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Offline Jorge D. Fuentes

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Newcomers' Zone? (and other discussion)
« on: June 24, 2013, 04:17:43 AM »
+1
You may have noticed a new Newcomers' Zone.

This area is where newcomers can go, introduce themselves, and have conversations before they are bumped up into regular members.
After these members' posts are observed, the mods and I will determine if that member is to become a regular member.

However, this operation will not be fully completed until later, since I am unable to invest time into it for now.

Please bear with us as we implement this new forum feature.
« Last Edit: June 25, 2013, 06:51:17 AM by Jorge D. Fuentes »
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Offline Ratty

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Re: Newcomers' Zone
« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2013, 06:04:35 PM »
+1
This is intended to cut down on the number of bots we get I suppose?

PS - Anyone reading this, please don't respond to bot/spam threads, that results in more bots coming here. Though people here have been pretty good about that lately.

Offline Jorge D. Fuentes

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Re: Newcomers' Zone
« Reply #2 on: June 24, 2013, 06:06:35 PM »
+1
Possibly, though things are still in the works.
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Offline VladCT

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Re: Newcomers' Zone
« Reply #3 on: June 24, 2013, 06:16:30 PM »
+1
It's only visible when I'm logged out, curiously...
It is precisely because it never cared, that people do care.  It's something which it's lacking, because that which it has, it has lackluster of.
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Offline Jorge D. Fuentes

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Re: Newcomers' Zone
« Reply #4 on: June 24, 2013, 06:20:04 PM »
+1
It's only for newbies.
You're not a newbie. :P :P :P
Should I make it so that oldies can post in the Newcomers' Zone?  What do you guys think?
EDIT: As I write that, it sounds like it should be a "YES" as an answer, so that newbies can feel welcome.
The board is visible in its entirety to people not posting, in case anyone Googles us.

But, again, things are gonna be set up such that mingling will happen there at first.
Newbies are also able to post in "Classic Castlevania Threads".
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Re: Newcomers' Zone
« Reply #5 on: June 24, 2013, 07:10:56 PM »
+1
I think I'll post in there at some point. I don't consider myself a newbie but I could at least introduce myself to newbie people.

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Re: Newcomers' Zone
« Reply #6 on: June 24, 2013, 10:31:01 PM »
+1
I'm not sure about this, but I think a good feature would be to ask users to log in in order to read the threads.
That way we can make sure no one would make an account just for annoying, and what happens here stays here.
Many forums require a log in to see the threads, and, being this particular forum the more civilized online community I know, I guess that would be a good feature to keep it peaceful here... kind of to make this place our online sanctuary.
I don't know.
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Offline uzo

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Re: Newcomers' Zone
« Reply #7 on: June 24, 2013, 11:10:44 PM »
+5
The ideas and conclusions expressed in this following post have been discussed with management, and are in consideration. I feel it is an important issue so I am posting here to hopefully foster further discussion.

The whole idea behind this change is to prevent ban evasion and quick hit and run forum vandalism. The likes that have been somewhat seen lately, Esco being the latest.

While this idea works in theory, and definitely on a technical level, I believe it is damaging overall to the vitality and operation of this forum. Mainly concerning it's existing members and any new members who are not looking to cause trouble and may have registered because they saw a discussion elsewhere that they wanted to be a part of. They won't be able to, until some time has past, which will likely have dissolved by the time they are eligible. Having a post count requirement so they can only later join the discussion that they came here in the first place for is counter intuitive for new members and simply uninviting.

This is basically guilty until proven innocent. People have to PROVE themselves that they are good enough to grace our full presence in other sections. And while you may never get a direct notice that this is why some people will show up and then leave soon after, be aware that it most certainly is the reason.

The solution I propose is to have more moderators. No offense to the current moderation team, but coverage and action is definitely lacking especially for the amount of people involved. It is painfully obvious that nearly everything falls into Jorge's lap. Jorge has done a phenomenal job, and bad behavior is really low especially for a forum of this size. It is however, too much for one man and undoubtedly irritating for him to have to do everything.

We need fresh blood into the moderation pool. There are capable and enthusiastic people here who I bet will gladly join the good fight to keep our forums civil and clean.

All moderators need to be able to disable a user's account for circumstances like Esco's where he comes back just to post nasty messages, or ban evade. This power should only be used in circumstances where the user in question will not cease their activities, had ban evaded, or performed a serious offense. The idea is that they need to be deactivated until Jorge is available to make a judgement on what should be done about the case.

In addition, it would help if these new moderators were also selected for their time coverage. We have no moderators at night most of the time.

I believe 2 new moderators are necessary. More can be added if that is insufficient to cover future incidents, but 2 should do for now.

We must be sure to pick people who have good judgement, and are eager and willing to do this job. It's not a glamorous job, and certainly doesn't come headache free, but if you want to help the community be a better, more civil, and safer place for all Castlevania fans, then this is a chance to accomplish that.

This may also prevent other issues and countermeasures that hurt some forum members (like VladCT) such mobile internet blocking, and proxy blocking.

Thoughts?

Offline Abnormal Freak

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Re: Newcomers' Zone
« Reply #8 on: June 25, 2013, 12:22:16 AM »
+1
You may have noticed a new Newcomers' Zone.

Seems to me a bad idea.
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Offline Shiroi Koumori

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Re: Newcomers' Zone
« Reply #9 on: June 25, 2013, 02:19:37 AM »
+1
This is a very touchy topic.
It would be good to get rid of annoying members but it might discourage legit newbies.

Though, I would agree that more moderators must be present.

Offline Jorge D. Fuentes

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Re: Newcomers' Zone? (and other discussion)
« Reply #10 on: June 25, 2013, 07:03:20 AM »
+1
This conversation is leading into unexpected territory, but I welcome the dialogue.
Indeed, UZO and I often discuss forum policies, as he runs a board as well, and it's always good to get insight from other forum admins.

I think the time is approaching, where I will be seeking out new people to help the community.
As UZO has mentioned, though I am greatly indebted to my moderation team, it often falls upon my shoulders to give the public warning, to give the final warning, and ultimately the banning.  Offenders and repeat offenders by now know the forum's schedule, and know to do their comeback attacks in the wee hours in the morning, when there is less moderation activity.  This leads to things like me checking in from my phone only to see a mild headache from people who are somewhat savvy in the ways of ban evasion.

Ban evasion is currently not feasible to fully stop, short of having a 24-hour staff doing rounds.  I can be deterred, and it can be slowed down, and I can certainly make it a headache for a person to attempt it.  Currently I have thought that the people getting banned are human beings, and will do the right thing and realize that I'm not banning them because of any personal issues I have, but rather because the rules must be enforced.  Sadly, I've been constantly disappointed by their inability to take responsibility and accept their ban with dignity.  There are no special cases, here.  It doesn't matter what you contribute or how long you've been here or whatever works you have been doing... the rules are the rules and people don't get 'celebrity' ban immunity, even if getting past forum security is a possibility.  Certainly, these people do not look any better when they succeed, as it only proves that they have no concept of responsibility.  It probably does not help that, online, anyone can talk big.  It takes hard work to not be an ass online.

I will be seeking out people from the forums, people who have proven themselves to be reliable, trustworthy, civil, and know the rules and would be willing to help.

If you think you fit this description, you're all welcome to send me a private message in this regard.

As UZO said, having a stronger moderation team will also allow me to step back and work on more important matters (I haven't done a new tune or a new portrait in ages, and my spritework skills are rusting as we speak).  It will also allow the board to ease up slightly on security measures, so that perhaps those people having issues connecting will benefit.

EDIT:
We have had no new members as of the last few days, so nothing of value would be lost if that subforum were to be abolished.  I understand that it is touchy and I also understand that it may not be the best idea.  I may keep it for people who do join make themselves known there, but perhaps I will allow posting in other boards as well.

The suggestion of a Newcomers' Zone was brought forth by the SimpleMachines Forums community, to whom I reached out in the past when certain security issues began to arise.  It is not my idea, though it seems to make sense on paper, and its two-prong approach seems sensible to me (1. a welcome area for new people, though they can still post in Classic Castlevania Threads, and 2. a method of checking if someone is making an account only to say 'haha I made a new account I'm a l33t h4xx0r').
« Last Edit: June 25, 2013, 07:11:43 AM by Jorge D. Fuentes »
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Re: Newcomers' Zone? (and other discussion)
« Reply #11 on: June 26, 2013, 05:51:21 AM »
+1
Edit: I've spoken with Jorge, things are cleared up now. When we see new mods, good luck to them. I can however vouch for Heretic, he and his wife had a baby last October, so this little bundle of joy keeps him super busy (from when I was able to speak with him).

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Edit: Typos, they be bad, ugh.
« Last Edit: June 26, 2013, 07:07:19 AM by Bloodreign »

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Re: Newcomers' Zone? (and other discussion)
« Reply #12 on: June 26, 2013, 07:41:02 PM »
0
Hmm...while I see where Uzo's coming from, I would respectfully ponder whether or not new moderators would help curb the ban evasion problem. On some occasions it might work, but it depends on who the moderators are. Remember, some ban evaders are not only very persistent but remarkably creative as well. I've seen people evade bans not only though proxies/new IP addresses, but even by constructing elaborate, faked identities. In one instance, a ban evader at one of my old forums actually gained a significant degree of respect from the community before we found out who he was! Someone who's been around for ages, like Jorgey-sama, might be so familiar with constant ban evaders he'd be able to sniff them out via posting styles or whatever very swiftly, but any new moderators would likely be drawn from folks who haven't been here as long. As a result, they may not be as effective in hunting down ban evaders.

That said, I think Uzo's point about a newcomer's corner making the forum a bit more unfriendly, and at the least a bit harder to navigate, is well taken. Additionally, while I don't thin it would wreck the forum, I don't see much point in one either...we haven't had that many problems lately, even with a few ban evaders and sub-par posters here and there. I hew to the "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" school of thought...if we've done alright without a board specifically for newcomers, we'll probably continue to do alright, I wager.

In conclusion, I would say that while at least 2 more moderators *might* be a more effective way of solving our (fairly limited, honestly) issues than a newcomer's board, I would caution that they may not be as effective as we hope either, at least when ban-evaders are concerned.
« Last Edit: June 26, 2013, 07:59:52 PM by Gunlord »

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Offline uzo

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Re: Newcomers' Zone? (and other discussion)
« Reply #13 on: June 26, 2013, 08:24:21 PM »
+1
The moderators wouldn't necessarily be there to sniff out the ban evaders, just to damage control from any possible rampaging incidents. Normal moderator duties, that's all. The newcomer area will not thwart anyone who wishes to get back in under a new identity anyway. Either solution does not prevent this.

Personally, not in any way speaking for the staff, I don't care if someone comes back but doesn't start trouble and abides by the rules. Their previous identity is totally trashed and locked away. They will never be able to reveal themselves without having to do the dance all over again. Likewise they can never reference any of their past contributions, and interactions here. They may also have to endure unfavorable open talk about their former identity. That to me is quite the punishment enough, if they can learn to be civil and reintegrate back into the populous.

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Re: Newcomers' Zone? (and other discussion)
« Reply #14 on: June 26, 2013, 08:46:20 PM »
+1
I totally agree with Uzo on this one.

I read this when it was posted and was thinking the same thing, but didn't have the guts to say anything.

Kudos to you Uzo.
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