An amazing observance.
Having been here since '99, and having weathered many web changes. But I have to note with some dismay and reservations with the webteam and forum moderators.
There have many a good forum members suspended and/or disiplined for expressing their opinion. Many of these same members have chosen no longer to post here because of this.
But here is what is causing my concern- how is these individuals are almost immediately taken to task, yet those registered under "guest" have a free reign. Many posts blatently violating the terms, especially those containing personal attacks, continue to be posted. Without any noticable intervention or discipline by the moderators.
Why do I feel that there is an effort to muster out many of those that have been here for years and have contributed greatly to the growth of this forum?
Last year I replaced all the windows in my house with those expensive double pane energy efficient kind. But this week I got a call from the contractor who installed them. He was complaining that the work had been completed a whole year ago and I hadn't paid for them.
Hellloooo? Now just because I'm blonde doesn't mean that I am automatically stupid.
So, I told him just what his fast talking sales guy had told ME last year. Namely that, in just ONE YEAR these windows would pay for themselves!
Helllooooo? It's been a year! (I told him) There was only silence at the other end of the line, so I finally just hung up He didn't call back.
Guess I won that stupid argument.
I have to agree with you on that. We all appreciate that monitoring a forum like this takes a lot of work. I am sure the Webteam has other work responsibilites and could use a few more on staff.
However, access to this forum is a product, one of which I gladly pay for every year. Most of the people here are decent and offer advice and differing opinions on a multitude of subjects.
Unfortuantely, I see history repeating itself here. Remember alt.firefighters on Usenet? It used to be a pretty decent forum for much of the same information posted here. That was until the spammers, nuts, attention seekers, and trolls took over. After a while the key posters stoped showing up and the list died.
I hope the anticipated forum software upgrades solves the guest problem. Customer service should drive the corrections here, but I don't see that hapening yet. Firehouse Forms, IMHO, is one of the best networking tools for fire service professionals. Hopefully, the forum administration will solve these problems and let us get on with sharing information.
This is the only forum I'm on that allows "guests" to post, this is a VBulletin powered forum it should be simple to put a stop to it. I', a mod on a different forum, when we get trolls we ban 'em and thats that
I see exactly what you are saying. I've had some very similar "gripes", and then some. Unfortunately, at least according to the WT's most recent practices, I see this thread being deleted, not just closed, as soon as they see it. We might be able to get somewhat of a response from them, but I'm sure it won't attempt to address any of our concerns, other than "moderating this takes a lot of time that isn't available due to limited # of employees doing the job". People have had good suggestions of ways to "correct" or "address" issues, but I'm sure those ideas won't be utilized.........
The key here would be to give some of the forum "veterans" moderator status. Firehouse.com can choose who they would like, and I feel that a lot of the problematic threads can be nipped in the bud.
I suggested the same thing but they only want employees to have that type of power which is understandable as has been said before their forum their rules.
I am glad that they are doing the job that they have to keep the forums decent.
No, it is not understandable. It is totally stupid. Every forum in existence on the internet is owned by someone. There is no free bandwidth and server space.... someone is paying for it. If they all said "sorry, only the people on payroll can moderate the forum", they would all have exactly one moderator/administrator. Firhouse.com is being extremely ignorant. This HUGE forum is only moderated once a week at most and only between the hours of 9am-5pm. There are many people on here who would make great moderators and have experience doing so in other forums for a long time. They would do it for free, just like every other forum on the internet.
But they can't figure out how to make the registration work properly after 4 years so I don't expect them to make forum moderators or improve the quality of life either.
Not really trying to poke holes in anyones arguments here, but the problem of the "guest" poster is a fairly new and recent venture. Its only been "here" since late Spring, I think. Prior to that, a new attendee was granted membership either at the basic (free) level, which allowed posting in any thread/forum or the nominal registration fee of $25.00 to belong to the Memberszone. I was a free member for over 5 years before buying into the Memberszone. No applause please, just throw money :D
The point I am trying to make is that NM's argument that allowing only employees to be forum moderators is, I think not a very strong one. Look at this this way. If anyone had adminstrator rights, which is what you would be granting in your scenario, then anyone could make changes to the entire system. Sure there are lockouts that can be put in place, but it seems to me that being an employee also garners some modicum of accountability as well. Whereas allowing anyone to be a moderator may reduce that accountability.
Of course these are just my thoughts.
On the contrary.
First, I did a search and found "Guest" user registration problems dating back to 2002. I'm sure the exact nature of the problem has varied, but it has been a problem none the less.
Second, there are many many levels of user, administrator, and moderator rights. Notice I have been using the term MODERATOR, not administrator. Forum software allows almost unlimited customized access levels. A moderator's only job is policing the forums for problems and tending to them at the forum level. This includes finding, locking, and moving/removing posts like those that have been made examples of here. It includes putting a stop/lock on threads that are spiraling out of control. It includes moving topics that might be in the wrong forum and informing the poster of the proper forum for the future. It includes being there to answer people's questions about what is allowed and how things work. It will not let you do anything else. It does NOT include adminstrator rights that can physically change or remove forum components, layout, or control user-banning.
This is done every day on thousands of forums just like this. People volunteer to be moderators and leave the administration up to the people who make the big bucks or pay for the site. It is desperately needed here because the current "webteam" system is badly flawed. Nobody is suggesting they give up control and just let anyone run the place. There are lots of responsible people here who have forum moderator or adminsitrator expierence who would be more than happy to help them for free as moderators. Nobody is asking for administrator rights and to change the rules.