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Old January 28th, 2018, 06:35 PM   #1
Uniquemind
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Default Moderator and Administrator Lead Discussions

I want to suggest a concept for VT forums.

After a year of observance, I think certain movements in the newscycle, especially those affecting teens, need to have a huge community discussion group.

Issues like the #MeToo movement or deeper analysis into what we as a community think about various thinkpieces from other places online can be discussed. Some are discussing sexuality, but not always sometimes it's about suicide or other really big trending topics.


The reason I feel moderators and site admins should play a role is to maximize site-community discussion to get everybody's feedback on such issues.

This is to help combat posters who might not see the thread or discussion, because they tend to only operate in say hypothetically the "VT Arcade" or elsewhere on the site.

Hence the deeper-community response of the thread gets ignored more than it should.

I'm not saying we can force people to respond but to serious promote it so it perhaps gets more dicussion, and isn't shoeballed into a section of the forums limited exposure.
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Old January 29th, 2018, 08:15 AM   #2
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Default Re: Moderator and Administrator Lead Discussions

In theory this sounds great, I'm always for community building, but I'm not entirely understanding the execution. Are you suggesting donating a small section to such "hot topics" (like Gaia does)? Or a thread/announcement? A social group?

How would it be very different from the current threads in VT Daily Chronicle and/or RotW on these topics? In order to do anything with it, there needs to be a very distinct purpose and/or function.

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Old January 29th, 2018, 08:34 AM   #3
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Default Re: Moderator and Administrator Lead Discussions

Plus, I think once the debaters took over/started posting, it would, for the most part, it would still just be mostly the people who post in those threads. I am not knocking the idea and maybe I am dead wrong, but I am not sure if I see the site wide participation I think you are hoping for.

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Old January 29th, 2018, 11:36 AM   #4
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Default Re: Moderator and Administrator Lead Discussions

As far as I can tell, many users are more interested in communicating with other users on the way a forum offers. Even forum-chats are rarely used, unless they offer what eg discord can offer. So I don't believe that we will reach a much greater response level than se already have.

and if users can finally chat via PM etc, then sooner or later they arrange to meet on whatsapp, insta, etc..


At least, it may be worth a try.





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Old January 29th, 2018, 11:44 PM   #5
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Default Re: Moderator and Administrator Lead Discussions

I like the idea. Making threads that are topical and relevant to teens, and then making them evident and accessible for all members. I like the idea, it could potentially help revive VT, and strengthen the community here. And it wouldn't be that hard to do.

But there are some problems with such. For instance, it would be difficult to moderate this effectively. Some users do not want to discuss topical issues in a tense and often toxic manner like they are in VTDC or ROTW. Other users seem intent on making every single discussion into a ideological sissy fight. Trying to keep this open to all members would require some strict guidelines and moderation on the part of the staff.

That is likely the biggest problem with your idea. I think it could be over-come if there were some precise, strict, and enforced guidelines in place, but that would require a decent amount of effort from nearly all staff members. But I really do like the idea. Needs a bit of planning, but I think it would be great if sometime soon we could get one of these discussions going.
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Old January 30th, 2018, 03:38 AM   #6
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Default Re: Moderator and Administrator Lead Discussions

Quote:
Originally Posted by Elysium View Post
In theory this sounds great, I'm always for community building, but I'm not entirely understanding the execution. Are you suggesting donating a small section to such "hot topics" (like Gaia does)? Or a thread/announcement? A social group?

How would it be very different from the current threads in VT Daily Chronicle and/or RotW on these topics? In order to do anything with it, there needs to be a very distinct purpose and/or function.


Well to me VT Chronicle tends to be more quick ews highlights, and that thread's structure seems to shutdown or lock threads that get too debate like or as plasma said, "ideological".

ROTW, tends to get too philosophical and so it different and the tolerance of debate is or seems higher there than what I'd want this proposed new forum category to look like.


My intention, is to have a dialogue where every post has to meet some kind of "furthering the dialogue" or analytical approach to whatever article we collectively read and analyze. Like a book club but for news articles, and everyone has a right to state their opinion, but then they have to justify their emotional or logical view.


ROTW also goes off on tangents as well, so what I want is a forum that makes us think, and also stays current and also informs us young people about the transition to adulthood.

The #MeToo movement really opened my eyes to realize how many young people don't comprehend how Non-Disclosure Agreements really go against all the "rights" we learn we have in school.


It'll be a challenge but I think it's worth trying.


It's also great to practice writing skills for school for persuasive discussion.

--

Upon execution though, I think a select group of at least 6 members need to pledge to frequently view that thread to keep the pace going. Like that's the kind of community devotion we need to make it work.

And as we get older, that part of the forum should accumulate a lot of wise knowledge that can then be referenced for the "help" forums.

I don't know how long you all plan to stick around, but let's as I go to college and get a law degree or engineering or nursing or some
Kind of specialized knowledge.

Overtime that helps the next wave of VT'ers who might benefit from previous discussions.

Also overtime we can measure how far society has come. Are events like MeToo really caused a social shift in 20 years, or will we stagnate?


---

Moderators getting a long term sense of who likes such in-depth discussions, can send out PM's specifically to trusted VT members asking if they'd like to participate in the discussion.

So yeah polite advertising of big trending threads.


Certainly we all know who likes to engage in such discussions anyway let's minimize the chance they just missed a thread they might enjoy.

You can tell which members frequently LIKE to engage. Hopefully as new members join, momentum can build.

Last edited by Uniquemind; January 30th, 2018 at 03:44 AM.
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Old January 30th, 2018, 09:47 PM   #7
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Default Re: Moderator and Administrator Lead Discussions

I don't say it's a bad idea and the concept sounds interesting per se.

Still I feel like @SethfromMI it will just attract the same people as all discussions do.

As we all can agree most of our members are just here for the puberty forums and don't really feel like interacting in other parts of the forums anyway. Just look at the posting patterns.

All discussion threads are clearly visible and open for any member of the site to take part but it's just a handful that really talks in them.

The reasons for this may be various.
First of course as stated above that a great deal of people just wants to hang out in the puberty forums.

Apart from that - and I just speak here from a personal point of view not as a staff member - I feel this forum lacks real diversity and acceptance of different levels of education/ knowledge

I often had private conversations with other members where they said "I would like to talk in the ROTW threads but I am sorta afraid. Certain members expose my lack of in depth knowledge as dumbness and attack me for it. So I have given up posting there."

Not everyone is as deeply involved in political, social or whatever issues still this doesn't mean they cannot have an opinion, however a lot of discussion threads seem so "elitist" to members, that they would even be afraid to state an opinion there since it is seen as silly or irrelevant by the avid debaters.

So if we want interesting discussion topics we would first need to work on this problems or else we would always just end up having the same 5 people discussing we have now.

However, I don't feel like a problem like this can be tackled by a complicated set up of rules or a heavy presence of moderators...It would just require a higher acceptance of different views in all of us to acquire larger crowds in discussion threads and keep such discussions alive.


If we manage this, advertising trending ideas would make sense, otherwise they would be forgotten as soon as every other discussion topic I'm afraid.
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Old January 30th, 2018, 10:59 PM   #8
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Default Re: Moderator and Administrator Lead Discussions

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Originally Posted by Dalcourt View Post
I don't say it's a bad idea and the concept sounds interesting per se.

Still I feel like @SethfromMI it will just attract the same people as all discussions do.

As we all can agree most of our members are just here for the puberty forums and don't really feel like interacting in other parts of the forums anyway. Just look at the posting patterns.

All discussion threads are clearly visible and open for any member of the site to take part but it's just a handful that really talks in them.

The reasons for this may be various.
First of course as stated above that a great deal of people just wants to hang out in the puberty forums.

Apart from that - and I just speak here from a personal point of view not as a staff member - I feel this forum lacks real diversity and acceptance of different levels of education/ knowledge

I often had private conversations with other members where they said "I would like to talk in the ROTW threads but I am sorta afraid. Certain members expose my lack of in depth knowledge as dumbness and attack me for it. So I have given up posting there."

Not everyone is as deeply involved in political, social or whatever issues still this doesn't mean they cannot have an opinion, however a lot of discussion threads seem so "elitist" to members, that they would even be afraid to state an opinion there since it is seen as silly or irrelevant by the avid debaters.

So if we want interesting discussion topics we would first need to work on this problems or else we would always just end up having the same 5 people discussing we have now.

However, I don't feel like a problem like this can be tackled by a complicated set up of rules or a heavy presence of moderators...It would just require a higher acceptance of different views in all of us to acquire larger crowds in discussion threads and keep such discussions alive.


If we manage this, advertising trending ideas would make sense, otherwise they would be forgotten as soon as every other discussion topic I'm afraid.

Part of that is the nature of debate and a societally taught fear that being wrong is shameful and therefore interpreted as a personal attack on character.

I don't think that's a problem forum culture can fix, I think internally people need to get comfortable with being wrong and yes sharing different points of view, but also reacting in a way that widens their view and doesn't polarize people further.

So it's a balancing act, do you create a safe-space, or do you learn to gain a valuable life skill in learning to admit when you were wrong or maybe it's neutrally be both parties are holding onto valid points of view and that's possible depending on the foundation of their ideology and the life experiences they have as justification for those views.

That's why I said moderator lead discussions.

So where the moderator comes into play, is to recognize when and where to breakup a foundation of clashing ideologies or to reframe a poster's message so as to take the "heat" out of it but get the point across and yet stay on topic.


So yeah that's a huge difference in involvement in the pace of discussion too.

---

I also don't know if the reason the puberty threads attract the most attention because just the subject matter, or if the regular traffic and posts it gets causes the most eyeballs to go there.

(Aka: a chicken-or-egg came first causation).


If it doesn't work then shut it down.

Last edited by Uniquemind; January 30th, 2018 at 11:02 PM.
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Old January 30th, 2018, 11:39 PM   #9
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Default Re: Moderator and Administrator Lead Discussions

I don't want anyone to think that I didn't see this or am ignoring it; that's not the case, and I'll give a proper reply to this later.

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Old January 31st, 2018, 01:29 AM   #10
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Default Re: Moderator and Administrator Lead Discussions

@Uniquemind I don't really think you understood what I meant. As I said I speak from what I was told by for users. It is not about creating save spaces it is about not being willing to participate since you feel the discussions are to "elitist" sometimes.

Like most of the avid debaters are 18+ years olds this sorta "intimates" some younger members or members with not so deep knowledge on a subject.
As a moderator you would only be able to do something when actual bashing, fightings take place....but I don't really see what else the GD Mods should be able to do to incourage discussions and bring non-debaters to join a debate.

I'm not at all against the idea of bringing more people into debates...quite the contrary. I personally ended my participation in debate threads since I am tired of just seeing the same handful of people there. I really would want new faces to get the whole thing more lively again.
When I joined the forum many years ago there where by far more active discussions and the people and topics were by far more diverse.

And we surely can have topics in debate threads that get kinda stickied so they won't die down so quickly or fall under the bumping rule but if your members aren't willing to actively participate no moderator can keep a trending topic artificially alive.

So I'm all for bringing new life in the debate threads and get new people there but I don't feel we should make it so dependant on mods. Since only GD and Global mods would be able to do this task and I don't feel we should put an extra workload on them.
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Old January 31st, 2018, 10:03 AM   #11
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Default Re: Moderator and Administrator Lead Discussions

@Dalcourt

Okay I understand.
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Old January 31st, 2018, 01:27 PM   #12
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Default Re: Moderator and Administrator Lead Discussions

As one of the more active debaters, I personally will tone down any rhetoric that might overwhelm or imitate other users if this kind of thread happens. I understand the purpose behind it, and I can control myself enough to be civil and not overbearing upon (not wanting to sound degrading) less informed users.

I can't speak for the other debaters, but I personally can and will tone down my rhetoric. And if other debaters refuse to do such, that is why the discussions will be moderator lead, and with enforced guidelines.
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Old February 2nd, 2018, 04:04 AM   #13
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Quote:
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As one of the more active debaters, I personally will tone down any rhetoric that might overwhelm or imitate other users if this kind of thread happens. I understand the purpose behind it, and I can control myself enough to be civil and not overbearing upon (not wanting to sound degrading) less informed users.

I can't speak for the other debaters, but I personally can and will tone down my rhetoric. And if other debaters refuse to do such, that is why the discussions will be moderator lead, and with enforced guidelines.
I'll make that commitment too.

I definitely counter rebuttals in ROTW in ways that I feel are appropriate for a debate thread, as you also see in real academic debate clubs at school they are intense.

However for such a thread as I proposed, it would be toned down for more discussion's sake rather than debate.


But Dalcourt's point still stands and I don't know if this can work now.

I still want to try it, better than inaction, to see cause and effect and let it end after a trial period.


But also overworking the mods....perhaps if we have a larger staff in the future we can revisit this idea.
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Old February 2nd, 2018, 12:05 PM   #14
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Default Re: Moderator and Administrator Lead Discussions

Quote:
Originally Posted by Uniquemind View Post
I'll make that commitment too.

I definitely counter rebuttals in ROTW in ways that I feel are appropriate for a debate thread, as you also see in real academic debate clubs at school they are intense.

However for such a thread as I proposed, it would be toned down for more discussion's sake rather than debate.


But Dalcourt's point still stands and I don't know if this can work now.

I still want to try it, better than inaction, to see cause and effect and let it end after a trial period.


But also overworking the mods....perhaps if we have a larger staff in the future we can revisit this idea.

It's not that I make the decision here...if a majority wants threads like that I'm sure Val will make it happen.

I just don't see why an administrator or mod is needed here. I feel this just makes things unnecessarily complicated. Why should there be topics of greater relevance and who should decide which topics are worthy?

In our school's debate group our teachers usually decided on topics worthwhile so should our admin decide which topics she feels are relevant this would be for once be rather authoritrian and second put a lot of pressure on the decision maker.

As a whole nobody is discouraged in any way from creating a thread on a topic they find interesting and as long as other members are interested in this discussion the topic will remain open.
All discussion topics are visible to any member and they can all freely decide whether they want to actively participate. So I understand you want some more lively discussions but I personally don't think it will really work out to the desired effect.
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Old February 12th, 2018, 02:47 AM   #15
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Okay, so I know I said Iíd reply here, and point plank, I forgot. I canít give you a good excuse; yes, Iíve been really busy with my real life job and issues, but at the same time, I canít use that as an excuse beyond that. And so, at that, if you have an issue with this, please, take it up with me privately, and Iíll be happy to discuss with you. But at that, Iím really sorry.

So at that, after a lot (a lot more then intended) of thought, Iím going to agree yet disagree with this suggestion. I donít think having a section or anything for this specifically is good, but I will vouch for a section that /is/ interactive. Maybe it will have debates, maybe it wouldnít.. but it could also have forum games, like scavenger hunts and bingo and such, and other things that are interactive between staff and non staff. I canít speak for anyone else, staff or non staff, but I think such place could be fun. Even if itís not as suggested where itís all debates and whatnot, I think where we all get to interact and do different things could be a bit fun.

So I guess while Iím not necessarily for an entire forum for staff led discussions/debates, I am for a forum led by staff per se with the goal to be interactive and fun/sometimes informational or whatnot. If this is something that is potentially interesting to people, thatís good to know, so it is something that we can move forward with.

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