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Discussion in 'Suggestions, bugs and feedback about the site' started by andyn, Jun 22, 2006.
Exactly... You could all do what I do and just read the interesting bits
I remember there was a book written in the 70th with the title:
"You are ok and I am ok". I found out in life that this is only wish thinking the reality of nature is: I am a "rotten skunk and you are a rotten skunk " but this can be ok if we give respect and space to each other.
I noticed that we are all egoists, we all have an agenda, even a social worker gets something out from his or her job/position. And if its only the good feeling of being important, helping others etc etc. Even Mother Theresa got something out of her life.
How can we apply this truth to our conflict?
Well, easy. Why putting moral into the picture at all. Why being surprised that Tony wants to make money? He is an egoist, so are you and so am I! So what!
Only dont try to change people or apply a moral. You only get upset, but not about reality. You, in reality are only getting sad, angry or upset about the picture you apply to reality. You wish BCUK would be free of commercial interest, You want that it follows more the dreams you have a forum should be. So, if people are getting upset they are getting upset about the stuff they produce themselves in their head but not about reality.
Reality only is.
What about me here? Well, I miss some good old talks with some old buddies I miss here. Thats it. I can try to start a Thread in the spirit I like. For example do I like Threads where we would share how it feels to be alone in nature for several day or weeks etc etc. The spirit of Bushcraft etc etc
If I notice that none is interested in my interest I am not going to change the lot here, I simply move on.
I believe the mods and Tony are doing a very good job keeping the Forum family friendly, I have respect for Tony sticking out his neck and risking his own money and family time for his interest. I would not do that, I would not dare it. I would be too afraid and I am too lazy.
So if he has success, great, why not. Let him get rich like Bill Gates, so what?
If you are still getting out something from the forum you still will hang around here, I am sure about it. Some people need to create Drama all the time, not for the sake of changing anything but to shout out "Here I am, I exist, do you guys hear me!". They in fact dont want a change, they want drama.
I noticed that in one Bushcraft forum and I left, the group was getting high on being negative. Yes, you get a great "We" feeling but its a sick position and you need to feed that image of the evil "Them". That is what I call trench wars. When I noticed that I left. Still I miss them all, they are great people but as a group I dont like the spirit.
All kind of group spirit sucks! That can happen here too. We (BCUK) and them (the ones criticizing us), we dont listen anymore we are out for the drama and the kill (saying get out of here if you dont like it). Why? Because it make me stronger, as I surly belong to the right group not like the evil others.
I still get something out of it here; I try to give back something from my knowledge to the forum here. If it gets too boring I am leaving.
Why that? Because I am an egoistic rat like you all are too!
I joined another group of local like minded bushcrafters just over a year ago, at the time we were given a pretty rough ride by the mod team here and accussed of being underhanded and having alterior commercial motives and as a result of this I am one of the very few who chose to remain here on bcuk and keep posting (sorry everyone I an NOT going into details to rake it up again, the above is all you diplomaticly need to know to understand the below).
This does mean that I for one am now worried about what I post on a thread like this and how it will be viewed. I'm not a sheeple type person and am quite able to think for myself, so if I post something then it's ME saying it and not a group. I'm sure some will think "yer right, of course" but why not believe me saying that when you do believe other things that are said but cannot be backed up for whatever reason?
When ScanDgrind (who I've never even met btw) was banned the other day I wasn't suprised as his post was a little too forthright for a family forum, I asked why he had been banned specifically as no proper explanation had been given and not becuae of some group plot or whatever...what actually instigated me to write that post and ask was actually that Stuart didn't think he'd done anything wrong. Stuart has made some very good calls as a mod (imo) and I could give you many examples but on this case I think he was very wrong to have done that to a 14 year old boy, what upset me was that he did it and then when several people tried to subtly point this out he didn't and as far as I know still hasn't apologied. Why not? Had it been me (as we all doing things wrong from time to time, me more than most ) I would have popped back on and said something along the lines of "Ok ok ok....I was a little heavy handed there, no offence Leon...I'm glad you're so keen but there are ways this forum runs and asking question after question isn't helpful. Please pm me if you want me to help you understand the forum better. Please accept my apologies for my post".
Had Stuart done that then I doubt ScanDgrind would have felt he had to say anything.
I understand that Modding can be a hard job with hard calls, I'm lucky in that the only forum I mod on is an ultrafriendly one where everybody knows each other personally anyway. However, admiting you make mistakes shouldn't be limited to tough disisions, explaning your reasons should be part of the job and most importantly politeness costs nothing.
We have heard from Martyn that we can leave here anytime we don't like it and he is 100% right we can but it also follows that any Mod can resign anytime they like if they are finding that they are not enjoying being a mod. What it doesn't mean is that they should hide behind their mod hat an say what they like....they may be autherised to do so but it doesn't mean they have to or should do.
How do we move forward, I'm not sure but I'd certainly like to see certain elements of the modding team being less defencive about comments and suggestions, Adi Fiddler started a well intentioned thread the other day and was pushed and pushed by others (not just mods) until he was wound up enough to say things that got him banned...that's just not right and is what causes the bad feeling that others have spoken of on here. I might not like or agree with what Martyn has said in this thread but to be fair to him he has stayed with the issue and tried in his own way to resolve some of it, however, why didn't he moderate Adi's post and alow that thread to continue if he's said it's ok to open this one?
All of the above is just my thoughts, I don't intend to leave this site and don't want to cause it any harm...I have a loud mouth sometimes and that's as true in the flesh as it is in cyberspace; I don't let my mouth write cheques my butt can't cash. I've had some arguements and squabbles here from time to time, some that will never be resolved and I will never get on with the other person (that's life, you can't be everybodies mate) and others where I now chat happily to people I've argued with.
I've met quite a few good people off this site and in my early days here I learned quite a few new tips and tricks (I'm still picking them up now) and so I feel I owe it to the current new "intake" to stay and help them along too.
Hope I haven't offended anybody with the above,
Being new to BCUK I have been following this debate with interest, cant help thinking that the dissenting parties need to sit down with a beer and talk this thru.
Bushcraft means different things to different people following various threads I see that many are fundamentalists immersing themselves in nature making their own kit and using little shop bought gear, there are at the other end of the spectrum survivalists who use bushcraft as a fallback for when things fail.
But at an elementary level respect for the natural world and an understanding of how to live harmoniously with it is common to us all, using this as a starting point can we not agree the items that detract from this or may be offensive to others can be removed from the site, and the responsibility for this we have entrusted to the moderators.
The moot in July would be a good time to asses the opinion of members and enjoy that beer.
Nice pup Elk Hound? hope his leg is better soon, will he be hunting this year.
From what I have read on this and the previous thread it seems that part of the problem seems to be that some members (not necessarily myself) feel agrieved by the lack of clarity for the actions of the moderators and a feeling of injustice in how the decisions are announced. Could I suggest a similar approach to that of the football referee. The moderators could have the choice of 3 actions for a culprit of a an unapproved action
1 - For minor actions a quiet word to the person explaining about his actions via PM.
2 - For continuous minor actions or for more serious actions a yellow card could be issued to the culprit via the thread, again explaining his actions.
3 - For serious offences or for repeating a yellow card action a red card i.e. banning.
The offences for each of the above could be listed so that everyone knows what the punishment will be issued for each offence. In addition a standard warning that includes the reasons for it being issued could be writtem. This would then (hopefully) mean that
i - there would be a standard response for the moderators
ii - everyone understood (even if they did not agree ) what action was taken and why
iii - fewer Alan Sugar moments of "YOUR'E FIRED!" - which may make some people feel that they are being looked down on by the mods like naughty schoolboys in front of the headmaster.
Just an idea. May / may not be practical.
Nice idea, but I doubt circumstances are ever as clear cut that the card system would work. I guess that's the sort of system that takes place now anyway, albeit not so formalised.
Very well put Abbe.
Incidentally if there is a reluctance to share your acknowledged passion for solitude in wild places I have a strong suspicion it stems from a reluctance by many contributing members to acknowledge how little opportunity they actually have to pursue such an experience. I am sure this is why (myself most certainly included) there is so much debate about knives and kit: It rather serves to distract us from the fact we cannot be amongst the woods & meadows anywhere near as often as we wish and, perhaps most pertinently, given of the state of mind that only comes with more than just a few hours snatched at the weekend.
Regarding agendas I have been given so much stick from people outside of this community for failing to withdraw from the site in the wake of an early thread called Is This A Valid Bushcraft Tool I thought I might need a body guard! Im still here though and hope to be a little more constructive in the future but if I see one more thread about PANTS Im off!
When the horse gets to the tank its time to drink.
Interesting post Abbe. I posted my views in the orginal thread posted by Adi. Adi is a friend of mine. I publicly stated in the thread that his tone was losing the arguement he was trying to make. That is a shame as I think he and Andy both have an interesting point.
If anyone wishes to question my commerical interest or loyalty to BCUK you can question me in person at the Bushmoot where i will be supporting the moot. Helping where I can.
I do agree that some people seek conflict and enjoy the adrenline created with purile arguements. I understand where your coming from Abbe there are other groups that have agendas of their own we all do. I know I do mine is to see this forum grow stronger and everyone getting maximum benefit from the forum.
I disagee with Martyn on a number of issues but then he is the mod I am not. I would prefer more consulation on moderation issues. We are a community. I agree that sometimes decisions need to be made quickly blatant racism and porn needs to be removed asap. However as we have already discussed most matters of moderation are subjective. What i find offensive others do not and so forth.
No one so far has questioned Tonys right to earn a living. The problem with the commerical status was that Martyn and Stuart stated that BCUK was not a profit making organisation. In the Uk this has a legal definition and is subject to charitable status. I felt this was misleading, Tony has invested many thousands of pounds into this site and setting up the mag. No one I have spoken to wishes him ill.
Many of the members on here attempt to make a part of their income from the outdoors industry. Hence the link in my signiture to my own site. I have a link to BCUK and am wearing my BCUK T shirt proudly on my site.
There is too much politics in Bushcraft, generally schools bickering, people slating other peoples skills etc. Some in the past has said thats the nature of business. Thats a poor way to excuse bad behaviour.
We share a love of the outdoors and want to comunicate with other like minded people. Tony saw a need for a forum and got off his backside and created one. Great. There are people happy to slate BCUK and Ray Mears for their publicity. Thats also sad.
Personally I would like to see all bushcrafters coming together annually for an open discussion on best pactice ect. as we can't hold sensible discourse online its unlikely it will happen.
Back to Andys point. There has been a lot of bad feeling recently on here. People have been using the rep system to hold personal grudges. I am amazed people eve use the system. I read a post and decide the value and quality of the content based on what is written not on the colour of a square.
I think that the full members forum needs to be better ulitised as a bridge between the wider membership and the admin team. perhaps this is an area where regular discussions about recent events on the forum could be discussed.
A benefit of full membership without washing all the forums dirty washing in public.
I agree with Andys post that mods have power and with power comes responsibilty. leaders must lead by example and not only be whiter than white but to be seen to be. Often this can be a tiresome burden but i feel its a necessary chore. Martyn states that Sal has been given extra commerical priviledge to promote his knife becuase its of interest to the forum. Jeff Wagner hets a lot of free publicity about his fire pistons etc. I am providing a BCUK first aid course.
I think The commerical area of the forum needs to be opened so that peoples status is clear. I would be prepared to pay an small increase in membership to able to post in the commerical area. My screen name could be a bright colour to suggest I am not always impartial.
Sorry about the long rambling but i think that the direction of the forum has a great importance to the readership than what colour socks Mors wears on a wet friday.
I think in some ways it is the informality, or at least what is perceived by non-mods as informality, that is the problem. There needs to be a stuctured set of rules and disciplinary measures which are known to everyone.
Mods please don't think I'm having a go. You've got a tough job. To use football as an example again no-one likes the referee or the linesmen, thay hardly get any praise when they get things right, but without them the game just wouldn't be able to be played.
Good post - couldn't agree more!
I so want to argue comparative philosophy with you Abbe, however, unfortunately, this is neither the time, nor the place
However, in some support of this stance, as I get ever older I do subscribe to the view of:
"Grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change; the Courage to change the things I can; and the Wisdom to know the difference."
One thing nature teaches me are that there are forces beyond my control that affect me - If I choose to exist in their sphere of influence, I must accept them and learn to work with them. If the effort I must expend in understanding these forces is too great or their effect too unpleasant, then I try not to put myself in their sphere of influence. I don't have to like them, but there are consequences to not heeding them. In forums this is so as in nature.
What I love in nature is the chance to move with it, take pleasure from the small things, to observe life around me and marvel at its diversity. Occasionally, I stop and interact a little more closely, I dwell in an area, and then, at a time of my choosing I move on. In forums this is so as in nature.
Once in a while, I meet a fellow traveller, often I learn a little from them, very occasionally they may learn a little from me, most often we just take pleasure from each others company for a while and then move on. In forums this is so as in nature.
Generally, I know my capacity for change is occasional directions to a fellow traveller. I am nowhere near as powerful as the major forces, nor wise enough to wield that power if I was. In forums this is so as in nature.
Don't take that comment Martyn made:
as being directed at you. I didn't. There were some specific examples that leapt to my mind, but they were nothing to do with your post.
Moderating is easy when people are obvious about behaving, or obvious about stepping over a line. The recent departure of Hilltop is a case in point. It is very much harder with people who join the forum just for a wind-up, and there have been about a dozen of them. Some post ridiculous questions and get a kick out of getting the members worked up, others get a kick from asking reasonable sounding questions, the answers to which are of no interst to them, then sitting and watching everyone waste their time answering. I would never have believed anyone would bother with such things, but we have had a few and its always hells own job to work out whether they are on the up-and-up and if not, when and how to deal with them.
Its worst when someone who always posted good stuff, one day opens up because they have been spending too much time listening to people with axes to grind. The problem, and it cuts both ways, with conspiracy, is that if you believe it to be there you will find evidence to back it up, whatever it is.
Anyway, its good to hear people's opinions like this.
Oh dear, we have finally come around to this. Every forum in its life will have this discussion regarding Mods, banning etc, it is a natural course.
I remember a martial arts forum I used to frequent and things got a little out of control shall we say. The site was UK based, but the owner became obsessed with trying to gain all knowledge and outdoing all the similalr sites that existed. If someone expressed a particular opinion, the forum had a group of heavies who would gang up on the said person and force them out (they were all not Mods by the way). If the person persisted then certain individuals would attack them externaly with Malware etc. The long and short of it, the FBI were eventually called in and the whole thing was shut down. The guy still has a web site and only after nearly five years later has he started to open up a forum again. This is obviously an extreme and does not reflect the state of this forum in any shape or form. One reason I return to this forum everyday is we can all hold adult discussions without too much agressive flaming.
The problem with the internet is that we are all faceless and a sentence can be expressed in many ways simply by how it is writeen and the user reads into its emotion. It is very easy to offend someone without it ever being intentional or otherwise and the reply can either qwell the argument before it starts or the flames can be fanned.
As the late Bruce Lee said:
"Keep it real"
Hiya Chris, Martyn, Wayne, Andy and all. I think that this actually cuts close to some of the issues that we've been experiencing.
I've read several of the debates that have effectively ended with flame wars, and one of the consistant comments that seem to be made is to the effect of "This is part of a concerted effort to destablise the site - you're working with others to a hidden agenda" As has been said here and on other threads we don't get to see all the stuff that goes on, and frankly I'm rather glad. I'm also glad that there ARE rules and moderators willing to see them applied. However...
...what we as users tend to see is my paraphrased comment applied with what appears to be a very broad brush. It when it's said it might be accurate - I don't know and can't because I'm not a mod - but whether it's true or not, every time it comes out in a post the implication seems to be clear: "if you're not in agreement with us, therefore you're against us", and that - to me - gives entirely the wrong impression.
When it comes down to it I think the issue is not that decisions are made, it's an issue of how those decisions are perceived to be implemented. It's said that in human interaction language is only 10% of all the data we communicte when talking face to face; but in an internet environment it's 100%, and perception is everything.
As per usual in these sorts of posts, no offence is intended to any reader, and apologies are offered in advance to anyone should they do so.
As a final thing before I stop typing, as part of the discussion as to the propriety of the site, and what level of say subscribers have/should have; here's a quote from Tony in the "How it started" section of the site about the reason for BCUK:
The whole concept is based on being a service to the bushcraft community, the public, education etc, providing anyone interested in the outdoors with a place to feel at home, learn more, be with friends and share in the wonders of the world we live in.
Long may this hold to be true.
Very good post Womble, think I agreed with all you have to say
I am new to BCUK and what I thought I knew about bushcraft is in fact nothing.
I did stuff in the Scouts and the RAF but that was some time ago.
I have been a moderator on another forum (nothing to do with bushcraft) and understand all the problems that go with such a thankless but rewarding task.
What I have found with this site it isn't easy to post a topic about which I know absolutely nothing about, I followed the posting tips before posting a question, searched through some relevant articles that I could find then finally posted.
Now I expect the more experienced members probably think,
Not another question on the same subject that was covered a few months prior, but I wasn't a member then!
My thoughts are that a site like bcuk is to encourage and help people whether experienced or not to enjoy bushcraft.
I'm disabled and have huge issues with walking, bending, lifting but i'm determined to do some of the topics covered on this forum.
I like being a member on here and will shortly become a full member plus I'm hoping to come to the Moot at the end of July.
Bigman. I hope you can make the moot in July make sure you come and say hello. No one really minds the number of repeat posts. We can accept that is inevitable. I often get new info from some of the repeated questions.
This threads focus is not to be negitive but to look forward and see how the forum can improve its service to new and longer serving members. Between the combined experience of 4000 odd members a solution should be possible to most difficuties.
We've thought about it Wolfie and there are quite extensive rules, but we have decided to opt for less rather than more and place more responsibility on moderators discression. Why? well because it's not always possible to apply one rule to a set of similar circumstances. You could end up having to blindly follow the rule, locked into a path when you know the best option would be to exercise some discretion.
Forums are living things, they change constantly, they wax and wayne, peak and trough. I'll give you an example. Everyone knows how to bypass the swear filter right? For example b.l.immin h3ck OK? So someone does this, it's a family site - do we moderate it? The answer is, sometimes we do, sometimes we dont. It depends on how frequent it is occuring. If it's a rarely seen thing, we will let the odd expletive slip unnoticed. But if it starts to happen regularly, then we ramp up our dilligence. We respond to the change in the forum, by changing our moderation on the fly. They when it becomes less of an issue, we relax and start letting the occasional one slip. This means that sometimes, you may get moderated the first time you do it, on other occasions, it may get missed. It's the forum breathing and we have to breathe with it. A rigid set of rules would lock us into a way of moderating that would sometimes be too weak and other times be too strong. We do have some formal rules, too many if you ask me, but we also need to have the space to use our judgement.
The downside, is when someone want to take you to task, they can find examples of people being let off, when others have got moderated. It happens, we try hard to keep it to a minimum and keep consistency high, but we must flex with the forum and that means some inconsistency. Or, if you like to use the word, hypocracy.
Forums are living things, they change constantly, they wax and wayne, peak and trough.
Does Wayne know he's waxing a forum?
OK, did I spell that wrong? I was always OK at grammar, but my spelling is a nightmare.