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Re: (Toward a better PerlMonks) Who do we serve, and why, and how can we do it better?

by Argel (Prior)
on Jun 10, 2013 at 23:12 UTC ( #1038171=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to (Toward a better PerlMonks) Who do we serve, and why, and how can we do it better?

I agree with the "on point" focus on volunteer service work, but experience points, node reputation, and anonymous posts are not the problem. The real problem (in my opinion) is lack of leadership. I tried to draw attention to this in Better Days? but clearly toned that node down too much. Though the Anonymous Monk in Re^5: Better Days? did understand: "I think the OP's point about how members reacted to the troll last summer didn't help either."

And that right there is the problem. Prominent members, including some of the gods, encouraged a troll for several months, inflicting significant amounts of friendly fire and collateral damage on PM as a whole.

Others have said that forums decline over time, but that's taking the easy way out. The reality is that when leadership actively works against the best interests of a site other undesirable behavior will be encouraged, or at least will not be discouraged, and the site will begin to fall into decline.

And sadly, just mentioning the representative from The Perl Foundation covers that front....

Of course, yet another post by you complaining about XP and Anonymous Monk does not exactly make this a better place either. Though I salute you for posting as yourself and upvoted your node for the "staying on-point" commentary.

Elda Taluta; Sarks Sark; Ark Arks
My deviantART gallery

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Re^2: (Toward a better PerlMonks) Who do we serve, and why, and how can we do it better?
by Anonymous Monk on Jun 10, 2013 at 23:46 UTC

    Though I salute you for posting as yourself and upvoted your node for the "staying on-point" commentary.

    I would much rather like to see you upvote the OP for putting "stay on point" into practice

Re^2: (Toward a better PerlMonks) Who do we serve, and why, and how can we do it better?
by sundialsvc4 (Abbot) on Jun 11, 2013 at 02:24 UTC

    A very interesting observation ... “lack of leadership.”

    I have only-recently become aware that there are gods here ... or what are called “orders,” which appears to be a very-exclusive, by-invitation-only scheme by which you can volunteer to swab the decks.   ;-)   (And seriously, I’m not making fun here:   if you have a ship at sea, then you have decks and salt-water, and so, those decks must be swabbed.)   Probably the reason why I have not been aware of their existence is that ... PerlMonks has de-centralized that role.   Having achieved some certain quasi-status, I (among many...) can both “moderate” an unapproved node, and “consider” one that has come under fire ... or bring it under fire in like manner.

    PerlMonks, in other words, by design trusts its users, as a collective, with a role that traditionally is reserved to über-powerful "gods," whose singular authority firepower cannot be questioned nor overturned.   However, does that somehow result in “a lack of leadership?”   I don’t know.   But I sure do find the thought to be interesting, for being so un-answered ...

    Still, to me it really does come back to information content, not personalities.   The day-to-day bubblings of an online forum are superficially interesting, especially as one slurps one’s first cup of morning coffee, but their real value manifests in the many years that follow.   Just today, I found a “timely” answer in a post made eleven years ago ... and, for all I know (and not that I should care), the author could be ten years dead.

      Still, to me it really does come back to information content,

      Exactly. It is the "information content" of your posts that is demonstrably -- and oft-demonstrated -- as wrong -- often 180° so -- that is the source of your downvotes and personal attacks.

      • When asked, cajoled, and challenged to substantiate the technical information in your posts; you simply ignore those requests.
      • When that technical content is comprehensively demonstrated to be wrong; you simply ignore it and continue to post that same wrong crap.
      • The only thing that ever gets any reaction from you is when frustration with you causes someone to question you personally.

        That, at least, succeeds in drawing you out with yet another of these pointless threads; which in turn, have served to draw the attention of a wider audience to the terrible, unhelpful, -- sometimes disastrously so -- state of the technical content of many(*) of your posts.

        And that is a blessing in disguise. You serve as your own whilstle-blower which is ironically perfect.

      (*I'd say all -- which is my firm impression -- but I don't consider myself competent to judge all of it.)

      With the rise and rise of 'Social' network sites: 'Computers are making people easier to use everyday'
      Examine what is said, not who speaks -- Silence betokens consent -- Love the truth but pardon error.
      "Science is about questioning the status quo. Questioning authority".
      In the absence of evidence, opinion is indistinguishable from prejudice.
      Perhaps it's not the lack of leadership, but when the leaders actively work against the site. Are we really to believe that several months of trolling had no impact on The Monastery? Or the hall monitoring for questions that do not meet some clique's requirements had no impact? And what if the gods collectively came out against the hall monitoring?

      How about this exchange in Re^4: Do Not Feed the Trolls!!! (ban) between tye and chromatic way back in 2007:

      Tye: But when, for example, one of the gods appears to make a personal project of carrying on an extended discussion with "the troll"...

      chromatic: It was an experiment, and it was well worth my time, as I learned a few things.

      Is it any surprise then that a few years later we see Corion, chromatic, ikegami, and others encouraging arguably the worst troll we have ever had for months on end?

      Your own previous post, Politeness (to one another) is a virtue, provided for some interesting (and depressing reading). This thread stands out: 939315, 939349 - 940494. Here's a heavily edited for brevity version (without any "..."):

      chromatic If you care to read those threads, you'll see me advising him to tread lightly as well as telling people to stop abusing him.

      Anonymous Monk I've read them far more than I cared to and I find your recollection of the events a little disingenuous. You're painting the whole episode, which lasted months, with a fairly one sided brush.

      The person showed a long pattern of bait and abuse on this site as well as an established history on others. You chose to ignore that, for your own reasons, and continued engaging with him until he had an epic meltdown a few weeks ago.

      A meltdown you seemed to be quietly absent from while everyone else suffered from his actions. Where were you to [sic] "Advise him to tread lightly" when all this was happening?

      chromatic Trading private email with him.

      Also, sometimes the business of running a business and managing employees and contractors means that I can't donate as much of my time to helping adults make wise choices as you might prefer that I donate.

      Argel [not the Anonymous Monk above] And my answer to that is if you do not have enough time to fully commit to something then do not get involved with it in the first place! In the end you were an enabler for poor behavior. And The Monastery in general suffered for it.

      Of course, if you research back to the events (2011 time frame), you will find that others such as Corion and ikegami were heavily engaged as well.

      Anyway, the point is that the gods collectively abdicated their responsibility to this site in favor of personal goals (presumably trying to bring a technically gifted but antagonistic person into the Perl community).

      So here we are, a few years later, and you really have to ask if leadership matters; has had an impact on this site? How many potential new members did we lose over that several month period? How many regulars did we lose, either completely or partially via reduced participation?

      Elda Taluta; Sarks Sark; Ark Arks
      My deviantART gallery

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