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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

Contributor , 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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Advocate ,
Aug 06, 2009 Aug 06, 2009

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But Dave knows it doesn't work that way anymore. So I am concluding he

is knowingly sending someone the wrong way and being very vocal about

how 'helpful' he is, and would like to know why.

See, comments like that (from Jochem) send off all kinds of fireworks - dave's been around the forums since Adam was a lad and the notion that he would behave that way is quite breathtakingly insulting to one of the most helpful and good-hearted people around here.


Policing/moderating by consent is the only way that works Jochem - please try harder. An apology for the above would be a good start.

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Advocate ,
Aug 07, 2009 Aug 07, 2009

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[Edit: Do as you would be done by, Jochem.]

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LEGEND ,
Aug 07, 2009 Aug 07, 2009

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Do as you would be done by.

The Ethic of Reciprocity

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Advocate ,
Aug 07, 2009 Aug 07, 2009

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Kath-H wrote:

But Dave knows it doesn't work that way anymore. So I am concluding he

is knowingly sending someone the wrong way and being very vocal about

how 'helpful' he is, and would like to know why.

See, comments like that (from Jochem) send off all kinds of fireworks - dave's been around the forums since Adam was a lad and the notion that he would behave that way is quite breathtakingly insulting to one of the most helpful and good-hearted people around here.

If Dave and JC first have a vocal discussion about how the support procedures for login retrieval have changed, and Dave subsequently sends somebody along the old procedure that no longer works, conclusing that he does so knowingly is the only sensible conclusion. So I ask why. And while I do realize the inflammatory nature of that question, I still consider the conclusion I reached valid.

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Advocate ,
Aug 07, 2009 Aug 07, 2009

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Kath-H wrote:

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.

Normal or not, there are places where lounging is appropriate, and places where it isn't.

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.

But all of that needs to be balanced against the goal of the moderation. It is counterproductive if threads about topic X end up with posts about other topics, only to have those posts edited, and then an explanation of the edit being posted.

So if you want to know about why moderators make certain decisions, ask away. Just don't do it in the thread were it occured. Nor by private message, but just in a thread like this one. And without the name-calling.

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

It probably is. That is one of the reasons why moderators have so far restrained from purging the archives and are focussing only on new messages.

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.

Gaining consent is not a purpose of moderation. In some cases it may be a means to an end, an end being for instance a reduction in the number of off-topic messages and thread highjacks.

Seriously, I don't understand what the big deal is. Let's see what happened in the first 48 hours of me being a moderator:

1. I moved a thread with explanation to the right forum.

2. I locked a thread moving off-topic with explanation.

3. I locked a thread moving off-topic with explanation.

4. I locked a new off-topic thread with explanation.

5. I deleted a thread in which the originator of thread 4 started name-calling.

Everything after that is people swooping in, calling me heavy handed, hijacking threads about other topics etc. I fail to see why this chain of events would surprise anybody. And while I am willing to entertain it, I even fail to see why this chain of events would be reason to start a thread about moderation

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LEGEND ,
Aug 07, 2009 Aug 07, 2009

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The analogy of the circus and the lion tamer is not name-calling: it is a reflection of the chaotic state of the forums and the valiant attempts to bring things to a more docile level.


I am sorry if my poetic allusions elude you Jochem!

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Contributor ,
Aug 07, 2009 Aug 07, 2009

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What I believe to be legitimate reasons for deleting posts or locking threads are Spam & Profanity.  Name calling is not really reason to lock a thread.  I've been called Q-Ball, Q-Tip and I've had my intelligence questioned a number of times, by a couple of people.  I wasn't pleased by that but I don't see any reason to remove, or lock, a thread over it.  That's just silly.  Being a good moderator is commendable, but we don't need our mommies to do that.

I have been asking for people to use reasonably good manners here for a long time.  I wish we would respect each other.  Most of us do so, even if we disagree.  But when people are less than polite, censorship is not the answer.  Threads disappear for the most trivial reasons.

And yes, I agree we need to be less "snarky".  We also need a forum that isn't plagued with so many problems.  It's a two way street.

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Advocate ,
Aug 07, 2009 Aug 07, 2009

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I even fail to see why this chain of events would be reason to start a thread about moderation

Short memory Jochem - this is just what you suggested someone should do if the matter needing discussing. Indeed, I believe you said you welcomed discussion of such - this may well have been in a PM, but people talk to each other, you know


And what post did you delete because of name calling? There was one lamenting the loss of some good moderators, which then suggested a bit more courtesy by moderators would be a good thing, then made a mild comment about lion-tamers - which you picked up and responded to, even though you'd deleted the post.

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Advocate ,
Aug 07, 2009 Aug 07, 2009

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And you've deleted more than that - often they have already gone out via email. Maybe it was someone else, but these days we often don't get told.

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Advocate ,
Aug 07, 2009 Aug 07, 2009

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Gaining consent is not a purpose of moderation. In some cases it may be a means to an end, an end being for instance a reduction in the number of off-topic messages and thread highjacks.

Well, that's pretty much what I'm suggesting, and why.

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Advocate ,
Aug 07, 2009 Aug 07, 2009

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Kath-H wrote:

I even fail to see why this chain of events would be reason to start a thread about moderation

Short memory Jochem - this is just what you suggested someone should do if the matter needing discussing. Indeed, I believe you said you welcomed discussion of such - this may well have been in a PM, but people talk to each other, you know

I wrote "If you believe my moderation is not fair, I welcome discussion." Obviously I believe my moderation is fair and not in need of discussion.

And what post did you delete because of name calling? There was one lamenting the loss of some good moderators, which then suggested a bit more courtesy by moderators would be a good thing, then made a mild comment about lion-tamers - which you picked up and responded to, even though you'd deleted the post.

Actually it started with several towards another host. And the lion tamer post was first deleted without comment, the comment was only posted when the post re-appeared to prevent further post and delete cycles.

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LEGEND ,
Aug 07, 2009 Aug 07, 2009

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jochemd wrote:

I wrote "If you believe my moderation is not fair, I welcome discussion." Obviously I believe my moderation is fair and not in need of discussion.

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Community Beginner ,
Aug 07, 2009 Aug 07, 2009

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Obviously I believe my moderation is fair and not in need of discussion.

That is simply (IMO) one of the most forthrightly arrogant things I have ever read written by a forum host! It seems inconsistent (to put it kindly) to say that you welcome discussion, and then say that you feel your moderation is not in need of discussion. I question whether you are really as intelligent as some here seem to think you are.

Obviously we, the users feel differently about your "moderation". You are acting (IMO) like a petty dictator - and as I am not the only one, but one of many who are expressing criticisms of your "moderating" "style", if I were you, I would be asking myself if some of the criticisms were valid, however, your obviously large regard for yourself seems to be rendering you deaf.

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Mentor ,
Aug 07, 2009 Aug 07, 2009

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Be prepared to be deleted Fr.

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Community Beginner ,
Aug 07, 2009 Aug 07, 2009

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Be prepared to be deleted Fr.

Oh, I am!

Seems like a lot of us are!

I just realized one of Mr. Dieten's statements needs to be re-written slightly (bolding mine):

I wrote "If you believe my moderation is not fair, I welcome discussion." Obviously I believe my moderation is fair and not in need of discussion.

That should actually read:

I wrote "If I believe my moderation is not fair, I welcome discussion." Obviously I believe my moderation is fair and not in need of discussion.

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Advocate ,
Aug 08, 2009 Aug 08, 2009

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Fr. Watson wrote:

It seems inconsistent (to put it kindly) to say that you welcome discussion, and then say that you feel your moderation is not in need of discussion.

I do think it is unneeded. If I thought my moderation was unfair, I would moderate differently. But me feeling it is unneeded does not mean I am just going to outright suppress and/or ignore all discussion.

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Advocate ,
Aug 08, 2009 Aug 08, 2009

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Though for input on moderation style I am primarily looking at the hints and nudges I get from other hosts (plenty of who are quietly reading this forum / thread).

Good. Most of them will give you good advice.

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Advocate ,
Aug 08, 2009 Aug 08, 2009

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[I make a new post rather than edit because of email notifications not reflecting edits]


However, you still feel this discussion is unnecessary because you are so perfect. I hope some of your mentors advise a little humility.

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Enthusiast ,
Aug 07, 2009 Aug 07, 2009

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I wrote "If you believe my moderation is not fair, I welcome discussion." Obviously I believe my moderation is fair and not in need of discussion.

did someone say jochem had no sense of humor? i think that's pretty funny! a little dry maybe, but funny...

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Advocate ,
Aug 07, 2009 Aug 07, 2009

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Crossed my mind - but I wasn't ready to give him the benefit of the doubt.

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Enthusiast ,
Aug 07, 2009 Aug 07, 2009

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Crossed my mind - but I wasn't ready to give him the benefit of the doubt.

that's cuz you youngins are all hepped up on yer mountain dew and yer pepsis...

everyone do like bob weir says on a hot day in an outdoor amphitheater...

one... two... three. take a step back. one... two... three. 'nother step back.

deep breaths everyone. let it go. in the big scheme, it's not important.

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LEGEND ,
Aug 07, 2009 Aug 07, 2009

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dave milbut wrote:

deep breaths everyone. let it go. in the big scheme, it's not important.

That's perhaps the most sensible comment I've seen in this thread.

Everybody needs to take several steps back and calm down. It's also a good idea to take another look at the Forum etiquette and best practices. They have some things to say that should be taken on board by everyone - moderators and non-moderators alike:

Do:

  • Respect others
  • Assume good faith
  • Be kind to newbies — we were all new once

Respect is a two-way street. Someone who has been a member of the community for a long time, and made a lot of contributions, deserves respect. But there are some long-term members (not necessarily people who have participated in this thread), who have been extremely disruptive and discourteous to others. Long-term membership alone doesn't command respect. It's the way that person acts within the community towards all comers, not just a select clique, that matters.

Assume good faith. I have seen lots of accusations leveled at Zeno Bokor and Jochem van Dieten as "bad moderators". Both are new at the job, and may have done things you don't like, but did they do it in bad faith? I have never met Zeno, but I do know Jochem. He's an honest and dedicated guy. Among all the people with moderator status in the new forums, he has probably done more than anyone else to try to get technical improvements implemented. Zeno, by the way, has also been very active behind the scenes, among other things removing a torrent of spam.

Don't:

  • Personally attack people, their edits (including spelling or grammar), or their comments
  • Rant or otherwise harass, abuse, or intimidate other

I have been deeply shocked the the level of personal abuse in some forums. Some people seem to think it's OK to be rude because you're not meeting face to face. It's not OK. If you don't like what someone writes, take a deep breath, and walk away from the keyboard.

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Contributor ,
Aug 07, 2009 Aug 07, 2009

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David_Powers wrote:

Do:

  • Respect others
  • Assume good faith
  • Be kind to newbies — we were all new once

Respect is a two-way street.

I have been deeply shocked the the level of personal abuse in some forums. Some people seem to think it's OK to be rude because you're not meeting face to face. It's not OK. If you don't like what someone writes, take a deep breath, and walk away from the keyboard.

those are words of wisdom for ALL to follow, (mods and forum users alike) both in real life and online.

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Mentor ,
Aug 07, 2009 Aug 07, 2009

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David_Powers wrote:

  • Assume good faith

Hard to do when the hosts have proven otherwise.

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