Status: Super Moderator
Join Date: Aug 2005
Current Game: Guild Wars 2, VtMB, TOR
1. I respectfully disagree on disbanding Kavar's, and so did the majority of people in the thread on it in the SWK feedback forum. I hate the Senate. It hasn't existed 'successfully' for years--I and a number of others entered it and then just about as quickly left it because it's mean-spirited and nasty. I still want to discuss serious subjects, but I don't want to do it in a place where people are free to throw around ad hominems and flame with absolutely no consequence other than a 'please consider not being rude, or I'll say please consider not being rude again' comment from a mod once every 10 months if you're lucky. If you're not a war-protesting, communist/socialist, anti-theist elitist, you may as well skip the forum entirely. You'll never experience anything except flaming harassment and utter contempt there otherwise, and nothing will be done about it.
2. Snipping posts--I again disagree. When those posts stay, I've found that people read them, get mad, and respond, even when we moderators have dealt with the flamers. We remove the posts and comments that are against the rules to calm down the flames. The ideal would be if people never made the flaming comments in the first place, because then we'd never have to deal with the issue. However, when they're left in full view of the forum, people will come by hours and even days later, see the flame, and respond to the flame, and the flamee then feels compelled to respond back. We delete the stuff to cut the cycle off.
Also, I personally don't want to read through threads where people call each other nasty names and flame each other, even if I'm completely uninvolved. I read through GWguru where that kind of stuff isn't edited, and it's not fun. I feel as an outsider that I've been dragged into off-topic and unpleasant drama, and it makes the experience there feel unfriendly. Ahto has a reputation for being a nice place to be. Why? Because we get rid of the nasty crap. That part has worked well for years. I see no reason why we should change what's been successful there.
3. Post deletions--we soft-delete posts. They are part of the permanent record, but regular members can't see the posts. Staff can, and they are able to be accessed by any s-mod or admin for review at any time. Members are free to go to anyone up the chain of command if they have complaints about a particular staff member, and that person can look over the evidence and make a determination from there.
4. What staff meetings? The 3 of us that moderate Kavar's will chat frequently about whether we think something is a flame or not or breaks the rules or not, and what to do about it, whether it just bears watching, and so on. We don't have formal staff meetings. We're just a bunch of members who happen to also work on keeping some kind of quality control on the forum. That's it. Most of the things we discuss in the mod forum (which is what we'd theoretically be having any formal meeting if we had such) are about sanctions on members--that's not something we want to discuss in public. We sometimes deal with sensitive issues that need to stay private and not be in the public eye.
5. Where are you NOT being asked for your input? You have not one but two feedback forums, you've been asked what kind of badges you wanted when the owners (not us mere admin/s-mod/mod peons) decided to have badges on the forums, you were given input on whether Kavar's should stay open or not (see thread in SWK forum). My PM box is always open but you've not used it to talk to me about whatever the problem is that's bothering you in particular. I can't fix a problem I don't know about, and expecting me to just know you're mad at me about something when you never tell me, and then assuming negative things about me on top of that when I never meant any such thing, is really unfair.
6. Aristotle has made it clear that he, as owner, will be the final decision maker in any demotions. That's something none of the rest of us have control on as staff, much less members. Promotions--sure, we could have a vote. You would end up with what happened in the RD forum where the most popular people were voted in as mods and then disappeared about a month later.
Right now the staff look at who is in the forum who is getting along really well with the majority of the group, has made long-term positive contributions in the relevant section(s), can get along with the current staff well, and knows and follows the rules. The people who would win the popularity contest wouldn't necessarily meet all those criteria. I can think of several people who would win a popularity contest hands down who ignore rules. From an administrative standpoint, that's a recipe for disaster. The people who do the best jobs are often well-liked and regarded in the community but aren't necessarily the most popular. stoffe is without question one of the best moderators and administrators we've had, but she's a quiet person who likely would have felt very uncomfortable being put up for an election.
What would you do to ensure that the people who would do the best job, rather than are the most popular, would be selected for x post?