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Underling

Building a better Sprite wars community

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.

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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.

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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.

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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. “

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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.”

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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.

 

Citations- http://walfasstationwagon.deviantart.com/aboutus/

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.

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I am in agreement with most of this post, but not throwing my support on the mid-section because my eyes skimmed some of the words over. Good going, Scarlet!

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I will bump this and insert my 2 cents in here, and give some of my own replies since I am an administrator. These are going to be in response to Shiki's post.

1. Yes people should work things out between themselves. However there are certain instances where the staff should be required. I have yet to really see them, but there have still been some recent incidents where very silly disputes and arguments got blasted out of control by people immediately jumping to conclusions without reading and re-reading. Again, those could have been solved by further discussion between the opposing parties, but lately there had been a complete zero tolerance policy towards practically everything related to disputes.

2. Already been brought up before. Yeah there were some inactive people. There were some retirements. Problem is, now there is nothing really happening.

3. Personally, I was promoted based on past experience. However sometimes it is required to select random people to replace moderators, such as when FreakOps was promoted, and he learned really fast and is quite alright!

4. Community spirit is extremely lacking for a multitude of reasons which all are relatively well known:
      A. Downfall and several year maintenance of Majhost.
      B. Very repetitive campaigns, causing people to get bored/lazy/sick/tired.
      C. Extremely outlandish and very new users entering said campaings without really posting anything beforehand.
      D. Moderating issues
      E. Lack of new users.
      F. Life.
Let's begin. Of course, Majhost being nuked destroyed almost all of our history. Then we need to realize that while Global 1 was alright, Global 2, basically a continuation, really killed the activity. I mean TFX appeared, for sure, and a few other factions really took off but other than that...it was just way too boring and slow. It was a pain to write a response almost every day sometimes. It wasn't fun. In addition there are a lot of outlandish OP factions out there. Time Travel, first attempts with TFX, Mechasonic, and his...whatever...that kept fucking everything up, and then some. There's also this moderation issue lately. Never mind that Mechasonic needed a ban years ago, It's bothering me that some people outside of staff are really influencing staff decisions for certain things, or are being relied on too much. While input is good, people completely flipping the tables and being required for assistance on something that should be staff only, is not. Let's be honest, a lot of dumb things have occured lately, and even those tiny person to person events are influencing some staff decisions. Easy answer though, the staff has gotten way too involved because of the lack of users, which is the next issue. We're not attracting new users. Period. One every 2 months isn't that great. The DeviantArt campaign has been doing nice, but as for on the SW site, well, not really. The last campaign really killed morale. Thankfully this Deviantart thing is attracting people, and it was a fantastic idea. We also need to remember, the biggest reason: Life. Some things will fix some things but life rules all. I do agree, there are things that should be done, such as contests and whatnot. I have somewhat of an authority to start something like that, so I think I will.

5. This is too much of a grey area, and this should not be changed or added. You might think someone is an asshole, but 500 other people might not. There has been too much of a fear of making someone upset lately here on the forums. There is no diversity and the staff is catering too much to the small issues instead of the bigger ones. I mean yeah if someone is literally calling you a faggot and they aren't your friend, then yeah, that's not cool. But if someone just makes one or 2 people upset by saying something...then yeah no. The forums have gotten way too sensitive lately. If someone doesn't like something on this forum, I think they should remind themselves: A) This isn't a shit haven, B) This is the internet, and C) This isn't some sort of facist communist state where there is no free thought. I'm also thinking that removing links in drama would be fantastic. If there is too much drama coming from one member, the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few. Aka, Democracy. Really. It's not fun listening to one person constantly bitch because they're mad at XYZ for saying ABC. I think everyone on this forum needs to have some backbone and remind themself we are all here for a good time. If your good time is being ruined because someone has a different opinion, the door is always open leave before the drama starts, and for someone to rejoin when they remember that there are other opinions. That might sound harsh, but that's reality.

6. No for the first thing. Again too much of a grey area. I also don't like hearing it from you...I'm not trying to rustle you up here, but you've been enourmously guilty for grudge holding, and that's not a grudge, that's a pretty well established fact that even you have proclaimed yourself. Your second argument, well, this is enforced plenty fine. People might not agree with what some people might do but there isn't any rule breaking in the staff. Hasn't happened for years.

7. Sounds good to me, but before we do that we need more people. Also, there needs to be a line in what the community has a say in. If we're talking about staff removal or something, or whether someone should be banned, that stays staff only.

I think I should also add this in as a final critique...This post seems more like a you thing, rather than directed at the entire community. I see a lot of what you want. For you.

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