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Official Suggestions Thread

Locke

Hegemon
Site Staff
Joined
Nov 24, 2009
Location
Redmond, Washington
I want to reiterate that just about everyone here wants thread locking to be changed into a last resort if a situation cannot be resolved on an individual basis. Besides obvious spam and vandalism of course. But actual serious threads.
I agree. I've brought this up with the mods and added it to the handbook as well. Most actions should be sandwiched by communication in order to be most effective. Warning, resolution, explanation. The trick, of course, is judging whether a thread is "serious" or when a warning would be pointless.


There's usually a large number of people who are discontent. But only a smaller number who are brave enough to make larger, more well-formed criticisms with plenty of details. And this is almost always used against them to claim that it is just a "vocal minority" that should be disregarded because there's not enough of them saying it. And I'm absolutely certain that this will be used again. So you can't have it both ways. You either have to accept all criticisms as serious, or none of them as serious. Allowing more public forums for complaints like this would allow the "small minority" to provide their well formed complaints and the less bold people to see it and say they agree and possibly add more to it than they would have otherwise felt capable of doing on their own. And it'll put more pressure on the mods to be careful about what they do and they will not be able to just disregard whatever they don't like and will have to listen to what the community wants.
The trouble with avoiding the excuse of "vocal minority" is defining when it's no longer a minority. Bringing in the support of less bold members might turn a one-member complaint into, what, a 20 member complaint? Out of 400 members... I get what you're saying, we're not expected to do a study on exactly how many people are affected and how many feel negatively about it and such, but the larger number of complaints should give us a feeling that it's more widespread than we might think. But precisely because of this ambiguity it's not a good idea to judge an idea based on numbers in the first place. You either have to accept all criticisms as serious, or none of them as serious. More like we have to seriously consider whether all criticisms have merit or not. The voice of the "vocal minority" should be judged by its own merits, not by how few or how many followers it has, because the latter is both unconfirmable and irrelevant. I'm sure you agree with this ideal but feel we're not following it. Then we would like to improve in this area.


And given how badly the mods have been at accusing people of defying them and being trouble makers, you absolutely shouldn't be trusting them right now to determine what is and isn't constructive. One thing you can do is make it a requirement to address all complaints and write up a thread for mods to look at that has some examples of what is isn't okay. Like: "Hey, I don't really agree with this decision here." versus "What do you think you're doing, you idiot?!"
Okay, that's a bit extreme. :P But you get the idea. There just seems the tendency to deem all criticism as unconstructive. And there even seemed to be here before it turned out many people felt the same way. And you couldn't just go and call all of them troublemakers.
Again, I haven't received any such feedback about our current mods. What would you all say about a plugin that allows anonymous feedback about specific mods? While I'm trying to improve communication from our end, I also want to get members communicating with us effectively to help with this.


And I also don't think you should be concerning yourselves with blogs and shoutbox posts criticizing the mods. Why should you care?
As you said, a member getting ignored by a mod leads to that member giving up on communicating with that mod (or all the mods in general). Now, if that member goes around and tells everyone else how arrogant and ignorant the mods are, they'll give up on communication too. Now we have a whole bunch of members convincing each other that no mod would ever listen, while no mods are receiving any communication. Now, there are times when this specific thing is happening, and there are times when a mod might simply feel insulted by publicly expressed discontent. This is the sort of thing I need to hear about personally so I can correct it. Yes, we try to put down "toxicity", if you'll excuse the terminology, toward the administration that makes it harder for us to maintain a healthy community. Yes, sometimes we go overboard. Throw us a bone.


And it is hypocritical to claim that the mods don't have time to respond to every single private complaint, but they certainly have time to deal with anything that publicly embarrasses them.
It's not that they don't have the time, it's just that sometimes (SOMETIMES) it'd be a pointless use of it.
 

Emma

Eye See You
Site Staff
Joined
Nov 28, 2008
Location
Vegas
I agree. I've brought this up with the mods and added it to the handbook as well. Most actions should be sandwiched by communication in order to be most effective. Warning, resolution, explanation. The trick, of course, is judging whether a thread is "serious" or when a warning would be pointless.
And what about retroactively unlocking threads that shouldn't have been locked and apologizing to those who were wrongly warned about breaking the "rule" on it?


The trouble with avoiding the excuse of "vocal minority" is defining when it's no longer a minority. Bringing in the support of less bold members might turn a one-member complaint into, what, a 20 member complaint? Out of 400 members... I get what you're saying, we're not expected to do a study on exactly how many people are affected and how many feel negatively about it and such, but the larger number of complaints should give us a feeling that it's more widespread than we might think. But precisely because of this ambiguity it's not a good idea to judge an idea based on numbers in the first place. You either have to accept all criticisms as serious, or none of them as serious. More like we have to seriously consider whether all criticisms have merit or not. The voice of the "vocal minority" should be judged by its own merits, not by how few or how many followers it has, because the latter is both unconfirmable and irrelevant. I'm sure you agree with this ideal but feel we're not following it. Then we would like to improve in this area.
It rarely is a one-member complaint though. There's always others who feel the same, but they're afraid to talk because they think they can't because they, rightly, believe they'd get in trouble for protesting. And don't pretend that we don't know everyone here making these points FOR this in this discussion, has been branded "troublemakers" by the staff at one point or another. You know it, I know it. So let's not waste time denying it. This branding is largely to do with trying to bring issues like this up with the other person just getting angry that it's being even mentioned at all and therefore just labeling the questioner a troublemaker and complaining about it to everyone else. It would be great if all the mods stopped thinking of us that way. We both know it's because we rocked the boat and asked questions the staff didn't want to hear. I'm saying it now, here, so it cannot be just denied as it would be in private. This branding has caused us to be treated with pre-emptive hostility and has been used as an excuse to ignore anything we say.


Again, I haven't received any such feedback about our current mods. What would you all say about a plugin that allows anonymous feedback about specific mods? While I'm trying to improve communication from our end, I also want to get members communicating with us effectively to help with this.
To be fair, you have ignored a lot. And people know it, so any complaints that would have come to you, either here or via Skype, probably have largely not been happening because they know you will not respond or acknowledge them. You're not taking into consideration the fact that people have given up on communicating with the staff because they always get ignored whenever it's anything the staff doesn't want to hear. And any that the others are getting, can you speak for them and tell us they've told you all the complaints they've gotten?

And about that plugin. I suppose that can work. But to be fair about that, it'll probably be flooded with trollish reports for bad reasons. Without context or knowing who sent what, there's no real way to sift through the real complaints and the fake ones. If it's used, it has to be in addition to something more formalized such as a thread like this.


As you said, a member getting ignored by a mod leads to that member giving up on communicating with that mod (or all the mods in general). Now, if that member goes around and tells everyone else how arrogant and ignorant the mods are, they'll give up on communication too. Now we have a whole bunch of members convincing each other that no mod would ever listen, while no mods are receiving any communication. Now, there are times when this specific thing is happening, and there are times when a mod might simply feel insulted by publicly expressed discontent. This is the sort of thing I need to hear about personally so I can correct it. Yes, we try to put down "toxicity", if you'll excuse the terminology, toward the administration that makes it harder for us to maintain a healthy community. Yes, sometimes we go overboard. Throw us a bone.
Except that's not how it works. It's not going to solve your problems. When someone complains about you, and your first reaction to them is "Hey, you, shut up, or else" there is one, and only one outcome in that situation: you're going to be CONFIRMING their allegations in the eyes of everyone who saw it regardless of whether or not the complaints had any legitimacy at all. Simply, the choice to crack down on such things is really more of a reactionary, feel-good move rather than something that was seriously analyzed for possible side effects. Censorship, and that's exactly what it is, especially for reasons like pride and image, ALWAYS backfires on you. This kind of action has intensified people's mistrust way more than you think allowing them to exist might have. Allowing them to exist, and then addressing the issue respectfully would have lessened tensions and calmed people down. Punishing people for them and removing them just confirms whatever was alleged in them and made people more mistrustful and harder to deal with even on issues where there otherwise wouldn't be as much of a problem. You cannot get out of doing it worse than you started. So... it's best to not do that at all.
 
Joined
Oct 20, 2008
Gender
Timecube
I suggest giving all members permission to access the shoutbox archives. Every usergroup besides Member (even event staff, competition leader, etc.) has access, and there is no reason whatsoever to restrict it. It's a nice feature of the shoutbox, and should be available to everyone.
 

Stitch

Lost
Joined
Aug 13, 2013
I suggest giving all members permission to access the shoutbox archives. Every usergroup besides Member (even event staff, competition leader, etc.) has access, and there is no reason whatsoever to restrict it. It's a nice feature of the shoutbox, and should be available to everyone.
I second this:yes:
 

Sheik

:the:
Joined
Sep 21, 2013
Location
The Expansion
Gender
Male
Yeah, so... Why in the world can't I access Forum Actions and Quick Links (etc.) from the Chatbox tab?

I remember being able to access these from the SB when it first moved. But later, Locke removed it in place of the Chatbox tab glowing or whatever.

iirc, he asked which one we'd rather have, and apparently the glowing tab won. But still... Why not both?
 

The Joker

<span style="text-shadow:2px 2px 4px Purpl
Joined
Nov 24, 2011
Location
At Amusement Mile
A petition to make Mod/HK monthly evaluations

Have a problem with a mod or resident role model? Members of the board can give them their pink slip.

Just quote the top line as your signature on the petition. Just add a number so that we can tell how many there are without having to swim through this thread (Even though having this in it's own thread would be so much easier and allow for suggestions to actually be read instead of barely noticed).
 

Justac00lguy

BooBoo
Joined
Jul 1, 2012
Location
NZ
Gender
Shewhale
This suggestion is more so focused towards an Event.

So I think we currently have a good amount of events, but it couldn't hurt to have a couple more. One idea I had would go be one centred around an American High School tradition, Yearbooks. I'm not completely familiar with Yearbooks since I'm not American, but I think it would be a neat idea.

You would have multiple categories, which would be like: "Most Likely To (insert topic)" and so on. It would be somewhat similar to the GKAs, but more light hearted and humorous. Meh, just an idea I had. Maybe someone with more knowledge of Yearbooks could expand upon this.
 

Locke

Hegemon
Site Staff
Joined
Nov 24, 2009
Location
Redmond, Washington
Yeah, so... Why in the world can't I access Forum Actions and Quick Links (etc.) from the Chatbox tab?

I remember being able to access these from the SB when it first moved. But later, Locke removed it in place of the Chatbox tab glowing or whatever.

iirc, he asked which one we'd rather have, and apparently the glowing tab won. But still... Why not both?
The way the navigation manager works, there's no way to tell it to just use the same links as the Forum tab. I don't want to manually reproduce them because such duplication always leads to trouble.
 

Fig

The Altruist
Joined
Jul 23, 2011
Location
Smash Realm
One thing I would like to suggest is an implementation of a drop menu/window to see all of our medals that we have received throughout our time in the forums. It really is saddening that when a member already receives 15 medals, the next time they receive a new medal the oldest one gets removed from the market gifts postbit. on that note would it also be possible to have all those lost medals return if this gets implemented? I really do feel good about myself when I see all the medals that my best friends have given me from the bottom of their hearts! :pikalove:
 

Sydney

The Good Samaritan
Joined
Mar 20, 2012
Location
Canberra, Australia
This suggestion is more so focused towards an Event.

So I think we currently have a good amount of events, but it couldn't hurt to have a couple more. One idea I had would go be one centred around an American High School tradition, Yearbooks. I'm not completely familiar with Yearbooks since I'm not American, but I think it would be a neat idea.

You would have multiple categories, which would be like: "Most Likely To (insert topic)" and so on. It would be somewhat similar to the GKAs, but more light hearted and humorous. Meh, just an idea I had. Maybe someone with more knowledge of Yearbooks could expand upon this.
I can see this being more of an unofficial thing versus something where actual awards are handed out. I didn't order a yearbook last year, but I remembered one male and one female being picked for each category. The categories go along the lines of:

Most Artistic
Most Likely to Succeed
Best Couple
Most Musical
Class Clown/Funniest
Two People whom are always seen together
Always Smiling
Etc

(we'll have to alter the list a bit, but that's the gist of it)

We could always make really random categories, i.e. Most Likely to Kick *** in a Pokémon Battle, the Most Hardcore Zelda Fans, Two Best Debators Who Should Just Kiss Already, etc. ;)

It's very GKA'esqued, so maybe we could host something like this unofficially in the blog section? Banners could possibly be made, but actual awards would be over-doing it IMO. This could be a fun side thing, most definitely.
 

Emma

Eye See You
Site Staff
Joined
Nov 28, 2008
Location
Vegas
A lot of the recent issues have been primarily fueled by a single problem: People assuming they're being attacked merely because someone does not agree with them. Working under the assumption that they are under attack, they preemptively treat the other party like that, and get very hostile themselves, potentially provoking the sort of response they assumed in the first place, falsely confirming their assumption making it worse the next time. They then complain about it to the mods through reports, PMs and IMs, and then the mods don't know what to do. If they do what the complaining people want, they risk unfairly treating the other side based on an assumption the other made. If they do nothing, they anger the side that was making the complaint.

There should be an addition to the rules stating that users should assume good faith in others in any disagreement and give each other the benefit of the doubt. Members will probably keep doing what they're doing anyway, but it'll give moderators a clear guideline on how to handle those situations, instead of being unsure what to do, worried that any choice would cause problems. They could then know to advise the complainers to not be so defensive and to be more diplomatic in debates instead of assuming hostility. This will ease off on the preemptive hostility that artificially explodes situations out of hand when they don't need to be, and will get rid of a LOT of issues the mods have been struggling with when it comes to people accusing them of being biased and unfair. It should also make it much easier to pick out people who are actually being belligerent because there won't be this artificial inflation of everyone else's anger.

Sections prone to disagreements; such as theory (for obvious reasons), entertainment (disagreeing on if a book/movie/show is good or bad or anything like that), science and tech (for issues like which device or OS is best or things like that), and mature discussion (do you have to ask?) should all have stickied threads up top explaining this and to not assume hostility and give each other the benefit of the doubt.

This should solve, or at least reduce, a lot of the problems we've been having.
 

Kirino

leslie/draco
Joined
Jun 19, 2010
Location
USA
So, are we going to get the ability to unlike posts we've already liked or like blog posts? Or is that not possible for some reason?
 
Last edited:
Joined
Oct 20, 2008
Gender
Timecube
An issue that was briefly touched on previously, but hasn't really been given much attention is that of unlocking previously locked threads. This has long been an issue, but more recently has become more apparent again. Essentially, the issue is that of a thread being locked for some reason, and subsequently it is shown that the reason for the thread lock is either invalid, or the thread could - after some time interval - be unlocked (e.g., in the case of, say, an MD thread getting heated, a thread could be unlocked after a one week cool off period). If it can be demonstrated that a locked thread need no longer be locked, it should be unlocked.

This of course would not apply to all locked threads, thus the stipulation of only unlocking threads that can be shown to be invalidly locked, or that no longer need to be locked because there has been a period of time passed and the issue that caused the lock is died down. Thus, I suggest a policy of unlocking threads that were locked preemptively, or for a similar reason that has been shown to not be valid, and threads that have been locked for a period of time and in which there has been a time for the heated discussion to subside. Implementation of this policy would allow more chance for continued discussion in threads that may become heated, and also provide a means to restore a thread that has been preemptively or otherwise invalidly locked.
 

Stitch

Lost
Joined
Aug 13, 2013
Is there anyway to make it so we could mark all of our subscribed threads as "read" without marking all of the threads on the forum as "read"? Because sometimes when I close the browser and then reopen it the threads that I read a minute ago will return to their "unread" state even though nobody posted in them in between me reading them originally and closing the browser and then me reopening the my browser. Or is this whole issue just something on my end that I could easily fix?
 

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