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Old 02-19-2012, 02:00 PM
b.clancy b.clancy is offline
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Join Date: Before Nov. 1999
Location: Marion, MA
Posts: 436
Forum Behavior Issues (non-fishing content)

I've been pondering the recent thread closures in this forum and the subsequent discussion of behavioral problems and how to deal with them. I'd like to think there are solutions short of Peter P.'s approach of screening every post from posters on his Do Not Show list. I have to admit I wasn't clever enough to think of that solution for myself, but it clearly does have some appeal. So, short of adopting that approach or resorting to alternative websites, let me float a couple of ideas for discussion.

1. How about if we try to do a better job of policing ourselves? Specifically, I'm thinking about encouraging members to post a new thread if they feel another thread has become offensive. The new thread would state that maybe the such and such thread has gone too far, either in terms of stale content or, more likely, the maliciousness of some replies. No individuals need to be called out. If only a couple of other posters reply that they agree, no big deal- it's a non-event. But if a bunch of other members post agreement, then the moderator would have evidence that a number of members find the thread over the tolerance level of many forum participants. This would only take a few seconds of anyone's time. The thread noting an offensive thread could serve as a red flag to the moderator and possibly also to potential offending posters.
2. The moderator should have the full amount of discretion that he has currently w/ regard to threads/posts that go too far. i.e., he can close threads and suspend violating participants from posting for specified periods of time in the future. However, maybe we can have some published guidelines for suspensions, similar to drug testing in professional sports. So, a 1st time offender that causes a thread closure gets a suspension of xxx, but the penalty steps up for subsequent offenses.

Bob P., I'm not trying to make your job harder. I'm trying to make it easier. I'd also like to help you reduce your obvious frustration with some inappropriate posts. I believe that a solid majority of members here would support your showing an extremely low tolerance level toward certain behavior. So what do you think, folks? Can we collectively make this a more enjoyable site for civil discourse with a minimum of effort on any one individual's part? Any other simple ideas that won't impose significant extra burdens on moderators?
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Old 02-19-2012, 03:38 PM
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Onshore Onshore is offline
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Location: On the Indian River Lagoon, Melbourne, Florida
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Good idea, Bob. I'll settle for that and hope Bob P will.

This and other original paintings and fine art prints of fishing and marine subjects may be seen on my website
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Old 02-19-2012, 04:28 PM
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Bob Parsons Bob Parsons is offline
Join Date: Mar 1996
Location: Barnstable
Posts: 7,483
I'm all for getting help. But rather than posting a public thread, I would prefer a private message. We don't all see things the same way, so if I miss something a private message would be most helpful. Come summer when I've spent the morning fishing (if gas prices don't keep off the water), I'll have a heads up with problems that need to be dealt with.
Also I can not read private messages between posters, so if someone is sending inappropriate messages to you copy and paste them to me so I can take appropriate action.

But if you want to try the new thread alert posts, I no objection.
If at first you do not succeed-sky diving is not the sport for you.

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Old 02-19-2012, 05:24 PM
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ppatricelli ppatricelli is offline
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Location: Eugene, Oregon
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I shared most of what I am going to say here with Bob privately, just to let my opinion, for whatever it is worth, known, and put it out here for discussion.

In the years since the whole phenomenon of the internet and bulletin boards started I have seen a number of fishing BB's come and go. Several of the vry first were priceless gems of information and one could have written several excellent how-to books right off the postings.

Two of those eventually died altogether. The common denominator, seemed to me, was that through sale or whatever, the level of moderation dropped and the mean and nasties took over and drove the old-timers off and scared the newbies away. It is not enough to just separate the combatants. A board needs to be a FUN and safe place to come and read and write.

On the other hand, the boards that are currently thriving and, one with FEWER members than Reeltime, and have a MUCH more active, day-to-day posting and sharing content, are VERY strongly moderated by people who have a strong personal stake in the success of the board.

If Bob is NOT getting any renumeration for his effort then I feel really badly and despair of any expectation that he could put in the time and effort to turn this thing around. No blame there at all, but having a strong personal stake makes a big difference in how much of the mile one is consistently willing to go.

From the largest, most active board I know:

"Bottom line: this board is a forum for the positive exchange of fly fishing information. It is a forum for learning, sharing, having fun, and making new fly fishing friends."

Emphasis on POSITIVE. After several years of watching how this board operates , and having been "moderated" a number of times (and I KNOW how to play well with others...I think), I would paraphrase the philosophy as this. There are lots of problems the people here feel differently and passionate about, from politics, religion, fishing gear, etc., etc., but NONE of those issues will ever be solved by discussion on this board and allowing the airing of those DIFFERENCES only casuses ill will and emnity between the posters. THAT inhibits the "learning, sharing, having fun, and making new fly fishing friends." Therefore it will not be tolerated.

The moment a thread or posting becomes contentious, it DISAPPEARs, either the whole thread or the individual, related postings. Not shut down for everyone, not left there for people to read and get mad DISAPPEARS. No explanation...just GONE...POOF! And if it was something you know you stepped over the line and that will not be tolerated repeatedly for long.

Sometimes I felt it was unfair, someone attacked me and I, with civility, defended myself. Poof, both the attack and my defense....gone.

But, in the long run I appreciate that this incredibly useful and active board IS just that BECAUSE of the moderation.

Bottom line, what we all share here is a love of fishing, a certain form of fishing, in a certain geographic area, and primarily for a certain fish. THAT is what brings us together. If that is all I know and have to deal with I could go fishing for a day with every other person on this board. But, allow even a "civil" discussion of national pollitics, religion, you name the controversial topic and suddenly there are people here I really don't feel all that comfortable with, have a much diminished interest in "sharing" (even just fishing info) with. That is just reality and how it works. Nothing I might say on the BB (or eslewhere) will ever change their mind, and very probably vice why go there, or allow the "going to there" on the board.

I personally would like to see RT return to something I previously really enjoyed and was willing to put a lot of energy into. To some degree I think it suffers severely from an identity crisis. It was once a RECREATIONAL FLY FISHING BOARD. To the degree that some people here are not primarily interested in THAT (and that is where 95% of the dis-civility occurs), we have a board that is the equivalent of a democratic/republican bulletin board discussing social spending, economic safety net issues. With about the same degree of civil sharing that THAT BB would have. To the degree that there is not a common, agreed identity, then the degree of rancor will continue.

Personally, just drawing from what I have seen here and elsewhere, I don't see any workable alternative to strong, consistent, moderation from one or several people with a common standard. It is the old law of Entropy. Without a constant input of energy and organization, there is a slow, constant trending to chaos.

I wish Bob well. RT has gotten pretty long in the tooth. There is very little gear, technique sharing (and about WHICH type of gear...since this is even less a FF'ing board than it once was), and VERY little evidence of newbies asking basic gear questions (again, the identity issue, WHICH gear?). I am not at all convinced that an ALL gear, ALL technique, recreational AND commercial fishing board does not suffer, intrinsically, from a terminal, self-consuming disease. And if it does, let it R.I.P.
Peter Patricelli

Here's looking at you...kid

Last edited by ppatricelli; 02-19-2012 at 05:39 PM..
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Old 02-19-2012, 08:27 PM
riptide riptide is offline
Join Date: Before Nov. 1999
Location: Bourne
Posts: 3,091
For what its worth 1 of the best boards that I'm a member of with by far the most detailed and helpful information is a pay to play board with screen names but also the users real name. The combination of a modest fee And the lack of anonymity Has all been eliminated any issues whatsoever. Although the fee may only be 20 or 30 dollars, getting kicked off the board has a financial ramifications and getting back on cost you more money if they'll allow you back. People will think twice about making snide comment when it starts costing them real money. And having A true name To go along with the screen name also makes people think twice before they speak. Don't get me wrong I like having the free site avalable, but if it takes a little bit of money and putting a true name behind a screen name to make a better environment for the exchange of ideas and reports then I'm all for it.
Good Luck,

Capt. Terry Nugent
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Old 02-19-2012, 09:38 PM
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Bob Parsons Bob Parsons is offline
Join Date: Mar 1996
Location: Barnstable
Posts: 7,483
Peter I am not paid, do this because I like to help.

Terry's comments about a paid board make a lot of sense, when this board started out, a person could be extremely anonymous and the flame wars were incredible.
If at first you do not succeed-sky diving is not the sport for you.

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Old 02-20-2012, 11:46 AM
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bonefishdick bonefishdick is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: E Bridgewater, MA & Sanibel, FL
Posts: 1,582
My Two Pennies

When I first started on reel Time I did it because I saw it as a means of having access to a vast amount of Angling Knowledge and being new to salt water Fly Fishing it was not long before the dividends were being realized.

I will admit it is very easy to get caught up in all the various subjects and get emotionally charged up and carried away to the point you end up getting yourself "Band" (Only One Time For Me)

I have decided to monitor myself and just play it close to the vest and just not let myself get caught up in some of the "Gill Nets" seen on some of the Forums any more.

I think we have all been on Reel Time long enough to know when you read the posts and or reply's what to expect when you just see who wrote it. When I see those names I myself just don't bother to read them anymore and it keeps me out of trouble.

The best analogy I can give would be playing online poker against a guy who is always "All In"or Bully Bets every Hand. Somehow you always end up loosing to them in the end. Not worth giving them the time of day. If you don't acknowledge them they will go away or change their game.

Now I just post reports, ask for information (with the hopes of getting a reply or PM) or give my opinion on equipment if I feel I can contribute something.
" The Tug Is The Drug "

Last edited by bonefishdick; 02-20-2012 at 11:48 AM.. Reason: correct typo
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Old 02-20-2012, 01:30 PM
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Soundking Soundking is offline
I come to play baby!
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Location: Beverly
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Nah, I'm with you, Bob. If my post came off as critical of yours I apologize as that wasn't my intent. Just a stupid caffeine addled rant on my part. I think that if any special powers should be given they should just be to let things roll as they have a way of taking care of themselves.

I like talking about fishing, gear, technique, and tactics. Unfortunately there seems to be none of that here. I wish people would fish more around here.
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