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The better angels of our nature


Yellow Diamond
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For everyone who has been following the most recent staff announcements, I have one of my own: I've taken executive action, as an admin, to have all three topics removed from view. I have done this of my own accord and not under the direction of anyone else.

 

This topic will remain locked until a more comprehensive reply is made. To be blunt, yes, I'm censoring the ongoing discussion by removing it. The fruits of the ongoing argument are rotten, if not poisonous. I can't stand to see it sicken our community any further. Right now, everybody needs to chill; keeping those topics open provides no relief.

 

Again, please stay tuned for a more substantive post.

  • Brohoof 27
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I’d like to start by apologizing for two things: the delay in making a post after removing the threads related to Jeric and Elo’s departures, and for the ugliness and vitriol which has hit this community and its staff over the weekend.

 

What’s been on display for the past several days has not been the beginning of an open, honest discussion about Poniverse or its staff, but instead the tail end of immensely painful and personal arguments which have spilled out into the open. It’s reached the point where answering the question “What really happened?” has become all but impossible. That’s not to say everyone involved is lying. All I mean is that the truth is being refracted through multiple lenses.

 

To be sure, there’s a lot of anger and distrust to go around. I won’t attempt to set the record straight. Why? Because retracing all the details from my perspective will only serve to add fuel to the fire. I also really don’t like the idea of ripping open the old wounds of people who are my friends and colleagues.

 

With that said, indulge me in a tangent.

 

Has anyone here ever seen the movie Steve Jobs? (It’s the one with Michael Fassbender, not Ashton Kutcher, thank goodness!) I caught it on HBO a few weeks ago. It’s wonderfully acted and written, playing out like a three act Shakespearean tragicomedy with Steve Jobs portrayed as a smart, quick-witted, insufferable genius who’s immensely creative and incredibly egotistical. He’s made out as something of an antihero capable of reshaping the computer world at the cost of his personal relationships. I recommend it to anyone who enjoys character studies.

 

Here’s an example of what I mean: during the course of the movie, Jobs has several confrontations with Steve Wozniak, the man principally responsible for building the Apple II. Wozniak pleads for Jobs to publicly acknowledge the Apple II team and their work. Jobs refuses, adamant that he won’t be bound to the past when he’s looking toward the future. Eventually their string of arguments culminates in this heated exchange just prior to the unveiling of the iMac:

 

 

Now that is some serious fucking art. I get chills despite the fact neither man ever comes within 10ft of the other, or even threatens to come to blows. I’d memorize that scene if I had the time and energy. It’s that good.

 

Of course, according to Steve Wozniak himself, that argument never happened.

 

In fact, none of these immense, character driven showdowns ever occurred. Yet Wozniak praises the film up and down. Aaron Sorkin, who wrote the screenplay, described the film as a “portrait” rather than a literal image of what happened.

 

But isn’t this scene so much more interesting than the reality of Jobs and Wozniak likely having a quiet, awkward discussion in private about acknowledging Apple’s past work?

 

Drama is designed to grab our attention. It seeks an audience. Over the weekend, all of you – all of us, really – became that audience. The personal lives of several staff members were placed on full display, mostly without any consent from the other participants. Like a nuclear exchange, it’s a strange game where the only winning move was not to play. All told, I could’ve gone for a nice game of chess myself.

 

Despite what Twitter and internet forums have taught us, we aren’t entitled to the personal details of our peers. As a forum admin, I don’t have the right to target members who bother me, post their PMs in public, and have them banned afterwards. It’s not how it works. It really isn’t.

 

So yes, I have censored the topics which were posted here. This is not a public confessional; I won’t have people morphing into caricatures because it’s good theater. I sure as hell won’t let this section become a gossip column where public smearing is conducted like bread and circuses. To borrow a phrase from Pope Francis, the carnival is over.

 

I won’t deny either the existence of some serious, even systemic, problems that have existed within the staff over the past months, if not the past several years. There’s still much work to be done and chats to be had. Know, however, that every staff member is there for you, the community. It’s going to be a process, and that’ll take time. But the process cannot be done under a growing cloud of shame and suspicion.

 

Again, we should be focusing on all of you. Truth be told, another reason I removed the threads in question was because there’s not much you can do but feel anxious as staff members have it out with one another. You were watching what essentially amounts to a family fight carried out in a public venue. I realize most users prefer to make up their own minds about what they should or shouldn’t be allowed to read. Some of you are probably angry with me about it. But, in the end, what can you do? What could any of us do? Someone could choose to leave, which would be unfortunate; maybe that person could post their sympathies and/or criticisms. Ultimately, though, it won’t change the fact that a handful of people are hurting.

 

I come back to Jobs and Wozniak having a shouting match in front of their subordinates, coworkers, and friends. What you see are their characters; they are not the real Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak. The same is true here: snippets of Skype logs offer a very incomplete depiction of real human beings. Jeric, Elo, Stitch, and Simon, among others, are all human. We should strive to respect their humanity by honoring their privacy.

 

I’m going to open this topic, at least for time, in about an hour. What I would ask of everyone who reads this is to consider the things they care most about in the community. It seems so much confusion – even fear – is prompted by a lack of clear understanding about basic points, such as what the board of directors does, why we have a chair, what projects are ongoing, etc. Those are the sorts of topics we can talk about together.

 

In essence, if you’re concerned and you don’t understand something, ask. We’ll be as frank as we can, without dipping into confidential information and the personal lives of others. You can even feel free to pitch ideas. Not all of them will be accepted, but all of them will be regarded.

 

I won’t hesitate to remove posts, or even re-lock this topic, should gossip and nastiness again begin to swirl. If you want to vent about how you don’t like Poniverse’s direction, fine. That may even be the start of a constructive conversation. But if you’re looking to go over private Skype logs or to demand people reveal who they’re dating right now, you need to go elsewhere.

 

I’d like to end with a brief story, a real life one this time. I’ve known my next-door neighbors for nearly 20 years. They have a little girl, who just turned 7 years old. To help her family out, my dad will sometimes drive her to school in the morning and pick her up in the afternoon.

 

One day, after bringing the little girl home, he mentioned to me how she and her classmates greet each other: they run up to one another in the schoolyard, raise their hand, and wave. They’re simply little kids, little people, saying hello to their friends.

 

A cynical observer might add that eventually those things will change. The children will grow up; soon they’ll find reasons to stop waving to everyone. They’ll come to distrust others as they learn how cruel the world is. Their innocence will be extinguished, like tiny candles in a storm.

 

That may very well happen, as it has too many times before. But I believe we still have our inner child still in us, wishing to say hello. If we can remember that, we can also remember why so many of us are here, offering simple acts of kindness to those who need them most.

 

“I am loath to close. We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory… will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.”

- Abraham Lincoln, First Inaugural Address (1861)

  • Brohoof 32
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I have already stated such in my recent blog, but I feel it necessary to repeat such here for those who might need it:

 

If anyone here needs someone to talk to, vent at, or even just tell dumb jokes to them until they feel better, do not hesitate to reach out to someone for that.  I will gladly reply to any and all who want to PM me, though I will say that I know nothing about the situation, and I don't want to.  If you're simply wanting someone to talk to, I'm happy to oblige.  

 

And if you don't feel like talking to me, that's fine - but please, talk to someone, okay?

 

Thank you for your time.  *bows*

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Nice calming words there Yellow, I don't know how others are holding but bar what they say, who knows what there are like when there offline. Who knows? Anyway I will share some things because I just think it right.

 

Those who read my words and know me or of me at least, know I'm a RPer been in that section of this site since I got here and I never want to leave. I love losing myself in a world that doesn't exist with that characters I can never be, doing things I never can. It's a magical experience to me an addiction of sorts and I love being addicted. I wanted to join staff specifically here that I know is a pipe dream now from what I've heard, that's ok a guy can dream I'm not ready obviously. I applied to the position at PVL never expecting to gain the position I now hold I was so happy I still am, I love working there (when I actually work) My boss is amazing and my colleges there are cool and I like them all. By extension I like everyone here, everyone at Poniverse, I think your all my friends even if I've not talked to you yet, merely trying to get to know 80 odd people takes a while. I was starting to come out my shell get involved in the general staff chat, try to help PVL more I was starting to grow...

 

Then this crap started, I am anxious thinking about this I get on board the ship that is Poniverse knowing that several people did not think it wise for me to join PVL mind forums staff. I said to myself "I'll keep my head down work for my goals and see how things go, prove those who dislike me or think me not ready wrong." I don't like speaking up, I feel I have no right to say anything I've been here on the site for less than a year mind staff I think which is like 2 months. (I am aware we are allowed to speak up) We've been told till everyone is blue in the face "Speak up give suggestions, help us, help you." I hate speaking up I feel that I will be fired for my words that I will say somthing wrong and someone who is in the group of people who thinks I'm not ready will jump on that error and have me removed...

 

Ok enough personal crap (I just had to say that somewhere) I can see this issue is dying down thankfully I've never been so stressed in my life than when this happened I care about this place, there is a reason I wanted to be staff since I got here, I'm so glad it is King was correct "happened before it's no big deal". It was for me not had it happen before, anyway I've sent two emails to the board on various matters one before this shit storm one after I write better in an email than I do here, not sure why.

 

I just hope this issues are fixed that the staff can move on and grow and that we learn from this incident, I just want to go back to checking emails for PVL, dicking in the staff chat and RPing.

 

Board you have my suggestions hope you like them.

  • Brohoof 6
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@@Yellow Diamond,
My hat is off to that statement. Well said!

I am without words that could elaborate or enhance this post in all honesty. I feel everything I would wish to convey has been conveyed.

 

There is no such thing as perfection, but it sure is a glorious goal to strive for nonetheless.

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I have a few questions.

I assume a lot of discussion has gone down on Skype, but do y'all have a thread discussing everything that's gone down as well? Regardless of how much sympathy each staff member has for the people who resigned and what they said, I think you can all agree that what happened (or what the former staff perceived to have happened) needs addressing. I think a thread would be a more productive way of figuring how to do that than discussions that may be scattered across any number of Skype chats.

If there is a thread, has every staff member been encouraged to weigh in? I don't mean like a "Hey, you should all respond to this" , but something like going around and personally approaching staff members (from all branches of Poniverse) and asking them to give their thoughts on the situation, no matter how brief.

Do you think it would be helpful to give staff a way of anonymously suggesting things or airing grievances? Mite b a good way of getting people to share things before they boil over and lead to resignation. Not sure if it would have helped in this case, but it's an idea.

I recall Aquila once had the idea of approaching people who have resigned, specifically people who didn't necessarily leave on the best terms, and asking them to (presumably judgment-free) talk a bit about why they left. What do you think of doing that? Bit of an intimidating proposal, but I think some common themes among those people could point to areas needing improvement. Or at least give food for thought.

On that subject, there was a Feedback thread made by SCS (now Ocean Waves), that more or less coincided with his departure from staff. Y'think that topic might be worth revisiting?

------

You don't have to reply to me with an answer to any of these. Also, the questions are intended for any staff member who happens to be reading this. (Worrry not, I'm almost done!)

I didn't reply to any of the threads while they were active, and I'm not going to launch into a huge reply now. A lot of things could've been handled better. A lot of people have been hurt, both on and off staff, and they have my sympathy. Out of respect for them, I have decided not to stir the pot. However, I will be very disappointed if people continue to angrily leave staff, and those who remain decide that there's nothing that, any point, could have been done better.

Not saying that's what is happening now, since I obviously don't know. I sincerely wish the staff the best in sorting things out, and continue to both like and trust just about all of them that I've interacted with.

------

This is all I have to say for the time being, and don't intend on replying to this thread again.

 

EDIT: typos tho

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I've witnessed online communities where there was an enormous divide between staff and members, causing issues of misrepresentation and an overall sense of disconnect (in both parties). I think it is imperative that there is a sense of unity between all participants within a community, as that strengthens trust and positive relationships. One thing I am impressed with is seeing the various posts and blogs from staff members extending support to members, especially during times such as these, when the entire community is impacted by an event. It was very shocking and disappointing the other day seeing what has transpired, and it raised some questions in my mind. As a member here, I certainly feel more at ease now knowing that there is still a collective interest in maintaining peace and offering support as things are being worked out.  

 

It isn't always easy to have an open mind, which is why I also appreciate how there is an ongoing effort during this time to take everyone's needs and concerns into consideration, and to make any necessary amends to maintain a system in which all members of the forum are respected and properly represented. I hope that there is a continuation of constructive dialogue and support in the future. 

Edited by Kiri
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~snip~

 

I have a few things to say about this and the situation as a whole. While I usually stay out of forum politics, recent events have made me reflect on several points. First, I want to talk about something personal. The forums are more than just a few members of the community, it is a culmination of the community as a whole.  This is something I hope doesn't get lost in all the drama that has surrounded the past few days.
 
I first discovered the fandom, show, and subsequently the forums during a period of my life that I'm lucky to have made it out of. I'm not the most social person, but I have talked with others who have felt similarly. Joining here, and discovering the show this forum and fandom is based on has legitimated impacted lives in a meaningful way.
 
These forums are like a second skin to me, a place I can mesh & blend into whenever I feel comfortable doing so. I am a generally introverted, isolated person, and someone who usually doesn't open up about my thoughts and emotions unless I know someone well. But here, I have always felt a legitimate sense of welcoming.
 
While I've made my way through many homes in person, I can comfortably say that, despite any hiatuses I may have taken over the years, the MLPForums have been my internet home since I joined. I don't post a whole lot nowadays, and I don't interact through PMs or statuses often, but I still pop in from time to time. Each visit is like a small dose of nostalgia. I like the atmosphere this site gives off. I still enjoy seeing the new banners made by the community, and seeing the lengthy fan debates and discussions, and the fanworks created, and the overall aesthetic of the site. Things are organized in a way that feels consistent and secure - that's something I appreciate. It makes me feel like I'm a part of something that matters.
 
With that said, I, along with many others, are certainly seriously alarmed at the accusations that have been thrown around, and of the overall cloud of doubt that has surrounded the forums recently. I feel an inner confliction tug at my mind as I try to wrap my head around everything. Some, including friends of mine, have chosen to leave the site due to this, and I fully understand and respect them for that. There are obvious issues from within that need to be addressed & resolved. Jeric has been one of the most respected moderators/admins in this sites history, and if he says there are rifts within staff, I'm inclined to believe him, and I consider his voice to be something that deserves to be heard.
 
At the same time, this place has been my internet home for 3 years now, and my & others presence on them means a lot to me. Something I try to remind myself of is that the staff & community are not just a few people, its thousands strong, and I have not given up hope that the wounds can be healed between staff and community. I've seen members who've been banned, then come back as positive members of the community. I myself was not the easiest person to deal with during my early days on the site, but as time ticked by I've learned to try and strive towards being a better person and a better part of this intricate puzzle we call a forum.
 
How do we heal this divide? First, we need accountability & an openness to constructive dialogue. @, makes a very good point, in that members of the staff, former and current, deserve a chance to air their concerns with the way Poniverse is ran, and offer solutions to try and regain the trust between both the staff itself and the community, as long as its constructive. Right now, tension and management has caused distrust of each other to run rampant. Second, again, Plisetsky is right - we should never assume there's nothing that could have been done to prevent this in the first place. Recognize, analyze, and figure out what went wrong, and use the appropriate platforms to get things fixed and take accountability for things that went wrong. Staff turnover this large is not something that should be glossed over - without honest discussion and acceptance of mistakes, the rift will only grow larger.
 
I joined this site in 2013, and I'm still here today, despite any disagreements I've come across between staff and members. But the recent drama has done damage, I think we can all agree on that. I don't want to see it all end like this. There's too much potential left to let this place fade away, because I know to a lot of people including myself, this is a place of friends. For now, I will be staying in hopes of seeing things improve, to encourage discussion, and in hopes of seeing the spark that initially drove my interest in this place rekindled.
 
To the staff, I ask that you take this opportunity to figure out what went wrong, figure out the direction Poniverse is heading, promote a constructive dialogue, and consider adjustments across the board that lead to making this the best place it can be down the road. 
 
To the community, I say, this is a community of many different kinds of people. There's been drama before, and still this place stands. Some will leave, and some will stay, both are understandable responses. Just remember that we're all human and we all have the ability to do good. Let's make use of that ability, in whatever way possible.
Edited by Rivendare
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Just like Rivendare (who's post I definitely agree with) I've been on this site for a veeeery long time. This site is one of witnesses who saw how much a human can change over few years and I am glad I could've shared that personal journey with this place. I got to know many great people here (not to mention thousands of shippings thanks to Lightwing constantly stalking me XD). Many of them now are left, some still stay. Even I had my time of hiatus from this place due to personal matters I had to attend to. 

 

But I can see the place has changed in a way. It's not the same forum I registered to. I won't lie, I miss some people who are gone. I wish they didn't, but what can I do? Real life always comes first and I am not one to start a blamefest against them. Part of the problem in my eyes was... staff seems to be so distant to the rest of community now when compared to what was when SCS, Artemis etc. still were active. Amount of siliness, forum memes or simply interaction seem to have dropped (or I was simply blind. If I was feel free to correct me). I think this is one of things this place really needs to have back - more integration of staff members and users. It's hard to maintain healthy community when it starts being divided into two groups. 

 

There are of course other issues which were mentioned in threads now removed (I actually saved all the content to analyze it on my own). I will not bring any of them up here and I'll not give away that information to anyone so don't ask me to do so via PM). But I hope staff will solve those issues properly as one of them in my eyes is extremely serious. Gather evidence and take proper action. No matter what the action will have to be. It doesn't even have to be announced, after all, all of that was extremely personal. But pretending it never happened would be extremely amateurish and would only result in yet another drama at one point. I think everyone agrees that we don't need that kind of thing happening again.

 

But to put away the biterness I should also say something better, hm? 

 

Some people left out of anger as a reaction to what happened. I've been also asked if I will leave as it was obvious the drama affected me. So... will I leave?

 

No.

 

 

It's not the first time it happened and as much as I regret saying it it definitely won't be the last time. I enjoy this place. I enjoy company of people I meet here. I enjoy Lightwing's shipping a bit less, but it seems he got bored with it or is too busy planning archevil scheme to finally tear my sanity to pieces xD I want to stay the same positive person I was in the past (Except first year when I was quite a drama king lol). And despite the fact I haven't watched the show for... over a year now I still enjoy calling myself a brony. And I hope I'll meet new friends here as well :3

 

...besides if I left I'd lose perfect opportunity to shame myself by reading my old status updates and getting cold sweat on my forehead :v 

 

*hugs* to all ^^'

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Honestly I don't think there's a ton of new sentiment I can contribute on all of this. ♥ I've said my piece a few times, lost my cool for a few, and basically kicked about feeling slightly miserable over the last several days. I haven't been involved heavily in what happened per say—I'm a sidelined staffer with a bias, who had front row seats to seeing his friends torn apart. During the peak of things, I was considering leaving this site entirely, if not swearing off a large portion of the MLP community.

Not a fun time, and I know whatever I felt was fractional compared to some parties in this mess.

 

But... Things cooled off a bit, and some of the heat-of-the-moment thinking passed. Frustration, sadness, disgust, optimism... it all has been kicking around in my head for days (which is amazing during a week full of tests, yay RL stuff). In the end, the last of those wins. I wanna do my part to build things back up, and maybe see if we can fix some of the issues we've had in the past and led up to this mess we have just went through. I don't count myself as a significant figure, but I think I have a hand and voice to toss into our little mixing pot. ♥

 

Relatedly, I've made a point to (now and in the future) spend a little more time seeing what's been going on around these parts; see what people are up to, what people are talking about, and see what new people are joining up with the site for the first time. I will say, between being busy with life, school, and whatever I can spare towards my role as staff (which has been very little lately, sorry Tumblr!)... I think I've spent far too little time just kicking about on the forums and talking with people outside of staff. I used to be a random, obscure member working in the background, while spending hours discussing ponies with random people; a good bit into that (several months?), I dragged Nervous Stitch into the community, she started liking and caring strongly about it, joined staff to give back to the community she enjoyed, and earned a place for herself on staff where she could legitimately help out. At some point, she inspired me a bit to start making ties with staff myself, and see if I could help out somehow too—I did end up doing so almost exclusively through art, though; I am a sectional, but if we're looking at time, I'm probably about 90% devoted to drawing Buffy's adorable mug. :D (Tumblr update is halfway done, btw!)

 

Anyways, I didn't take on much responsibility by comparison to many, but it still got me to connect pretty heavily with others on staff~ As life got busier, it became easy to just open a staff skype chat when I felt like talking to people, and work on other stuff when I didn't. My actual activity on the forum gradually took a heavy drop meanwhile, and again, I don't even consider myself a staffer with much responsibility. I kinda wonder if this path held true for a few others on staff?

 

I don't know. :fluttershy: Regardless, I enjoy this community, and I want to remain a part of it. Not just my little corner, but the whole community. I'ma probably still be doing my art bit between tests/homework/class for quite awhile, while trying to hold down the fort in Octavia's Hall; but, after all this, I really do want to see if there's something I can do to help the recovery and growing process following all this. I believe we all joined up with this community to meet new people, discuss ponies, and just enjoy the company and thoughts of others. I don't see that changing, even with some (admittedly heavy) staff drama and pending reorganization and such.

 

 

 

Anyways, I fully defer to @Yellow Diamond's statement on this. :awuh: Your eloquence and level-headedness in all this severely outpaces mine~

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I support the staff - this'll never change... Regardless of my personal opinions and experiences... Sure I hate when good people leave and I don't like decisions I don't get... But the staff does a great job running this place - and I really don't care who these people are...as long as they do their best... It's cool to be angry at others - I get it... Everyone has feelings - don't forget that! ... I don't have to hate one side - and I do not have to agree with the other... Jeric's a good guy and so is Simon... But there's always gonna be a blind alley that people just can't avoid... 

 

But ya know...better agreements will come full circle - and in time - things get better and have positive outcomes... 

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I might be a bit blunt and inconsiderate to a few, but I have given this enough thinking. 

 

I was very disappointed with what happened a few days ago. I really did not like how Steve and Wozniak had this public argument, where others were forced to live it (and you know who I am talking about when I say Steve and Wozniak). The whole splitting into two teams who oppose each other. 

 

This did not really have to happen, it did not really have to include others, but the fact is it did, it was done, and so what is done is done. 

 

Now, I am not a quitter or a person who runs away at the first sign of danger or failure. If there is something wrong with the system, then it will need to be fixed. I will do my utmost to help fix it, rather than just quit and give up. I am an adamant believer that we can fix things and get over that... shitfest (honestly) that happened a few days ago. 

 

Communication might be better, but it would be better if we spoke up more if we are not feeling well with establishment or how things are done, rather than bottle it up for it to one day blow over. We can at least try to learn more from this. 

 

Now, this community is not what it used to be a few years ago to some. The reason is that it has changed as it has grown in size and attracted more variations of people with diverse interests (so not just MLP), that the staff is a bit more spread out, and therefore you might spot them less and less and feel as if they are not really a part of the community or as if they live in ivory towers. But that is the thing, the forum's has just grown so much it is hard to spot them. I for one spend most of my time debating in the Debate Pit about political matters or I engage in the Cloudsdale Colosseum. Just throwing that out there. But I am also always open for discussion, so if anybody wants to talk to me about anything, I am up for it. I am not saying I will know everything that you might bring, but I will listen to whatever you have to say. If it is something I myself have a lot of knowledge about, then you can expect a great big discussion ;):P

 

Anyway I can help people, I would like to help :)

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I haven't had to many issue's with the staff, but I think the one's I didn't like are all gone now.

 

I like the staff member's that involve themselves with the community more and treat being a staff member as a responsibility rather then a position of power. It seems like power trips have created a lot of problems.

 

I just feel if the staff tries to involve themselves more with the community on the forums, it could encourage other's to be more friendly and active on the forums making it an overall more enjoyable place to meet new people and make friends. My favorite staff member's are the one's you can't even tell that they're staff members because they behave like any other member, but they still have staff obligations once and a wile.

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I have a few questions.

 

I realize you've said you don't plan on revisiting this topic, but I'd like to answer your questions.

 

I assume a lot of discussion has gone down on Skype, but do y'all have a thread discussing everything that's gone down as well? Regardless of how much sympathy each staff member has for the people who resigned and what they said, I think you can all agree that what happened (or what the former staff perceived to have happened) needs addressing. I think a thread would be a more productive way of figuring how to do that than discussions that may be scattered across any number of Skype chats.

 

If there is a thread, has every staff member been encouraged to weigh in? I don't mean like a "Hey, you should all respond to this" , but something like going around and personally approaching staff members (from all branches of Poniverse) and asking them to give their thoughts on the situation, no matter how brief.

 

There's indeed a thread open in the staff section (unavailable to non-staff). It's been a place for staffers to share their frank thoughts about what's happened and suggesting how we should move forward as a team. Not everyone has chimed in yet (which is unlikely to happen, given the sheer size of the Poniverse staff), but they're certainly welcome to do so.

 

Do you think it would be helpful to give staff a way of anonymously suggesting things or airing grievances? Mite b a good way of getting people to share things before they boil over and lead to resignation. Not sure if it would have helped in this case, but it's an idea.

 

This idea was actually one I proposed to the other directors a while back. The upside of anonymous recommendations is that nobody would feel as though they could be instantly singled out or punished for their opinions. However, as we discussed the possibility further, we all recognized it might cause more problems than it would solve.

  • Anonymous reports would only indicate there's a problem between one unknown staffer and another whose name would have to be mentioned. If all the details were omitted, there wouldn't much to act on other than hearsay; the more details are provided, though, the greater likelihood the anonymous reporter could simply be identified by the circumstances.
  • Anonymous reports could be open to abuse. Imagine a situation in which one very angry staffer decided to try and destroy the reputation of another: they could file a slew of anonymous reports claiming to be written by different staffers who have issues with someone. Verifying "their" claims could grow messy in a hurry, and undermine the value placed in anonymous reporting.
  • Anonymous reports, by their very existence, might suggest nobody on staff can be trusted with sensitive information and claims made in a dispute. It's more fruitful for our team to be able to at least recognize the potential source of a conflict as opposed to turning it an abstraction. This also applies functionally: a big difference exists between "Staffers X and Z are angry with Staffer Y over something they said in the staff lounge" and "There are a bunch of people unhappy with Staffer Y's opinions." The latter feeds into turning staffers into targets for gossip.

Having said this, staff members and users alike should understand that if they ask someone, whether an admin or a director, to hold something in confidence, their request will be taken seriously.

 

I recall Aquila once had the idea of approaching people who have resigned, specifically people who didn't necessarily leave on the best terms, and asking them to (presumably judgment-free) talk a bit about why they left. What do you think of doing that? Bit of an intimidating proposal, but I think some common themes among those people could point to areas needing improvement. Or at least give food for thought.

 

Like you've said, that's a thorny issue. Some ex-staffers -- ones who left on bad terms -- have made it a point to break off contact with most of the active staff; making direct contact can rehash a lot of old grievances. It's nevertheless true we should figure out why someone left, especially if it was an unhappy departure.

 

In the vast majority of cases, departing staff members will make it very clear why they're leaving. The ones who don't often either disappear or offer another blanket explanation which, in such a case, is covering for another problem they don't want to bring up publicly. Historically there's a tendency, perhaps couched in basic human psychology, for some users to assume other people (namely, admins and mods) know what they're thinking, and that their concerns should've been addressed through inference. By the time the problem or conflict blossoms in full, it's gotten well out ahead of cooler heads. The damage can be both difficult and painful to mend.

 

Can we be more proactive in certain respects? Yes, I do. @Sir Hugoholic mentioned how staff members can seem distant at times... and I think that perception exists within the staff itself. While the size of the staff has grown to make it difficult to personally attend to each and every single member, those members should feel welcome to approach a higher up with a problem they're facing. If nothing else, everyone should feel at ease to shoot the shit with one another. :)

 

Like I said in my last post, there's still a lot of work to be done. But it has to be driven from multiple sides.

 

On that subject, there was a Feedback thread made by SCS (now Ocean Waves), that more or less coincided with his departure from staff. Y'think that topic might be worth revisiting?

 

My memory is fuzzy on the Feedback thread. I think you're referring to the topic SCS made where he argued the staff had to be totally overhauled, yes? There were a lot of other factors involved in what was happening there, not the least of which were intensely personal. Although some fruitful discussions and decisions emerged in that time, the specific context of that thread was not the best for actionable feedback.

 

That said, feedback is always welcome! We have an entire section dedicated to it, after all. You can also use the mention function to call the attention of a specific staff member to your thread. Staff members can also be contacted individually via PM. The directors on the Poniverse board share an email address as council@poniverse.net. There are plenty of means by which to provide feedback about the community.

 

I didn't reply to any of the threads while they were active, and I'm not going to launch into a huge reply now. A lot of things could've been handled better.

 

I couldn't agree with you more. We all had a part to play, even if not in equal measure. Now it's the task of the staff to actually address what happened, discuss the problems which remain, and look to see how we can all get back on the same page.

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While I wish people would not have left over this situation, I will say this, and this is just my view on things: My view on certain aspects of Poniverse have been tainted by what I learned and what I have seen during all of that. Simply put, I now have more of a cautious eye for some things here. I love these forums, been here for over 4 years and that isn't changing at all, but I cannot say that my view on certain parts of it did not come out unscathed during the huge debacle.

 

I just hope things overall get better over time.

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if i could add my own opinions if i am allowed of course ^^ from personal experiance i use this place (i know its cliche) as a second family every one i always happy to help each other out when they ask for help. while i have not got along with everybody we either move past that or ignore each other. i honestly have not been taking much notice of this drama recently as i prefer to stay out of things i dont understand. i will say however when i have taked to a member of staff or a moderator they are always helpful, i have nothing but respect for them. while there are incidents that have happened since i have arrived i will admit this is one of the larger ones. but the way it is being handled as of this moment is good and hopefully we can move past this. i know being staff is stressful and annoying and you have to deal with loads and dont get as much credit as you should. but you inspire even if you sometimes dont see it.

 

I will say however it is sad to see people go over something like this.

 

sorry if that made no sense or was off topic i tend to do that i did not talk specificly on the drama as i dont take sides on this sort of stuff and tend to stay away. but i wanted to say something to all the staff.

 

if this is too off topic your welcome to remove it ^^

Edited by viper213
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