Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Pinkie Pie

We're all in a leaking ship, and it's about time we fixed it.

Recommended Posts

Tangentially--although this isn't the 1950s, we don't live in a post-racist or post-sexist world.
 
If you think someone is acting maliciously or wrong, either report them or respond in a respectful manner. You can certainly be heated as long as you don't step over the line, and being sarcastic may well be considered stepping over the line.
 
Right now the line is drawn at things that are unambiguously mean-spirited or rude, but we can certainly move that line back to include subtler and more insidious attacks. In order to do that, though, we need everyone's cooperation on using the report system instead of letting it go or taking it into their own hands. If we see a pattern building in the reports (they are saved for quite some time), it makes it easier to handle these situations instead of waiting for it to come to the point where people want to leave and the staff has to scramble to justify a decision.
 
Trying to set someone straight can be viewed as a form of moderation--you're telling someone how they should act and that the price for not acting in a way you find palatable is being treated harshly by another member. Whether you consciously intend to do this or not, it's the impression that is given to the person being treated this way. That then leads people into thinking that as long as you've been here for a while, you have the right to treat new people this way, to act in a pseudo-staff capacity.
 
The staff isn't just responsible for making sure people don't spam and we do more than respond to reports. We're not just police, we're also community leaders. This is a more nebulous job than rule enforcer, since not a lot of it is really set in stone, and how one person leads the community isn't necessarily any more right or wrong than how another person does it.
 
It's also the job that people tend to assume when acting in a moderator capacity--again, whether they do it consciously or not.
 
You can tell a person that the way they're acting is unpalatable without trying to assert authority over them. You can tell them they're acting inappropriately without trying to punish them. When you treat others as peers, you aren't acting in a faux-moderator capacity.
 
When you treat others like you know better than them and it's your job to set them straight, though, that's where the trouble comes in. You are not a teacher here. This is not your classroom. You are not responsible for ensuring people act in a certain manner.
 
The bottom line is being openly disrespectful doesn't reflect well on the community, regardless of the reason it's done for.

 

ETA: I wanted to make sure one point is made abundantly clear.

 

No single individual on this forum, staff or otherwise, has the power to decide whether an individual deserves to be a part of this community, barring crystal clear motives at destroying this forum. This means things like trying to inject malicious code or spam advertising. Most everything else is a judgment call.

 

When a member of this community is ousted permanently, it is not a decision made by a single person (again, outside of situations like spambot advertising and code injection). There is a lot of deliberation and discussion had about that course of action.

 

Individual members should not make the call about whether a person belongs on the forum. This is an open community, not a closed group of friends. If a person is banned, it's for the best of the community as a whole, not because certain people call for it.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

well im a newbie and i love anime n am willing to take part in any activities that can keep this forum going. I have been to so many other sites n this one is cool dat u can interact with other people from all over the world. im from belize some of u might not even know where dat is because my country is so small

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We put up some ideas in here and I'm sure there's more we could think of if we brainstormed and got to working on this problem again, just wondering if we were going to do our best to save this place or not.


Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm just throwing out this idea for the sake of getting it out there.


 


What about hitting the reset button. Move all post that haven't been posted in for six months and maybe a few other more trouble prone threads to the farplane. Use it as a way of trying to rid this place of all it's built up baggage.  Have the farplane continue to not count towards a person's post count so people lose crusader/+ status if they don't post often enough. Then lower the post count requirements for some of the higher rewards so it doesn't encourage the regulars to spam.


 


Hopefully this encouragement would get people talking to each other enough that the grudges could be put to one side and forgotten.


Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would totally be up for moving a pile of the older threads and basically all of the naruto/bleach/one piece/favourite character in anime threads to the farplane. Although I doubt that this would really solve the issue, it is also possible that we might get some newer threads from the new members that I actually want to post in, rather than a 300 post thread with 1 word answers.


 


On the other hand, I doubt that the farplane will be made so it adds postcount. Threads can't really be deleted, rather they are just moved into a garbage dump, aka the Farplane. This would make it so even if some loser was just coming and spamming things that were offensive so they could get to 15 posts, they would still retain their postcount even after mods cleaned up his posts/threads.


 


Either way, everyone on this forum knows that it is dying a slow and not very painful death. Although I have seen this before, I still remember when I could spend an hour or two on here every day. Now I just quickly go through the page of download topics, 15 post spam, and the occasional thread that is actually worth paying attention to.


  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On the other hand, I doubt that the farplane will be made so it adds postcount. Threads can't really be deleted, rather they are just moved into a garbage dump, aka the Farplane. This would make it so even if some loser was just coming and spamming things that were offensive so they could get to 15 posts, they would still retain their postcount even after mods cleaned up his posts/threads.

 

 

The idea wasn't to change the Farplane itself, just the way it's used. I want to keep it so people can't post there, and that post moved to it don't count towards a person's post count.

 

The only thing moved there now is spam, but if older threads went there as well. The post counts of less active people would go down. If they get to low they start to lose privileges. I understand the idea of wanting to keep relevant threads around, but if people see they're filled with opinion wars they will be less liking to join in. Move the old stuff to an archive that is still visible but just can't be added to. This allows a new discussion to start that hopefully would be more inviting to those put off by the content of the older threads. 

 

You would still keep the important threads like the irc tutorials but the general discussion could probably do with a refresh every once in a while.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.


Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know I am new here and I have no place saying this but hear me out. being told you can't delete topics is an admin choice. Not because its going to take the site down. I use the same forum software for my community and I delete topics on a regular basis. If you are having a problem with spammers registering. The software developer offers Spam Monitoring Service to active clients. Yes a few might get through but staff can flag spammers. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know I am new here and I have no place saying this but hear me out. being told you can't delete topics is an admin choice. Not because its going to take the site down. I use the same forum software for my community and I delete topics on a regular basis. If you are having a problem with spammers registering. The software developer offers Spam Monitoring Service to active clients. Yes a few might get through but staff can flag spammers. 

 

Its not a problem with spammers, its a problem with people who are here just to access the downloads so post on topic replies to threads that are multiple years old and have no real value to them. If new spam threads are made, at least some of the regulars might actually read through them and have a good chat, rather than ignoring the 200+ post threads of "I like Naruto" replies. So its still on topic, meaning the topics themselves have no real value.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, being new here I've noticed that's a really annoying issue that people dredge up old topics and I post something in them, then scroll up and realize like 2 posts before is a year old.


 


People are just going to abuse the system, I almost would be for a separate section where people can just post in nonsense and post in old topis in there and whatnot. By forcing people to do the 15 posts you're going to maybe get like 5% who actually continue on posting after realizing they want to still where they wouldn't have otherwise, so I see the merits of it and all.


 


It's not really that big a deal, just finding it slightly annoying looking in a topic and now having to double check that it isn't just someone posting in an old ass topic just to get to 15.


 


Regardless, if I kill some time and have fun conversing, than I'll keep at it.


Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are some factors the administration can take into effect. Just like you have to make 15 posts to access your profile information. Make more usergroups. It might be a way to help with people leaching. Close old topics there is a mod for the board that will close a topic after X many days. use minimum Character limit. These are a few suggestions that might help out a bit. On an old community I use to be a part of they put a ban on "favorite" threads. If you want to improve the community then there has to be more in depth topics. I have looked through a lot of them with a lot of one liner replies. Reward members with say awards. or something to get them interested into posting more when talking about "Hows your harddrive doing" Is there a forum set up for Spam its self? disable post count in that section and intros. 


 


Again I said these are suggestions. I am not telling the administration how to run the board. Its just my experience of running and being apart of communties.


Edited by Sinistra

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Make more usergroups.

Reward members with say awards.

Is there a forum set up for Spam its self? disable post count in that section and intros. 

 

We used to have usergroups before the vBulletin software was updated, but the update made the usergroups software incompatible. Also they were mainly dead other than the manly porn one.

 

There is kinda a reward system for posts, since members who get to a certain post become a Crusader + and get access to special forums not available to the normal Crusaders. Also your usertitle (the moppet thing) will update as you post unless you change it.

 

And as for spam, there are several boards without post count. Speciallly for spam is the My Two Cents forum, and others without postcount are the Seed Hallway (introductions) and Forum Games (spam counting).

 

I do kind of wish that the minimum post count was still in effect, the only real thing it makes easier after being disabled is identifying the spammers and posting in the counting threads

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

He was talking about the usergroups such as crusader, admin, etc... not the old social groups you thought of.

A big problem is simply lack of time and interest.

The core userbase is gone. We weeded out the troublemakers then everyone got bored.

I tried handing off my power among the staff and setup a better decision making policy through democracy instead of it being a one man show... but we could never get all the staff involved. Timezones, jobs, etc made making staff meeting impossible... and most of the staff became pretty inactive.

As irc grew... the forum died. Though it's sort of the sign of the times. Message boards as a whole are becoming more and more obsolete as social networking booms.

Tbh I've lost interest. Call it growing up and having higher priorities or whatever. I don't have internet at home either so it's hard to do much on a cell. Having a baby and a job on nightshift leaves me with little time for much else.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.


Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't have much leverage on the matter, But I do know that this is a nice place to meet other people with similar interests, and make friends, and that it would be sad to see this place "Sent to the Farplane" as it were. I know of other users who have made close friends here, even I met my best friend here. 


 


I agree with EO about us (Kametsu) needing some change. I don't remember how the forum used to be when I joined, so I can't understand why others cling to it.


 


I'm a regular user who is not very active as well, same with EO that it's not out of boredom, it's more "What can I do?" kind of feeling. I think we all feel the same way about needing change.


 


All in all, I think Axel's post is getting a little confusing, so I'll leave off with "I enjoy this community, and the people I have met, and it would be sad, in my opinion, to lose this place."


Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's a complex topic to tackle, that is for sure.


 


It happens for the most part to older forums as the member base thins. Either you downsize the amount of topics to go through and just go with a single broad spectrum on it. Like with anime discussion you generally have the big 3 (Naruto, Bleach, One Piece), then everything else mainly. You could just wrap it all up in to one section if they only get a few posts here and there. The whole idea doesn't really work though with all the 15 posters wanting to get in to the dl forums, you basically end up with shallow one line posts in topics. To kind of sum it up, if the amount of forums were smaller, and the topics broader, AND you didn't have any useless posts/users trying to get to 15, you'd only have actual active members posting something. So; less forums to have to check through with broader topics for them, and then the only new posts are actual members making a worthwhile post, could equal a better experience for the people who want to actually post with other users.


 


And if you don't want to downsize, then you have to find a way to get new members, or do something different for current members to get them more active/active again. Whether that means having an active website front (kametsu.com) that doesn't look dead as hell, or showcasing some of the amazing anime up loaders releases we have on the site, or having a staffer dedicated to posting up the latest news on anime, games, etc. and getting people interested in reading those posts and wanting them to give feedback.


 


I personally find it tedious to have to dig through the muck and the mire to find something of interest, as a result it makes me not want to bother checking as much.


 


Anyways, there's my 2 cents, or maybe 5 cents even.


Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sure i can start putting mandates and some type of restriction but wouldn't that just take away from the whole idea of being a forum. Sure people will leach and make no initial contribution. But when you have crazy convo's with substance people end up having no choice but to contribute if not financially then by words. To be honest my goal was just to do 15 posts and stop. But i just started and i noticed that my tab with the kametsu forum hasn't closed yet b/c i keep checking on what people think about a certain topic i started. I mean it's just the nature of forums where u just want to be heard. I've never been much for forums but then i realized how rick the content is that i had no choice but to be sucked in. Take Koby's post on his baby. One man's happiness spreads through out the internet even one year after the child is born and his/her gender realized.


Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.


 


topposters.png


 


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.


Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@staff. well your care is genuine. But i think their is only so far u can go without infringing on freedoms. grant it the rules u and the others implemented are great and i really do feel this to be a well thought out and designed forum. i mean if some one is a destructive troll the community as a whole would notify you. you don't have to go through all  the work of active surveillance. i'll tell you now if i find someone hurting our community you all will the first to know. :)


Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.


Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×