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Back when I first wanted to be an admin, I think what impressed me the most was not the responsibility of the work or the honour of being selected, but the sense of connection I perceived between the people who had that role. It seemed like a really tight-knit group that worked hard to respect and support each other unconditionally, and have each other's backs under any circumstances. If there were any complaints about an individual's style of work or particular decisions in a situation, I sure didn't hear about it.
We don't have that anymore, and haven't for a long time.
Maybe it's fixable, and maybe it's just symptomatic of a site that's grown past the point where those close connections are possible. Whatever it is, I don't think it's something than can be artificially enforced by a policy, and if it needs to be, then I'm even more certain that I was right to put down the ban stick and take my place back in the cheap seats.
Though I don't always agree with my (ex-) peers, I've tried not to undo any of their work without checking with them first. Because I haven't always felt that courtesy returned, it's been harder to feel valued in this group. I was pretty pissed off over the Imrealized fiasco, where there was drama before drama became the word of the month. One user's selfish "I'm deleting my articles and going home" put us at each other's throats. I've felt stepped on by other admins since then, with some situations resolved and some not. But I think I'm starting to become like the behaviour I dislike.
I felt pretty undermined and undervalued as a result of the "mindless deletion" charges bandied about during FFW, and that was the clincher. While I was irritated with the Spang/Elvis situation as well, it was at least resolved reasonably amicably. But I'm still pretty sure I can't do the work that I've done and be the admin I was if I have to look over my shoulder. While I do not wish to single out Hinoa here (because I like him muchly, and we patched things up), I'm about done with being watched while I work. Trust me to do a good job, keep your edit summaries civil, email me about concerns, support me in front of the users, and never accuse me (or anyone) of mindless, wanton deletion on a public forum.
We're united or we're not.
Honestly, if I sucked that bad, someone should have -S'd me a long, long time ago.
Fix this before it gets worse.
--02:59, 18 December 2006 (UTC)
- Todd, I think we all respect what you have done here and appreciate what you bring to the site. As far as the points you raise, I think that rare moment of complete unity has passed. With increased size, there will be disagreement between users, and when that size increases to a certain point, even between admins. I believe this is something that that is inevitable and unavoidable, and we must simply learn to live with it and work within it, if we wish to retain our positions as admins. You are certainly within your rights to leave your adminship behind if you don't want to work in this kind of environment (I can understand that as well, knowing you as being such a positive-oriented person). I think, so long as we have an idea of the culture we want to propagate (one of openness, relative respect for our fellow contributors [including the ones with whom we disagree], and an appreciation for fun), I can hang out here. I expect us to grow more, and for it to get worse, but I hope the rules we will put in place will correct a lot of them problems that I see as being inevitable. The other option would be to stop growth of the site entirely, and I see that as a very bad idea, so I'm content with where we are headed as a site. I realize that I could be in the minority in that regard, but there you go.-- 03:28, 18 December 2006 (UTC)
- Heck, I even respect what you've done. But yet I always thought it was the Guffawing Crow fiasco. I guess that African proverb was right... until the lions have their historians, tales of the hunt shall glorify the hunter. Bonus points for poking a sleeping dog with a pointed stick in a forum called "Unity". -- Imrealized ...hmm? 06:37, 18 December 2006 (UTC)
- Todd, as someone who was critical of FFW, I'd like to say that I don't think I or anyone else ever acused you of reckless wanton deletion. I believe some happened, but I have no evidence that you engaged in it, and if I were to make a guess from what I have seen of your behavior, I would bet that you didn't. Still, the fact that you didn't abuse the system doesn't make FFW a good idea. We might be able to get the same benefit out of your work with a "Todd has good judgement so he can delete any time" year.... ( 22:51, 18 December 2006 (UTC))
- But I do understand why it sucks to hear that criticism, even if broadly directed, not pointed against you specifically. I remember when I was working really hard at streamlining NRV and the other tags, and was spending a lot of time tagging, I really resented people (who, like I am now, hadn't been in the thick of things) calling the whole NRV thing careless and wanton and deletionist, and saying we were all misusing it. I knew at the time that there were still things to work out, and that the tag wasn't always being used to best effect, but I still felt hurt by the implication that all of my hard work was part of the problem. So I don't know what to tell you, other than that if people had intimate knowledge of specifics, they wouldn't be pointing their fingers in a general way that seemed to include you.... ( 22:51, 18 December 2006 (UTC))
- As for the closeness and tightknitness of the old group, I miss that too. And to be frank, I think its decline is a result of the CABAL dying. I remember a time when the channel consisted of the admins, myself, money, brad, tompkins, volte, anid, zb, and probably no more than a dozen more regulars. You got to know the admins, and the admins got to know you before granting you a ban stick. That seems like it is a lot harder now. The channel used to increase my productivity, but now I can't keep it open for long because there are so many people there that I don't know talking always about non-site related things. And I know lots of other admins have abandoned the channel too. It seems like if there was a better way for inter-admin communication and mingling that we could still be pretty tight even at several dozen active members.... ( 22:51, 18 December 2006 (UTC))
- Finally, I hope that you haven't become disenchanted with the site. Several days in a row now I have run across some hidden gems of your edits. So no matter what, write on, good man.--
22:51, 18 December 2006 (UTC)
- Thanks. I still remember the uproar over NRV, so I'm sympathetic for what that must've felt like. I remember feeling some initial resistance in moving to ICU, but after using it for a very short time I found it to be an improvement... all the benefits of NRV in a nicer package.
- As for writing... I'll try. At the moment I feel completely empty, and it's been a very long time since that's happened. Usually I've had more ideas than time to write them. But lately, I think I've felt more consumed than enriched.
- Much as I respect Brad and his opinions, it's difficult for me to accept that stepping all over each other is a natural and unavoidable consequence of growth. I've worked as a volunteer for many organizations IRL, and teamwork and unconditional support didn't seem the least bit hampered by the size of the place. Quite the opposite, in fact. Meeting organizational goals was hinged on the development and maintenance of that culture, and maintaining the cohesion of the team. I dunno if we need to form a bowling team, or go off in the woods together and hug and cry and beat drums a la Iron John, but something's gotta pull the group back together, I think. If we have to splinter into a subgroup of admins that make a concerted effort to stay linked at the arms, I'd do that. I just need to feel connected to something substantial, and not just floating out in space like I have been.
- Should something like that materialize, I'm agreeable to returning to "work" someday... though in all honesty the idea of being a lazy ass bureaucrat sitting in an overstuffed executive chair pondering which noob to +send to the front line is much more appealing. ;-) --
01:19, 19 December 2006 (UTC)
- Well, I certainly do have a lot of opinions, and appreciate that Todd is so accepting of that quality of mine. ;) I was the first to poo-poo FFW, but that was just me being me. I had an opinion on something and figured I'd better say something before we all ended up just agreeing with one another without thinking about whether we thought it was a good idea or not. That's kinda what I see as my role. Be a devil's advocate and see if a decision that has been made is the right one. Whenever someone criticizes something I do, I try to determine if there's something valid in their argument, anything at all, and try to adjust accordingly. If there is none, I laugh at them, but that's just the way I am. ;)-- 02:20, 19 December 2006 (UTC)
Eh, it depends on your point of view. I've always been lurking on the fringes. I've hopped on to IRC a half-dozen times at most. I don't email the rest of you, and I rarely leave a note on a talk page. I'm not an old friend of Chronarion's, and I'm not a founder of the site - I just am. However, I'm probably in the top half-dozen oldest admins.
I've never felt that the admins were somehow mystically united, because we never have been. While you may have felt it, Todd, we never have been. It's always been a collection of bizarre individuals who had their own ideas, and their own motivations. There have been plenty of admins I've disagreed with, and a few who I've felt were completely unsuited for the job. However, I've kidnapped and raped my zen, so I'm ok with that.
Pretty much I've watched what the rest of you do, and I assume that you're your own bizarre individuals with your own motivations. I don't usually complain about anything unless one of you really does something stupid, or is on the verge of really fucking something up. I guess what it comes down to is that I've signed myself up for a shitty job. It doesn't have any pay, benefits, or perks. It's grunt work which is rarely appreciated, and which draws a lot of negative energy.
- When I ban people for fucking up VFD, they bitch to me that it's not fair, even though it's them who's fucking it up, not me.
- When I delete shit, people complain, even though they are the ones who write utter shit, not me.
- When I see a spark of greatness in an article and save it, people complain because they want it gone.
- When I delete an utter pile of garbage, people complain because they think that someone, somewhere could make it good.
It doesn't matter what I do - people don't like it. If I let it get to me, I'd have made a sock puppet and gone back to writing long ago.
At the best, we're apathetically ambivalent to each other. At the worst, we're self-defeating and combative. Not that I really care what the rest of you do, as long as you aren't totally fucking stuff up. 12/19 01:52
- Famine is what we call a 'realist'
03:59, 19 December 2006 (UTC)
- Most people spell it "soul-crushing font of depression", but I'll take realist. 12/19 21:17
Maybe it's the change on IRC then... with a signal to noise ratio so far askew that it doesn't seem nearly as interesting as it once did. I miss Splarka, and knowing that in entering that chat room I had a good chance of hearing something amusing, interesting or productive.
Or perhaps apathy? I guess a group of people who don't interfere with each other because they couldn't care less can look the same as a group of people engaged in parallel effort toward a common goal. Whatever once existed, or didn't, I don't like where it's going. Mhaille's been on my IM list for a good long time, and maybe I should have taken more initiative to make that list longer. Realistically though, if no "golden era" ever existed or if I'm the only one troubled by the cacophony, then the problem is me. Or was. It's a non-issue now. --10:41, 19 December 2006 (UTC)
- I think you hit the nail on the head about IRC - by the time I poked my head in there, the noise drowned out whatever useful things might have been said. A while back there was a discussion about making an #Uncyclopedia_Cabal channel, for sysops to
plot schemediscuss and debate in. I think it might be time either for that, or to try expanding some IM lists, as you suggested.
- However, and let me be absolutely clear on this, I'm still 100% against making large-scale or emotionally charged decisions in these sorts of formats. Some added communication to let each other know what we're doing/thinking/planning would be good. But I'd really like to see open statements before any shit like went down recently gets decided on. And as for your comment on it perhaps being apathy - I found an apathy test online, but I didn't finish it. If you want to find out, you can look for it. I didn't bother bookmarking it. 12/19 21:17
- /me waits in the #@Uncyclopedia channel, which is empty except for him and has been for quite some time. Hmm... if only there were a convenient place for us all to meet admins... oh well, I guess it can't be helped. (wink wink, nod nod, know what I mean?)-- 21:22, 19 December 2006 (UTC)
Don't worry Todd, it's not just you, I know exactly what you mean. I'm tired and I hate typing long rants that take forever to read, so I'll make this as brief as possible.
When last summer came I found myself with a lot of free time on my hands, or at least a lot more than I was used to. Normally I spend nearly all of my free time on Uncyclopedia, but with all of this new time I found myself getting bored, and other people that had lives weren't around as much, so I decided to find something else to do. I took up Wikipedia - I knew that there were already several Uncyclopedians there (obviously) and I decided that I would join the ranks. It was great, there were 150 edits a minute and I bet 30 of those were vandalism, and I love to revert vandalism. I also got into Afd and after a couple weeks I was looking to actually be somebody. However, soon I found out that it's really hard to 'be somebody' in Wikipedia; the only sombodies I had heard of were Jimbo, Angela and some guy who's name I can't even remember anymore.Anyway, despite this, I decided to stay on with Wikipedia, because I still needed something to do, and I could get over just being another person in the crowd. Unfortunately, things got worse, I realized that alot of people editing Wikipedia were doing it for all of the wrong reasons, and a pretty big group of them were just plain old jerks.
So, I left. Summer was winding down anyway and it had been awhile since I had visited Uncyclopedia, i decided that I would just take a few more shifts for the time being, and get to visit with my old friends. This was great, except when I returned there were very few friends to visit with. This was fine, I figured it was still the whole 'I have a life' thing, and decided that I'd come back again as soon as the summer had ended. However, when I came back, it was much of the same, so many people were gone, and there were just as many new people - most of whom had some sort of humor-deficiency. I tried to deal with it, but couldn't, I left again, this time for 3 months or so, it wasn't too bad, I started reading, I got to have a life, but I still missed Uncyclopedia - which is why I'm here right now.
In the end, I'll always miss the good times, the 'golden age', when I was a noob and I got to wonder around listening to everyone talk, laughing at their jokes, even learning when everyone would get all intellectual. I loved it - more than anything else in my life at that point - and it was dissappointing when I came back and everything had changed, but I realized that Uncyclopedia was still Uncyclopedia, and even though the faces had changed, it was still the same place I had fallen in love with over a year earlier.00:28, 20 December 2006 (UTC)