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Keeping UMSF at an 'impressively high level', Please take a moment to read
climber
post Apr 20 2006, 12:10 PM
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Doug and Bob,
I let you do it... sometimes, as I said previously, my english could turn to englitch blink.gif


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DFinfrock
post Jul 18 2006, 02:24 AM
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QUOTE (djellison @ Apr 3 2006, 10:24 PM) *
UMSF has always done well by having an informal, silent but understood agreement between its members which up until the 500-or-so membership level worked beautifully, but as more people have joined, has broken down considerably.

If you are a member of more than 6 months, with several hundred posts to your name and might be able to take on the task of looking after a little bit of UMSF, let me know.

Doug


As member number 503, I am beginning to feel a little nervous after reading this new policy. rolleyes.gif

Seriously, as with the other posters to this thread, I am totally in agreement with Doug's new rules. But I will have to make a point of checking out the Front Page Stories more often. It took me more than three months to find the rules changes. I really do suggest finding some method to ensure that all of the membership reads this thread.

Doug mentions looking for someone with several hundred posts to help him out. But I want to point out that number of posts isn't all that important in deciding who is important to the content of this forum. (Note that I am not personally lobbying for an administartive job). But as for S/N ration, I know there are some senior members with over 1000 posts whom I consider rather... noisy. And there are "newbies" who work for JPL!

Doug stated that the forum's real worth is because of the scientific and technical contributions of 15 to 20 members. I think he's being a little stingy. I would think there are over 30, at least. The rest of us are here to learn from the "masters". I have made virtually no scientific or technical contributions to the forum. But I have tried to help out financially by donating to keep the server up and running. (And Doug, please let us know when funds are running low. There are a lot of us who feel qualified to contribute in no other way. But we want to do what we can to keep the forum functioning).

And finally, as to comments that are off-topic, I would personally feel let-down if I were to be deprived of the regular humor I find from posters such as Shaka and ustrax. And even if there is no scientific contribution, the lyrical expressions of wonder and thought-provoking topic-starters from someone like Stu are, I believe, a real service to this forum. Those three may not be in that top 15 or 20 (or even 30). But there are lots of ways to contribute to UMSF. Thanks Doug, for making it all possible.

David
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MouseOnMars
post Jul 22 2007, 02:51 PM
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Yes, FAQ's were mentioned.

I think it's the keep it simple approach! Wikipedia is full of everything. I was just looking at the entire history of Soviet unmanned Mars probes that I knew nothing about !

Of course, polite, humble new members should not automatically be thrown out just for not knowing something. A polite nudge towards wikipedia, or Google ?

The signal is about the probes, the images and data and the day to day news in this culture, that's what should be tuned in on.

I've been on many, what are cited as "open and free" forums and frankly they are NOT. They often turn into a nightmare sadly. It's a balance as always, moderate but don't become over zealous I guess.

DJ Barney


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djellison
post Jul 22 2007, 02:55 PM
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QUOTE (MouseOnMars @ Jul 22 2007, 03:51 PM) *
I've been on many, what are cited as "open and free" forums and frankly they are NOT.


We make no such claims here smile.gif . It's the exact opposite - intentionally excluding of certain types of discussions or types of people.

Doug
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Bill Harris
post Jul 22 2007, 03:07 PM
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..and there are many knowledgeable people who have cancelleled their accounts or who read but do not post here. Something to think about...


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djellison
post Jul 22 2007, 03:42 PM
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There's about a 100-1 'lurk' ratio at a best guess - i.e. for each regularly contributing member there's about 100 unique visitors per month.

I have spoken to people who would be classified as knowledgeable people who like the place, visit regularly, but don't contribute because they don't have the time or are worried about saying things that they shouldn't etc. BUT - they still enjoy the place and will occasionally send an email or put something on a website somewhere so we can keep ourselves informed..informally.

There is a cut off made in terms of subject matter and quality. If that cut off retains more high quality activity than it eliminates - then it's doing the right thing.

At the end of the day - this isn't the only place in the world to talk about this stuff - there are others - and if people are not happy with the 'slice' made on the types of discussion or people involved here, they can always contribute to other forums (I visit the BAUT forums a lot for instance - for stuff that wouldn't quite fit here )

I've had some fairly nasty emails and get called some fairly nasty things on other forums because of it - but it's a price worth paying for the positive feedback that outweighs it significantly.

Doug
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djellison
post Aug 7 2007, 07:02 AM
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QUOTE (CosmicRocker @ Aug 7 2007, 06:15 AM) *
I don't want to see that debate resurrected in this thread, but if the wind, moving sand, and flying dust from the recent storm stimulates discussion about the dark streaks, can we revive that other thread?


That's fine - but I wont be clearing it up if it gets personal ( as I had to last time ). Of course the 29 pages looked civilized. Any thread would after moderator activity. (Sorry to be negative about this - but to say a thread looks fine is to utterly miss the crux of forum management)
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Stephen
post Aug 7 2007, 11:07 AM
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QUOTE (djellison @ Aug 7 2007, 05:02 PM) *
That's fine - but I wont be clearing it up if it gets personal ( as I had to last time ). Of course the 29 pages looked civilized. Any thread would after moderator activity. (Sorry to be negative about this - but to say a thread looks fine is to utterly miss the crux of forum management)

Then--just a suggestion--perhaps in some ways it might be better not to clear such things up to the point of sanitizing them from the public record altogether since that may well give misleading impressions to those who missed the verbal fisticuffs last time. To paraphrase an old adage, forums which wipe away the past will probably find themselves condemned to repeat that past at some point in the future!

If the rest of us are meant to learn from the mistakes of others it might be better at least sometimes to leave a little of the blood lying around for others to notice rather than washing it away with aid of moderator soap and water. Something like "This post deleted for <fill in with the reason>" maybe.

Encouraging the impression that all is sweetness and harmony is all very well, I'm sure, but it may also encourage the impression that the moderators are asleep at the switch and that it is thus safe to come out and "get personal".

Just my 2 cents worth.

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Stephen
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djellison
post Aug 7 2007, 11:19 AM
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Or how about people listen to the mods and think before posting and then we don't have to do any cleaning up at all?

Only if you spent you entire time here with your eyes closed would you think that the sorts of posts that were culled were ever going to be acceptable. I don't intend to leave further reminders for people. There is a big fat reminder in the form of the Forum Guidelines : specifically

2. Acceptable Behaviour
- 2.1 Every post must remain respectful of the opinion of others, even if contrary to your own.
- 2.2 Posts should make a contribution. Think - does what I am about to post add anything to the discussion. If the answer is no - should you really be posting it?
- 2.3 Before asking a question or starting a thread for which there might be something similar already in existence, have a brief look for a similar thread, or use the forum search tool to search for it first.
- 2.4 Don't rant. If you have a point to make...make it and move on. Do not litter your every post making the same point again and again. If you want somewhere to vent - get yourself a blog.
- 2.5 Arguments. If an argument between two people begins, take it to email or private message - we don't want to see your fights in the forum.

If people wish to ignore those rules, they'll find their posts deleted without warning and continued behaviour in breach of those rules will result in accounts getting deleted. It's how it's been for 3.5 years - it's how it'll continue to be. If you can't figure out how to stick to those rules without a trail of rule-breaking crumbs - then you shouldn't be posting at all.

QUOTE
To paraphrase an old adage, forums which wipe away the past will probably find themselves condemned to repeat that past at some point in the future!


To paraphrase me - members who ignore the rules will probably find themselves banned. There are no lessons that need learning - no posts to be made an example. There are a set of rules - they've been in place nearly a year - most people follow them. Those that are unable or refuse to do so will have posts deleted and , if they do so continually, their accounts closed.

I'm not going to waste my time, nor am I going to ask the admin/mod team to waste theirs by leaving a trail of who-did-what-and-what-we-did-about-it every time a post needs culling. We ALL have better things to do.

Doug
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CosmicRocker
post Aug 7 2007, 01:39 PM
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QUOTE (djellison @ Aug 7 2007, 02:02 AM) *
...but to say a thread looks fine is to utterly miss the crux of forum management ...
Fair enough, Doug. I probably did forget about, or perhaps not even notice, posts removed by the moderators.


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hendric
post Aug 8 2007, 08:03 PM
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CR + Stephen,
If you really want the full ding-battedness, you can sign up for immediate email notification of all posts. Those notifications are sent out as soon as the post is made, before the moderators get ahold of them. It's probably not worth it, btw. Which reminds me, time to send in donation to UMSF! smile.gif


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brellis
post Aug 8 2007, 08:15 PM
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I'm not familiar with the dispute from the old thread, but I would like to take this moment to thank the Admonistrators wink.gif for their tenacious D

I try really hard to avoid posting, but I look at UMSF every day, admiring from afar!

Cheers,


Bradford Ellis
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Greg Hullender
post Aug 9 2007, 05:27 PM
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Speaking of contributions, I'm surprised there's not a convenient link somewhere on the page for contributions. Or is money not really much of an issue for UMSF?

--Greg
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djellison
post Aug 9 2007, 05:34 PM
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It's actually not an issue. I don't pimp the idea of donations etc - but those who do want to contribute, can. We get enough from the tidy text ads at the bottom of each page to pay for the hosting - and combined with the odd donation it leaves enough to do things like the 2000 Sols posters or treat Steve to dinner and beers at Wagammama's in Milton Keynes.

Doug
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tedstryk
post Aug 13 2007, 11:02 AM
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You took him to Milton Keynes? Will he still associate with us?

Ted smile.gif


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