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EtU-specific moderation standards and practices


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#1 Orpheus

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Posted 05 September 2005 - 04:50 PM

I think EtU has a unique culture among the Ex Isle boards. my moderation strives to assist and preserve that [without blocking its evolution]. However, I'm sure we don't all see that culture exactly the same way -- and ideally YOU, not I, should determine what the culture is/should be. That's not blind democracy (the voices in my head outnumber the lot of you); EtU exists to support your discussions, and if *I* don't like that *I* should resign -- not vice versa

I feel we might be better served by moderation standands/practices that are a bit more tailored than the blanket EI policies govern all forums. In the next week or so, the Board Guidelines will [most likely] be modified to explicitly allow this. Like any tailored garment, it will be a bit tighter or looser in select spots than an off-the-shelf item. If I pick the wrong spots, it'll start to tear, get in our way, or simply get ugly.

To me, the key elements of EtU are our style [open but civil] and standards [evidence over opinion or rhetoric, where possible] rather than simply our subject ["Science, technology and culture in SF and beyond"]. However, even those simple statements leave a lot of room for interpretation -- and they are only *my* opinion to begin with.

Of course, to be fair, a local policy MUST, be spelled out as clearly as possible and prominently posted. This thread is intended to help me distill a "stickied" policy for visitors to read. Only a fool would try to cat-herd a brain trust like you folks, without taking advantage of your insights (and whatever else you have for me to take advantage of). A fool I may be, but a lazy one, so consider the floor open for discussion.

I realize that it would difficult to come up with suggestions "cold", especially if you are reasonably happy with the way things are. Here are some examples to get you started.

CASE STUDY #1
We had a bit of unpleasantness with a new poster in this thread. Most likely, the OP simply wasn't aware that we expect a different tone than, say, OT, and I *might* have taken some action (a friendly PM or in-thread post) on that basis. However, they also clearly infringed Board Guidelines, so the need for action wasn't too controversial.

However, I did handle the post in ways that are not typical on EI, and --with the consent of those now assembled-- I intend to continue to take similar immediate measures in cases of objectionable content rather than relying on private requests for self-edits.

1) I spoilered the Potentially Offensive Post (hereinafter: "POP")
2) I added a public note of explanation to the POP, outside the spoiler tag
3) I bowdlerized offensive words, to avoid scanning/indexing by NetNannies.

I preserved "the original data" as much as possible, out of respect for the OP's ideas, and to allow everyone to see (if they wished) exactly what was done, and why. In general, I prefer public actions to PMs.

It is always dangerous to trade a little free speech (your total control over your own posts) for a little speed and convenience, but waiting days for an OP to correct insults or obscenities, etc., accomplishes nothing: the harm is done, and the eventual edit becomes almost pointless. In this example, I recieved no reply to my PM, and the OP never edited the post, so the original offensive material would have stood for several days, if I had not taken immediate action. By the same token, after 48 hours, I didn't feel it would serve any purpose to further delete/edit the post myself.

Bowdlerizing the post after spoilering it might seem petty, but between 3-6am ET almost every night, I see several "bots" scanning our site for search engines and NetNannies, and those bots/indexers may not recognize or weigh the significance of spoiler tags. Since it was already after midnight when I saw the post, I felt it was best to mitigate the possible damage. As long as NetNanny and similar site use rudimentary indexing, We WILL inevitably take minor hits against our NetNanny score, but I'd prefer to take those 'hits' for discussion that are in keeping with our charter, rather than gratuitous abuse.

4) I edited an inoffensive post by another poster to remove a quote of the POP.
I also left a note in he edited post explaining what was removed, and apologizing. I always feel particularly awkward altering a post that is completely appropriate on its own, but I also felt that she would understand what I had done, and agree with my reasoning.

BTW, if you click (NOT leftclick->"Open in new tab") the "Post #" link at the right  of the post header bar, you get a pop-up containing the URL for that specific post. This is convenient for linking an individual post (vs. duplicating the entire thing), if you won't be choosing parts for comment or reply.

The size and collegiality of our community often gives me the gift of considerable lattitude in action. We generally trust each other's intentions and judgement. Hoever, this makes it thet much MORE important that I receive member feedback about my actions. I might not agree about any specific instance --as I said, this is not a democracy-- but you can be sure that I will weigh your remarks in my future decisions.

Case Study #2
I recently added a warning subtitle to a thread on offensive words.
I found the thread itself inoffensive, but it was clear that it might use words that we don't usually condone.

(...and would irritate the NetNannies, but I felt that free discussion on this topic was a good reason to take the inevitable minor hits to our 'decency' score. Respecting the standards of others, doesn't mean Ms. Grundy gets to blindly tell us to put a toga on Michaelangelo's Pieta or Botticelli's Birth of Venus.)

One might expect a reader to anticipate at least the sterile naming of objectionable words in that thread, as well as discussion of them, but some people might open such a thread never imagining--in the brief instant it takes to click--that it could contain anything but a blanket condemnation of off-color language and the decline of contemporary culture. We all sometimes make snap judgements based on personal values, and sometimes the surprise of the unexpected can make us more upset than we'd have been if prepared.

My intention wasn't solely to spare passing children and nuns from a moment of offense. I feel that labelling such threads can keep them from being derailed by outraged posts and arguments. That's why we always label the Gents/Ladies rooms. It saves a whole lot of time on outrage and apologies. If someone ignores that sign and barges into the 'wrong' room anyway, you can feel quite justified in calling security.
(Yes, yes, I know about the Supreme Court ruling -- but you don't pay me nearly enough to get my top-shelf analogies)

Again, the OP did nothing wrong, and I apologized for adding the subtitle, but I felt she would understand my reason for the "administrative" change.

SUITABILITY OF TOPICS
I've received comments that certain threads aren't "suitable" for EtU. One recent example was "Sam - World's Ugliest Dog", which only "explores the universe" in the most tangential sense. Personally, I don't mind such threads --they are just a 'sharing with the community'-- but I do agree that  our "charter", as broad as it is, does not include *ALL* topics.

The line can be a fine one. A "silly news" article on mysteriously purple zoo bears in China would spark discussion of possible explanations whereever it was posted, but if you specifically wanted scientific discussion and otehr cases of environmentally tinted animals, this would definitely be the place to post. A "cute kitty" post would be out of place, by "Why are kittens cute?" would not. Some cultural or social threads are posted here because it is considered a less contentious environment than, say, OT. There have been Review/Beach threads that I would've be tempted to "suck into" EtU if I could [though our smaller readership makes it more appropriate to create a new thread]

I don't have a strong opinion on this matter, so every case is a "judgement call". I'd welcome your input on criteria for appropriate inclusion in EtU.

Policy Changes
Posting a stickied version of EtU policies does not cast them in stone. The mod should have the right to refine the sticky, without a vote, with notification posted in a forum thread. (I always wanted to be one of Plato's Benevolent Dictators). I don't anticipate that this will be done very often after the first few months, but I think it is important to keep policy debates and votes on minor changes from clogging up the forum, and distracting from the main substance of our discussions.

PATTERN OF ESCALATION
An occasional edit for minor language infringement won't be held against a poster (i.e. it's not a formal warning under the Board Guidelines, unless I explicitly say it is). HOWEVER, such notices are not simply a courtesy: in six months, I've sent a grand total of 1 PM for offensive language, so a poster who accumulates 2-3 is many standard deviations beyond the rest of us put together.

If I feel I see a pattern that is deliberately disruptive or or discourteous, formal warnings and subsequent actions may escalate more rapidly in EtU than in some other EI forums. There is a difference between our "open discourse" and the "free speech" charter of other forums. Be aware that you may recieve a formal warning on a first offense, if I feel it was intentional or beyond the range of good judgement. You are NOT entitled to "three strikes"  (e.g. mutiple edit requests before a formal warning, or multiple formal warnings before a forum suspension, etc. An edit request is a sort of strike in itself -- though, like strikes in baseball, it is a minor thing, and will not be held against you for the rest of your career.)

We often discuss controversial topics: religious beliefs/history/context; applications of biomedical science in humans/animals; gender issues; dietary taboos; popular beliefs and fads; "sensitive" biological functions; cultural values; the slew rate of a High Guard  ES-115 Oracle heavy sensor/attack drones at maximum PSL, etc. This could make us a target for trolls or fake/real evangelists of various causes--religious, secular, or hypopharmaceutical. [1]

_____________________________________________________________________
1. hy·po·phar·ma·ceu·ti·cal : caused by or characteristic of an insufficient dosage or regiment of a medication, especially psychiatric medication" -- that's yet another Orpheus original, folks. It get ZERO hits on Google as of today, but I predict that you'll see it a lot down the road. (I have a track record for these things)

Edited by Orpheus, 26 September 2005 - 12:17 AM.


#2 Orpheus

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Posted 05 September 2005 - 05:34 PM

THIS SPACE RESERVED

When the discussion reaches a certain point, I will move the OP to the second post, and put updated versions of the EtU guidelines in the #1 slot for convenient reference until we get a version suitable to be "stickied" at the top of the forum. And Bones thought it was the "dam' engineers" whe were always changing things.

#3 Corwin

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Posted 05 September 2005 - 05:47 PM

Thanks, Orpheus!

I personally feel you've been doing a great job, and if the plan you just laid out is the one you follow, then you have my vote.

With the exception of the example thread you provided (oh, yeah.. I remember that one...) most threads in EtU don't seem to be near as vitriolic as the topics of discussion on OT, for which I'm grateful.   During that thread, you handled the matter exactly as I would expect a Moderator to act if anyone got that far out of line.

I have very little difficulty in seeing the vast majority of the threads in EtU as being where they should be.  The "Ugly Dog" thread could have been in OT, or the Beach as well, but it fit the odd events and happenings category of EtU. (If there isn't that specific category, then there should be.....)

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#4 Christopher

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Posted 05 September 2005 - 08:09 PM

Weighing in as moderator emeritus (which, along with an empty sack, is worth approximately one sack -- I just wanted to say "emeritus"):

Orpheus, on Sep 5 2005, 05:50 PM, said:

To me, the key elements of EtU are our style [open but civil] and standards [evidence over opinion or rhetoric, where possible] rather than simply our subject ["Science, technology and culture in SF and beyond"]. However, even those simple statements leave a lot of room for interpretation -- and they are only *my* opinion to begin with.

I agree about the style and standards, except in the standards category I think reasoned speculation and deduction should count as well as evidence as a basis for discussion -- but that's the SF writer in me.

Quote

CASE STUDY #1
We had a bit of unpleasantness with a new poster in this thread. Most likely, the OP simply wasn't aware that we expect a different tone than, say, OT, and I *might* have taken some action (a friendly PM or in-thread post) on that basis. However, they also clearly infringed Board Guidelines, so the need for action wasn't too controversial.

However, I did handle the post in ways that are not typical on EI, and --with the consent of those now assembled-- I intend to continue to take similar immediate measures in cases of objectionable content rather than relying on private requests for self-edits.

1) I spoilered the Potentially Offensive Post (hereinafter: "POP")
2) I added a public note of explanation to the POP, outside the spoiler tag
3) I bowdlerized offensive words, to avoid scanning/indexing by NetNannies.

I preserved "the original data" as much as possible, out of respect for the OP's ideas, and to allow everyone to see (if they wished) exactly what was done, and why. In general, I prefer public actions to PMs.

I thought the spoiler-boxing was a really good way to handle it, one of those classic "Why didn't I ever think of that?" ideas.  I think it should be a board-wide practice, though I guess that'll be up to individual mods.

Quote

Case Study #2
I recently added a warning subtitle to a thread on offensive words.
I found the thread itself inoffensive, but it was clear that it might use words that we don't usually condone.

I felt that was a reasonable action to take as well.

Quote

A "cute kitty" post would be out of place, by "Why are kittens cute?" would not.

Kittens are the elementary particles of cuteness.

Quote

I don't have a strong opinion on this matter, so every case is a "judgement call". I'd welcome your input on criteria for appropriate inclusion in EtU.

Personally I never liked the "weird phenomena" posts, the stuff bordering on tabloid news.  I'd rather see discussions about the whys and wherefores of things, real and fictional, or at least a post that asks a question for discussion, rather than just "Hey, come look at the goat with two heads!"

I also wish we had a higher ratio of threads about SF universes to ones about science news, as per the original concept of the forum, but I guess that's dependent on having shows whose ideas are worth exploring (as proven by the increase in such threads since BSG premiered).  And the forum has definitely evolved in its own direction.  Which leads me to wonder if there should be some revision of the pinned "What this forum is about" thread that I wrote some time back, which is weighted more toward fiction than fact.

Quote

(I always wanted to be one of Plato's Benevolent Dictators).

One of them?!  How many dictators does it take to rule one philosopher?

Quote

I don't anticipate that this will be done very often after the first few months, but I think it is important to keep policy debates and votes on minor changes from clogging up the forum, and distracting from the main substance of our discussions.

I think we've gotten too vote-happy around here, to the detriment of getting things done.  For instance, even though the proposal for a demigod-news subforum was passed days ago, the forum still hasn't been created because of voting on the title.  This forum (EtU) was created within hours of its proposal, and the vote for its name came later.
"You don't use science to show that you're right, you use science to become right." -- xkcd

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#5 GoldenCoal

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Posted 05 September 2005 - 08:12 PM

I think it sounds excellent, Orpheus, very well laid out and informative and fair.  :)

#6 D.Rabbit

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Posted 05 September 2005 - 11:10 PM

Thanks for going the distance of asking for input.

I truly thought your spoiler tag on the POP was an excellent idea.  Your bowdlerized offensive words, netnannies or no, I thank you for. I use offensive words myself, but not in polite company and I don't like to read them in forums unless I'm at TK where I expect to read them.

I do have one question:

Quote

4) I edited an inoffensive post by another poster to remove a quote of the POP.

Did you try to contact the quoter before you edited, or did you just jump in?

I myself would have had my back up if you edited my post without my permission. It would seem to me to be akin to trespassing. You may be the "landlord," but in RL legally you have no right to enter my premises without my permission.

I would have understood your zealousness in an effort to keep this board's rating and forgiven you under the circumstances, but there is still the mater of territory infringement?

A PM after editing with an explanation would have easily smoothed my hackles, you did what you thought appropriate, I agree, but in hind site do you feel you might have jumped the gun?
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#7 Orpheus

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Posted 06 September 2005 - 05:27 AM

Corwin -
Thanks for the praise.

To the extent I deserve it, it's only because I  learned from a giant, or  stood on the shoulders of a demigod. Or some other suitably mixed metaphor.

Personally, I've never minded the "weird news" articles, but I've heard complaints that they are an increasing fraction of the threads; fewer are getting the Full Albert (named for Einstein--who I'd admire for interceding for de Broglie[1], even if Al weren't a pop icon-- the Full Albert iis like the Full Monty, except in the nature of what is uncovered -- namely, the underlying science); and the posts that do perform the Full Albert seem increasingly out of place in those threads.

1. De Broglie (pronounced roughly "d'broil) was a French prince (I'm not really sure what that entails, but it's what I was told as a child, and until now, I've never questioned it. I just checked, and --mirabile dictu!-- it's true) who spent WWI as a lone radio man on top of the Eiffel Tower, and (for reasons known only to him) abandoned his studies in literature and later history to work on a doctorate in physics at Paris University. Alas, his doctoral committee rejected his dissertation as "nonsense". He wrote to Einstein, who read the dissertation, and wrote a letter to the committee saying he found it quite reasonable (I'm told he also wrote less polite private letter to members of the committee). De Broglie ended up receiving not just a doctorate but a Nobel Prise for his once-rejected thesis. And he still got to be prince. Some guys have all the luck.

The story of De Broglie, who was still alive long after I supposedly reached adulthood, was a ray of hope throughout my childhood. I give special props to "Weird Al" Einstein for going the extra mile (and, being from Georgia, for marrying his cousin)


Officially, "Weird News" probably belongs The Beach, but I can understand why people might not post them there. OT certainly gets its share of Weird News, but I'm not sure it belongs there either. Either way, I think a *little* Weird News is fine, as long as we keep the Serious Stuff Quotient high enough.

Christopher -
You know I'd grant you a formal Emeritus title if I could, but you're already a Demigod. and if we added a Mod Emeritus to that, you'd outrank Ash/Zack -- which I'm not willing to risk, as long as Ash still has that prototype Gauss Gun in his garage.

I agree that deduction and reasoned speculation are definitely important here. I just didn't want to outline the whole spectrum above opinion and rhetoric.

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Kittens are the elementary particles of cuteness.
They were -- until that unpleasantness with Schroedinger. Apparently kittens are hadronic, but the Strong Claw Force --which may seem to attach them inseparably (and painfully) to random lap parts when the mailman rings unexpectedly -- did not display the same strength of interaction as glueballs, hybrid mesons, or tetraquarks. Thank heavens you can rent professional carpet steamers at the grocery store.

They may, however, provide the missing element in pentaquark theory, if you substitute furballs for glueballs

Quote

I also wish we had a higher ratio of threads about SF universes to ones about science news, as per the original concept of the forum, but I guess that's dependent on having shows whose ideas are worth exploring (as proven by the increase in such threads since BSG premiered). And the forum has definitely evolved in its own direction. Which leads me to wonder if there should be some revision of the pinned "What this forum is about" thread that I wrote some time back, which is weighted more toward fiction than fact.
I personally agree that applying real science to SF premises has always been one of the great joys of this forum. From time to time, I try to drag a science topic from the Reviews forum into this one, but I'm afraid I don't always have time for the follow-up to keep those threads alive until they catch on.

Every EtU'er -- assuming they feel as we do-- can help by redirecting such discussions from SF Lit threads, where they are often distractions and digressions, and starting threads here, where they are not just welcome but treasured.

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One of them?! How many dictators does it take to rule one philosopher?
It's not the dictatorship that requires so many of us; it's the benevolence -- much like that untried recipe for World Peace that calls for 1 cup of politician brains.

As that Tootsie Pop commercial said: "The world may never know..."

D.Rabbit said:

I do have one question:

Quote

4) I edited an inoffensive post by another poster to remove a quote of the POP.
Did you try to contact the quoter before you edited, or did you just jump in
I jumped in, *then* asked Cheile if she minded. (It was the wee hours in the UK as well as the US) Similarly, I edited first and immediately PM'ed Nonny for her reaction when I added a subtitle warning to her thread on the F-word. (She'd already logged off, and since, IIRC, it was a Friday evening, there was no telling when she'd get home from her carousing. Don't let her kid you.)

I can't say I feel great about that. I'm comfortable with my choice, even in hindsight but it's more intrusive than I'd prefer to be when a poster did nothing wrong. I just feel that certain interventions have 90% of their effect in the first several hours, not the following day.

In both cases, I was confident that the poster wouldn't mind. It's nice having a close enough community to be able to make that guess.

If you prefer that I not edit your posts, I'll keep that in mind, but I won't guarantee immunity. The  point of these guidelines is to assure that everyone knows what to expect, and that everyone is treated equally. I didn't feel that the element I removed from Cheile's post (i.e. a verbatim quote of the entire "offensive post" I'd "fixed" earlier in the thread) or the subtitle I added to Nonny's thread impacted their message. I didn't change a single word they personally authored. I *did* change a few (objectionable) words  DoctorJones chose, as I noted, and I'm comfortable with that choice, too, because the OP was in violation of the Guidelines.

A post is not your house. It's not even your apartment. I do, however, recognize that anything but the most minimal change risks misrepresenting your words and ideas, and would recieve VERY serious consideration before I did it. An abuse of mod edit priivileges *can* take something from you: "He that filches from me my good name, robs me of that which not enriches him, but makes me poor indeed."

#8 QueenTiye

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Posted 06 September 2005 - 08:24 AM

Excellent discussion, and I agree with all the moderation decisions to date.

On the subject of weird stuff being posted here for their "tabloid" effect - I don't believe anyone does that really.  Usually when people post here, they are posting here in case there's something scientific going to happen in the thread - the odd curiousity nonetheless begs for explanations.  I recall the one incident in which Christopher actually did move a thread to the Beach, because it never generated any scientific curiousity - only gawking.  I thought that was appropriate too.  In general though - the oddities draw people into the EtU forum.  Natural human curiousity about things is the foundation of science in my opinion - so I hope that the leniency on that score remains.

Finally - I want to commend Christopher for his hard work in making the EtU what it is, and thank Orpheus for carrying forward the legacy with this thread. :)

QT

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#9 D.Rabbit

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Posted 06 September 2005 - 10:31 PM

Orpheus, on Sep 6 2005, 06:27 AM, said:

D.Rabbit said:

I do have one question:

Quote

4) I edited an inoffensive post by another poster to remove a quote of the POP.
Did you try to contact the quoter before you edited, or did you just jump in
I jumped in, *then* asked Cheile if she minded. (It was the wee hours in the UK as well as the US) Similarly, I edited first and immediately PM'ed Nonny for her reaction when I added a subtitle warning to her thread on the F-word. (She'd already logged off, and since, IIRC, it was a Friday evening, there was no telling when she'd get home from her carousing. Don't let her kid you.)

Another question, if I am online and not currently sitting with an EI window open, how can you tell that I am not online? I didn't think that messages boards worked like MSN or do they? (the light in the refrigerator question) I was always under the impression that I had to have a window open to this site to be noted as being online.

Quote

I can't say I feel great about that. I'm comfortable with my choice, even in hindsight but it's more intrusive than I'd prefer to be when a poster did nothing wrong. I just feel that certain interventions have 90% of their effect in the first several hours, not the following day.
Actually the quoter did do something wrong. They quoted text that was obviously against board policy there for duplicating it within their own post, putting you in the position between a rock and a hard place.

I have no quarrel with your editing to add warning subtitles, this is standard moderation and necessary often enough.

Quote

In both cases, I was confident that the poster wouldn't mind. It's nice having a close enough community to be able to make that guess.

You have managed to charm most of the community into believing Orphy knows best.  Not saying you don't.


Quote

If you prefer that I not edit your posts, I'll keep that in mind, but I won't guarantee immunity.
I have a slight problem with favoritism, it's immoderate. Please no special treatment. ;) If I have crossed the lines of decency, or accidentally let L.W. slip off her cagey couch, I would prefer you ask me to edit, please. It's only ambiguity that I write into some of my posts that might be in question and I am quite capable of correcting what may appear incorrect.

Quote

A post is not your house. It's not even your apartment. I do, however, recognize that anything but the most minimal change risks misrepresenting your words and ideas, and would receive VERY serious consideration before I did it. An abuse of mod edit priivileges *can* take something from you: "He that filches from me my good name, robs me of that which not enriches him, but makes me poor indeed."
I was using the apartment/landlord scenario figuratively.
Should I have used, we are the guests and you are the bouncer?
In essence, you work for us to keep the atmosphere here a pleasant place to visit.
It's the pecking order. The owners, the members then the moderators who are hired or enlist to keep the peace. Without the owners and the members the moderators are redundant.

There is a problem with moderators having power when they are at the bottom of the pecking order. Some assume the position of, "Gods"
I've been tormented by a few for no honest reasons.
From your final quoted statement, and the workings of this board's safe guards with watchdogs, I feel assured you will never abuse this power.
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#10 Orpheus

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Posted 07 September 2005 - 12:30 AM

Quote

Another question, if I am online and not currently sitting with an EI window open, how can you tell that I am not online? I didn't think that messages boards worked like MSN or do they? (the light in the refrigerator question) I was always under the impression that I had to have a window open to this site to be noted as being online.
I meant "online" as "showing up as active on EI". You're right, the BBS's "Who's Online", "Now Viewing this Thread", and similar displays all reflect when you last loaded a page. After a fixed interval of inactivity (no new page requested), you drop off the list, whether you actually left long before, or are still reading/replying. For "Who's Online" (main page), the timeout is 20 min, IIRC.

I don't have the ability to tell when a member is connected to the Internet. Not that I'll admit, anyway :)

Quote

You have managed to charm most of the community into believing Orphy knows best.
Why oh why can't I use that power for evil?

Edited by Orpheus, 07 September 2005 - 12:42 AM.


#11 D.Rabbit

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Posted 07 September 2005 - 09:50 PM

^ If that's your plan you might want to change your avatar?

HypnoAvatar.gif
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#12 Orpheus

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Posted 10 September 2005 - 04:48 PM

In all seriousness: is this all the discussion we want to have on this subject?

Do we have no other concerns or suggestions?

I apologize if I've seemed flip or diffensive. The former... well, you know me by now (so much for "Orph knows best"). The latter was just my attempt to explain my stance and reasoning for debate. I assure you, no offense was taken, and I'd much rather you change my mind now than later

#13 GoldenCoal

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Posted 11 September 2005 - 11:22 AM

^^

No, right now it seems that Orph really does know best.

#14 Orpheus

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Posted 11 September 2005 - 05:07 PM

No, no one who truly "knows best" could ever use the non-word "diffensive" ("defensive"). How'd that happen? I wasn't even drunk or tired.

Man, I'll be cringing for a week at that one, but fixing it would feel dishonest.

#15 Corwin

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Posted 11 September 2005 - 08:13 PM

Orpheus, on Sep 11 2005, 04:07 PM, said:

No, no one who truly "knows best" could ever use the non-word "diffensive" ("defensive"). How'd that happen? I wasn't even drunk or tired.


Add it to the Orphean Lexicon of Masticated Oddities Page.  It goes with the Hadronic Cats and Weak Tail Forces.  Just don't ask me to explain how.... :whistle:
"The Enemy is upon us, so Lock and Load, Brothers.  The Emperor Calls and the Forces of Chaos must be driven back.  Though all of us will fall, none of us shall fail!"

#16 CJ AEGIS

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Posted 11 September 2005 - 08:17 PM

Quote

Orpheus:
Officially, "Weird News" probably belongs The Beach, but I can understand why people might not post them there. OT certainly gets its share of Weird News, but I'm not sure it belongs there either. Either way, I think a *little* Weird News is fine, as long as we keep the Serious Stuff Quotient high enough.

Agreed on the weird news… My rule of thumb is that if it might prompt some sort of discourse beyond  “wow that is weird” it stays in OT.  

Quote

Orph: which I'm not willing to risk, as long as Ash still has that prototype Gauss Gun in his garage.
I’m convinced insurance rates went up across the neighborhood in response to that development.
"History has proven too often and too recently that the nation which relaxes its defenses invites attack."
        -Fleet Admiral Nimitz
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#17 DWF

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Posted 11 September 2005 - 08:39 PM

Orpheus, on Sep 6 2005, 06:27 AM, said:

You know I'd grant you a formal Emeritus title if I could, but you're already a Demigod. and if we added a Mod Emeritus to that, you'd outrank Ash/Zack -- which I'm not willing to risk, as long as Ash still has that prototype Gauss Gun in his garage.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


He only has that gun to make an ash out of people. :howling:

You're doing a GREAT job there's no need obsessing over one decision.  :tyr:
The longest-running science fiction series: decadent, degenerate and rotten to the core. Power-mad conspirators, Daleks, Sontarans... Cybermen! They're still in the nursery compared to us. Fifty years of absolute fandom. That's what it takes to be really critical.

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#18 D.Rabbit

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Posted 12 September 2005 - 01:24 AM

Orpheus, on Sep 11 2005, 06:07 PM, said:

No, no one who truly "knows best" could ever use the non-word "diffensive" ("defensive"). How'd that happen? I wasn't even drunk or tired.

Man, I'll be cringing for a week at that one, but fixing it would feel dishonest.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


As an Orph "groupy" I have come to expect your non-words as a given. I learned to skip over them because it's not the way you write your words that has weight, it's what you have to say.

This is a message board, don't we come here to relax and interact? So your wording is a little relaxed, it's far from important.

Stop that cringing please, it's not good for your posture.
Head up, shoulders back, and lead with your nipples.
7 verses I know you're there behind the veil.

#19 Orpheus

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Posted 12 September 2005 - 03:09 AM

Corwin, on Sep 11 2005, 09:13 PM, said:

Add it to the Orphean Lexicon of Masticated Oddities Page.  It goes with the Hadronic Cats and Weak Tail Forces.  Just don't ask me to explain how.... :whistle:

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Oh, did I mention that I plan to add several features to encourage community and a steady volume of in-depth discussion? YOUR suggestion has become victim #1

I'm think that a "book club" might not be a bad idea. Unfortunately, I'm currently working through Sklansky's "Fundamental Theorem of Poker", and the mathematical symbology (and a ridiculously profitable rush of trips advancing to full houses in Omaha Pot Limit) are slowing its conversion to an EI thread.

DWF said:

...there's no need obsessing over one decision.
Those cases studies are just cursory examples of a yet unwritten policy. Call them Harbingers of the Abyss.

D.Rabbit, on Sep 12 2005, 02:24 AM, said:

As an Orph "groupy" I have come to expect your non-words as a given. I learned to skip over them because it's not the way you write your words that has weight, it's what you have to say.

This is a message board, don't we come here to relax and interact? So your wording is a little relaxed, it's far from important.

Stop that cringing please, it's not good for your posture.
Head up, shoulders back, and lead with your nipples.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Can't I lead with YOUR... er... no, I'll behave myself.

(I agree, however, that Torri Higginson is the victim of poorly phrased advice on how to project an "authoritative posture. Especially when it gets chilly on the Atlantis set.)

#20 Orpheus

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Posted 24 September 2005 - 05:36 AM

The following preliminary policy will be incorporated into the "forum policy" sticky I am writing. Discuss!

Re: starting new threads or thread-spiltting
If a poster (or mod) suggests that a thread should be split, or a subtopic be discussed in a separate thread, it is best  that one of the participants start it. This lets them set the topic(s) and scope in the OP, according to their specific interests. I think this promotes a better discussion.

A mod could only open a "blanket" thread, which might be ignored or become a hodgepodge. S/He can't know where your interests lie.

I am happy to facilitate the discussion in any way I can, while trying to maintain respect for your choices. For example, I can move posts to a more relevant thread, but I'd generally only do this at the poster's own request. I might PM a poster for permission, if (for example) their post seems isolated and off-topic after similar posts have moved, but that would only be a suggestion, unless the post were provocative or disruptive in its current thread which rarely, if ever, happens.

Though I won't guarantee that I'll never move a post without permission, I don't believe I ever have, without at least implicit permission-- e.g.: when a poster has voiced agreement for a thread split, without specifying which of their posts to move.

I have, in the past, sometimes split a thread myself. It's not usually the best solution. It requires making editorial decisions about where various posts belong, or even breaking up posts that respond to multiple topics. I'd only do that if I felt there was strong justification. I want to respect the logical and artistic flow of your posts and threads as much as possible.

Waiting for permission/replies is slower, and may result in a less-than-ideal order of posts in the target thread, depending on when I hear back from each poster, but I think that is the best trade-off in most cases.


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