As mentioned in the recent AH thread where site-wide feedback was provided, we are now starting an open discussion on site Feedback, and the changes introduced last year.
The conditions set out in the charter for this forum remain in place – that means anyone wishing to contribute to this thread must have been on the site for a minimum 3 months, and must have a postcount of 100 or more.
We appreciate the changes introduced last year were received poorly by many posters who would usually contribute to threads in the Feedback forum. Those changes were explained at the time, and were made, in my view, in the best interests of the site. We wanted to give the new format an extended run to see how it turned out. We have seen that now, and also have seen comments made in the AH thread.
We would like to find a way to re-introduce a more open feedback format, but equally feel it important to encourage a wider participation in site-wide feedback discussions in the way we saw it in the AH thread. Hopefully we can get wider perspectives, and I would encourage those posters who feel they have something to contribute to this and future Open feedback threads, in whatever format is in place, to do so.
So to kick this off I’ve one or two suggestions over how Feedback could be provided in a more open fashion than we currently allow.
The first point I would like to make is that the Feedback forum is for site-wide feedback – we expect it to be constructive feedback. That does not mean it must be positive, and there are certainly going to be situations where negative or critical feedback will be given. However I will re-emphasise the term “constructive”. We all want to see feedback that is posted with the intention of improving things, and not becoming a place simply to have a whinge.
We also recognise that posters do need to have avenues to complain about things they are not happy with. We currently have the DRP where posters can challenge cards or bans handed out at a forum level. This thread is not for discussing the DRP process itself – we did have a separate discussion on that a while ago.
There has been in place a process to deal with other “complaints”. That has involved initially discussing the issue with local mods and if not satisfied escalating it to the relevant CMod(s). All this is supposed to happen via PM, and not within open threads. Beyond the CMod level a thread can be started in Help Desk, which is a better format for dealing with disputes as it has pre-moderation of replies to an OP, allowing some control to avoid unnecessary commentary or other intervention by posters who may have a chip on their shoulder. One problem with this approach is I suspect many posters do not see the Help Desk as a place for resolving disputes, and it also deals with other issues. My own thought therefore was why not have an equivalent to the DRP, perhaps headed “Other Disputes” to deal with complaints about mods, forums or indeed categories.
We have also been discussing forum feedback threads with the wider mod community. Some have taken onboard comments made in the AH thread and introduced permanent feedback stickies. There is no “one size fits all” solution here though. I would certainly encourage mods to run feedback threads at appropriate intervals (so, for example, the Soccer forum already runs one every year, during the close season) – I do not think an annual or indeed biennial feedback thread is the answer for everyone, but I do think that running them occasionally allows the userbase the opportunity to provide some input into how a forum is run. I would add though that in-forum feedback threads should not become places for complaints about specific rules, mods or indeed their actions. Maybe examples of moderation could be provided to inform discussion, but these should not be turned into an in-depth “inquest” into something that has happened in the forum
TL/DR – the shorter version of my own suggestons:
Feedback for constructive site-wide feedback
DRP for contesting cards or bans
“Other Disputes” forum for other disputes at mod, forum or indeed category level
More (or perhaps more regular) forum feedback threads within the relevant forums
Open Feedback to the way it was previously with the conditions that you can only post if you've been a member for x months and have x posts. Time and posts to be decided.
Some who troll feedback are well known, cut out the crap and just ban them when they act the bollox.
I honestly believe it's as easy as that. It won't be perfect but what's in place now is immeasurably worse.
Beasty, I can appreciate the logic of your suggestions, and they probably make sense to admins, mods, and long-time site members, but I fear that new users are only going to get lost in a maze of bureaucratic process if they have to navigate PMing mods, DRP, Help Desk, Feedback, an Other Disputes forum, and forum-specific feedback threads.
It's already very confusing, if someone has a problem or issue, where and how to raise it. I have been a member of Boards for almost a decade, and I can't say that I have ever understood what or when to post in Help Desk.
With regards to Feedback, I think the admins overreacted to the problem of re-reg trolls manipulating the previous system, and what we then got was a drastically limited system that felt more like Prison with its structure of sometimes several admins vs one complainant. As indicated above, all that was really needed was to limit posting access to people who had been members for X months and had at least Y posts. If someone trolls Feedback, just ban them.
I appreciate the desire for constructive feedback -- but sometimes there's a legitimate need to let people whinge and complain. When the responsive site was rolled out, there was an outcry from posters that could have been interpreted as whinging and moaning -- but it did send a strong signal that the responsive site was unfit for purpose, and that many people hated it. The CEO of Boards even acknowledged in his AMA that it was a mistake to roll it out in that state.
Boards needs a system for feedback, complaints, and dispute resolution that is simple, transparent, and can understood easily by new users. It should be as simple as possible to navigate and use. I'm not exactly what it looks like, but don't think that adding even more avenues to the already confusing current system will work.
Obviously adds workload but would resolve the whole "not sure where to post" issue.
I'm no great fan of "Thanks" how else are we to signify ideas / posts we agree with or support?
Or a similar idea with a conspicuous sticky with live links to the other various forums? That way people would know where they had posted without being redirected.
Exactly this. Trying to control everything to the nth degree is off putting and far too restrictive. With hidden more specific feedback, via pm and then help desk, this is a far too frustrating route to air things. Waiting for a yearly forum specific thread too is often no good as a year is a long time to forget things.
The way it was might not have worked well for admins, but for ordinary users it worked far better than what was since or what I being proposed by beasty. A no tolerance approach to rereg complainers and some minor postcount/reg date restrictions I best for most people.
It won't happen, as this is probably a box ticking exercise in a process that has already been pretty much decided, but I can hope I'm wrong. The end process will be very similar to what beast has outlined, I have no doubt.
Even the lack of a thanks button in here makes it far harder to find out what most people think as not everyone might want to post just to say something someone else has already posted, which might make it seem that not many people hold a certain view.
Thanks for that 5star
Put it back the way it was with the stipulation that if someone is taking the piss they'll get a friendly pm from a mod to reign it in. Posting a mod warning on thread only riles people up more i think and starts an Us vs Them debacle
Put it back the way it was, its non existent now.
If you start a thread now it has to be approved and I am aware of threads never approved and never explained to the user why not. So like starting a post in a black hole.
Like everything else that on boards.ie the issue of transparency is important. Never responding to someones feedback and never posting the thread is just stonewalling a poster - but its invisible. If the post was public to begin with then you might realise that many other people also feel the same way, rather than never allowing it to surface at all. It makes me wonder if there are like 2000 posters starting Feedback threads on one specific issue and because none of them get approved, its just pretending its not happening.
Couldn't agree more. I've started threads before and they didn't get approved and when I complained about them not being dealt with I was told I had never started them.
It gets so frustrating you just give up.
I tried to thank you. Please accept my written thanks
Ha, I hadn't seen your point, apologies! However I needed to post to show I thought the same anyhow.