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E-Democracy.org – Project Blog

Open Feedback – How are the new rules working for you?

Written by Steven Clift

In May 2011 our updated forum rules went into effect.

How are they working for you so far?

While have not had one complaint about a new rule or rule change, we’d like hear of any. Also, there are the rules and there is implementation of these rules by our volunteer forum managers. If you have any specific comments about how we’ve applied the new rules over the last few months, let us know as well.

These rules represent our freedom of assembly based our desire for strong civility and the use of real names.

Here is the verbatim summary from our full rules:

Rules Summary

  1. Real Names Required: Register and post with your real name and community.
  2. Right to Post and Reply: Sharing your knowledge and opinions with your fellow participants is a democratic right.
  3. Limits on Posting within a Forum’s Purpose: Two posts per day per member on most forums. Forum charters determine geographic or topical scope.
  4. Be Civil: No name-calling. Respect among people with differing views is our cornerstone.
  5. No Personal Attacks: This keeps the forums welcoming and safer.
  6. Private Stays Private: Don’t forward private communication without permission.
  7. Avoid Unsubstantiated Rumors: Asking for clarification of what you’ve heard in the community can be appropriate if issues-based. You alone are responsible for what you post.
  8. Items Not Allowed in Forums: No strong profanity, pornographic content, chain letters, unsolicited commercial advertising, etc. Forum charters may detail examples or exceptions including allowing commercial exchange and advice.
  9. Public Content and Use: You are sharing your content under the E-Democracy.org selected Creative Commons license unless you state an alternative copyright.
  10. Warnings and Suspensions: You may receive informal or official warnings. The volunteer Forum Manager is responsible for facilitation and enforcing rules. With your second official warning in one year, you are suspended for two weeks. You may appeal all warnings after a third warning that brings a six-month suspension.
  11. Forum Managers: Each forum has a manager with responsibilities and technical privileges to meet those responsibilities. Disputes with Forum Managers may be brought to E-Democracy.org through various mechanisms.

 

 

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20 Comments on Open Feedback – How are the new rules working for you?

Kramer auto Pingback[…] Earlier topic You cannot post because you are not logged in. If you are a member of Eau Claire Community Forum, login to post to this topic. Otherwise sign up, become a member of Eau Claire Community Forum, and post to this topic.   Special feedback requested – Are the new forum rules working for you? […]

Kramer auto Pingback[…] Clift’s NotesOpen Feedback – How are the new rules working for you? 7 September 2011RT @digiphile: @macon44 Feedback on frank e-petitions feedback gathered by […]

Rule 3 should be interpreted more liberally for relative quiet forums, “Two posts per day per member on most forums.” If there are less than ten posts per day, why not up the limit to four posts? At the other extreme, the “Minneapolis Issues Forum” lives well with its two-posts-limit, because there is seldom a dearth of interesting posts.

The rule changes are just another color lipstick on the same old pig!

There still is no real freedom in E-Democracy. People are not allowed to criticize Steve Clift, the Board of E-Democracy or any of the moderators.

The Board is not freely elected, their meetings are held in private, the minutes are never posted publicly and the By_laws and Donor lists are secret.

It seems that Steve Clift thinks democracy is great for the rest of the world, except for him and his cronies that run E-Democracy.

Diogenes

I’m finding that I’d like to post more than twice in a 24-hour period. We are conversing on so many important issues, and I’d like to be able to contribute to several discussions when I visit the site.

Perhaps 3 posts per day, or better, one post per forum per day (to limit potential flame wars)?

seems fine to me I didn’t know about the 2 posts a day and would have responded to a post re:crime watch etc instead of the garden potluck but I can do that another day. Why only 2 posts? where people overposting? 2 seems like not much if you are looking at each topic but now I know

Looks like a couple of people’s real names didn’t show up–too bad. It would be nice so when I meet you I can say something, and since this is Eau Claire we’re talking about, not Minneapolis, the likelihood is somewhere well above slim, especially if we have common interests and turn out to frequent the same venues.

I appreciate the daily digest. It might be nice to have the names of all the contributors since the previous digest, but that is definitely all I’d want in the digest itself.

I understand a limit on posting, but two per day seems rather low.

The NENA forum is not allowing new posts through. Not sure if the moderator is on vacation or if there is a technical issue but it is not working properly.

Suzon, welcome. We do not let people post who appear to have registered without a real name.

We are fine-tuning our sign-up text to make the real names requirement more clear to folks who don’t read the rule summary or the full rules when joining.

Thank you for digest suggestions. While we don’t have a refresh of digest content on the agenda right now, that is a good idea to consider.

Would it be possible to time the 2 post maximum according to the calender date rather than by hours? It would be easier to know when you can post again.

I primarily post responses privately, just in case an emergency or something else urgent needs to be posted.

Thanks,

Lee

Thank you for all of the comments on the posting limit.

While Twitter limits the number of characters you can use, we limit the number of times you can post in a day (24 hours).

Each forum has the option of setting the limit locally. Most are 2 in 24 hours and some are more. Sometimes Forum Managers lift the limits during crucial emergency moments.

If overall volume is low, I do encourage Forum Managers to experiment with 3 or to shrink the hours. On the other hand, we are receiving increasing complaints on our busiest forums that too few people dominate (they essentially post twice and day every single day it seems), but we don’t have a way to say twice in 24 and no more than 8 total a week (no tech plans right now, but we could try a “new voices week” or something).

Why do we have this limit:

1. More diversity in voices. The limit gives more people a chance to enter a discussion rather than have it quickly dominated by two people with too much time on their hands. 🙂

2. It reduces rapid fire flame wars since people in the heat of the moment hold back thinking, “I have only one more shot today, so I better hold back.” And by then the initial upset has often subsided. We had a forum go up to 4 once and when a conflict exploded six month after the setting change, we were not able to react in time and my sense is that the forum never recovered – government participation we had worked hard to foster was no longer viable in their eyes. It takes years to build up trust in the safety of an online space for constructive community exchange. It only takes a few hours to destroy it if timely forum management interventions are not possible.

3. We use e-mail heavily. We are lucky to be in so many people’s e-mail boxes and too much volume drives them away. While a digest and web-only options are available, for many switching to those settings means the forum no longer becomes part of their day.

Also, if you have an emergency post to get out, you can always ask the Forum Manager to post it for you or another member.

Thanks,
Steven Clift

I think it’s worth expanding the limits for the Chippewa Valley. After all, it’s nowhere near the size of Mpls. Sure, some of us have time on our hands, but why not try it unless/until it gets out of hand?

“You cannot post because you have exceeded the posting rate for Minneapolis Longfellow Community Neighbors Forum. You can post again at 2011 Sep 29 15:32 CDT — in 23 hours, 47 minutes and 51 seconds.”

Not that I have anything else to say about anything, but this doesn’t seem to be a uniform rule. That Jim Monk guys posts 27,000 times per day, yet the rest of us (I assume, unless there are others who get special treatment) get 2. I don’t mind the limit, but apply it to everyone.

Why is there a restriction on the amount of daily posts ?

Could we ask contributors not to copy long passages from previous posts? It makes reading through tedious for those like myself who visit infrequently.

This isn’t clearly a response on the current rules – although it might squeeze in under the “2 posts a day.” Better more shorter posts than 2 extensive ones.

I do appreciate the erudite contributors!

I just had a post bounced because “It was blocked because the required attribute Neighborhood/Neighbourhood is not set
on your profile. To post, go to your Change Profile page
http://forums.e-democracy.org/p/marcasch/edit.html
and set the required profile attributes.”

The requirement to set a neighborhood attribute is not in the rules. I post my complete address and phone number on every post. This is plain silly.

The brochure about this site states that it is a way to meet and discuss. I dont know of anyway who discusses a topic with two statements a day. I believe this is a burden. It means trying to recall what you want to say and maybe writing it down and waiting to post. Then maybe you need to clarify or add something and you have to wait 24 hours? This isnt a discussion

Andrea, thanks for the comment.

Here is what I posted earlier – clear we need to have an official “why this works” position statement. It does not work for all users, but we find it extremely important as we balance the interests of readers and posters.

Steve

Thank you for all of the comments on the posting limit.

While Twitter limits the number of characters you can use, we limit the number of times you can post in a day (24 hours).

Each forum has the option of setting the limit locally. Most are 2 in 24 hours and some are more. Sometimes Forum Managers lift the limits during crucial emergency moments.

If overall volume is low, I do encourage Forum Managers to experiment with 3 or to shrink the hours. On the other hand, we are receiving increasing complaints on our busiest forums that too few people dominate (they essentially post twice and day every single day it seems), but we don’t have a way to say twice in 24 and no more than 8 total a week (no tech plans right now, but we could try a “new voices week” or something).

Why do we have this limit:

1. More diversity in voices. The limit gives more people a chance to enter a discussion rather than have it quickly dominated by two people with too much time on their hands.

2. It reduces rapid fire flame wars since people in the heat of the moment hold back thinking, “I have only one more shot today, so I better hold back.” And by then the initial upset has often subsided. We had a forum go up to 4 once and when a conflict exploded six month after the setting change, we were not able to react in time and my sense is that the forum never recovered – government participation we had worked hard to foster was no longer viable in their eyes. It takes years to build up trust in the safety of an online space for constructive community exchange. It only takes a few hours to destroy it if timely forum management interventions are not possible.

3. We use e-mail heavily. We are lucky to be in so many people’s e-mail boxes and too much volume drives them away. While a digest and web-only options are available, for many switching to those settings means the forum no longer becomes part of their day.

Also, if you have an emergency post to get out, you can always ask the Forum Manager to post it for you or another member.

Thanks,
Steven Clift

I do accept as true with all of the ideas you have introduced in your post. They’re very convincing and will certainly work. Still, the posts are too brief for beginners. May you please extend them a little from next time? Thank you for the post.

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