Originally a reply to: Is Discourse the Right Software for this Forum?
I don’t have a strong opinion about your views @kirkion (on the purpose and priorities of this forum, discourse etc) except to say they are conjecture for me at this stage, and I’m not ready to accept them as fact without more investigation and discussion.
However, I’d like to suggest an alternative to recurring debates and discussions on how this forum should be moderated, what the community/forum is for, what software to use etc, because it simply is not possible to please everyone.
Why A Change of Tack?
Only a small fraction of the community generate most of the need for moderation, so maybe this is what needs addressing. Some people want something not on offer here, but right now it’s the only game in town. (Well, actually there is another forum, but maybe it doesn’t have the legs… yet.)
Voting Is How To Get Change
Meanwhile most people are either happy or don’t support the changes being advocated - judging by the threads each time someone lobbies for a big change anyway.
We’ll only know that for sure when something goes to a vote of course, but my sense is that has not happened because it’s obvious there isn’t enough support, otherwise - come on - put up a proposition and a poll if you want a change. So, if there is not sufficient support for a change…
An Alternative Suggestion
My alternative suggestion is to further decentralise. If some people want a different kind of community, especially running different software, surely they can create it, and people will then have a choice. They may coexist, one may dominate - but that’s ok if the other(s) still serve a need, even if smaller. If they die, that’s fine too.
If there are not enough who want something different to do that, and they can’t get the community to vote for what they want, then they need to lump it, and we mods need to be able to just get on - meanwhile the community can still evolve the guidelines.
Let Mods Moderate
This leaves mods able to get on with day to day issues without having to justify or explain each time a small number of people are unhappy with a mod or a moderator action, until a significant proportion of the community call for this though a vote.
We could add a “how to raise an issue with the community” section to the guidelines, so people know how to call for changes, whether to guidelines, or a particular moderator, or how moderators are chosen etc. This relieves moderators of this until the community decides something needs to change, and let’s us get on with doing what the guidelines - approved by the community - say we should be doing on their behalf.
Apart from helping resolve differences of opinion on forum aims, forum software, moderation etc, an additional forum (or forums) also creates diversity and resilience.
Each forum would learn from the others - cos I, and I’m sure others, would certainly hang out on more than one if another gets going and has something useful to offer me. One might attract more Devs, become nerd centre, the other the public & newbies etc., another those who want philosophical or creative space. Each can decide the aims, guidelines, software to use, agreed between the people who start it, and each will attract and retain those in tune with that.
We Can’t Please Everyone
I think we need to stop trying to accommodate everyone. That’s what I think we’ve been trying to do and it’s just not possible - which is not a bad thing because we can turn it into an advantage.
I’m not a bitcoin forum person, but I’m wondering how many forums there are in that space. I think we will soon be big enough to merit more than one forum for SAFEnetwork. Maybe not yet, so dissenters may need to be patient, but I think that’s a better approach, and it won’t be long to wait. We’re already seeing signs of increased growth recently, and I think we’re on the verge of interest taking off once public testing and some early apps are in play.