Saving DPF

dancecats

Administrator
Staff member
DPF Administrator
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Thank you! This was the vocabulary I needed XD

All great suggestions!

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Thank you to @MerlinEmrys and @stratasfan for their excellent and valuable feedback. We have been discussing various options as a way to proceed and we will incorporate your words and suggestions into our conversations. We hope to have something for you soon.
 

GroguFan

previously known as BingandNelsonFan
Rating - 100%
12   0   0
Just a quick note here of encouragement -- @MerlinEmrys mad a valid point that the tedium of forum maintenance can get you down and is never ending. However, there will be someone willing to do that. The issue is that @Cicada has to delegate here to make this work. Someone has to have authority. But there will be people willing to take on responsibility. I'm actually a volunteer on two large forums (a lot bigger than DPF) and do you know what I am? Only a Tech Admin. All I do is the daily updates and troubleshoot problems. I design themes, fix issues (or occasionally disappoint member by admitting that nothing can be done), install updates, clean things up, etc. That's it. And I volunteer to do that on two forums where I hardly post! So, there is always someone willing to do each task when granted the necessary authority to do their job. And with such a great community base as there is here, we can still get this fixed up. Wake up, @Cicada and help us out! :)
 

stratasfan

Local Kevin Specialist and Frozen Nut
Rating - 100%
33   0   0
Sis made a valid point there! If permissions are granted, there will be members out there willing to share the load, and believe me . . . site maintenance and the daily nitty-gritty chores can get you down when it is just a couple of you working on it! Again . . .experience! -grin- Sis is dead right . . . there will be volunteers to do the chores and maintenance and the more there are, the easier it is when everyone falls into their routine groove!
 

Story

PinPics : writerkay
Rating - 100%
280   0   0
Just a quick note here of encouragement -- @MerlinEmrys mad a valid point that the tedium of forum maintenance can get you down and is never ending. However, there will be someone willing to do that. The issue is that @Cicada has to delegate here to make this work. Someone has to have authority. But there will be people willing to take on responsibility. I'm actually a volunteer on two large forums (a lot bigger than DPF) and do you know what I am? Only a Tech Admin. All I do is the daily updates and troubleshoot problems. I design themes, fix issues (or occasionally disappoint member by admitting that nothing can be done), install updates, clean things up, etc. That's it. And I volunteer to do that on two forums where I hardly post! So, there is always someone willing to do each task when granted the necessary authority to do their job. And with such a great community base as there is here, we can still get this fixed up. Wake up, @Cicada and help us out! :)

@MerlinEmrys and @stratasfan made excellent points earlier too but wanted to be another voice to emphasis this point made by @GroguFan . The behind the scenes show that isn’t seen mod and tech wise is a big deal of time, routine, and can become tedious and feel thankless. But no one knows this truth if someone does it alone until the work outweighs any motivation to keep going.

Let members who have the means of circumstance and time to have a chance to show their appreciation for how the forum has grown and let them volunteer to be considered as helpers. It might be an overwhelming response of help that can save DPF :)
 

Connies_Hobby

Well-Known DPF Member
Rating - 100%
203   0   0
I've been meaning to post for a sec, but keep circling about on what I want to say.

First and foremost, I do appreciate @dancecats for their responses. I know it's frustrating to have one's hands tied, and to be the buffer that takes the blows.

And thank you too everyone who has made it a point to comment and address concerns. Even though language is sometimes charged, I know it is coming from a place of sincere desire to improve DPF.

As several have said, a lot of us feel like the site is leaderless, or at least with an absentee leader. @Cicada owns the forum and I will never for an instant insinuate anything less than the herculean task it is to keep something like this running. Having done something similar, all of the tedium sucks the joy out of the enterprise, and all you end up doing is patching and fixing and patching and fixing. It's an endless game of catch up where the only reward is something ~might not~ go wrong for a week. Maybe.

But I think that absenteeism is affecting the quality of life here on DPF. I'm not suggesting a coup or anything like that. But I think it would be in the forum's best interest that Cicada promote an ~active~ member as a sort of Second in Command. Someone who has authority and mechanical power to actually do things (like make mods) who reports to Cicada maybe once a month with any updates, but otherwise has the ability to do anything a super mod can beyond controlling the software itself.

I've said a few times, and I know everyone else has too, we need more mods. But I think we need a Super Mod too. One whom Cicada trusts to act on their behalf so they don't have to. One to whom the other mods can turn for clarification without going through the rigamorole of finding Cicada. Lives are busy, and I'm not saying Cicada should drop whatever and come back here. But I'm saying someone needs to be their active proxy or we are just going to keep chasing our own tails.

If Cicada doesn't trust anyone enough to do that, then that may be a different conversation.

As for the hack, security is obviously an issue. And I do think it a serious oversight that a mod's account remained inactive so long that it got hacked (if that's indeed what happened, it's hard to piece it all back together now).

Someone mentioned above about an "inactive freeze" for members and mods. I think that should ~absolutely~ be a requirement for mods. If you're someone who can't or won't check in once every 60 days, then I'm not sure you're the best candidate for a mod. And it's not for everyone! I couldn't think of something I'd want to do LESS than be a mod. But I think we've got enough people on here who would be a great fit for it.

Of course, the only person able to grant mod privileges is Cicada, as far as I know. Hence, back to our tail.

In the subject of mods, I'll just spitball some restructuring. Feel free to build off of, change, whatever. I'm just pointing to places that have specific needs that I think a dedicated mod would help a lot.

Super Mod - Proxy to Cicada, oversees other mods
Mechanics Mod - someone in charge of maintenance, security, forum announcements, etc. Responds to issues with the forum generally (maybe with Member Mod)
Discussion Mod - someone who monitors the Discussion threads to maintain integrity
Marketplace Mod - someone who monitors all Marketplace threads, closes finished threads, double checks threads limits, etc.
Game Mod - a dedicated mod who runs randomizer, maybe doubles with RAK or Secret Santa threads
Other / Anything Goes - a catch-all who can fill in as needed
Members Mod - someone who maintains new memberships, monitors "inactive freezes", name changes, password changes, etc. Responds to issues with the forum generally (maybe with Mechanics Mod)

That's six mods plus a super. Voting is easy, super is a tie breaker.

Again. These are just suggestions. But I think a team with dedicated members will help a lot, and take the onus off of other mods too. But "active" is the major thing.

Above all else, I don't think anyone is trying to be antagonistic here, even when language gets charged. I truly think we all want what's best for the forum. I do not think it's beyond hope. But I do think we are approaching an event horizon. I hope we can course correct

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I'm chiming in here, this is very well thought out. Great suggestions. Thank you CJ.

I want to Believe, that DPF is on the Cusp of a Bigger, Better and Safer place for our Beloved Hobby and Community.



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GroguFan

previously known as BingandNelsonFan
Rating - 100%
12   0   0
@MerlinEmrys and @stratasfan made excellent points earlier too but wanted to be another voice to emphasis this point made by @GroguFan . The behind the scenes show that isn’t seen mod and tech wise is a big deal of time, routine, and can become tedious and feel thankless. But no one knows this truth if someone does it alone until the work outweighs any motivation to keep going.

Let members who have the means of circumstance and time to have a chance to show their appreciation for how the forum has grown and let them volunteer to be considered as helpers. It might be an overwhelming response of help that can save DPF :)

That's it -- when an atmosphere is nice and a community full, there will be people willing to do the tedious and thankless stuff. The work I do on two forums is totally behind-the-scenes. There's one guy who handles all the server stuff and daily server backups. I handle all the tech in the forum software. It works really well, and there's satisfaction in knowing that all that tedious BTS stuff makes a nice place for people who wouldn't get to enjoy their hobby with others if it weren't for the online venue. So, when given a chance to help out, I really think there will be offers -- but you can't handle maintenance when there's absolutely no authority given. Doesn't have to be full authority, but you have to have a certain amount to make decisions as needed . . . not waiting three months to find an answer.
 

dancecats

Administrator
Staff member
DPF Administrator
Rating - 100%
12   0   0
First, once again, we want to thank all of you for your feedback and suggestions. Please know that we are doing our utmost to make sure that each and every one of you who chooses to share feels seen and heard. Every comment is taken seriously and all thoughts, concerns, and opinions are factored into our discussions for DPF's future.

Before we can address your latest comments, we have to correct a misconception under which we may have been operating. While only @Cicada can confirm taking this action, we now have reason to believe all inactive moderators and correspondents have been deactivated from DPF's system by Cicada during the rebuilding process following the first quarter hack of 2021. We have not been lying to you; we genuinely believed that the inactive moderators and correspondents still had access because of one simple thing: the moderator and correspondent tags below their user handles. We were under the impression that since these tags appeared when a person was made a moderator or correspondent, the same tags would be removed when a person's Staff status is revoked. Since those tags remained, we believed, so too did their statuses.

The recent return of a formerly inactive moderator and subsequent internal discussion about these tags yielded the revelation that, pre-hack, said tags used to be able to be user-deleted. That is no longer the case (and irrelevant), but it prompted a long-overdue search of the members status, particularly those in Staff. If it is accurate, we have reason to believe that all of the inactive moderators and correspondents have been deactivated. The current administrators and moderators are those who have a pale blue 'Staff member' tag; to our knowledge, we still have active correspondents, but there is no new method of demarcation for them.

Once again, we apologize for the mix up. There was no deception intended; as we explained above, we were operating on sincerely held beliefs that could easily have been corrected had Cicada been here, to explain what he did and where our thinking went wrong. As he is largely absent, we are navigating blindly and, sadly, this likely will not be the first - or the worst - mistake like this we will make. The only thing we can promise is that we will do our best to keep them to a minimum and take full ownership and correct them when they do.

Looking toward DPF's future and assessing what is required to lead a forum that can succeed and thrive for another 10+ years, we have to reconcile that what once was true might no longer be. For the longest time, the way we saw it, Cicada appointed us to Staff positions, gave us specific responsibilities, and said he would cover the rest. Just because our positions gave us the ability to do something does not mean we had the right to do it (especially if a given function was outside of the explicitly spelled-out responsibilities). However, you have made some extremely valid points and we are changing our position. Once upon a time, Cicada either was present or accessible enough that, combined with a full Staff, it made sense to respect his assignments and stay in our proverbial lanes. Over time, the Staff dropped to a skeleton crew and Cicada's presence evaporated. His presence increased briefly following the first quarter hack of 2021; we had hoped it was a sign of renewed interest, but he has dropped off again.

You are correct when you state that the forum is, if not quite dead, certainly on life support until Cicada enters the discussion. This is leaving us with a decision: we can continue chasing our tails until Cicada chooses to enter the discussion or we can take the reins and do what we can to keep things going until he decides to return. After weeks of conversation, we have decided to do what we can. If we do nothing, there will be nothing to save. Cicada might not be happy with what he may perceive as an usurpation of power, but at the end of the day, he chose not to be here. He is intelligent enough to see that we did what we had to do to save his forum. If he chooses to close the forum, we will have gone down fighting for our future.

While all of the suggestions you have proposed are beyond amazing, we do not know if we can implement all of them. At least, we do not think so without Cicada making changes to the mainframe that go beyond dancecats's admin abilities. We absolutely love the idea of increasing security for logging in and protecting passwords. At one point, the forum had the option of activating two-factor authorization every month (it was compulsory for Staff) and mandatory changing of passwords (possibly just for Staff) on a regular basis. We have no idea why these safeguards no longer exist, but bringing them back would be wonderful. Automatically locking or deactivating accounts that have been inactive for a determined time also is a fantastic idea. We can look into adding some or all of them but we think, unfortunately, that this will require @Cicada to implement.

What we absolutely should be able to do, however, is remove any inactive member of Staff if (s)he has not signed into the forum for a to be determined time. We believe that if we have the (as yet untested) ability to add members to Staff, we also should be able to remove them as appropriate. A Staff member removed for an extended absence may be reinstated upon return at that member's request. This applies mostly to Staff who suddenly stop signing in for any reason without communicating their situation to other Staff; in other words, going from active to inactive without notice. A Staff member who needs it can request a temporary leave of absence and will promptly be reinstated upon return and request.

But as far as Staff members go ... be careful what you ask for, you very well may get it. We have been quietly discussing the addition of more moderators and correspondents for some time even before this erupted. The problem was getting Cicada on board, but not only has that ship sailed, it crashed on the rocks and sank. You have asked to be more involved with decisions that impact the forum, and we can think of none more pivotal than those who lead it.

So we are asking for your input in choosing the new moderators and correspondents. Please understand that we do not know for certain that we can do this, but we have reached the point where we think we have to try. As it stands right now, we have two levels of moderator (moderator, which is what Ksnuggles is and super moderator, which is what starry_solo is) and correspondent. We do not think we have the ability to add more tiers of moderators, we think that only Cicada can do that. But we do not want you to get bogged down in detail, we are just requesting the following:

We are asking for you to please nominate other members for both moderator and correspondent positions to both @dancecats and @Ksnuggles via private message. If you want to narrow down the nomination for 'moderator' or 'super moderator,' that is fine but unnecessary. We can sort that out when we look at the candidates; all we care is that the nomination is for either moderator or correspondent. To be considered, the nominations would have to contain the following: the member's handle, real name (if known), general location (if known), the position for consideration, and why the member is best suited for said position. We are including location because we are looking to expand the moderation team beyond those locations in Pacific Standard Time as we do not wish to be asleep at the same time, but all candidates will be discussed and considered. Candidates under consideration for positions will be contacted directly. Once contacted, a candidate will, of course, be given the right to accept or refuse the position.

Nominations posted in this, or any other, thread will not be considered. Also, please do not advertise or share who you have nominated anywhere on the forum or its related social media. We want this process based solely upon perceived merit, free from pressure, popularity, or hurt feelings - and if nobody knows who is nominated, there should be no nominations based purely on friendship or reciprocity.

We will be accepting nominations beginning at the time of this posting, which could be either Sunday, 10th October or Monday, 11th October, depending upon where you live. The nominations period will close in two (2) weeks, on Sunday 24th October at 12.00 am (PST) or Monday, 25th October at 3.00 am (EST).
 

MerlinEmrys

Hicitus Pinicus!
Rating - 100%
594   0   0
First, once again, we want to thank all of you for your feedback and suggestions. Please know that we are doing our utmost to make sure that each and every one of you who chooses to share feels seen and heard. Every comment is taken seriously and all thoughts, concerns, and opinions are factored into our discussions for DPF's future.

Before we can address your latest comments, we have to correct a misconception under which we may have been operating. While only @Cicada can confirm taking this action, we now have reason to believe all inactive moderators and correspondents have been deactivated from DPF's system by Cicada during the rebuilding process following the first quarter hack of 2021. We have not been lying to you; we genuinely believed that the inactive moderators and correspondents still had access because of one simple thing: the moderator and correspondent tags below their user handles. We were under the impression that since these tags appeared when a person was made a moderator or correspondent, the same tags would be removed when a person's Staff status is revoked. Since those tags remained, we believed, so too did their statuses.

The recent return of a formerly inactive moderator and subsequent internal discussion about these tags yielded the revelation that, pre-hack, said tags used to be able to be user-deleted. That is no longer the case (and irrelevant), but it prompted a long-overdue search of the members status, particularly those in Staff. If it is accurate, we have reason to believe that all of the inactive moderators and correspondents have been deactivated. The current administrators and moderators are those who have a pale blue 'Staff member' tag; to our knowledge, we still have active correspondents, but there is no new method of demarcation for them.

Once again, we apologize for the mix up. There was no deception intended; as we explained above, we were operating on sincerely held beliefs that could easily have been corrected had Cicada been here, to explain what he did and where our thinking went wrong. As he is largely absent, we are navigating blindly and, sadly, this likely will not be the first - or the worst - mistake like this we will make. The only thing we can promise is that we will do our best to keep them to a minimum and take full ownership and correct them when they do.

Looking toward DPF's future and assessing what is required to lead a forum that can succeed and thrive for another 10+ years, we have to reconcile that what once was true might no longer be. For the longest time, the way we saw it, Cicada appointed us to Staff positions, gave us specific responsibilities, and said he would cover the rest. Just because our positions gave us the ability to do something does not mean we had the right to do it (especially if a given function was outside of the explicitly spelled-out responsibilities). However, you have made some extremely valid points and we are changing our position. Once upon a time, Cicada either was present or accessible enough that, combined with a full Staff, it made sense to respect his assignments and stay in our proverbial lanes. Over time, the Staff dropped to a skeleton crew and Cicada's presence evaporated. His presence increased briefly following the first quarter hack of 2021; we had hoped it was a sign of renewed interest, but he has dropped off again.

You are correct when you state that the forum is, if not quite dead, certainly on life support until Cicada enters the discussion. This is leaving us with a decision: we can continue chasing our tails until Cicada chooses to enter the discussion or we can take the reins and do what we can to keep things going until he decides to return. After weeks of conversation, we have decided to do what we can. If we do nothing, there will be nothing to save. Cicada might not be happy with what he may perceive as an usurpation of power, but at the end of the day, he chose not to be here. He is intelligent enough to see that we did what we had to do to save his forum. If he chooses to close the forum, we will have gone down fighting for our future.

While all of the suggestions you have proposed are beyond amazing, we do not know if we can implement all of them. At least, we do not think so without Cicada making changes to the mainframe that go beyond dancecats's admin abilities. We absolutely love the idea of increasing security for logging in and protecting passwords. At one point, the forum had the option of activating two-factor authorization every month (it was compulsory for Staff) and mandatory changing of passwords (possibly just for Staff) on a regular basis. We have no idea why these safeguards no longer exist, but bringing them back would be wonderful. Automatically locking or deactivating accounts that have been inactive for a determined time also is a fantastic idea. We can look into adding some or all of them but we think, unfortunately, that this will require @Cicada to implement.

What we absolutely should be able to do, however, is remove any inactive member of Staff if (s)he has not signed into the forum for a to be determined time. We believe that if we have the (as yet untested) ability to add members to Staff, we also should be able to remove them as appropriate. A Staff member removed for an extended absence may be reinstated upon return at that member's request. This applies mostly to Staff who suddenly stop signing in for any reason without communicating their situation to other Staff; in other words, going from active to inactive without notice. A Staff member who needs it can request a temporary leave of absence and will promptly be reinstated upon return and request.

But as far as Staff members go ... be careful what you ask for, you very well may get it. We have been quietly discussing the addition of more moderators and correspondents for some time even before this erupted. The problem was getting Cicada on board, but not only has that ship sailed, it crashed on the rocks and sank. You have asked to be more involved with decisions that impact the forum, and we can think of none more pivotal than those who lead it.

So we are asking for your input in choosing the new moderators and correspondents. Please understand that we do not know for certain that we can do this, but we have reached the point where we think we have to try. As it stands right now, we have two levels of moderator (moderator, which is what Ksnuggles is and super moderator, which is what starry_solo is) and correspondent. We do not think we have the ability to add more tiers of moderators, we think that only Cicada can do that. But we do not want you to get bogged down in detail, we are just requesting the following:

We are asking for you to please nominate other members for both moderator and correspondent positions to both @dancecats and @Ksnuggles via private message. If you want to narrow down the nomination for 'moderator' or 'super moderator,' that is fine but unnecessary. We can sort that out when we look at the candidates; all we care is that the nomination is for either moderator or correspondent. To be considered, the nominations would have to contain the following: the member's handle, real name (if known), general location (if known), the position for consideration, and why the member is best suited for said position. We are including location because we are looking to expand the moderation team beyond those locations in Pacific Standard Time as we do not wish to be asleep at the same time, but all candidates will be discussed and considered. Candidates under consideration for positions will be contacted directly. Once contacted, a candidate will, of course, be given the right to accept or refuse the position.

Nominations posted in this, or any other, thread will not be considered. Also, please do not advertise or share who you have nominated anywhere on the forum or its related social media. We want this process based solely upon perceived merit, free from pressure, popularity, or hurt feelings - and if nobody knows who is nominated, there should be no nominations based purely on friendship or reciprocity.

We will be accepting nominations beginning at the time of this posting, which could be either Sunday, 10th October or Monday, 11th October, depending upon where you live. The nominations period will close in two (2) weeks, on Sunday 24th October at 12.00 am (PST) or Monday, 25th October at 3.00 am (EST).
Thank you mods for this update! I think this is a super good step! :D

I have one further suggestion. Perhaps in addition to nominations, perhaps you could also post an interest thread to see who ~wants~ to be a mod.

I don't know a ton of people on the forum who have joined in the past two years, and I know even less who has interest in being a mod beyond the people who have posted here. So perhaps having an interest pool would help with nominations.

Of course, I could just as easily see why you WOULDN'T want to do that. If someone says they want to be a mod but aren't "nominated" or voted in, there may be hurt feelings, etc. So I see why you would want completely blind nomination.

I mention it only because I don't know enough about some of our new members to say who would be a good fit, and even less about who would actually WANT to do it. So I figured I'd make a suggestion. :)

Thanks again for responding and updating! I think this is a great move. :)

Sent from my SM-G991U1 using Tapatalk
 

stratasfan

Local Kevin Specialist and Frozen Nut
Rating - 100%
33   0   0
Hi, @dancecats . . . not addressing anything in particular about your reply, as I'm re-reading it since I'm not quite awake! Just a question to clarify something . . .

What is a Correspondent, as far as a staff position? While I'm familiar with Forum Staff and permissions, etc., names change by forum and I was wondering if you could explain a bit about what makes the DPF levels? Also, is there a publicly noticeable difference between Mod and Super Mod? :) Are there any current Correspondents?

Thanks! Again, just to clarify!
 

dancecats

Administrator
Staff member
DPF Administrator
Rating - 100%
12   0   0
Thank you mods for this update! I think this is a super good step! :D

I have one further suggestion. Perhaps in addition to nominations, perhaps you could also post an interest thread to see who ~wants~ to be a mod.

I don't know a ton of people on the forum who have joined in the past two years, and I know even less who has interest in being a mod beyond the people who have posted here. So perhaps having an interest pool would help with nominations.

Of course, I could just as easily see why you WOULDN'T want to do that. If someone says they want to be a mod but aren't "nominated" or voted in, there may be hurt feelings, etc. So I see why you would want completely blind nomination.

I mention it only because I don't know enough about some of our new members to say who would be a good fit, and even less about who would actually WANT to do it. So I figured I'd make a suggestion. :)

Thanks again for responding and updating! I think this is a great move. :)

Sent from my SM-G991U1 using Tapatalk
We did consider an interest thread to see who wants to be a moderator or correspondent, but opted not to for that exact reason. Once someone publicly declares interest in a position, the potential for hurt feelings, offense, and slight exists, whether from their peers in not being nominated or from us in not being selected. We want this process to be as free from drama as possible, hence the option of completely blind nomination.

However, we will remind you - and everyone else - that a member who is offered a position is under no obligation to accept.

Hi, @dancecats . . . not addressing anything in particular about your reply, as I'm re-reading it since I'm not quite awake! Just a question to clarify something . . .

What is a Correspondent, as far as a staff position? While I'm familiar with Forum Staff and permissions, etc., names change by forum and I was wondering if you could explain a bit about what makes the DPF levels? Also, is there a publicly noticeable difference between Mod and Super Mod? :) Are there any current Correspondents?

Thanks! Again, just to clarify!
Not a problem; I'll do my best to clarify, although the most qualified to explain might be those who actually hold those positions.

A Correspondent is a member of the forum who is recognized for their knowledge, experience, and good reputations in pin trading. They act as ambassadors between the Moderators and the forum community. They are people to whom you can turn if you have any questions about pins or forum operations. If you have a high(er) value trade, they can be trusted to serve as the third party in the third party trade. They can assist in sorting some conflicts through mediation if asked, but unless something has changed, I do not believe they have many, if any, actual moderation abilities on the forum. @coblj003 is a Correspondent.


I believe the biggest difference is that Moderators have (or had, not sure with the new forum configuration) to be assigned to their specific forums. That is, a Moderator could be restricted to just one forum, assigned to a handful, or given full access to everything. Super Moderators automatically have full control over everything, including a few extra administrative functions.

I do not think there is a publicly noticeable difference between a Moderator and Super Moderator. There are times when I have to remind myself that @Ksnuggles and @starry_solo technically do not have the same status. However, if you were to ask those two ladies, you very well might get a different answer.
 

stratasfan

Local Kevin Specialist and Frozen Nut
Rating - 100%
33   0   0
@dancecats - Thanks for the explanation! It was just more curiosity. We have a similar thing on the military forum (although, not really for trade assist! -grin- ) They have no actual Mod permissions as far as edit options, etc. As far as permissions for different Mods . . . I bet that's similar! I'm always working with permissions, and there are tons to choose form, so I totally understand! Thanks for the clarification!
 

MerlinEmrys

Hicitus Pinicus!
Rating - 100%
594   0   0
We did consider an interest thread to see who wants to be a moderator or correspondent, but opted not to for that exact reason. Once someone publicly declares interest in a position, the potential for hurt feelings, offense, and slight exists, whether from their peers in not being nominated or from us in not being selected. We want this process to be as free from drama as possible, hence the option of completely blind nomination.

However, we will remind you - and everyone else - that a member who is offered a position is under no obligation to accept.

Not a problem; I'll do my best to clarify, although the most qualified to explain might be those who actually hold those positions.

A Correspondent is a member of the forum who is recognized for their knowledge, experience, and good reputations in pin trading. They act as ambassadors between the Moderators and the forum community. They are people to whom you can turn if you have any questions about pins or forum operations. If you have a high(er) value trade, they can be trusted to serve as the third party in the third party trade. They can assist in sorting some conflicts through mediation if asked, but unless something has changed, I do not believe they have many, if any, actual moderation abilities on the forum. @coblj003 is a Correspondent.


I believe the biggest difference is that Moderators have (or had, not sure with the new forum configuration) to be assigned to their specific forums. That is, a Moderator could be restricted to just one forum, assigned to a handful, or given full access to everything. Super Moderators automatically have full control over everything, including a few extra administrative functions.

I do not think there is a publicly noticeable difference between a Moderator and Super Moderator. There are times when I have to remind myself that @Ksnuggles and @starry_solo technically do not have the same status. However, if you were to ask those two ladies, you very well might get a different answer.
Oh! I never knew what a Correspondent was! That's neat!

Sent from my SM-G991U1 using Tapatalk
 

brattyjedi

Well-Known DPF Member
Rating - 100%
29   0   0
We did consider an interest thread to see who wants to be a moderator or correspondent, but opted not to for that exact reason. Once someone publicly declares interest in a position, the potential for hurt feelings, offense, and slight exists, whether from their peers in not being nominated or from us in not being selected. We want this process to be as free from drama as possible, hence the option of completely blind nomination.

However, we will remind you - and everyone else - that a member who is offered a position is under no obligation to accept.
Quick clarification to perhaps help with the issues raised by MerlinEmrys that I share of preferring people with interest, time, and applicable skills and not necessarily knowing who those people are…

Will you be accepting self nominations from people? That way those who have the interest, time, and skills can identify themselves to you in private and avoid the public drama but still self select.
 

stratasfan

Local Kevin Specialist and Frozen Nut
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Quick clarification to perhaps help with the issues raised by MerlinEmrys that I share of preferring people with interest, time, and applicable skills and not necessarily knowing who those people are…

Will you be accepting self nominations from people? That way those who have the interest, time, and skills can identify themselves to you in private and avoid the public drama but still self select.

Good question! I don't exactly know who would be interested and have the time. Is there a limit to how many one person can nominate, in case most of who you nominate decline? :) I could send in ideas, just don't want to send in too many if you'd like to send a limit!
 

dancecats

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Quick clarification to perhaps help with the issues raised by MerlinEmrys that I share of preferring people with interest, time, and applicable skills and not necessarily knowing who those people are…

Will you be accepting self nominations from people? That way those who have the interest, time, and skills can identify themselves to you in private and avoid the public drama but still self select.
There is nothing in the parameters that says a person cannot self-nominate. :)
Good question! I don't exactly know who would be interested and have the time. Is there a limit to how many one person can nominate, in case most of who you nominate decline? :) I could send in ideas, just don't want to send in too many if you'd like to send a limit!
A person can nominate as many members as often as (s)he likes. The more nominees you, as a community, submit, the more thorough you make this search and increase the likelihood that we will put together the best Staff team to lead DPF for the next 10+ years. The only limit we have set is the time frame, figuring if the nominees could not be considered and submitted within the two weeks, additional time likely would not help - especially since when the nomination ends, our job begins.
 

GroguFan

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Not sure if I'd mentioned this before as a suggestion, but here it is as either a repeat or a brand new though! :)

One thing that might improve the DPF experience is a change back to the simpler way of listing the Trading section. I know that @Cicada instituted a new app in the Marketplace, but it really only works for selling pins. Only about 50% of the stuff works for me, and I know others here who seem to get the 50% I can't do and not the parts that work for me. I would say that the new Marketplace listing methods have all but killed trading here, sadly. However, perhaps this could be reverted back to the old way of posting a thread for a trade, rather than trying to use a sale listing in the Marketplace. Maybe a new board or a subboard could be added somewhere (not sure how this would work, but maybe even added to the Disney Pin Discussion area or anywhere possible. Again, I understand there are logistics to this, but it would be really nice to get the trading option back up and running like it used to run.
 

GroguFan

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Not sure if I'd mentioned this before as a suggestion, but here it is as either a repeat or a brand new though! :)

One thing that might improve the DPF experience is a change back to the simpler way of listing the Trading section. I know that @Cicada instituted a new app in the Marketplace, but it really only works for selling pins. Only about 50% of the stuff works for me, and I know others here who seem to get the 50% I can't do and not the parts that work for me. I would say that the new Marketplace listing methods have all but killed trading here, sadly. However, perhaps this could be reverted back to the old way of posting a thread for a trade, rather than trying to use a sale listing in the Marketplace. Maybe a new board or a subboard could be added somewhere (not sure how this would work, but maybe even added to the Disney Pin Discussion area or anywhere possible. Again, I understand there are logistics to this, but it would be really nice to get the trading option back up and running like it used to run.
As a follow-up to this suggestion -- it may be much easier than I thought. The "other for sale/trade/wanted" board works just like the old normal trading did. So, the odd options in the Trade board right now must be something that can be enabled/disabled in settings. Maybe that is something that can be done eventually.
 

dancecats

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As a follow-up to this suggestion -- it may be much easier than I thought. The "other for sale/trade/wanted" board works just like the old normal trading did. So, the odd options in the Trade board right now must be something that can be enabled/disabled in settings. Maybe that is something that can be done eventually.
@Cicada previously has said that he has tried to correct this problem without much success. We, being DPF Staff, definitely are aware that nobody likes the changes in the Marketplace and we can look at attempting to sort it in the future.
 

dancecats

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Thank you so much for the time, thought, and effort you have put into your nominations. At this time, we no longer are accepting any additional nominations. We also have started discussing the absolutely amazing candidates you have put forward, attempting to place them appropriately so we can support each other and create the best new team possible.

We ask for your understanding and patience during this process as we do not know how long it will take. You have given us so many highly qualified nominees, we want to be able to take our time to thoroughly evaluate everyone and attempt to place him/her correctly. We want this process completed as quickly as possible but within as much time as necessary. We have to get this right; we have to take the time to ensure we are making the correct decisions because the future of the forum depends upon it - and we want you to have complete confidence that the new positions are filled by the best candidates possible.

We will notify candidates of their offers of Staff Positions via Private Message (PM) once they have been decided. At that time, said offers may be accepted or declined. Once the new Staff team has been formed, an official announcement will be made.
 

Cicada

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Just checking in here, as i've been very busy outside of the forum between personal and professional lives :p. I do realize that i've been largely absent since the software upgrade, but assure you all that I have no plans for DPF to go anywhere. I still believe that -- even as a "dying" and archaic form of social media, forums are still a great place to connect and discuss shared interests without the distractive static and ephemeral nature of "Web 2.0" SM.

I'll catch up on this thread when I can, and discuss any outstanding issues with the currently active SMods/Mods, as well as review and approve/add any additional moderators.

When i've been able to read and process all the concerns, i'll pop back in and have an update.
 

Cicada

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Change in Leadership: DPF's mods have been doing this job for a long time, and mostly, they've been okay. Recently, however, they've been more and more stringent, and less and less willing to consider the real needs of this community, stifling its growth. Old feuds and hurt feelings are hard to let go, but if we don't allow the community to move beyond the sins of the past, then that's where we'll be stuck. My proposals:
1) Make moderation more transparent - This means making decisions and changes more public, allowing for periods of discussion, and not silencing dissenters (closing the pervious thread certainly did very little for my confidence in this forum's leadership).
2) Add new folks to the Mod Team - Not only will this bring new ideas and perspectives to the forum, but it will provide better coverage and quicker responses. Our current team can take a while to even remove spam posts, which sit around for days. We all have lives, but allowing for different time zones, different backgrounds and availabilities is best. Life happens to all of us - and I continue to wish the best for the mods/admins who have health problems <3 - but sometimes we need to put our health in front of our pride and let others take the jobs we may not be able to perform as well as we'd want.
RE:
(1) I'm not sure how to address this other than having reports/discipline publicly available for all to see; which can of course be problematic and is akin to public shaming. Alternatively, there are dispute modifications available where they can be granted temporary permissions to a forum to work out issues with the moderation team. The private moderator forum does create a post (as far as I'm aware) when issues are reported, and it's then discussed internally.

(2) I fully agree with this assessment; We've sorely been in need of new/additional moderators for quite a while, and I'm incredibly thankful for @dancecats, @starry_solo and @Ksnuggles for keeping this place running as long as it has to begin with; none of us gets paid from engaging with/maintaining this site -- I don't run any ads, we don't have subscription plans, and the forum is entirely community-supported through donations when needed (software upgrades, paid forum modifications, etc). Since the forum is global, I think having mods from all over the world would be a good approach to both keep this place running as well as it can around the clock (spam being the largest problem, as we've seen), and for having a range of opinions, as well as a larger "council", so to speak, for addressing forum issues.

Return to Previous Rule: Since all of this started over the posting of outside links, I would suggest returning to the ability to post them, provided that the poster is not just spamming/promoting and is actually getting involved in the community. I will point to @starry_solo's longtime connection to PTDB as the co-founder and runner of the site. For years, she has been allowed not only to advertise for the site, but to appropriate images/information from the forum for her site. This was okay because she is also committed to the community and was using our opinions and suggestions to improve the database, which is what we want. If we are going to sell ourselves as a community, then the database sites are a part of that - they are a necessary scaffold for the hobby. I would rather see the creators/organizers of those sites seeking assistance from the people who use them than being stifled and scorned by us.

I'm not quite aware of the situation here, but I will stand behind the long-standing team, as they've kept this place running as long as it has; outside of the technical issues, I'm largely uninvolved in the day-to-day here.

If they've been ruling with an "iron fist", then I will take the blame here, as traditionally, we've not allowed people to spam their own links/websites -- this has roots to the early days when DizPins suddenly ceased to exist, and there were a number of other competing discussion forums competing to replace it. However, you do make a good point regarding growth of the community through shared input in projects. I think sharing projects or other resources here is fine, so long as it doesn't become an annoyance or outright shilling. I'll let the mod team (which should grow in the future), use their own discretion.

(...cont)
 

Cicada

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It takes a lot of time, effort, and energy to run a forum and maintain it. I sooooo appreciate any Mod team, as it is not an easy job. However, if you have more active Mods and Admins, the load gets lighter and daily chores and situations are handled faster and easier. Teamwork is definitely something that forums need. Teamwork among Admins. Teamwork among Mods. Teamwork among staff and members. Forums are a teamwork thing. Period.

While the term "transparency" is a bit of a fad thing right now, I think this is something that many places have dropped or failed to address. With a forum, members work together to have fun and/or informative discussions. Staff are there to make sure that basic rules are followed to maintain a fun and pleasant atmosphere. Let's face it . . . we all have limited "free time" and Disney is a way to build up a lot of happiness points in that free time. We all do Disney because we enjoy it, it's fun and we like it. When I joined this site, it was all happy and I had never seen so many cheerful, friendly, helpful, considerate and downright kind members. Sis and I have been so touched by so many, and DPF has been a refuge from the dark and nasty of the world when we needed a bit of fun hobby time. Don't exactly know why, but we've noticed that this year it has really started to fall apart. Members who used to post often are online and looking, but don't post much. Some are hardly seen at all. Some that are still posting are obviously not the same happy members that they were before. And Sis and I are probably some of those. The joy and fun seems to be draining out, and I can't for the life of me figure out why!

Is the mood change due to the forum hack and subsequent change of software? I sure hope not. I went through this with the militaria forum back in 2020 when they underwent a massive software upgrade (after not changing since 2012). I experienced the change and for a few days was rather miserable about it. Then, I suddenly realised that griping about trivial software changes was ruining my whole experience, and I didn't want to give up everything just because I couldn't accept a change in technology. So, I buckled down, exercised some self control and bit the bullet -- dove in and tried to figure out how to work with the new software and make as much of my past forum experience transfer. Sure, a few changes had to happen, and I lobbied to change some things around, too. But, I pushed on and now realise that a lot wasn't as big as it seemed when it first happened. So, I hope that members on here can acclimate to the change and return -- if they've been put off by any of the change. There's only one major thing with the change that I would lobby to fix up (mentioned later in this post).

Is the mood change due to PinPics having new owners? Again, I sure hope not. Personally, We were shocked with the reaction on the PinPics thread when the new owners announced the changes in management. A lot of DPF seemed to change with that, and it was rather saddening to see the violent negativity that came out against it. And we definitely think a lot of the mood of the forum seemed to either fall silent or drift towards negativity. And DPF has never been like that. If there was one thing DPF could proudly claim it was an abundance of Positivity! We always enjoyed it and loved that it was never negative. Why the very positive PinPics announcement was answered like it was is still a mystery. Sure . . . everyone can disagree with anything. But no reason to post so much negative response. Even if you feel like it, always better to either not say it -- or type it and delete it before posting. There are scores of things I dislike about PTDB, but I'm certainly not going to go on a whine fest! Actually, I've tried to use it and adjust. Just because I prefer something else doesn't mean I have to come on like Eeyore's rain cloud. And sure, PinPics has had issues in the past, and lots of people have had their hopes dashed when plans fell through. But don't lay your previous misery at the door of new owners. Judge their actions later when they've had a chance. And pulling everyone under Eeyore's rain cloud doesn't help the DPF community. Being part of a community like this means that what you post should be helpful to the others involved. Sometimes criticism is good and can be necessary, but sometimes it can also be unnecessary.

I like rules. I think rules have to be there. However, I think that too many super-restricting rules can hamper members, and I think they need to be fully weighed and discussed. Also, discussion often brings to life points that a group of people may not think about. So, often discussing things with members is good.

(continued . . . )
100% -- forums are all about the community. While i'm not involved with the community any more, I do have an interest in keeping this forum alive for those that are.

RE: Software change -- It does look and feel a bit different, but I think the improvements make it easier to use. The "Marketplace" change was a little misguided, as I believed having a more "visual" representation of items for sale/trade and more of an ebay/shopping type experience would make buying/selling/trading a better experience. However this might have been a case of "too much too fast", as after the upgrade, everything worked entirely differently than it had been for years, and without a good explanation or a "user guide", it was destined to fail. Going forward, I think we can address that, and perhaps some community input on having the marketplace work like it should, and building that out over time for a better experience.

I wasn't aware of the change in PinPics mgmt, so i've no thoughts about that atm.

I have moderated many forums and chats over the years, and it have been very clear that the best approach to moderation is almost always the lightest touch possible.

fully agree. Since I'm not fully informed on the "drama" (per se) regarding the community's feelings on PTDB and the postings about it, i don't really have an informed opinion, so i won't say anything other than going forward, I don't think other projects or links in the interest of community growth or alternative resources should be restricted as much as it sounds like it has been. But that also doesn't mean a free-for-all shilling other sites. Again, moderators + new mods going forward will use their own discretion as to what's best for DPF.

Just another thought in case this hasn’t been addressed

I know Cicada expressed that the forum is expensive to keep running. Is the adverse to other sites a fear regarding future funding for the forum? (I don’t know a lot about it but does it have to do with ads or something?)

members have done forum games before that were for the benefit of donating to keep the site running. Rather than make a rule without discussion that changes the flow and feel of the site, can there be an open discussion if that is the case? There may be members willing to run fundraiser games again, but you won’t have a chance at that at all if the site people enjoy is taken away or altered to be too restrictive in regards to sharing Disney fun topics.


there are a LOT of good constructive and honest points in this thread. It’s evident DPF has some great members that care about it! I hope it’s appreciated <3
I don't run ads on the site, and it's fully supported by the occasional donation drives we have for forum software/upgrades/modifications to better the user experience.

In the interest of full disclosure, The site is running 2 virtual servers (a web server and a database server) that cost roughly $100+/month combined with the traffic that we currently receive (this can go up if the forum ends up returning to its previous form and starts being more active); additionally, keeping the forum license is about $55-60 per year in order to get the latest updates on top of the initial ~$160 for the first-time license. Paid addons/enhancements vary anywhere from about $25-100 per addon/enhancement, and we are running quite a few of these to ease the mod's job, provide a better user experience, and increase visibility of the forum. At this point I've not outsourced any custom development, but that does get expensive if we were to want a custom solution for something the community wants. So, it doesn't cost a whole lot in the grand scheme to keep it running, but we also generate 0 revenue, and again, none of the staff (mods/smods) are paid, myself included. DPF is, and always has been, entirely a community-driven endeavor.




I'll get to page 2 a little later.
 
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