M-Com's Moderator Challenge!

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M-Com's Moderator Challenge!

Postby DrkKaiser » Sun Jul 29, 2012 7:09 am

YES! That's right people, the time has finally come to ensure that the livelihood of the macro community on here is given a breath of fresh air!

WE NOW BEGIN THE MACROPHILE MODERATOR DISCUSSION!

In the limited capacity I have, I would like to assist in this endeavor by posting the current candidates for a Macrophile Moderator position, and ensure that the thread maintains a level of civility to discuss the pros and cons of each candidate. Furthermore, this will also allow for Bennie to easily run through the list, and assess with ease which he feels is personally best for the position.

Currently, our list of Moderator candidates are as follow:

Zekoalives
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Killosk:

Pros

As said above, I've been around the furry fandom for nearly a decade. I'm familiar with it, good and bad.
I've built up communities of my own, including a couple of years of running a wiki and adminstration.
I'm familiar with coding and the backends for administration.
I'm always connected, and usually am watching the forum. If necessary, I can setup some way for users to get in touch with me faster than usual.
I'm unpopular, and don't particularly care about making a popular decision when a right-but-unpopular decision is available.
I'd like to think I'm impartial, and am willing to lay down the law when it's needed.
I want to see an emphasis on quality of the community, and some attempt at standards to ensure decency.

Cons

I'm unpopular, and people will likely raise a fuss or may even be shy about joining if they're familiar with me.
My emphasis on quality standards means that some will fall below these basic standards. I'm not a robot, nor am I completely heartless, but there may be instances where people can not or are unwilling to improve.
And for the big one... I'm an abrasive asshole who's mean. I'm more likely to not mince words, and be blunt about things. Even mean when I feel it's needed, and I can be kind of brutal about it.

Quality standards?
This is a bit difficult to formulate, because there's no way to just create a list and have it work in every situation. What would work are a general set of guidelines. The immediate things I'm looking at are pretty obvious, though: Make an effort in posting. If no one can read the words you're writing, then you're creating clutter. Make sure your posts fit into a discussion. Don't post stupid worthless things for no real reason other than to increase your post count. If you're going to make a topic, ask yourself if others would be interested in reading it. E/N posts are about yourself are fine, but don't turn Macrophile into your personal blog.

People who don't meet these requirements should be told about this. Allow them to improve and meet these needs, but it's all often on a case-by-case basis. "Don't turn Macrophile into your personal blog" is kind of overridden if, say, they're like me and recently lost a family member, and would like someone to listen to them. That's understandable. "If no one can read the words you're writing, then your creating clutter" is asking for just that: The ability for your words to be read. No one's going to give you shit for a misplaced semicolon, and understanding is necessary if someone's bad at English due to it not being their first language. As I said, it's ultimately case-by-case, and requires guidelines instead of hard rules.
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FoxChess
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El_Dustino

Pros:

Experience as moderator on prior sites
Capable of handling most sections (Exception: Collateral Damage)
Level headed and humble; Firm in final decisions

Cons

Inexperienced administrating forums
School Activity may cause point of inactivity
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Arilin

Pros:

I've been in furry fandom since the late '80s and on macrophile.com since the late '90s. I'm pretty well known.
I've been a moderator/sysop on bulletin boards and RP sites before.
I have some fairly strong opinions about what makes a good moderator.
I'm middle-aged, and less likely to fly off the handle.
I know a lot about computers. (I could recommend other bulletin board software, although migration would undoubtedly be a pain.)
Bennie already knows me in real life and physical contact info isn't too tough to obtain. (I live less than a half-hour away.)
I'm basically nice; people aren't too likely to complain about me being a big jerkass.

Cons:

I'm virtually invisible on this board, although to some degree that has to do with the lack of good moderation here.
There are people who dislike me for fascinatingly spurious reasons. (I'm a "big name" and thus must be treated like an egotistical jerk; they went to the Giants' Club and didn't have a good time; they fanboyed at me, I acted like a deer in headlights, and they decided that I was an egotistical jerk; etc.)
You may not like my fairly strong opinions about what makes a good moderator.
I'm middle-aged, and may beat you with my cane.
I'm basically nice; one could make a good case that I don't suspend/ban people at the Giants' Club often enough.

So what are those strong opinions?

Actually, most of my strong opinions were expressed really well by Teresa Nielsen Hayden, but it boils down to this quote from her: "There can be no ongoing discourse without some degree of moderation, if only to kill off the hardcore trolls. It takes rather more moderation than that to create civil discourse. Providing the space but not tending the conversation is like expecting that your front yard will automatically turn itself into a garden." The sites she's tended have been somewhat more focused on heavy literary discussion than M.com ever will be (or should be), but there's still some applicable lessons here.

One problem that we're seeing here is that M.com's forums have largely been left to fend for themselves for years. There have been a few attempts by users to do, in effect, moderation by trolling -- but that's the forum equivalent of weeding by flamethrower. It may get some of the audience clapping with glee, but it's destructive, not constructive.

The other problem, of course, is that forums are frankly a little passé in 2012. As much as there may be to complain about with FurAffinity, it's simply a better way to showcase art and writing. I think this could be ameliorated to a degree by switching software -- my recommendation would be Vanilla, which has some pretty awesome features that directly address things talked about in this thread (moderation, banning, and onboarding new users) and, well, feels like modern software in a way phpBB doesn't -- but the question that really need to be answered is: why come here in addition to FurAffinity or SoFurry?
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Macrokat

Pros:

* Since I am active on the rps primarily I do check in often.
* I do post the gamut occasionally, drawings, writing, rps, etc. So there is exposure throughout the board.
* I don't personally do adult art, but that doesn't mean I don't visit the adult section. I just prefer to keep my drawings clean for the most part.

Cons:

* I am fairly soft. As most who converse with me will know I try to be friendly and patient. Which means my tolerance for things may be higher than some others.
* I have no experience as a mod, or with website maintenance in general.

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Triple L

Pros

[*]I think I'm personable. I strive to always be around if people need a hand, and there isn't very much that fazes me. I've had a -lot- of practice in dealing with unusual people.
[*]I have had previous experience moderating large amounts of users on a forum, specifically BigFurs and Offscale for a time.
[*]I take the time to consider all sides of an issue, and ensure all parties are not drowned out, another pointed thing I've tried to refine in myself.
[*]I also would like to think I'm tactful. It -is- very much not just what you say, but how you say it to someone, that matters and that can resolve a dispute. We're all just people here, dude.
I'm good with people.

Cons

[*]Sometimes, I cannot always be present to moderate things or put input into something. I do have a life, and as you might understand, that does take up rather a considerable amount of my time.
(fortunately that would be partially negated if we had a team instead of just a lone gun.)
[*]That whole, 'listen to all sides of an issue' may sometimes result in me defending the aggrieved party to an extent. It should be said all forums need an advocati diabolus now and again; I see no reason to discontinue that.
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We also have nominees by our members who have yet to step forth to either confirm or deny their interest in the position of Moderator:

Dragonien

DD


If possible, I'd like to have each current candidate take the time to post a single comment within this thread, and establish the reasons as to why they feel they would be a viable Moderator. Please understand however, that this is not a popularity contest, and as such should have their statements devoid of such things as "Because I have seniority" or "I have the highest amount of posts".

Due to the established method in which Arilin has stepped forth and made, I would request that all participants of this challenge submit their submissions in the same fashion, for ease of communication and to create a concise listing of facts.

If anyone feels something should be added to the main post, please notify me, and I will do so as soon as possible.

ADDED: A moderator for each Forum subsection- Which do you think would be fitting for them?

Discussions

Creations

Specialized

Let us begin!
Last edited by DrkKaiser on Thu Aug 02, 2012 1:41 pm, edited 8 times in total.
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Re: M-Com's Moderator Challenge!

Postby zekoalives » Sun Jul 29, 2012 7:26 am

I'd be honored, actually. I'm pretty humble, and wouldn't take advantage of the position. I think SOME would abuse the power, but then again who's to say? I'd be firm, but just. I'd also be kind to those that think they've been wronged, but have a swift judgement if they were proved to be lying. I may not have the words to actually say much, but the words I do end up using may have strong meaning. I just promise, no matter what, if there's a problem, you can always come to me.
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Re: M-Com's Moderator Challenge!

Postby dk321234 » Sun Jul 29, 2012 8:59 am

How are we going to settle this? Democratic vote? Bennie's pick?
We need to decided on a list of qualities in descending order of importance.
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Re: M-Com's Moderator Challenge!

Postby dragonien » Sun Jul 29, 2012 11:58 am

wait did i miss something, who nominated me? o.o

i mean... i do it but, who asked me too D:
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Re: M-Com's Moderator Challenge!

Postby FoxChess » Sun Jul 29, 2012 1:47 pm

As it is, I would be gladly willing to act as moderator within certain subforums within the forum. As long as I've been here I've checked the forum twice daily, even when the place has had its periods of near death, meaning even if nothing else you can be reliant on me being present relatively soon to weed out the trash. When it comes to arguments or disagreements I try to be fair and listen to all sides of the discussion before making some sort of decision regarding what should be done. Just note that I can't be the only Mod... you'd need at least one more person to moderate the Adult sections. I never wanted access, and will continue to deny access to the adult sections, simply due to personal preferences.
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Re: M-Com's Moderator Challenge!

Postby HypeEnlite » Sun Jul 29, 2012 6:00 pm

I liked Bennie's suggestion in his post in the other topic: a mod for each section. Maybe the one in charge of the RPG section could do the adult stuff as foxchess doesn't wanna touch it? From what I usually see, the RPG section rarely needs any moderation so I'm sure more responsibility might actually be welcome for the one who's in charge of that.

Zeko, I wasn't kidding when I said I oppose you being a moderator and actually thought you were serious and not sarcastic: I was kind of glad actually. The reason I oppose it is because you seem to get mad for no reason and run your mouth. A mod definitely needs to remain level-headed and you show no sign of being able to keep such, so I distrust in your ability to be a fair moderator. We all want to have fun here, but you seem to be only looking out for #1. As soon as the idea for moderators came up (you claim it's your idea, but no, it isn't, you just brought it up this time) you have been acting as though you already ARE a moderator and that's also a trait moderators shouldn't have I feel as that's the kind of trait that becomes abuse of power- What I mean is you lack modesty and humbleness. It's nice and all to claim you won't abuse power, but a person's actions and past words reflect their attitude, not their 'promises of justice'. Again, as discussed, we're all adults here (more or less) and I don't trust your judgement when it comes to decide whether or not an inflammatory post is in good fun, in a discussing tone, a jab or something from someone that needs to be reprimanded. So I guess that's what I have to say about that.

I agree with the Foxchess and El Dustino nominations. I don't know the latter too well, but they seem to be fairly honest, pretty active and an alright person. You forgot me on the list!! haha

And I think if macrokat were to step up, they'd be the perfect contender for the RPG forum and I thiiiink that they've done more adult art before too, so maybe they wouldn't mind taking care of that section as I previously mentioned? Anyway, I'm hopeful they come into the topic and say their piece haha
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Re: M-Com's Moderator Challenge!

Postby Arilin » Sun Jul 29, 2012 9:23 pm

Despite being virtually invisible on this board, I'm tempted to suggest myself as a moderator.

Pros:
  • I've been in furry fandom since the late '80s and on macrophile.com since the late '90s. I'm pretty well known.
  • I've been a moderator/sysop on bulletin boards and RP sites before.
  • I have some fairly strong opinions about what makes a good moderator.
  • I'm middle-aged, and less likely to fly off the handle.
  • I know a lot about computers. (I could recommend other bulletin board software, although migration would undoubtedly be a pain.)
  • Bennie already knows me in real life and physical contact info isn't too tough to obtain. (I live less than a half-hour away.)
  • I'm basically nice; people aren't too likely to complain about me being a big jerkass.
Cons:
  • I'm virtually invisible on this board, although to some degree that has to do with the lack of good moderation here.
  • There are people who dislike me for fascinatingly spurious reasons. (I'm a "big name" and thus must be treated like an egotistical jerk; they went to the Giants' Club and didn't have a good time; they fanboyed at me, I acted like a deer in headlights, and they decided that I was an egotistical jerk; etc.)
  • You may not like my fairly strong opinions about what makes a good moderator.
  • I'm middle-aged, and may beat you with my cane.
  • I'm basically nice; one could make a good case that I don't suspend/ban people at the Giants' Club often enough.
So what are those strong opinions?

Actually, most of my strong opinions were expressed really well by Teresa Nielsen Hayden, but it boils down to this quote from her: "There can be no ongoing discourse without some degree of moderation, if only to kill off the hardcore trolls. It takes rather more moderation than that to create civil discourse. Providing the space but not tending the conversation is like expecting that your front yard will automatically turn itself into a garden." The sites she's tended have been somewhat more focused on heavy literary discussion than M.com ever will be (or should be), but there's still some applicable lessons here.

One problem that we're seeing here is that M.com's forums have largely been left to fend for themselves for years. There have been a few attempts by users to do, in effect, moderation by trolling -- but that's the forum equivalent of weeding by flamethrower. It may get some of the audience clapping with glee, but it's destructive, not constructive.

The other problem, of course, is that forums are frankly a little passé in 2012. As much as there may be to complain about with FurAffinity, it's simply a better way to showcase art and writing. I think this could be ameliorated to a degree by switching software -- my recommendation would be Vanilla, which has some pretty awesome features that directly address things talked about in this thread (moderation, banning, and onboarding new users) and, well, feels like modern software in a way phpBB doesn't -- but the question that really need to be answered is: why come here in addition to FurAffinity or SoFurry?
The Giants' Club: http://giants-club.net/
Stories and essays: http://arilin.macrophile.com/
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Re: M-Com's Moderator Challenge!

Postby chessman » Mon Jul 30, 2012 12:35 am

I like the idea of nominating some of the people mentioned in here so far.
I like the idea of Zekoalives and Foxchess. I dont know that much about El_Dustino or Arilin to make an opinion on.
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Re: M-Com's Moderator Challenge!

Postby El_Dustino » Mon Jul 30, 2012 2:06 am

First, thank you for including me in the opening post Kiaser, and, thank you for compliments and kind words, Elite.

Since the opening post asked, I suppose that I should mention why I feel that I would be an effective moderator. Well, first off, I am sure that there would be several better choices than me; I offered because no one else seemed to be doing so. However, I do think that I could be an effective moderator, in any section, really (except MAYBE Collateral Damage, because I find some of the more stupid and pointless topics to be, well, stupid and pointless, and just clogging the forum up). Art would be simple enough to handle, and writing would be the same story. When it comes to role playing, well, I have RPed for years, and been a moderator for a couple of role playing forums, so I would probably do well there as well.

I am a pretty humble person, to the point where having to type my strong suits feels a little uncomfortable. I feel that I am easy enough to get along with, I never try to stir shit and cause problems, and when problems between other people come up, I usually try to help out, or at least give some good advice. However, I am firm enough to know when to, say, just suspend someone so that they can cool off for a while.

As I said, I have been a moderator before, and have some mild experience with online forums, so I could probably pick up fast. I have also been around a lot of bad moderators, so I have a good idea of what NOT to do, like lording my position over people, thinking I am able to get away with being a jerk, and things of that nature.

A con I should address is; while I am intending to be on more often; checking in 4-6 days a week, and hopefully being on for several hours during those days, I am going to be starting school again in the fall (well, summer), so I will not be able to be on ALL the time.

Well, I suppose that that is enough about me. I just want to help.


I should mention that Arilin sounds like she would be an excellent moderator. I am also sure that everyone else mentioned would do well enough as well.
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Re: M-Com's Moderator Challenge!

Postby Trixxus » Mon Jul 30, 2012 3:52 am

Arilin's also not a bad choice, didn't know she was actually still reading all this. I wouldn't personally even mind having ten new mods if a lot of them are relatively inactive... I mean, as long as they're reliable and respected, it doesn't hurt to have some backup.

I personally think that Foxchess, Triple L, dragonien, and Arilin are the strongest choices so far... don't personally know much about El_Dustino and DrkKaiser, so nothing against you guys, just kinda off my personal radar I guess.
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