Forum Restructuring

Author: Ragnar ,

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  • Ragnar
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    Ragnar
    This thread topic is for discussion of how to improve the forums. Please give feedback, ask questions, and suggest refinements; or even state ideas related to the forums in wholly different directions.

    There is no set schedule for when any changes would roll out. And of course, if the greater community is opposed to change, no change at all will occur.

    Current State:
    There are 22 forums, most of which are not particularly utilized.
    1. DebateArt.com
    2. Art
    3. Cars
    4. Economics
    5. Education
    6. Fashion
    7. Games
    8. Health
    9. Miscellaneous
    10. Movies
    11. Music
    12. Nature
    13. People
    14. Personal
    15. Philosophy
    16. Politics
    17. Religion
    18. Science
    19. Society
    20. Sports
    21. Technology
    22. TV


    Proposed State (first draft):
    This would end with only 9 forums. This is a steep decrease, but will hopefully avoid the current problem of ghost forums. I however I not attached to any precise number.
    1. DebateArt.com (Community)
    2. DebateArt.com (Site Management)
    3. Mafia (and other forum games)
    4. Artistic Expression (community generated art, music, writing, etc.)
    5. Politics, Society, and History
    6. Health, Science, and Technology
    7. Philosophy and Religion
    8. Entertainment Industry (Music, Movies, Sports, TV, Video Games, etc.)
    9. Miscellaneous


    Working Draft (updated at 15:30 PST 11/26):
    This will be edited by any moderator (probably Ragnar, but all have my permission), so new members joining the discussion need not wade through everything to understand the current state of the proposal. As of 11/19, descriptions are on the second line of each entry.
    1. DART Site Management 
      DebateArt.com administrative matters, rules, refinements, and more.
    2. DART Community Hub
      For the users and by the users, this is the main social hub.
    3. Artistic Expression
      Community generated art, music, writing, etc.
    4. Current Events
      News and various micro events of the day.
    5. Entertainment Industry
      Movies, TV, music, celebrities, etc.
    6. Mafia Hub
      Mafia and other forum games.
    7. Gaming
      Video gaming and related technicality, plus any discussion of board games, etc.
    8. Philosophy
      Epistemology, Logic, Metaphysics, Ethics, and Aesthetics.
    9. Religion
      Spirituality, faith, and religious concepts.
    10. Science and Nature
      The natural world and the systematic study thereof.
    11. Society
      Politics, History, Economics, etc.
    12. Sports
      Needing to shoot a 3-pointer while screaming Kobe? This is the forum for you. Just don't airball!
    13. Archive
      Primarily for outmoded administrative threads.
    14. Miscellaneous
      Everything not covered within the other categories...
  • bmdrocks21
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    Where would forums in the deleted categories go?
  • bmdrocks21
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    Oh, you are just condensing them. I see.
  • A-R-O-S-E
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    --> @Ragnar
    I don't think this needs to happen at all. If you want to go for a certain topic don't make members tear through a multi forum. This would just kill them harder.

    Why does this even need to happen? There isn't a purpose.
  • A-R-O-S-E
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    --> @Ragnar
    Or just re-arrange by popularity.

    Except religion, keep that at the very bottom, it's a hell hole
  • SupaDudz
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    --> @Ragnar
    Religion is seperate
    Sports seperate
    Phillosophy with politics
  • Dr.Franklin
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    --> @Ragnar
    Can TEchnology and GAming be the same forum \

    I love how your dpoing this
  • Ragnar
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    --> @A-R-O-S-E @bmdrocks21 @Dr.Franklin @SupaDudz
    @bmdrocks,
    It would mostly be condensing them. With the exception of this forum, which would get split into two (for daily use, imagine less pinned threads to scroll past).


    @Arose,
    To your insistence that "there isn't a purpose." I'll remind you of my earlier words "There are 22 forums, most of which are not particularly utilized." The change would ideally handle "the current problem of ghost forums." Plus people would on average spend less scrolling past stuff to which they are not interested.

    Putting religion at the second to last place generally does sound like a good idea (I know your idea was the very last place, but the Misc forum seems fitting for the very end; to which it is currently randomly in the middle).


    @Supa,
    I just looked in at the Sports forum, and humbly concede that it should be separate from other entertainment industry, due to the unique passion it seems to generate.

    I am curious why you believe Philosophy and Politics are a good pairing, but not Philosophy and Religion? ... I will openly admit to bias against the religion forum, I only suggested that merging due to seeing multiple clearly religious threads on the first page of the Philosophy forum (plus all religion is a subset of philosophy).


    @Franklin,
    I'm open to any pairing. Would you mind expanding the reasoning behind your suggestion?

    My initial idea in this was was Nature Science and Tech as one (all seem pretty related); and of course I see the current Games forum as mostly a mafia forum (granted, it would be cool if people teamed up for video games and such, which the Entertainment Industry forum might not be the best for for encouraging).
  • Dr.Franklin
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    --> @Ragnar
    My main reason for games and Tech together is because the TEch hardware and software are related to games. Like PC gaming and consoles are technological inventions, technology has nothing to do with Nature
  • ethang5
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    -->@Ragnar

    You identify a problem you think needs addressing,...

    "There are 22 forums, most of which are not particularly utilized."The change would ideally handle "the current problem of ghost forums."

    And then immediately castigate what is arguably the most active forum. Even going on to say,...

    Putting religion at the second to last place generally does sound like a good idea
    I will openly admit to bias against the religion forum, 
    Great, yet another mod who has a bias against the religion forum.

    One wonders, why have a religion forum at all? Nix the religion forum and you will not just have ghost forums, you'll have a ghost board.

    But it does not give me a lot of confidence that my mod team will be fair and objective when problems arise - when he finds out I'm a religion board regular.

    DDO died, even Airmax died, the religion board remained. But I'm glad we have you on record as admitting a bias against the religion board.

    And you self-identify as a progressive catholic no less! That might just be coincidence though. Right?



  • RationalMadman
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    Don't get rid of religion forums, don't relegate them, promote them.
  • SupaDudz
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    --> @Ragnar
    I am curious why you believe Philosophy and Politics are a good pairing, but not Philosophy and Religion? ... I will openly admit to bias against the religion forum, I only suggested that merging due to seeing multiple clearly religious threads on the first page of the Philosophy forum (plus all religion is a subset of philosophy).

    It is not merely about that, but more in the sense that religion itself the 2nd biggest subforum while philosophy is small. A philosophy on religion =/= philosophy of life. They could be connected, but not related to the point of a merge
  • Harikrish
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    The current arrangement is what one would expect on a forum where the topics are arranged alphabetically with the site specific resources and announcements  at the top. It is also how people lookup things expecting them to be arranged alphabetically  independent of any biases and not haphazardly.
    just like most things are built for right handed people. Forums should be designed for right minded people. Pardon the pun.

    Harikrish biblical scholar and spiritual leader.
  • Ragnar
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    --> @Dr.Franklin @ethang5 @Harikrish @SupaDudz
    @Franklin,
    I believe science is the bridge between nature and technology (in short: science studies nature, which leads to technology), but this thread is specifically to get feedback to determine an actual desirable end state.

    How would you feel about a forum for video gaming, "Games (video gaming)" which would be just under "Games (Mafia and other forum games)"? Then simply not having any forum specifically titled technology?

    Looking at the current Technology forum (one of the least active), most of it would fit well into the Science or Society forums, but not a video game related forum (granted, a general Digital Technologies forum would seem to include all the right stuff ... Please give feedback on that for the next iteration).


    @ethang5,
    I will not be supporting any suggestion of deleting the religion forum.

    That (some) members of it chose to behave in such a way as to give it a bad reputation, is where the fault lies, not that in response to said actions people commonly feel unease about the forum.


    @Supa,
    Fair enough. In the current draft I have left Philosophy by itself, and paired History, Politics, and Society. Please give feedback on the working draft.


    @Harikrish,
    Thank you for your feedback, and nice pun! I have revised the proposed order in response. Misc. of course ending up at the bottom, due to as the description reads: "Topics related to anything not included in the other categories." Which intuitively doesn't make sense to be looked for in the middle.


    @here,
    This is the current list, which incorporates all relevant feedback you have given, to include PMs and Discord...
    1. DebateArt.com (Community)
    2. DebateArt.com (Site Management)
    3. Artistic Expression (community generated art, music, writing, etc.)
    4. Entertainment Industry (Music, Movies, TV, etc.)
    5. Entertainment Industry (Sports)
    6. Games (Mafia and other forum games)
    7. Games (video gaming and related technology)
    8. Health and Science
    9. History, Politics, and Society
    10. Philosophy
    11. Religion
    12. Miscellaneous (everything else...)
  • SupaDudz
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    --> @Ragnar
    Effective. I second this structure
  • SupaDudz
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    --> @Ragnar
    Ofc we have discussed privately about community work, but everything else is fine
  • Dr.Franklin
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    Sure that will do
  • ethang5
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    I will not be supporting any suggestion of deleting the religion forum.
    I was not worried about that at all. But given your admitted bias, I wonder why not?

    That (some) members of it chose to behave in such a way as to give it a bad reputation, is where the fault lies
    The behavior on the religion board was not worse than any other board. In fact, both here and on DDO, the biggest drama came from boards other than the religion board. It's a bias, and biases tend not to be logical.

    I think the changes are good. We did need a consolidation, but the changes will not solve the problem of ghost forums.

    My only gripe, too small to pursue, is that that the order of topics betrays the average age of the mods, and shows what subjects they think are most important.

    I've always liked Virt, and I think all of you are showing us you're capable. All of your behaviors and decisions since the change have given me confidence that the future of the board has brightened.

    I hate not having anything to rag on you guys about.
  • Ragnar
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    --> @ethang5
    Sorry for the delay...


    I will not be supporting any suggestion of deleting the religion forum.
    I was not worried about that at all. But given your admitted bias, I wonder why not?
    Simply but, acknowledged bias need not be overwhelming.


    That (some) members of it chose to behave in such a way as to give it a bad reputation, is where the fault lies
    The behavior on the religion board was not worse than any other board. In fact, both here and on DDO, the biggest drama came from boards other than the religion board. It's a bias, and biases tend not to be logical.
    I will agree with you that the biggest drama did not originate there. However, the daily toxicity tended to be too high . I still remember when I shared an essay I wrote praising God with nuance, and it was massively offensive to the self-identified Christian board members. ... Maybe if I got involved in the technology forum praising a nifty phone feature, I would have had the same experience with supporters of that phone brand being offended; but as someone who was then attending a Catholic University, my priorities were not aligned that way (still aren't).


    I think the changes are good. We did need a consolidation, but the changes will not solve the problem of ghost forums.

    My only gripe, too small to pursue, is that that the order of topics betrays the average age of the mods, and shows what subjects they think are most important.
    You're welcome to suggest any order or topics, sets of topics, and names for the topics. ... I am not handling this like the default character limit for debates (to which a change was desperately needed, but I still doubt if we have the ideal number in place).


    I've always liked Virt, and I think all of you are showing us you're capable. All of your behaviors and decisions since the change have given me confidence that the future of the board has brightened.

    I hate not having anything to rag on you guys about.
    Thanks!
  • ethang5
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    -->@Ragnar

    I will agree with you that the biggest drama did not originate there. However, the daily toxicity tended to be too high .
    That was directly due to the inconsistency in the moderation. On Dart, Mike made moderating decisions to ban 2 trolls from DDO. Trolls whom Airmax ignored at the detriment of the forum.

    When bsh1 took over, he continued the methods of his mentor Airmax, and the religion board here became like that at DDO.

    Taking over after Bsh1, Virt immediately cut that nonsense out, and banned the idiots that Mike first banned, this time permanently.

    The main problem with moderation here has always been inconsistency. Not just inconsistency in strictness, but an inconsistency in moderation itself.

    If the mod team shows any bias against the religion board or the posters there, I will call you out on it.

    And if you wink at the constant drama on the Debate.Org board, and turn a blind eye at the flames on the politics board, and pretend not to see the 5 or so old members who are constantly stirring up drama, only to go ballistic at one whiff of smoke on the religion board, I will call you out on it.

    Most people are not aware of their bias, or how someone within their group with a bias can slowly affect them. I will play hall monitor for you.
  • Wylted
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    The first proposal is good except separate religion and philosophy so retarded militant atheists and proselytizeRSVP can be segregated from the rest of the population
  • Ragnar
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    --> @ethang5
    ...I will play hall monitor for you.
    Thank you for that. Truly. If I get out of line, I want to be corrected (ideally before I get too too far out of line).

    And speaking of moderation, how do you feel about certain posts being censored (without outright deletion) for CoC violations? Such as if someone called all Canadians [explicit] bloodsucking [explicit] parasites who are part of the [racial slur] conspiracy, changing out the bad words for the sample bolded ones in brackets to the left? Of course in addition to warning them to knock it off (or worse if they continue), and adding a label to the post to clarify it was not their original words.
  • Mopac
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    Nah, put religion at the bottom. It is by far the most humbled forum as it is. Who actually holds the subject matter with reverence? No, it is a big joke to everyone, and is it any surprise that people post there as a joke? 

    Polemics are boring, and very rarely does it serve any other purpose than to make oneself feel satisfied. Unfortunately, you get  a lot of that. 


    It is what it is.

    It is the most important subject though, because it has more to do with how you live your life rather than say, whatever vain imagining you think sounds convincing in the case of philosophy or how other people live their lives as in the case of politics.


  • ethang5
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    -->@Ragnar

    And speaking of moderation, how do you feel about certain posts being censored...

    I am perhaps not the best person to ask, for I am the one who still has vile posts insulting him up, though the poster has been banned.

    Saying someone lied, or "I think Ethan lied," or "Ethan lied when he said this..." are all acceptable, but just a thread saying "Ethan is a liar" with no citations, no evidence, and no argumentation, just ad-hom should be removed.

    I've never had problems with moderation, and I've been online since 1993. Myban by bsh1 was the first time I had ever been banned, and you can check my convo with bsh1. I accepted his authority to ban though I thought he was being unfair.

    Censoring posts seem like a lot of unnecessary work for mods. If the gist of the entire thread is unhealthy, remove it. If you feel it is or will get out of hand, lock it.

    But if the offence is simply one bad post, warn or ban the poster. If the post contains slanderous content, then yes delete it. But I believe any poster with a post (or thread) that deserves to be deleted is at the very least deserving of a warning.

    Consistent moderation will not quiet the naysayers, but it will strengthen the good, and the good will confront the naysayers even before the mods respond.

    Note Virt's decision to lock benches thread. The majority of support for the decision came from regular posters.

    Just be consistent, don't worry too much about how loose or strict you are. Be fair, and be consistent in that fairness, and it will be the members themselves who will stand up for you.

    I can take any mod decision if I believe the mod tried to be fair, and has a history of trying to be fair.
  • TheRealNihilist
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    --> @Ragnar
    I like the first draft.
    The earlier you do it the less scrolling I have to do to go to the philosophy section or politics section.

    Just to make sure, please don't put Religion and Philosophy together. I don't want God in philosophy unless they are actually making arguments against or for him other than just feelings.