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Blade-of-Truth
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7/7/2016 9:48:17 PM
Posted: 5 months ago
This is a calling to any and all serious members of this site.

We've got some problems...

We have flame-wars happening between presidential candidates instead of proper debates focusing on their individual and campaign policies. We have a moderator trolling a once respected process for choosing our next user-base representative. We have older, respectable members preaching at every chance how this site has long fallen from glory. We have less votes, lower quality debates, and joking about the problems rather than solving them has become the norm. As I said, we've got some problems.

If we're going to solve these problems, then I need your help. This is a problem that is bigger than just any one member, this is a problem that has persisted far too long and has snowballed into a pandemic, I need every capable member to get serious for a moment and lend me a moment of your time to hear me out. That's all I ask.

There is one common thread between the decreasing quality of this site, and that is that there has yet to be a unified response to the growing problems. We have an established member here and there that can see exactly what I see, they then try to create high quality debates, high quality discussions, or leave high quality votes but what happens? They get burnt out. They quickly come to realize that this problem is bigger than just them, that it will need a much larger effort than what they can accomplish as a mere individual.

More often than not, these are the ones that then turn into the biggest trolls. Their cynical side gets the best of them because there is just no genuine outlet for their intellectual needs. They have no other option than to approach everything in a non-serious manner because that is the only way their points, oftentimes hidden in the trolling, can be heard to any reasonable degree. I am guilty of this, and can list a plethora of users who are also guilty of this. More importantly though, I am tired of it. I'm tired of having to be cynical or joke about everything because everything is a joke in the first place. I *want* to have real intellectual stimulation again, I *want* to see genuine challenges once more as I scroll through the debates or forums topics.

Thus, I hereby propose that we change the current status quo. Don't underestimate this statement or what it will demand. I am seriously proposing this, and I require a serious effort from a multitude of members who are capable of helping bring about this change. You know who you are, I know who you are, and I am asking for your help in this endeavor. I do not require that you sign up, or express agreement, I only ask that you get to work. It's time to get to work.

The effort to change the current status quo will be 3-fold, and it will require the very best from those of you who excel in any of these 3 particular aspects of the site.

1) Reviving the Debates Section

This is the first of three initial revivals that will need to happen concurrently. We can't just focus on one part of this site and move on from there, we need to hit every viable weak spot at once. This is the first spot. What we need here is for established and new members alike to start instigating some serious debates, debates that focus on pressing issues and ones that would re-ignite the spirit of debate that this site is all about. It's the summer time, so if there is any time of the year where our general user base has the most free-time, this is it. I am asking that everyone capable of doing so to please start. The more debates, the better.

Let's not beat around the bush, these debates tend to pop up pretty highly on Google searches which feature the same language as the debate title. So, the more of these the better because it'll bring more people to the debate section specifically, reflecting the very nature of this site, which would hopefully motivate them to join the site themselves to partake in their own debates. It's a win-win, we raise the quality and quantity of debate challenges here, and also attract new users who'd potentially contribute to a section of the site that they develop a genuine passion for.

How many of you came to this site because of a debate you saw? The potential impact is real, and if we come together in this effort we can surely bring about an even greater influx of members, all of whom have potential to be great contributors here.

2) Reviving the Golden Age of Voting

This is the second revival that will need to happen. There was once an age when we had members such as Bluesteel and Bladerunner leading the pack with their high-quality votes. In fact, their votes were so impressive that they literally motivated others to vote better themselves. This doesn't seem to happen anymore. We have some excellent efforts already underway, such as the Voters Union, but this doesn't have the same effect that those two voters had, and it's that effect that we need here once more.

There is one common trait in every human - we like conducting ourselves in a manner similar to those who we look up to. So, it was no surprise that when established members such as Bluesteel, Bladerunner, or any other fantastic voter over time placed an incredible vote - people wanted to do the same. When they were active, it was an age where we strived to better ourselves because we were motivated by the impressive feats and efforts of others. This is what we need to get back to.

This is about having members give such impressive feedback in their RFD that they actually motivate others to do the same. There are many members here capable of doing so, and to those of you who are, I only ask that you try. Try to remember what those days were like, when members were literally competing to place the best vote or positively impressed when an established member would post an RFD that perfectly captured the debate and expressed who won and for what reasons. We have the power to influence and motivate the newer users, we can push them to strive for the best by striving for the best ourselves. It's time to lead by example once more.

3) Reviving the Forums Section

This is the final and most important of the three revivals that will need to take place. There was once a time when we had members writing amazing fanfics, when threads would be flooded with incredibly intelligent members challenging one another over a multitude of topics. Today, a brilliant post is fairly uncommon. However, complaining about it gets us nowhere. We need to start elevating the quality of discussions that take place here on a daily basis. We need to be proactive OP's that spark the spirit of discussion in our threads.

This revival should take place in various forms. For one, the writers of DDO could start up fanfics again. They were incredibly entertaining, and featuring members of the site as the characters fostered a closer connection between the members in the community. We used to even hold competitions which could easily be started up again.

Let's also get presidential updates going again, or perhaps the creation of a series that showcases good debates, threads, and votes. By highlighting the best efforts of our members on a regular basis, we can, in turn, motivate new members to reach that same level of excellence. This, too, would foster a greater sense of community.

How many of you joined this site because of the discussions in the forums section? Again, the potential impact is real.

***

With so much room for growth, and so much to do, this is a potentially endless project - one that will demand the best, from our best, to make this site the best it can be. I ask that you please join me in these efforts, because together, unified in our efforts, we can truly change this site for the better.
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PetersSmith
Posts: 5,860
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7/7/2016 9:50:48 PM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 7/7/2016 9:48:17 PM, Blade-of-Truth wrote:
This is a calling to any and all serious members of this site.

We've got some problems...

Is this you running for president? If not, you might as well and use this as your platform.
Empress of DDO (also Poll and Forum "Maintenance" Moderator)

"The two most important days in your life is the day you were born, and the day you find out why."
~Mark Twain

"Wow"
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"Don't believe everything you read on the internet just because there's a picture with a quote next to it."
~Abraham Lincoln

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1harderthanyouthink
Posts: 13,107
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7/7/2016 9:54:36 PM
Posted: 5 months ago
Good on you for trying to make the site better. Best of luck in your endeavor.
"It's awfully considerate of you to think of me here,
And I'm much obliged to you for making it clear - that I'm not here."

-Syd Barrett

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Hayd
Posts: 4,022
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7/7/2016 10:09:35 PM
Posted: 5 months ago
This is a good message, and I agree wholeheartedly.

I'm already doing the most I can in the Debate and Voting aspects, but I'll start a new fan fic for the forums
Blade-of-Truth
Posts: 5,036
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7/7/2016 10:14:28 PM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 7/7/2016 9:54:36 PM, 1harderthanyouthink wrote:
Good on you for trying to make the site better. Best of luck in your endeavor.

Thank you, I hope you partake. Your high intelligence, which is revealed in nearly all of your hangout discussions, would be well spent being shared here in the forums on a more often basis. There are many intelligent members here who would greatly increase the quality of discussions if we all just start being more proactive with sharing our thoughts.
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Blade-of-Truth
Posts: 5,036
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7/7/2016 10:17:12 PM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 7/7/2016 10:09:35 PM, Hayd wrote:
This is a good message, and I agree wholeheartedly.

Thank you, you've certainly done good with the new member mentor program yourself. I hope you stick with those efforts, they certainly make a difference here.

I'm already doing the most I can in the Debate and Voting aspects, but I'll start a new fan fic for the forums

That'd be awesome. I'm thinking about starting a fanfic myself and even accidentally posted a few sentences of it last night in the entertainment forum, lol. It'd be great though to see those pick up steam again, and we surely have some excellent or budding writers here that'd produce some good material if they see others lead the way.
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Blade-of-Truth
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7/7/2016 10:25:57 PM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 7/7/2016 9:50:48 PM, PetersSmith wrote:
At 7/7/2016 9:48:17 PM, Blade-of-Truth wrote:
This is a calling to any and all serious members of this site.

We've got some problems...

Is this you running for president? If not, you might as well and use this as your platform.

Interesting fact - I actually was gearing up to run for President a while ago. I had my base of support already established and was going to announce. A day before the planned reveal date, Airmax sent me a PM asking if I'd like to be the Deputy Vote Moderator. How you feel about the polls (your passion), is how I feel about voting, so I had to jump at the opportunity, lol.

These efforts I am proposing are serious though Peters, and you're more than welcome to help me in this endeavor if you'd like to seriously do some good. This isn't something unattainable, and while it's easy to troll and joke, we really can fix this place if we work together.
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1harderthanyouthink
Posts: 13,107
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7/7/2016 10:31:29 PM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 7/7/2016 10:25:57 PM, Blade-of-Truth wrote:
At 7/7/2016 9:50:48 PM, PetersSmith wrote:
At 7/7/2016 9:48:17 PM, Blade-of-Truth wrote:
This is a calling to any and all serious members of this site.

We've got some problems...

Is this you running for president? If not, you might as well and use this as your platform.

Interesting fact - I actually was gearing up to run for President a while ago. I had my base of support already established and was going to announce. A day before the planned reveal date, Airmax sent me a PM asking if I'd like to be the Deputy Vote Moderator. How you feel about the polls (your passion), is how I feel about voting, so I had to jump at the opportunity, lol.

And you were also one of the people I wanted to run before making an announcement myself.

Some people suggested I ask you to be my VP after giving up on that, but I didn't want to make things awkward with Max.
"It's awfully considerate of you to think of me here,
And I'm much obliged to you for making it clear - that I'm not here."

-Syd Barrett

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ThinkBig
Posts: 1,619
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7/7/2016 10:38:39 PM
Posted: 5 months ago
Could not agree more.
ThinkBig
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Emmarie
Posts: 1,907
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7/7/2016 10:44:07 PM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 7/7/2016 9:48:17 PM, Blade-of-Truth wrote:
This is a calling to any and all serious members of this site.

We've got some problems...

I think you have some great suggestions. I'm sorry I wasn't here to witness DDO in it's heyday.

On the bright side, the members who are here regularly (me included) are hooked, therefore there must still be something good about the site. What is it that makes me log on day after day, even when I'm tired from work? It's a place to read about topics from the perspectives of many young people who think deeply about many topics. It's a place where the other fully grown members are as unique as I am, I enjoy reading their perspectives too. Most of us here are thoughtful, expressive, people who hold strong opinions. That bonds us even when we don't agree.

I think because it is a "debate" website, sometimes we get too wrapped up in proving ourselves right, which leads to some of the conflicts. All the things that you propose, BOT, are possible, if we remember what bonds us is thoughtfulness about important issues, and the willingness to express those thoughts. I hope DDO can see a revival in the community spirit that once reigned here.
Blade-of-Truth
Posts: 5,036
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7/7/2016 10:55:58 PM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 7/7/2016 10:31:29 PM, 1harderthanyouthink wrote:
At 7/7/2016 10:25:57 PM, Blade-of-Truth wrote:
At 7/7/2016 9:50:48 PM, PetersSmith wrote:
At 7/7/2016 9:48:17 PM, Blade-of-Truth wrote:
This is a calling to any and all serious members of this site.

We've got some problems...

Is this you running for president? If not, you might as well and use this as your platform.

Interesting fact - I actually was gearing up to run for President a while ago. I had my base of support already established and was going to announce. A day before the planned reveal date, Airmax sent me a PM asking if I'd like to be the Deputy Vote Moderator. How you feel about the polls (your passion), is how I feel about voting, so I had to jump at the opportunity, lol.

And you were also one of the people I wanted to run before making an announcement myself.

Some people suggested I ask you to be my VP after giving up on that, but I didn't want to make things awkward with Max.

I appreciate that, and think that's perfectly understandable. It's that conflict of interest between the positions that wouldn't allow me, in good conscience, to do so. These problems exist though, and I do hope that whoever wins this election also helps me in these efforts.

This is why I am raising awareness and asking for help with the efforts I propose here in the first place. These three key revivals that need to take place require actions that can be undertaken by any and every willing member. The time for complaining is over, it's now time for a solution - one that can be brought to fruition by the actions of everyone who seeks to see this change occur. This supersedes conventions which will focus on specific issues, this supersedes elections which will choose one voice above all else, this is every member becoming a leader in their own right, every member having the awareness of their own power to bring about this change.

It's so simple, and it's right in front of us for the taking. The only necessary component to this proposal is for us to unify as one collective effort, to tackle these three key elements as a unified front. It's going to take time, effort, and determination, but we can truly bring about a new golden age if our desires for such begin to manifest into actions. This is about reviving the site as a whole, which in turn would make the processes of conventions, elections, community efforts, and so forth, much easier. If a house is falling apart, changing the furniture won't be enough, we need to come together and restrengthen the foundation and frame of our house - and once we do, everything else will fall into place accordingly.
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Blade-of-Truth
Posts: 5,036
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7/7/2016 10:56:42 PM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 7/7/2016 10:35:31 PM, TurleDoveSammie wrote:
WOW! Props to ya for speaking up!

Thank you Marie, I miss your presence here and hope all is well!
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Blade-of-Truth
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7/7/2016 10:58:14 PM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 7/7/2016 10:38:39 PM, ThinkBig wrote:
Could not agree more.

Thank you, I appreciate it. Please do partake in these efforts yourself, I mean it when I say this will take effort from a multitude of people and yours will surely be welcomed along with everyone else's.
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lannan13
Posts: 23,111
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7/7/2016 11:01:23 PM
Posted: 5 months ago
I'm totally up for doing this. I had to stop debating for a while for Danielle to catch-up to me for our debate.
-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-Lannan13'S SIGNATURE-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-

If the sky's the limit then why do we have footprints on the Moon? I'm shooting my aspirations for the stars.

"If you are going through hell, keep going." "Sir Winston Churchill

"No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." "Eleanor Roosevelt

Topics I want to debate. (http://tinyurl.com...)
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Blade-of-Truth
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7/7/2016 11:06:23 PM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 7/7/2016 10:44:07 PM, Emmarie wrote:
At 7/7/2016 9:48:17 PM, Blade-of-Truth wrote:
This is a calling to any and all serious members of this site.

We've got some problems...

I think you have some great suggestions. I'm sorry I wasn't here to witness DDO in it's heyday.

Thank you, and hey - don't be sorry you missed out, be hopeful that we can create a place of equal or greater value once more. That's the most important thing to focus on.

On the bright side, the members who are here regularly (me included) are hooked, therefore there must still be something good about the site. What is it that makes me log on day after day, even when I'm tired from work? It's a place to read about topics from the perspectives of many young people who think deeply about many topics. It's a place where the other fully grown members are as unique as I am, I enjoy reading their perspectives too. Most of us here are thoughtful, expressive, people who hold strong opinions. That bonds us even when we don't agree.

Absolutely. This site is still a great place in my opinion too. I come here daily to do exactly what you've said, I enjoy reading the various forums, seeing debates take place, and if anything - it's because I love this site so much that I'm so critical of it. I want nothing but the best for this website and, by bringing awareness to the issues, we can start to work together on the solutions. It's kind of silly to draw this analogy, but my step-dad was an alcoholic who worked through the AA programs, and there first step is admitting they have a problem. This is the first step being taken here and now for this site, and while it's still a great site, we now have the opportunity and awareness to make this place even greater.

I think because it is a "debate" website, sometimes we get too wrapped up in proving ourselves right, which leads to some of the conflicts. All the things that you propose, BOT, are possible, if we remember what bonds us is thoughtfulness about important issues, and the willingness to express those thoughts. I hope DDO can see a revival in the community spirit that once reigned here.

Indeed!
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Blade-of-Truth
Posts: 5,036
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7/7/2016 11:08:09 PM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 7/7/2016 11:01:23 PM, lannan13 wrote:
I'm totally up for doing this. I had to stop debating for a while for Danielle to catch-up to me for our debate.

Thank you lannan, your efforts will certainly contribute to this and I appreciate it. Danielle has been awesome too lately with all of her recent debate and voting efforts - this is what it's all about.
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lannan13
Posts: 23,111
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7/7/2016 11:13:44 PM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 7/7/2016 11:08:09 PM, Blade-of-Truth wrote:
At 7/7/2016 11:01:23 PM, lannan13 wrote:
I'm totally up for doing this. I had to stop debating for a while for Danielle to catch-up to me for our debate.

Thank you lannan, your efforts will certainly contribute to this and I appreciate it. Danielle has been awesome too lately with all of her recent debate and voting efforts - this is what it's all about.

Well you know I always debate a ton, usually 3-4 debates a week. Right now I'm getting set for 500 vs 500: Lannan13 vs. Danielle, our 500th debates.
-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-Lannan13'S SIGNATURE-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-

If the sky's the limit then why do we have footprints on the Moon? I'm shooting my aspirations for the stars.

"If you are going through hell, keep going." "Sir Winston Churchill

"No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." "Eleanor Roosevelt

Topics I want to debate. (http://tinyurl.com...)
-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~
Blade-of-Truth
Posts: 5,036
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7/7/2016 11:19:19 PM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 7/7/2016 11:13:44 PM, lannan13 wrote:
At 7/7/2016 11:08:09 PM, Blade-of-Truth wrote:
At 7/7/2016 11:01:23 PM, lannan13 wrote:
I'm totally up for doing this. I had to stop debating for a while for Danielle to catch-up to me for our debate.

Thank you lannan, your efforts will certainly contribute to this and I appreciate it. Danielle has been awesome too lately with all of her recent debate and voting efforts - this is what it's all about.

Well you know I always debate a ton, usually 3-4 debates a week. Right now I'm getting set for 500 vs 500: Lannan13 vs. Danielle, our 500th debates.

Oh snap, you got yourself a formidable opponent for that one, nice! I look forward to seeing it for sure.
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Hayd
Posts: 4,022
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7/7/2016 11:21:09 PM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 7/7/2016 11:13:44 PM, lannan13 wrote:
At 7/7/2016 11:08:09 PM, Blade-of-Truth wrote:
At 7/7/2016 11:01:23 PM, lannan13 wrote:
I'm totally up for doing this. I had to stop debating for a while for Danielle to catch-up to me for our debate.

Thank you lannan, your efforts will certainly contribute to this and I appreciate it. Danielle has been awesome too lately with all of her recent debate and voting efforts - this is what it's all about.

Well you know I always debate a ton, usually 3-4 debates a week. Right now I'm getting set for 500 vs 500: Lannan13 vs. Danielle, our 500th debates.

that would literally be the coolest thing that ever happened
I_Wanna_Rawk
Posts: 480
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7/7/2016 11:37:51 PM
Posted: 5 months ago
Ok. Let's do this. I'll try in debates, but a suggestion to Airmax: BAN VI_SPEX. He is clogging all the debates with his mindless crap. I'd do a debate on wether or not America should be tougher on Saudi Arabia on the pro side if anyone is interested.
YYW
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7/7/2016 11:46:24 PM
Posted: 5 months ago
I like the spirit of this, but I am extremely skeptical as to whether anything will come of it. That's not a reflection on BoT, though, so much as it is a solid indication of where we are as a site and as a community. This post will talk about some of those issues.

As to your obvious call out of PeterSmith, that is one issue that will not be solved. PeterSmith is a net detriment to the site and no matter how many times I and others have attempted through various means to reign her in, it's failed every time. She continues to engage in all kinds of disgusting conduct and Max carte blanche rejects any critisism of her as intellectually dishonest. So, that's where it is. The rock has met the hard place, and zero progress will ever be made there.

Regarding the sanctimonious members preaching about how fvcked the site has become... yes, it's bad, and there are some legitimate grievances but those members get off on being sanctimonious. It gives their life meaning, and I am speaking specifically with reference to F16 and Mikal, whose hypocrisy is exceeded only by the level of their toxicity.

With respect to vote moderation, the solution to voting is easy to do but it will take a very long time to take effect: End voting moderation beyond removing obvious vote bombs. Of critical significance though... there was, however, never a golden age of voting. There were once more members who wrote really good RFDs who are now not around, but by no means was there a time where everything was perfectly peachy. That's why voting moderation came into place to begin with. People in the past did really stupid things like vote bomb and counter vote bomb and it got to the point of complete nonsense.

But the problem is that moderation became more and more "involved" in votes. Whether that involvement is objective or subjective, there is no question that it has decreased the number of votes relative to the number of debates on the site.

With respect to the forums, and their lack of intellectual vibrancy, the reality is that content quality there is only fixable by members posting quality content, and content which lays the foundation for substantive discussions. But, the additional thing there is that people have to participate with a good faith effort to keep the conversation not only going, but going well. Max has made--vain--efforts to prevent people from being mean to each other by turning the screws on anyone whose tone he finds to be terse (e.g. yours truly), but the reality is that moderating that kind of way doesn't solve the problems which cause conversations to go awry. Hint: he's not solving the problem, and he never will, because he's not touching the cause of the problems.

But what is the cause? The cause, now, is that people don't care anymore, and in large part I've been guilty of this as well. I'm at a point in my life where it's much easier for me to mock and demean than engage with someone whose perspective is so objectively stupid that it doesn't even merit my acknowledgement. Plus, the worse factor is that I really enjoy trolling. I think most people do, even the ones who sanctimoniously bitch and moan about me and how I'm the worst person in the world, pied piper of DDO who is out to corrupt the youth, etc. That's actually behavior that's vastly worse than trolling, but w/e.

The additional contributors to the site being what it is now are these: shits_fucked in the country right now, people are bored because it's a holiday (read: summer) season (meaning they're not in school) and restless because of it, and the national political climate---which most DDO members are acutely aware of---is really bad right now.

But... things aren't as bad now as they have been. We used to have seriously psychologically disturbed people on the site (some of whom were once prominent members) and they caused all kinds of problems which now no longer happen because they're not around. That's a good thing. Another good thing is that as summer drama goes, this season's been pretty weak.

I've been here for five years now, and i've seen it far worse than it is. it's not that bad now... that doesn't mean it couldn't (or shouldn't) get better, but history and experience tell me that come fall, things will settle down. They always do.
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kasmic
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7/8/2016 12:33:44 AM
Posted: 5 months ago
So, when was your last debate? When was your last vote? I am mostly fatigued by people complaining, the only thing more frustrating is the people who call others to action that they themselves don't take.
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Objectivity
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7/8/2016 1:01:38 AM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 7/7/2016 9:48:17 PM, Blade-of-Truth wrote:
This is a calling to any and all serious members of this site.

We've got some problems...

We have flame-wars happening between presidential candidates instead of proper debates focusing on their individual and campaign policies. We have a moderator trolling a once respected process for choosing our next user-base representative. We have older, respectable members preaching at every chance how this site has long fallen from glory. We have less votes, lower quality debates, and joking about the problems rather than solving them has become the norm. As I said, we've got some problems.

If we're going to solve these problems, then I need your help. This is a problem that is bigger than just any one member, this is a problem that has persisted far too long and has snowballed into a pandemic, I need every capable member to get serious for a moment and lend me a moment of your time to hear me out. That's all I ask.

There is one common thread between the decreasing quality of this site, and that is that there has yet to be a unified response to the growing problems. We have an established member here and there that can see exactly what I see, they then try to create high quality debates, high quality discussions, or leave high quality votes but what happens? They get burnt out. They quickly come to realize that this problem is bigger than just them, that it will need a much larger effort than what they can accomplish as a mere individual.

More often than not, these are the ones that then turn into the biggest trolls. Their cynical side gets the best of them because there is just no genuine outlet for their intellectual needs. They have no other option than to approach everything in a non-serious manner because that is the only way their points, oftentimes hidden in the trolling, can be heard to any reasonable degree. I am guilty of this, and can list a plethora of users who are also guilty of this. More importantly though, I am tired of it. I'm tired of having to be cynical or joke about everything because everything is a joke in the first place. I *want* to have real intellectual stimulation again, I *want* to see genuine challenges once more as I scroll through the debates or forums topics.

Thus, I hereby propose that we change the current status quo. Don't underestimate this statement or what it will demand. I am seriously proposing this, and I require a serious effort from a multitude of members who are capable of helping bring about this change. You know who you are, I know who you are, and I am asking for your help in this endeavor. I do not require that you sign up, or express agreement, I only ask that you get to work. It's time to get to work.

The effort to change the current status quo will be 3-fold, and it will require the very best from those of you who excel in any of these 3 particular aspects of the site.

1) Reviving the Debates Section

This is the first of three initial revivals that will need to happen concurrently. We can't just focus on one part of this site and move on from there, we need to hit every viable weak spot at once. This is the first spot. What we need here is for established and new members alike to start instigating some serious debates, debates that focus on pressing issues and ones that would re-ignite the spirit of debate that this site is all about. It's the summer time, so if there is any time of the year where our general user base has the most free-time, this is it. I am asking that everyone capable of doing so to please start. The more debates, the better.

Let's not beat around the bush, these debates tend to pop up pretty highly on Google searches which feature the same language as the debate title. So, the more of these the better because it'll bring more people to the debate section specifically, reflecting the very nature of this site, which would hopefully motivate them to join the site themselves to partake in their own debates. It's a win-win, we raise the quality and quantity of debate challenges here, and also attract new users who'd potentially contribute to a section of the site that they develop a genuine passion for.

How many of you came to this site because of a debate you saw? The potential impact is real, and if we come together in this effort we can surely bring about an even greater influx of members, all of whom have potential to be great contributors here.

2) Reviving the Golden Age of Voting

This is the second revival that will need to happen. There was once an age when we had members such as Bluesteel and Bladerunner leading the pack with their high-quality votes. In fact, their votes were so impressive that they literally motivated others to vote better themselves. This doesn't seem to happen anymore. We have some excellent efforts already underway, such as the Voters Union, but this doesn't have the same effect that those two voters had, and it's that effect that we need here once more.

There is one common trait in every human - we like conducting ourselves in a manner similar to those who we look up to. So, it was no surprise that when established members such as Bluesteel, Bladerunner, or any other fantastic voter over time placed an incredible vote - people wanted to do the same. When they were active, it was an age where we strived to better ourselves because we were motivated by the impressive feats and efforts of others. This is what we need to get back to.

This is about having members give such impressive feedback in their RFD that they actually motivate others to do the same. There are many members here capable of doing so, and to those of you who are, I only ask that you try. Try to remember what those days were like, when members were literally competing to place the best vote or positively impressed when an established member would post an RFD that perfectly captured the debate and expressed who won and for what reasons. We have the power to influence and motivate the newer users, we can push them to strive for the best by striving for the best ourselves. It's time to lead by example once more.

3) Reviving the Forums Section

This is the final and most important of the three revivals that will need to take place. There was once a time when we had members writing amazing fanfics, when threads would be flooded with incredibly intelligent members challenging one another over a multitude of topics. Today, a brilliant post is fairly uncommon. However, complaining about it gets us nowhere. We need to start elevating the quality of discussions that take place here on a daily basis. We need to be proactive OP's that spark the spirit of discussion in our threads.

This revival should take place in various forms. For one, the writers of DDO could start up fanfics again. They were incredibly entertaining, and featuring members of the site as the characters fostered a closer connection between the members in the community. We used to even hold competitions which could easily be started up again.

Let's also get presidential updates going again, or perhaps the creation of a series that showcases good debates, threads, and votes. By highlighting the best efforts of our members on a regular basis, we can, in turn, motivate new members to reach that same level of excellence. This, too, would foster a greater sense of community.

How many of you joined this site because of the discussions in the forums section? Again, the potential impact is real.

***

Support 100%. With some mod support I have always wanted to start a live debate league. Would need at least 20 active participants though. Would you be willing to help me?
Blade-of-Truth
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7/8/2016 1:09:25 AM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 7/7/2016 11:46:24 PM, YYW wrote:
I like the spirit of this, but I am extremely skeptical as to whether anything will come of it. That's not a reflection on BoT, though, so much as it is a solid indication of where we are as a site and as a community. This post will talk about some of those issues.

As to your obvious call out of PeterSmith, that is one issue that will not be solved. PeterSmith is a net detriment to the site and no matter how many times I and others have attempted through various means to reign her in, it's failed every time. She continues to engage in all kinds of disgusting conduct and Max carte blanche rejects any critisism of her as intellectually dishonest. So, that's where it is. The rock has met the hard place, and zero progress will ever be made there.

Regarding the sanctimonious members preaching about how fvcked the site has become... yes, it's bad, and there are some legitimate grievances but those members get off on being sanctimonious. It gives their life meaning, and I am speaking specifically with reference to F16 and Mikal, whose hypocrisy is exceeded only by the level of their toxicity.

With respect to vote moderation, the solution to voting is easy to do but it will take a very long time to take effect: End voting moderation beyond removing obvious vote bombs. Of critical significance though... there was, however, never a golden age of voting. There were once more members who wrote really good RFDs who are now not around, but by no means was there a time where everything was perfectly peachy. That's why voting moderation came into place to begin with. People in the past did really stupid things like vote bomb and counter vote bomb and it got to the point of complete nonsense.

But the problem is that moderation became more and more "involved" in votes. Whether that involvement is objective or subjective, there is no question that it has decreased the number of votes relative to the number of debates on the site.

With respect to the forums, and their lack of intellectual vibrancy, the reality is that content quality there is only fixable by members posting quality content, and content which lays the foundation for substantive discussions. But, the additional thing there is that people have to participate with a good faith effort to keep the conversation not only going, but going well. Max has made--vain--efforts to prevent people from being mean to each other by turning the screws on anyone whose tone he finds to be terse (e.g. yours truly), but the reality is that moderating that kind of way doesn't solve the problems which cause conversations to go awry. Hint: he's not solving the problem, and he never will, because he's not touching the cause of the problems.

But what is the cause? The cause, now, is that people don't care anymore, and in large part I've been guilty of this as well. I'm at a point in my life where it's much easier for me to mock and demean than engage with someone whose perspective is so objectively stupid that it doesn't even merit my acknowledgement. Plus, the worse factor is that I really enjoy trolling. I think most people do, even the ones who sanctimoniously bitch and moan about me and how I'm the worst person in the world, pied piper of DDO who is out to corrupt the youth, etc. That's actually behavior that's vastly worse than trolling, but w/e.

This is an important point you raised and is worthy of being highlighted in my opinion. How can we get people to start caring again? That is what I'm concerned with, there has to be something that can be done.

The additional contributors to the site being what it is now are these: shits_fucked in the country right now, people are bored because it's a holiday (read: summer) season (meaning they're not in school) and restless because of it, and the national political climate---which most DDO members are acutely aware of---is really bad right now.

But... things aren't as bad now as they have been. We used to have seriously psychologically disturbed people on the site (some of whom were once prominent members) and they caused all kinds of problems which now no longer happen because they're not around. That's a good thing. Another good thing is that as summer drama goes, this season's been pretty weak.

I've been here for five years now, and i've seen it far worse than it is. it's not that bad now... that doesn't mean it couldn't (or shouldn't) get better, but history and experience tell me that come fall, things will settle down. They always do.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I agree that we go through highs and lows, but the lows seem to keep getting lower and the highs seem to be happening more and more infrequently. I'd like to really try and tackle this issue.
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YYW
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7/8/2016 1:13:04 AM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 7/8/2016 1:09:25 AM, Blade-of-Truth wrote:
At 7/7/2016 11:46:24 PM, YYW wrote:
I like the spirit of this, but I am extremely skeptical as to whether anything will come of it. That's not a reflection on BoT, though, so much as it is a solid indication of where we are as a site and as a community. This post will talk about some of those issues.

As to your obvious call out of PeterSmith, that is one issue that will not be solved. PeterSmith is a net detriment to the site and no matter how many times I and others have attempted through various means to reign her in, it's failed every time. She continues to engage in all kinds of disgusting conduct and Max carte blanche rejects any critisism of her as intellectually dishonest. So, that's where it is. The rock has met the hard place, and zero progress will ever be made there.

Regarding the sanctimonious members preaching about how fvcked the site has become... yes, it's bad, and there are some legitimate grievances but those members get off on being sanctimonious. It gives their life meaning, and I am speaking specifically with reference to F16 and Mikal, whose hypocrisy is exceeded only by the level of their toxicity.

With respect to vote moderation, the solution to voting is easy to do but it will take a very long time to take effect: End voting moderation beyond removing obvious vote bombs. Of critical significance though... there was, however, never a golden age of voting. There were once more members who wrote really good RFDs who are now not around, but by no means was there a time where everything was perfectly peachy. That's why voting moderation came into place to begin with. People in the past did really stupid things like vote bomb and counter vote bomb and it got to the point of complete nonsense.

But the problem is that moderation became more and more "involved" in votes. Whether that involvement is objective or subjective, there is no question that it has decreased the number of votes relative to the number of debates on the site.

With respect to the forums, and their lack of intellectual vibrancy, the reality is that content quality there is only fixable by members posting quality content, and content which lays the foundation for substantive discussions. But, the additional thing there is that people have to participate with a good faith effort to keep the conversation not only going, but going well. Max has made--vain--efforts to prevent people from being mean to each other by turning the screws on anyone whose tone he finds to be terse (e.g. yours truly), but the reality is that moderating that kind of way doesn't solve the problems which cause conversations to go awry. Hint: he's not solving the problem, and he never will, because he's not touching the cause of the problems.

But what is the cause? The cause, now, is that people don't care anymore, and in large part I've been guilty of this as well. I'm at a point in my life where it's much easier for me to mock and demean than engage with someone whose perspective is so objectively stupid that it doesn't even merit my acknowledgement. Plus, the worse factor is that I really enjoy trolling. I think most people do, even the ones who sanctimoniously bitch and moan about me and how I'm the worst person in the world, pied piper of DDO who is out to corrupt the youth, etc. That's actually behavior that's vastly worse than trolling, but w/e.

This is an important point you raised and is worthy of being highlighted in my opinion. How can we get people to start caring again? That is what I'm concerned with, there has to be something that can be done.

Give people a reason to care... but the problem is that that requires lots of individual commitments, and the collective action problem there isn't going to be overcome easily.

Many of the worst antagonists have left... so that's a good thing, but as long as idiots keep calling anyone who disagrees with them a racist or a bigot, there will be exactly zero progress made.

The additional contributors to the site being what it is now are these: shits_fucked in the country right now, people are bored because it's a holiday (read: summer) season (meaning they're not in school) and restless because of it, and the national political climate---which most DDO members are acutely aware of---is really bad right now.

But... things aren't as bad now as they have been. We used to have seriously psychologically disturbed people on the site (some of whom were once prominent members) and they caused all kinds of problems which now no longer happen because they're not around. That's a good thing. Another good thing is that as summer drama goes, this season's been pretty weak.

I've been here for five years now, and i've seen it far worse than it is. it's not that bad now... that doesn't mean it couldn't (or shouldn't) get better, but history and experience tell me that come fall, things will settle down. They always do.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I agree that we go through highs and lows, but the lows seem to keep getting lower and the highs seem to be happening more and more infrequently. I'd like to really try and tackle this issue.

Good luck, but again... by fall, no matter what, things will sort themselves out. They always do. Also once this stupid "election" is over, things will chill out too.
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Blade-of-Truth
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7/8/2016 1:15:05 AM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 7/8/2016 12:33:44 AM, kasmic wrote:
So, when was your last debate? When was your last vote? I am mostly fatigued by people complaining, the only thing more frustrating is the people who call others to action that they themselves don't take.

These are all fair objections. There is a two part response to this. First, I've been extremely busy in real life these past few months with the law-school application process. Could I spend a few hours here and there reading and voting on debates, or debating myself? Probably, but I didn't want to stretch myself too thin when dealing with matters that could define my entire career path, which I'm sure you can understand. The free time I do have to dedicate to this site is spent quickly conversing things in the forums and carrying out my duties at Deputy Vote Mod.

I also have never complained before, nor have ever been one to complain - this is, in fact, the first time I'm revealing my own thoughts on the condition of this site. I've purposely refrained because I thought this might just be a temporary low, but it has persisted for over a year now.

With all that said, this was not posted for no reason. My obligations are starting to wrap up, I'm finishing the application process (now in the financial aid portion of it all), and will soon (within 2 weeks) have all the time in the world before school starts in the fall. When that time comes, this endeavor of mine will certainly have my full and undivided attention, including all the efforts I am asking others to help me accomplish.
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Blade-of-Truth
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7/8/2016 1:17:58 AM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 7/8/2016 1:01:38 AM, Objectivity wrote:

Support 100%. With some mod support I have always wanted to start a live debate league. Would need at least 20 active participants though. Would you be willing to help me?

I'd certainly help in that endeavor. We'd need a solid support team though that could dedicate some time organizing this, including managing the time slots for all participants. If you'd like, my schedule is going to be opening up alot here in a week or two, we should get together then and work out the finer details.
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fire_wings
Posts: 5,563
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7/8/2016 5:50:39 AM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 7/8/2016 1:17:58 AM, Blade-of-Truth wrote:
At 7/8/2016 1:01:38 AM, Objectivity wrote:

Support 100%. With some mod support I have always wanted to start a live debate league. Would need at least 20 active participants though. Would you be willing to help me?

I'd certainly help in that endeavor. We'd need a solid support team though that could dedicate some time organizing this, including managing the time slots for all participants. If you'd like, my schedule is going to be opening up alot here in a week or two, we should get together then and work out the finer details.

I can do this
#ALLHAILFIRETHEKINGOFTHEMISCFORUM

...it's not a new policy... it's just that DDO was built on an ancient burial ground, and that means the spirits of old rise again to cause us problems sometimes- Airmax1227

Wtf you must have an IQ of 250 if you're 11 and already decent at this- 16k

Go to sleep!!!!- missmozart

So to start off, I never committed suicide- Vaarka
fire_wings
Posts: 5,563
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7/8/2016 5:52:35 AM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 7/7/2016 9:48:17 PM, Blade-of-Truth wrote:
This is a calling to any and all serious members of this site.


I think I am helping in the debates and the voting section, and I'll try forums.
#ALLHAILFIRETHEKINGOFTHEMISCFORUM

...it's not a new policy... it's just that DDO was built on an ancient burial ground, and that means the spirits of old rise again to cause us problems sometimes- Airmax1227

Wtf you must have an IQ of 250 if you're 11 and already decent at this- 16k

Go to sleep!!!!- missmozart

So to start off, I never committed suicide- Vaarka