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Author Topic: IC Forums.  (Read 2385 times)

scagga

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IC Forums.
« on: 16 Jun 2015, 12:29 »

Sleep deprivation is an inspiring thing.  Let us take a targeted approach towards the IC forums.

Mission statement
The purpose of IC forums is to facilitate interactions in the EvE world outside of the EvE game.
The design must be flexible and responsive to the needs of the userbase.

Proposed setup

a) Organisation
- Subforums would be created for ease of navigation.
- Initially there would be subforums according to the main factions (Amarr, Minmatar, Gallente, Caldari), as well as an open subforum for all groups (similar to the summit).
- Minor factions and a non-aligned sections would be creatable upon request.
- Intrafactional groups (e.g. tribes, political alignments, supporters of particular royal heirs) can be represented within their main factional subforum.   
- A dedicated OOC discussion section for the IC forums is an option to consider.
- All threads on the backstage IC forums are publicly viewable.  Private roleplaying is an exclusive activity that can happen elsewhere.

b) Threads can be created by users to represent multiple things
- An announcement/conversation in the style of the intergalactic summit.
- A virtual representation of a location such as a bar, library, social gathering area.
- A billboard/advert
- A continuing story/reflection.
- In the case of virtual representations, it is important for the OP to dedicate some time to describing the location. Consider graphics/images to improve the thread quality.
- In the case of  adverts, I would suggest quality standards i.e. if you want to post an advert, if it is of poor quality it can be removed/denied by sectional moderators.

c) Access
- All forum users can use the IC sections
- Your name is who you are.  If your forum name is Sue, you represent Sue in the IC sections.  You do not post as Sue and say you are Vaari ingame.
- You do not impersonate ingame characters that you do not control.
- You can create a forum identity for the purposes of IC interaction in the IC forums.
- I am toying with the idea that some factional areas have limitations placed on posting rights for non-faction members.
- Also toying with the idea that factional moderators can 'clear' people to post in their faction's subforum by having access rights.

d) The relation of IC forum actions to other areas
- This is just another place for IC activity to take place.  If something happened here, it can be referred to ingame.
- While you may be able to read about the happenings in factions your character isn't involved with, or read up on old events, you weren't there if you didn't post.
- If you meet a character here that doesn't exist ingame, that doesn't matter.  It is something you can refer to, but clearly that person can't be found in space for some reason (insert creativity here).
- You can create a character that only has a presence in the IC forums, but please don't be ridiculous and pose as some widely known universally loved popstar that nobody has ever heard about ingame. 
- It is possible to roleplay a non-capsuleer on the IC forums e.g. barman, entertainment at a the virtual nightclub, soothsayer thread, whatever.
- You can recruit/advertise/whatever here and follow it up ingame.
- See etiquette section.

e) Moderation
- Moderation of the IC sections is a responsibility shared between the general backstage moderators, factional moderators and userbase
- Factional areas have internal moderation from new moderators appointed from their own groups. 
- Factional moderators are expected to take the lead in moderating their areas (e.g. Amarr), and intervene where there is failure of the IC/OOC divide or behaviour that is deemed illegal/unacceptable.
- Acceptable standards of behaviour appeals to the user's common sense, and is not explicitly defined to allow factional moderators freedom to use their discretion.

f) More on factional moderators
- Factional moderators are expected to conscientiously uphold subjective quality standards, as well as use their judgment to moderate IC discussions.
- Factional moderators are encouraged to use IC methods of representing their moderation (insert creativity).
- Factional moderators should be patient and helpful to new users.
- It is expected that they would make private contact with users having difficulty to help them out with backstory/fleshing out ideas.
- The userbase is encouraged to adhere to this attitude, as opposed to publicly embarrassing newbies.
- If necessary, poor quality threads can be nipped in the bud (catacombed), however this requires very careful judgement.
- General moderators can also intervene in factional areas if required.

g) Procedure for appointing factional moderators
- Appointed.  Players can apply in the moderator discussions section or privately.
- Admin/General moderators decide who moderates, but there can be widespread clamours from the userbase that should be heeded.
- Criteria such as being of a sound mind, good communicator/diplomat, good knowledge of the backstory.
- There may be conflicts of interest, but these are not important if there is good performance.
- Serious concerns about factional moderators can be raised with general moderators/admin or discussed in moderation discussion.

h) Drama
Of course there will be drama.
[eventually] There will be accusations of unfair moderation.
[eventually] There will be accusations of metagaming.
[eventually] There will be complaints of a dying this or that.. poverty of creativity.. boring..
[eventually] Everyone will be unhappy.
The alternative is nothing will happen, and it is not practical to prospectively design an IC forum that is both enjoyable and bulletproof.

i) Etiquette
- You can roleplay the barman/whatever with another account, if you feel it improves immersion.
- It is preferable to avoid roleplaying with yourself.
- Don't cry if factional moderators find your roleplay to be poor quality.
- The IC sections will be inhabited by players who value the environment that they have worked to create. 
- If a newcomer comes along and has poor form, elitism may ensue but should be followed on by kind advice in private.  Ultimately the IC forums are for those who value them and generate quality, rather than a politically correct platform where every new shitposter is treated like a special flower.  If you don't clamp down on poor posting, you undervalue the people who enjoy creating quality, who will then post less.

Apologies for typos, it's past 4am here.

Actually setting things up

- There doesn't need to be a full consensus on this.  You can't please everybody.
- If the admin/moderators here give the ok, the forum should be setup without any further delay
- The forums can be fine-tuned by discussion in places like this.

Discuss.
« Last Edit: 16 Jun 2015, 12:52 by scagga »
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Lyn Farel

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Re: IC Forums.
« Reply #1 on: 16 Jun 2015, 13:05 »

Scagga wins the day again

Ah well... I can't discuss much since all of this looks very neat...

Maybe... I am not at ease with moderation being handed to factional mods. That is, it encourages echo chambering and private clubs, when the purpose of the channel is specified to be public RP. I don't think the rule is bad per se, but it needs expansion. Like who are those factional mods ? CEOs of all the factioned corps (i'm definitely ok with that) ?

I also think strongly that the general mods (backstage mods) should use a specific account, as it was mentioned in the other thread, to actually moderate things, and not their actual character (unless we want to say that they are responsible of it ICly, which will pretty soon transform into a mess of accusations and bias and stuff, all ICly... but veiling OOC things behind). Players should not know if ModAI29837 is actually Silver or whoever else. Mod accounts should be anonymous... but subject to inquiry as usual in the moderation OOC section of the forum.
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scagga

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Re: IC Forums.
« Reply #2 on: 16 Jun 2015, 13:37 »

Scagga wins the day again

Ah well... I can't discuss much since all of this looks very neat...

Maybe... I am not at ease with moderation being handed to factional mods. That is, it encourages echo chambering and private clubs, when the purpose of the channel is specified to be public RP. I don't think the rule is bad per se, but it needs expansion. Like who are those factional mods ? CEOs of all the factioned corps (i'm definitely ok with that) ?

I also think strongly that the general mods (backstage mods) should use a specific account, as it was mentioned in the other thread, to actually moderate things, and not their actual character (unless we want to say that they are responsible of it ICly, which will pretty soon transform into a mess of accusations and bias and stuff, all ICly... but veiling OOC things behind). Players should not know if ModAI29837 is actually Silver or whoever else. Mod accounts should be anonymous... but subject to inquiry as usual in the moderation OOC section of the forum.

Good points.  It's been a while!

? Separate accounts
- I understand your reasoning, but:
- The userbase is mostly adult and should be able to distinguish when a someone puts on his/her moderator hat (change in font, explicit outline in post)
- I think that knowing who is moderating you is good when you have a small community, because it ties personal reputation with the quality of the moderation
- The emphasis needs to be placed on good communication and tact. Keep things simple.

Choosing the right people to be factional moderators
- The IC sections are being created by our community for the enjoyment of our community, open to other people to join but not as a public service.
- Private clubs / echo chambering is a theoretical concern, which can be dealt with if it occurs.
- In the meantime we have limited information, so we can only chose from people who we trust/know can do the job.
- As long as the person has a good knowledge of the faction and understands the politics, this would support them as a candidate for factional moderation. 
- Ideally they are known and liked/acceptable across the major groups that are represented here.
- I would think it sensible to entrust the decision as to suitability to the admins/mods here
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Makkal

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Re: IC Forums.
« Reply #3 on: 16 Jun 2015, 21:59 »

If a mod causes problems, complain about it. If other mods/admins agree they're causing problems, they'll be removed from their position as faction mod.

That's no different than the rest of the forum.

I assume moderation is a strictly OOC affair. Silver is awesome, but he's obviously not an IC moderator of the Caldari faction. OOCly, he can be the moderator of the Caldari forum, or the Amarr forums. Let mods use their 'main' accounts and a different text color when they speak to someone as a mod.

Two things I'd like to suggest:
-- The person who starts a thread, say for a location, is typically the 'owner' of the thread, much like one is the 'owner' of a chatroom in EVE. That way if I start a thread called [Location] Makkal's Smokin' Hot Exotic Dancing and Buffalo Wing Shack and a patron says, "I break a beer bottle on the table and shove the jagged glass into the bartender's face," I can simply narrate, "Cybernetically enhanced bouncers drag your ass outside," and that's considered legit.

-- I don't think we need separate accounts for background characters. I assume that [Location] Makkal's Smokin' Hot Exotic Dancing and Buffalo Wing Shack will have a barman, waiter, exotic dancers, blackjack dealers, bouncers, and a tattoo artist in the back, and creating accounts for each of these would be unfun. Likewise, people who visit might have a secretary, attache, or oiled slaves to carry their palanquin, and they can be handled under the handle of whatever PC they're with. 
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Lyn Farel

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Re: IC Forums.
« Reply #4 on: 17 Jun 2015, 02:09 »

The problem, Makkal, is when mods are starting to cover their own asses between each other because nothing is done objectively anymore when it comes to that.

Scagga wins the day again

Ah well... I can't discuss much since all of this looks very neat...

Maybe... I am not at ease with moderation being handed to factional mods. That is, it encourages echo chambering and private clubs, when the purpose of the channel is specified to be public RP. I don't think the rule is bad per se, but it needs expansion. Like who are those factional mods ? CEOs of all the factioned corps (i'm definitely ok with that) ?

I also think strongly that the general mods (backstage mods) should use a specific account, as it was mentioned in the other thread, to actually moderate things, and not their actual character (unless we want to say that they are responsible of it ICly, which will pretty soon transform into a mess of accusations and bias and stuff, all ICly... but veiling OOC things behind). Players should not know if ModAI29837 is actually Silver or whoever else. Mod accounts should be anonymous... but subject to inquiry as usual in the moderation OOC section of the forum.

Good points.  It's been a while!

? Separate accounts
- I understand your reasoning, but:
- The userbase is mostly adult and should be able to distinguish when a someone puts on his/her moderator hat (change in font, explicit outline in post)
- I think that knowing who is moderating you is good when you have a small community, because it ties personal reputation with the quality of the moderation
- The emphasis needs to be placed on good communication and tact. Keep things simple.

Choosing the right people to be factional moderators
- The IC sections are being created by our community for the enjoyment of our community, open to other people to join but not as a public service.
- Private clubs / echo chambering is a theoretical concern, which can be dealt with if it occurs.
- In the meantime we have limited information, so we can only chose from people who we trust/know can do the job.
- As long as the person has a good knowledge of the faction and understands the politics, this would support them as a candidate for factional moderation. 
- Ideally they are known and liked/acceptable across the major groups that are represented here.
- I would think it sensible to entrust the decision as to suitability to the admins/mods here

Ah well, I would tend to agree with you eventually on that... It's probably that I have actually have to deal with echo-chambering, bias and mod self protection, issues that have never been properly dealt with in my opinion and lead to a certain loss of trust in the moderation for me personally... And i'm not the only one.

Well, that remains my opinion though, and I still am 100% behind backstage mission statement and this one as well.
« Last Edit: 17 Jun 2015, 02:11 by Lyn Farel »
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Ché Biko

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Re: IC Forums.
« Reply #5 on: 17 Jun 2015, 16:47 »

- I think that knowing who is moderating you is good when you have a small community, because it ties personal reputation with the quality of the moderation
I don't agree. Anonimity should at least be an option.
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Lyn Farel

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Re: IC Forums.
« Reply #6 on: 18 Jun 2015, 01:58 »

I actually agree with Scagga on that... I just felt for a moment that it could cause drama... But who am I to talk about that anyway...
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scagga

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Re: IC Forums.
« Reply #7 on: 18 Jun 2015, 02:25 »

- I think that knowing who is moderating you is good when you have a small community, because it ties personal reputation with the quality of the moderation
I don't agree. Anonimity should at least be an option.

Why do you think anonymity on an internet forum improves moderation? 
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Lyn Farel

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Re: IC Forums.
« Reply #8 on: 18 Jun 2015, 05:30 »

On one hand it protects mods from accusations of everything...

On the other, it removes most of their accountability.
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Ché Biko

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Re: IC Forums.
« Reply #9 on: 19 Jun 2015, 09:35 »

- I think that knowing who is moderating you is good when you have a small community, because it ties personal reputation with the quality of the moderation
I don't agree. Anonimity should at least be an option.

Why do you think anonymity on an internet forum improves moderation?
Because concerns about OOC/IC consequences for taking or not taking a mod action are less likely.
Also, I don't really know most of you people, and exchanging one pseudonym (char name) for another (mod name) hardly matters in my opinion.
And, I would prefer to prevent situations where an inferiour argument/action/whatever from a popular char would "win" against a better argument from an unpopular one. Anonimity helps seperate the message from the messenger.
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scagga

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Re: IC Forums.
« Reply #10 on: 20 Jun 2015, 02:53 »

Why do you think anonymity on an internet forum improves moderation?
Because concerns about OOC/IC consequences for taking or not taking a mod action are less likely.
Also, I don't really know most of you people, and exchanging one pseudonym (char name) for another (mod name) hardly matters in my opinion.
And, I would prefer to prevent situations where an inferiour argument/action/whatever from a popular char would "win" against a better argument from an unpopular one. Anonimity helps seperate the message from the messenger.

You make some fair points.

Let me take your concerns and frame them with how I see issues with anonymous moderators:

- An anonymous moderator can make unfair interventions in the IC forums
- Other anonymous moderators may not identify this as unfair, because they may not be aware of certain IC/OOC relations or nuances
- Other anonymous moderators may therefore close ranks with what they think is a fair moderation decision
- It would not be possible to confidently identify a moderator abusing IC/OOC knowledge to make unfair calls
- The loss of transparency makes it difficult to remove failing moderators

-------------

Transparency is important on these forums.  It was a prominent issue raised when they were being created.  In practice I don't think knowing who the moderator is would be an issue in the IC forums, so long as moderators take a slightly different approach to that used in the other forum areas; avoid a rule-set, use common sense and discretion, be diplomatic and sensitive to the importance that individual posters may attach to their RP.

The other benefit is that the community posting here is certainly different in character to how it was before backstage.  In the era of chatsubo, with some threads you could see a fight coming from post #1, and there was a feeling that the standards were applied differently to different posters.

I am confident that IC moderation can work much better with non-anonymous moderators, and that grievances can easily be addressed if we avoid a rule-set and use common-sense and a 'behind closed doors' conflict resolution approach.
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scagga

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Re: IC Forums.
« Reply #11 on: 20 Jun 2015, 02:58 »

If a mod causes problems, complain about it. If other mods/admins agree they're causing problems, they'll be removed from their position as faction mod.

That's no different than the rest of the forum.

I assume moderation is a strictly OOC affair. Silver is awesome, but he's obviously not an IC moderator of the Caldari faction. OOCly, he can be the moderator of the Caldari forum, or the Amarr forums. Let mods use their 'main' accounts and a different text color when they speak to someone as a mod.

Two things I'd like to suggest:
-- The person who starts a thread, say for a location, is typically the 'owner' of the thread, much like one is the 'owner' of a chatroom in EVE. That way if I start a thread called [Location] Makkal's Smokin' Hot Exotic Dancing and Buffalo Wing Shack and a patron says, "I break a beer bottle on the table and shove the jagged glass into the bartender's face," I can simply narrate, "Cybernetically enhanced bouncers drag your ass outside," and that's considered legit.

-- I don't think we need separate accounts for background characters. I assume that [Location] Makkal's Smokin' Hot Exotic Dancing and Buffalo Wing Shack will have a barman, waiter, exotic dancers, blackjack dealers, bouncers, and a tattoo artist in the back, and creating accounts for each of these would be unfun. Likewise, people who visit might have a secretary, attache, or oiled slaves to carry their palanquin, and they can be handled under the handle of whatever PC they're with.

Forgot to reply to this.  Yes, I'd agree there is no concrete need for a separate account to represent non-player entities in locations.  Ultimately I'm sure different threads may play out according to different OP preferences within reason.
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Lyn Farel

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Re: IC Forums.
« Reply #12 on: 20 Jun 2015, 08:40 »

Why do you think anonymity on an internet forum improves moderation?
Because concerns about OOC/IC consequences for taking or not taking a mod action are less likely.
Also, I don't really know most of you people, and exchanging one pseudonym (char name) for another (mod name) hardly matters in my opinion.
And, I would prefer to prevent situations where an inferiour argument/action/whatever from a popular char would "win" against a better argument from an unpopular one. Anonimity helps seperate the message from the messenger.

You make some fair points.

Let me take your concerns and frame them with how I see issues with anonymous moderators:

- An anonymous moderator can make unfair interventions in the IC forums
- Other anonymous moderators may not identify this as unfair, because they may not be aware of certain IC/OOC relations or nuances
- Other anonymous moderators may therefore close ranks with what they think is a fair moderation decision
- It would not be possible to confidently identify a moderator abusing IC/OOC knowledge to make unfair calls
- The loss of transparency makes it difficult to remove failing moderators

-------------

Transparency is important on these forums.  It was a prominent issue raised when they were being created.  In practice I don't think knowing who the moderator is would be an issue in the IC forums, so long as moderators take a slightly different approach to that used in the other forum areas; avoid a rule-set, use common sense and discretion, be diplomatic and sensitive to the importance that individual posters may attach to their RP.

The other benefit is that the community posting here is certainly different in character to how it was before backstage.  In the era of chatsubo, with some threads you could see a fight coming from post #1, and there was a feeling that the standards were applied differently to different posters.

I am confident that IC moderation can work much better with non-anonymous moderators, and that grievances can easily be addressed if we avoid a rule-set and use common-sense and a 'behind closed doors' conflict resolution approach.

Again I agree, but in my case it didn't quite totally work for me. As long as mods protect each other or just see them as part of the same social close circle, that kind of things will happen. I have been several times aggressed by mods on that very forum, protested, and only got to eat more crows when the mods disagreed for whatever reason.

Maybe also because they can speak to each other through other mediums, either channels, or moderation hidden forums, creating de facto some places where the offended party (a member) can not make his case while the offender (the mod), can.

I have no solution for this though. It's mostly a human problem.
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Havohej

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Re: IC Forums.
« Reply #13 on: 20 Jun 2015, 22:01 »

Hi, Scagga!  Missed you, mate.

Going to read this thread and respond to you tomorrow morning/afternoon (EST).
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Havohej

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Re: IC Forums.
« Reply #14 on: 24 Jul 2015, 23:22 »

A lot of the ideas discussed here were previously touched upon, some in depth, in previous threads on the topic.

Last time I was able to be actively and regularly up to date, the general idea was that if/when the IC forum was formally launched, it would be a separate set of boards on a separate subdomain (i.e.: ICforum.eve-inspiracy.com), which would very likely mean separate accounts anyway - and given that the prevailing sentiment seemed to be in favor of both alts and non-capsuleer characters being welcome (provided they be 'legitimate' characters and not just shit-stirring sock puppets), I imagine that most - if not all - users of an IC forum would have at least two accounts on that subdomain.

I'm going to take the last updated ruleset, create a sticky in the already-created 4-board beta IC forum here on backstage and open it for use.  For the purposes of the beta boards here on backstage, IIRC it was agreed upon by the active mod staff that use should be restricted to IG names in the beginning (someone on the team correct me if I'm mistaken in that recollection, please), so I'm going to go with that.

If these boards are used, and I can't see any indication that they would not be, then we as a whole can (should) continue to use this discussion thread to calmly and civilly discuss what is or isn't working and what should or shouldn't change before we go to the trouble of creating a fully fleshed-out forum on its own subdomain.

I'll be doing this tonight before I go to bed.

EDIT: It should be obvious that nothing in the rules post should be taken as Finalized - the whole thing should just be able to get smoothed out organically.

I get a day off tomorrow, so in between playing with my baby I'll be checking in to see what, if anything, is going on with the test boards.
« Last Edit: 25 Jul 2015, 00:06 by Havohej »
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