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-   -   Updated Eratosphere Procedures for Members and Moderators (http://www.ablemuse.com/erato/showthread.php?t=9675)

Quincy Lehr 12-19-2009 10:15 PM

Frank's right about the membership needing to feel it's being listened to for this to work, and that's a matter of implementation rather than structure.

Editing in: As for Mike Juster's point about GT--most of the incidents that provoked the current exodus occurred on TDE (or concerned TDE), and occurred as a result of interactions between members and a few moderators rather than arising from contentious political debates on GT. A large part of the anger evident (at times wearily so) on the Exile board was to do not so much with a desire for emotional validation (though there was that, I think) as much as a desire to set the record straight about what many of us feel was abusive behavior on a fairly large scale. Rightly or wrongly.

I've managed to get in to the semi-hidden boards and have lodged my complaint and main stumbling block to coming back permanently, and will make more specific or pointed observations through the indicated channels. We'll see how it goes.

David Rosenthal 12-19-2009 10:41 PM

Alex,

I appreciate the thought and effort that went into these new procedures and policies. I think they do in fact respond to some of my specific concerns. What remains, as others have pointed out, is the question of consistent implementation. But I do see this as a good, positive step.

David R.

Marybeth Rua-Larsen 12-19-2009 11:17 PM

Although I can log in to Eratosphericals and see that there are is a post in two separate threads, I cannot see those posts. When I click on the link, I get a message that reads "There are no posts in this forum." What am I doing wrong?

Allen Tice 12-19-2009 11:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Michael Juster (Post 136586)
My conclusion is that we have to try much harder to leave the flaming culture of the Internet at the door and try to be a lot more civil to one another. I believe it was Aristotle who rejected the theory that the venting of anger released it. Regular venting of anger just trains you to be better at being angry, which is why I [don't] approve of opening up General Talk to explosive nonliterary issues... .

Moved and seconded.

Quincy Lehr 12-19-2009 11:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Marybeth Rua-Larsen (Post 136598)
Although I can log in to Eratosphericals and see that there are is a post in two separate threads, I cannot see those posts. When I click on the link, I get a message that reads "There are no posts in this forum." What am I doing wrong?

I suspect this is to protect the accused or some such.

Marybeth Rua-Larsen 12-19-2009 11:43 PM

Ah...my mistake. I did not read carefully enough. So only a moderator can move a thread to the Pub for continued, private membership discussion (but none of us can start a discussion there), and though we may post grievances in the other two sections, they are read privately by moderators, acted upon by moderators and not open to general discussion. I believe I have seen all I need to see.

Quincy Lehr 12-19-2009 11:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Marybeth Rua-Larsen (Post 136601)
Ah...my mistake. I did not read carefully enough. So only a moderator can move a thread to the Pub for continued, private membership discussion (but none of us can start a discussion there), and though we may post grievances in the other two sections, they are read privately by moderators, acted upon by moderators and not open to general discussion. I believe I have seen all I need to see.

I'm of two minds about this. If there were a case, say, of a groundswell against a member--"You should ban John Jacob Jingleheimer Smith!"--one would not necessarily want a massive pile-on and almost certain flame war. On the other hand, when dealing with moderator abuses and a general surfeit of rules and procedures--the main source of complaints at present--allowing other members to pile in with "I agree" or "I disagree" would be helpful in identifying what is simple animus or isolated discontent versus a groundswell. This seems to be a slight expansion of the old "take it to PM" policy, which didn't exactly work all that well in rectifying things.

But I'm willing to give it a try, if somewhat skeptically.

Quincy

David Rosenthal 12-20-2009 12:03 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Quincy Lehr (Post 136603)
But I'm willing to give it a try, if somewhat skeptically.

The issue will be the effectiveness and consistency of the implementation of the new policies and procedures. Time and good will can only tell if it will work.

David R.

Michael Cantor 12-20-2009 01:02 AM

Alex and Maryann - there appears to be a discrepancy between what is explained in Alex's letter, and what is available on the new Forums - and it makes a big difference in terms of function.

I'm afraid I may have misread the new measures as well. But I'm puzzled and not sure. On the one hand, all I see that allows open discussion is the new private "public" Forum apparently intended to deal with publications. The two other Moderators or Administrators forums do not allow public discussion - I fail to see how this is significantly different from the old "send us a PM" policy, which is what I believe prompted Quincy's and Marybeth's reactions.

But the letter states, "She (Maryann) might move posts deemed suitable for members only to this private forum where all members with access privilege are still be able to view it or post to it." I gather from this that the new Forum called "Pub" will also serve for broad, member-based discussions of "turbulent" topics, and not just for publication discussions. If so, I'm a reasonably happy camper, because essentially the ability is provided to carry on an open conversation on sensitive issues. If not, I agree with what Quincy had to say. Without an open conversation, where members (with a set minimum number of posts, to assure serious commitment) look in and provide further feedback and input, Administrators are not going to get a good sense of what the membership feels. It encourages more misunderstandings, more unhelpful backchatter.

I think a clarification of the apparent difference between Maryann's statement, and the structure of the Forum, would help. (It might simply be that no discussions have been moved there, so no thread appear yet. I can't tell.)

I also recognize that open discussions can get out of hand. We're all going to have to work on that one. It is my sense that the Administration does realize that a great many of the problems which have occurred are due to the insensitivity and overreactions cited in the opening section of Alex's letter; and hopefully the membership also realizes that if we meet a more open and reasonable Administration approach with a more reasonable and less passionate/accusatory response, it will work to everybody's benefit.

Ultimately, it boils down to what David just said. Time and good will.

Alex Pepple 12-20-2009 01:10 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Marybeth Rua-Larsen (Post 136601)
Ah...my mistake. I did not read carefully enough. So only a moderator can move a thread to the Pub for continued, private membership discussion (but none of us can start a discussion there), and though we may post grievances in the other two sections, they are read privately by moderators, acted upon by moderators and not open to general discussion. I believe I have seen all I need to see.

Marybeth, a slight correction, a moderator is more likely to move a thread to Eratospherics for continued discussion. Pub is for the discussion of publication issues and any member with access privilege can start a thread there. However, everyone will continue to see and post in the moved thread, so whatever discussion was going on before the move continues for everyone with access to the private forums.

Continuing the clarifications, in Dear Moderators, a member starts a thread between him or her and moderators. Dear Administrators operates the same way except that it's between the member and the Administrators.

Michael C. & others who asked, I hope that also clarifies things for you also.

...Alex


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