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how are we doing? - complaints most welcome

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how are we doing? - complaints most welcome [#permalink]

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New post 17 Mar 2009, 04:25
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So it is time to set the stage for 2010, gcnation. And it is time for you to hold us accountable so we can improve. :oops:

a) elitism is still of some concern. are we drowning out differing opinions and discussions on lower ranked schools?
b) threads going off topic -- can we agree to respond to the author's post FIRST so we can help the author and not go off on a tangent at the first opportunity?
c) what about discipline - Do I demand too much in terms of conduct on the forums? If yes, how would you do this differently? My fear is that the forum will become a source for problems rather than a source for frank and respectful discussions, long lasting friendships and exchange of valuable information.
d) role of moderators - we still don't know a lot about what the exact role of a moderator should be. so far, it has been a way to recognize good contributions, conduct and perhaps the interest that a member takes in contributing to the community.

how else can we improve? Pour your heart out -- what is broken? what features would like to see?

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Re: how are we doing? - complaints most welcome [#permalink]

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New post 17 Mar 2009, 05:25
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a) elitism is still of some concern. are we drowning out differing opinions and discussions on lower ranked schools?

I dont think people are really "drowning out" discussions on lower ranked schools. There are quite a few Calling All 2009 Applicants for lower ranked schools and they are replied to when needed. If anybody feels that those threads are getting pushed way too far down a simple "bump" could bring it to the top? That is, if you think bumps are OK.

b) threads going off topic -- can we agree to respond to the author's post FIRST so we can help the author and not go off on a tangent at the first opportunity?

Very resonable request. Although off topic conversations help build friendships in GC, we should definately make more of an effort to make sure questions are answered first as not to lose sight of them.

c) what about discipline - Do I demand too much in terms of conduct on the forums? If yes, how would you do this differently? My fear is that the forum will become a source for problems rather than a source for frank and respectful discussions, long lasting friendships and exchange of valuable information.

To be quite honest here, sometimes I think you do go overboard with your reactions. A lot of the regular members here joke around with one another (which helps build relationships IMHO). Sometimes you find the jokes to be unnecessary and/or out-of-place and, in turn, you ban a member, kick them out of chat, or write something mean to them. We have actually lost some great contributors because of this and sometimes we feel like we are walking on eggshells. I think the "report" option is great, therefore you can review posts that have been reported without taking immediate actions or calling people out in public.

d) role of moderators - we still don't know a lot about what the exact role of a moderator should be. so far, it has been a way to recognize good contributions, conduct and perhaps the interest that a member takes in contributing to the community.

As a moderator for this forum, I use my role as a platform to keep things clean and organized. I delete duplicate posts, delete spam, consolodate information etc......

how else can we improve? Pour your heart out -- what is broken? what features would like to see?

I think chat should somehow be made more prominent. Chat is the best way to build relationships between members.....and when the relationships are built, members will be much more likely to hang around and contribute long term.

If I think of anything else I will add it!

Edit: You might want to sticky this to get the most out of it.

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Re: how are we doing? - complaints most welcome [#permalink]

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New post 17 Mar 2009, 06:09
Praetorian wrote:
So it is time to set the stage for 2010, gcnation. And it is time for you to hold us accountable so we can improve. :oops:

a) elitism is still of some concern. are we drowning out differing opinions and discussions on lower ranked schools?
b) threads going off topic -- can we agree to respond to the author's post FIRST so we can help the author and not go off on a tangent at the first opportunity?
c) what about discipline - Do I demand too much in terms of conduct on the forums? If yes, how would you do this differently? My fear is that the forum will become a source for problems rather than a source for frank and respectful discussions, long lasting friendships and exchange of valuable information.
d) role of moderators - we still don't know a lot about what the exact role of a moderator should be. so far, it has been a way to recognize good contributions, conduct and perhaps the interest that a member takes in contributing to the community.

how else can we improve? Pour your heart out -- what is broken? what features would like to see?


Seem to be doing well on (a) and (b). Regarding (c) and (d), it's hard for me to say, given that I'm a relatively new member. But the difference between GClub and BW forums is profound. The poor quality and negativity surrounding BW forums is depressing and significantly reduces the usefulness of the forum. Whatever you're doing to prevent that from happening here is clearly working. My guess is that what you're doing with (c) and (d) is the reason, so I'd encourage you to be careful as you make changes/improvements.

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Re: how are we doing? - complaints most welcome [#permalink]

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New post 17 Mar 2009, 06:28
Praetorian wrote:
So it is time to set the stage for 2010, gcnation. And it is time for you to hold us accountable so we can improve. :oops:

a) elitism is still of some concern. are we drowning out differing opinions and discussions on lower ranked schools?

I dont think this is an issue. Every admit or aspirant tries to contribute towards each school they have either applied or are planning. I think its smooth sailing, so far.

b) threads going off topic -- can we agree to respond to the author's post FIRST so we can help the author and not go off on a tangent at the first opportunity?

IMHO, I dont see this too much, but there have been very few cases where the the topics have drifted. Nothing to worry, though.

c) what about discipline - Do I demand too much in terms of conduct on the forums? If yes, how would you do this differently? My fear is that the forum will become a source for problems rather than a source for frank and respectful discussions, long lasting friendships and exchange of valuable information.

The big debate. No, I dont think. Its important to have the right conduct, its not few people contributing to GC but looooot, besides, there are many who just do not contribute but ONLY view threads/posts.
IMO - If you feel someone has crossed the line, the BoD and Admin should jointly take a call.

d) role of moderators - we still don't know a lot about what the exact role of a moderator should be. so far, it has been a way to recognize good contributions, conduct and perhaps the interest that a member takes in contributing to the community.

Organize & Keep a tab of the posts, threads, bumping posts - those that haven't received any contributions. This is subjective, thats the reasons we need Mods. :)

how else can we improve? Pour your heart out -- what is broken? what features would like to see?


Have a structure for posts - Most of them, like me, start with GMAT and then move to B-Schools applications etc. I'm guessing the GMAT sections receive the maximum hits. There should be a standard structure for "new topics" i.e format.
eg. SC - (desc) - (source)
CR - (desc) - (source)...etc.
It will be more systematic and will help in searching for posts....IMO

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Re: how are we doing? - complaints most welcome [#permalink]

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New post 17 Mar 2009, 06:35
Even to an undergrad like me, who's not yet undertaking the b-school application process, this database of amazing tips and experiences has been an awesome tool to help me prepare for when those years come. I congratulate and thank whoever built this up and takes the time to maintain the quality std of posts/links/etc. In all my hours of surfing around I've found nothing quite like it.

Kudos to you all

btw - how do I add an image to my profile?

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Re: how are we doing? - complaints most welcome [#permalink]

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New post 17 Mar 2009, 06:39
1) Click "User Control Panel" on the top right.
2) Then click "Profile" on the left.
3) Then click "Edit Avatar" on the left.
4) Upload your pic (make sure it is the correct size)

cdnaudit wrote:
btw - how do I add an image to my profile?

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Re: how are we doing? - complaints most welcome [#permalink]

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New post 17 Mar 2009, 06:39
I love the forum as is, I definitely think the chat is great and I know we could probably improve the amount of knowledge we have about the schools ranked 25-50ish but all in all we've got a great thing going here.

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Re: how are we doing? - complaints most welcome [#permalink]

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New post 17 Mar 2009, 06:52
a) elitism is still of some concern. are we drowning out differing opinions and discussions on lower ranked schools?

I agree with what raabend said. With only a very few exceptions, I haven't personally thought there was a whole lot of elitism here. I've also seen a few threads for applicants to lower ranked schools, and the questions raised seem to be replied to. I just think the same way the gmatclub population seems abnormally skewed towards people with high GMAT scores, it's probably also skewed towards applicants at the ultra-elite and elite schools.

b) threads going off topic -- can we agree to respond to the author's post FIRST so we can help the author and not go off on a tangent at the first opportunity?

I think this is a good suggestion, and probably could be solved by a bit more self-policing by members to steer threads back on topic.

c) what about discipline - Do I demand too much in terms of conduct on the forums? If yes, how would you do this differently? My fear is that the forum will become a source for problems rather than a source for frank and respectful discussions, long lasting friendships and exchange of valuable information.

I think at times the discipline has been on the heavy-handed side, but it's a tough balance to keep this from becoming similar to the BW forums. I like having the option to report posts, and perhaps disciplinary action such as permanent or temporary banning should be done based on a vote of the mods or some subset of mods. One other suggestion that was being discussed in chat one day was a separate forum for some of the threads with more passionate debating (such as some of the recent debates around CEO pay, etc.). While there should still be rules against all out flame wars in that forum, it would allow people to engage in debate on sensitive subjects, while making it clear to all users that the content and conduct in those threads would be more 'colorful' than in the rest of gmatclub. Then, if members wanted to avoid that sort of content they could simply stay clear of that forum.

d) role of moderators - we still don't know a lot about what the exact role of a moderator should be. so far, it has been a way to recognize good contributions, conduct and perhaps the interest that a member takes in contributing to the community.

I think the role of the mod should be to generally maintain the forums (move threads where appropriate, delete spam, etc.), as well as review posts that are reported by members to see if any forum rules were broken.


I also think the chat function is great - and not just because I spend hours on it every day. The ability to just talk to other members outside of the more formal threads and posting is a great way to build relationships and the community.

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Re: how are we doing? - complaints most welcome [#permalink]

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New post 17 Mar 2009, 07:14
Praetorian wrote:
So it is time to set the stage for 2010, gcnation. And it is time for you to hold us accountable so we can improve. :oops:

a) elitism is still of some concern. are we drowning out differing opinions and discussions on lower ranked schools?

I see no issues with elitism. No one said to me "Holy crap! You're seriously thinking of going to the Universtiy of Oklahoma ? HAHA! It's like #62!" I appreciate the support I've gotten in trying to make that decision.
b) threads going off topic -- can we agree to respond to the author's post FIRST so we can help the author and not go off on a tangent at the first opportunity?

We're human and all of us are rather passionate about what we know and can't resist tangents. I once heard a guy tell about his first years at HBS....oh, sorry. Back to topic. ;-)
c) what about discipline - Do I demand too much in terms of conduct on the forums? If yes, how would you do this differently? My fear is that the forum will become a source for problems rather than a source for frank and respectful discussions, long lasting friendships and exchange of valuable information.

I can only think of one particular issue that we had over the last 3 or 4 months. I think my position is understood by those that witnessed it, and I understand things didn't get better for the few months I was away. I like the ideas of using the report post, and private discussion between forum owners and the person in question. Do realize that some people refuse to change their conduct even after numerous PMs.
d) role of moderators - we still don't know a lot about what the exact role of a moderator should be. so far, it has been a way to recognize good contributions, conduct and perhaps the interest that a member takes in contributing to the community.

how else can we improve? Pour your heart out -- what is broken? what features would like to see?

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Re: how are we doing? - complaints most welcome [#permalink]

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New post 17 Mar 2009, 07:31
a) elitism is still of some concern. are we drowning out differing opinions and discussions on lower ranked schools?

I wouldn't say it is elitism necessarily, but just a greater demand for the top ranked schools. No one here, well maybe there are a few exceptions, but we took care of them, looks down at people that want to apply to 25-50 ranked schools. I just think it is a function of supply and demand.


b) threads going off topic -- can we agree to respond to the author's post FIRST so we can help the author and not go off on a tangent at the first opportunity?

I am probably pretty guilty of this, especially when we discuss anything politically related. Those topics seem to be the ones that get pretty far off the original meaning of the post pretty quickly. Maybe we can devote a subforum specifically to economics, markets, and public policy so we can all argue Keynes vs. supply side until we are blue in the face? Maybe this isn't the right place, but sometimes I just can't help it. I try not to argue online, but sometimes its just so much fun.

c) what about discipline - Do I demand too much in terms of conduct on the forums? If yes, how would you do this differently? My fear is that the forum will become a source for problems rather than a source for frank and respectful discussions, long lasting friendships and exchange of valuable information.

I say rule with an iron fist, the culture of this board is its strength. Don't take any crap from people that don't belong here. Our culture of open and honest discussion with a dose of politeness, seperates us from the apes over on the BW forum. Let's keep it that way.

d) role of moderators - we still don't know a lot about what the exact role of a moderator should be. so far it has been a way to recognize good contributions, conduct and perhaps the interest that a member takes in contributing to the community.

I like being a moderator - I just like being recognized for my contributions on the board. It takes an inordinate amount of wasted time to post over 600 times to an online message board. :wink: Let's keep recognizing moderators for their contributions.

how else can we improve? Pour your heart out -- what is broken? what features would like to see?

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Re: how are we doing? - complaints most welcome [#permalink]

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New post 17 Mar 2009, 08:21
elitism is still of some concern. are we drowning out differing opinions and discussions on lower ranked schools?


I would say this is true. While it may not be explicit, there is sort of an intimidation factor. When everyone is talking about how kellogg sucks, yet someone wants to apply to a school ranked , let's say in the 25th range, they may be hesistant to post.

I do think school bashing sort of lends to some comradarie however. However, people not in the know may take it the wrong way. (As in my kellogg sucks post above)

I do agree with the above posters that there is definitely self selection but when I see calling all (name non top 15 school here) and no one responds or there are 2 posts, I can't imagine that there are so few people on this board applying to those schools. We need to think of a better way to get them involved



b) threads going off topic -- can we agree to respond to the author's post FIRST so we can help the author and not go off on a tangent at the first opportunity?


I don't think this is too much of an issue. Maybe I just enjoy reading the tangents too much :)



c) what about discipline - Do I demand too much in terms of conduct on the forums? If yes, how would you do this differently? My fear is that the forum will become a source for problems rather than a source for frank and respectful discussions, long lasting friendships and exchange of valuable information.

I mean that is your job to demand conduct. You don't want to let things get out of hand and that is why this forum is as great as it is. As for that one specific case, without naming names of course, that may have been a little harsh. I feel if your contributions far outweigh the negatives, there should be some leeway. As long as that person does not get too out of hand, and there is a healthy debate, I see that as a plus

d) role of moderators - we still don't know a lot about what the exact role of a moderator should be. so far it has been a way to recognize good contributions, conduct and perhaps the interest that a member takes in contributing to the community.

I don't see a problem with the role of moderators. It should serve as a reward for people with quality posts. Additionally is it an indicator in which new members can use as a guide to lend that post more credibility.

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Re: how are we doing? - complaints most welcome [#permalink]

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New post 17 Mar 2009, 09:01
For (a) - my suggestion would be to open sub forums within the MBA Application forum. It could be on the lines of

1) Business week top 5
2) Business week 5 - 15
3) Business week 16 - 25
4) Others

So the people who want to apply to a school other than UE and E can go into one of those forums and post their questions. FYI - I used BW as they publish ranking every two years. So we would not need to adjust the schools (and active posts) on an annual basis.


I think we are doing good on the other points that were asked.

Praetorian wrote:
So it is time to set the stage for 2010, gcnation. And it is time for you to hold us accountable so we can improve. :oops:

a) elitism is still of some concern. are we drowning out differing opinions and discussions on lower ranked schools?
b) threads going off topic -- can we agree to respond to the author's post FIRST so we can help the author and not go off on a tangent at the first opportunity?
c) what about discipline - Do I demand too much in terms of conduct on the forums? If yes, how would you do this differently? My fear is that the forum will become a source for problems rather than a source for frank and respectful discussions, long lasting friendships and exchange of valuable information.
d) role of moderators - we still don't know a lot about what the exact role of a moderator should be. so far, it has been a way to recognize good contributions, conduct and perhaps the interest that a member takes in contributing to the community.

how else can we improve? Pour your heart out -- what is broken? what features would like to see?

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Re: how are we doing? - complaints most welcome [#permalink]

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New post 17 Mar 2009, 09:04
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I think there is some silent elitism going around. While board members will not look down on you for applying to lower ranked or unranked schools for that matter, the people who are solely interested in the top5-10 school will rarely engage in helpful conversations and or encouragement for the lower ranked school threads. Which discourages the applicants to those to be very active in the said threads. Look for example at the USC and UCSD threads. Outside of rjacobs posts on UCSD there isn't much if any helpful info there. Same is starting to happen for R2 for higher ranked schools, like UCLA and even Stanford as people tend to gravitate more to the Chicago and New York Schools for the later rounds. I hate to say it but for those mentioned I have to go to the BW forum to get some info these days, whether legitimate or not is another question.

I like Jerz's idea of creating kind of an uncensored (or unmoderated) section of the forum where people can flame all they want and however they want. I would keep that section hidden for unregistered users though.
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Re: how are we doing? - complaints most welcome [#permalink]

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New post 17 Mar 2009, 09:15
Can we have at least 1 mod who is attending each school, or at least someone who is following. It's great that Kellogg, Booth get instant updates on page 1 of the thread, however schools like ross don't have anyone updating the first page at all. I think it's even worst at lower ranked schools.
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Re: how are we doing? - complaints most welcome [#permalink]

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New post 17 Mar 2009, 09:46
GoBruins wrote:
Can we have at least 1 mod who is attending each school, or at least someone who is following. It's great that Kellogg, Booth get instant updates on page 1 of the thread, however schools like ross don't have anyone updating the first page at all. I think it's even worst at lower ranked schools.

I agree that it's great to have at least one mod observing each "calling all applicants" thread to update the 1st page, especially if the thread starter doesn't keep it updated him/herself. I like to pop into threads of schools I'm not applying to just to see how GC is doing and it's helpful to see the nice summary on the first page.
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Re: how are we doing? - complaints most welcome [#permalink]

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New post 17 Mar 2009, 09:51
chineseburned wrote:
I think there is some silent elitism going around. While board members will not look down on you for applying to lower ranked or unranked schools for that matter, the people who are solely interested in the top5-10 school will rarely engage in helpful conversations and or encouragement for the lower ranked school threads. Which discourages the applicants to those to be very active in the said threads. Look for example at the USC and UCSD threads. Outside of rjacobs posts on UCSD there isn't much if any helpful info there. Same is starting to happen for R2 for higher ranked schools, like UCLA and even Stanford as people tend to gravitate more to the Chicago and New York Schools for the later rounds. I hate to say it but for those mentioned I have to go to the BW forum to get some info these days, whether legitimate or not is another question.

I like Jerz's idea of creating kind of an uncensored (or unmoderated) section of the forum where people can flame all they want and however they want. I would keep that section hidden for unregistered users though.


I'm not necessarily sure that the lack of posting info in the lower ranked schools is due to elitism. If an applicant has only really researched schools in the top 10, they really don't have much to add to a discussion on the merits of UCSD or USC, to use your example.

And terp26 - I applaud your use of the hypothetical "when everyone is talking about how kellogg sucks." Would've been more believeable if you used booth, though.
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Re: how are we doing? - complaints most welcome [#permalink]

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New post 17 Mar 2009, 10:13
jb32 wrote:
a) elitism is still of some concern. are we drowning out differing opinions and discussions on lower ranked schools?

I wouldn't say it is elitism necessarily, but just a greater demand for the top ranked schools. No one here, well maybe there are a few exceptions, but we took care of them, looks down at people that want to apply to 25-50 ranked schools. I just think it is a function of supply and demand.



Definitely agree here. I think because lower ranked schools are relatively easier to get into, compared to upper tier schools, many people are indifferent about strategy, inside info, interview tips, and other important discussions found in upper tier threads.

However, some lower tiered school threads are badly managed because whoever started the thread for a given application year, decided to abandon the thread for various reasons. (maybe because few Gclub members are shooting for that specific school and generated inactivity in the thread.

Many Gclub members score 650 + GMAt score, and this allows us to shoot for upper ranked schools. That might be one of the main reasons why lower ranked school threads aren't as popular.


terp26 wrote:
c) what about discipline - Do I demand too much in terms of conduct on the forums? If yes, how would you do this differently? My fear is that the forum will become a source for problems rather than a source for frank and respectful discussions, long lasting friendships and exchange of valuable information.

I mean that is your job to demand conduct. You don't want to let things get out of hand and that is why this forum is as great as it is. As for that one specific case, without naming names of course, that may have been a little harsh. I feel if your contributions far outweigh the negatives, there should be some leeway. As long as that person does not get too out of hand, and there is a healthy debate, I see that as a plus


I definitely appreciate how fast moderation prevents trolls (like BW trolls) from roaming in the forum. However when it comes to penalizing a member, they probably fall into 3 categories:

1) Troll - from the very beginning, a member's action in the forum can easily idenity him/her as troll. These individuals should be banned indefinitely.

2) Newbies not Familiar w GClub Compliance for conduct - some new members are unfamiliar with the culture of GMAtclub. They are used to other forums where one can act however he/she wishes. These members can turn into potential contributors. Therefore, we should clearly maintain and apply some kind of "Warning - Probation - Re-evaluation" approach. Most people can see how to behave in the forum just by participating/observing for awhile. However, participating is the KEY. Probation without participation privilege is harsh and unproductive.

3) Huge Contributors on Probation - This might be tough. Although cases vary, long time contributors in the forum should be given similar "Warning - Probation - Re-evaluation" treatment described above. One can make a mistake or two. We are all humans. Unless, many members in the forum supports the permanent ban or etc, I definitely would like to see further contribution from these members.


chineseburned wrote:
I like Jerz's idea of creating kind of an uncensored (or unmoderated) section of the forum where people can flame all they want and however they want. I would keep that section hidden for unregistered users though.


I think this is little too extreme. This can be done in BW forums. And everyone can agree that BW forum is a joke.
Quote:
d) role of moderators - we still don't know a lot about what the exact role of a moderator should be. so far it has been a way to recognize good contributions, conduct and perhaps the interest that a member takes in contributing to the community.


I think Sub-Forum Specific mods are good way to reward members for their contribution. I think more and more members should be given this privilege first and then out of this pool, new global mods should be selected.
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Re: how are we doing? - complaints most welcome [#permalink]

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New post 17 Mar 2009, 11:20
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Praetorian wrote:
a) elitism is still of some concern. are we drowning out differing opinions and discussions on lower ranked schools?
b) threads going off topic -- can we agree to respond to the author's post FIRST so we can help the author and not go off on a tangent at the first opportunity?
c) what about discipline - Do I demand too much in terms of conduct on the forums? If yes, how would you do this differently? My fear is that the forum will become a source for problems rather than a source for frank and respectful discussions, long lasting friendships and exchange of valuable information.
d) role of moderators - we still don't know a lot about what the exact role of a moderator should be. so far, it has been a way to recognize good contributions, conduct and perhaps the interest that a member takes in contributing to the community.


(A) Agreed with above - don't really see this as a major concern.

Re (B), message board threads on the internet are like a herd of cats. They go in utterly unpredictable directions. That is the nature of message boards, and I doubt there's anything to be done about it. That said, I don't see that this is really a problem.

(C) Uh, yes. Praet, you've sort of acted like a jerk. Not only because I was banned once before for an utterly innocuous post, and my follow-up emails about it were ignored, but also from the occasional post I see from you on this thread or that are rarely productive, and often snide or just short - ex. "Are you really that stupid?" "Seriously?" etc.

(D) If moderators catch a post that is abusive or offensive, take it down. I remember there was a message once from some dude disparaging Arabs or something, which was a good example. Otherwise, free up on the reins a little bit. Let this community goes where it wants to. 'Cause otherwise, you'll just drive people away.

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Re: how are we doing? - complaints most welcome [#permalink]

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All in all I think the site is very well run. A couple suggestions:

1) Maybe give moderators the right to 'freeze' the first posting of a topic, aka even as you scroll through the responses/go on different pages the original argument/question is always visible. Kind of like how one can freeze the top row in excel if it has the headings for all the columns. Obviously you wouldn't want this for the school-specific threads which start with a big list of the acceptance results but for others it would be very useful.

2) I do think participation should count for more than it does regarding people getting booted. If its an obvious troll then yes crack down but booting people with hundreds, thousands of posts? I personally think Agold getting booted was a travesty for the board. So what if he didn't agree with what everyone said , he actually put forth some provoking counter arguments. I would much rather keep someone who occasionally says controversial stuff and posts all the time than be squeaky clean. Furthermore we are all motivated adults here, if someone really gets offended by what some random person on the internet said, how would they ever deal with some shareholders critiquing a SWOT analysis they had spent weeks writing up?

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Re: how are we doing? - complaints most welcome [#permalink]

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New post 17 Mar 2009, 12:41
We've tried this before with some limited sucess, but might there be any interest in a regularly scheduled chat date/time?

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Re: how are we doing? - complaints most welcome   [#permalink] 17 Mar 2009, 12:41

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