The way this Board is run

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The way this Board is run

Postby IanG » Sat Oct 22, 2011 10:39 pm UTC+00:00

There needs to be a serious overhaul of this board.

The software itself is 4 years out of date , open discussion of Moderator issues is censored, theres no clear delineation between Admin functions and Moderation so some Moderators post with full Admin status giving undue Red high lighting to mundane posts. That is ALL Admin/Moderatotors - DJ, Masch and JC.

If people post images they get told they are causing bandwidth problems, Avatars have to be so small they are almost impossible this is quite absurd. A Photography forum where images are frowned on.

My last post on this was very moderate and considered carefully before posting in a response to a comment by Andrew Plume which had resulted in a very personal attack from one of the Norther Clique, the whole thread was deleted bar the initial post.

All we want is a more open discussion forum. It would be great if we could have a say in who is or isn't a moderator.

There's too many things holding this board back, and if they aren't resolved than there's a serious risk of an alternative board being launched.

Those that run this board need to listen a little harder to the comments some of us make, we want the board to work and grow but you are holding it back.

Ian

PS: ASs threads like this get deleted I've saved the post :mrgreen:
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Re: The way this Board is run

Postby Joanna Carter » Sat Oct 22, 2011 11:54 pm UTC+00:00

IanG wrote:The software itself is 4 years out of date

We are running the latest version of phpBB. We (including DJ, our techie) do not see the benefit to migrate to any other software, as it has fully met our requirements from the day we started the forums.

IanG wrote:open discussion of Moderator issues is censored, theres no clear delineation between Admin functions and Moderation so some Moderators post with full Admin status giving undue Red high lighting to mundane posts. That is ALL Admin/Moderatotors - DJ, Masch and JC.

All founder members are, by default, administrators. Charles has already clarified this issue and it is not going to change.

IanG wrote:If people post images they get told they are causing bandwidth problems

While we are not paying for server space, we take and are grateful for what we can get from the good grace of our sponsor.

IanG wrote:Avatars have to be so small they are almost impossible this is quite absurd.

Like I said, we work with what we get for free.

IanG wrote:A Photography forum where images are frowned on.

You are free to post links to images hosted elsewhere, we just cannot support the attachment of large images in the database for several reasons, one of which is that we have members who are not on fast internet connections and large images cause unreasonable time lag in displaying pages.

IanG wrote:My last post on this was very moderate and considered carefully before posting in a response to a comment by Andrew Plume which had resulted in a very personal attack from one of the Norther Clique, the whole thread was deleted bar the initial post.

Andrew Plume has made several personal attacks, not only on me but also other members. As Charles states, he is under warning and an apology has been sought. The thread was trimmed to remove posts that detracted from the nature of the original announcement.

As of now, all announcements in the administrative section of the board can only be replied to by the admin team. Members are free to announce their own exhibitions, etc in the main discussion forums.

IanG wrote:All we want is a more open discussion forum.

We do not censor or limit what people write about, unless it is deemed to be in breach of the forum's guidelines. So far, I have only heard such complaints from two people: yourself and Andrew Plume.

IanG wrote:It would be great if we could have a say in who is or isn't a moderator.

This forum, just like the US LFPF, is not a democracy; it is provided by the good grace of a few who give their time and services for free. APUG and FADU are also run for the benefit of those who wish to abide by the conditions laid down by those who founded and run those boards.

I have to say that, if you find these forums too restrictive, then I am sorry but that's the way it is.
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Re: The way this Board is run

Postby dennis » Sun Oct 23, 2011 9:00 am UTC+00:00

Perhaps those who are finding fault with the current 'forum' are taking it all too seriously? Surely it is just a convenient way of keeping touch with roughly like-minded people who share a common interest in LF photography? I have found it both interesting & on more than one occasion, helpful. Dennis.
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Re: The way this Board is run

Postby Andrew Plume » Sun Oct 23, 2011 9:23 am UTC+00:00

Joanna

I accept that I over-stepped the mark with Lynne, so I apologise for that

Marc Wilson - I felt that he failed to take my point in the wry way in which I said what I said, it's known as having a sense of humour and I accept that my 'sense of humour' almost certainly isn't shared by the majority

There is no one else, fwiw

and as to Ian, well to me, his knowledge and ability to help others across a very wide field is invaluable to any online forum. Having seen his posts over on both The LFPF and Apug, I can clearly say that he almost certainly has the greatest knowledge of any UK based member (of any forum) and is very happy to share it with all and everyone. It's very much, not a contest, of course

andrew
Last edited by Andrew Plume on Fri Oct 28, 2011 11:59 am UTC+00:00, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The way this Board is run

Postby Charles Twist » Sun Oct 23, 2011 11:44 am UTC+00:00

Hello Ian,
It's really good to see this topic get its own dedicated thread. The one in the announcements was a hijack that got laden with insults and it just had to be removed.
You're very welcome to discuss the role of moderators and make suggestions. However, we object to personal attacks and flaming. As any other forum must in order to run smoothly, those posts get deleted. I see that as the moderators' duty rather than any attempt to silence particular members.
The forum is for everyone but not run by everyone. We can't have a gaggle of moderators; it wouldn't do the community any good. If you have (i) a good case for the removal of any or all moderators, (ii) proposals on who should take over, (iii) a clear idea of how to run the show now and in the future and (iv) the general support of the community on all the above, then we'll look at it. But let's keep it civilised. Otherwise you'll be upset when your post gets deleted. For the sake of clarity, a personal grudge against a moderator does not constitute 'a good case'.
If we have 700+ members each wanting their way, this would end up a tower of Babel. It so happens that the two people who most publicly run the show, live in the north. The others are a bit quieter but no less essential.
Now the colour thing: the only reason you object to the Admins' red script is because you know that it relates to Admin duties. If you look with fresh eyes, you'll see that nobody is marked up as an Admin other than by their colour. The problem is entirely in your mind. Other people will only see 'forum hero' or 'moderator'. Here's something strange: I have Admin rights, but my name is not in red. In fact, I am a global moderator, but I don't appear in green either. Software is not always logical. But the main point is that the only people who get hung up on this detail are those that know the ins and outs of the software (like you). Those folk are in the minority so I don't think it can truly qualify as one of "the things holding this board back".
The software is doing a pretty good job, I'd say. But I am also open to suggestions and if I am convinced then I'll happily support your case when I next have a chat with DJ & JC. So what changes do you want exactly?
We've taken note of the extra discussion groups that have been suggested. I personally like idea of old lenses and restoration, which you were keen on. The problem we're facing is this: we launched the 'Wet Plate' group because there seemed to be a lot of interest. In truth, the take-up has been very small. The reason is that the folk who practice collodion are few in number world-wide and have a dedicated forum which caters for the world community. Why should they post twice? It won't do their community much good. So we need to be clear what is an advantage to the public as well as not cluttering up our forum.
So Ian, over to you: what do you want?
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Re: The way this Board is run

Postby Charles Twist » Sun Oct 23, 2011 11:51 am UTC+00:00

Hello Andrew,
Lynne: thank you very much. I am sure Lynne will accept your apologies.
Joanna: she had not responded to your comments, because it would have inflamed the conversation. You were quite obviously in a foul mood.
Marc W: your comments were rather more accusatory than humourous and caused him upset. Not something to be laughed at.
Ian: never met him, but seems knowledgeable and has certainly been friendly when I have approached him with my technical problems. I look forward to hearing from him.
Regards,
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Re: The way this Board is run

Postby Andrew Plume » Sun Oct 23, 2011 12:26 pm UTC+00:00

Charles

Thank you for your post - I have no wish to let, err..........my 'side of this' this run on any further, I've said quite enough, I am on the whole in agreement with what you have said...........a sense of humour and all that it entails, can clearly be fine with some and 'below the belt' with others, which I appreciate


regards

andrew
Last edited by Andrew Plume on Fri Oct 28, 2011 12:01 pm UTC+00:00, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The way this Board is run

Postby Fourtoes » Sun Oct 23, 2011 12:32 pm UTC+00:00

Any chance of someone posting something about photography please?
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Re: The way this Board is run

Postby Andrew Plume » Sun Oct 23, 2011 12:37 pm UTC+00:00

Hi Tony

yep, I believe that there's a separate forum on here for that sort of stuff - look forward to seeing some more of your wet plate stuff

best regards

andrew
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Re: The way this Board is run

Postby Joanna Carter » Sun Oct 23, 2011 12:54 pm UTC+00:00

Fourtoes wrote:Any chance of someone posting something about photography please?

Not in this thread, but normal service is available everywhere else :wink: :roll:
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Re: The way this Board is run

Postby Fourtoes » Sun Oct 23, 2011 12:57 pm UTC+00:00

Oops my mistake.

Keep up the good work.
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Re: The way this Board is run

Postby DJ » Sun Oct 23, 2011 1:57 pm UTC+00:00

IanG wrote:The software itself is 4 years out of date


I don't know where this information comes from, but it is incorrect. This forum uses PHPBB, the most commonly used forum software in existence, with about 77% market share. We are using the very latest version, which was released on July 10th 2011. I can't think of a single reason why you might think the forum software was 4 years out of date, unless this is some personal preference of some other forum software which you perceive is "better".

IanG wrote:open discussion of Moderator issues is censored


No, it isn't, and neither have all the personal attacks and digs at Joanna, they're still there for everyone to see, and shall remain so. As Charles has pointed out, "Moderation" has only ever been called for maybe once in the forum's history, until you and Andrew arrived.

IanG wrote:theres no clear delineation between Admin functions and Moderation so some Moderators post with full Admin status giving undue Red high lighting to mundane posts. That is ALL Admin/Moderatotors - DJ, Masch and JC.


"Admin functions", such as enabling new accounts, are not visible to users of the forum, you can't see them, so there's nothing to delineate from in that respect.

There was never any need for delineating moderation posts since there were no moderation type events to delineate from, until you and Andrew started complaining about them. All the posts by Admins were just posts like any other in the forum, part of a normal discussion, the name in Red just marked out the poster as someone who had responsibility of running the board in the background. In effect, you are responsible for creating the problem that gives you so much apparent grief.

IanG wrote:If people post images they get told they are causing bandwidth problems


The webspace upon which the board is run has limited disc space allowance, it's that simple. If admins have requested that larger images are made smaller etc, it is to ensure the board remains available for everyone. Also, some people have slower internet connections and downloading large images can be an issue.

IanG wrote:Avatars have to be so small they are almost impossible this is quite absurd.


I don't really know what to say to this. If you are genuinely so aggrieved that you can't have a bigger avatar, I think you're taking this WAY too seriously.

IanG wrote:My last post on this was very moderate and considered carefully before posting in a response to a comment by Andrew Plume which had resulted in a very personal attack from one of the Norther Clique, the whole thread was deleted bar the initial post.


Your post may well have been moderate and considered, I didn't see it so I couldn't say. It was culled along with the rest of a thread which was not moderate and carefully considered, and because the thread was only ever intended to be the initial post, it was an informational announcement about the move of the board to a new server, and to let users know that any instability at that time may be related to that move. It was not as some appeared to believe, an opportunity to launch another personal attack on Joanna.

As for the Norther Clique, in all the years I've been a part of this forum (and I am from Norfolk, which I don't consider to be "up North"), I have never perceived there to be a Norther Clique, if there is a geographical division here, you are fostering if not creating it.

I have only had the chance to attend one UKLFPG get-together, and I had to drive south for nearly 2 hours to get to it. There is nothing to stop anyone on this forum organising a get-together anywhere they wish, that is, as far as I'm aware, one of the things this forum is intended for.

IanG wrote:All we want is a more open discussion forum. It would be great if we could have a say in who is or isn't a moderator.


I disagree, that does not appear to be all that you want. You appear to want the forum to be run entirely to your specification, from which software it runs on, which forums are defined or removed, to who the moderators are and where they live.
Since I've heard no complaints from you about any other mods, your request to have a say in who is or (more tellingly) is not a moderator appears to be motivated by a personal grudge against Joanna, the one person who does more than any other to maintain the day-to-day running of this board, so don't be surprised if your request is rejected.

IanG wrote:There's too many things holding this board back, and if they aren't resolved than there's a serious risk of an alternative board being launched.
Those that run this board need to listen a little harder to the comments some of us make, we want the board to work and grow but you are holding it back.


I hardly perceive it as a risk, since we are not competing with anybody.

This forum was set up as a place where like minded people with similar interests could collaborate, converse, ask questions, find help, organise get-togethers and meet-ups, and generally help and inspire each other.

This forum was set up by volunteers who have donated their own (considerable) time and money to provide this facility for you all to use. Nobody is forcing anybody to use this forum, neither is it funded by your taxes or under any obligation to provide you with facilities to your specification. The organisers of this forum have always been, and remain, open to suggestions which will make this forum better, and more useful to those that would use it, but unlike Charles, I do not consider those people to be your servants, or that they should jump to your every whim. The mandate of the admins and moderators of this forum is to uphold what is best for the forum and the community within it. This includes dealing with what is bad for the forum too, not something we've had to do until recently.

Contributions take many forms; expertise and knowledge, humour, friendship, encouragement, but also dissent, criticism and bad feeling. When posting, it's important we ask ourselves, "What am I contributing?"
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Re: The way this Board is run

Postby Thingy » Sun Oct 23, 2011 3:15 pm UTC+00:00

Attacking Northerners is very dangerous. My mother hailed from Saddleworth and my father's people, whilst based in the West country (mainly Plymouth) were on my father's side based in Roundhay, Leeds (my father went to Roundhay School, when it was a private school). :@

On a more topical front, having photographs in a separate gallery (as with APUG) might offer a solution to those who have slow internet access. This would have to be financed by members. Would members be willing to pay an annual subscription or allowing one to post larger images if one is, say, a Gold Subscriber be an option? If not it doesn't seem viable. For comparison I belong to a naval forum which costs £25 a year, to cover the running costs. Would members be willing to pay these sort of fees?
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Re: The way this Board is run

Postby joolsb » Sun Oct 23, 2011 3:50 pm UTC+00:00

than there's a serious risk of an alternative board being launched.


Oooh, please do!

We will, of course, most likely ignore it but don't let that stop you...

:mrgreen:
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Re: The way this Board is run

Postby Joanna Carter » Sun Oct 23, 2011 4:48 pm UTC+00:00

Andrew Plume wrote:Marc Wilson - failed to take my point in the wry way in which I said what I said, it's known as having a sense of humour

Which is where appropriate use of "Smilies" comes in really useful. It is sometimes very difficult to discern the tone of what is being written, unless you really know the person you are "talking" to.

Personally, I have an inkling that, should you and Ian actually meet me, face to face, and get to know me in real life, you would soon realise that how you are interpreting my actions and intentions in these forums is a loooong way from reality :D
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