Time to Revamp the Forum?

OK, I did not think I would have to do this again, but here I am explaining why we have rules and why as admins we ask our members to adhere to these rules.  This is what I know from my previous role as an Admin of this Forum and from my background working as an IT (Information Technology) Systems Analyst about maintaining an online forum/group.

Let us now analyze the confusing too hard to follow rules:

  1. The Basics! (As in the Guidelines from The Daily Post)
Rule Reason

Please do not post photos (unless it is for a weekly feature or photo post feature), movies, music, & similar multimedia here.

We have people in this forum connecting from different countries using different devices with access to the internet with varying speed. When the forum allows anyone and everyone to post content like photos, music and videos, it consumes more bandwidth to download, this becomes bothersome especially for people with slow internet connections as the site/page will either take forever to load or not load at all for them!

This is a forum for everyone’s use so a little consideration will not hurt anyone.

Avoid posting original content better suited for blogs here. Instead post a link and tell us what your link is about and what you’d like feedback on. This way the members do not have to scroll forever if they do not want to read your post. We have a slot called ‘Guest Feature’ for those who wish to post original content.
Please limit posting your blog link for feedback to just your own thread no more than 2 or 3 times a day.

Again, this is a forum for all members who are part of it. We (as in the admins) have the responsibility to ensure that everyone gets a fair chance to post links and feedback requests to their blog. If anyone and everyone who visits the forum just drops their link and leaves, then there would be nothing worthy in this forum other than a bunch of links!

Be the lovely, respectful, and supporting individuals that you are. We are all writers. We are all in this forum hoping to receive and provide support to one another and in the process learn a little something too.

The only way I see for one to be supportive is by respectful, encouraging and understanding to other members.

We can always politely disagree with something – nothing wrong there so long as you are not directly attacking/bullying someone.

Please respect copyright. Anything posted here should be your own work or you should have permission to share it.

Self-explanatory – you know, copyright issues!

These were the basic guidelines requested of the members. Now let’s move onto the next set of rules.

  1. The Tags:
Tag Rule

#feedback

The basic idea of this forum is for us to ask for feedback. When you use the tag feedback, your post will be categorized into that section, thereby opening it up to the Worldwideweb or rather to everyone who is hoping to give feedback or receive similar feedback.

This not only generates traffic to YOUR blog, but helps current members to go and search the forum using this tag for discussions on a particular topic at any time.

#help

This tag is to be added to your post when you have a problem and need help from the admins or forum members. It can be a technical issue or a writing/blogging related issues.

The reason we tag is so that we can always access these posts should someone face a similar issue again – it saves time and may even help another member at some stage!

#idea

We have more than 200 members in this forum and some of you are very active members. Each one may/may not have an idea for the forum. We may/may not incorporate them. While it is difficult to keep track of the suggestions and ideas given towards the improvement of the forum, keeping all these ideas categorized in one place helps many of us who may want to refer them at a later stage for our own personal blogs. As a forum member you are even free to take ideas from the list of suggestions you see under the idea category.
#Weekly

Every member is aware of our weekly features, some very interesting and informative articles have been shared in this forum for the weekly features.

Have you ever seen the hyperlinked text for the weekly features on the right sidebar of the forum? Each one of these hyperlinks take you to the page with all the posts shared for that particular feature.

For example; Creative Writing posts – if you are looking for some information on creative writing articles, and you click on the hyperlink “Creative Writing” it will take you to the page with all the posts published on the forum under that feature. Do you know why?  Because the writers of that article were kind enough to add the tags and the admins created the page to show the posts with these tags.

If you do not add the tag, your posts do not show up in each of these categories and may miss the eyes of someone who is probably looking for the information you spent hours writing about!  I am sure most of us would prefer for it to be available to people for reading.

Admins spend a lot of their time on the forum fixing and organizing it, hours of work in a day is done on the backend trying to maintain this organized order of posts for the benefit of the members. So when some members do not conform to the guidelines, admins may decide to point it out. It is only fair that every member is treated equally.

There are many instances when members genuinely do not know how to do something, in such cases, admins take it upon themselves to explain the process/procedure to them. But there have also been instances where few members have not bothered to even follow the basic guidelines.

Many have asked why we have so many rules in this forum. Well, I have listed out the rules and the reasons for them. The simple and basic fact of life is that without rules we humans cannot co-exist. Look around you, do you not see rules everywhere? Rules at home, rules at work, rules/laws on the road etc etc. The same applies to the internet world. It would be impossible to manage a forum without certain rules.  I am yet to come across a forum/group on the internet without rules and moderators/admins to manage those rules. Sites like Reddit even go to the extent of shadow banning you if you fail to follow their rules more than once.

Please note that the admins of this forum are not ‘hired’ by WordPress, they volunteer to do this work. Hours of work that they can spend on their own blogs. The reason I am pointing this out – if you are unhappy with your admin, please feel free to ask for a vote to replace the admin.

Anyway, here’s my suggestion for this forum. Since the problem from the beginning has been the admins stressing on tags/rules, we can decide (maybe via a vote?) to not have any admins for this forum. The scheduling managers will take care of their weekly schedules. Rest of the forum becomes free for all. All members will only have Author access, there will not be be an admin to oversee or organize the forum. Those who want to follow the rules can do so and those who do not want to follow the rules do not have to do so. This way at least the person who volunteers to become admin is not blamed for every little thing that goes wrong on the forum and does not have to spend hours of their time organizing it as well!

All members (not tagging anyone) – please feel free to add your inputs.  This post is not meant to spark a debate, only a discussion.

#idea #discussion

#48hr, #b101