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my thoughts

14+kitties
April 1st, 2011, 12:06 PM
Mmmm, I'll try to be as tactful as I can be.
At this time with as much upheaval as is going on with this forum I would like to suggest a few things.
1) I totally agree mods are a necessary evil. However I did a ton of research before finally finding and settling on Pets.ca. In every single forum I went to the mods were known members. I would like to see Pets join this manner of moderating.

2) One of the reasons (the main one) I stuck around Pets for so long is because the majority of the members were pro s/n. That old saying "birds of a feather" is true. If you google dog/cat breeding forums you get 744,000 results. If you google pro s/n forums - 135,000. It would be wonderful if members had a breeding question if they went to a breeding forum to do so. Also, in that regard, if we had a list of breeding forums new members coming on with those questions could be tactfully directed to it would be helpful. That, IMO, would cut down on feelings of frustration from those members who do so much to rescue, s/n their dogs to try to help the population explosion.

3) The PM system needs to be overhauled. There have been many issues lately with members abusing the system. I know the saying is "take it to PM" but that simply does not work. It is an excuse for one member to bash another with the first having no recourse. I also can not tell you the number of times I have seen a brand new member busily pm'ing away even though pms are not supposed to be activated for at least 24 hours. That, to me, tells me someone has been brought to Pets to cause trouble.

4) Re: That, to me, tells me someone has been brought to Pets to cause trouble. IF that is seen to be happening and someone reports it I would love for an indepth investigation to be done. That way those new members are made aware that they are being watched.

5) Equality would be a wonderful thing. :thumbs up It's not something we've seen as of late.

Hopefully I have been tactful enough that this will be allowed to stand as is. Thank you for allowing us to voice our feelings.

mummummum
April 1st, 2011, 12:25 PM
Well said 14+.

In addition to the Mods no longer being out there in the ephemera, I would like to see reasons provided when posts are deleted. People do not exist nor do they learn in a vacuum. While belligerence is usually pretty easily spotted, each of our sensitivities, our "hot-buttons" and our ideas of good manners and netiquette may be quite different. My idea of caustic may be your idea of straight-to-the-point. My idea of "baiting" may be your idea of side-ways addressing a post in a non-confrontational manner. If Mods/ Admin want to shape the behaviour of people then they need to provide tools for learning. By just deleting posts with no reasons given Mods/ Admin unwittingly (we hope) become part of the problem ("Why was MY post deleted? Look at THAT one. S/he is playing favourites/ is out to get me") and not the solution. Infractions and banning are the blunt end of a learning tool, necessary yes but with little effective, long-term global impact on the tone of the forum.

BenMax
April 1st, 2011, 12:44 PM
14+K and MX3..well said.:thumbs up
I happen to agree with both posts.
I have nothing to add but I support these posts 100%.
If I think of anything further, I will revisit and post.

marko
April 1st, 2011, 12:52 PM
Thanks for the suggestions.

These suggestions require a thoughtful answer and so I'm closing this thread now, and I'll answer it within the next 24 hours.

(I'm doing this because I don't want the thread to be too lengthy and have too many different suggestions)

Thanks in advance,
Marko
ADMIN

marko
April 2nd, 2011, 09:38 AM
Hi 14+,

I'm sure these questions are on the minds of other members as well. Thx for posting.

For future suggestions, 1 suggestion at a time is much easier :)

Here's some answers that I hope can help.

1 - Mods and I are contemplating this at this time. Just as an FYI, The mod system was set up by me....and at the beginning mods were known members. Without getting into it, it did not work out and so the system was changed. But that was then, this is now and this is something that is likely to happen shortly.

2 - This is the trickiest one of the bunch. BY FAR.
Pets.ca's forum is an open forum, everyone is welcome. Even though the majority of active members (including this Admin) are not fond of breeding, and are pro Spay/Neuter, this forum is not an Anti-breeding forum. It is a general pet information forum and MANY members feel that responsible breeding is perfectly okay.

Some members have knowledge about breeding and they have every right to answer a question about breeding if they want to. If a new member finds our forum and asks a breeding question then suggesting they go to another forum is fairly rude imo. They took the time to register at our forum. Feel free to use those stock answers on pregnancy and/or educate tactfully. Please feel free NOT to answer those threads.

Accidental pregnancy and hobby breeding questions will always get some members hot under the collar. Please know that tactful, friendly posts are what is required to change minds. (This very Admin was ignorant just 11 years or so ago, as we all were at one point). I as Admin will try to help in this regard, but no rudeness will be tolerated when these questions will certainly be asked by members in the future.

3 + 4 - Our board runs on an "engine" that I did not build. When you say you have "SEEN" a message that a new member is busily Pming and thus conclude that they are here to cause trouble... this is an assumption on your part, and false.

New members can NOT PM, period. They need to post a couple of times and wait a couple of days UNLESS Admin overrides a particular member's setting. If a new member clicks the LINK that says private messages, then it lists them as "private messaging" even though they can do no such thing. These types of assumptions are easily cleared up simply by asking...and there may be many similarly ambiguous messages from the board's engine. If something appears contradictory, please just ask.

The take it to PM phrase is a phrase that Mods are using now to keep personal issues between members off the board. We have no intention of overhauling that one. Please note that putting any member on your ignore list ALSO blocks all Pms from that member (in case those Pms are getting abusive).

5 - Equality is one of those words that sounds great. I love equality, but as individuals we all perceive the world differently. How one person sees equality will differ from another. There is no objective standard because we were all brought up differently.

When it comes to moderating posts though - that's how we mostly work, by posts....individual posts. If a post is reported we do not always have the time and resources to dissect the entire thread and investigate the history between 2 members. We read the reported post and make the call. If we find something offensive, we edit/delete. It's normal that any member that doesn't agree with our call thinks this is unfair. But the mods that make these calls...sigh they are doing the best they can for you, for free. The majority of members never have mods edit or delete their posts. Either way, hopefully some of these sour feelings will go away when the Moderation policy changes as per point one.

I don't want to close this thread, but there's 5 points that took a long time to answer. For future suggestions, maybe one at a time please. :fingerscr Again please know that we are working as fast as we can, but it is the weekend. Mods have families and Admin gets into trouble when wife Carmy always finds him always in front of the screen. So I may not get back to responding here right away.

Thanks everyone :goodvibes:

Marko
ADMIN

marko
April 2nd, 2011, 09:50 AM
In addition to the Mods no longer being out there in the ephemera, I would like to see reasons provided when posts are deleted. People do not exist nor do they learn in a vacuum. While belligerence is usually pretty easily spotted, each of our sensitivities, our "hot-buttons" and our ideas of good manners and netiquette may be quite different. My idea of caustic may be your idea of straight-to-the-point. My idea of "baiting" may be your idea of side-ways addressing a post in a non-confrontational manner. If Mods/ Admin want to shape the behaviour of people then they need to provide tools for learning. By just deleting posts with no reasons given Mods/ Admin unwittingly (we hope) become part of the problem ("Why was MY post deleted? Look at THAT one. S/he is playing favourites/ is out to get me") and not the solution. Infractions and banning are the blunt end of a learning tool, necessary yes but with little effective, long-term global impact on the tone of the forum.

I hear ya MX3 - normally threadnotes are added but sometimes they are not added because the threadnote itself provokes certain members. Just as an example, when it comes to slander we usually just delete. Why? Because when we write slander as the threadnote, the next post is often "I did not slander....etc etc." But if we delete with no threadnote, members usually PM me or a Mod and the problem ends there. This was just an example though. Your point is well taken and will be talked about by mods and me.

Thx! Marko

14+kitties
April 2nd, 2011, 04:22 PM
Thanks :(

mummummum
April 2nd, 2011, 05:22 PM
Yes, I thank you as well Marko.

Both for taking the time out of your weekend to answer and for considering and addressing our points. And as per your request, my suggestions will be put forward one at a time.

Coming from a labour-politics background, (BOTH sides :D I'd like to point out) I value working groups and throwing ideas around with people of varying minds and experience. As such I hope we all can continue to move forward.

14+kitties
April 2nd, 2011, 05:51 PM
New members can NOT PM, period.

Just one more thing and then I promise you will never hear any more suggestions from me. Either multiple or one at a time....
The above really bothers me. Why? Because I know when a friend of mine joined Pets last year at one point (no longer posts here) I pm'd her within an hour of her joining to welcome her to the board. She answered me immediately and we went back and forth with nonsense stuff for about an hour or so. Now you're telling me she shouldn't have been able to? :confused: As for not causing problems - no supposition on my part. Just lots of observation. Thanks anyways.

marko
April 3rd, 2011, 09:32 AM
Thanks for that post mumx3!

14+ - I can't recall the board settings from last year, sorry. Settings do change once in while for many different reasons. One of the reasons is simply THE major plague on the Internet - SPAM. There are a bunch of policies on this board that PROTECT other members from spam. Although yes, this policy IS INDEED BAD for legitimate members that need help asap, it also protects existing members from SPAM...and some of it is disgusting. There's a lot that we do (daily) that members just don't see....

As I have posted before, Admin can (and has done so many times at the request of members) over-ride the settings. All you need to do is ask.

THx!
Marko

Ford
April 3rd, 2011, 10:45 AM
One of the reasons is simply THE major plague on the Internet - SPAM. There are a bunch of policies on this board that PROTECT other members from spam. Although yes, this policy IS INDEED BAD for legitimate members that need help asap, it also protects existing members from SPAM...and some of it is disgusting. There's a lot that we do (daily) that members just don't see....


Just to interject, I do recall it was sometime in the last year to 18 months that the PM policy was changed. I remember it, because it was about the same time the board was enhanced so that all new posts we sent to a special queue to be viewed by mods before being deleted or approved...so all those disgusting posts the regular members no longer have to see? We still have to manually approve or decline those.

So I'd like to say, on behalf of all the mods, if we seem like where a little off-centre at times, well, remember...
http://classicfun.ws/wp-content/uploads/what-has-been-seen-can-not-be-un-seen-480x359.jpg

Sometimes it's weeks before we're able to sleep again...

Your friendly neighbourhood mod,
Ford

kathryn
April 3rd, 2011, 10:48 AM
Here is what I am talking about for the credibility points as quoted from Sphynxlair.com

What is reputation?

Reputation is a way of rating users depending on the quality of their posts. If the administrators have enabled reputation, then the reputation icon will be visible in posts.

Reputation may be positive , negative or neutral . Negative reputation may only be given if the administrator has enabled this. Neutral reputation is only given when the person giving reputation does not meet the criteria set by the administrator to affect someone else's reputation.

How do I give reputation?

To give reputation, click on the reputation icon in the relevant post. This will reveal a form to complete with the reputation type and the reason for giving the reputation. If negative reputation is disabled then it will not be displayed in this form. You may not give reputation for the same post twice.

How do I know what reputation I have received?

You can view the reputation that you have received in your User CP (User Control Panel) where it is displayed at the bottom of the User CP page. Here you will see the latest reputation that you have received and whether this is positive, negative or neutral. Your total reputation will be shown as series of reputation indicators in your posts and profile. The more positive your reputation, the more positive icons will be shown. The more negative your reputation the more negative icons will be shown.

How much reputation is given? What is reputation power?

If the administrator has enabled this, the amount of reputation that each user will give (or take away if negative) is shown in the user's posts as 'Reputation Power'. The value of the reputation power is determined by the administrator and may increase over time depending on the settings they have applied.

What if I don't want anyone to see my reputation?

You can disable the display of your reputation by going to your User CP and selecting Edit Options. On this page you will find a check box labelled 'Show Your Reputation Level'. Un-checking this box will remove the display of your reputation and replace it with the Reputation Disabled icon. You can still give and receive reputation while your reputation display is disabled.


We need something like this, so instead of retaliating against members we think are trolls or whatever, we can all just 'vote' the post down and I think it will reduce alot of the arguing. Maybe after a certain number of votes down, the post will be "hidden" and the only way visitors or members can view it is to "click to view" the post, so that gives new members an idea of what is thought of about the post.

fleolicious
April 3rd, 2011, 11:38 AM
We need something like this, so instead of retaliating against members we think are trolls or whatever, we can all just 'vote' the post down and I think it will reduce alot of the arguing. Maybe after a certain number of votes down, the post will be "hidden" and the only way visitors or members can view it is to "click to view" the post, so that gives new members an idea of what is thought of about the post.
I'm neither old nor reputable member of this fine community, but I have lots of experience with many, and many kinds of, different forums, both as a member and a moderator, so I would like to offer my 2 cents on this particular issue if that's OK :)

Reputation system in general is not a bad idea for a forum with a lot of new members registering to ask a specific question without necessarily wanting to stick around, because it gives them a fairly good idea about who they should listen to, and in case they do want to stick around they can clearly see "model members" to look up to and adjust their netiquette if needed.

However, if a forum in question is experiencing problems with cliques, trolling, retaliation, badgering members etc., and - and this is very important here - if there is a fair chance users may not like the answers to their question (such as "your cat is sick because you're feeding her crap"), then giving out a tool that makes it possible for troublemakers to anonymously and without consequences give bad reputation, vote posts down or similar, out of pure spite or because they don't like a certain member for reasons that have nothing to do with quality of their posting, in my experience only worsens the problem.

The best way for a reputation system to work - again, in my personal experience - is to make it entirely content-based, i.e. enable voting for posts, but not reflecting votes on their author. That way you would have something like "126 users have found this reply helpful" written and counting under each post, but without trolls on a rampage randomly giving bad rep to everyone on the forum they don't like.

With that said, I'm still very new here and downright clueless about the problems pets.ca may or may not be experiencing, so take all this with a grain of coarse kosher salt :) But I hope someone finds it useful nonetheless.

14+kitties
April 3rd, 2011, 12:21 PM
Thanks for that post mumx3!

14+ - I can't recall the board settings from last year, sorry. Settings do change once in while for many different reasons. One of the reasons is simply THE major plague on the Internet - SPAM. There are a bunch of policies on this board that PROTECT other members from spam. Although yes, this policy IS INDEED BAD for legitimate members that need help asap, it also protects existing members from SPAM...and some of it is disgusting. There's a lot that we do (daily) that members just don't see....

As I have posted before, Admin can (and has done so many times at the request of members) over-ride the settings. All you need to do is ask.

THx!
Marko

?????
What's any of that got to do with pm -ing? Besides the settings being changed. I was saying specifically about PMs and being able to answer them if someone PMs you first. I didn't say anything about SPAM. No disrespect intended. Just frustration.
Oh, and btw - the kitty is cute but FORD - rescuers see tons of stuff that is not soon forgotten either. The idiotic porn that spammers put on is much easier to deal with. As always - just my opinion. :confused:

Just wanted to add - this was probably six or seven months ago. It was since the changes were made that we were able to message back and forth.

rainbow
April 3rd, 2011, 12:55 PM
The last time I was logged on this thread was closed so I didn't get to reply. I just wanted to say that I agree with the points made by 14+ and Mums 110%. :thumbs up

Mods and I are contemplating this at this time. Just as an FYI, The mod system was set up by me....and at the beginning mods were known members. Without getting into it, it did not work out and so the system was changed. But that was then, this is now and this is something that is likely to happen shortly.


Marko, I really hope you decide to reveal who the mods are. :fingerscr I visit a couple of other forums (although hardly participate) and the mods are out in the open and post with everyone else and everyone gets along. If the mods come out of the closet then they don't have to use other IDs here as well.

Equality is one of those words that sounds great. I love equality, but as individuals we all perceive the world differently. How one person sees equality will differ from another. There is no objective standard because we were all brought up differently.


Edited by admin - Off topic -

BenMax
April 3rd, 2011, 02:19 PM
I did not post here due to the 'fear' of reprimand. To lose contact with those that I have built such friendship and bond...would be it be worth the risk? To lose contact with all those that have helped me with rescue efforts: in networking, transport, fundraising, awareness...this would be absolutely devastating. Then I think to myself, one needs to stand up and do what is right. I always have done it so why not now. Really, in the big picture what is important is ensuring that the members that infact do contribute in a positive way, a light way, a funny way, a 'true to self way', should never be banned permanently. Especially when these members have contributed in so many wonderful ways.

Edited by admin - off topic -

14+kitties
April 3rd, 2011, 02:25 PM
BenMax - thank you. :grouphug:

BenMax
April 3rd, 2011, 02:31 PM
BenMax - thank you. :grouphug:

Finally got out of bed and of clear mind. I've been alittle sick.:sick:. No excuse however to remain quiet. Never was my strong suit, never will be.

mummummum
April 3rd, 2011, 02:50 PM
Very heart-felt posts here from people who could not be more obvious in their deep affection for, if not passion for Pets.ca.

I just want to summarize what we have so far:

1/ There is a need for greater transparency in who moderates and how this is done

2/ There is a gap in understanding as to why some posts are deleted while others are not.

3/ There is a need to clarify the perception that there has been a radical shift in how people are "permitted" to communicate their opinions and how they respond to others. This shift has resulted in some members feeling restricted from expressing themselves honestly and in their own voice.

4/ There is a need to eliminate the perception that pets.ca has become factionalized with Mods and Admin seeming to favour one side versus the other.

5/ There is a desire for a level of self-moderation amongst members.

6/ There is a desire for stronger communication within the framework of the Pets.ca website re: the anti-byb and pro-speuter philosophy of Pets.ca


Okay, time to go back and re-read to see what I've missed.

chico2
April 3rd, 2011, 02:58 PM
Well,I have to say,I agree too BM.
I know there was a lot going on that I totally missed and it saddened me greatly,we have some absolutely wonderful compassionate members and as this is a Pet.Forum,their experience and knowledge is invaluable.

I made a mistake once and started a petition to bring a banned member back,because I thought I knew her,something I truly regretted later,when I realized I really did not know her.

However,I see a member,still hanging around,if anyone was rude and obnoxious and brought out the worst in us,it was him,so I really do not understand the banning-system.

mummummum
April 3rd, 2011, 02:59 PM
Just to interject, I do recall it was sometime in the last year to 18 months that the PM policy was changed. I remember it, because it was about the same time the board was enhanced so that all new posts we sent to a special queue to be viewed by mods before being deleted or approved...so all those disgusting posts the regular members no longer have to see? We still have to manually approve or decline those.

I'm confused Ford (and you are not interjecting btw ~ you are participating ;) )

I think you are saying... 18 months ago the BB changed so that all posts by brand new members became automatically moderated. Along with this change new members gained the ability to pm immediately upon joining.

Have I got that right?

Love4himies
April 3rd, 2011, 03:02 PM
Many good posts, 14+, Kathryn, BenMax, Mx3, and chico.

BenMax I too, am too afraid to post on here, so I am not going to offer my thoughts, but wanted to let you know that I support you in your honesty :grouphug:

Winston
April 3rd, 2011, 03:25 PM
For future suggestions, 1 suggestion at a time is much easier

Sorry Marko.......................:D

TeriM
April 3rd, 2011, 03:31 PM
I hear ya MX3 - normally threadnotes are added but sometimes they are not added because the threadnote itself provokes certain members. Just as an example, when it comes to slander we usually just delete. Why? Because when we write slander as the threadnote, the next post is often "I did not slander....etc etc." But if we delete with no threadnote, members usually PM me or a Mod and the problem ends there. This was just an example though. Your point is well taken and will be talked about by mods and me.


I totally agree that more information as to why the post is deleted is necessary. Perhaps even just quoted the rule that it contravenes is the easiest way. By providing the reason that gives info to "train" people to understand what is acceptable and what isnt.

So I'd like to say, on behalf of all the mods, if we seem like where a little off-centre at times, well, remember...

What has been seen cannot be unseen

Sometimes it's weeks before we're able to sleep again...

Your friendly neighbourhood mod,
Ford

Ford, I appreciate the humour and understand your point but the flip side to that is that members then perceive the mods responses to be way out of proportion.

I support the mods being members that post. I don't believe that revealing who is who is going to be a good thing at this time because there are too many hurt feelings and reactions associated to those names. I think that you should perhaps name the mods (that wish to continue under a new system) but at the same time perhaps add some other well respected members as mods just to confuse everyone :D. Announce everyone together at one time.

I think if you use public members who are well respected then their opinions when moderating would carry a lot more "weight" and perhaps would help a lot in the general feel of the board.

The best way for a reputation system to work - again, in my personal experience - is to make it entirely content-based, i.e. enable voting for posts, but not reflecting votes on their author. That way you would have something like "126 users have found this reply helpful" written and counting under each post, but without trolls on a rampage randomly giving bad rep to everyone on the forum they don't like.


I think the ability to rank a post in a thread is a great one :thumbs up.

?????
What's any of that got to do with pm -ing? Besides the settings being changed. I was saying specifically about PMs and being able to answer them if someone PMs you first. I didn't say anything about SPAM. No disrespect intended. Just frustration.
Oh, and btw - the kitty is cute but FORD - rescuers see tons of stuff that is not soon forgotten either. The idiotic porn that spammers put on is much easier to deal with. As always - just my opinion. :confused:

Just wanted to add - this was probably six or seven months ago. It was since the changes were made that we were able to message back and forth.

I think that it is pretty easy for someone to set up an id and then just wait the 24 hours before starting to cause problems. I'm sure that "trollers" also probably set up id and then revisit sites when bored and use ID that were set up a long time ago.

Perhaps when a user is inactive for more than one year they should be deactivated and required to register again as a new member?

Perhaps the ability to pm should be similar to the ability to use the TJT? Then people could only pm when they have reached 50 posts unless otherwise authorized by admin :shrug:.

Other suggestions:

I also think that maybe we need to do away with "invisible mode". I actually use it a lot but mostly because I am to lazy to switch it back to visible. I think it makes it easier for people to stir up trouble under the radar.

Love4himies
April 3rd, 2011, 03:42 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s4Rax2PXiWA

How some members feel. Pink can say it better than me. :o

marko
April 3rd, 2011, 04:19 PM
Thanks for the responses thus far.

Please keep comments civil here please.

This thread will take me way too long to answer so it will be closed now until I get to it tomorrow.

Thanks in advance,

Marko
ADMIN

marko
April 4th, 2011, 10:21 AM
Hi members,

Many of these posts should have been deleted but it was the weekend.

The OP posted 5 suggestions and some members answered by ranting and others answered with posts that have nothing to do with the suggestions.

Although many members feel that this place has 'changed' the rules of this forum have not really changed, in fact they have been almost identical for years. The difference is, we are choosing to enforce certain rules to permanently change the tone of our board to be friendlier and more bicker free. For some members (many involved in rescue/shelters) there was nothing wrong with our board, but those members are in the minority even though they are often the most vocal.

I personally believe in rescue and this board has 6 forums dedicated to rescue.
Like many members I have volunteered hundreds and hundreds of hours (and some members thousands) to help rescues.

But this board is not a rescue board. It has always been a general pet information board and the membership has always reflected this. Non rescuers are allowed here. Everyone is allowed here. There has been regular friction for the past few YEARS between those that believe in rescue and its principles and those that have yet to be educated or view the matter differently.

It's a passionate subject that will never ever end on our board and it gives me great satisfaction that this board has helped so many pets (and educated many pet owners) rescue-wise. There are other passionate subjects on our board as well.

They can ALL still be discussed but effective as of two weeks ago, only in a friendly way. This bickering and rudeness will stop. Complaining how we run the forum will stop. It feels bad now, but it will feel better when this board becomes friendlier and most members encourage friendliness and tact to other members.

Friendliness is the intended point 1 or New goal of this forum and the rules will be revised shortly and enforced to reflect this point.

I hear you on the mods, most (but not all) members want the mods revealed. Mods and I are talking about this now. Some members think mods are targeting them. The vast majortity of members realize this is not happening. It's just a function of change. Those members that have a less friendly posting style (and have ignored countless warnings by Admins and Mods), will get modded more often if they cross the line. We measure that line the best way we know how for free. Again the vast majority of members, even regular ones NEVER get modded or deleted.

This last week was MUCH friendlier on our forum wasn't it? It's forced friendliness (due to the infraction system) now, but it won't be down the road for those members that can adapt to this new policy of friendliness in posts. Respecting the mod and Admin team (even when you disagree with us) is also part of this friendliness. All members should know that they can PM me for any reason and I usually get back to you quickly.

I think that's all I got. We are actively trying to make positive changes but Rome wasn't built in a day. I also wanted to let it be known to those members that may not know, that there is another more silent Admin on Pets.ca (Dave), and all major issues are discussed. The Mods, Dave and I will likely be considering Mod changes as the first priority and other points after that in an effort to better the forum long-term.

Thanks again for the suggestions!

I'm closing this thread now.

Marko
ADMIN