Like a swamp ? Photographer

/ 1 decade ago (30 January 2007 03:02)

I have always put myself aside of discussions and/or threads that in a way or the other, showed disagreements towards the way SB is administrated, I am here since 2002 with a purpose: to share and to make friends, objectives that I reached. Nevertheless and as a REGULAR MEMBER - not as a Staff member - I could not let pass the overall feeling that I have of a not so good " ambiance" here at SB. Or because some valued members are leaving or showed more than one time their intentions to leave ( all are valuable members ) or because some discussions I see - without interfeering - that questions in many ways - some in an absolute academic and not rational manner - the way the site is administrated, - or even the reasons administrators do give - I have to say something about this. I own two sites and "communities" - portuguese - bike and gastronomy related. I am the only ruler but I hear opinnions being that only 15% or 20% of those opinnions are well attended by myself.Why ? Because things are always mooving forward and because people do feel that I am a very "cold" , fair guy, as I put all my emotions out of the way when " managing" anything in my life, specially matters that involves other people.That said - just to position myself clearly in this thread - SB is...what we want it to be..because we are PART of SB. There are members that are here for many years, and there are members that " just arrived", being that these "rookies" must be encouraged in a transparent manner and without any possible suspicion on how things are dealt with. I, as a member, do want a lively , cristal clearwater SB site, not a swamp where every "frog" is just awaiting for that " imprudent" fly, to catch it. So...what is wrong here? What shall be done and most important: why should be done? Instead of getting aggravation with each others, lets be united and try to solve things out. We deserve it, SB deserves it. Over and out. Photographer

Post replies:

1 decade ago (30.01.2007 04:01)
Reply by: MountainHawk
I completely and totally agree with you Artur and you have my full agreement and support. With growth being tha active ingredient here it is time for everyone to do their bit to make this a fun and happy site. It cannot be done so if emotions come into play. I know prior to ten years ago I operated from the emotions and traits of Arrogance,Anger,Rage and Stubborness. I was always right and the only choice was MY way and any percieved injustice or wrongdoing was meant with a response that far outweighed the percieved wrong. And guess what? Nine times out of ten I was wrong. I had either misunderstood, misinterpreted, misread or simply refused to accept a differing viewpoint. What did it get me? In the end I had no friends and no-one would have a damned thing to do with me because I was so volatile and explosive. Did I ever admit I was wrong back then? No because the last thing I wanted was anyone to know I could be wrong, I considered myself to be better than God. I could not allow anyone to think I was weak by apologizing and the last thing was I did not want you to get close to learn who I really was and that ALL took a helluva lot of energy to keep up. It ended up putting me in hospital for eight months and I was incapable of doing anything for three years. The other prevaslent thing about my behaviour back then was nothing was ever my fault. It was always someone elses fault. Today I am not afraid to apologize. I am not afraid to admit when I screw up. I am happy to own my own behaviour and take responsibility for it. If someone points out fault I take the time to seriously look at what the person or persons are saying and if I am honest enough with myself and find they are correct I thank them. I do not blow my stack and bury them. Why? Because they have helped me to become a better person and they took the time to tell me. Punisnment by humiliation or otherwise is no longer a requierement in my book. Resolving issues in an adult manner maintaining respect and dignity for all is what it is about....not bad feeling and animosity. Am I I work at keeping friends today rather than making enemies. I treat others as they would treat me and before I take any action I never do so in an unreasonable fashion. Humiliating people is likely the best way to make an enemy. I spent six years at sea on a vessel 437´ long and 43´ wide with 330 men aboard. 82 guys were in the messdeck I shared......We had to get along. Congratulation Cool Wink
1 decade ago (30.01.2007 04:14)
Reply by: MountainHawk
One last point......Anyone percieving criticism as a threat really needs to check out whether they are open to growth or whether they are closed minded and more interested in staying static.This is an art site and constructive criticism is encouraged. If you are deliberately offensive then in my book you deserve what comes from that. Congratulation Cool Wink
1 decade ago (31.01.2007 01:23)
Reply by:
Artur, there hasn´t even been a debate about the featuring process though. Cry
And it´s sad to see people focus on people rather than look at the issue. The issue of featuring. Regardless of what is being said - "they don´t get featured and all they wanted is to get featured" - it is obvious by the statements of several people they wanted improvements for SB and not personal gratification. Is that so wrong?
Now, you say you are cold and fair, let´s look at the photofeaturing in a cold way, say from January 2006.
Facts are:

As of 5-1 2006
Person "1" gets 2 features in a row followed by person "2", "3", and "4"...
Then person "1" gets another feature, person "3" gets 2 features in a row...After that, a new person "5" gets featured 5 times in a row, whereafter person "1" gets featured.
A new person "6" gets then 2 features, followed by "5", and then "1" again..
We are already at the end of March where 2 new people get featured "6" and "7", then "1" again 2 in a row.
Let´s recap: In 3 months 1 gets featured 7 times, 2 - 1, 3 - 3, 4 - 1, 5 - 6, 6 - 1, 7 -1...In other words 4 people a single feature, one person 3, one person 6 and one person 7 features.
Now let´s look at the days the features were up. Out of the roughly 90 days 25 days went to 2,3,4,6,7 and 65 days to 1 and 5.

I do not believe that it has been this one-sided the next quarters, but I do have a point where I can ask staff for a bit more equally divided featuring don´t I? After all there are many types of styles. One has to ask: Does staff prefer to feature one kind of style that they like? Or are they able to feature different styles that are equally good in "quality" ?
Are there some simple rules to set up so that more people can get featured? Rules like, a feature stays up for 5 days, not shorter, not longer. This seems to me more fair.
I really do hope a positive outcome on this topic, and a factual debate on this issue rather than playing blame games. As you say SB needs it and so do the members.
1 decade ago (31.01.2007 02:48)
Reply by:
Jacob, I see you point very clearly but I do not have anything to do with featured artworks. Besides, I started this topic with an objective: an open discussion on how we can all improve the site, to give our opinions and thoughs and try to make processes the most transparent possible. Happy Beer Photographer
1 decade ago (31.01.2007 03:05)
Reply by: MountainHawk
Respectfully I would like to suggest that is what Jacob is doing. I understand you have nothing to do with featured artwork Artur. Jacob is alerting to a way to improve the site and asking for open discussion. I also commend you for at least seeking a way forward Artur. I truly believe it is needed and of no other threat than we may increase our membership rather than decrease it. Congratulation Cool Wink
1 decade ago (31.01.2007 03:26)
Reply by: MountainHawk
The other point I would like to respectfully suggest Artur is people may well be hesitant to offer suggestions for improvement or to openly discuss anything. There are only three of us willing to talk on this thread.....that is interesting. Congratulation Cool Wink
1 decade ago (31.01.2007 04:20)
Reply by: MountainHawk
One thing I have noticed missing in the FAQ is site rules....we have no etiquette policy,no description for complaints procedure and no process or dept to help people. Currently we are just supposed to know. With growth being the operative hope these things will become necessary. Some are necessary now so newcomers know what they can or cannot do. I know about how to handle complaints solely because of the information I have about Administrator procedures here. That any offender must be given a warning and the infringement spelt out with a request to modify behaviour with a consequence stated if compliance is not obtained. The average person would be oblivious to that here. Congratulation Cool Wink
1 decade ago (31.01.2007 05:23)
Reply by:
Yes, I understood Jacob´s point and I know that either you,him and myself - interesting indeed that only three persons are discussing this being that I suspect that we are the ones - probably among others - that , despite all our feelings , do feel OK here ate SB - are writing our opinions, seeking for a better SB. Question? If only three of us are discussing this or willing to suggest, probably is because everybody else is OK, then this thread is useless. Right? On the issue of the site rules, I agree with you Iain, as ie: on my foruns, prior to accept people there, they have to read a "bible" of 10 rules I have made - which by the way seemed sensible and reasonable for myself but were contested many times by members, but nonetheless, they are as they are and everybody is feeling ok there, believe me. I cannot compare my foruns with SB, as they are a drop on the ocean compared with Skinbase, but one has to have a basis for understanding and behaviour and most important, how things work here: level of membership - why, how ? - featured artwork - why, how? - etc,etc etc.Again, I am speaking as a member, not as a staff member, as I would have open this thread either way. Photographer Beer
1 decade ago (31.01.2007 06:26)
Reply by: MountainHawk
Yes Artur...... I agree with you but I don´t think it is useless...nor do I think everyone else is okay. I spend a lot of time here and watch and see and notice a lot that the administration misses. There are large gaps where no admins are here. That is not a dig....just a fact. I know that Nikos was oblivious some months back to an issue going on until I pointed to where he could find it. That is where people like us come into play. Because we care about the site we do our best to keep an eye on it so it stays here. There are plenty of people who criticize but only a few that get in there and try to do something about it. That has been my experience in all walks of life. A broadening of the FAQ is a real must in my view.There are a lot of things we could do but my feeling is to sort the basics and iron out those things that are frequently an issue. As long as we are not afraid to tackle them or discuss them I see no harm or no problem. Congratulation Cool Wink
1 decade ago (01.02.2007 04:08)
Reply by:
Neither of us 3 Artur, have opened a thread about the features. It has been questioned by more people on different occasions. Then, a feature a couple of weeks ago sparked a boiling point by some SB members. As you say, you are not in charge of picking features, the one that is though, has never entered the debate but chose a different way of communicating. In doing so nothing is resolved and no common ground has been reached, and a big silence is heard. Having seen the latest outcome I am not surprised nobody is speaking their minds anymore and even turn their heads away. I really cannot see this is good for SB. If I am wrong, just tell me why it has been good for SB.

You speak of rules Artur, I can say everybody here is willing to abide by rules if they make sense, but does that mean staff do not have to abide by rules of fairness, equalness and impartialism? Basically that´s what is at stake.

We, as members, do not have any powers, we can only speak out our concerns. If there is no response on a mature level from the staff, what does that radiate to the members? Members need interaction with staff when they start questioning things, and debates should be held in all openness and with dignity while sticking to the facts. A solid interaction is the basis of a healthy relationship between staff and members. The only one I can think of was TAXIFUNK, always willing to participate or fix problems.

Now, going back to what I have summoned above, the featuring in the first quarter, and since you, Artur, withdraw yourself from responsibility ( you don´t pick features ), I can only ask the person who does the features, my friend Nikos :

1. Do you think it was a fair way of featuring, have you looked at them with an impartial eye, and do you treat every person with equalness?
2. Would it be possible to think of a way where the same person is not featured one time after another?
3. Is it maybe possible to share within staff the picking of features to insure more versatility? (Different people, different tastes)
4. Are you also willing to look at the possibility to keep a feature up for an x-amount of days where x > 2 let alone 1 and use that as a general rule?

I really hope Nikos that you will answer these questions and also give a reasoning.

I do urge anyone else to put more questions in regarding the featuring if they have any. And please in a respectful way.
1 decade ago (01.02.2007 05:12)
Reply by: MountainHawk
Cannot argue with you on any of those points Jacob and as you say we have no power which means any show of force by staff causes humiliation which is why we have the feeling about the place we do. The end result has been not what was intended. More harm has been done to the site and frankly I consider enough is enough. We will not get anywhere as you say by silence. Congratulation Cool Wink
1 decade ago (01.02.2007 11:47)
Reply by:
Well my friends, all these questions can only be answered by Nikos himself. On what features are concerned, I´ve said already what I think which are more or less in accordance with Jacob´s opinions.I could take another approach and contact Nikos privately. I did not that as a matter of transparency towards all SB members. As said, I have some experience of communities and until today, they are working OK as I do answer questions and listen to members opinions and when not in agreement, I tell them why I do not agree.So far, so good. It´s not easy - I think - to administrate such a big community as SB and attend all members requests and whishes in order to have an average of opinions and then decide. But it is not impossible.Being a staff member I have the responsibility to "take care" of SB - as per the tasks I was incharge - that´s what I am doing, as per the spare time I have.Probably I am not a good staff member - raising all these questions - but I am a good SB member.And for me, is the most important Beer
1 decade ago (01.02.2007 12:07)
Reply by: MountainHawk
No doubting you are a good member Artur.....and in my view a good staff member and currently the only staff member to talk openly and willing to discuss with an honest approach. I thank you for that....but and I have always been able to discuss anything without problems. Congratulation Cool Wink
1 decade ago (01.02.2007 12:22)
Reply by:
That´s true Iain, no problems with us whatsoever. But then...I do not have problems with anybody, as far as I keep faithfull to myself:full transparency. At least I do try. Cool Beer
1 decade ago (01.02.2007 01:01)
Reply by:
Let´s hope Nikos is willing to answer in all openness Happy It takes courage to do that, and he has proved to me in the past he has that Happy
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