You know it's bad when...

Discussion in 'Forum Related' started by Mikie, Apr 6, 2021.



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  1. Mikie

    Mikie Admin/iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    North East Canada? , California
    Name:
    Mikie Watson
    Current Bike:
    Ibis DV9, Santa Cruz Hightower
    You know it's bad when...
    ...The owner of the site is googling Forum Moderation articles to see what he is doing wrong.
    ...When you have people that continue to poke the bear, poke the hive, poke the process.
    ...When you have people report a post then proceed to fan the flames.
    ...When you have members share that they are not sure how to respond to a post in fear of getting moderated.
    ...When you start calling the Moderator out who is actually trying to keep the peace, a Forum Nazi.

    How about this one...
    ...When you are not sure you want to keep owning a forum.
    That your goal of providing a Best Culture Mountain Bike Website you feel is heading in the wrong direction.

    Is the honeymoon over? Do Forums live in Dog Years?

    Let me share some stuff...
    "Mikie you should have a politics forum."
    "Mikie, I didn't sign up for a place that talks politics."
    "Mikie, when are you going to start an eBike Forum?"
    "Mikie, are we going to allow eBike talk on this site? If so, I'm outta here!"
    "Mikie, this guy is being an azzhole!" Yet then the member reporting it becomes an azzhole.
    "Mikie, I want you to delete my account."
    "I don't delete accounts." Then they go away, then come back, then go away, then come back, they go away, then come back...

    Don't get paranoid if you think I am talking about you. Trust me, there is more than one in every category. I get it. Human nature.

    Do you know why I continue to narrow the subjects to Mountain Bike speak only? Because there are people here that will figure out a way to piss others off on other subjects. Or is it that people will figure out a way to get pissed off? At least if you are arguing over whether 1x10 is way better than 2x10... at least it's a reasonable discussion/argument.

    Society is driving our Nation in the same fashion that imtbtrails is getting driven by it's Members, to narrow our speech and be offended by ... EVERYTHING.

    I personally have no problem with us talking Politics, eBikes, Religion, and stuff outside Mountain Bikes. But there are those here that go nutz when they hear something they don't want to hear.

    So I try to moderate in a way that suggests resolve in all directions. Towards the offender and the offended. It may be some of you are not getting the hints when you ask for my help...

    I even gave up totalitarian authority in effort to blend leadership styles for a broader base. Now some are snapping at him.

    Understand...
    I want all of you here. My last blow up was a real blow up and it harmed the site. Some are not coming back and I may of in the past not admitted it, but it significantly harmed me losing the friendships. I aint doing that again. Instead, I'll just shut the site down because quite frankly, it isn't worth it.

    So make a decision to either be a contributor or a troublemaker. Contributors will get plenty of lovin'... Troublemakers will get plenty of warnings offline, then upon failure... disappear. This Forum Software has built in to it a full system for corrective governance. The goal is to help people get better or help them out the door. If enough troublemakers rule the day then the site disappears or may become Arkansas focused, yeehaw! I mean really, why would it be worth it to me?

    You know... the only reason I post all of this is because I actually really do care... :cool:
    I think the bottom line is everyone really just needs to chill! :coffee::p


    Here is an article I read. It's directed at Moderators but I hope everyone can learn from this...

    As your online community grows in popularity, so do the opportunities for varied, and sometimes toxic or rude, comments. Knowing how to spot these comments and what to do about them, especially in large communities where several moderators may be responding to posts, is crucial for setting the right vibes in your community’s culture. This article approaches the topic of dealing with online bullies, trolls, and simply irate community members from the perspective of a moderator.


    In a large online support community that answers hundreds of questions daily for over 200 products, at OpenText, technical analysts moderate our forums channel, not community managers. As the community program manager, it is a large part of my job to train channel moderators, or CMods, as we call them, to conduct themselves professionally online. Recently, the question of how to handle negative or abusive comments in the forums came up.


    The question prompted me to create a protocol or process for CMods to follow. In support, which is a process-oriented organization, community program managers need to write step-by-step instructions for all aspects of moderation. Therefore, documenting that process revealed some considerations that we took into account. Here are the initial steps our technical analysts take when encountering a possible irate online customer.


    1. Understand the post.

    Often a toxic post is easy to spot, since it may contain foul language or angry type in ALL CAPS and several exclamation marks. However, sometimes that alone isn’t the case. Tone, too, can indicate toxicity, but it can also be mistaken for a language barrier issue, especially for some whose word choice or written communication skills are limited. In all cases, and with every post, a CMod’s first step is to understand the poster’s question. That may take a few read-throughs and follow-ups with clarifying questions. Understanding the post and addressing the reason for it can stop a toxic situation in its tracks.


    action-blur-close-up-735911-2-300x200.jpg
    Learn to spot the hallmarks of an angry or toxic comment or post.

    2. Determine what action to take.

    If a CMod determines that a post is toxic, it’s time to follow our process, which enables the right prompt and professional response. I warn our CMods not to rush to judgment and not to respond if they are feeling angry. Short, curt responses or defensive remarks will only fuel the fires and make a bad situation worse. Moreover, labeling community members typically serves no one well. Whenever a CMod contacts me to announce that they have spotted a troll online, I ask for information about the member’s perceived intent. Often, as it turns out, a “troll,” as it were, is a community member with misguided good intentions and a bad or misinterpreted set of communication skills.


    beverage-coffee-computer-877695-300x180.jpg
    Make sure to be in a calm mind space before you respond to a toxic situation. Grab a beverage, take some deep breaths, and let your cooler head prevail.

    3. Respond in a prompt and professional manner.

    Most toxic posts require a response from a moderator. Ignoring an irate customer, or taking rasher measures like deleting the post or banning the member, should never be a CMod’s action. Our in-house process requires that moderators report all toxic posts to the community manager, even those posts that can be handled professionally with a CMod’s direct response. We have a three-strike policy for toxic posts before escalating the poster to their account team for community censorship. Customers are the reason we exist as a company; there may be business-related issues that only the account team knows about, and they can help guide us to a successful customer resolution. Our standard response typically begins with an “I am sorry you are having trouble with…” type of introduction, followed by “We are here to help resolve the issue.”


    4. Make an effort to resolve the issue.

    Many times, I’ve found that toxic posts come from frustrated customers who feel that no one is listening. Be sure to listen closely; if you’re able to understand the issue fully, you may be able to avert angrier, more irate responses from the customer. In cases where the customer has expressed frustration with our online support forums channel, I will offer an opportunity for communication in another channel, including a phone conversation. Remember: one-channel communication, like a single clothing size, does not fit all needs. Make yourself available to customers in a channel that suits their communication needs.


    5. Turn an angry customer into an advocate.

    Sometimes formerly unhappy customers, who become happy once we collaboratively resolve their issue, provide a great opportunity for advocacy. In my personal experience, I have been able to recruit previously irate customers and turn them into online advocates. One, in particular, was incensed about our documentation. We set up an online review board of customers to contribute their feedback to manuals, and the opportunity allowed both the previously disgruntled customer and our company to reap the benefits of his expertise. Another angry customer argued that his responses were often better than our technical analysts were. We allowed him to show off his expertise in the community by contributing a regular customer-contributed blog post on technical issues that he found most interesting.





    By following simple support engagement principles, which I call “CARE,” or Communicate, Advocate, Respond, and Encourage, you may be able to avoid toxic or rude comments. Many of these types of comments grow out of customer frustration and can be avoid through CARE. In a future blog, I’ll discuss the CARE principles for supporting your online community.
     
    Oaken, GregMiester, fos'l and 13 others like this.
  2. SnakeCharmer

    SnakeCharmer iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Crescenta Valley
    Name:
    Mike, aka "Ssnake"
    Current Bike:
    Trek FEX
    Ah yes, the dark side of owning/operating a social forum. I feel for you @Mikie. It takes a special guy to deal with all the BS that comes along with this. Humans are emotionally flawed. I certainly have no complaints. You’re doing a wonderful job from my perspective. My only suggestion, even though it’s not the best one, is to let the cry babies know that they can stay and play nice and deal with the human drama, which we all know is “normal”, or they can go elsewhere. It’s not your fault that not everyone feels the same or agrees on everything.
     
  3. buggravy

    buggravy iMTB Rockstah

    Location:
    Calabasas
    Name:
    Matt
    Current Bike:
    GG Smash, Transition Spur
    @Mikie , I'm sorry to hear that things are tumultuous behind the scenes. From my, perhaps sheltered perspective, I felt like things had mellowed out quite a bit recently. Admittedly, lots of draws on my attention of late have pulled me off the bike and bike related computer activities, so maybe I just missed things. If a testimonial helps, let it be known that this site has legitimately enriched my life. Though forum interactions have grown into actual friendships, and many rides are coordinated offline, in no way would I say that the forum has served its purpose and run its course for me. I greatly value this place, and sure hope that it endures.
     
  4. Mikie

    Mikie Admin/iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    North East Canada? , California
    Name:
    Mikie Watson
    Current Bike:
    Ibis DV9, Santa Cruz Hightower
    Thanks guys,
    It's not flames that has sparked this post, it's the underlying embers that just keep cooking.
    I'm trying to find ways to help everyone understand that words have consequences and to just think it through prior to posting. The other side of that is to be a good receiver and show good character. I want the benefits to continue to outweigh the challenges, but admittedly it has worn on me in my efforts to corral a positive environment in light of broader social events that seem to undermine our common sense and goal of a positive micro community.
    This is supposed to be the safe fun place... ;) Kids that ride bikes.
     
    fos'l, Walleye, scan and 10 others like this.
  5. mtnbikej

    mtnbikej J-Zilla

    Location:
    Orange
    Name:
    J
    Current Bike:
    SC Chameleon SS, SC Hightower
    @Mikie

    thanks for staying level on this issue.

    we have a common interest...but we are a diverse group. We all come from different backgrounds/beliefs/teachings/experiences.

    for the most part we all get along. However, there are sometimes gonna be squabbles....there is no way to avoid that.

    I personally appreciate the ban on religion/politics/ebikes....as these are generally the powder keg type discussions. If I wanna discuss these things, I’ll do it in person.

    we are all adults....at least by age.

    personal attacks have no place here....that’s for out on the trails.

    I guess I just don’t understand...I’ve never been someone who worried about what someone else’s opinion of me was. You accept me for me....if that works for you, great....if that doesn’t work for you, great.

    I get that life factors play a role in how we act, or react.

    forums do have life cycles.....up and down.

    No idea where this is going as I’m now just rambling....but I think you all get my jist.
     
    fos'l, scan, herzalot and 16 others like this.
  6. sir crashalot

    sir crashalot iMTB Rockstah

    Location:
    laguna beach
    Name:
    gary fishman
    Current Bike:
    2018 banshee rune
    as someone who got in trouble for making an un-called for non-bike related political comment here, i 100% support the ban on political discussions (possible exception if its relevant to bike access issues).
    Mikie, thanks for the hard work you do to keep this forum together.
     
    fos'l, Oaken, Walleye and 10 others like this.
  7. SnakeCharmer

    SnakeCharmer iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Crescenta Valley
    Name:
    Mike, aka "Ssnake"
    Current Bike:
    Trek FEX
    Another contributor is most certainly having to live under the stressful limitations of a global pandemic. Also, the big move to another state adds weight to the baggage you already carry. Whatever the “behind the scenes drama” is , it’s not obvious on the forum front to me. I choose not to be too connected, as a means of self relaxation, so perhaps things are floating across my field of view unnoticed, and Im fine with that.
     
  8. SnakeCharmer

    SnakeCharmer iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Crescenta Valley
    Name:
    Mike, aka "Ssnake"
    Current Bike:
    Trek FEX
    Perhaps having another Moderator would help ease the load?
     
  9. mike

    mike iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Western US
    Name:
    Mike O
    Current Bike:
    HT, FS
    IMG_4055.jpeg
     
    Luis, fos'l, kingaucho and 8 others like this.
  10. SnakeCharmer

    SnakeCharmer iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Crescenta Valley
    Name:
    Mike, aka "Ssnake"
    Current Bike:
    Trek FEX
    Nice one @mike. Yes, it does "take you away from it all". :cool:

    I'll be doing some AZ style desert rolling in a few days. :inlove:
     
  11. Mikie

    Mikie Admin/iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    North East Canada? , California
    Name:
    Mikie Watson
    Current Bike:
    Ibis DV9, Santa Cruz Hightower
    How about we all Moderate ourselves?
    That’s REALLY the goal. ;)
     
  12. SnakeCharmer

    SnakeCharmer iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Crescenta Valley
    Name:
    Mike, aka "Ssnake"
    Current Bike:
    Trek FEX
    If we were able to do that, then crime, hate, racism, and everything else that is ugly on this planet, where humanity is concerned, would vanish. I will pray for it to happen...

    Also, you do realize that Moderators commonly have their own little fits between themselves, yes?
     
  13. Faust29

    Faust29 Moderator

    Location:
    irgendwo
    Name:
    B. Bunny
    Current Bike:
    2 SC and a STDM
    Mikie and I are screaming at each other in the background. We'll get to you next.
     
    fos'l, Walleye, Cyclotourist and 6 others like this.
  14. Mikie

    Mikie Admin/iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    North East Canada? , California
    Name:
    Mikie Watson
    Current Bike:
    Ibis DV9, Santa Cruz Hightower
    Yeah, and the stories we tell each other!:eek:
     
    fos'l, Cyclotourist, mtnbikej and 4 others like this.
  15. mike

    mike iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Western US
    Name:
    Mike O
    Current Bike:
    HT, FS
    I'll be a moderator! :devilish:
     
  16. da big hills

    da big hills Well-Known Member

    Location:
    pearl harbor
    Name:
    cagey
    Current Bike:
    enduro 29
  17. herzalot

    herzalot iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Laguna Beach
    Name:
    Chris
    Current Bike:
    2020 Revel Rail
    This!!!!

    I have advocated for not eliminating all references to politics, religion, or e-bikes - but for eliminating uncivil behavior. We can take little jabs at people we know, that makes it kind of fun, but there is a difference between good-natured ribbing and flat out name calling, flaming, inflaming, insulting and accusations. So don't do that, mmmkay?

    We should be able to handle being called out on our thinking or our references, and we should be able to handle not being able to convince somebody else of our point of view. But we have had no role models for this type of discourse for quite some time, and certainly not on social media. But, I am an idealist. We can do it!
     
  18. dssgaffler

    dssgaffler Member

    Location:
    IE
    Name:
    Sellout
    Current Bike:
    Intense Recluse + Revel Rail
    I am sure it is a pain to try to keep everyone happy. In my humble opinion, you have done a great job moderating this site. The "blow up" was too heavy handed for some but it also let everyone know what the expectations would be going forward.

    STR's demise left a hole that this forum has done a pretty good job of filling. I cannot tell you how many morsels of MTB knowledge I pick up just by reading the opinions of riders here. I am not likely to ever join a group ride and I am not looking for new riding partners, but I find the sharing of opinions on MTB topics to be extremely valuable. I have never owned a pair of Tasco gloves and I have no plans to purchase a pair anytime soon, but reading the endless posts on the Tasco thread is something uniquely IMTB and probably doesn't exist anywhere else on the web.
     
  19. tick

    tick Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Orange
    Name:
    Tick
    Current Bike:
    Process 111
    I’m here for the Tailwind testimonials.
     
    Luis, GregMiester, Danimal and 8 others like this.
  20. mountaingirl sara

    mountaingirl sara iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    So Cal
    Name:
    Sara
    Current Bike:
    Ibis Ripley
    Ditto what a few other’s have said about gaining and learning a lot from this forum. I would hate to see it go, but admittedly would not want to be the one moderating. Mikie (again, like others have said) you have done an incredible job...incredible!!!
    I’d have given up long ago as I cannot stand drama of any kind. I especially hate the ugly verbal abuse that can come from political/ religious debates.
    When I think of all the cool rides you've organized, it makes me so happy, and even proud to have done those rides with you Hooligans! I probably never would have done those faraway rides if it hadn’t been for you big brother! Not to mention the camaraderie, the mishaps, smack-talk and laughs. I’ve also had some great conversations, and have found some genuine friendships on this site....all of these are priceless!!
     
    GregMiester, fos'l, Danimal and 12 others like this.
  21. Mikie

    Mikie Admin/iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    North East Canada? , California
    Name:
    Mikie Watson
    Current Bike:
    Ibis DV9, Santa Cruz Hightower
    Speaking of Tailswindz,
    Did you know...
    That it cures nervous disorders, calms the savage beasts, has organic chemicals to assist in self moderation? If we used it as an ingredient in Chem Trails it would solve world problems, world hunger, and is a great additive to hard liquor to speed-ball through your entire day (The drunk that just keeps on giving!)
    Side affects are non-congested freeways, an open parking space at every trailhead, and actually eliminates Body Odor!

    I just can't imagine not using Tailedwinds!
    Oh! And you can place orders right from your own Smart Phone Here!




    (see guys? I just wanna have fun.... Girls do! Ask Cyndi... (<-- I left that open for the fast responder)
     
  22. scan

    scan iMTB Rockstah

    Name:
    fran allas
    Current Bike:
    Scott Spark
    Gonna have to crackdown on false advertising!
     
  23. Maderas84

    Maderas84 Member

    Location:
    Fluent in French & sarcasm.
    Name:
    Andres
    Current Bike:
    Ibis, Pivot & Santa Cruz
    No hablo Ingles. No comprende.
     
  24. SnakeCharmer

    SnakeCharmer iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Crescenta Valley
    Name:
    Mike, aka "Ssnake"
    Current Bike:
    Trek FEX
    Now, there's the @Mikie we all know and love!
     
    Cyclotourist, Mikie and herzalot like this.
  25. Runs with Scissors

    Runs with Scissors iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    West Anaheim
    Name:
    Mark Whitaker
    Current Bike:
    2015 Giant XTC Advanced 1 29er
    So you started a mtb-centric site, so people could share their love of mountain biking. But you included all sorts of other flavors, even the FLoop!!! So people post stuff about those other types of rides. Even the ones that include electricity.

    And people are people. Every now and then their passions get the best of them. I'm no better than anyone else; I've been guilty as sin. However, I chose to leave that alone in this space going forward. Will everyone? Probably not.

    So, as the site owner, you have two choices: Accept that you'll have to crack the whip (and worse) on occasion, since that comes with the territory, or throw in the towel and accept that it's just not in you to ride herd on the site.

    Your site, your choice. I'd miss much of it if it disappeared, but I'm not the one who has to deal with it.

    People are who they are. Some learn, some don't. C'est la vie, as the cheese-eating surrender monkeys put it. :rolleyes:
     
    fos'l, Cyclotourist, Mikie and 4 others like this.
  26. Runs with Scissors

    Runs with Scissors iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    West Anaheim
    Name:
    Mark Whitaker
    Current Bike:
    2015 Giant XTC Advanced 1 29er

    Psssst...it's side "effects," not affects. :gotnothing::gotnothing:;):p
     
  27. furball

    furball Member

    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    Name:
    furball
    I regularly pop by as an observer, like to poke about, haven't many opinions or comments I wish to share & quickly duck away from topics of no interest to me. I like knowing it's a place to visit for local mtb knowledge & appreciate the shop owner keeping the place open when the profit is naught. It's certainly not a toxic or threatening environment otherwise I wouldn't return. Peace out ne'er do wells.
     
  28. Mikie

    Mikie Admin/iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    North East Canada? , California
    Name:
    Mikie Watson
    Current Bike:
    Ibis DV9, Santa Cruz Hightower
    :oops:Dahmeet!
     
  29. fos'l

    fos'l Well-Known Member

    Name:
    Bob
    Current Bike:
    2005 Santa Cruz Superlight
    Somehow I missed, but don't miss the acrimony, and feel this forum and most (all) individuals have grown by being members. Would hate to see it go, and agree with most of what's said above about topics like politics, religion and "e" that can beget bad karma. Anyway, appreciate the welcome to a slow, old guy that can't believe his good fortune in still loving an activity after almost 40 years.
     
  30. Faust29

    Faust29 Moderator

    Location:
    irgendwo
    Name:
    B. Bunny
    Current Bike:
    2 SC and a STDM
    I think you and I are a good specific example... Not that I'm claiming to have grown in any way. :p We did not exactly see eye to eye in the beginning. :whistling: Now, I look forward to your posts...
     



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