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Thread: Board/Moderation comitee

  1. #1
    Mod 2
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    Board/Moderation comitee

    Good morning everyone,

    In the last few weeks, I made multiple polls to get the general idea about how this board should be moderated. First and foremost, thank you all for your feedback.

    In the comments you posted, some of you expressed the idea that a "moderation comitee" should be formed, to deal with different sensitive issues. At least, this would help in making sure you don't see the mods as being too "heavy handed" (or too "light handed").

    I am not sure yet how it would all work, but such a comitee would have a balancing role. You would send the mods some "issues" you believe need to be dealt with (ex: "crappers"), and all the comitee members would participate in a poll to determine how the "issues" should be dealt with.

    I didn't talk to Fred about it yet, but I believe it is possible on vBulletin to add a group and make the comitee members part of that group, so that they could have access to a special section of MERB where they could post their comments for every other comitee member to see. Polls would be conducted in that area as well, anonymously amongst comitee members.

    It's very hard to find good moderators to MERB, and I realize it's in part due to the amount of time needed to do such a job. Being a comitee member is not such of a big deal I think. You would NOT have to read every thread (I still do), you would NOT have to do any moderation per say (I still do with Fred), but you WOULD have a way of making this board a better board by giving your opinion on very precise issues.

    This board is what everyone of us will make of it. Please help me continue to make it a better board, and send me a PM if anyone of you is interrested to be part of such a comitee.

    Thank you

    M2

  2. #2
    Administrator Fred Zed's Avatar
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    Re: Board/Moderation comitee

    Originally posted by Mod 2
    Good morning everyone,


    I didn't talk to Fred about it yet, but I believe it is possible on vBulletin to add a group and make the comitee members part of that group, so that they could have access to a special section of MERB where they could post their comments for every other comitee member to see. Polls would be conducted in that area as well, anonymously amongst comitee members.M2
    Thanks Mod 2. It is very easy to create a Committee Usergroup
    to which only certain members have access. I would be willing to consider upgrading Committee member accounts eg: to allow them larger PM boxes or give them access to tools to verify multiple identities.

  3. #3
    Veteran of Misadventures
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    First of all, and I hate to sound crass but unfortunately sometimes the truth sounds crass, but you will not attract good Moderators unless there is some inducement involved. It was rumored that some of the TBD Mods received compensation in the form of free sessions with SPs who advertised on TBD. However I think Mod2 has done a good job.

    Second, punishments need to fit the crime and all circumstances should be considered. Take for example the recent banishment of Stripper Lover. No question SL violated a Board rule by sending those PMs. And he should have been punished, but in his case he has built up a reservoir of good will with this Board for a long period of time. I think he should be reinstated but deprived of using the PM function and given a warning not to violate the same rule again or he will be permanently banned.

    Although I have had many disagreements with SL, I cannot ignore his contributions nor can I ignore the fact that many posters have backchanneled me expressing displeasure with the harsh action taken against him. You may want to reconsider the action you took against SL.

    Regarding a Committee I think it's a good idea assuming you can get the right people and they have the right amount of time to invest in some of these issues.

  4. #4
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    SL's punishment

    I agree with the above statements. Zero tolerance in SL's situation sounds a bit harsh, in my humble opinion. His contributions to the board over the past year are enormous, including his attempts at regrouping MERB members by organizing get-togethers, which has turned out to be quite successful, from what i've heard.

    I second EB's suggestion that some type of probation be in order. Not lifetime banishment, which is very harsh for such a reknown contributor.

    JaJ

  5. #5
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    My 2 cents based on recent events:

    A board of this type provides a service, information, to its subscribers. The subscribers also provide this information to the board. It’s the subscribers plus the visitors that generate the interest for advertisers to pay to have their services advertised on the board. Banning a person prevents that person from providing the information the board needs to maintain interest in the board for other subscribers and visitors and therefore the advertisers.

    So the board has two sets of customers; 1. the subscribers / visitors and 2 the advertisers. Without the first set of customers the second set would not be interested.

    How to get and keep customers:
    1. Provide the service they want (continue to improve)
    2. Be responsive to their requests, listen ( you do not always have to agree but you must be responsive)
    3. Be humble, be respectful (even if you do not feel like it or they deserve it)

    Once you have a loyal customer following it is hard to lose it or for some else to steal it away unless you drive them away by not meeting your customers’ needs.

    That said, this recent situation at MERB could have been much better. Competition was the result of the how the board was responding to its’ customers and their requests. The response to the competition only compounded the previous situation. So of the three things important to getting and keeping customers, MERB is failing on all three. This recent situation could have been handled so it came out to the advantage of MERB. However, it seems clear that MERB administration is more interested in “payback” that the success of the board.

    How will this be handled from this point forward?

  6. #6
    Administrator Fred Zed's Avatar
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    Some very interesting points. I think some of you are missing the point. In regard to recent events the issue is not about competition. Infact having more boards is a good thing - it gives people variety and choice. The problem is how these individuals went about out trying to poach members in large numbers from MERB.
    Internet rules of operation simply don't allow what they did, neither do we.
    As for the status of SL's account, I cannot reinstate his account as long as he is part of the "management" group for the other site ( potential conflict of interest problems). Like most of you here I value his contributions to MERB , which is all the more reason I was shocked at his apparent betrayal.

  7. #7
    proud infidel
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    Thumbs down SL banned?

    What? SL banned?
    My world has just become a little less happy.

    shemaluver
    Last edited by femaleluver2; 10-10-2004 at 05:42 PM.

  8. #8
    IMHO, MERB is at a turning point. You should encourage people to join and stay. A committee to decide on "punishment" is not an answer. It sounds negative, complicate and corrupting. Furthermore it is also disrupting. What would you feel if a member said: "if so and so was on the committee, I would be out of here..."
    IMHO, the responsibility (and the "power" that come with it) and accountability ("damned if you do and damned if you don't" situation) should be limited to one person other than Fred. MOD2 did an excellent job and he should continue for the sake of the board existence (may be just a bit less trigger happy on deleting threads. I suggest that the MOD should be given the authority to lock a thread. If the rules are broken in a thread, no warning needed to be given, just lock the thread and explain why. Such an action would be an effective way in preventing flame wars etc.)
    My prediction: A "committee" would certainly kill MERB within 6 months.
    Let bygone be bygone. Let's forget about SL (eventhough it was so sad and regretful that he was banned),Tom and the "incident". Let's move on and ensure that MERB remains the number one review forum for Montreal, despite the competition.
    Don't get mad, get even by being better!
    Last edited by Maxima; 10-10-2004 at 07:27 PM.

  9. #9
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    Oliver,

    After reading your post and Maxima's, I agree that we should perhaps let Mod2 do the job, and scrap the Committee idea. Mod2 has done a good job in my opinion as well. The moderation issues he has polled us on are not all easy issues and it shows that he wants to do the right thing. I think he has already gotten a lot of good feedback in that regard.

  10. #10
    Mod 2
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    Good afternoon all,

    Please allow me to add a few thougths to some of your comments...

    Originally posted by EagerBeaver
    First of all, and I hate to sound crass but unfortunately sometimes the truth sounds crass, but you will not attract good Moderators unless there is some inducement involved. It was rumored that some of the TBD Mods received compensation in the form of free sessions with SPs who advertised on TBD. However I think Mod2 has done a good job.
    Eager,
    As you suspect, I am definitely not paid in any way to do this moderation job. It's my way of giving back to the community what I got in the first place: A nice environment to share information that I can (hopefully) help maintain somewhat interesting to work with. I don't think I am so unique with this objective in mind, and altough I agree it would be nice to get some remuneration for it, I don't see how it would work.

    Originally posted by JustaJohn
    Zero tolerance in SL's situation sounds a bit harsh, in my humble opinion. His contributions to the board over the past year are enormous, including his attempts at regrouping MERB members by organizing get-togethers, which has turned out to be quite successful, from what i've heard.
    I am not going to comment on SL's banishment. Fred has very eloquently expressed his point of view regarding the situation.

    Originally posted by NYME
    How to get and keep customers:
    1. Provide the service they want (continue to improve)
    2. Be responsive to their requests, listen ( you do not always have to agree but you must be responsive)
    3. Be humble, be respectful (even if you do not feel like it or they deserve it)

    [...] So of the three things important to getting and keeping customers, MERB is failing on all three. This recent situation could have been handled so it came out to the advantage of MERB. However, it seems clear that MERB administration is more interested in “payback” that the success of the board.
    Nyme, you have good points, but you are making them much worse than they are in reality.

    1) MERB is still providing the service you want. A place to share information and where every member feels part of a comon group. MERB provides the information YOU care to share. The main problem I have witnessed in the last few months is that 15% of the posters are generating 80% of the bandwidth, and out of those 15%, 14% don't post reviews, EVER.
    2) Listen to requests? That's exactly what I am doing here. What's the best way to get your members opinion than ask for them, and when they give good ideas, implement them... Even though vBulletin v3 is still not installed, I think we have gone a long way. By the way, talking about being responsive, NOT A SINGLE PM anyone sent to Mod2 has remained unanswered or not acted upon. Let's keep things straight please.
    3) I think that what makes the difference here versus other boards is exactly this. Our respect for every individual, and our judgement in handling all situation with objectivity. We have rules to help us all keep this community a nice one.

    If you feel MERB is on a failing slope, I am sorry for you. My greatest hope is that all shills and other less desirable posters leave this board in favor of the other one, leaving us here with members of a higher quality. Maybe this already started to happen?

    Originally posted by Maxima
    IMHO, MERB is at a turning point. You should encourage people to join and stay. A committee to decide on "punishment" is not an answer. It sounds negative, complicate and corrupting. [...] IMHO, the responsibility (and the "power" than come with it) and accountabilty ("damned if you do and damned if you don't" situation) should be limited to one person other than Fred. MOD2 did an excellent job and he should continue for the sake of the board existence [...] I suggest that the MOD should be given the authority to lock a thread. If the rules are broken in a thread, no warning needed to be given, just lock the thread and explain why.
    Just a reminder... This is not my idea but a request by a few members. Isn't that what democraty is all about? I think having a group of people helping in taking critical decisions is only going to improve things. This comittee shall be there to SUGGEST, not to take final actions. Those actions will remain under the power of the Mods, whoever he/she/they may be. Thank you for the nice words about my job by the way.

    About the thread locking, it has been requested already, and will be implemented/fixed with the installation of vBulletin 3, as well as other more powerful moderation tools. Don't lose faith just yet: according to Fred it's coming very soon.

    Originally posted by oliver kloseoff
    a final note
    i think mod 2 has done an excelent job
    not only is he fair and honest
    he actually answers pms and e mails
    something previous administration did only when they felt like it.
    so i would say let mod 2 take care of business and lets move on
    oliver
    Thanks for your support.

    M2

  11. #11
    Administrator Fred Zed's Avatar
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    Originally posted by oliver kloseoff
    NYME
    just e mailed me and said he has been banned from the board that his constructive critism was not welcomed???????
    oliver
    I actually emailed NYME
    and told him that I found his comments to be constructive and that I have no problem with him. NYME
    must have other agendas but you can ask him : he will confirm what I am saying is true.

  12. #12
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    Here's my opinion regarding this whole thing.

    I know on chat forums that it is frowned upon to discuss other chat forums publically & in some cases as it is with this forum via PM's.

    StripperLover has contributed quite a bit here.

    IMO StripperLover should've kept the links to other forums whatever they are through private home e-mail addresses & not through this forum.

    SL has asked me for my e-mail address & I gave it to him w/o a problem.

    But I do aggree with not discussing other forums on this forum, but IMO StripperLover has helped out a lot here & is responsible for the part of organizing many parties & giving a lot of helpful advice & so on.

    I think he should be reinstated. If he can't be reinstated b/c he's on another forum, someone should tell him via e-mail that he would be allowed back if he left his duties where he is.

    I think he is a valued & knowledgeable member who is needed here.

    Take care all.

  13. #13
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    Originally posted by Maxima
    My prediction: A "committee" would certainly kill MERB within 6 months.
    I wouldn't be suprised if this did happen.
    "I am a kind of paranoiac in reverse. I suspect people of plotting to make me happy." - J. D. Salinger

  14. #14
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    A lot of you guys have obviously not a single "business bone" in you ! If someone were to backstab you and steel part of your clients using your own ressources, would you welcome him back in your business with open arms saying "OK SL, you screwed me over with my own tools and you are still a business partner with my competitor, but hey you've been so good to me you can come back once in a while... and have access to my clients".

    I have nothing againts SL and have always been on "his side" during many arguments on Merb (or he's been on mine), but what he did was just not right. And I have voiced my opinion on his board as well so you can't accuse me of hiding here on Merb. Doesn't mean I won't check out the competitors (we all do), but I stand by Fred Zed's decision to ban SL and Tom.

    I don't think they should be brought back on Merb. They decided to move on, and so should all of you.

    My 2 cents.

  15. #15
    Administrator Fred Zed's Avatar
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    Thanks very much MG_MTL. Btw people if I seem to be overeacting please understand where I am coming from.
    See this for instance: www.gterb.com

    They tried to do the same thing on TERB
    Last year I had another problem with a site:
    calling themselves CERB.net. Eventually we got them fried by their Webhost because they wouldn't stop spamming.
    They would come to all our sites in the middle of night and flood all the forums with spam.

    There comes a time when you have to say "enough is enough"
    There is literally an infinite number of website names to choose from. Anyone who claims otherwise has other hidden agendas.

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