User Groups? Poll (Please explain your choice)

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Should user groups made at the request of a member of the forum be allowed?

Poll ended at Mon Mar 11, 2013 5:02 pm

Yes
24
31%
No
20
26%
I don't care one way or the other.
34
44%
 
Total votes : 78

User Groups? Poll (Please explain your choice)

Postby SeeAMoose » Mon Feb 25, 2013 5:02 pm

So I just got a request for me to start a user group. While I won't reject the idea outright, I have some reservations. I have brought up this idea before and we ended up rejecting it. This was partially because members felt that such groups could serve to divide the forum, and partially because it would only be fair if everyone was allowed to make their own group. The latter part is a problem because I have to manually add and configure each group, and if everyone can add one this could be time consuming.

I am willing to consider adding user groups IF a majority of the members of this forum agree that it is worth doing. However, in the event that we do add groups there will be certain restrictions on them.
First, people requesting new groups will need a certain number of other active forumites (people with at least 10 posts) to request the group as well. This is so that people can't demand a group just so they can get a custom title. Groups will not be closed, they shall either be open to anyone who wants to join or have clear and reasonable criteria for joining them that allow people who meet those criteria to join. (For example the requirement for joining the Game Masters group is that you are running a forum game that can be said to need a single game master in order to work properly, with exceptions to this rule on a case by case basis.) Forumites requesting groups will have to tell me why they want the group, what criteria (if any) would be required to join, which members also want this group and promise to regularly check for requests to join the group and approve/deny them based on their criteria (this will also entail telling the person why they have not been approved).

My major concerns is that adding groups could undermine my efforts to make the forum more interconnected and community oriented.

So let me know what you think, and I will take your ideas under advisement .
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Re: User Groups? Poll (Please explain your choice)

Postby Sessine » Mon Feb 25, 2013 5:16 pm

Before I answer the poll, would you explain a little more for the uninitiated into the mysteries of forum-fu (namely, me) a bit more about the effects of a user group...

a. for those who are in it?
and
b. for those who aren't?
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Re: User Groups? Poll (Please explain your choice)

Postby Arles » Mon Feb 25, 2013 5:21 pm

I selected "I don't care one way or the other."
Basically, I don't think it'll have a major effect in the forum as a community. So, if it's not a big deal for admins to implement, then I'm fine with it. And if you think it's too troublesome and don't carry on with the idea, that's fine with me too.

I don't think this is an enlightening post, but the thread title asked nicely to explain our choice, so there, heh.
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Re: User Groups? Poll (Please explain your choice)

Postby SeeAMoose » Mon Feb 25, 2013 5:38 pm

Sessine wrote:Before I answer the poll, would you explain a little more for the uninitiated into the mysteries of forum-fu (namely, me) a bit more about the effects of a user group...

a. for those who are in it?
and
b. for those who aren't?


Happily. User groups allow... well damn near anything really. They are how I manage a majority of the permissions and user settings for the forum. For example, rather than setting moderator permissions for each and every moderator, I can just set them for a group and every member of that group will have them. They could be used to provide access to a hidden subforum for contest judges, or to provide a larger pm inbox and extra bbcode (text editing) options for people who run games and need the extra space.

In most cases I suspect requests for user groups will boil down to wanting to be able to demonstrate they are part of a group of people who share some common interest through a shared user rank (although they'll never get any of the AWESOME post count based ones I'm making) or to provide quick and easy communication with all members of the group.

So, as an example let's say someone wanted to start up a group called "The Degenerate Gamblers" for people who bet each other about the outcome of games or the comic. The person who requests that group wants to be able to contact all people who are interested in updates easily, so everyone who is interested could just sign up and then they would receive group wide messages. They might also have the option of a user title specific to the group. Now if the person requesting the group asks for more permissions for the group they will have to demonstrate a need for those permissions.

Does that help?
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Re: User Groups? Poll (Please explain your choice)

Postby Arch Lich Burns » Mon Feb 25, 2013 5:44 pm

Can one be in a group but retain their title?
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Re: User Groups? Poll (Please explain your choice)

Postby SeeAMoose » Mon Feb 25, 2013 5:50 pm

Arch Lich Burns wrote:Can one be in a group but retain their title?
So long as you don't set the new group as your default, yes you can.
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Re: User Groups? Poll (Please explain your choice)

Postby Quarg » Mon Feb 25, 2013 6:06 pm

Today's lesson, if nijad uisng the quick reply button, your post will apparently vanish....

Alright, I made the damn request more because I wanted some user settable titles rather than just play the old 'post title king game' which I will be honest, I no longer give a flying whoop about. Like the titles themselves, just don't care about the whole post number progression better title buisness in the end.

Of course there is the 'no tile' designation in the control box but personally I just found that lame really.

And I will be honest, I stopped paying attention to the last thread on this when it seemed it became a "Reward the Cool Kids" love fest more than anything else.

As for true specalized 'user' groups. I say let people be able to apply for them, but have a number of signatories for it (say 30).

Really, I just want a decent title attribute without having to play the whole post count game. :?
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Re: User Groups? Poll (Please explain your choice)

Postby Zathyr » Mon Feb 25, 2013 6:16 pm

The forum supports being in multiple user groups, right?
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Re: User Groups? Poll (Please explain your choice)

Postby SeeAMoose » Mon Feb 25, 2013 6:18 pm

Yep
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Re: User Groups? Poll (Please explain your choice)

Postby stevedj » Mon Feb 25, 2013 6:59 pm

Is membership in group(s) public? or hidden?

That is, suppose someone makes a group that is rather ... controversial (just for example, suppose they want a group based on some particular religious belief). Now, if someone wants to be in that group, can they keep such membership hidden from the general masses?

Also, how does someone find different groups they might wish to join?
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Re: User Groups? Poll (Please explain your choice)

Postby SccrD25 » Mon Feb 25, 2013 7:24 pm

Explaining Vote As Requested:
Before I did not care one way or the other but reading through your explanation for what you can do with it I like the idea
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Re: User Groups? Poll (Please explain your choice)

Postby Zathyr » Mon Feb 25, 2013 7:31 pm

Yeah, I think the potential convenience they offer in the long run would probably be worth the initial setup work for them.
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Re: User Groups? Poll (Please explain your choice)

Postby RocketScientist » Mon Feb 25, 2013 7:57 pm

I voted no, because it sounds cliquey to me. And it sounds like a lot of work for Moose if too many people want their own group. But barring those objections, my vote would be I don't care.
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Re: User Groups? Poll (Please explain your choice)

Postby SeeAMoose » Mon Feb 25, 2013 8:31 pm

stevedj wrote:Is membership in group(s) public? or hidden?

That is, suppose someone makes a group that is rather ... controversial (just for example, suppose they want a group based on some particular religious belief). Now, if someone wants to be in that group, can they keep such membership hidden from the general masses?

Also, how does someone find different groups they might wish to join?


I will not create any hidden groups. If someone wants to create a controversial group and has enough people interested to get it approved, I will make it, but it will be publicly visible and other people must be allowed to join if they match whatever criteria is given to me when the group is started. If someone is worried that a group is too controversial, that is on them, I will never do anything to make completely walled off exclusive groups that can't be joined by any newcomers.

You can find groups that are available to be joined in the user control panel under groups. Currently there is only the Game Masters group, which requires that you be running a forum game.
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Re: User Groups? Poll (Please explain your choice)

Postby Miryafa » Mon Feb 25, 2013 10:38 pm

Since this seems to be somewhat relevant to the topic, could we just pick our own titles, with the option of using the default (yours) if we desire? My new title (Remains Silent, since I had to re-register) feels insulting, and Mumbles Incoherently and Mutters to Themself aren't more appealing.
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Re: User Groups? Poll (Please explain your choice)

Postby SeeAMoose » Mon Feb 25, 2013 11:02 pm

Sorry, unfortunately that isn't an option, but I will be happy to take suggestions for other alternatives.
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Re: User Groups? Poll (Please explain your choice)

Postby Nerre » Tue Feb 26, 2013 1:35 am

I hope my request for the reintroduction of the game master group, we already had in the old forum, wasn't the reason for this thread.

I am not against new groups, since there might be few, which requiere some users to have slightly more options, like the increases mailbox size for game masters. Therefore i voted with yes.

But I also understand why you are concerned. I am against groups, which have no further function than providing a titel to a person. If somebody want's to have a title except the number-of-posts one, then he has to do something for it. Just like in real life. You don't get paid for doing nothing.
Also it woul mess up the forum. Titles should contain a clear description of what the person does. Like translation moderator, controversy moderator, games moderator, games master, admin. The basic number-of-posts one don't match that, but they are the basic title and at least they all got one theme, which is "how much do you talk?". Who feels insulted by them, has not much sense of humor, and should keep in mind that you he advances with the number of his/her posts over mind. The temp forum showed that it didn't take long for people to get back into the three digit number for their post count, or even four digits if you take a look at some very active people. I think the numbers for the ranks are just right.

Miryafa: Go to
User control panel > Usergroups > select "We don't need no stinking titles!" and submit.That should help you.
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Re: User Groups? Poll (Please explain your choice)

Postby Krulle » Tue Feb 26, 2013 2:04 am

I voted yes:
but I would set the requirement higher:
- at least 10 people would need to request the group, publicly (no chance to request a "hidden" group)
- a Mod says he does see some added value to the community (or a part of it) and endorses the creation
- a (public) vote will be held, in which at least 10% of all (active) forumites would have to support the creation of the group, based on the reasons given for creating the group (or at least 75% of the poll participants - set to more than 50%, because those in favour of a new group would vote for it anyway, and those slightly against would likely not vote).

Groups and Reasons could be:
- snotling group, for members of the former "snotling" forums.
- keen spotter group, for members of the former "Keenspot" forums.
- the crashers, for members of the former BlindFerret hosted phpBB forum.
- "Wise Guy", for members who are old (and thus presumably wise) enough to have participated (and did participate) in all 3 previous major forums.
- Game Master, for game masters in the "games" section, with access to a hidden "resources" subforum, where GM can ask for advice from other GMs in case their story went into a deadlock corner, .....


This way I hope we can prevent the creation of groups for the mere purpose of giving away titles.

Most groups purposes may also be done by creating a specific subforum (e.g. a group to organise IRL-meetings of Goblins-fans is better off with a subforum in my humble opinion).

Edit: oh cool, my new title fits this post perfectly: "Mumbles Incoherently"
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Re: User Groups? Poll (Please explain your choice)

Postby Mereneth » Tue Feb 26, 2013 4:36 am

Normally i'm a herd inclined critter, but this just feels like a bad notion as it could make it harder for new users to fit in without first 'declaring their allegiance.'
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Re: User Groups? Poll (Please explain your choice)

Postby thinkslogically » Tue Feb 26, 2013 4:51 am

I voted no because I think the requirements are too low. I agree with Krulle that it should be requested by a certain number of members and ok'd by 2 mods.

However, I disagree with a secret games master section since most of the GMs are also players and I don't see the use in limiting access to resources that might encourage new members to start a game of their own.

PS Moose, can I be a Games Master again please? I've put in the request :D
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Re: User Groups? Poll (Please explain your choice)

Postby revskid » Tue Feb 26, 2013 6:09 am

I don't care. But I do see the point about it potentially being divisive.
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Re: User Groups? Poll (Please explain your choice)

Postby lingrem » Tue Feb 26, 2013 6:22 am

I put a vote as "no" but I also lean a bit towards "I don't care". If there's some group that really, a lot of people deem as valid (like the Game Master group) then sure. But just setting up a whole bunch of them without really much purpose? No... it's nature to just want to join all sorts of things or to think some are "cooler" than others... and even though they'd be open to everyone... it just seems like it could be a bit tense.

I could see making a group for all the forum moves.. where the ranks could label which forums someone survived.
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Re: User Groups? Poll (Please explain your choice)

Postby Alavar » Tue Feb 26, 2013 6:39 am

lingrem wrote:I put a vote as "no" but I also lean a bit towards "I don't care". If there's some group that really, a lot of people deem as valid (like the Game Master group) then sure. But just setting up a whole bunch of them without really much purpose? No... it's nature to just want to join all sorts of things or to think some are "cooler" than others... and even though they'd be open to everyone... it just seems like it could be a bit tense.

I could see making a group for all the forum moves.. where the ranks could label which forums someone survived.


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Re: User Groups? Poll (Please explain your choice)

Postby mnementh » Tue Feb 26, 2013 8:55 am

Groups in this setting really doesn't mean what most of you seem to think; it is primarily an administrative tool, NOT a tool for "social exclusion". Whether anybody likes it or not, there WILL be Groups used on this forum; it is the fundamental fashion in which sitewide Security Policy is applied.

Right now, we already have a number of "Groups":

There is the Admin Group: who has pretty much run of the entire place, with all the privileges and responsibility that requires. They used to be SysOps once upon a time.

There is the Global Moderators Group: Think of them as "Duke's Little Helpers" or "Admin Light". They have a LOT of privileges and a lot of responsibility, but they exist to take the load off of Duke for things that don't require open-heart surgery on a live server or getting into the entrails of the site up to your elbows.

There are Special Moderators Groups: Like the GameMasters Group, or the Moderates Controvery Group, or the Discussion Moderator Group of which I am a member. They have more privilege and more responsibility than the average forum user; we are the "Volunteer Constables" or "Bouncers" of the administrative corps. ;) We simply try and keep the peace; we primarily manage the users under our watch by giving guidance or, if need be, editing or deleting a post that in our judgement will cause unnecessary strife in the common areas. If need be, we can contact the Global Mods to recommend a spanking for a user that goes over the line or to have a post moved that "isn't where it belongs". More than anything, we are the "Flak-Catchers" who try to keep a problem from getting so big it requires the attention of those few above us. Some, like the GameMasters, will also have special needs, like more PM space because they are in constant contact with a lot of players or the ability to create SubForums. I don't know if you guys can do that here or not, but on some Forums, I know they can.

Now, be mindful of one thing: ALL of the above groups are filled with people who VOLUNTEER their time to those tasks; we don't get paid, we're doing it because we love this community and we want to keep it a nice place to visit. Nothing more, nothing less.

Every person here who crosses a point count threshold is automatically placed in another "Group" which is based solely on that one point count criteria, and has one privilege: the associated "Post Count Title".

And finally, every person here who can reply has been added to one other Group: The Registered Users Group. They are all people who've bothered to take the time to create a user account by providing some small amount of uniquely identifying information, in exchange for the privilege of being able to see the custom site Template, and to be able to post, to display a custom avatar "Badge" and to be eligible for admission into any of the other groups.



What we are talking about now would simply be ANOTHER subset Group: let's call them "Power Users" for the lack of a better term. They would have pretty limited additional privileges, just like you would for members of a UseNet... err... Yahoo >:-P Group. They can receive or send messages from/to all members of their Group, or they may be able to have a special PM Inbox for group messages which doesn't count towards their PM limit. This functionality may be used purely socially, as the electronic equivalent of a "War Tattoo" or the "knowing look"; or it may be used to help organize an event or if need be, to "circle the wagons" against something perceived as a threat by members of that group. They may also be able to have a custom title or even a graphic "Badge" associated with that group, Like the Snotling/KeenSpot/BF/IF Survivors Groups which have been suggested before.

Many of us take pride in that; our loyalty to this shared interest and the related community is something we feel is important, and we feel, rightly or not, that that life experience means something, even if it is just that when we say "That isn't appropriate here" it should carry some weight.

Personally, I feel that those who are concerned about it becoming an exclusionary device are simply paranoid; people by nature form groups of common interest, this very forum is an example of that. The fact that we come here means we are ALL members of a fairly limited Group: Those people who have enough interest in the Goblins Comic to want to talk with other like-minded people about it.

Those who don't have that interest shouldn't feel excluded because we generally don't talk about say... Monster Truck Races; it's not because we all hate Monster Trucks, it's because this is a venue dedicated to the Goblins Comic, just as there are venues dedicated to Monster Trucks. If we went to one of those venues, we wouldn't expect to be excluded if we wanted to talk about the Goblins Comic; we would simply be members of a relatively small group of people who didn't understand what was the appropriate venue for such discussion.

So, in short, I vote YES. Because people are herd animals, and to group is in our nature.


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Re: User Groups? Poll (Please explain your choice)

Postby Wolfie » Tue Feb 26, 2013 9:12 am

I was going to justify my decision, but mnementh said about all there needs to be said. :)

There will always be Groups, if only to keep the peace of the Forum, namely in the Admin and Mod Groups. However, even in the last Forum, we had groups that people could identify themselves with, or who could unidentify themselves with. There was the small group of people who didn't want to be known by their post count, so Moose created a group for them. We had the Forum Survivors group, where all they got was this silly title.

The Groups don't really do anything but change your titles anyhow. So if you're proud of how much you talk/post, then no new group for you. :ktongue: Otherwise, let them have Group.

Moose, if you'd like to delegate that task to someone else, I'd be happy to do it. I know (sorta) how much work this has been on you, in addition to your Real Life stuff.

We could make a Group Application thread. If say, 10-20 forumites ask for the same group, we add it. That way we aren't making a hundred groups for only two or three people.
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