Changing CD for the better.

Alrighty… Lets try this again. I have attached my original post below. This thread was started based on the recommendation AND APPROVAL of the Mod Team, specifically Chris Picone, in an effort to stay focused on the problem at hand.

Ladies and Gentlemen of Chief Delphi,

I think it’s time we look at updating our Forum Rules and guidelines for moderation. Seriously, when was the last time these were updated?

I think all of you will know where this started, so I’ll keep this short.

The rules are antiquated and vague, leaving all the power in the people that have been given the gift of being a moderator. There is no public guideline on what constitutes a removal of a post other than “moderators discretion”, which, if I’m being honest, is entirely inconsistent.

If we want to ban gifs, ban them.

What exactly is “off-topic”?

I have many more concerns, but I’d like to open this up for discussion first.

Thank you.

To summarize:

It appears everyone is in somewhat of an agreement that we need to bring our rules into the 21st Century, along with some potential changes to how the forum is moderated in its entirety.

Some Points I have liked so far:

  1. Public Mod Logs of some sort.

  2. New Blood in the Mods team. Some of the moderators have not been active on this site in months/years, and others have not actively been involved in FRC in recent seasons.

  3. Updated Rules to account for Changing Times

  4. Rules become more bulleted instead of a “Terms and Conditions”-like page

  5. Added YPP info to CD Rules

Anything I missed?

Lets continue the discussion, everyone!

While I approved another attempt at this thread, please keep this thread on topic and avoid intentionally provocative posts, short one-liner zing posts, or posts that entirely consist of a reaction GIF. While it’s sort of ambiguous whether or not these are allowed by the current rules, the only way this discussion is going to work is if we all try and behave like adults here.

Can we ban reaction gifs entirely?

How about ditching the rep system?

While I disagree that reaction gifs should be banned, I do think that codification of when/where they are acceptable is a good idea. For example, you could say in chit-chat threads they’re allowed, but they aren’t in technical threads.

I think they can and should be allowed in all forums. However, they must be accompanied by a contextual message that would contribute to the thread in the case the image was not included.

I support this idea. Hard to codify specifically what constitutes a “reaction gif” vs. another gif, and I don’t want to ban ALL gifs (specifically those containing FRC robots, machinery, etc). Ultimately I think it’s a bit of a judgement call, and I’m fine with that.

Implement and enforce a “no snark” rule.

Alternatively, if you want something even more broad, implement and enforce a “post in good faith” rule.

Hard to enforce, but I support the central concept.

Similar to Woodie’s “would you grandmother be proud of you?” evaluation tool for Gracious Professionalism, I think a “would you put this in an e-mail to your boss?” metric would be a good thing for posters to apply to Chief Delphi.

how else would i know if i spelt someones name wrong?

idk, when its used properly its okay, but its really easy to manipulate it or get a train going if someone says the wrong thing (though usually they are saying something fairly out of line to be getting negrepped a lot.)

Add a combat robotics section to the forums. While I love pisting progress updates on my bot I’m sure some people don’t like it being in General.

Presumably only if the reaction gif is unrelated? Gifs are an effective way to communicate certain technical topics.

(I had a boss try to ban gifs in a work slack once, I primarily use gifs to communicate features)

I think this is a good way to define it - any post should be able to stand on its own without the gif. The rules can/should be different for some subforums (like Chit Chat).

Speaking of subforums, I think better categorization of threads is another good step (instead of dumping everything into the general forum). This means we can define rules that apply to each subform, with varying degrees of strictness. It’ll be some additional work on the mod team to move threads to the proper location (or an interface change for thread submits to make the different forum choices more obvious), but one I think will be worth it. Better thread categorization also makes it easier for users to customize their portal page and better curate the types of content they want to see by default.

I quite like this rule. I was less trying to say that I don’t think that gifs should be in technical threads and more trying to use an example that no one would find absolutely unacceptable.

Conversely, I think a re-evaluation of how many sub-forums we have would be beneficial. IIRC, the mods have already said they’re spread thin across the sheer number of sub-forums we have.

It’s likely the website would function fine with 15-20 broad sub-forums. I count appx. 40+ currently

For reference, the list of current CD moderators and their corresponding subforum access can be found here:

I agree with this as well.

I’d simply like to see CD content better categorized - currently 19/60 threads in my portal view are in the general forum (which is actually smaller than I would have guessed, but this metric probably varies by time of year). I think it would be valuable to have threads tagged with a category at creation time (by forcing to choose a subforum?), even if there are only 3-5 broad top level categories.

I’d love to be able to configure my settings to only show me “useful technical discussion” and to actually have that filter be as effective as I’d hope.

I think this is a pretty good idea (probably comparable to Reddit’s “flairing” system), but there is a worthwhile question of software difficulties. CD is organized and run by volunteers, and a common note from previous feature-request threads is that it can be very difficult to implement some features, even if they’re very well thought out. I don’t believe I’m entirely qualified to comment on exactly how practicable this idea is, but it’s worth keeping in mind that changing the rules list and the ways in which the site is moderated is significantly easier than the ways in which the site operates at a mechanical level.

The software that CD is running on was released 12 years ago. A lot has changed since then.

I don’t know who is currently in charge of infrastructure/software currently (if it’s not Brandon still), but a project to upgrade/migrate may be in order if the current version (or vBulletin in general) can’t meet the community’s future needs.