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At the dinner table

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Nick Torres
(@nicktorres)
Posts: 5381
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Topic starter
 

I'm thinking about an open discussion forum again. "Why?" you shriek in disbelief. I just don't want to keep telling 99% of the members they can't talk about something harmless because we need to make sure %1 don't talk about something harmful.

I was thinking of implementing it and allowing the users to moderate it. We don't do anything except respond to flagged posts.

If we use the old dinner table rule...

"Whatever the topic, we expect civil, courteous and respectful conversation. If you wouldn't say it at the dinner table with your Mother or children present, don't say it here. This forum is moderated solely by you, the members of guitarnoise. If you see something that doesn't fit the expectations above, please flag it and we'll take a look. Porn and links to it, racist or hate speech and anything else that violates the TOS you agreed to upon sign up is still prohibited."

I think the reason it failed last time is that we tried to moderate something that was impossible to moderate. If we leave that responsibility to the members they'll let us know what they are uncomfortable with.

What do you all think?

 
Posted : 22/09/2008 11:16 am
Nick Torres
(@nicktorres)
Posts: 5381
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Topic starter
 

Perhaps we should also set a limit on the number of times you get a pass on us removing a post too. I mean if one user is flagged 10 times and we have to keep removing his posts then we just block access to that forum for that user.

 
Posted : 22/09/2008 11:20 am
Vic Lewis VL
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Posts: 10264
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Well obviously, we've tried this before - with The Coffee House - and it failed. Since then, there seems to have been a change in attitude towards an open forum - when it's been suggested, the general consensus has been along the lines of "This is a guitar forum...."

I think in general, though, the members are a pretty responsible bunch - there's the odd Derekslide or Deadlock, but they're pretty few and far between, and they don't tend to hang around long.

There'd probably have to be the usual list of banned topics/no-go areas - Religion, Politics etc - but aside from that, the "dinner table" rule should work well. Possibly a note to the effect that if you must chat about something a little off-colour, there's always MSN or AIM or YIM?

Can't wait to see what Rahul comes up with.......

:D :D :D

Vic

"Sometimes the beauty of music can help us all find strength to deal with all the curves life can throw us." (D. Hodge.)

 
Posted : 22/09/2008 11:42 am
David Hodge
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I'm a "no" vote on this one. Nothing personal, I just don't think we need to have this "open page" here. I've seen it in other forums and even on the best run and most civil one, the "water cooler" forums tends to bring everything else down to their level.

The idea is good and it might work when people are face to face, but when given the relative anonymity (spelled wrong, I'm sure) of the Internet, folks can say things they'd never say at the dinner table. Especially when it's not their dinner table.

And it only takes one or two to bring a reputation to an entire community.

If everyone else (or the majority of everyone else) is for it, great. But if you're asking for a vote, I'm going with "no."

Peace

 
Posted : 22/09/2008 1:56 pm
Elecktrablue
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Like David, I just can't help but remember the debacle of the Coffee House. (BTW, David, anonymity is correct! :D ) I, of course, will go along with the majority, but I do have a bucket full of reservations.

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Posted : 22/09/2008 2:04 pm
greybeard
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I have the distinct feeling that there will be creeping limits. One person will overstep the mark, just by a little bit and no-one responds, after all it's only a "little" bit. It won't be long before someone else takes things just a "little" bit further and, before, you know it, we have a civil war and civility will be on the losing side.

Worse still, acrimony from one forum is likely to spill over into another, in good ol' Derekslide fashion.

If there was a parallel board, where people could go and rant, that would be one thing, but as an adjunct to GN, I feel is as much a mistake as the Coffee House.

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Posted : 22/09/2008 2:13 pm
Nick Torres
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Topic starter
 

Not that I don't agree with you all, but as I remember the big problem with the coffee house is that we tried to moderate it. We'd remove something and people would go ballistic. What I'm saying is that not a one of us should venture in there at all unless the members think something is inappropriate. I mean if you have something you want to say in there, fine, but you wouldn't be saying it as a moderator. I'd advise not venturing in at all for some of us, like me and David. :D

What few things may step over into the main forum we would smack down mercilessly. BRB, although more tolerant than we are of OT posts seems to handle it pretty well.

I understand the apprehension, heck, I share your apprehension. Maybe I'm a glutton for punishment, but I'm still for giving it at least a trial run. Although, I will go with the majority opinion here, I'm counting a "it makes me shudder but I'll go along with whatever" as a qualified yes/maybe. Counting the votes I think we have one "no", one "let's give it a try", one "let's try it and work out the things that come up" and a polite "are you out of your freakin' mind" and a "if you insist, you of the short term memory problem"

The other things I was thinking....it will make the board a bit more sticky. It will pull in people that aren't as fanatical a set of guitarists as we are but still want help and it will give us a bit more of a community feel. It may even increase ad revenue. I don't know.

All that will be required of us is to make sure it doesn't leak over and to avoid getting into the debates ourselves.

 
Posted : 22/09/2008 2:31 pm
David Hodge
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I did get the idea that it would be self-moderated. And I do understand (and applaud) the idea of it making the board more sticky. I guess at heart, I simply don't trust our members to behave. Some of them are borderline troublemakers on their good days. :wink:

If you post enough safeguards, like letting members know that while this is self-moderated, the mods still have the authority to "pull you from the playground" as it were, you may get the results you want. But you may also have more people whining about "he said this and didn't get yanked, why are you pulling me out?" I think you have to have a set of behavioral scenarios in mind before you make this work. You may not be able to foresee every scenario, but chances are likely you'll be able to guess most of them and decide how they should be handled before they occur in reality.

This (non-moderating) could be even more work than moderating. :wink:

I'm still a "no," by the way. :wink: But good luck, 'cause I've a hunch we're going for it.

Peace

 
Posted : 22/09/2008 2:46 pm
Nick Torres
(@nicktorres)
Posts: 5381
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Topic starter
 

You know me too well. :lol:

But seriously, every single one of us does the work here. I'm not comfortable adding to what you all already volunteer to do if you don't think it's worth a try. I was wrong once before in July of 1979**. I could be wrong about this too. So if you are a "NO!" please say so. If you want to stick with your maybe, that is fine too.

If the no vote has it, then it won't happen*. If the yes and qualified yes vote has it, then it will.

*Your Christmas bonuses may be smaller, but I will listen.

**I stand corrected, I was also wrong about giving Staind, Derekslide and Deadlock a second or even third chance and about the first Coffee House. :roll:

 
Posted : 22/09/2008 2:53 pm
Nils
 Nils
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I voted yes, which it appears now so did everyone else. I don't think it is a bad idea for a couple of reasons.

1) In my experience with other sites these types of forums kept users at the site and did not cause them to run off to less moderated forums.

2) I think this may sound crazy but way off topic subjects can make people creative in ways to say what they feel without trying to offend. This could spill over to their music.

3) This is a great opportunity to flood a forum with links that will bring in revenue. In other words bury them with ads as a condition of having the forum.

I would make it clear that this is an experiment and might be revoked at any time if they are not doing a good job of self moderating.

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Posted : 22/09/2008 3:10 pm
Nick Torres
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Posts: 5381
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Topic starter
 

If we decide to move forward it might be a good idea to get the suggestions together...

I'm fine with announcing this as an experiment with some finite time limit.

"Off limits" topics...

I'd really like to not limit the topics at all if possible. I think this is where we failed last time. If we take any kind of editorial control over it we become the moderators and are responsible for the content, instead of the members. Comments?

Safeguards...

I agree 100%. These can be ever evolving and part of the forum description and a sticky.

Here is a start based on my first try above:

Whatever the topic, we expect civil, courteous and respectful conversation. This forum is moderated solely by you, the members of guitarnoise. If you see something that doesn't fit the expectations above, please flag it and we'll take a look. Porn and links to it, racist or hate speech and anything else that violates the TOS you agreed to upon sign up is still prohibited.

No Trolling or personal attacks will be tolerated. Although this forum is self-moderated, if you are flagged frequently for violating the spirit of this open forum, the moderating team reserves the right to remove your ability to post here.

******************************

I'd like to put some general suggestions in there somewhere, perhaps in the sticky:

Think twice, post once.
Posts that consist entirely of "this sucks" or "that sucks" are not worth posting.
Posts that start with "This sucks because..." are.
Don't post while you're angry.
It's okay to disagree.
What is posted in here stays in here.

 
Posted : 22/09/2008 3:20 pm
David Hodge
(@davidhodge)
Posts: 4472
Member
 

Sigh...

You might want your sticky to spell things out more. Maybe like "saying "such and such sucks" is infantile and not discussion." Whenever possible, think about your opinions, why you have them and how best to describe them instead of taking the easy way out."

Also (and I know I'm going out on a very thin limb on this one), no profanity or trying to get around the censors. There are billions of words and you have a big enough brain to find the right one and, again, not take the lazy way out.

I guess I'm hoping they'll think like mature adults (and given this is a male-driven guitar board, that's already three nails in the coffin, right?) and communicate as such.

I'm still a "no" vote, by the way! :wink: But I would love to be wrong about this.

Good luck.

Peace

 
Posted : 22/09/2008 3:51 pm
Vic Lewis VL
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Posts: 10264
Illustrious Member
 

I voted for maybe.

There have got to be SOME rules, else the "self-moderating" members won't know what they're moderating! For me, there are two big no-no's - Religion and Politics. I've never seen a thread anywhere on either of those two subjects that didn't simply descend into a slanging match and polarise opinions. If you think anything (including Religion & Politics) goes within reason, then fair enough - but one man's "within reason" is another man's taboo.

It's worth a try - and there's always the close-down option if it simply doesn't work.

Another idea might be a chat-room - it's been mooted before, but not for a long time. It'd be easy enough to open one somewhere like Stickam, wouldn't it? Members could invite each other, and whoever's opened a room will have to pass on the password, probably via PM. The added advantage of a chat room would be that it's off-site....although it'd obviously be hosted by a GN member. Food for thought?

:D :D :D

Vic

"Sometimes the beauty of music can help us all find strength to deal with all the curves life can throw us." (D. Hodge.)

 
Posted : 22/09/2008 3:57 pm
Nick Torres
(@nicktorres)
Posts: 5381
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Topic starter
 

David, I could certainly put together something more along those lines with very specific examples. Let me think about it. I could also add the word intelligent into the list of descriptors of the word conversation.

Vic, although I am so tempted to agree with you, I have to respectfully disagree. Keep in mind I have been wrong approximately four times before. For instance, you could ask Rahul about which God has multiple arms and do Gods inhabit inanimate objects. You can't say Hinduism sucks. I think our members will get that. Maybe I can add that example into the rules of the road.

It's politics that give me the willies. I will add something into the rules of the road about politics. Something like, "Although political discussion is not prohibited, keep in mind the following: YOU WILL NEVER CONVERT ANYONE TO YOUR POLITICAL POINT OF VIEW IN A FORUM POST. MOST LIKELY YOU WILL FURTHER POLARIZE AND SOLIDIFY THEIR POSITION AGAINST YOU. RATHER THAN CONVERT THEM, IT IS MUCH MORE LIKELY YOU'LL TURN THEM INTO AN ACTIVIST WHOSE NEW FOUND PASSION BRINGS ABOUT THE UTTER DEFEAT OF THE CANDIDATE YOU SUPPORT. WE STRONGLY SUGGEST YOU DON'T WASTE YOUR BREATH."

Perhaps we allow political discussion but only about countries where you can't vote.

 
Posted : 22/09/2008 4:15 pm
Dan Lasley
(@danlasley)
Posts: 2118
Noble Member
 

I'm a strong NO as well. Every few months a new member asks for this, and the other senior non-Mod members convince him that it's a bad idea. I think a slightly moderated open forum is like slightly pregnant.

I participate in open forums elsewhere, one in US and one in UK. They are great. The one in US is definitely R-rated, but we like it that way. But I don't see it here. You wouldn't sell cotton candy in a guitar store.

If you decide to repeat this experiment, can you delay until after the US elections are over? Seriously.

 
Posted : 22/09/2008 4:32 pm
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