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Emotional Outlet

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Emotional Outlet last won the day on August 25 2013

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About Emotional Outlet

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    Witch of Heart
  • Birthday 08/06/1990

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    Land of Night and Rivers

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  1. I am locking this thread temporarily while I clean up and dole out warnings. I will return with a general warning once I finish. I removed a couple comments that didn't add to the debate. If anyone feels I have missed something egregious, let me know. Keep in mind both the forum rules and the rules in place for this subforum. Also bear in mind that ad hominem and personal attacks are not conducive to debates. Refer to this page regarding logical fallacies. Attacking others and treating them poorly is not a debate. If you have trouble treating your fellow forum members with respect, take a minute or two to calm down. Have a cup of tea. Step out onto the porch. Tell a loved one they look nice today. The thread will still be here when you come back. It also looks like the debate from the Religion thread leaked into this one. While I understand for some people the topics of abortion and religion are intrinsically tied, it would make for a better discussion to keep a slightly narrower focus. Not everyone who wishes to debate about abortion also wishes to have a debate about the relevancy of the Old Testament vice the New Testament, irrespective of either's relevancy to abortion. We are here to discuss things as equals. We're here to exchange ideas and challenge each other on an intellectual level, not sling mud at anyone who disagrees. You may get heated, you may get passionate, but do not forget that you're talking to living, breathing people who deserve respect, whether you agree with each other or not. Keep cool, my friends. I'll re-open the thread in a few hours.
  2. I don't think it's just the fact that we're getting older. I had all the time in the world until a few weeks ago to help run this place, and you can see I've been frustrated for much longer than that. Others as well. From my understanding--this is from a year or so ago, maybe two, and definitely before my most recent return--the chatbox was not only a drain on server resources, it leeched away forum activity. Instead of having casual conversations on the forum, it created the illusion that the forum itself was only for serious discussion (and a place for downloaders to post their 15) and that the chatbox was the only real place to have fun and let loose. I don't know how long the chatbox was around this time around, but it seems to have been in effect long enough for it to become an issue in multiple ways, including affecting the atmosphere of the forum. Posts from downloaders do appear to account for a lot of current activity on the forum. I don't have any specific stats at hand to reference, but I do look at the top daily posters and to me it seems rare for anyone to break into double digits for posts unless it's a brand new face wanting downloads. I think with the workload the downloads has created, coupled with the split caused by the IRC, it's made the rest of the forum stagnant. Also I--and I think others may too--tend to balk when newer users suggest we need new staff, because to me it reads as an oblique offering. "Let me be on staff and everything will be okay." Adding new staff won't solve anything until we address some other issues first--what our goal is as a forum, what our purpose is as a forum, and the specifics of how we should handle a broad range of situations. If we bring in new people, they're likely to do their own thing and create a divide between the older style of moderation and the newer style. Without that kind of documentation, without getting everyone on the same page (or at least in the same book), we're just creating problems.
  3. A Youtube channel has been suggested multiple times; it's a fine idea--I don't want to sound like I'm against it, because I'm not! But given the forum's track history with creating content regularly that isn't anime downloads, I suspect that it'll progress thusly: Lots of initial interest. A handful will promise to have a video weekly/every two weeks. Another handful will say they're too busy, but once things are settled in life, they might participate. Interest slowly starts waning as the number of comments and amount of feedback decreases, until eventually it either sputters and dies quietly, or one person sticks to it for as long as possible before admitting that it's a failed attempt and shuts it down themselves. I think with regards to creating content, we first have to decide what our purpose is as a forum and community. If we decide to stick with wearing all of the hats (gaming, RP, art & literature, anime & manga, entertainment, downloads), we should decide our priorities. I think our primary focus should be on updating the main site (Kametsu.com), since it's the face of the forum and it's super duper weird that it's never updated. One of the things we could do is as we update with news and articles on the site's main page, make it so all the comments and discussion of the news happens on the forum. See here on the Starbound site. When you click the comments link on the blog posts, it takes you to the forum. I dunno if it's something we can make happen automatically here (someone might have to do some coding), but it wouldn't be difficult to do manually, to at least post a topic with a link to the blog post. We can branch out from there (and definitely do more forum events), but I think relying on off-site communities like Youtube would just have the same effect as the IRC channel did--it would only further divide our userbase, even if we turned off comments on the videos.
  4. Freedoms? This is a private Internet forum, not a nation-state. It is impossible for any of us, as staff, to infringe upon a person's freedoms in any meaningful way outside of this forum. This is basically Koby's house, not a country. I'm quite certain I've had this discussion with another member before. I can't tell if you aren't familiar with some of the history here on Kametsu, so pardon me if I'm repeating things you already know or are aware of. There was a member most recently evicted from the forum. Regular poster, considered part of the core community. They had settled into the forum while I was absent, so I cannot speak on how they were in the beginning. As I reintegrated myself back into the community (I had been absent an extended period following my enlistment into the Air Force), I found this user was becoming increasingly aggressive towards me and other users. This behaviour was well-known and generally brushed off as "that's just the way they are", even though several others noted that this behaviour was especially aggressive towards me and specific others. After all, this person had been part of the community for so long, there's no way they'd really be a troll, right? Except they eventually admitted outright to trolling the community, to purposely flaming people in the interest of causing trouble. When I brought this up, once again, it was noted that this behaviour was common for them and that they had been spoken to about it, but still it persisted. I collected testimonies and posts to build my case, to show it wasn't simply a gut feeling I had. It wasn't until I laid extremely clear how the situation was affecting me and others that anything was done about it. Before that, another member was removed after what appears to be a long period of deliberation, though I was absent for that and cannot speak on it much more than that. Perhaps I come across as crosser than I intend. I would like to note that I am the author of the current set of rules and I find they're quite lenient. I have no inclinations towards making them any stricter than they are now--what I want is clarity and delineation, which doesn't necessarily mean being more strict. I lurk around a select few subreddits and I always see people complain about how "there's too many rules" and "the mods are nazis". Honestly, the best subreddits I go to have active mods, are routinely cleaned up and kept organised, and are not afraid to enforce the rules. This means that quality content rises to the top, discussions aren't buried by memes, and comment threads aren't minefields of dung and ignorance. Meanwhile, I can't even stomach to scroll through the comments on posts in less moderated subreddits, because the troglodytes appear to enjoy congregating and piling up on each other until they eventually suffocate on their self-satisfied smugness. It's not like I'm calling for a nanny-state. I suspect that we simply do not agree on what is an acceptable level of moderation. I think, as staff, we've been extremely lax on many things and it shows in the community and in the quality of discussions. A large part of this is due to lack of communication and lack of standard operating procedure. As staff, I think we're also frequently attacked for enforcing the rules, and rather than stand our ground, we spend a lot of time justifying and apologising for it, to the point where it's easier to just ignore infractions rather than do anything about it, especially if it's a regular member as opposed to a faceless newbie trying to post their 15. This, of course, leads to situations where trolls are allowed to remain in the community for too long and people get the impression that as long as you're here long enough, you'll get special treatment. Even when the person I spoke of above was finally banned, people thought it was out of line to evict them and that we didn't give them a fair chance.
  5. Sounds good, yo. I started working full time once again just a few weeks ago, so Java and I are still a little tight in the money department, but I'm still around. I'm not in a secure facility like before, so I'm never too far away and can be reached pretty easily on the Facebooks or text or whatevs. I work 0730-1700, plus/minus for traffic, but it's a regular weekday job, so weekends should always be free for me. Java might be willing to help if he can be pulled away from Defiance or Halo or whatever it is he's playing when I'm working, haha.
  6. I think the discussion topics are pretty broad; we might actually be casting a wider net than we can handle. There's Anime & Manga, Gaming, Entertainment (which I suggested we could merge with Balamb for a time, but that was shut down), Downloads, Art & Literature, Graphics, and RP. The Alexandria Inn (RP) has been on the chopping block more than a few times, but nothing has ever come of it. I suggested merging it with Art & Lit for a time, since that subforum has also been pretty quiet and the two could share activity for a bit so it didn't look quite so dead. That was also shut down. I do think getting rid of the subfora, especially in the Gaming and Anime & Manga areas, has been called for several times. There was a discussion some time ago about replacing game specific subfora with genre subfora, but nothing came of that. (But I do agree that it's something that should be done!) I wonder if the reluctance towards change is meant to act as stability for current members. It hasn't been working, and I think keeping things the same is less stabilising and more boring. It never changes, so you have no reason to check up on it more than a few times--after all, who wants to spend a lot of time looking at stuff that's the same when you could look at new stuff? I love to replay old games, but I do more than replay Chrono Trigger every day, you know? The removal of the chatbox was controversial and I think it's the last major change that occurred on this forum that I can remember. It's easy to look at it and think, "This is why Kametsu is failing, this is why the community is falling apart", but I think there's a lot at play that eventually culminated into this. Trolls were allowed to roam free here for a while, so long as they seemed nice enough about it, which is off-putting. Having the downloads meant an increase of people posting "I like Naruto", which is off-putting. People get the impression that staff doesn't care about them and that we won't step in to defend them, which is off-putting. The IRC channel further split the community and its staff, draining activity and spreading thin the donations the forum gets, which is off-putting. We frequently fail to meet donation goals (I don't know what they are) and have to be reminded to donate through the statuses, which is off-putting. The community for a long while had a very insular feel to it, unwelcoming towards strangers unless they were friends with established members already through other means, which is off-putting. The main website and other sites in the network are dead, which is off-putting. It is definitely annoying and frustrating to have to skim through garbage threads in order to find anything worth talking in. The presence of the downloads seems to have largely masked the fact that discussions have been severely lacking for quite some time--the activity is there, but it's not quality. And really, in a forum with 21k+ members, our daily top posters should be breaking the double digits regularly, especially given the wide range of topics we supposedly cover. Two posts shouldn't be enough to break into that list, but it is. Rules are a necessity in nearly every community. If we didn't have rules, then trolls--blatant and insidious alike--would be allowed to set up shop here. There's already a problem here with regards to pulling the trigger on removing problematic members--slackening the rules wouldn't serve us well in the least. Slackening the rules with regards to spam would just mean making it more difficult for people to have discussions. It might seem overwhelming and smothering, but my interest is in having a safe community where members feel welcome, in having a place people can call their home. A place where people can hop on after work or school and relax. Kametsu hasn't been that place for me in a long while, and I suspect it's the same for a lot of others. I have to gear myself up to actually want to post here, and for a while, I'd hate coming here because I knew I would have to deal with a certain person. It's a huge bummer to feel unsafe and unwanted in a community, and I hardly expect anyone to want to continue to post here given those sorts of reactions. And honestly, most of the rules I want to implement put the onus on the staff rather than the members. Increased communication between staff members, checking in regularly and giving reports on what's happening in the various parts of the forum, coming up with ideas to keep things fresh and how to address issues that have been popping up. As it stands, we don't really talk to each other and we don't address issues until they are brought up to us. We're very reactive as opposed to proactive, and that's frustrating.
  7. If the primary reason we had regular activity was because of negativity, what does that say about the community? Leadership isn't simply choosing between a dictatorship or a committee. Leadership generally requires usage across three different schools of thought--authoritarian (dictatorship/autocracy), democratic (committee), and delegation. I don't think delegation is something often used in this forum, if at all. It's nearly impossible to delegate tasks and roles when they aren't delineated or explained. It is an important skill to have, to know when and how to delegate tasks, because no one person can do everything. Not unless they want to burn themselves out. An effective leader uses all three styles when appropriate. Using any one style exclusively isn't going to be the best. Regardless. Message boards are not obsolete. This forum--Kametsu--is becoming obsolete not because of Internet culture, but because of problems within Kametsu. Something Awful was founded in 1999 and it's still a hugely popular forum. Modthesims is a popular Sims forum that's been going strong since 2004. Quarter to Three has loads of posts. MSPA, Gunnerkrigg, and Sinfest each have their own active forum. Also I'm pretty sure people are still on Usenet. Just because something is old or considered obsolete doesn't mean it doesn't have an audience. The thing about most of these fora is that they've changed with the times. They've done reorgs, facelifts, and even complete rehauls to keep things fresh, relevant, and interesting. Kametsu has gone through changes, but a lot of the ones I can think of are ones that were pressed upon by necessity, a reactive change as opposed to a proactive change. Kametsu lacks direction and purpose. We're being pulled into many directions at once and we don't have the leadership or the manpower to back it up--an RP community, a graphics community, an art & literature community, an anime community, a gaming community, and, on top of all of that, downloads. Who's maintaining all of these communities on Kametsu? Who's responsible for keeping these things alive? It's supposed to be the staff, but here I see we have one dedicated graphics mod, three super mods (one of whom mostly handles the downloads), three co-admins, and one owner. I identified six major components to this forum. Only two of them have staff assigned, either specifically or in spirit--downloads and graphics. Eight people to run six different components in a forum with 21k+ registered members. Eight largely absent people. Even if we didn't have a problem with manpower, there's still the fact that things are stale. Changes are shut down almost immediately. We're dragged down by so much baggage from the past (like the dead sites in the top bar--Shadowhearts.info hasn't been updated since 2010; Kametsu.com has seen one post this year and before that the last post was in January 2012; Grandia Online and Forgotten Memories both generate database errors; and Anime Tokyo redirects back to here), by memories of what once was, that moving forward has been made nigh impossible. I'm not saying "we need more mods". I'm saying we need to downsize and focus. To stop trying to make it like it used to be. It used to be good, but we can do better. We should do better, instead of aiming for "doesn't actively make me hate life". Nor is it a problem of effort--at least not in the sense of "if we try harder, things will be better". The forum needs to see radical change, to see dead weight culled. A sign that people are dedicated to the betterment of the forum, that the lackadaisical attitude that leads people to think the staff doesn't care about its members is a thing of the past starting now. That we aren't going to remain tied to the past and how things used to be and continue to let that keep us paralysed. My inactivity isn't boredom or lack of interest. My inactivity is exasperation and a sense of powerlessness. Long story short: The forum needs radical change if things are meant to be improved--to the point of severing more than a few ties to the past. Small changes aren't going to cut it any more, if they ever did. Another choice is to continue to let it die a slow death. Another yet is to pull the plug entirely.
  8. It feels like every day I see a post on Tumblr about how people are improperly caring for animals. There was a video/set of GIFs going around of a person rubbing an uromastyx's belly as it flailed its arms around. The reaction--flipping onto its back and flapping its arms at the finger touching it--is apparently one of submission and a plea not to be touched. 'Course, everyone else thought it was just the cutest thing. I've seen similar posts for most every animal, from fish to dogs. Fish especially seem not to be well cared for. I think you ought think on how well you are able to care for this snake. And it's not a slam against you; I wouldn't keep an animal I'm unable to identify on my own, personally, because if I didn't even know what it was, what else don't I know about it? (everything) Have you previous experience with raising snakes?
  9. I have strong inclinations towards doing a total wipe, but limiting it to archiving material from whenever (six months, two years) into a separate database would probably be the least destructive. I also have strong inclinations towards hiding the Farplane entirely if we continue to use it as a trash can rather than a means of archive. We don't delete posts because we are told not to. A while back I actually hard deleted spam rather than dump it into a repository, because there's no use in keeping it around other than to bolster numbers. I am uncertain whether hard deletions cause damage to the database, but I believe it is strictly local policy to retain posts rather than any concern for the database. There are a few policies I would like to enact, especially with regards to the treatment of older threads and keeping things fresh, but it's difficult to get any sort of input or consensus on it. For a period I tried to do monthly staff meetings, to bolster communication, to get things rolling. Few of the staff showed up and eventually I let it go because it was a pointless struggle. I have posted a thread asking for clarification about certain policies and how to enforce certain rules--where the lines are drawn, &c--and have received no response. The biggest hurdle is the majority of the power is in Koby's hands, and it's not in my nature to move ahead with policies without clearance. This also means, unfortunately, that because of this bottleneck, nothing gets done. I suspect that my style--heavy documentation, delineation of limits and policies--isn't one that is very popular, because it does create a lot of work. On the other hand, the heavy workload is mostly in the creation--once policies are set in place, then it's simply a matter of following what is written. This also makes handoffs and change of staff easier, because we are all following the same standards rather than trying to figure out unwritten rules. For example, does anyone know how long we suspend people for spamming? Does anyone know what punishments are doled out for people who repeatedly break signature guidelines? The rules are vague in this regard and only offer a range--from a verbal warning to an IP ban. This isn't really the way things should be run, but, again, it's not like me to just put limits without getting input from others and clearance from the person in charge.
  10. I don't think there's anything inherently sexual about underwear. Anyway, nice Ibuki avatar~ Gundam is my favourite, after Komaeda.
  11. In theory it's a nice idea, except a lot of people aren't wearing the best-fitting bras and that sort of construction would seem to me to only further complicate such a misunderstood garment. Those who wear bras with larger cups would be SOL, unless there's some way to shrink it before usage. And it seems it wouldn't serve well for daily usage, since having it up against your skin and sweat would degrade whatever filters are in there, but that's just a guess on my part. It's also disappointing that the bra only comes in primarily bra matrix sizes--they don't carry bras with cup sizes larger than D, smaller than B, nor bands smaller than 32. Not to mention you'd have to remove your shirt to put it on, and getting chemicals on your bare skin is the opposite of fun. When we did gas mask drills, we had to get them from carrier to face within seconds. I can't imagine the amount of time it would take to take off your shirt, remove the bra, unhook the cups, and then wrap it around your head. And I guess at some point put your shirt back on? Who knows.
  12. Please refer to the IRC tutorial index. There are also other threads wherein people make inquiries about Chatzilla. Should you still have problems, make a thread in the Tech Centre. And please refrain from making off-topic posts, especially in old threads such as this.
  13. rajin: As per the rules, refrain from making such comments. They are rude and do not contribute meaningfully to the discussion. Failure to abide will result in further action. Don't be a jerk! [...] Abusive, threatening, or hostile content will not be tolerated.
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