On Forum Titles and Roles - Important!

Lex

Administrator
#1
Hi folks,

Following the discussion in the forum software upgrade thread it's important we all understand user titles, roles, what that means for people who have them and what that means for the board vs. the site. Please bear with me because this post is probably going to be really long but it's important that people getting involved in the discussion have a good overview of how all that works. This is in an effort to keep things fully transparent and also obviously to discuss what's happening post-move.

I'll be delving into site history aswell here.



"USER LADDER/ USER RANKS"​

This refers to the titles and permissions people get automatically by number of posts. All boards have some version of this, and it's similar to a "trust" setting permissions wise. Newbies can't edit their posts etc. It looks like this:



The vast majority of stuff is unlocked early on in this ladder, but with the move to new software we have more features to play with so we can discuss what we're going to do about the user ladder, make improvements etc.

FOR XF: As it stands the user ladder doesn't transfer over to XF or even display on the postbit. User ladders like this are one of these things that are kind of legacy, but if it's a feature we want to keep (the display on the user's postbit) then we can, we'll just have to build a new one.

There will definitely be some form of "user ladder" to deal with troll/ spam accounts, but I'd be happy if it stayed invisible. There'll be a way to make it visible on the member's own profile page rather than in every post if people are up for that option aswell.




FORUM STAFF ROLES

There's always been a fairly big distinction between "site staff" (people who work on the site and content) and "forum staff" (admins and mods), but it's confusing and has become blurred in recent years. Forum staff roles are as follows:



If you're a frequenter of any forum it's pretty simple, but we should discuss it anyway:

Administrator - This is (on forums) generally both a technical role and a "dealing with problems" hierarchical role. In terms of permissions, admins have access to everything in the backend from a technical standpoint, and are also a level above Super Moderators in the traditional sense. The hierarchical part is a little bit meaningless to us because we're small and all interact with each other on an even keel as much as possible.

Moderator - A moderator has certain permissions like the ability to ban users, lock threads, delete posts etc. Traditionally the position of "moderator" was given to people for specific boards, i.e. "this person is the General Discussion moderator" and so on. There isn't anyone with this title on TLS because...

Super Moderator - A moderator with the ability to "moderate" the whole board. Aside from some exceptions I'm not sure are still the case, we only have SMods.

For XF - I propose that we drop the "Super" from "Super Moderator" and just have "Moderator" for all the current SMods.



SITE ROLES

These were created to essentially give people who were creating content for TLS or working on the front-end site some recognition for their work, as well as categorize a front-end hierarchy. This is where shit gets cray:



This isn't all of them but you get the idea. Originally we just had "site staff" as a user title, but they weren't descriptive enough. Someone who is responsible for Social Media has nothing to do with the front-end site, and that's what "Site Staff" was initially associated with. So over time others were created, such as Site Director etc.

Now some of these roles also had mod permissions, but that didn't make them "a mod". For example, Shademp was the "Compilation of FFVII Editor", meaning he was in charge of compilation content on the front page. He ALSO had section specific mod permissions on the appropriate boards, this was to allow him to categorize content within the appropriate board for the compilation. But it didn't make him "a moderator" as per the forum staff definitions posted previous, it was just a technical permission to allow him to (if he wanted) deal with that specific board for the content he was in charge of.

Site Director (my title) has admin permissions in the backend for obvious reasons. You need admin permissions to see the CSS and deal with the styles, manage usergroups etc. But formally I am not "an admin" on the board. I realise that I've been here a long time with the title "Site Director" and people treat me like I am anyway, but our mods and admins (bar a few legacy staff members) have all been voted in by members. I was voted in as an SMod a long time ago. I believe the only people we have on staff who weren't voted in by members are X and Ryu, but correct me if I'm wrong on that one. I remember Tres being voted in as Admin after years as an SMod.

For XF: "The flattening" as we discussed in the other thread - my idea was to have small icons that could be grouped together rather than formal titles over there. There are bars that say "staff members" that we can enable/disable and customise aswell. That feature is to differentiate between staff and non-staff if need be but we don't need to use it.

So the staff icons would represent: Admin, Mod, Content Contributor, Legacy Donator? Staff Emeritus? whatever we decide we want to keep. But obviously the idea is to get rid of the vast majority of the titles and keep it simple, if everyone is cool with that.

There is one massive issue with this, and it's that I obviously don't want to make myself an official "administrator" without board approval. Yop and I have informally discussed it (I expect him to post on this subject in a bit :P) but if we're flattening the user titles that means Site Director goes aswell. But I need to retain Admin permissions to deal with the technical aspects of the backend - an alternative is to keep the Site Director title and its permissions (which I don't mind) and also retain my SMod status, which I also don't mind. It's really up to you guys (and the mods/ admin) to decide what we want to do here. I don't care either way, because people treat me like an admin and I have the admin permissions regardless. It just wouldn't be right for me to flatten the user titles and then make myself an admin without discussing it with everyone first. And please if anyone has an issue with it don't be afraid to bring it up, I might be a little bit offended but I can take it :)



OTHER TITLES

This is stuff like "Donator" etc., and for those on XF I'm thinking similar to the other titles in the sense of having like a "legacy donator" icon.


SO

Sorry about how long this post is, but I think it's important people have a full and transparent overview of the titles and how they function.

One more thing:

In terms of board permissions, all staff members had unrestricted access to the staff section of this board (including, inappropriately, site staff). This was a long time ago though, they've since been fixed so that the staff section is accessible by all staff, but only mods etc. can see reported posts. This will remain the case in XF, but I intend to create a new semi-public board for the content contributors to categorise and organise their stuff unless anyone has objections. So for example within said board content creation discussions and organisation can all be public so that anyone can really chip in, but a subsection would be viewable by only Content Contributors for things like links to our graphics files and sensitive content. That way everything is as transparent and open as possible. Obviously anyone can get access to this by 1. contributing content and 2. being a trusted member.

So yeah, sorry for the length, please discuss :monster:
 

f a n c y

s y c a m o r e t r e e
AKA
Fancy
#2
Hurrah for Lex formally being made Admin

Hurrah for replacing formal titles over usernames with icons/badges.

Hurrah for having specific titles for staff (‘Site Designer’ etc) visible on a member’s profile page but not visible when posting in the threads n shit.

I reckon badges for ‘Staff Emeritus’ can be decided on an individual level since not everyone may care for that title being attached to them, as we’ve discussed (and I do see the point. Some folks want a ‘clean cut’ whilst others may be attached to the sentimentality/status). ‘Donator’ might also be decided invidivually since some folks like giving anonymously? But I can’t imagine it being too big of a deal. I say Donators can specify whether or not they want to be kept anonymous. :P

Yay! Thanks for this well-written and comprehensible poast. :mon:

Edit:
Excuse my ignorance—will these icon/badges be custom designed? I mention it cuz it sounds like a fun job to undertake. ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)
 
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#4
The only aspect I really have a little reservation with is this:

This will remain the case in XF, but I intend to create a new semi-public board for the content contributors to categorise and organise their stuff unless anyone has objections. So for example within said board content creation discussions and organisation can all be public so that anyone can really chip in, but a subsection would be viewable by only Content Contributors for things like links to our graphics files and sensitive content. That way everything is as transparent and open as possible. Obviously anyone can get access to this by 1. contributing content and 2. being a trusted member.
I'm not sure why the unique content that anyone creates for the site, including the entire process of going through the different stages of concepts, planning, scripting, producing, and then the final product, needs to be as 'transparent and open as possible'. The entire board, and beyond, doesn't really need to see any of this. What benefit does having this open bring?

I say that because I can see some significant disadvantages. Ignoring for a moment the potential of other sites seeing what we are currently working on and beating us to the scoop, or worse, expanding on what we are doing and making better end products (which isn't as ridiculous as it sounds when real Remake content is finally here), but it is also difficult enough fielding all the different thoughts from the different team members involved in content creation - let alone the entire board being able to chime in at every step of the way.

I don't know. This just doesn't sit well with me. Though the collaboration concept we have going on Discord has been a success so far, it's success I feel in a way is that it is because there are a limited number of us, we're getting to know what our individual strengths are, are able to use our different creativity and bounce off of each other. But I think that creativity will be impacted negatively by having everything open, seen by, and chimed in, by all.

I mean, part of this probably comes from my own issues as a novel-writer-in-training, who jealously guards his writing because of his lack of self worth, but even solely on the point of creativity ... yeah, I don't see why it isn't a private section personally.
 

Lex

Administrator
#6
The only aspect I really have a little reservation with is this:

This will remain the case in XF, but I intend to create a new semi-public board for the content contributors to categorise and organise their stuff unless anyone has objections. So for example within said board content creation discussions and organisation can all be public so that anyone can really chip in, but a subsection would be viewable by only Content Contributors for things like links to our graphics files and sensitive content. That way everything is as transparent and open as possible. Obviously anyone can get access to this by 1. contributing content and 2. being a trusted member.
I'm not sure why the unique content that anyone creates for the site, including the entire process of going through the different stages of concepts, planning, scripting, producing, and then the final product, needs to be as 'transparent and open as possible'. The entire board, and beyond, doesn't really need to see any of this. What benefit does having this open bring?

I say that because I can see some significant disadvantages. Ignoring for a moment the potential of other sites seeing what we are currently working on and beating us to the scoop, or worse, expanding on what we are doing and making better end products (which isn't as ridiculous as it sounds when real Remake content is finally here), but it is also difficult enough fielding all the different thoughts from the different team members involved in content creation - let alone the entire board being able to chime in at every step of the way.

I don't know. This just doesn't sit well with me. Though the collaboration concept we have going on Discord has been a success so far, it's success I feel in a way is that it is because there are a limited number of us, we're getting to know what our individual strengths are, are able to use our different creativity and bounce off of each other. But I think that creativity will be impacted negatively by having everything open, seen by, and chimed in, by all.

I mean, part of this probably comes from my own issues as a novel-writer-in-training, who jealously guards his writing because of his lack of self worth, but even solely on the point of creativity ... yeah, I don't see why it isn't a private section personally.
If everyone wants it to be a private section, that's fine. My idea was to keep a best of both worlds where some of the more sensitive stuff (i.e. once a project is actually rolling along) out of the public eye.

Members have a history of disliking private sections that are private for no reason. Yop in particular is in favour of keeping as much in the open as possible, hence my suggestion. I agree on the principle of safeguarding something being created, but I also want to make sure that process is open to people who want to contribute. "Too many chefs" has definitely always been an issue here when considering one solo project.

With that in mind, do you have an idea of how we might do that?
 

Lex

Administrator
#7
i don't do shit but do i get something for being old
I know you're kidding but actually, we could come up with a badge for "legacy TLS" members that joined prior to 2013 or something? I say 2013 because this year is TLS's 10th anniversary so 2013 would have been the halfway mark XD.
 
#8
Lex said:
It's really up to you guys (and the mods/ admin) to decide what we want to do here. I don't care either way, because people treat me like an admin and I have the admin permissions regardless. It just wouldn't be right for me to flatten the user titles and then make myself an admin without discussing it with everyone first.
Lex for admin! For greatest justice!
 

X-SOLDIER

Harbinger O Great Justice
AKA
X
#9
I was voted in as an SMod a long time ago. I believe the only people we have on staff who weren't voted in by members are X and Ryu, but correct me if I'm wrong on that one.
I mean by that measure, technically speaking Yop wasn't voted in either. :awesomonster:

But yes, Lex for Admin & fantastic job detailing out and being the central point for basically all of this XF migration-related stuff.





X :neo:
 

Lex

Administrator
#11
There is other actual stuff to talk about from that post aswell guys, but the support is appreciated :monster:

I mean by that measure, technically speaking Yop wasn't voted in either. :monster:
You know that's different :kermit:
 

Dawnbreaker

~Heiress of Her Will~
AKA
Warrior of Light, Daryl Falchion, Dragonsoul, Dawnbreaker, Amy Pond, Cheryl Tunt
#14
Re: Lex as admin
Forgive my analogy, but in my guild, if someone is already doing the job, then we give them the title, providing everything else works out (e.g. their attitude fits well with the new team, they want the responsibility). Since Lex essentially does an admin's job and has a lot of the same access (as far as I understand), then officially admining him is the next logical step.

Re: mods apponted vs. voted in
IIRC, a few of your other Smods actually were appointed, not voted in. I remember something of a thread back in FFOF where Yop was giving out mods positions. Just to clarify -- I don't think there was anything wrong with that, in fact, it was the only thing that could be done, as the site didn't even exist yet. How could a vote even happen? Also, relating to the Lex-as-an-admin thing, so long as they do the Smod job, having issue that they were appointed vs. voted in seems silly to me, especially given the circumstance at the time of their appointment.

Re: the creativity section (maybe I missed the official name?)
I can see both points to the question of whether to keep private or make it public. On one hand, making it public helps foster trust with the memberbase and also gives the staff a greater workforce to solicit ideas. On the other hand, yes, competitor sites can steal your ideas and creative work and managing all the different input on the creative works could become a nightmare.

All in all, I think it's great that the staff is working to streamline the titles and manage the staff talent and the memberbase, etc.
 

X-SOLDIER

Harbinger O Great Justice
AKA
X
#15
I mean by that measure, technically speaking Yop wasn't voted in either. :monster:
You know that's different :kermit:
It is a bit similar – we were the first two users created, and have both perpetually been admins since the board was first created. :mon: Like Dawn said, many of those came straight out of the FFOF thread where we gathered everyone together to generate TLS in the first place.

There is other actual stuff to talk about from that post aswell guys, but the support is appreciated :monster:
Userladders being invisible is solid. For the most part, when we were setting up TLS, there was a big focus on avoiding as much of the e-peen measuring of things like poast count as much as possible, while still retaining some level of differentiation between brand-new and old-timer members, as well as the quiet vs. the regulars, but I feel like badges or whatnot essentially achieve that.

The flattening of perms and groups itself seems like a welcome refresh. There is a bunch of legacy roles, titles, and whatnots that've been slowly built up over the last decade around here that the move to XF feels like spring cleaning in a lot of ways. I feel like the badges will streamline quite a bit of clutter and such, while still retaining the important bits.

The only thing where Mod vs. S-Mods MIGHT be useful is if there's an uptick in chat around the Remake, sometimes having section-specific mods helps to focus efforts in certain areas, since you know there're particular areas you're responsible for, and you can make a point of watching them more closely. That being said, that's only really a big factor if we're looking at more significant poast volume and adapting users into roles more quickly. So, while I doubt it'll be something we see in the near future, it might just be worth keeping in mind as a path we may be inclined toward later on.

Insofar as content creationy-type things, I'm also up for whatever on folks're most comfortable with insofar as the privacy of the contributor board. I'm more than happy to put stuff up in whatever environment. There're obviously merits and advantages to either that I'm not too strongly attached to one way or another. Ex: An April Fool's Day thing makes sense to be smaller and more private, whereas most general content and such make sense to be more widely available.





X :neo:
 

Literally Who?

Pro Adventurer
AKA
gabe
#16
I also believe Lex being admin is fgj and lettucebecereal, he's been a damn good admin already for a few years :monster:

As i said in the other thread, I had my eyes totally opened when I joined the youtube to just how much Lex actually runs here. Maybe I'm just oblivious and it was always obvious but it's actually kind of staggering just how much he does around here... and that was before he started tackling the XF migration full on as well.


Regarding the Content Creators club :monster:

I would really like to respect Yopy's wishes on this and stuff, but on the other hand Claymore does raise valid points and I would be lying if I said I hadn't thought the same when I first read the OP.


There's a lot of "Big" ideas and things that get tossed around there that I definitely would still like to keep private until they become public on the youtube channel and I feel like some of the big landmark ideas (like the one you presented yesterday-ish Lex) would totally be squandered if said idea was presented in a public forum. Especially if one day our channel really starts getting eyes from the FF7 youtube community on it.
The youtube game has always been pretty cut throat and airing our plans in public just makes youtube dramaz all the more simple to occur I think.

There's also an aspect about this I want to mention in private so I hope the public board doesn't mind that. I think it's worth though.


There are also "little things" that I feel like would suck to have public as well. Again operation on the idea that one day the TLS channel becomes a place with eyes on it. There are often times little things we bounce or around or mention in there that I think would really really suck if they end up getting quoted. To a degree this already happened on the boards when like Destructoid (?) misquoted Hian and ran with the whole "FF7R not till 2023!??!?!" thing.

IIRC during the whole E3 let down I believe Hian or possibly Minato said something to the effect that they knew for sure due to local talk that Nomura was indeed at E3. Considering how fail E3 went, I can imagine how something little like that could easily be picked up on , twisted and scapegoated onto us etc.


Additionally during E3 randomly at like 2am we ran into an image that alleged it was FF7R footage being tested on stage at E3. Needless to say for a good bit we thought it was real but eventually over the course of like 4 hours and well into the morning we broke the image down and concluded it was fake. But even then for a good hour our opinion was it was likely real and we were instead of trying to debunk it, trying to place what location the image was taking place in. This is another thing that I feel would bite us in the ass in the scenario of a misquote. "TLS thinks this is real!?!? FF7R at E3 confirmed by TLS?!?!" Again it's not a quite out there scenario, whole "FF7R not till 2023" literally originates from content in our FF7R section.

If anyones curious heres my post on the FF7R reddit debunking said image, said conclusion was the result of a handful of us scrutinizing every aspect of that shitty photo for several hours

https://www.reddit.com/r/FFVIIRemake/comments/8ngd9q/leaked_image_e3_practice_preparations/dzvg5g1/


Regarding to many cooks in the kitchen. We already almost dodged a bullet on this one too lol. Day 1 I saw that you said we needed a video done on the misquote Asap and were already like a day behind due to the nature of the team being made after the misquote.

Needless to say I believe I stepped on Claymore and a few others toes to make that video asap and even though the video was made and uploaded quickly it did definitely have an air of "feels bad" about it.

Were still getting to know each other and get a cohesive work flow together , and it's turning out awesome, I'm kind of afraid to screw with that synergy right now.

Especially seeing as how sometimes having total community input also can slow down projects. Not to trash on how TLS works but it would kind of suck to have someone whose not on the team slow a project down or drama to show up later on because we didn't like have a poll about the 10 different pieces of Art I could have copy and pasted into a 2 second portion of the video etc.



Theres also the idea that these videos are for the community. If they get to see like the 10 different prototypes of a video I upload before the final one gets a pass or were involved in the creation of those 10 different prototypes then well... why would they watch the actual video? They basically just saw it 10 times. It kind of kills that surprise factor.


i know we make these for "the youtube" and the broader internet but what I actually enjoy most is unveiling a new video on TLS and seeing what you guys have to say on your first viewing. Yeah view count and engaging new people through youtube are indeed important, but personally it just brings me more joy to make or be involved in a product and seeing it get good feedback here the most. This might be a bit selfish I know, I just kinda think keeping it public messes with that aspect too.




edit:


How about a compromise?

Our big "landmark" ideas ,series that are being developed and general content ideas of that nature will go behind closed doors as usual, but more community driven videos can be out in the open in the "public" section.

Videos such as the VII best moments in VII etc. Those already operate on the basis of fielding public opinion across the board. Instead of making the thread where we pool ideas out in the FF sections etc. We just make that thread in the public half of the Content area, we create it in private and then upload the final result.

Fundamentally not much changes I know, but it would still be a fair way of getting community driven content while also keeping ourselves safe from multiple angles of shenanigans etc. Thoughts?
 
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CrashOuch

"I'm good now!"
AKA
Crash
#17
I feel like this is a really stupid thing to say but just in case it's not, I'mma say it anyway.
Re: The content creator thingummy, if the issue is that we don't want our awesome ideas being leaked, but we also all don't want it to be like people are left out or whatever, could we have a section for it that's just barred to the public? So like, when newbies join up and prove themselves not to be bots/and or tea leaves then they get a magical tick so they can see this section, and obviously all of us lot who have already proven ourselves to be humans(ish) already have a magical tick. And then it's the responsibility of the Official Content Creators to be posting in there and getting on with whatever creating they're needing to be doing. Could that work???
 

CrashOuch

"I'm good now!"
AKA
Crash
#19
^ Although I just reread your OP and that's pretty much what you're suggesting anyway :lol: sorry, definitely a stupid suggestion.

ALSO to reinforce my stupidity, I have literally never ever (until today) understood the staff ... thing. Like who was what, what it meant, the hierarchy, anything. Granted, like I said, this is probably due to me being 1) stupid and 2) too lazy to have ever got involved and therefore needed to know BUT STILL this means I am totally on board with like flattening all that out and just having like one or two titles for all. Especially cos if there's gonna be more people contributing to content on the front page (?) all that stuff is gonna be more spread out over more people anyway so having a thousand titles would be nonsense then anyway, innit? Also, like, it's important to clearly state who has some form of mod permissions, right, so if someone tells you off, you know how seriously to take it? And stuff like that? I feel like any change that makes it more clear who's in charge is a good idea cos honestly I'm still figuring it out haha, so I assume (hope :P) there's at least one other idiot out there who'd take a while to figure it out too.
 

Literally Who?

Pro Adventurer
AKA
gabe
#20
While that stops lurkers from lurking as a guest it doesn't really stop anyone from just signing up and eventually having access to the board and doing the stuff I and Claymore listed as issues.

Furthermore with it being an open section thats clearly marked as our content/social media team , where members of said team are easy to spot out due to the user title/icon it makes it even easier for the above concerns to happen.

At least in the scenario of Hian being misquoted there was that element of "member of TLS translated this thing" , with it being an official section with official titles it can easily go from "TLS Youtube director/editor/writer etc. said the following".


I know , very serious business level paranoia here, but we should also care about how TLS is perceived from the outside looking in. Part of that is making sure our latest endeavor with outreach matches that.

We've made some very well regarded content on the front page in the past and I hope for the youtube to strive for that same respect. In some circles, and even big ones with influencers like Reset era we are actually kind of well respected for the work we produce.

I just would really hate for another destructoid issue to occur only this time it has a rather official looking section and title to back it up.


Furthermore that still doesn't address the Youtube theft and to many cooks elements.

Youtube content and ideas get stolen left and right, and in the majority of the cases when people make their plea for help on sites like Reddit said youtubers atleast have the benefit of having their video/idea being stolen after it's been uploaded.

Showing our schematics in a semi public section and having ideas potentially stolen before they are even complete is just a whole other scale of head ache I think.

Regarding cooks in the kitchen. Look I'm not trying to people it's a closed club and you missed the boat or anything. I think anyone with the ability to help should help.


But as it is this team is already atleast 25 members strong with all of us helping one another and collaborating in so many different ways ranging from actual video timeline work, asset creation, scripting , narration and many more. I honestly feel bad for just lumping a big chunk of the work we do into "asset creation" for instance I alone have 2 separate TLS folders on my PC that are pushing 50+ GB of stuff I've made or prepared for our projects. And were only a month in lol.

But back to my point, the team is already pretty hefty and we've lucked out that we all actually work together as a unit very very well I feel, but there have already been instances where confusion occurs and stuff like "Hey I thought I was making that lol" happens lol.


I was rereading old drama threads the other day lol, and ran across something Fangu said in one of the design threads that really resonated with me. I might butcher the paraphrase here but she said something like

"One day you will realize it's not about having the ability to create something. It's about getting multiple people to agree they should use it"

and when it comes to design type stuff it is soooo true.


And really this isn't about having a super secret club or anything. It's just about optics and work flow and this transparency idea kinda throws a wrench into an imo pretty well oiled machine.


I understand where the drive to be transparent comes from, like I said I reread quite a few of those drama threads recently lol, and I do absolutely respect Yopy's concerns in this department.



I know this post is sooooo TL;DR right now. Im long winded sorry lol.
But to shed some light on how awesome things have been with the content team I want to kind of go over some awesome news I shared with the team the other day with you guys so maybe you can see how great of a team we have been lately.

For context I'm an x-youtuber. I wasn't that huge or anything but I did have quite a few videos pick up a ton of views and before shit hit the fan things were trending pretty nicely.

After shit hit the fan I lucked out and had friends who worked with another MCN who hooked me up with a few contacts and until I got my IRL work flow back in order I even briefly worked at said MCN. Not to toot my own horn or anything but I actually have a pretty good handle on how Youtube works in a background sort of sense (demographics, view rates, click through, fair use do's and dont's etc.) Due to that I'm usually the debbie downer in our discussions about what we can't do lol.

Anyway back in like 2012 I put the TLS youtube channel on the Social Blade tracker and it's been tracking our growth ever since then. I don't have access to our Youtube to see more in depth stats so can only see the public API stats but even then they are so promising


https://socialblade.com/youtube/user/thelifestreamnet

So you might be thinking "they just have a c+ score?", and think it's a bad thing. But in context for our upload schedule, frequent 6 month+ Hiatuses this is actually incredibly impressive.

Simply put there are upload every day, comment on every reply, "hit like, subscribe and follow me on Twitch!" youtubers who have way worse interaction rates with their community, lower views and click through rate, a lower score and would absolutely kill their channel if they took a 6 month break who would kill for stats like ours.

The fact we could bounce back so strong after such a long break is just simply awesome. We either have awesome subscribers (who we totally need to get onto TLS!), the youtube community is hungry for FF7 content like ours or we got really lucky. It's probably a combination of the three lol.



Were all very passionate about what were doing and trust me I think it's awesome that more people want to find a way to help, but I also hope you guys can have faith in us that were not doing this to just have a secret club or something behind closed doors.

What we do is really really hard and time consuming work. It really is. I know were a new team but give us a chance to find our place and to create our own personal style of content and voice.


I have a lot of concerns here. I hope I articulated them well enough but if theres one take away I promise the want and possibly need for a larger portion of it to stay private isn't coming from a place of malice. It really isn't.
 
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CrashOuch

"I'm good now!"
AKA
Crash
#21
Yeah actually I totally agree with that. No one who's been making content is ever doing anything other than talking shop, like it's 1000% not a super secret club situation, especially cos anyone could be in it if they prove they're gonna work and contribute and everything. It's like staff in that way innit? (I assume) staff has like a staff section where they could be having a super fun time laughing at us all, but they obviously don't do that and having that section at all is a 'privilege' earned through putting the work in doing their jobs and all.

I guess people who aren't content creators gotta weigh in and say how comfortable they feel about that shit being hidden to protect our content? At the end of the day, it's only a problem if people who aren't there have a problem with it, right?
 

Literally Who?

Pro Adventurer
AKA
gabe
#22
Yeah actually I totally agree with that. No one who's been making content is ever doing anything other than talking shop, like it's 1000% not a super secret club situation, especially cos anyone could be in it if they prove they're gonna work and contribute and everything. It's like staff in that way innit? (I assume) staff has like a staff section where they could be having a super fun time laughing at us all, but they obviously don't do that and having that section at all is a 'privilege' earned through putting the work in doing their jobs and all.

I guess people who aren't content creators gotta weigh in and say how comfortable they feel about that shit being hidden to protect our content? At the end of the day, it's only a problem if people who aren't there have a problem with it, right?


Yeah basically. For those of you not on the team etc.

As far as I understand for all intents and purposes were "Staff" just like the people who write articles on the front page or do the design stuff are. The thing is since were so new we haven't had our section or titles handed out yet and have been using Discord/Google Drive as a means to collect our thoughts and created content etc.

That said we are human. We chit chat here and there from time to time, it's never about other people or shit talking or anything though. Scrolling through our different chat rooms (they are divided by content type , i.e. videos, scripts , etc.) the most recent "Not totally work" related chit chat is a member saying She's in the process of moving and it's impacted her ability to work on her project, to which several of us replied "your projects still awesome!" and "moving sucks!"

That was 2 days ago lol.


The only time I can think of that a chat was negative is actually what I personally had to say about the potential switch to Discourse forums, and even then I full on copy and pasted what I had said into the Forum Upgrade thread lol, and well no one really replied to my one off rant :monster:


I bring up secret clubs and stuff like that because It's just fresh on my mind having read the old drama threads. TLS has always had a peculiar flavor of issues lol and feel that our past can make for some sore spots for members especially in regards to stuff like that and transparency so I really really wanted to chime in that what were doing behind closed doors is really just a bunch of ideas being bounced around, sharing our projects and sharing advice and not a ton else.
 
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Literally Who?

Pro Adventurer
AKA
gabe
#23
Double post.

I hate to call this a "compromise" because I know it doesn't actually address the issue of transparency at all, but I do think it helps address the idea of community involvement, fun events and also limiting the effects of too many cooks in the kitchen.


It's basically a fleshed out version of the "compromise" I posted in my first reply here.



Basically the idea is the actual majority of our ideas, "leaks", discussion, projects/file directories and work will be behind a closed door. This is to help mitigate any chance of theft , misquotes and excessive chefs.

What will be in the open will be our other resources like tutorials we use to learn, this way the community and prospective future members can learn with us. The idea of this hearkens back to ACF's Graphics section. Personally a ton of my early photo editing and design education and growth is a direct result of that section and the events held there, I think it would be pretty cool if we can sort of recreate through our content team.

So stuff like me linking video copilot AE tuts can go there, or maybe even in the future art or even video contests etc. It can be like a community center for content creation even beyond our core team and beyond even our social media.


After that we can also have stuff like "Suggest a Youtube/FB/Instagram idea" portion where anyone can link cool stuff they found. I think this would also greatly help out our more daily drivers like the FB/Insta, while also helping us build up a stock of quick use assets for videos in addition to possibly helping us scour the web for more "leaks and scoops" etc.


After that would be the more community driven video content etc. i.e. threads that help make the "VII best of VII" videos and things of that nature. This way when we make content like that it can be even more like an event with the community. Ideally my headcannon for this section is basically a user saying

"Oh shit the community video section just got a new thread!" or something lol It should be something that brings excitement to the community or something.

All of this also ties into it all being in a section where everyone posting knows (or should know) that they are contributing to a like stream of content that might get used on the youtube or other social media. I recall when discussion for the VII best of VII video was being worked on there was a point that we forgot to mention posts in that thread might be quoted.

With it all being in a singular section we can just leave it as an agreed upon thing that we can use anything posted there etc. That should cover our bases and if someone wants to post there but isn't comfy being quoted on a video or something they can just say so in the post etc.


So yeah. I know this doesn't address transparency. Like at all lol, but I think it does sort like help create a section that is fun and engaging rather then a section that is basically just "work work work" lol.

Help create a living and thriving front end of that content community for us, and if you trust us to handle the nitty gritty background stuff I really feel like we might be on to a really awesome idea here.
 

BforBrigitta

Too Angry™
AKA
B
#24
^Took the words right outta my mouth.

I was going to say something similar: keep one section private to streamline the technical process, keep it discreet and not have the development stage get bogged down by miscellaneous stuff. The other section should be public to involve the community in making suggestions, brainstorming ideas and collecting feedback on new and existing content.

My opinions re: the other stuff:

1. I advocate for Lex for admin.

2. Icons/badges to replace some user titles sound great, though from an aesthetic perspective I personally think it wouldn't be messy to display major staff titles (eg. Community Manager/the other ones in cyan, etc) under their usernames, just so they can be immediately recognisable as trusted members without hovering over badges.

3. I might be in the minority here, but I'd like to have the AKA field impermanent and customisable like the existing one, just with a character limit. Playing around a bit with the AKA field is part of the fun for me :mon:
 

Cthulhu

Administrator
AKA
Yop
#25
Re: user ladders, I do like the basic concept of a rank system, although OTOH, just like why we're not showing post counts, it's a bit of a dick measuring contest. I do like the Great Old One title though, that takes some dedication to reach :monster:

Simplifying the staff titles would be good, or in general, just reducing exceptions - we've had a lot of exceptions in user titles / roles because people felt like a specific staff group name was needed, people did want to have some permissions in a section but not have the title or the responsibilities of an official staff member, and of course vanity usergroups (if only for username color) were a thing. Permissions-wise that last group was easy enough, vB has a system where you can have a primary usergroup that is used for permissions and a secondary group as display, but it can be a bit of a pain to implement that. I don't know yet if or how we're going to implement the "donator but with a different color" thing yet. I personally don't care much about colored usernames, but if there's enough demand for it, you get what I mean.

For site and forums staff with specific titles and responsibilities, I do like having people with specified roles. I'd like (and agree with) simplifying the roles in the back-end / permissions-wise for site staff / content contributors.

I don't like the idea or even the suggestion that people need to have a certain role / title to be able to contribute though; we've probably been over this, but even the slightest suggestion that you can't help out if you're not in the "in group" needs to be nipped in the bud. I know Lex is doing a much better job at that than I have, and he's doing a great job along with the contributors though.

Anyway er, on that note, it's a complicated one. I'd like to give contributors appreciation for their work, whether they publish ten posts a week or have done something only once. The badge idea might work there. Anyway you have contributors on the one hand, and permissions and people with publish rights on the other. On the forums, I'd keep it down to having idk, administrators and editors? On the front page there's a user group called "Authors", which IIRC are people that can create and publish posts, but not administer the site. I think we can have people that have the Author role on the front page but not a formal role with extra permissions on the forums.

I think we need a simple set of usergroups and a pinned post or page somewhere that lists who does what, and maybe indicate whether they've got admin or moderator rights.

With regards of Lex for admin. Full disclosure, in many ways he's become an administrator (e.g. given those rights) through the back door, underhanded like. I can imagine this would cause a huge backlash, and I should've stepped in and done something about / with it a long time ago. While I do feel he's got the support and trust of most people (including myself), I think we need to go through an official process to formalize it.

Over the past ten years, I don't remember we've ever had a process of appointing a new administrator, so this is kinda new. What I'm suggesting is a simple poll, a "yea / nay" one, however it can't be a simple democracy - first off, it needs to be a majority vote, so more like at least 2/3rds of votes instead of 51%. Second, there has to be a means of expressing serious issues in a trusted fashion, which each have to be scrutinized and if there's a big enough issue, the whole thing will have to be called off.

TL;DR we can't just admin people through the back door or by a handful of people in a thread verbally going "lex for admin". I'd like some feedback from you guys about the process.

@Lex, what's that about "legacy donator"? Is that with regards to newer donation platforms?

@Claymore, the reason why I like to keep pushing for a public process is er, manyfold? There's a lot of reasonings. First off, back on ACF (10+ years ago), we (the "opposition", so to speak, lol) were really getting pissed off at how the staff was their own clique, who had lost touch with the rest of the memberbase. That's something I want to prevent at all costs. That was the forums staff though, not site staff.

With regards to site staff, what I want to encourage is that everyone that wants to can participate. If you need access to a private area to be able to do that, no matter how low the requirements for that are, it's a barrier that can deter people from it.

I do agree there needs to be room for a "place" for people to work on their projects without having randoms pop in or 3rd parties stealing our work before it's done though, but I think we've got things in place there. Planning a podcast (e.g. getting subjects down, planning a time / date) is something that can be done in public, or when there's a report on a big site somewhere that can be discussed in public as well, it's out there anyway. Things like a random twitter account that only we know about publishing new pictures, or working on translations that nobody else has done yet, that could be done in private or semi-private I think, getting exclusive news out there will be good for the site.

Long story short, er, it depends? :monster:
 
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