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I'll cop to that, Aquila. Yah, my fault for respondin' back and lettin' the rant continue. Just throwin' wood on the fire, and I know better. :P As my only defense, I've never raised the issue in public without first raising it multiple times in private.
But the topic was serious, the tone here is really quite poor sometimes, almost embarrassin'. And that often comes from our more frequent posters.
So how do we email the site owner about changin' the moderating staff so that we're just a touch more quick about cuttin' off the grenade throwers (and so perhaps some of 'em aren't on the moderator staff)? I'm not for too much overt moderation, but just a touch more nudgin' and private educatin' at the edges.
Gotta wonder about the irony of a thread on forum courtesy that quickly deteriorates into personal attacks.
Personally, not much offends me, except for people who insist on their point of view even when presented with the facts. A former CO of mine (oops, I mean, "a CO under whom I previously served") would call them the "defiantly ignorant." I even enjoy Merlyn's point of view, and I am forced to admit that it sometimes makes logical sense. His contribution here is valuable, as are others who steadfastly adhere to the other end of the spectrum. Our country would never have been successful by steadfastly adhering to any particular dogma. We are a consensus society, and no one gets everything they want all the time. That's what makes America great!
"Ya gotta wonder why threads are closed. There are valid reasons for some but others seem to be closed because a moderator just feels like it.
Bet this one gets shut down.
"This is a private community provided by SCOUTER Network
and reserved for Scouting related discussions."
Two people going head to head is not in my view a Scouting discussion. It was my opinion that the tone in that thread wasn't very nice and I didn't see any reason for the thread to continue.
I take full responsibility for closing the thread and will add that I didn't talk it over with any of the other moderators.
I'm more than happy to have us discuss the Forum and what changes if any? Are needed.
I know Terry does look in from time to time, he of course has the last word on just about everything to do with the forum and he would have to approve any changes.
Some of us were around when people got into it and exchanges were not so nice. I'll admit at times it was funny and even amusing, but it got real old real quick. In fact a number of people stopped visiting the forum because of it.
All of us have good days and bad. At times someone will post something that really ruffles our feathers and we snap back at them. This doesn't just happen in the forum, it happens at meetings and even around the campfire.
When we see it happening at meetings or around the campfire we can move on or quickly change the subject. But once it's posted here changing the subject becomes more difficult.
It was my opinion that the tone in that thread wasn't very nice and I didn't see any reason for the thread to continue.
Yah, mate, but more than half the stuff came from postings in other threads, and matched the tone there, eh? So if that's the criteria, how 'bout respondin' in other threads when it shows up. No need to close threads, just off-list reminders or feedback for the most part, eh?
There once was a guy did his best,
To educate, prod and to jest,
But 'bout once a year,
Folks'd have too much beer,
And he'd cut em off unless they confessed.
I've been around these forums for a while and I've seen a few stinkers come and go. I'm only aware of one abusive poster with multiple personalities who was asked to leave by Terry.
Heck, I remember back when we didn't have mods.
I don't get the recent complaints and the repeated request for mod changes. These guys are volunteers who do a good job and treat everyone like adults. There is an ignore feature that can be used if someone gets under your skin. It works well, I've used it on occasion. No one is forced to come here and participate. No one is forced to post or respond.
While there are times that I get annoyed with some posters and wish the mods would have a talk with them, I really, really would ask that this position be thought out in depth and resisted. Over the years I have participated in many forums. Some were forums like Sean Hannity's political forum. Scouter.com is nursery school compared to the treatment you'll get elsewhere. I come here BECAUSE of the civil tone. I have left those forums because of the juvenile tone. The last thing we need here is what those other places have with the forum police (mods) who give people time outs and ban them. That should only happen in extreme cases.....and as I said, I've only seen that here once. Use the ignore feature and be happy folks.
I too am hesitant to suggest a more heavy-handed moderation.
The tone is definitely more civil than it's been in the past, but I still find posters are more argumentative/accusatory than they would likely be in real life. When I go to training sessions here in the physical world, we often talk about how different troops do things. Rarely do people get in arguments about whether it's all "by the book". But that happens all the time here on the forums. In some ways I think that it's almost an inevitable result of the fact that we're dealing with a very large, anonymous set of dedicated Scouters. I would just echo calls for civility, and to have posters ask themselves whether they really need to tell someone they're doing it wrong.
Beavah, if you think it's bad now, you should go read the forums from a few years back. It seemed (and I'm sure I'm exaggerating here, but this was the feeling I got) like everyone who posted with some question about how to fix a problem with their unit was immediately told the problem was that they themselves were doing Scouting all wrong. It didn't seem like a great way to build a community. I used the ignore option back then, and so did quite a few others. It's definitely better now.
I wouldn't know who is moderator and who isn't. I guess it's the * by their name. So I don't know who does a good job and who doesn't. i guess the ones that let me get away with something are doing a great job.
I gotta disagree with Ed on this about merlyn. I don't think merlyn wants to really destroy scouting, but rather doesn't like BSA stance on religion, God, I assume homosexuals in scouting, use of public taxpayer facilities (which we all pay taxes to use) for scouting, etc. I think merlyn would be OK with scouting if BSA included atheists. Maybe gays and girls too, I don't know.
Some threads are unbearably long
As we go at it hammer and tong
But it's just that we care
And just want to share
And besides, the other guy's WRONG.
Sometimes there is another poster who just gets under your skin, and sometimes you need to take a break from the fray to get over it. I've been there--at least once, when I finally returned, the person who annoyed me was gone. The only suggestion I would have for moderators is to feel free to move the more testy exchanges here to Issues and Politics, where those who choose to participate can do so. For participants, I would suggest that if you are participating in a thread in one of the more program-specific forums, and you want to drop a bomb of some kind, spin it off as a thread here. Thus, for example, if you think FCFY is a terrible idea, spin that off here rather than injecting into a discussion started by a person who is trying to make FCFY work.