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Questions for potential mods

Status
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Lex

Administrator
Please don't post spam in this thread/ keep off topic discussion to an absolute minimum.

The following people have been nominated as mods, and this thread is a chance for them to answer the questions in this post so that people can get an idea of who to vote for. This thread will stay open for around four days, to give people enough time to respond.

Some of these questions were submitted, others were made by me.

Gabe - Done
Satsu - Done
Carlie - Done
Vader - Done
Lith - Done
Joe - Done
Force - Done
Channy - Done
Darth - Done
Splintered - Done

  1. Being a Mod can be very frustrating at times, how will you handle situations where your patience will be tested?
  2. Sometimes you have to be very plain speaking/blunt with members, while remaining respectful - how do you feel about this?
  3. Do you think anything about the forum or how it is run should be changed? If so what/how?
  4. In a scenario where two members are having a disagreement and ask for your help, what is the worst mistake you can make in your correspondence with them? Then, what's the right course of action to take?
  5. How would you deal with a situation where a member tells you they don't trust any of the staff members - including you - and is publicly making false claims about staff bias?
  6. Why do you think the privacy of the staff section is important?
  7. Finally: do you think you should have to watch what you say as a staff member in order to avoid potentially alienating members? If so; why? If not; why not?

Answers can be as short or as long as people like. Ideally members will give this a thorough read before voting opens.
 
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Geostigma

Pro Adventurer
AKA
gabe
Being a Mod can be very frustrating at times, how will you handle situations where your patience will be tested?

Not to be cocky, but I think I'll handle it just fine lol. I'm a 27 year old supervisor in a call center and all of my subordinates range from just out of high school to people twice my age who second guess every word I say lol.

I've dealt with some reaaaaally silly things when It comes to my subordinates. From the new kid thinking it's totally fine to have his Mom call in to work for him to notify us he's ill , to doing damage control on a call because Bob thought telling a customer to 'Fuck off" was a great idea.

As an example when I talk to customers it's generally because they've had enough of my companies crap and my subordinate was not able to deescalate the situation. Like these people probably spent the last 15 minutes going through hand crafted automated voice system loops, then finally got on the line with a real human and then spent the next 20 minutes basically being disappointed lol.

By the time a customer reaches me they are trying their absolute best to give me a head ache via screaming lol. I mean our lunch hall has free Tylenol and Ibuprofen for a reason :reptar:

Not to downplay the drama this forum might have to offer but I think I can hang just fine :)


Sometimes you have to be very plain speaking/blunt with members, while remaining respectful - how do you feel about this?

That's fine. Using work again as an anecdote I basically have to do that all day every day in order to avoid being fired :monster:


In a scenario where two members are having a disagreement and ask for your help, what is the worst mistake you can make in your correspondence with them? Then, what's the right course of action to take?

Hmm.

As far the worst mistake you can make it might have to be taking a side before you even see what's going on lol.

As far as fixing it would go. Hop in and there toss out a few verbal warnings and remind them the first rule on the site is to be to civil to everyone and one of the sub rules essentially is "don't be a dick" lol.

Then help them come to the conclusion that sometimes people just don't get a long and that's FINE, but keep it off the boards. Just because you have trouble with someone doesn't mean you have to take it to an extreme and argue or even be passive aggressive etc.


How would you deal with a situation where a member tells you they don't trust any of the staff members - including you - and is publicly making false claims about staff bias?

Well it sucks that they feel that way :reptar:

Really though I think censorship sucks so trying to be like totalitarian about it would definitely be the wrong way to go. I'm assuming this person in question would have a big thread in feedback etc.

I would go into said big thread and ask this person to post proof or link instances where its clear staff over stepped some boundaries and we can work from there.
If the person isn't able to do so then it would hopefully be clear to the rest of the members of the forum that the accusations were unfounded.

Going beyond that I'd hope we'd be able to continue the conversation and get to the root cause of why that person felt that way. Hopefully this hypothetical forum user isn't to far gone and is able to be kept as a happy member of the community.

People for the most part don't just flip a switch and start shouting bias at the top of their lungs, and I'm generally not one for burnt bridges. I think I would be kinda sad if we weren't able to fix that situation and bring that member back to being happy on the boards.



Why do you think the privacy of the staff section is important?


Oh boy there could be tons of reasons why it needs to be kept private lol.

Off the top of my head I bet that's where you guys keep all the log in info for the separate social media accounts so that's best being kept hidden.

But beyond that it should be kept private because it helps handling things that need a delicate touch much easier. Mulling over banning a long standing member who just keeps trying to push the envelope in the feed back section would probably exacerbate things.

I mean look at how demoting Aaron turned out? It was a pretty rough situation I'm sure if it was handled in the open initially it could have been quite a bit more difficult.

That said though there are communities out there that operate with open and transparent systems. I even think TLS as a whole maturity wise is pretty close to being able to pull off a system like that as well. The only problem is sites that are much more transparent are much easier to troll.

Over all though I think keeping certain things private make tough situations a bit easier in the long run. Additionally TLS has a great track record of being transparent long term. We afaik go over the tough stuff thoroughly in Staff and thing bring it forward to the rest of the community for further input in most cases anyway.


Finally: do you think you should have to watch what you say as a staff member in order to avoid potentially alienating members? If so; why? If not; why not?

I generally like mods and staff to just be themselves so I'd hate for mods to think they are walking on egg shells when interacting.

At the same time though when ever you are in an elevated position, be it work , websites etc. You are the face of that organization and how you act can and will reflect on how people feel about that organization. That's just the way it is.

Personally I don't think this should be answered with a simple yes or no though I acknowledge it definitely be answered by either pretty easily lol.

Over all though as long as were not telling members to go get cancer I think things should be fine. In the end I think it's every members responsibility on this site to try and make sure everyone feels like they are part of the community and the best way to do that is by following the rules we have set up. Those things are actually pretty conveniently set up to make sure this place runs smoothly :monster:


edit:

Do you think anything about the forum or how it is run should be changed? If so what/how?

Honestly I don't think there's anything about the forum itself that needs much if any work to be quite honest.
 
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Geostigma

Pro Adventurer
AKA
gabe
Clearly by not answering it it means that I think everything is perfectly fiiiiiine.

Ty for the heads up lol
 

Ghost X

Moderator
Being a Mod can be very frustrating at times, how will you handle situations where your patience will be tested?

I think my record speaks for itself. I rarely ever get too excited in the heat of the moment. I think I make less slip-ups than presidential candidates, if I do say so myself. Granted, I haven't been under a 24/7 media blowtorch.

Sometimes you have to be very plain speaking/blunt with members, while remaining respectful - how do you feel about this?

Again, I'll cite my record. Regulars probably have a fair idea how I treat members that need to be spoken to frankly. I'd actually consider myself fairly lax though. I often find myself being devil's advocate actually :P.

Do you think anything about the forum or how it is run should be changed? If so what/how?

I don't think we have to rock the boat. I think we got a nice balance.

In a scenario where two members are having a disagreement and ask for your help, what is the worst mistake you can make in your correspondence with them? Then, what's the right course of action to take?

Worst mistake: Destroying the universe, j/k. I think it would be having pre-conceived notions and making unfair judgments based on that. I'd see who is wrong, whether it is one side or both sides, or if they're just speaking past each other, and act accordingly.

How would you deal with a situation where a member tells you they don't trust any of the staff members - including you - and is publicly making false claims about staff bias?

I've seen this play out before. Ultimately, if they have nothing to go on, and flame bait and troll, they get infracted :monster:.

Why do you think the privacy of the staff section is important?

Most of the staff room is pretty boring, if unused, and a lot of it could probably go public (but would be boring :awesome:). However, you got affiliation stuff and projects you don't want to be discussing publicly, as that ruins the surprise, etc. Posting drafts there for review, or whatever, before they're put up I think is a lot better than doing it in a forum that is easily accessible by folks who may steal ideas or whatever. We might vet ideas there for scrutiny to see if they're worth going public, to save embarrassment, or whatever :awesome:. Maybe someone has a concern about someone, which shouldn't be made public to protect privacy, etc.

Finally: do you think you should have to watch what you say as a staff member in order to avoid potentially alienating members? If so; why? If not; why not?

To a reasonable extent. I am not a robot-like politician, who has prepared politically-correct statements for every given situation. Nor am I Donald Trump. I hope that my reputation shows that I'm principled, and that my morality is anchored in well-being and what I feel is for the greater good. This means I'm going to (when necessary) constructively tell people they're wrong, if I think they are wrong, and I'm going to tell them how they are coming across as a result for perspective. I realise, some people may not handle this well. Some people can't handle scrutiny or even handle being told they are in the wrong. If these members are problematic, they're likely to find themselves an endangered species :P.

VOTE 1 GHOST X (aka various affectionate names... I have affectionate names, I can be loved :wacky:).
 

Carlie

CltrAltDelicious
AKA
Chloe Frazer
This is rather interesting because all of these questions have happened to us as mods.



Being a Mod can be very frustrating at times, how will you handle situations where your patience will be tested?

Boy can it ever. There were times were situations would happen and only two of us mods were online and going on like that for hours can be extremely taxing on one's patience. So when other mods came online I would just take a break and then would come back relaxed and rested and head back in.

Sometimes you have to be very plain speaking/blunt with members, while remaining respectful - how do you feel about this?

While most of the time I'm very laid back, it's the same as in the real world, whether it be work, school etc. We're adults we need to be able to speak our mine while being respectful.

Do you think anything about the forum or how it is run should be changed? If so what/how?

Well it's about time we got rid of that troll Cthulhu. We've let that Dutch get away with way too much. :monster: Well right now we have the thank system discussion but other than that no, the forum is being run very well.

In a scenario where two members are having a disagreement and ask for your help, what is the worst mistake you can make in your correspondence with them? Then, what's the right course of action to take?

Taking a side before hearing them out, sharing exactly what each said to the other, egg them on to get angrier at each other would be very bad too. The best course of action would be to hear them out, discuss it with the rest of staff to come up with a solution. There could be another mod with a better idea on how to solve the situation that I just didn't think of.

How would you deal with a situation where a member tells you they don't trust any of the staff members - including you - and is publicly making false claims about staff bias?

We would hear them out and if they were false claims they would get a warning for trying to create drama.

Why do you think the privacy of the staff section is important?

This came up a few times, like guys really most of the staff section is super boring, there's hardly ever anything going on there. But there's sensitive information in there. Things like reports should definitely stay private otherwise people could see who reported them, why and what discussion staff had about it.

Do you think you should have to watch what you say as a staff member in order to avoid potentially alienating members? If so; why? If not; why not?

No that was never a problem, I was still me and posted the same way I did before. The only thing is that once you're a mod you can't be getting into stupid arguments with people because you're the one who's supposed to be preventing those from happening.
 
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Jason Tandro

Banned
AKA
Jason Tandro, Doc Brown, Santa Christ, FearAddict, Thibault Stormrunner, RN: Micah Rodney
Also I know Vader is on vacay until the 18th.
 

Ghost X

Moderator
I withdraw. I realise now I do not have the patience required. Seems like the forum is in good hands with the other candidates anyway. Good luck.
 

Lex

Administrator
Also I know Vader is on vacay until the 18th.

Imagine Vader coming and finding his name in a different blue, he'd be like "Da fuck? How long was away from here?"

I said:
Please don't post spam in this thread/ keep off topic discussion to an absolute minimum.

Seriously. Ideally the only posts we should be seeing in this thread are answers to the questions, so it doesn't end up a slog for people to read when they're voting. I know I sound like I'm just being an asshole here, but keep this kind of pointless banter out of this thread please everyone.
 

Channy

Bad Habit
AKA
Ruby Rose, Lucy
All right well, no time like the present :monster:

Being a Mod can be very frustrating at times, how will you handle situations where your patience will be tested?

I've got six nieces and a nephew all under the age of ten that turn me into their personal jungle gym... I have an ironclad patience.

jk, I'll try not to be so flippant here :monster:

No doubt there are people and members who try your patience, possibly on a daily basis and you're thinking "Ugh, not them again" but I think a forum has that sense of distance where you're able to pause and reflect on what you want to say and do before you do so. People still get caught up in the moment sometimes, but it has more room for you to keep a level head, I think.

As it is, I'm not the same person I used to be where the same buttons would get pushed. I've grown quite a bit and I've had to self modify my own behavior and learn to move on from things and not say anything at all because I knew no good would come from it.

Sometimes you have to be very plain speaking/blunt with members, while remaining respectful - how do you feel about this?

I don't have a 10$ vocabulary on the board like some of the others do, so I have no qualms with this. :monster: I don't like to beat around the bush either, and as a mod, you can't, you have to be very to the point with people, no wishywashy business.

Do you think anything about the forum or how it is run should be changed? If so what/how?

It's pretty smooth sailing from here, I think. I like what the staff are doing though, trying to keep things new and invigorating, like Howl helping with revamping the awards, Flint and Jason with their polls/activities and vader with his podcasts. I'd like to do more with that, more forum activities to engage people because the memberbase has gotten smaller over the years as some people fled but as the remake comes around, it's going to bubble again.

In a scenario where two members are having a disagreement and ask for your help, what is the worst mistake you can make in your correspondence with them? Then, what's the right course of action to take?

Well, you can't take a side, obviously, even if you heard them out/read the whole situation/thread. Because that alienates the other party and whoever friends they may have had siding with them, and then it makes you look like there's a sense of favoritism towards party A. Probably just getting both parties to apologize to each other, if they need to, take it to PMs or skype but try to bury the hatchet in that moment because it might be left to linger with other unresolved issues that may grow into something more of a shitstorm down the road.

How would you deal with a situation where a member tells you they don't trust any of the staff members - including you - and is publicly making false claims about staff bias?

Well, that sucks. Try to draw them out with a PM and invite them to make a thread in the private staff section to find out what the source of all these issues are. Maybe they do have their own interpretation of how things are being mishandled and you can't change someone's opinion. At best you can try to resolve it privately but if it becomes a bigger public issue, then temp banning them may be in order to give them a bit of a cool off period.

Why do you think the privacy of the staff section is important?

Because not everyone has skype/is on all the time/PMs are not the best measure for that. Schools have staff rooms for a reason; to take a break and distance themselves and take about the issues with their own and without needing to worry about what sort of impression is being left in their posts.

I don't mean to say that behind our backs in the staff room, they're slagging us off every chance they get, but they need to discuss their own issues before presenting to the norms/memberbase.

Plus it's also where they secretly ship us. :monster:

Finally: do you think you should have to watch what you say as a staff member in order to avoid potentially alienating members? If so; why? If not; why not?

To a level. I don't think you should have to completely change who you are/how you act/talk to people in the forums but you definitely need to take an extra moment or two to change how you react to situations. Yeah, you definitely don't want to alienate anyone by siding with so and so in a heated debate, or responding flippantly to someone's thought out post.... It's more about common sense and decency: everyone has it and should exercise it, but when you're a mod, you need to take it up another notch.

Thank you for your time and consideration

#ChannyforPresident
:moar:
 

Splintered

unsavory tart
I'd like to point out the fact I would be a horrible mod so don't vote for me, but I enjoy answering random internet questions so here it goes, so my replies should reflect this.
Being a Mod can be very frustrating at times, how will you handle situations where your patience will be tested?
The same way you deal with all annoying shit, you just do. There's no great self remedy to making modship less frustrating, it just comes down to temperament. I do actually think that I'm pretty decent dealing with frustrating situations and people, I don't think I've ever truly lost my shit over people I had no patience for. I'm good with compromises and being polite unless I'm deliberately trolling.

It's kind of a case by case basis, but it's better if you know what you are doing, why, and know how you want it done. Like in a certain project or dealing with a person. If you've been around for awhile, you eventually figure out who to poke and nag and how to do so to get shit done, or conversely, let things die out, but it doesn't always work and you just have to work through it.

I suppose the other option is to take an extended break. It unfortunately lends to the idea that you are unreliable as a consistent moderator but it's better than trying to power through mod burnout, which just usually ends with someone leaving forever or worse, imparts a lot of bitterness and distaste for your time and the people there.

Sometimes you have to be very plain speaking/blunt with members, while remaining respectful - how do you feel about this?
I'm very good at being fake and pretending to be nice.

...

But nah, this isn't a problem for me, at least if it's directed towards me. It's harder to deal with if they're blunt and a borderline jerk to a lot of people, and I tend to be very by the rules when it comes to it. I've never had a problem with blunt people that others hate, but if it starts to fan the flames or they start attacking more sensitive members, pulling them back and saying to cool down a bit can sometimes help.

Do you think anything about the forum or how it is run should be changed? If so what/how?
It's fine. Although Aaron was responsible for a lot of the contests iirc, and that one person (Brooke I think) always did secret santa so between the two, if the forum feels dull you might try to actively think of forum activities?

In a scenario where two members are having a disagreement and ask for your help, what is the worst mistake you can make in your correspondence with them? Then, what's the right course of action to take?

If you ever needed a reason not to vote for me, this would be it. Taking sides is just fueling fire, but being passive (which I am) is also something that makes it worse, but in a way that takes slower.

Most of the time I noticed when to mods come to blows, it's not spontaneous. It's a result of a lot of distrust and history that slowly builds. And that you'll probably catch the first wifs of it not on a forum, but maybe on skype or a PM saying "Hey, X-mod really seems to have it out for me and it's getting on my nerves."

It's almost always not real, even with bad feelings involved it's never a conspiracy, but the fact is it builds and it explodes because something will cause it to drag up. In the worst case scenario, said mod who thinks people are out to get them actually convinces people to be on their side, that the other mod really is horrible, and it splits the entire team.

The best case scenario is to catch it early on and try to work out some sort of mediation that concerns the issues of the individual, but in a way that doesn't feel like a personal slight which inevitably someone feel it will. No one is trying to kick someone off, or trying to be a douche, but that's how people are. It's best to air out the feelings so no other misconceptions arise.

It could also be that they have two distinctly different views and very strong personalities and passions, and that's harder to control because it's just a clash of wills. Mediation is key here too, I guess, but it blows over faster and a reminder to stay chill can calm them down, unless it's like... a really big issue they feel strongly about.

And if they're having it out for the entire forum to see, tell them to pull their pants up and take it to the mod forum because no one needs to see that shit. If they're talking shit to other members about how horrible Y mod is, then you have a problem that might actually need to have disciplinary actions.
How would you deal with a situation where a member tells you they don't trust any of the staff members - including you - and is publicly making false claims about staff bias?
lmao I see this as normal. You'll always get members who don't trust mods and view and sort of non transparency with a glow of distrust. It's frustrating but it's always been understandable.

The best way to handle it is to be friendly and help build a close community. You can go for total transparency but... it's not something I trust completely, ironically. People disagree with decisions made, people get frustrated when motivations aren't made clear, and when things suddenly "happen" without them getting warning, it's uncomfortable.

You can either explicitly post why and how you came to a conclusion of every action, although people will still get angry if you chose a different action than they would, or you can try to continue open dialogue between mods and members, which is pretty limited in scope although easier in a smaller forum.

The only thing you shouldn't do is fall for the them versus us mentality. Nothing good comes from it. Even if it's really frustrating and infuriating to be deliberately misconstrued, it helps no one.

Why do you think the privacy of the staff section is important?
Some shit is very sensitive. And some people are sensitive.

I don't know what issues this forum has had to face but I'm sure anyone who's ever modded (which is... most of the internet at this point) has had to deal with issues that you just don't tell people about.

Without going into detail: Explicit images of members being passed around as a joke, suicide watches, members explaining their recent outbursts as medication or family problems oriented, potential scams, problems between members that are sensitive, reviewing private conversations (that other members willingly gave to other mods), people asking for mediation in personal issues, accusations of serious issues that don't have confirmation but could potentially be humiliating even if proven wrong, and having problems with other forums/websites.

Sometimes you've got to investigate problems to, like in cases of harassment, and see who is saying what, who started it, that you might not want to leak out that you've figured out what was going on.

And in the last case... lots of people are really sensitive. Sometimes, you need to give your professional opinion on something that could ruin a personal relationship, not because you said something mean, but that's how it is. Sometimes man, you're going to be in the position where you've got to ban your friends. And it sucks, but you've got to talk about it.

Making the staffroom public won't make shit better, it'll drive people to use things like chatrooms or skype, which 1000% less transparent and a lot harder to manage and track and makes things a mess.
Finally: do you think you should have to watch what you say as a staff member in order to avoid potentially alienating members? If so; why? If not; why not?
Eh.

I mean, don't do anything that would get you infracted or anything, but don't push yourself to be a different person. Although if you're a dick to a member, a lot of them are going to interpret it as bias so don't be surprised 7 months down the road when people are lining up to ask mods to keep them in check, even if you are the fairest asshole in all the lands.

It's a balance, and if you aren't careful, your callous behavior will reflect partly in your modship. Not necessarily in your actions but how people relate to you and how you word your modship duties and such.

But usually, it's pretty okay to be who you are. I think most of us have a good feeling of who all the mods and members are, and sometimes I don't remember who of us are mods anyway.

Except Yop, but his great power is balanced by his even greater apathy.
 
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Joe

I KEEP MY IDEALS
AKA
Joe, Arcana
Being a Mod can be very frustrating at times, how will you handle situations where your patience will be tested?
In general I find myself to be a very patient person, one that doesn't frustrate easily. Work tests the limits of that all the time where I have to deal with aggressive, drunk and/or vulnerable people on a daily basis. I don't think I'd have any problem in that regard.
But we're not robots and it's possible for emotions to get the better of us on rare occasions. Personally I find taking a step back to be the most effective method for dealing with it. Take 5, grab a cup of tea and approach the situation with a clear head. :)

Sometimes you have to be very plain speaking/blunt with members, while remaining respectful - how do you feel about this?
I find transparency in staff intentions to be a very important part of anything, be it a community or a business. It's important for members to understand where you're coming from, and it isn't easy to get that view across when beating around the bush.
There's a difference between telling somebody something they don't want to hear & being rude about it. I think that's where the line needs to be drawn. Staff should take all members' feelings into account when telling them anything of importance.


Do you think anything about the forum or how it is run should be changed? If so what/how?
Not anymore. :monster:
I'd been meaning to bring up my feelings on the debate section (and the impact of Thanks there) for some time. The recent thread gave me a good opportunity to do that, and I'm happy to see such a positive adjustment being made to the section (kudos to X-SOLDIER for formulating and executing upon that idea ^_^)


In a scenario where two members are having a disagreement and ask for your help, what is the worst mistake you can make in your correspondence with them? Then, what's the right course of action to take?
The worst mistake? Letting member bias cloud your decision.
We're all at least familiar here, and some of us have pretty strong friendships and more. We can't let that get in the way of such disputes. Both members' grievances need to be equally taken into account. Staff must remove themselves personally from the scenario and handle it as an unbiased third-party, wherever possible.

How would you deal with a situation where a member tells you they don't trust any of the staff members - including you - and is publicly making false claims about staff bias?
Transparency, transparency, transparency.

I'd explain the situation from a staff member's perspective and clarify exactly what's causing this distrust. Then I'd take these claims seriously and investigate them, requesting whether or not they had any truth. I'd lay out this information plainly and point to why it's not true, being sure to stay objective.
Finally I'd ask what the particular member expects differently from staff. Depending on the answer it may be be worth discussing, especially if there are possible improvements. Of course if it's blatant trolling then I'd make it clear exactly why it wouldn't be worth further discussion.

Why do you think the privacy of the staff section is important?
I think the most important reason for this is to avoid unnecessary upset. If staff need to discuss whether or not a particular member is acting of order, I believe it'd cause a lot of upset. This is assuming that member might not even be an issue. Sometimes one member of staff might desire another set of eyes to assess whether or not their perception is accurate.

Add to this information sensitive to the website, and other accounts relating to social media.

To be honest, I those with a problem in regards to the privacy of the staff section are people that don't understand how dull it is there. :wacky:


Do you think you should have to watch what you say as a staff member in order to avoid potentially alienating members? If so; why? If not; why not?

Inevitably, the voice of a staff member will carry some weight. While I wouldn't say any one member of staff fully represents the forum, they are a big part of that community.
I don't believe we should tiptoe around members that might have issues here. Conversely, I think staff should go out of their way to be welcoming to members they're not used to yet. Getting to know the faces of staff early on starts off that relationship of trust on a very good foot.



Wow that was super serious. Erm....vote Joe for orgieshugs and stuff. :monstersmash:
 

Splintered

unsavory tart
In a scenario where two members are having a disagreement and ask for your help, what is the worst mistake you can make in your correspondence with them? Then, what's the right course of action to take?
I must be going crazy because I completely misread this question, I thought it was asking if two mods were getting into a fight or something.

Mediation is also probably the answer. It's probably easiest to do through PM's, but is slow and annoying so best case scenario is getting them in a chatroom. The isea is to make sure you have both sides of the story and reassure that you are both unbiased and taking what they say seriously- and not just the other person. Getting people to air at grievances and looking at their past issues is important, but imo, the key thing is not to let it escalate.

If their going to the mods, it probably means they are past the point that them pm'ing each other isn't going to solve anything. Make sure that any contact that they do have outside of the forums, like skyping/messaging/pm'ing, isn't devolving to flaming and harassment, and if it is, intervening in that might be necessary, even if it doesn't actually fall into the scope of your modship, sometimes it's okay to reach out as a friend.

At worst, forums are social groups, and left unchecked, these to members might talk to other members and thus rather than dealing with two people having problems, you get entire groups against one person or group, which iirc, happened more than once in this forum.
 

The G'randiest' Daddy

Teh Bunneh of Doom
AKA
Darth
Right, here goes mine :)

Being a Mod can be very frustrating at times, how will you handle situations where your patience will be tested?

To be honest, I don't see this as a huge problem. The internet is the internet, and I'm not going to let that bother me. I will deal with the situation, but remain calm. If ever I feel like getting angry, I just shout it out inside my own head, then sort through that and find what needs to be said in a calm way.

Sometimes you have to be very plain speaking/blunt with members, while remaining respectful - how do you feel about this?

There's never anything wrong with honesty. If one member is hurting another through the way they are acting, then for me to not say anything is to give consent for that action. There's no need to be rude, of course, simply to state the problem/point out the action that should stop.

Do you think anything about the forum or how it is run should be changed? If so what/how?

I'm personally pretty fine with how it is run. The only thing that I have something to say about is the thanks system in debates threads, as I have stated.

In a scenario where two members are having a disagreement and ask for your help, what is the worst mistake you can make in your correspondence with them? Then, what's the right course of action to take?

The worst mistake would be to take sides or have any sort of bias. The best way to deal with it, in my opinion, is for both members to state their case to me privately, and then for both of them and I to get together in a chat or something similar, and talk it out calmly.

How would you deal with a situation where a member tells you they don't trust any of the staff members - including you - and is publicly making false claims about staff bias?

If, as the question states, the claims are definitely false, I would ask them to please show me where/when I myself had shown bias, and first try to gain their personal trust. If I can get that right, I feel that I could then have a rational discussion with them and come to the root of the misunderstanding.

Why do you think the privacy of the staff section is important?

Simply because occasionally the staff will have to discuss sensitive material, for example if one member is making trouble and a decision needs to be reached about them, it would not be fair to anyone involved if just anyone could see that discussion.

Finally: do you think you should have to watch what you say as a staff member in order to avoid potentially alienating members? If so; why? If not; why not?

I think so, yes. I won't hide my opinions, as I am as free to an opinion as anyone else on the forum. But how I say it is a very important factor, because as a person with responsibility, I can easily be seen as abusing my power to force my opinion on others, even if that is not my intent. It's the Spiderman thing, basically.
 

vaderSW1

Dark Knight of the Red Wings
Being a Mod can be very frustrating at times, how will you handle situations where your patience will be tested?

Admittedly, I have little to no patience for folks that are blatantly trolling or just being flat-out ignorant. However, I also understand that if I am voted in as a mod, there will be a certain responsibility that comes with having that power. So, to that end, I feel that having a clear head can help greatly with arguments and frustrating situations. If I encounter a situation that seems to be testing my patience, I will step away for a bit and take a deep breath before re-engaging. Allow myself to reassess the situation and try to approach it from a different angle. If that still doesn't work, I'll bounce the situation off my fellow mods to see how they feel and proceed from there.

Sometimes you have to be very plain speaking/blunt with members, while remaining respectful - how do you feel about this?

My job IRL is a telephone customer service representative. I have been doing this for 16 years. Over the course of that time, I have certainly had to be respectfully stern/blunt with many customers. Sometimes you can get through to them through kindly pointing out the facts and sometimes you can't. I think the key to being successful when having to be blunt is making sure you are able to remove your own personal emotions from the equation. Then, you can make it all about the business at hand. Know and understand the forum rules, stick to the facts, and be to the point but respectful.

Do you think anything about the forum or how it is run should be changed? If so what/how?

Personally, I feel like the way the forum is run currently is fine. It seems like the forum members are generally respectful to one another and the forum staff does a good job of keeping things running smoothly. However, if I could change something, it might be to simplify the forums a bit. Maybe reduce the amount of sub-forums. I think for new members, seeing the many different sub-forums can be a bit intimidating. If we are to eventually have a partnership with Square Enix then we are most certainly going to have a lot of new members coming our way. We want the forums to be welcoming and easily accessible. So, to that end I might propose reducing the amount of subforms by combining a few of them.

In a scenario where two members are having a disagreement and ask for your help, what is the worst mistake you can make in your correspondence with them? Then, what's the right course of action to take?

I think the worst mistake I could make is jump to a conclusion and make a decision without hearing both sides of the story. I love the saying "there's 3 sides to every story: your side, my side, and the truth in between." It's incredibly important to get both sides of the story, do as much investigation as you can into the issue, and then try to mediate a solution once you have all the facts.

How would you deal with a situation where a member tells you they don't trust any of the staff members - including you - and is publicly making false claims about staff bias?
Why do you think the privacy of the staff section is important?

As I said previously, I think it is important to be able to remove your own personal emotions from these situation. Even though this member may be targeting me as well, I think it's important to note that they are referring to a perceived overall staff bias. With a member that feels this way, I don't think any specific words from a member of the staff are going to be able to assuage their concerns initially. However, with that in mind, I think transparency from the staff is incredibly important in these and, really, all situations dealing with the forums. I think the more open/transparent you are with the membership, the less chance there will be of someone getting the feeling that the staff is "conspiring" behind the scenes or showing blatant bias.

I would take the time to investigate this person's claims and consult with any staff members about any specific allegations this person may have brought up. Then, I would put together an answer to this person's complaints that cites specific facts and reasonings for why I am responding in the way that I am.

As far as why it is important to keep the staff discussions private, I feel like there are certain forum/site matters that should be discussed in private. Things like asking for assistance from fellow mods in dealing with situations should ideally take place behind the scenes. The response will be shared publicly, but the actual discussion of how to handle should be kept out of the public eye. I also feel like discussions about possible site improvements, changes, and/or enhancements should start in the private staff forums. The reason for this is because you don't want to get people's hopes up about certain things before they are agreed upon. I think once a decision is made behind the scenes about these changes then we can make them public and let the general community weigh in.

Finally: do you think you should have to watch what you say as a staff member in order to avoid potentially alienating members? If so; why? If not; why not?

My parents taught me "if you don't have anything nice to say then don't say anything at all". I think that's a lesson a lot of people today could learn from. I'm typically not one to badmouth anybody. I don't like people talking about me behind my back so I try to extend the same courtesy and not talk about anyone else behind their backs. That said, I do think it is incredibly important that anyone in a position of power, be it a mod of a forum, owner of a business, etc be aware of the things they say and how they are said. I sincerely try to to articulate things in the most inoffensive way I can. Sometimes, I can do so with great success, sometimes not so much. I'm guilty of fumbling around with my words sometimes. I'm human and I am going to make mistakes from time to time. For me, the key to overcoming these mistakes is to learn from each one and be man enough to admit when I'm wrong.
 
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Ite

Save your valediction (she/her)
AKA
Ite
These are all fantastic answers, and I feel really confident in our mod candidates! And, now I feel less guilty about dropping out of the race. Stuff's come up. Thanks for the nom, and I'm super excited to vote!
 

Lex

Administrator
The only people still to answer are Lith, Satsu and Force, is that right? Ghost are you definitely dropping out?
 

lithiumkatana17

Pro Adventurer
AKA
Lith
OH MY GOD I DIDN'T KNOW I WAS NOMINATED UNTIL I CLICKED IN HERE JUST TO BROWSE THE THREAD AND SAW MY NAME IN LEX'S POST AG;SRKBPUIWEGBNVCKVBNHESURG!!!!!!!!


Being a Mod can be very frustrating at times, how will you handle situations where your patience will be tested?

I would step away from the situation for a little while and decide how to handle it best while I have a clear head. If I were uncertain on how to handle it, I would ask another Mod for advice. I'm not afraid to ask for help if I feel out of my depth; I just hope it's not confused with me passing off my problem onto someone else--cause I don't do dat. :closedmonster:

Sometimes you have to be very plain speaking/blunt with members, while remaining respectful - how do you feel about this?

I'm absolutely fine with it.

Do you think anything about the forum or how it is run should be changed? If so what/how?

I'm fine with the way the forum is run now! I haven't run into any problems or seen anything that should be changed since I became active again on TLS last year.

In a scenario where two members are having a disagreement and ask for your help, what is the worst mistake you can make in your correspondence with them? Then, what's the right course of action to take?

I think the worst mistake you can make is taking a side with a particular member during the disagreement, no matter how much you think they may be right. To me, being a Mod means you now have to be impartial.

To fix that mistake, I would likely apologize to the member whose side I didn't take and then let both of those members know that what I did wasn't something a Mod should do, and not to expect it in the future.

I hope that's a good answer. It's a bit trickier to handle situations like that on the internet than in real life.

How would you deal with a situation where a member tells you they don't trust any of the staff members - including you - and is publicly making false claims about staff bias?

Mmm, this is a hard one. I would ask the member what their original problem was, because if they're making claims of bias, then I would assume that they've tried to ask for help before and didn't like the advice they received. I'd try and get to the root of the problem and give them a resolution that's as satisfactory to them as possible. But if they're just making claims of staff bias out of the blue and we can't figure out why, I'd recommend a temporary ban and see if that works. I'm sorry if that seems like it's jumping the gun, but if a member is spreading strife and discord around the forum, then I think they should either be asked to leave or suffer the ban hammer.

Why do you think the privacy of the staff section is important?

I do think the privacy of the staff section is important, because any problems that the staff may have, particularly with each other, should be addressed only with each other, lest we have members that try and exploit conflicts for their own gain. For the record, I don't believe anyone here would try and do that (or at least I've never seen it happen before), but I think problems or issues among the staff and on the site should be resolved among the staff. They're the staff for a reason after all.

Finally: do you think you should have to watch what you say as a staff member in order to avoid potentially alienating members? If so; why? If not; why not?

I think you should have to watch what you say, because you're technically in a leadership position now, but I don't think you should have to be on your tiptoes around everyone. It's all about knowing your limits and knowing your members--being certain of what you can and can't say to them. And if there's any doubt at all, then it doesn't need to be said/typed, period.

To be fair, I think a lot of us have passed the point of no return--if TLS had an HR department we'd all have sexual harassment charges out the wazoo. :monster:
 

Lex

Administrator
I've sent a VM to both Satsu and Force, I'll wait until midnight/ tomorrow before closing this thread and opening voting.
 

ForceStealer

Double Growth
I'm willing to step back into the role if it became necessary, but with these other candidates, I don't think that will be the case and I am more than happy to let someone else have a go round as a mod.
But just in case, I'll write up some answers, sorry for the delay.

Being a Mod can be very frustrating at times, how will you handle situations where your patience will be tested?

It can be indeed. If I got too heated about something, I tried to recuse myself from whatever proceedings were happening and draft a previously uninvolved mod to weigh in or hand out any infractions or what have you, if necessary.

When it comes to something that involves everyone from the outset, it's best to make sure that cooler heads guide the conversation and only contribute what you absolutely feel you must.

I know I had varying degrees of success with these two things on my last term, depending on how strongly I felt about something. But I think I definitely improved at it as time went on, and I'm older now and everything, haha.

Sometimes you have to be very plain speaking/blunt with members, while remaining respectful - how do you feel about this?

It was something I always aspired to. It's this ability that makes mods like X or Tres so good and respected as mods. Knowing precisely when to set aside the snark and plainly tell people if they're being ridiculous for these reasons.

Do you think anything about the forum or how it is run should be changed? If so what/how?

Personally I very much like the way the board has been running for the last 2 years or so. That has coincided with a minimal amount of drama, but that's a bit of a chicken or the egg thing. Is there simply less drama that staff have benefited from, or were there things that would have exploded into drama in the old days that now pass on? I'm sure it's a bit of both, but I can definitely think of things that have occurred that would have been uglier before.

In a scenario where two members are having a disagreement and ask for your help, what is the worst mistake you can make in your correspondence with them? Then, what's the right course of action to take?

Hm... Well, worst mistake would probably to immediately and unilaterally pick your side and come down like a ton of bricks on the other party. But I think it's also unwise to insist on complete impartiality no matter what the situation. If a compromise can be reached, then that's great and you should facilitate that. But if there's a decision to be made, you've been tasked as a mod to make it (with the input of your fellows, of course).

How would you deal with a situation where a member tells you they don't trust any of the staff members - including you - and is publicly making false claims about staff bias?

I guess it depends how unflappable they are about it. The immediate onus would be to try and determine the cause and offer something to try and ameliorate the issue. But there's a point of course where they would just cross into disruptive and the needs of the many and all that.
That's always a tough a situation because any infraction/ban action you take will always provide then with ammo to their own point. That you're merely trying to "silence the detractors." So you'll have to be as open as possible with everyone possible and hope that the people that chose you still have the trust in you to make those calls.

Why do you think the privacy of the staff section is important?

Because, really, when staff do need to discuss the actions of a certain member, that stuff isn't always anyone else's business but staff and the user/group in question. Also coordinating forum stuff for which there's no need to clutter the main boards.

I think it was Joe that said further up, the people that have a problem with this never appreciate just how boring it is in there.

Finally: do you think you should have to watch what you say as a staff member in order to avoid potentially alienating members? If so; why? If not; why not?.

This was, honestly, the trickiest part for me when I was mod before. I'm of two minds about it. On the one hand, of course you should be extra accommodating and welcoming as a staff member. Then there's the concept of setting the tone for the board and all this.
On the other hand, the mods are just people self selected out of the group, it's not like there's an actual standard of representation they're adhering to. They're not politicians that have to interact with foreign dignitaries...they're mods on a Final Fantasy board. I think that your ACTIONS as a mod likely set the tone of the boards more than your words.

That said, some of the old mods like Mako and Dacon, (who were great fun!) definitely presided over a more abrasive staff and board. But again you have the chicken or the egg thing, did staff need to be more abrasive because the members were more combative? Or vice versa?

So, yeah, I go in circles on this one. I suppose that, basically: Yes, I think staff should make an effort to conduct themselves well for the sake of board reputation, but neither do I think should they be restricted, friendly, but humorless drones that have to constantly walk on eggshells.

Just like everything else - it's a balance. I'm a big fan of moderation (lolpun).

There you go :monster:
 

Lex

Administrator
Still awaiting satsu's advocate, if he hasn't caught my PM by the end of today then we'll just have to commence voting without his question round.
 
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