Author Topic: Army.ca Staff Reset  (Read 3255 times)

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Offline George Wallace

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Re: Army.ca Staff Reset
« Reply #25 on: April 21, 2017, 08:58:30 »
.......  One thing I wouldn't mind seeing is a blog tied to this site, sort of like this:  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.  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.
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Offline milnews.ca

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Re: Army.ca Staff Reset
« Reply #26 on: April 21, 2017, 10:50:14 »
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?
???
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Offline Humphrey Bogart

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Re: Army.ca Staff Reset
« Reply #27 on: April 21, 2017, 11:12:19 »
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.

Offline Good2Golf

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Re: Army.ca Staff Reset
« Reply #28 on: April 21, 2017, 11:54:07 »
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

Offline recceguy

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Re: Army.ca Staff Reset
« Reply #29 on: April 21, 2017, 12:16:03 »
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:

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G2G

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Offline GAP

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Re: Army.ca Staff Reset
« Reply #30 on: April 21, 2017, 12:26:17 »
Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I´m not so sure about the universe

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Re: Army.ca Staff Reset
« Reply #31 on: April 21, 2017, 12:31:52 »
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]

Offline the 48th regulator

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Re: Army.ca Staff Reset
« Reply #32 on: April 21, 2017, 12:53:50 »
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:

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Offline MOOXE

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Re: Army.ca Staff Reset
« Reply #33 on: April 21, 2017, 13:37:48 »
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.

Offline Journeyman

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Re: Army.ca Staff Reset
« Reply #34 on: April 21, 2017, 13:53:50 »
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.
I even read works I disagree with;  life outside  an ideological echo chamber.

Offline George Wallace

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Re: Army.ca Staff Reset
« Reply #35 on: April 21, 2017, 14:04:41 »
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]
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Offline MOOXE

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Re: Army.ca Staff Reset
« Reply #36 on: April 21, 2017, 14:07:13 »
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.

Offline MOOXE

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Re: Army.ca Staff Reset
« Reply #37 on: April 21, 2017, 14:13:28 »
[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?

Offline George Wallace

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Re: Army.ca Staff Reset
« Reply #38 on: April 21, 2017, 14:16:15 »
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.
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Offline Good2Golf

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Re: Army.ca Staff Reset
« Reply #39 on: April 21, 2017, 14:23:34 »
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

Offline MOOXE

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Re: Army.ca Staff Reset
« Reply #40 on: April 21, 2017, 14:51:20 »
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).


Offline Jarnhamar

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Re: Army.ca Staff Reset
« Reply #41 on: April 21, 2017, 15:52:52 »
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.


Offline George Wallace

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Re: Army.ca Staff Reset
« Reply #42 on: April 21, 2017, 16:23:40 »
Well....Thankfully we have not become like some sites that totally purge any dissenting views expressed.
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Offline Colin P

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Re: Army.ca Staff Reset
« Reply #43 on: April 21, 2017, 17:01:57 »
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.

Offline recceguy

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Re: Army.ca Staff Reset
« Reply #44 on: April 22, 2017, 00:55:00 »
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.
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Offline recceguy

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Re: Army.ca Staff Reset
« Reply #45 on: April 22, 2017, 02:26:14 »
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



+900 « Last Edit: April 22, 2017, 02:31:03 by recceguy »
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Re: Army.ca Staff Reset
« Reply #46 on: April 22, 2017, 08:47:44 »
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. :)

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Re: Army.ca Staff Reset
« Reply #47 on: April 22, 2017, 08:56:27 »
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, 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:



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.

Offline Kat Stevens

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Re: Army.ca Staff Reset
« Reply #48 on: April 22, 2017, 09:26:57 »
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.
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Re: Army.ca Staff Reset
« Reply #49 on: April 22, 2017, 09:34:52 »
Sort of like this 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.