Forum Management Ponderings....
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29-12-2014, 10:15 AM
Forum Management Ponderings....
This thread is about forums in general, and not this forum in particular.

My comments are aimed primarily at the mods here, only because they have demonstrated more interest in the forum management experience than the typical member.

My motivation is that I've been using forums for almost 20 years, and am a forum software developer, so I tend to addictively think about hopelessly nerdy crap like this all the time.

The following posts will sketch out a few form management ideas whose goal would be to encourage high quality content, while maintaining democratic inclusiveness.
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29-12-2014, 10:23 AM
RE: Forum Management Ponderings....
Yabut, the forum isn't a democracy.

So there's that. Consider

So many cats, so few good recipes.
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29-12-2014, 10:32 AM (This post was last modified: 29-12-2014 10:35 AM by pablo.)
RE: Forum Management Ponderings....
[Image: hammer-time-480x482_zpsjokikopw.jpg]
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29-12-2014, 10:35 AM
RE: Forum Management Ponderings....
[Image: pEgGhdX.jpg]

Behold the power of the force!
[Image: fgYtjtY.gif]
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29-12-2014, 10:42 AM
RE: Forum Management Ponderings....
(29-12-2014 10:15 AM)Baba Bozo Wrote:  This thread is about forums in general, and not this forum in particular.

My comments are aimed primarily at the mods here, only because they have demonstrated more interest in the forum management experience than the typical member.

My motivation is that I've been using forums for almost 20 years, and am a forum software developer, so I tend to addictively think about hopelessly nerdy crap like this all the time.

The following posts will sketch out a few form management ideas whose goal would be to encourage high quality content, while maintaining democratic inclusiveness.

I'd like to hear it, since you say you are a forum software developer. There is always room for improvement in forum software.

[Image: dobie.png]Science is the process we've designed to be responsible for generating our best guess as to what the fuck is going on. Girly Man
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29-12-2014, 10:50 AM
RE: Forum Management Ponderings....
The following ideas address themselves to intellectual type forums on any topic. It's assumed the forum as a whole will address some broad topic such as atheism, philosophy, politics etc.



General Discussion

In the Hypothetical Forum described here there is what we can call a General Discussion section which operates just like all the forums members are used to experiencing.

Pretty much anyone can join the conversations and say pretty much anything, with the usual exceptions of spam, porn, extreme hate and poor behavior etc.

The General Discussion section provides all members, especially new ones, with a familiar experience. The values of democratic inclusiveness, free speech etc are maximized in this section.


Special Guests

As the forum owner and mods discover members in General Discussion who consistently demonstrate a good example of the qualities they would hope to see in many members of their forum, such members are promoted and awarded with a title such as "Special Guest".

Special Guests are offered their own room to manage. Their room effectively becomes their own little forum (within the forum as a whole) where they decide what topics will be addressed, who shall participate, and what posts will be published.

Special Guests are given these significantly enhanced powers within a limited section of the forum, but are still bound by the overall policies of the forum and rulings by the mods.

Special Guests can use their enhanced powers to craft a unique reading/writing experience within the forum. Each Special Guest will have their own editing policies, their own topic interests, their own diplomatic style etc. That is, the Special Guests are now not just writers, but editors.

The Special Guest concept gives all members of the forum a living example of what kind of behavior will be rewarded by the forum owner. Because the increased powers are significant, some regular members will be inspired to raise their game to meet the higher standard and receive the rewards.

This contrasts with the usual forum experience, where there is typically little to no reward for high quality participation, and no significant disincentive for low quality participation, an arrangement that human behavior expert B.F. Skinner would most likely frown upon.

In addition, the forum owner and mods obtain greater negotiation leverage in their relationship with members, because they are now offering something not easily available for free in a thousand other places.

The creation of Special Guest rooms would ideally create a variety of reading/writing experiences for forum members, and perhaps introduce the same kind of healthy competition that exists between publications in the "real world".

If a Special Guest couldn't or wouldn't rise to the challenge of providing an interesting experience, their room would die in the member marketplace.


Forum Organization

Such a forum would be organized more by people than topic. Visitors would select their favorite rooms and Special Guest personalities, much as we select our favorite magazines off the rack.

The forum owner could decree that all rooms by all Special Guests must in some way address an overall broad topic such as atheism. Or the focus could be broader such as, intellectual.


The Bottom Line

The bottom line is to create a significant incentive system, something beyond the somewhat empty likes and rep points, that inspires members to contribute in constructive ways that help the forum owner create a forum that everyone involved can be truly proud of.

The Special Guest system would create a somewhat unique forum that is not almost exactly like all the other forums in that niche, and this relative uniqueness would help fuel word of mouth marketing for the forum, as it would give people something to talk about.

So, if this should interest you, please talk.
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29-12-2014, 10:54 AM
RE: Forum Management Ponderings....
(29-12-2014 10:35 AM)FSM_scot Wrote:  [Image: pEgGhdX.jpg]

[Image: 70722b4e2773e04d72cef6d1be49ac4af63151d4...18aff1.jpg]

I was going to use that one.

[Image: Guilmon-41189.gif] https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCOW_Ioi2wtuPa88FvBmnBgQ my youtube
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29-12-2014, 10:56 AM
RE: Forum Management Ponderings....
What need would these enhancements serve?

"I don't mind being wrong...it's a time I get to learn something new..."
Me.
N.B: I routinely make edits to posts to correct grammar or spelling, or to restate a point more clearly. I only notify edits if they materially change meaning.
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29-12-2014, 11:06 AM
RE: Forum Management Ponderings....
(29-12-2014 10:56 AM)gofish! Wrote:  What need would these enhancements serve?

http://www.thethinkingatheist.com/forum/...#pid709428
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29-12-2014, 11:08 AM
RE: Forum Management Ponderings....
(29-12-2014 10:50 AM)Baba Bozo Wrote:  The following ideas address themselves to intellectual type forums on any topic. It's assumed the forum as a whole will address some broad topic such as atheism, philosophy, politics etc.



General Discussion

In the Hypothetical Forum described here there is what we can call a General Discussion section which operates just like all the forums members are used to experiencing.

Pretty much anyone can join the conversations and say pretty much anything, with the usual exceptions of spam, porn, extreme hate and poor behavior etc.

The General Discussion section provides all members, especially new ones, with a familiar experience. The values of democratic inclusiveness, free speech etc are maximized in this section.


Special Guests

As the forum owner and mods discover members in General Discussion who consistently demonstrate a good example of the qualities they would hope to see in many members of their forum, such members are promoted and awarded with a title such as "Special Guest".

Special Guests are offered their own room to manage. Their room effectively becomes their own little forum (within the forum as a whole) where they decide what topics will be addressed, who shall participate, and what posts will be published.

Special Guests are given these significantly enhanced powers within a limited section of the forum, but are still bound by the overall policies of the forum and rulings by the mods.

Special Guests can use their enhanced powers to craft a unique reading/writing experience within the forum. Each Special Guest will have their own editing policies, their own topic interests, their own diplomatic style etc. That is, the Special Guests are now not just writers, but editors.

The Special Guest concept gives all members of the forum a living example of what kind of behavior will be rewarded by the forum owner. Because the increased powers are significant, some regular members will be inspired to raise their game to meet the higher standard and receive the rewards.

This contrasts with the usual forum experience, where there is typically little to no reward for high quality participation, and no significant disincentive for low quality participation, an arrangement that human behavior expert B.F. Skinner would most likely frown upon.

In addition, the forum owner and mods obtain greater negotiation leverage in their relationship with members, because they are now offering something not easily available for free in a thousand other places.

The creation of Special Guest rooms would ideally create a variety of reading/writing experiences for forum members, and perhaps introduce the same kind of healthy competition that exists between publications in the "real world".

If a Special Guest couldn't or wouldn't rise to the challenge of providing an interesting experience, their room would die in the member marketplace.


Forum Organization

Such a forum would be organized more by people than topic. Visitors would select their favorite rooms and Special Guest personalities, much as we select our favorite magazines off the rack.

The forum owner could decree that all rooms by all Special Guests must in some way address an overall broad topic such as atheism. Or the focus could be broader such as, intellectual.


The Bottom Line

The bottom line is to create a significant incentive system, something beyond the somewhat empty likes and rep points, that inspires members to contribute in constructive ways that help the forum owner create a forum that everyone involved can be truly proud of.

The Special Guest system would create a somewhat unique forum that is not almost exactly like all the other forums in that niche, and this relative uniqueness would help fuel word of mouth marketing for the forum, as it would give people something to talk about.

So, if this should interest you, please talk.

So...Once again, you want everyone else to do the work required to make things the way you want them.
There's a shocker! Shocking
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