Boards.ie uses cookies. By continuing to browse this site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Click here to find out more x
Post Reply  
 
 
Thread Tools
30-05-2020, 18:41   #106
Big Bag of Chips
Category Moderator
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 9,089
Hi Dial Hard,

I suppose that was never an official rule. It was a particular bugbear of mine and I was regularly the one snipping quoted posts and asking posters not to do it. Partly because a lot of my Boards.ie usage was done through the touch site on my phone, and scrolling through pages or duplicate quoted posts used to really annoy me!

So, as a rule it wasn't exactly changed because it was never exactly a rule! But yes, it is definitely something that I feel should be addressed again and will bring it up with the other moderators.

Thanks for the reminder.
Big Bag of Chips is online now  
(4) thanks from:
Advertisement
30-05-2020, 22:09   #107
Ranjo
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 394
You could make it a rule but it'll likely continue to happen. Personally, I think the better way is for posts not to be quoted by default when replying.

I posted about it in feedback, got some responses but no plans were made to make that change.
Ranjo is offline  
Thanks from:
30-05-2020, 22:14   #108
Big Bag of Chips
Category Moderator
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 9,089
I agree Ranjo. It might be something worth raising with the powers that be again.
Big Bag of Chips is online now  
30-05-2020, 23:03   #109
leggo
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 8,518
I’ve said this a few times but a tagging system instead of quoting, where the tag included a link to the post, would be perfect. Would also help bring an end to incredibly irritating arguments with people multi-quoting each other’s posts and fighting line for line. I know message boards by default are quite old technology now so don’t know how feasible that is, but to me that seems like an idea that solves everything if it is possible.
leggo is offline  
05-07-2020, 10:06   #110
leggo
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 8,518
There’s a severe amount of over-moderation going on lately tbh. I know that’s probably an over-correction to an earlier complaint around Christmas but there’s a sweet spot that’s not being hit.

The latest rule that seems to be randomly brought in is “don’t talk around the OP.” This comes across to me as a personal pet peeve of moderators rather than something which makes the forum a better and more constructive place for those needing advice. The reality is that mods are there to do the latter, they’re not in that position to make the forum *they* personally think/want PI to be. PI has always been one of boards’ better forums and moderators should be background noise upholding that gently, not putting their own beliefs front and centre to leave their ‘stamp’ on it.

Posters debating the merits and potential effects of each other’s advice is helpful to the OP (as long as it’s constructive and not personal): it allows two conflicting sides to be teased out to the full extent so the OP can explore how they feel from all angles, gives perspective through added experience attained by questioning the logic that led to a conclusion being made, as well as showing people’s qualification to give advice in certain scenarios.

For example if someone gives advice on getting a divorce but has never even been married and they’re just parroting stuff they’ve read online badly, if it comes across as crap to someone who’s actually been through it but they can’t question it out of fear of ‘talking around the OP’, the end result may be the OP taking horrible advice on a serious matter because it looked like it made sense on paper. And even if you say “well do that but direct it towards the OP”, all that’ll lead to is confusing passive-aggressive conversations achieving the same end starting with “OP I think this is bad advice because...” and the same post, when common sense and cop on can be applied to let people talk directly and constructively instead of having to jump through pointless conversational hoops for the sake of keeping mods happy.

Nobody wants to leave PI saying “y’know they give awful advice there but at least the mods are happy their pet peeves are being enforced.” If you want to default to a situation where OP’s are helped the most, take a step back and look at why you’re actually enforcing the rules in place.
leggo is offline  
(3) thanks from:
Advertisement
05-07-2020, 10:20   #111
Hannibal_Smith
Moderator
 
Hannibal_Smith's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Posts: 3,436
Thank you for your feedback Leggo.

Posters are asked to advise an OP when replying to a thread. So rather than it being a pet peeve, it's what PI is for - advising an OP on an issue that is impacting them.

It's not an echo chamber and disagreeing with or having contrasting advice is very welcome. There are ways of disagreeing with another poster or advice, while remembering and directly speaking to the OP.

For example 'OP I would not recommend x course of action because....'

Disagreeing in ^ that manner is fine.

I agree that teasing out conflicting sides can be a benefit, but not to the point where it becomes a separate discussion.
Hannibal_Smith is offline  
Thanks from:
05-07-2020, 10:42   #112
leggo
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 8,518
I get what you're saying but that's the weird conversational hoops I spoke of above (like I literally gave the same example you did) that are only in place to take work off you needing to use cop-on to see where a conversation is derailing rather than make the OP's feedback more constructive.

Again, ask yourself why that rule is in place and assume that we're intelligent adults who also understand this and don't need to be 'taught' or shepherded: the rule is in place for the purpose of not derailing threads away from the OP's original point. So the line where moderator intervention is needed is when that's not the case and it's no longer a discussion about the OP's issue, it's become an argument or gone off-topic (same as with any other board who don't need to ask users to jump through conversational hoops).

Instead of asking everyone to speak unnaturally and making the forum a less constructive and enjoyable place to be because we now always have to be conscious of this specific way you've asked us to address points, you do the work instead and use your common sense to judge these things. You're also on an absolute hiding to nothing and creating a huge workload if you're essentially asking people to change how they naturally discuss issues. This can all be done quietly with a bit of cop-on applied and then you don't need to deal with feedback like this either.
leggo is offline  
05-07-2020, 10:59   #113
Hannibal_Smith
Moderator
 
Hannibal_Smith's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Posts: 3,436
There is no offence or insult intended to posters in asking them to advise an OP directly. In fact it's what the majority of posters are already doing.

The rule is there so as not to deviate from the OP and their issue. The OP isn't making a point for discussion, they are seeking advice. I don't believe following that detracts from the ability to offer constructive advice and the contribution of the majority of posters certainly doesn't suggest following the rule means less constructive advice.

Discussing around the OP leads to a tangent branch of discussion and can sometimes choke a thread, which is of benefit to no one. It is the OP and their issue at the forefront here.
Hannibal_Smith is offline  
(4) thanks from:
05-07-2020, 11:15   #114
Big Bag of Chips
Category Moderator
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 9,089
leggo, for years it has been stressed by the moderators that PI is an advice forum, not a discussion forum. I have been a moderator on and off in PI for around 8 or 9 years and it has always been that way. Posters post looking for advice. Other posters dragging the thread off topic into general discussion that usually ends up on a tangent in no way related to the original advice sought is not what PI is for.

Also posters tend to get into petty over-and-back with each other in a bid to show their advice is better, and it becomes tedious for other users to wade through. Rather than encouraging interaction on thread it serves to turn people off contributing.

Boards.ie is a huge forum. There are plenty of places to discuss topics. Personal Issues is, and always has been specifically an advice forum.

You can disagree with a posters advice by advising the OP why you think they would be better off taking a different approach. It really is simple. Imagine the OP is sitting in front of you. Talk to them.
Big Bag of Chips is online now  
(4) thanks from:
Advertisement
05-07-2020, 11:19   #115
Big Bag of Chips
Category Moderator
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 9,089
Indeed leggo you yourself are a fan of using the line anyway can we get back on topic as this has nothing to do with the OP's issue.

So you acknowledge that oftentimes discussion is not actually addressing the OP's issue?

We have a specific forum charter in PI/RI. It's not complicated or convoluted. It's simple: Mature, constructive, civil advice to the OP.

That's basically it.
Big Bag of Chips is online now  
06-07-2020, 14:22   #116
leggo
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 8,518
Guys I’m not having a go at yourselves, saying you’re bad at your job or demanding you admit you were wrong on issues. I appreciate that it’s a tough job with a lot of interpretation required and you’re doing your best.

This is the feedback thread though and I’m giving feedback that I feel lately you’ve been a bit heavy-handed with breaking up conversation and following the charter to the letter rather than using the charter as a benchmark to enable you to maintain quality advice. When people come to PI, their issue is generally complicated or they would’ve had the answer themselves and not needed PI. Sometimes it’s something they can’t see and you’ll get a unanimous response one way, but often it’s an issue that can be divisive and the OP needs to decide one way or another. The only way they can see that is through allowing discussion to happen so the OP can see the perspective of people on both sides and say “I think I identify more that way”. Discussion itself isn’t this evil thing, it’s a necessity to figure out complex issues. The only reason general discussion is discouraged here is because we want to keep the point focused on the issue that OPs have brought to us. That’s the line and you absolutely should step in when that line isn’t being towed.

Also from a personal standpoint I don’t often feel comfortable saying “OP I wouldn’t recommend this advice because...”, for the simple reason that even though someone’s point may not initially sit well with me, I may be open to the idea that they’ve seen or experienced something I haven’t so I’m not willing to just dismiss their thoughts and life experience entirely out of hand. So while I might challenge them to give my own experience that led me to my own conclusion, I’m still open myself to changing my mind, and discussing our different experiences may lead both of us (and thus the OP) to the holy grail of arriving at a consensus. If you break up these conversations mid-flow, though, all you’re getting is a muddled thread devoid of any payoff and the only real winner is the charter, ie a random collection of words. Is that really leaving an OP better off than being able to read two intelligent differing arguments fleshing out the exact themes of what they’re experiencing from both sides?
leggo is offline  
06-07-2020, 16:43   #117
Big Bag of Chips
Category Moderator
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 9,089
leggo, it is very simple and most other posters in the forum seem to be able to do it without issue. You can disagree as much as you like with the advice or opinion of another poster. That has never been an issue in the forum. Indeed, as you say it is often helpful for posters to hear all sides and differing points of view. The issue is when a poster drags another poster into general discussion on a topic. More often than not the topic then goes slightly (or majorly!) off topic and the thread becomes an over and back between two or more posters completely ignoring the original issue and repeatedly repeating the same argument.

As moderators we tend not to shut down people we think are giving "bad" advice, because there is always a poster who comes along to counter it with sensible advice. As moderators it is not our job to moderate posters and the advice they give. Where we draw the line is when posters get into long winded battles of who is more right. It's irrelevant who is more right! It adds nothing to the discussion and other posters and the OP often have to sift through the noise to get to the actual advice contained in posts. (Sometimes there is none!)

It annoys posters, it annoys OPs. As moderators we mostly go by reported posts, we sometimes go by our own judgement. (All reported posts aren't actioned, all actioned posts aren't reported).

We do appreciate all feedback and as you can see we answer all feedback. But just because you feel very strongly on a particular issue, doesn't mean the forum rules will be changed just because you have posted in feedback. The Forum Charter stands for all. Not just for some, sometimes, if they're making a good argument, or creating a good discussion point.

Personal Issues is an advice forum. Advise the poster who posts asking for advice. Imagine your friend comes to you in real life, upset, worried about something and looks to you for guidance. And you turn to the person beside you arguing a point, whilst pretty much ignoring your friend sitting in front you, upset and worried and looking for advice. That's what happens in PI every time a thread wanders off on a tangent.

You say we are "asking everyone to speak unnaturally". We're really not. If a friend comes to you for advice do you look for someone to argue the details with, or do you advise your friend? If they told you another friend advised a particular path that you don't agree with, do you go looking for that person to argue your point or do you offer opposing advice to your friend? Asking posters to talk to the person who has created the thread and asked for advice in an advice forum is not asking for anything unnatural. It's just asking you, as a poster, to have a bit of consideration for the person and their issue.

Maybe read a few other posters' posts and see how they can contribute to the thread whilst staying within the forum rules. It is possible to do without stunting the flow of any thread and giving differing advice and opinion.
Big Bag of Chips is online now  
(3) thanks from:
07-07-2020, 00:31   #118
leggo
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 8,518
Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Bag of Chips View Post
We do appreciate all feedback and as you can see we answer all feedback. But just because you feel very strongly on a particular issue, doesn't mean the forum rules will be changed just because you have posted in feedback. The Forum Charter stands for all. Not just for some, sometimes, if they're making a good argument, or creating a good discussion point.
I’m not asking you to change the rules for this. I’m dropping you off feedback and a solid reasoning behind it for you to consider going forward.

So you asked me if a friend came to me to ask me for advice would I respond by having a discussion with someone else. If it was an open group scenario (as this is) and I heard someone give questionable advice that I thought would harm my friend, yes I absolutely would! I wouldn’t ignore the person who’d just spoke and only address my friend, hand-wavingly dismissing the previous person’s advice by saying “So you shouldn’t do any of that because...” That’s rude, dismissive and unnatural and it’s going to really grate on a person who probably spoke from a good place even if they were wrong! Instead I’d respectfully challenge their point and give my own perspective while also listening to their perspective too, then continue the conversation as a group including my friend and getting their continued thoughts as the conversation progressed, if they wished to give them.

And to put it back to you: if I was in my job and a client or co-worker gave me feedback, my response wouldn’t be to get defensive and immediately start listing off examples like the above that actually don’t bare out in the real world. I’d accept what they said and consider it going forward, especially if they were a person with a history of contributing meaningfully. Whether I implemented it to make any meaningful changes would be up to me: maybe in my day-to-day duties I may pause for reflection a bit and see validity in their point as time goes on, or I may use it to reinforce my own original notions. But I wouldn’t instantly go back to them and say “So you’re wrong and here’s a list why...”

What you’re doing now by getting defensive and dismissing a valid point out of hand is the one thing you absolutely should NOT do when receiving feedback. It just pisses off the person who’s felt strongly enough to contribute towards the betterment of whatever it is you’re doing (when most people who feel that way don’t care and just go elsewhere so you lose out without even realising), it discourages others from participating in meaningful dialogue in the future because they know it’s a dead end, and the only benefit is that you feel better about yourself for a brief moment by feeling like you ‘got rid’ of the insecurity that caused you to get defensive to begin with. But you didn’t, you just shouted someone who cared down and if the problem they raised exists, it’s still there.

Again, I’m not asking you to make instant wholesale changes on my behalf here, my initial hope in posting was to just drop it off as I’ve done before and this place has a history of sorting this stuff out itself so I felt confident if it was a fair point (which I feel it is) it’d be handled well so I could forget about it and move on. I’ve been respectful towards you and acknowledged it’s a tough job and I appreciate that you’re doing your best. I’m just saying this is something I’ve observed and caring enough to drop it off for your consideration. But you’re handling this awfully by getting your back up and making it into an argument tbh.
leggo is offline  
07-07-2020, 03:32   #119
mike_ie
Administrator
 
mike_ie's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by leggo View Post
I’ve been respectful towards you and acknowledged it’s a tough job and I appreciate that you’re doing your best. I’m just saying this is something I’ve observed and caring enough to drop it off for your consideration. But you’re handling this awfully by getting your back up and making it into an argument tbh.
To quote one of your opening posts:

Quote:
Originally Posted by leggo View Post
Instead of asking everyone to speak unnaturally and making the forum a less constructive and enjoyable place to be because we now always have to be conscious of this specific way you've asked us to address points, you do the work instead and use your common sense to judge these things.
Emphasis mine. People don't always come across as being respectful, despite their intentions. But it does highlight a perfect example of what can often happen in threads in PI. To take your comment, I'm sure you didn't mean that statement in a condescending or disparaging way, and either way it's not something I react to, but quite often in PI we have other posters seemingly on a hair trigger to take apart advice they don't agree with, often based on one or two words in a paragraph, and a thread ends up spiraling into a back and forth between posters effectively fighting over whose advice is better. Somewhat ironically, the last few posts illustrate exactly what often does happen when the conversation turns into a back and forth - you put forward your feedback, two people countered your feedback, and your opinion and response now is that those posters are "defensive and immediately start listing off examples". The original point of discussion has taken second place.

Worse is when other posters fall into camps behind one or two of these opposing sides, and we've had posters abandon their issues (quite often we'll get a PM from the OP to close the thread), because they don't feel like they're getting advice, or they feel like they're getting piled on by a mob. Or worse still, they simply feel like they are not being listened to.

Quote:
Originally Posted by leggo View Post
If it was an open group scenario (as this is)...I’d respectfully challenge their point and give my own perspective while also listening to their perspective too, then continue the conversation as a group including my friend and getting their continued thoughts as the conversation progressed, if they wished to give them.
But it's not. You're equating the open nature of the forum with a form of group therapy, which is not the case. Most OPs (in my experience at least - your mileage may vary) aren't coming here looking for a group discussion where everyone enters into broad philosophical discussions about their scenario, talks about them in the third party as they try figure out which solution best applies. They are looking for a place to vocalise their thoughts and feelings on what is often a quite recent traumatic experience in ther lives, and they want to know they aren't alone in how they feel. Quite often the "what should I do next?" element of their enquiry comes second to this initial need.

As the others have pointed out, this has been a long established rule, and one borne out of trying other alternatives first - I remember the days when PI was a free for all, and it wasn't always pretty. And while in the ideal world, each person's opinion should hold equal merit in that discussion, every other forum on the site should serve as a reminder that this isn't always the case - quite often it's the squeakiest wheel that stands out, regardless of whether their opinion happens to be valid or not.

Nobody is being forced to speak unnaturally IMO - the basic tenets are:
  1. Direct your advice towards the OP.
  2. Don't engage in a back and forth with other users.
  3. Don't be a dick when doing 1) or 2).

That's it really. With respect to the "other users" part - can you disagree with another point of view? Of course. "OP - I had different experiences to leggo in a similar situation. For me, XYZ was the outcome". You're still giving validity to the other person's point of view while putting forward your own, and more importantly you're treating the OP like an adult who can decide for themselves which points they want to take from the thread, rather than hammering home a 'correct' course of action for the OP to follow. The OP isn't looking for you (or anyone else) to battle it out for them, and ultimately, nobody here is a trained professional - the best we can do is share our own life experiences and hope the OP can take something from them.

One comment you made did stand out. That the mods should put what the users want from the forum first. We do though you may not always see it, or agree with it. We consider the needs of the OP, first and foremost. If that upsets a subset of people who would like a broader discussion on the OP's issue as a whole, that's unfortunate, but I don't think it detracts hugely from the forum's primary purpose.

In summary, I appreciate that you are not asking us to make instant wholesale changes on your behalf here, that you are providing feedback. Your feedback has been listened to. It has been discussed in the mods forum. Equally I'd like you to accept that the mod response is feedback to your feedback, and not simply write it off as taking a defensive position. Will your feedback change how we mod the forum in this instance - I can't speak for the others, in my case probably not all the time - for the reasons outlined above rather than any hard line against you or your point of view. But am I so entrenched in those reasons that if an edge case comes along that I think would benefit from a little group discussion? No, I'm not. That's how feedback works sometimes.

Last edited by mike_ie; 07-07-2020 at 15:25. Reason: spelling
mike_ie is offline  
Thanks from:
07-07-2020, 07:11   #120
Hannibal_Smith
Moderator
 
Hannibal_Smith's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Posts: 3,436
Just two quick further points:-

1. I was an OP here a while ago. All replies were addressed to me and that left the thread crisp and clear, meaning I could sift through the advice, consider it all and find what I most felt workable for me. If I had come back and found two posters discussing their advice between each other I would have been mortified that my personal issue had become a tennis ball in that way. I would have either skipped all the posts between those discussing it between them, or left the thread and come back when the advice started again. That's not constructive.

2. I think it may seem that discussing advice between two posters works - only because not everyone is doing it. If everyone started discussing each others advice amongst each other and not directing any advice to an OP it would be like looking for a needle in a haystack. Speaking as a previous OP that would have been far more cumbersome than having posters speaking directly to me. So for that reason posters say 'this is my issue, please advise me' and not 'this is my issue please discuss'.
Hannibal_Smith is offline  
Post Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Remove Text Formatting
Bold
Italic
Underline

Insert Image
Wrap [QUOTE] tags around selected text
 
Decrease Size
Increase Size
Please sign up or log in to join the discussion

Thread Tools



Share Tweet