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Unread 19th January 2009, 05:20 PM   #1
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Default Being a better member moderator

Member moderation is like a "neighborhood watch" in many ways. It works best when the participants know the rules and understand the issues. And, sometimes, people who are minding their own business and hurting no-one will get hassled by control freaks and nosy busy-bodies who think everyone should have to live their way.

For the most part, though, what hassles do come up are the result of well-meaning people not knowing how the system is supposed to work, and what the goals are.

That's the purpose of this thread. To discuss a bit about what moderation is, what it's supposed to accomplish, and what the standards are for posts. The more people who understand what moderation is and how it works, the better off we all are.

It's also useful to have a place specifically for the discussion, rather than 27 different threads that bury posts on other topics.

Note: These are my opinions only, and are not to be considered official statements of any kind.

That said, I've been moderating electronic forums of various types since 1987, so I have some amount of (hopefully useful) clue on the topic.

....

The definition I use for moderation is: To keep discussion within topical limits that allow for optimal benefit to all participants.

Every word of that definition is important. For starters, the last one: Participation is a requirement to be considered part of the community. Lurkers are welcome, but if you never add anything to the conversation, you have no say about how it's run.

If the only time you ever post is to complain about how someone else does things, don't bother. You have every right to your opinion, but it doesn't carry much weight. You shouldn't expect it to.

....

Topics are limited to make it possible for people to better use their time. If the board was open to everything and anything anyone wanted to discuss, it would be useless for anything practical. Hence the "Where we talk about making money."

That does not mean that casual asides and humorous twists are bad. Those things let you see more than one side of a person's character, and add to the strength of the community. That means that people work together, have more success, and become invested in the community. So, they stay around longer and do more to make it a better place to be.

Everyone benefits.

....

Now, for the most commonly misunderstood concept: Self-promotional posts.

The prohibition on spam is not an arbitrary one. If ads are allowed unchecked, they'll choke out useful communication. We've all seen what that can do to email, and it can happen even more quickly with a forum.

People do pretty well with reporting the obvious spam. Drive-by ads, articles posted just to get attention to a link and the like go away quickly. No need to explain that.

For the edge cases, a quote from a post I made in another thread:

This is something most folks here never quite get their heads around. People create products on the subjects they know the most about. That also happens to be the area in which they can offer the most help to others. No coincidence there, and no conspiracy. Just plain logic.

One of the guidelines I always used when I was moderating was a question: Is the information in this post useful on its own, without needing to buy a product? If so, it's a valid post. If not, it's not.

The decision was based solely on the content of the post. I deliberately ignored sig files for purposes of answering that question, unless the poster made a reference that seemed to point to theirs. That provided a balance of interests that worked. People got to promote their knowledge and their products, in ways that were helpful whether someone purchased anything from them or not.

Win-win.

People pay waaay too much attention to the correlation of sig files and post content these days, and way too little to the value of the content itself.


Self-promotion, if that's your motivation for posting, should be driven by adding value, not blatantly (or sneakily) shoving ads in people's faces.

Put another way: If the post would be useful without the sig file, the poster has earned the sig file.

....

There are people who think the forum should be devoid of anything that looks like self-promotion. The common call is:

"Ban sig files, and see how long they stick around!"

My question is: Would that really help? Or would it hurt?

If someone contributes, and their expertise actually helps others, those are the people we want to know about when we need products or services on that topic. They're not just posting articles or one-offs. They're putting personal time and experience into helping the group.

Should we make them invisible?

That's not really in the group's best interest, is it?

Look at it another way. If it passes the test above, it's adding value. If they happen to make sales through their sig file, that just offsets a little of the time they put into the post.

Fair enough.

The people who are only here for that never last, though. Either they leave, or they escalate their tactics, getting to the point where they start going over the line. They get called on it and they either back off or they leave.

Balance is maintained.

The people who are naturally social types and enjoy teaching will stay around for the other benefits. Learning, conversation, networking, WSOs,the satisfaction of seeing someone gain from what they've posted, and the fun they have.

It all sorts itself out nicely, as long as you go by the answer to that one question: Ignoring the sig file completely, is the information in this post useful on its own, without needing to buy a product?

The best part?

You don't have to even care what someone's intention was in making the post. If the information is useful as-is, it's useful. Period. The person who needed it doesn't care why it's there. It's what they needed.

....

Are there people who push this? Absolutely. As a rule, those should be left to folks who've got more experience. This has nothing to do with intelligence, mind you. It has to do with experience, and knowing where things lead when left alone.

The problem: If you don't know what to look for, you're likely to cast too wide a net, resulting in damage to innocent parties. Once accusations start flying, people tend to read things in ways that create further suspicion. They repeat their interpretations, and smoke starts to imply fire.

Sometimes there really is nothing there but the smoke machine.

I recommend being very cautious about what you listen to. Accusations need to be backed up with evidence, or they should be heavily discounted.

Never forget that forum politics - in any forum - can be a nasty and messy business. Like nuclear fuel, it can be used for good, but you don't want to get any on you.

....

That leads us straight to Rule #1.

As I understand it, Rule #1 is not intended to keep out all conflict. People who try to use it that way are going to fail, as that's not only impossible, it's not always desirable.

The original motivation for Rule #1 was, I believe, to stop the "XYZ company sucks" and "Joe Schlabotnik is a scamming thief" threads that would pop up all the time here. People were creating these threads just about every day, pursuing vendettas, trying to use the forum to blackmail merchants, cutting down their competition, etc.

Yes, it is also supposed to apply to WSO issues. Exceptions are made occasionally in cases where it's provable that the WSO is a fraud, but that's far less common than some people make it out to be. Problems with downloads, refunds and the like are not supposed to be handled in the main forum.

The most common argument against Rule #1 is that "people should be allowed to alert the other members to crappy products and frauds, so they don't get sucked in."

Doesn't work that way. Far too many of these "warnings" are just expressing gripes or grudges. Some are trying to blackmail a merchant to get something they don't deserve. Others are outright lies. The majority are people who simply don't understand how something is supposed to work and who are angry because they're confused.

Except for the outright lies, every one of those people believe they've got a legitimate case. None of them do.

Without a lot more information than is usually available, there's no way to know which are the few that really are sound, and which are the mistakes or malicious postings. So, they all stay out.

The same dynamic applies here as with malicious gossip: Once the accusation is made, some people will always wonder. And some will swallow it whole, without any evidence at all, much less actual proof. Then someone will mention the allegations on another board, and they (or someone else in the thread) will link back to the thread here, presenting the allegations as evidence.

It gets real ugly, real quick. And there's usually nothing there but a smoke machine.

That just ain't right.

....

As far as members duking it out... That can be a good thing. It is very often a better idea to let them sort their problems out on their own than for anyone else to jump in and try to fix things by suppressing them.

It's not just good for them. It's good for the group. Grown-ups sometimes have to hash things out, and that's not always pretty. If the end result is that folks get a better look at the characters of other members, that helps. And quite often, if they handle it right, the people beating each other up end up being better friends because they stayed in it and worked through the conflict.

That's the real world, folks. It has sharp corners and hard edges.

If things get to a point where they're a problem for the group, believe it: There are people watching who can deal with it. And they will.

Being a moderator does not mean you're suddenly a parent to the whole world. That way lies madness, guaranteed frustration, and various other forms of insanity.

....

There is a lot more to what is being called "official moderation" than most people ever see. There are often things going on that we, as members, don't know about. There are tendencies that have to be taken into account, like, "This is okay by itself, but it tends to lead to this other thing that isn't so good."

That's why some things are left to continue that you think should be cut off, and why some things are cut off that you think should be left to continue.

That's a function of experience.

I see a lot of people arguing for "official moderators" to be brought back. They have all sorts of ideas about how that's somehow better than member moderation. Most of those people have never been moderators here. (Yes, this place is, in some very important ways, different from most forums.)

I've been a member here for 10 years. The current system works as well as any other we've had. The same problems and complaints that come up now came up when we had one moderator, three moderators, and something like thirty moderators.

The current system is a hybrid. We have "official" moderators to handle the edge cases that require experience. We have members to take the majority of the load of handling spam posts off their backs. It's working just fine, as far as I can see.

It will work even better when more of us understand that the role of moderation is to keep things within limits, not to try and make them perfect, or force them to conform to one person's social standards or personal preferences.

The trick is the balance. If you make the limits too broad, you lose all focus. If you make them too narrow, you lose the interplay that generates much of the value and interest of the place.

Look for the balance, and you'll do a much better job as a member moderator.

You'll also find yourself sweating a lot less of the small stuff.

....

Enough for now, eh?

Well, don't just sit there looking silly. You know you have a question or opinion. Out with it!


Paul

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Unread 19th January 2009, 05:32 PM   #2
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Default Re: Being a better member moderator

This was very compelling, Paul!

But something you didn't cover above was drawing direct attention to your own products or services (or ego) over and over and over again. How do you think those cases should be handled?

Is it ok? Is it grounds for dismissal?

AL

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Unread 19th January 2009, 05:38 PM   #3
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Default Re: Being a better member moderator

Al,

Yeah. Imagine if I'd tried to actually cover the subject...

If people keep pointing to their own products, they're pushing the line. They may be over it. That's one of those nasty things we in the trade refer to as a "judgment call."

None of us get those right every time. Do your best and learn from the ones you get wrong.

Edit Added to this post on 9/24/2010, to make sure it's seen earlier in the thread and not missed because it's 100+ posts down...

There was a discussion of an apparently faked screenshot for a WSO, posted in the main forum. My response to it is duplicated below. Don't worry if all the details don't make sense. The policy aspects will.

....

Okay. Some thoughts on this, wearing the official red and black moderator's cap:

You may not comment on a WSO product or associated customer service unless you have bought it, or been given a review copy for that purpose.

If you suspect/know a screen shot is faked, you should post that in the WSO thread and also report it to the mods. Unless the comment on the screen shot is early in the thread, a lot of people will buy without ever having seen it. Be specific about your reasons for the suspicion.

Posting this in the main forum is not allowed. Posting a copy of the screen shot, without reference to who used it, might be useful if it showed how to recognize the fake.

Raising questions regarding sales copy within a WSO thread needs to be done only with clear reasons. It is best if those issues are left to be raised by people with reputations at stake, since the problem of new people asking questions with the apparent intent to damage someone's sales is way too common.

In response to one of Brian's comments: Yes, it is possible for someone to cook a graphic and still have a useful product. I've seen that happen. That doesn't make the use of the cooked graphic in any way acceptable.

If you make an outright accusation of improper behavior that turns out to be wrong, and you get caught, you're getting a timeout. If you ask questions that seem to be motivated by malice, careless reading or inexperience, they'll be deleted if seen by a moderator. (We can't read every post in every thread. Simply not possible.) Push it and you'll get a timeout.

Anonymous members with few posts have nothing to lose, so they shouldn't be surprised or annoyed if they end up being banned for this stuff. If your username is something like Spartacus, hellokitty69, or t4aw72853 and you have 6 posts, ANY questionable activity will likely get you banned.

If a WSO seller does not include some way to contact them outside of forum channels, report that. Such contact methods are required. The fact that someone gets banned does not necessarily mean there was something wrong with some offer they were running at the time. And the fact that you have a WSO going does not give you a free pass to break the forum rules.

No-one should ever read the word "Banned" under someone's name as meaning anything more than that access to this forum for that user account has been blocked for some period of time. There are reasons a person could be banned that have no reflection on their character, their product or their integrity. And some people have personally asked to be banned for some period for reasons of their own.

Bill: Yes, it is possible to know some screenshots are faked, in the sense that there is no other remotely reasonable conclusion. As an example, I once saw a Paypal "screenshot" that had no decimal points or cents places in any of the dollar amounts for sales.

Mal said: "Negativity and doubt sows the seed for more negativity and doubt. And away it goes - downhill. "

That is absolutely true. It is one reason for the caution we encourage in making accusations or asking such questions without some reasonable basis. "Everybody knows you can't believe thus-and-such" is not a reasonable basis for anything.

In response to Mal's comment, Jill said: "If those questions/comments are perceived as trying to derail the offer, those kinds of comments can be requested to be removed from the thread. "

And if they're deleted, the conspiracy theorists shout about how we're protecting frauds. Which is just a way of biasing the discussion against the seller, and adding us to the mix.

It's been demonstrated time after time that raising negative questions creates a tendency in the mind that can be difficult to overcome even by proof that the basis for the question is completely false. If you ask "Is it true that So-and-So was caught murdering puppies in a hotel with a prostitute?", and they're later shown to have been at church with their wife in another state, just seeing the question may have lingering negative effects.

That doesn't mean you don't ask reasonable questions. You should do that. You should also be mindful about when and how you ask them. All judgement calls are based on one's estimation of probabilities based on personal experience. They can all be wrong. You still have to make them. Just remember that last part: You could be wrong.

Kay is correct. Offering to PM people stuff that would break Rule #1 if posted publicly is still against the rules, unless that offer is made to a moderator for purposes of checking out the situation. The reason is simple: If someone passes you something in secret, that deprives the accused of a response, and creates an air of "private knowledge," which may not be "knowledge" at all.

....

Putting the Stetson back on and speaking from personal opinion: Ignore income claims/proof. The ones that aren't faked are irrelevant.

Also, please, folks, learn the difference between evidence and proof, and the different standards of "proof" that are required in different venues.

Evidence is one or more facts, presented along with an interpretation, set forth in an effort to demonstrate the truth or falsity of a claim or proposition.

If the interpretation is wrong, the evidence is misleading.

Opinions, assumptions, rumor and other purely subjective mental constructs are not evidence.


Edit: Added 10/05/2010:
The fact that you're new doesn't mean you don't know a lot about marketing. It may suggest that you don't know how things are done here. Take this as friendly advice, intended to help you avoid the most common mistakes.

1. Do not use affiliate links in your signature file.

2. Post in the appropriate section of the board. Questions about SEO or posts asking for advice on specific products belong in other areas. Not Main Discussion. Post them here and they're more likely to be deleted than moved.

3. Use subject lines that indicate something specific about your question. Subjects like "Heeelllp!" or "I'm annoyed" are pointless and waste people's time. They also usually fail to get the attention of the folks most well-equipped to give you useful answers.

4. Do not post complaining about specific people, guru or newbie. We're not the Internet police and we can't do anything about it. And we don't have a clue if the complaint is even valid. Most of them turn out not to be. So, the claim that you're just trying to "alert our fellow Warriors to this problem" most often means nothing. Even when that's your sincere intent, which isn't usually the case.

5. If your thread is deleted, do not re-post it. Do not post a thread asking why it was deleted. Read the rules, watch how things are done here, and figure it out. This is not complicated stuff.

6. Remember that threads get deleted for lots of reasons, most of them having no reflection on the original poster. They can be nuked because they're the umpteenth copy of the same discussion in a short period, because they're on topics which too often degenerate into flame wars, because they have nothing to do with making money, because they're pointless, because they tend to drift into bashing, and lots of other reasons.

7. Don't assume anything when you see the word "Banned" under a user's name, other than that the account has been blocked from posting for some period. "Banned" does not always (or even usually) mean anything bad about the person.

8. If your sig file is a bunch of keyword phrases with links on them, don't be surprised if it's deleted. If that happens, don't just re-insert the same sort of thing. Especially if there's no way for us to know the domain belongs to you.

You are not allowed to link to other people's sites that way from this forum. If you get caught doing it, you're likely to be permanently banned.

9. Read the stickies at the top of this section, and make sure you understand them.

10. Don't be surprised if something is deleted and you're not told why. This place is too big. It would take more time than there is in a day for us to notify every person of the reason, every time we deleted a post or thread. And that doesn't begin to count the time that would be wasted arguing with people who don't understand or refuse to accept the rules.

Deleting posts is not a personal thing. Don't make it one.

11. Count on your posts being deleted if you make a lot of one-liners early on. We know what that's about, and we're as likely to delete you as your posts if you push it.

12. Use some common sense.

Edit: Added February 26, 2011

If one or more of your posts have disappeared, here are the most likely reasons:

1. Violated one or more rules. This is the one you most want to avoid.

2. Tons of pointless one-liners. Sorry, folks, but if you come in as a new member and start posting a ton of one- or two-liners, they're going to end up being deleted. If you're new and your post count dropped a lot, fast, that's almost always the reason.

Same with posting to a lot of old threads. One member dredged up at least a half dozen threads today from 2009, with comments that added nothing to the original discussions.

3. Wrong section of the forum. This is getting ridiculous. We move 100 or more posts per day from main discussion into various sub-sections. I'd say that's a very conservative guesstimate, since my last 3 passes through have resulted in moving 40 or 50 in a short time. And that's just me. There are a half dozen mods handling stuff in this section.

If you want the best answers to your questions, post them where the people hang out who focus on the topic involved.

Over the past few weeks, I've been alternating between moving such posts, closing them with a note about where they belong, and outright deleting them. I am going to start slanting much more toward simply deleting them. It appears that is the most likely action to get people to pay attention.

If you want a review of your web site design, or have a question about web site design, put it in the web site design section. If you want help with Wordpress, put it in web site design. Or, if it's a programming issue, in the programming section.

If you want a review of your sales copy, put it in the copywriting section.

Posts relating to CPA that are posted in main discussion will simply be deleted. The majority of those are fakes, designed to get attention for specific programs. Speaking of which, I'd be very careful about believing most of the reviews of programs in that section of the board. It's rife with shills.

Cleaning that section out without nuking every person associated directly with a company would take two weeks, doing nothing else. Yeah. It's that bad.

You've been warned.

Product reviews belong in the reviews section. If you don't have enough posts to put one in there, wait until you do. There's a reason for that limit.

Note: Support questions about products are not reviews, and do not belong in the review section. A LOT of people are confused about this. The first place for a support question is (surprise!) the merchant's support forum or mailbox. Not the Warrior Forum.

If you must ask here, do it in the section most relevant to the product in question.

The SEO stuff is absolutely the worst. Questions about backlinks, page rank, the effect of domain names on placement in the search engine results, and anything else that has to do with where a site appears in a search engine belong in the SEO section. AdSense, AdWords and PPC stuff go in the same section. (Yes, it seems odd. It's close, and it keeps us from having too many sections that are too narrowly focused.)

Do not expect a personal explanation about why your posts were deleted. We're not going to get into 100 or more arguments per day with people who haven't read the rules and don't pay attention. Or with more experienced people who post in main discussion because it gets more eyeballs.

If someone posts something that's in the wrong section, please point them to this thread, and then report the post. We'll probably just nuke it, but they might see the pointer before that happens.

If you spend time answering a question that doesn't belong in the section where it's posted, don't get mad if your answer gets deleted. Wait until they post it in the right place to help them out.


Paul

PS: If you're in a rough situation, read this thread: What to do if you're desperate

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Unread 19th January 2009, 05:38 PM   #4
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Default Re: Being a better member moderator

I soooooo needed this...

From now on I'm gonna follow this and then just put in my report post form:

"Paul Myers told me to"

Thanks Paul.. I said the same to Allen in a post today about this kind of thing, it is good for us to get it from this perspective.. I stopped reporting posts for a few days because the lines were looking a little too grey for me to decide...

This, combined with Allen's post have helped me set a few things straight in my head for reporting posts..

Thanks

Peace

Jay

p.s. (I am all of a sudden REALLY aware of my writing, spelling, grammar/er...uuughhh, no more Paul Myers threads for me)..lol

Bare Murkage.........
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Unread 19th January 2009, 06:07 PM   #5
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Default Re: Being a better member moderator

As long as it meets with Allen's approval, maybe Paul's post could be tagged
onto the "Members are Moderators" sticky. Sort of suggested further reading.

Another stonking post Paul! Your obvious passion for maintaining a healthy
forum shines through. Let's hope that your message reaches the people it
needs to reach. I know I, like Jay, needed to hear it.

Thanks

Peter
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Unread 19th January 2009, 06:19 PM   #6
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Default Re: Being a better member moderator

Jay,
Quote:
"Paul Myers told me to"
Oh no you don't! Your calls, your lessons.

Peter,
Quote:
stonking
[voice mode="Glinda"]Is that a good thing, or a bad thing?[/voice]
[voice mode="Gollum"]Is it crunchable?[/voice]

I'm not too worried about the people who break the rules reading it. They don't care. This is for the people who want to understand how things work, so they can better handle the ones who don't.


Paul

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Unread 19th January 2009, 06:32 PM   #7
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Default Re: Being a better member moderator

Paul,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post
To keep discussion within topical limits that allow for optimal benefit to all participants.
That's an excellent definition.

I've deliberately highlighted the word "keep" because
it seems to me that many people seem to think that
moderating is about removing content.

I can tell you from my own brief experience as a
Moderator on this forum that removing someone's
content was a last resort and not a decision that was
taken lightly. Nor should it be an easy decision.

It's not just a matter of clicking a button.

John

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Unread 19th January 2009, 06:46 PM   #8
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Default Re: Being a better member moderator

Paul,
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

Peter,
Quote:
stonking
[voice mode="Glinda"]Is that a good thing, or a bad thing?[/voice]
[voice mode="Gollum"]Is it crunchable?[/voice]

Paul
[voice mode="Bluebottle"]Enter Bluebottle, waits for applause... not a sausage. Is he talking to us? [/voice]
[voice mode="Eccles"]Hello der, I dunno![/quote]

stonking

British colloquial: Impressive, wonderful

Peter
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Unread 19th January 2009, 06:49 PM   #9
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Default Re: Being a better member moderator

John,

That was always my thought on it, too. I had something of a reputation as a "hardass" when I was moderating here. Because of that, very few people ever noticed that, other than spam and similarly blatant stuff, I deleted or rejected almost nothing.

I always preferred to assume that people are adults, and can think for themselves. Other people have different ideas on that.


Paul

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Unread 19th January 2009, 07:40 PM   #10
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Default Re: Being a better member moderator

I tried to respond to this earlier in the evening but have been through two
blackouts since 5 PM. At 8:30, we're finally back up and only a bit on the
chilly side.

I for one needed to see this thread. Thank you Paul for taking the time to
make the post. I know a lot of thought went into it.

In light of so much that has gone on here in the last 3 weeks, I am going to
start each day by reading this thread before making one post to this forum.

As you said, this is for the people who care.

I care.

Thank you.
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Unread 19th January 2009, 07:49 PM   #11
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Default Re: Being a better member moderator

I wholeheartedly agree. I don't spend too much time worrying about who is following the rules and who isn't and unless it's blatant spam I will probably not even see it. However, I think Paul's post is excellent and should be a guide for how we all conduct ourselves here.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Bestel View Post
As long as it meets with Allen's approval, maybe Paul's post could be tagged
onto the "Members are Moderators" sticky. Sort of suggested further reading.

Another stonking post Paul! Your obvious passion for maintaining a healthy
forum shines through. Let's hope that your message reaches the people it
needs to reach. I know I, like Jay, needed to hear it.

Thanks

Peter

-----------------------------------------
[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

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Unread 19th January 2009, 08:02 PM   #12
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Default Re: Being a better member moderator

Paul,

Quote:
Member moderation is like a "neighborhood watch" in many ways. It works best when the participants know the rules and understand the issues. And, sometimes, people who are minding their own business and hurting no-one will get hassled by control freaks and nosy busy-bodies who think everyone should have to live their way.
I find it both ironic and appropriate that you use the analogy of the 'neighborhood watch'.

Like most communities, we have a watch program where I live. While it's a good tool to use in crime prevention, the problem that usually comes up is the overzealousness of some of the watch personnel.

Since it's a volunteer organization, that does well all in all, you get the few that end up letting the badge and the car (fortunately they don't carry a weapon) go to their head. It's like it becomes a power trip that can get extreme.

In their desire to do the right thing, they become like little vigilantes that will get involved in ways that aren't their place to. The conclusion I always drew from the few like this is they are people that have nothing better to do with something to prove.

In the end it proves to be their undoing.

I can almost see the similarities to some of the 'neighborhood watch' personnel here.

Thanks,

John
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Unread 19th January 2009, 08:04 PM   #13
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Default Re: Being a better member moderator

Paul,
You took a lot of time and effort into clarifying this for everybody. My concern is that the people that need to read this, probably won't.

Thanks for this valuable contribution.

Talltom

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Unread 19th January 2009, 08:56 PM   #14
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Default Re: Being a better member moderator

This is the only other truly useful thread, besides the one that Allan posted, that I have seen on this subject lately.

If there was never another thread about member moderation ever we could rely on the wisdom in this one.

I vote to make it a sticky on all forums throughout the universe.

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Unread 19th January 2009, 09:13 PM   #15
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Default Re: Being a better member moderator

John,

I chose the "neighborhood watch" analogy for exactly the reason you mention. Everyone who's ever had to deal with those groups knows... Most of the people in them are there for their community. A small fraction are there for the perceived power.

I have no time or use for power junkies and control freaks.


Tom,

The people who read it, read it. If they apply it, and explain to others what they're doing, it will spread. If not, at least a few more people will understand the dynamics, which is always good for the group in the long run.


Steven,

This stuff is reflex to me. Very basic. There's precious little new in this area of communication. I saw the same things happening on BBS's back in the 80's. Fidonet, Usenet, discussion lists, web forums, bars... it's all the same.

Human beings.

The only real thought that went into this was in what to remove. I had about 3 pages of examples of things that have happened, and how they should have been handled. I deleted them all. They would have pissed off some people who deserve it, but they wouldn't have done any good in the long run.

It's rarely a good idea to derail your own thread.


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Unread 19th January 2009, 09:19 PM   #16
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Default Re: Being a better member moderator

Josh,

Thanks.

You missed some REALLY good stuff in a thread that got deleted a few days ago. Lots of useful and very insightful comments from lots of people. I might just dig the good stuff out of that thread and add it here, after removing any reference to specific situations or people.

There's a challenge with making something like this "sticky" anywhere. If you do that, basic guidelines take on a semblance of being rules, and the list lawyers start quibbling.

Not to mention, there are other approaches that work just as well. This is just one way of looking at it.


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Unread 19th January 2009, 10:33 PM   #17
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Default Re: Being a better member moderator

Paul,

You absolutely have to allow me to add your definition to my Warriors
Handbook. Back in mid 2008 I captured the domain name
warriorshandbook.com

I had planned to create a Handbook that could be distributed to new WF
members. It would consist of Words and Wisdom from Warrior Elders...lol

When Allen moved the WF to this new platform I placed the project on
hold until the dust settled. Now I feel the project is needed!

Please let me know if you would like to add a chapter to the project.
Paul, You can't blame me for asking, I would be in a "DUH" state if I didn't.

Your pearls of wisdom and clarity help make the WF a great place to be!

Have a Great Day/Night!
Michael

Last edited on 19th January 2009 at 10:37 PM. Reason: Went into a DUH state...lol
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Unread 19th January 2009, 10:37 PM   #18
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Default Re: Being a better member moderator

Quote:
There's a challenge with making something like this "sticky" anywhere. If you do that, basic guidelines take on a semblance of being rules, and the list lawyers start quibbling.

Not to mention, there are other approaches that work just as well. This is just one way of looking at it.

Paul
Then I volunteer to stand at the door and hand out Paul goggles. Not mandatory but they will increase your viewing pleasure. :-)

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Unread 19th January 2009, 10:55 PM   #19
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Default Re: Being a better member moderator

Michael,

Feel free to quote anything I say in this thread, and use it any way you like. With or without attribution.

Josh,
Quote:
Then I volunteer to stand at the door and hand out Paul goggles.
[chuckle] Thanks. I needed that laugh just then.


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Unread 19th January 2009, 11:21 PM   #20
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Default Re: Being a better member moderator

Hi Paul,

Thank you very much!

Of course I will give you total credit/attribution for the
"Being a better member moderator" section in the handbook.

Bless you and yours,
Have a Great Day/Night!
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Unread 20th January 2009, 12:10 AM   #21
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Default Re: Being a better member moderator

Sticky, please!

Great guidelines, Paul.

Steve

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Unread 20th January 2009, 02:58 AM   #22
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Default Re: Being a better member moderator

Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Anderson View Post
Then I volunteer to stand at the door and hand out Paul goggles. Not mandatory but they will increase your viewing pleasure. :-)
Josh,

You should brand that product and get it launched
immediately!

John

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Unread 20th January 2009, 03:17 AM   #23
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Default Re: Being a better member moderator

Quote:
Josh,

You should brand that product and get it launched
immediately!
The only problem is that they are in short supply since they are made from the glass bottoms of bottles from Paul's favorite beer.

Though I did consider it for a moment as an ebook title...

"Paul Goggles - A view of the world described purely with Myersisms"

Everyone should try on a pair at least once and this thread is a good example of why.

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Unread 20th January 2009, 03:19 AM   #24
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Default Re: Being a better member moderator

Josh,
Quote:
The only problem is that they are in short supply since they are made from the glass bottoms of bottles from Paul's favorite beer.
Not that short a supply. But short enough for a legitimate scarcity play.

And the "coolest" thing... They turn blue in the cold!


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Unread 20th January 2009, 03:32 AM   #25
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Default Re: Being a better member moderator

Paul,

May I post this on a couple of my sites (with full attribution)?

I was thinking maybe you could also make a pdf of it that people could send to their lists because it deserves to go viral.

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Unread 20th January 2009, 04:15 AM   #26
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Default Re: Being a better member moderator

Josh,

Careful, dude, or they'll be accusing you of setting up for a WSO.

Martin,

You, and anyone else I haven't explicitly warned NOT to use my content, may use this in any way you choose. As I said to Michael, with or without attribution, doesn't matter to me.

You may want to wait, though. I have a summary of some other things that you, Roger (ExRat), sevenish, and Thomas (tomw) had to say on the subject. Mind you, I can't give any kind of permission for their/your thoughts, but they're worth waiting to see (again) and ask them about.



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Unread 20th January 2009, 04:24 AM   #27
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Default Re: Being a better member moderator

Hi Paul,

I'll wait then. You have my permission to use what I said as you wish.

Martin
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Unread 20th January 2009, 05:32 AM   #28
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Default Re: Being a better member moderator

The Warrior Forum's first Redneck Sticky..

:-)

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Unread 20th January 2009, 06:06 AM   #29
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Default Re: Being a better member moderator

Wow, I go away for a few days and everyone gets all grow'd up 'n' sensible!



Thanks for making this thread, Paul. It's long overdue!

("Redneck Sticky" - LOL!)

I don't have a record of anything that I have written in any of the deleted threads. I write straight out of my head directly into the comment box. If you have a summary of some of the points that many of us made and choose to post them for the benefit of this thread then great.

I have no problem at all with anyone quoting something I may have written. However, I don't really think anything needs to be added to your original post. It stands up pretty damn well on its own in terms of clarification.

I'll leave the evaluation or judgement of absit omen to you.



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Unread 20th January 2009, 06:24 AM   #30
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Default Re: Being a better member moderator

Quote:
Originally Posted by admin View Post
The Warrior Forum's first Redneck Sticky..

:-)
Splorphhhh!!!!!

Allen,

You owe me a new freakin laptop!

Sheesh that's got my sides aching man. :-)

John

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Unread 20th January 2009, 06:33 AM   #31
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Default Re: Being a better member moderator

Hi Paul,
Quote:
I have a summary of some other things that you, Roger (ExRat), sevenish, and Thomas (tomw) had to say on the subject. Mind you, I can't give any kind of permission for their/your thoughts
Most of my thoughts come in one of two flavours -

Inpermissible or missable.

Hi Thomas,

Quote:
I write straight out of my head
Yeah, I've been called that too.

Hi Allen,

Quote:
The Warrior Forum's first Redneck Sticky..
...better than a sticky redneck.



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Unread 20th January 2009, 07:00 AM   #32
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Default Re: Being a better member moderator

Quote:
Originally Posted by ExRat View Post
Yeah, I've been called that too.
I knew that I could rely on you to pick up on the deliberate play on words.

My grammer sends her regards.



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Unread 20th January 2009, 10:46 AM   #33
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Default Re: Being a better member moderator

Allen,
Quote:
The Warrior Forum's first Redneck Sticky..
It's the yogurt. (That's my story and I'm sti... umm... anyway, that's my story.)

Maurice,

Thank you. You've given me illustrations of several other points that people can learn from. For instance, your comment...
Quote:
isn't that ironic
... is an example of what's called thread hijacking. Deliberately introducing off-topic comments (changing the subject), or on-topic comments that tend to pull the conversation in a different direction.

Some people freak out about this. I personally don't think it's always a bad thing, as long as the new direction is useful. It's good to be aware of it, though, because it's the most common cause of useful threads turning into flame-fests and getting deleted.

When good threads go bad, as it were.

What I just did there is called, "bringing it back on-topic."

As far as posting articles as thread starters, that's usually frowned on. The reasoning is the same as that applied to more direct advertising: It would quickly take over the forum, swamping conversation.

There is an article directory attached to this forum. You'll find the link on the front page, near the bottom.
Quote:
apparently the WF good ol boy network is still as strong as ever

sorry, i don't follow cults of personalities...regardless of how high their post or "thanks" count may be
Since you quoted me just before that, I should point out that I have repeatedly stated that I don't think post count is an indicator of much of anything except post count. I don't recall ever even discussing "thank you" counts at all. At least not as any indication of general status.

Yes, thankfully, the WF "good ol boy network" is still as strong as ever. And still as non-gender-specific as ever.

One of the things that people don't like to admit is that every forum has its share of cliques. (Note the spelling. It's not 'clicks.') A clique is just a group of people who share a common set of interests, and actively protect and promote those interests.

In any forum, the clique that's referred to as the "old boys network" is the group that protects the overall group: the forum itself. They actively promote the traditions, values and tone that are established over time, and which are set by the owner and/or moderator(s).

Folks who disagree with those values and traditions call it "the old boys network." Those who agree with them tend to refer to the people in that group as the forum's leaders, or senior members. There is one thing that can be said about these groups to which I've never seen an exception:

For any forum to be successful in the long term, it must develop an "old boys network."

These things tend to be exclusive. That's the nature of the beast. In order to be part of one, you must show - over an extended period, and by action, rather than just words - that you share the fundamental goals of the group.

Post count has very little to do with it, except in so far as there's a certain amount of time and activity that's needed, varying with the age of the group itself, to demonstrate consistency.

You don't "get in" by sucking up or just saying the right things. You get in when the established members of the group believe that you genuinely share the values that guide the forum overall. It's not a single step, and it's not something anyone votes on. It's a matter of recognizing a thing as it develops, rather than creating it.

Whether that's good or bad depends on the goals and values. The fact of the existence of an "old boys network" is just that: a fact. An inescapable reality of group dynamics.

That has very significant implications for marketing, and pretty much all of life, not just forums.

Humans are tribal creatures. Ignore that at your own risk.


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Unread 20th January 2009, 10:48 AM   #34
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Default Re: Being a better member moderator

Martin,

You've been reading my mind again. I hope it wasn't too scary an experience.


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Unread 20th January 2009, 11:17 AM   #35
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Default Re: Being a better member moderator

Maurice,
Quote:
I will always speak the truth, regardless of consequences or who's feathers get ruffled.
In this case, you are expressing a subjective opinion. (I know. That's somewhat redundant.)

Your conclusions are inconsistent with my experience of John Taylor and his motivations. That means one or both of us is/are operating from faulty assumptions.

Eliminate any assumption you can't demonstrate to an unbiased third party as provable fact, and see if you have enough left to support your conclusions.

Roger,
Quote:
I am part of 'the 'ole boys network.'
We mailed you the membership card and decoder ring last month. Haven't they gotten there yet?


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Unread 20th January 2009, 11:24 AM   #36
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Default Re: Being a better member moderator

WOW Paul,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Myers
Roger,We mailed you the membership card and decoder ring last month. Haven't they gotten there yet?
Paul
Are there any of these left? I must have missed the mailing.

Thanks,

John
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Unread 20th January 2009, 11:31 AM   #37
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Default Re: Being a better member moderator

Hi igrowyourbiz,

Quote:
I am automatically the bad guy because john is automatically the good guy. but thats a different point.
And woe betide anyone who dares to try and correct your victim mentality -

Keep your hands off those blinkers!

Life's much more comfortable when they're on and they allow me pass all responsibility for any problems I encounter onto everyone else - even if I end up hypocritically accusing them of not paying attention, when in fact it is I who is doing just that!

Quote:
I'm off to make some money...see ya later gators.
Troll-spotting secrets Vol 1

RES - Repetitive Exit Syndrome. Always more powerful when used with an accompanying 'I'm too busy' comment or 'I have more important things to do like making money - unlike you losers!'



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Unread 20th January 2009, 11:43 AM   #38
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Default Re: Being a better member moderator

John (globalpro),

Are you nuts? Do you know what could happen if we shipped a copy of the Warrior Protocols into the deep south? Those people are conspiracy nu... (What? Who? He lives in... Oh yeah.)

Ummm. We're out of copies. Yeah. That's it. We're out of copies. Maybe next shipment.

Maurice,
Quote:
I am automatically the bad guy because john is automatically the good guy. but thats a different point.
Excuse me? I took no side on the issue at all. You may want to redirect those comments to the people with whom you have an issue. They don't include me.


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Unread 20th January 2009, 11:45 AM   #39
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Default Re: Being a better member moderator

Ken,
Quote:
Please stop responding to igrowyourbiz' posts -- it takes two to keep a thread hijacking going.
True. On the flip side, this is an excellent illustration of a number of things that people should get familiar with and learn to understand.

I think it's quite appropriate for this thread.


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Last edited on 20th January 2009 at 11:46 AM. Reason: Corrected typo.
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Unread 20th January 2009, 11:52 AM   #40
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Default Re: Being a better member moderator

Maurice

Quote:
but in the end...what difference does it make...I am automatically the bad guy because john is automatically the good guy. but thats a different point.
Here's my experience of how these things pan out.

1. Member feels victimised. Makes a snide remark.

2. People ask what it means.

3. Member complains of mistreatment.

4. Other Warriors try to point out where the misunderstanding lies.

5. Member persists in feeling victimized and lashes out even more.

6. Other Warriors try once more.

7. Member acknowledges a slight fault in the way s/he complained but persists in the belief 'they' are out to get her/him.

8. Other Warriors decide enough is enough. The old boy network swings into action and the Member receives heavy flak.

9. Member leaves thread because no longer wishes to mix with people who have inferior debating skills.

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Unread 20th January 2009, 11:56 AM   #41
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Default Re: Being a better member moderator

Quote:
Originally Posted by ExRat View Post
Troll-spotting secrets Vol 1

RES - Repetitive Exit Syndrome. Always more powerful when used with an accompanying 'I'm too busy' comment or 'I have more important things to do like making money - unlike you losers!'


Peace

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Unread 20th January 2009, 12:08 PM   #42
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Default Re: Being a better member moderator

For some reason I feel like doing my ironing now.

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Unread 20th January 2009, 12:14 PM   #43
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Default Re: Being a better member moderator

Martin,

That's an accurate description Martin. It's a shame that given the
opportunity the process is often circular and no sooner have they got to
#9 then they make another post and start at #1 once more.

It's as if the forum is a free flowing river of information. Every now and
then an obstacle disturbs the flow. Usually, as you say, a minor
disagreement or snide comment. Behind this obstacle the current gets sent
into reverse and swirls around getting nowhere until it dissapates.

It's a forum 'eddy'.

Nothing to get het up about, just a little hiccough that will soon disappear,
forgotten but not gone.

I agree with Paul, this particular eddy is worth keeping in this thread; it's
informative and illustrative of the issues that member moderators face.

Peter
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Unread 20th January 2009, 01:12 PM   #44
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Default Re: Being a better member moderator

Hi Peter,

Quote:
It's as if the forum is a free flowing river of information. Every now and then an obstacle disturbs the flow. Usually, as you say, a minor disagreement or snide comment. Behind this obstacle the current gets sent into reverse and swirls around getting nowhere until it dissapates.
Beautifully analogous.

This 'object' that 'disturbs the flow' business - makes me think of another water-based analogy, that's applicable, but a little more descriptive, and possibly not quite as beautiful or acceptable. :rolleyes:



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Unread 20th January 2009, 02:42 PM   #45
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Default Re: Being a better member moderator

Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Anderson View Post
Then I volunteer to stand at the door and hand out Paul goggles. Not mandatory but they will increase your viewing pleasure. :-)
Are those kind of like Beer Goggles?

-----------------------------------------
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Unread 20th January 2009, 03:00 PM   #46
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Default Re: Being a better member moderator

Quote:
Are you nuts? Do you know what could happen if we shipped a copy of the Warrior Protocols into the deep south? Those people are conspiracy nu... (What? Who? He lives in... Oh yeah.)
OK - now I'm feeling geographically challenged. Ordinarily I'd think it was just temperature related winter jealousy - but I'm freezing my tootsies off today in the deeeeep South so it must be a conspiracy.....for real.


Even so, I'm enjoying this thread immensely.

kay
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Unread 20th January 2009, 05:48 PM   #47
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Default Re: Being a better member moderator

Hi,

I appreciate that this is a useful sticky, and normally I wouldn't add any more dross to it than I already have. But as Paul's useful post has been generally defaced anyway (yes I contributed too), I'll make an exception. I'm sure at some point, if it is needed, this thread can be cleaned up and have the off-topic whingeing stuff deleted.

There has been a lot of interesting discussion recently about moderation and the forum in general - some of it useful, a lot of it whingeing-based. After getting involved in that stuff myself (not the whingeing), and also other things (EG people here selling dross to other warriors, then preaching in threads about 'keeping it real' and similar).....I'm left with a thought and a song stuck in my swede.

Most people I encounter who come to this forum agree on one thing - amongst whatever else they have to fight their way through, they find gold here that they cannot find anywhere else, regardless of how hard they look. I too fit into this category. This place isn't perfect (nothing is) but I find all sorts of gold here, which has impacted my career positively, which is one of the big reasons why I come here.

When it comes to the rest of the internet, I'm pretty liberal-minded about what people get up to in order to earn a shilling - hey! - It's a dog-eat-dog world. I'm also aware that for an IMer, this forum is a rich feeding ground, which is tempting.

But regardless, I feel compelled to point out to warriors that there is so much abundance around, that it is not a sin to leave a bit of change on the table when one visits here, whether that applies to -

a) how you treat others here (in terms of how far you will go in order to dip into their paypal accounts)

b) how you treat the 'hand that feeds you', or how you respond when things aren't perfect, in terms of criticising the way the forum is run, thus bringing the mood down in general and bringing negativity in, directed towards the admin, actively moderating members (trying their best, most of the time) and the group as a whole.

The whole situation compels me to present you with a song by a band I like. WARNING - four letter swear word (s* word) used frequently.

Audio version (play button on top right) -

Advice for my fellow warriors

Video version of same song, live in concert -

Advice for my fellow warriors

I do hope that the message I intend to get across is the one that is received, and perhaps, this is actually relevant. And just perhaps, there would be a lot less moderation required and less perceived negativity required, if people adhered to the principles of the simple rule presented in the song.

{For the hard of hearing or click-lazy, here's a brief summary - 'Don't sh*t where you eat, my friend'...}



Roger Davis

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Unread 20th January 2009, 06:00 PM   #48
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Default Re: Being a better member moderator

Wonderful end to this thread. Nothing further to be added. Except maybe a word from our sponsor.



Cue music...roll end credits.
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Unread 20th January 2009, 06:10 PM   #49
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Default Re: Being a better member moderator

Hi Thomas,
Quote:
Except maybe a word from our sponsor.
See my sig, special offer - today only.

Discounted Ark Exhausts And Ark Racing Kits



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Unread 20th January 2009, 06:15 PM   #50
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Default Re: Being a better member moderator

Paul Myers should have been a writer (i know, i know)

I always enjoy reading your posts and I always learn something.

Write on,
Peace Out.

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