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  • What is the focus?

    As I brought up in the other thread, and didn't get much pushback on, a starting place is what format of discussion we're shooting for here.

    This wont be a thread for rules discussion, what topics are and aren't allowed, moderation style, etc. This is just about discussion format
    format.

    These are the versions I've thought of so far, if anyone else has more I can edit the initial post and post an update of the list in a bit later in the thread.

    A1) Completely open (practically unmoderated except for civility) discussion: users respond to whatever they want, wherever they want, no requirements or expectations (essentially what we had before).

    A2) Completely open (moderated for bad faith arguments, civility, dragging threads off topic, things like that) discussion: users respond to whatever they want, wherever they want, no requirements or expectations.

    B) Debate format: OP posts a point with two opposing viewpoints (spelt out in the OP). Users discuss from whichever of these view points they choose, and if none fit they are welcome to make their own thread with alternate views

    C) Easy E's concept (which I well may have misunderstood), OP posts a topic, gives their opinion, everyone reads it and then posts their opinion once. Not discussing with each other about it, just putting their viewpoint out there to help everyone learn a bit about what else is out there in terms of views

    D) Similar to A, but requires the use of some kind of link/evidence to support a point (OP and post), with comments free for discussion on the evidence given/understanding of it, and an expectation of admission/adjustment if an argument was poorly made or relied on inaccurate sources.

    E) Similar to C, except discussion is permitted but only in the comments of a post. Disagree with X? Discuss it in their comment section. Not necessarily the best format, but does stop big back and forths taking over a thread and devolving the whole discussion. Does rely on people doing it right/having a consequence if they refuse.


    F) I dunno, A-E is all I came up with on the spot but I'm sure there's more

    If we don't agree on the basis of "what kind of discussion do we want", other things are going to be hard to organise. How many rules do we need? How many mods? Are topics banned or is everything open? All that changes depending on what the goal of the community for the discussion is.
    Last edited by Bunnies; 06-04-2021, 09:21 PM.

  • #2
    Either A or D for me.

    Comment


    • Bunnies
      Bunnies commented
      Editing a comment
      I'm going to break A up into two to make it a bit clearer for when we think about moderation, so feel free to edit your response in a second sorry

  • #3
    I thought things were generally OK tbh, I've seen much worse. I quite enjoyed the interaction and employed a fair bit of self-moderation.

    As Pacific mentioned there were genuine threads of conversation going on, which trucked along just fine but they seem to have been ignored when RiTides decided to nuke the place. I'll be honest, I'm a bit pissed off about that. If it had been money, no problem, happy to chip in but arbitrarily shutting the whole place down? Bit of a dick move. So one change I would like to see if that power removed, if whoever takes the reins decides they've had enough they shouldn't be able to pick up the ball and fuck off home.

    That said, as I mentioned from the beginning, clear rules and guidelines and a global mod-team of more than 3 guys. Even a small forum can produce a lot of work, as the guys found out. I'm happy to volunteer my service fwiw if it helps out although my job means I can be offline for quite a while sometimes.

    A moderator only area to discuss issues, if one doesn't already exist.

    If not an invitation only forum, which I'm sketchy about, then definitely a probationary user period. How long and restrictive? Up for discussion on that.

    I guess A? I see this place as a Politics and Issues discussion forum, I don't see it as a win/ lose place, it's the Internet.

    However, it's possible to have multiple formats on one forum. One area bandit country, another more like C so people can choose how they want to interact.

    That could facilitate the probationary users, access to only a few more structured areas, then once established that you're not a dick, access to the free-for-all forum.
    Last edited by R_Squared; 06-04-2021, 01:28 PM.

    Comment


    • Bunnies
      Bunnies commented
      Editing a comment
      So you'd say A1 then? Which is basically what we had? The admin powers and all are important but not quite relevant to the focus of this thread. But if it's alright I'll put you down as an A1, basically as it was (in terms of discussion style and mod involvement). Or do you think you're more A2

    • R_Squared
      R_Squared commented
      Editing a comment
      If I had to choose one, A2.

      Maybe have a closed off area for peeps who have a proven track record of not being douchebags to discuss without moderation, ie A1. But only viewable to those members, not the general public.

    • Bunnies
      Bunnies commented
      Editing a comment
      Cool, I appreciate the clarity

  • #4
    I'm here for discussion, to talk about what I believe compared to what you believe. I'm not here to sling internet links back and forth.

    Comment


    • Bunnies
      Bunnies commented
      Editing a comment
      So A1/A2 sort of ballpark? Or more E, where the discussion is present but limited on format to stop the page on page slogs between users?

  • #5
    I'm A2 leaning towards D.

    I'm more instinctively D but I don't think it's reasonable to expect every post to have references - some people simply don't have the time, research skills, or access to sustain that, and some people will just google, skim titles, and link to things that they haven't read or aren't capable of reading critically because they don't have the background (especially on some pooitical hot topics, say transwomen's biology in sport contexts or climate change) and I wouldn't want to exclude them.
    Last edited by nfe; 06-04-2021, 01:45 PM.

    Comment


    • Bunnies
      Bunnies commented
      Editing a comment
      Also some topics don't lend themselves to the concept in any way shape or form, I know there are problems with it, but I wanted to put it in there because I've seen many arguments on here (and been involved in some) about a lack of references and all which have wrecked several pages of a thread. So I felt the option would be good to have on there's even if just as a thing for people to say "no not that".

      So I'll put you down as A2 then, because although you'd like D you recognise it may not be sustainable/functional.

  • #6
    I’d like to see a split between formal style debates (like a town hall sort of deal) where participation requires a degree of decorum and a challenged post should be replied to with some kind of evidence in a State - Illustrate - Elaborate kind of idea. State your belief, Illustrate the point with a “proof”, and then elaborate on how the proof proves your point.

    I’d see this as like to competitive gaming. You’re playing for points, trying to win.

    Should one repeatedly fail to provide backing / reasonable arguements, one might be banned from that section.


    Id then like to see a separate discussion / hanging out with your buds and having a drink section. A place where specific proofs are less important than sharing the “why” of ideas. People are free to disagree, because the goal isn’t to be right or wrong, but to be able to explain “why” you believe.

    Id see this as closer to cooperative gaming, like a RPG where two characters may not agree, but will still respect each other and cooperate enough so the “good time” isn’t broken.

    Failing to abide by the rule of “be cool, man” might result in a person being banned from that section.


    This gives a space for try-hards and filthy casuals to exist separate but close to each other.

    Posting a similar topic in both forums might be appropriate... or not.

    Comment


    • Bunnies
      Bunnies commented
      Editing a comment
      So you'd like 2 subsections, one A1 (with an emphasis on be chill) and one D-esque? Cool beans

    • GreatBigTree
      GreatBigTree commented
      Editing a comment
      Not necessarily be chill as the emphasis, but an understanding that the discussion board is meant to be socially enjoyable. Getting a little riled, taking a quick poke at your buddy’s ideas... flat out mocking them... can be in good taste and good fun if that’s the sort of friends you are. For me, the focus is on sharing and understanding... less about who’s right and wrong.

      Whereas the other section *is* about who’s right and wrong, and that feels like a different sort of social contract.


      And in both cases, I would only see a problem with a post that advocates violence. Under my personal regime, there are topics and viewpoints that I would tolerate on the site, despite their distasteful-ness.

      An onus would be put on posters to behave with respect, even if they don’t think the other side deserves it. Especially in the Win/Lose section. If you can’t win with logic, calling names isn’t going to make a point better.

      I’m the discussion section, name calling would be actively discouraged, but a little more leeway.

  • #7
    I would say A2 with a bit of D. Links and proof are good, but not always plausible (Sometimes I'm posting on my phone - Doing links there is almost impossible). Just want more moderation for bad faith trolls.

    Comment


    • Bunnies
      Bunnies commented
      Editing a comment
      Yeah it's tricky, it'd create the best discussion but it's very hard to do. So I'll put you down as A2 but with a wish that where possible/applicable people would use some kind of evidence

  • #8
    So is the difference between A1 and A2 the level of moderation?

    I think either of those would work.

    I would personally like to have a light touch of moderation as I think most posters here were fine with it. I think there is an element of devilment going on from some posters that enjoy shit-stirring and getting a rise from other people by posting things they know to be outrageous; they enjoy the cat & mouse games and bonfires which ensue and to try and then get 'chased' by mods and it's why they come to the forum to post. At least I think that's what used to happen a lot on Dakka, I should imagine it must have been exhausting to moderate, and I honestly think if other posters and mods didn't snap back then it removes that whole impetus for the problem posters to behave in that way.

    I don't know how D could ever be practicable as much as it would have its benefits, considering the moderating team were already struggling with just hitting the report button before. And the people that are making outrageous claims, which would most benefit from citations or data to back it up, would just ignore the rule or reference nonsense links in any case.

    Comment


    • Bunnies
      Bunnies commented
      Editing a comment
      Yeah that's the main difference, I realised some specifics for moderation were necessary in this or we'd have to do it all over again if people picked A but half meant with moderation and half meant basically none.

      So you'd land more in A1 from your desire for light touches by mods? Or do you mean you'd want them to moderate those either things (so A2), but do so with a light touch

  • #9
    Good question Bunnies, and I think it will be hard to reach a consensus.

    To be clear, I have three goals for a space like this:

    1. A chance to find out how people are interpreting the world that is different that I do. Therefore, I like some sort of article or think piece to start a thread, ad then I want to see how people react to it.

    2. A chance to influence other posters and board members on their thought processes and understand why they feel or opine a certain way

    3. A chance for me to be introduced to new perspectives and ideas that can then influence how I think about certain topics, and to evolve my own thinking.

    These goals require a certain amount of back-and-forth, and exposure to ideas that I fundamentally disagree with on a regular basis. Ultimately, i think what we had was pretty solid, with a couple posters essentially burning the place down or looking at the forum as a political battlefield rather than a place to shape opinions. Basically, folks who think a forum is a Zero-sum game with a winner take all approach to forums are the folks to avoid.

    I am a Fan of GBT's dual format of a place for structured "debate" with very defined point/counter-point style rules that require citation and references in one area. Rules for debate would include no calling fallacies, no posts without citations, etc. Point and counter-point only. The second area being an "idea exchange" where the rules are relaxed, but the Moderation of "attitude" is much stricter. Again, the focus in this second area should be focused on idea exchange and responses should be formed as sentences of personal belief, and/or questions about others beliefs only. No real articles or citations and no point-counter-point.

    I know this will probably not happen, but it creates a structure "competitive" space for those so inclined for that approach; and a less competitive and more collaborative space for those who simply want to hang out and swap ideas/stories/question.

    So, I don't know which of your options that falls in, but there you go.

    Comment


    • Bunnies
      Bunnies commented
      Editing a comment
      I believe similar to what I posted in response to GBT, two sections, one of which is A1, one of which is D. As general definitions of course, not saying that's exactly how they'd go but that seems to be the closest two of the options and neither of your concepts seem different enough to create another category to define them. Cheers for the response

  • #10
    I honestly think the only thing the board really needed was for the obvious cancers of Zardoz and Grey Eminence to be cut out before they could fester. As much as people, myself included, might vehemently dislike some other users and their attitudes I don’t think shitty attitude in itself should be a moderation action.

    Bad faith arguments can be combated in discussion and a rule against them will simply become a rules lawyering war.

    Part of me wonders at Bob’s suggestion of a ‘don’t be an assholes’ rule with the group coming to a loose consensus on what that constitutes and producing not a hard or defined rule but a general picture with the expectation the the community will police itself and discourage negative behaviors collectively. Fuck it. I have seen that work in places. It reminds me of a past suggestion I made for a class of uses who aren’t mods but are asked to curate the board and offer suggestions and guidance on how others can be good posters. Someone who treats a gentle ‘can we not do that’ in a rude or dismissive way and doesn’t adjust their behavior is probably an asshole and unwilling to adjust their own behaviors.

    I feel like that’s something like A but not quite A2 or whatever.

    edit: or maybe an inverse ‘be excellent to one another rule’
    Last edited by Lord0fHats; 06-04-2021, 04:09 PM.

    Comment


    • #11
      A2 (ten character requirement)

      Comment


      • #12
        I love this "high level view" thread! My only comment is holy cow, A1 didn't work, so can we please scratch that off the list ;) (the rest is up to you guys)

        Comment


        • Easy E
          Easy E commented
          Editing a comment
          Honestly, i think it worked okay except for two to three threads out of 12 or so pages of threads. Those threads just glowed white hot and outshone the others 12 pages of relatively harmless, enjoyable and mild-mannered content.

        • Bunnies
          Bunnies commented
          Editing a comment
          I would, but it's useful information to have. If that's what everyone ends up wanting (once others post), it'll give whoever takes the reigns a better idea of what is wanted than a begrudging response of something else. A better lense to understand where everyone is coming from. Ideally it won't be what they go with but it'll be good to know it's where peoples' heads are if that's what it shakes out as

        • Easy E
          Easy E commented
          Editing a comment
          Good work here Bunnies.

      • #13
        A2 is exactly what I had in mind. Basically what we had already but with moderators to deal with the bad faith/trolling/arguments.

        I could see that wothatg as the beer and pretzels section, and would be interested in a proper debate section too with the usual rules associated with debating contests about decorum, references etc. Even with nonsense arguments (like pro flat earth).


        I'm also a bit miffed about the forum getting trashed; locking forums would have been sufficient. Is there any chance of restoring from a backup?

        Comment


        • SuperAdmin
          SuperAdmin commented
          Editing a comment
          Unfortunately not, Herzlos! I honestly didn't expect so many people to be willing to step forward and help make a reboot. But I do think starting from scratch will be helpful, to at least get rid of the "no moderation" baggage posts from users who might, also, want to turn over a new leaf in how they participate in the reboot.

        • R_Squared
          R_Squared commented
          Editing a comment
          Sadly, in doing that you've also meant that we will need to re-tread the same path all over again with some of the users you've allowed back on.

          I'm actually really quite pissed off about what you did. I realise it was your ball, but seriously. Just picking it up and going home without saying anything?

          We could have had a reboot without this drama. There were some good threads there and decent discussion and you just decided to burn it all up. You may have started the forum, and paid for it but the very least you could have done is mention your intention. Fuck it I certainly would have paid for it to avoid this BS.

        • SuperAdmin
          SuperAdmin commented
          Editing a comment
          R_Squared, that's obviously a very fair criticism! Again, my apologies :/

          But as for the users, none have been allowed back on - only Zardoz and Grey Eminence were ever banned (and still are)

      • #14
        I'm in favor of A2. I really think that it's a bit unfair to call that 'what we had before', since the mods barely had the rules finished before it got shut down.

        Comment


        • Bunnies
          Bunnies commented
          Editing a comment
          That was me copy pasting the A when I realised I had to separate A1 and A2. A1 was meant to have that, not A2. Good catch, will edit.

      • #15
        I'm broadly in favour of A1 for most topics, perhaps with certain topics placed under higher scrutiny and required to be within an A2 subforum. Most topics were previously fine.

        I think D could also make a good subforum for those wanting to engage in it, but it shouldn't be the default, whereas either A option could be.

        Comment


        • Bunnies
          Bunnies commented
          Editing a comment
          Seems like A1 would be your general preference, maybe with A2 for individual topics.

        • Haighus
          Haighus commented
          Editing a comment
          It seems enough people were unhappy with how the forum was before that at least some topics should be separated into a stricter zone.

          So yes, I broadly agree with A1 and a restricted A2 zone. I do think having a D zone would be nice for "showcase" discussions, but most folks don't have the time so it would probably be a bit quiet like the previous subforum for that.
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