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Should OT be merged with the supporting member only Lobby?

Discussion in 'Suggestion Box' started by Marlat, Jul 18, 2007.

  1. Keep things as they are

    36 vote(s)
  2. Read-only forum for non-supporting members

    6 vote(s)
  3. Merge it with the supporting member only Lobby

    15 vote(s)
  4. Carrots

    7 vote(s)
  1. Marlat


    Sep 17, 2002
    London UK
    In this sticky: http://www.talkbass.com/forum/showthread.php?t=348960

    I disagree with John's view in the sticky, I think that Off Topic should be merged with the supporting member only Lobby such that the only off-topic area, for both DB and BG (to be fair) is for supporting members only in the Lobby. Here's why:

    1. The site is large enough and self-sustaining enough that new "registered users" should be here to talkbass and not to mess around exclusively in OT. By having no OT section visible to registered users this is less likely to happen;

    2. Far less likely to get trolls in a supporting member only forum;

    3. GIves supporting members and extra "benefit" that is perhaps missing now that the lobby is fairly restricted in what can be discussed (more or less just religion based topics are the only thing allowed in the Lobby and not in OT).

    However, I think the only obvious downside is that OT may move into MISC so it may just make more work for the MISC mods.

    I wouldnt like to see OT be a registered user "read only" forum with only supporting members allowed to post there as I think it poses a risk that registered users who want to argue or discuss things with supporting members who are having visible conversations will either do it in other unlrelated threads or via PM.

    What are people's thoughts?
  2. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    I agree entirely with John's view - every word of it !

    He has always been the most sensible Moderator and the one with his finger on the pulse!

    Whatever he decides is OK with me and will be for the best interests of TB!
  3. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    I don't see this as a problem - you just make it clear that the forum is for music-related discussion only, that doesn't fit in another category!
  4. Marlat


    Sep 17, 2002
    London UK
    My post may have been slightly misleading so I have edited it. John's view is that the status quo should remain (ie OT not merged or restricted - but more heavily policed). I am not sure if you were agreeing with John disagreeing with the other mods or not!
  5. the mods should be stricter in applying the rules... it's quite simple... short term bans should be handed out to offenders, and persistent abusers should receive longer and longer bans leading to complete banishment. Threads should be locked asap.

    If the mods want an easy life, then they shouldn't be mods... it's as simple as that.
  6. Marlat


    Sep 17, 2002
    London UK
    I think there are two problems with that:

    1. This forum is a 24hour a day 7 day a week forum because of international timezones. The mods cannot police it 24/7.

    2. Mods are volunteers - they should not be expected to police things - the forum should police itself by abiding by the rules. The rules arn't there to be broken so the mods have to work, they are there to be followed with the mods as backup.
  7. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    Criticising moderators in a public forum is against the TB rules and could lead to a ban...:meh:
  8. CrashClint

    CrashClint I Play Bass therefore I Am

    Nov 15, 2005
    Wake Forest, NC
    DR Strings Dealer (local only)
    I think you could have a "Supporting Member's OT" only. In this arena you could discuss Politics and Religion in a debating non-condescending way, i.e. No personal attacks on the individual.

    If you are having problems with a Moderator then use the proper channels and report the problem. It has to be tough moderating a forum this large, so we need to cut the mods some slack. IMHO
  9. Leave it as it is. What needs to be done is the cryasses need to grow thicker skin.

  10. Marlat


    Sep 17, 2002
    London UK
    Did you read the sticky?

    Those "cryasses" are the mods. Are you saying they need to grow a thicker skin? :eek:
  11. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    We already had that - it was called Tin Pan Alley - but it got so acrimonious it had to be shut down...:meh:

    Even in the Lobby, the only thing I see are personal attacks!
    So - I try to have a reasonable debate and all you get are people making personal comments in reply - they don't argue a point - they just try for character asssassination!! :(

    Very sad - that some people cannot actually argue or debate without this - but there is a long history of it on TB!
  12. RWP


    Jul 1, 2006
    I agree that OT got 'out of hand' for a while but the mods did a pretty good job of clamping down and it seems better now. OT is generally pretty innocuous and if you move it to lobby it will preclude many of the major players.
    On the other hand maybe those major players should step up and be supporting members!
  13. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    Actually - that's probably the best argument for doing it!!

    So if those people are going to talk rubbish, then they should at least stump up cash to help support the site!! :p

    This could be a big boost in revenue for Paul! :)

    Win - win!
  14. paul

    paul Staff Member Founder Administrator

    Jul 20, 2000
    I appreciate and welcome discussion on this topic. The OT mods are doing a great job and IMO are absolute saints to day after day take care of all the crap that piles up (most of which y'all never see). :) I hope John's recent call for civility makes a difference.

    There are a lot of angles from which to view this issue - from a business standpoint it'd probably make sense to move OT to SM-only right now. Personally, my past and current thinking is that an open OT plays an important role in creating bonds among our bassists. However I'm not sure this is going to continue to be the case - as our membership grows and grows, maintaining a single open "free for all" OT seems like it's becoming less and less an asset to TalkBass and its central mission.

    A subscriber-only OT is not uncommon. One example is http://episteme.arstechnica.com/eve - I think this *may* be our future. They have several off topic forums: "Soapbox" for political discussion, "Velvet room" for relationship stuff, the "Lounge" for general OT... All of which are "Subscribers Only". That forum has several thousands of users online at once. This way, the majority of the resources of the site can be put towards the 'real' forums, and those wanting to just chat it up have to put up a little something of their own.

    Edit: One other point for the SM-Only OT: One of our big problems is that even when we ban an OT troll, they come back under endless aliases. Banning IP's doesn't always work, and abuse reports to ISP's take time to process. If they had to pony up, this problem goes away.
  15. RWP


    Jul 1, 2006
    Not sure it would be a win situation for Paul. He wants traffic on TB, it's the basis of his advertising revenue if I understand things correctly. I am sure that OT brings a great deal of traffic. If you pull OT from the non registered users would this have a significant adverse effect on his revenue? Looks like OT is about 5% of the total traffic on the site but I am not sure that figure alone is representative of the true value of OT.

    For instance, ask yourself if you would be here if there were no OT?
    I come here for the party and stay for the lecture. I really enjoy the 'fun' factor here but also become involved in many other sections of the site. However, if OT were gone it would be far less attractive and my usage would decline. This will have to be a business decision for Paul and I am sure he will not take this lightly. IMHO
  16. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    I agree - there was definitely a time when OT was a good way to make friends and chat to other like-minded people and it needed very little moderation.

    But now we have got to the point where I see so many names it is impossible to keep up and it seems like every other OT post I come across, I'm thinking - how has this not been closed! :eek:

    I think that practically we can only keep in touch with so many people and in practice, those are usually already supporters anyway...there are so many similar-sounding usernames now, I only recognise people by avatars.

    I would support this move.
  17. Not in the slightest. I was referring to the members that always cry TO the mods. :)
  18. Carrots. You didn't have the option I want. Eliminate OT and Lobby, so the forum really is what it's called Talkbass.
  19. Marlat


    Sep 17, 2002
    London UK
    Would you also get rid of the miscellaneous forum and any non-bass related threads in recordings etc?
  20. Nope. I've found those useful and I haven't ever seen "bad" threads in those. Just eliminate OT and Lobby. IMO that will reduce Most of the problems.

    Plus it will free up some bandwidth so i can post more pics in the "post your pedalboard" thread.:D

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