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Old 2011-05-07, 14:28   Link #1
Kaioshin Sama
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Join Date: May 2004
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Subforum Creation Referendums

The genesis of this idea actually came yesterday when I took note that the show AnoHana had just received a sub-forum. Out of natural curiosity I popped in to see what people were saying and noticed that quite a number of people were not only surprised at the show receiving it's own sub-forum, but actually quite upset. Good points were made by posters as to the drawback of a sub-forum such as the short planned length of the series as well as the splitting up of discussion topics and good points were made by the moderators as to the reasons for the show getting a sub-forum. However a lot of people still seemed unhappy and didn't seem to want a sub-forum in the first place, and I ended up thinking about this for the better part of 30 minutes afterward. How can a situation such as what happened on the AnoHana sub-forum be avoided in the future and how can the maximum number of people feel satisfied in the sub-forum process?

After pondering the question a possible solution came to me. Include the community in the sub-forum creation process while at the same time not limiting the staff's say in said process. This is for the most part the beginning of an idea that could be fine-tuned as time goes on, but I think it could potentially serve the purpose of helping to avoid a situation like the one that developed on the AnoHana forum where people come to the discussion to express discontent with the process.

The moderation staff's part in the sub-forum creation process would remain the same, but instead serve more as a nomination as opposed to a decree. They would decide on what shows they think are deserving of a sub-forum based on the familiar set of criteria that is normally used, but instead of immediately going ahead with creating the sub-forum the process would then lead to a referendum where the posters that have made use of the original show thread would get to vote on whether they actually want the show to have it's own sub-forum or not.

Since this site allows for the easy creation of polls I was thinking it could be as simple as pinning referendum threads to the top of the current series discussion sub-forum. The topic could then include a generic easy to understand yes/no question. An example might be, "The moderation staff has decided that x show meets the criteria for a sub-forum. Do you wish for the moderation staff to create a sub-forum for x show?" with a simple yes/no poll for people to vote on. To eliminate voting noise and the possibility of outside elements trying to skew the vote in a certain direction there could even potentially be a prerequisite of having posted/contributed in the thread for the show in question in order to have your vote counted.

After a certain period of time the votes would then be tallied up and if the majority lie in the yes category a sub-forum would be created, if not then the thread for the show would be left as it is.

This is only the beginning of an idea that could be fine-tuned as necessary, but I think it could be a great way to include the community in the sub-forum creation process while not making any changes to the process the moderation staff has set up for themselves so that we still get the benefit of the staffs experience in these sub-forum creation matters. With the community also having a say in the process I also think it would serve to eliminate or at the very least curtail complaints of the kind that I noticed in the AnoHana forum since you can't really complain if it's you making the decision at the end of the day. It might also make the maximum number of people happy since again the whole community would have a say in the process as opposed to just the moderation staff.
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Old 2011-05-07, 16:05   Link #2
relentlessflame
 
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Join Date: Dec 2003
Age: 32
The staff is completely uninterested in turning the forum creation process into a popularity contest, or in trying to marry the myriad of conflicting opinions about whether sub-forums are good or bad. At this time, the staff decides when a sub-forum appropriate based on our experience and best judgement. We have reasons for our decision-making that may not be completely transparent to those discussing in the forum at the time, many of these related to our overall moderation strategy (related to points like topic discovery, topic uniqueness, spoiler-safety, and so on). Because of this, we could not be bound to any votes that might be held; even if people don't want a forum, it may be too difficult to moderate the show without it. At this time, no change is being considered for this methodology, so this thread is closed.
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