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irbrian

Pondering the Inter-Forum Disease

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Okay, outsider point of view. I just read this thread straight through. Read it, it felt like you were lashing out at people Oluseyi. I am sure you felt attacked by the comments about moderation being part of the problem, but here are the points that looked more like flames than discussion about a problem:

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Post by irbrian:
Or are moderators part of the problem?

Your Reponse:
You''d like that, wouldn''t you? Everybody likes to pick on moderators.


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Post by neurokaotix
Most people''s questions are very unique.

Your Response:
Hmm. Let''s take a look at, say, the last 100 posts on the Active Topics page.

Actually, ''nuff said.


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Post by irbrian
Dunno if you looked at the active topics page, but right now, there are a remarkable (and surprising, even to me) number of threads that strike me as very interesting and unique (at least within the list).


Your Response:
Please, enumerate them and allow me to rebuff you.


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Post by Xai
Oluseyi, if you read that paragraph as a rant, you didn''t read that paragraph ...

Your Response:
Nah. On second glance, it''s your total lack of periods!



My first thought was that maybe you and the poster had a history, but it looks like several different people were involved. I am extremely thankful that the moderators spend as much time on this board as they do. At the same time, these responses seemed rather harsh.

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quote:
Original post by BrianL
I am sure you felt attacked by the comments about moderation being part of the problem...
Sorry, no cigar.

It''s a principle vs personality thing: what''s the principle that''s operative here? This whole thread seems to revolve around personalities, which is no way to create infrastructure (because they vary so wildly). Focus on a principle - a rule, a mandatory behavior, an invariant - and you''ll get progress.

The root "problem" identified by the first post was a certain elitism or brusqueness in many/most responses. The simple solution is to create an archive of readily accessible, detailed answers to common questions. This frees mindshare to focus on more interesting and unique questions, which get people more involved. We''re in, we''re out, we''re on with life.

You can say that I was harsh. It''s your perogative. I would say, however, that I was direct. A lot of those exchanges you quote are non-issues: I''m always dismissive of non-issues (which always hurts people''s feelings, to which I walsy reply "Get over it"). Focus on the matter at hand, the core, the essence.

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Part of this thread has been about the tone of responses on the forum putting people off to the site. While I certainly understand the desire to be direct, being directly does not necessitate being aggressive or dismissive.

I brought up your specific response in regards to the OPs original sentence:

"Furthermore, they aren''t generally offered in a spirit of constructive criticism, which would be considerably more productive, but are left hanging as stinging criticisms."

You yourself said:

"A lot of those exchanges you quote are non-issues: I''m always dismissive of non-issues (which always hurts people''s feelings, to which I walsy reply "Get over it")."

In your mind they are non issues; however to the OP, they were the subject of the thread: Aggressive/dismissive attitudes (which are known to hurt feelings) have a corrosive effect on boards and drive people away.

In my opinion, as a moderator, people will tend to mimic your behavior and tone over time. New members will see your behavior as the sanctioned example to follow as they have no better example. If you are perceived as direct to the point of being dismissiveness and confrontational, that will become the general attitude of on the board.

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quote:
Original post by BrianL
In your mind they are non issues; however to the OP, they were the subject of the thread: Aggressive/dismissive attitudes (which are known to hurt feelings) have a corrosive effect on boards and drive people away.
So?

Why does everything have to involve feelings? Separate personality from principle. Address the issue, not the person - not how he said what he said.

quote:
In my opinion, as a moderator, people will tend to mimic your behavior and tone over time. New members will see your behavior as the sanctioned example to follow as they have no better example. If you are perceived as direct to the point of being dismissiveness and confrontational, that will become the general attitude of on the board.
That doesn''t bother me as I have no problem with the general tone of this board when people ask good questions. When people ask poor questions, or questions that have been answered over and over, or questions that can be answered with a cursory search, or questions that can''t be answered objectively (value judgments), respondents are fully justified for curtness/brusqueness.

It''s an efficiency issue. In any gathering of individuals there are prerequisites to participation. In an intellectual gathering, those prerequisites pertain to knowledge/material/attitudes that must have been learned/read/acquired. To facilitate this process, we are developing a knowledge base of introductory and explanatory material - problem solved.

Or do you have other concerns?

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I don''t think the moderators are at fault at all, I think they''re pretty good. I also have no problem with people telling newbies that they''re question has been asked 1524 times before. However, I do agree that many people on this board have serious attitude problems and there is a general sense of hatred when I come here. I find that if someone is nice by themselves, then people are nice to them (no-one flames me usually, except when I make one of my really pro-linux or mozilla comments, which doesn''t happen to often any more because I use privoxy to filter the lounge out of the Active Topics page). However, its really annoying sometimes seeing the rediculous conversations which get started here over nothing.

Zorx (a Puzzle Bobble clone)
Discontinuity (an animation system for POV-Ray)

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I understand your point, but simply disagree. I don''t believe curtness/brusqueness is as beneficial in general.

If someone is asking questions that are addressed elsewhere, simply point them in the right direction. It can be done without people feeling insulted or attacked.

Over on flipcode, there is a poster IM_BRIAN_FELLOWS. He tends answers questions in a very curt/abrassive way. His answers are frequently very good, but tend to result in flamewars as people who aren''t familiar with him think they are being attacked. The threads frequently degenerate quickly, wasting a lot of peoples time in the end.

I doubt we will find common ground here, as we are both fairly set in our views. As such, I will refrain from further comments on the subject unless new issues come up.

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quote:
Original post by BrianL
I understand your point, but simply disagree. I don''t believe curtness/brusqueness is as beneficial in general.

If someone is asking questions that are addressed elsewhere, simply point them in the right direction. It can be done without people feeling insulted or attacked.

Over on flipcode, there is a poster IM_BRIAN_FELLOWS. He tends answers questions in a very curt/abrassive way. His answers are frequently very good, but tend to result in flamewars as people who aren''t familiar with him think they are being attacked. The threads frequently degenerate quickly, wasting a lot of peoples time in the end.

quote:
I doubt we will find common ground here, as we are both fairly set in our views. As such, I will refrain from further comments on the subject unless new issues come up.
This was my most recent thinking on the subject as well. I originally posted the topic, but finally came to realize that the community was so divided on the issue and each side so firmly set in our views, that it really wasn''t going to go anywhere in this venue.

Ultimately, it will be up to the staff whether there is any need for change. They will likely subscribe one view or the other, and decide if something must be done or not.

In posting these comments, it occurred to me that what I''m asking for is a change, and thus I should petition the staff directly. I may initiate an actual petition thread if I find the time to do so.

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