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Goldenboko
09-05-2012, 04:51 AM
Staff activity


What are appropriate activity levels? How should participation be encouraged and lack of participation be disciplined?


This has always been a topic of big debate and I feel the above saying is the most appropriate way to deal with titles. Obviously it doesn't have to be so cold, regulations do not need to be absolute, but rules should be in place. I know that I might be damning myself by saying this, but if a staff member of any type is inactive for a certain amount of time the title should be removed by other Staff members to keep an accurate assessment of Staff for membership and for Staff Organization itself.

Obviously life comes up, any staff member de-staffed for inactivity should be able to request staff-ship back little to no questions asked, but staff shouldn't just be a title it should mean something. They should be the current leaders of the forum.

Having a policy for this (we'll say x amount of posts in x amount of months for now) would eliminate a lot of things. First off, activity worries at all when picking a new Staff Member! Afraid he or she will disappear? That's fine, (s)he will just lose his or her title. Also, it will make it clearcut and emotionless when old staff needs to be turned into new staff. No one wants to be the crier for new leadership, an activity policy will allow this to not be called upon by a single person, but by the rules.

Citizen Bleys
09-05-2012, 05:14 AM
It shouldn't be tied to post count at all, that just encourages spamming. If there's nothing to say, the best thing to say is nothing. The board does, however, track the last login time. This would be a far better measurement.

Goldenboko
09-05-2012, 05:20 AM
It shouldn't be tied to post count at all, that just encourages spamming. If there's nothing to say, the best thing to say is nothing. The board does, however, track the last login time. This would be a far better measurement.

My example was made in the entirety of two seconds, obviously it won't be a strict posting count, but I think posting does need to addressed somehow, what good is a staff member that logs in here and there and says nothing?

Raistlin
09-05-2012, 05:21 AM
Lame, I was typing up this thread (BoB will understand why xD). :mad2: Good thing I checked before I posted it! I'll just copy/paste

Being staff is not a job, and should not be considered a job. There are no minimum hours or required attendance. When EoFF becomes a job, it's really over. EoFF should be fun, and the staff should have fun. They should do work for EoFF because they want to, because they care about the place, and because they enjoy doing it. They should have been made staff in the first place because of that desire to improve EoFF. And each individual staff member is not required to do some of everything, thus allowing a diverse staff to choose the ways they help serve the EoFF community.

That being said, should inactivity be a justification for kicking someone out of staff?

In my opinion, being staff, while not a job, should not be some permanent right, either. It is not some award that you get for as long as you want, but a privilege that is earned -- and so should be able to be lost.

There are good reasons for periods of inactivity, and I think the staff should be extremely lenient about all good faith absences and excuses -- and the staff member would likely warrant every benefit of the doubt. But consistent inactivity or apathy over a period of months or more, without a sign of changing, should be addressed.

There are many, quiet actions the staff could take. The inactive staff member could be emailed some friendly concerns about if they're having any problems. Then maybe some gentle reminders about EoFF's existence. Then maybe a polite warning that the issue may be discussed in staff. And only then, the issue of maybe urging a "resignation" could be considered.

As an alternative, I suppose the staff member could simply be kept staff but replaced. I'm not sure if it makes all that much difference if there's 9 staff and 6 of them active, or just 6 active staff. My concern would be that the staff would be less likely to act to "replace" someone if they remained on staff.

Any thoughts on how to deal with inactive staff members?


Having a policy for this (we'll say x amount of posts in x amount of months for now) would eliminate a lot of things.

I would object to any quota system. I think the staff are mature enough adults to be able to decide each situation on its own merits while giving appropriate weight to any real-life excuses for inactivity (that rigid quotas can't fully account for). Number of posts should be a factor to consider, not some fixed standard.

Shorty
09-05-2012, 05:32 AM
I'd like to elaborate a little more on this topic later when I have more time, but I think a responsible staffer should know at what point in time their position on staff is no longer important to them in their life and to question whether or not they feel the need to retain their title. It doesn't have to come down to the rest of staff giving you the boot because you aren't pulling your weight. As mentioned earlier in the thread there doesn't need to be a fixed quota on paper for threads it activity. We're all adults here. There's nothing wrong with admitting that you can't make as much time for this site as you'd like if that the case.

Staff should have a healthy new addition every once in a while. If it turns out that life happens and your activity is suffering because of that, maybe perhaps it would be best to take the high road and make room for someone who would like to contribute in your place.

Raistlin
09-05-2012, 05:41 AM
Shorty: I think that is obviously the ideal outcome, and that is in fact what less caring staff members should be encouraged to do. The primary issue in this thread is what happens if someone doesn't take that high-road.

Shorty
09-05-2012, 05:46 AM
Be that as it may, I still felt it was worth mentioning.

edit: on to the appropriate activity levels

Who's to say what the standard of activity should be? If you're active, you're active. If you're not, you're not. I feel like staff activity should have a hand in as many pots as it can - general forums, art forums, FF forums - hell, it would be nice to have more staffers in #eoff as well. Everyone can find something in common with these forums and even chat. If it's not your preference, that's fine. But more of a presence might boost members to be more active in those areas. It's a chance that can't hurt.

I can't think of a way staff should necessarily be "disciplined" for inactivity - maybe a few chances here and there because of business and life situations. Post counts shouldn't always be a relevent factor but say, as an example, a staff member has made ten posts in six months - that's a pretty prolonged amount of time to be giving chances for them to come back to being active again. School or testing starts up, work gets hectic, babies start popping out - these are all good reasons to maybe have a couple or even a few months of inactivity.

I think these things need to be addressed on a case-by-case basis, but to have all of staff aware that several months of little to no activity will find themselves a spot out of ranks.

Huckleberry Quin
09-05-2012, 08:22 AM
Lack of participation shouldn't be disciplined. That's ridiculous. As some have said above, if a staff member has consistently failed to fulfil their purpose and is showing no sign of rectifying that, then they should be removed from staff to make room for a member who is more willing or able to contribute.

In terms of activity, as long as a staff member can be seen to be doing something on the forum, by staff and non-staff alike, it's okay. Theoretically, I think it'd be find to have a CK who just mods the forums, contributes to the frontsite etc., and doesn't post at all. Obviously it'd be a good thing if they were an active member on top of an active staff member, but it's important to distinguish the two.

With regards to encouraging participation, there are two sides of the coin. As I said above, an acceptable CK is one who does their job and nothing else. In this sense, I don't think CKs need encouraging. You're either going to do what you've been chosen to do or you're not. If you do it, great, good job, thank you for helping with the site. If not, you get KILLED have those responsibilities taken from you. This might seem a little militant, but I just don't see the point in putting extra effort into rewarding duty. Presumably, CKs and Admins are in those positions because they want to help keep EoFF running smoothly, so knowing that they've worked towards that goal is its own reward. Plus, you have a nice shiny title that increases the size of your e-peen by up to 400%.

Of course, acceptable CKs aren't the best thing ever. It's much better to have an excellent CK who's active in the forums as a member as well as a moderator. One way to encourage this is to just alter the "qualifications" for Knighting, which is kind of what you do anyway. Round One was a perfect example of checking how interested or committed to the forum each participant was, so a refined version of that for non-competition CK decisions would definitely help with determining how active a member will be. I will add to and clarify this later today, but for now I have a work.

Citizen Bleys
09-05-2012, 09:21 AM
Ultimately, this is not the sort of thing that can be hard-coded into stone tablets and followed slavishly. Whether or not to demote someone would need to be addressed on a case-by-case basis, not decided by some predetermined policy without taking reality into consideration.

Huckleberry Quin
09-05-2012, 09:43 AM
I'm working on the assumption that all things are done on a case by case basis.

Goldenboko
09-05-2012, 11:59 AM
This is exactly the response I was expecting to get to this thread and I was extremist to prove a point. The mindset at eyeson is that of an overemphasis about who is on the staff at any given time by both the userbase and the staff.

I've taken just about every post to this, and highlighted out parts where members are openly ok with the staff spending a good chunk of time just sitting talking about who should "be in their ranks". General appalled-ness to someone just being unstaffed without relinquishing their title themselves. And talk of needing to unstaff someone, to staff someone as if its some social club.


Lame, I was typing up this thread (BoB will understand why xD). :mad2: Good thing I checked before I posted it! I'll just copy/paste

Being staff is not a job, and should not be considered a job. There are no minimum hours or required attendance. When EoFF becomes a job, it's really over. EoFF should be fun, and the staff should have fun. They should do work for EoFF because they want to, because they care about the place, and because they enjoy doing it. They should have been made staff in the first place because of that desire to improve EoFF. And each individual staff member is not required to do some of everything, thus allowing a diverse staff to choose the ways they help serve the EoFF community.

That being said, should inactivity be a justification for kicking someone out of staff?

In my opinion, being staff, while not a job, should not be some permanent right, either. It is not some award that you get for as long as you want, but a privilege that is earned -- and so should be able to be lost.

There are good reasons for periods of inactivity, and I think the staff should be extremely lenient about all good faith absences and excuses -- and the staff member would likely warrant every benefit of the doubt. But consistent inactivity or apathy over a period of months or more, without a sign of changing, should be addressed.

There are many, quiet actions the staff could take. The inactive staff member could be emailed some friendly concerns about if they're having any problems. Then maybe some gentle reminders about EoFF's existence. Then maybe a polite warning that the issue may be discussed in staff. And only then, the issue of maybe urging a "resignation" could be considered.

As an alternative, I suppose the staff member could simply be kept staff but replaced. I'm not sure if it makes all that much difference if there's 9 staff and 6 of them active, or just 6 active staff. My concern would be that the staff would be less likely to act to "replace" someone if they remained on staff.

Any thoughts on how to deal with inactive staff members?


Having a policy for this (we'll say x amount of posts in x amount of months for now) would eliminate a lot of things.

I would object to any quota system. I think the staff are mature enough adults to be able to decide each situation on its own merits while giving appropriate weight to any real-life excuses for inactivity (that rigid quotas can't fully account for). Number of posts should be a factor to consider, not some fixed standard.





I'd like to elaborate a little more on this topic later when I have more time, but I think a responsible staffer should know at what point in time their position on staff is no longer important to them in their life and to question whether or not they feel the need to retain their title. It doesn't have to come down to the rest of staff giving you the boot because you aren't pulling your weight. As mentioned earlier in the thread there doesn't need to be a fixed quota on paper for threads it activity. We're all adults here. There's nothing wrong with admitting that you can't make as much time for this site as you'd like if that the case.

Staff should have a healthy new addition every once in a while. If it turns out that life happens and your activity is suffering because of that, maybe perhaps it would be best to take the high road and make room for someone who would like to contribute in your place.



Be that as it may, I still felt it was worth mentioning.

edit: on to the appropriate activity levels

Who's to say what the standard of activity should be? If you're active, you're active. If you're not, you're not. I feel like staff activity should have a hand in as many pots as it can - general forums, art forums, FF forums - hell, it would be nice to have more staffers in #eoff as well. Everyone can find something in common with these forums and even chat. If it's not your preference, that's fine. But more of a presence might boost members to be more active in those areas. It's a chance that can't hurt.

I can't think of a way staff should necessarily be "disciplined" for inactivity - maybe a few chances here and there because of business and life situations. Post counts shouldn't always be a relevent factor but say, as an example, a staff member has made ten posts in six months - that's a pretty prolonged amount of time to be giving chances for them to come back to being active again. School or testing starts up, work gets hectic, babies start popping out - these are all good reasons to maybe have a couple or even a few months of inactivity.

I think these things need to be addressed on a case-by-case basis, but to have all of staff aware that several months of little to no activity will find themselves a spot out of ranks.


Lack of participation shouldn't be disciplined. That's ridiculous. As some have said above, if a staff member has consistently failed to fulfil their purpose and is showing no sign of rectifying that, then they should be removed from staff to make room for a member who is more willing or able to contribute.

In terms of activity, as long as a staff member can be seen to be doing something on the forum, by staff and non-staff alike, it's okay. Theoretically, I think it'd be find to have a CK who just mods the forums, contributes to the frontsite etc., and doesn't post at all. Obviously it'd be a good thing if they were an active member on top of an active staff member, but it's important to distinguish the two.

With regards to encouraging participation, there are two sides of the coin. As I said above, an acceptable CK is one who does their job and nothing else. In this sense, I don't think CKs need encouraging. You're either going to do what you've been chosen to do or you're not. If you do it, great, good job, thank you for helping with the site. If not, you get KILLED have those responsibilities taken from you. This might seem a little militant, but I just don't see the point in putting extra effort into rewarding duty. Presumably, CKs and Admins are in those positions because they want to help keep EoFF running smoothly, so knowing that they've worked towards that goal is its own reward. Plus, you have a nice shiny title that increases the size of your e-peen by up to 400%.

Of course, acceptable CKs aren't the best thing ever. It's much better to have an excellent CK who's active in the forums as a member as well as a moderator. One way to encourage this is to just alter the "qualifications" for Knighting, which is kind of what you do anyway. Round One was a perfect example of checking how interested or committed to the forum each participant was, so a refined version of that for non-competition CK decisions would definitely help with determining how active a member will be. I will add to and clarify this later today, but for now I have a work.



Ultimately, this is not the sort of thing that can be hard-coded into stone tablets and followed slavishly. Whether or not to demote someone would need to be addressed on a case-by-case basis, not decided by some predetermined policy without taking reality into consideration.


The mission statement of the entirety of the eyesonff staff should be "The upkeep of quality at Eyeson and the continued improving of the site." The first part of that being general moderating, making sure there aren't spam-bots, flame wars, etc., the second half, being for future success. Staff should be minimizing time spent deciding staff. Any time spent discussing their current makeup or deciding new members is not time spent on the previous two things. One can argue it is an investment but this isn't a site that can afford spending all of its time with a single investment as we currently do.

This policy shouldn't matter so long as there is some sort of policy. Whether it is "WE DON'T CARE HOW MANY STAFF WE HAVE AS LONG AS WE HAVE 4 PEOPLE MAKING POSTS TO THE FRONTSITE EVERY MONTH" or "WE DON'T CARE SO LONG AS WE HAVE x AMOUNT OF VIEWS AND y AMOUNT OF DEVELOPERS".

or

Whether it is, "We need to keep 4 of all staff, if you don't do a combinations of x posts in general, y posts in staff, z posts to the frontsite, or p time spent in #eoff you are unstaff automatically and can be reinstated upon request."

It doesn't matter. Arguing it does only argues the Elitism of the position. I'm not going to pretend I know the more efficient of the two methods for site growth but, the worry that someone might be "offended that they had their title removed". This shouldn't be a concern in a successful organization. You constantly earn your title, we're just a small internet site, so we are always willing to give it back you are rarely "fired", but less worry needs to be put on destaffing and staffing members. New members should be staffed as soon as their is a need. One could argue this entire event is an embarrassment of riches, except it at least generates a lot activity. That's really all I have to say about this, large argument over the policy in which staff should be unstaffed and new staff should be staffed will always boil down to the wrong argument, "maturity" over efficiency.

Huckleberry Quin
09-05-2012, 12:31 PM
You speak as though this is an organisation or a business, but it's not. It's a community. Who's on staff isn't about who can be the most productive or the most efficient, it's about who's best for the community.

Goldenboko
09-05-2012, 12:36 PM
Quin, I love you, but are you really listening to what you are saying? A community is great because the community is great. It's because members like you, Steve, Paul, Shorty, Tifa's Boobs, I can go on, are so memorable. Who is a CK is not why I come here and read. By this point the policing the staff needs to do to keep it that way is very, very low. Realistically they can do it without any more help. The staff needs to be worrying about how to keep the site growing, so our next big member can find us such as millie. That is what is best for this community.

EDIT: I'm sticking to my word and saying I have nothing else to say on a matter that should be trivial.

Huckleberry Quin
09-05-2012, 12:41 PM
But that's the point of this competition. Think about the rounds we've done. They've all been about contributing to the site; forums, news, allsorts. They're obviously using this competition to find non-staff members who can and will help the site.

Goldenboko
09-05-2012, 12:42 PM
Then why does it matter how someone who hasn't been around is destaffed?

Huckleberry Quin
09-05-2012, 12:45 PM
Simply for the sake of tidiness. If there's a document on my computer that I don't use, I delete it.

Goldenboko
09-05-2012, 12:47 PM
If that is the case then see back to my previous post and make some sort of efficient way of unstaff-ing after time with the reinstatement upon request so the staff can worry about real community issues. But apparently demotion from lack of activity is "ridiculous". You can't have it both ways Quin.

Huckleberry Quin
09-05-2012, 01:05 PM
Demotion doesn't constitute punishment. I said that punishing them is ridiculous; they should just be demoted.

Slothy
09-05-2012, 01:46 PM
This is going to be kind of boring because I'll say I mostly agree with Raistlin, Shorty, Quin, etc. I guess that's what I get for needing sleep. Give me more time and I'll have that removed.

But I agree that there shouldn't be any hard and fast rules about when someone is removed from staff. I do think it should happen if they're inactive for an extended period of time if only so members can know who is currently on staff and available and not AWOL. And it should be people willing to grow the community who are on staff. Policing the forums is just one, I think, very small part of what they should be doing. Maybe it would be all right to have staff who just do that, but I think there are sufficient numbers to handle it. I'd rather see people who are going to contribute to the forums, host events, write articles, or whatever else they may do to help keep activity up. Without activity and new members this place will die, and staff should be taking the lead there. Not that they need to participate in everything (though some more census participation would be awesome ;) ), but as long as they're doing something around here and are visible in their role as staff I'm cool with it.

As to your comments Boko, I'm not sure that the process of removing someone from staff for inactivity is as difficult and time consuming as you think it would be. I'd imagine it could be as simple as this:

Staff A hasn't logged in in three months -> email staff A about situation
Did staff A reply? Yes -> find out when or if they'll be coming back.
No -> vote on whether to remove them from staff until they return. If vote successful, inform staff A.

It shouldn't be something that requires a ton of debate or a hard and fast rule. Staff are going to know if another staff member is unusually quiet for an extended period of time, so how much discussion and decision making does there really need to be? It's not like it's a punishment or anything, it's just a matter of keeping the list of current, active staff up to date.

Shorty
09-05-2012, 05:46 PM
Boko: I don't think that staff debating about it's own inactivity is a waste of time and efficiency. As far as I can see, as long as this place maintains activity and continues to grow, no one should care how time is spent in the staffing forum or what is discussed.

Staffing isn't a chore. It's supposed to be fun. Contributing is supposed to be fun. If we're constantly worried about how efficient we're being, what's the point of being here? Post, boost activity, make things happen, have fun. We're not running a viking ship here.

Slothy
09-05-2012, 05:49 PM
We're not running a viking ship here.

I want it on the record that I think EOFF would be orders of magnitude more awesome if it were a viking ship.

Citizen Bleys
09-05-2012, 06:38 PM
Let me tell you a story about the greatest job I ever had.

It was easy work and rewarding; the pay was good, and I knew my boss had my back at all times. They were so good to us that I actually looked forward to going into work each night. My performance was excellent, because it takes very little effort to do a good job when you're happy to be there and not stressed out. The company was an industry leader at the time, and rolling in money. Had I won the lottery in those days, I'd have continued working, that's how nice it was.

Then the owner died.

The company was taken over by a committee of people more interested in things like "efficiency" and the bottom line than keeping its employees happy.

The competition promptly caught up and now we're struggling to stay in business. There are high-profile layoffs every month. I dread going into work each day because the committees have removed everything that's rewarding about my job. If I win the lottery now, I will commission a nearby candy store to make a 10 pound bag of chocolate dicks so that I can slam it down on my boss's table and tell her "I quit. Eat a bag of dicks."

I want EoFF to be like my job used to be, not like it is today. "Firing" unpaid staff members for not doing enough work sounds like the kind of idea that Ted would have shot down instantly, but the committee would embrace with open arms.

Goldenboko
09-05-2012, 07:15 PM
If you can really make that analogy with a straight face there's really no point of arguing with you. :lol:

Shorty
09-05-2012, 07:20 PM
What does that even mean?

Slothy
09-05-2012, 07:25 PM
I don't see how his analogy is anything but apt.

Goldenboko
09-05-2012, 07:29 PM
To start, painting the words "efficiency" and "bottom-line" to be dangerous, bad, scary words is just plain incorrect. It's silly fear-mongering, "Don't listen, he doesn't believe in fun."

And to mention the proposal of automatically unstaffing inactive staff with the option to regain their title upon request, even near the layoff of paid employees who worked for their livelihood at their jobs is just plain disrespectful to people who have been in that situation.

Shorty
09-05-2012, 07:42 PM
I think you're picking apart his post too much. Fearmongering is the opposite of what I'd use to describe the point Bleys is trying to make. I'm sure he also knows the distinction between getting booted from a volunteer position on an online board versus losing your means on income in the real world and meant no disrespect by his analogy.

What does the efficiency of staff mean? What's the bottom line of staff? I'm going to agree with Quin and say that you're looking at this as too much of a business model, which it is not. It's a community. Everyone is part of it. Staff is a part of it, and they happen to have their own sub-community. It's not a business, there's no direct chain of command here. Staff is staff collectively - everyone's opinions get to be heard and listened to with respect.

Slothy
09-05-2012, 07:47 PM
To start, painting the words "efficiency" and "bottom-line" to be dangerous, bad, scary words is just plain incorrect. It's silly fear-mongering, "Don't listen, he doesn't believe in fun."

I disagree. Perhaps he's having a bit of fun with his analogy, but he's making the point that happy people are more efficient people. A reality I've encountered many a time. He's against the idea of being too focused on efficiency and forgetting this place is supposed to be fun. On a side note, aside from the prospect of staff members disappearing I'm not sure why there's a lot of talk of efficiency going on at all. Certainly we want the front site and news articles running in a somewhat efficient and timely manner, but as far as the forums this isn't a business and we aren't producing a product. Where is the downside to inactive staff aside from it being kind of confusing?


And to mention the proposal of automatically unstaffing inactive staff with the option to regain their title upon request, even near the layoff of paid employees who worked for their livelihood at their jobs is just plain disrespectful to people who have been in that situation.

Strange. I don't think I felt disrespected by his analogy. My emotion chip must be malfunctioning. I honestly think you're taking his analogy a bit too seriously. He's not actually saying that unstaffing someone here is comparable to firing people who need their job to live. He's just saying that a happy staff working in a relatively stress free environment are a more productive staff.

Feel free to correct me if I'm putting words in your mouth Bleys.


I'm going to agree with Quin and say that you're looking at this as too much of a business model, which it is not. It's a community. Everyone is part of it. Staff is a part of it, and they happen to have their own sub-community. It's not a business, there's no direct chain of command here. Staff is staff collectively - everyone's opinions get to be heard and listened to with respect.

Indeed. If anything we're more of a hippie commune with a somewhat formalized committee of people who maintain the community infrastructure and deal with ne'er do wells. It's like a socialist paradise here.

Citizen Bleys
09-05-2012, 08:43 PM
Feel free to correct me if I'm putting words in your mouth Bleys.


Negative, you're correct.

Sephex
09-05-2012, 10:30 PM
Let me tell you a story about the greatest job I ever had.

It was easy work and rewarding; the pay was good, and I knew my boss had my back at all times. They were so good to us that I actually looked forward to going into work each night. My performance was excellent, because it takes very little effort to do a good job when you're happy to be there and not stressed out. The company was an industry leader at the time, and rolling in money. Had I won the lottery in those days, I'd have continued working, that's how nice it was.

Then the owner died.

The company was taken over by a committee of people more interested in things like "efficiency" and the bottom line than keeping its employees happy.

The competition promptly caught up and now we're struggling to stay in business. There are high-profile layoffs every month. I dread going into work each day because the committees have removed everything that's rewarding about my job. If I win the lottery now, I will commission a nearby candy store to make a 10 pound bag of chocolate dicks so that I can slam it down on my boss's table and tell her "I quit. Eat a bag of dicks."

I want EoFF to be like my job used to be, not like it is today. "Firing" unpaid staff members for not doing enough work sounds like the kind of idea that Ted would have shot down instantly, but the committee would embrace with open arms.


Nearly the same thing has been happening to my company for years now, and within the last year, they have created more problems rather than fixing them. The difference between the story Bleys posted and mine is that my company is freaking out because we had the best year ever last year, by far. The owners/managers have good intentions, but all they have been doing is wasting time by solving problems that don't actually exist by revising policies like attendance (PLEASE NOTE THIS IS ONE AND A MINOR EXAMPLE). There are many people at my place of work that have been going in EVERY DAY without missing a beat and not being late. It is actually very rare to see someone walk in late. If they do, it is usually some temp they are going to lay off anyway. But somehow attendance was such an issue that upper management felt it necessary to make it more restrictive? Oh, and the revision doesn't apply to all employees? ...Okay.

The problem with my company is that it's trying way too hard to outdo last year's numbers, so while they have the right idea of making changes to achieve that goal, they keep trying many different ideas. Again, fine, until it is basically the owners/managers trying random things and seeing what sticks. There have been so many meetings involving every employee in my building that has wasted so much time that there is no way we will top last year. We will still have a good year, but they have changed too much.

Anyway, I think the same type of attitude can backfire for this forum. Bouncing around ideas on how to improve something is fine, but getting caught up in the details and arguing like that will only make the rest of the staff miserable.

What Vivi suggested earlier is fine.



Staff A hasn't logged in in three months -> email staff A about situation
Did staff A reply? Yes -> find out when or if they'll be coming back.
No -> vote on whether to remove them from staff until they return. If vote successful, inform staff A.

Raistlin
09-06-2012, 12:05 AM
Boko: I think you and everyone else here are coming from two entirely different perspectives, so I'm going to try to explain mine. Staff members are not employees, they are not even co-workers, they are friends. They are friends who are voluntarily interacting with each other, with the only personal benefit being their own sense of enjoyment and satisfaction. Therefore, they need to work together in a way that is fun and doesn't turn managing EoFF into a tiresome chore.

If you turn EoFF staff into a job with quotas and performance evaluations and, even worse, no time-and-a-half, then you make EoFF less fun. And EoFF needs to be fun, for everyone involved, or else they won't come here. And that would make BoB cry.


This policy shouldn't matter so long as there is some sort of policy.

Then why not just agree with the general policy supported by myself, Vivi, and most everyone else? Maybe I'm not understanding you correctly, but the only thing you seem to be arguing against is that it's worth caring who is on staff. Do you think that the staff should be equally dismissive with how they choose new staff members?


Any time spent discussing their current makeup or deciding new members is not time spent on the previous two things. One can argue it is an investment but this isn't a site that can afford spending all of its time with a single investment as we currently do.

Apparently you do. I'm not sure how to respond to this. Do you really think that every single second the staff doesn't spend focusing on "improving" EoFF is a second wasted? That each staff member shouldn't be able to afford taking 5-10 minutes every 12-24 hours (and really, how often does one posted in even the most active and important threads?) in a new thread or two? I just don't see how any time is lost. There may be a reasonable argument to be made that the precise "activity policy" isn't a very significant issue. But I don't think that argument is that who is on staff doesn't matter and that worrying about it takes away valuable efficiency from EoFF staff. What exactly is being lost by EoFF "affording" all this attention to fun and games?

In fact, even from an efficiency standpoint, I think our general proposed "be considerate and patient, but nudge them to resign if they stop showing any interest or maybe don't show up at all after a few months" is the most efficient, in that it doesn't require hashing out and voting on arbitrary guidelines. Unless you come from the "being on staff is a permanent right after its granted" crowd, it also should be generally acceptable.

And what about the issues the staff face, such as combative members or declining activity or PG? Don't you think it's important to have capable, reasonable people in charge to manage those issues?

Goldenboko
09-06-2012, 01:06 AM
I feel like what we had here was an agreement of ideals, a disagreement of implementation, and then a misunderstanding.

For whatever reason there was a consensus that I was trying to "make things less fun" which I wasn't trying to do, and I understood a bunch of posts as, "We shouldn't do anything to disrespect current staff" which really wasn't said either.

Slothy
09-06-2012, 01:49 AM
I feel like what we had here was an agreement of ideals, a disagreement of implementation, and then a misunderstanding.

For whatever reason there was a consensus that I was trying to "make things less fun" which I wasn't trying to do, and I understood a bunch of posts as, "We shouldn't do anything to disrespect current staff" which really wasn't said either.

Does that mean we can all have a hug that lasts just a little too long transitioning from friendly forgiveness into creepy when will this end possibly followed by a cupping of an ass and make up then?

Goldenboko
09-06-2012, 02:07 AM
I feel like what we had here was an agreement of ideals, a disagreement of implementation, and then a misunderstanding.

For whatever reason there was a consensus that I was trying to "make things less fun" which I wasn't trying to do, and I understood a bunch of posts as, "We shouldn't do anything to disrespect current staff" which really wasn't said either.

Does that mean we can all have a hug that lasts just a little too long transitioning from friendly forgiveness into creepy when will this end possibly followed by a cupping of an ass and make up then?

Indeed. Mr. Data, engage.

Sephex
09-06-2012, 02:15 AM
I feel like what we had here was an agreement of ideals, a disagreement of implementation, and then a misunderstanding.

For whatever reason there was a consensus that I was trying to "make things less fun" which I wasn't trying to do, and I understood a bunch of posts as, "We shouldn't do anything to disrespect current staff" which really wasn't said either.

Does that mean we can all have a hug that lasts just a little too long transitioning from friendly forgiveness into creepy when will this end possibly followed by a cupping of an ass and make up then?

EoFF: Where threads end with a friendly ass cupping.

Raistlin
09-06-2012, 11:03 PM
I think what we need right now is an All-Male Group Hug. Get out of here, Sarah.

EDIT: So anyway, I'm not sure how we suddenly decided that we agree on everything. Are we now ok with the nudging people to consider resigning after showing consistent inactivity/apathy? I wouldn't be opposed to something like Vivi posted, where it's an auto-demote if there's no word for a long time, but I don't see that ever actually happening.

Goldenboko
09-06-2012, 11:05 PM
I call middle. ;)

Shorty
09-06-2012, 11:07 PM
ugh, please. I don't need to be asked twice. Sweaty, mouthbreathing, sausage hugfest? Go for it.

Freya
09-06-2012, 11:15 PM
A staffer is inactive, never posts, never contributes, they are just sitting on their title. When addressed, this staffer refuses to step down and starts throwing a fit. How do you handle this "activity level" situation?

Shorty
09-06-2012, 11:20 PM
Majority rules. If they've been asked to step down as a result of a vote between the others and their is reaction is to throw a fit, it doesn't sound like they're a good fit for staff. The best thing to do would be to would be for staff to explain their feelings about the situation and that it's not personal. Hopefully differences can be set aside but if that person is going to be bitter, it's not staff's job to coddle them.

If a fit was not thrown and that person requested another shot, maybe a compromise can be reached with a 30 day probationary period or something, depending on the circumstances. No need to be heartless if they're willing to pull through with some effort.

Citizen Bleys
09-06-2012, 11:22 PM
3 month probationary period; if they go a long time without logging in or contributing in any way, they don't want to stay staff very badly.

EDIT: Jinx.

Freya
09-06-2012, 11:29 PM
What if this staffer is threatening to share staff secrets? How do you diffuse the situation?

Citizen Bleys
09-06-2012, 11:33 PM
We do not negotiate with terrorists. BAN HAMMER!

And I do mean permaban. Once they're gone, shift things around to make whatever "secret" obsolete, like changing the FTP password once a site admin resigns.

Shorty
09-06-2012, 11:37 PM
Jinx you!

The staff "secrets" are something I didn't take into account, but blackmailing to remain in staff should be the swiftest kick in the ass to get them off because that person is now definitely not a good fit at that point. I don't think that a situation like this should be treated as if staff is being robbed at gunpoint - aka, give them whatever they want.

Diffusing the situation? Send up messenger of peace and wish them no ill feelings. I hate confrontational and contentuous situations, so I'm someone who will often give in and try to make peace. But if they leave on bad terms, they leave on bad terms. Are containing staff secrets really worth keeping a blackmailer in power?

Raistlin
09-06-2012, 11:39 PM
I'd be highly skeptical, because I would hope someone who was a good enough member to get on staff in the first place would be mature enough to deal with the subject reasonably. That said, I wouldn't want to go into the discussion with "resign now or you'll be kicked out" perspective in the first place. Instead, I'd try to talk to them about whether they still cared about the place and if they still had a desire to contribute. If they explicitly didn't, then there isn't much left to discuss. Of course, depending on how big and immature the tantrum was, that by itself could warrant kicking them out.

I also don't like the idea of formal probationary periods, and would consider it a last resort (if at all). I think the first step should be "we'd like to see you around more. Please be more active or consider resigning so we can replace you." I'd try to keep it as non-adversarial as possible, because I've been on the rest of the staff's side of that process before in other contexts -- and when it starts being adversarial, that's when emotions get strained. If the staff member continued to be belligerently stubborn and feel entitled to the rank, regardless of activity, then we wouldn't have much of a choice. A lengthy probation period at that point might just serve to stoke the drama in the staff forum instead of just being done with it.

On the other hand, if they do seem sincerely contrite, then a probation period just shouldn't be necessary, and again makes the process needlessly adversarial. Just give them a second shot. Unless they've pulled the same shit before, why not trust them?

So basically: probation periods would seem to either draw out drama or are unnecessary, and either way make staff discussion combative.

But I really do hate that sort of entitlement attitude to a staff title.

Citizen Bleys
09-06-2012, 11:42 PM
I also don't like the idea of formal probationary periods, and would consider it a last resort (if at all). I think the first step should be "we'd like to see you around more. Please be more active or consider resigning so we can replace you." I'd try to keep it as non-adversarial as possible.

I hadn't thought of it that way; I suppose calling it a probation period is a bit adversarial; your way is better.

Freya
09-06-2012, 11:45 PM
For extra context, this use to be a very productive staff who's been there for years. The site wouldn't be the same without them kinda thing.

Raistlin
09-06-2012, 11:45 PM
What if this staffer is threatening to share staff secrets? How do you diffuse the situation?

Seriously? xD Like what? "PSY ADMITTED HE HAS A CRUSH ON JULIAN!"? I know there are things in staff said, mostly about the regular members, that the staff would prefer not be shared. But the risk of that "getting out" seems a much lesser evil and pain in the ass than having such a whiny baby on staff in the first place. I just don't see it as much of a threat.

But even so, if I thought it could be saved, I'd urge the staffer not to do anything rash, or else any hope of them remaining on staff would be gone. If they wanted to stay on staff, then they need to be mature and reasonable. If they continued to throw a fit, then we have our answer. Demote, and if they still act out, ban. And if the person is that big of a dick for that to be necessary, then good riddance.

Goldenboko
09-06-2012, 11:48 PM
Nothing said in Staff should be so vile that it cannot be said in public, if it is, then that is a problem within itself.

If the staffer has been deemed by the group to have the title removed, and the staff is threatening to blow the top on an event or something, it should be understood that grave (banning) consequences can be handed out.

Citizen Bleys
09-06-2012, 11:49 PM
For extra context, this use to be a very productive staff who's been there for years. The site wouldn't be the same without them kinda thing.

This is sounding less and less like a hypothetical situation :(

Are we still on the blackmailing staffer, or is this back to someone who's on the block for mere inactivity?

Freya
09-06-2012, 11:59 PM
No just trying to get more discussions out of you! Trying to make the scenario harder I'm bored

Shorty
09-06-2012, 11:59 PM
Nothing said in Staff should be so vile that it cannot be said in public, if it is, then that is a problem within itself.

It's not necessarily that it's vile. There are a lot of personal things that are discussed that the general public just does not need to know about. It's not smack talk about the rest of the forum. (well okay, it probably is.)

As for the third installment of kc's question - EoFF has greatly changed over the years. Key members for this place have come and gone over less crap than this hypothetical situation. Immediate decisions shouldn't be made and the situation should be diffused as best as it can. Consquences should be handed out according to a member's actions. They'll probably still get preferential treatment anyway, if they were a member that the site would just not be the same without. It's great if they've been useful and helpful and a great member over the years, but words or actions can change things in the blink of an eye. Threatening to "expose the great secrets of staff" isn't something that should be taken lightly. Threatening in general shouldn't be taken lightly.

As Bleys said, don't negotiate with terrorists.

Goldenboko
09-07-2012, 12:00 AM
Nothing said in Staff should be so vile that it cannot be said in public, if it is, then that is a problem within itself.

It's not necessarily that it's vile. There are a lot of personal things that are discussed that the general public just does not need to know about. It's not smack talk about the rest of the forum. (well okay, it probably is.)

Same ban threat applies then?

Citizen Bleys
09-07-2012, 12:36 AM
No just trying to get more discussions out of you! Trying to make the scenario harder I'm bored

Should have said the member in question was Sean, then. That'd really be a tough nut to crack.

EDIT: Actually, not. Sean is actually entitled to a staff post for life because he created the goddamn site in the first place.

Shorty
09-07-2012, 12:37 AM
"boot and ban sean"

yeah that'd go over well

Citizen Bleys
09-07-2012, 01:16 AM
In all fairness, though, the only way Sean would actually try to blackmail the rest of the staff would be if he were kidnapped by a face-raping robot Nazi from the planet Speng, and do we really want staffers who aren't from Earth? I say no!

Raistlin
09-07-2012, 01:20 AM
If the staffer in question had been very productive for a long time, it would certainly make things more difficult. Not only because of their contribution, but because of personal friendships made during that time. But people change, and EoFF changes. If a friend of mine flipped out like that, threw a tantrum, and tried to blackmail the rest of the staff, I would lose a lot of respect for them; past contribution does not justify present immaturity and hurting EoFF. It might be harder, but I think the outcome probably has to be the same, given the exact same facts.

EDIT: Oooh, ooh, could I ban Sean? I want to see what screen name he'd use for his second account when he found out. Maybe his wife would post again! That was fun last time.

milliegoesbeep
09-07-2012, 01:01 PM
If a friend of mine flipped out like that, threw a tantrum, and tried to blackmail the rest of the staff, I would lose a lot of respect for them; past contribution does not justify present immaturity and hurting EoFF. It might be harder, but I think the outcome probably has to be the same, given the exact same facts.


This is said brilliantly. Just because a particular staff member has been very helpful or whatever doesn't mean the rules should be bent for them. If the staff can't follow the same rules as everyone else, then there's something very wrong.

Huckleberry Quin
09-07-2012, 01:22 PM
I wouldn't want to be known as the guy who banned Sean, or some other influential member like that. Loony BoB, Yamaneko etc. These people are essentially untouchable in my opinion. Not unwarnable, but certainly unbannable.

Goldenboko
09-07-2012, 01:28 PM
I wouldn't want to be known as the guy who banned Sean, or some other influential member like that. Loony BoB, Yamaneko etc. These people are essentially untouchable in my opinion. Not unwarnable, but certainly unbannable.

The above situation sounds incredibly unlikely, but if it was ever truly necessary to make a threat like that, it wouldn't be you being the guy, but being the collective Staff at the time. Staff is a team, that's what this entire thing is challenge is about, see if you can settle differences and be a team player. If someone is banned the responsibility would be equally shouldered.

Citizen Bleys
09-07-2012, 06:24 PM
Once thing's for certain -- if it did come down to a ban, nobody outside of the staff -- could ever be allowed to know who did the actual deed. If one person took all of the flak, they'd probably get harassed by the general membership until they resigned and left.

Raistlin
09-07-2012, 10:55 PM
I think you're underestimating EoFF's members. Bans are not unilateral decisions, and no one staffer is going to be harassed for an action that the whole group supported. Popular members have been banned before under controversial conditions (e.g., Spatvark banning HOORJ), and I don't recall any staff member catching that sort of flak, or anything remotely close -- even when EoFF was overall much more immature.

Citizen Bleys
09-07-2012, 11:05 PM
no one staffer is going to be harassed for an action that the whole group supported.

O RLY? (http://home.eyesonff.com/feedback-forum/136735-shlups-ass-again-gets-way-progress.html#post2970116)

Raistlin
09-07-2012, 11:20 PM
Where in that thread was anyone harassed? xD I actually agreed with the staff, and was just using it as an excuse to make fun of Shlup. Although I did think there was a worthwhile debate there over at what point it's a disservice to EoFF to ban an otherwise active and worthwhile member and the general worth of clear-cut rules versus broader rules that allow for discretion, which I brought up slightly more seriously later (and brought up even more seriously in this competition, here and in the double posting thread). I'm not entirely sure I buy my own arguments from that thread, but I was playing a bit of devil's advocate as I thought about the removal of any auto bans.

The way you were talking about flak, you were acting like the members would never forgive the staffer. I just think that's completely unrealistic.

Shorty
09-07-2012, 11:21 PM
Completely unrelated - I apparently missed that thread, but I am having a jolly time going back and reading it now.

Citizen Bleys
09-07-2012, 11:50 PM
It doesn't have to be a nuclear meltdown to qualify as flak, just hostile comments.

Goldenboko
09-07-2012, 11:56 PM
Wes was involved, a conversation about babies could've had hostile comments, not that I don't entirely agree.

Raistlin
09-08-2012, 12:13 AM
It doesn't have to be a nuclear meltdown to qualify as flak, just hostile comments.

You of all people should appreciate that banter is not hostility. Are you going to get a restraining order out on me for calling you Plushiebunny?

... Wait, is that why I'm not allowed in Canada? :(

EDIT: More importantly to my original point, no one actually believed Shlup was the sole person to "blame" for any perceived wrong. Even though she almost always is.

Citizen Bleys
09-08-2012, 12:19 AM
... Wait, is that why I'm not allowed in Canada? :(

The entire Westboro Baptist Church is banned from Canada.

Raistlin
09-08-2012, 01:39 AM
What does that have to do with me? Are you calling me Fred Phelps?

Speaking of the WBC, they came to protest by my law school one year, and I counter-protested with a "God Hates Fraggles" sign. I got to listen to some little teenage Phelps girls singing a horrible "parody" of Ozzy's "Crazy Train."

And speaking of crazy trains, I think this thread has been fully derailed.

Huckleberry Quin
09-08-2012, 01:58 AM
At least there were no casualties, other than the time of those who read through this thread.