Army.ca Forums

The Orderly Room => Army.ca Admin => Topic started by: Mike Bobbitt on April 19, 2017, 21:32:50

Title: Army.ca Staff Reset
Post by: Mike Bobbitt on April 19, 2017, 21:32:50
Folks,

Effective immediately, Staff privileges have been removed from all accounts.

There are a lot of motivations behind this change, but primarily I feel we have stagnated. Army.ca is a community that was built on a spirit of cooperation and helpful volunteerism. However we have reached a point where for some, the Staff title is a burden. It constrains participation and seems to have become synonymous with "enforcement" instead of "encouragement."

Worse, I have seen a growing feeling of "us and them" from Staff and users alike. As if, somehow, the Staff have become the enemy instead of the guardians. Let me be clear: There is no "them," we are part of the same community, all of us.

With this move, I am cleaning the slate. Anyone who is interested - including previous Staff - must PM me with a request to volunteer as Staff moving forward. I have created some highlights of what is expected of any new Staff volunteers:


If you feel strongly about being "part of the solution" moving forward, please PM me (https://army.ca/forums/index.php?action=pm;sa=send;u=1). Keep it short, why you think you can help us set a new direction. I intend to be fairly open to new offers, possibly trimming back in time if we grow too fast or some Staff just don't work out.

No Staff will be added for at least a week. In that time, the site will be unmoderated, save myself. This is not carte blanche to run wild. Please respect that I will have very limited availability to respond, but will tackle high priority items as soon as I can. In addition to my family and three jobs (no joke), I am preparing the server rebuild so my time will be very limited. I'm sure by the end of the week, there will be a renewed appreciation for the Staff's "behind the scenes" work.

Don't kid yourself, this will be no small task. The Staff have put in literally thousands of hours of often tedious, stressful work. Occasionally there is thanks, but more often you will find folks eager to armchair quarterback your decisions and file complaints about what you did wile volunteering your Saturday night.

Finally, I would like to thank all of the Staff that have helped us get here. Your volunteered time built Army.ca into what it is today, and I am deeply honoured to have worked with you. This new direction does not denigrate the countless hours, the emergency sessions, the timely advice that nobody else was privy to, and so much more. I count you all as friends and I hope you remain active here in whatever capacity you choose. Please know that this action is not personal, nor directed at any one individual or situation. I suspect most Staff, if they make an honest assessment, will realize that "it was time."

I look forward to facing the challenges ahead together, as a community focused on making things better.


Cheers
Mike
Title: Re: Army.ca Staff Reset
Post by: the 48th regulator on April 19, 2017, 23:38:28
 :salute:

dileas

tess
Title: Re: Army.ca Staff Reset
Post by: LunchMeat on April 20, 2017, 03:52:30
Wow, I was expecting a different kind of bomb drop today... And certainly not from Army.ca.

Title: Re: Army.ca Staff Reset
Post by: Baden Guy on April 20, 2017, 08:44:52
Mike I greatly value this site that you have created. Any changes that you make to improve the site have my support and appreciation.  :)  :salute:
 
Title: Re: Army.ca Staff Reset
Post by: Bass ackwards on April 20, 2017, 10:56:46

This

The Staff have put in literally thousands of hours of often tedious, stressful work.

+ this

Your volunteered time...

+ this

...the countless hours, the emergency sessions, the timely advice that nobody else was privy to, and so much more.



I thought these were worth repeating. A very few people put in a lot of their own time to try and keep this a first-class site.

Thank you and BZ to those who did.
Title: Re: Army.ca Staff Reset
Post by: milnews.ca on April 20, 2017, 11:07:51
Mike I greatly value this site that you have created. Any changes that you make to improve the site have my support and appreciation.  :)  :salute:
What he said  :salute:
Title: Re: Army.ca Staff Reset
Post by: Lumber on April 20, 2017, 11:34:21
This site has ruined the rest of the internet for me.

Now I can't read/peruse other forums without grinding my teeth at every spelling, grammar, or formatting mistake/omission.

I get legitimately upset when people on other sites (comment sections, forums, etc) use profanity, personal attacks, low-brow slang, poor logic, speak outside their lanes, etc., and that's what 95% of the internet is!

Damn you Army.ca Milnet.ca for holding me to a higher standard and making me appreciate receiving it in kind! Damn you...

 :salute:
Title: Re: Army.ca Staff Reset
Post by: Mike Bobbitt on April 20, 2017, 12:31:22
Thanks for the support all, I am cautiously optimistic that the reset will ultimately be positive for the site.

As an addendum, all existing warnings have also been lifted (except bans).
Title: Re: Army.ca Staff Reset
Post by: ModlrMike on April 20, 2017, 14:54:22
Perhaps in future we can take moderation in a slightly different direction. In stead of "staff" having blanket authority, we narrow the focus to specific boards. For example one or two boards per person, and one or two staff per board, depending on the size. That way, one would only be able to act as moderator in a relatively narrow focus. This may be challenging to do from a programming sense, but perhaps not if the moderators were chosen carefully.

I agree with Lumber, this site is a breath of fresh air compared to most other forums I've read.
Title: Re: Army.ca Staff Reset
Post by: Flavus101 on April 20, 2017, 15:08:13
I would also like to join those above me in thanking the moderators for their contributions and time committed to making this place the success that it is.
Title: Re: Army.ca Staff Reset
Post by: Mike Bobbitt on April 20, 2017, 15:35:33
Perhaps in future we can take moderation in a slightly different direction. In stead of "staff" having blanket authority, we narrow the focus to specific boards. For example one or two boards per person, and one or two staff per board, depending on the size. That way, one would only be able to act as moderator in a relatively narrow focus. This may be challenging to do from a programming sense, but perhaps not if the moderators were chosen carefully.

This is already available in the forum software, so easy to implement from a technology side. The hard part is E.G. when there the only "staff" online is moderator for the Artillery boards and someone drops spam in a Navy board. All they can do is sit and watch, or escalate to someone else and hope they get the message. The old global system was designed to specifically foster a "pitch in" attitude in that regard.

Still worthy of thought though, and maybe we take on some moderators for specific areas (to leverage their SMEness) and others as global moderators to keep things flowing smoothly.


Cheers
Mike
Title: Re: Army.ca Staff Reset
Post by: Humphrey Bogart on April 20, 2017, 16:20:24
Firstly Mike,

Army.ca is a great site, there isn't any other place on the web with the comprehensive amount of data that is readily accessible with a community willing to help people out.  It also provides a great forum for folks to have discussions concerning the CAF in an anonymous forum that they wouldn't otherwise be allowed to have.  This being said, I'm a member of a couple of other forums and one of the things that separates them from here is the discussions the moderators insert their own opinions in to, for better or for worse.  Not a knock against anyone in particular, just an observation.

I think if you are going to revisit how the moderator operates and what their role is, they first and foremost need to be impartial at all times, regardless of what their personal opinion on a given subject is.  The only thing that should matter is if the post conforms to the site guidelines.  Moderators are free to participate in discussions; however, they should restrict themselves to posting facts and not trying to sway the court of public opinion.     
Title: Re: Army.ca Staff Reset
Post by: Cloud Cover on April 20, 2017, 16:45:46
I've been a site member since 2004. For all of those years, the DS have done a great job on their own time and likely to their own distress at times.  A thankless job, but BZ to all of you and good luck with the new format MB!
Title: Re: Army.ca Staff Reset
Post by: recceguy on April 20, 2017, 16:57:22
Perhaps in future we can take moderation in a slightly different direction. In stead of "staff" having blanket authority, we narrow the focus to specific boards. For example one or two boards per person, and one or two staff per board, depending on the size. That way, one would only be able to act as moderator in a relatively narrow focus. This may be challenging to do from a programming sense, but perhaps not if the moderators were chosen carefully.

I agree with Lumber, this site is a breath of fresh air compared to most other forums I've read.

We tried this in the early days. Problems arose of availability, subject knowledge, etc. It was a good idea, and we tried to make it work. In the end it became overly cumbersome. Everything is good for a second look though.


Still worthy of thought though, and maybe we take on some moderators for specific areas (to leverage their SMEness) and others as global moderators to keep things flowing smoothly.

Cheers
Mike

That might work though.


I think if you are going to revisit how the moderator operates and what their role is, they first and foremost need to be impartial at all times, regardless of what their personal opinion on a given subject is.  The only thing that should matter is if the post conforms to the site guidelines.  Moderators are free to participate in discussions; however, they should restrict themselves to posting facts and not trying to sway the court of public opinion.     

So, the Moderators just moderate. They are not allowed to participate and offer an opinion like a member, which they are? While I agree they shouldn't moderate a subject they are involved in, I see no harm in them participating like everyone else, so long as it's identified they are posting as a member and not a moderator and they don't moderate that thread. Or am I missing your point? I don't know a single person that would be happy joining the board strictly as a sheriff and not being able to participate as a member. Given they would be restricted to just facts when posting, would the same be said for non moderators? Even when people site sources, others challenge with yells of 'fake news'. I think, it might get pretty boring to read, if every post is a simple, one sentence statement of fact accompanied by a link. I must be missing something. :dunno:
Title: Re: Army.ca Staff Reset
Post by: recceguy on April 20, 2017, 17:30:59
This is good. I'm all for the reset, Now, we're having well thought out suggestions on a way forward, to grow and expand. I'm glad Mike did this. It was needed.

Don't believe for a minute I'm shying away from accepting responsibility for some of the things that went on here. I was in the thick for some and no doubt started others. Everyone is different, with their own personalities. I apologise to all I offended and those I may have mistreated through the years. Most was not intentional, but alas, some likely was. No excuses, I'm not everyone's cup of tea. I just do what I can.

Please have patience when the 'newbs' ;) come on board. This job is not easy, and there's going to be a lot of questions they might not know how to answer or it might take things a little longer than usual for a request to be dealt with. It's going to be a steep learning curve they face. Be kind to them. :nod:


We've got a good thing going here folks. Hopefully, whatever Mike rolls out will grow to be the bigger, better Milnet.ca 2.0
Title: Re: Army.ca Staff Reset
Post by: Rifleman62 on April 20, 2017, 18:08:48
In case you missed it, Mike's intent is to enhance your experience which requires financial support:

https://army.ca/forums/index.php/topic,125516.0.html

Quote
Re: Server Hosting 2017
« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2017, 13:28:33 »
Folks, after quite a bit of review, I have decided that Option #4 is probably the best choice. It is a fair bit more effort for slightly more performance/less cost, but it moves us in the right direction. It will certainly introduce a bit more pain in the short term while all the kinks are worked out, however long-term it will provide the most efficient and cost effective option.

Starting next weekend, I will begin building the replacement server alongside this one. I expect it will take a week to get ready and is planned to come online around the first of May.

We currently have 60 active subscribers (thanks!) for $1,800 per year in subscription funds. The server hosting cost is about $300 / month, so we are half way there already.
Title: Re: Army.ca Staff Reset
Post by: Humphrey Bogart on April 20, 2017, 18:09:57
We tried this in the early days. Problems arose of availability, subject knowledge, etc. It was a good idea, and we tried to make it work. In the end it became overly cumbersome. Everything is good for a second look though.

That might work though.

So, the Moderators just moderate. They are not allowed to participate and offer an opinion like a member, which they are? While I agree they shouldn't moderate a subject they are involved in, I see no harm in them participating like everyone else, so long as it's identified they are posting as a member and not a moderator and they don't moderate that thread. Or am I missing your point? I don't know a single person that would be happy joining the board strictly as a sheriff and not being able to participate as a member. Given they would be restricted to just facts when posting, would the same be said for non moderators? Even when people site sources, others challenge with yells of 'fake news'. I think, it might get pretty boring to read, if every post is a simple, one sentence statement of fact accompanied by a link. I must be missing something. :dunno:

It might be a challenge for some but it comes down to who polices the police?  In a sense I see moderators almost like
 court judges, they apply the law as it is written and don't bring personal opinion in to their rendering of decisions.

Title: Re: Army.ca Staff Reset
Post by: Ayrsayle on April 20, 2017, 20:45:53
Perhaps in future we can take moderation in a slightly different direction. In stead of "staff" having blanket authority, we narrow the focus to specific boards. For example one or two boards per person, and one or two staff per board, depending on the size. That way, one would only be able to act as moderator in a relatively narrow focus. This may be challenging to do from a programming sense, but perhaps not if the moderators were chosen carefully.

I agree with Lumber, this site is a breath of fresh air compared to most other forums I've read.

I think this might be an effective way going forward - rather then a blanket authority of "staff" simply referring to them as Moderators who curate and streamline particular boards and keep to the general site guidelines.  You'll have a number of people who might be willing to take one a slice of the responsibility (so to speak) where they might not consider themselves as definitive experts on everything, but can likely know quite a bit in their respective lanes, etc.

I've nothing but respect and appreciation for the Staff who have devoted their time to creating an environment of useful knowledge on the internet.  This site was an amazing resource when I was first trying to apply to the military and it has remained so many years later thanks to their efforts.

Hopefully the change will be effective moving forward.
Title: Re: Army.ca Staff Reset
Post by: George Wallace on April 20, 2017, 20:58:58
I think this might be an effective way going forward - rather then a blanket authority of "staff" simply referring to them as Moderators who curate and streamline particular boards and keep to the general site guidelines.  You'll have a number of people who might be willing to take one a slice of the responsibility (so to speak) where they might not consider themselves as definitive experts on everything, but can likely know quite a bit in their respective lanes, etc.

We have (had) one person, who is an actual CF Recruiter, Moderating the Recruiting Threads for the past couple months, after our dedicated forum for CAF Recruiters was terminated.  This person was able to give the latest and best advice to the threads in the Recruiting Forums; but as one person, with limited time away from their day job, they were unable to be on the site to Moderate and answer questions 24 hours a day, seven days a week. (24 and 7.)  If that person was not on the site for long periods, it would be left to other Moderators, Mentors, or even site members to chip in.  So, like Communism, a great idea on paper, but not so good in reality.
Title: Re: Army.ca Staff Reset
Post by: Ayrsayle on April 20, 2017, 21:06:40
We have (had) one person, who is an actual CF Recruiter, Moderating the Recruiting Threads for the past couple months, after our dedicated forum for CAF Recruiters was terminated.  This person was able to give the latest and best advice to the threads in the Recruiting Forums; but as one person, with limited time away from their day job, they were unable to be on the site to Moderate and answer questions 24 hours a day, seven days a week. (24 and 7.)  If that person was not on the site for long periods, it would be left to other Moderators, Mentors, or even site members to chip in.  So, like Communism, a great idea on paper, but not so good in reality.

Entirely fair and I don't have the benefit of the previous examples to draw from.  I'll admit a bit of personal bias as "new" members like myself could assist in a limited capacity, but would likely shy away from the workload I assume is part of trying to moderate everything that comes up across all the threads.  The Hybrid model of some monitoring specific boards and others being the overarching moderators could likely work then, as some have more time and others less.

The alternative appeared to be a few committed Staff trying to do all the workload, which may have resulted in the frictions Mike is alluding to.
Title: Re: Army.ca Staff Reset
Post by: George Wallace on April 20, 2017, 21:20:26
Don't forget, we still have volunteers who act as MENTORS, who do monitor the site threads and answering questions, etc.; but do not have all the 'powers' of the Moderators.
Title: Re: Army.ca Staff Reset
Post by: recceguy on April 21, 2017, 02:21:48
It might be a challenge for some but it comes down to who polices the police?  In a sense I see moderators almost like
 court judges, they apply the law as it is written and don't bring personal opinion in to their rendering of decisions.

Forgive me if I keep missing your point.

You're saying a Moderator has no right to a say or opinion unless they are moderating a conflict?  And then only in the capacity of a mediator on that particular disagreement? The hardest working people on this site don't get to participate? You're proposing Moderators not participate at all until they have to impose the rules? Is that what you're saying? If it is, I think you just made Mike's job of finding new mods quite a bit more difficult. If he accepts your premise.

Now, if you want to pay someone, I don't know $20,000-$30,000 to just sit by and say nothing except to moderate, recruitment might be easier. Volunteer for that? Not so much.

Not being an ***, but if that's what your suggestion is, I don't think it'll work. Just my opinion though YMMV.

 :salute:
Title: Re: Army.ca Staff Reset
Post by: the 48th regulator on April 21, 2017, 02:30:47
Forgive me if I keep missing your point.

You're saying a Moderator has no right to a say or opinion unless they are moderating a conflict?  And then only in the capacity of a mediator on that particular disagreement? The hardest working people on this site don't get to participate? You're proposing Moderators not participate at all until they have to impose the rules? Is that what you're saying? If it is, I think you just made Mike's job of finding new mods quite a bit more difficult. If he accepts your premise.

Now, if you want to pay someone, I don't know $20,000-$30,000 to just sit by and say nothing except to moderate, recruitment might be easier. Volunteer for that? Not so much.

Not being an ***, but if that's what your suggestion is, I don't think it'll work. Just my opinion though YMMV.

 :salute:

Well said.

This may be a Canadian Military themed site, but it is not run by the Government.  Moderators are volunteers, whose duty is to make the site run in the theme Mike Bobbitt wants.  It is not some sterile wikipedia forum, as we already have that if you wish to paticipate there.

dileas

tess
Title: Re: Army.ca Staff Reset
Post by: Humphrey Bogart on April 21, 2017, 09:31:11
Forgive me if I keep missing your point.

You're saying a Moderator has no right to a say or opinion unless they are moderating a conflict?  And then only in the capacity of a mediator on that particular disagreement? The hardest working people on this site don't get to participate? You're proposing Moderators not participate at all until they have to impose the rules? Is that what you're saying? If it is, I think you just made Mike's job of finding new mods quite a bit more difficult. If he accepts your premise.

Now, if you want to pay someone, I don't know $20,000-$30,000 to just sit by and say nothing except to moderate, recruitment might be easier. Volunteer for that? Not so much.

Not being an ***, but if that's what your suggestion is, I don't think it'll work. Just my opinion though YMMV.

 :salute:

Not exactly, I'm thinking in particular of the politics, policy, marijuana threads on this site.  IMO moderators should not engage in flame wars on those threads.  I myself have been caught up in flaming on those threads at times and have been warned appropriately (damn autospell).  Hindsight, I should have just bitten my tongue. 

The thing about policy, politics, controversial subjects, etc... is there really isn't a right or wrong answer to something.  If a moderator does engage in debating these subjects than impartiality goes out the window.  The old proverb "you can't have your cake and eat it too" comes to mind. 

A way to get around this is how posts are framed.  For instance, instead of saying "my opinion on xx is the following" you would say "have you though about xx". 

In any case, as you and Tess have aptly pointed out, this is Mike's site and he is free to do as he wishes with it.  One thing I wouldn't mind seeing is a blog tied to this site, sort of like this:  http://ruxted.ca (http://ruxted.ca) where members could submit articles on anything pertaining to Defence or Military Issues.  It could be anything from book reviews, opinion papers, etc... that would be of interest to the Canadian Military.  An example of an articles you could see would be "opinion piece:  use of medicinal marijuana by veterans and serving members" or book review "'The Chopper Boys:  Helicopter Warfare in Africa' and lessons for future Canadian Peace Support Operations in Africa".  Outside of the talking heads we see on the news, there is a dearth of actual commentary on military affairs from serving members of the CAF".  Outside of guys like Ian Hope and Bernd Horn, I can't remember the last time I actually read something of value from a senior officer in the military.
Title: Re: Army.ca Staff Reset
Post by: Mike Bobbitt on April 21, 2017, 09:50:31
One thing I wouldn't mind seeing is a blog tied to this site, sort of like this:  http://ruxted.ca (http://ruxted.ca) where members could submit articles on anything pertaining to Defence or Military Issues...

Love it. As you likely know, Ruxed.ca was born and raised here, built from the ground up by an open group of contributors that used Army.ca to hammer out drafts and draw in expertise when needed. Ruxted is actually hosted right here, on the same server as Army.ca. :) However it has been dormant for a few years now, with interest and free time having tapered off for the key contributors. Maybe part of the fresh start will include a renewed interest in it, or a similar project...?
Title: Re: Army.ca Staff Reset
Post by: George Wallace on April 21, 2017, 09:58:30
.......  One thing I wouldn't mind seeing is a blog tied to this site, sort of like this:  http://ruxted.ca (http://ruxted.ca) where members could submit articles on anything pertaining to Defence or Military Issues.  It could be anything from book reviews, opinion papers, etc... that would be of interest to the Canadian Military.  An example of an articles you could see would be "opinion piece:  use of medicinal marijuana by veterans and serving members" or book review "'The Chopper Boys:  Helicopter Warfare in Africa' and lessons for future Canadian Peace Support Operations in Africa".  Outside of the talking heads we see on the news, there is a dearth of actual commentary on military affairs from serving members of the CAF".  Outside of guys like Ian Hope and Bernd Horn, I can't remember the last time I actually read something of value from a senior officer in the military.

The Ruxted.ca suggestion is a good one.  Unfortunately, although Ruxted was garnering attention and even quoted in the MSM, it fell victim of the same old problems faced by may such blogs and publications: loss of interest due to the infrequency of contributors to post meaningful and credible articles in a timely fashion.  One of our main contributors has since started their own Blog and has been fairly successful in making daily informative posts.  (Ted Campbell's Point of View (https://coloneltedcampbell.blog/).  He has the time on his hands to do so, and it is his sole proprietorship, unlike what Ruxted is (was).

The editorial process for Ruxted articles often involved a number of SMEs and at times could be time consuming and the necessity to meet a timely publication date at times could be very demanding with the randomness of the availability of SMEs to contribute facts.  If your suggestion is to open up Ruxted again, with access to the public for contribution of editorial posts, I am wondering what staffing demands you would place on the site to properly vet submissions and then post them to the site?  I would hate to see the credibility that Ruxted managed to acquire lost by open 'Reddit' types of rants or posts.
Title: Re: Army.ca Staff Reset
Post by: milnews.ca on April 21, 2017, 11:50:14
Ruxted.ca is a good product, but this right here ...
... infrequency of contributors to post meaningful and credible articles in a timely fashion ... The editorial process for Ruxted articles often involved a number of SMEs and at times could be time consuming and the necessity to meet a timely publication date at times could be very demanding with the randomness of the availability of SMEs to contribute facts ...
... is why it's hard to run a "wikified" commentary blog posting both timely & current material.  NOBODY's fault, by any means, but it's just the nature of the open forum beast.

... I would hate to see the credibility that Ruxted managed to acquire lost by open 'Reddit' types of rants or posts.
:nod:

... The thing about policy, politics, controversial subjects, etc... is there really isn't a right or wrong answer to something ...
... not to mention the passion such topics can engender, especially if one only wears partisan glasses assessing them.
... A way to get around this is how posts are framed.  For instance, instead of saying "my opinion on xx is the following" you would say "have you though about xx" ...
That phrasing still may not deal with potential bias one way or another.

Another way to ask this question might be:  How does one manage debate where some with very strong (sometimes hyper-partisan) views can continue to interact in a civil, constructive manner with others who have differing (sometimes hyper-partisan) views?
???
Title: Re: Army.ca Staff Reset
Post by: Humphrey Bogart on April 21, 2017, 12:12:19
Love it. As you likely know, Ruxed.ca was born and raised here, built from the ground up by an open group of contributors that used Army.ca to hammer out drafts and draw in expertise when needed. Ruxted is actually hosted right here, on the same server as Army.ca. :) However it has been dormant for a few years now, with interest and free time having tapered off for the key contributors. Maybe part of the fresh start will include a renewed interest in it, or a similar project...?

It's actually what brought me to milnet.ca  ;)

I started reading Ruxted before I participated in the forum.
Title: Re: Army.ca Staff Reset
Post by: Good2Golf on April 21, 2017, 12:54:07
A way to get around this is how posts are framed.  For instance, instead of saying "my opinion on xx is the following" you would say "have you though about xx". 

While it may not have looked like the template 100% of the time, the Mod/Member dichotomy was generally kept straight by DS using an appropriate signature, such as:


     [Moderation input...]

     John Doe
     Milnet.ca Staff

No qualifier and it was to expected/assumed that a DS' post was personal position.

:2c:

Regards
G2G
Title: Re: Army.ca Staff Reset
Post by: recceguy on April 21, 2017, 13:16:03
While it may not have looked like the template 100% of the time, the Mod/Member dichotomy was generally kept straight by DS using an appropriate signature, such as:


     [Moderation input...]

     John Doe
     Milnet.ca Staff

No qualifier and it was to expected/assumed that a DS' post was personal position.

:2c:

Regards
G2G

 :goodpost:
Title: Re: Army.ca Staff Reset
Post by: GAP on April 21, 2017, 13:26:17
:goodpost:


 :ditto:
Title: Re: Army.ca Staff Reset
Post by: Loachman on April 21, 2017, 13:31:52
The old proverb "you can't have your cake and eat it too" comes to mind.

That's actually the relatively new, and erroneous version.

The old, and correct version, is "You can't eat your cake and have it too".

[/pet peeve]
Title: Re: Army.ca Staff Reset
Post by: the 48th regulator on April 21, 2017, 13:53:50
The thing about policy, politics, controversial subjects, etc... is there really isn't a right or wrong answer to something.  If a moderator does engage in debating these subjects than impartiality goes out the window.  The old proverb "you can't have your cake and eat it too" comes to mind.

Having the duty of Moderator, is not fun and games as you make it out to be. Moderating the forums for everyone's enjoyment, is not the only duties Moderators do.

Further, I came to this site for the same reasons as you.  When I volunteered my time to the site,  it was to give back.  Now you want to take the real fun away from a moderator, so that You experience is enjoyable??  Trust me, any volunteer forced to be a robot and sterilize their behaviour will quit after a week.

I think we have  hashed out the tone and content concept, we jut need to restart the engine, and remind everyone that this is a fun site dedicated to Canadian military.  Maybe the members of the group also need a restart, and start policing themselves  little better, and make it easier on the staff.

 :2c:

dileas

tess


Title: Re: Army.ca Staff Reset
Post by: MOOXE on April 21, 2017, 14:37:48
Right now there are many red flags (literally) when a user sees this site. If one of the points here is to tone down the authoritative nature of this site here are a couple of ideas. Make the "Member Warnings" forum only visible to staff. Change the visible BANNED user status on profiles. Remove or change the colour of the red highlighting of locked threads. Keep the warning system private.
Title: Re: Army.ca Staff Reset
Post by: Journeyman on April 21, 2017, 14:53:50
Right now there are many red flags (literally) when a user sees this site. If one of the points here is to tone down the authoritative nature of this site here are a couple of ideas. Make the "Member Warnings" forum only visible to staff. Change the visible BANNED user status on profiles. Remove or change the colour of the red highlighting of locked threads. Keep the warning system private.
I strongly disagree.  Justice must be seen to be just. 

Without visible repercussions for poor behaviour, people may assume that that is the accepted norm and/or the Staff are either not moderating the site or are playing favourites.
Title: Re: Army.ca Staff Reset
Post by: George Wallace on April 21, 2017, 15:04:41
Right now there are many red flags (literally) when a user sees this site. If one of the points here is to tone down the authoritative nature of this site here are a couple of ideas. Make the "Member Warnings" forum only visible to staff. Change the visible BANNED user status on profiles. Remove or change the colour of the red highlighting of locked threads. Keep the warning system private.

That makes absolutely no sense to me.  This is NOT REDDIT, and perhaps that is the attraction of this site.  It is different.  People who prefer REDDIT will naturally migrate in that direction. 

As you have read in previous posts, the Site Owner has certain standards that he would like to maintain on HIS site(s).

[Note:  Mike Bobbitt is hosting not just army.ca; but navy.ca, airforce.ca and milnet.ca as well]
Title: Re: Army.ca Staff Reset
Post by: MOOXE on April 21, 2017, 15:07:13
I strongly disagree.  Justice must be seen to be just. 

Without visible repercussions for poor behaviour, people may assume that that is the accepted norm and/or the Staff are either not moderating the site or are playing favourites.

I understand your counter point. As was mentioned in this thread though, army.ca is a fun site and not associated with DND. However, the site is very militaristic in having a "warning system," "routine orders" and all the current serving/retired pers. Having justice meted out publically, as much as it is, can be intimidating and is very authoritative. Like I said "If one of the points here is to tone down the authoritative nature" then these could be ways to tone it down. I am saying tone down, not remove the visible presence of moderation.

If one of Mike's reset goals is to increase the user base, increase collaboration, increase fun etc... Then maybe these ideas are valid. If not, well my ideas are not applicable.
Title: Re: Army.ca Staff Reset
Post by: MOOXE on April 21, 2017, 15:13:28
[Note:  Mike Bobbitt is hosting not just army.ca; but navy.ca, airforce.ca and milnet.ca as well]
[/quote]

Aren't these sites just element appropriate colour schemes on a subdomain, in essence the same as Army.ca?
Title: Re: Army.ca Staff Reset
Post by: George Wallace on April 21, 2017, 15:16:15
I understand your counter point. As was mentioned in this thread though, army.ca is a fun site and not associated with DND. However, the site is very militaristic in having a "warning system," "routine orders" and all the current serving/retired pers.

It is a military site, populated by people in or interested in the military.  If we were plumbers, I suppose we would have a site plumbers.ca dedicated to plumbers and those interested in plumbing.  Being as we are a 'military' site, would you not expect some 'rules and regulations', plus the authority figures and means to keep the site on a professional military footing?  I am sure the plumbers would have their own means of keeping things in order and flushing any persons or threads that did not comply with their site/forum standards.
Title: Re: Army.ca Staff Reset
Post by: Good2Golf on April 21, 2017, 15:23:34
Having justice meted out publically, as much as it is, can be intimidating and is very authoritative.

...and transparent, and how both the Military Justice system and many parts of Canada's civil justice system work.  Is that so bad?

Regards
G2G
Title: Re: Army.ca Staff Reset
Post by: MOOXE on April 21, 2017, 15:51:20
I understand you George. You are saying visible moderation (no tone down) is effective at keeping the site in order. Its a visible deterrent to potential rule breakers.

Can toning down the public nature of moderation achieve the same goal?  Can it make a positive influence on the site at the same time? Army.ca can look still look and be professional with all the authority backing it up transparently (thanks G2G).

Title: Re: Army.ca Staff Reset
Post by: Jarnhamar on April 21, 2017, 16:52:52
Quote from: Humphrey Bogart

Not exactly, I'm thinking in particular of the politics, policy, marijuana threads on this site.  IMO moderators should not engage in flame wars on those threads.  I myself have been caught up in flaming on those threads at times and have been warned appropriately (damn autospell).  Hindsight, I should have just bitten my tongue. 


Agree with your points.

I found moderators posting in locked threads getting the last word in to be pretty counter productive and sometimes fostered a sense of special privilege in terms of posting ones opinions.

In my opinion if a moderator becomes involved in a topic that hits close to home thread moderation should fall to members with no bone in the argument to avoid conflicts of interest.

Right now there are many red flags (literally) when a user sees this site. If one of the points here is to tone down the authoritative nature of this site here are a couple of ideas. Make the "Member Warnings" forum only visible to staff. Change the visible BANNED user status on profiles. Remove or change the colour of the red highlighting of locked threads. Keep the warning system private.

Disagree with all your points.
Warnings and discipline should be visible to all members,  if anything then as an example that bad behavior isn't tolerated and is addressed. Likewise for future moderators who break forum policy.

We've had some issues with some members being treated unfairly or too lightly (imo) when breaking policy but by and large we don't have the nasty personal attacks and virtol so rampant on other forums.  I don't think your kindler gentler approach would work here in terms of discipline optics.

Title: Re: Army.ca Staff Reset
Post by: George Wallace on April 21, 2017, 17:23:40
Well....Thankfully we have not become like some sites that totally purge any dissenting views expressed.
Title: Re: Army.ca Staff Reset
Post by: Colin P on April 21, 2017, 18:01:57
Tanknet was using a generic "Moderator" account to intervene on discussions with no indication of who that might be, my understanding is that the staff would discuss a response and it would be broadcast by the "Moderator" (avatar was the "Eye of Mordor"). This helped removed personal attacks on staff.
Title: Re: Army.ca Staff Reset
Post by: recceguy on April 22, 2017, 01:55:00
Tanknet was using a generic "Moderator" account to intervene on discussions with no indication of who that might be, my understanding is that the staff would discuss a response and it would be broadcast by the "Moderator" (avatar was the "Eye of Mordor"). This helped removed personal attacks on staff.

I've always taken responsibility for my posts as a member and my decisions as a Moderator. I've never hidden that it was me that made the decision. However, I like that idea. A lot.

I do have one concern with it. Not insurmountable, but might take more time and manpower.

In the beginning, IIRC, we tried that. The problem was there was times when a mod was on their own. While waiting to converse the thread would go wild. If we moved the thread to the admin area, it typically died. We eventually, with more experience, I think we just morphed into what we became. In reality, I think it would take many more staff than we had on Cleaning Day. I'm not married to it though.
Title: Re: Army.ca Staff Reset
Post by: recceguy on April 22, 2017, 03:26:14
I'm going to take a stab in the dark and not speak for other Mods while doing it.

Mike made the right decision.  No question.

Here's some bread.
Some of us got stale, intolerant, biased and overbearing. There's no denying that. It was not something we set out to accomplish. Perhaps it was the years doing it, the gazillion times we answered the same questions on how to shave or if ball scratching on parade is allowed, trying to mind read on whether someone is being sincere and stupid or being a sarcastic prick.

Here's some crap.
Holy frig, be ready for the shitstorm that's coming because a clique of members don't like your decision against one of theirs. Or the vitriol about to come your way, complete with milpoint deductions and 5% warnings, because someone that doesn't even post, just lurks, doesn't like something you said five years ago. Or the armchair quarterbacks that question every single desicion you made and sometimes even condemning you for another mods decision. No matter what the decision was or wasn't, why it was applied or not, if it met with criteria or biased you are the devil.

Here's your other slice of bread, so it's not an open face sammich.

I'm going to identify what I believe may be a big part of what our problem was. YMMV. Refer back to the filler of this sandwich, after a fair amount of years of listening to this, we went deaf. Rather than put every criticism under a microscope to see if it was valid or not, it was dismissed outright and we moved to the next crisis. Somewhere during that move, we got lost. I think another part, but integral, is that this appears to have happened to the staff around the same time. While we debriefed each other, made corrections to ourselves and even when we were contrary to each other for years, we went sympatico into the twilight, not seeing where we were going.

My suggestion(s):

We always had rules as mods on how we would perform, as we got lost we started forgetting some, remembering others incorrectly and then started flying and forgetting.

The new staff should get what Mike decides as terms of employment, acknowledge to the full membership that they understand and will abide by those rules. Every six months. Do it, it's why we drifted and wandered. They'll never forget.

Sanctions on mods will be established. If required, a tribunal of staff and members, 2 each with Mike participating only in case of a tie. It will all be done in a private chat room and separate interview room to hear from all involved without knowing what anyone else says. Mike will pick the two staff and the two members to be picked at random from those having 250 posts or more and active within two weeks of the alleged transgression and no participation in the thread.

Term limits of four years. The first serial will consist of even numbers where half will only do two in order to stagger sufficient new blood every two years.

Keep the forum warning banners but smaller and less brilliant. Stand them in the corner but don't stick a big dunce cap on their head. We're adults.

Everything above is mine and mine alone. They are my suggestions, not hard or fast. If they are worth consideration, they are yours to do as you wish.

I have a couple(?) of others but I need to drown a headache.

I'm not sure if this was the direction Mike wanted his announcement thread to go.

If not, he'll have to split it off himself, renamed the new thread, put it in the right group, yada yada yada. He's the only one with the power now.  ;D



Title: Re: Army.ca Staff Reset
Post by: Mike Bobbitt on April 22, 2017, 09:47:44
Folks, I truly appreciate the discussion and ideas. I have been taking notes avidly, and some changes will definitely be adopted. It may delay things a bit, not just as I draft new policy, but as I try to find a way to 'tame the technology' to behave under the new plan.

Even where there are some misconceptions, it's telling of what the public view was of Staff protocol. As was said above about justice being done and seen to be done, the same goes for Staff action. Moving forward we must do the right thing, and do it in a way that cannot be misinterpreted as the wrong thing.

It is encouraging to see folks putting thought and effort into how we can make this feel like a home for military members again.

P.S. If you have PM'd me and I haven't replied yet, that is not an indicator of anything except my disorganization. :)
Title: Re: Army.ca Staff Reset
Post by: Mike Bobbitt on April 22, 2017, 09:56:27
Aren't these sites just element appropriate colour schemes on a subdomain, in essence the same as Army.ca?

Yes, while there are minor structural differences in what is emphasized, the various sites are really just window dressing for the same data.

I also neglected to weigh in on the hidden warning proposal. I understand the concept behind it and it makes sense... but the reality is when someone breaks The Guidelines (https://army.ca/forums/index.php/topic,24937.0.html), the Staff will be inundated with repeat requests if users can't tell what (if any) action has been taken. There will also be no clear indication of what is ok and what is over the line. We will be fighting a constant battle of "why did I get dinged when user X posted Y and got nothing for it?" It must be clear that posting "Y" is not cool.

However point taken about warning banners. They were previously made to be as eye-catching as possible, and even the new ones were designed to be highly visible:

(https://army.ca/forums/Themes/Milnet/images/2017-Group-Initial-Warning.png) (https://army.ca/forums/Themes/Milnet/images/2017-Group-Recorded-Warning.png) (https://army.ca/forums/Themes/Milnet/images/2017-Group-CandP.png) (https://army.ca/forums/Themes/Milnet/images/2017-Group-Banned.png)

I may strip those out, so a user will have a coloured text banner (I.E. where mine says "Army.ca Owner") and no graphic at all.
Title: Re: Army.ca Staff Reset
Post by: Kat Stevens on April 22, 2017, 10:26:57
About the warning system.  I know it would only add to the headaches for whoever eventually puts on the mod hat, but perhaps if warnings and bans are to deter others from stepping on their wieners as a side effect, posting why the warning was issued would help.  Because I'm just that kind of guy, when I see a warning banner, my first stop is the persons posting history.  Most of the time, the offending post has been purged, and I have no idea why or when they got the hammer.  If we're going to publicly display warnings, which I favour FYI, we should also post the reason, to encourage the others, as it were.  just my two dinars.
Title: Re: Army.ca Staff Reset
Post by: Mike Bobbitt on April 22, 2017, 10:34:52
Sort of like this (https://army.ca/forums/index.php/board,87.0.html) but actually used?

It's something we looked at with limited success in the past, but is worth revisiting. The main obstacle is the increased amount of staff work required. Applying a warning is already a multi-minute process, having to punch out a justification roughly doubles the effort and reduces our ability (and desire) to respond quickly and efficiently.

With that said, I may try to build a system where Staff can apply a warning and a 1-liner in a single click. The action, including 1-liner should be visible to all, so a history is kept and users see/understand what's happening, without Staff having to navigate around and file a report each time.
Title: Re: Army.ca Staff Reset
Post by: George Wallace on April 22, 2017, 11:44:43
Tanknet was using a generic "Moderator" account to intervene on discussions with no indication of who that might be, my understanding is that the staff would discuss a response and it would be broadcast by the "Moderator" (avatar was the "Eye of Mordor"). This helped removed personal attacks on staff.

However, how fast do they act when something needs immediate attention?  Take for instance the numerous SPAMMERS who have come onto the site spamming sales pitchs for such things as fake documents and several members do a REPORT TO MOD at that time of day when there are NO Mods on the site. The site gets spammed with less than legitimate posts and threads, and a clean up must be made ASAP to remove the offending links that may have Trojans or Phishing software encoded into them.  The first Mod on site will likely have to deal immediately with the 'invasion'.  There should be no need for a discussion and quorum to solve many of the problems, such as this, that the Mods have in actuality already been doing behind the scenes.

When it does come to the Warning System, the Mods have in 99% of the cases recorded all the steps taken with the more serious cases, discussed when necessary, and implemented the Warning.  In many cases of Banning a member, the Mods have had long discussions, and used the steps in the Warning System before going that route with the member.....Not to be confused with Banning immediately Spammers and Trolls who obviously had no interest in following site rules. 
Title: Re: Army.ca Staff Reset
Post by: Journeyman on April 22, 2017, 11:47:13
Sort of like this (https://army.ca/forums/index.php/board,87.0.html) but actually used?
Wow....now there  were some bad examples from the past.   :pop:
Title: Re: Army.ca Staff Reset
Post by: MOOXE on April 22, 2017, 12:47:53
Just to clarify my view on the warning system. If it worked that's good but the colours combined with the amount of warnings made it extremely visible. What would catch someones eye the most? Red banners, red text, red flags. Turn the volume down is what I mean.
Title: Re: Army.ca Staff Reset
Post by: the 48th regulator on April 25, 2017, 21:24:57
A proposal I would also like to offer. 

If you want to become member of the staff, Mentor or Moderator, then you MUST be a current paid subscriber to the forum.

Mike, you need support.  Not just the kind where people issues warnings, and lecture the young.  We need financial support, and if people think this place is a free ride, then they just don't get it.

Yes, general membership it does not require a Subscription.  However, after a certain period, or acquiring extra privileges, I think it is only fair to ask for contributions to the site.

dileas

tess
Title: Re: Army.ca Staff Reset
Post by: dapaterson on April 25, 2017, 22:19:53
I'm a bit torn.  I like the idea of people showing commitment and support; but I'm also aware that there are folks (especially younger ones) who perhaps can't contribute money, but would be willing to contribute time - time that some of us old farts more mature members who are able to give money perhaps can't give.

Like I said, I'm torn.  I agree that we want to give strong incentives to provide financial support to the site; but at the same time I don't want staff to be limited to old guys like me.

But it is a really interesting idea, that I'm going to have to mull over more.
Title: Re: Army.ca Staff Reset
Post by: mariomike on April 25, 2017, 22:43:28
If you want to become member of the staff, Mentor or Moderator, then you MUST be a current paid subscriber to the forum.

Still only 8 cents a day,
https://army.ca/subscribe/
Title: Re: Army.ca Staff Reset
Post by: the 48th regulator on April 25, 2017, 23:37:42
I'm a bit torn.  I like the idea of people showing commitment and support; but I'm also aware that there are folks (especially younger ones) who perhaps can't contribute money, but would be willing to contribute time - time that some of us old farts more mature members who are able to give money perhaps can't give.

Like I said, I'm torn.  I agree that we want to give strong incentives to provide financial support to the site; but at the same time I don't want staff to be limited to old guys like me.

But it is a really interesting idea, that I'm going to have to mull over more.

Believe me, there were times I couldnot pay, so I agree with your angst.

However, we are in stringent times, and Mike is making a huge effort in keeping this alive.  He has reset the staff, and wishes to move onto to bigger and better things.  I think it is only fair to ask that if you want the "Privilege"  (Which let us be candid, it is) of managing the site on behalf of Mike, then you should also be able to contribute to it's survival monetarily.

This is the first example of peer support.  Virtual Legion.  Information Library.

The onus is on all of us to contribute, not just posting thoughts and memes.  All clubs do it, so should we.

Come on folks! Pony up- Mike should not have to dip into his own pocket.

While I prefer not to subscribe (for my own reasons) to do write a cheque periodically that (at least) equals the cost of an annual subscription.

 Maybe you don't have the cost of a full subscription right now- $5. $10. It all helps!

dileas

tess
Title: Re: Army.ca Staff Reset
Post by: Ayrsayle on April 26, 2017, 00:11:30
I would agree with 48th Regulator - members who are interested in the long term growth of the site and the value it provides would likely stick around for the long haul (which really, I think Mike is looking for from his "Moderators").  investing your money into a project has a way of making you care about the end product.

Also agree that not everyone can pay the money required for the membership - I think it is one of the greatest things about this site is that those who can/wish to contribute do but that the information is always available to everyone. I'll happily continue to support the site for all that it provides, etc.

It's the classic "people won't know what they had until its gone" scenario - hopefully it never gets to that point.
Title: Re: Army.ca Staff Reset
Post by: GAP on April 26, 2017, 01:01:57
That's baloney!!

There isn't anyone out there that can't afford $35.00 a year.

A few timmies, a couple lottery tickets, going to a movie.....
Title: Re: Army.ca Staff Reset
Post by: Jarnhamar on April 26, 2017, 01:14:18
I'm a bit torn.  I like the idea of people showing commitment and support; but I'm also aware that there are folks (especially younger ones) who perhaps can't contribute money, but would be willing to contribute time - time that some of us old farts more mature members who are able to give money perhaps can't give.

Like I said, I'm torn.  I agree that we want to give strong incentives to provide financial support to the site; but at the same time I don't want staff to be limited to old guys like me.

But it is a really interesting idea, that I'm going to have to mull over more.


I'm going to hop on board and donate.

Personally I would be against the idea of members being required to be paying members to moderate. I think it could take away the impartialaity of being a moderator and be viewed as a sense of privilege or elitism. Really bring attention (and pressure) to subscribers vs non-subscribers.
Title: Re: Army.ca Staff Reset
Post by: mariomike on April 26, 2017, 08:04:26
There isn't anyone out there that can't afford $35.00 a year.

Not even that.

"An Army.ca Subscription is an annual payment of $30"
https://army.ca/subscribe/

I've read on here that support for the CAF is, "A mile wide and an inch deep."

Hopefully, the same can not be said of milnet.ca
 
Title: Re: Army.ca Staff Reset
Post by: Mike Bobbitt on April 26, 2017, 08:14:26
Requiring Staff to subscribe is a good idea on the surface, but I have been very hesitant to coerce people into financial support. I would much prefer to see that come from E.G. advertisers if possible.

In fact, I almost see things from the opposite point of view... as Staff you are already giving back to the site in it's daily operation; no need to pay for that "privilege" as you are already paying your dues. In a perfect world, I could even pay the Staff, but we are a long way from that I'm afraid. (In our 24+ years of operation, no-one has ever been paid, myself included.)

In the end, I feel strongly that Army.ca has to be a free service for all, but with options to support (financially, or via contribution) for those who are able.

And I do realize not everyone is in a position to support. I would no more demand financial support from my Staff than I would demand Subscribers "get out there and clean things up." ;) Support from those who can, when they can, has kept this site alive and I appreciate the help in whatever form it takes.


Cheers
Mike
Title: Re: Army.ca Staff Reset
Post by: ModlrMike on April 26, 2017, 12:07:15
I don't know if this has been suggested up thread, but what about incognito moderation? What I mean is that under the current model, if I'm a moderator and I intervene in a discussion, disclaimers aside people are going to see me as a moderator. If there was a way to moderate where the member's identity was not disclosed, that would allow moderators to continue to discuss topics in the open as themselves. I realize it may be challenging to manage, but perhaps separate accounts... Moderator1, Moderator2 etc, etc.
Title: Re: Army.ca Staff Reset
Post by: mariomike on April 26, 2017, 12:21:50
I don't know if this has been suggested up thread, but what about incognito moderation?

Undercover Moderators?
http://neowiki.neoseeker.com/wiki/Undercover_moderator
The identity of undercover moderators are known only to members of the administration.
Title: Re: Army.ca Staff Reset
Post by: George Wallace on April 26, 2017, 12:24:25
I have a distaste for any organization that permits people to act like 18th Century English land owners buying their way to top of the British Army and Navy.  I would hate to think of my donations in the past as being the reason I became a Mod; although I had never given it much thought until this suggestion was made.  I prefer to think that Mike choose his Moderators for their capabilities to fulfill the duties required of them, not for their financial support. 
Title: Re: Army.ca Staff Reset
Post by: Simian Turner on April 26, 2017, 13:01:24
Since the site is known as Army.ca why not initiate a process of duty staff based on seniority and responsibilities:

CDS/Comd/Cmdt/CO - Mike
Duty Field Officer
Duty Officer
Duty Sgt
Duty NCM

Mike used to publish - Routine Orders - site usage

Special Routine Orders could be used for Warnings and Bans

Significant Incident Reports - could be made public or classified (staff only)

I am sure there is a lot of other terminology that could be adopted/adapted.



Title: Re: Army.ca Staff Reset
Post by: George Wallace on April 26, 2017, 13:06:14
Since the site is known as Army.ca why not initiate a process of duty staff based on seniority and responsibilities:

CDS/Comd/Cmdt/CO - Mike
Duty Field Officer
Duty Officer
Duty Sgt
Duty NCM

Mike used to publish - Routine Orders - site usage

Special Routine Orders could be used for Warnings and Bans

Significant Incident Reports - could be made public or classified (staff only)

I am sure there is a lot of other terminology that could be adopted/adapted.

You left out the OR staff who would have to compile, write up, edit and promulgate said Routine Orders....... >:D
Title: Re: Army.ca Staff Reset
Post by: GAP on April 26, 2017, 14:25:22
what about all the annex's ?
Title: Re: Army.ca Staff Reset
Post by: Jarnhamar on April 26, 2017, 15:24:00
I don't know if this has been suggested up thread, but what about incognito moderation? What I mean is that under the current model, if I'm a moderator and I intervene in a discussion, disclaimers aside people are going to see me as a moderator. If there was a way to moderate where the member's identity was not disclosed, that would allow moderators to continue to discuss topics in the open as themselves. I realize it may be challenging to manage, but perhaps separate accounts... Moderator1, Moderator2 etc, etc.

I thought about that too. A counter point would be if I was debating /arguing with a member who was also a moderator on a touchy subject and all of a sudden "moderator 1" jumps in and gives me a warning I would immediately question if the moderator jumped into the anonymous account and gave me a warning.  Imo it makes moderating less transparent and could enable unfair treatment. 
Title: Re: Army.ca Staff Reset
Post by: Scott on April 26, 2017, 17:57:59
Agreed on the above in a big way.

Moderation of threads, posts, or people, IMO, has to have accountability to the site's members - because it's your site as much as it is ours or Mike's. Yeah, Mike owns the joint and so what he says goes. The Staff take direction from Mike and administer the site, so I guess what they say should go (in most cases and with caveats, of course) too. But without the members posting in the threads then it's just the mods and Mike and how boring would that be? So it's yours.

With that said, I have no issue when my name is attached to an edit of a post, for whatever the reason. Because I expect to have to answer for it if it's questionable in any way. I can't give you a count of how many times that has happened to me, but it's pretty low and I never mind the interaction.

Further, I have zero issue posting quickly to say I have locked a thread and usually, for the very most part, it's accepted without question. When I get a PM asking for it to be opened then I get to have an chat about why and usually that's cool.

I also try to follow up with people when I delete posts. It doesn't always happen, and for that I can blame nothing but time, but I think, again, for the most part it does.

Lastly, users getting warnings know who is giving it to them and the reason. Again, it's not often I have had to explain myself too much further.

But, all in all, transparency is one of the things I think we have going for us and I welcome it.

Based on my experience as staff here, I see loads of great ideas in this thread. Mike's taking notes, so do not be shy.

Cheers
Title: Re: Army.ca Staff Reset
Post by: Simian Turner on April 26, 2017, 19:28:32
George,

It is funny that you mentioned the OR staff.  A unit I am familiar with recently re-instituted a monthly newsletter - there was no shortage of recipes, jokes, and other non-unit related submissions but getting people to submit relevant, timely content was like pulling teeth.  As I was considering the ROs aspect (albeit briefly) it could be a matter of a link to army.ca wiki with a staff list showing their levels of authority and responsibilities.  I have always been amazed at how few staff seemed to be doing so much in so many places.  Whereas, in reality that I/no one ever had access to a staff list.  Now maybe being overt in a site where most people use changeable nicknames is silly.

In keeping with my original thoughts, would it be a useful and progressive concept that all future moderators use actual names or keep with nicknames?  Would this add credibility or be irrelevant as people could continue to take on a nom de plume and be whoever they want - real or imagined.
Title: Re: Army.ca Staff Reset
Post by: George Wallace on April 26, 2017, 19:35:30
In keeping with my original thoughts, would it be a useful and progressive concept that all future moderators use actual names or keep with nicknames?  Would this add credibility or be irrelevant as people could continue to take on a nom de plume and be whoever they want - real or imagined.

Mike has not laid down any rules about what one uses as a screen name on the site.  I remember several years ago we did have a discussion among the membership on whether it was a good idea or not to use their real names.  It is a Security Issue, and one that is left up to the individual as to what they want to do with their PERSEC.  Some of the Mods did use their real names, others just their initials and others a screen name, while some used a series of screen names.  Again, Mike did not have any rule for any member of the site to follow, Moderator or not, in respect to how they were identified; and I am absolutely sure he will not put such a rule into place.

As an aside, I have had several members of the CAF who have identified me and have had many negative things to say, about me and/or the site.  I suspect many of those same pers were malcontents who had tried to be disruptive on the site and perhaps banned or otherwise put on the WARNING SYSTEM.  You will find many of these same types have left here for such sites as REDDIT, where the atmosphere was more to their liking.  Others have had nothing but praise for the site and the way that Mike runs it.
Title: Re: Army.ca Staff Reset
Post by: mariomike on April 26, 2017, 20:20:58
I remember several years ago we did have a discussion among the membership on whether it was a good idea or not to use their real names. 

Real names might discourage the trolling.

Official forum changes, real life names to be displayed (at Blizzard) 
http://army.ca/forums/index.php?topic=95195.0
"In an interesting development to change the tone of their forums and put names to the trolls, they are having users' real names appear next to all of their forum posts."

For those who like to change their online aliases, it's nice when they announce their name changes,

Please announce all name changes here
http://army.ca/forums/index.php/board,86.0.html

Title: Re: Army.ca Staff Reset
Post by: the 48th regulator on April 26, 2017, 23:47:06
Question for you Mike.

Say a person that is not a member, joins the forum.  Has all the criteria as a vet.  SME in many topics.

If they applied, is it possible for them to become a Moderator?

dileas

tess
Title: Re: Army.ca Staff Reset
Post by: recceguy on April 27, 2017, 00:11:01
Sorry, spin it however, but I am against any effort whatsoever, to silence moderator s voicing their personal opinion.

You can't ask anyone to come here and moderate only, denying them the right to voice their legal opinion.

Last I looked we're still in Canada.
Title: Re: Army.ca Staff Reset
Post by: the 48th regulator on April 27, 2017, 00:52:05
George,

It is funny that you mentioned the OR staff.  A unit I am familiar with recently re-instituted a monthly newsletter - there was no shortage of recipes, jokes, and other non-unit related submissions but getting people to submit relevant, timely content was like pulling teeth.  As I was considering the ROs aspect (albeit briefly) it could be a matter of a link to army.ca wiki with a staff list showing their levels of authority and responsibilities.  I have always been amazed at how few staff seemed to be doing so much in so many places.  Whereas, in reality that I/no one ever had access to a staff list.  Now maybe being overt in a site where most people use changeable nicknames is silly.

In keeping with my original thoughts, would it be a useful and progressive concept that all future moderators use actual names or keep with nicknames?  Would this add credibility or be irrelevant as people could continue to take on a nom de plume and be whoever they want - real or imagined.

I am not being aggressive, but don't you find it Hypocritical that you make this post using a name like Simian Turner.

I am sure, that is not the name on your driver's license.

This thread is not quest to find the most political correct, sterilized manner of moderating this forum.  Stop thinking punishing the former mods, beecause you were once offended, and think progression, you chimp!!  ;)

dileas

tess
Title: Re: Army.ca Staff Reset
Post by: Simian Turner on April 27, 2017, 01:19:08
I am not being aggressive, but don't you find it Hypocritical that you make this post using a name like Simian Turner.

I am sure, that is not the name on your driver's license.

This thread is not quest to find the most political correct, sterilized manner of moderating this forum.  Stop thinking punishing the former mods, beecause you were once offended, and think progression, you chimp!!  ;)

dileas

tess

Tess (if that is that your real name), well played and touche'. :knights: It is not my wish or intent to punish moderators past or present. I am not at all offended as a primate, or for being labelled a hypocrite. :salute:  I was posting in the spirit of brainstorming.  If I were to apply for a job as a moderator I would drop my nom de plume.  Due to my employment status I cannot do either right now. 
Title: Re: Army.ca Staff Reset
Post by: the 48th regulator on April 27, 2017, 02:03:21
Tess (if that is that your real name), well played and touche'. :knights: It is not my wish or intent to punish moderators past or present. I am not at all offended as a primate, or for being labelled a hypocrite. :salute:  I was posting in the spirit of brainstorming.  If I were to apply for a job as a moderator I would drop my nom de plume.  Due to my employment status I cannot do either right now.

I ws trying to tweek your nose, a little hard.  Beleive me, I know you are in earnest.

If you had the time, I would suggest applyng.  You would offer alot to the Site.   :salute:

dileas

tess
Title: Re: Army.ca Staff Reset
Post by: Mike Bobbitt on April 27, 2017, 08:04:05
Do Staff need to use their real names? No.
Should Staff be anonymous? No.
Can a new forum member become Staff? Yes. Caveat: Unless this is a thinly veiled second account for an existing user. :)
Should we have key Staff positions? Already thinking about a system like that. Boy do I ever need a COS.

Love the ideas, keep them coming. Sorry for the short reply, more type pontificating is less time moving forward.
Title: Re: Army.ca Staff Reset
Post by: mariomike on April 27, 2017, 10:07:56
This is something I saved in my Favorites years ago. To me, it captures the true spirit of the site Mike created and maintains,

I have never seen it re-posted. Perhaps now might be a good time.
Quote
When I was injured overseas the site owner came to my bedside with concern; not just for a person he knew, but also for soldiers serving their country. I have never made serious mention of this because I was sure Mr. Bobbit did not need, nor did he want, recognition for his efforts.

Mr. Bobbit came to the hospital with shirts for all the wounded to have (and we were very much in need of fresh clothing!), magazines for us to read, and some beverages that went down well (while the doctors weren't looking).







 
Title: Re: Army.ca Staff Reset
Post by: Chief Stoker on April 27, 2017, 10:36:27
Just an observation. I get why the structure of the DS is what it is as this is a military themed site, however we seem to forget many people come on this site are not military and often looking to join and have questions. I know I would be turned off if a DS was ignorant or abrupt as they I think they have a tendency to revert to military mannerisms with this structure. I think a lot of this is due to many DS were in place for way too long and rightly so were fed up with people asking the same questions without searching or reading the FAQ's. The result was that sometimes they took it out on the member by being abrupt.
If anything with this reset I would like to see a term of service for any new DS for 2 years only, 6 month probation with perhaps a year break in between until they can reapply so they won't be burnt out.

In regards to the warning system and I'm not exactly sure how it works behind the scene what I would suggest is before a warning is handed out, the majority of mods must agree to it so that one mod can't act as judge, jury or executioner. I would further like to see the option for an appeal so the member can have their say.
Title: Re: Army.ca Staff Reset
Post by: mariomike on April 27, 2017, 11:05:27
< snip >  fed up with people asking the same questions without searching or reading the FAQ's. The result was that sometimes they took it out on the member by being abrupt.

I believe that is where Mentors can be helpful.

Mentors can politely suggest relevant discussions the OP ( not always applicants ) may, or may not, find of interest.

Moderators may consider merging the OP with existing discussions for future reference.
Title: Re: Army.ca Staff Reset
Post by: Scott on April 27, 2017, 15:46:10
I'm not overly fond of term limits. Rather, I'd like to see staff that are feeling pressure or burned out just walk away for a little while. That has happened and been a great benefit to us. Of course, Mike as boss can also ask someone to step away. I think with the limited numbers actually wanting to do the job that having turnover could only harm us, but that's me and I don't know how full Mike's inbox is with applications - I just know that everyone I communicate with, when the topic of moderation comes up, tells me they wouldn't want to do it.

Far as warnings go: I think change in the system is good, but the amount of warnings I have seen over the last few years has been in steady decline. So much so that I often forget about the handy tools Mike has put into place to issue warnings. Must be okay if I can't remember how to issue one! Here's one that comes up from time to time: an article is posted by someone we host no works from on the site. The person posting it is sent a PM explaining why the post has been deleted and it is asked they no longer post said links. With one exception I have gotten nothing but cooperation as it is usually a case of someone not knowing the policy. That one exception didn't shock me and was referred to Mike if he wanted to complain further.

When it comes to behavior, for the very most part, I find that when someone issues a warning publicly it is rather air tight. When it is not it is discussed, sometimes heatedly. Other times Mike arbitrates and his word goes. Biggest thing with being wrong: admitting it, taking ownership, and improving.

If I am pushing for anything with Mike's new intake of mods, it is transparency, fairness, and inclusion. So if I am on that side of the coin again in the future, you, or anyone, can feel free to ask me how certain things work. If you're referring to a particular situation I will almost certainly ask for you to link me to the post(s) you're talking about. Not t try and frig you off, but so I can get right to the subject matter. I hope that any new/old mods will be open to this. If you're going to do/say something then you should be prepared to stand by it.

I'm enjoying seeing people get involved here.

Cheers
Title: Re: Army.ca Staff Reset
Post by: George Wallace on April 27, 2017, 16:02:07
......... If you're referring to a particular situation I will almost certainly ask for you to link me to the post(s) you're talking about. Not t try and frig you off, but so I can get right to the subject matter. I hope that any new/old mods will be open to this. If you're going to do/say something then you should be prepared to stand by it.

Remember folks; the REPORT TO MOD feature makes this so much easier for the Mods to address in a timely manner.

Some of the suggestions seem to be of the opinion that there are always a number of Mods online to discuss each and every transgression on the site.  This is not always the case, and in fact there are certain times when there are NO Mods online, and periods where there may only be one online to deal with a problem that needs to be addressed immediately. 
Title: Re: Army.ca Staff Reset
Post by: Scott on April 27, 2017, 17:00:41
Remember folks; the REPORT TO MOD feature makes this so much easier for the Mods to address in a timely manner.

Some of the suggestions seem to be of the opinion that there are always a number of Mods online to discuss each and every transgression on the site.  This is not always the case, and in fact there are certain times when there are NO Mods online, and periods where there may only be one online to deal with a problem that needs to be addressed immediately.

Not certain that reports work all of the time. Every now and then someone wants to have a one on one via PM with the person who edited/deleted a post, or with the person who warned them, or about a series of posts in particular. Also, the report feature is character limited, so someone can't always say what they wish. And there are those who may not wish their report being published to all mods, or when it's about a moderator.

I believe that with more openness, like I have suggested, the times when something must be done immediately and sorted out later will be viewed with less scrutiny. I think there will be less guff overall.