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Everything posted by mandarin

  1. Hello UK forum poster (yes, and the readers only) I am resigning from the voluntary post of UK Forum Moderator and I’m hanging up my Duck suit. There are several reasons for this and I shall explain them briefly: Three months ago I naively thought that acting as one of the UK’s Forum mods would be a pleasant and enjoyable way to contribute to the UK Forum community. I have now discovered it isn't enjoyable at all. I sincerely hoped at the beginning that the contributors to this forum would respond favourably and positively to having a fresh start and someone completely new in the job, someone who had previously had no axe to grind and who would do their dam.nest to try and mod in a balanced and reasonable fashion. I’ve given it 3 months and the last week or so has tested my patience to the limits and finally tonight I decided, “Ducky, you really don’t need to do this”. I think one of the final straws was having a poster refer to the reviewers as “a non-benevolent dictatorship”. Knowing how hard all four reviewers work, every day, for the good of the UK geocaching community, I suddenly felt overwhelmed at the whole tone of posts from certain contributors. I will not name names. If the cap fits etc… My other concerns are to do with differences in interpretations of GSP's forum policies. I tried to very carefully assess and moderate within the boundaries of one particular matter, but it was found to be unacceptable. OK, that in itself was not a huge deal but I felt that if Deceangi and myself can not address this one simple matter and act as we considered to be reasonable then I don’t want to have to work within a system where I feel the need to check on every moderation we perform to avoid acting in error. My final concern is with what I perceive to be GSP's lack of interaction with the UK forum community in regards to addressing their queries and problems. I have felt this particularly over the last week or so where the “reviewer bashing” has gone on and a few words from “someone at the top” might have served to re-directed the flak to someone who’s actually paid to take the GSP stance and would have been well able to answer queries and concerns in detail. Anyway, I feel I've given it fair whack for 3 months. The vast majority of forum posters are considerate reasonable people who post their thoughts and criticisms well, without making personal attacks, and backing up their comments with examples and even with touches of levity thrown in. To these folks I raise my duck crest - keep up the good works folks, these forums sure need you! As a final word, let me add this – The folks over on the Lily Pad are not ogres or malevolent influences or whatever interpretation some UK posters would have us believe. They, too, work hard to try and make geocaching work for all their global customers and I bear no ill-feeling to any of them. I have had good relationships with them as individual and I leave the post of moderator without feelings of bitterness towards the Frog and his friends. Thank you and goodnight. mandarin <quack>
  2. Please make any further comments regarding Moderation on the new Topic here Moderating moderating. That will leave this Topic to continue on matters to do with reviewing. Thank you mandarin
  3. Following on from comments made in the other Topic here, I've decided to start this one purely for comments regarding Moderation, thus leaving the other thread to continue "on topic" with regards to Reviewing issues. There seems to be no reason why the convention of "closing topics at the OP's request" should continue. I have not found it written anywhere as a guideline set in stone. The origins of this seem to go back some way and it was put in place by previous reviewers as 'a good thing', at that time. After speaking to Deceangi about it, we've decided to drop this practice in future. We will let topics run their full course, as long as all posts follow the forum guidelines. mandarin (edited to make my link link)
  4. Good morning Forum posters Regarding all these comments about closing topics at the request of the OP - I asked in an earlier post what you thought about this and I thank you for your specific comments on this matter. The convention of closing a post if the OP requests this action is one that I adopted when I took over as one of the Mods 3 months ago. This was the way that I understood it should be done. However, having read the views expressed here, I'm going to be looking into Mandarin's Manual of Moderation which was issued to me at that time to see whether this procedure is set in stone, or writ in illuminated script anywhere. At the same time, I'll also be looking in to the recommendations it contains on 'good practice' regarding where certain topics get placed within the Groundspeak forums, as this was brought up earlier by The Royle's post. I'll get back to you when I've found out more details. mandarin
  5. Thank you to The Royles for offering these examples, I will address each comment in turn: 1. "Pups thread being moved with lots of others of a similar nature left." It has been my impression that over past years very few Topics that fell into the "GPS and Technology" category were actually moved over into that Forum. Since I've been modding, I've tried to have some balance by leaving those "techie" topics that appear to have some broader, or more general interest, in the UK Forum. Also, these Forums can be a rather daunting place to put up a Topic if you're a new cacher asking the perenniel favourite "Which GPS should I buy?" or similar question and to have it immediately moved off into another section may seem a little "heavy-handed" and disheartening for a new contributor. However, in future I will apply this moderation in a heavier manner to ensure that all such technical Topics get moved across. Please put this one down to the fact that I am not a "techie" person and I find it difficult to judge sometimes just how "techie" something actually is. In future, if you feel that one of these GPS and Technology topics is sitting in the UK forum when it would be better off in the other one then please simply PM me the link, mention why you feel it should be moved and (after checking with my colleagues who know more about such things!) it will be dealt with appropriately. Incidentally, when I moved PUP's Topic across, I emailed him about it and received a perfectly reasonable response, without complaint. 2. "Camping thread locked because of mails sent outside of the thread." This Topic was closed at the request of the Mad H@ter. "Could the next passing duck please lock this thread as I think it has run its course and seems unlikely to develop further." Your own post in that thread (#164) appears to suggest that you were in agreement with his sentiment at that time. 3. "Banned subjects thread now locked with no answer given by the mods." Once again, this topic was closed at the suggestion of the OP, mcwomble. (I actually double-checked with him that he did mean it to be closed, and he confirmed that he agreed with my action.) As to "no answer given by the mods" (I assume you meant "no answer given by the reviewers", as they are not all mods, just as not both mods are reviewers) - I saw responses from the reviewers but if they were not what you wanted to hear then it's up to them to comment further, if they feel they need to. Just three other points, I'd like to mention here: Referring to items 2 and 3 above, as I pointed out in my earlier post, the mods work on the principle that if the OP requests that their Topic should be closed then we follow that wish. In moderating this forum we are not required to read every post, nor are we expected to monitor it 24/7. If we are sent a PM or email about some matter we will give it our attention as soon as possible. If we happen to read it 'immediately' then we try and respond swiftly. If, however, we're engaged in real life activities then it may be several hours before you get a response (if we feel action is required). If it's a rather more complicated matter then we may need some time to discuss what suitable response (if any) may be appropriate. Finally, everyone has a choice whether they participate in this Forum, or not. No one is obliged to reply/respond/participate in any way. As we know, many geocachers do not choose to interact through these Forums for whatever reasons. Those who do choose to interact here do so of their own free will and are all welcome to do so as long as the Forum Guidelines are being followed. Again, thank you for making a clear and specific criticism which I have tried to answer, rather than vague accusations which are always difficult to refute. mandarin
  6. I'd like to thank Michael for stepping in to moderate on this Topic. This gives me the opportunity to directly comment, or express views, in this discussion which is generating some degree of robust debate. Although the Topic refers to "Reviewer bashing" I hope it won't be considered "off topic" if I make a brief response to Alan White's comments regarding the recent moderating of this forum. It's always interesting to read views about how heavy or light the moderation should be and I've come across varying degrees of opinion in the PMs which have come through to me over the last 3 months. Finding a level of response that pleases everyone is (I have discovered) impossible, but that doesn't mean it shouldn't be up for discussion. Forum Guideline #3 states (in part) "If you want to praise or criticize, give examples as to why it is good or bad". I would like to ask Alan White, or anyone else who cares to respond, to give some individual examples of which Topics they feel should not have been closed (despite whatever reason I gave at the time) and to give their reason as to why they believe the particular topic should have remained open. Looking back over the last 3 pages of forum posts it appears to me that nearly all have been closed at the request of the OP - Do forum users believe this particular moderating principle should be changed? Thanks
  7. Right <deep breath> This topic is being closed until 2100hrs this evening. After that time the UK Moderators will step back from moderating this particular Topic and we will get one of the Global Moderators to do so instead. As there has been implied criticism of the moderators and reviewers and also because I'm married to one who, it has been suggested, may be a non-benevolent dictator, it is no longer possible for Deceangi or myself to moderate this Topic in a totally impartial manner. In taking this course of action both Deceangi and myself feel that we are following correct procedures for moderating a Topic where we feel we are being directly criticised. We thank you for your patience until this Topic is re-opened at 2100hrs. mandarin
  8. In accordance with the wishes of mcwomble, the OP, I am closing this Topic. mandarin
  9. At this point I'll remind posters to this thread of a couple of the Forum guidelines: "1. Forum courtesy: Please treat Groundspeak, its employees, volunteers, fellow community members, and guests on these boards with courtesy and respect." and also "3. Personal attacks and inflammatory behavior will not be tolerated..." Please continue on topic and use appropriate language when posting your comments. Thanks you mandarin
  10. Topic closed, as requested by the OP. mandarin
  11. Thank you for your various comments. In moderating this regional section of Groundspeak's forums I am fortunate in having the benefit of advice and support from Deceangi and other moderators, all of whom have far more experience than myself at 'modding'. I am happy to work with them and, despite what some contributors appear to believe, I have no problem with the above situation. mandarin
  12. Welcome to this forum, Complete Control. As Lost in Space mentioned above, it's not considered "the done thing" to directly promote your own caches on the forum, but I appreciate that you are new to this UK forum and probably didn't realise that. (Yes, it's one of those 'unwritten rules' that folks like to mention regularly ) Maybe any subsequent posters to this thread could comment on any other rather dodgy urban caches that they may have found in their travels? mandarin
  13. Moving this Topic over into the GPS and Technology Forum, which is a more appropriate place for it. mandarin
  14. Just a reminder to all posters on the thread: Please keep all posts OT (On Top) - There's been some wandering recently. Thanks mandarin Edited for clarification, after Dakar's post below
  15. As the main Topic for this is over in the Geocoin Forum, this is a duplicate thread and so I'm now closing it. Anyone else interested in joining please follow the link below and sign up over there. Thanks. International Santa Mission - details in the Geocoin Forum. mandarin
  16. I go away for a couple of hours, come back, what do I find? 8 Reports to Mod and some other matters I'll need to look over... This Topic first of all - I think the matter of firetacks has been covered. Deceangi has dealt with the OP's original question, so I think this is a good time to close this Topic. Thank you to all who have made sensible and polite contributions to the discussion. mandarin
  17. Thank you. That's good. I'm taking notes...
  18. The title and the link in the first post of that closed Topic referred specifically to one cache. The thread developed into a dispute primarily between the two parties involved. When I closed the Topic I informed the OP that if he wished to start a new Topic covering the broader issues regarding extreme caches then he was welcome to do so and this applies equally to anyone else who wishes to continue that part of the debate. mandarin
  19. From the Forum Guidelines: "6. Private discussions: Sometimes, a discussion thread strays off into a friendly dialogue or a heated debate among a very small number of users. For these exchanges, we ask that you please use the Private Message feature that is provided through the Groundspeak forums, or the Geocaching.com e-mail system. Public forum posts should be reserved for matters of interest to the general geocaching community." I think this point has now been reached, so I am closing this Topic. If the parties directly involved in this particular cache dialogue wish to continue it further, please do so as suggested in the guideline quoted above. Thank you. mandarin
  20. Merging Little Miss Naughty's topic (See post #42) into this main Flash Mob discussion.
  21. This Topic is now being moved across to the GPS and Technology Forum to see if there are further opinions there. mandarin
  22. We are allowing the GAGB Elections topic to accept posts from their nominees because it is of benefit to the UK Geocaching community. Dont read any more into it than that. The Forum Guidelines regarding Charity agendas have not changed. Somebody would have complained no matter which way this decision was made, so at least by allowing that topic the community benifits with a geocaching item. mandarin.
  23. I thank the OP for his PM to me regarding his post and thanks, too, to Mad H@ter for pulling this Topic back 'on topic' before I closed it for straying too far. Back to the "Thank you" and we hope you will continue caching ... mandarin
  24. It seems that a reminder of this Forum's Guidlines is required at this point: "1. Forum courtesy: Please treat Groundspeak, its employees, volunteers, fellow community members, and guests on these boards with courtesy and respect." I have edited the OP's quote below to use more appropriate language: With reference to his comment, I've had a look back through the OP's forum posts and I have not been able to find one in which he has requested the above information regarding changing his user name. The posters to this Forum are usually helpful and such information is generally quickly forthcoming, as Deceangi has shown in his response above. I hope the OP will now be able to change his name if necessary and will continue to enjoy caching again in the future. mandarin
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