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Guild policies - A record of lessons learned

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Marten
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se unió: Nov 8 2007

This is a starting point for discussion on Guild policies. Before we get into any discussion, I want to say first that I prefer policies to be kept to a minimum. I believe in an organization built on trust, not on rules. I also believe that people learn better from experience than from being told what to do, and how to do it. So, my view of "guild policies" is that they should be a collection of what we have learned. Rather than laws, they represent experience and knowledge of best practices.

List of lessons and links to their discussion - Last updated 5-Oct-2014

Lesson 1 - Prevent your personal words from being interpreted as the Guild's.

Lesson 2 - Treat unverified information as unverified information, not fact.

Lesson 3 - Success depends on responsibility.

Lesson 4 - Guild Business is not News.

Lesson 4a - Share your knowledge.

Lesson 5 - Ask permission to report events; attribute sources clearly.

Lesson 5a - Summarize and direct to the news source.

Lesson 6 - Perspective

Lynnutte
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se unió: Oct 30 2007

Very good "rule" to have Marten. :lol:

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

Marten
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se unió: Nov 8 2007

Lesson 1

When any of us write a personal post on a forum, some people may think we are sharing a message or opinion from the guild, or that the words have somehow been sanctioned or verified. Many of the MOUL moderators, and Tweek, have learned this... and they have responded by placing disclaimers in their messages when they are not speaking for Cyan. Sometimes, these disclaimers are stated on an as-needed basis. Other times, the disclaimer has been permanently added to a signature. Members of the Guild of Messengers may find a similar approach helpful.

Lesson 2

Some people may think that news distributed by the Guild has gone through a careful verification process (even when it has not). Misinterpretation is more likely to occur if we allow our hopes and fears to influence how we report on news. Staying neutral isn't easy, but it is necessary if we wish to avoid controversies.

The Guild can also attempt to authenticate news to reduce the spread of false or misleading information, but this may not always be possible or timely. So, treat rumors as rumors. Treat unverified identities as unverified. If a message posted by someone seems unusual or unexpected, do not trust it. Remember that an out of character post may have more than one explanation... such as, a person's forum account may have been hijacked.

Future lessons as we uncover them. 8)

Marten
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se unió: Nov 8 2007

Lesson 3

Tasks don't complete themselves; they require committed individuals and a clear schedule. We must ensure that jobs are assigned to responsible people, and that any due dates are communicated.

Narym
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se unió: Nov 20 2007

Yes. The Deadline is an awful thing, but also a necessary one.

Lynnutte
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se unió: Oct 30 2007

Do I have to be responsible???

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

Andros
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se unió: Oct 29 2007

Lynnutte, keeping tabs on the deadlines and reminding people who are late(or when the deadlines is in like 24 hours) through PM that it would be important to complete their task as soon as possible will also be my responsability.

If it involves the Newsletter, I should report to you about its progress.

Kalypso: #85553

Marten
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se unió: Nov 8 2007

Lesson 4

Guild Business is Guild Business, not News. When we're ready for Guild Business to be announced, we'll post it in Submit News. Until then, please do not announce unfinished work in other forums and places.

We try to maintain an open forum here so that interested people may participate. Openness and transparency give visitors an opportunity to see how we work together and to understand our motives. It creates an environment where trust can be built. But, when Guild Business is announced at other forums, it places an issue before people who aren't interested in our normal day to day work, and who do not know us and have not worked with us, so they have no reason to trust us. If we are not yet ready to attract full public scrutiny, then we are left in a difficult position of trying to prove ourselves while we are still developing our ideas and "working out the bugs."

The responsibility to determine when Guild Business becomes News belongs to the members of the Guild Council. Depending upon the issue, one or more Guild Council persons may hold responsibility, or responsibility may be delegated to a project lead.

Al'Kaera
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se unió: Jul 6 2008
Marten wrote:
This is a starting point for discussion on Guild policies.
I believe in an organization built on trust, not on rules. I also believe that people learn better from experience than from being told what to do, and how to do it.
So, my view of "guild policies" is that they should be a collection of what we have learned. Rather than laws, they represent experience and knowledge of best practices.

I add this, solely to express my opinion, on the 'fair use' of experience, knowledge and best practices. Whether it becomes any sort of 'Lesson Learned' is subject to someone elses agreement.

All through my career I have witnessed and been the recipient of a transfer of responsibility and authority over tasks that were an essential part of an organization's operation. A problem usually encountered in this transition was the lack of transfer of essential knowledge from the one leaving to the one taking over.
Many times the details of a process departed with the individual, leaving the one responsible to their own understanding, wits, and to the fragmented knowledge of others more loosely connected to the process. Sometimes with guidelines and written procedures available to help also.

Anyway, the information that was taken away without being learned, taught, or otherwise captured for the benefit of the entire organization is called Tribal Knowledge or as a more professional term Institutional Memory.
This condition can and does exist in organizations that are fundamentally sound, without the here/gone flow of members.

The recent events that I have experienced, with a lot of frustration and anxiety, in regard to many of the routine tasks we perform as members of this group, clearly indicate, that what we know, we learned before we got here, figure out on our own, ask the right person, we hope, are assumed to know already or just 'see what needs doing and do it'.

Then after the dust settles, those that know how, go on about their routine. The rest continue to self teach, hope to ask the right person the right question, (even struggle with what the next question should be) and generally migrate to what is easier to deal with, knohow or not.
This condition basically splits the 'TEAM' into what Tai'lahr calls techno- feebs and techno- geeks, which is untenable.

Volunteer or not, boardroom or forum, a project survives because an underlying responsibility, spoken or assumed, is to assure that everyone has the knowledge/training to take over and assume any role at any time. I have no expectation that this can be perfectly applied here, it can't, but it can be part of the 'see what needs doing and do it'.

Now we have multiple admins. Forced by a near spamming crisis and a mad member/other forum mod. Do we have enough Szarks, Martens, blutecs, Leonardos or Lynnuttes. I think not.

AlK

again KI 102324  ancient KI 5969479

JWPlatt
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se unió: Sep 22 2008
AlKaera wrote:
This condition basically splits the 'TEAM' into what Tai'lahr calls techno-feebs and techno- geeks, which is untenable.

Volunteer or not, boardroom or forum, a project survives because an underlying responsibility, spoken or assumed, is to assure that everyone has the knowledge/training to take over and assume any role at any time.

The building of complex systems under the reletively transient positions of a knowledgeable few leads to the kind of paralysis experienced at Uru Obsession which no longer has the capability and flexibility to change quickly with conditions and progress. The skills upon which that website was built are gone and fixes or an upgrade are apparently out of the question. Lesson learned. It is for that reason that thorough documentation or the adherence to standards and simplicity, and a suitable process for succession, become paramount in an environment where no one can guarantee their tenure.

Perfect speed is being there.

Marten
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se unió: Nov 8 2007

Even trustworthy and responsible people can develop tribal knowledge. It is not always obvious when one has developed skills or habits that others depend upon, and it is simply impossible to transfer experience to another person.

But, I have known, ever since we shifted news submission from the website to the forum, that leaving our forum open to posts without registration meant that we were vulnerable to spam. We were fortunate to have flown under the radar of spammers for as long as we did, after we'd already attracted their attention with the RSS feed. And, I think we all knew that our hands were tied somewhat ever since Shimmer and Andros moved on to other things, and that has created challenges aside from just this latest spam incident. If you want to pin the blame on someone, though, point at me. I could have agitated the Guild Council for more security, and I have had many months of opportunity to do so, but while we weren't being bothered, I didn't.

I really appreciate that Sophia volunteered to help us at our greatest hour of need. And I am especially glad that in Sophia we have someone who has some time and the patience to teach us - she doesn't want to maintain the website all alone, and that is smart! - and so we have an opportunity now where we did not before, to think about responsibilities and how to ensure that when someone leaves (whether temporarily or permanently) it doesn't leave an un-fillable hole.

Sophia
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se unió: Dic 30 2008
Marten wrote:
she doesn't want to maintain the website all alone, and that is smart

Mah... I'm just lazy :oops: But thanks for the nice words :D

In fact I'll take it one further, I am not going to maintain the website at all. We have two volunteers who (were) volunteered to do just that, and I am ever so pleased they did :mrgreen:
After we go live, I'll bow out of this project and to some degree the GoMe (though I'll remain a devoted fan, as I was before) and of course I can be reached in emergencies.
Time to move on to other ventures, I spent 6 weeks on this and it was a blast, but enough is enough :lol: (luv ya all!)

You think you see me but I'm not really here

Szark
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se unió: Ene 12 2008

Al'Kaera Man that is spot on.

Quote:
figure out on our own, ask the right person, we hope and just 'see what needs doing and do it'. Then after the dust settles, those that know how go on about their routine. The rest continue to self teach, hope to ask the right person the right question, (even struggle with what the next question should be)

but the difference is

Quote:
and generally migrate to what is easier to deal with, knowhow or not.

That is exactly how and what happen to me and others here.

Just for the record I had to find out all the info about the guild and what is does and how it did it all by myself, but I had the time others don’t. And the people, the few people here did not have the time or resources to make step by step instructions. I do agree that this in an issue and one that should be looked into.

See here to for more

Nanouk_Metal
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se unió: Mar 1 2008

If you are able to accept a comment that might look negative, I could show a good example on how not to respond to a tutorial request (from a newbee like me).

Be sure before answering "yes". You will really need to have an open mind.

My main beef about learning new stuff is the fact that too much infos are thrown at any one time and it is very difficult to get the big picture.

If you want to pass along your knowledge, I suggest that you always try to see/solve a problem from a beginner's perspective.

A second suggestion: after making a post, come back and proofread it to see if does make sense. :mrgreen:

That's it for now.


Szark
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se unió: Ene 12 2008
Nanouk_Metal wrote:
If you want to pass along your knowledge, I suggest that you always try to see/solve a problem from a beginner's perspective.

Easier said than done. What I see as intuitive and straight forward you might see a confusing array of buttons. Direct Questions are the best. How do I delete a post? or How do I merge topics? for example and so on. Open questions do not help to streamline information required as I found out some months back. It is a question of what level the help starts at as there is a lot than can be learn't by doing, reading and researching yourself. Oh and the Edit or Preview buttons of course. If that does not help I ask direct questions. Sophia will be pleased when I don't have to result to e-mailing every few hours. LOL and I use the internet that is at my fingers tips. It has a wealth of information on how to do things. Sorry I may sound flipant but we do have to find a happy medium of help for those who need it.

Personally I have had no experience in Modding a forum at all ever. If I get stuck somewhere I will ask about that one thing. Then on to the next. Be prepared to work at teaching yourselves, it is worth it in the end.

Nanouk_Metal wrote:
If you are able to accept a comment that might look negative, I could show a good example on how not to respond to a tutorial request (from a newbee like me).

Yes please

Nanouk_Metal wrote:
A second suggestion: after making a post, come back and proofread it to see if it does make sense. :mrgreen:

That's it for now.

Sorry just having a laugh at that one. Oh I am bad.

Sophia
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se unió: Dic 30 2008

Nicely said, Szark :) If I may say something not as a Guild member but somebody who is heavily involved in setting up systems for people who need to become self-sufficient with them (as I am doing here and now), it is impossible to anticipate all levels of knowledge, in fact I have been known to insult people for assuming they didn't know what they clearly did.

The best way of learning is do research, learn, read, try, watch, ask specific questions of what is unclear still, and then try some more. And don't get frustrated, we all learned to walk and who remembers still how many times we fell down and cried? Yet none of us gave up and we all were fluent at it by the time we were two :lol:

You think you see me but I'm not really here

Lynnutte
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se unió: Oct 30 2007

There have been many wise words spoken here of late. To teach or not, to be taught or self-taught. Maybe we should consider a mentoring program.
Now this is just a thought off the top of my head, so I have had no time at all to fine tune it. Where one person expresses an interest in learning "X", we put them in contact with "Y", and we end up with an other person with skill "X". This training could go as slow or as fast as the trainiee needs, and can start at whatever point the trainiee needs. As for the trainer, this would give them a backup person for when they are not available. We will need as many people with all the different skills available in this guild as possible willing to take on at least one "intern" (for lack of a better term) under their wing to teach them. If there is enough interest in this program, I would like to start compiling a list of the skills we have and the people who have them, and the extent of that knowledge.

Example...
Skill Member Skill level
Moderating Lynnutte Super-uber genious
Szark Beginer
Sophia Interested
Nanouk Advanced

As you can see, this is just an example. But, I hope, it gives you an understandable example of what I mean. This will make it easier for people to know who knows what, at what level their knowledge is, and make it easier to point new students to the right person.

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

Nanouk_Metal
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se unió: Mar 1 2008
Szark wrote:
Personally I have had no experience in Modding a forum at all ever. If I get stuck somewhere I will ask about that one thing. Then on to the next. Be prepared to work at teaching yourselves, it is worth it in the end.
Nanouk_Metal wrote:
If you are able to accept a comment that might look negative, I could show a good example on how not to respond to a tutorial request (from a newbee like me).

Yes please

First lets start with a small homework for Szark anf for those who would to understand the point I am trying to make.
1- Submit your names to this lesson so I will know when to post a new question on the same followup subject.

2- Read this post very slowly at least 2-3 times...
http://messengers.sixpencemedia.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=8447#p8447

3- After the homework, I will ask a new question.


Lynnutte
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se unió: Oct 30 2007

3 posts are brought up with that link. Which post are you refering to?

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

Al'Kaera
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se unió: Jul 6 2008
Nanouk_Metal wrote:
First lets start with a small homework for Szark and for those who would to understand the point I am trying to make.

1- Submit your names to this lesson so I will know when to post a new question on the same followup subject.

2- Read this post very slowly at least 2-3 times...
http://messengers.sixpencemedia.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=8447#p8447

3- After the homework, I will ask a new question.

I'm with you Nanouk...this is going to be pretty cool :!: :D

My name is 'hosay him men ezzz' err .... sorry :lol: :lol:

My Name is Alkaera
I have read the post you linked to. (2 times)
I am ready for your new question.

Don't ask it too soon Nanouk, give others a chance to sign up :wink: .

again KI 102324  ancient KI 5969479

Nanouk_Metal
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se unió: Mar 1 2008

Do not worry Al, I can be very patient...at times.

Get ready because you will "quoted" in the third part. :P (nothing bad :mrgreen: )


Marten
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se unió: Nov 8 2007

In part 1, Nanouk cannot find the Moderator Control Panel; the person guiding him has assumed the location of this panel will be obvious when it either isn't, or something has gone wrong and Nanouk hasn't been given the appropriate access.

Not as helpful as it could be: "Just open the Moderator Control Panel"
Better: Look for the text "You can moderate this forum" at the lower right of the page, and click "moderate this forum" to open the Moderator Control Panel.

Ready for part 2. :)

Szark
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se unió: Ene 12 2008

I am not playing this game. As I said before ask direct Questions and I will try to help. But why look at me I know as much as you and by the looks you know more.

My interest in Modding is for one purpose only, to attack the spam. No more.

Nanouk_Metal
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se unió: Mar 1 2008
Szark wrote:
I am not playing this game. As I said before ask direct Questions and I will try to help. But why look at me I know as much as you and by the looks you know more.

My interest in Modding is for one purpose only, to attack the spam. No more.

From my point of view, this a mighty unfriendly comment and it does illustrate even more what I was going to try explain.

Maybe Szark should read the GoMe "Mission statement"

In the future if anybody needs help, please pm me and I will do my best to help you, to the maximum limits of my limited knowledge.


Szark
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se unió: Ene 12 2008

No you carry on and help others Nanouk.

Quote:
Maybe Szark should read the GoMe "Mission statement"

Which one :lol: :lol: :lol:

Nanouk_Metal
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se unió: Mar 1 2008
Szark wrote:
No you carry on and help others Nanouk.

At the moment I am too upset and my offer for helping through PMs still stand.

For a sample on how I like to work, check this link...
http://messengers.sixpencemedia.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=8484#p8484


Szark
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se unió: Ene 12 2008
Nanouk_Metal wrote:
For a sample on how I like to work, check this link...
http://messengers.sixpencemedia.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=8484#p8484

Contructive criticism not an attack:
Personally I didn't and still don't understand what you wrote in that above thread Nanuok. Sorry but for me it did not help at all.

Nanouk_Metal
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se unió: Mar 1 2008
Szark wrote:
Nanouk_Metal wrote:
For a sample on how I like to work, check this link...
http://messengers.sixpencemedia.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=8484#p8484

Contructive criticism not an attack:
Personally I didn't and still don't understand what you wrote in that above thread Nanuok. Sorry but for me it did not help at all.

Have you tried with the Google Translate tool ? :roll:

Btw, I beleive that Marten may have found the "bug". I still cannot see/find the "Moderator Control Panel so .... your "help" was of no help to me.

""My interest in Modding is for one purpose only, to attack the spam. No more."" :twisted:


Leonardo
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se unió: Jun 19 2008

If you have the right permissions you should be able to access the Moderator Control Panel from a link placed at the top right corner of each page, just under the "* FAQ * Members * Logout [ Nanouk_Metal ]"

Nanouk_Metal
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se unió: Mar 1 2008
Leonardo wrote:
If you have the right permissions you should be able to access the Moderator Control Panel from a link placed at the top right corner of each page, just under the "* FAQ * Members * Logout [ Nanouk_Metal ]"

Cannot see it. Check my image.


Veralun
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se unió: Dic 2 2007

I think it is a good idea to make an easy workaround for the ACP and mod functions.
If a new moderator or admin will join the forums they can use that workaround.
On most panels the ACP looks a bit the same and they have the same functions as used in this phpBB.
I can write a workaround for phpBB, but seen you are moving now to Drupal it might an idea to write it for that one. If I know what version forum you will use I can find out the rest.
Not sure if you want to have this on the public section or in a closed one.
If you are interested please let me know.

.......................CCN.........................