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Old 08/09/2015   #1
X-SOLDIER
Default Staff Section Discussion Poast

Lately, because of reasons, we've had some people wanting to know why we've got a staff section that exists without visibility to all forum members. This is primarily for post reporting and dealing with sensitive issues that aren't a matter of public discourse (i.e. banning certain members, and discussion of other conduct, etc). This is the same reason that your job won't put up your write-ups, yearly reviews, & such for the whole company to see. There is a certain degree of privacy that's warranted to keep little things from getting picked at and keeping them dealt with in a concise and collected manner when public discourse isn't the most appropriate option.

This is also where we keep specific contact data for one another so as to help coordinate timely interaction for news and other things on the main site, as well as where we start ideas for organization of certain Site-Staff-specific projects that we don't want revealed to the general public until they're ready to be put on display in this section. Aside from that, anything that we do that effects the userbase (i.e. everyone who can read this) -- we put out here into this forum, and Yop is exceptionally good at ensuring that this happens.

But yeah. If you have questions or concerns about what goes on behind the massively uninteresting closed doors of the Site Staff section -- this is where you can ask about it, so as to have a bit more transparency on the things that we can't show you directly.




X
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…Xenomorphaux Pas…



Shademp – on the subject of my seemingly boundless optimism wrote: After Ungoliant had sucked the light from the trees Telperion and Laurelin, she found that there was a third tree but whose light was too potent and immortal for her to absorb. Thusly, Ungoliant left Valinor in tears for she could not absorb the light of the tree named X-SOLDIER.

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Old 08/09/2015   #2
Cloud_S
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You mean it's not like this?



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Old 08/09/2015   #3
Cthulhu
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Actually yes, yes it is

I should find the posts / threads I made about my ideals for the site and private staff sections and such again, I'm sure they're either somewhere on here or on FFOF.

edit: found it; this is the earliest poast I can find on the matter. Note the trolling and serious tone there, . My main point there though was that "staff sections are serious business" - as in, they're not. Hence why it's called Elitist Bastard Central,
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Old 08/09/2015   #4
Alex Strife
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To be completely honest, I think that's how a forum should be run. It's counter-productive to make everything public.

Some folk may be okay with stuff being public and they would not scrutinate everything. But others would, and the amount of trouble they can create is not worthy in my honest opinion.
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Old 08/09/2015   #5
Lex
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It's for sure counterproductive to people's privacy and safety to have every report be discussed in public.

To give a proper breakdown, the staff section is kind of divided into two. All staff (site staff and forum staff) have access to most of it, but there's a mod section that only mods have access to. So site staff (meaning community manager, fan works editor - anyone who works on site stuff but isn't a moderator) cannot see reported posts (they used to be able to).

You might wonder what the point of that is. A long time ago we decided that it's better to build projects and front site stuff out in the community rather than in private, so what's the point in site staff (not moderators or admins) having access to the staff section? The short answer is that things that shouldn't be shared publicly like usernames and passwords for social media sites, and inconsequential stuff that's only relevant to actual staff to do with the front page, technical stuff etc, goes there. The important stuff like discussion of content etc. is all generally made in public.
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Old 08/09/2015   #6
Cthulhu
Default

Just read the other thread, I can go into this:

Splintered wrote: Can a decent sized forum even operate without a mod/staff only section? I mean, when I worked on one, it was pretty clear that there was no way we could have total transparency, and not all discussions were even on the staff section, lots of mods had to talk to each other in chat to discuss issues.
I like to think it can; look at communities like Wikipedia or the open source community, which are fully self-moderated and organized as far as I know. However, that assumes a level of maturity and can in some cases lead to some pretty drawn-out conversations. I was on all sides of the fence back on ACF, and I know that forum drama on there would've escalated even further if the staff section was public.

Note that that isn't actually advocating a private staff section; the main issues back on ACF and probably a lot of similar forums was actually caused by the private staff section, or the fact that the staff was a wholly separate clique from the rest of the forums. This was exacerbated by the fact that the existing staff decided policies and who else should be on staff in private - extending the cliqueyness even more. I've always been of the opinion that a staffer should be a member first (and second), and only have the mod powarz for when the situation called for it.

I have to say though, seven years after we started, I think we're doing well in that respect. Having to actually step in and do moderator duties and such is rare, and often enough reports are discussed for two pages before an action is taken - also because a lot of problematic posts are only subtly so (is that an insult or just a strong opinion? that kinda things we have to consider).

Another thing I'd like to reiterate is that when a staff member is involved in a report / warning, we prefer that staff member to step away from it. It's unfair that a staff member can see and participate in his/her own report thread if the person reported does not have access, and I'd like to reiterate that I frown upon that behavior.

Anyway, there's some instances where staff members are tempted to post things in the staff section - for both forum and front page things. I'm usually the one to remind or ask people to put it out in public. Moderator nominations and voting and such should always be in public; moderators are member representatives or just members with extra responsibilities, and as soon as we start making it a private staff-voting-for-staff thing, the staff becomes a clique and loses touch with the rest of the members, and such.

Re: site staff, I like all site content to be discussed in public; that way, members can contribute too, and maybe more importantly, feel like they can step in and offer to write for the site too, instead of thinking "I can only contribute if I am on staff". I think that's going well, we get plenty of non-staff members stepping in and going, for example, "Hey I would like to organize the podcast". That's a Good Thing, keep it up.
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Old 08/09/2015   #7
Lex
Default

I'm just going to say - and this is really important - Yop has mentioned twice now this Mod nomination thing that we did which he has also mentioned he "reminded staff that it should be public" - this is true, but it makes it sound like the intention was to have a private vote and this was never the case. I just wanted to clear that up.

The thread itself was created to discuss whether or not we should have a new mod at all, and whether or not that mod should be female. After this was decided, I opened the public thread for nominations and voting (or nomvotes as I dubbed them ). I don't want Yop's explanation to get misconstrued as though we ever intended to have a private vote on which person to bring on board, because that really would be some insular bullshit and I'm completely against that.
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Old 08/09/2015   #8
Omega
Default

As someone who has had many a glimpse of what goes on behind the curtain, it's actually very dull compared to what a lot of people might think - it's people talking about stuff for the site, like that's somehow interesting or something

It's not a clandestine organization trying to control our thoughts or whatever. Just a bunch of people trying to keep the peace. And while things like reports and the occasional (emphasis on occasional) discussion of Forum Member Causing Trouble At the Time's behavior are private, it makes sense for it to be, imo, and the discussions therein (in my experience) are largely reasonable and trying to figure out how to do things as diplomatically/fairly as possible.

I would say the forum is in good hands. Except Yop's, because those are tentacles.
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Old 08/09/2015   #9
Joe
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I think it's worth pointing out that the staff section being private is largely hidden so that the general public can't just click onto it. It's true that in specific member cases it's good that it's hidden from the member base, but in regards to things like code, frontpage decisions and the like we'd be rather foolish to have it all openly accessible.

At the end of the day people come here to discuss FF7 and the compilation. Why on earth would we be airing out our dirty laundry and undergarments to anybody brazen enough to click the New Posts button?
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Old 08/09/2015   #10
Addy Carver
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Having been a staffer, I have to say that I stepped down because it's fuck boring.

I don't think the staff section should ever be available to public scrutiny but (yes, I'm going to bring it up yet again) since my stalker decided to join and be a member here without being noticed until I voiced my suspicions nearly a year later. The thought of full transparency in that instance is nothing short of horrifying. I don't mind being a regular member in blissful ignorance because I've been a staffer, I appreciate it must seem a bit different if you've not been on staff but it's not really a big deal.
In truth, the day to day running of the forum isn't particularly interesting - the stuff worth getting excited about happens in the Site, Forums, Staff and Projects section.
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Old 08/09/2015   #11
Starling
Default

Ever seen shows that had an episode where a bunch of characters were imagining what happens in places they can't get into? I remember a teacher's lounge episode in Recess, some mall club in this other show and the girl's bathroom in Dexter's lab. Things really do tend to be more boring than what our imagination cooks up.
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Old 08/09/2015   #12
Jason Tandro
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It's true we do have topless photo friday(1) and the bi-weekly poetry slam, but by unanimous decision it's only topless men and haiku. I hear the mod only section allows bikini-clad girls and free verse.

People seek secrets,
Hidden deep within the web,
but it's mostly dull.






(1) a joke made all the more pointless by the public access NSFW Clubs.
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Old 08/09/2015   #13
Cthulhu
Default

Joe wrote: It's true that in specific member cases it's good that it's hidden from the member base, but in regards to things like code, frontpage decisions and the like we'd be rather foolish to have it all openly accessible.
I actually disagree there; there's no reason for code and frontpage discussions to be held in private (and for code we never did actually, it's all in the projects section). Unless I misread / misunderstood you, I'm still foreign after all, .
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Old 08/09/2015   #14
Chloe Frazer
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Omega wrote: I would say the forum is in good hands. Except Yop's, because those are tentacles.
Very tender and unmanly tentacles.
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Old 08/09/2015   #15
Octo
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Yeah, it's pretty dull, not half as juicy as I expected. Unless you like TLDR off course
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