Soap Box Forum Access Changes

Discussion in 'APUG System Announcements' started by Sean, Mar 11, 2006.

  1. Sean

    Sean Admin Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,955
    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2002
    Location:
    New Zealand
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Hello All,

    Due to concerns over the soap box seriously impacting new members impression of APUG I have decided to lock it down a bit more.

    Previous Access:
    open to all registered members

    New Access:
    open to apug subscribers who have atleast 5 or more posts in the forums

    *If you are a subscriber who only 'lurks' and does not post just PM me and I can add your access to the soap box if you need it.
     
  2. Jim Chinn

    Jim Chinn Member

    Messages:
    2,512
    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2002
    Location:
    Omaha, Nebra
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Missed the other post about the soap box and have had it on ignore since it is the same boring arguments over and over. But decided to check it out.

    All I can say is PU!

    In light of a couple of the last threads in there I can see why someone might stumble on to it and never come back to APUG. It really is becoming a cesspool.
     
  3. Troy

    Troy Subscriber

    Messages:
    259
    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2004
    Location:
    State 'O' Ma
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I agree. I love APUG and the soap box does NOTHING for it. It just duplicates the screaming that goes on, 24/7, on cable TV. I threw away my TV.
     
  4. jeroldharter

    jeroldharter Member

    Messages:
    1,954
    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2005
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    I disagree. It is a good outlet for a lot whining and a gathering place for massive self-righteous indignation that otherwise stays out of the regular APUG threads.

    I agree with the policy of taking it off the front page.
     
  5. Dave Parker

    Dave Parker Inactive

    Messages:
    4,049
    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2004
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Heck, I put the soap box on ignore when it first came about, and have never figured out how to take if off ignore, so no effects on me, besides I really don't take alot of the nastiness posted in certain areas very seriously..now back to my surreal life...

    LOL

    Dave
     
  6. Michel Hardy-Vallée

    Michel Hardy-Vallée Membership Council

    Messages:
    4,351
    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2005
    Location:
    Montréal (QC
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    It starts looking like an overfull toilet: better flush it before it smears the wall. Perhaps an auto-delete function? Do you guys think keeping an archive of such discussions might be useful in the long term?
     
  7. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    17,922
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2002
    Location:
    Honolulu, Ha
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    Other changes enacted are that Soap Box threads don't show up in the "New Posts" list or in searches, so even if they are archived, they won't come up on APUG searches. So if you really want to play in the Soap Box, you have to go looking for it. Mephistopheles only enters after he's been invited in three times, after all.

    An expiration date on Soap Box posts, though, isn't necessarily a bad idea, so they don't come up in Google or other searches.
     
  8. Buster6X6

    Buster6X6 Member

    Messages:
    715
    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2004
    Location:
    London Ontar
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    What is a Soap Box?

    LOL

    Greg
     
  9. BruceN

    BruceN Member

    Messages:
    585
    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2004
    Location:
    Wyoming
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Morbid curiosity got the better of me, so I took it off ignore long enough to go in a take a quick look. I don't think it's proper at all to compare the Soap Box to an overflowing toilet - such a comparison is completely unfair to the toilet.
    Safely back on "ignore" where it belongs.
     
  10. Bob F.

    Bob F. Member

    Messages:
    3,984
    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2004
    Location:
    London
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I occasionally pop in to see which mode of insanity is fashionable this season. Otherwise, it is on ignore and I made a solemn vow to myself not to post when I do take one of my little voyeuristic peeks...

    If it is to remain, I do very much like the idea of killing older threads; perhaps everything over a month old could go in to the bin?

    Cheers, Bob.
     
  11. John Simmons

    John Simmons Member

    Messages:
    934
    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2004
    Location:
    Michigan
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    I agree that a limited restriction is good. Just don't get rid of it....I don't want to go back to watching daytime soap operas.
     
  12. rfshootist

    rfshootist Member

    Messages:
    387
    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2005
    Location:
    Old Europe
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    Would be my question too. In principle the idea to channel all crap into a separated pot is positive, but somehow it is like a s**thouse in the middle of the living room.
    Why can't those go out in the woods who must get rid periodically of their mental diarrhoe ?
    It would be better to keep that stuff completely out of the forum, and that is not impossible, it needs a consequent going through with the rules of decent communication and with keeping out a certain kinda issues. This Soapbox is an image killer.

    bertram
     
  13. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    17,922
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2002
    Location:
    Honolulu, Ha
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    Having that discussion in the forums was definitely an image killer. Managing it didn't get rid of it, but led to yet more image-killing discussion, threads about moderation policy, constant monitoring, having to delete posts and ban members, and all the behind-the-scenes discussion and correspondence that went along with it, and then having to ban troublemakers who would re-register under a new ID and cause more trouble.

    I've been on a few forums that have "safety valve" areas and by and large they work pretty well. They start out controversial, and then they pretty much settle down into backwaters that no one visits except for occasional amusement. Thus far, it's worked pretty well here, and I think the new refinements should continue to keep the non-productive discussion at the margins.
     
  14. Sponsored Ad
  15. chiller

    chiller Member

    Messages:
    184
    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2005
    Location:
    Adelaide Aus
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I placed the Soapbox on ignore not long after joining APUG. It is a very useless waste of bandwith, has nothing to do with photography and does not offer anything of worth photographically to potential new mwembers who are browsing the site. The attitudes are less than civil in most cases or degenerate to that point very quickly.

    This sums it up perfectly -- quote --

    " ---- but somehow it is like a s**thouse in the middle of the living room."

    Until I discovered the ignore function I was very seriously considering leaving the forum.
     
  16. rbarker

    rbarker Member

    Messages:
    2,222
    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2004
    Location:
    Rio Rancho,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    David, FWIW, I think you and the other moderators are doing a good job in handling the controversial "resource" the Soap Box represents. Personally, I'm happy with whatever you folks want to do with it, as I try very hard not to go there.

    While I recognize the benefit of having a "safety valve area" on a high-traffic forum, it's unfortunate that otherwise mature adults need such a resource and require others to manage their behavior.
     
  17. roteague

    roteague Member

    Messages:
    6,671
    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2004
    Location:
    Kaneohe, Haw
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    I don't go there at all anymore.
     
  18. Flotsam

    Flotsam Member

    Messages:
    3,221
    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2002
    Location:
    S.E. New Yor
    The Soapbox was created as a solution to a problem.
    Before it was created, threads on current events or Digital vs. Analog or even analog photographic related topics would pop up that would quickly spin into furballs as others would jump in to state or defend their own opinions. These would spring up in the Lounge or worse, an otherwise interesting and informative photographic thread would be hijacked off topic and ruined by a few hot heads in a personal pissing contest. Sean, and later the several moderators that he eventually had to recruit just in order to keep on top of the problem, were caught in the position of finding the problem, deciding when it was more than a small dust-up that could be overlooked and trying to deal with it by asking, then warning, and sometimes by deleting. Deletions would inevitably be followed by an even longer angry argument about free speech and censorship on the internet. It turned into a truly confusing mess when certain posts would be deleted and then there would be references back to something within the deleted post further on in the thread. If you were just reading it through, nothing would make sense. I found it annoying, imagine what prospective new members or people googling into the site thought of it.

    Once the Soapbox was created, any members who just couldn't resist starting an OT controversial thread had a place to do it and everyone else could either respond or completely ignore it as they wished. If someone started such a thread or hijacked a legitimate one elsewhere in the forums, a moderator could quickly move it to the SB. No censorship issue. It was merely moved to the appropriate place on the site.
    Not a perfect solution but I think that it has worked out pretty well.

    I'm surprised that so many people who claim to be happily ignoring the Soapbox now are so vehiment about simply pulling the plug and eliminating it. I sure hope that they have a better plan to replace it.

    The more apt analogy would be "Why have a separate, isolated bathroom in your home?"
    The obvious answer is "So people don't crap in all the other rooms"

    Perhaps a lesson can be learned from what happened when Arigram pulled a toilet out of his darkroom as related in his "My darkroom smells like poop" thread :surprised: :smile:
     
  19. Sean

    Sean Admin Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,955
    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2002
    Location:
    New Zealand
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Now potential new members can no longer see the soapbox. unregistered members can not see it, registered members can not see it and now only subscribers with 5 posts under their belt can see it. So this should tackle most of the 1st impression issues. Everything David and Flotsam say above is pretty spot on. Without the soapbox I think we'd have trouble keeping moderators on board and keeping dustups out of the general forums..
     
  20. André E.C.

    André E.C. Member

    Messages:
    1,520
    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2004
    Location:
    Finland
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    The Soap Box act as a filter, therefore, there`s a reason for it`s existence within the community.

    Cheers

    André
     
  21. rfshootist

    rfshootist Member

    Messages:
    387
    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2005
    Location:
    Old Europe
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    I'll try to make it clearer:
    What I wanted to say is that this toilet, which you cannot flush, isn't really "isolated". In which way ever, it is part of the forum and that is why I keep it as an image killer, hidden or not.
    So the real analogy would be this is a room where everyboy can go s**t on the floor.I would not like to have such a room in my flat.

    I admit one can have another POV here too, no question. Especially seen from the standpoint of the moderator, who would have a much harder and more time eating job without the soapbox. And so it is not a perfect but an economical solution anyway.

    bertram
     
  22. Brac

    Brac Member

    Messages:
    632
    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2004
    Location:
    UK
    Shooter:
    35mm
    I may be missing the point here (it's late) but if only subscribers with 5 posts can see it, does that mean that subscribers with less and people who are members but not subscribers will now post their controversial contributions in places other than the soapbox (because they can't see it)? If so, that seems rather to defeat the stated object.
     
  23. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    17,922
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2002
    Location:
    Honolulu, Ha
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    If they do, the posts will be deleted or moved to the SoapBox, where they won't be able to participate in their own discussion, but so be it.

    Infrequent posters tend not to be too big of an issue in any case, because, after all, they're infrequent posters.
     
  24. Hero!

    Hero! Member

    Messages:
    13
    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2004
    Location:
    Austin, Texa
    Shooter:
    Med. Format RF
    Trying to build up to 5 posts and not be a big issue in any case.
     
  25. Hero!

    Hero! Member

    Messages:
    13
    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2004
    Location:
    Austin, Texa
    Shooter:
    Med. Format RF
    I'm trying to build up to 5 posts so I can go there - life without the soap box makes me a dull boy and the APUG just so-so....
     
  26. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

    Messages:
    25,101
    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2005
    Location:
    Rochester, N
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I made 3 posts to a recent thread which was moved to the soapbox after my first post.

    The second post took about 1/2 hour to appear there. It was in limbo while it was being 'inspected'.

    The third has not appeared yet and it has been 12 hours. Now, I suspect that either the inspector 'censored' it, or it was lost, or you guys are very busy. That is certainly acceptable in any case, but I felt that if 'censored' the poster should be informed, and if lost somehow, you moderators should know that something went wrong.

    PE