I'm going back & forth via PM with AD & Chesh a bit on this, I told them both to feel free to c&p any correspondence. The post that was removed (hoping you have a section for this in the mod's section to move removed posts to for reference purposes) concerned the 'experienced' comment in a mod's reply, that I as well as Mik found to be a bit of a shot.
While I'm new here I'm certainly not new to tropical fish forums, someone who is might have found it quite a bit more insulting. I find the closedmindedness a bit sad when approaching an idea that is only slightly outside the box, we are all here to learn as well as teach the way I see it.
No, I'm not here to argue. If another member as well as I felt that to be a bit of a shot, I thought it might be a good thing to bring it to your attention. As I mentioned to Chesh, if this is the worst thing to happen to me today I've had a pretty good day. It might screw up the day of someone more sensitive.
While I've got your ear here, it seems the unresponsiveness of your admin has a few people bent. It might be an idea to take one of your longer standing & active mods to act as an administrative assistant, as I understand your new admin holds that title on several forums, and doesn't have much background in aquatics. This would provide someone to sort through what I understand are over a hundred PM's, bringing the ones that are tech related to admin attention, while directing the aquatic related ones to someone capable of replying.
A change of upper management is a big thing, regardless of the situation. If the customers, which in this case are the members don't see it as a form of upgrade, well you risk loosing members. Generally the better members who contribute the most will be the first to leave.
I'm sorry that people are having trouble with our new admin. I really don't know what we can do about it. The staff is going through an adjustment period with having a new admin. All I can say is to please have patience and understanding and hopefully we can get things on track so we can move forward and make the forum a better place for all of us.
I’ve just explained what to do about the correspondence part; maybe a bit more detail would help. You choose someone to assist the admin, whether it’s by a mod team vote, or by choice of the admin, or whatever. Admin should be able to rip through the backlog of PM’s, most just by reading the topic, forwarding those that apply to aquatics to whomever would fill the assistant position. This asst. can then look at them a bit more closely, forwarding them once again if needed to a mod more familiar with the topic material. Within a few days the backlog could be cleared, and members would get the attention they are looking for.
I realize that there is an adjustment period involved, especially when an admin is not active in running the management end of things. This is more than enough reason for the admin, who only does the tech end & knows little about fish, to choose another admin who is familiar with aquatics as well as the mod team. Basically what you have now is an unsupervised group of assistant managers, with no guidance from above, tough position to be in for all. With no guidance you are going to create more issues, one of which was the banning today of a couple of members. As I mentioned previously the better members will be the first to leave, one of those better members who can’t correspond with forum management asked that I post this for you to read;
I do fully accept my actions and the results of such that
occurred last night. I would just like to point out that the main issue that
has been brought forward is behavior from some particular mods being IMO rude
and belittling. Its been going on for a long time and I am certainly not the
only one to notice it. I have simply avoided many many topics and threads on
the site in an effort to simply ignore and avoid aggravating this issue. I
don't care about personal offenses as I'm not one to take offense to things
directed at me. However when I see it happen to other members if find it much
harder to ignore. Moneymitch’s kick in chat also hit a nerve for me as there could
of easily been a warning prior to that. My view of the forum is that it is a
community, in the end the forum is here because of its members. We voice that
we are experiencing problems only to be shot down without any attempt to fix or
work out the issue. I accept that you make decisions as a team(at least you are
suppose to be) and in the end those decisions stand. However what you are doing
I feel is driving members away from this site. I can't really say it any better
then what Andrew has posted in the mod discussion section.
I personally would like to try and work these problems out. Unfortunately I was
honestly not expecting a ban so this weighs heavily on me. I know I can
certainly get bitchy at times. I expect the terms of my ban are absolute and
final? or is there some room for discussion or compromise? Again this is
regrettable. I'm sure at least a few of the mods are aware 90% of the time I
come here to use the chat. I just find it a bit silly that over 4 years with
little to no issues and am bagged for something so minor with no warning. Given
my ban terms I currently cannot see myself continuing to be an active member of
this forum. You do realize of most the new members that join; very few actually
stick around long term. Most are here for advice then leave. The community here
has had most my support for years, but it has currently hit a rough spot. I've
already had to deal with another fish forum crashing and burning on me this
year due to admin and mod decisions and as a result I have gotten a bit touchy
on the subject. There are many other competing sites out there and I don't see
how you are help yourselves by driving members away to other sites. In the end both members and mods are human and far from perfect. I am
certainly open to discussion. I do like the community here; however it is far
from perfect. I would rather not leave but given current trend of things I’m
not quite sure what to do.
Right there is a perfect example of what I mentioned, better members leaving. I have more understanding & patience than you could ever know concerning an admin/ownership change. I’ve seen what an absentee admin & a mod team without guidance can head towards, not a pretty sight. I know how to make that change smooth, and an improvement for the forum, members and mods, and I’ve seen how going about an admin change can destroy a forum. Mik mentioned another fish form doing a crash & burn on her, that would be fishforums.net. I’d like to provide a few links, and a bit of background, just so you don’t think I’m some old school old dude running at the mouth.
That was a long time back, been at this mod thing for a while, seen a lot. The only admin, who was the site owner, was active with the mod team, but over a few years faded out to being admin pretty much in name only. As it is with human nature, some will try to step up & fill the shoes of top dog, mods will step on the toes of other mods, resulting in problems that can and will spill out from the mods section & onto the forum. That gets real ugly, and that is what happened, resulting in the loss of some veteran mods who resigned, as well as the loss of some long standing members who were some of the biggest contributors to the forum.
Once this occurred I offered to buy the site from the owner. He wasn’t about to sell at the time, but realizing he couldn’t put forth the effort needed to maintain the forum he did this;
At that time there were 41k members, just a bit less than what you have here now. Over a bit more than 3 years membership doubled, with the expected activity associated with that. All through proper management, as well as content, no advertising whatsoever, until;
Hmmm, ads, suddenly appearing with the owners appearance after nobody being able to contact him for a few months. This would occur due to the planned sale of the site to an advertising agency, one that has no knowledge at all about aquatics, just knows buying up hobbyist forums & slapping up Google ads;
Shortly after that the entire mod team & I retired. After a bit of research into how the new owners operate, as well as the horrendous lack of communication it was totally a no go, something none of us wanted to be associated with.
The parallels I’m seeing here on TFK are just amazing, almost as if you read the TFF script from a few years back. The only reason I’m bothering with this is due to Mik being one of the kids on TFF from way back, one of several over the years who I’ve in many ways taken under my wing to help in the hobby. I’ve sent out more free stuff to people who need but can’t quite afford, with the only request being that they return the favor to someone else in the future. I’ve spent countless hours helping people in the hobby, over many years, much as I’m trying to help you folks out here with your current management dilemma. You can take what I’ve presented here & ignore it, toss it out the window, or use it, ask me to expand on it, I don’t care. As always I only ask that you return the favor to someone in the future.
Thank you for taking the time to write this post, there are some interesting issues posted here.
In terms of the site adverts, it is possible to turn these off using an adblocker such as adblocker plus, I have this installed on my machine. While I am not against this, I find it distracting, not to mention the ads are misleading as to my browsing preferences.
The admin has posted an announcement in the forum concerning the App which is available for Apple products at the moment. This is something new that members are obviously free to try.
I agree that we should have made an announcement on the appointment of new moderators, in the future should we add more moderators then we will / should make an announcement.
Can you perhaps expand on some of your ideas / suggestions please?
In terms of the ban for Moneymitch from chat, that is now removed, Mika's though in this case will have to stay, I will however consider the possibility of removing it once the forum ban is over. I say this from a personal prospective and not as part of the mod team discussing it. We can discuss this and yes there are some (I am not going to deny it) that will not be happy. Mika has a certain way of posting which could be tonally seen as coming off aggressive / blase in the way it words, her information is very helpful to members as has yours and Mitch's been.
The changes implemented to the forum so far have been what we have discussed as a team, the Reference section, this will be populated soon with articles which we hope members will also contribute too, there is a huge amount of informative posts which need updating on the site and as such we are working on them and even just sourcing them out.
In telling you this I kindly ask that this stays in this thread, Mika will have an opportunity to add anything she wishes to contribute in a thread in Discuss with Moderators.
No of us here want to see the forum go under and am sure none of the members do either. One of the things faced by the new administrative team is the unique workings of this forum, there is a huge amount of custom written code running behind the scenes, none of which is particularly easy to change quickly without potentially breaking a dependency on the sister forum of either BF.com or TFK.
I would like if you could, to please offer any suggestions which you may have in terms of your experience as running a forum as co-admin. This is not to directly conflict with the team here but to hear suggestions from members.
This post is from me personally and not something that I have discussed with the team, anything which comes out of it, will be shared with the team.
Would it help if I talked to Mikaila? I am a neutral party in this and would like to keep her as a member. The most important thing here on TFK is that our members get along (for the most part), play by the rules and keep keeping fish.
If at all possible, please ask Mikaila to PM me. I would like to get to the bottom of all this and hopefully come to a resolution that leaves everyone feeling like a part of this community.
Real quick before work, I don't think she has PM access. That neutral party thing is one of the best ideas. sometimes a situation/member needs to be handed off to another mods, and if a mod feels at all that they can't remain neutral they should be able to see that happening & refer it to another more objective mod.
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