The State of the Community

Topics about events/announcements that are no longer relevant.
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Shadow Yoshi
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The State of the Community

Postby Shadow Yoshi » Mon May 25, 2015 12:49 pm

We've had enough drama threads recently that I think it's time I share my opinions on what needs to be done to make the SMBX community a better place.

I'm going to start out by saying that very few of our problems exist with the new members that are coming in. Sure, we get people that are really immature and break the rules as soon as they join, and I'm sure we could deal with those people in a better way. At the end of the day, though, it's not as important as the other things happening here. We're welcoming to incoming members and I think some of the other issues with new users will be more easily fixable when we take care of the main problems here.

It's not quite as simple as "there's a disconnect between the users and the staff". We can't attribute everything wrong simply to the relationship between the staff and the rest of the community. There are individual problems that the userbase has and some that the staff has as well, and fixing those problems will mend the relationship.

I'm going to organize this in two lists - one for what the userbase needs to do, and one for the staff.

What the members of the community (you) need to do to make this community better:
  • Stop caring about who does and doesn't have a staff position, and stop putting the staff on a pedestal. I think this is something that's really important. There is way too much focus on who has a green or red name. Now, I get it - having power can be a fun idea and it's something that people aspire to do. However, you need to not worry about it. Part of the reason the users and staff are somewhat separated is because you guys place so much emphasis on the value of being a staff member. While the staff do have a few more privileges than normal users do, obviously, we're members of the community and we'd love it if everyone would treat us that way.
  • Stop talking about banned users and, more importantly, don't try to dispute their bans. I really try to avoid pulling the "you should trust the staff because we make the right decisions" card, but it absolutely applies here. I'm sorry if the user in question was your friend, but if they receive a ban from the community then that means it was the best option for dealing with them.
  • Know that your way isn't always the best way. The staff is here to keep the community running and help it improve. We are, inevitably, going to disagree on some things. Disagreement is healthy for any community, but not when it gets to the point of needless arguments and drama. Once again, you should put some more trust into the staff; we're here because we generally know what's best for the community. We don't need scrutiny for every decision we make. It's tiring. Leave the staff things to us and worry about yourself first.
  • Remember that this is the internet, and that you shouldn't be so sensitive. I know that we're a community and that there are friendships built here, but at the end of the day this is the internet and you can close your browser at any time. Don't get me wrong, I love and welcome serious discussion about sensitive subjects; that's different from taking this whole place really seriously. It's a website. We're just here to have fun.
  • Be kind. Treat others the way you want to be treated. I understand that that's a rule you've (hopefully?) had drilled in your head your whole life, but it is relevant and important. We're not here to be mean to eachother, we're not here to have arguments, and we're not here to start drama and act immature. We're here because we enjoy this place and we want to keep it alive (and, of course, to talk about the game that brought us all here).
What the staff will do to make this community better:
  • Make sure that we're viewed as community members and not police officers. The staff shouldn't be distant from the users. This is a joint effort from everyone, really, but the staff can help out. We're not trying to act like your parents or your teachers. We're just here to keep the community running and, when necessary, make decisions in its best interest.
  • Make sure that we're approachable. We're your friends and we're here to help you out. If you have a problem, talk to us. We're members of this community just like you.
  • Make this place fun and enjoyable for everyone. That's kind of the point, right? Right.
Moving Forward
The end goal of the entire growth process of this community is to mature into a place where we can all talk about SMBX, video games, Mafia, and everything else that's going on. Can we already do that? Yes, to an extent, but everything here is really uptight. Users are quick to judge eachother and spark arguments, and some others are simply not mature enough to be here yet. So, the real goal is to have a place where we can hang out and do all those things without all the immaturity. Will we have arguments, drama, and problematic users? Yes, of course, and that's normal. Do we have way too much of it now? Yes. That's the problem. And the rest of this post is how we can fix it.


I wouldn't be here if I didn't think there was something good that could come of this community.

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Re: The State of the Community

Postby Aero » Mon May 25, 2015 1:26 pm

You covered a lot of what I said here, but in a listed format. The thing is though, is that anyone can call something a problem and the problem with that is people only give what they would do to fix the problem if a solution is added at all. This is why I think we should strictly enforce the "what would you like to see not what is wrong and needs to be changed" rule, so it leaves behind those argument bating threads in place of legitimate threads that can accomplish something. I know your opinion about the 100 pages "issue" but you can't deny that my thread which followed the rules got results, and was orderly while Deoxys' thread caused problems to the point where he was on watch and several other people were upset and all for what? Nothing. It was another argument that did not need to happen that would have been prevented if I didn't let people vent. The reaction is on me, sure, but the point is is that this is a clear example of how to do things right. We should have micro-democracy in that we see what people actually want to get rid of "a lot of people support this" rhetoric and get things taken care of if they need to be. That's the only democracy that should be here, because the staff is not a government and that goes to your pedestal point. The whole point of democracy is that people get to choose how their government works because they're under a governments force. This is a forum, and you can leave or stay as you wish until you break the rules. You can't exactly go to a different government every time you have a dispute which is why democracy it important. It's just more rhetoric people use to fight because democracy = good and anything else = bad.

All in all though, I agree with your post. I have to say though you say a lot needs to be done, but not how to do it. What's the game plan?

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Re: The State of the Community

Postby MistakesWereMade » Mon May 25, 2015 2:42 pm

i feel like

"Know that your way isn't always the best way. The staff is here to keep the community running and help it improve. We are, inevitably, going to disagree on some things. Disagreement is healthy for any community, but not when it gets to the point of needless arguments and drama. Once again, you should put some more trust into the staff; we're here because we generally know what's best for the community. We don't need scrutiny for every decision we make. It's tiring. Leave the staff things to us and worry about yourself first."

should also be added to the staff, considering the points i made in my topic, it's really not a "we know what's good for the community factor" when you ignore an official poll's result.

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Re: The State of the Community

Postby Shadow Yoshi » Mon May 25, 2015 3:02 pm

The game plan starts with the staff getting more involved in the community as it pertains to which users aren't willing to move forward in this direction. User cooperation is also important. If we want to make this place better, everyone has to be a part of the process.

Also, Nien, "what's best for the community" is not the same as "what community members voted for in a poll". If we made all of our decisions based on what the community wants at a given time, we get nowhere.

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Re: The State of the Community

Postby Superiorstar » Mon May 25, 2015 7:39 pm

If this is going be a thing we either get rid of this sticked topic or the entire forum altogether (Or lock it), I don't see why the two should exist at the same time, especially when we have many dramatic topics in that forum increasing really fast.
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Re: The State of the Community

Postby Zeldamaster12 » Mon May 25, 2015 7:41 pm

This is different than the ordinary controversial thread.
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Re: The State of the Community

Postby FallingSnow » Mon May 25, 2015 7:50 pm

Joey wrote:Also, Nien, "what's best for the community" is not the same as "what community members voted for in a poll". If we made all of our decisions based on what the community wants at a given time, we get nowhere.
We also get no where if what the community wants is never given. 8-)

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Re: The State of the Community

Postby Magician » Mon May 25, 2015 9:08 pm

Community opinions can be highly subject to change, dependant on who's active at the time of discussion. Not that I think that's a bad thing. It just means that it can be unproductive to go back and forth on certain policies when we can't reach an agreement. It's not just the staff, either—users will inevitably disagree even amongst themselves.

My opinion: Disagreements have been handled poorly on both sides of these issues, but if the staff continue to ban those who favour escalating situations, and as a result can avoid locking topics, fewer thread babysitting will be needed for productive conclusions to reached.

"Know that your way isn't always the best way" applies to everyone. With all due respect, the best way to find out the best way has always, always been to settle our differences by discussing it rationally. When has that ever not been the case? The internet forum construct is already set up to allow for that exact thing. Stonewalling/silencing discussion is an inherently escalating move, even when not intended to be. It creates a parent/child dynamic, supported by the regular reminder that this community is "immature". People need to learn to agree to disagree but you'll never know if people are capable of doing that if you don't trust them to find that inner maturity and talk it out in an unlocked topic.

This is not a counter-point to what you're saying; in fact I agree with most of it. It's just that I don't understand how you might think you are not contributing to a disconnect between users and staff when you devalue input and feedback in the manner that you do, by not allowing it to continue after you have gotten a word in.

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Re: The State of the Community

Postby Shadow Yoshi » Mon May 25, 2015 9:32 pm

Magician wrote:It's just that I don't understand how you might think you are not contributing to a disconnect between users and staff when you devalue input and feedback in the manner that you do, by not allowing it to continue after you have gotten a word in.
I never said that any specific group was or wasn't the sole cause of the disconnect between users and staff.

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Re: The State of the Community

Postby MistakesWereMade » Mon May 25, 2015 9:39 pm

Joey wrote: Also, Nien, "what's best for the community" is not the same as "what community members voted for in a poll". If we made all of our decisions based on what the community wants at a given time, we get nowhere.
Explain how? This community isn't going to go anywhere if you don't let it go into the direction it wants to go, not the direction you think is best for it, half the time you try and make descisions against what the community wants it just turns into a shitstorm, so i don't think your "we know what's best for the community" has applied for a long time.

Another thing is, the things you said about what the community needs to change in is extremely off-proportioned from what the staff promises to do.

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Re: The State of the Community

Postby Shadow Yoshi » Mon May 25, 2015 9:59 pm

Nien wrote:Explain how? This community isn't going to go anywhere if you don't let it go into the direction it wants to go, not the direction you think is best for it, half the time you try and make descisions against what the community wants it just turns into a shitstorm, so i don't think your "we know what's best for the community" has applied for a long time.
Remember how there were people at Knux's forum who were like "lol this is the best forum ever"? Remember how bad Knux's forum actually was? If we had let things stay that way, like some of the community wanted, then we wouldn't have ever gotten better. That's the best SMBX-related example I can think of, but I can provide an analogy-based example if necessary.

Also, the 100-page debacle was incredibly petty and I'd prefer we not dwell on that any further.
Nien wrote:Another thing is, the things you said about what the community needs to change in is extremely off-proportioned from what the staff promises to do.
You'll need to provide concrete examples for this claim.

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Re: The State of the Community

Postby MistakesWereMade » Mon May 25, 2015 10:15 pm

Joey wrote:
Nien wrote:Explain how? This community isn't going to go anywhere if you don't let it go into the direction it wants to go, not the direction you think is best for it, half the time you try and make descisions against what the community wants it just turns into a shitstorm, so i don't think your "we know what's best for the community" has applied for a long time.
Remember how there were people at Knux's forum who were like "lol this is the best forum ever"? Remember how bad Knux's forum actually was? If we had let things stay that way, like some of the community wanted, then we wouldn't have ever gotten better. That's the best SMBX-related example I can think of, but I can provide an analogy-based example if necessary.
There's a difference between making descisions that please the community/descisions that were asked for by the community and then just letting everyone troll the fuck out of everyone. I have yet to see any proof of your mindset actually making the community better, because, like i said, half the shit you've done against the community's desires have just lead to major shitstorms and utter discomfort.

Joey wrote:
Nien wrote:Another thing is, the things you said about what the community needs to change in is extremely off-proportioned from what the staff promises to do.
You'll need to provide concrete examples for this claim.
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literally all of this can be summed up in "you're all whiny we're good people"

And here, i'm going to get a quote from igno since i was discussing with him

Ignoritus Augma: tell joey that it's absurd to apply a parallel between "people didn't want to change and things could have been better" and "people DO want change but I think things are just fine as they are"
Ignoritus Augma: one implies sitting stagnant instead of actively trying to improve
Ignoritus Augma: even if it IS the best forum in the world
Ignoritus Augma: you should always try to improve on what flaws it does have
Ignoritus Augma: what he's doing now is dictating to the community where HE thinks it should improve
Ignoritus Augma: and resisting any change that HE doesn't think is necessary, regardless of whether or not it would improve the forums by the opinion of the majority of the users
Ignoritus Augma: which is ironically the same nonsensical excuse he gave for banning danny ("resisting change")

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Re: The State of the Community

Postby sleepy » Mon May 25, 2015 10:27 pm

why should community members have to do more work to improve the community than staff members?

imo we should do an equal amount of work to improve this place
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Re: The State of the Community

Postby Magician » Mon May 25, 2015 10:35 pm

Joey wrote:
Magician wrote:It's just that I don't understand how you might think you are not contributing to a disconnect between users and staff when you devalue input and feedback in the manner that you do, by not allowing it to continue after you have gotten a word in.
I never said that any specific group was or wasn't the sole cause of the disconnect between users and staff.
I never said that you said that.
And even if I did, that's an unfair, pointless, and unproductive thing for you to always focus on and take away from what I am saying.

Even if you never said it, nor implicitly expressed it, you're not saying anything at all by saying so. You're not even acknowledging the actual point of what I am saying. This is the exact kind of thing that escalates arguments because it's frustrating for the other person to deal with.
sleepy wrote:why should community members have to do more work to improve the community than staff members?

imo we should do an equal amount of work to improve this place
Technically what it's asking of the users is less work. Particularly the "stop caring, stop talking" parts would require zero effort from the users.

(Though I do agree with you)

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Re: The State of the Community

Postby Drluigi » Mon May 25, 2015 10:41 pm

sleepy wrote:why should community members have to do more work to improve the community than staff members?

imo we should do an equal amount of work to improve this place
This. Just because the admins are making the members behave a certain way, it doesn't mean that they'll not make fun of or judge each other outside of the forums. They could still be talking about people behind their backs on Skype, Steam, etc. If we want to resolve this drama, I believe that it's best that we all put our heads together and try to find the heart of why the drama exists in the first place as a COMMUNITY. We may think that it's because of one thing, but if multiple people tell their sides of a story and what they think the problem is, it can help them think harder about a certain conflict, and their views on the community and its people can change based on what they hear.
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Re: The State of the Community

Postby Shadow Yoshi » Mon May 25, 2015 11:26 pm

sleepy wrote:why should community members have to do more work to improve the community than staff members?
Because the staff team of this community generally doesn't have problems with sensitivity or obsessing over who is a staff member/banned, or other things that the userbase needs to fix.

We also have the job of steering things in the right direction and making possible the things the userbase needs to do.
sleepy wrote:imo we should do an equal amount of work to improve this place
If you have an actual plan you think we should put in place to achieve this, please share it with us instead of just saying "everyone should be equal because equality".
Nien wrote:I have yet to see any proof of your mindset actually making the community better, because, like i said, half the shit you've done against the community's desires have just lead to major shitstorms and utter discomfort.
Post examples or don't post.
Nien wrote:literally all of this can be summed up in "you're all whiny we're good people"
These generalizations are the kind of thing we don't need. If you're not going to offer anything to the discussion besides attempts to twist my words around, please just don't bother participating.
Drluigi wrote:This. Just because the admins are making the members behave a certain way, it doesn't mean that they'll not make fun of or judge each other outside of the forums. They could still be talking about people behind their backs on Skype, Steam, etc. If we want to resolve this drama, I believe that it's best that we all put our heads together and try to find the heart of why the drama exists in the first place as a COMMUNITY. We may think that it's because of one thing, but if multiple people tell their sides of a story and what they think the problem is, it can help them think harder about a certain conflict, and their views on the community and its people can change based on what they hear.
We have no control over (nor do we really care about) what users do outside of this community.

The heart of why the drama exists is because we have an immature userbase. I could go into further detail and mention how there's a disconnect between the users and the staff, how the lack of enforcement of common posting habit rules (especially among the SMBX-related forums) has contributed to the immaturity, and how people take things here way too seriously, but it all comes back to the fact that we have an immature userbase. The way to fix this problem and propel the SMBX community toward a better future is to follow what I've outlined in the first post.

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Re: The State of the Community

Postby MistakesWereMade » Mon May 25, 2015 11:36 pm

Joey wrote:
Nien wrote:I have yet to see any proof of your mindset actually making the community better, because, like i said, half the shit you've done against the community's desires have just lead to major shitstorms and utter discomfort.
Post examples or don't post.
It seems you might have forgotten about the entirety of this thread: http://www.supermariobrosx.org/forums/v ... =48&t=9950

75% of that thread i dedicate myself to posting examples, and for the love of fuck, while we do have an immature community, you really don't do much by just disregarding what they want because you /think/ you're the one that is going to take the good descisions for them and then tell that shit to their face bluntly (see your second point there), that just pisses people off, and by pissing people off you're not doing what was stated in the op:
Make this place fun and enjoyable for everyone. That's kind of the point, right? Right.

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Re: The State of the Community

Postby Shadow Yoshi » Mon May 25, 2015 11:48 pm

Telling the community to suck it up because it's, again, a really petty complaint that just shows how people unnecessarily take this place really seriously is not the same as perpetually "disregarding what the community wants".

Also, what you quoted was from last October when it was more relevant and/or not explained as well as it should've been.

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Re: The State of the Community

Postby MistakesWereMade » Tue May 26, 2015 12:01 am

Joey wrote:Telling the community to suck it up because it's, again, a really petty complaint that just shows how people unnecessarily take this place really seriously is not the same as perpetually "disregarding what the community wants".
"how people unecessarily take this place really seriously" If the community cares, then you should care, it's not on you to quantify the importance of the community's pleas.

Also, if it's actually petty, then just fucking do what the community wants, don't stick to your own ideals if you think it's petty.
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Re: The State of the Community

Postby Shadow Yoshi » Tue May 26, 2015 12:16 am

"how people unnecessarily take this place really seriously" is what I said, just so there's no misunderstanding.

We're stopping the 100-page discussion right now.


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