"the tightest rectums are in the Activism moderators of THR" hurts activism


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hso
September 11, 2010, 06:36 PM
We'll use this to provide a place for the sidebar discussion in the TRU Activism thread.

Want to start a discussion on how you think the moderation in Activism somehow quashes effective activism on behalf of RKBA, Activism Discussion.

You're correct Guillermo, "the tightest rectums are in the Activism moderators of THR", but that's because there's the constant challenge of keeping folks on-task and not injecting sidebar/OT/negativism into these threads pulling and pushing the discussion in two or three different directions diverting the energy that needs to be focused on the task at hand. Do keep in mind that plenty of good ideas are out there, but they don't all belong in specific task meetings. They deserve their own Activism threads or they belong in preliminary planning meetings that should take place in Activism Discussion.

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Guillermo
September 16, 2010, 06:13 PM
How can you decide the best course of action without debate?

I agree but the moderators on Activism are much less flexible than the moderators in other areas.

THR is a special place so while I find this inconsistency annoying it is one of the few.

If you want to appreciate THR go visit the other board (I can't mention the name as that would not be "high road"). You will come back here and want to kiss them on the mouth, although most will not appreciate that. :D

I suggest that you keep your comments very specific and mention the OP in every post or they will be deleted without explanation.

Guillermo
September 16, 2010, 11:30 PM
Activism is for presenting plans of action on behalf of RKBA

The opportunity to discuss and debate the best course of action with a little "elbow room" would assist in the effectiveness of the activism.

In my company, when we are trying to make a decision, we do the exact opposite of total control. We "brainstorm" so that we can get all of the ideas on the table, sift through them, and then distill it down to the best idea.

In my opinion, it would be useful to have a free forum where we can be creative, without fear of retribution from THR staff, and come up with some great ideas to help the RKBAs.

This is the only section of THR where I get concerned that I might get reprimanded by a moderator. (the only other place on THR that I have been reprimanded the moderator apologized to me afterwards)

The sad thing is that this section is the place where we need the MOST creativity because this is the section where we attempt to preserve our freedom.

Jorg Nysgerrig
September 16, 2010, 11:35 PM
In my opinion, it would be useful to have a free forum where we can be creative, without fear of retribution from THR staff, and come up with some great ideas to help the RKBAs.

You mean like the rarely used Activism Discussion and Planning (http://www.thehighroad.org/forumdisplay.php?f=47) subforum?

Guillermo
September 17, 2010, 12:27 AM
You mean like the rarely used Activism Discussion and Planning subforum?

no

I would like to have the planning and initiation not "stovepiped" and "partitioned" like a Clinton intelligence network which stopped us from preventing 9-11.

And I would like the moderation consistent with the rest of THR.

Please understand...I appreciate the job that all of the moderators do. We can all improve, especially most us member folks. And I include myself in that group as my passions sometime get the better of me. I am NOT being pious here.

It is NOT my intention to take you guys to task because I appreciate the job that you do and thank you for doing it.

Perhaps my impression is incorrect, but it seems that the tightest rectums are in the Activism moderators of THR.

Sorry for the tangent.

esquare
September 17, 2010, 07:52 AM
Frankly I agree with the activism protocol here. The problem is that someone posts an activism thread and it also seems that someone else comes along and for whatever reason tries to detail the discussion of how best to achieve that activism. For the life of me I don't know why people do this. If snubbies really didn't think boycotts would work, why didn't he start a new thread called "Have boycotts really worked in the past? I think we should focus on CCW in IL instead..."? (Sorry to pick on you, just you're the most recent example).

These threads are to move people to do something. If someone doesn't feel moved, that's fine, but unless it's constructive to the thread, why argue about it? Think of it this way, we 'brainstorm' in the other sections, but in Activism, let's get to work and focus on the task at hand.

Guillermo
September 17, 2010, 10:14 AM
we agree to disagree

TexasRifleman
September 17, 2010, 06:58 PM
The problem is that someone posts an activism thread and it also seems that someone else comes along and for whatever reason tries to detail the discussion of how best to achieve that activism. For the life of me I don't know why people do this.

Very well put, and that's exactly the problem and exactly why the discussion forum is in a different place.

The root word of Activism is ACT, not TALK.

I'm not sure why this causes any confusion or consternation to be honest. It seems fairly simple.

Guillermo
September 17, 2010, 07:06 PM
Well I have stated my case and you are free to agree or disagree.

One thing that we CAN agree on is that this section of THR is the most stringent.

An admittedly unscientific sampling of different areas of THR show that Activism is one of the least visited and commented on areas.

As virtually all THR member care about the RKBA this area should be the most visited.

That it is not harms the cause.

Since you disagree with my theory as to why this is I will happily listen to your theory or theories.

TexasRifleman
September 17, 2010, 07:10 PM
You are right, it's the most tightly regulated area on THR.

You are right, it should be the most visited.

Where we disagree is on WHY it should be the most visited. It should be the most visited because it should present a coherent, organized, actionable plan to address whatever specific problem the thread was created to address, not have a roundtable discussion with 40 different tangents about maybe what we could do if this or if that.

People should be able to go in there, see one or 2 simple things they could do to help; email, call, write a letter, contact a legislator, etc. and go PERFORM that action in a short timeframe. If the threads go 5 pages of conversation the quick glance to see "what can I do today between my coffee and my conference call" is lost.

It's not a theory, it's intentionally designed that way.

Guillermo
September 17, 2010, 08:15 PM
it's intentionally designed that way

Since it is among the least visited, logic dictates that the design should be questioned.

TexasRifleman
September 17, 2010, 09:10 PM
The sad truth is that activism is always one of the least popular areas of gun ownership.

Look at even such a simple thing as the number of NRA/GOA/SAF members as compared to the overall number of gun owners.

Forum design and policy are not the cause of this, it's simple apathy.

Guillermo
September 17, 2010, 09:23 PM
Forum design and policy are not the cause of this, it's simple apathy

I am a pretty motivated fellow and I do not often come in here because of the moderation so I know that your theory is not 100% correct.

As it seems unlikely that anything else is going to be tried I guess we will never know.

And because of that the RKBA activism will suffer.

Floppy_D
September 17, 2010, 09:37 PM
Since it is among the least visited, logic dictates that the design should be questioned.

I wholeheartedly disagree. I think it doesn't see much traffic because there's so little that you can actually do there. Taking a non-shooter to the range is gun activism. Inviting a gunowner who doesn't shoot much out to a competition is activism. Encouraging your gun-owning friends to join the NRA and their state's associations is activism. I take non-shooters to the range every chance I get, but I don't need to start a thread on it. There's lots to do at the grassroots level.

If I owned a forum, I too would be heavy in the moderation of anything "Activism and Planning," for fear of legal repercussions from things that forum members had "planned." Something gets out of hand, and fingers start getting pointed.

To be fair, the guys who run this board do a whole boatload for activism by providing a forum to discuss gun-related things. How many "I'm new to guns I need help" threads pop up daily? If a person interested in guns has some of the barriers taken down, gets the chance to read about safety, and learns what he/she needs to avoid an accident ... isn't that activism?

orionengnr
September 17, 2010, 09:43 PM
TexasRifleman hit the nail on the head.

Far too many come to talk, and do nothing but talk.

Far too many discussions de-volve into what used to be allowed under "Legal and Political" and those, almost without exception, quickly become urinating contests...utterly unproductive, devastatingly divisive and absolutely asinine. Think I can sneak in one more alliteration? :) Nah, that'll do it.

I come here to read, not to post. When the conversation is derailed and subsequently closed, we all lose. But that is on the people who go off-topic, not on the mods. The rules are there to keep discussion focused; when that breaks down, the thread has lost it's raison d'etre.

Nushif
September 17, 2010, 09:52 PM
I don't really think Apathy is the main cause. I have my own theories on that, but thtat's neither here nor there.
Point is though, that activism does need a bit of comingling with talking. Otherwise how can we come up with a plan to for instance do an open carry on a campus?

We could for instance write some sort of guide on "How to do a pro 2nd Amendment event via these forums."

That would probably help a lot of people make heads and tails of this left brain/right brain disconnect.

hso
September 17, 2010, 10:26 PM
The problem is that Activism Discussion is neglected. Guillermo, I don't understand the barrier to using AD to brainstorm and Activism as the workshop after the brainstorming?

Look at other websites and parse the real action from the hand wringing and chest beating. There's a lot of talk, but not a lot of real work. Most people want to talk and kvetch, but very few actually want to do something. If people want to talk about RKBA we have AD. If they want to actually try to field a plan, then Activism is the place to work. Mixing the two is like trying to get something done with a bunch of folks in the production area that aren't on task. If folks want to talk about forms of activism there's AD. If they want to just complain there's General.

Think of it this way, Activism is the "kitchen" and AD is the "bar". Ones where the work gets done and the other is where folks talk about the food. To take the analogy further to look at keeping Activism tasks on task, you can get a dish prepared if everyone in the kitchen isn't tossing random bits into the recipe. You can make some variations and have different twists on an apple pie, but you wreck the effort when someone insists on putting viet fish sauce in the turkey and dressing. Keep the different tasks separate and you can end up with a lot of useful dishes to choose from. Toss different things in that don't fit and all you get is garbage.

Guillermo
September 18, 2010, 09:36 AM
hso,

Before I go on please accept my thanks for the job you do. It is not incongruent to be appreciative yet have some issues with how it is done.

I am guilty for not being quite as direct as I should have been. I shall be frank.

The reason that I am reluctant to hang in these areas are the moderators, including you. Those areas include A & AD. You guys have hair triggers.

It is unlikely that you remember but during a discussion, some guy was being a real pain and I posted something rather tame and got an infraction. (my specific post "Interestingly enough, the tone of your rants are that of an anti. A troll? Quite possibly.") To your credit, you reversed and made a warning.

Understand, that I have gotten 2 warnings in 2000 + postings. One the moderator (rbernie) misread and apologized later. He even looked into if he could remove it. Nice fellow.

I value THR too much to spend too much time in these areas because of the overzealous moderators.

It is my opinion that consistency with the rest of THR would be valuable. Even getting a posting deleted, which you guys do constantly, is enough to aggravate a member into not posting potentially valuable ideas.

MIL-DOT
September 18, 2010, 10:30 AM
After just now stumbling onto, then reading this entire thread, I feel compelled to chime in. IMO, the more substantial,logical argument has been made by Guillermo. Now I'll meekly slink back over to "Rifle Country" and "Revolvers". ;)

Rail Driver
September 18, 2010, 10:41 AM
Guillermo, while I agree that the moderation in Activism and Activism Discussion is tighter than the rest of the site, I don't agree with your proposed solution. If anything the rest of the site needs to be a bit tighter. I've seen one instance of a thread getting closed within just a few minutes of being posted (maybe an hour or two at most), and other instances of threads that had completely devolved to name calling and trash talking (A troll perhaps?) sitting there open and getting worse for a couple days.

I've also noticed one other thing... The "hair trigger mods" aren't slammed on by someone until they're the one getting a post deleted or a thread locked. Ironic eh?

I'm a member of 6 gun forums, and this one is not only the most active (hundreds, if not thousands of visitors per day), but also the most highly moderated and easiest to find what I'm looking for. If I had to pick ONE forum only, I would absolutely pick this one. This forum, with its thousands of visitors per day, has MUCH less problems than any of the other forums I belong to even though all of them have much fewer members and visitors per day.

hso
September 18, 2010, 10:52 AM
For those of you that feel that moderation in A/AD is too tight, what are your specific suggestions? General concerns over "too restrictive" moderation and a desire for "looser" moderation don't provide anything specific to change.

Taking the Activism sticky on posting as the rule for Activism forum what do you specifically want to see changed?

Guillermo
September 18, 2010, 11:02 AM
Rail,

You make good points and I opine that you help me make mine.

When you say that THR is the most active an best (you insinuate this when you say "if only one...this would be it")

My point is that THR is the biggest and the best but this corner is less travelled. I want to make it MORE travelled.

We are all for the same thing and it is not my intention to complain, but rather to improve what is by far the best site.

I also do not mean to sound as though I do not appreciate all moderators. There is another forum which I will not mention the name of (tfl are the initials) who have the pettiest. power hungry jerks as moderators. Go there and you will REALLY appreciate THR's staff.

As I have stated my case in several ways, I really don't have anything else to add.

It distills down to this sentance

"I wish that the moderators would evaluate what they do and how, so that they can make this area more productive...putting the more of the High Road community to work for RKBA activism"

we can all do a better job.
myself included

snubbies
September 18, 2010, 11:05 AM
http://armsandthelaw.com/archives/2007/02/utah_shooting_w.php

Guillermo
September 18, 2010, 11:06 AM
BTW

Rail

I used to be a member of several boards myself. With the exception of specialized boards I don't bother with most of them anymore, (if you need specific info places like AR-15.com are outstanding), this is BY FAR the best general gun board with some truly amazing members. It is an honor to converse with many of them.

Said another way, I LOVE the High Road. I don't waste my time with most of them because this is the best.

Please do not take this as not appreciating what we have. While everything can improve...we have got it REALLY good here.

snubbies
September 18, 2010, 11:28 AM
In my humble opinion anything that is not personal, derogatory of another or completely irrelaven to the subject matter should be allowed. When this effort of letterwriting began several people disagreed with the focus of this effort. A request for meaningful discussion was not favorably received. The Activism category is split. A discussion of the subject must be confined to the Sub activism category. Those that are in favor of or offer the party line are welcome to post on the main category. Those of us who are not in total agreement or offer an alternative solution are required to use a sub-category. How will the ones infavor of the party line learn of the alternatives available. A pro position posting and a con posting should appear in the same document. I have no problem with the moderator calling the rules if they are fair to all, pro and con. In this case it seems to me that the moderator is more than moderator in the true sence of moderation that is being neutral. I liken it to a referee favoring one fighter over another in their decisions.

snubbies
September 18, 2010, 11:48 AM
http://gunowners.org/fs9611.htm

Rail Driver
September 18, 2010, 11:53 AM
"I wish that the moderators would evaluate what they do and how, so that they can make this area more productive...putting the more of the High Road community to work for RKBA activism"

This statement is your entire problem... It's not up to the moderators to promote activism... It's up to all of us.

I don't spend a lot of time posting in Activism, or in Activism Discussion (or for that matter anywhere else) because I'm actively engaged in earning a law degree so I can go out and fight in court for those rights that should never have been denied or limited.

That's what *I* am doing... What are you doing to promote activism and RKBA?

snubbies
September 18, 2010, 11:57 AM
This is my kind of Activism

http://www.gunlaws.com/GFZ/GFZ-BillReview.htm

hso
September 18, 2010, 02:51 PM
Mods rarely open threads in A/AD. We do "cheerlead" in threads, though, to keep some energy going. We also have to maintain order within them. That may appear like favoritism when the basic idea is being encouraged along.

Open an original thread with your own plan and we'll do the same thing there, try to keep order AND promote the new plan. Have a tweak or a contribution to the plan, toss it in.

Hijacking and naysaying other people's threads isn't contributing to them though. Don't like someone's plan? Open your own thread with your own plan if you have an alternative that's out of scope of the OP's approach.

Guillermo
September 18, 2010, 05:44 PM
It's not up to the moderators to promote activism... It's up to all of us.


I did not say that it is up to the moderators to promote activism, although if they could it would be great.

As to what I do?
I am a life member of NRA, TSRA, Gun Owners of America and Jews for the Preservation of Firearm Ownership (I am not Jewish).
I constantly write letters to offending companies that show up on my alerts from 3006texas.com and THR
I have testified in the law enforcement subcommittee of the Texas legislature and Linda Tripp, TSRA lobbyist considers me an "arrow in her quiver"
I teach young people to shoot
I donate money to RKBA organizations

In addition I have a TSRA plate on my truck and because I coach (as a volunteer) high school basketbal I wear gun t shirts so as to bring up conversations with my kids.

In my role as a women's self defense instructor (RAD Systems, also a volunteer) I talk to my students about gun safety and make suggestions about them getting gun safety

How about you Rail...what do you do?

snubbies
September 18, 2010, 08:29 PM
Not many of our Members can match that. Keep it up.

hso
September 19, 2010, 07:36 AM
Folks,

Personal challenges to prove what we do in the "real world" aren't going to help improve things here. None of us know what anyone else actually does that isn't documented so there's no point tossing out those challenges anyway.

The issue is how to improve on the Activism/Activism Discussion forum anyway, isn't it?, so let's focus our attention here.

hso
September 19, 2010, 08:58 AM
Dealing with the "completely irrelevant" may be where part of the difference lies. I'll use the TRU thread that started this as an illustration, but it's a common enough phenomenon to fit many other threads.

Is it completely irrelevant for someone to post "I've never shopped there anyway because of their prices."? If this were in an actual physical group or a teleconference there would be a pause and everyone on task would think something along the lines of "What's that got to do with what we're trying to do?" and the organizer of the workgroup might let it die unless someone else chimes in or remind everyone to focus on the work right then to prevent the loss of focus. It's a non sequitur comment since it's not about the task even if it's broadly related to the topic. If there were a chorus of "I hate their prices/selection/customer service responses any facilitator to a meeting would try to stop the drift and refocus the group. We get a lot of these sorts of comments in Activism threads and they sometimes even outnumber the posts focused on the work being done. It's related, but it's not on the topic and just add "bulk". Should we allow them even if they become numerous or should they just be ignored? If the negative "that'll never work you need to try "this completely different approach"" posts are allowed we kill the initiative that someone has put into coming up with their plan. A member's plan may not be perfect, what plan ever is, but refining and expanding upon that plan like trying to get the CEO's snail mail/email address instead of dealing with a customer relations drone or trying to get other groups or 2A media types involved contributes to making it more successful. Negativism and rejection of the thrust of the original plan isn't helpful at all though. Do we allow someone's idea to be derailed by another person who is sure their completely different solution to the problem is "better"? If someone doesn't like an approach and has a different approach they should start their own thread with their idea presented so folks can rally around it instead of killing the initiative of someone else's approach. We need to have as many different useful approaches as possible supported and while they may all going towards the same destination it means they each need their own lanes to move forward.

We do use a low threshold for irrelevant posts, but the philosophy behind it is to keep each OP's idea moving forward with minimum derailments.

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