Forum:This is not a forum about how we are the worst

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Forums: Index > Ministry of Love > This is not a forum about how we are the worst (talk)
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I've been thinking about posting this for a while, and I think we're at the point we need to discuss some things over.

It feels to me that lately we're losing "our way", and become more concentrated on other agendas other than writing which is, in my opinion, our main mission. Some examples:

  • Most of the new users are much more concentrated on maintenance rather than writing. The amount of new users doing anything other than ICUing, QVFDing, VFDing etc.
  • Becoming an admin/poopsmith/any sort of "official" position has become the goal of too many people.
  • Winning awards has become the sole goal of many people. Granted, we always had this problem - but it became much more severe lately, in my view. Just today I saw a freshly adopted noob that didn't have a single edit in mainspace stating that "his goal is to become NOTM".
  • Whoring. Again - this was a problem in the past, but I feel that the floodgates of whoring has been widely opened.
  • VFH dramas. I did put a forum about that in the dump lately, but I think this is just another symptom.
  • Users threating other users - some established users stopped talking nicely to anyone making the slightest mistakes, but immediately threaten them with a ban - even without the actual ability to ban anyone. Amusingly enough, most admins are actually nicer. Except for me. I feel like the reincarnation of Famine lately.
  • Perhaps the biggest problem of all, in my view, is that we have a large group of users that don't see to do much other than to fuck about. Granted, we are a community site - but before being a community site, we are a humor wiki, designated to spread humor lies and misinformation all over the planet. Those "fuck about cliques" really irk me.

The thing is, I don't have any clear plan how to deal with all the above. It might be a completely personal view of mine and the rest of you might think I'm over reacting - which is fine. I hate you all anyway. Except for UU, he's just a big teddy. And maybe Mhaille, when he stops reminding me I'm a Jew for five minutes. And Oli. When he's using vaseline. But I'm losing myself here.

But seriously, the only thing I can offer at this point is the following:

  1. Crack down on all people who don't know how to behave - you threaten a noob, you threaten anyone and you're not an admin - you get hammered.
  2. Crack down on all whoring. Especially VFS related ones.
  3. Possibly, one of the VFS criteria should be that the candidate is a writer. We don't have to impose number of features etc but I for one am worries that potentially the future of the site will be in the hands of maintenance jockeys, People who believe admins don't need to be able to write (or to assess writing for that matter). Is that a valid criteria? Can we think of how we set a threshold?
  4. VFH (or any other dramas) to be dealt with harshly and immediately.
  5. Somehow encourage more writing, which I really don't know how to achieve. And no, no new awards or votes please, we have too much of them.

Basically, this is really asking for everyone's opinion. Am I over reacting? Do we have an actual problem? Do we want to do anything about it? Do we want some agreement (not really rules, just general approach) to deal with these issues? Do we just drop the whole issue and just keep working as usual? Am I going to get laid tonight? You know. Important questions.

Discuss. ~Jewriken.GIF 15:18, 11 June 2009 (UTC)

I always saw myself as more of a refined smoking jacket than a teddy bear! That aside, however, I agree with a lot of what Mordillo says here. I mainly share his concern about the amount of people hanging about and not doing too much writing. Maintenance is all well and good, and very handy dandy, (and I have found the OCD image categorising somewhat helpful on occasion, to pick one example). However, this is a site based on writing, and if more people are doing maintenance, and fewer people are writing, then that is a bad thing. In a comment on Mordillo's talk page, Saberwolf has said he "can't write". Bollocks - saying that in a coherent sentence of English disproved his point - part of what I love about this place is that anyone can write, even if it's just chipping in a line or two on the odd article, or tidying up some lesser articles so that they don't suck so hard. That's how I got started, and I would love to see more people feeling encouraged to write in whatever capacity they can.
Part of the issue may be the feeling a lot of people seem to have have that if an article doesn't make VFH, it is a failure in some way - the amount of people who obsess over getting every article right for VFH bothers me. I wish there were some way, without voting (I'm looking at you, Hype's "VFG" page) that we could show people it's OK to create articles that aren't VFH worthy every time; that we like to have articles around that are "just" good.
However, as Mordillo says, I can't see an easy way to encourage this, and my hat will be off to anyone who can. I think removing some of the more unnecessary awards might be a start. I certainly wouldn't complain about getting rid of UotM, for example, and if we have other awards that don't encourage writing, then perhaps those too (although I'd make a case to keep RotM, because I think good reviews help people improve their writing, and PotM is good too - actually, it's mainly UotM, I guess).
I also agree with the statement that admins need to be writers - it helps immensely with sorting out the crap around here. But I don't know that it needs to be a specific rule or anything.
Oh yeah, and I'm not quite so bothered about whoring per se (I remember an amusingly executed example by Prettiestpretty shortly after i arrived), but I don't like seeing people being almost hassled into voting on things, particularly in a "if you like me at all you'll vote on this even if you don't like it" kind of way. Any aggressive whoring that puts people under pressure is a Bad Thing in my book, and if I spot any, I'd be happy to clamp down on it.
I'll be very interested to see other people's responses to this, but that's my thoughts for now. Heavy on agreement, light on suggestions, sorry! --UU - natter UU Manhole 18:35, Jun 11
I agree with everything except for #6, where I believe the exact opposite is true. Instead of what you had, which was nothing, I think it should've been:
"6. Mordillo should try to relax more, because it doesn't look like he's enjoying himself, what with the neuroses about what everybody else is or is not doing taking up most of his time and/or energy." Oh, I also think that it's okay if some people just hang aboot not writing or being useful, as long as they eventually try to do the writing thing, even if they only start in token amounts and only succeed in failure. Failure is as much a part of the road to success as whatever the opposite of failure Sir Modusoperandi Boinc! 18:43, 11 June 2009 (UTC)
He said aboot! He said aboot! ~Jewriken.GIF 19:36, 11 June 2009 (UTC)

I'm not sure how well I can speak to the seriousness of these issues (as a decline / losing of our way), given the relatively narrow window of time I'm viewing through, but I can say that I have noticed some of these issues.

  • I have noticed users threatening other users, but I didn't react. I guess I reasoned that I wasn't familiar enough with the current tolerances here to know how far people can push their luck. I'm going to clamp down on it by forceably extracting apologies trying to help mend these fences between users where possible.
  • I've been bothered by some of the arguing and whining on vote pages, and think it should absolutely stop. I haven't been crazy about some of the comments I've received on some of my entries, but I'm don't see the use in trying to convince people they're wrong — they aren't. Articles and music are not one size fits all. And some of the stuff I do really might be crappy. All writers need to come to grips with this.
  • Whoring sucks, but it's a fact of life. I'd like it to remain behind the scenes, like via email.
  • I agree that most of our admins should be good writers, but I wouldn't rule anyone out for the job just because they didn't have a feature, or enough "good" quality articles. Is our current balance okay? Should we have some sort of inventory that notes what the strengths are of the current stable of AA's? But good writing ability (however we define that), should definitely be a trump card when selecting new blood.
  • Becoming an admin or other official is definitely over-obsessed about here. I'd be happy if VFS disappeared completely, or was flipped so that we're assuming 'no' each month unless there is some critical mass of admins saying "Let's vote this/next month".
  • There are too many awards and titles. Even though I enjoy winning, this shouldn't be the point. I'd like all the stupidly long signatures to stop, particularly in high visibility areas like the Forum. I've been using a simple "--T." for a very long time for this reason. My stupidly long signature is only prominently displayed on my talk page (and maybe it shouldn't be).
  • I'm not sure if UotM should disappear, but people who add good writing to other people's work should qualify here, rather than just the janitors.
  • Encouraging writing should be something we all do, when possible. I don't have the time to read as much as I wish (because I'm an admin pretending to be a writer, or a writer pretending to be an admin), but I like to give kudos when something makes me laugh. I wish people would use talk pages more. Let people know they (or their work) is being noticed. If even half the maintenance people here started wearing boy scout uniforms, the sense of community and fun here would grow exponentially. But I can't really say how you can encourage people to contribute in a way other than how they wish to, or if this is even healthy. Saberwolf, for example, has his niche. If he started writing more, what would happen to the Pee backlog?

--T. (talk) 20:36, 11 June 2009 (UTC)

Cry PENIS, and let slip the dongs of war!!!! -- Sir Mhaille Icons-flag-gb (talk to me)

I do not agree with the suggested writing requirement; many perfectly decent admins have been predominantly not writers (ex. Algorithm, myself, Flammable, etc.). I do, however, agree with many of the other issues and have a few suggestions:

  • Award chasing - get rid of most of the awards. Slash it back to just Uncyclopedian of the Month and make it clear that only in VERY EXCEPTIONAL cases will it go to someone for anything other than writing.
  • Threatening people - make threatening a bannable offense and publicize this fact. Have as part of every welcome message the statement that harassment is a bannable offense and anyone that feels harassed should contact an administrator immediately. If it is an admin harassing them, they should contact another admin.
  • official position chasing - take voting and discussion out of the public view. if it's not publicized, people can't actively chase it. When people ask how to become an admin or whatever, inform them that it rarely happens and asking about it strongly hurts people's chances. No one should expect it or see it coming; it should just happen to those that deserve it.
  • dicking around and stupidness - delete off-topic forum articles with a message along the lines of "Uncyclopedia is not your blog"
  • users focused on maintenance - perfectly good thing, IMHO, as long as their contributions are positive; also, I think fixing awards and sysopping practices would help a lot
That's my a bit more than $0.02. --Sir gwax (talk) Signuke 00:21, 12 June 2009 (UTC)

Sexy. Well, I'd first like to sarcastically thank Mordillo for pulling me and my penis temporarily out of a self-imposed month vacation, but at least for something so important (and if I was really on vacation, why was I checking my talk page anyways, huh?) A few points that come to mind having read the forum:

  • Strong Disagree For removing UotM. And for that matter, disagree for removing most of our awards. RotM's merit has been addressed by UU, WotM's is naturally understood, and most of the other awards aren't very highly coveted. UotM has always had the idea behind it that, somebody who does a plethora of everything should attain it. Everything including maintenance (usually first and foremost), writing, helping, collaborating, and even doing audios and other such seemingly unnoticed small tasks. I think it should stay to recognize the people who truly fulfill that position. But it should certainly be noted that the award is Uncyclopedian of the Month, and not Categorizer/Reverter/Reviewer of the Month.
  • NotM is another beast. I admire the willing spirits of the new users who wish to attain immediate notoriety here, and yet I've seen several cases, like Mordillo has, of users who show up, declare their one goal to win NotM, and never do anything. Some of these users end up doing just enough to win the prize, feel satisfied with themselves, and then bugger off, never to be seen again. This kind of thing should probably stop, although for the past few months we've been seeing a real nice influx of noobs who, I think, have really deserved the award. I'd propose a sort of "you don' talk about NotM" rule for winning NotM, but that really wouldn't get much done, other than more drama. The award was fine until people started dicking around with it, and far be it from me to put my dick where it doesn't belong, unless I've got some lube on hand.
  • VFS should be done via email or an external site that only administrators can access. Delete the VFS page and give every administrator a self-destructing message that tells them the means for communication about opping new admins. This is the best plan. Unlike NotM, I can be fairly secure in stating "The first rule of being an admin is you DON'T talk about being an admin." The same should probably go for admins as well. Unless performing admin tasks, little mention should be made that "I AM AN ADMIN! DON'T FUCK WITH ME!" When admins and regular users get along and treat one another as equals, I think the site is at its best.
  • VFH. My opinion is to completely take out the comments section on the VFH template. Vote for or against as have always been the customs. Suspicious votes should be checked out by admins, and anybody who wishes to blab should do it on the talk page. Or on one another's talk pages. I think this is one of our older rules, and yet it is rarely enforced. This is because we are lazy, naturally.
  • The only thing I can think of to emphasize writing is to merely behave as though it's a more respectable task. Unfortunately, the erroneously-willed minds of people who don't believe that writing is Uncyc's number one priority will probably never be switched around. If they are, they'll merely become yes-men, who tell other people to write but do none of their own, and then expect some sort of shiny cookie.
  • Last but not least Whoring used to be something we kept under heavy wraps. I seem to remember that unwelcome and incessant whoring was once a bannable offense. We got a stream of users who decided that whoring was part of the writing process, and that Uncyclopedia is just like some sort of elementary school where you get a gold star for showing up on time to class every morning, and a silver star for showing up tardy. It's definitely time to crack down on that. Users who whore to others without consent and a prior engagement to do so, and in an incessant and arrogant way, should be first given strong warning. Second offense should be a short ban, and another offense should be a long ban. In the words of the great <Generic Basketball Commentator>, "GET THAT SHIT OUTTA HERE!"

And that is the best I can come up with at the time. Oh, also, #@uncyclopedia, or whatever that admin channel is called, should come back into use. It would be helpful in situations like this I think. Especially considering I'll probably be violently edit-conflicted upon the posting of this message. -RAHB 01:24, 12 June 2009 (UTC)

Alright, I typed out a whole buncha stuff about this and it vanished somehow, so since I'm lazy I'll give the short version: I can think of two ways to encourage writing:
  • The Famine method: We warn and then ban people who don't write, or
  • The whatever other op suggested this method: We cut back on quality control and snappy deletions, talk more often to noobs, edit any articles that have a snowball's chance, and generally be nicer.
Could we combine these? Find some kind of middle ground? Something else entirely? Fuck if I know. What made me personally want to write was this weird mix of jealousy and ambition that hit me when I voted on VFH back in mid '07ish; Something about seeing all these great articles made me want to try my hand at making people laugh the way they made me laugh... But what do you guys think? Personally I'd be fine with being a jerk or being your friendly neighborhood admin-man; s'all good to me.
Also, put a big message on VFS that says "ASKING FOR ADMINSHIP IMMEDIATELY DISQUALIFIES YOU FOR ADMINSHIP." Or do something else entirely, whatevs. Also also, we should all use IRC more, myself included. Even regular users should log on once in a while; it helps build a sense of community, much more than forums can. And, if ops want, I or someone else can +i them in the cabal #chan. - T.L.B. Baloon WotM, UotM, FPrize, AotM, ANotM, PLS, UN:HS, GUN 03:25, Jun 12
Good to see Uberfuzzy unblocked me so I can comment on this. I like the idea of VFS being external - it should help with making adminship not seem like the ultimate goal of all users on this website, and make people focus on more important things. About two years ago (possibly more, I'm too old to remember exactly when), we didn't need a regular flow of extra admins, so we didn't even have VFS, instead the entire sysop voting process took place on the forums. We are back to that situation again, so I am voting For removing VFS and replacing it with a simpler, preferably external, system. Icons-flag-au Sir Cs1987 UOTM. t. c 07:17, 12 June 2009 (UTC)
You do know you can unblock yourself right? Noob. Also, a couple of remarks - I didn't suggest we should remove UOTM or NOTM, I think we do need some awards to be in place, but just put them in the right context. ~Jewriken.GIF 07:43, 12 June 2009 (UTC)

Let's summarize some of the stuff people wrote down

And let me know if we have agreement on it:

  1. Any sort of harassment of users will be dealt with harshly.
  2. Likewise with voting dramas.
  3. Any sort of mass whoring will be dealt with.
  4. No new awards or voting pages. Existing awards to stay.
  5. New and existing users will be encouraged to use more of their time to write - either by admins actively helping them to improve the articles or directing them to experienced writers. I think we can start nominating those who help to write on UOTM.
  6. VFS is dead. If anyone feels we need further admins, we can discuss it on the VFS page or go to IRC whenever we feel there's a need. Otherwise, we can stop the monthly parade of "No new admins needed".
  7. If and when we get new admins we are encouraging to nominate and vote for writers. No specific rules about that, just a state of mind.

Did I get everything right? Are we missing something? ~Jewriken.GIF 18:11, 13 June 2009 (UTC)

  • I agree with the 7 points, as written. (Well, personal admin styles aside of course. Your 'harsh' and my 'harsh' will look different.) --T. (talk) 18:23, 13 June 2009 (UTC)
Yeah, I agree with Todd "Worse than Hitler" Lyons and Pussykins Mordillo. -- Sir Mhaille Icons-flag-gb (talk to me)
I agree, except for the VFS thing. Then I disagree. People will always ask how to become admins. Just slap 'em in the head and send them on their way. VFS keeps things transparent. Like that channel on the TV that nobody watches with the fat, old, white men arguing and grandstanding. Sir Modusoperandi Boinc! 20:34, 13 June 2009 (UTC)
But then again, why would writers need to become admins? I think what you mean by "writers" should be "people who have proven to be a good judge of humour". That or a regular need to edit protected pages. But whatevs. Everything there is pretty much good. Spang talk 22:06, 13 Jun 2009
Wow, I'm late to this party. I agree with the points as written (why do we ban ANYONE if we won't ban people who threaten others at the site?), and my only other comment is that someone said the Famine method was warn first and then ban. I think you may have an extra step in there... :)--<<Bradmonogram.png>> 11:01, 14 June 2009 (UTC)
To be fair to Famine he actually covered those two point in one single action. -- Sir Mhaille Icons-flag-gb (talk to me)
Evening all. Apparently someone asked for my opinion... Yea... All the above sounds sensible to me. I'm not sure that changing VFS would make a difference to people's attitudes, but if others do that's fine with me. So long as any admin can initiate a VFS if they think it's needed all is good. As for the whoring issue, I think that's a tricky one. It's natural for people to want tell others what they are working on and invite input. Pee Review alone probably does not do exactly what is required. I had this idea a while back as a way of giving people a place outside of Pee Review in which whoring was positive encouraged. I personally feel that if we had something like this (this page is not advertised at all on the wiki currently) it might actually reduce whoring on the rest of the wiki as whores can be pointed to the "whoring" page, and told to tone it down elsewhere. As for UotM, I think that's actually turned into a rather useful award. It's up to the interpretation of the person who has been nominated to decide if it was intended as a joke or not, I think that's a good thing. As for harassment of other users yes... We should come down like a tone of bricks on it. Probably more than we have in the past. UN:CBN especially I feel we are sometimes too lenient on... When I was on my mad month where I was online almost all the time and checking every contribution at recent changes I was banning LOADS of people for cyberbullying. When I look back on how many bans have been given out recently for UN:CBN the numbers appear to have dropped. Either we are less attractive idiots now, or we are leaving a good few bullies un-punished... Or maybe I'm just a bastard?  :-) Anyway, on far more important matters, I should like to draw peoples attention to this. MrN Icons-flag-gb HalIcon.png WhoreMrn.png Fork you! 14:53, Jun 15
I would like it to be noted that I have always been an attractive idiot. --UU - natter UU Manhole 14:56, Jun 15
You and your word naziness! You want me to include all the words in EVERY sentence? Don't you know there is a recession on man! MrN Icons-flag-gb HalIcon.png WhoreMrn.png Fork you! 15:00, Jun 15
Extra point: I think there's a difference between the "letting people know what you're working on or have just finished and are kinda pleased with" type of whoring and the "go vote for my article do it now now now" type. It is this second type that I am opposed to. You want to get people to look at your article? Fine. You want to try and drum up votes artificially and unfairly bias certain votes? A lot less cool. People should vote because they read an article and like it, not because they were shoved into it. --UU - natter UU Manhole 15:10, Jun 15
Amen. Yea, I'm totally in favour of clamping down on the "go vote for my article do it now now now" thing. Unless it's one of mine. Obviously. I would not object to giving admins the discretionary power to dock votes if they think someone is taking the piss. What do people think about that idea? MrN Icons-flag-gb HalIcon.png WhoreMrn.png Fork you! 15:19, Jun 15
I dig that idea, although I think in such a case it's necessary to have a conversation with all users involved. But if the end result is that it was all a one-sided whorefest then absolutely dock votes. -RAHB 00:23, 16 June 2009 (UTC)

Votage and question

When we finish it, do we open a thread about it in the dump and let people know?

Also, to solve the VFS issue - do we:

Kill VFS and move to an external votage

Score: -1
  • Against doing things behind closed doors. Admins are users with some extra buttons who have been given a vote of confidence by the community. I for one like the idea of having everything out in the open. *zips up trousers* MrN Icons-flag-gb HalIcon.png WhoreMrn.png Fork you! 14:57, Jun 15

Keep it as it is

Score: 0

Shut it down for now and revive it whenever an admin feels we need more assistance

Score: 4

State on VFS that "Uncyclopedia is not currently appointing new administrators" whenever we are not

Score: 1
  • I think this may be the best way to maintain transparency and minimize requests for how to be an admin. --Sir gwax (talk) Signuke 23:28, 15 June 2009 (UTC)

Erase the content of the VFS page and sysop protect it.

Score: +0

This way, new people who stumble upon the page won't even know what VFS is. My logic is flawless. -RAHB 00:24, 16 June 2009 (UTC)

Nevermind, I prefer Spang's sandwich idea.

Score: +1
  • For -RAHB 04:59, 16 June 2009 (UTC)
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