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Old 2011-05-07, 18:39   Link #1
felix
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Re: Subforum Creation

The community voicing ideas on improvement may result in the community just self-improving from ideas brouth forward, regardless of staff intervention. You can take a seed and water it, and it will grow into a flower. However, left in the wild that seed might still have grown into a flower anyway. On the other hand should you take a rock and water it, it won’t grow into anything.

In addition, while it’s true you can just improve yourselves (to some extent) you can not know everything just by yourselves. Can you see yourself? No, you can’t, you need a mirror for that; and the community is that mirror. It’s not like you have to listen to that mirror like in that one fairy tail. BUT, please have the courage to look into it! And I say courage because, given your actions for a while now, a certain image of fear has creeped into the way you recoil back at the community on just about everything.

I’ll give credit where credit is due. The forum would not be what it is today with out your efforts!! (those no longer among you included). But, a forum’s purpose is conversation, just as a trees purpose is to grow branches. So you’ve seen this possible unhealthy branch, why are you (as of late) chopping the entire tree down because of that? (eg. closing threads) I understand there are times when threads should be closed, just as there are times when threads need to be merged, but surely people talking is not bothering anyone or killing you.

If this thread is wrong, my apologies. There is no rule against it, and this awkward situation resulting from mass thread closing is somewhat with out precedent; at least as far as I know. Just to clarify: this thread is not addressed at relentlessflame, but the community.
Quote:
Originally Posted by relentlessflame
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.
The complaints brought for the show in question were not so much “a forum is bad” but more “a forum [as they are organized currently] would hurt discussion”. It’s easy to replace one with the other, but the ideas behind them are worlds apart.

The current way, of just creating this template threads and limiting the forum from the get-go, was never really conceived as a “better forum system” (at least as far as anyone outside the staff is concerned), but as a stopgap measure against the spam of clubbing threads. In essence the move was against chat threads and masses of 1-liners, which were going nowhere. At the time it may have been hard to argue against it, but right now I find it quite hard to argue for it. Over the years the the system, in many way, has just mutated into the very thing it was suppose to suppress. The difference? We now call threads “Character X Discussion” instead of “Fans of X Unite!”. Is the so called posting quality that was largely the dominant factor and while dedicated threads about certain relationships between characters are not impossible to create via the request thread system, it’s very awkward and unlikely.

Why awkward? since now with a thread for every character (even those nobody really likes) forum policy of thread duplication prevents it. The “there is a thread where you could discuss it”, is the usual answer back. The problem of course just about everything gets this answer, since just about anything can go into the episode thread (for example).

Before I go further, I’ll ask this
If your time is a resource—and it is—how many find the current ways of series forums a inefficient expenditure of that resource?
So you got this series you want to follow. And (this time, for this one) you are not looking for small talk, but some discussion or debate on some subject. How much time do you waste just to find one? shifting though mainly the mammoth episode threads, and every other thread. The curse of generic threads: something like a debate on the relationship of character X and Y can go into the thread of Z if you just bring Z up in some sentence; and there’s nothing stopping it from actually popping up, again, in just about every other thread; even the image thread. Even more problematic, because threads are generic there’s no real “end” (conclusion/consensus, or “purpose” to some extent), you can’t really expect a post in one of these threads to be on just one topic, usually it is on several (unfortunately). So, even though you are only interested in certain topics, expect yourself to waste your time weeding though (almost) every thread there, since nothing really has it’s own topic.

This results in flimsy hard to follow debates (which often restart, oblivious to their predecesors), and worse still occasionally moderators have been force to close topics temporarily for the purpose of killing certain debates. It’s not like they are wrong in doing so, threads can’t just be obnoxious to everyone but a few posters. But the idea that a (legitimate) topic which receives a lot of discussion needs to be killed for the system to work is wrong, and evidence how broken and incapable that system is. And problems don’t just suddenly sprout when the situation reaches the extremes, or when moderators take action they are there long before that. Disasters have things that lead to them. Just as weeds (for all their persistence) grow just like any other plant, so do thread problems start small and grow out of control.

Of course “series forums” being wrong does not make “series threads” right. The only thing it makes them is the lesser evil; but in the end this depends on the needs of the part of the community that uses it, since comparing threads and forums (in this case) is almost like comparing a sport car with a sport motorcycle.

Quote:
Originally Posted by relentlessflame
[…] 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).
While generally the way it’s phrased (for simplicity) is that “a series thread is converted to a forum”, in truth it’s actually “the anime thread, along with the manga/light-novel/game/etc threads are brought together into a forum”. Since in the context of the point you are trying to make the process is unidirectional (ie. there is no forum into threads process) I find the notion that it is safer (spoiler wise) with them together absurd! Just look no further then the colorful history of the naruto forum for evidence of this. Not to mention the entire mission statement of the spoiler policy was to split everything apart as much as possible. To give just the most obvious example think of image threads and how they defy the spoiler policy.
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Old 2011-05-07, 19:04   Link #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by felix View Post
While generally the way it’s phrased (for simplicity) is that “a series thread is converted to a forum”, in truth it’s actually “the anime thread, along with the manga/light-novel/game/etc threads are brought together into a forum”. Since in the context of the point you are trying to make the process is unidirectional (ie. there is no forum into threads process) I find the notion that it is safer (spoiler wise) with them together absurd! Just look no further then the colorful history of the naruto forum for evidence of this. Not to mention the entire mission statement of the spoiler policy was to split everything apart as much as possible. To give just the most obvious example think of image threads and how they defy the spoiler policy.
For spoilers I disagree a subforum have much more clearly spelled out rules on spoilers than a thread, for example in the Hidan no Aria thread after episode 4 aired I saw a dozen counts of manga/LN spoilers being posted with or without a spoiler tag.

While a sub-forum at least in episode threads you can expect to almost never see a spoiler that isn't deleted in a timely manner, and you don't have to worry about reading so far in the thread that people start talking about an episode you haven't seen in non-spoiler tags.

P.S. Personally I greatly prefer a sub-forum and I dislike like how much shifting has to be done on the reader's part in a long thread[like Aria's 100+ pages] as opposed to being able to go to the topics I am interesting in reading on a sub-forum.
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Old 2011-05-07, 20:41   Link #3
Solace
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First off, I'd like to point out to everyone that the mod team has been discussing subforum issues for a while now. Some of the concerns mirror what we've seen in the community, others are concerns more related to things mods deal with on the back end (the boring system stuff basically). While some might feel this is related to AnoHana, the truth is that this is just a series we thought could benefit from a subforum, no more, no less.

Changing entire systems, especially in a forum like ours that is relatively stable, isn't as simple as snapping fingers. First off, for the few complaints we get there are just as many people who don't mind/care about how things currently are. Big changes can confuse/upset this larger crowd if we don't take a careful and thought out approach to what we're changing. And frankly, we ourselves are still heatedly debating what to do. Nothing is set in stone and we're not ready to make announcements publicly.

Quote:
The complaints brought for the show in question were not so much “a forum is bad” but more “a forum [as they are organized currently] would hurt discussion”. It’s easy to replace one with the other, but the ideas behind them are worlds apart.
A number of those complaints also included hopefulness that it would be beneficial in the end, and few were critically harsh and dismissive entirely. Reading the AnoHana Episode 4 thread, I note that it has not only surpassed Iroha's Episode 5 post count but spurred several comments expressing pleasant surprise at the discussion and interest. The most negative complaint was that other shows should have deserved the same opportunity as well (something the mods don't entirely disagree with, and are discussing ways of improving).

Simply put, we're not ready to announce any changes to the subforums but we are well aware of the issues that exist surrounding them. When the time comes, we will gladly allow the community to tell us what they think of any changes we come up with.

Thanks.
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