Forum Charter Discussion

Discussion in 'Forum Announcements and Feedback' started by joe9, Sep 2, 2005.

  1. wcutler

    wcutler Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    Re: Forum Charter

    Vicarious1: two things -

    http://www.botanicalgarden.ubc.ca/forums/showthread.php?t=58341, in which Daniel says
    And http://www.botanicalgarden.ubc.ca/forums/showthread.php?t=57828, in which Daniel says
    .
    It's Daniel's job to make sure the forums satisfy their mandate in order that they continue to be funded. The Cherry Scouts and I have posted a lot of information here that we depend on being available indefinitely. There are plenty of forums where human contact is the point, and smilies are a warm fuzzy way of making people feel good, but Daniel gets to say how this forum will satisfy its objectives so that it continues to exist. I've always been partial to these forums because they're so well looked-after.
     
  2. vicarious1

    vicarious1 Active Member 10 Years

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    Re: Forum Charter

    If we are here to debate I beg to differ.
    So you are telling me that he tells it so that funding would stop because one thread in hundreds is HUMAN ?
    Give us a brake please. What is the weight of one threat in an entire forum of this size?

    Do I need to ask for my UBC garden support donation back?
    What ever you say I can not support such narrow minded attitudes and have to speak up for others who
    do not dare to do so. There aren't many other forums that unite it all like UBC does so
    what's the big deal to have one "human" section as long its happening between gardeners.
    I have nothing against of for Mr Daniel as I don' know him. To mehe is part of the keyboard voices only.
    Be he the moderator or not I do not disrespect him and I neither do I disrespect anyone else.
    I would like a comment from the generous "funding" team telling us that funding would not stop because
    of one "more human thread or smiley"
    This is nearly worth a nice letter to relay all this to the Vancouver Sun
    and have the general public have their say.
    Must I pull some of my outer space threads?
    Sincerely.
    Merci pour votre temp and interest dans ma conversation!
     
  3. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Re: Forum Charter

    There are plenty of "human" threads in the conversation section of the forums, yes?

    The rules (such as they are) are relaxed for that area (as specifically mentioned in the charter), but I'm still not interested in threads --even in the Conversations area -- talking about favourite sandwiches, or "fun threads" that devolve into stories of defecating possums.
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2009
  4. The Hollyberry Lady

    The Hollyberry Lady New Member

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    Re: Forum Charter

    This thread seems very similar to the "animated gif attachments" thread that was recently deleted.

    I thought the rules would just be listed and people could take it up privately with administration if they had issues.

    I am going to disconnect from this thread because I don't want a repeat of the other thread, and I can see that this is where it's leading.

    I thought the forum charter would bring about clarification and knowledge, but instead it has just brought more chaos and confusion. Another crusade type thread, where certain members are made to feel less than.

    : (
     
  5. janetdoyle

    janetdoyle Active Member 10 Years

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    Re: Forum Charter

    This is a gardening forum and has obviously been of help to many, I think the goal here is to keep to the gardening and horticulture aspect entirely and just screen out lightweight stuff that can so easily get out of hand! It's a cultural thing, this web frivolity, and there is so much of it around that a little bit creeping in here and there, like weeds in a well-tended garden, is perfectly natural. Just that it not be overdone or repeated endlessly back-and-forth. I am sure that is all Daniel is doing. Relax.
     
  6. Margaret

    Margaret Active Member 10 Years

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    Re: Forum Charter

    Before contributing to a site surely most people read the "mission statement" which gives very clear guidelines as to what the expectations of the site and other contributers are. Vicarious, I think that your comments border on the threatening and bullying with talk of extending this to the media and taking back your donation.
    Daniel I, or one, really appreciate the diplomatic way in which you deal with such issues.
    Margaret
     
  7. vicarious1

    vicarious1 Active Member 10 Years

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    Re: Forum Charter

    Dear Margaret. This where were I think it is important that member stick to what they are best at. You commenting on my comment about posting on a thread that I never saw you writing one line in (or very few makes in case I missed some ) make me believe that you did not follow it nor read it so why commenting here. I believe we live in a world where we telling our honest thoughts is more important. Do you really think I would ask for any donation back? Really do you? But I would make a fuss as much public as possible if this forum would loose its or some funding because of a 'smiley" sign as it would really be petty of it if I would be stopped to contribute for using a smiley.
    If some people ( especially ladies) like to express 'kindness, warmth, gentlenes" by adding a smiley who on earth will suffer for it ?
    I tell it like it makes me feel here on my side of the keyboard. Believe me I rather write about my garden and plants because that is what I am here for. I guess the moderators who started it read it also and mabye will see/learn/adapt to the "society" we represent and bring the life to this forum. At the end without us it is nothign but scientist or biologist exchanging knowledge back and forth for who knows what better. I am here to learn yes and to share my gardening experience and admit to know there are many things I do not know and may want to ask. Rules and Charters as such are made for humans and that's what we are. We can be skiddish and simply walk away delete and never return. Or we can stand up for out believes and say what we think ( here in writing) if asked I would not be ashamed to stand up and tell it in public to 1000 + people. Some rules just remind me of the do or don't primary schools of etc Telling the public that a forum may loose funding because of contributing members writing smilies give me a brake ( if you allow me to say so) I tend to deal diploamtically also and in my 50 + years in my life in six languages it has furthered my life more than anything else.
    Even a McDonald known for 50 years for cheap fast food has made adjustments to make a Cafe where people can sit down and feel different.
    I am simply thinking what difference is it to walk the UBC garden and talk to visitors (where I made few good friends by now) than be in in one particular thread be in the UBC gardening forum where gardeners also feel that making friends goes hand in hand with growing plants.I rest my case. I don't think any of the posters of that forum got to casual in other gardening threads when posting there.
    So for those who do not care to get more personal, just stay away from that thread it clearly says post a pic of your self. In any forum I am and this one is not the only one my avatar is my face so I do not have to take a further step to show my face. Or will there be a rule that we are only allowed to use a flower or plant to represent our posting ? Have a great end of gardening day I just took down all my tomatoes after a last harvest.
    Roger, over your turn .
     
  8. Dana09

    Dana09 Active Member

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    Re: Forum Charter

    Hi Vic,
    I think that I get the feeling that we are OK as we are in that thread where we have been exchanging so many pics and info on our gardens, plants and sometimes people in them and perhaps to come, some old photos of those who led us to live and breathe gardening.
    We are so far flung in this group that it is interesting to get to know about other facets of our gardening friends who have dined very nicely together, so far.
    Let's not blow it just before Halloween !
    In the other threads I am taking pains not to make reference to anything else at all.
    I don't think HBL's thread in 'Conversations' is the one being particularly referred to anyway.
    So please, lets continue to keep harmonious speech as large a part of our doings here as they always seem to be.
    See .........I dare to smile at you here Vic! :)
    I don't think it's that unfriendly, just the academic and cautious side coming out.
    Perhaps I am way out of line here, as an unknowledgeable newcomer; just let me know!
    And yes, relax, chill,

    d
     
  9. soccerdad

    soccerdad Active Member 10 Years

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    Re: Forum Charter

    When I posted off topic I knew that I was wrong, so I don't feel aggrieved by being called on it. I am surprised at the sense of entitlement that I am seeing on some (happily rare) occasions. Surely most of us are, or aspire to become, adults.
     
  10. Liz

    Liz Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Re: Forum Charter

    I've been Awol with work and lovely spring weather. Does this mean the "post a pic thread is no longer allowed"???
    I agree that the majority of places on the site should be fairly formal but this one, as some have said has really opened up the world and its nice to hear some of the goings on beside the garden. Yes some of us have communicated and also it has encouraged some of the new ones to join and share. Maybe it can keep going to keep the rest of the areas tidy but a couple of pages could be whittled off as they date.

    Liz
     
  11. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Re: Forum Charter

    Liz, no this does not mean that -- far from it. That thread, along with many other conversations, are alive and well in the Conversations area.
     
  12. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Re: Forum Charter

    And, against my better judgment, I'll wade back into this.

    I'm a bit confused as to how a belief in living in a world where people can express their honest thoughts can result in admonishing another forum member for expressing her honest thoughts.

    On the topic of smilies, since it seems to be a flashpoint:

    No one has a problem with text-based smilies -- at least no one has ever expressed a concern to me. The lack of graphical smilies on these forums originated with instruction from one of my superiors to not make them available, in 2002.

    On occasion, though, these decisions are revisited. I put it to the forum members in this thread in April of 2008 to reconsider the issue. The community expressed, through a vote and discussion, that they weren't appropriate. I think this is why there was such a visceral reaction to animated GIFs -- the same standard was applied (i.e., animated GIFs are a "bending of the rule" re: smilies), the community had already made its decision on appropriateness, and the community expected it to be enforced by the forum admins. I get the job of enforcing the will of the community, though I also have to balance that against the requirements of the botanical garden for this online community, as expressed many times elsewhere. It also means I bear the brunt of complaints and, sometimes, viciousness, but so be it.

    Consider also, that there is a "founders' effect" in place. Those who participate early on in the development of an online community determine its culture going forward. Conflict occurs when people try to change an established culture -- sometimes it is successful, sometimes it is not. Again, I will express that the value of the web to you as an individual is that you don't have to fight against a particular culture; there is so much diversity available that you can participate where you choose or step in and out of various forums and use the best of each.

    I appreciate that it is difficult, particularly for members who joined in the past year, to deal with some of these "changes". I wish I could have been around more in the past year, but I won't apologize for my medical leave of absence and the time leading up to it / my return to work. In essence, though, these guidelines have existed for a long-time. What is occurring is that I am codifying the standards that existed since the inception of the forums, at the request of some of the forum members.

    On the topic of avatars:

    Consider this: there is no express written guideline on what form an avatar must take. To do so is to again travel that path of more bureaucratization. I could write one, sure. But I don't think it's ever been a problem yet, because: 99% of people implicitly understand what is appropriate. The day may come, though, when someone decides to abuse that -- perhaps with a "clever avatar" that insults someone else, or a cropped image of the folds of skin on a finger so as to look like a provocative piece of the human anatomy ("but it's just my fingers!"), and the guideline will have to be written. Perhaps the only logical way -- to be determined at the time and within the entire context of the situation -- to deal with that will be a restriction that you may only use the avatars we provide. I don't know. Let's hope we never have someone who decides to push the envelope of the community standards and good taste. But I have to reserve the right to make that decision, balancing both the desire of the community and what is appropriate for this institution to accept on its website.

    On the topic of "funding":

    I've expressed my thoughts elsewhere. My active involvement on the forums is predicated on the forums serving the institutional mission of education. If I become inactive due to too much "drift" from the purpose of these forums, the forums suffer because I'm not available to ensure both the will of the community (in that I have the job of enforcing the will -- see above re: smilies) and the educational mission desired to justify the existence of the forums. And it becomes a negative spiral downwards.

    There is a continuum, if you will, of what can be discussed on plant-based forums. Extreme, stultifying science & reading from dusty textbooks on one end to extreme lightweight banter on the other. On these forums, the desired area is closer to science/applied science & education than to banter. There are other forums where it is closer to banter. Again, these options exist to you -- choose what is best for your express purposes at the time.

    Can we get back to talking about plants now? I assume that's what attracted most people to these forums in the first place. High-quality discussions about plants with some very knowledgeable people.
     
  13. 2annbrow

    2annbrow Active Member

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    Re: Forum Charter

    I agree with Janet; Daniel is doing his job. Pruning can encourage growth. A little "lightweight" is good, obsession is not. I am referring to my own posts, of course.
     
  14. vicarious1

    vicarious1 Active Member 10 Years

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    Re: Forum Charter

    Thanks for taking the time to write this Daniel. Just to put my reference to "smilies" into context.
    I never missed the animated gifs and actually don't use them myself at all like in some e-mail programs and am happy the forum is not opposed to the occasional simplified alphabetic interpretation.
     

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