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  1. #1
    Administrator highlander's Avatar
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    Default Forum Improvement Committee

    Hi everyone!

    I’m about five weeks into this forum ownership thing. I’ve tried to do a few positive things during that time but would like to ask for your help. Specifically, we are looking for volunteers to participate a forum improvement committee. The objective of the group is to come up with ideas on how to make the place better. It would be focused on improving content and attracting/keeping members rather than the discipline/FAQ issues that were more pressing last year. There are some preliminary goals that I've laid out.

    1. Growth of membership
    2. Accessible high quality content
    3. Attraction and retention of high value contributing members
    4. Fostering a sense of community
    5. Diversity of membership base - attracting all types
    6. Making the forum fun

    We're looking for help in figuring out how to achieve those things. If you are interested in participating, please send me a PM and explain why you would like to be part of the committee. I don't know how many will want to volunteer for this, but we will want to keep the group somewhat small - say 5 to 7 members.

    Thanks in advance for those of you who are willing to help.

    Highlander

    Please provide feedback on my Nohari and Johari Window by clicking here: Nohari/Johari

    Tri-type 639

  2. #2
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by highlander View Post
    Hi everyone!

    I’m about five weeks into this forum ownership thing. I’ve tried to do a few positive things during that time but would like to ask for your help. Specifically, we are looking for volunteers to participate a forum improvement committee. The objective of the group is to come up with ideas on how to make the place better. It would be focused on improving content and attracting/keeping members rather than the discipline/FAQ issues that were more pressing last year. There are some preliminary goals that I've laid out.

    1. Growth of membership
    2. Accessible high quality content
    3. Attraction and retention of high value contributing members
    4. Fostering a sense of community
    5. Diversity of membership base - attracting all types
    6. Making the forum fun

    We're looking for help in figuring out how to achieve those things. If you are interested in participating, please send me a PM and explain why you would like to be part of the committee. I don't know how many will want to volunteer for this, but we will want to keep the group somewhat small - say 5 to 7 members.

    Thanks in advance for those of you who are willing to help.

    Highlander
    We need a lot more cognitive dissonance.

    Cognitive dissonance is meat for the mind.

    Committees hate cognitive dissonance.

    And without cognitive dissonance, we are left with the commonplace mind.

    The wife of Charles Dickens had a commonplace mind, so Charles built a wall in his bedroom to keep his wife out.

    And as we perceive by making distinctions, we should distinguish between the commonplace and the cognitively dissonant.

    Rather than a committee I suggest we follow the example of Charles Dickens and build a wall in Typology Central, with the commonplace mind on one side and the cognitive dissonant mind on the other.

    Good walls make good neighbours, while a camel is a horse designed by a committee.

  3. #3
    WALMART
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    Way to step up to the plate, @Mole. I think you'd make a fine member of this committee.

  4. #4
    Senior Member prplchknz's Avatar
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    I would volunteer, but i have no ideas
    In no likes experiment.

    that is all

    i dunno what else to say so

  5. #5
    ndovjtjcaqidthi
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    I am in favor of the wall idea.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by highlander View Post
    [...] 1. Growth of membership
    2. Accessible high quality content
    3. Attraction and retention of high value contributing members
    4. Fostering a sense of community
    5. Diversity of membership base - attracting all types
    6. Making the forum fun [...]
    Sounds like you're trying to be all things to all people.

    Items 1, 4, and 6 seem at odds with 2, 3, and 5.

    Items 1, 4, and 6 seem appropriate for a site that is social-media-oriented and craves a big membership; in that scheme of things, the subject of typology only gets specified as a loose theme and a way to draw people; once people are here, typology kind of goes by the wayside and pretty much any kind of posting is rewarded.

    Meanwhile, items 2, 3, and 5 seem more oriented toward an actual typology-themed site, where there are incentives in place for posting on-theme and disincentives for posting material not related to typology.

    My suggestion: Figure out what you want the board to be. Any sizable company in the business world creates a mission statement clarifying what its "main purpose" is. Anything that serves the main purpose is encouraged; anything that deviates from the main purpose is discouraged. The mission statement is made public, and it becomes like the constitution of a country; anyone criticizing or suggesting anything to do with the makeup of the message board has to justify their criticism or suggestion with reference to the mission statement.

    *Without* a mission statement, you get things like Haight setting loose Hustler to chase away non-INTPs from INTP-C without anyone ever actually spelling out what policy was on non-INTPs. Or you get the college-girl-and-her-rape-whistle crowd spending an entire year spamming and banging the drum for feminist causes with the support of the admin staff at a website that ostensibly has little or nothing to do with social causes. Or you get a typology website where several of the top posters have no clue what their personality type is and/or post messages trying to debunk typology. Or you get a typology website where MBTI, enneagram, astrology, and tarot all seem to be regarded as equally valid in terms of personality typing systems. Frankly, these kinds of things are amateurish and disruptive.

    I'm not saying to ban this or that poster. I'm just saying to define clearly which kinds of posts are most valuable to the administration of the board, and set up appropriate incentives and disincentives to make the message clear. For example: Posting a message on social/religious/political matters gets you one point toward post count; posting a message on MBTI matters gets you two points. Posting on cognitive functions gets you three points.

    Anyway, my advice: Hire a business consultant to take a look at the website for a week or two and made recommendations on a mission statement and a proper "brand" for the website, as well as some simple policies to reinforce that "brand." (And no, I'm not a business consultant or offering my services, nor am I interested in serving on any committees.)

    But first, madmin staff should sit down and try to arrive at some consensus as to whether this is primarily a typology site or primarily a social media site, in order to give the business consultant a heads-up on which way to go with his/her recommendations. Because frankly I don't think the madmins currently have a consensus on that. For starters, you could prioritize that 6-item list in the OP according to importance; that would help indicate the website's priorities.

  7. #7
    can't handcuff the wind Z Buck McFate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FLD View Post
    Sounds like you're trying to be all things to all people.

    Items 1, 4, and 6 seem at odds with 2, 3, and 5.
    Yes, this was what occurred to me as well, when I read the op (and what has occurred to me in the past when "how do we increase member count?" gets asked). Environments that encourage fluff (socialization without the pressure of being purposeful) draw in more people and are more comfortable because there's less pressure- but fluff is antithetical to highly focused/quality discussion. Even though the forum is split up to (ideally) keep fluff out of the more specialized discussion areas- the more fluff that is encouraged (?, not sure if that's the right word) in those side subforums, the more it's going to bleed over into the more focused areas. [Or maybe that wouldn't be true if the more focused areas were more heavily moderated for fluff? Not sure. Being more strict in those areas might actually deter people from socializing in the more comfortable/fluffy ones though.] At any rate, I agree with what FLD said, I think it would be productive to make a decision about exactly what kind of membership you want to draw in instead of taking the generic "let's get more members" approach.
    Reality is a collective hunch. -Lily Tomlin

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  8. #8
    Senior Member Nicodemus's Avatar
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    I volunteer as judge.

  9. #9
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FLD View Post
    But first, madmin staff should sit down and try to arrive at some consensus as to whether this is primarily a typology site or primarily a social media site, in order to give the business consultant a heads-up on which way to go with his/her recommendations. Because frankly I don't think the madmins currently have a consensus on that. For starters, you could prioritize that 6-item list in the OP according to importance; that would help indicate the website's priorities.
    We certainly could limit the discussion of goals and priorities to the modstaff and reach that consensus ourselves. The purpose of this committee, however, is to involve members outside the modstaff, people who may have no time or interest for the daily politics and mechanics of forum management, but have an interest/investment here, and good ideas about the forum's future.
    I've been called a criminal, a terrorist, and a threat to the known universe. But everything you were told is a lie. The truth is, they've taken our freedom, our home, and our future. The time has come for all humanity to take a stand...

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    We certainly could limit the discussion of goals and priorities to the modstaff and reach that consensus ourselves. The purpose of this committee, however, is to involve members outside the modstaff, people who may have no time or interest for the daily politics and mechanics of forum management, but have an interest/investment here, and good ideas about the forum's future.
    I didn't say to *limit* the discussion to the modstaff; I said *start* the discussion with the modstaff.

    I don't see much purpose in turning the matter over to an outside committe from the membership (or to a business consultant) when you guys won't take a clear stance on whether this is a typology discussion website or a general social media website. What's an outside committee going to achieve with a 6-point list of contradictory objectives like the one in the OP? You're just going to get more of the same old fuzzy-headed feel-good measures that you always get when asking for advice from the membership.

    In the business world, that 6-point list would be considered a death knell: An assignment where you can't even figure out what the goal is. Those kinds of assignments give the boss cover by making it look like something's being done, but they're murder on the staff because nothing can be accomplished--there's no single clear goal. Such assignments are just brainstorming exercises that go nowhere. Assignments like the one in the OP ask for everything and nothing.

    The goal (some indication of where the website is supposed to be going) has to be defined by Highlander, presumably in consultation with the modstaff.

    ETA: By the way, I'm not expecting you guys to take my advice. I gave Haight exactly the same advice in the past (about clarifying the purpose of the message board with a mission statement), and he always did the opposite. As a result, the board lurched from one extreme to the next. You INTJs like to appear inclusive, but at the same time you act cagey and hold your cards close to your chest while you figure out what you yourselves want to do. When you finally figure it out, you'll toss aside the committees and rules and do what you want. IOW, I don't expect much has changed as a result of the ownership switch.

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