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AMA Forum Charter and "Plan" discussion

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  • 19-11-2014 7:46pm
    #1
    Closed Accounts Posts: 8,840 ✭✭✭


    Welcome to the Boards.ie (AMA) forum.

    So, what's this forum about and how will it work?

    We're all very familiar with the idea of what an AMA is at this stage - someone signs up for a Q&A and they answer as many questions as they can or want to. I see no reason to break from tradition here :)

    What I would like to do is make sure that we're only running two or three AMA's at a time to keep the forum consistently active and to make sure that people don't get snowed under with activity.

    One addition we'd like to make (we the company that is) is for non-Boardsies to be able to join in. We recently had our chat with David Gray for example that could have worked very well as an AMA and we're aiming for a lot more of that sort of things for 2015. We've had opportunities to do interviews with people like Katie Taylor, Terry Gilliam, Francois Pienaar etc over the years, so this forum is the natural home I think for that sort of content. None of that stuff was paid for by the way, the usual format for these things is that the person is on a press/PR tour and we apply to get a slot to interview them and we either get a yay or nay on it from whoever is managing their event.

    We have set up an application process (see below) for everyone to use and will manage it ourselves, but I like the idea of being able to take advantage of the occasional offers we get to talk with various interesting people over the years.

    We would of course welcome suggestions for people to ask and invite on too - I'll have a thread running for suggestions.

    We might just follow the Reddit model of allowing paid-for AMAs as promotional tools for things like film or album launches, etc. *IF* we do that, it'll be very clearly marked as paid-for content like we do with Sponsored posts and forums etc. Some people on the Forum requests threw up this idea too, so there's obviously some merit to the idea. However, we're a long way off that, but I wanted to let you all know that this is a thought we had and that if we introduce it, it won't come as a shock.

    So I present this charter for general approval...
    Welcome to the Boards.ie Ask Me Anything forum. As with any other forum on this site, it is bound by the site Guidelines.

    This forum will have threads started for an Ask Me Anything session with one person per thread at a time. We will run up to three different AMAs at any time. Site members will not be able to start threads on this forum, but they will be able to reply to any open threads - this lets us keep the forum a little more easy to manage.

    Who can start an AMA?
    Anyone! :D Are you a rocket scientist? A full-time parent? A member of the civil service? A service industry worker? A cubicle worker at a gigantic multinational? A nerd with an interesting hobby? We've got an application form to fill out to register your interest and verify your credentials - you can do so here. All data gathered via this form will of course be treated with the strictest of confidentiality and will be deleted after your stint in the hot seat is over.

    How long will an AMA last?
    A typical AMA will last 3 days, but if it's busy, and you can commit more time, we'll keep it open for as long as is appropriate.

    What will I have to tell people?
    Only what you want. You are not obliged to answer every question (but we would consider it good practice to say "I'm not able to answer that" so people don't think they've been missed/ignored). You do not have to go into your reasons for answering or not answering anything nor should there be any expectation of that. You do not have to post your name in public unless you want to. Nor do you have to post your position in your company, what department of whatever you work in, etc - any details that might be used to break your anonymity are entirely at your discretion.

    What about some asshat abusing me because of my answers or because of where I work or what I do?
    They will be nuked with extreme prejudice. Again, I state that Boards.ie guidelines will always remain in play.

    How will we know this is legit?
    The application process is managed by Boards.ie HQ Staff and they will be responsible for verifying the details and authenticity of all participants.

    How do I start?
    Fill in this form!

    OK, so that's the charter I propose, I'd love to hear your feedback and get a general thumbs up.

    As for all other threads that have started, whilst we all get these details ironed out, lets have some fun with them :)


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Comments

  • Moderators, Computer Games Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 14,526 Mod ✭✭✭✭Darkglasses


    Question about the anonymity side of things. Let's say hypothetically I was a long-time Boardsie, but I had a somewhat unique job that would be interesting for an AMA, but I didn't want to risk of having my real-life persona linked with my account. Is there the possibility of having temporary/throw-away accounts just for this forum? Apologies if this is already mentioned above and I've missed it :o

    I'd also be very much in favour of having paid-for AMAs, they sound like a great idea to me.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 8,840 ✭✭✭Dav


    Good question and something I should probably have included. I'd be happy to set up a new account for anyone in that hypothetical position and not link it back to any other account.


  • Moderators, Computer Games Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 14,526 Mod ✭✭✭✭Darkglasses


    Dav wrote: »
    Good question and something I should probably have included. I'd be happy to set up a new account for anyone in that hypothetical position and not link it back to any other account.

    Super, I think that's actually a really important step to how this forum can work. Although generally speaking I'm very much against the idea of second/throw-away accounts, I think they are crucial for a forum like this that depends wholly on someone feeling comfortable telling the world their personal experiences with an absolute minimum amount of repercussions.


  • Administrators, Politics Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 25,947 Admin ✭✭✭✭✭Neyite


    What about nominating posters?
    Someone might not think that they are particularly interesting themselves but others might think there would be an interesting thread should that person agree. We could have a nomination thread.


  • Moderators, Computer Games Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 14,526 Mod ✭✭✭✭Darkglasses


    Neyite wrote: »
    What about nominating posters?
    Someone might not think that they are particularly interesting themselves but others might think there would be an interesting thread should that person agree. We could have a nomination thread.

    Yes! I knew I was forgetting something, this would be great. Even if it required a minimum number of votes or something, I can already think of a number of Boardsies that might appreciate the nomination and would be very interesting to ask anything, while of course being able to decline.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 23,695 ✭✭✭✭One eyed Jack


    Neyite wrote: »
    What about nominating posters?
    Someone might not think that they are particularly interesting themselves but others might think there would be an interesting thread should that person agree. We could have a nomination thread.


    I think it could only work if people nominated themselves through the application process. If someone has a specific person in mind, then maybe what they could do is PM them and suggest that they should apply for AMA.

    I just would have concerns that the person may feel peer pressured as such to take part with a nomination system (think recent social media nomination campaigns) and may be made to feel uncomfortable by saying they'd prefer not to be nominated or to take part.


    With regard to protecting the identity of posters and introducing throwaway accounts, rather than that, what might be a better idea is to assign participants a numbered ID and then their AMA subject in the thread title. ID's could then be assigned on a schedule in keeping with the three AMA's per week idea and the number of applications received so that participants would know well in advance when they're due to do their AMA.


  • Registered Users Posts: 22,655 ✭✭✭✭Tokyo


    Neyite wrote: »
    What about nominating posters?
    Someone might not think that they are particularly interesting themselves but others might think there would be an interesting thread should that person agree. We could have a nomination thread.

    That could be a double edged sword though, in that certain posters might feel pressured into entering into an AMA where they really don't want to.

    An option might be a "Tell Me...." sticky thread at the top of the forum, where posters who have a topic or experience they are interested in hearing about can post it, and that post, backed up with thanks from other posters, gives more visibility in what people are interested in. Those browsing might see a topic or area that they are familiar with, and may think to themselves 'I didn't realise people would be interested in this - maybe I can contribute...", and sign up of their own volition.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 8,840 ✭✭✭Dav


    I think a "low pressure" means of encouraging people to join in is preferred - for example, having a list of 20 people saying "I'd love to hear about what goes into being a Garda" is much more preferable to saying "get <member> from the Emergency Services forum, they're a Garda and I'll bet they'll have loads to say."

    For the accounts to answer questions, I think we'll make it simple and simply call it "AMA about <topic>" if the person wishes to remain anonymous or they can use their regular Boards account for answering if they're happy to be identified. For non-Boardsies, I think we use their name if they're happy to share it.

    There is another consideration and that is like the previous non-Boardsie interviews I linked to, having the Answers take the form of a video is easier for anyone who's in the middle of a press run rather than asking them to log into the site and spend some time on that, so I just wanted to make sure you all knew that as far as we're concerned, that's a perfectly valid means of answering and is open to anyone.


  • Moderators, Computer Games Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators, Help & Feedback Category Moderators Posts: 25,203 CMod ✭✭✭✭Spear


    Dav wrote: »
    Good question and something I should probably have included. I'd be happy to set up a new account for anyone in that hypothetical position and not link it back to any other account.

    Is it worth having an AMA accounts group, so they could be tagged in red ala the verified reps. Might also help improve readability in the AMA threads.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 8,840 ✭✭✭Dav


    Yea, I was thinking exactly that myself.


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,571 ✭✭✭0byme75341jo28


    Is there a no chat rule?


  • Registered Users Posts: 22,080 ✭✭✭✭Big Nasty


    This forum could go one way or the other. It needs to be light hearted but with no messing in terms of the OP. Gordons thread is actually good but the others started are just a piss take.

    Once some ground rules are set and there's some sort of verification done before the OP begins it will be a great addition IMO.

    Would it be an idea to create a sticky in AH / Sitewide inviting users to start a thread to kick things off?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 8,840 ✭✭✭Dav


    Yea, those that got started when we had no charter etc were definitely on the less serious side of things, but that's fine, we've got a plan now :)

    I've got 2 interesting applications now so I might roll both of them out to get things going.


  • Registered Users Posts: 972 ✭✭✭Digital Society


    Have you checked the legalities behind copying Reddit? Would you have to call it something else maybe?


  • Registered Users Posts: 22,655 ✭✭✭✭Tokyo


    Have you checked the legalities behind copying Reddit?

    Off the top of my head, I can already think of five popular sites that have an 'Ask Me Anything' or 'Ask/Tell' style forum. I find it hard to imagine that this is something that reddit has a monopoly on.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 8,840 ✭✭✭Dav


    They can't copyright a common phrase like "Ask Me Anything" nor can they copyright the idea of questions and answers :) As Mike said, lots of places do this sort of thing already, in fact we've been doing it for years on this site, just on a forum by forum basis and maybe with a different name, but it's the same basic idea.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,689 ✭✭✭Tombi!


    What I'm suggesting is a double edged sword, I think.

    What about announcing certain AMAs?
    It'd have to be up to the mods/admins/etc, I think.

    But if you had on the front page "AMA with X, start of these famous movies" might get more interest and (hopefully) good questions. But on the other hand, if you have every Tom, Dick and Harry doing an AMA, it wouldn't work and it might seem like you're trying to shush certain posters doing AMAs.


  • Registered Users Posts: 972 ✭✭✭Digital Society


    What I'm suggesting is a double edged sword, I think.

    What about announcing certain AMAs?
    It'd have to be up to the mods/admins/etc, I think.

    But if you had on the front page "AMA with X, start of these famous movies" might get more interest and (hopefully) good questions. But on the other hand, if you have every Tom, Dick and Harry doing an AMA, it wouldn't work and it might seem like you're trying to shush certain posters doing AMAs.

    It would have to be controlled by Admins alright with no way of Joe Soaps starting threads in the forum.

    Most obvious problem i see is the upvoting to the top system. Pointless having the questions in "Time of Posting" order as you'll just get ****ty, rushed questions at the top.

    Might as well literally just copy the structure from Reddit as nothing else makes sense. Posts in order of thanks.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,971 ✭✭✭Orim


    Most obvious problem i see is the upvoting to the top system. Pointless having the questions in "Time of Posting" order as you'll just get ****ty, rushed questions at the top.

    As opposed to the wonderfully thought-out and indepth responses that will get the most thanks? Most thanks just makes top responses 'funny' and short.

    If I wanted to be on Reddit, I'd be on Reddit.


  • Moderators, Regional East Moderators Posts: 23,220 Mod ✭✭✭✭GLaDOS


    I hate the reddit layout, no thanks.

    Maybe have posts set to pre-approve? At least then you can avoid people posting absolute rubbish just to get a reaction.

    Cake, and grief counseling, will be available at the conclusion of the test



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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 746 ✭✭✭Starokan


    Would there be a way of placing a list of what AMA's are planned you know say a week in advance or something for both sponsored and un-sponsored threads . It's a great idea with huge potential but they would be easy to miss with the demands of real life. If you know what is in the offing you can ensure you log on , participate in the ones that interest you most.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,689 ✭✭✭Tombi!


    Boards doesn't have an upvote system, far as I know.

    Still, I'm thinking if we went with pre-approved posts that it wouldn't be that difficult to do. I'm sure some mods could volunteer an hour or two for a certain day.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 8,840 ✭✭✭Dav


    Thank you again to everyone for their input, I've set the charter live now and will see how it pans out - we can make changes if necessary.

    Now, what we really REALLY need is for people to sign up - so spread the word and tell your friends: Sign Up Here!


  • Registered Users Posts: 22,280 ✭✭✭✭endacl


    How about a defined thread closing procedure, if the format is to be specifically Q&A? There are still questions coming in for Omackeral in the Prison Service thread, even though he's quite clearly and explicitly signed off. If folks want to develop a discussion around the Q&A stuff there are other forums in which to do so. I think that allowing continuing chat after the 'intervewey' bit has finished undermines the concept. Maybe I'm wrong. What am I missing?


  • Registered Users Posts: 22,280 ✭✭✭✭endacl


    Dav wrote: »

    Free proof reading.

    *ahem*

    'Barrage'


  • Moderators, Regional East Moderators Posts: 23,220 Mod ✭✭✭✭GLaDOS


    Suspect more backup from a moderating point of view is needed, if Dav isn't around threads will trail off like that.

    Cake, and grief counseling, will be available at the conclusion of the test



  • Closed Accounts Posts: 8,840 ✭✭✭Dav


    I'm just on my own this week as Niamh's on holidays, that won't be an issue all the time obviously :) I think we'll be ok with that as time goes on.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,971 ✭✭✭Holsten


    Any chance to getting reddit type questions banned?

    E.g Ducks/Horses?

    They detract from the real questions in my view.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,971 ✭✭✭Orim


    Holsten wrote: »
    Any chance to getting reddit type questions banned?

    E.g Ducks/Horses?

    They detract from the real questions in my view.

    As long as they don't overpower the thread, a couple of fun questions is okay.

    I mean, how else will we decide Daddy or Chips?


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  • Registered Users Posts: 22,280 ✭✭✭✭endacl


    Orim wrote: »

    I mean, how else will we decide Daddy or Chips?

    Ask Mr Potato Head. Lends a sinister, psychopathic angle to the question.


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