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Infra Greg
(infragreg) - MLife
BPL wants input on proposed forum code of conduct on 11/03/2013 17:43:59 MST Print View

It sure is subjective and I understand the pitfalls. However, I find when people get all philosophical about it, it gets all wordy and complicated.

But really, it's not too hard to see very clearly when someone is just out to to hurt someone, or destroy a thread. The "offending" poster even knows it.

Saying all that, moderation does depend on someone who is very balanced and has their head screwed on the right way. And has a very strong ability to reflect fairly on their own feelings, thoughts and intentions.

To be honest, I'm a little suprised to find that on a site such as this there is so much vitriol. I mean it's a not about politics, or religion, or world views, etc where views can get very heated.

It's about gear, and trails, and mountains, and camping and hiking, etc, etc. How hard is it to offer an opinion on that without resorting to abuse?

I might think a tent is great. Another poster might not. So what? It's a tent :-)

Hiking Malto
(gg-man) - F
Re: BPL wants input on proposed forum code of conduct on 11/03/2013 18:39:36 MST Print View

"I might think a tent is great. Another poster might not. So what? It's a tent :-)"

That your problem. You shouldn't be using a tent. You're a wanna be pack sniffing, section skipping heavy weight. Your tent is probably made of canvas and it likely a six person tent for just yourself. How dare you?

Infra Greg
(infragreg) - MLife
BPL wants input on proposed forum code of conduct on 11/03/2013 18:47:23 MST Print View

"I might think a tent is great. Another poster might not. So what? It's a tent :-)"

That your problem. You shouldn't be using a tent. You're a wanna be pack sniffing, section skipping heavy weight. Your tent is probably made of canvas and it likely a six person tent for just yourself. How dare you?


He,he,he :-)

Dave Triano
(Dtriano) - MLife

Locale: Desolation Wilderness
Go Greg Go on 11/03/2013 19:41:11 MST Print View

Yep, you got it Greg.

In many environments that I have frequented for 'online recreation', one thing has become VERY clear: Even though I feel at home, like I own the place, and I may want to exert my 'influence'...

THE SITE DOES NOT BELONG TO ME.

It's not your clubhouse, dude. If you want to make the rules, or if you feel 'offended', or feel some necessity to attempt to discredit, insult, or 'remove' the clubhouse founder,,,,,

GO MAKE YOUR OWN CLUBHOUSE.

Get it?


-Dave

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Chill... on 11/03/2013 21:25:07 MST Print View

I don't have much experience with online forums -- actually just two. BPL for the past 5 years, and PUX (popupexplorer.com), a tent trailer forum, for 10 years.

PUX has a two rules:

1. Be nice
2. No discussion of the 3 G's (God, guns, and government)

Break the rules and a thread posting will be deleted. If a thread starts down the 3 G's road or if people are not nice, the thread gets locked and sometimes deleted.

PUX is a much nicer place than BPL to visit. The rules makes people behave or leave.

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: Go Greg Go on 11/03/2013 21:32:06 MST Print View

No one "created" the community here. Ryan facilitated the platform to allow it a place to come into being, but the members themselves created the community, of their own free will, participation, and contributions. Ryan did not create >any< of those contributions except his own, and the community would not exist without the active participation of the members. If the members decided they no longer wanted to be part of this, the whole forum could come crashing down in a day. Even Facebook could come crashing down in an instant if members decided they no longer wanted to be part of it. I think that is something extremely important to remember when proposing exerting subjective rules on a community, especially one as old as this one.

Addressing the contents of the draft aside for the moment, what I get from all this is that the reason the draft was proposed for the forums in the first place is because of a dissatisfaction with the forums and thereby the community. Otherwise why bother to bring it up at all?

Though there is also some irony to the criticisms of openness here, when people are openly discussing the topic right within this thread.

So my question is: is there an unhappiness with the forums on the part of the administration? Do they want an open and diverse community, or do they want to control it and make it conform to their wishes?

A community has a mind of its own, and evolves into what it is by the contributions of its members. Take away the free-wheeling freedom to associate and speak that has characterized this community from the start, and it becomes merely an audience.

I have a lot of criticisms and personal takes on all this, but addressing so many of them has been left unattended for such a long time, that the needs have become too big and too numerous to tackle anymore without causing great upheaval. The problems should have been addressed long ago, when they occurred. I'll just leave this post as it is.

Edited by butuki on 11/03/2013 21:34:10 MST.

Richard Cullip
(RichardCullip) - M

Locale: San Diego County
Re: Be nice... on 11/03/2013 21:44:20 MST Print View

+1 on what Nick says.

The rule(s) could be as simple as 1) Be nice.

I don't see the need for much more than that.

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: Chill... on 11/03/2013 21:51:06 MST Print View

+1 to Nick's words.

And definitely agree on the 3 G's. It could save us a lot of grief here.

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Who is Really in Charge on 11/03/2013 22:22:31 MST Print View

+1 on "Be Nice."

I'd say we discuss the "Three G's" fairly well considering how controversial they are. I can always skip those discussions if I want. Its hard not to occasionally discuss guns and government when things like the government shutdown affect hiking and when guns are a part of some hikes (hunting or in bear country).

Regarding rules in general (and other discussions of BPL management) here are my thoughts.

Ryan Jordan and whoever he works with on BPL staff did the work and spent the funds to set up this website. IMHO it is "their" space and they can set the rules as they want. My subscription gives me access to the site but it does not put me on the board of directors and it does not give me the same ownership of the site as those who created and run it.

I'm not always happy with how things are done on BPL but ultimately it is Ryan's business. He can ruin it or make it great depending on the choices he makes. We are free to stay or leave and start a facebook group or our own website if we don't like it here.

just Justin Whitson
(ArcturusBear)
Re: Re: Chill... on 11/03/2013 22:22:59 MST Print View

I'm very for self moderation, being nice, etc, but at the same time i don't agree with heavier handed censorship and control, or blanket policies based more on the letter of the Law than the Spirit.

When you try to forcefully repress the shadow side of life, whether within self, others, a group, or what not, often it causes more problems in the long run. That negativity tends to go deeper and more unconscious, becomes more pathological and compulsive. Sure, on the surface things may "appear" nicer superficially, but the behind the scenes back biting, plotting, and vitriol goes deeper, underground and becomes more insidious and harder to directly transform.

It's sort of like prohibition. Worked real well. The underground, criminal mafia is a sort of symbol of what happens when the shadow side gets repressed too much. It goes underground, it gets more subtle, indirect and conniving and severe. Some of the worst forums (as far as interpersonal interactions) i've ever been on, are the New Age or Spiritual type ones wherein a lot of people have an attachment to maintaining or projecting a spiritual image, and you're supposed to be nice, loving, etc but lord help you if you go against the group think, you question, disagree with the moderators, etc. Such nice, spiritual groups can get real nasty, real quick, and groups or cliques gang up on individuals, but often in less obvious ways and more behind the scene ways. Again, it's due to too much repression of the shadow side. That side of life needs to be in the OPEN so it can get worked on in the light so to speak. Open conflict is not always a bad thing, sometimes it's needed for growth.

It's more a question of redirecting. One way for healthy redirection is for the more ethical, constructive, high minded type forum members to pay little attention to someone when they are acting in a non constructive way or to call them out on it. You don't have to completely ostracize them all the time (or overly focus on them as sometimes they are looking for that negative attention consciously or unconsciously), unless they consistently show themselves by actions to have no interest or inclination to work on themselves, or any concern for the larger good of the community.

And frankly, the huge majority of us, occasionally at some point have our off moments wherein we lose patience or centeredness and become more non constructive than is necessary or helpful to others, self or the community as a whole. We all make mistakes and mess up, and it's helpful to try to understand where someone is coming from and why they feel the way they do, before completely dismissing them.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: Re: Chill... on 11/03/2013 22:55:52 MST Print View

> Some of the worst forums (as far as interpersonal interactions) i've ever been on,
> are the New Age or Spiritual type ones wherein a lot of people have an attachment
> to maintaining or projecting a spiritual image,

Does a worship of SUL (or tarps, or alkies, or ..) count?

Cheers
(Hey, I'm allowed to stir like anyone else!)

Infra Greg
(infragreg) - MLife
BPL wants input on proposed forum code of conduct on 11/03/2013 23:19:47 MST Print View

"(Hey, I'm allowed to stir like anyone else!)"

If you're going to stand on top of a snow covered mountain topless, I think you're allowed to stir as much as you like *he,he,he* :-)

BER ---
(BER) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
code of conduct on 11/04/2013 07:57:32 MST Print View

I don't really have much issue with RJ's proposed code as written.

I think Nick has boiled down the spirit well in his "Be Nice" comment.

I agree with Roger's comment on the need for self-moderation (ie: before you push post, not deleting your comment after half the community has seen it).

And as far as banning, I think it will be a rarity. I can only think of one member who I see as consistently negative and rude to other posters, and perhaps if a moderator brought his behavior to his own attention, maybe it would improve...or not. I do think it is good to have a moderator who can be the neutral party so as not have a shouting match between members. I am not in favor or calling people out in public.

I generally favor Nick's suggestion of avoiding the 3 G's or at least putting those conversations into chaff or similar off topic forum (ideally one you could opt in/out of seeing). If someone brings them up during a discussion regarding GEAR, I have no issues with them being moderated, but don't move the whole thread. It would be nice if threads stay on topic.

The positive side to all of this is that the vast majority of what I read on this forum falls within the proposed code. So really, not much should change...

Stephen Barber
(grampa) - MLife

Locale: SoCal
re: simple code of conduct on 11/04/2013 09:39:15 MST Print View

"PUX has a two rules:

1. Be nice
2. No discussion of the 3 G's (God, guns, and government)"


Now there's a good set of rules! Covers everything, and doesn't get complicated!

Valerie E
(Wildtowner) - M

Locale: Grand Canyon State
RE: Proposed Code of Conduct on 11/04/2013 11:24:34 MST Print View

It seems like, most of the time, MOST of the people on BPL don't go over the line too much (ok, maybe in Chaff they do, but it's a tiny, dark, scary corner of the website that not everyone goes to...).

I agree that it is Ryan's website, and he should be the ultimate decision-maker about any rules, and I think one of the most important things we can take from Roger's comments on this thread is that he uses his own "good judgment" as moderator. So...even though the proposed rules are incredibly subjective (!), I think that, in practice, much finesse would be used in applying those rules.

For example:

The Rule: Don't gossip, defame, lie, make unsubstantiated claims, engage in libel or slander, or question motives.

Its Application: In recent GearSwap postings, someone tried to sell gift certificates for The Clymb. One member immediately gave a scam warning (questioned the OP's motives, contrary to the rule, above); many, many members gave the scam warner hell -- but he turned out to be 100% right! So sometimes, questioning someone's motives can be a good thing, and helpful to the BPL community as a whole. Maybe the person who warned others saved someone from losing $200-$300 through this scam...

Hopefully, the moderators will give careful thought to the way they apply these "subjective" rules. I think they will.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: RE: Proposed Code of Conduct on 11/04/2013 11:40:26 MST Print View

"(ok, maybe in Chaff they do, but it's a tiny, dark, scary corner of the website that not everyone goes to...)"

Chaff is not a scary place! It's just a bit ....... mischievous.

"So...even though the proposed rules are incredibly subjective (!), I think that, in practice, much finesse would be used in applying those rules."

There have always been rules and moderators here. Roger, of course. But Ryan as well. And I believe Dave C. either said, or inferred, that he has/would moderate certain comments. I also think there have been others over the years. Obviously Roger is the 'main' moderator, and while everyone doesn't agree with every move he's made, I think, overall, most folks would agree he's done a bang-up job as moderator, and has used much finesse in his moderation. (Of course, Aussie finesse is a bit different than U.S. finesse, but that's another subject entirely.....).

I also think that the proposed 'updated' rules could be seen as a sort of 'shot across the bow.' After all, very, very few people saw any issues with the way things were, so one could reasonably assume that Ryan wants more control exerted over the content of the forums - that he wants to begin moving away from the free-for-all atmosphere that's been pretty pervasive here and instead get a bit more Disney.

Some folks will welcome that, some will not. Que sera, will be, and all that.

Bob Bankhead
(wandering_bob) - MLife

Locale: Oregon, USA
Proposed Code of Conduct on 11/04/2013 12:25:52 MST Print View

Merle Haggard said it best: "IF YOU DON'T LOVE IT, LEAVE IT"

When all the whining, crabbing, complaining, or simple suggesting is over, the following facts remain true:

This is Ryan's website. He pays the bills. He gets to make the rules. PERIOD. If he blows it, it's his own fault and he has to live with that. If he chooses to solicit our opinions, GREAT - load him up! But he has no obligation to do so. This is not a democracy. Americans especially seem to forget that.

Roger is Ryan's sole designated and empowered moderator and serves at Ryan's pleasure. His rulings are reviewable only by Ryan. If Roger blows it, he has to deal with RJ's displeasure and whatever negative PMs he receives from the members.

vengence

Edited by wandering_bob on 11/04/2013 12:29:45 MST.

Steve G
(sgrobben) - M

Locale: Ohio
Re: Proposed Code of Conduct on 11/04/2013 16:44:54 MST Print View

Ryan may pay the bills but this site lives or dies by the forums.

The community of contributors has a stake in this whether it is recognized or not. BPL is asking for feedback, I don't see it as whining, crabbing or complaining.

There is a huge amount of improvement that could be made here. I hope after Ryan pays off his yacht with all that sweet Google ad moolah he has enough left over to pay for a competent web developer.

Edited by sgrobben on 11/04/2013 19:11:41 MST.

Ron D
(dillonr) - MLife

Locale: Colorado
Re: Re: Proposed Code of Conduct on 11/04/2013 17:27:59 MST Print View

The forums are a huge part of the website and they will do just fine and maybe better with some basic conduct rules. The real problem has never been the complaints , the issue has been the deeply personal insults.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: Proposed Code of Conduct on 11/04/2013 18:36:50 MST Print View

"Merle Haggard said it best: "IF YOU DON'T LOVE IT, LEAVE IT""

Meh. Some folks prefer: If you love it, try and help it be the best it can be, which is a bit different than Haggard.

"This is Ryan's website. He pays the bills. He gets to make the rules."

I guess I see this a bit differently as well. I agree with the first and last part, but the middle part, not so much. Really, we pay the bills - our fees and our ad clicking. Ryan just decides what bills get paid, and what causes bills to incur (i.e., website development, etc.).

"Roger is Ryan's sole designated and empowered moderator and serves at Ryan's pleasure."

I don't think this is true, at least, as I said in the above post, Dave C. once threatened to delete some posts during a thread that was getting nasty, so I assume he also has moderator powers.

"If he chooses to solicit our opinions"

He did, that's what this thread, and the survey, are about.