My Whateveresque Appearance Schedule
Posted on April 16, 2008 Posted by John Scalzi 18 Comments
Apropos to today being a Whateveresque registration day, I’ve been asked a couple times recently why I myself don’t spend a huge amount of time over on Whateveresque. Well, two reasons. First: I’m kinda busy, and I spend enough time on Whatever as it is. Second: Much of the point of Whateveresque is to give folks who feel like they’re part of the Whatever community a place where they can chat amongst themselves without me calling the tune — where they can post topics and decide what’s worth talking about with other community members and so on.
I run the back end, perform (so far minimal) policing and participate from time to time, but what makes me happy is that the place largely does chug along without me, and has its own set of regulars who enjoy the place. That’s the way it’s supposed to work, so I’m glad it does. And now it has more than 1,000 members, so there’s a lot of potential for conversation.
Whatever is what I make of it: I post the entries and choose the topics and so on. Whateveresque, on the other hand, is what you make of it, those of you who sign up to be members. If you show up to play and participate, it’s going to be a really excellent place. If you don’t, it’ll be just another dead forum on the Web. I set it up, but in a very real sense the members are who will decide what it is. I don’t want to get too deep about it — it’s just a forum — but that’s how I look at it.
I totally get your purpose, but the fact that you moderate over there so little is a definite downside. Most serious or semi-serious topics quickly spiral down the toilet.
I avoid those threads now.
Well, you know. There is a “Report This Post” button for when you think things have gotten out of control and it would be nice for the moderator (i.e., me) to step in and tell people to take a breather. I do rely on the members of Whateveresque helping me out in that area.
I like the forum; the people there are smart and literate. I avoid the political subjects because those can get nasty, but the rest fine. I visit several times a day.
John, if you need a moderator, I’m game (zizban).
That does it.
I’m now waiting for my registration to be approved.
Sci-fi fans discussing politics? That strikes me as the Three Stooges at a volume level of 11. Egad.
Surely there are other things to discuss. I’m looking forward to finding out.
I registered back in September but never got activated. Should I take that as a hint to buzz off?
Actually, John, the last time I got annoyed in a thread, the final straw for me was when someone started yelling at me, “Are you gonna tell John on me? I bet you are!”
I just got bored and left.
There are tons more to discuss besides politics; that’s only one subforum. There a long thread about your favorite sci-fi book, games, computers and other fun stuff worth checking out.
It might be a good idea to deputize a few of the regulars. At least in my experience, proactive moderation tends to work much better than reactive moderation.
Meanwhile, here’s how to avoid having to read posts by people you dislike:
1. Go to User Control Panel
2. Go to Friends and Foes
3. Go to Manage Foes
4. Add their names to the list
Thereafter, all of their posts will be collapsed into a single line containing just their name – with a link to uncollapse if you really want to read it. It’s not a perfect solution, since other people might still quote/reply to their posts, but it filters things down a lot.
Say, did you ever look into turning on the polling feature over there? (I’ve tried not to be a pest about it). Polling would add some fun.
I did and then got distracted. I’ll look into turning it on.
Personally I am against any one moderator and even a little against polling. Yes some of the threads get a little and silly and out of hand. But whatever…thats just the way the internet works. Most annoying people get bored and just dissapear anyways.
I have seen first hand the effects of operator channel moderation on IRC. As silly as it is channel operators would always sucomb to power and ban people for the stupidist reasons. Just because they can. Or banned people acting like babies and either attacking IRC servers or channel take over attempts.
I fear whateveresque would turn into that same kind of scene. That would suck.
Well, you know. There is a moderator, namely me.
And a very steathy one at that.
WTF is steathy?!?
STEALTHY I MEAN..
Back to work for me!
My experience has been the opposite of Ray’s. Left to its own devices, an unmoderated forum will eventually have nobody left in it EXCEPT the annoying people – and then they too depart because there’s no one left to annoy. While I can certainly grok the concept of irresponsible moderators ruining a good community, it should be noted that a community with good moderators is far better than a community with little to no moderation. There are a lot of those out there too.
Also, I moderate an IRC channel and my recent most grievous error was to NOT ban some people that I should’ve. I thought perhaps I could be lenient and expect them to behave like adults. This ended up causing a lot more problems than there would’ve been had I just banned them at the start.
Ray – I have yet to disappear. I keep hoping.
*points at Patrick M.*
I rest my case. :p
I am already a moderator on a SGI enthusiast forum. There are a half a dozen other moderators and if you have really good mods, you never notice them moderating.