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To everyone who joined these forums at some point, and got discouraged by the negativity and left after a while (or even got literally scared off): I'm sorry.

I wasn't good enough at encouraging people to be kinder, and removing people who refuse to be kind. Encouraging people is hard, and removing people creates conflict, and I hate conflict... so that's why I wasn't better at it.

I was a very, very sensitive teen. The atmosphere of this forum as it is now, if it had existed in 1996, would probably have upset me far more than it would have helped.

I can handle quite a lot of negativity and even abuse now, but that isn't the point. I want to help people. I want to help the people who need it the most, and I want to help people like the 1996 version of me.

I'm still figuring out the best way to do that, but as it is now, these forums are doing more harm than good, and I can't keep running them.

Thank you to the few people who have tried to understand my point of view so far. I really, really appreciate you guys. You are beautiful people.

Everyone else: If after everything I've said so far, you still don't understand my motivations, I think it's unlikely that you will. We're just too different. Maybe someday in the future it might make sense, but until then, there's no point in arguing about it. I don't have the time or the energy for arguing anymore. I will focus my time and energy on people who support me, and those who need help.

-SoulRiser

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A couple of suggestions
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Bob Dole Offline
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Post: #1
A couple of suggestions

Hi SS,

This is FasterEddy, aka FightforRight, aka Anonymous1.0, aka HALCYON DREAMS. How's it going? The SS forums have cooled off quite a bit since the last bit of drama. However, I don't think that it will stay this way forever. I'm just going to drop off a few suggestions and offers that I wish you all to consider.

First off, the most important thing is a set of functional rules and FAQs that lets new members know what's up. Looks like we already have those, but uh, it kinda needs to be centralized more. For example, there's a set of the "rules" in the Welcoming Area, and there's another in Announcements. Each cover part of the rules, but not the whole thing. I'll actually make a little compounded list right here (with a few additions).

Quote:The rules

# Be yourself
# Try to use proper spelling, punctuation and grammar as much as possible.
# Try to post in the most appropriate forum, and try not to make discussions go off-topic - rather start a new thread. Just quote what you want to respond to in a new topic, and call it something like "In reply to 'original topic name'". (erm. While done with good intentions, this will likely just cause a mass of threads. A thread going off-topic is fine, and anyone who wants to can get it right back on topic again).
# Please don't post personally identifiable information about yourself or anyone else here (real names, phone numbers, etc). You never know who might be reading. Also, it's a good way to cause drama. And drama is poison.
# Don't post porn or anything else illegal. We can get into trouble if you do this.
# Please report posts that go off-topic or that contain any of the things listed above (personal info, thread in wrong forum, illegal stuff). You can do this by simply clicking the "report post" button which is at the bottom of each post. We don't always see absolutely everything that everyone posts here, so a little help spotting things is appreciated. (I hate to say this, but if members aren't constantly reminded of this, they'll usually forget about the report button. Also, while I was a moderator/admin, I don't think anybody really used the reports that came in. We just scanned the forums and read the threads. And on the rare occasion that we did miss something, we were PMed by somebody who had noticed it.)
# Have the title be relevant and informative.
# Post a small paragraph. Don't expect feedback if you haven't said something of interest.
# Be comprehensible.
# DO NOT link to things without a description of the link or anything of your own to say.
# Check if there's already a topic on it with the search feature.
# Read the other posts before you post (unless the topic is really really long).

Welcome to School Survival! Pirate

First off, no matter who you are, you're welcome here. You can say whatever you want, whenever you want, just not whereever you want (more on that later). This forum strongly supports free speech - your opinions will not be censored no matter how ridiculously stupid they may or may not be, but we also won't censor anyone who doesn't like what you say (however, if you want to fight with someone, please keep it in the Frag Arena). Also, if you want to post something totally retarded and nonsensical, keep it in the Recycle Bin. More on that later.

Legal Disclaimer! The content of this website is not controlled by the owner or webmaster of this website. If you decide to do any of the things posted here you are acting on your behalf. We will not be liable for your stupid behavior!

Now that that's out of the way... onto the interesting stuff.

If you're new here, you can introduce yourself in the Welcome Forum, or you can post about your school in School Talk.

Just for the sake of keeping things neat, if you want to start a topic about something specific, search the forums to see if it's already been done before, and add your comments to the existing thread rather than create a new one about the same thing. But if you don't, it's no big deal either. There are some things we never get tired of discussing over and over again Smile

If you want to know how to do something on the forum, check the forum FAQ first, and if that doesn't answer your question, you can check or ask in here.

A few questions and answers:

How to put in an avatar
How to put pictures in your signature
My post went missing! Where is it?!

Rank system:

You'll notice a "rank" below your name next to every post you make. Most of the time, this is related to how many posts you have, but some people have their own custom ones. Only admins can add custom ones, so if you want one you'll have to beg an admin to give it to you (it's a bit of effort and we're mostly pretty lazy) Biggrin

Here's a list of the normal "ranks" and how many posts you need to get it:
Code:
Defiant 1
Rebel 10
Renegade 50
Revolutionary 100
Pariah 200
Prodigy 300
Fanatic 500
Heretic 1000


Changing your username:

You can change your name anytime you want by editing your profile. Just keep in mind if you've made a few posts already you will most likely confuse everyone who was used to your old name, so it'd be nice if you could keep your old name in your signature until everyone adjusts Razz

Mailing List:

We send out a newsletter every once in a while (more or less weekly) with links to the most thought-provoking threads that are active, as well as general forum news, if there is any. Go to this page to join the "Mailing List" group if you're interested in receiving the newsletter by email. You can always opt out later if you want to. You can get back issues of the newsletter here.

Admins and Moderators:

If you need to contact an admin or moderator, here they are:

SoulRiser (site founder)
View full list of admins & moderators

Our posting "policy":

This is just to give you a vague idea of how these forums work, none of this is really strict "policy". We will never censor anything anyone says, or ban anyone for having an offensive opinion. Anyone can say whatever they want. It'd be nice if you tried to keep it in the most appropriate forum, but if you don't, one of the mods will likely move it there.

Things you should never post here:

There are only a few things you should never post anywhere here:

* Your, or anyone else's real name, email, address, phone numbers, etc. Bad things can happen if you do this.
* Porn, because it's illegal and can get us in trouble.
* Any really gruesome or disgusting image... actually, you can post these, since they're not illegal, but only in the Recycle Bin forum, and you must put a clear warning in the title so people don't die of shock if they open it by accident. Also, use the 'hidden' tag so it will only be displayed if someone clicks the button on purpose.

Please note that posting information about illegal activities will be moved to a special forum where it's out of public view. We only do that to avoid giving people ideas, because discussing illegal stuff isn't actually illegal on its own. It's only illegal when you act on it. The more people who can see it, the more of a chance there is of some random idiot doing something stupid and then blaming it on us. That would be bad. So we keep it out of sight.

The only exceptions to the "anyone can say what they want" thing are:

* Spammers
* People who only join to try and mess up the forum (usually by spamming large amounts of disgusting pictures all over the place, which pretty much puts them in the same category as spammers)
* Trolls may or may not find their posts being moved to the Recycle Bin or Frag Arena, depending on what they do. Trolls may also be temporarily banned or otherwise messed with... depending on what they do and how we feel like reacting at the time. (If you don't know what a troll is, feel free to ignore this point)


UPDATE: July 2008

We had to change things a bit because there were too many people making totally retarded posts, and it was driving the more intelligent members insane (literally)... so we had to add a few extra guidelines:

Retarded Posts

Retarded posts will now be mercilessly moved to the Recycle Bin, without any concern as to how relevant they may be in whichever forum they're currently in. What's a retarded post? Things like:

i h8 my teechers dey shud all die!!!1

burn da skool down! blow it up!


[massive barrage of angry smileys, usually in combination with the above]

Basically, anything that makes the poster look like a brain-dead monkey on crack. This actually doesn't really include grammar and spelling issues, because you can have terrible grammar but still actually say something intelligent. It's just that whenever someone uses bad grammar, it reminds people of the types of retarded posts listed above, and they will associate your post with brain-dead monkeys on crack, even if you aren't one. So if this happens to you, and your post gets moved to the Recycle Bin, we won't move it back until you fix it.

If you want to vent and rant...

You can vent and rant all you want, but you have to follow these steps before you can post:
1. Open Notepad
2. Type what you want to post
3. Press Enter twice
4. Bash your keyboard repeatedly until you're exhausted and your fingers hurt
5. Close Notepad without saving
6. Now, you can post... if you still want to

The point of this exercise is to encourage people to use actual descriptive sentences when venting their frustrations, instead of typing random things and using lots of angry smileys.

Grammar and Spelling

It doesn't matter as long as it's readable. Note: readable, not decipherable. That means it should be able to be read relatively easily. That means you have to use punctuation and vowels. Razz
It doesn't have to be perfect, it just has to make sense, otherwise most people will ignore your post and it will probably end up in the Recycle Bin. And we won't move it back until you fix it. There's a spellchecker built into the posting box, so use it if you need to Smile
I'd recommend rearranging the list a bit.

I think that would be a great step in the right direction for helping new members ease on in. Also, it would probably be a good idea to have the thread in either the Welcome! forum or the Announcements forum and a link in the other to the actual topic. It's not really that major an issue, I just feel that a bit of consolidation is in order. Nobody likes having to track down a dozen different topics after they join a forum.



Okay, my second suggestion is to have an established chain of command going. Whenever something bad happens, there's always confusion. There needs to be some sort of established hierarchy so that things are handled efficiently. I would personally suggest that if a user has a problem, they should report it to a mod, if the mod can't solve the problem, they should report it to an admin, and if the admin is helpless, they should report it to Soulriser. And this is just an add on suggestion, but having somebody like fist or Cory to run things should Soulriser be missing for whatever reason might be a good idea.

The third idea is just to have GOOD mods and admins. This idea has a number of facets.

There should be a clear understanding of who does what. Mods should mainly keep the forums clean of clutter and in order. Admins should act as supermods and only have to use their admin abilities when spamming starts or things really start going south. Or to change user titles or assist in technical matters.

Also, I think it would be a good idea to have visible moderation. I don't remember whether or not there's a bar where you can put the reason you moderated a post, but putting that or something like it into use more would definitely be a good idea. So, say, next time Wolfeh has to ban somebody, he can put his reasons in the reason field. Like, "s/he spammed the same thing over five threads and ignored repeated requests to stop." And in whatever post warranted the ban, a (user was banned for this post) can be put up, just to show that mods and admins are indeed doing their job and that they do know what they're doing. I feel it would remove a lot of animosity and ambiguity whenever tempers flare and people get irrational. It would also make it so that the mods/admins don't have to listen to a barrage of "the admins and mods aren't doing anything." every so often. That was the thing that got on my nerves the most when I was an admin or mod. Trust me, the admins and mods do quite a bit. You just don't see most of it.

Also key to a good staff of admins/mods is the ability to think rationally and be impartial. Yeah, people have gotten pissed off at each other here before. Things were said and done that were not neccessary and only contributed to drama. Admins and mods, before you take an action, take a step back and try to think, "Is what I'm doing going to cause more drama and misery for everyone?" and "Am I doing this to keep the forum running smoothly or because I want to?" I don't doubt for a second that people will no doubt get pissy again. Just walk away from the computer for a bit, sit down and think.

Probably one of the more important things, though, is the actual ability to moderate things. Your job is to maintain peace and happiness throughout the forum. Your only weapons are not the banhammer and the ability to edit posts. Moderating like that is a good way to have chaos and pandemonium in the forums that's raging out of your control. You have influence, use it. Use the voice of reason and be gentle in how you handle complicated issues. Using a sledgehammer to drive in a nail might work, but the collateral damage isn't exactly worth it. As a former troll and former admin, I think I can help any admins/mods who want to brush up on these so-called "soft skills". I'll teach you how to pick out trolls better, how to determine if a person is using multiple sockpuppets with proxies to mess with you, or even their location and how to recognize different writing styles as belonging to the same person. I can also teach people how to get rid of raiders quickly. I can teach you how to handle complicated issues without drama. Basically, I can teach you everything you need to know about moderating a forum. So yeah, if you think you could do with some brushing up, just PM me.

K
S
08-29-2009 10:06 PM
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psychopath Offline
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Post: #2
Re: A couple of suggestions

I like to rape dead kittens
08-29-2009 11:10 PM
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IllusoryDeath Away
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Post: #3
Re: A couple of suggestions

Quote:# Please report posts that go off-topic or that contain any of the things listed above (personal info, thread in wrong forum, illegal stuff). You can do this by simply clicking the "report post" button which is at the bottom of each post. We don't always see absolutely everything that everyone posts here, so a little help spotting things is appreciated. (I hate to say this, but if members aren't constantly reminded of this, they'll usually forget about the report button. Also, while I was a moderator/admin, I don't think anybody really used the reports that came in. We just scanned the forums and read the threads. And on the rare occasion that we did miss something, we were PMed by somebody who had noticed it.)

I remember seeing it when I first joined, but then when the spammers/trolls came around, I just completely forgot about it. Might have been helpful. >.>

BTW, very nice post, HALCYON DREAMS.
08-30-2009 01:02 AM
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AWOL Offline
The Spooning Bard

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Post: #4
Re: A couple of suggestions

Your post has been reported.

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08-30-2009 10:35 AM
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monkey Away
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Post: #5
Re: A couple of suggestions

Lol normal ranks? Anyone still have those?

Had to move on. Account is dead.
08-30-2009 07:27 PM
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random_name Offline
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Post: #6
Re: A couple of suggestions

Yeah, a couple of people.

Nice post, HALCYON. This was necessary.

Hidden stuff:
"A 'no' uttered from deepest conviction is better and greater than a 'yes' merely uttered to please, or what is worse, to avoid trouble." - Mahatma Gandhi

"The irrationality of a thing is no argument against its existence, rather a condition of it."

"Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy."
-Ben Franklin

"when I was a kid I used to pray for a bicycle. then I realized that god doesn't work that way. so I stole one and prayed for forgiveness."
"I would rather die for something I believe in than live for anything else."
"What is the task of higher education? To make a man into a machine. What are the means employed? He is taught how to suffer being bored." – F W Nietzsche
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08-30-2009 09:32 PM
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IllusoryDeath Away
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Post: #7
Re: A couple of suggestions

--monkey666-- Wrote:Lol normal ranks? Anyone still have those?

Oui.
08-31-2009 12:17 AM
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Desu Offline
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Post: #8
Re: A couple of suggestions

Honestly I think the biggest cause of shitstorms (and in many other communities) is a battle between these groups:

"NO THE FORUMS ARE DECLINING, IT'S GETTING STUPID" <<< usually the older members
"stfu, then why don't you make non-retarded posts? Seriously you should GTFO if you don't like it."

I'm not saying which one is right. Actually, I think both are wrong. If a community sucks, your complaints are as futile as telling North Korea to liberate their people. Not gonna happen.

I've seen this happen even on a site like sankakucomplex.com full of people who only talk about anime porn all day. You would think people there wouldn't complain about 'standards', but it happened.

The only way to "improve" a community, would be to totally change the people within it. This won't happen, so you might as well just not worry about it and either:
- Accept the environment.
- Leave.

Another thing is mod behavior. I don't think mods should necessarily be "role models", but just regular posters, except they have special powers to... moderate. Mods should never use mod powers to screw around with people though. This is beyond annoying and will cause another LOL ELITE MODS shitstorm.

RIP GORE GOROTH

He was an hero. He will always be remembered.
08-31-2009 10:20 AM
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Bob Dole Offline
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Post: #9
Re: A couple of suggestions

Aye. I'd too would say that both groups are wrong. The past is usually viewed through rosy glasses.

The thing is, nobody is really right. It's just a matter of culture. Differences in culture between the two groups cause people to get pissy at each other, people ally themselves with one or the other, and then before you know it, a small disagreement mushrooms into a flamewar of epic proportions faster than WWI.

I was actually talking to a very old member of this site, left before I even joined. He said the reason that he left was because he didn't like the members. Haha. It's a vicious cycle, it seems. And in a year or two, the ones who felt that they were being oppressed will be bitching about the new members.

Shitstorms will still happen. Accept it as a fact of life. People won't step back and examine their positions rationally until it's too late.

As for mods, they shouldn't act as role models. They should just be there to help keep the forums functioning cleanly. However, if they see a shitstorm coming, they should do their best to defuse the situation or to minimize the impact on the forums. Hell, everyone should do that.

I still think that the mods should have a little more concrete idea of what to do if something bad does happen.

K
S
08-31-2009 02:43 PM
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AWOL Offline
The Spooning Bard

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Post: #10
Re: A couple of suggestions

Someone posted a link to this site on /b/.

MAN THE HATCHES!!! BOARD THE WINDOWS! LAY THE MINDS! WHITE PEOPLE FIRST! EVERY BLACK FOR THEMSELVES!

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08-31-2009 03:52 PM
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SoulRiser Offline
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Post: #11
Re: A couple of suggestions

Good suggestions thar. The 'readme' topics could do with some better organization... *adds to to-do list*

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09-02-2009 05:04 AM
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