Greetings, Members of the Aetherlight forums! As the elected president of the forums for November, I (along with my vice president, @Emily_Purplebottle) have been working on an idea to present for your consideration.
I give you, the Members' Union!
What is the purpose of this topic?
I'm so glad you asked! Before the creation of the Members' Union, the only way to let a user know that they were breaking the rules in how they posted was if a Moderator or Member pointed it out to them on the topic where the problematic post was located. Not only does this "warning" often go unnoticed, but it is also likely to be buried under countless other posts within a few days’ time. In addition, the warning post itself could be considered spam since it doesn’t fit within the topic, either.
A solution to this problem is to create an entirely NEW topic to point out problematic posts, thus keeping the Members of this community accountable to one another. This forums organization/topic will encourage Members to not spam, double-post, or have off-topic conversations.
How would this topic work?
Members and Moderators could use the topic to 1) quote problematic posts, 2) provide a reason why such a post is problematic, and 3) respectfully and kindly encourage the user to not do this in the future. This same principle has been utilized for years, but it has never had a topic dedicated to it.
What exactly are these "problematic posts" that you keep talking about?
I define "problematic posts" as spam, double-posts, and any posts that do not improve the discussion or keep the forum tidy, as per the forums guidelines. If you would like more information about what spam is, I would encourage you to check out this post
and the more comprehensive topic on the subject that I made while president in July.
What kind of posts can go in this topic?
Establishing the parameters of this topic is highly important. Some kinds of posts are appropriate to put here, others are not.
Examples of posts that can go in this topic:
Encouraging a user to, instead of spamming with short posts such as "Wow, that's cool!" and "Thanks!", use the "like" button or elaborate on why the user thinks something is cool (this helps make sure one's posts add to the conversation instead of becoming spam).
Encouraging a user to not double post, since that makes the forums less tidy and harder for other users to navigate.
Directing users to have an off-topic conversation on a more pertinent topic, since it's more courteous to other users who don't want to wade through, say, posts about pets on a topic dedicated to books.
Reminding a user that links must be put in brackets.
Another use for this topic: a Moderator can inquire why a Member flagged a post, and the Member can clarify. (Sometimes the Moderators have questions about why a post has been flagged, and this is a good way for the Member to explain their reasoning and for the Moderators to take appropriate action.)
It's better to NOT use this topic for:
Pointing out a personal information breach. (It would be better to just flag the post and let the Moderators give the warning since posting on this topic would only draw more attention to it.)
Asking a user to not make OOC comments on a role-play. (The role-play’s discussion topic can be used just as effectively.)
Challenging content in a user's post that is potentially inappropriate. (It would be better to just flag this kind of post since quoting it on this topic would, once again, only draw more attention to it.)
Please keep the tone of your “warning posts” respectful and kind. To callously state that a user’s post is “wrong” might cause them to feel discouraged or ashamed. This topic should be utilized in a kind and loving way.
If you wonder whether your warning has the right tone or not, consider if you would want to hear it. Remember the Golden Rule, folks; treat others how you would want to be treated. In this case, it’s with kindness and civility.
Sounds great! Where do I sign up?
For this idea to succeed, the entire community must work together to set it in motion. Each individual has a responsibility for their own posts, but they can also encourage others to be thoughtful with what they post. That is the purpose of this Members' Union. We will help each other to stay on-topic, not spam, and ultimately make the forums a better place for all users.
If you love the Aetherlight forums and want to be a part of this, please consider joining the Members' Union! The poll below will officially recognize you as a Member devoted to helping the forums and aiding the Moderators. (Note: Even though I, as the forums president, have created this topic, the Members’ Union is not affiliated with any particular forums political party, so you don’t need to worry about conflicting allegiances.)
Will YOU join?
- Count me in!
- Let me think about it.
- Maybe another time.
Votes are public.
Thanks for reading, friends! If you have any questions at all about the Members’ Union, feel free to ask them here on this topic, as well as utilize it for the purposes outlined above. (: As you consider all that has been said, remember the reason why you and I are here. United by our love for The Aetherlight, the Members of this forum have created a bright, wonderful online community, and that is something very special indeed.
For the hope of Aethasia,