TBD on Ning

What I got out of Rules for Forum Guidelines

I want to thank everyone for participating in this discussion.

Hope there wasn’t too much blood spilled.

First, a few disclaimers: I started this discussion in order to try to find out how the membership of the site felt about the current tone of discussions. Some members had expressed dismay about the direction in which they perceived the site to be moving.  Some members felt that there was nothing wrong with the way the site was developing.

Some of the concerns were: Are new people turned off by the perceived lack of maturity of some of the discussion areas?   

How much censorship is needed to keep the site from degerating into a swampland that mature adults would not be care to visit.

Why are we here and what would we like the site to be.

Is the current design achieving the desired result?

After 162 replies this is what I think emerged.

I have purposely ignored any posts which I felt did not address the purpose of this discussion.

I take full responsibility for the entire process.  If you have a problem with this report, please PM me.

If you want to comment please feel free to do it in the comment area, or PM me.

I do not think anything contained herein should offend anyone,  but if anything does, please feel free to comment or PM me.


I have read and reread the comments.  Here are my suggestions.


I.                    Moderators

1. Once you accept the moderator designation, you become an authority figure.  When you comment, you will be perceived to be speaking as a moderator unless you make it perfectly clear that you are not speaking  as a moderator.  You should be able to do this by stating such.  At all other times you will be perceived by some as a moderator.  I would hope that when you state that this comment, or thread, is a personal statement not made in my capacity as a moderator. Everyone else would treat you as a regular member.

2.  It might be better if the moderators posted under different names for official and non official postings.  Remember askbukoski.

3. If you are going to comment on a post/thread/discussion/whatever as a moderator, do it as early in the process as possible.

If a discussion looks like it is going South, it probably is.


II.                  MAIN PAGE

1.       There were numerious references made about “Smut” on the main page.  I think this must refer to the opening sentence or paragraph that is displayed as part of the “Most Recent discussions or groups".

2.       Currently there are featured members and groups displayed on the main page. WHY? What purpose does this serve? How are they chosen?  Would it be  better to use the  space on the main page to identify and explain the main components of the site. This would include Q &A, Forum,  The Welcome Lounge,  Blogs, Chat, and Groups.

3.       At present “The Welcome Lounge is the only area at that level that has a lead in introduction. The others just dump you in with no explanation whatsoever.  Chat opens up a page with no explanation whatsoever. Remember this is an over 40 group.  Twenty years ago most people were not familiar with computers.  Most of us still need written explanations about how to navigate around a site. The first time I went into chat I had to shut down my computer to get out of chat.

Forum just opens a page titled Forum discussions. If you go to the dictionary and look up Forum, one of the definitions is; A square in ancient Roman cities used for doing business. We are not allowed to use it for business.

4.       Maybe “The Welcome Lounge” would be the best place to introduce the other sections.  Each section should have a short introductory paragraph explaining what the section is about and what rules of conduct govern.

III.                Inappropriate Content Flag.  There are suggestions that this should be reinstated.

IV.                A general statement of caution that this is an adult site and individuals might find some of the material offensive should be posted. Recommended action to be taken if material that is offensive to you is encountered should be included.

V.                  Another possible solution is to require that anyone who posts a discussion of any type be responsible for monitoring the material posted. Guidelines about the material that might be encountered would be posted and the discussion leader would be available for comments/complaints.  This would mean that discussion originators would have to accept PMs about the discussion.  

I will be closing the discussion at 8:00am tomorrow the 21st of Jan. 2010. Anyone who has additional comments can post them here or start your own discussion.


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Replies to This Discussion

Don't close the discussion if it means no one will have the opportunity to read your results!
Your findings need to be posted for quite awhile for others to read.

Perhaps I don't know how it works to "close the discussion," but your comments need to be out here for awhile.
Karen, I meant that I will close the other discussion, "Forum Guidelines". This one, i plan to leave up until every one is sick of it.
Wow Robbie this seems a wonderful conclusion. You are very good at what you do! Impressive, IMO of course. Thank you for the for the discussion, sometimes things work in mysterious ways.
Well done ROBBIE! Thank you for your under-appreciated effort to make some sense out of the "temporary" (I hope) confusion or perhaps, NING's growing pain.
Kudos Robbie!
Robbie Thank You for the time and thought you have put into this.
As far as another name for the moderators. I prefer to keep it the way it is. I hope people know when I am commenting as a member and I do try to let people know when I am wearing the moderators hat.
One thing I have seen that you didn't mention is people wondering why the moderators didn't take a certain action. Honestly it is normally that we don't see it. I wish people would contact us more when they think there is a problem.
At this point it does not matter if it's going to be deleted or not. What is said will stay in the memories of the participants: a word is not a bird, you can not catch it. Therefore, much more important for the participants to make their conclusions and decisions and try to behave in a civilized manner.
If I understood Chuck correctly. Taking it private and behind closed doors would mean that members would be taking their suggestions and complaints directly to a moderator. It wouldn't be out here in a public forum where there would just be more bickering and nothing getting accomplished. We would need to trust the moderators to address the concerns, and come to a decision. That decision would be final.
Very much agreed Chuck. DELETE
The USA turns 224 years old this year. I wondered years ago, as a young man, why do we still have legislators (congress/senate)? Our forefathers did a fantastic job with our constitution and Bill of Rights. They invented the best govt. possible to ensure checks and balances with the 3 branches: legislative, executive and judicial. To answer my own question from years ago; times change and some laws need to change with the times. We elect our legislators and put our trust in them to be fair and create laws for the greater good.

Like chuck, I trust the moderators here, I've seen them in action and am impressed with the thankless job they do here.
If a discussion is posted in a spot that is not appropriate for that particular posting, then a moderator should be able to move the discussion to the appropriate place and leave a link indicating where the discussion is moved. Deletion of the content should not be encouraged in social websites, but rather the guidelines should indicate what is appropriate and what is not. If the posting violates the strongly defined guidelines, only then the discussion can be deleted giving a detailed explanation of the reasoning. This action will ensure respect to ALL member not just the creators of this website and moderators.




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