This is not a personal sling at the staff, members or community in general it's some feedback I felt
It's that time again, Shikey does a rant on how to improve sprite wars and future proof it. Stay with me here because I am going to try and be reasonable and give some logic for my solutions. Remember as well these are only bare-bones first steps and not a cure all, sure some of these will have their own flaws and problems but remember constructive criticism is good for everyone.
1: We need to be able to make some compromises while not turning the forum into a toilet
The internet isn't the same any more, these are chaotic times but despite that we should remain steadfast and set a better example than “Well X on the internet acts shitty why can't we?”
We should allow discussions, world topics, give people a ranting area while avoiding heavy political slanted discussions that risk being extremely divisive. A complete zero tolrence rule is unhealthy while the other extreme is just as bad, in a sense balance is the key to success.
Also to staff members do not be afraid to lay the hammer down when people act entitled or shitty, rules should still be enforced if users step out of line. We should respect civil discussions, peoples rights to voice some opinions while also not allowing full shitlord behaviour or people to just vomit edgy garbage on the carpet every day.
2: Clean the inactive moderation staff out.
This has been said before, we have too many inactive staff members who look like they have positions for life. Staff should be active when on the board, do their jobs and help promote community spirit on the forum rather than just get a participation trophy because they logged in for one day a month.
3: Staff should be selected on merit rather than activity.
Too many people are promoted because they make a lot of posts or are just active on the board rather than “Is this person skilled?” or “Are they level headed and cool under pressure?” have they shown an excellent example and proven they can be good leaders?
4: Promote community spirit
When there are no campaigns going on most of the forum tends to “Go to bed” and we have a spike in inactivity. Let's change this and get people motivated again, build excitement, run role play games, host interesting contests, show off our creations to one another and teach our members to be community leaders.
5: People should be called out for being jerks
When people act shitty they should be called out for bad behavior and held accountable for their actions because if you enable bad behaviour and entitlement then it encourages future acts of the same poor behavior. It doesn't matter if you are a newbie or the divine god of pixel art you should be called out if you act poorly.
Rules stand no matter who you are and we need to stop making compromises with those that violate the sites policy or abuse other members when they don't get their way.
"Basically, don't be a jerk: don't attack others, don't lie, don't whine or rage quit when things don't go your way or go better for others, and don't stomp on others for success. Learn from your mistakes, show understanding to others, support each other, and become a shining example of human growth. “
6: New policies should be put in place to streamline the rules and remind people they exist.
Stuff like an anti grudge policy to prevent bad blood between groups forming, he said she said behaviour, Chinese whispers and people having ill will towards members. This can't be easily enforced but it can stand as an example to follow and help build a healthier community while also preventing future problems.
"Do not take sides if people have disputes with other members or groups. Seek to be a peace-seeking party. Help keep the community a peaceful, drama-free place. If somebody has a problem with the other groups (or even ours), don't add to the problem by jumping in. If somebody is mad at someone else, getting involved only makes things worse unless you can resolve the issue peacefully. Fighting others only causes more stress: bringing people together reduces it for everyone. "
Also a strong mod accountability policy should also be put in place to prevent power abuse or bad behavior from staffers, to cite WSW another group
“If a mod steps out of line, have proof/witnesses on stand-by and bring it up to the group. Mods will be up for probation, and those who do not do their job may be removed by the community at large. Please note that the person who calls the probation is not eligible to present evidence at the follow-up: only third parties may do that. Conspiring against admins would go against the Anti-Grudge policy and would be met with administrative action, as well as reinstatement of the removed admin.”
7: Have monthly voice chat meetings over discord to discuss policy, the status of the site, ideas members can put forward and enable a democratic process.
Again to cite WSW they have a system called Town Haul which they host monthly to discuss issues with the community, share ideas, bring up important issues and at the end creation a mintues of the meeting, this can also help get members more engaged with the staff team and have their voices heard and encourage people to speak up.
I know I've cited that one group a lot but some of their policies are interesting platforms and jumping off points for reform ideas.