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Feedback for Staff Elections/Volunteering

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LeChat
23 hours ago, Kimmie. said:

Reading this has made me sure of one thing atleast i am not at all admod material.

I have way to many contradicting feelings about some of the rules that i could not do the job fair.

That's okay; the fact that you've donated to AVEN's fundraiser helps, too. :)

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Kisa needs a latte
On 10/20/2019 at 2:57 PM, .Lia said:

dt didn't used to mod. some of them might have but it's not a pre req like it is to be tt. i'd caution against this type of thing (encouraging teams other than admods to speak up in reports). it's a slippery slope, and tt are not elected. dt are elected only to handle past reports, and pt are elected only to handle projects, not reports or discipline.

Not necessarily true.  As time goes by the teams grow into new things.  It's really amazing to see.

 

For example, I help out a bit in the report forum sometimes (I NEVER vote) and I am looking into seeing if my role could be somewhat member facing as well as admod facing.  I'm finding that as "not staff" members are willing to discuss some issues that they have that they don't want to be a full fledged report or that they feel were just a little off base.  I want to encourage more of that so the admods can improve.  If it's been happening organically I'm not going to stop it if it works.

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.Lia
10 hours ago, Pumpkin Spice Kale Chips said:

Not necessarily true.  As time goes by the teams grow into new things.  It's really amazing to see.

 

For example, I help out a bit in the report forum sometimes (I NEVER vote) and I am looking into seeing if my role could be somewhat member facing as well as admod facing.  I'm finding that as "not staff" members are willing to discuss some issues that they have that they don't want to be a full fledged report or that they feel were just a little off base.  I want to encourage more of that so the admods can improve.  If it's been happening organically I'm not going to stop it if it works.

as tt, monitoring the report forum and posting about precident and policy is part of the job description. giving your opinion insofar as "well if i were admod i'd warn because..." is not within the scope of the tt. if this has changed, then the membership at large has a right to know that people they have not elected are influencing reports.

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daveb
2 hours ago, .Lia said:

monitoring the report forum and posting about precident and policy is part of the job description

That's what I meant about welcoming input. Sometimes they remember stuff about precedent and policy that current mods might not remember or might not even have encountered before. :) I don't think they say stuff along the lines of "I'd warn".

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ithaca
On 10/19/2019 at 1:51 AM, Serran said:

Given elections are a breeze compared to actually being an admod,... I wonder how long admods would last if they came in thinking it's all fun and games from a "fun" election and got into the bogged down nature of being an admod with all the red tape and backroom "debating" and nasty PMs from users upset with the team? 

Hi Serran, long time no see! (I'm still alive, yes...)

I'm one of the people who started out with a fun election campaign (though some campaigning restrictions had just taken place)! (Nominations, Campaign which involved questions about zombie mobs, and yes lots of serious questions but it was fun). I'm one of the people who won because I was a chat darling (lol), I had barely stepped into any forums and had just accrued the minimum post count before the election. To be honest, I probably wouldn't have been able to tell you all the forums AVEN had back then.

 

I spent a very long time serving AVEN, first as a Mod, then Admin, then Board member before stepping down because life took over. I think in total I spent about 6 years though it feels longer. And yeah I went through a lot of tough times as an Admod, really really tough times, lots of stress and tears. Was I prepared for it? Maybe not. But was it worth it? Hell yeah! 

 

For me serving AVEN was always more than just posting about reports and policy in the backroom and getting stressed by team drama (which was constant oh my god). It was about how to make our members feel welcome and at home, how to make people happy, how to help with information (I was constantly working on threads to pin), how to help visibility and eventually I started the World Watch Archives out of curiosity to see how visibility was in the past, and finding the oldest bits of media on asexuality. I made life-long friends through this on AVEN and IRL, and it has really taught me a lot of skills that I apply at work as well, interestingly, including the tougher skin it gave me to handle stress and drama.

 

I have been away from AVEN forums for too long to say if Admods are still active in that way, but I hope they are, because that's what makes it a more long-term sustainable and satisfying job, in my opinion. I would run again if I could, but it does require a lot of time, and I currently don't have that, sadly.

 

On 10/20/2019 at 1:08 AM, Cheshire-Cat said:

An admod does significantly more than just reports though. At the moment most areas that admods are involved in don't get the response they deserve due to there being so many areas they need to keep an eye on. And plenty of admods have left due to the work load. It's not saying admods couldn't give out nudges or warnings, but I think saying that is their entire role is extremely simplistic. If admods didn't have to care about checking all the reports from other forums in the reports area then maybe it would give them more time to keep an eye on, and actually interact with, their forums. It would also give them more time to keep up with an interact with any policy or other ongoing discussions. Again I've seen plenty of admods who feel they've lost out on being an actual member of AVEN, checking and posting in their own forums and others, because they end up spending all their time checking their own forum or admods just to try and keep with with everything going on.

I feel like you're spot on about some of the issues here, and I hope the team will take kindly to some suggestions, which I'll try to list in an orderly way through a numbered list, but they're not ranked in terms of importance, just as they come to my head:

 

1- It would be good to review election criteria and structure: if it ain't broke don't fix it is my life motto, but if it is broke, let's try and fix it ;)  My suggestions would be to shorten the whole of it in some way, and bring back some of the fun by loosening some of the campaign restrictions in sensible ways (e.g. chat isn't that major channel anymore, as it is now so much smaller than it used to be, so allowing chat campaigning could be reviewed? Also maybe a "fun campaigning" thread in JFF where people can shit-post about elections if they want to could be hilarious).

 

2- Too much time is spent in Admods, as Cheshire says, and less and less on the actual forums. I would encourage Admods to be more proactive than reactive, meaning it would make their job quicker if they were engaging more in conversations, especially the difficult ones, and using lighter active moderation (e.g. "please stay on topic", "you might want to tone it down a bit" and alike via posts or PMs) compared to green posts, locking threads, waiting for reports and spending a week discussing each post in the backroom. 

 

3- About point 2, maybe Admods should be encouraged to spend some time on forums where lighter, active moderating in the threads take place as the majority of the work moderators do, to see how it's done and how members get used to it. Eventually their role should be similar to the ones of moderators at conferences/debates, facilitating conversations when they get more difficult/heated.

 

4- If more Admods were more active in the forums, leading by example through posts that show what our core values are, how to debate respectfully and how to encourage education through exploring/questioning, members would have an easier way of understanding how to navigate difficult situations, getting in fewer troubles and again lightening the workload behind the scenes.

 

5- As much as policy work is important, maybe there could be a rule in place (if there isn't) where if X policy has just been discussed/amended/announced, it won't be brought up again for revisiting for X amount of time, to allow respite and reduce workload. Or maybe if a new policy is introduced or a policy amended, it will be reviewed after X time (but not before) but a review will take place to make sure it's still useful/valid/up to date.

 

6- Basically discuss/brainstorm ideas to reduce workload, not to create more of it :)

 

 

 

 

To answer one of the questions in the OP, what made me want to volunteer back in the day was how grateful I felt for having found AVEN and having been made to feel SO WELCOME and like I had found a new family. I had also been in close contacts with mods (in the chat) and got to know them, so they looked like friends or potential friends I could chat to rather than scary beings with power and an insane workload they always complained about. Some had encouraged me to run and highlighted all the things I was doing well for the community already (like welcoming newbies), which had given me the confidence that no, I wasn't useless and there might be something I could do to give back to AVEN. I think this is the kind of relationship and feelings Admods should focus on fostering with members. Be their friends, encourage good behaviour (rather than just punish bad behaviour), chat to them, tell them about what you do and why it makes you happy to serve AVEN. 

 

I hope this helps somehow, but I understand if it's all things you've already looked into or that you may not think are what you're looking for, that's up to you all.

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pook

i always found that people were the most eager to run when mods were the leading force for fun in the community

 

 

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