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Goal: Build a more friendly discussion environment here. Anyone in?
Thread poster: Henry Dotterer

Tanya Quintieri  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 21:54
Member (2010)
German to English
+ ...
Don't sweet-talk it, Samuel. :D May 15

Samuel Murray wrote:

There are a couple of things that can be done to the existing forums to make it a friendlier place, but it may simply be that the 20-year (!!) old design is due for replacement.

[Edited at 2019-05-15 07:21 GMT]


I somehow really doubt that the UX design is the reason for personal attacks (when they do happen) and belittling others. I saw it happens years and years ago when I first joined ProZ (and immediately shied away) and I saw it again after peeking my head in just a few weeks ago. Some pople just don't realize that there's actually another human being on the receiving end.

My personal experience, after many years of online communication and going to many, many in-person events: Those who come across as the rudest online, are, in fact, the most quiet wallflowers who shy away from personal connection in real life. Go figure... Keyboard warriors without any interpersonal skills. It's kind of sad.


Jo Macdonald
Andrew Morris
Gareth Callagy
 

Robert Forstag  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 15:54
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Do we really want groupthink? May 15

Elizabeth Tamblin wrote:

Fiona Grace Peterson wrote:

What is more revealing, and representative of the community's opinions?


That is quite revealing in itself. Do you really want to be represented by the homogenised view of the majority? Do you want to be part of a collective mind rather than an individual?

Edited to add "an".

[Edited at 2019-05-15 12:33 GMT]


I think that Elizabeth (and Lincoln) make important points here. I would not want my (or anyone’s) “status,” “sense of belonging,” or whatever in a forum discussion to be defined by some algorithm.

Sometimes, minority or dissenting views are merely distracting and annoying. Other times, they represent important voices that need to be heard. And each contributor or lurker will have their own opinion regarding each individual case.

The thought of a system being set up in which the content posted by a particular person is partially hidden, grayed out, or consigned to outer darkness is disquieting indeed.

General rules and discerning (and active) moderation seem to me like more sensible solutions.


David Lin
Jan Truper
Jo Macdonald
Chris S
Andrew Morris
Christine Andersen
Michele Fauble
 

Erik Freitag  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 21:54
Member (2006)
Dutch to German
+ ...
Moderation is the way to go May 15

Robert Forstag wrote:

General rules and discerning (and active) moderation seem to me like more sensible solutions.


I agree.


David Lin
Jo Macdonald
Chris S
Jessica Noyes
Christine Andersen
MollyRose
Giuliana Buscaglione
 

Elizabeth Tamblin  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:54
Member (2012)
French to English
Regardless May 15

Fiona Grace Peterson wrote:

Elizabeth Tamblin wrote:

Do you really want to be represented by the homogenised view of the majority? Do you want to be part of a collective mind rather than an individual?



You're cherry-picking your arguments. I was backing up Dan's suggestion of a more evolved forum where posts can be voted down as well as up, and the poster's "karma" would also play a part, again based on the views of a heterogeneous community of thousands, as we have here at Proz. A far cry from the "homogenised" view you are suggesting.


I know exactly what you are doing.

I could easily have quoted the entire post, but my view would still stand.


 

Richard Purdom  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 20:54
Dutch to English
+ ...
No May 15

No, leave it to find its own equilibrium.

I'm not in favour of content engineering or rules imposed by a vocal or silent minority or majority; there's enough of that in the 'etiquette' demanded by self-appointed overseers on Kudoz already.

Neither do i understand who would be 'frightened away' by what's said here. I know we're all frustrated by being wordsmiths with a certain talent for writing who are reduced to re-writing other people's words, and generally have littl
... See more
No, leave it to find its own equilibrium.

I'm not in favour of content engineering or rules imposed by a vocal or silent minority or majority; there's enough of that in the 'etiquette' demanded by self-appointed overseers on Kudoz already.

Neither do i understand who would be 'frightened away' by what's said here. I know we're all frustrated by being wordsmiths with a certain talent for writing who are reduced to re-writing other people's words, and generally have little physical interaction, so it's inevitable this is expressed sometimes in colourful terms, but I really think a lot of people don't really get English leg-pulling, irony or its big brother sarcasm, no matter how many repeats of Monty Python they've seen!

[Edited at 2019-05-15 13:45 GMT]
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Chris S
mughwI
Kevin Fulton
Michele Fauble
 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 20:54
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
I'd vote up an upvote/downvote solution May 15

Dan Lucas wrote:
Reputation in Internet forums (sometimes called "karma") is an interesting subject, and is still evolving. The idea of a reputation system is that the community votes on posts. In some cases it also takes into account the existing credibility within the forum of the person making the post.

Typically, if somebody makes a post criticising somebody else's post, and the consensus in the community was that the criticism was deserved, that post will be heavily upvoted by other members. If on the other hand people feel that the post was inaccurate or unreasonable, it will be downvoted by other members. So it gives you a good sense of how the community feels about specific contributions by its members.

If multiple critical posts are upvoted, that suggests that the community doesn't think much of the original post that is the subject of the criticism. In that case, the poster of the original post should probably have a careful think about what they have written, and why it has sparked such negative feedback.

I think that would be a great thing to have here. In recent contentious threads, I saw little that moderators might have reasonably disallowed. There were no direct insults that I noticed; more a case of rather snide remarks and picking up on details somewhat out of context. Any moderator would have been rightly criticised with having too heavy a hand and there would have been cries of "censorship!".

Encouraging people to not only agree with posts but also express some degree of dissatisfaction where appropriate would be ideal. It often seems to open a can of worms when you comment negatively on a post, so I normally don't, just in case. It's so difficult to disagree in an acceptable and diplomatic manner, particularly in a cosmopolitan community like this. I don't particularly like the terms upvote/downvote but they're here to stay and they could have a role to play in ProZ.com. I agree that "agree" is only a partial remedy.

In some systems I have seen, members whose reputation dwindles below a certain threshold have their posts hidden automatically. The posts can be revealed, but the reader needs to click on a button to reveal them. It does not, therefore, prevent people from upvoting posts by people with poor reputations, so it is possible to recover a bad reputation, but it would be an uphill struggle. That creates an incentive to avoid drawing the ire of the community.

I wouldn't like that, though. I've never understood the idea of blocking people on FB - it messes with the flow and gives an incomplete picture, particularly if those partially hidden posts are quoted. As long as the "vote balance" is shown clearly, I'd prefer them to stay. We'd still have moderation for posts (and posters) that are downright offensive.


Andrew Morris
Kevin Fulton
Christine Andersen
Jan Truper
 
Post removed: This post was hidden by a moderator or staff member for the following reason: Text removed by poster.

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 21:54
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Sorry for the confusion May 15

Tanya Quintieri wrote:
Samuel Murray wrote:
There are a couple of things that can be done to the existing forums to make it a friendlier place, but it may simply be that the 20-year (!!) old design is due for replacement.

I somehow really doubt that the UX design is the reason for personal attacks ... and belittling others.


My apologies if that is what you thought that my post was saying.

I do not believe the personal attacks and belittling of others are caused by or even affected by the forum's design. There are some things in the design which, if changed, can contribute to making the forums a friendlier place, but friendliness does not come from a design (nor is unfriendliness caused by it).

I saw it happen ... after peeking my head in just a few weeks ago.


Unfortunately, the thread that you "peeked into" was a thread in which fists flew after the thread starter decided that whoever posts most wins, and other participants started following suit. The sort of interaction that you saw there is uncharacteristic of most threads.


Endre Both
 

Elizabeth Tamblin  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:54
Member (2012)
French to English
:) May 15

Fiona Grace Peterson wrote:

Elizabeth Tamblin wrote:

I know exactly what you are doing.



What am I doing?


Just what you said in your post. I'm saying I understand.


 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 21:54
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
This sort of thing May 15

Elizabeth Tamblin wrote:
Fiona Grace Peterson wrote:
Elizabeth Tamblin wrote:
I know exactly what you are doing.

What am I doing?

Just what you said in your post. I'm saying I understand.

Hello! These are the types of comments that belong "outside". It is a tit-for-tat personal interchange between two participants that is of no interest to the rest of us and does not contribute to the discussion of either the main topic or any of the subtopics that have since surfaced.

[Edited at 2019-05-15 14:14 GMT]


Elizabeth Tamblin
Thomas Pfann
Vera Schoen
Thomas T. Frost
Helen Shiner
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MollyRose
 

Elizabeth Tamblin  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:54
Member (2012)
French to English
Agreed May 15

Samuel Murray wrote:

Elizabeth Tamblin wrote:
Fiona Grace Peterson wrote:
Elizabeth Tamblin wrote:
I know exactly what you are doing.

What am I doing?

Just what you said in your post. I'm saying I understand.

Hello! These are the types of comments that belong "outside". It is a tit-for-tat personal interchange between two participants that is of no interest to the rest of us and does not contribute to the discussion of either the main topic or any of the subtopics that have since surfaced.

[Edited at 2019-05-15 14:14 GMT]


It seemed rude not to reply to Fiona. Maybe she should have sent me a private message.

Thanks for you comment - we're all learning what is and is not acceptable.

Edited to add: feel free to delete. It is rubbish and adds nothing to the discussion.

[Edited at 2019-05-15 14:25 GMT]


 
Post removed: This post was hidden by a moderator or staff member because it was not in line with site rule

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 20:54
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Should moderators receive more training and/or serve more than a year? May 15

Angela Rimmer wrote:
I've noticed others' posts get removed in situations where I thought the removal was rather heavy-handed (posts that were maybe too blunt or overly sarcastic but nothing an adult can't handle), and then last night it happened to me, when I posted a request asking that the Business Issues forum not be used for posting marketing spam. My post was neither political, religious, nor even very controversial. Eventually my post got reinstated, but the fact remains that someone behind the scenes at ProZ is very "trigger happy" about removing posts they don't like. So my point remains: ProZ needs to have a team meeting and actually define what rule no. 1 means and what it doesn't. We should all be able to handle dissenting views.

I know very little about the present system of moderation, but maybe it could be improved. Things used to be a lot simpler, I imagine, with a far smaller community. Maybe nowadays the role calls for more training, a period of shadowing by more experienced moderators, and longer-term commitments from those where it's working well. We're mainly freelancers here so some remuneration would be easy to sort out if that's thought to be applicable. Also, today's world of translation works on a 24/7 timetable and response times need to be very, very short, and that calls for more moderators (and support staff, but that's another subject).

In summary, I think we all need to take the job of moderation a little more seriously: ProZ.com staff, posters, and the moderators themselves.


IrinaN
David Lin
Liviu-Lee Roth
Endre Both
Cristina Bufi Poecksteiner, M.A.
 

IrinaN
United States
Local time: 14:54
English to Russian
+ ...
What’s the fuss, tell me what’s happening… May 15

For as long as people do not stoop to name calling or any other equally nasty and prohibitive actions listed in the code of conduct of any half-decent corporation or a website, Proz including, what are we talking about here? Lack of prompt moderation of obvious violations? What does it have to do with discussing business issues among professional adults?

Creative people are touchy like opera divas. It’s a given. Creative people are opinionated. They can’t be creative otherwise.
... See more
For as long as people do not stoop to name calling or any other equally nasty and prohibitive actions listed in the code of conduct of any half-decent corporation or a website, Proz including, what are we talking about here? Lack of prompt moderation of obvious violations? What does it have to do with discussing business issues among professional adults?

Creative people are touchy like opera divas. It’s a given. Creative people are opinionated. They can’t be creative otherwise. It’s a given too. See how opinionated I am? It’s our world, just like the world behind the curtains in drama theaters. The only thing left for responsible adults is to combine decent manners with thick skin and nerves of steel. It’s hard to survive in our profession without the latter. It will never be easy to participate in a serious discussion among people of letters, people who know how to turn words into money-making tools. Yes, at times those tools can be sharp but I am not interested in the gatherings of this sort:

“Hi everyone, my name is George and I am an alcoholic.”
“Hi George, you are a great person and it’s not your fault!”

I hope that discussions here will remain heated and opinionated, with a healthy dose of humor and criticism. Why some colleagues insist that it means “rude, accusative and demeaning” by default, is beyond me, but should it really come to that, see para. 1.

Residing in a tender age group of 20-70, we should be past special forums like this:
https://wehavekids.com/education/Preschool-Songs-for-Kids-Childrens-Songs-About-Friendship

Having said that, I strongly resent the notion that positive and uplifting does not sit well with Proz audience. The best of the best of the community are far beyond any jealousy:-), and they shower younger colleagues with support, encouragement and helpful advises, not to mention Kudoz help.
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Thomas T. Frost
Jan Truper
Kay Denney
Vera Schoen
Chris S
Liviu-Lee Roth
Jocelyne Cuenin
 

Mirko Mainardi  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 21:54
Member
English to Italian
Yay! May 15

IrinaN wrote:

For as long as people do not stoop to name calling or any other equally nasty and prohibitive actions listed in the code of conduct of any half-decent corporation or a website, Proz including, what are we talking about here? Lack of prompt moderation of obvious violations? What does it have to do with discussing business issues among professional adults?

Creative people are touchy like opera divas. It’s a given. Creative people are opinionated. They can’t be creative otherwise. It’s a given too. See how opinionated I am? It’s our world, just like the world behind the curtains in drama theaters. The only thing left for responsible adults is to combine decent manners with thick skin and nerves of steel. It’s hard to survive in our profession without the latter. It will never be easy to participate in a serious discussion among people of letters, people who know how to turn words into money-making tools. Yes, at times those tools can be sharp but I am not interested in the gatherings of this sort:

“Hi everyone, my name is George and I am an alcoholic.”
“Hi George, you are a great person and it’s not your fault!”

I hope that discussions here will remain heated and opinionated, with a healthy dose of humor and criticism. Why some colleagues insist that it means “rude, accusative and demeaning” by default, is beyond me, but should it really come to that, see para. 1.

Residing in a tender age group of 20-70, we should be past special forums like this:
https://wehavekids.com/education/Preschool-Songs-for-Kids-Childrens-Songs-About-Friendship

Having said that, I strongly resent the notion that positive and uplifting does not sit well with Proz audience. The best of the best of the community are far beyond any jealousy:-), and they shower younger colleagues with support, encouragement and helpful advises, not to mention Kudoz help.



"Hi my name is _Mirko_. What is your name? Would you like to play?"


 
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