After a hectic and not unpleasant 15 months I am closing the Laughing Gnome Home with a post count of over 116,000 . It is the most successful social group boards has ever had.
The reason that I set it up in the first place was that there were a group of boardsies that liked to post and chat but didnt feel welcome elsewhere. There was an issue with a mod appointment on the Cuckoos Nest and it didnt bother me. These things blow over.
When I set up the group I did so because others were off to other bulletin boards and community groups including Farmville, reddit, and others.
So I chatted to Dr Bollocko on how best to keep a group of boardsies together as it is a community and I honestly believed it was better for them to be on Boards.ie . (Others disagreed with me but I went ahead -my thoughts on it were that I got a lot of enjoyment from boards and should put something back in. It was really the correct way to handle it )
After been told by a few mods etc -set up a social group & apply for a forum and thats what I did. I was even told we would have a review of our status after 12 weeks. Woohoo. 15 months later it was rejected.
I think the Admins & C-Mods missed the point of what we were about and one of the group members posted me about it.
I will quote from a pm from one of the regular posters.
So being active on those groups is not an attractive proposition for her.
The other reason is functionality.
The group was an open group and lots of people tell me it was well run. BriantheBard the Mod on History & Heritage helped me out on how to deal with situations.
People joined cos their friends invited them.
We had a gender balance on the group which probably does not exist anywhere else on boards and often there were more girl posters than guys.
We adopted a "safe to post" policy because for group members who may have been LGBT should be able to post. ( Brian also got a Gay History thread on H&H and was surprised when it worked)
The reason for closing the group is that I feel that an open group dealing with innuendo needs to operate from within Boards rather than outside it.
If any forum had invited us as a sub-forum I would have taken it.
There was a bit more substance behind TLGH than just being a grudge against the Cuckoos Nest. If thats what it was I would never have done it.
Doctor Doom & Cyberwolf offered to let members join and post on the Latverian Army Hosted Forum. As an alternative it is better than nothing and the fairest thing I could do for the group.
This isn't a rant and isn't intended as such, its rhetorical really.
Given their incredibly hostile and not-so-subtly insulting closing posts and the fact that their bestest friend was one of the very few people who thanked the FACEKICK'D! post, I do feel that certain people are grinding their axes once again as they still feel we have somehow wronged them and not respected their authority enough, so its their duty to teach us a lesson. Ironically, they are the only people that have not moved on, and even today clearly ascribe hostile motives to us that simply don't exist.
Sadly, I suspect these individuals are so convinced of our maleficence that they are waiting for many of the affected to childishly scream or shout or troll or launch forum invasions or just ragequit en masse, giving them the negative reactions that they crave and also put them back on the moral high ground, thus allowing them to attack others who they feel have wronged them. Well, sorry, but we're clearly not the people you think we are. We'll just get on with life, and all you've done is reinforce the same negative image that most of the Admins have tried long and hard to distance themselves from
Sol, the ladybird edition on what happened, some stuff happen on TCN & I set the group after a previous request for a forum had been rejected and some users wanted to go elsewhere other than boards google groups, farmville , reddit etc and they did.
I didn't know what a boards group was. I had to get someone to show me how to set one up.
Dav told us we would have a review of our forum request after 12 weeks or so.
I pm'd users to join etc who had left and a few others accross boards and as far as I was concerned that was that.
My understanding was that this would happen in some form and people who know better than me about on-line community groups would try and resolve the problems.
That was my understanding and I did not want to be embroilled in any kind of anything on boards.
I had never been on an internet group pre being joining boards 3 years ago. On other forums I was on stuff got heavy so I took the decision not to get involved in the heavy stuff.
I have posted on the social group on options for someone else to take over -if thats what the group members want.
Its not fair for a group to be identified as a faction but if thats the perception there is nothing I can do about it.
I can see where you're coming from in most instances,there's a lot of confusion as to where the home stands right now unfortunately.
I'm not too sure this ragequit has occurred-there are quite a few gnomies want to hang onto what we've built up and continue to grow even.
It's a very welcoming place and by and large and this negativity you speak of is no more prevalent than your usual forum/subforum here on Boards.ie.
To say that that certain people are looking for moral high grounds on the back of negative cravings is too much of a sweeping statement and if I'm honest,I haven't seen a whole pile of it.
I hope this gets resolved in some shape,form or other soon.I'd hate to think CDfm thinks he's alone in trying to sort it out.
LOL on the ragequit
I have spent 15 months at this over what essentially was an argument over the moderation of the Baseless Lie Thread.
I will bet if someone told Tom/DeVore who set up boards and told him that this was the issue much hilarity would ensue. And we are grown ups and some of us qualified professional people.
Am I the only one who see's it this way.
After a rocky start I kept Dav up to date with the groups progress & problems. Some group members etc are young and needed the same safety as a poster on any forum.
So a sincere thanks to Dav
Just a headsup, the other thread has been locked but I've posted for Dav & Overheal to give it a look as I'm completely oblivious to the history of TGH or any of that story and if Dav is being informed then I'm sure if it can be saved, he'll sort something so that the discussion of forum creation processes can continue.
I don't see why you couldn't mould a community/GH Forum using the Hosted side of things, though? Been many years since I've requested a Hosted Forum (VAR, Zombiedom, Dawn of War et al) so I can't provide the ins, outs and details but it should be an option for you guys.
This has nothing to do with Feedforward. Moving to Feedback.
I do believe it was decided ages ago that "Social" type forums weren't going to be created any more.
Are you looking for special treatment?
I don't know and that was not the reason given for the refusal but boards should not be resistant to change.
Our group membership was different in terms of age range, gender and orientation because we deliberately set out with that in mind. It would be a bit trite and condescending to say that that is a special interest group but it is true that many felt uncomfortable posting in the groups suggested. We put in fun threads like a "Hugs Thread" -well girlie that was and they worked.
Thats not taking anything away from the groups but its the boards demographic and we all know that but it is a wider group of people with wider arty interests too and would have done more of that too. Pretentious as well -but the Laughing Gnome is the title of a Bowie song.
Anything humour and innuendo based needs safe to post and like it or not the group are boardsies and part of the boards community. A very simple and practical reason for keeping it on boards.
One of the less helpful suggestions on the forum refusal was to head of to facebook and one of our people did that on google groups. Well one of our people did just that and a members real life facebook wall got a makeover. We dont know how it happened or who did it but it could never have happened on boards. Someone mentioned on the other thread that I was bitter - not so- I was angry that this had happened.
The size of the group when it was going at 2000 posts a week made it impossible to manage without a forum style structure and the functionality it has. Everyone knows that.
And, its not like as a group we did our own thing -we adhere to the site rules. Any real problems (and there were very few between members) got reported to Dav. And because posters knew that we were able to tackle things like putting a brake on explicit -which we do not do.
I don't think that anything we are about is radical but or in any way detracts from boards
It would work with an "open" Hosted Forum and who knows who might be watching our progress here
(well I invited him on to show him what we were doing)
There are my reasons others may have others .
hmmm, I have no knowledge of any history between the laughing gnome social group and the admins and while the reasons for rejecting the forum were a group decision, I have to say I fully agree with the reasons I posted.
You consider the rejection post rude, disrespectful and putting the admins in a negative light? Really?
There was no "lesson" intended. The Laughing gnome is a social gathering with no central theme, just look at the forum request thread. It descended into random postings, youtube clips and basically anything and everything except what the thread was intended for. I had to read that, and imho, most of it was utterly inane. However, it did have enough support to warrant discussion, it was discussed, and a concensus was reached. I posted the result of that concensus, that there is nothing posted in teh gnome home that couldnt be posted elsewhere on the site. That there is no central theme to the gnome home that differentiates it sufficiently from TCN, AH, Thunderdome or Ranting and Raving and that, in fact, half of that thread could have easily felt at home in Cool pics & vids.
What you want is a place for users to gather and discuss anything and everything as a group ---> thats a social group and thats whats already there.
I, personally, would never expect any user to ragequit, behave childishly or troll or launch forum invasions. If users do, then they accept the consequences. There's no "moral highground", there's just the rules of the forum that users have agreed to abide by in return for the ability to take part in the community. As an admin , and even as a mod yourself, the application of the consequences fall to us to administer. I dont see myself as superior for enforcing them and ,in fact , I would much prefer if everyone acted as I expected them to and I suspect the vast majority of boards users would be happier too if that were the case.
As for the negative image. How have I reinforced that? By rejecting a forum after reading the arguments for and against and then presenting them for discussion? And then presenting a synopsis of the reasoning behind the decision rather than just a flat "no" ? Some forums are going to be rejected, you mightnt agree with the reasons but thats your opinion. Some forums are going to be approved, again, you mightnt agree with their approval - an example was posted where the poster questioned the approval of robotics and vaping/e-cigarettes - both of which are large enough to warrant a section and are not sufficiently covered by current forums, both of which have a defined topic as their central theme and not just "friendly banter among friends" , while Japanese culture was rejected - take a look at Region -> Abroad >Japan and Soc > languages > nihongo and tell me how busy they are? Nihongo states that it can be used for discussion of japanese culture but it isnt being used for that. Japanese culture wasnt rejected, the creation of a third forum to cater for japanese culture while the two existing forums were sitting idle was rejected.
I can understand your disappointment but I feel it is unfair to automatically assume that there are any other reasons beyond those given. if those given weren't good enough, then maybe you'd have reason to think there was some ulterior nefarious motive at work but I think the reasons stated are strong enough to justify the refusal.
@CDFM: users dont like the forums suggested? then make them better. the mods guide the atmosphere, the users provide the content. User wants random banter, then use the social group.
Also, "forum rejected so we're closing down the social group" does actually strike me as cutting off your nose to spite the face and does have an air of ragequit about it. However, its your social group. I'm sure the members will find another that suits their purposes, either here or, yes, on facebook - which is a social networking site and not a discussion forum so the comparison is not actually unfair as from what I've seen the gnome home was less about discussion of topics than it was about having a laugh with friends - just saying, if you enjoy the laughing gnome group then the only people losing out by closing it are the members.
I'll prefix this by saying I've no connection to the Laughing Gnome Home crowd and I've never used the social group. Anyway, some feedback:
I was still moderating C&H last October/November. A group of four or five posters (who had been catalysts for several enforced changes in one forum) came along with suggestions on how C&H should be changed to suit them. Their insistence that the regulars and the rules should change to please them resulted in an exodus of long-standing posters who got tired of listening to the complaints of a different clique. The forum went into a a nadir that lasted almost six months (Christmas and New Years excepted) from which it's only recently recovered. Two long-standing mods stood down after dealing with the brunt of the storm.
We dealt with all of that in our own forum-based feedback thread. There was no big drama in here or the Help Desk, nobody got banned and we managed to get through it without admin intervention. As such it went by mostly un-noticed by the rest of the site. The regulars who were on C&H still post a lot elsewhere, but the community now is nothing like it was this time last year.
Insisting that the Gnome Home crowd move in and change AH/tCN/CVPL/wherever to suit them could see similar effects, but on a larger scale. There are a lot of vocal posters in the LGH group and in the fora they're expected to use. Recent threads here have shown just what can happen when an outsider expects a forum to change to suit their POV. Even if a new Rec/Social forum isn't appropriate for the Gnome Home, the negative fall-out of this decision could have been avoided with a new private hosted forum.
When a teenagers/young adults forum was first suggested we were told to go away and use Fashion & Appearances, Leaving Cert, Junior Cert and even PI. Ironically enough, Ruu cracked the joke *counter attacks with 'Walking cane and wrinkles' forum.*. What forum was created independently by an Admin right in the middle of the so-called embargo on new fora? Yup, the Oulwans 'n' Ouldfellas forum.
C&H (apart from the blip mentioned above) has been a roaring success (despite initial cynicism and scepticism) and O'n'O seems to be flying it. Remember how great BGRH used to be? See how well tGC and TLL are doing? Add Flirtar to that list too. The Noc has had a renaissance in the last six months as well. There's definitely a place for social fora on Boards, as well as social groups.
Maybe this belongs in FeedForward, but that whole thing urgently needs a kick up the arse to get it moving again.
LOLTH - we can look at this positively or negatively. Solitaire spent a lot of time on the group and made sure stuff was done right.
I don't want to criticise anyone on boards as I can be very lippy I now try to avoid any controversy on boards. Boards is a very small place& if you go to beers etc which I do you meet people.
I disagree with you LOLTH on the topic issue. As a group we are into a genre of humour that has its origans in the 60's etc and further back music hall saucy postcards etc. Personally, I am not snobby about it and would post Country & Western You Tubes like the Indians cos they are entertaining and humorous.
@Insect Overlord - walking canes and wrinkles forum LMAO do they have bovrils instead of beers.
Nice, but pointing this out will get you nowhere.
The Admins will close rank and pull some doublespeak out of somewhere, all the while we get Admins posting "This is not the Admins opinion, but mine as a person".
If we could just get them to admit to a modicum of abuse of power, from time to time, and let them know that we are comfortable with it, then it would be much better.
I mean Forums get rejected all the time and no real reasons are ever given, nor should we expect them it's not a public site, it's a private site for the owners/admins to do what they like with. Expecting something do be done by the rules as set down by them is a bit silly really. The rules are there to be followed, but only if those with the power not to follow them decide not to follow them.
It's not a transparent decision, all we get told is "The admins have discussed this, and it's not happening" - and a regurgitated re-hash of some non-discussion, non-reasons, even if the vast, vast majority of posters on the Forum Suggestion thread are in favour of the forum being created, one tiny obstacle is enough.
You make good points though, but the fact that the Admin in charge of new forum creation/the forum suggestion forum is engaging here is against his own rules
So um, you might wanna change that bolded line there Admins, because quite clearly there is.
Here's some rules, abide by them, just like we do when we feel like it.
Sounds just like the response that was given to the Japanese Interest and Culture suggestion. We were told to go away and use two dead obscure forums that deal with niche subjects (that doesn't completely cover the scope that was aimed for with the new forum).