The State of THR?


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Legionnaire
April 22, 2014, 08:43 AM
I've been a member here since December, 2002, when I migrated over from The Firing Line when it went down for a while. My participation here has waxed and waned over the years as my available time has permitted, but THR has always been my first stop among the handful of forums I visit regularly.

Is it just me, or are others sensing a drop in traffic here on the Road? There were fewer forums back in 2002, so it may be that with more options available--especially those focused on a state or region or specialized by brand or application--there are fewer looking for THR's more general coverage. If that's true, I view it as a loss.

I also miss some of the original names. To be clear, I am not complaining; rather voicing some regret. So is it just me, or do others sense the same thing? Perhaps one of the mods has access to some statistics?

Regardless, THR is still my first stop on the web. Hope it will continue to be for many years to come.

If you enjoyed reading about "The State of THR?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
Steel Horse Rider
April 22, 2014, 09:53 AM
It is my observation that traffic is down on all of the boards I check on a regular basis. Maybe people have discovered life beyond the computer or perhaps they are going back to work.

docsleepy
April 22, 2014, 09:58 AM
You may disagree with me if you wish, but I am so tired of being bashed by moderators or criticized, but I simply choose to post much much less. Right and left threads get quashed, and that tells me that this is not an open forum at all. Of course it's their private property, so they have a right to do with it what they wish. But you may see fewer participants. There are two sides to every street.

Claude Clay
April 22, 2014, 10:11 AM
i stop in once in a while but 2 things --

since the fight for ownership this is but a shadow of what it was

and after a mod -- r bernie, unjustly smacked me with a suspension for stating a simple fact, one he likely took personally... and after i spent much time sourcing said fact and appealed the suspension AND never was even given the courtesy of a talk-about-it

i go where the bigots don't

Baron66
April 22, 2014, 10:17 AM
I rarely post here because the moderators are way too strict. It's not worth spending the time posting something to then have the conversation cut off because the mod feels that "this has been discussed enough."

If a thread is way off topic or people are getting nasty, close it. Otherwise leave us alone. We're not children. Don't close a thread because you feel that we've talked about it enough.

Waltherforums is ever bit as classy as THR and I have never felt that the mods were on a power trip over there.

Sam Cade
April 22, 2014, 10:29 AM
Well, at 9:30 on a Tuesday morning, there are about 1200 people browsing THR and over 9,000 members who have posted recently.

I think traffic in shotguns has dipped a bit, but it is historically fairly light compared to the rest of the form.

Sam Cade
April 22, 2014, 10:36 AM
and after a mod -- r bernie, unjustly smacked me with a suspension for stating a simple fact, one he likely took personally...

THR does not tolerate racist spew. Not now. Not in 2009.

Sam1911
April 22, 2014, 10:41 AM
THR does not tolerate racist spew. Not now. Not in 2009.
Dang. I was going to post that! But yes, we do hold a high standard and certain expressions of your personal point of view are simply not welcome here.

That does make some folks feel as though they themselves are not welcomed. Sometimes that is unavoidable.

bikerdoc
April 22, 2014, 10:44 AM
Perhaps it is time review the mission and code of conduct.


http://www.thehighroad.org/announcement.php?a=20

Strahley
April 22, 2014, 10:56 AM
It's not worth spending the time posting something to then have the conversation cut off because the mod feels that "this has been discussed enough."

If a thread is way off topic or people are getting nasty, close it. Otherwise leave us alone. We're not children. Don't close a thread because you feel that we've talked about it enough.

Yeah, I never understood that either. I've seen it done on other forums once every few months or so, but it's common practice here

I'm sure the mods are just doing what they're instructed to though

Sam1911
April 22, 2014, 11:01 AM
I'm sure the mods are just doing what they're instructed to though
For what it is worth, the Moderators and Administrators of THR are not instructed to do anything. Derek, who owns the site, takes a very hands-off approach to the policies and practices the Staff adopts. Those policies and practices are decided collectively based on our years of managing this forum (and others) and seeing what works and what doesn't, and what policies set a tone that seems to best meet the goals THR was founded on.

So if you have a question about a decision or policy, just ask one of us because as Harry Truman liked to say, "The buck stops here." :)

Sam Cade
April 22, 2014, 11:04 AM
Yeah, I never understood that either.

Frequently threads that get a past a certain size start getting circular. When you see posters making the same statements ad infintum/
ad nauseam it is time for that thread to die.

WestKentucky
April 22, 2014, 11:46 AM
I too am having issues with one of the mods. It is being handled through PMs for the most part. I'm not going to call the guy out as that is A disrespectful, and B a private matter that should stay private unless the situation calls for outside intervention. I do think that there needs to be a better approach to thread closure, but I don't see a solution to suggest either. My biggest qualm is that the mission statement is to provide factual information and a lot of things are getting heavily opinionated. I expressed this concern to the mod I am at odds with.

An old man who lived down the street when I was a little kid was like a 3rd grandpa. He was alone in life and we would garden together in the evenings when I came home from school. I got in a couple fights in 1st grade and he told me "son a man has to always move in his own path and pick direction in life. You can go faster and faster always moving forward but your never going anywhere until you get off of the merry-go-round." A lot of posts I am seeing on the chopping block could easily be saved. Some are simply "off topic" and closed, others on the fringe but still closed. Rather than being the road closed sign and barricade on these threads, maybe if mods would try to steer the thread a bit before just closing it. Kinda like how bumpers are used to keep a bowling ball out of the gutter. Establish lines not to cross and allow the thread to run its course. It will either run or derail and need closed. My issue is that my threads are closed citing safety as a cause with no input to direct me on how to pursue my goal in a more safe manner. The frustration is pushing me away from THR very quickly.

taliv
April 22, 2014, 11:49 AM
i started noticing the drop in traffic (across all the boards i read) earlier this year. actually, probably januaryish

i assumed it was to a large extent simply fatigue from feverish gun activity from both obama elections, sandy hook, the ammo shortage, AR shortage, glut, shortage and glut cycle, etc.

i strongly suspect people will take a breather for a bit, now that we're past shot show, and christmas, and the weather is warming up after a totally sucky winter. go outside, have fun. shoot. THR will be here when you get back.

horsemen61
April 22, 2014, 11:49 AM
I am happy with the way things are run here I find that the mods are doing a good job

Sam1911
April 22, 2014, 11:56 AM
A lot of posts I am seeing on the chopping block could easily be saved. Some are simply "off topic" and closed, others on the fringe but still closed. Rather than being the road closed sign and barricade on these threads, maybe if mods would try to steer the thread a bit before just closing it. Kinda like how bumpers are used to keep a bowling ball out of the gutter. Establish lines not to cross and allow the thread to run its course. It will either run or derail and need closed.

With excruciating patience...

You have not the ... REMOTEST ... idea how much effort we volunteers put into doing EXACTLY what you claim we do not do. That's probably not your fault. You can't see 90% of it because it happens privately -- as we feel it should and must. However, as you spend more time here, if you do, you'll be able to read between the lines.

At any rate, almost every thread that's closed is given a closing statement by one Staff member. That should answer in at least general terms why it was closed. If that answer does not satisfy you, send a PM note to that Staff member and request further explanation. Just about every one of us will spend the time to discuss it with you personally -- just like we do for many other members each week.

My issue is that my threads are closed citing safety as a cause with no input to direct me on how to pursue my goal in a more safe manner. The frustration is pushing me away from THR very quickly.Having scanned through a few of your threads that got closed for safety reasons (shotguns, right?) -- if you've not picked up the advice offered so far, there is no reason in the world to continue and we won't host your run off a cliff.

Now, if you want to go elsewhere and be told the same things? That's fine -- we won't try to keep you here. If you want to go elsewhere and be told to give it a whirl ("Hey, but make sure you have the video camera rolling! Yuk, yuk!") that's none of our business, though we'd hate to see you or your wife injured.

Sam Cade
April 22, 2014, 11:58 AM
-
i just explained it again and it was deleted. now you pick out of a deleated post something to comment on.


Ok.

I deleted your post whining about an infraction that you were given five years ago because usually disciplinary matters are kept private and I didn't want this thread to get derailed and turned into the Claude Clay variety hour.
But, sure, lets do this then.


AND I DID TRY THAN and was not given the courtesy of a hearing


A...hearing?

All infractions issued by a moderator are visible to all of the other moderators and are under constant peer review. We discuss them and we don't take unilateral action on bans or temp bans. Infractions are sometimes reversed based on feedback of other moderators.

-
.. you were wrong than and too small to admit it.


Are you a Jim Croce fan?

Legionnaire
April 22, 2014, 11:59 AM
I think the mods do a good job here. I agree that some threads get closed that could stay open long enough to die under their own weight, but generally my observation is that threads get closed when a question has been answered (and there is no point in discussing further), the topic has drifted off course, or a debate has descended into name calling. I still find THR a "great place to hang out" when I have time to do so, and I really appreciate the hard line on G-rated language.

I would personally be surprised if moderation contributed significantly to lower levels of participation. I wonder if age has anything to do with it. We "older people" grew up using the written word as a primary means for communication. I'm a grandpa now, and my twenty-something kids don't write much except for tweets and texts. Perhaps we're seeing the passing of what may prove to have been a short-lived medium.

Remember, I'm looking at this over a 12-year period, and not just the past few months.

WestKentucky
April 22, 2014, 12:32 PM
Sam, you are probably right on the thought that we don't see much of what is being done by the mods...but the fact that what we do see is either misinterpreted or otherwise misconstrued is a problem, a serious one for both sides. As with ALL things in life it boils down to communication. There are different ways that work for different people so there is no single fix that will make it perfect, but communication is the key. And per the shotgun threads "don't do it" isn't pointing someone the right way. "If you insist on it we take no liability for your actions, BUT you may want to try this...." Is very helpful. Which has been my point. This seems to be an issue here, not isolated to my thread.

FinnComm
April 22, 2014, 12:52 PM
I also spent 7 years as a volunteer mod on a large forum, before deciding to leave and give myself more time to interact on forums for my own interest.

It's a largely thankless task for a volunteer mod, nobody sees the pages of spam that you delete, the first posts that need reviewing and approving, the constant pressure to read through threads which don't really interest you, just in case they contain some bigoted drivel, the constant moaning from people who have had threads deleted, who all feel they're entitled to a full explanation via PM for every deletion, etc., etc. We also had the "free speechers" who thought they had a right to spout whatever they wanted on a privately-owned internet forum.

Occasionaly some forums end up with mods on a power trip, but 99% are just trying to help along a community. I haven't been registered here for that long but I don't see any problem with the moderation on THR.

As for changes in current traffic, all forums go through a lifecycle, with highs and lows, member changes, subject changes, etc. It's only natural.

Just be 2 cents for a balanced view.

docsleepy
April 22, 2014, 01:35 PM
Sometimes I say dumb things, sometimes I say smart things, but I am astonished that so many feel they need to be in charge of what I say!

I did five years of engineering, four years of medical school, three years of internship and residency, one-year fellowship, couple decades of taking care of every color human being you can think up with love and dignity. Have no idea what the racist argument about, but I can think of several medical facts that you might consider racist. And I sheltered an African boy for over a year. Putting him through nursing school right now.

The older I get, the wiser I think the founders were when they wrote the Bill of Rights. I caused a stir once when I asked exactly what WAS included within the right to keep and bear arms! turns out nobody really knew for sure.

Tread lightly, be kind to others, be gentle in response. Goes along way.

docsleepy
April 22, 2014, 01:40 PM
Oh well, went and looked at one of my favorite forums, check out an interesting thread, sure enough, it was closed by someone with disparaging comments about the wisdom of their comments. . Time to Move on to an economic web site....

Vodoun da Vinci
April 22, 2014, 01:48 PM
Tread lightly, be kind to others, be gentle in response. Goes along way.

Exactly. The lack of this is why I am spending less and less time on forums in general. I vacillate on THR....it has some of the best information and, in general, more of what I want and need than most others. I do not understand why others/many are seemingly intolerant of others opinions and feel the need to shush or argue about things that are obviously just a difference of perspective.

I get sick of bickering and mean spirited dialog and contradiction for the simple need of an argument to the point I consider giving up discussion forums completely where firearms are concerned.

I wonder how many others do this as well.

VooDoo

9mmepiphany
April 22, 2014, 02:53 PM
And per the shotgun threads "don't do it" isn't pointing someone the right way. "If you insist on it we take no liability for your actions, BUT you may want to try this...." Is very helpful. Which has been my point.
I must ask, are you really saying:

If someone wants to place their hand in a furnace, rather than, "don't do it", you're saying a better way would be say, ""If you insist on it we take no liability for your actions, BUT you may want to carefully place your hand into the fire?" :eek:

That is like saying telling someone to not look down the barrel of a gun while pulling the trigger to see what happens...isn't pointing someone the right way :rolleyes:

MtnCreek
April 22, 2014, 03:01 PM
Since it's Kick-a-Mod Day, Mods please be a little more careful when deleting posts. ie other posts responding to the deleted ones. At least once I've had to go to PM's to let someone know I was Not talking about them, cause several posts had been deleted.

Thanks.

BTW, anyone want some of my super special Universal Clays 300wm recipes? Let me know and I'll start a thread. :)

Milkmaster
April 22, 2014, 03:33 PM
I am happy with the way things are run here I find that the mods are doing a good job


For the most part I agree. But I still miss Dave McCracken :)

Sam1911
April 22, 2014, 03:34 PM
We all do, very much.

WestKentucky
April 22, 2014, 03:42 PM
In response to 9mm. Not necessarily. To clarify my point... Assume we are baking muffins. I want to get said muffins out of the oven but under the "advice" I was given I just need to leave them in to burn because nobody suggests that I should get a oven mitt. Instead the responses were simply "don't touch that" when they should have been "don't touch that without this oven mitt because we have seen people get burned"

Legionnaire
April 22, 2014, 03:50 PM
[shakes head] What have I done?

:o

Anybody think there might be forces at work other than how the forum is moderated?

Sam1911
April 22, 2014, 03:57 PM
Assume we are baking muffins. I want to get said muffins out of the oven but under the "advice" I was given I just need to leave them in to burn because nobody suggests that I should get a oven mitt. Instead the responses were simply "don't touch that" when they should have been "don't touch that without this oven mitt because we have seen people get burned"Again, if the advice you were given did not give you the information you needed to hear, go back and read each response again.

If you still aren't getting the right answer, you'll just have to look elsewhere.

It is frequently possible to ask enough people enough places to find someone who will give you the answer you wanted to hear. Good luck and godspeed.

For now, let's move on.

yzguy87
April 22, 2014, 04:22 PM
Discussion seems to be down to me too. Although I have wondered if people are weary of a lot of gun talk since recent social and political events and are just taking a break. Ie, obama's election, shootings and the panic.

As for the moderation, I think it's pretty good. May not be perfect but good enough for me. On the RARE occasion I'll see a thread that was closed that I wanted to comment on but hey no skin off my back.

I will say though that I do wonder about how some members are doing who are active and then don't post for a while or don't post ever again. For example: it was nice when Dave McCracken died that a thread was created to inform members of his death (and iirc there have been some others but I can't recall their names right off hand.) Although I understand that this would be difficult for all 194,802 members!

As far as I'm concerned the state of THR is doing well. It's still a great place for me to come to and discuss my tool and fun addiction!

9mmepiphany
April 22, 2014, 05:16 PM
The culture of THR, as an entry level forum, is that people find us, gain some knowledge, branch out and come back to share what they have learned.

I found THE from TFL and stayed for a while. Then I moved on to other more brand specific forums. I was gone for several years and returned after "the troubles." I found that the culture had changes somewhat...all cultures will...and found that there was a whole new generation of shooters entering the hobby who needed some of the Cultural Wisdom that will sometimes fade away. For some reason, still somewhat unclear to me, I'm now on the staff here

The goal of THR is to present a welcoming and non-intimidating educational environment to introduce newer shooters to the sport. In that vein, we ask that a certain level of polite interaction be maintained and we do not engage in areas of discussion which have proven to be "hot buttons", causing some members to let their emotions take over. We also consider the safety of the practices which are put forth and their possible consequences if tried by the less experienced shooters

BullfrogKen
April 22, 2014, 05:22 PM
Most users ever online was 5,281, January 6, 2013 at 08:12 PM

Which makes sense. After Sandy Hook and all . . .

(Total) Members: 194,804, Active Members: 9,046


Seeing as how spring just sprung for most of us, I can see how we might be on the downslope of our normal activity. I know I've got yardwork needs doing. Some members come, some go. Then some come back after being away for a while.

It doesn't seem to me like we're any less busy here than when I joined.

Madcap_Magician
April 22, 2014, 05:33 PM
I would say my experience has been virtually all positive at this forum, and while I have not noticed a decline in participation on the forums of which I am a posting member (TFL, THR, and DefensiveCarry), I would say I have noticed an across-the-board increase in general acrimony, primarily regarding law enforcement in particular and the government in general. Lot of people with strong opinions veering into disrespect to other members and generalized paranoia. I have also to my shame been caught up in a little of that myself.

I consider that unfortunate because the forums I post on versus the forums that I lurk on are the ones I consider "High Road."

On a personal level I also feel declining interest in the forums, and I don't post nearly as much as I used to on nearly as many forums. After ten years or so on knife and gun forums, you start seeing all the same stuff all the time pretty quickly. There's only so many 9mm v. .45 ACP threads you can take.

buck460XVR
April 22, 2014, 05:40 PM
While it seems that new threads and activity is down a bit from a while ago, I don't think it has to do with a loss of interest in the forum itself, but more of a lack of things to discuss. Seems the push by anti's for new legislation has tapered off, so then did the discussion about such. Ammo and reloading components are hard to come by, so discussions of shooting and reloading(other than where to find some) is down. Also, after the 08 election, there was a rush of new, first time gun owners with lots of questions.........that now has toned down and the newbies have become educated. One can only ask so many times "what handgun for grizzly defense?" At the same time the numerous "conspiracy" theories that were so prevalent a few years back and were often discussed at length on these types of forums have been squashed and the tin-foil hats put back in the closet. Used to be several new threads in general discussions daily about a conspiracy behind the ammo shortage, a rumored new "executive order" or other secret government plan to take our guns. Those seem to have melted away like last winter's snow and have taken their many threads with them.


as for the Mods here....I think all in all, they do a pretty good job. I certainly think we get more than what we pay for.

9mmepiphany
April 22, 2014, 06:02 PM
I think all in all, they do a pretty good job. I certainly think we get more than what we pay for.
I didn't even notice that we didn't have many Contributing Members in this thread...I guess you are getting more than you paid for :D

docsleepy
April 22, 2014, 06:28 PM
Sigh. Checked back in on this thread after shooting session. No, I don't contribute finances, however I do contribute considerable information and interest. Basically, I don't pay for any Internet content, ever, if possible. I've taught 14 people how to reload, and I didn't charge them either. What I taught them probably made a bunch of money for some manufacturers. The kids I'm currently teaching marksmanship, I don't charge them either. Most Internet and other journalistic sites have a bifurcated cash flow. You may make something from subscription, you may make something from advertising.

But at the end of the day it is content that drives your income. Over regulate the generators of content, and you may not do quite so well. This site is not my property, the owners have every right to do whatever they please. I have benefited, and I have benefited others. But at the end of the day, one weighs the pluses and minuses and decides where to contribute. It's a competitive world out there!

clutch
April 22, 2014, 06:32 PM
All forums are different. I stop in here from time to time, hang out at RFC most of the time and hit the 24hour campfire site if I want to talk about current events.

There are a lot of sites out there but if I need a centerfire firearm question answered, I come here along with manufacturer specific forums.

THR is doing fine.

BullfrogKen
April 22, 2014, 06:39 PM
Heh. I contribute information and interest . . . I contributed much more volunteering to moderate the place. I still contribute cash. A lot of the volunteer staff has.

You may not have charged your buddies when you taught them to reload. And No one gets a bill when they register here, either.

But it does cost money to have this place keep the lights on, just like it cost money to have a home to bring your buddies over to teach them in.


Donate money. Don't donate money. Doesn't matter to me.

9mmepiphany
April 22, 2014, 07:06 PM
I don't pay for any Internet content, ever, if possible.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not asking you to. As I said, I didn't even realize it until someone mentioned about getting value.

I do mention it because it has come up in the past that folks didn't realize that there was a mechanism to do so and wanted to support the community

Most Internet and other journalistic sites have a bifurcated cash flow. You may make something from subscription, you may make something from advertising.

But at the end of the day it is content that drives your income.
We don't have an income. Funds raised go to maintaining the site and keeping the lights on. That is how I know that readership hasn't gone down...we're using more bandwidth

blarby
April 22, 2014, 07:18 PM
I don't pay for any Internet content, ever, if possible.

I'm not paying for the content.

I'm paying for the chalkboard, as it were.


I see great value in making sure THR has the lights on.

Banner ads don't do all of it... and by his own admission, the big "D" can't sell ad space like he'd like to be able to.

I do what I can, to support the folks still sproutin up around the edges.

I hate you damn mods, doin yer job... closin dem threads, and like, bannin me n'stuff

Here's a brilliant idea : Read the mission statement, and consider what your violation was. I know its amazing, having to work that gear between your ears to figure out what you done dem done to yerself. but its amazing in that every time its happened to me... I FIGURE IT OUT.

Just like that.


Sometimes they give you a few days to think about it privately, maybe you should.

Every time this comes up, I really wish disciplinary records and thread closure rates were public info, I really do. You either live and learn, or turn and burn. *sigh*

If you act like an ass, ( not calling any names......) an ass you will be. Don't be angry when someone points it out privately.

You reap what you sow on a well moderated forum. The big difference here is that they just won't tease you into being ignorant, mock you, ban you, then keep talking about you after you're gone.

I've never seen sam bold when he's refering to himself. I'm guessing that some staycations are bein handed out.

You guys have a hard job, lol.

Ed Ames
April 22, 2014, 08:37 PM
The moderation here is frankly awful. Civil conversation is routinely destroyed by moderators who claim precognitive abilities...that they know how a thread will go...but are probably just bored and unchecked. I think the problem is lack of positive leadership and training. Example: Outright deletion of a post (without record) is barely acceptable with spam, and never acceptable in a normal thread. It destroys accountability on all sides. Yet it is a regular practice of some THR mods. Because some get away with the practice, all mods here think it is normal. It's like corruption in a police force...1% of officers behaving badly, unchecked by their leaders and our justice system, quickly becomes 100% corruption and officers not even realizing that they are corrupt.

Every time moderator practices are brought up the mods go into a, "we are volunteers we work so hard we talk amongst ourselves you can message us," defense that doesn't address the core points at all.

Note, before the insinuations of misconduct are thrown at me: I have never been banned and my own posts and threads are more likely to survive than average (I have had a few posts deleted, but they were within the code of conduct and should not have been). However, if I messaged a mod every time I disagreed with a closure I probably would be banned because it would be several a day. Instead I tolerate it as long as I can and leave again, hoping the problem mods will retire while I am gone. So far no luck, but I can hope.

Sam Cade
April 22, 2014, 08:59 PM
Example: Outright deletion of a post (without record) is barely acceptable with spam, and never acceptable in a normal thread. It destroys accountability on all sides. Yet it is a regular practice of some THR mods. Because some get away with the practice, all mods here think it is normal.


Funfact: Deleted posts aren't deleted. They are just hidden from view.


It's like corruption in a police force...1% of officers behaving badly, unchecked by their leaders and our justice system, quickly becomes 100% corruption and officers not even realizing that they are corrupt.

Yep. It is exactly like that. :D

docsleepy
April 22, 2014, 09:00 PM
While the moderators may not have income, clearly the site has income. It was to this that I referred.

Don't get me wrong, I have benefited greatly, not only with firearms information but particularly with insightful legal comments from some of the moderators. And I think I have provided benefit as well. It is a joint effort. I think the moderation is excessive, but my opinion is worth exactly what I forced you to pay for it.

I really feel that there are much bigger problems in America than a few somewhat misguided commenters on a firearms forum. And if people want to beat a topic into repetitive circles, who cares? My son is a moderator on a different sports forum, and he used to stop such (repetitive) discussions until it was pointed out to him that he was actually reducing traffic to their site.

WestKentucky
April 22, 2014, 09:02 PM
I'm not happy with the way the show is ran but even at that I'm not as upset as Ed Ames, and I'm high strung even for a redhead.

9mmepiphany
April 22, 2014, 09:06 PM
Example: Outright deletion of a post (without record) is barely acceptable with spam, and never acceptable in a normal thread. It destroys accountability on all sides.
I must say that is an interesting take on how things should be.

Why would you think spam should not be deleted outright?

Why do you think there is no record of deleted threads?

What makes you think there is no accountability among the staff?

9mmepiphany
April 22, 2014, 09:12 PM
While the moderators may not have income, clearly the site has income. It was to this that I referred.
Ah, got it.

For some reason I read "income" as profit (over expenses), we don't have that either.

My son is a moderator on a different sports forum, and he used to stop such (repetitive) discussions until it was pointed out to him that he was actually reducing traffic to their site.
We keep trying, but we're not getting the desired effect...the .22lr threads just keep popping up, the Glock safety threads never stop, nor do the carrying with a loaded chamber threads and my favorite, "my pistol isn't working, it is shooting low and to the left...it can't be me, should I send it back/call the factory."

Believe me, reduced traffic isn't one of our concerns

Art Eatman
April 22, 2014, 09:17 PM
Every now and then I'll be the mod who sees a reported post before others, in a forum besides where I "work". I go looking and it's common to see several deletions of posts--all with some reason given. Deleting without giving a reason is against board policy. Given that, I can see a possible "Oops" in button-pushing, but that would be a rare event.

Me, I mostly focus on courtesy and politeness. I'd like for outsiders who are curious about this world of firearms to not get the impression that we're nothing but a bunch of knuckle-dragging idiots. I don't give an award for "Snark Of The Day". :)

Frank Ettin
April 22, 2014, 09:18 PM
...And if people want to beat a topic into repetitive circles, who cares? My son is a moderator on a different sports forum, and he used to stop such (repetitive) discussions until it was pointed out to him that he was actually reducing traffic to their site. Different forums are different forums -- with different cultures.

Note our mission statement in our Rules (http://www.thehighroad.org/announcement.php?a=20) (emphasis added):...The High Road, an online discussion board dedicated to the discussion and advancement of responsible firearms ownership. It is the declared mission of this board to achieve and provide the highest quality of firearms discussion on the Internet,...

Note also Rule 6 (emphasis added):6. We cannot provide a comprehensive list of "Things Not To Say". Posts that are contrary to the above policies, or contrary to the mission of The High Road, or for any other reason deemed necessary may be edited or deleted at our sole discretion....

I'm not happy with the way the show is ran but even at that I'm not as upset as Ed Ames,....And no one forces you to stay. THR is not, and is not intended to be, all things to every person interested in guns and/or shooting. There are other forums out there, and each has its own culture and personality. If THR isn't the place for someone, perhaps he find another forum more congenial.

Ed Ames
April 22, 2014, 09:34 PM
Deleting spam is, as I said, bairly acceptable. There isn't much choice given how agressive spammers can be, but if not for that a better approach would be moving spam out of the way while leaving it visible so that observers could verify that only spm was being deleted.

Deleted threads are not visible to the community. That means the community has no audit trail or ability to review moderator decisions, unless they happen to spot the thread or post before it is deleted.

I think there is no accountability among the "staff" because the same problems have been ongoing for 5+ years. If there was accountability there would have been change.

I think everyone who moderates an online forum should consider the recent events on Reddit's /r/technology sub. Synopsis: volunteer moderators there decided to automatically delete threads containing keywords that they unilaterally (without the consent of the community) judged to be controversial or likely to cause argument, before any such argument developed. Someone uncovered that and, because there is accountability in the reddit moderator system, the moderators who did that were fired and the entire sub was penalized until it can demonstrate a clean track record.

Devonai
April 22, 2014, 09:39 PM
For the most part I agree. But I still miss Dave McCracken.

Indeed. I also miss Stephen A. Camp. I have an original edition of his novel on my shelf, it is one of my most prized possessions. He is missed. :(

tigeroldlone
April 22, 2014, 09:40 PM
I have to admit that I resent starting to read a thread that sounds interesting and find it closed after 4 or 5 posts because a moderator thinks the topic has been discussed enough on the forum. If it has been discussed enough it will die on its own. If people are interested enough, it will stay around awhile. Why not leave it alone and let it die a natural death ?

I do agree with shutting down racist, hateful threads or posters. I am a little passionate about some things and sometimes use strong language in real life. That is not appropriate in public or on a public forum. If I am inappropriate in a post, shut me down. If a thread is not in the right place, by all means move it. I think our moderators do a good job, just are a little quick to shut down threads that have been discussed before, but still of interest.

Sam1911
April 22, 2014, 09:47 PM
I think the problem is lack of positive leadership and trainingInteresting. As you're not privy to how the Staff is "lead" and how we are trained in our roles, your opinion is how credible?

Example: Outright deletion of a post (without record) is barely acceptable with spam, and never acceptable in a normal thread. It destroys accountability on all sides. Yet it is a regular practice of some THR mods.Ok, so that's simply 100% incorrect. Not a lick of fact in it.

And the idea that deleting spam (which, by the way IS kept, with a record of who, what, when, from where, etc. -- just to help you be better informed) is "barely acceptable" is really quite specious. Why even bring up a half-formed complaint like that? It makes you look -- undoubtedly incorrectly! -- like an inveterate malcontent who simply will find fault with ANY possible thing the Staff might do. I mean, really, you would complain that we delete spam? Are you attempting to take yourself seriously, or is this a deeply ironic bit of humor that I'm simply not erudite enough to appreciate?

Every time moderator practices are brought up the mods go into a, "we are volunteers we work so hard we talk amongst ourselves you can message us," defense that doesn't address the core points at all. Actually, part of that does address the matter pretty well. I speak in depth and in private to several members each week about some issue of site policy or behavior. Honestly, setting aside folks who just can't accept that we don't allow cussin', I can say the great majority of those interactions turn out positively, with folks at least understanding the what and why -- and not infrequently agreeing in the end that the call was just. That aspect of "customer relations" seems to work quite well.

But we can't please everyone, even some of the time, and I don't believe we've ever promised to try. We don't shackle members here and force them to participate against their will. We'll be the FIRST to say other forums may be more to your (or anyone's) tastes. No hard feelings, may the road rise up to meet ya!

Note, before the insinuations of misconduct are thrown at me: I have never been banned and my own posts and threads are more likely to survive than average (I have had a few posts deleted, but they were within the code of conduct and should not have been)Of course. Who's aren't?

However, if I messaged a mod every time I disagreed with a closure I probably would be banned because it would be several a day. Instead I tolerate it as long as I can and leave again, hoping the problem mods will retire while I am gone. So far no luck, but I can hope.Hey, check back every once in a while. No body lives forever, you might get lucky! :D

9mmepiphany
April 22, 2014, 09:55 PM
so that observers could verify that only spm was being deleted.

Deleted threads are not visible to the community.
Perhaps I am missing something, but if it were still visible, what would be the point of deleting it?

I think there is no accountability among the "staff" because the same problems have been ongoing for 5+ years. If there was accountability there would have been change.
Has it occurred to you, that perhaps there is a system of accountability in place, but there has been no perceived change, to you, because the "same problem" doesn't exist as a problem for anyone except you?

gunsmoke178
April 22, 2014, 09:59 PM
I don't recall ever posting on this forum ,thou I may have.
I don't recall ever reading the rule ,I don't recall a lot of things .
I do think that this is a high quality forum , and well run .
"The high Road"The name of the forum , should be clue enough to figure out how to bring across your message .
I have learned a great deal from this forum .
There are things said on this forum that I don't agree with so I disreguard
those things .
I don't always sign on to the forum to read subjects ,just often enough so that I remember my user name and password .
Thanks for all the knowledge and it's presentation .
Thanks to the under thanked .(the mans behinds the curtain )

WestKentucky
April 22, 2014, 09:59 PM
Sam1911. It may be the way I am reading your post but it comes across very bad. Granted this has turned into blame the mods thread, but your response comes across as intentionally terse, to the point of being a bit of a smart-Alec. That, I'm sure, was not the intention. Perhaps it was meant to be to the point. This is another problem that is present on most boards as the tone of a verbal conversation changes things, where with written word the tone is left to the reader to figure out.

yzguy87
April 22, 2014, 10:02 PM
A tad off topic but...

Just out of curiosity, how is a member considered "active"?
I'm assuming it means that they have posted within a certain time frame.

Sam1911
April 22, 2014, 10:09 PM
Deleting spam is, as I said, bairly acceptable. There isn't much choice given how agressive spammers can be, but if not for that a better approach would be moving spam out of the way while leaving it visible so that observers could verify that only spm was being deleted. Waste of space and time. Having a "Here's the SPAM" forum would prove nothing and merely encourage the spamming as it would be visible and would inevitably get some clicks. If you don't like that we dissappear Spam, sorry, that's what we do and what we're going to do. Find something else to exercise your froth over.

Deleted threads are not visible to the community. That means the community has no audit trail or ability to review moderator decisions, unless they happen to spot the thread or post before it is deleted.Not to put too fine a point on it, but THR is not a democracy and -- though I don't doubt that a few folks find this rankles -- we do not desire nor operate via public audit of decisions. While the very basic concept of a truly democratic forum where everyone gets to vote on (or to make comment on) every decision is appealing at the most superficial level, that would instantly become the most enormous time- and effort-suck of all of our lives. This is a private forum. The Staff are chosen, very carefully, by the current Staff members, and all decisions made by any are subject to review by the entire Staff. That's, quite simply, as good as it is going to get. Ever.

We try to present a forum personality and level of content that draws folks here. If the personality and level of content ceases to appeal to folks, the participation numbers will fall off and, eventually, THR will cease to function. We've seen no indication at all that this is happening as a general thing. We won't be voting on Staff decisions or opening up private corrective actions to public view -- EVER -- in an attempt to lure people to come here, or to stay here if they're unhappy.

I think there is no accountability among the "staff" because the same problems have been ongoing for 5+ years. If there was accountability there would have been change.
Or, more likely, we simply do not agree with the changes you think would have happened, so have collectively decided not to implement them.

I think everyone who moderates an online forum should consider the recent events on Reddit's /r/technology sub. Synopsis: volunteer moderators there decided to automatically delete threads containing keywords that they unilaterally (without the consent of the community) judged to be controversial or likely to cause argument, before any such argument developed. Someone uncovered that and, because there is accountability in the reddit moderator system, the moderators who did that were fired and the entire sub was penalized until it can demonstrate a clean track record.That's simply impossible here. There is no authority that actions could be hidden FROM, and there is no avenue by which Staff members could be "fired" for surreptitious actions. In essence, this isn't Reddit (:D) so don't worry about that sort of hijinx going on at THR.

Ed Ames
April 22, 2014, 10:10 PM
As you're not privy to how the Staff is "lead" and how we are trained in our roles, your opinion is how credible?

Don't the Christians have a saying that goes, "Judge a tree by its fruit..."?

Your argument here is exactly analogous to: "You don't know every detail about being a senator so your opinion of one has no credibility." Sorry, no, I can judge by the results.

Ok, so that's simply 100% incorrect. Not a lick of fact in it.

And the idea that deleting spam (which, by the way IS kept, with a record of who, what, when, from where, etc. -- just to help you be better informed) is "barely acceptable" is really quite specious. Why even bring up a half-formed complaint like that? It makes you look -- undoubtedly incorrectly! -- like an inveterate malcontent who simply will find fault with ANY possible thing the Staff might do. I mean, really, you would complain that we delete spam? Are you attempting to take yourself seriously, or is this a deeply ironic bit of humor that I'm simply not erudite enough to appreciate?


So where do I review the deleted posts? You make it sound as though I have access to them.

If your argument is that you, who can delete them, can see what was deleted and that's oversight enough...I disagree. What you can see doesn't matter, only what everyone can see matters.

Hey, check back every once in a while. No body lives forever, you might get lucky!

I didn't say that. The sad part is that I think the people who are doing what I object to are trying to do a good job and I wish them long lives and happiness. I just wish they weren't moderators, or at least weren't moderating in a way I find destructive to social cohesion.

so don't worry about that sort of hijinx going on at THR.

It goes on constantly on THR. Maybe not via automation, but threads and posts are deleted without visible record, and moderators can break the rules and post things others cannot.

Sam1911
April 22, 2014, 10:13 PM
but your response comes across as intentionally terse, to the point of being a bit of a smart-Alec. I apologize if it comes across that way. These things tend to be difficult to discuss without a healthy heaping of "plain speakin'." Ask tough questions -- make hard, sharp accusations -- expect direct (but not mean-spirited) answers.

Sam1911
April 22, 2014, 10:18 PM
So where do I review the deleted posts? You make it sound as though I have access to them. Oh, heaven's no. Sorry, I didn't mean to give that impression. You cannot see deleted posts or corrective actions taken against those who posted them. That's how we administer the forum. It's simply going to be that way. I understand that you don't care for it, and I'm sorry that it bothers you.

If your argument is that you, who can delete them, can see what was deleted and that's oversight enough...I disagree. What you can see doesn't matter, only what everyone can see matters.Again, we have a fundamental disagreement about what should be.

I do hope this does not come across as dismissive -- I REALLY TRULY don't intend it to be -- but if you want a forum to run that way, you're going to have to find one that does, or make one that does. This one does not.

WestKentucky
April 22, 2014, 10:22 PM
That's exactly the point intended, and your right. In times of dispute it soften better to lay things out on the table to air, but this written word format makes it hard. Thanks for reading the post as it was intended.

Schwing
April 22, 2014, 10:23 PM
I love THR. Info here set me on the right track when I first started reloading and I find myself using it as my starting point when doing research. Most of the time, I don't have to look any further.

I have seen threads closed that made me scratch my head a little and wonder why but I have never seen some Machiavellian plot over it. I love the fact that THR stays on point 99% of the time and doesn't dally over politics, religion, etc... It gets old real quick and is why I worked my way through a lot of forums before making this one my home.

I work in I.T. and would not, in a million years, want to come home and spend my time wading through the stuff the mods do every day. I don't always agree with them but, it is their house.

As an I.T. guy I can tell you... no matter what you do, how well you do it, or how much thought you put into it, there are always folks who will never be happy and even those who actively look for reasons to negatively opine as often as possible.

Personally, if I were in any of the mod's shoes, THIS thread would have been closed a long time ago as it seems to be nothing more than a venting outlet for those aforementioned opinee's

Ed Ames
April 22, 2014, 10:31 PM
I do hope this does not come across as dismissive ...

But you don't mind characterizing my statements as "frothing" and insinuating that of course my assertion that the posts that I've had deleted were not in violation of any written policy is false, just to point out two items.

If I used that approach with another THR member I would be censored if not censured.

Sam1911
April 22, 2014, 10:42 PM
But you don't mind characterizing my statements as "frothing"To be honest, I do wish to dismiss as absurd that one assertion -- that it is "barely acceptable" to delete spam. What drivel. I don't mean that as an insult, but it is hogwash and I will say so baldly.

...and insinuating that of course my assertion that the posts that I've had deleted were not in violation of any written policy is false... I merely pointed out, quite realistically, that nobody ever says, "Oh, yeah, I was way out of line there...you should have whacked me good for that one!" It becomes a bit of a cliche for someone to launch a raft of complaint about authority and slip in how any actions against them were unjust (but of course).

If I used that approach with another THR member I would be censored if not censured.Perhaps, it would be impossible for me to claim a firm yes or no. In the context of a forum policy complain thread I'll go with "no" but it is always best to stand on the side of greatest politeness. If I've offended you, you have my apologies.

Ed Ames
April 22, 2014, 11:08 PM
I could address your hogwash comments two ways.

First, I'll point out that what you called "frothing" was in fact me saying that deleting spam was reasonable. You are now calling that position hogwash. If I was not a patient and thoughtful person this could create a heated argument from what I suspect (and suspect you know to be) a point of agreement.

The other way is to point out that when normal (non-spam) threads disappear and only people who happened to notice them are the wiser, that reduces trust. When enough trust is lost, any disappearance becomes suspicious. It's like when a police department is found to be operating improperly. Everything they do is then suspect and you must impose a very high standard of accountability to regain trust.

Art Eatman
April 22, 2014, 11:15 PM
I don't know of a moderator here who does NOT delete spam. If that's upsetting, then I guarantee a never-ending need for Maalox.

Ed Ames
April 22, 2014, 11:21 PM
Has anyone said, or even hinted, that deleting spam is, "upsetting"?

Sam1911
April 22, 2014, 11:34 PM
First, I'll point out that what you called "frothing" was in fact me saying that deleting spam was reasonable. You are now calling that position hogwash.Oh? So if I said your conduct was "barely acceptable" you'd ignore the barb of "barely" and assume I mean "perfectly" or "completely" instead? Obviously not. You meant something in your "barely reasonable" comment -- something akin to "untoward of you, but I'll deign to accept it" -- and that puts everything that follows into the dim light of being spoken by, as I said, an inveterate malcontent who will poke and needle even the most unobjectionable -- unquestionable -- actions by the Staff.

Yeah, it is PERFECTLY reasonable, and your other suggestion on that front (hey, let's have a forum just for spam, so we can ... somehow? ... be assured that's all they're deleting!) should have seemed unreasonably silly and counterproductive to you without having to even post it in public. Frothy? Well, maybe that's an unusual adjective, but it sure seems to fit somehow.

The other way is to point out that when normal (non-spam) threads disappear and only people who happened to notice them are the wiser, that reduces trust. When enough trust is lost, any disappearance becomes suspicious. It's like when a police department is found to be operating improperly. Everything they do is then suspect and you must impose a very high standard of accountability to regain trust.You seem very concerned about the members being able to "trust" the staff. Trust is nice, but it isn't exactly the most crucial element of forum operation. The product here is what's on the screen for you to see. We don't ask you to trust that we haven't deleted other threads. We don't ever pretend to NOT delete other threads or posts, and in fact we put it right into the basic rules you agree to when you join. In fact, you may TRUST us that we DO delete things we -- the staff, ourselves, personally and collectively -- feel do not meet the standards and further the goals of THR.

You may TRUST us to do so. We ask for no trust beyond that. And, since we can't throw you in jail, infringe your first amendment rights to speak (on your own turf, or elsewhere), monetarily or physically harm you, or cause you any distress at all beyond the virtual walls of this forum, there is no matter of trust involved beyond simply what words appear on the screen. Enjoy THR for those words, or don't.

hso
April 22, 2014, 11:44 PM
#29

Y'all start your own complaint thread where you can bicker back and forth.

THR's failure due to moderation hasn't seemed to happen so picking at moderation is pointless since it isn't going to change.

Closed.

Sam1911
April 22, 2014, 11:45 PM
After a bit of discussion among some of the Staffers still up tonight, the consensus is that we've gotten about all the value out of this that's likely to be had.

We really DO appreciate feedback and constructive criticism, though we can't act on a lot of it that we get. So thanks to all for your heartfelt suggestions and please know that we care as much as you do about this place and making it the best it can be -- and regret that we can't always agree on the details.

As always, feel free to contact any of us by PM if you need more info or feel we've overlooked something important.

Take care, and thanks.

(Edit: Sorry for simul-posting, hso!)

Derek Zeanah
April 23, 2014, 11:55 AM
But at the end of the day it is content that drives your income. Over regulate the generators of content, and you may not do quite so well. This site is not my property, the owners have every right to do whatever they please. I have benefited, and I have benefited others. But at the end of the day, one weighs the pluses and minuses and decides where to contribute. It's a competitive world out there!
This comment is based on an incorrect understanding of how THR is set up and run. We have clear segregation between what I think of as the editorial side (the board, tone, topics discussed, moderation, etc) and the business side (keeping the lights on.) The latter does not affect the former, other than that we've got ads now because funding the site is important.

If it were up to me we'd have L&P back, or an off-topic area, or some place where we can discuss the sorts of stuff going on in the US (privacy, universal surveillance, police misconduct, IRS abuse, and so on) that seem more than tangentially related to second amendment rights. But it's not, so we don't. I just pay the bills and take the blame. :)

(Don't argue for these - we are a board with a narrow focus and will remain one. It is easier to herd cats...)

Deleted threads are not visible to the community. That means the community has no audit trail or ability to review moderator decisions, unless they happen to spot the thread or post before it is deleted.

I think there is no accountability among the "staff" because the same problems have been ongoing for 5+ years. If there was accountability there would have been change.

I think everyone who moderates an online forum should consider the recent events on Reddit's /r/technology sub. Synopsis: volunteer moderators there decided to automatically delete threads containing keywords that they unilaterally (without the consent of the community) judged to be controversial or likely to cause argument, before any such argument developed. Someone uncovered that and, because there is accountability in the reddit moderator system, the moderators who did that were fired and the entire sub was penalized until it can demonstrate a clean track record.
I'm not sure what you're looking for. We should leave misogynistic and racist comments up so Google can index them, leaving the worst behavior of those in the pro-gun community on display and indexed? We should leave spam comments here so spammers see their link count increase as they intend? How about those posts that recommend people do dangerous, unsafe things? How about those whose understanding of lethal force issues is about 180 degrees from what responsible, educated people promote?

We're not just a fun place for like-minded people to hang out. We were 11 years ago, but that's easier with 2,000 registered members than 200,000. We promote responsible firearm usage. We don't talk about abortion any more, or how my religion is better than yours. We don't do (R) vs (D). We don't advocate nuclear tests over Mecca. We don't scream about the state of the World/USA/whatever.

We promote responsible firearms usage. That's it.

If you enjoyed reading about "The State of THR?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!