View Full Version : A Modest Proposal

The Captain
03-27-2005, 06:59 AM
In light of recent events, there has been a growing rift amidst the rank and file of EoFF. While Ive never had much trouble with the Staff, recent events have led me to question whether the integrity of the board is completely served by allowing just about absolute power to rule with few if any checks and balances.

Ive always believed that in a community, in the end, it should be the will OF the community that should be served above all else. While I can understand and oftentimes appreciate the great lengths that Staff go to being objective in decision making, they are, though some might dispute, human themselves. Thus, I pose that perhaps we need a set system to use in making some of the tougher decisions at this board. In the end, I think it might benefit the Staff more than anyone else as it will give them, much like Judges using Precedent, something to point to when a decision is made that can essentially justify their actions as something more than just opinion.

As an example, should someone be banned and there is a big to do about it, the Staff can point to the fact that they used a system that is deemed fair, by the Community, not just the Staff, in making their decision and in effect, avoiding the nasty disputes that have cropped up as of late.

Now, I write this mostly to provoke discussion, but also in some way, to challenge everyone to think about what has happened. No community can survive if there is always constant in-fighting and internal strife amongst its members. Even worse still, if there are disputes from those at the top, whereas those at the bottom have no say in changing the matter. If this is the case, and there have been instances before this, as some might call it, World Wars so to speak, to me that would indicate that at least some changes must be made in order to keep the very foundation from cracking.

Though its been argued that a dictatorship is good in some cases, I ask you this: Is it FAIR, not just for those under the rule, but for the dictator? To place all the power and decisions solely in the hands of the few, while at first empowering and even ego boosting, over time can eat away at someone or stress them out. I submit that perhaps some power sharing would be beneficial to those in charge because it can lessen the great burdens placed upon them. They dont need to give up any of their power but perhaps in putting less on their own shoulders and giving more to others to help make some of the decisions, the community will thrive.

As I close, I have decided not to actually write up any system of rules or laws, as most of the existing rules of EoFF are fine, fair and top-notch. In fact, probably all of them are, though some can still be discussed. I write this now to muse about how these rules should be carried out, if a dictatorship can in the long run sustain itself or if it eventually must begin to rely on those it rules over to keep it grounded, and keep it from being needlessly stressed out beyond belief as well as keep it in check to some extent. If rules are made but not followed, they serve no purpose and in turn, those who might enforce them serve no purpose as well. To envision a board or any community without leadership or laws is chaos, not a savory situation, and one I wish to avoid.

I submit this to you all just as thoughts in my mind in the hopes that, like others who have come before me and surely others who will come after me, there will always be a belief and dedication to the community, to the belief that laws and rules are for all not just for those who can be enforced upon.

Perhaps if this does provoke discussion we may be able to have a chance to consider other options should they present themselves but that is still a long way away in my mind. I'm hopefully, but it is now in your hands.

I thank you all for your time.

Yours Truly, Sincerely and Respectfully,

- Devin

Take care all.

03-27-2005, 07:15 AM
Unfortunately, the staff has made it clear that we are NOT a part of the decision making process.

Behold the Void
03-27-2005, 07:24 AM
A forum this large makes it difficult to include the members and give them power, but not impossible. Some of the older and more experienced members might try to guide the newer members in the direction, and perhaps help the mods along with their duties.

Something to remember though is that when we join the forum we agree to submit to the dictatorship of those who run it. However, because it is a community of sorts, if there is no communication and accord, it can and will crumble. Strife between members, especially at this level, is unhealthy for the community, and I do believe that right now EoFF is in very real danger of collapsing upon itself. I do hope that the administrators are willing to consider this request, I do believe it a very good one and one with considerable merit.

03-27-2005, 10:15 AM
Unfortunately, the staff has made it clear that we are NOT a part of the decision making process.

Ya. We are here for THEIR entertainment. :p

Big D
03-27-2005, 11:37 AM
The problem with most internet message boards is this:
There's no enforcement mechanism, no 'power source' that's able to clamp down and require adherence to any rules, regulations or principles.

It's essentially a 'good faith' system - people get made staff members by proving, over time, that they're productive and trustworthy members of the forum, with a healthy respect and enthusiasm for keeping EoFF fun. Either that, or they're really really hot. It is these qualities that sometimes lead to people being offered roles in the forum's staff, so it is assumed that they'll keep doing what they were doing before - working to ensure that EoFF maintains a high standard of excellence.

Just as national laws are no good without police to enforce them, an EoFF 'constitution' would be ineffective without some binding power to uphold it. As it stands, EoFF is staffed by volunteers, so it's generally accepted that anyone who doesn't want the job, won't do it.

Perhaps a set of 'supreme rules' would indeed help; however, I personally can't envisage whow they would be maintained, except by Sean's own hand when he chooses to do so.

Whether we like it or not, whether we accept it or not, EoFF's rules are whatever the staff decide to make them. That's why staff are staff; all we can do is rely on them to use their best judgment on a case-by-case basis. Human judgment is naturally fallible; and "good judgment" is but a subjective opinion, so we'll not always agree with what is decided by the powers-that-be.

However, that doesn't mean we should always accept the things we cannot change.

03-27-2005, 01:49 PM
Unfortunately, the staff has made it clear that we are NOT a part of the decision making process.

03-27-2005, 03:31 PM
Yah, let the regular members decide on how things are done. And then people will just grab newbies who don't really know what's going on and use them as sheep for their purposes, and then we'll have spam fourms and threads won't be allowed to be closed and post counts will be back, and EoFF will fall completly into the <img src="/xxx.gif"><img src="/xxx.gif"><img src="/xxx.gif"><img src="/xxx.gif">hole of insanity it's been rocking over for the past while.
Or maybe I'll win, and everyone will be complete hardasses and no one will like that at all.

Meat Puppet
03-27-2005, 03:33 PM
Kane and Joel could be the Starsky and Hutch of EoFF.

03-27-2005, 04:22 PM
Yah, let the regular members decide on how things are done. And then people will just grab newbies who don't really know what's going on and use them as sheep for their purposes, and then we'll have spam fourms and threads won't be allowed to be closed and post counts will be back, and EoFF will fall completly into the <img src="/xxx.gif"><img src="/xxx.gif"><img src="/xxx.gif"><img src="/xxx.gif">hole of insanity it's been rocking over for the past while.
Or maybe I'll win, and everyone will be complete hardasses and no one will like that at all.Kane is right. If you let the members get their way, it probably would either be a spam kingdom, or a "hardass" place where anyone who posts just one vaguely spammy post is banned, depending on who can get the most newbies. I wouldn't like either. Yes, I love spam but without limits it just ruins it for everyone else - the current level, as decided upon by the staff, is fine.

The staff should definitely take the opinions of members into account (Which sometimes they do, sometimes they don't), but they should have the overall final say. Do the staff vote on an issue? As then maybe the opinion of the general membership could be worth one vote or something, but maybe that would take too long.

Del Murder
03-27-2005, 05:09 PM
Eyeson is not just a community. It is also a corporation, owned and run by Sean. In a corporation the board of directors make all the decisions because they are the most qualified to do so, and it works. It just so happens that Sean has good judgement in who he chose, and, in turn, the people they chose and continue to choose to run the community.

Is this 'fair'? I think so. Consider the alternative, that this were run like a true democratic community. The leaders are elected by the members and there is a system of checks and balances in place. First of all, this place is way too small and insignificant to even maintain a system of this magnitude, but we'll ignore that. There are other things to consider.

Age. There are some exceptions, but in general younger people are much more immature than older people. This is because experience brings wisdom. There is a reason why you have to be 18 to vote in the US or 35 to be president, young people are not yet mature enough to make those kinds of important decisions. This is a forum of teenagers. The median age here is something like 16, while the median age on staff is probably around 21. Giving this kind of power to underdeveloped minds is a recepie for disaster.

Forum experience. How much of a vote should newbies get? Is it really fair to let someone here for two weeks get the same input as someone who has been here for four years? Can we expect the same quality of decision from each member? I don't think so. Then what? Give the long term members more of a vote? That's just more favortism, the item I believe we are trying to avoid.

Popularity. In just about every government on earth there is corruption. Here it isn't so bad, since none of the members can really offer staff people anything of value. But add voting and checks and balances to the mix and you'll get people vying for popularity more than ever. Everyone will be out to get support for their personal agendas rather than just enjoy themselves with the system already in place.

The way things are is best. Like Cap said, we are human, and we will make mistakes, but believe it or not we do consider public opinion in our decisions and do have the best for the community in mind.

Zell's Fists of Fury
03-27-2005, 05:45 PM
I thought this thread was going to be about eating babies. :(

03-27-2005, 07:09 PM
If you climb out of this feedback cesspool you will find the rest of this place is running quite nicely.

03-27-2005, 07:27 PM
If EoFF is a corporation, then where are my shares?

03-27-2005, 07:46 PM
I will take 30 billion stock! Now damn it!

Whats that? Money? BWWAAAAAH HA HA HA HA HA HA! Screw you! *steals stock*

Moving along...All systems have their flaws. I personally have always view Cid's Knights as the police. The admins as the law makers. Cid is the president. There is no judge or jury. That is all you need. A new group that would just interpert the rules or law if you will and make a decision. You guys are so close and you don't even know it. Its not that big of a jump to that democracy or republic if you will.

The Captain
03-27-2005, 08:18 PM
I agree with you Ed. Though it will certainly take a lot of time, I think if that third branch were put into place, a lot of future hardship could be avoided.

Even if this doesn't end up working, so long as this open dialogue continues, that's a victory in and of itself.

Take care all.

03-27-2005, 08:24 PM
I like the whole judge and jury thing. I think I present a similar idea in the past and was shot down. Although I can't remember if it was here or at fool's gold :/

The Captain
03-27-2005, 08:29 PM
The real question is, who would be the Judge? The jury could probably change from case to case, but the Judge would have to be someone who knows what they are doing and has a firm grasp on what needs to be done.

Take care all.

03-27-2005, 08:38 PM
Me? Its my idea and I could care less. Plus it puts me in the position to agrue with the staff(as I love doing). But I can not as I would need to be brought before a judge WAAAAY too many times >_<

03-27-2005, 08:38 PM
as long as we don't get the evil Hanging Judge!

It might be interesting to have a Staff Advisory Council made up of eminent members.

03-27-2005, 08:59 PM
I wouldn't say that EoFF is a corporation, since it exists for the enjoyment of those who use it, rather than financial gain. Because of this, the bottom line should always be what is best for the community, and what course of action will make everyone's experience here as enjoyable as possible.

Still, EoFF isn't suited to a full democracy either. This forum isn't a nation, and people don't depend on it in the same way as they depend on the communities they live in every day. Whereas everyone deserves to have a say in how their country is run, it isn't necessary for them to have that same level of power at these forums. Not only would such a system be unworkable, but it wouldn't be taken seriously by the majority of members, and ultimately be bad for the community, which is of course what this whole discussion is about.

So what is best for the community? The answer seems obvious to me, and that is to keep the system as it is today. That system has served EoFF well for the past four years, and I for one haven't a bad word to say about it. The way things are done here had nothing to do with this week's events, it was the people within the system that made the choices. A shake-up of the whole EoFF system seems rather pointless when the existing set-up has been so successful. There are changes to be made, yes, but not in the fundamental structure of the forums.

I don't agree with the way that the staff handled this situation, but I'm still happy with the overall running of the forums. Like eest said, outside of Feedback there's no trouble whatsoever, and that's a sign that we've got an excellent 'government' in place. There's no need for dramatic changes just yet, so let's just stick with our tried and tested system for now.

03-27-2005, 09:19 PM
If EoFF is a corporation, then where are my shares?
We're customers.

Ace Protorney
03-27-2005, 09:30 PM
Minor changes should be made to the current system. Adding a new part of the system in the staff, like someone who would interpret the laws, well, I honestly do not think that will work here. The staff do a good job with what they're doing, so adding someone to act like a judge wouldn't work.

As the way I see it. The staff have multiple duties.

<b>Administrators' Duties</b>
Discuss Policies/Rules in Staff Forum
Enforce Policies/Rules
Change Screen Names.
Create New or Remove Old Forums
Close or Open Threads
Ban or Unban Members
Ban or Unban Members from EoEO/EoTW
Answer Reports
Remove Signatures
Give or Take Away Special Ranks (i.e. Cid's Knight, Site Staff, Recognized Member etc.)

<b>Cid's Knights' Duties</b>
Discuss Policies/Rules in Staff Forum
Enforce Policies/Rules
Close or Open Threads
Ban Members
Answer Reports

<b>Cid's Additional Duty</b>
Make Final Decision on Disputes (if necessary)

As you can see, the staff have a lot of duties, with the Admins having extra duties, and Cid probably making the final call in any disputes.

As you can see, I'm still really familiar with how the staff works around here. They discuss things in the Staff Forum, usually as behind the curtain without anyone knowing what they're discussing about. About everything they decide on goes unnoticeable.

If there's going to be an addition member in the staff, acting as the "judge" it will certainly not work on EoFF. As you can probably tell, the Feedback Forum is like the Judiciary Branch to the Executive/Legislative Branch that is the staff. However, the Feedback Forum can also act like a minor congress, with some members suggesting ideas to the staff, and the staff can "veto" any "bill" that comes their way. They can also take some "bills" and make it into "law", but they would be discussing it with themselves, and put the "bill" into act.

03-27-2005, 11:11 PM
Cid's Knights can remove signatures too :p Admins can also do more than what's on your list, but I suppose if you've not adminned a board before, you probably wouldn't need to know about some things, like templates and other tweaks :p

Ace Protorney
03-27-2005, 11:16 PM
Yeah, I did mention that Admins do other work, though, not all of them do that. xD

03-28-2005, 02:52 AM
I thought this thread was going to be about eating babies. :(
I didn't read any comment after that one, because it's the best one possible. I love you, Spiff.

I, personally, think Staff runs better with someone in charge, usually the owner. I think Staff here ran smoother when Sean was here all the time, making the final decisions. Whether or not we like it, what Sean says goes, because it's his board.

It's when Cid is gone, and he leaves staff members of equal authority(supposedly) to run things in his place. This is where drama like last week's pops up - when there's a big rift in Staff over what the right decision is. Both sides felt strongly about their opinion, and weren't backing down. If Cid was here, he would've made a final decision before things got out of hand, and that would be that. Instead, a lot of stuff continued to happen.

With Cid away most of the time, and no one in charge, it can't really be run better than it already is. Cid trusts his staff to do what's best, and we, the members, trust the staff to do what's best.

In short: it can't be made any better unless there's someone who can step in to make the final decisions when the Staff disagrees as a whole.

The forums can't be made truly democratic - that would be utter chaos. And, to put it bluntly, most of the members don't really care about EoFF. That's what the staff is for - for some of the members who care about the place, and who have shown that they have good judgment, to make the decisions.

Sorry if that was way off topic by this point. :p

Del Murder
03-28-2005, 04:05 AM
Everything in here is way off topic by this point. :)

Citizen Bleys
03-28-2005, 09:16 AM
the staff can "veto" any "bill" that comes their way...

...And some staff can "veto" actions of longer-serving members without consulting anyone...>>

Merde. All this crap makes me feel as bad as though I'd never left staff. I've got a modest proposal for you--How about everyone just shuts the smurf up. The issue is resolved, 'Kishi is staying, and who honestly wants to see him gone when EoFF would be the poorer for it?

03-28-2005, 08:33 PM
We're customers.
Then where's my goddamn product?

03-28-2005, 09:33 PM
how much do you pay to use EoFF?

03-28-2005, 09:44 PM
how much do you pay to use EoFF?

Wouldn't you like to know ;)

03-28-2005, 09:50 PM
I'm just saying that I get it for free!

03-28-2005, 09:59 PM
Dang. That is what I get it for. I was hoping I was special :crying2:

03-29-2005, 01:10 AM
I PAY $5/mo.

Del Murder
03-29-2005, 01:55 AM
So far the only thing I've paid is my dignity.

03-29-2005, 10:46 AM
You and your reduced rates. >_<