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orcbane
Gondor


Mar 11 2009, 1:59am

Post #1 of 202 (1613 views)
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Network(s) of exsisting friends Can't Post

Clear out all but essential Stickys (ie. Intro thread).

Reason: Most are obsolete/repetitive, and it is annoying having to scroll down half the page to find a real post.

End all but one regularly reoccurring threads in each subcatagory.

Rationale: There are so many weeklies that its hard to come up with a topic that isn't covered already. The established groups inadvertantly block out new people wishing to post. Its repetitive, robotic and discourages more creatitive approaches. Its also generally cliquish.

Retire Moderators that do not post regularly on the forum, and give some new people a chance.

Reason: If someone is a Moderator but only checks back once in a long while, they are not interested enough to participate in the in the current community, and do not know what is going on. They can be a member, but should not be filling an important position.

Evaluate to see if a form of habitual rudeness & flaming is developing on the part of older members towards newer ones.

Rationale: This is almost a occupational hazard of many long time members, and can sometimes become a recreational occupation.

Last thoughts. If you are a Moderator or long-time member I do not expect you to agree with very much, if any of this. You are after all, doing a good job and are a good community respectively. And reams can be written on how these things came about, and why they should not be changed. But the problem is keeping things just as you like it, with the people you already know. It can become a kind of Facebook-forum. Network(s) of exsisting friends.

...




Arwen's daughter
Half-elven


Mar 11 2009, 3:18am

Post #2 of 202 (572 views)
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Hmm [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm going to assume this was meant to raise a debate, so I hope that you don't mind if I pop in with my thoughts. Also, apparently I cannot resist a dissenting opinion after spending a few hours in critique/editing mode.


Quote


Clear out all but essential Stickys (ie. Intro thread).

Reason: Most are obsolete/repetitive, and it is annoying having to scroll down half the page to find a real post.




My Opinion: My biggest problem with the stickys is that I forget they exist. I rarerly check the Intro thread and I almost never check the Hobbit Casting thread when it's active. I suspect it's a widespread problem since the stickys are so dead and we often have threads that could exist within the stickys but are posted separately.



Quote
End all but one regularly reoccurring threads in each subcatagory.

Rationale: There are so many weeklies that its hard to come up with a topic that isn't covered already. The established groups inadvertantly block out new people wishing to post. Its repetitive, robotic and discourages more creatitive approaches. Its also generally cliquish.



My Opinion: Right, this is where I'm going to wade into the deep end of the pool. There's a question to be raised as to whether the established threads are hurting discussion or helping discussion. ie. Without those discussions, would the boards slow down or would there be an influx of posts to fill the void? I suspect it's the former.

My experience with these is mostly in Movie - LOTR. SCOD, which of course I lead, the upcoming Appendices Discussions, the Did You Ever Notice costume posts (also mine) all exist because the board supports them. The costumes and appendices weren't being talked about before, there were very few posts on these two before these discussions came up. So what activity are we blocking out? Screencap of the Day I can see as more of a problem.

On other boards, the Reading Room only has 3 discussions on the front page that aren't part of or about the established read through. The movie and book discussions on Off Topic exist to coral these topics to once a week lest we're overrun with movie reviews. Maybe we do have too many on some boards, but I think it should be on a case by case basis rather than one per board. At least we don't have a weekly Pants thread!



Quote
Retire Moderators that do not post regularly on the forum, and give some new people a chance.

Reason: If someone is a Moderator but only checks back once in a long while, they are not interested enough to participate in the in the current community, and do not know what is going on. They can be a member, but should not be filling an important position.




My Opinion: Meh. The boards don't seem to need more mods (active or otherwise) at the moment. That will probably change when The Hobbit really gets going, but for now I have no opinion.



Quote
Evaluate to see if a form of habitual rudeness & flaming is developing on the part of older members towards newer ones.

Rationale: This is almost a occupational hazard of many long time members, and can sometimes become a recreational occupation.




My Opinion: I agree with you, here, and know I've been on the giving end of it at least a handful of times. It happens in most communities that have existed for as long as TORn and, while TORn has the least snark I've seen, it's something to be aware of.



Quote
Last thoughts. If you are a Moderator or long-time member I do not expect you to agree with very much, if any of this. You are after all, doing a good job and are a good community respectively. And reams can be written on how these things came about, and why they should not be changed. But the problem is keeping things just as you like it, with the people you already know. It can become a kind of Facebook-forum. Network(s) of exsisting friends.




My LiveJournal
My Costuming Site
TORn's Costume Discussions Archive
The Screencap of the Day Schedule for February


Silverlode
Forum Admin / Moderator


Mar 11 2009, 4:51am

Post #3 of 202 (552 views)
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Well.... [In reply to] Can't Post

It's a bit unclear if this was specifically aimed at the Admins or just trying to stir up discussion, but if you want the comments of a Moderator, here are mine.

Clear out all but essential Stickys (ie. Intro thread).

We have recently removed several. Should I be hurt that you didn't notice? Many are there of necessity or request so people can find the information easily. If there are specific Stickies you think should go, you can mention them to the Admins via PM and we will look them over.

End all but one regularly reoccurring threads in each subcatagory.

This would be my personal preference also. However, when this has been proposed in the past there has been a great outcry in defence of the weekly threads. Public opinion seems to be divided. In the end, we can't force people to post randomly, nor does it seem fair or necessary to prevent people from having regular discussions that many enjoy. TORN posting patterns have changed over the years depending on the tastes of the active members at any given time. Right now, we appear to have lots of schedule-oriented people. If you prefer random, post random.

Retire Moderators that do not post regularly on the forum, and give some new people a chance.

Just because you don't see someone posting doesn't necessarily mean they're not keeping up with events. Moderating is a different dynamic than normal participation and not always consistent with it. We recruit when we need more help. More help is not currently needed, but might be when the Hobbit gets closer.

Evaluate to see if a form of habitual rudeness & flaming is developing on the part of older members towards newer ones.

This develops quite consistently (like mildew), and to counteract it we post general reminders about etiquette and courtesy and being nice to newbies from time to time. We could put a permanent Sticky up about it, but I doubt people would pay attention. Wink If you see specific instances increasing and you think we should be made aware of it, feel free to PM us.

Silverlode

"Of all faces those of our familiares are the ones both most difficult to play fantastic tricks with, and most difficult really to see with fresh attention. They have become like the things which once attracted us by their glitter, or their colour, or their shape, and we laid hands on them, and then locked them in our hoard, acquired them, and acquiring ceased to look at them.
Creative fantasy, because it is mainly trying to do something else [make something new], may open your hoard and let all the locked things fly away like cage-birds. The gems all turn into flowers or flames, and you will be warned that all you had (or knew) was dangerous and potent, not really effectively chained, free and wild; no more yours than they were you."
-On Fairy Stories

(This post was edited by Silverlode on Mar 11 2009, 4:58am)


orcbane
Gondor


Mar 11 2009, 5:22am

Post #4 of 202 (552 views)
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Stickys, the kiss of death :D [In reply to] Can't Post

No, I do not mind at all. Wanted to know if others agreed or not. Is it really a problem ? etc.

Stickys - are not serving a useful purpose and clog the board we seem to agree on.

Weeklies - Interesting point on whether they encourage or discourage participation. I don't really know. Certain get a good response in posts week after week. You mentioned the boards that are covered with them as maybe being too much, and I would say they are. Most are in addition chain threads, and the people move to the top as the next pops up. So the page is full of deserted threads, that if you post late, you get no reply. But I will agrree it would be better to be reviewed case by case, as you say.

New Mods - agree we have enough active Mods for now. But we think these absent ones would be needed in a Hobbit ramp up, I thought it a good oportunity & encouragement for new people to get their feet wet in the Mod position. I still think, an absent Mod is neither active or interested, and Mods should be both. My guess is a forum is like any other organization and some people like to think they might move into forum positions.

Older Member snappiness/bullying - Yeah, you do see this almost everywhere. It can become the dominant attitude. I see it here, and sometimes its territorial.




Aerin
Grey Havens


Mar 11 2009, 5:39am

Post #5 of 202 (540 views)
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Oooh, can't we have [In reply to] Can't Post

a weekly Pants thread? Or at least a monthly Pants thread? Or annual?

Hobbit Family Histories


orcbane
Gondor


Mar 11 2009, 5:56am

Post #6 of 202 (529 views)
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No! we can't have a weekly pants thread! [In reply to] Can't Post

Laugh
Makes me feel like I am back in Elementary School.




N.E. Brigand
Half-elven


Mar 11 2009, 6:36am

Post #7 of 202 (937 views)
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In the Reading Room, there are fewer regular threads now than there used to be. [In reply to] Can't Post

I've just done a quick count for the current and previous two discussions of The Lord of the Rings.

The Sep. 2002 - Feb. 2004 discussion of LOTR averaged 17.1 threads per week.

The Feb. 2005 - Jun. 2006 discussion of LOTR averaged 9.3 threads per week. During that time, there was almost always a "secondary" discussion running concurrently, adding another 3-5 official threads per week to the mix.

The Oct. 2007 - Mar. 2009 discussion of LOTR is averaging 7.6 threads per week.

Howver, it's also true that there are far fewer unofficial threads in the Reading Room than there used to be. In the first month of each of those three discussions, the Reading Room averaged 59, 10, and 2 independent threads per week, respectively. So perhaps something should be done to encourage people to post more freely on that board. But I don't think discouraging the regular discussions is the right approach: as I understand it, the Reading Room was created to allow people to discuss LOTR chapter by chapter, and that mode has certainly been the mainstay of its existence for almost nine years, and has yielded marvelllous discussions.

I have less information about the other boards, but my sense is that the LOTR-Movie board has no more regular discussion now than it has had at any point over the past five years or so, perhaps since the release of ROTK, or certainly of its DVD. In early 2005, at any rate, there were two overlapping discussions posted almost daily: the ROTK-EE scene discussions, and "The Middle-earth Files". As for Main, that board has had semi-regularized or repeating discussions for a much longer time, particularly as there used to be no OT board. A quick skim over the posts for the first two weeks of December 2003 (a period for which I have links to many but not all the threads) shows Bilbo's Brainteasers (weekly); the SAST quiz and results (weekly); Fiesta Friday (weekly); the EIA humor quiz and subsquent highlight thread (weekly); gramma's Book Spoiler and TIME threads (alternating daily?); birthday threads (daily); Amatire's Tolkien Trivia Time (weekly?); and 15 different threads on obscure Tolkien poems, posted by NZ Strider.

<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>
We're discussing The Lord of the Rings in the Reading Room, Oct. 15, 2007 - Mar. 22, 2009!

Join us Mar. 9-15 for Languages, Peoples, and Translation.
+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=
How to find old Reading Room discussions.


a.s.
Valinor


Mar 11 2009, 10:21am

Post #8 of 202 (612 views)
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OMG: I'm repetitive, obsolete, robotic, and discouraging...and apparently suffering from [In reply to] Can't Post

the occupational hazard of being perpetually rude, as well.

How about if you don't want to post in the weekly "What Have You Been Reading" thread, you don't?

Or was that rude? Ruder than being called Obsolete/Repetitive, robotic and discouraging in the Feedback Forum, let's say?

a.s. (admitting that I think a lot of things, but I never had the thought that a weekly "What Have You Been Reading" thread was exclusionary, rude and somehow akin to MySpacing)

"an seileachan"

Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana


Call Her Emily


entmaiden
Forum Admin / Moderator


Mar 11 2009, 2:27pm

Post #9 of 202 (530 views)
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My thoughts [In reply to] Can't Post

Clear out all but essential Stickys (ie. Intro thread).

Reason: Most are obsolete/repetitive, and it is annoying having to scroll down half the page to find a real post.


I think if you see something that is obsolete, you can PM an Admin about it. We are all part of one community and we all have an obligation to maintain it. Don't wait for someone else to do something - go for it!


End all but one regularly reoccurring threads in each subcatagory.

Rationale: There are so many weeklies that its hard to come up with a topic that isn't covered already. The established groups inadvertantly block out new people wishing to post. Its repetitive, robotic and discourages more creatitive approaches. Its also generally cliquish.

I tend to agree with Silverlode on this - it has been suggested, and there is no prevailing opinion on whether to consolidate or not. I don't post in many of the recurring threads, but that's not because I feel excluded. I think anyone who feels excluded or prevented from posting something new is creating a problem that doesn't really exist. If someone has a good idea, they should run with it. Again, this is OUR forum - no one is being limited in their creativity.

Retire Moderators that do not post regularly on the forum, and give some new people a chance.

Reason: If someone is a Moderator but only checks back once in a long while, they are not interested enough to participate in the in the current community, and do not know what is going on. They can be a member, but should not be filling an important position.

Moderators do a ton of work behind the scenes that sometimes prevent them from posting regularly. That doesn't mean they aren't contributing or don't know what is going on. Moderating an active message board isn't something we take turns doing - it's a lot of work and not everyone is up to the challenge.

Evaluate to see if a form of habitual rudeness & flaming is developing on the part of older members towards newer ones.

Rationale: This is almost a occupational hazard of many long time members, and can sometimes become a recreational occupation.

This board is kindergarten compared to what it used to be. I don't have a lot of tolerance toward rudeness, but at the same time I don't have a lot of patience for people who are easily offended and get their feelings hurt because someone else was rude. If someone is rude, send a PM to an Admin. There probably is more leeway given to more veteran members, but that's something that anyone can earn if they contribute to the community in a postive way.

Last thoughts. If you are a Moderator or long-time member I do not expect you to agree with very much, if any of this. You are after all, doing a good job and are a good community respectively. And reams can be written on how these things came about, and why they should not be changed. But the problem is keeping things just as you like it, with the people you already know. It can become a kind of Facebook-forum. Network(s) of exsisting friends.

The message boards have changed substantially in the seven years I've been here, so I don't think there's anyone trying to keep things as they like it. New members bring their own excitement and perspectives, and have a lot of influence over the ebb and flow of the conversations. The boards will continue to change, and most of us will adapt with the changes.


Each cloak was fastened about the neck with a brooch like a green leaf veined with silver.
`Are these magic cloaks?' asked Pippin, looking at them with wonder.
`I do not know what you mean by that,' answered the leader of the Elves.


NARF since 1974.
Balin Bows


(This post was edited by entmaiden on Mar 11 2009, 2:30pm)


dernwyn
Forum Admin / Moderator


Mar 11 2009, 3:46pm

Post #10 of 202 (598 views)
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*pats a.s.'s shoulder sympathetically* There, there, dear. [In reply to] Can't Post

I think this is not directed at you specifically, but at these Boards in general.

This seems to be the frustrations of a young whippersnapper (well, what would one call someone who has the audacity to challenge Aunt Dora in the Arena! Laugh) who is not used to message boards which have the convention (and charm) of "old-fashioned" conversations.

That is, he still doesn't quite "get" the nature of these Boards, and would prefer that they resemble others.

Nor does he understand that the purpose of our Moderators is not to constantly "moderate" discussions, but to be Administrators, that is, to keep tabs on these boards and assure that the tone remains "moderate".

(I wonder if he's still smarting from the whupping he received during that Arena showdown, the poor thing! Angelic How's the ear, orcbane?)


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"I desired dragons with a profound desire"

"It struck me last night that you might write a fearfully good romantic drama, with as much of the 'supernatural' as you cared to introduce. Have you ever thought of it?"
-Geoffrey B. Smith, letter to JRR Tolkien, 1915


Inferno
Superuser / Moderator


Mar 11 2009, 3:55pm

Post #11 of 202 (597 views)
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As one of the 'not regularly posting' moderators, [In reply to] Can't Post

Let me share my perspective. I'm not speaking for anyone else, moderator or not, just me.

I've been here a long, long time. I found tOR.N and became a board member a few weeks after the site went live. The boards have changed a lot in the intervening almost ten years. People come and go, and interest waxes and wanes. For instance, the Reading Room used to be my favorite board, but I don't even visit it any more because the tone of the discussions has changed in a way that doesn't interest me personally. That doesn't mean that I should demand the Reading Room should be run the way I want it to be. It's the natural evolution of message boards, and perhaps at some point it will come round to discussions I enjoy again. But others enjoy it as it currently is, and it's not right that I demand they change to suit me. I'm also not a fan of scheduled threads, but again, it's clear that many people do enjoy them and it's not right that I demand they change to suit my view of how the boards should be run. The 'Superuser' tag next to my name doesn't make me a PTB, it just means I have technical access. I don't make policy. But I digress.

At any rate, even at the height of my posting, there were some boards I never checked-- once I became an admin, I'd weigh in on various threads on some of those boards if it was brought to my attention I needed to do so. As my interest has waned somewhat in recent months, perhaps even the last year or two, you may think I should be retired. I would disagree, not because I have any particular desire to hang onto an admin title but because you don't see what I do do.

There are two boards I check quite regularly-- perhaps not every day as RL gets in the way sometimes, but most. Those two boards are Admin and Feedback. I bring something to the admin group that almost noone else does-- I work with computers day in and day out, and I've got the technical know-how to address questions related to board functionality and to dip into the things behind the scenes-- tinker with the backend when necessary. BG (whom you also practically never see) also has that skill. We're needed simply because without us and Altaira the boards would have noone to maintain the technical end. And I do from time to time peruse the other boards as well.

There's another point to consider-- moderating takes a lot of time. In order to properly moderate the boards, we have to read practically everything that's posted. That's a lot of posts. It doesn't often leave us time to actually write much, although some of us are more active in that regard than others. Moderating is also an often thankless job where you sit around and argue with childish people who won't admit that they were in the wrong. It takes a delicate hand (which I've been accused of not having before, but that's tangential) and the ability to tolerate people who would set your teeth on edge. Not everyone is capable of that. As has been mentioned, when more admins are needed, more are recruited. I wasn't in the first batch of admins, I was asked to be one later on when there was a need for more. If it gets to the point that we can't handle what's there, then, again, as has been mentioned, more admins will be recruited.

To speak briefly to your last headliner point, let me ask a rhetorical question: if two people are accused of flaming behavior, who would you give more leeway to? Someone you've never seen behave properly, or someone who you've known for a substantial length of time, and you know is generally polite, and appears to be having an off day? Go to any community, and the veterans are going to be given more leeway than the newbies because they've been around and the mods know that the vets are generally good folk. Someone new comes around and stirs up trouble, and there's no history of good behavior to ameliorate the perception of a troll.

Finally, if you feel that tOR.N is a clique, allow me to shed a different perspective. Of the members who were active posters when I got here, only one besides me still posts. Of the current crop of board members, I'd guess that less than 1 in 20 were around before The Fellowship of the Ring was released in theaters, and that less than half were around before The Return of the King was released in theaters. We've been acussed of cliqueish behavior before, by some of the same people who now are solid long-term members of the community and part of the so-called 'clique'. Yes, those who are active posters for a long time are going to have in-jokes that new posters aren't going to know or be in on. But when those new posters have been around and contributed, they're going to pick up on those in-jokes and become part of the regulars that future new posters will feel are part of some clique they can't get into.

Just my two bits from a rather long-time poster. =)

Inferno.

======================
Good night, tOR.Nados. Good work. Sleep well. I'll most likely delete you in the morning.
======================
Elcenia


N.E. Brigand
Half-elven


Mar 11 2009, 4:43pm

Post #12 of 202 (552 views)
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Thanks, Inferno. [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
For instance, the Reading Room used to be my favorite board, but I don't even visit it any more because the tone of the discussions has changed in a way that doesn't interest me personally. That doesn't mean that I should demand the Reading Room should be run the way I want it to be. It's the natural evolution of message boards, and perhaps at some point it will come round to discussions I enjoy again.



Could you elaborate a little on what kind of discussions, or tone, you would like to see in the Reading Room? Perhaps others could chime in also? We can't fix it if we don't know how it's broke -- and if this question were posted in the Reading Room, those who could answer probably wouldn't see it.

<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>
We're discussing The Lord of the Rings in the Reading Room, Oct. 15, 2007 - Mar. 22, 2009!

Join us Mar. 9-15 for Languages, Peoples, and Translation.
+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=
How to find old Reading Room discussions.


orcbane
Gondor


Mar 11 2009, 5:04pm

Post #13 of 202 (543 views)
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Spring cleaning ? [In reply to] Can't Post

a.s. it is as derwyn said, I was not thinking about you specifically. In fact I didn't know you ran a regular thread, nor that Arwen's daughter did, nor could I probably name anyone that does. This was only a snapshot, overall impression of the threads in totality. One of the main ideas behind it on my part is refreshing the forums.




sador
Half-elven

Mar 11 2009, 5:17pm

Post #14 of 202 (527 views)
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When and where was that? [In reply to] Can't Post

I don't often look in The Arena board, but that sounded like fun!

"They always wished to talk to everything, the old Elves did" - Treebeard


orcbane
Gondor


Mar 11 2009, 5:29pm

Post #15 of 202 (532 views)
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Just last week [In reply to] Can't Post

It is still at the top. And it was fun. I was only killed twice by out of control sibling soccer fans. btw, and keep this under your hat, that Dernwyn, once I have met the posting constraint I am under, is next. Laugh




sador
Half-elven

Mar 11 2009, 5:39pm

Post #16 of 202 (501 views)
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Now seriously [In reply to] Can't Post

("Now" if you're viewing things in Flat Mode)


In Reply To
Clear out all but essential Stickys (ie. Intro thread).


I can't speak for others - they don't really bother me. I find the RR stickey useful, and hardly notice the others. Hope I don't miss anything important!


In Reply To

End all but one regularly reoccurring threads in each subcatagory.

Wouldn't work for me. I'm a routine man, which results in my trying to follow recurring threads. It's likely that if the RR discussions would be less regular I would check in less - why bother checking twice a day whether someone had all of a sudden some bright idea on which I will have some insights to add?


In Reply To
Retire Moderators that do not post regularly on the forum, and give some new people a chance.

Well, I have no idea just what moderators do. I assume they have quite a bit of work, which I couldn't do if I was asked to. But I never would consider posting regularly should be a requirement to being a moderator.


In Reply To
Evaluate to see if a form of habitual rudeness & flaming is developing on the part of older members towards newer ones.


I've asked this question before, and am not sure what the answer is.
Also, I am not sure when does one become an "older member" - I would consider those who were members on the new boards, in which case I am still a newbie.

Actually, there is another side to this question - when I first joined in, I tried to defer to my 'elders', at least until I learned the ropes. And I do not feel the forums are usually disencouraging new people to join in - at least I didn't feel so at the time, and perhaps we should receive input from newer members?
But I agree we must evaluate ourselves - and that begins with each individual trying to make sure he isn't rude, and doesn't hurt others. When I joined in, I promised myself that the first time I offend another poster, I will discreetly quit. Well, there was one such occasion (only one that I know of) - and I broke my promise; but to my defense I'll say I really considered it, and if not for a post by another forum member, which I took as his/hers agreeing I wasn't so bad, I would have. Also, by that time TORn has become more difficult for me to leave - perhaps I am not such a newbie after all!

"They always wished to talk to everything, the old Elves did" - Treebeard


silneldor
Half-elven


Mar 11 2009, 5:43pm

Post #17 of 202 (502 views)
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Please take note Orcbane [In reply to] Can't Post

that i am dernwyn's wingman. Nobody messes with my little(younger) sisterEvilLaugh.

''What connects Nature to the spiritual, or requires the presence of the latter? In positive terms, as Alkis Kontos points out, when nature was still largely experienced as integral, alive and active, 'It was the spiritual dimension of the world, its enchanted, magical quality that rendered it infinite, not amenable to complete calculability; spirit could not be quanified; it permitted and invited mythologization.' And I would add, it still is and does.''
Patrick Curry-Defending Middle-Earth-Tolkien: Myth and Modernity - chapter: 'The Sea: Spirituality and Ethics.'

May the grace of Manw let us soar with eagle's wings!

In the air, among the clouds in the sky
Here is where the birds of Manwe fly
Looking at the land, and the water that flows
The true beauty of earth shows
With the stars of Varda lighting my way
In all the realms this is where I stay
In the realm of Manw Slimo











GaladrielTX
Tol Eressea


Mar 11 2009, 5:46pm

Post #18 of 202 (502 views)
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May I? [In reply to] Can't Post

I have complained before, and I don't want to be a whiner or expect the regular contributors there to change just because an infrequent visitor like me complains, but for what it's worth...

When the forum began it was much more of a place where people could freely brainstorm or present ideas without having them picked over. Currently, there's a judgmental environment where I think people feel compelled to defend their opinions to the death. I realize some people there get a kick out of going over an "opponent's" post sentence by sentence, looking for reasoning fallacies, but not everyone enjoys that kind of thing. In fact, I know for certain I am not alone in this.

Anyway, my problems with the Reading Room don't really have anything to do with the complaints that Orcbane raises, but I thought I'd take this opportunity to air my opinion on the RR, as I have done every now and then.

~~~~~~~~

The TORNsib formerly known as Galadriel.



Inferno
Superuser / Moderator


Mar 11 2009, 5:48pm

Post #19 of 202 (507 views)
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But it isn't broken [In reply to] Can't Post

The Reading Room gets posts and draws interest. It just doesn't draw *my* interest any longer. I could list my reasons for that if you're really interested, but if the forum changes to draw my interest than it may lose the interest of others. It's that old saw about not being able to please everyone.

Inferno.

======================
Good night, tOR.Nados. Good work. Sleep well. I'll most likely delete you in the morning.
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Elcenia


GaladrielTX
Tol Eressea


Mar 11 2009, 5:51pm

Post #20 of 202 (503 views)
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Some feedback: [In reply to] Can't Post

Umm, the stickies are a trifle annoying, but as they're only a line or two (if you view the forum in threaded mode), they don't bother me much. I don't know how else newbies would find this info so easily.

Some reoccuring threads do bore me, but I just ignore them and move along. I'm quite attached to others and don't think there's any good reason to forbid someone from posting what they (and others) want to talk about.

Mods are an interesting topic. There was a time when I found them too heavy-handed on some things and not enough on others. I've left the forum on some occasions because of nastiness, but now doesn't seem like one of those times to me. I think the fact that we're not seeing name-calling and naughty words is a good indicator that they're working quietly behind the scenes. Those are really the only things I think they should be involved in deleting. I know other people here disagree, but that's my opinion, anyway.

I haven't seen rudeness to newbies here recently. Can you provide some examples?

~~~~~~~~

The TORNsib formerly known as Galadriel.



orcbane
Gondor


Mar 11 2009, 6:02pm

Post #21 of 202 (512 views)
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The TORn Compromise [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks for your open reply Smile. I do have followup thoughts.

It's a bit unclear if this was specifically aimed at the Admins or just trying to stir up discussion, but if you want the comments of a Moderator, here are mine.

'Suggestions for refreshing the forum' would have been a better title, but stirring both Member and Moderator discussion on these or similiar ideas was the goal.

We have recently removed several [stickies]. Should I be hurt that you didn't notice?

Laugh Um, it sorta means I ignor them mainly. Like boulders in a path. I don't actually count them.

Many are there of necessity or request so people can find the information easily. If there are specific Stickies you think should go, you can mention them to the Admins via PM and we will look them over.

I can do that.

End all but one regularly reoccurring threads in each subcatagory.

This would be my personal preference also. However, when this has been proposed in the past there has been a great outcry in defence of the weekly threads. Public opinion seems to be divided. In the end, we can't force people to post randomly, nor does it seem fair or necessary to prevent people from having regular discussions that many enjoy. TORN posting patterns have changed over the years depending on the tastes of the active members at any given time. Right now, we appear to have lots of schedule-oriented people. If you prefer random, post random.

I am impressed that even though you dont like the weeklies, you allow them if you perceive that is what members want. The ones that nearly cover the sub-forum from top to bottom are particularly irksome (essentially dailies). I do think clearing out some, perhaps those with no wide member response would give the forums a break from so much structure. Arwen's Daughter brought up a good point about whether these scheduled increase of decrease postings. She may well be right that it does increase it. But is it siphoning people away from more spontaneous discussion ? People do have more or less a limited time, and I think its easy for regulars to check in, mechanically post in a weekly or two and leave. Perhaps some sort of compromise on space is a track to consider.

Just because you don't see someone posting doesn't necessarily mean they're not keeping up with events. Moderating is a different dynamic than normal participation and not always consistent with it. We recruit when we need more help. More help is not currently needed, but might be when the Hobbit gets closer.

I am still thinking a bit on this because there is something I do have to add. I will post it shortly, here.

Evaluate to see if a form of habitual rudeness & flaming is developing on the part of older members towards newer ones.

This develops quite consistently (like mildew), and to counteract it we post general reminders about etiquette and courtesy and being nice to newbies from time to time. We could put a permanent Sticky up about it, but I doubt people would pay attention. If you see specific instances increasing and you think we should be made aware of it, feel free to PM us.

Talking about it is useful, if its where people will see it. The main thing is to have the people who are doing it, realise they are, and that others have a problem with it. Then its up to them. I myself just directly respond. I would prefer trying to explain/discuss the problem but have found in forum envirionments it does not work very well. So you end up with a fire fight. That gets the point accross too. Reporting is the proper procedure maybe, but I have reserved that mainly for serious problems like trolls, harassment, or obvious spam.




N.E. Brigand
Half-elven


Mar 11 2009, 6:14pm

Post #22 of 202 (525 views)
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I'm really interested. [In reply to] Can't Post

Of some 9,000 or so responses made to the current discussion of LOTR, I think about half have been contriburted by fewer than 25 people. And there has been, as noted above, a disproportionate decrease in the posting of independent threads as compared to "official" discussion threads. So I would love to know what would make the Reading Room more interesting to you (and others).

<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>
We're discussing The Lord of the Rings in the Reading Room, Oct. 15, 2007 - Mar. 22, 2009!

Join us Mar. 9-15 for Languages, Peoples, and Translation.
+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=
How to find old Reading Room discussions.


orcbane
Gondor


Mar 11 2009, 6:25pm

Post #23 of 202 (503 views)
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In the Gold ! [In reply to] Can't Post

I can't stand 'expert' and negative dissection of people's posts. Often it is just trolling of a more advanced and un-provable kind.

But before anyone pops a blood vessel...I can be, and probably have been trollish myself. I believe a troll lives inside many of us, men in particular. Killer Angels ? When it does surface it has to be dealt with, whether it is warning/banning me, or anyone else here. I do not mean responding in kind, but throwing the first digs, putdowns, habitually.

...




Arwen's daughter
Half-elven


Mar 11 2009, 6:36pm

Post #24 of 202 (464 views)
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Some more thoughts [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Weeklies - Interesting point on whether they encourage or discourage participation. I don't really know. Certain get a good response in posts week after week. You mentioned the boards that are covered with them as maybe being too much, and I would say they are. Most are in addition chain threads, and the people move to the top as the next pops up. So the page is full of deserted threads, that if you post late, you get no reply. But I will agrree it would be better to be reviewed case by case, as you say.

Like I said, most of my time is on Movie - LOTR these days. Screencap of the Day has been running for almost two years now under my care (and longer than that before me). I gave the board a chance to let it go at the end of it's latest run this month, but was heartily encouraged to keep going. This isn't meant to defend that series; it's just where my experience lies around here.

The weekly threads seem to be mostly self-correcting. When there are too many, people stop posting in some and they disappear. Maybe the answer is to find a way to encourage spontaneous posts without losing as many of the weekly threads. Unfortunately, that's much easier said then done. I do prefer the non-scheduled posts but I enjoy the others and would hate to see some of them go.

Just to compare, The Hobbit board has no scheduled posts and it only has a new thread once every two or three days, right now. Fan Art, Gaming and Collecting, and The Arena are all, also, much, much slower boards. The scheduled posts seem to be meant to serve as a structure to keep the boards active while creating traffic and allowing room for others to post.

The short answer from me, I guess, is I don't know if they're working or if they're too much, but I'm willing to experiment some and find out.


In Reply To
Older Member snappiness/bullying - Yeah, you do see this almost everywhere. It can become the dominant attitude. I see it here, and sometimes its territorial.

You're right, sometimes it is territorial and it's never a good thing. Talking about it and being aware of it seems to be the best thing.




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Alassa Eruvande
Valinor


Mar 11 2009, 7:09pm

Post #25 of 202 (489 views)
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*rubs hands together diabolically* [In reply to] Can't Post

Mwah ha ha ha ha! Evil

I can't WAIT!! Laugh



And suddenly the Ainur saw afar off a light, as it were a cloud with a living heart of flame.



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