Forum Community Feedback

Hi Forum Community:

The Insert Credit Forums staff (both Admins and Moderators) is working to implement the improvements that @"exodus"#3 mentioned. These will take time to come into effect. But, we think it's important to let the community know we're working to keep Insert Credit a great place to post and hang out. We will also be soliciting feedback from all of you to ensure we're heading in the right direction.

# Formalizing Forum Direction, Culture, and User Guidelines

This part will take place over the next 4-6 weeks.

More formality will help articulate why we are here, how we aspire to treat each other, and guidelines for equitable treatment for infractions.

  • - Forum vision statement and direction
  • - Guidelines for creating threads and posting
  • - User code of conduct and expectations
  • - Penalties for bad behavior
  • The intent is that these will be short and concise to both fit our forum's size and culture while permitting flexibility for both users and moderation staff. We expect that these rules will slowly evolve as issues come up we as a community had not considered.

    # Admin and Moderation Team Update

    This will take place over the next 2-4 months.

    We have had a single user-moderator for too long and the community has grown where we need to share the load - which is one of the reasons I'm typing this! One of the reasons the original forums were on hiatus was that they were not able to be effectively managed by the tiny team. We intend to grow the team and protect the forum and the users.

  • - Moderator behavior expectations, engagement expectations, and rotation to prevent burnout
  • - Out-of-band (twitter, email, etc.) means of contacting an admin in an emergency
  • - Moderation enforcement process (how the moderation team responds when a user flags a post)
  • - Response plan for forum attacks whether they are technical (crashes, bugs, broken software), hostile (hacking, DDoS, Spam, vandalism) etc.
  • - Response plan for user crises such as references or incitements to violence or crime, including suicide threats, domestic abuse, rape, etc.
  • Expect that this set of policies will be more static, but also public for transparency.

    # Initial Community Feedback

    Please use this thread for specific feedback as to something you'd like to see the team address. Please focus on "what" we need to address rather than "how". A good example of what this feedback would be is: "You should consider crafting guidelines for hang-out threads vs. topical threads".

    We'll leave this thread open for 2 weeks. We'll be locking it on Monday, April 3rd. That will be plenty of time to solicit community feedback but not so long that it becomes a permanent "Forum Gripes" thread.

    Thanks in advance for making this my favorite forum I've ever been a part of.

    {“sticky”:true}

    [[7],[1]]

    Look, I didn’t know tagging an announcement locks the thread. I’m new here, OK? :cold_sweat:

    Hey, personally I think threads which solicit community input and feedback should be unlocked

    ##### _This meta-joke has been approved by the moderators of the forum for distribution to and appreciation by the Insert Credit Forum Community_

    [img width=200]https://i.imgur.com/rL1g4Rk.png[/img]

    (of course I will be contributing for real in the future)

    I was directed here from the Introduction thread, and while I wouldn't say I have much constructive feedback, I was ask what has kept me around lurking.

    I think there's the obvious (to me) aspect that anyone who listens to Insert Credit is going to be a certain level of weirdo (in a good way!), with more niche tastes and similar senses of humor. I don't know if there is a way to state this without disparaging other communities, but most discussions about video games are depressingly vapid. Not all conversation here is deep, but I do think there is a distinct difference in how surface level discussions of video games are handled here as well. To me, joke threads or "show me threads" (not equating the two), while not always full of riveting discussion, are still a valuable experience, and something I much prefer over talk of acquisitions/the same 6 AAA games/disparaging games of certain graphical quality. It definitely feels like there's a non-cynical culture here of sharing things you care about, even if it's as small as some "touchy game art" you liked and and are offering that to others.

    While social media, a la twitter, is almost unavoidable if you're part of the game industry, I do miss the structure and format of forums. I was fortunate to have been alive and experienced them before social media ate up all the attention. Many of my formative years were in similar communities, and social media has definitely not been an adequate replacement in any way. So, just keeping this structure alive is valuable to me, and it definitely helps to be in a place full of like-minded folks.

    I'm also trans and there aren't a lot of places on the internet that feel "safe". I know that because forums are public that it will never be totally avoidable, but with adequate moderation in the rare cases something does crop up (of which, I haven't seen any, so good job whether that be because of who joins or because of moderating out the unsavory things?), I think it will remain the case that this is a place I want to spend my time, even if it's mostly in a non conversational capacity.

    This forum is very chill. I was not around when the recent controversy happened so I don't really have any insights on that. One time someone got pretty heated about fishing and then Brandon stepped in and said not in my house and that was pretty cool. It also appears somewhat diverse here and I appreciate that.

    The only gripes I have which aren't really a big deal are that it's hard to find old stuff, and there's a lot of stuff. I don't really mind when a thread has like 900 posts, I don't need to read all of them. Sometimes an interesting thread gets buried though and I don't see it until someone else revives it and it pops back up, or someone likes a post I made there like 6 months ago and I get the notification. Not sure how you solve that!

    I'll also add I was drawn to this forum because I think its a great tool. I like Flarum and originally inquired about it when I first joined because I was tempted to make my own site with it.

    One technical space worth investigating is the way “threads between specific users” work, and understanding what role moderators/admin/site owners do/should/must/won’t have in their content.

    I think the community is relatively far from this, but I could see that as a currently-invisible-to-moderation avenue for user to user bad action.

    (Only reason I bring this up is cuz I once had a long schpiel about Fantasy Life with a willing listener in a side thread and later wanted to merge that thread with the public Fantasy Life thread that had started, but found that not to be possible/accessible by someone with merge powers)

    [Not to get ahead of the info-gathering phase, but one possible need would be a discussion of whether to keep that function if it turns out to be relatively not supportable by moderation.]

    Cheers folks - I know it’s a lot of effort to build up formal structures of whatever kind, but it is valued. I look forward to typing more stuff about games in the future, and am grateful to have some people to hear me out about why stuff matters to me.

    @“MDS-02”#p109668 That side thread ruled, by the way.

    @“MDS-02”#p109668 it looks like you can still flag posts in private discussions? i‘m not sure how much that reveals to the moderators (or if it reveals anything at all). the private discussions seem like a pretty necessary component of the forum, in lieu of the PMs traditional forums have, so it feels a little too much to me to remove them if the forum software doesn’t provide a good built-in way to moderate them. worst case scenario is that someone has to send screenshots of the offensive conversation if it happens.

    i think what gets trickier is this starts to suggest questions of what to do if one user starts harassing another user off the forum, say on twitter. the simple solution is to of course just ban the offending user.

    even harder is something like what happened around 2 years ago on the podcast when there was some (minor) backlash against having one of the guests on because they'd apparently done a bunch of toxic stuff at some point. it was all in a community that brandon wasn't really familiar with, and from his response, even after spending some time researching it, it was hard to figure out exactly what had happened. so how, for instance, do you handle a new poster registering who some of the established posters have objections to because of something they did off the forum several years ago?

    the answer is probably just that all of these have to be handled on a case by case basis, but it might be good to think about these sorts of scenarios and having an explicit stance on how much off-forum behavior should be subject to moderation on here.

    @“DavidNoo”#p109607 just want to echo the sentiment of difficulty with searching/tracking down info. There’s some high yield stuff here sometimes I just want to be able search and find it more easily. I do see that ‘likes’ are saved on my profile I may start using that as a makeshift bookmarking system. I’m just thinking out loud but it’s a recurrent issue for me and maybe other lurkers experience this.

    Thanks to everyone contributing to this effort!

    I will say upfront that I don‘t really know what you do about this, but as somebody who hasn’t been on the forums for very long, the 800, 900, 1000+ post threads make me nervous. I try my best not to post something somebody else has, but the forum search isn‘t great, and you can’t ctrl+f the actual threads because they're not loaded all at once.

    I just sort of powered through the anxiety it caused me and nobody has called me out for posting something somebody else has, so maybe it's fine. But it was a barrier to my participation.

    @“Mnemogenic”#p109741 we may have all forgotten what has been posted too lol.

    But also sometimes I will post something that's been posted and someone will point it out not to shut me down but to show me where the subject's been and that way the discussion can maybe even be renewed with everyone more or less on the same page, if that makes sense. Also I feel like it's a workaround for the limited search functionality to pipe up about something you can't find traces of.

    Oh oh oh! A button or way to request merges/splits in whatever way is most convenient for admin. Maybe just @ing is fine, but it seems like a needed tool in our world of lost/long threads, and seems like it will increasingly be helpful for common understanding and returning to the main track / getting to the same track. I know Syzygy did a lot of this on his own initiative when he saw relevant stuff, but I imagine there’s away to split the cognitive load up a bit more and empower users to ask without making a thing that gets thrown in the same heap as higher priority reports n such.

    I have a personal policy for all social media posts: Only make positive posts. The one exception to that rule is the subject of video games, hehe.

    In general I avoid non-video game subjects on this forum unless I have something positive to add. It's what I came for! Frank, Brandon, Tim, Jaffe seemed like the only voices of gaming that were like mine, that I had somehow not found before!

    The previously unspoken vibe-of-the-land around here, from when I joined a few years ago, is awesome. It felt like I'd finally come to the place where I can say my piece about video games, for the first time in my life.

    That said I've gotten pretty comfortable here since I began cautiously posting here!

    This place has been great for me to exercise my voice as someone who's totally uninterested in promoting myself online!

    It turned out that I already knew a few people in real life who were on this forum, we were liking each other's posts for a long while before we realized it XD

    I try to give back materially to this crowd :)
    I think everybody is doing great :)
    no notes! I'm just happy to be here! :)

    thanks!

    I don‘t have anything to add materially to the conversation, but I thought it was relevant to talk about how much I appreciate that care is taken on these forums to actually, you know, prevent things from getting out of hand. I’ve participated on a bunch of forums since the 90‘s, and a bunch of them have seemed to devolve over time into either a factionalized mess or an exclusive domain of shitty people who do nothing but gatekeep, shame people for their experience/lack of experience, and so on, so I was a little nervous a few years back when I heard IC was starting back up. It turns out that my worries were for nothing, since I’ve had an overwhelmingly positive experience here!

    Anyway, I'm not sure I can adequately express how much it means to me that folks here are so nice, and that the folks who work to keep the forum going are so diligent in helping to make it so friendly and functional!

    First, a question: could there perhaps be an extension on being able to provide feedback?

    At least for me personally, a minor comedy of errors has transpired on my ass, including just being mondo busy at work and being sleep deprived for silly reasons (not saying that as a joke, besides just how work leaves me sleep deprived by default, the specific exacerbating reasons are actually pretty silly overall). I haven't had much time to sit down, absorb the thread, trim away at redundancy by saying that I second what others have said already, and thus distill my response to what I will find to be the most individually my own perspective as well as what I find to be the most important things.

    I mean, my perspective is not more important than anyone else's or anything, but, you know, I thought I'd ask, maybe see if there was anyone else who felt the same way. However I can also see a situation where the mods/admins feel a sense of urgency about collecting and assessing the results of this thread, so, if that's the case, I can try to sneak it under the finish line tonight.

    Secondly, you know, I probably should have said this way sooner (again, crazy busy at work), but maybe there should have been a way to collect feedback anonymously, you could probably do that via a Google Form. Just in case someone felt really shy about it, I suppose? And. potentially, there could be a way for them to specify whether they wanted to have that feedback posted publicly but by one of the mods so as to conceal their forum handle. I dunno. Maybe that will be something to try in the future.

    Thirdly, some minor, focused feedback:

    >

    @“antillese”#p110793 Done! Happy to have resolved my first flag!


    >
    >

    Saying this publicly in a bunch of places so we all learn as a community:


    >
    >

    We’re trying to move away from tagging individual mods. Next time use the “flag” post feature by hitting the three dots at the bottom of the post. Flag it with “other” and you can type some stuff. This lets it go into the collective moderation team’s bucket rather than being dependent on one person happening to see your tag.

    One issue with this is that you can't flag a post that you yourself have made. Can that be enabled? If not, should we have some kind of specified protocol for bringing your own posts to the attention of the mods/admins?

    I would hope that there is not any kind of demerit to the account if a post made by that account is flagged, so, I suppose a quick socially engineered solution could be to just make a post explaining the issue you want to be addressed, refresh the page, flag the post directly above it, then in the entry box, just type "see my post below" or something.

    Kind of an annoying oversight for the forum software... and kind of codes the Flag function as primarily involving conflict or problematic content, which might be why people aren't already intuiting to just flag things that they want to draw moderator attention towards.

    >

    @“Gaagaagiins”#p110804 I mean, my perspective is not more important than anyone else’s or anything, but, you know, I thought I’d ask, maybe see if there was anyone else who felt the same way. However I can also see a situation where the mods/admins feel a sense of urgency about collecting and assessing the results of this thread, so, if that’s the case, I can try to sneak it under the finish line tonight.

    In case it factors into the decision on whether or not to keep this thread open just a little longer, one more week would surely be plenty. I have a 4 day weekend 'cause of Easter and things have already more or less calmed down at work, so, if I don't do it by then it's because I've quietly decided I don't have as much to share as I thought.

    At the minimum, I could probably work with knowing it will close at 11:59pm in Hawai'i or something.

    Given I‘m leading this effort and won’t have time to start summarizing feedback until Wednesday, I'll leave it up until then. I will be locking the thread on or about noon Pacific time on the 5th. Having a pinned post for about two weeks is should be sufficient notice for anyone who wants to submit.

    This is it! Last call!