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Discussion Starter #1
Where Mods no longer seem to care about the opinions of the members on the board? Where Members feel like they can't get a word in cause if they do a Mod seems to step in and overrides them? Where Members feel like their experiences don't seem to matter. Where Members feel they have NO sayso in whats going on here?? Where the members are starting to feel that it won't change and finally just give up and leave??

IS that what TFK staff is after? Because if so, It's working!

Please open your eyes and take a good look around. This is the way people here feel and I as well at times. I generally try to stay out of matters like this but I simply can not anymore as of today I have seen a good friend who was very knowledgeable just give up and leave. Simply because he felt that his opinion/experience didn't matter.

I understand this is a forum to discuss the facts about fish keeping first and formost. I also understand there is many different ways to skin a cat! So Please just consider the questions at hand long and hard. Do you really want to keep pushing ppl away or do you think we can all talk about like Adults??? IF you think we can do that, how exactly do you think that can be if there is no place to discuss it? Open discussion board would be nice. Some place out in the open not some place in the shadows where only YOU can see it. Believe it or not people would to see whats going on here and have a little bit of say soo. Not just this is how it is, like it or not. If there is or not ppl think there is too much going on in the shadows and would like to be kept in the loop.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Discussing with who?? Amongst yourself?? That's half the problem here dramaqueen. Why not discuss it with the forum as a whole? What is the problem in doing so??
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That's what we're working on. to find a way to get members involved with things. I'm sorry everyone is so upset about things. We want to resolve this in a way that is satisfactory to everyone.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
See I still think you are missing the point here Dramaqueen.
How do you know its satisfactory to everyone if its not an open discussion?? This decision making is all behind the scenes. Are y'all just going to make something happen and hope for the best? I am I guess even a blind squirrel can find a nut sometimes but I think it would make even more of a difference if this matter as whole was brought out in the open for discussion.
 

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What would you suggest? Should we post everything out in the open forum and let members make decisions? I'm not trying to be rude, I'm trying to understand because I'm not sure what you want. Also, why is it that members are unhappy with things now that we have a new admin? Things are still the same, nothing has changed.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Seriously!?!? I've been say "We need an open discussion about the matter. Out in the Open! " Yes I think you should talk about it in the main forum. I am not even saying you necessarily have to make a new section but just post a thread about it! WoW
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Discussion Starter #8
You ask me why are ppl mad now and not before and nothing has changed. Well yes things have changed. That's obvious and its obvious you don't see it. First there is with exception of a few of ya new Mods here since I have joined. Not saying that's an issue things happen but maybe the ppl who are mods now are an issue to ppl. Not because they are mods but because how hand a thread or a post or even how they post. That goes back to my original questions. I don't even think the new Admin is an issue its just so happens this is the time ppl are starting to come out with it when the Admins switched.
 

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I'm so sorry that I'm too dense to understand what you are trying to say. Getting angry isn't the way to handle things. I understand now that you want everything to be out in the open and not behind the scenes.
 

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John. . .I really appreciate that you came here to post your thoughts. You know how saddened I am by the loss of a TFK friend, too. You're upset, that's very clear. And I'm picking up some of what you're saying, but I'm wondering if you can take the time to clarify things a little bit?

The points you bring up here are valid, and they do seem to be echoed by other members in the community. As DQ said, we have been discussing how best to deal with all of the above. . . and I HEAR your frustration. It seems like it should be so simple to just post a thread about why people are disgruntled. But at the same time. . . we WANT a friendly exchange of ideas, and not a mod-bashing session. The latter wouldn't do anyone any good, and I'm afraid it would end badly. The open area for member/mod discussion is something that is out on the table right now, but we're going to have to ask for you to be patient for just a little bit longer on this, please?

Before we take this any further, would it be possible for you to clarify your concerns just a little bit more? WHY is it that you feel the above is true? I've known you for some time now, and the John that I know is a pretty laid back guy - not the type to get upset out of nowhere, or over one small thing. So it really concerns me to see you in such an obviously angry state. . . I want to help get you the answers you're looking for - and the changes you wish, if that's possible. But DQ and I are only two of many who will be reading this after us - some of whom already have, and may be also be confused as to exactly where all of this came from. . . and so how to respond.

Is your only concern the fact that the moderation staff has a separate area for discussion, and is not announcing the issues at hand to the community or actively seeking feedback? Or is there more to it than this?

Your input is welcome here. We really want to understand your thoughts. . .
 

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OK what the hell is going on here? I was gone all day and to come back in and see this is disturbing.

Who left the forum and why? John, can you please be more specific as to what happened or what you think is happening here? Any specific threads that upset you?
 

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Boredomb, first of all, I'm sorry you're so angry but slow down and try not to be condescending as you have been to dramaqueen. Frankly, you've been very rude. Please remember that the mods are just people too and we're trying our best. We are trying to work with the members and throwing back the olive branch is not going to help. So if you can't discuss this calmly, back off until you can. We can wait until then.

Now that all said, the mod team is painfully aware of the growing discontent among the members and we are working to address these concerns. This is not going to happen overnight. It may frustrate you and you may consider it ridiculous but we first need to discuss the changes privately as a team. Any attempts to override this step in the process will undermine everyone's efforts to reach a satisfactory conclusion. Once we have done that, I can assure you we will come forward and begin talks with the members.

Most if not all of the mod team members are open to the idea of a public discussion area but you the members must also be aware that while we can discuss some things with the members, we are under no obligation to discuss EVERYTHING that goes on. Some matters will remain strictly confidential moderation/administration matters that will be made without member input and that will not change. I don't mean to sound totalitarian and I apologize if I do but anyone who has experience with business will realize that not all decisions can be made publicly and not all decisions made will please everyone. Make no mistake, we will try our very utmost best to please as many people as we can. I mean, that IS part of what we're here for, to make the forum as accessible and pleasing to as many people as we can.

Moving on, please explain this post because I don't understand it. You tell us things have changed but you don't bother to elaborate. Until you are perfectly clear about what these changes are, we don't know what we should be addressing.

You ask me why are ppl mad now and not before and nothing has changed. Well yes things have changed. That's obvious and its obvious you don't see it. First there is with exception of a few of ya new Mods here since I have joined. Not saying that's an issue things happen but maybe the ppl who are mods now are an issue to ppl. Not because they are mods but because how hand a thread or a post or even how they post. That goes back to my original questions. I don't even think the new Admin is an issue its just so happens this is the time ppl are starting to come out with it when the Admins switched.
Your comment of "it's obvious and it's obvious you don't see it" is the most confusing statement of all.

We really need the members to understand that we moderators are not paid to do this job. We have full-time jobs and full-time families and busy schedules that we must work around. Therefore, changes are going to take time. We ask for patience and understanding as we work toward a solution.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Ok its late and I have alot to do still at work.
I am Sorry for coming off as rude/hateful/angry.

I plan to address my concerns and issues in a different manner. One that might be better for all of us to come to an understanding tomorrow.

Sorry,
John
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Ok its late and I have alot to do still at work.
I am Sorry for coming off as rude/hateful/angry.

I plan to address my concerns and issues in a different manner. One that might be better for all of us to come to an understanding tomorrow.

Sorry,
John
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Thanks John. None of us want to dismiss real issues with the forum. Emotions need to be put aside and any actual problems can be discussed at that time.
 
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Discussion Starter #17
So I may have strayed off the beaten path yesterday and didn't get my point across. Sorry for the rudeness and lets try this again.

The issues at hand on the board if you see it as so or not. These are real issues, ones that I heard about and can see in post.

This forum doesn't have very much diversity on it. I mean look around do you see any high tech people here posting or dirt tank ppl around, btw there are a few here but do you see them posting??? Why not, have you ever thought about/wonder about it?? There are many different ways to setup a tank/run a tank but yet how many ways do you see ppl running a tank on here?? Low tech mostly right?? If you want to admit it or not that's what the majority sees/hears. Is this wrong,no but it isn't the only way but its the only way you hear being pushed. Anyone who thinks different feels that their opinion isnt wanted here that this isn't a place for them. Why?? Certain ppl/mods force their opinions on the issue.

This is forum has a very decide way of doing things because of Mods posting soo strongly on threads/post. People are either scared to or tired of trying to get their voices heard in these cases. Tired of the competition of getting their voices heard over the Mods. Want to believe this or not or even if you don't see it. This is a real problem. People want to be able to post freely without the competition, they want be able to express their methods and point of views with out the fear being ridiculed or getting in a argument.
There are more out there then you know or realize. I personally have a dirt tank have had one of some kind for 2 years. I don't talk about and because of the ridicule you tend to see or the advising against. I know (I have been leaving names out of this till now sorry.) Redchigh has dirted tanks but he has his way of doing them. Have you ever seen him post in a dirted tank thread. Usually he tells them his way and makes it sound like thats the only way. Example http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/...mplete-cap-dirt-npt-170402/page2/#post1990977 There was a better way of saying what he was trying to say. This is just a example there are many other post out there and by different Mods making it sound like its their way that can only work. That's an issue with ppl. People don't so much mind mods posting they just don't want to feel that it can only be the way of the mods and thats the only way that's excepted here. Does any of this make sense?? If you response I am asking Please don't give me a generic answer, one that looks like you took off a piece of paper that has standardized answers.

Other issues people have are (and these are the changes I should have made clear yesterday) One day we have a new Admin, new reference section on the forum, new Mods and no one is saying anything about. There is no say so in whats changing and there are things changing for the good? I don't/ ppl don't know because there is no discussion about it. There has been no talks whatsoever.
Sakura, I understand that not everything can be discussed on the main forum. I never meant for that to the case. I realize there are some matters that can not and should be private but at the same time I do think there should be some general forum stuff that can be talked about with the ppl on the forum. People like knowing whats going on, like to know that they have some choice. It wouldn't take much effort to do so maybe a thread with a poll on the topic. You give them choices (ones y'all decide behind close doors) and let them pic from them. That still gives y'all the ability to control the situation as you soo see is best but still give the forum choices . People don't like getting hit in the head with so many changes and not have any ability to do anything about it. People like here as there are still here but they would like to make it a place thats comfortable and prefect place for them to use be at.

My last issue is this section. Yes, this section. You are forcing ppl (like me) to comfort 15 mods all at once by themselves. People don't what to deal with that or are afraid their views won't be taken seriously. Strength in numbers I think applies. Its very easy for y'all to come together hear and to express y'alls view on the matter all 15. Me will its just me. Are there others coming forward? I don't know, I suppose y'all could tell and I would have to talk you at your word. It would make it more comfortable on ppl to present problems to the staff if they didn't have to stand alone to do so.
This goes back to an open discussion area where we (the general forum ppl) can come to y'all as a group and express our concerns. I am not saying this section here needs to be closed down. It has its purpose and there are some issues that need to stay private. The issues I am trying to get y'all to understand are not. These issues need to address public. Let the ppl know you understand there are issuse at hand and you would like to talk about them get others views on it as a whole. Discuss it. Take it back to close doors and discuss how you are going to handle it. That's all I am asking, I think that's probably all anyone. I know mods are just volunteers here to ensure the board runs smoothly (I am sorry Sakura if I made you assume something else.) but at the moment ppl wondering if the board is running smoothly. I also understand decisions take time as the reasons you have stated. Through I have to say starting a discussions takes little to no effort. After all is that not the whole reason were are here, is to talk. I can understand that there might be some worries as to it getting out of control but that happens from time to time on the main forum anyways. I truly think there are some barriers that need to be broking here and that the staff needs to be the ones to take the first step. I know you are asking what do I mean here. I am talking about stepping out as group address the issues, let the people who have the issues come forward to express themselves without the fear of getting out numbered or getting ridiculed for doing so.

I hope this clarifies some of the issues I should have addressed better before,
John
 

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John, we really appreciate you coming into this section to talk to us. We do recognize how intimidating it can be which is why we do try to limit the number of mods actively replying to one person.

We will have to digest your comments and ponder them a bit and we will get back to you. We really want to address your concerns, it'll just take a bit for us to formulate our replies. Thank you. :)
 

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John, thank you for taking the time to write all of this out for us. I'm not used to seeing 'book posts' from you - that's always been my thing! You did a good job of putting your feelings down so that we can all understand where you're coming from, and I appreciate that you took the time you needed to calm down a bit before tackling these problems that have obviously been weighing on your mind.

I know you better than most of the other mods do, and I know you to be a helpful, and usually easygoing, genuinely nice guy. What I read here is NOT the John I'm used to conversing with on an almost daily basis, so I am very concerned to see you as upset as you clearly are by all of this.

I'm going to be honest all around and say that I'm not really sure how to react/respond in this situation. You've been a forum friend to me since you helped me figure out which plants would work in my first tank over a year ago. As a new mod. . . I'm feeling a little bit baffled as to how to respond to a friend. . . as a mod. So if you see me take a bit of a backseat here, know that I understand where you're coming from, and that these are concerns that we are and have been looking into actively.

We're hoping to have some resolution on at least a few of your concerns soon. Others are going to have to be a bit more of a 'work in progress' situation. . . for right now that's really the best that *I* can say, but I don't want you to feel alone up there. It isn't one member against however many mods - we're all members. We ALL love TFK, and we all want what's best for everyone, and to see TFK thrive and grow as we move through these changes and into the future. Your thoughts and words are being taken VERY seriously, and as Sakura said - we'll be back in touch.

P.S. These concerns are private, and as such should stay here where they belong. But I don't want you to feel that we can't continue to chat as friends about our pretty little fishies because of my mod status.
 

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Where Mods no longer seem to care about the opinions of the members on the board? Where Members feel like they can't get a word in cause if they do a Mod seems to step in and overrides them? Where Members feel like their experiences don't seem to matter. Where Members feel they have NO sayso in whats going on here?? Where the members are starting to feel that it won't change and finally just give up and leave??

IS that what TFK staff is after? Because if so, It's working!

Please open your eyes and take a good look around. This is the way people here feel and I as well at times. I generally try to stay out of matters like this but I simply can not anymore as of today I have seen a good friend who was very knowledgeable just give up and leave. Simply because he felt that his opinion/experience didn't matter.

I understand this is a forum to discuss the facts about fish keeping first and formost. I also understand there is many different ways to skin a cat! So Please just consider the questions at hand long and hard. Do you really want to keep pushing ppl away or do you think we can all talk about like Adults??? IF you think we can do that, how exactly do you think that can be if there is no place to discuss it? Open discussion board would be nice. Some place out in the open not some place in the shadows where only YOU can see it. Believe it or not people would to see whats going on here and have a little bit of say soo. Not just this is how it is, like it or not. If there is or not ppl think there is too much going on in the shadows and would like to be kept in the loop.
John,

If I may call you by your natural name. My name is Jeff and I don't know if we have had any real interaction on the boards here. I have seen you post a few times here and there in the Saltwater threads that I tend to be a hermit to, but I can't remember the topic or caliber of the posts, and I apologize for that...

I would like to address this post, if you don't mind. And if anything I say is taken out of context, please understand that everything I am posting here today is with our community's best interests at heart. A community that you are a part of. I personally feel that every member (sans trolls and spammers) are important to our community and believe me, I am saddened when we are in disharmony.

Believe it not, your posts in this thread made us look at how TFK is running and reconsider the way we make decisions. We have added two new sections that are going to be more member oriented: the "Members Discuss with Mods" area in January and most recently the "TFK Suggestions and Feedback" area.

These two areas are intended to bring the community voice out and give them a chance to either discuss privately or publicly their concerns or praises about Tropical Fish Keeping. The public section is not a place to call out mods on our jobs or our decisions, but more of a place that people such as yourself can help us improve the TFK experience.

We also decided that we need to start using the "Announcement" function more and have started posting in the "How to Use TropicalFishKeeping.com" and the "TFK Announcements" areas to let the members know about happenings in the community or changes in the format of the forum.

You probably noticed our new "Reference Section" at the top of the page. Because of system upgrades and enhancements, we feel moving our "Fish Profiles" over to the forum would be in the best interest of the Fish Profiles. We also moved a lot of the articles that were in our sections over to this "Reference Section" so that all good information is in one place. We will be discussing the heirarchy of the sections, and might be shuffling things around again in the near future. I am thinking of asking the team to put this out to the community first and ask them if they have any preferences to what sections should appear where on the home page.

John, whether the community knows it or not, we value our members. We fully understand that TFK would be nothing without the community. I want you involved. We are in a transition period and there is a sort-of 'learning curve' involved in this recent transfer of power. Sorry if anyone has felt 'less-than' or slighted in any way. That is definitely not our intention. We are members, just like yourself, that spend some extra time and energy trying to make the ship sail smoothly. Sometimes human nature kicks in and we just steer towards the storms, though...

You have posted about diversity and we are giving it serious discussion. As mods, we are not always on at the same time and it can take days for us just to all weigh in and then a few more days to come to a decision. Does the community want a "High-Tech" or "Dirty Tank" subforum where people who are out of the basic setup of tanks can post and discuss? If so, I would like you and whoever else would like this to petition in our new section "TFK Suggestions and Feedback" and start some dialogue with any naysayers. Believe it or not, your opinions count. Any feedback that is given here or anywhere else on the board is taken into account and discussed more than you know.

I hope I have addressed everything. I don't want to lose members. If you know of anyone that has a problem, concern or question that does not feel like bringing it here, please have them PM me or another mod they feel comfortable with. We will start some dialogue with them and hopefully address their concerns.

Believe me when I tell you, somedays being a moderator is stressful to say the least. We are all hobbyists, first and foremost, and still love to help out newcomers and experts, as well as learn from our friends here. The knowledge I have absorbed here at TFK is worth its weight in gold. I am sure you and others feel the same way and that is why you stick around. My goal will be to make sure members are heard from here on out and try to address their questions and concerns with the rest of the TFK staff.

If I missed anything, let me know.

Thanks for being a part of this community. I appreciate that. :)

-Jeff
 
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