A call to end some melodrama..

Discussion in 'APUG System Announcements' started by Sean, Nov 6, 2004.

  1. Sean

    Sean Admin Staff Member Admin

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    Ok.. I have been getting a rather large amount of emails and private messages from members regarding recent forum activity. To be honest I believe we're getting caught up in a bit of melodrama here. I have given this some examination and I don't see any major problems on the site that would be considered out of the ordinary, or that the sky is falling. With over 3,150 user registrations and over 2,200 unique visits to the site per day you can imagine the diversity of members and volume of postings here. We register 10-15 new users per day. The big picture - We've had nearly 7,000 threads started and only a handful are 'controversial' in some way. Out of those handful most of them were either locked or deleted. These things happen on internet forums or newsgroups, it comes with the territory. A slight rise in these types of threads from what I can see is a direct correlation to the increase in overall site activity and growth. For the most part everything is running smooth, and nearly every thread that I read is pleasant.

    I am trying to find the root cause of the recent dramas and I believe it is a combination of 2 things:
    1. The nature of large internet forums, and their diversity of members
    2. Perhaps some members are bringing this pain upon themselves?

    In a perfect world I could examine every post and help steer every thread until it shimmers like a rainbow, but.. That’s just not realistic in the world of internet discussion forums. So where does this leave us? It means you guys need to take some responsibility for your actions. How can you do this? First thing is to use the ignore list feature of this forum. There are some major personality clashes here, so if you do not get along with someone it is ideal that you simply add them to your ignore list and be done with them.

    To add someone to your ignore list:

    First go to the Member Links menu item and select "Your Buddy/Ignore List"


    [​IMG]


    Then add the name and click the update button:


    [​IMG]

    very simple.​

    The second thing you can do is learning which threads you should completely avoid. For example if politics and religious discussion can lead to your getting upset, it is best you stay out of these threads at all costs. If some jokes may offend you, why go into a joke thread knowing 100 people have posted jokes and there will likely be several that offend you?
    I frequent many forums on the net and APUG has one of the lowest signal to noise ratios I have ever seen. When I use net forums I never expect them to cater to me, I expect myself to steer my way through them in the best possible manner. I ignore the idiot posters, and only visit threads that can benefit me in some way. I also keep a thick skin and never assume someone's attitude or tone based on screen text. And most importantly I do not "feed the trolls" as they say.

    This is not to say APUG is going to be a free for all and everyone is on their own now. It is just a wake up call to say enough is enough, ignore people you do not like, stay away from threads that might give you grief. It's better for you, me, and the community as a whole. I like to be as hands off as possible to maintain our freedom of speech, and as usual will be keeping an eye on things if they do need serious intervention. However, at the same time I am getting more prone to responding to some of these dramas with "you've brought this on yourself, I can't help you". I hope you guys can understand where I am coming from. It is the ongoing saga of trying to balance this community without self-destructing my own personal life, and if everyone expects APUG to be some kind of utopian photographic society then we’re in a bit of trouble. Thanks for your time, and hopefully understanding. Now let's get back to photography..

    Sean
     
  2. Stephen J. Collier

    Stephen J. Collier Member

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    Bravo and keep up the good work. I think we all appreciate the opportunity that you have afforded us with this site.
     
  3. TPPhotog

    TPPhotog Member

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    Sean an objective and rational solution as always. I know some of us may make you more work than we should, but you are very appreciated so a big thank you!

    Best wishes Tony
     
  4. BWGirl

    BWGirl Member

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    Thanks Sean!
     
  5. Jorge

    Jorge Inactive

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    So where is my pre-pre-emptive global ignore list?......
     
  6. Dave Parker

    Dave Parker Inactive

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    Sean,

    I Commend you highly, your doing a great job, much better than I did, when I ran one of my message systems, the frustration is great, the rewards are few, but you have risen to thet top and are doing this very well, keep up the great work, and most of all, Thank you for your dream of keeping analog photography alive.

    Dave Parker
    Ground Glass Specialties
    Satin Snow(TM) Ground Glass...

    And to the rest of you, If you don't like it, then don't read it!
     
  7. TPPhotog

    TPPhotog Member

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    Jorge no point in asking as Sean used it himself and cannot see you :D
     
  8. Jorge

    Jorge Inactive

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    LOL...you might have a point there, he is probably tired of all of us....
     
  9. Sean

    Sean Admin Staff Member Admin

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    Now that you mention it Jorge, it could be a good idea. On registration, everyone fills out a personality test, then based on the results of that test, personalities you clash with are auto added to your ignore list :tongue:
     
  10. Tom Duffy

    Tom Duffy Member

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    Sean,
    By and large I agree with you. the number of posts to the "lounge" shows its popularity. If APUG were to be overmoderated to the point of "sanitation" it would take much of the vibrancy from the site.

    I do think however, and I think you agree, that there are limits which need to be enforced. It is possible to post a joke that is in such bad taste that a reasonable person, or someone who belongs to the group being targeted finds deeply offensive. For examples, a sex joke that demeans women, a sacrilegious joke that demeans a religion, or an ethnic joke that demeans a minority.

    It is also possible to post to a thread or a critique a remark that absolutely insults, ridicules, or hurts another person. These postings don't belong on APUG and it's your responsibility to take the appropriate action.
     
  11. Sean

    Sean Admin Staff Member Admin

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    Agreed, and I try my best to action them. It is very helpful when people use the "report this post" button so I can guage how much attention it needs..
     
  12. Brac

    Brac Member

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    I'm very new here but I think it's a fantastic forum for getting information & giving mutual help. I don't have any problems with what I've seen so far and compared with one or two threads I've seen elsewhere APUG seems a model of its kind. Everything you say Sean makes sense and at the end of the day we all need to take responsibility for what we say and try and be sensitive to others.
     
  13. Jorge

    Jorge Inactive

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    Make sure you fill it out too.... :tongue:

    But I prefer the one where everyone is on mylist and I can just remove them...it should be easier for me.... :D

    Oh, and make sure that Tony guy is in it....the nerve of insulting my ott...erm...dog....
     
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  15. TPPhotog

    TPPhotog Member

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    Isn't a "ott...erm...dog" what you put ketchup and mustard on before you eat it? :D LOL

    Sean just "hard code" Jorges into mine please :tongue:
     
  16. Flotsam

    Flotsam Member

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    This must be happening on the back channels. I haven't seen anything all that dramatic in the forums. Maybe a few posts that were a bit cavalier and perhaps less than sensitive but when I lost interest and stopped reading them, they didn't concern me a bit.
     
  17. jd callow

    jd callow Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    nothing to see or read. Some small amount of people reading more than what was written, others or at least one (I didn't say blansky) writing to bait the same group and others not being careful with their points.
     
  18. Art Vandalay

    Art Vandalay Member

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    I believe the Lounge and Philosophy threads must cause the most problems. You might consider isolating the above forums so that they don't show up on the recent activity list unless the member has checked them off in his/her profile. I think you've done a great job and the flaming is much less on here than elsewhere.
     
  19. photomc

    photomc Member

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    First of all Wahh!!! Forgive me, I needed that. Sean, IT IS YOUR SITE, we are just visitors here - you do what ever you deem is needed. Come on people, if someone/subject bothers you - DON'T GO THERE. And let's not forget, this is a global community and not everyone shares the same culture. Do I think things get out of hand, SURE - but then I just use my mental ignore list (Jorge - Tony if you want I can email you a bottle of mental ignore pills :D ) it works almost as well as the ignore list on the site. Have used the ignore list a few times, but never on a perm. basis.

    So let's all try to stay calm, Sean has a lot of film he would like to use and it is getting tough to carry a laptop with that wireless card and stay within range and still get to the beach and do some photography. After all, isn't that what WE ALL should be doing?

    Seriously, I think that the group can monitor itself quite well, for those that I have offended (not sure how, but hey I can piss em off with the best of em) I apologize. Life is to short to worry about this stuff.
     
  20. Glenn Mathison

    Glenn Mathison Member

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    Sounds perfectly reasonable to me. Keep up the (mostly hands off) good work Sean.

    As you say, we have a remarkably low-irritant environment here compared to every other nook and cranny of the net I've trawled over the years. We should be grateful for that...
     
  21. Andy K

    Andy K Member

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    The problem is that almost all jokes are centred around a winner and a loser or irreverence for a belief or lifestyle, the only way to avoid offending anyone is to not post any jokes at all. I like reading the jokes thread, it gives me an insight to different people's viewpoints and humour around the world, and if a joke includes a group I may belong to I do not take offence, I see it for what it is, a joke.


    I completely agree. A critique is supposed to be constructive criticism, not an opportunity to attack or belittle someone's photographic skills. Fortunately I have not yet seen any p.net style put downs on APUG, so again this site shows it's unique community spirit.


    Very good advice which should be the first Law of the Internet.

    This is probably the most 'rounded', informative and helpful site I have ever belonged to. Long may it remain so. You do a great job Sean (even if some of us make it harder for you) keep it up. I hope I'm safe in saying your hard work is well appreciated by all of us here on APUG.
     
  22. Mongo

    Mongo Member

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    I have had the great good fortune to be involved in various incarnations of "the Internet" for a very long time, and have either read or contributed to more forums/groups/newsgroups/etc. than I care to remember. APUG is, without a doubt, the best of these groups in every sense.

    I've gotten more good advice, more good laughs, and more knowledge than I would have ever expected when I first stumbled upon this group.

    Some of the credit for the nature of APUG belongs to the membership; especially to those members who bring not only years of experience but also well-balanced personalities and somewhat thicker-than-usual skin to the group. Some of the credit goes to the fact that APUG has remained a very focused community wherein we can share and learn about something that is important to us. But by far the greatest contribution to the on-going stability and value of this site belongs to Sean.

    Sean has asked our opinion on topics when he (pretty obviously, anyhow) felt that the community should be allowed the opportunity to provide input into how the community is run. Sean has provided a consistent message to all of us (reinforced in this very thread) that ignoring those who upset us is the best way to handle things when threads get out of hand. Sean has offered the community guidance with a light touch rather than with a heavy hand.

    Somewhere inside of me, I'd like to believe that I am usually a level-headed, reasonable person in a world in which such qualities are not always valued. Sean has shown me through his actions that level-headedness and reasonableness have a valuable place in the world.

    Sean: Thank you for the work you do here on APUG. Thank you for maintaining a community that must, at least at times, make you want to either tear your hair out or throw in the towel. You have provided us a place where we can not only go to learn, but also to flourish.
     
  23. Fintan

    Fintan Member

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    I live in a country that has seen thousands of people killed, maimed, tortured and bullied because they held the "wrong" political or religious beliefs. Fortunatly these occurances are less frequent in recent years but sadly not completely eliminated.

    For me Photography and in this case APUG has been a wonderful escape from bigotry and intolerance. Analogue Photography and APUG gives me great joy. I respect each and everyones political and religious belief but I really dont want to read about it here. Political and religious comments add nothing to Analogue Photography.

    We are all united in our love of Analogue, please leave all other potentially divisive discussions and comments for other more appropriate forums much in the same manner we have asked that digital discussion.
     
  24. ErnaR

    ErnaR Member

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    My suggestion is that all entries from the Lounge and Ethics and Phil. don't show up under "recent posts". Only those really interested in getting into things there could navigate to them off the menu. I know you can just ignore them, but it would elliminate the "drive by shootings". Just a thought.
     
  25. bmac

    bmac Member

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    Would that not be intolerance of digital? If you don't like the subject or direction of a thread, just don't read it. Pretty simple.
     
  26. blansky

    blansky Subscriber

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    Personally, when we log on I don't think there should be anybody else's post present at all. There should just be all of our own posts, correct, santized and obviously very intelligent, then there would be no possible way that we would be offended.

    Unless of course we were the type with multiple personalities, or maybe have memory issues, and didn't agree with what we said yesterday.

    Then, if one day we felt really strong or bold we could have button we pressed that could have the opinions or advise of the people that we sort of liked, sort of, maybe.

    Then there would also be another button that we could use when we are logging on drunk, or maybe cranky, or bloated, or hormonal, we could see the posts of those stupid people that we could argue with and abuse.

    I'm thinkin that would make the site way better.


    Michael