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Management Issues (Thread)

I'm not particularly one to cause a stink about something, less so make drama. I can get frustrated, but I generally let people carry on. I don't like to interject my opinions places, or pry myself into other people's issues.

However, this has got to stop.

This issue has been around for awhile now, and it's coming to the point where the site seems almost unappealing. It's good to see new mods, new suggestions, etc. However, it's not good to see mods quitting, admins getting butthurt, and shitstorms coming from the people who should be preventing them.

I understand all the mods are members and have some level of emotional/time investment in the site. Everybody has an idea how things should be done, and not all ideas work together. Good leaders should be able to cooperate and get things done. Good leaders can set aside differences and negotiate in a calm manner. Good leaders don't quit because something isn't going correctly or over hurt feelings.

This isn't high school, this is a website. I don't care who did what, how one thing may be more justified, who is at fault, etc... All I know is that, as Noodle said, this is all crazy unstable. This isn't how a governing body should look or act. I'm not acting any single member or group of people. I'm going to remain unbiased on who is causing what. The underlying issue is we have gears trying to spin in opposite directions, sparks flying, and whole lot of nothing getting done.

I propose that either the moderates, a select group of people, or even the entire site have a discussion about how problems should be dealt with. This system of "Throw around ideas and hope they stick" approach isn't working. I see a lack of structure, communication, and organization. If it works, I have no issue with an admin run dictatorship. However, that does not seem to be working.

I want to stick around, I want to see this site grow. I want us to be the next big anime discussion site someday. However, at this rate, we'll kill ourselves faster than we can expand.

Please, consider my suggestion. We need to revise our current approach to administration, regarding the site.

I propose that either the moderates, a select group of people, or even the entire site have a discussion about how problems should be dealt with.

Do you think our staff is completely handicapped? They are discussing this and they have done so for a very long time. They just don't agree about everything.

Sorry I just looked through this whole post, because I have a headache and need to go to sleep. Hopefully a second post will get a discussion going.

Thanks, @VivoDePyre, for unintentionally backing up what a few Moderators including me and @Kirn have been trying to get our current administration to realize.

You see, currently our moderators are filling the roles of janitors cleaning shit, nothing else.
Lack of trust from the administration for the rest of the staff led to a state where two moderators already decided to quit, while others simply dropped in activity.

I for one did not decide to quit lightly, and in case you're interested in my reasoning, there's a log:
http://pastebin.com/aPuVLUix

I agree with your point, the current course of CL will drive us against another few walls rather sooner than later. People are feeling uneasy and the issues have been noticed by quite a lot of our members.

I think a simple solution to some of the problems would be to use polls for things that the Developers and Mods can't agree on. Sure, it's not as fast as just deciding yourself, but it's more stable.

I'm glad that Gargron is back on the site, I liked it when the creator was part of the community, but If drama like this is gonna happen, then I think maybe the ownership of the site should be divided. That way if a mistake happens, then it can either be sorted by another person, or it was more than one persons fault and they can all take the blame <('.'<)

After reading over the entire pastebin and Noodle's quick response, I do want to add in this for clarification.

I don't believe that the staff or admins are incompetent. I don't think anybody needs to be cut, or that anybody is doing anything wrong.

I simply believe that both sides are fighting for representation, and that the focus has shifted less from the site and more to administration itself. I understand what DC means about being a simple brainless maintenance man, and also what Acostoss says about the moderators position and how much power they have. I can't pick which of these sides is right after hearing the issue about an hour ago.

I can see, however, that there in no progress being made on the issue. I don't want to make a change in the structure, I want to change how we make changes. How ideas/suggestions are reviewed, that voices are heard, etc. Perhaps even more so, how people try to be heard.

In other words, I don't care what the problem is. Less drama and more organization will promote faster development and easier transitions/changes.

Have to agree with @VivoDePyre here, absolutely in all points but that doesn't mean something here. You might have seen it in a few posts, on chat or anything else. If a certain someone changes his mind, he once again makes promises he can't keep and yet he demands that we put our trust in him.

That all wouldn't be a problem if there indeed was a reasonable, caring person in the administrations who has the time to talk with people and actually reassure them than being all hush hush about things the community should know. Yet again, currently in this place this doesn't mean anything as you might have seen.
No wonder that most of the mods got appointed wthout asking the otehr moderators, this is not a "team environment" here. This is simply an unfair, badly organized place, nothing more and instead of making threads for the issue we the community should stay quiet because:

And I quote our dev here:

"Isn't that how it works though? I own, acostoss manages, ryan stays out and mods keep the forums clean."

"I am not quite okay with the way people think about the way that things are. My relationship with acostoss is based on trust. I technically and rightfully own this site as its creator and founder, which means no more nor less that I am the absolute executive power. Can't do nothing about it, this is a web application and not a country. But I listen to acostoss. I trust that he may know better what there is to be done. That doesn't mean that I cannot do things on my own, or that my "dev-only" position is lower than what it was before. It means that if acostoss tells me that something I want to do is wrong, I will change it in a way that he likes it or drop it altogether. Which basically happened here."

See where this is going? So that thread might be labled as something they like to call "shitstorm" again and it once more might not even change anything. Also here another quote.

I understand that you can lose hope on a site if it fucks up too much. Terrible, inaccessible and badly-readable design, long loading times and ad pop-ups or viruses can drive me off somewhere pretty quickly! On the other hand, as long as interesting content is there, I would keep coming back the site. Content is king, not users, not fancyness, only content.

Why not users, do you ask? Well, if I read shitty little post without any value, will I care about who wrote it? I don't think so. If I read a very interesting contribution to a question that I, too, have been asking myself, will I care about who wrote it? No, again not. Only if I would like it so much that I would want to see more of where it's coming from, I would show interest in who wrote it, and follow their other posts. Content is king.

I made my point on the other site already and now I'm only sad that everything turned out this way, repeating time and time again. So there's pretty much nothing we can change since we seem unreliable, unreasonable and moody for the "upper heads" of CL just because we do not agree with everything.

@VivoDePyre Less drama is key , I agree. nice thread.

What we need:
Rules. Spelled out clearly. Enforced.

Most forums have rules like:

"You agree, through your use of this service, that you will not use this forum to post any material which is knowingly false and/or defamatory, inaccurate, abusive, vulgar, hateful, harassing, obscene, profane, sexually oriented, threatening, invasive of a person's privacy, or otherwise violative of any law.
By using this site, you agree to respect the administrators, staff, and other members, as well as following any and all rules and/or conventions." (this is from Boajjang btw, but I removed the obey part. You should listen to the mods but not obey other members. Ambiguity of language lol)

Modify that to what we need. You want adult content? fine , put the rule that it must be spoiler-tagged or something. Add something like you will be banned if you break any of the rules. Add things like a mod's decision is final and will be revised with sufficient evidence. 3 day ban after violation, then permaban. Things that are so cliche on other sites but is missing here, needs to be spelled out. Etched into the stones and all that. It has to be written. Not all people have actual mental upbringing and/or maturity to know what proper Internet etiquette is!

Will drama occur nonetheless ? Yes. That's what mods are for: to regulate when this kind of thing happens. But when rules are vague and not always enforced... it's difficult and confusing for both mods and users alike. Also much more room for potential butthurt. People do not think the same. You need to spell out things like above for them because obviously not everyone knows what "offensive" means but they might understand those big words there. (did I disprove my point there?) Also it makes it easier for mods to know when or when not to ban a person. Because the rules are clear.

We had good mods who used common sense even without spelled out rules. Not many are left. But because of things not being spelled out, of course it is difficult to go on. Structure is vital for any community.

For those tall skyscrapers, you need a sturdy, solid foundation.

All those forums that go through 5-10 years and are ongoing? Maybe we should learn some things from them. Manners for one. Teamwork and set duties for each mod. Thick skin. Always thick skin. Getting fat helps. But its up to you if you want to look like a balloon or not. That last part is a lie btw.

Drama queens problem? Easy: Instead of too many drama queens I suggest we narrow that down to one and let it be me. Will be easier for all I daresay. I can be dramatic ya know.

Rules we brainstormed about.
Had quite a few great ones already spelled out.
Died down rather quickly, now you'll have to wait til our admin finds some time to write them on his own. No team-based project to find there.
Enforcing current rules was mostly prohibited, as we've gotten to a "don't ban anyone, don't delete anything"-policy lately.
Bad publicity is what papa smurf wants to avoid, yet by keeping the bad content/users on the side, what could possibly be worse publicity?

Duties for each mod are now simple cleaning. If possible they form a suggestion box. That's about it.
Teamwork has been attempted yet cockblocked by the superiors, since they don't trust the staff members enough to openly work with them.
But I guess we were good at teamwork, if you mean talking hundreds of random lines a day on the secondary skype staff conversation, waiting for papa to arrive and tell us some of his stories.

This, I will say, is refreshing. No bashing, thus not a shitstorm.

Again, I will make my point about other sites. Look at any other forum, and what goes on? Users make the content, and say nothing else. Many forums have a rule stating "bitch about the staff, the site, etc, and expect a ban". We didn't want to do that, to allow you more freedom.

Sadly, we didn't think this through, as, as soon as you give a kid a bit of slack, they'll want to see how far they can pull it. If they get a sizable amount, they'll start to complain when you don't give them any more.

I do agree that the management is kinda wonky, and needs to be changed. The starts of that are already being seen in the ToS and Guidelines on the other site, still a WIP though. We need clearly defined lines between what mods, users, and admins can do.

Now, let's take a look at the team. Despite me making it clear MANY times that our modus operandi was to "Put in spam if it is useless, lock if it is objectionable, and delete if it is truly bad. If a dupe, merge into the oldest." Did this ever fucking happen? No! You thought that, despite me being the team leader, that you can do what you'd like. DC deleted threads at his leisure, hardly ever locked any, and not once in the logs have I seen him move something to spam. The same holds true for Kirn, though sprinkle in more bans to inflate his ego.

Now, what did I do? Sadly, it is my fault. I did not put my foot down, and made you fuckers listen to me. I instead gave you more slack, allowing you to think you had more power. You are moderators on a web forum, you are meant to clean up threads, make good posts, and generally be a good user and role model.

Instead, we have seen you bitching about how you only clean the forums and I don't include you in discussions that don't need your input, made good posts, and made many threads bashing different members of the staff, spoke of us in the chat, and many other things that are quite unbecoming of a staff member. Again, this is my fault, for not putting my foot down. I gave the kiddies too much slack, and this is what I get for it.


Either way, this is the current plan: We're setting rules in place that will make things a bit more strict on the users and the staff. We will be conducting all meta announcements in the little announcements sidebar, and any meta threads will be swiftly deleted, and anything concerning meta will be asked to be sent to the email hello@thecolorless.net. I check this email daily, multiple times a day, and everything on it is sent to my phone, as well. The email also receives all messages that are sent to hai@thecolorless.net, for legacy reasons. I will continue to fill people in on what's important, and moderators in on what is important to them. Being a staff member doesn't entitle you to know each and every decision that is made, sadly.

If it was, I'd be naught more than a messenger, something I refuse to be.

Hate me for it if you'd like, but you've asked for more strictness, and there will be. We'll have more structure, prepare for it.

@DarkChaplain

Teamwork has been attempted yet cockblocked by the superiors, since they don't trust the staff members enough to openly work with them.

Looks like I was right, there!

Also, get it through your minds, I do not HAVE to tell you anything. Doing so is quite odd, looking at other forums. We want to be like others, you have said in the past, wanting features that are like other forums. You fought so hard for bbcode all this time, as well.

But no, we need a pants-on-head retarded way of discussing everything?

No. I discuss with you what needs to be discussed. End of story. Everything that is decided is announced to the users. That is transparency. Involving everyone in every discussion is not transparency, it is democracy, something that will never get work done.

@Shirosuke Kinda already done in the ToS and Rules, though they need to be fleshed out. Kirn can testify that I was to discuss things with him and DC today, had they not jumped the boat.

I am sorry that I have a job, and need to support myself, and that you guys, the staff that jumped ship, are mostly NEETs, have all the time in the world to bitch at me because I cannot discuss the Rules with you at a time that's convenient with you, because I need to sleep.

No wonder that most of the mods got appointed wthout asking the otehr moderators, this is not a "team environment" here

An absolute fucking lie. The entire mod-appointment discussion took a fucking month because I got detailed writeups from each and every mod that wished to write them, then discussed with everyone on whom they'd like to have. Noone was a surprise, though Yotsuba came a tad bit later than others, as I had to get in contact with him, as he was on vacation when we finished things.

Please, have fact before trying to defile my name.

Now, I will go with what VivoDePyre is saying. We need less of this fighting. I did not start this, you guys did. When you stop, I will stop defending myself, unless you wish for me to exercise my power and lock the thread. You have quit, you are now a normal user. Thus, you will be fed information, keeping the transparency into what we will be doing. Every change is announced on the site, except for the recent mixups. Even then, those were announced on FB and Twitter.

The moderator restructuring will be taking place, watch for it. Rules are nearly finished, watch for them. ToS needs to be rewritten/reworded, watch for it. I will be fixing your mistakes, and my own, with this. Watch for it. You start bashing the site again, without it being civil like this thread, I will take action, watch for it.

@Admin
you might not HAVE to tell us everything, but then don't come along from day one about how much you value transparency, how you are "admin for the public eye only, but everything is decided by the whole team" etc.

I have to clearly state my disappointment in you, as a user, as a person, as a leader.
It is almost absurd just how much you have betrayed the very ideals you've picked yourself when Gargron retreated from the public and installed you as our admin.

The more time went by, the less open you became.
From checking Moderator Applications, which took weeks to even reach the other staff members, together as a group, within just a few weeks, it became apparent how radically you reduced the involvement of others in your "grand vision for CL".
With every new moderator installed, the actual staff took less part in the decision. Not by choice, but because that's how we got decisions presented.

I ask you right here and now, what happened to the bazillion of projects you've planned throughout your career? How many times did you tell us how many episodes of the "podcast" you could fill with the material you had? How many episodes did get released after the random pilot? None.
It's the same with a lot of stuff.
Endless delays, postponing relevant shit, ignoring the help offered.

I don't give a fuck about your personal ticks and how you're not a team player and how you have a busy real life.
Always took you as responsible enough to realize your own shortcomings and take help when you couldn't fulfill your role as good as necesary, or took too long for something. This was one of the things that has been criticised about Gargron before, and it's the same for you.
With the rising amount of power and "importance" on the site, you've grown ever tighter lips and got ever more envious to share the role of leadership.

And trust me, this is not an observation I alone made. Users who are quite active have made that one, and even those who hardly ever participate in "meta" discussions.
You're too full of yourself, too proud for what little gets actually done in due time.

It will always be difficult for things to be sorted out when everyone lives in different timezones/has jobs/is on a boat, but we really need to create a way for all of the mods to make decisions without muchbacklash.
One way would be for the aforementioned polls.
Another would be to have a meeting at a certain time each week, all formal and stuff and make decisions there, with the minutes of the meeting being posted on the forums.

you might not HAVE to tell us everything, but then don't come along from day one about how much you value transparency

Transparency != discussing everything with everyone. It's making sure everyone knows whats coming. I took it a step further, and allowed discussing on it, and took suggestions, when needed. I was more than transparent. Much moreso than Gargron, whom dropped two board revisions, before I cam into power, on our face, without even so much as a 5 minute warning. Things popped up that noone knew about, until a couple hours later, he'd talk about them.

how you are "admin for the public eye only, but everything is decided by the whole team"

That plan changed, due to me disliking the idea of lying so blatantly, and the fact that I saw it never working. I know that I had spoken of it in the past to everyone, so much so that no other mod has said anything of the sort to me.

Either way, dislike me as you may, I am in power, and things are changing, much to your liking. Then, give me a couple months, and you'll be bitching again, never happy with the slack you are given.

You seem to be rather displeased with this otherwise you wouldn't have made one post after another.
I already know that you guys did a lot of stuff together in the beginning, but as I have witnessed things now from different point of views this is not the case anymore.

I also will not deny that some moderators that were appointed WITHOUT a discussion with the staff seem to be worthy of the title, but as an average user I have to say that this is a rather unfair treatment for everyone, the mods back from the old days, those that had to go through that trial period and the testing as well as those who were appointed without such meassures.

And please try to think before you call other people "liars" it would be much appreciated that you do not turn the facts around for your favour. Since I am to my regret now rather well informed in those matters. :3
You've been an admin for more than three months now and already result to such things as "yeah it didn't work right away" so it has to be changed!"
I respect you and your ways since you are as (well) not more than a mere human being but you said in the beginning that we were allowed to point out your mistakes and we should not be afraid. So there it is, if you still want to entitle me as a liar, then be my guest.

It's not my intention to steer anything up by saying that, but I have seen how hard it is to actually work with you especially when you and Gargron are not able to place some trust in "your team" at all.
Also you said that you would ban Kirn if he would take action even though he already made it clear times and times again that he will only ban those who deserve it. Yet some fellow of your team unbanned some critters because of the lack of evidence, which is actually very funny for a few others.

http://thecolorless.net/thread/479636#p482348 oh and look what we have here, things from the not so distant past. I actually liked that...

If the person changes but the complaints stay the same, maybe the complaints are flawed and not the people.

The three of you hated on me, now you hate on acostoss, who is actually a lot better at being likeable than me? I suppose making one of you the owner would really fuck you up, that'd be interesting.

If you dislike me or aco, you are always free to gtfo.

@Gargron
Or maybe the same behaviorism takes place when certain people are placed in positions of power and grow too fond of them.
Momo has not always been in a position where he was attacked for his style of leadership. However, people have already voiced their concerns on how his style is growing similar to your's before.

Also, dear Nekoboy, we did not "hate on you", but we did harshly criticise your actions. Look, Momo was part of that, and now he's on par with you. He "gargled balls" (oh I love that term) to reach the position he is in now, reformed people's complaints about your actions in a way you did not feel like he was "hating on you". Added the exact right amount of dick-petting to be successful.

But let me assure you, as opposed to you, Momo at least has a few leadership qualities and doesn't piss his pants about some silly picture twice. Don't worry about that, your role isn't being threatened.

As for getting the fuck out, can't do that. As long as there are people in this community I even remotely care about, I'll work for their sakes as I always did, before modhood or during that period of time. I've never worked for you or acostoss, but the people of CL, cuz to me, its not content that is king, no matter how important it is, but the users which keep this site interesting. Without users, no content, you see?

... ... hate? Sir, I think you are a bit confused here, this isn't hate, I don't insult him, I respect him (@acostoss) and even you for the work you have done until now I also hghly respect @glassx.
Also hate is the oposite of love, so I had to like someone in the first place before I hated that person, I do not really know you @Gargron, thus I can't hate you or like you.
You are just another person who seems very childish to me sometimes, especially if someone hasn't the same mindset as you and you seem to needlessly overdramatize things, even if it's not necessary. That is all.
We all do stupid things when we are angry but we should learn from them, simply shutting down a site or a person because of such matters is really childish to me. If you think differently then it's okay.

the point is and I hope you will read that well:
I actually really like your site, especially the design, so I am shocked to see, that even though I said that a couple of times, you still provide that funny little "hating card".
That is not really nice of you.
Plus it is desturbing that you think of yourself so highly that you actually mean we could hate you. As I said we all here barely know you at all and are only able to see such reactions:

If the person changes but the complaints stay the same, maybe the complaints are flawed and not the people.

The three of you hated on me, now you hate on acostoss, who is actually a lot better at being likeable than me? I suppose making one of you the owner would really fuck you up, that'd be interesting.

If you dislike me or aco, you are always free to gtfo.

o__o

PS. here are some links that will show others how much we actually "hate" you:
http://dev.thecolorless.net/posts/show/201
http://dev.thecolorless.net/posts/show/62

weird isn't it? I do not see any hate here though I must say that I am hugely disappointed because the things that @Admin wrote here are really anything else but nice, so I guess you are alike in that way. o__o

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