Major BBS Changes

Discussion in 'Announcements' started by Christian, Feb 1, 2002.

  1. Christian

    Christian Owner Administrator

    Mar 27, 1999
    On a sidewalk in Amsterdam

    After careful consideration and in response to certain recent events, we have decided to make the following changes. Please read through this announcement carefully, as some of these significantly change certain aspects of the Trek BBS.

    • We have decided to do away with the previous leadership structure, in which there were five admins who each had to agree on a certain issue in order to reach a decision. This was done partially to enable us to make important decisions fast - it has sometimes happened that moderator appointments or policy changes took far longer to accomplish then they should have. However, this of course was also done because I wanted to have some more grip again on what is, after all, still the bulletin board that I own. I realise that some of you may dislike this change, but unfortunately it is just how it is going to be.

      From now on, decisions about board policy and about new moderators will be made exclusively by Lisa and me. This does not mean that we will not listen to anyone else. In fact, several of the changes mentioned below (such as the splitting up of the QSF forum and the shutdown of the chat room) originated from either BBS moderators or members. In addition, we have decided to implement several new ways in which people can talk to us, from a new anonymous suggestion form to a regularly scheduled chat with moderators.

      This also does not mean that there won't be an admin staff anymore. In fact, we intend to make the admin staff larger, so that now there will be four admins, in addition to ourselves. However, the role of these admins will change. In the first place, admins will now be able to hand out warnings in each forum, and thereby will be able to function as troubleshooters in case the moderator of a forum is not present. In addition, they will still be implementing bans once a user has reached a certain number of warnings, in accordance with the BBS rules.

      In the past, we have noticed that many administrators get burned out after having served as admin for a long time. For that reason, we have decided to rotate the admin staff from now, so that every month the admin who has been on the staff for the longest amount of time returns to being a regular moderator again, and a moderator is asked to take over as admin for a four-month period. Of course, having been admin once doesn't mean people can't be asked to join the admin staff again, once they've been regular moderator for a month.

      We have asked both Barcode and Tamek to stay on as administrator. In addition, we have asked two moderators to join the admin staff. One of these, RevdKathy, has already agreed to join us, and so we warmly welcome her. In addition, Tamek has also already agreed to stay on as the staff, which is also a decision we're very happy about. Barcode and the other person we have asked are still considering, and we will let you know as soon as they make a decision.
    • As of now, the Trek BBS chat room has been closed down, and all links to it on the site have been removed. This was done because there were too many problems with people causing trouble in the chat room, and it became impossible for the moderators to constantly keep an eye on it. We may in the future still use the chat room for special-event chats, such as the one we previously organised with Daren Dochterman.
    • We have asked two moderators to step down, specifically drbob and Santana, for a number of different reasons. We each thank them for the long amount of time they spent moderating their forum. We have asked someone to replace them.
    • The Questions, Suggestions & Feedback forum has received a spin-off forum - the Administrative Actions forum. This forum should from now on be used to discuss administrative actions such as the moving and closing of threads as well as warnings and bans that people receive.

      We recognise that this is a forum that can often get quite heated, as clearly it isn't the nicest thing in the world for members to receive a warning, nor is it a very great experience for moderators to be criticised. For this reason, we would like to ask again to members to be as courteous as possible when posting in this forum, and to post in a reasoned way - if you post good arguments why a certain administrative action was wrong, the persons involved will generally think about it and may even reconsider, or they will explain again why they took their action. We would like to ask again to moderators to indeed pay careful attention to this forum and not be afraid of admitting at times to having made a mistake, and to treat members with respect.

      In order to make sure that the atmosphere in this forum stays pleasant, we have decided to appoint a new moderator who can be guaranteed to be independent and objective. Previously, this forum was moderated by all the administrators, something that was clearly not an ideal situation, as it is hard to stay objective when moderating a forum that for a large part is filled with criticism of your actions. The new moderator of this forum will be AntonyF, who as the owner of the old Star Trek central board and the current board has great experience with bulletin board systems. He will not be accessing the Briefing Room, and as a relative outsider will be able to objectively look at this forum and be able to protect both moderators and members.
    • We will add a form to the site that people can use to anonymously make suggestions to us. This could be used, for instance, to suggest who you think would be good as moderator.
    • For the first time since its reintroduction, we have rewritten the entire BBS policy, and changed its name to the more simple BBS rules. The contents of the policy is still generally the same, but it's form has been greatly changed to make it more readable. We have added a link to the Etiquette section of the policy, linking to the guide to the Mannerly Art of Disagreement - we would very strongly suggest that everyone read it. These rules are what will determine all future BBS actions.
    • We have added a great many questions to the Frequently Asked Questions file, and intend to keep this file updated with new questions as they are posted in the QSF forum.

    These are changes I feel are necessary for the board to continue to flourish. For the most part, it shouldn't effect most posters, and will hopefully enhance your experience here. It's my hope to make things more fair and give the membership an easier time of responding to us. With the new system, a new member won't be drowned out by dozens of threads concerning board politics, and hopefully the board will be better for it. We hope you decide to stick around and will be able to support these changes

    Feedback on this decision can be given in this thread in the Questions, Suggestions & Feedback forum. Should you have any further great suggestions for BBS changes, we certainly wouldn't be opposed to implementing them, if we also like them.

    [This message has been edited by Christian (edited February 01, 2002).]