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*** CowboysZone Feedback Thread ***

Discussion in 'CZ Support Zone' started by Reality, Jul 30, 2012.

  1. Idgit

    Idgit Ice up, son. Ice up! Staff Member

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    The problem is, the monkeys don't discriminate re: which threads are best to throw turds in. They throw them everywhere. When you get above a certain percentage of monkeys, almost every thread in the board becomes unreadable. And it's not like you can just ignore them, because invariably they throw poo at some good poster you want to read, and then you can't avoid the back-and-forth. And because those back-and-forths get emotional, otherwise great posters get sucked in and stop behaving rationally. It's just no fun.

    It's a pretty simple system. If you have good mods, you trust them to decide what's above and below the bar. Who contributes meaningful discussions and who does not. Who behaves with respect and who doesn't. Who's a legitimate 'source' and who's posing. If you don't trust the moderators, the board's going to suck anyway, so you're better off just supporting them since this site's so big it's now got critical mass.

    Under-moderated forums are a lot of fun. But the sort of relative anarchy they invite makes it impossible for them to grow big enough to attract an interesting range of opinions. What you end up with is hilarious, and interesting, but not productive or large in scale because the urge to goof around distracts from, you know, actual discussion.
  2. superpunk

    superpunk Benched

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    I'm sorry is the ignore button broken?

    No, of course not. The problem is people refuse to use it because they prefer seeing the flying crap no matter how much they protest to the contrary.

    So instead of trusting people to handle themselves and let discussions play out organically we have a small group of posters setting the agenda for the entire site, and anyone who finds themselves outside the mainstream can bet they won't last here all that long. Why is that sort of heavy-handedness preferable to a more free arena for discussion? So that people who can't control their own eyes don't have to even look at things lest they be tempted to respond to a "troll"? Is everyone here a huge fan of how Extremeskins is run?

    The bottom line is banning should be used as a last resort. Instead it is a nuclear option used too many times for posters whose opinions annoy the status quo.
  3. Idgit

    Idgit Ice up, son. Ice up! Staff Member

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    Mine might be. I use the hell out of it. But it's not like the internet is going to run out of argumentative teenagers who don't know what they don't know yet. They are catnip when they reply to you. It's hard to ignore them once the first insult gets lobbed. And all it takes is one or two sidetracks to ruin any given thread.

    I guess I just don't value unfettered discussion enough to wade through a bunch of nonsense. I'd much rather have some fetters and be able to concentrate on topics that are actually interesting.
  4. superpunk

    superpunk Benched

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    So would I.

    And I do. When I see that inmanroshi or Chocolate Lab has commented on a thread - I know that's most likely going to be a good read. When I see some idiot's name on a thread, that has gone maybe 150 posts and they keep being in it....I know not to read that thread.

    How do I know that?

    Not because a small group of posters declared it so, or not gotten around to banning/not banning someone yet, or rated a thread 5 great stars, but because I've read things from these people and come to my own conclusion about the value of their input.

    I along with 100% of the user base here - am perfectly capable of monitoring what I read and respond to on my own.

    Just how I was raised.
  5. WoodysGirl

    WoodysGirl Shut up and play! Staff Member

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    The Zone has rules for a reason and it will NEVER be a place where it provides a free-for-all and people can just post without a baseline of conduct. Think of it as an employee handbook.

    When you start a new job, HR gives you an employee handbook in which you are expected to sign and agree that you will conduct yourself according to the company's guidelines for its employees.

    In this case, when you registered to this site, you agreed to conduct yourself according to the rules of this site. And when you cannot, even after given plenty of chances, then the staff will either suspend or ban your account. In the Reinstatement post that you quoted, we have used that EXACT process to allow former banned members to return with their post count intact.

    Something to understand is that the Zone will NEVER be run the way you just described. It has been run this way quite successfully for eight-plus years. While we appreciate your opinion and feedback on the matter, having that opinion and providing that feedback may not always affect the change that you desire.
  6. superpunk

    superpunk Benched

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    I never said anything about a free for all, and I've corrected people who misinterpreted my comments on that several times now.

    This is going to sound flippant, buy oh yay! I'm sure these fantastic posters who built this site to what it is and have been banned for any number of reasons CANNOT WAIT to come grovel to the people who cast them out in the first place.

    Just outlining the problem.

    If you guys can look over the user list and see informative guys like theebs, dbair, peplaw, hoofbite, theogt etc. all rarely posting anymore by choice...see guys like mb4, bbgun, and others not posting anymore because they've been kicked out....and still put your hands over your eyes and declare all is well, then there's not much else I can say.
  7. WoodysGirl

    WoodysGirl Shut up and play! Staff Member

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    I'm not going to go through each post discussing the merits of each argument that has been going back and forth so far. The site has run pretty well for quite some time and so we appreciate everyone who posts feedback in this thread. We will consider every suggestion in this thread, and we will do our best to address it now or put it on the list for future site changes.

    But something to note is that this is a feedback thread to discuss how to IMPROVE the site, not a thread providing a moratorium on how the site currently operates. In addition to that, I want to reiterate that if your feedback goes against the very foundation of how this site was launched and has operated for many years, then you're probably going to be disappointed.

    At this time, we're not looking to change the core of how the site operates, but if one can offer feedback that encourages methods that improves on what we currently do, then we continue to welcome your feedback. If it is to go in depth about the whys and wherefores of past site grievances, supposed good users, and whatnot, then you might as well move on, because Reality has addressed the issue. I've addressed the issue and there is nothing more we plan to do in that regard.
  8. Zordon

    Zordon Well-Known Member

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    i think vbulletin has an option where you can copy and paste a youtube link and it will automatically embed the video for you. having to copy/paste the end of the url and then add the youtube tags is sort of time consuming.
  9. Muhast

    Muhast Newo

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    I feel like an idiot every time, I always post it 3-4 times before I figure it out.
  10. Idgit

    Idgit Ice up, son. Ice up! Staff Member

    31,833 Messages
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    Use the 'quote' function and replace 'quote' with 'youtube.' ;)
  11. CowboyMike

    CowboyMike Stay Thirsty, My Friends

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    Let me go on record that I do not agree with Superpunk at all in regards to what merits a ban. I'm on the opposite end of the spectrum compared to him on that argument.

    However, I have a suggestion that might avoid an outburst like his in the future.

    Has the staff ever considered being maybe a little more transparent in regards to discipline and bans? It occurs to me that often an issue like what Superpunk has happens when a banned member communicates with someone here and essentially badmouths the forums, then the members don't get the side of the story from the staff as a counterpoint. If the wrong story is the only story out there, it tends to become the believed story. As Hostile said, "Anyone who does not like the way this site is run and is listening to people who have been banned is listening to one half of the story."

    Now, I believe it is their fault that they're believing that half of the story, but some people need all the facts to make a decision. I've seen from time to time members make comments like, "So and so was banned?! Why? What happened? What'd they do?" They're questions are often met with silence or vague answers. If a longtime poster is banned (and trust me, I agree with every banning that has happened here since I've joined), then it's almost as if they're treated as if they've never existed.

    My suggestion is to maybe create a thread or area that says "User A was banned for the following reasons..." and then close the thread so no one can respond. It's an explanation, but not meant to start an argument or defense or trial of sorts. It's just there to let everyone know what happened and stands as sort of an example. And maybe it can be for the members that were banned after, say, 1000 posts. Those that did have an impact to the community that would actually be missed by some people. And it's posted with the understanding that if anyone takes it further than that, infractions will follow. It will, however, create the solution of people asking about the banned member or only believing communication from that banned member without the other side of the story.

    Now, I understand the negatives to this suggestion. It creates an area of the forums that is without a doubt negative, whereas the goal is to create an overall positive atmosphere. However, I don't think it will really impact the Zone simply to the community's huge size and traffic level. It wouldn't work on a smaller forum, but here, I think it will. People are going to come and post here no matter what. The only people that will look at the "Banned Records" will be the ones that want to know.

    I'll completely understand if this idea is completely shot down. I'm not sure I'd do it myself. I've run and currently run a large sci-fi forum community myself, and I get the negatives to this idea. I can also see the positives for some people. It's worth a thought, at least.
  12. Reality

    Reality Administrator Staff Member

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    This is not something we will ever consider doing because it would create a huge number of problems. From the laughing at and taunting of banned users from their enemies to the mass whines and complaints by their support groups. It comes down to whether you trust the staff or not and if you cannot trust the diverse staff we have on CowboysZone, you will never trust the staff on any site.

    #reality
  13. CowboyMike

    CowboyMike Stay Thirsty, My Friends

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    Understandable. Again, just an idea. That was why I suggested that it simply be stated and closed so no one could respond, but it could incite whining over PM, as well, which can't be stopped.
  14. BigDinAZ

    BigDinAZ Active Member

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    An iphone app to view and post. I have this with some of my car forums.
  15. BrAinPaiNt

    BrAinPaiNt Bad Santa Staff Member

    61,232 Messages
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    I must be missing something here.

    I can view and post here from my Iphone by using the safari web browser on my iphone.

    That is an app that comes standard on the iphone.

    I know some places make mobile versions for phones so it might make it a tad easier to load sites (takes a few things away for faster loading) but you can view and post on this site from a standard Iphone using the safari browser that comes standard on the phones.

    One suggestion to make things load a little faster is to change your personal settings on the zone to remove images...including sig and avatars.
  16. superpunk

    superpunk Benched

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    I mentioned it to WG but thanks to both of you for taking the time to read and respond to me, even if we disagree in the end.

    :starspin
  17. DallasCowpoke

    DallasCowpoke Fierce Allegiance

    5,429 Messages
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    Wow, talk about opening a door, then slamming it shut because you don't like the pimples being pointed out! :laugh2:

    superpunk makes some valid points. Echoes ones I've bumped heads on with a lot of you repeatedly. And to say banning members is a "joint decision" is purely, a bold-face lie. I've been banned more than once, within a 5 min window of posting something that was "interpreted" as offensive. Sorry, but stating it's a decision that's put to some kind of "vote", is laughable.

    The "forum policies" y'all reference as "gospel", are so open-ended, and subject to such vague, self-serving interpretation, it's hard to believe y'all use them as arguments when trying to justify your actions, with a straight face.

    The rules state, no religious/political posts or references of any kind, PERIOD. Yet you allow members to use links in their sigs that OPENLY promote these. Acting like y'all DON'T show favoritism is insulting.

    This policy right here
    is probably the most telling of how this site sees itself. Good GAWD, do y'all REALLY hold yourselves in such self-aggrandizing regard!?

    I honestly do enjoy reading/posting on this site, but for gosh sakes, STOP TAKING YOURSELVES SO SERIOUSLY! It's a forum board after all. I'm more than mildly confident, if it went away tonight @ 11:59, it would be nothing more than an occasional mention in the multitude of others that exist within a shockingly short period or time.
  18. Reality

    Reality Administrator Staff Member

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    This thread still remains open and you are here posting your views on things so I would say the door is a long way from being slammed as you put it. WoodysGirl simply pointed out that this is a feedback thread where we will listen and consider the comments of users on a variety of areas as long as they are constructive and well thought out, but we make no promises as to any specific changes.

    Any moderator can ban a user just like any person can walk up to someone on the street and hit them. We never claimed that a user cannot be temporarily suspended or banned without a staff vote because that is simply impossible as the entire staff is never on the site at the same time. What we said, and what is absolutely true, is that all actions of moderators including bans are viewable and reviewable by the entire staff. If the staff disagrees with the action of a moderator, it will be reversed.

    There have been several cases where an action taken by a moderator was overruled by the staff. That has even happened to me with actions I have taken against users. I understand most sites do not operate this way so it is a foreign concept to most people, but this is how we have done things here for years.

    We try our best to be fair and we have enough diversity on our staff that we usually do a good job of being fair. Of course the users who receive infractions or account suspensions are going to consider them unfair, but that is human nature. If I was on the receiving end, I would likely think the same thing.

    We are in the process of resolving issues like this, I assure you. The updated Forum Rules have been simplified to make this process more straight-forward with the staff and our members. We are discussing the things as a staff though and it will take a little time, but we are working on it.

    If believing in what we do and how we run CowboysZone means we hold ourselves in such self-aggrandizing regard, then I guess we are guilty. I am very proud of the site, the staff and our members.

    As a staff, we rarely take things seriously. We have been a family-friendly site since the beginning and it has served us well. There are plenty of other forum sites that provide moderator-free or low-moderation environments out there, but few that offer a family-friendly environment like CowboysZone does.

    All I can say is that I am proud of what we have here and I understand and respect that not everyone will feel that way. I never put CowboysZone online to be popular. I put it online because I wanted Cowboys fans to have a place where they could get together and talk about our favorite team in a family-friendly environment.

    #reality
  19. Reality

    Reality Administrator Staff Member

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    I appreciate you saying this. Even when we disagree with comments and suggestions, we keep them in mind as we move forward. I knew when we made this thread that there would be some strong opinions in it, but I felt it was worth it because these discussions might lead to changes or new ideas. At the very least, it might clear up a few misconceptions and misunderstandings.

    #reality
  20. BigDinAZ

    BigDinAZ Active Member

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    Yes, I am referring to a mobile app. Sometimes loading it in Safari can be a pain in the ***. Especially trying to resize the image and what not.

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