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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Well said, Dear Lady. By the time i get through reading all the rules I really don't want to play any more...
That is exactly what is happening - old members left, new members need to be attracted. The website has to be promoted. Nobody is going to do it, because it costs money. Pretty soon 'the safe playground' is going to be empty and there will be nobody to play with. That's how the cookie crumbles with all the deleting that was going on, all the bullying, disrespect, pornography like content: you get what you deserve.

I can't speak for others, but what I think emerged from this discussion is not to eliminate anything. Just to organize it a little better so that people who Are not experienced with social networking sites, and /or did not have the time or inclanation to become that experienced, could navigate around without wadeing through a bunch of stuff they fInd offensive. I do not believe in censorship in an open forum, but I think the naive should at least have a warning about what type of discussion they are entering. For example; If I am told up front that someone, or a group, is into S & M I won't enter. If I am not warned up front and find myself confronted with such actions, the results might not be pretty. In other words, I have no trouble with the fact that it exists and some people enjoy it, but I not only don't enjoy it, I don't even want to see it, on film or otherwise. However, since I do like sex, and not just the missionary type, if no warning flags are present, I may very well find myself somewhere I don't want to be. Can I just leave? Probably, but I would rather make that decision prior to the experience. I hope this doesn't offend anyone and if it does I think they probably better go over to Disney World.
Studying this. Still having problems posting. Will return later. Thanks Robbie!
I would agree that there needs to be something sticky to make people want to be active members. I don't know what the magic formula can be to make that happen.
"Ello everyone and just wish to apologize for losing my temper the other night. I should have just turned the other cheek ( whimper whinge whine and wiggle ) but MysticalMaria wasn't paying any attention and if I had turned the other cheek - there was no one around to trust to spank my bottom!!! /;-> (Nobody does it better - you see ;)

1. Who actually moderates the Forum? (This is not a Group venue - so who watches the posts?)

2. Did all of this come about because of the "Who is Beautiful Thread" ?

3. If it did - why? Was it because the content was deemed by some to be offensive? Was it because Red photo-shopped people in TBD without their permission ? (If so - this has to be stopped for sure - it's an invasion of peoples privacy.)

Which begs the question - once again, who moderates the Forum?
Re: Groups:
I have a group as many know, and my guidelines are posted and I and my moderators enforce them.
If one is in a group such as "Tough Questions & Answers" whereby the Creator states clearly that it's gonna get HOT so one had best be able to take as good as one gets - or stay out - that's clear too. In other words, EVERY single group should have clear guidelines as outlined by the creator of said group. The creators of the group along with their chosen moderators are in control of their group. Have a problem ? Go to it's creator or one of the moderators. Is it going to be a democracy ? Quiet possibly not. But - you will be listened to - and if one has a severe disagreement one can then take it to the main moderators for further adjudication. As far as posting new discussions goes concerning the Sex groups, it's a difficult call. Perhaps some don't realize that their explicit discussion post makes the front page - and this should be advised up front in group guidelines.

The "Forum" is not a "group" so we need to know who is watching this venue - so that we know exactly who to turn to with issues.

The front page could be re-designed better. Featured groups never changes and it should (this actually is a good idea - keep it rotating, include all the groups so people can click on the one that interests them straight aways) .

I still think "Photo's" should be taken off the front page. Policing people to turn their uploads to private is impossible, so we are bound to see things that are pornographic because everyone differs as to what is porn versus art. OR - we do what "zooomer.ca " does - we make it clear on the front page that nudity is not permitted.

People who "arrive" here don't have a clue as to what we are about from the front page. Other Ning pages are quite clear about their site and the contents. I refer you to www.zoomers.ca as an example of a over 40 Ning site that navigates well, and has a clear mandate upfront and in place. We are an over 40's site - we should make this clear, along with three or four of the most critical guidelines. PLEASE have a look at the right side of the home page - where it says "Report Abuse" - kindly read it. We should take a lesson from my friends up North.

And Robin - if I may the "badge" needs an upgrade. The "Sorry ... etc.etc. is old now. It should say something about our "Brand" and not be apologizing - we do and are helping one another and have been for quite some time. People on Ning who find us thru Ning know what to do. Those whom we invite - we should help. Those who wander in - generally make their needs known. We are still "a brand" - and as long as Robin is a member along side of us, we owe it to her and those of her staff who joined us here to try and put a good foot forward. Time is a precious commodity and we ALL have a lot of time invested in this project.

I'm with Pru - I want feel good about this social site that I've devoted many many hours to - I am proud of how so many of us have stuck together through thick and thin and how we are still together trying to sort out the problems so that the majority feels comfortable.

Again - Thank you Robbie for being the project manager.
Just my opinion.... I think we're starting to make a mountain out of a mole hill with regards to community guidelines and enforcing them. Keep them simple like in the classroom so there is no confusion and keep them enforced collectively. I think Robbie's categories should be sufficient:

1. SEX,
and mine to add:

Note: If any of us or any other member see an infraction of the guidelines
being made, we should take the responsibility of copying and pasting the
incriminating posts and PMing them to a moderator with a direct link to
the the thread. The moderator can resolve the issue from there.

I don't think TBD NING needs to actively recruit outside newcomers.
If we want to be proactive, we could do that ourselves,
especially since many of us come from other social networking groups.
If all active members commit to inviting two buddies, membership
would increase significantly.

I think what we need to do is minimize the dissensions
and make sure the threads flow beyond the 10th posting.

Suggestion for changes on the main page:
REMOVE: "a home for TBD members. Sorry, no community/technical support except as provided by members and by help.ning.com" It sounds off-putting.

REMOVE: "latest activity" I personally find that section annoying.

Instead of that static showcase of member avatars, use a slider applet to feature those select members. You could include more member avatars that way (slider applet code: http://codebrain.com/ ) Make sure to slide it horizontally on top rather tan vertically on the side.

Open the the forum to 10 thread topics rather than just three in two columns of five.

Change the introductory line "Welcome to TBD, Maricel Evasco!
Here are a few things you can do right now…" to make it more appealing.
Ask Diana for suggestions. She's good at this sort of stuff. lol

The Welcome Lounge should be featured on top of all the other groups (It is a "group" in itself)
and the avatar for this lounge should be rectangular to make the distinction
LoL! You are no slouch at this Maricel.

I for one really like how Maricel has organized this. I do think we can take a cue from Zoomers.ca which is exactly the same premise (Zoomers is the brand name for members of CARP (Canada) which is the equiv. of AARP ) and have a strong message right up front. We don't have to copy it verbatim - but can tune our message to our audience including numbers 1-5 as above in bullet point. I notice #1 reads "SEX" - err . . . perhaps something like No photographic pornography permitted might suit.

I'm glad to see that someone else agrees that we should remove " A home for TBD members - "sorry" etc. - it is the "sorry" word that is off-putting by now. Perhaps :" TBD on Ning ~ a place for the over 40 crowd to mingle and share experiences in order to thrive. Please join the Welcome Lounge ! " would serve as a better badge and tell people straight away who we are. A brand needs a tag line, esp. on a badge. Right now we don't have one that carries a proper signature. It should be uplifting - so we are proud to put the badge on our own websites.

The "Welcome Lounge" Group does indeed need to be front and centre. Really like Maricel's idea if this is possible. At the very least it needs to be featured as a constant, and should have been by now.
Maricel, Thanks for the input. Makes sense to me. I think we need to keep it as simple as possible while still being attractive. In a post on a prior page I got a little more specific. I'll look it up and reference it here.
It's on page nine.
I personally like Chuck's idea. Love the submenus. I am beginning to think a "suggestion group" may be a better way to go - open to all. Thus we can have a "yay or nay" survey structure for certain issues. A quorum would be all that would be needed to achieve majority consensus. We seem to be all over the place here, which lends itself to confusion.

In this manner - if there are problems, the group creator and moderators can take action. Set strict guidelines for the group, and enforce them when needed. Set up well defined categories. Have proper voting. Then perhaps we will get something done. It's a valiant effort here Robbie, but it's going to become even more cumbersome trying to sort who is in favour of what as the days continue and more contribute - rather randomly as it suits the person posting. Just the nature of the beast.
To me this is just good common sense. I do not come to this site for anything other than clean fun. I like the people, and try not to ever hurt anyones feelings.




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