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Discussing the new guidelines
Topic Started: Mar 2 2008, 05:27 PM (10,253 Views)
fantasy221
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There's been requests for a thread to be opened for people to discuss the new board Guidelines. This is where all discussion should take place. I've posted a FAQ (see here) based on the questions we've already received. If anyone has any other further questions, they can be posted here, or PM'd to any of the mods. While we intend the purpose of this thread to be used as a space to get clarification, we know that you guys will likely chime in with your likes and dislikes of the new policy. We can't guarantee that any changes will be made but know that we promise to listen carefully and consider any well-reasoned suggestions amongst ourselves.
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HoserLauren
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Well... I still have a question that hasn't been answered in the new FAQs :)

What exactly constitutes giving someone a "strike"? The only thing that was described is "antagonizing behavior". What exactly is that?

I know this is a space for getting clarification, but since you are expecting people to chime in with likes/dislikes I might as well. I'm not the biggest fan of this strike thing. I'm sorry but it seems to me like one mod got mad recently then all of the sudden these rules popped up. On such a site where most major decisions have been public, I guess I'm a little disappointed that this just appeared out of the blue as messages handed down by the mods. :shrug:
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fantasy221
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HoserLauren
Mar 2 2008, 08:13 PM
I'm sorry but it seems to me like one mod got mad recently then all of the sudden these rules popped up.

The guidelines grew out of a situation between two members recently that had grown out of hand. The mods felt that there needed to be some kind of written rules that we could apply to everyone. I'm the one posting these but they aren't MY rules - all of us had our say in crafting them.
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CdnBlueRose
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I'd like to say as well that these didn't pop up all of a sudden. There have been a few instances in the past where members have complained to moderators about another member's behavior, but things were always settled relatively simply. However, we recently got to the point where we felt some guidelines needed to be in place to ensure situations are handled as consistently as possible going forward.

Also, I don't believe it would serve good purpose for us to narrowly define "antagonizing behavior", as what would antagonize me and drive me to tears and sleepless nights may not bother the next person at all, and vice versa. In general terms, any member who sends harassing emails and/or PM's to another - correspondence that is hurtful, vengeful, nasty, etc. - that would be an example of antagonizing behavior.
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meshe
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I'm in agreement with rules 1 - 3, but am a little bit 'put off' by rule 4. It seems that in the past this type of behavior has been handled by the mods and the members who were involved and the rest of us were oblivious. I like to be oblivious :D and I think that rule #4 will only cause more hard feelings. Who do we go to when a mod is 'out of line'? Who decided that the mods should be the ones to make all the decisions? Do the mods own this site and get to make all the decisions without discussion among the members? I realize that we needed the rules 1 - 3 and I believe those have been thoroughly discussed, but I'm very uncomfortable with the last rule and the way it was handed to the lowly members. And yes, that's how it makes me feel. As if I'm not important and my opinion isn't important. I appreciate all the hard work that's gone into the database for the swaps. I think it's absolutely awesome. I wish I had enough knowledge to do something like that, but I don't. My 2 cents worth and only my opinion, but I felt the need to express it. Not to be a smart ass, but did I just violate rule #4? (okay, maybe this is a tad bit smart assy :lol: !!)
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Marlene
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well I am a lowly? member too Meshe. :rolleyes: :lol:
I had no clue that all this kind of stuff was going on behind the scenes.
That is why I was shocked to see the message about punishing system, strikes and stuff.

So I have no idea who we are talking about, what the discussion was about.
At first I thought you guys meant the discussion Nursie and me had, but I know I never send nasty pm's and she did not sent those either.


We used to be an open group. discussions were fought in the open.
I am not a big pmer with the mods, so I am oblivious to what is going on behind the scenes it seems.

It just feels weird. I can totally understand the other 3 points but I am sad.

Just wondering, maybe people started to pm because heated threads were closed?
this is a question.

where is the time where we did everything together? as a group? decide stuff. :cry:

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Potok-fan
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CdnBlueRose
Mar 3 2008, 04:06 AM
Also, I don't believe it would serve good purpose for us to narrowly define "antagonizing behavior",
In general terms, any member who sends harassing emails and/or PM's to another - correspondence that is hurtful, vengeful, nasty, etc. - that would be an example of antagonizing behavior.

I agree with that, and so I'd like to see rule 4 re-written a little, because right now it says
Quote:
 
sometimes personalities can clash. If this should happen, either party (but preferably both), should notify the mod team at the first sign of trouble.


What's the first sign of trouble? Just a personality clash? One time, somebody disagreed with something I'd written here, too sharply I thought. I felt they were too emphatic about what a bad person I sounded like.

At least that's how I read it at the time. What I did was just to walk away and tell myself I was not going to respond and just stopped reading that thread altogether. Now I feel fine about it and I don't even feel bad about that BOer anymore. (so I hope that it's ok to raise this as an example - please don't try to figure out who it was. You'll probably all be on their side anyway :lol: )

It was just a stupid minor thing, but of course it *could* have blown up into a THING. Was me disagreeing the "first sign of trouble"? If I'd posted a forum post asking for clarification, "I understand this to mean you think I'm a bad person - is that true?" would that be the first sign? What if I'd PMed to say "I wanted to let you know that I was offended by what you wrote in the forum, because blah blah blah"? At what point do we call in the mods?

If we do need rule 4 I'd much prefer one that says something like If you start to get harassing emails and/or PM's - correspondence that is hurtful, vengeful, nasty, etc. - then contact one of the moderators.
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fantasy221
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meshe
Mar 3 2008, 06:52 AM
I'm in agreement with rules 1 - 3, but am a little bit 'put off' by rule 4. It seems that in the past this type of behavior has been handled by the mods and the members who were involved and the rest of us were oblivious. I like to be oblivious :D

You'll still be oblivious :D

I think the thing with the 4th guideline is that we realized that we couldn't hold someone accountable for breaking a rule that they didn't know about, which is why they're now posted for everyone to see. But I think if you look at it, we're not really asking anyone to do anything that 1) they don't do anyway or 2) isn't common sense. The only thing that's really "new" are the repercussions.
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msjoanna
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The general understanding that I've gotten from lots of places on the board is that "a reasonable amount of time" is generally understood to be approximately six months. I don't actually see that referenced in the rules. Is that understanding accurate re: offering TBRs?

Thanks for the new database. It's great to have this info collected for me. I'll be double thrilled if the relays are eventually added and/or if I have the ability to add records of owed books myself. So much more convenient than my ever-changing post in the Owed TBRs thread.
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CheriePie
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msjoanna
Mar 4 2008, 06:51 PM
Thanks for the new database.  It's great to have this info collected for me.  I'll be double thrilled if the relays are eventually added and/or if I have the ability to add records of owed books myself.  So much more convenient than my ever-changing post in the Owed TBRs thread.

As soon as I find time, the ability to add your own records, such as for private swaps and such, will soon be available, hopefully by the end of the week. :grin:
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CheriePie
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msjoanna
Mar 4 2008, 06:51 PM
The general understanding that I've gotten from lots of places on the board is that "a reasonable amount of time" is generally understood to be approximately six months.  I don't actually see that referenced in the rules.  Is that understanding accurate re: offering TBRs?

The mods have been discussing this separately. Want to go check there and see what's been decided first before saying anything here.

Personally, I feel we shouldn't dictate rules for who can and can't play in a swap except in extreme circumstances. And that swap hosts should use the info available in the Owed Books Database to determine if they want to allow a particular member to swap. But I don't feel imposing any such rules that leave little to no room for interpretation are conducive to the environment here, which others already feel are becoming stifling enough.

That said, I believe that on a personal level, everyone should shoot for at least a 6 month turnaround, and that they should reel themselves in on their own if they're falling too far short of that.


ETA - The above is only my opinion, as posed to the other mods. As I said we're still discussing it behind the scenes, but I wanted to make sure I stressed that the above is my standing on it FWIW.
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AceofHearts
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I agree with a lot of what Meshe said. I also do not like the way that rule #4 was handed down. I am a non-confrontationalist by nature but I was involved in a very ugly situation on the old site and was threatened with being sued. I would have received a strike and it really was just a difference of opinion. So having said that, I would hate to see a person take something the wrong way and then get a strike out of vengeance.

My suggestion to combat this would be: all the mods unless one is involved have to agree unanimously have to agree to the strike

I am however uncomfortable with the whole thing
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chambejd
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CheriePie
Mar 4 2008, 07:08 PM
msjoanna
Mar 4 2008, 06:51 PM
The general understanding that I've gotten from lots of places on the board is that "a reasonable amount of time" is generally understood to be approximately six months.  I don't actually see that referenced in the rules.  Is that understanding accurate re: offering TBRs?

The mods have been discussing this separately. Want to go check there and see what's been decided first before saying anything here.

Personally, I feel we shouldn't dictate rules for who can and can't play in a swap except in extreme circumstances. And that swap hosts should use the info available in the Owed Books Database to determine if they want to allow a particular member to swap. But I don't feel imposing any such rules that leave little to no room for interpretation are conducive to the environment here, which others already feel are becoming stifling enough.

That said, I believe that on a personal level, everyone should shoot for at least a 6 month turnaround, and that they should reel themselves in on their own if they're falling too far short of that.

(I think) I feel the opposite about establishing rules for who can and can't play in swaps. I prefer to know exactly what is expected of me and what the rules are. Allowing the swap hosts to be subjective person to person opens the door for inconsistancy. One person could be allowed to play but another could be singled out and not allowed to play even though they owe books from the same timeframe. Or say one person owes one book longer than seven months and another owes five books longer than six months... and only one of them is allowed to play. People could let their personal feelings influence who they let play and feelings could get hurt. At least when you know the rules, you won't have to wonder... Is this swap host is going to let me play?
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Marlene
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Yes I also think 6 months should be enough time to send out your owed books.
And I have been there, depressed, lots of problems but because I know this about me I really try not to owe too many books.

A little self restriction is expected, we are all adults. I know how addicting swapping is :bananadance: but we are always willing to help out if someone gets behind. as is prove if you check the board now

(My English sentences are not working as I want them to today)


Ace. Sued? :o :blink: :ph34r: WTH. So much stuff is going on behind the scenes. That is why I maybe prefer to discuss stuff in the open (in an adult way)

How many mods do we have? I think what you are suggesting is a good point although it still feels a bit weird.
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CdnBlueRose
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Marlene
Mar 5 2008, 03:03 AM

How many mods do we have? I think what you are suggesting is a good point although it still feels a bit weird.

There are 5: Cherie and cheesygiraffe are Admins, Giz-Angel, fantasy221, and myself are Moderators.

The decision to give someone a strike must be unanimous - I believe that is stated in the Q&A portion of the guidelines.

:)
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Sunny
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I must admit to feeling slightly po'd that these rules appeared with so little consultation with the rest of the members. ( I am however, very precious, so it probably says more about me than the mods!)

However, I also understand the need to publish these rules so that non-one can say they weren't aware it was inappropriate to hassle someone by pm. :whistle:

This has always been a fairly relaxed community and we have survived until now without strict edicts. Clearly some people can't behave themselves without rules so some have been put in place. I'm not delighted about it but I do see the reasons why.

As Spiderman's Uncle Ben says "With great power comes great responsibility". :giggle:
My impression is that the mods are not particularly relishing handing down these rules but that they are doing so to make the community a better place for everyone.

BTW, I don't 'think' rule 4 is taking about heated discussions in threads, otherwise most of us, including some of the mods :giggle: would be out on our ears!
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Potok-fan
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Sunlightbub
Mar 5 2008, 07:25 PM
BTW, I don't 'think' rule 4 is taking about heated discussions in threads, otherwise most of us, including some of the mods :giggle: would be out on our ears!

Nicely put :giggle:

But for that reason I really would like to see it re-phrased. Right now it's more or less saying "Notify the mod team at the first sign of clashing personalities."

And although most of us would agree that it should be obvious that isn't what they meant, well, most of us would also agree that we should already know how to "play nice", but the need for these rules says otherwise.

:2cents:
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meshe
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I don't think rule #4 is needed at all. We are all adults here. I don't need the mods to tell me how to behave. I had no voice in who was appointed a moderator so I don't relish the idea of them handing down edicts. This isn't a stab at any of the moderators, I'm sure they are all nice people, but who died and left them in charge? Anytime a group of people decide they are in charge, the remainder are going to feel like they have no voice and as such they aren't as important as the group in charge. I thought the admins and mods were initially intended only to do maintenance type work, not 'police' the joint. But again, that's only my opinion.


I was also wondering why this topic wasn't pinned in all the forums like the rules and stuff so that more people would see it and more discussion could take place?????
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CheriePie
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Unfortunately, as much as we'd all like to wish it were so, the world is not a perfect utopia. Anarchy does not work. In any community, whether online or real-life, there are certain implied guidelines in place, whether people realize it or not. For example, it's against "the rules" to walk into a book club meeting at someone's house and start harassing the host for no good reason. Did everyone sign such an agreement before they visited this person's house? No, but such behavior as this is pretty much always implied, and usually understood.

Unfortunately, the Internet, with the certain level of anonymity afforded it's users, can sometimes bring out the "not so nice" side of people. Many people who are shy or reserved in real life may feel no qualms about "Cyber bullying" another individual, especially if they're having a bad day themselves. The phenomenon of Cyber bullying is not a new one, whether people would like to believe it or not. Take into account that our world today is probably at least 500 times more violent that it was a century ago, and it's easy to see why the concept of Cyber Bullying has become such a big deal.

Anyway, for any online group to survive, and keep it's members happy, certain implied guidelines should be followed, similar to the example I gave above. But when things happen and people start ignoring the implied guidelines, then obviously things have to be put in writing so no one can later claim they didn't know they weren't supposed to do that.

I can't think that anyone would see the guidelines as "policing the joint" simply because, if you're a good cyber citizen, they should be guidelines you're automatically following while you're here anyway. But I will stress again, we are not a private island utopia, free from all the outside influences in the world around us. And as unappealing as it might sound, a few people here have been harassed, which led to the need to put some things down on paper.

I hope that helps you see it from a better point of view, for what it's worth. :hug:



PS - As for why this wasn't pinned, I suspect because it's a Discussion as opposed to an Announcement.
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ladiibbug
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AceofHearts
Mar 5 2008, 01:33 AM
I agree with a lot of what Meshe said. I also do not like the way that rule #4 was handed down. I am a non-confrontationalist by nature but I was involved in a very ugly situation on the old site and was threatened with being sued. I would have received a strike and it really was just a difference of opinion. So having said that, I would hate to see a person take something the wrong way and then get a strike out of vengeance.

My suggestion to combat this would be: all the mods unless one is involved have to agree unanimously have to agree to the strike

I am however uncomfortable with the whole thing

Ace ~

Are you serious?! :o By "old site" do you mean Book Relay? That's crazy!

Or maybe it was some bad mojo that came to book relay from the Mother Site? :wink:

Like you're so rowdy on the board! :wacko: :hug:
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