.Lia

Announcement of Admod Votes of Confidence ("Term Limits")

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.Lia

Dear Members,

The Admod Team has recently re-visited the topic of Term Limits for Admods. Many of the team's concerns in the past have been how time consuming an election is and the strain that may put on a team member to effectively do their job, how much work is done behind the scenes that members don't see or know about, and the loss of good team members because of the previous two concerns. A proposal was put forth for a vote of confidence, which was voted on and has passed. Below is the outline of the process, and the timeline in which we expect this to start.

 

For Moderators:

Each Vote of Confidence will happen 2 years after being elected. There will be a 1 week period for questions from the members and a 1 week period for voting. Moderators may, if they wish, write a little bit about what they've done in the past two years and what they'd like to work on in the coming two. This is not mandatory, and some mods may wish to not do this. If the Mod receives more Yes votes than No votes, they will serve another 2 years. If the Mod receives more No votes than Yes votes, they will have 1 week to clear up any projects they were working on in Admods and they will be removed from the team. There will the the usual shuffling process in Admods and then an election to replace the mod. The moderator who got more No votes than Yes votes cannot run in this election to replace themselves, however they can run in the next available election if they so choose.

 

For Administrators:

Each Vote of Confidence will happen 2 years after being elected Admin. Because Administrators work a lot behind the scenes, and not necessarily on the boards, their Votes of Confidence will take place in Admods Only and fellow Admods, DT, and PT will be the ones voting; all staff are allowed to ask questions. All other processes from above will be followed in the Admin Vote of Confidence. 

 

The first Admin and Mod Vote of Confidence is expected to happen later this year, based on the election dates of current moderators and administrators. 

 

If you have any questions, you can ask them here or you can PM any Admod.

 

On behalf of the Admod Team,

Lia

Moderator

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Sphene

holy shit

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Puck
6 minutes ago, spew said:

holy shit

Is that what those who follow you as a god call you?

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banana monkey

How does this process help shorten the election process and thus be of benefit? 

 

This process just seems as though it is a kind of re-election without being that fair because it does not give others a fair chance. What I am trying to say is Mods must be able to re-run in an election so why vote of confidence rather than re-election. You have said it shortens the process but I dont really see how the process is that different and this just seems like a different re-election process. Why not just alter the election process so it is shorter (or lengthen the terms for election if necessary or prefered so that everyone stands for the longer term rather than needing a vote of confidence halfway through)? That would be fairer in my opinion. Also, what happens if a mod wants to step down after 2 years rather than have a vote of confidence?

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G0D

Wow, every two years....I'd love to see the stats, as to how long the average Admod actually stays in position. 

 

This does not seem to address the team members who swap positions. Who effortlessly move from one job to another. 

 

Holy spew. 

 

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.Lia
15 minutes ago, banana monkey said:

How does this process help shorten the election process and thus be of benefit? 

 

This process just seems as though it is a kind of re-election without being that fair because it does not give others a fair chance. What I am trying to say is Mods must be able to re-run in an election so why vote of confidence rather than re-election. You have said it shortens the process but I dont really see how the process is that different and this just seems like a different re-election process. Why not just alter the election process so it is shorter (or lengthen the terms for election if necessary or prefered so that everyone stands for the longer term rather than needing a vote of confidence halfway through)? That would be fairer in my opinion. Also, what happens if a mod wants to step down after 2 years rather than have a vote of confidence?

This process is 2 weeks long, rather than the usual 3. I'm not sure what you see as unfair about it, so if you could expand on that I could be of further help in a discussion. 

 

This is a 2 year term, rather than a forever term as before. I'm just confused by your entire post, I'm sorry :(

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.Lia
3 minutes ago, G0D said:

Wow, every two years....I'd love to see the stats, as to how long the average Admod actually stays in position. 

 

This does not seem to address the team members who swap positions. Who effortlessly move from one job to another. 

 

Holy spew. 

 

So if you're elected mod, stay mod for 1 year and 11 months, and then are elected to Admin, yes, you'll bypass your first mod vote of confidence. It's unavoidable in that, but it also doesn't happen very often at all. 

 

If you're a mod who switches from T&S to Gender, your election date is still the same, no matter what forums you moderate so your vote of confidence date will stay the same. To move between teams (mod to pt, mod to dt, etc.) you need to run for public election anyway, so there's no just slipping in between the different teams.

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scare-iff of nottingham
3 minutes ago, banana monkey said:

How does this process help shorten the election process and thus be of benefit? 

 

This process just seems as though it is a kind of re-election without being that fair because it does not give others a fair chance. What I am trying to say is Mods must be able to re-run in an election so why vote of confidence rather than re-election. You have said it shortens the process but I dont really see how the process is that different and this just seems like a different re-election process. Why not just alter the election process so it is shorter (or lengthen the terms for election if necessary or prefered so that everyone stands for the longer term rather than needing a vote of confidence halfway through)? 

It shortens the election as there is no nomination period.

 

The q&a period can be a little bit time consuming. At the same time, you are modding the forums that you look after, 

 

2 minutes ago, G0D said:

Wow, every two years....I'd love to see the stats, as to how long the average Admod actually stays in position. 

 

 

We have this so it could be worked out

 

 

 

3 minutes ago, banana monkey said:

 

What happens if a mod wants to step down after 2 years rather than have a vote of confidence?

Then instead of the vote of confidence on the current mod, it would be the election of a new moderator process instead.

 

Mods are free to stand down at any time.

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Goonie
1 hour ago, .Lia said:

The first Admin and Mod Vote of Confidence is expected to happen later this year, based on the election dates of current moderators and administrators. 

 

How are you all planning on playing "catch up" for those who are already over 2 years?

 

If we go off the current mods, it would be 2 this year, which if following the August and October start dates wouldn't be so bad. However, you have 4 admins that would be up for the 2 years this year. The possibility of replacing 2/3rds of an admin team in one year does not sound super pleasant for everyone.

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banana monkey
31 minutes ago, .Lia said:

This process is 2 weeks long, rather than the usual 3. I'm not sure what you see as unfair about it, so if you could expand on that I could be of further help in a discussion. 

 

This is a 2 year term, rather than a forever term as before. I'm just confused by your entire post, I'm sorry :(

Sorry, I didnt realise Mods had a forever term. It doesnt make that much difference to my OP though...

27 minutes ago, iff said:

 there is no nomination period.

Sorry maybe I dont fully understand AVEN's election process but That's what I meant as unfair. ie it doesnt give a chance for others to be elected or stand for post. I do understand that the benefit is making it shorter though. 

 

27 minutes ago, iff said:

The q&a period can be a little bit time consuming. 

Why not look at removing it from the election process all together then?

 

(not meaning to be fasicious its a genuine question)

 

I've Never really understood the  benefit  of Q & A particularly as half the questions are more of a "fun" tongue in cheek type anyway. Yes, candidates should state what they are going to do for AVEN, why they think they have the skills and qualities required etc but they can do that in their manifesto same as any other election. It may mean manifestos need to be a bit more detailed or you could add some standard questions to it if you want but it would save time on election process. Manifestos are released on day one, AVENites have a week or 2 to read said manifestos and vote based on that reading. It would mean that current mods can spend time writing maifesto and then not have to worry about constantly answring q's for 2 weeks whilst modding. 

 

edit - just to clarify, I dont see why Mods dont have a standard term (I thought they did) and then have to have a full re-election like every other election i have ever known. This is what in my opinion would be fair. Yes I understand the election process may be too long but then it should be looked at ways of shortening the standard election process (such as the suggestion I made) rather than putting what appears to be a sticking plaster in this suggestion of "vote of confidence" 

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TheAppallingPhantom
11 minutes ago, Goonie said:

 How are you all planning on playing "catch up" for those who are already over 2 years?

 

If we go off the current mods, it would be 2 this year, which if following the August and October start dates wouldn't be so bad. However, you have 4 admins that would be up for the 2 years this year. The possibility of replacing 2/3rds of an admin team in one year does not sound super pleasant for everyone.

I doubt that they'll all lose the vote of confidence.

 

8 minutes ago, banana monkey said:

Why not look at removing it from the election process all together then?

You have a valid point. But to me, Q&A is helpful to address specific concerns other members might have with the candidates.

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banana monkey
1 minute ago, TheAP said:

 

You have a valid point. But to me, Q&A is helpful to address specific concerns other members might have with the candidates.

yeah I thought something similar after I posted, but then immediately thought that if a member had a real burning question after reading manifesto that may affect the way they vote they would probably PM the person about it anyway to get said question answered, if it mattered that much. 

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TheAppallingPhantom
Just now, banana monkey said:

yeah I thought something similar after I posted, but then immediately thought that if a member had a real burning question after reading manifesto that may affect the way they vote they would probably PM the person about it anyway to get said question answered, if it mattered that much. 

Yeah, true, but then other members wouldn't become aware of any issues with the candidate.

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banana monkey

True,  but that's the case with any other election I have ever heard, so removing q&a is still an idea to consider. Its has its pros and cons like anything else. 

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scare-iff of nottingham
22 minutes ago, banana monkey said:

Sorry maybe I dont fully understand AVEN's election process but That's what I meant as unfair. ie it doesnt give a chance for others to be elected or stand for post. I do understand that the benefit is making it shorter though. 

[Just for the record,the posts of mine are my  personal opinion]

 

I understand your point.

 

Though our votes are on a vote of confidence basis. If on that basis, the current mod had a vote of confidence of 85% but the other candidate had a vote  of 90%, it would seem a little unfair to demod the current mod who got 85% confidence vote

 

Quote

 

Why not look at removing it from the election process all together then?

 

(not meaning to be fasicious its a genuine question)

 

I've Never really understood the  benefit  of Q & A particularly as half the questions are more of a "fun" tongue in cheek type anyway. Yes, candidates should state what they are going to do for AVEN, why they think they have the skills and qualities required etc but they can do that in their manifesto same as any other election. It may mean manifestos need to be a bit more detailed or you could add some standard questions to it if you want but it would save time on election process. Manifestos are released on day one, AVENites have a week or 2 to read said manifestos and vote based on that reading. It would mean that current mods can spend time writing maifesto and then not have to worry about constantly answring q's for 2 weeks whilst modding. 

I feel the q & a is a good way to get to know candidates. For me, I am better in the structured environment of q&a then the free form of bios, others will differ so having both helps. The q&a is good way of establishing dialogue on possible issues. 

 

Both the serious and light hearted question can be good to learn about the candidate. A question on posting your favourite type of bear might be lighthearted but it also shows the candidate knows how to post images.

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The Terrible Travis
5 minutes ago, iff said:

If on that basis, the current mod had a vote of confidence of 85% but the other candidate had a vote  of 90%, it would seem a little unfair to demod the current mod who got 85% confidence vote

I don't see how that's unfair. The candidate with the highest approval gets the position. Seems perfectly fair to me.

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banana monkey
3 minutes ago, iff said:

[Just for the record,the posts of mine are my  personal opinion]

 

I understand your point.

 

Though our votes are on a vote of confidence basis. If on that basis, the current mod had a vote of confidence of 85% but the other candidate had a vote  of 90%, it would seem a little unfair to demod the current mod who got 85% confidence vote

 

 

But that's what would happen in any other election elsewhere wouldnt it? Accept it would be slightly different as all votes would add to 100% so it would be 85 and 15 for example, but still the one with the highest number of votes would win same as any other election. Totally fair to my mind. Accept you may have difference of opinion. 

 

6 minutes ago, iff said:

I feel the q & a is a good way to get to know candidates. For me, I am better in the structured environment of q&a then the free form of bios, others will differ so having both helps. The q&a is good way of establishing dialogue on possible issues. 

 

Both the serious and light hearted question can be good to learn about the candidate. A question on posting your favourite type of bear might be lighthearted but it also shows the candidate knows how to post images.

ok, fair point. I personally work better with bios, I guess it depends on preference, that will be the case with anywhere. You have to weigh up pros and cons of a system with the time constraints. I dont really tend to think out of the box like that sometimes. 

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scare-iff of nottingham
1 hour ago, banana monkey said:

But that's what would happen in any other election elsewhere wouldnt it? Accept it would be slightly different as all votes would add to 100% so it would be 85 and 15 for example, but still the one with the highest number of votes would win same as any other election

Elections vary length and breadth of the world.

 

The change here is actually very similar as to votes for board places in companies at agm, which are done by yes/no votes until all the vacancies on a company board are filled

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.Lia

I just want to assure all members that the Admods will review this policy and how it's carried out in a year or two, when enough data has been collected. It's at that time that changes will and can occur (unless something utterly fails completely, but we all hope that we've accounted for such instances). 

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daveb
2 hours ago, iff said:

I feel the q & a is a good way to get to know candidates. For me, I am better in the structured environment of q&a then the free form of bios, others will differ so having both helps. The q&a is good way of establishing dialogue on possible issues. 

 

Both the serious and light hearted question can be good to learn about the candidate. A question on posting your favourite type of bear might be lighthearted but it also shows the candidate knows how to post images.

I agree with this.

 

One difference between AVEN elections and positions compared to many other kinds of elections and positions is members may not see very much of what admods actually do. Even if one reads declassified threads those are mostly older than 2 years. Basically all we really see is what is visible on the forums to everyone (and private communications, but only the participants see those). So anything that helps us non-admod voters know more about candidates for elections here the better. Getting rid of some of that to reduce time spent on these things would be a step backwards in my opinion.

 

As for this new procedure of a 2 year confidence vote, I'll wait and see how it pans out. #AlwaysSkepticalOfChanges :) 

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banana monkey
11 hours ago, iff said:

Elections vary length and breadth of the world.

 

The change here is actually very similar as to votes for board places in companies at agm, which are done by yes/no votes until all the vacancies on a company board are filled

Ah I see, at least I've learnt a bit about aven elections now and that this proposed change may be better. I still concur with @The Terrible Travis though however the vote is done. and I still think it is a bit of an unfair voting system even if it is used frequently elsewhere but that is beside the point. Thankyou for the reassurance @.Lia

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anisotropic

Hi! First, commenting on the vocabulary here: I believe the phrase "term limits" refers to a limit on the number of terms an individual may serve. (e.g. "no more than three consecutive two-year terms") but if you say, "we'll now require individuals to be re-elected every two years" that's creating two-year terms.

 

This proposal seems to create terms (which I think are renewed via a ratification, rather than competitive election), but not term limits.

 

Generally speaking, I personally favor competitive election processes in governance when possible (someone can only vote "for" someone by voting "against" another) ... because people tend to just say "yes" to ratifications. (As a result, ratifications don't encourage replacement of ineffective/absentee individuals very well -- so this attempt at improvement might not be as effective as you hope.)

 

But I know competitive elections are more annoying to conduct. (There is such a thing as "too much process"!) 🙂 I'm guessing you would have to assign current position holders to some "nearest fit" in a term schedule.

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Tanwen
On 6/23/2018 at 10:25 PM, iff said:

It shortens the election as there is no nomination period.

 

The q&a period can be a little bit time consuming. At the same time, you are modding the forums that you look after, 

 

 

We have this so it could be worked out

 

 

 

Then instead of the vote of confidence on the current mod, it would be the election of a new moderator process instead.

 

Mods are free to stand down at any time.

Mods can't stand down on their two-year anniversary and stand for election immediately. I would have to wait for the next election.

 

On 6/23/2018 at 10:46 PM, Goonie said:

How are you all planning on playing "catch up" for those who are already over 2 years?

 

If we go off the current mods, it would be 2 this year, which if following the August and October start dates wouldn't be so bad. However, you have 4 admins that would be up for the 2 years this year. The possibility of replacing 2/3rds of an admin team in one year does not sound super pleasant for everyone.

Admods will be voting on the admins, so I don't think that's likely to happen :) 

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Puck
3 hours ago, Tanwen said:

Admods will be voting on the admins, so I don't think that's likely to happen :) 

Sorry to put words in your mouth, but I assume you mean that admods will keep the admins who are truely supportive and helpful to the team? I would hope admods would not just continuously keep in an ineffective admin.

 

I’ll echo that I don’t foresee a large turnover coming from this. I’ve seen individuals that I didn’t feel were the strongest mods be voted back in consistently. If the community really wanted leadership to change, they wouldn’t have voted past mods back in when in the past that was the one way they could effect change. Honestly, I think the easiest way to win an AVEN election is to have been on staff before. However, I still think it’s important to have these votes as the community deserves to have a voice in who is leading them, even if they don’t use that voice to change much.

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Graveful

Oh wow. It’s finally happening. Is this a dream? I mean 2 years is too long in my opinion and I think the mods should be obligated to share some of their work and participation. But this is a great start to something I thought would never actually happen. I think this could improve a lot if people were actually willing to vote no when someone is ineffective. (I’m not convinced about that.)

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daveb
3 hours ago, Puck said:

I’ve seen individuals that I didn’t feel were the strongest mods be voted back in consistently

How would we (general members who are not on staff) even know if they weren't "strong" (whatever "strong" means in this context)? Given the way things work here it seems to me the best mods would often be the least visible (because they are working behind the scenes to keep things from escalating, for example). I mean, if a forum seems to be running smoothly we don't see what is making that happen. It could be a good mod, could be members being good, or who knows what.

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Puck
2 hours ago, daveb said:

How would we (general members who are not on staff) even know if they weren't "strong" (whatever "strong" means in this context)? Given the way things work here it seems to me the best mods would often be the least visible (because they are working behind the scenes to keep things from escalating, for example). I mean, if a forum seems to be running smoothly we don't see what is making that happen. It could be a good mod, could be members being good, or who knows what.

Great question!

 

For the record, I don't think these elections are the best way to get good mods. I wish admods were allowed to be more vocal about some staff problems and, most importantly, I wish we could very directly share with members when a staff member got de-staffed and why so that members could consider it. But it's the system we have and it is not changing anytime soon, so lets dive in...

 

For me, what I mean by those who are not the "strongest" are the ones who are not good at supporting/communicating with members. There are certain mods that, when folks get nudges/warns from them, don't handle the member back-and-forth well and then you get the blow-ups in site-comments. You can usually follow the trail back to the mod by looking at where the upset happened and who would moderate that section. For example, when I was moderator of TGA and if I handled a blow-up poorly, Members may go to site comments and vocalizes that, you could look and see that I mod TGA and thus I'm doing a bad job at it. Of course, some good mods get questioned in site comments, but if a mod keeps consistently being brought up, and by MULTIPLE members (not just one who seems to hold a grudge), I think it is pretty telling. Most blow-ups really can be handled in PMs if a mod jumps on them fast enough and is very communicative. It's one thing to give an unpopular nudge/warn, but 9 times out of 10, members don't want to share them unless they feel like the mod isn't listening or responding to them with respect. Yes, some people kick up drama just to kick up drama, but most members want their disciplinary history to not be public, so to actually take it public is kinda telling.

 

You can also see if mods are communicative on the boards. For example, TheAP participates in her forum on the regular as someone who just enjoys the threads there. You can see her communication style, see that she is understanding of other's opinions and tries to walk in someone else's shoes. She does the same in the back room. Some other mods don't do that. You can also see if mods play the "if someone's feelings are hurt we MUST step in!" card, which I personally think is bullshit. ToS has no rule about not hurting feelings, but it does have rules about not insulting or harassing...... An admod can't be reactive, rather they need to be able to be objective when reading posts that they may not agree with.

 

Lastly, and I know this is work and they aren't up to date, but looking at declassed threads can help. I'm sure DT would consider pushing some recent threads up on the priority list if asked (threads can be declassed after 6 months, so asking for a few report threads from 6 months ago can be a help). Note who is and who isn't participating. Note if you think they are being objective or if they are favoring some members over others.

 

You can also always ask other admods in PM.... Though they'll have to be careful to not breach or say something against ToS and it's only their opinion. They can express their thoughts on if certain admods are worth re-electing. I would love to give opinions, but I might be setting myself up for a lot of drama by saying this.... Let's find out.

 

Lastly, I will say, as much as people complain, AVEN is run as well as is needed, honestly. All the people who bitch and moan aren't banned, and many of them have run for elections which tells you at least their disciplinary history at the time. AVEN is an internet forum, not a country, so people sometimes act as if it's much higher stakes than it is. So, do what homework you can, but I totally get if what i have outlined here is too much or isn't clear enough to actually tackle by members.

 

Sorry if that was rambly, hope it was helpful though!

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Graveful
27 minutes ago, daveb said:

How would we (general members who are not on staff) even know if they weren't "strong" (whatever "strong" means in this context)? Given the way things work here it seems to me the best mods would often be the least visible (because they are working behind the scenes to keep things from escalating, for example). I mean, if a forum seems to be running smoothly we don't see what is making that happen. It could be a good mod, could be members being good, or who knows what.

I think a good balance of behind the scenes and remaining visible is important for mods. Which is why I think they should put some sort of proof of backroom participation and projects worked on. I'm with Puck in that I see a lot of individuals get voted back in as a mod where I'm just baffled anyone voted for them after their behavior in the backroom, lack of participation, blatant disregard for AVEN rules, or even just complete laziness or absence. Hopefully this process will make their performance a bit more clear. I think admods should be as transparent as possible and this is a good step toward that if implemented correctly and stuck with. Unfortunately, it's not currently clear when Mod A isn't doing their job and Mod B steps in to fill in gaps or when Mod C makes a mistake. How are we to know?

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Tanwen
5 hours ago, Puck said:

Sorry to put words in your mouth, but I assume you mean that admods will keep the admins who are truely supportive and helpful to the team? I would hope admods would not just continuously keep in an ineffective admin.

 

I’ll echo that I don’t foresee a large turnover coming from this. I’ve seen individuals that I didn’t feel were the strongest mods be voted back in consistently. If the community really wanted leadership to change, they wouldn’t have voted past mods back in when in the past that was the one way they could effect change. Honestly, I think the easiest way to win an AVEN election is to have been on staff before. However, I still think it’s important to have these votes as the community deserves to have a voice in who is leading them, even if they don’t use that voice to change much.

No, admods vote people in as admins because they believe they will be good at the job. Unless they make a major screw up (which is unlikely) admods would have no reason to vote other than positively. And if they have made a major screw up then it would be dealt with at the time, surely :) 

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.Lia
14 minutes ago, Tanwen said:

No, admods vote people in as admins because they believe they will be good at the job. Unless they make a major screw up (which is unlikely) admods would have no reason to vote other than positively. And if they have made a major screw up then it would be dealt with at the time, surely :) 

I fully disagree. There are admins who I would vote no for currently.

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