Dominating conversations should cost some money.

Stephen ColesStephen Coles Posts: 899
It’s become clear that far too many TypeDrawers discussions descend into a ping-pong between the same few people, usually folks who didn’t post the original message. To encourage a diversity of voices, and reduce the spread of conversation domination, I’m suggesting a new set of rules:
  1. You may post up to 3 times a day to a discussion in which you are not the OP.
  2. You may post up to 10 times a day on TypeDrawers (site-wide).
  3. You may break these limits at the cost of $25 per post. Funds raised will be donated to a scholarship for underrepresented students in type design.
This is purely a suggestion. I am no longer a moderator and have no vote in the matter.
«1

Comments

  • AbiRasheedAbiRasheed Posts: 227
    This is unnecessary and kinda sounds a tad too iron fisted. Some people may have the time to be actively present to engage in discussion like it was instant chat but to penalize them for it is I think absurd. Just my $0.02. 
  • Ramiro EspinozaRamiro Espinoza Posts: 816
    edited June 19
    I agree with Stephen. Regarding point 2, I even think the number of daily posts allowed should be lower.
    I also suggest limiting the number of characters a person can write per post. I would say no more than 750, including spaces.
  • Limiting discourse in a place meant for discourse has to be done very carefully...

    The thresholds can be debated, but here are a couple of suggested tweaks:
    — The amount should be calculated based on the person's country of residence.
    — Give the money not to people based on how they happened to be born, but whom they're helping with their work. A minority member assimilated into enriching the dominant culture is not something to encourage.
  • I don't think that asking for conciseness can be considered 'censorship'.
  • I'm starting to think starting a thread asking for random normal forum functions to cost money should cost money.
  • Stephen ColesStephen Coles Posts: 899
    edited June 19
    @Christian Thalmann Haha! I know my suggestion (a little wink to a more absurd one) seems a bit out there, but my sincere goal is to encourage more people to participate, not fewer. 
  • George ThomasGeorge Thomas Posts: 587
    I don't think that asking for conciseness can be considered 'censorship'.
    It isn't, but sometimes conciseness is not desirable; explaining aspects of font technology comes to mind. So if you want character limits, apply them only to certain categories and leave the rest alone.
  • I’m less inclined to limit post length than I am to enact a post limit. What I’m thinking is there should be some metric that, when achieved, allows the post limit to take effect.
  • It’s become clear that far too many TypeDrawers discussions descend into a ping-pong between the same few people, usually folks who didn’t post the original message. To encourage a diversity of voices, and reduce the spread of conversation domination, I’m suggesting a new set of rules:
    1. You may post up to 3 times a day to a discussion in which you are not the OP.
    2. You may post up to 10 times a day on TypeDrawers (site-wide).
    3. You may break these limits at the cost of $25 per post. Funds raised will be donated to a scholarship for underrepresented students in type design.
    sensible suggestions, Stephen.

    1. agree.
    2. you may post up to 5 times a day …
    3. this may be difficult to administer, or even unrealistic to happen.
    4. a character limit per posting: very wise!
    I would welcome such measures. It is always annoying to see a busybody using a conversation for exhibiting himself. We had far too much of that. I.m.h.o.

  • Stephen ColesStephen Coles Posts: 899
    edited June 19
    Ramiro's suggestion on post lengths is really a separate idea and I don't think it's a necessary one.

    My intention is to limit only the most egregious overposting, especially those who draw the conversation away from those who post the first message in a discussion. Many OPs are new to the forum and I believe they are more apt to participate if they see more than the same voices over and over again.
  • @Stephen Coles Of course they are even less apt to participate if they see no voices over and over again... Asymmetry of participation is the nature of the beast, and I think good moderation (as we've generally had here, although currently we do seem to have a shortage of moderators) is much more effective than panicking and adding trappings of control that might do more harm than good.

    What can certainly be improved though is diversity, especially concerning Whom It's For more than Who It's By: those who design for minority cultures.

    Also, please don't allow people who leave to delete their posts. It's part of the public record, and nothing is more discouraging (including to newbies) to witness a scorched earth. The four-hour editing time-limit is it.
  • Stephen ColesStephen Coles Posts: 899
    TD is in no danger of silent threads, and a very generous limit will not change that. The very real problem is lack of new and diverse participation. 
  • @James Puckett Moderation and flagging have been doing a pretty good job keeping things mostly on-topic; there was no moderation on Typophile, which among other things let in droves of pirates and plagiarists – and I was one of the very few confronting them, except I was told I was scaring off newbies... To me expecting a draconian 100% adherence is inhuman. And what one less person won't do (like it didn't on Typo-L) is bring back 50% of the population... If you don't believe that, tell them JM left (with all his posts) and cross your fingers.
  • Chris LozosChris Lozos Posts: 1,371
    Yes, it would be very comforting to feel as if our little forum was welcoming and open to to anyone from any group, gender, place of origin, language, partnership preference, or whatever.  We have not yet earned this distinction.  We are all humans with failings and it is up to us as individuals to control our own failings. Setting up action items to achieve this is not the answer. Just saying "we want diversity" loudly will not make it happen.  We can take steps to assure that no person is prevented from joining but we cannot will them to join.  We can leave the door open but we cannot drag in unwilling recruits. We each have to be the kind of person who others might feel comfortable with and avoid being "Grumpy Old Men" but, being human, we fail at this. Leave the door open, a light on, and a welcome mat in front.  That is all we can do.
  • Eris AlarEris Alar Posts: 324
    edited June 20
    I’m less inclined to limit post length than I am to enact a post limit. What I’m thinking is there should be some metric that, when achieved, allows the post limit to take effect.
    Maybe a “waffling” reaction, similar to off topic ha 
  • Eris AlarEris Alar Posts: 324
    @Stephen Coles my only hesitation is that when a discussion is happening it’s easy to make numerous posts, but I’m not here often enough to have a real horse in this race, and have no hard evidence that limits would stifle conversation. Regarding diversity, is there a way to talk to people who are choosing to not stay here (or join at all) and see if any common themes come up as reasons? If the bulk of current members are from a monolithic group then it’s highly likely we will not see the gaps and red flags others see. 

  • Chris LozosChris Lozos Posts: 1,371
    Are you really concerned you wouldn't be able to meet the new limits?
    No, I would have no problem making the limits. I could care less about it. I just hate being treated like a child.
    Naw, I think we can do more
    You tried doing more before and it was a catastrophe. Post your ideas to do better instead of just tossing off a "Naw"with an air of superiority. The truth is, what do we have to offer that is worth putting up with whatever we are? Don't you think it is just a bit arrogant to assume that we are just that valuable to be with? Time to come down to earth.  We are just some guys who talk about type, this is not the UN. Do you think anyone who  you intend to join in would read this thread and the other one James started, would be enticed to join us or would it be a total turn off?  Just be honest and not try to impress someone.  If we had built it, they would have come.


  • John SavardJohn Savard Posts: 844
    I have no problem with the suggestion of bringing back the "off topic" reaction. This suggestion I find problematic. But my question would be: does this site have a problem with a lack of moderatiion, in the sense of too many inappropriate posts? (A recent announcement did say it is short of moderators, but that is a different matter.)
    We did have an incident where a user was banned - and all past posts by that user were removed, which damaged an existing discussion including many legitimate and serious posts. But that is a single incident.
    Perhaps there is a general problem, and I'm just not aware of it, because unlike the type design professionals here, I may not be as sensitive to borderline off-topic posting being a waste of time. So I am not going to try to tell the type design professionals here - for whom this site exists first and foremost - what kind of a site they should have.
    If there is a general problem, and the recent incident only reflected it, that's one thing. But if there was only the recent incident, and no other symptoms of a general problem, I think I can reasonably say that making fundamental changes to how the site is moderated as a result is not necessary or useful, and so I would like to commend this general principle to the thinking of those better qualified than I to say if there are problems.
  • Stephen ColesStephen Coles Posts: 899
    edited June 20
    James Montalbano was not banned. He asked for his account to be removed. Unfortunately, all his content went with it. That has little to do with what I’m addressing, which is a severe lack of diversity on the site. Take a look around and you’ll quickly see what’s missing. 
  • Stephen ColesStephen Coles Posts: 899
    I would trust moderators with the power to throttle specific overenthusiastic commenters, if they're willing to take on that responsibility.
    We can scarcely get more than a couple moderators to do what already needs doing. We aren’t going to get someone to police every thread. My suggestion is the opposite of policing: it is an unambiguous and objective limit that can be enforced programmatically. 
  • @Stephen Coles FYI that was your 6th post today...  :-)  And this one is only my 5th.  :->

    TTFN
  • John SavardJohn Savard Posts: 844
    edited June 20
    He asked for his account to be removed. Unfortunately, all his content went with it. That has little to do with what I’m addressing, which is a severe lack of diversity on the site. Take a look around and you’ll quickly see what’s missing. 

    I see now from another thread that apparently he asked for his account to be removed because he felt that he might say something intemperate that he would regret... as a result of finding Hrant Papazian so annoying.
    I know that Hrant's posts may be a little opinionated at times, but I haven't noticed what he has been doing that would provoke such a reaction. If anything, I've found his perspectives refreshing and challenging; when I don't agree with them, they're still food for thought.
    It is true there used to be several women active here, and now it appears there are not. I had assumed it was just coincidence, not that this forum had somehow become toxic. But then, how would I know? It could well be that after Hrant, I'm the second-worst troublemaker around here. Or not.
    Rather than jumping to the conclusion that there are some terribly oversensitive people around here, though, I will admit there are a lot of threads I don't even look at, and also I may not understand the history that will lead people to take things in a certain way.
    I hope that women in type design will find out there a safe space to discuss type design, or have the opportunity to create one. That, at least, would not require us here to get into a fight about what we may, or may not, be doing wrong.
  • Marc OxborrowMarc Oxborrow Posts: 186
    I support Stephen’s proposed post limits. 
Sign In or Register to comment.