|Subject: Regarding the Current State of the Site & Pending Reforms Mon 08 Jun 2015, 9:53 pm|| |
Regarding the Current State of the Site & Pending Reforms
I'm sure we're all aware of the current state of the site - between staff making rash decisions and the members fighting against the changes and leaving as a result of the very meager numbers and activity of staff, things are pretty terrible.
The need to make changes to the way things are on the site has been here for quite some time, with a lot of disagreements as to what needs to actually fix things. That said, as has been brought up, things need to change sooner rather than later. Thus while I took the time to write this up, I have yet to actually get everything prepared for the changes, hence "pending" reforms. However, do be aware that while I label them as pending, it's simply because I'm prioritizing posting this over writing anything else that needs to be written.
The following changes are going to be made to better streamline the site's functions:
- Staff: First and foremost, staff are going to be rewarded for their work. Every good evaluation or moderation will net the mod points, which can be used to gain a chosen benefit. For example, these "Mod Points" could be traded for funds, SCs, and things of that nature (they cannot be used to get rank-ups). Do keep in mind that simply slapping approvals on things will NOT earn the mod any points, nor will simply denying things for the sake of taking mod action. This is a reward reserved for those that do quality work.
Mods can be appointed to special positions, such as event mods or battle mods (examples of situational positions), and this will be shown via their rank image. Explanations of these positions will be added to the staff page prior to any being put into them so that there's a clear understanding of what they mean.
That said, the secondary goal of this reform is to secure decent numbers for the staff, and we will limit those numbers based on the number of members on the site. However, there will also be a "temp/substitute" mod position that can be applied for - this is for those that may not want to dedicate a lot of time to staff work, but wish to help out when it's needed. Essentially, these people will be called upon when there's a drop in staff activity due to vacations, school, work, or other things that are pulling the staff away from their duties. Temps/substitutes will also be eligible to participate in the Mod Reward system.
- "Beta Testers": In the interest of being able to share new things with members for feedback before implementing them without the need to post it in a place where the discussions tend to be drawn out, there will be a new way to do this that should work for both staff and general members.
This will be a group that has access to a "Testing" board, in which they will give constructive feedback for anything posted therein. This will be rewarded in a similar fashion to the "Mod Points" system, though the options presented will be slightly different (more on that soon).
This will be a volunteer, applied-for position and will be limited in space. The goal is to have various types of people participate for it to be the most effective.
- Evaluations & Character Ranking: Instead of posting all (or just some) threads for evaluation in order to get your points, you'll be rewarded for role-playing at a set rate, and in order to rank up, you'll simply select the threads you feel best fit the criteria (to be determined) and the mod(s) will read the threads and determine if you'll be able to progress to the next rank or not (threads will be marked with a pass or fail in the evaluation, so any threads that pass can be re-used for the next attempt). This also means that all funds earned through roleplaying or other means (monthly spotlights) will all go into a single point pool which will simply be dubbed "funds". Accounts will show Cumulative Funds as well as Available Funds.
- General System Reforms: Due to the Beta Testing System, all systems will be reviewed by non-staff prior to implementation. Consequently, while there will be a grace period during which members can offer feedback and propose tweaks to the system, the system will not be removed or scrapped after the testers have given it their approval.
- General Forum Behavior: Last, but not least, this very important point (note that this applies to both staff and general members). While nobody expects for everybody to agree on everything, disagreements are to be discussed in a calm, civilized manner. Both staff and members that are found to be hostile/aggressive (or any sort of bashing), whether it's toward staff or a general member, will only receive a single warning before action is taken against them (typically in the form of temporary bans, the duration of which will be shown to the staff or general member in the warning notice to avoid confusion). This is to cut down on the toxicity that is present on the site that keeps things from moving more smoothly. There will be no exceptions to this. If it's a staff member, along with a temporary ban, they will be removed from staff, and must prove themselves for several months before being allowed to try for staff again. There is only a single second chance for this - if it happens again, the member will be permanently banned from acting on staff, nor will they be allowed to participate in the testing program. Following the temporary ban, no more warnings for such behavior will be given, and the duration of bans will increase up to a permanent ban based on the severity of the infringement.
EDIT: I'll post in the Site Updates as these things are completed, so keep an eye on that thread for any changes!