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communication between moderators

Travel Forums System Talk communication between moderators

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21. Posted by beerman (Respected Member 1631 posts) 9y

To me, it all boils down to this:

Sam/Peter/Eric ------> Moderators -----> Members

It's a simple chain of authority. Members answer to Moderators who answer to OWNERS OF SITE.

Now Sam and Peter have spent an inhuman amount of time to make a site where everyone can feel comfortable discussing travel. There are so few rules, it seems almost ridiculous. They could have filled TP with rules, but I'm guessing that they wanted to allow people to police their own behavior, and use Mods help keep an eye on the massive amount of posts (there are only so many posts two people can check in a day). They have put a great deal of trust in people.

Imagine you have invited a group of strangers to your home. You set up sleeping accommodations, eating areas, etc for them. You haven't posted a list of rules for them to follow. You would likely expect them all to behave in certain ways....to treat your home and possessions with a certain amount of respect; to be kind to others; to be courteous even when faced with something they consider stupid....generally to be decent people. If someone breaks the rules, whether spoken or not, the issue needs to be dealt with. You may or may not deal with it in the most logical and understanding ways, but you deal with it just the same. There is no voting, no discussion, the rules were broken and that's that.

Why anyone considers that TP should be democratic is incredible to me. This is not a democracy, and yet people have been welcomed with open arms and allowed virtually every freedom. Some feel the need to step across the line of basic decent behavior, and then are insulted that they are asked to step back.....too bad for them. We are not here to discuss the "hows and whys" of decent behavior....if you don't know them already, you probably never will, but this is not the place to work out whatever psychological issues you have.

Someone asked me recently "who watches the guards?". Who cares, it's a non-issue? No one is being chained to TP and forced to post against their will (except possibly Sander...).

Posters who need to be deleted or disciplined or PM'd with warnings have essentially told TP: "Hey, I can do what I want....and bite me if you don't like it".

If they were guests in MY house, they would very quickly find out that respect is earned, not given, and that the best way to avoid being thrown out on their arses is to shape up or hit the road and take their attitudes with them.....surely someone in the world will welcome their arrogance and foul manners.

Be nice to people that have been overwhelmingly nice to you. If you can't do that, what kind of person does that make you?

22. Posted by Purdy (Travel Guru 3546 posts) 9y

Well this thread has certainly caused some contraversy anyway!

As a moderator l see my role as that to simply keep TP clean and happy - whether that is re-direct members to more relevant forums, getting rid of the dreaded spam and sometimes reminding our lovely members that there are rules on the site which are there for a reason.

But in answer to the original question Wouterr asked l know that if l am in doubt over a post l will contact a fellow moderator (luckily for 2 of my forums l share responsibility with Mim & Hien) or Sam or Peter and get a second opinion; but this is not for all of the posts l delete - some are obviously spam and needs nothing more done but deleted, but if there are from active members in the site and maybe the thread has gone slightly off topic or l feel that the tone & language used are not appropriate then l delete - l should (and usually do) PM those where threads have been deleted so they are aware of what l have done and the reasons as to why.

Moderators as humans are not objective in every subject but we are adult enough to step back and do our "voluntary" job to the best of our ability, and l think we all take pride in doing this role for TP and l know that l do not delete posts on a whim and if l think lm being over zealous l will get the opinion of one of my respected colleagues before l hit the delete button.

Its interesting to the hear members view points though!

23. Posted by Purdy (Travel Guru 3546 posts) 9y

Quoting Mel.

I dont know, if this is going off topic, or not.
I joined this site, so I could have contact with other people who love to travel. I dont meet many of these in my conservative neighbourhood.
I dont know, if it is because of the moderators, too much emphasis on competing for status(budding member to travel guru), or other, but I generally feel that communication on the forums is very restrictive. I think travel chat, about topics posted, and not just hard information is also useful, to people wanting to visit particular countries. Although, it could also be that I am wrong, and it is not the moderators or the statuss, and members in general are only interested in information and not talking about travelling in various countries, in general.;)

On the topic, for sure.
I dont think getting a PM, saying my post is going to be deleted would make any difference. It would be annoying, whatever.

Mel

Mel - have you thought about using the Live Chat area - maybe you could get your travel conversations that way - l know its hard for everyone to be online at the same time but perhaps you could post a thread in Off Topic saying you will be in the chat room as such and such a time if some members would like to join you? Just an idea?

And l dont think chat room has broken in awhile

24. Posted by Isadora (Travel Guru 13926 posts) 9y

Quoting bentivogli

Since I read Isa's contribution to this interesting thread, there's one thing that keeps bugging me. It's about the part where she says that members who want to argue a dispute with a moderator on the open forum are asking for deletion.

Even though I'm sure that, with the excellent moderators we have (I mean that!), a situation like that is not very likely to occur, I'm definitely one of those members who rather argues his point in public, instead of having to resort to PM. Of course I also realise that this kind of communication would pollute the forum, which is probably the reason for Isa to say what she said, but still I think that an open policy towards disputes between mods and members would benefit the site. The big obvious problem then becomes which disputes are 'important' enough for such public settling, and which are the cases where a mod is just 'right', but that's of later concern...

I was wondering what mods and admins think about this.

What I said was: A member who choses to bring a disagreement to the open forums is just asking for deletions. Granted, it happens, and sometimes it's the only way to make a point - but 99% of all problems can be solved outside of the threads.

In reality, the situation occurs more often than you may think and tends to go in streaks. Most of these arguments have nothing to do with the original topic and are taken to a personal level. Arguments that directly relate to the topic are likely to be left alone. Those that comment to a Moderator's inadequacies, the perceived stupidity of the originator (or a poster) or is continued misbehavior (after one or more warnings) have no place in the thread. They are counter-productive. They also lead to Mods and Admin receiving PMs about how a member really liked TP but now is having second thoughts or is just never coming back.

You are correct - these types of disputes would pollute the forums causing TP to deteriorate into the type of sites people complain about on here. With such public displays, TP would suffer irreparable damage. Watch how quickly Moderators would be classified as *arrogant, unpredictable or just suckers for 'power' if they "won" the argument and how quickly they would be labeled incapable of doing their "job" if they acquiesced publicly. No matter which direction the argument or dispute heads, the Moderator will always be "damned if they do and damned if they don't" by someone. Public arguments will also allow for a certain amount of group participation because someone who is not even involved will decide to join the fray. With that, the Moderator not only has to deal with the initial dispute, but also ends up on the defensive because of a commentary gang-bang.

(*A partial comment taken from Niel's reply in the Mod's & Subject Headings thread - but used because it fits here too.)

25. Posted by Sam I Am (Admin 5588 posts) 9y

Quoting Purdy

And l dont think chat room has broken in awhile

Thanks for noticing Purdy; a lot of effort went into that!

Niels, I'm happy to see a dispute between a mod and a member in a public forum, as long as the language is kept nice and friendly. I can remember several cases where something like this has happened and the moderator/admin replied with their point of view as did the member and that was that; no worries either way. I'm also happy to see repeat offenders say in the forums:"Sam, why was my comment deleted, there was nothing wrong with it", but then they'd also have to accept me saying "well xxx, that was because I sent you three warnings already, replied several times in other threads pointing you to the rules and this post still managing to break one of those rules.". I generally try and avoid that kind of thing as it is totally out of context for 99% of the other users of the forum.

Unfortunately, I have seen some snide remarks recently in some posts aimed at (certain) moderators and admin. That's not the same as expressing your opinion, that's just using a public forum to vent your frustration and when done over and over again in a semi-hidden fashion, it gets tiring. Especially if there doesn't seem to be any reason for it other than frustration that a moderator actually applied the rules a little more than normal - generally due to a string of warnings not being heeded (I'm sure everyone that visits other forums will agree that an incredible amount of stuff is let slide by the moderators with the aim of not getting too involved/overbearing).

As an owner of a rather popular travel site my only concern is that the forums remain open, warm, inviting and friendly, ESPECIALLY to new users. Naturally also to long time, existing users but it makes me proud to read about new members/users appreciating the atmosphere on the forums and I want to keep it that way! Most of the new members are most active in the travel related forums and that's why these are kept a closer eye on than let's say off topic.

Anyway, how about one big group hug {--}

26. Posted by magykal1 (Travel Guru 2026 posts) 9y

I think the mods and admin are excellent, without exception, though I don't agree with Beerman's hierarchy, given that the site owners are the ones getting the cash off the thing (no offence to Peter and Sam who I think are excellent). As we say in England, and then promptly ignore at every possible opportunity, 'the customer comes first'. And I believe this is the case here, the site and the features are excellent for 'travellers.

As a PS I can't believe that anybody who reads the site regularly would seriously think that Mel was intentionally 'post-boosting'

27. Posted by wouterrr (Travel Guru 3379 posts) 9y

Quoting magykal1

As a PS I can't believe that anybody who reads the site regularly would seriously think that Mel was intentionally 'post-boosting'

can't believe that either.

28. Posted by wouterrr (Travel Guru 3379 posts) 9y

Quoting beerman

If they were guests in MY house, they would very quickly find out that respect is earned, not given, and that the best way to avoid being thrown out on their arses is to shape up or hit the road and take their attitudes with them.....surely someone in the world will welcome their arrogance and foul manners.

Be nice to people that have been overwhelmingly nice to you. If you can't do that, what kind of person does that make you?

do u need anger management classes beerman?

[ Edit: Edited on Apr 17, 2007, at 1:18 PM by wouterrr ]

29. Posted by beerman (Respected Member 1631 posts) 9y

Quoting magykal1

As we say in England, and then promptly ignore at every possible opportunity, 'the customer comes first'.

We say that here too, Rob, but when a customer comes in to a business and trashes the place, the owners or managers generally have them thrown out. I was trying to make that analogy.

And wouterrr, only with people that text type...:)

30. Posted by Sam I Am (Admin 5588 posts) 9y

Quoting magykal1

(no offence to Peter and Sam who I think are excellent)

Too kind, too kind, but of course I second this train of thought