums

Erm ...


I never left them!


I've been a lot busier since most of the good guys left.

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LEGEND ,
Aug 10, 2009 Aug 10, 2009

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John Joslin wrote:

I never left them!

I wasn't suggesting you had. It was a general comment.

I've been a lot busier since most of the good guys left.

All the more reason for those who are left to get back to the real purpose of the Adobe forums. I have been busier in the Dreamweaver forums, too, because some helpful people decided to bow out. But that's the nature of an online community. People come, people go. None of us is indispensible. The most prolific and helpful poster in the Dreamweaver forum left without explanation a few months ago, but several new people have emerged, who are doing a brilliant job of helping others.

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Guest
Aug 10, 2009 Aug 10, 2009

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David_Powers wrote:

...several things spring to mind:

  • We're in the middle of a deep economic downturn.
  • Adobe announced last December that it was laying off 600 employees.
  • As part of its economy measures, Adobe has closed its North America operations for a week in Q2 & Q3.

Given that background, it's highly likely that enhancements to a free service, such as these forums, is not one of the company's top priorities at the moment.

...

I think it's time to get back to the product forums, and stop beating a dead horse about the glory that was the past.

Given that background, I don't know what the cost was, but I wonder why and how much money Adobe paid the Jive snake oil salesmen to upgrade their "free*" service.  *(Is it really free? These forums aren't much use unless you've paid for some Adobe product [minus free ones like Flash Player].  So I'd say: since it's an industry standard to provide support forums for most commercial software--these forums are paid for as part of the product purchase itself. "Free community support" (forums) are absolutely a factor when deciding what products we buy.)

As far as getting back to the product forums... meh.  Once I've seen that Adobe actually cares, maybe I'll start to care a little more too.  As of now I'm still not ruling out a switch to Silverlight in a year or two when it matures more...

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LEGEND ,
Aug 10, 2009 Aug 10, 2009

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Ansury wrote:

As far as getting back to the product forums... meh.  Once I've seen that Adobe actually cares, maybe I'll start to care a little more too.

That could become a circular argument. Maybe Adobe won't pay much notice to those whose main participation consists of complaining rather than contributing.

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Guest
Aug 10, 2009 Aug 10, 2009

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LATEST

Oh, don't worry, I'm under no delusion that they notice any of my complaining.  I consider it more like one of those boycotts that just doesn't work too well, you know?  

Besides, it honestly is a pain to use jiveware to write anything important that takes a significant amount of time.  I'm too worried about losing a post because of yet another error message or whatever Jive has up their sleeves.  On this forum on the other hand, when my browser gets all jived up from the latest bug or network lag, I just shut it down and move on--no loss.

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Community Beginner ,
Aug 09, 2009 Aug 09, 2009

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Please explain to ME why you felt it necessary to lock the John C. thread after you answered my question...

I understand why you deleted the profanity, and put the non-profane content back up, and answered my question. That would have been the end of the story for me. You want respect as a moderator? Go unlock that thread. I do self-imposed moderation pretty well, these days. There's no need to shut everyone else out of that thread. I said my piece, got a reasonable answer, and yet the thread is still locked.

Why?

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Advisor ,
Aug 09, 2009 Aug 09, 2009

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John_Levine_IOPHFI_INH wrote:

Please explain to ME why you felt it necessary to lock the John C. thread after you answered my question...

I understand why you deleted the profanity, and put the non-profane content back up, and answered my question. That would have been the end of the story for me. You want respect as a moderator? Go unlock that thread. I do self-imposed moderation pretty well, these days. There's no need to shut everyone else out of that thread. I said my piece, got a reasonable answer, and yet the thread is still locked.

Why?

I removed your latest bout of profanity.

The answer to your question should be obvious. The thread had descended to noise and profanity.   If someone else didn't lock the thread, I would have myself. 

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Advocate ,
Aug 10, 2009 Aug 10, 2009

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To forestall further off topic discussion. If the topic is still relevant it deserves a new thread without the excess lugage from the old one anyway.

I would have preferred to splice the thread and move part of it to the Lounge where all the offtopic banter can continue, but unfortunately the software doesn't allow me to make a reasonable split in the messages to move and to keep.

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Guest
Aug 09, 2009 Aug 09, 2009

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jochemd wrote:

I am glad you are stepping in because I am sure you can help me understand something. When I started moderating I had done 4 things as a moderator:

  1. Moved a thread to the correct forum with an explanation. (Mon 19:28 UTC)
  2. Locked an off topic thread start with explanation and link to the correct place. (Tue 08:02 UTC)
  3. Locked an off topic thread with an explanation and a link to the correct place. (Wed 20:43 UTC)
  4. Locked a thread that was going downhill while removing some post about smelly cat food. (Wed 22:19 UTC)

Somehow that was reason for you to start this whole escalation with the "Hey Lock this thread too!!!!" thread. So please enlighten me, what is so terribly unfair about what I did?

Well maybe you are older but just in case you are 6, I'll answer the question. You had just childishly locked 3 threads for basically no reason. I figured you needed you needed to lock another one. But no you decided to become an overpowering jerk and delete it. I have no idea what you were thinking, maybe, If I delete it no one will notice.

Maybe they need to give a common sense test to people who are given mod power or maybe a basic test for social skills, or possibly a sense of humor.

So to answer your question I wanted to see what you would do and you acted just like I thought you would. Disappointing. That's why I don't respect you. You certainly don't deserve the job of mod.

Go ahead delete this we certainly don't want anyone seeing you being spoken to this way.

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Advocate ,
Aug 10, 2009 Aug 10, 2009

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Buko. wrote:

Well maybe you are older but just in case you are 6, I'll answer the question.

There is no need for such a slur. You can see my registration date and I am obviously at least 8 years old.

You had just childishly locked 3 threads for basically no reason.

The reason is to prevent people from posting messages in them. For the first two that was not a complicated decision. New thread, author has been around long enough to know better, nobody had responded yet so no collateral damage -> lock.

The third one was a bit more complicated. There had been lots of input towards both the OP and towards the root cause for people posting here instead of the DreamWeaver forum. Locking a thread does diminish the value of those contributions by taking away the opportunity to respond to them. Yet it had been days any such contribution was made. In fact, the last dozen or so messages were not at all about that, and steered the thread in a less then friendly direction. With the situation fundamentally changed by the removal of the root cause any further discussion warrants a new thread anyway and with the absolute nonsense that was being posted I made the judgement call to forestall future action and locked it.

Proactive? Yes. Austere? Probably. Unfair? No.

So to answer your question I wanted to see what you would do and you acted just like I thought you would.

I am glad at last somebody has the guts to admit he was playing "let's test the new moderator". I hope my participation helped make it clear where the limits are. Feel free to ask instead of experiment in the future.

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Guest
Aug 10, 2009 Aug 10, 2009

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Well we know that Adobe does not care that much, if they did, they would not out source their support to india. Instead they would hire Americans who can be understood and need jobs. Also they would pay attention to their customers who without they would not exist.

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