Author Topic: Composing Forum Rules & Guidelines  (Read 57920 times)

roo

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Composing Forum Rules & Guidelines
« on: October 20, 2009, 08:37:56 PM »
The IGKT forum has been around for a while now.  Perhaps it's time for a sticky note that lists rules and guidelines.

UPDATE:  This thread keeps getting a lot of visits, and it's not hard to guess why.  For the newcomers, it appears that no real change in moderation style is coming anytime soon, so don't let this thread get your hopes up.  It reminds me of the line from Dante's Inferno: "Abandon all hope ye who enter here".
« Last Edit: June 17, 2015, 12:11:11 AM by roo »
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squarerigger

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Re: Composing Forum Rules & Guidelines
« Reply #1 on: October 23, 2009, 01:41:51 AM »
Got any suggestions:? ;D

DerekSmith

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Re: Composing Forum Rules & Guidelines
« Reply #2 on: October 23, 2009, 09:35:42 AM »
Got any suggestions:? ;D

Yes.

As Roo states, this forum has been going for a while now, and if you look at the posting statistics, it is doing very nicely - running at around two thousand posts a year.  There might even be a hint that it is growing slightly.  Plus, if you look at the content, it is more about 'knots' and less about the politics of running the Guild, which is a great credit to the Officers, the Moderators and the Forum Administrators.

Today, the balance between 'administration' and 'interference' feels about right.  Spam is removed at lightening speed keeping the board usable to its legitimate members, while the content ranges wildly over aspects of knotting we individually might never dream of.

Do we need to formulate and formalise 'Guidance and Rules' for our moderators and administrators?  I would suggest the application of the old addage - 'If it aint broke, don't fix it'.   Any 'Guidance and Rules' that we the forum 'customers' could dream up might be well intentioned, but a) we clearly do not need them, and b) it is unlikely that we could do as good a job as the intelligence and skills of our present set of moderators and administrators are delivering.

So, in response to Roo's suggestion that it is "time for a sticky note that lists rules and guidelines" - NO I do not agree, it is not necessary and hopefully it will never be appropriate.

But hold on -- perhaps Roo you meant rules and guidance for the posters - the Forums customers.  Well, in case you did mean that, then for exactly the same reasons as above I say again - NO I do not agree, it is not necessary and hopefully it will never be appropriate.

Derek

roo

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Re: Composing Forum Rules & Guidelines
« Reply #3 on: October 23, 2009, 04:32:43 PM »
Got any suggestions:? ;D

Searching and compiling some common ones:

Rules & Guidelines

Stay on topic.

Messages posted to this board must be polite and free of personal attacks, threats, and crude or sexually-explicit language, rude comments and innuendo.

Personal differences should be handled through email or private messages and not through posts displayed to everyone.

Inappropriate or harassing private messages are not permitted.

Ignore spammers, or report them.

Do not use someone else's thread for a private conversation.  Use private messages or email for private conversations.

Do not comment on moderator disciplinary actions.

In order to be understood by most people, use correct spelling, grammar and avoid slang unless you know the word or phrase will be understood by other members.

Do not post new problems on someone else's thread and interrupt a topic of discussion.

Write concisely and do not ramble.

Search the other posts to see if your topic is already covered.

Use a meaningful title for your thread.

Material that violates the rules may be edited or deleted without prior notice.

Users who persistently violate the rules will be banned.
« Last Edit: October 23, 2009, 05:19:15 PM by roo »
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roo

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Re: Composing Forum Rules & Guidelines
« Reply #4 on: October 23, 2009, 04:39:59 PM »
NO I do not agree, it is not necessary and hopefully it will never be appropriate.


Derek,

Since you have a tendency to violate common forum rules, I am not surprised that you are opposed.  But it hurts the usability of the forums significantly when one must filter through lengthy portions of off-topic rambling to get to actual knotting content.

Besides, when there are clear rules and guidelines, it prevents recurring, disruptive discussions about what is and is not appropriate.




« Last Edit: October 23, 2009, 04:45:52 PM by roo »
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WebAdmin

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Re: Composing Forum Rules & Guidelines
« Reply #5 on: October 23, 2009, 05:15:12 PM »
Over the last 18 months I have come to consider the Forum as the Guild's only 24-7/8766-365.25 branch meeting.

If there are to be any rules at all, I think the best and simplest one is this: Put a mirror next to your screen; the person you are posting to is this real.  Type appropriately.

Regards

Glenys
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roo

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Re: Composing Forum Rules & Guidelines
« Reply #6 on: October 23, 2009, 05:34:59 PM »
I think the best and simplest one is this: Put a mirror next to your screen; the person you are posting to is this real.  Type appropriately.

Hopefully, rule #2 above would cover that. 
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DerekSmith

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Re: Composing Forum Rules & Guidelines
« Reply #7 on: October 23, 2009, 08:14:58 PM »
Over the last 18 months I have come to consider the Forum as the Guild's only 24-7/8766-365.25 branch meeting.

If there are to be any rules at all, I think the best and simplest one is this: Put a mirror next to your screen; the person you are posting to is this real.  Type appropriately.

Regards

Glenys

Glenys, Props to you - very much with you on this one.

--------------------------

Roo,  That is quite a list you have trawled there.  I presume those which have Do / Don't / Must fall into the Rule category and the rest are either guidelines  or advice of what will happen if you break a rule.  Of course, we could be misled into thinking that the claim that these are 'common' implies that they are either good or required.  A moments thought will demonstrate that neither of these apply to our forum.

I have over time visited quite a number of Forums.  Some have been run by people with a power issue and some have covered topics which have attracted a particularly nasty sort of person, consequently both are festooned with rules and constant moderator intervention.

Our forum in contrast is populated by people I would happily invite to dinner one evening.  Yes there are differences of opinion, but we all tend to be adults and know when to step back from a discussion which is heating up.  Yes we all have differences of opinion, different experiences and different writing styles - thank goodness - if we all shared identical thoughts, there would be little point coming here because we could never learn anything.

So what is the point in having Rules for our Forum - yes they might help prevent "disruptive discussions about what is and is not appropriate" - rules might indeed be of value if that was even remotely commonplace on our forum - happily, that is not the case and when an occasional individual carps about the length of a post or that in their opinion the subject drifted off topic, then we have all learned to cut the winger some slack and just ignore them.

The other serious reason for using common sense instead of Rules is that Rules actually lead to more of the very thing you thing you want to prevent - disruptive discussions about what is or is not appropriate.  By way of example - take your listed rule  "Personal differences should be handled through email or private messages and not through posts displayed to everyone."

Your comment to me -

Quote
Since you have a tendency to violate common forum rules, I am not surprised that you are opposed.  But it hurts the usability of the forums significantly when one must filter through lengthy portions of off-topic rambling to get to actual knotting content.

- is, in my opinion, in direct contravention of that rule, so off we go dicking about over the interpretation of the rule and what you meant by your personal criticism of my use of the forum.

Instead, in the civilised world of this forum without rules - just courtesy and adult common sense - I simply accept your dig as being your valued opinion, which differs from my own and several other posters.  It has nothing to do with knots and it would be nice if you kept it to yourself, but you feel strongly about my waffling diatribes and tell me so.  OK, I hear you and if I get similar digs from other people on the forum whom I also respect, then I will seriously consider putting a crimp in my verbosity - SEEMPLES - we don't need rules, just courtesy and considerate conduct all the way round.

Rather than following the examples set by other common and inferior forums, our standards and adult behaviour should be held up as an example to them.

Derek

roo

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Re: Composing Forum Rules & Guidelines
« Reply #8 on: October 23, 2009, 09:18:10 PM »

Your comment to me -

Quote
Since you have a tendency to violate common forum rules, I am not surprised that you are opposed.  But it hurts the usability of the forums significantly when one must filter through lengthy portions of off-topic rambling to get to actual knotting content.

- is, in my opinion, in direct contravention of that rule, so off we go dicking about over the interpretation of the rule and what you meant by your personal criticism of my use of the forum.

Instead, in the civilised world of this forum without rules - just courtesy and adult common sense - I simply accept your dig as being your valued opinion, which differs from my own and several other posters.  It has nothing to do with knots and it would be nice if you kept it to yourself, but you feel strongly about my waffling diatribes and tell me so.  OK, I hear you and if I get similar digs from other people on the forum whom I also respect, then I will seriously consider putting a crimp in my verbosity - SEEMPLES - we don't need rules, just courtesy and considerate conduct all the way round.

Rather than following the examples set by other common and inferior forums, our standards and adult behaviour should be held up as an example to them.

Derek

1.  This isn't a knot topic or a knot forum.  It is the Feedback Forum and the topic is Composing Forum Rules & Guidelines.

2.  I have no personal issue that I'm addressing with you here.  As far as I know, your violations of yet-to-be-enacted rules are a result of mere accidents or simply because there are no posted rules or guidelines.   It's nothing personal, although I am aware that some people have different ideas of what "personal" means.


In any event, the rules will help not only users be mindful of their habits, but will help moderators be mindful of their degree of laxity or severity in the control of the forum.
« Last Edit: October 23, 2009, 09:21:36 PM by roo »
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SS369

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Re: Composing Forum Rules & Guidelines
« Reply #9 on: October 23, 2009, 09:45:04 PM »
My opinion:
The more rules to be broken, the more they will be broken.
Maybe by accident or not.
I am of the school of thought here that we are people with a common interest, being all things knotting and in the course of discussions we may slip up and be people.

Having just come back from the New Bedford IGKT meeting I found that were actually people, pleasant people,  behind a few of the nicknames.

We're a family of sorts and bickering do happen though very, very infrequently.
But those few times are not worth the efforts to monitor for adherence to a lot of rules. I for one believe the the work done by the moderators has been excellent and we need not add to the burden.
Friendships and common decency are life rules and I think that perhaps is enough.
I vote stay the course.

Scott

roo

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Re: Composing Forum Rules & Guidelines
« Reply #10 on: October 23, 2009, 09:54:43 PM »
But those few times are not worth the efforts to monitor for adherence to a lot of rules. I for one believe the the work done by the moderators has been excellent and we need not add to the burden.

What ends up happening is that the burden is shifted to ordinary users to persuade, convince or otherwise deal with others to keep the forums usable and readable.  The results aren't always successful.  This is a  task they may or may not want to do, and the task itself just adds to the clutter and disruption.

Maybe we could hear from the moderators themselves.  Are they burdened now?  It seems like some don't even visit that often.
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skyout

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Re: Composing Forum Rules & Guidelines
« Reply #11 on: October 23, 2009, 10:22:59 PM »
I agree with Glenys, Derek and Scott.

"Rules? We don't need no stinking rules!" Except maybe the Golden Rule, it doesn't stink. lol

And Derek, keep on telling us what's on your mind, continue like the tumble weed that will always keep on tumbling. Your posts are great and never looked upon as hijacking or off topic to me.

roo

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Re: Composing Forum Rules & Guidelines
« Reply #12 on: October 23, 2009, 10:37:02 PM »
Your posts are great and never looked upon as hijacking or off topic to me.

That's nice, but consider that someday you may get tired of your thread being hijacked, disrupted, or buried in a mountain of detours.  What would you prefer?:

Scenario 1

Bob posts 40 lines on transmission repair when the topic is testing knots.

The moderator finds it or is alerted and the post goes away. 

The thread goes on productively.

or

Scenario 2

Bob posts 40 lines on transmission repair when the topic is testing knots.

You try to persuade Bob to focus on the topic.

Bob posts 50 lines in reply on why transmission repair is what he wants to talk about.

You try again.

Bob posts 60 lines in response, similar to before, and adds some insults to boot.

New readers see a mountain of irrelevant verbiage, their eyes gloss over and they leave, not bothering to add their own on-topic contribution.
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skyout

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Re: Composing Forum Rules & Guidelines
« Reply #13 on: October 23, 2009, 10:41:46 PM »
Your posts are great and never looked upon as hijacking or off topic to me.

That's nice,

Thank you.

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Re: Composing Forum Rules & Guidelines
« Reply #14 on: October 24, 2009, 07:29:22 AM »
Dear All

I know it may seem like some of us don't often seem to be around, and I admit I can find a few days have passed before I can get back online with enough time to do more than a quick skim of who's posted in which topics, but I also try to let threads develop without jumping in on them.  I don't get to post as often on items I find personally interesting - I have to have lots of free time for that - and when I am able to I often forget to swap login ID to my personal one, so that it doesn't look like the webadmin is butting in.

I think you may find that other moderators are also there in the background, but not necessarily posting.

Regards

Glenys
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