Hashing out PhysicsGRE.com Forum Policies

  • Imagine you are sipping tea or coffee while discussing various issues with a broad and diverse network of students, colleagues, and friends brought together by the common bond of physics, graduate school, and the physics GRE.

User avatar
fermiboy
Posts: 437
Joined: Fri Nov 16, 2007 7:41 pm

Re: Hashing out PhysicsGRE.com Forum Policies

Post by fermiboy » Fri Feb 22, 2008 1:20 am

Wow I wasn't aware of this whole conversation until Twistor alerted me in another thread. I think the censorship is a bad idea. People love this site because they can come here and blow of stress. Nobody is forcing anyone to read a thread with harsh language, if a member doesn't like the language then don't read the thread. It's that simple. If threads go off topic, who cares? The best part about this forum is the strange twists and turns the threads take. You never know what we'll talk about next! I think we should keep this site the free for all that it is.

doom
Posts: 171
Joined: Tue Oct 23, 2007 6:42 pm

Re: Hashing out PhysicsGRE.com Forum Policies

Post by doom » Fri Feb 22, 2008 3:20 am

What if I want to suck my drink through a straw while talking about my hero dick feynman? Will the bad-word police block that, too?

Besides issues of censorship, you run into practical issues with this filter, too. I don't even cuss a lot, and I can think of a multitude of ways to slip in foul language.

At first I didn't agree with twistor about the censorship issues, but really, what's the point? I mean, it's great to have that option for people who don't like it, but it's the internet. Why should we have to talk like we're TAing a lab? This is a casual conversation forum, and people like to be able to talk casually here.

If anything else, I don't think this issue is worth it if it drives away the people who have been the life of this forum.

Grant
site admin
Posts: 191
Joined: Tue May 11, 2004 7:55 pm

Re: Hashing out PhysicsGRE.com Forum Policies

Post by Grant » Fri Feb 22, 2008 11:48 am

I finally read the "MALE LOCKER ROOM" thread. It wasn't as bad as I thought it would be but there were 12 posts self edited and I believe one edited by a moderator. There were a number of requests for edits and also number of apologies. I did delete the entire thread instead of trying to piece together bits that were worth saving.

This is sort of a crossroads right now. Is this site going to be about information and information only, or is it going to be a community where people make friends, make enemies, laugh out loud, get information, share experiences, and read something unpleasant every once and a while?
I don't see it as a crossroads as I am sure nobody wants a boring information site. Everybody wants the community you so eloquently describe. About 5 years ago this site was information only and since that time it has slowly migrated more towards becoming the community it is today. The recent switch to having the entire site contained in community based forum software provides a window into the long term vision for this site. The only thing I have a slight semantic disagreement with is your mentioning the word "enemies". I don't think we need enemies. However, I agree there are times when it is highly beneficial to challenge each other's points to the point of heated debate. I appreciate how twistor and others challenging my points. I would like to find a way to include the concept of community, experiences, laughter, and friends into the written objectives but I can't seem to find a way to do that without sounding strange. I kind of assume it is embedded in the objectives by default but I am happy to specifically include a mention of it. Help would be appreciated.

heavy-handed moderation is a mistake.
I agree. Please feel free to call me or any of the other moderators out on any specific example where you feel we need to improve. Please be very specific as I can not function well in generalities.

If threads go off topic, who cares? The best part about this forum is the strange twists and turns the threads take.
Running with tangents is good. This site exists because I ran with a tangent. When I talk about moderation I am not talking about any of the things people are concerned about. I am most interested in making sure entire threads are in the appropriate forum such as a topic about video games belongs in the physics lounge and a topic about free GRE prep books belongs in the Physics GRE forum. I agree with others that this needs to be done early in the threads life so as not to create confusion.

So apparently even though I have profanity turned on in my preferences, I can't see the word *** in this post. WTF.
Yes as I mentioned earlier in this thread I can't seem to get that feature to work right now. I plan to take care of it for you. However, at this current moment, making sure you can see bad words is not one of my top priorities. At some point in the fairly near future I am going to take time out of my day to try and make it so you can others who elect to can see bad words.

I also think censoring words by default is a mistake. Nobody gives a *** about profanity other than you, Grant. This site is a site used by students, and we use our common vernacular. That includes words like *** and ***, so deal with it.
Can you elaborate more on your argument about how common vernacular justifies a change from the current policy. Note: Currently the policy is to filter out offensive bad words for the general public and give users the option to see bad words if they want.

Why should we have to talk like we're TAing a lab? This is a casual conversation forum, and people like to be able to talk casually here.
Good point and thanks for bringing it up. I agree that conversations should be much more causal than TAing. Many appropriate posts on this site would not be appropriate things to say to a room full of students as TA. I guess my point with the earlier TAing example is more along the lines of "if you have a decent probability of getting fired for saying something to a bunch of students as a TA then you should not say those things on PhysicsGRE.com". If you do make post like that then at the very least people should understand how the objectives for this site make it an easy decision to delete a post like that.

You have already driven away two users (quizivex, 4.4% and RG, 5.31%) who together have contributed roughly 10% of this sites posts. I'll probably be next (7.70%).
If anything else, I don't think this issue is worth it if it drives away the people who have been the life of this forum.
I don't want to drive anybody away especially people who have contributed so much to our forums. However, I am under the impression that my actions haven't caused people to leave. I haven't heard anybody say they decided to leave because they can't say the f-word to default uses anymore. I haven't heard anybody say they decided to leave because I deleted a controversial thread. If anybody thinks my actions are hurting the objectives of this site then please give me specific examples and make a logically sound argument that backs it up. I plan to continue to make this site better but in order for me to do that I have to apply logic to the objectives. I am open to modifying the objectives of this site. I am also open to publicly dissecting any specific decision made against those objectives.

I have always assumed my interests are completely aligned with the interests of people visiting this site as we both want the best site possible. However, in my interaction over the past few days I realize that many people have two and three month vision of what they want from this site whereas I have a two or three year vision. I am not sure how to resolve this difference yet but it does help me to see your points from your perspective. I hope it helps you to see my points from my perspective.

400nm
Posts: 44
Joined: Fri Feb 08, 2008 2:10 pm

Re: Hashing out PhysicsGRE.com Forum Policies

Post by 400nm » Fri Feb 22, 2008 12:18 pm

I agree that there can be too much moderation. Mostly what I was suggesting was re-organizing the site to be clear about what is physics/grad school related and what is off-topic so that it is easier for people to ignore some things if they want to. For example, I didn't read the whole male locker room thread. I read RG's first post, then maybe one or two more, and decided I didn't want to read the rest. I didn't think belonged on a grad school admissions forum, and was suggesting such things be moved to the Lounge.

If people don't agree that there should be a distinction, then it will be impossible for the moderators to fight it. I was just suggesting the moderators facilitate the change, but I don't know if that's going to work. At the very least, if its going to be a free-for-all, then change the descriptions of the forums because they don't accurately reflect what's going on in the discussions. grae's is a lot closer:
grae313 wrote:...a community where people make friends, make enemies, laugh out loud, get information, share experiences, and read something unpleasant every once and a while
I've been under the assumption that the purpose of this site was to be a resource for GRE and grad school information welcoming to everyone. If one of your explicit goals is to be offensive and make enemies, then everything I said is null.

Grant, thanks for sharing your vision for the site. Your explanations are more thoughtful than mine. And I appreciate that you looked at that particular thread and deleted it. It's true though, that moderating can only do so much, and if there will be any significant changes, people will have to start giving a little thought to where and what they post.

User avatar
dlenmn
Posts: 577
Joined: Mon Dec 03, 2007 10:19 pm

Re: Hashing out PhysicsGRE.com Forum Policies

Post by dlenmn » Fri Feb 22, 2008 12:36 pm

400nm wrote: Mostly what I was suggesting was re-organizing the site to be clear about what is physics/grad school related and what is off-topic so that it is easier for people to ignore some things if they want to. For example, I didn't read the whole male locker room thread. I read RG's first post, then maybe one or two more, and decided I didn't want to read the rest. I didn't think belonged on a grad school admissions forum, and was suggesting such things be moved to the Lounge.
I agree completely -- the grad school part of the forum should be for discussing grad schools, not for stuff like polls about who people hate most... Threads which go off topic, ok. Threads which didn't start on topic, and are unlikely to shift to a relevant topic, no.

Also, I was under the impression that quiz didn't leave because of (presently pretty non-existent) policy changes. I didn't get a chance to see RG's post.

User avatar
twistor
Posts: 1531
Joined: Thu Apr 13, 2006 2:47 pm

Re: Hashing out PhysicsGRE.com Forum Policies

Post by twistor » Fri Feb 22, 2008 1:29 pm

I haven't heard anybody say they decided to leave because they can't say the f-word to default uses anymore. I haven't heard anybody say they decided to leave because I deleted a controversial thread.
I haven't left just yet, but when I do I will be sure to cite these as reasons.

There has been a long string of people complaining about various comments that quizivex and RG made. This is, in my opinion, the driving force behind the new policies on this board. So while quizivex and RGs' departures may not have been directly caused by the present change in policy they were certainly steered in that direction by those of you who believe such change to be necessary.
I guess my point with the earlier TAing example is more along the lines of "if you have a decent probability of getting fired for saying something to a bunch of students as a TA then you should not say those things on PhysicsGRE.com".
I enjoyed this place a lot more when no one was policing the forums. The more you tighten your grip on the site the more it will slip through your fingers.
I have always assumed my interests are completely aligned with the interests of people visiting this site as we both want the best site possible. However, in my interaction over the past few days I realize that many people have two and three month vision of what they want from this site whereas I have a two or three year vision.
Maybe it would be helpful to us if you shared your grand vision. And why do you say that many people have only a two or three month interest in this site? I actually think most of your users have interest that runs much shorter than a month.

Interest here waxes just before GREs are given and during admissions season. Most users will come and check admissions results, maybe post a few of their own, and then go along and never return. The rest of the year people are worried about other things. This site is no longer a very competitive resource for physics GRE solutions so what are we supposed to discuss the rest of the year?

And as for the blogging, most users won't be attracted to it because they're already discussing the admissions process in other threads. Why would we blog about being rejected from a school when we're already discussing the same thing in another thread? In a blog one person writes something and then a group of people respond to it and discuss it. What we have here is something far more powerful and interactive so I'm not suprised the blog concept never caught on.

User avatar
dlenmn
Posts: 577
Joined: Mon Dec 03, 2007 10:19 pm

Re: Hashing out PhysicsGRE.com Forum Policies

Post by dlenmn » Fri Feb 22, 2008 2:55 pm

twistor wrote:The more you tighten your grip on the site the more it will slip through your fingers.
Lol. Viva la revolution!

(What does that even mean? Does "slip through your fingers" mean "leaving" or does it men "get out of control"? Perhaps RG and quiz leaving -- in so much as the leaving had to do with policy changes -- indicates the former?).

User avatar
grae313
Posts: 2297
Joined: Tue May 29, 2007 8:46 pm

Re: Hashing out PhysicsGRE.com Forum Policies

Post by grae313 » Fri Feb 22, 2008 3:07 pm

400nm wrote:I've been under the assumption that the purpose of this site was to be a resource for GRE and grad school information welcoming to everyone. If one of your explicit goals is to be offensive and make enemies, then everything I said is null.
I said nowhere that my explicit goal was to make enemies. All I said was that if this is going to be a community of users, then "enemies" or perhaps more appropriately, heated arguments where someone ends up pissed off, are bound to occur. You cannot have the friendship, camaraderie, and the laughs without a few squabbles every now and then. Squabbles are just sad without the punctuation of a well placed epithet. Or two or three.. :)

We agree on a lot of things. Especially now that there isn't a main page, I think all off-topic threads should be moved and/or started in the Lounge. Threads that begin off-topic will wander, however, and I believe that's what comes along with having a lively community of people who want to hang out and make friends, in addition to finding information. Sometimes they come back to being on topic, sometimes not, but unless they continue to go off-topic for pages and pages I think they should stay in the Grad School forum.

Grant, thank you for your explanations. I think the language filter will be an excellent compromise once you get the bugs worked out. Those of us who want to will see it, but they will be filtered for the casual guests and those of us with more refined sensibilities. :wink: No need to include the community idea in an official description. If it is not actively discouraged by the authorities, then it will happen naturally and be understood.

Grant
site admin
Posts: 191
Joined: Tue May 11, 2004 7:55 pm

Re: Hashing out PhysicsGRE.com Forum Policies

Post by Grant » Fri Feb 22, 2008 3:20 pm

Maybe it would be helpful to us if you shared your grand vision. And why do you say that many people have only a two or three month interest in this site? I actually think most of your users have interest that runs much shorter than a month.

Interest here waxes just before GREs are given and during admissions season. Most users will come and check admissions results, maybe post a few of their own, and then go along and never return.
Below is some data to help illustrate the posting trends of this site. As far as my grand vision goes, I like the yearly trend but I want to find a way to keep the boards active during the lulls. I also want to give people a reason to come back and be a part of our forums while they are in graduate school.

Image
This site is no longer a very competitive resource for physics GRE solutions so what are we supposed to discuss the rest of the year?
Yes the only solutions we have are from a long time ago when people used our forums to help each other solve problems. There are other resources out there that are better than this now. If I felt people wanted more options in the area of physics GRE ETS problem solutions then I would start creating a system that would be a valuable complement to existing resources. It would be fun to do and I think I could create an excellent system to facilitate this.

And as for the blogging, most users won't be attracted to it because they're already discussing the admissions process in other threads. Why would we blog about being rejected from a school when we're already discussing the same thing in another thread? In a blog one person writes something and then a group of people respond to it and discuss it. What we have here is something far more powerful and interactive so I'm not suprised the blog concept never caught on.
Blogs are not in competition with the forums. The forums are superior in many regards to a blog. However, the blog offers a number of creative opportunities not available on the forum. It doesn't have to be a "blog". It is a system that can be whatever you want with the parameters that anybody can start a thread and only the person who starts can reply to it. Some nice examples that utilize this blog system might be:

"Everything Wrong with PhysicsGRE.com by twistor"

(sample excerpt) Today the administrators of this pathetic site installed word censors which are a manifestation of their insecure need for control. I was innocently experimenting with the new system using selected words and believe it or not the heavy handed moderators came down and crushed my experiment.

I hope you start a blog twistor. I would read it and perhaps get insight into how to improve this site. I think it could potentially become the most popular thread on the site. People like me won't be able to interrupt the flow you writings with annoying rebuttals to your arguments. I will give you a free t-shirt as well and you could talk trash about my site whenever you wore it.

Some other ideas for a blog might be:
"This Week in PhysicsGRE.com"
It could be a weekly column written by somebody summarizing all that is worth reading on this site.

There are lots of possibilities with the blog functionality. Blogs can also be a good way to keep up with how the friends you have met on the forums are doing. For example, if after the spike in activity here at the forum passes, a few of you posted a quick sentence in your blog once every couple weeks about what you are up to then everybody would know how you are doing and how your physics career is going for years on into the future. The blog system has been around for over 6 month and nobody has been interested yet. However, I am not going to give up on it :)

User avatar
grae313
Posts: 2297
Joined: Tue May 29, 2007 8:46 pm

Re: Hashing out PhysicsGRE.com Forum Policies

Post by grae313 » Fri Feb 22, 2008 3:24 pm

Grant, I'm planning to start a blog.

I agree with you that it could be pretty cool if we all started one and kept it updated through graduate school and even beyond. It would be like one of those blogging sites, but contained in this site, and all about physics! I know that I would have loved to have had a resource like that back when I was starting to research graduate schools a few years back.

User avatar
dlenmn
Posts: 577
Joined: Mon Dec 03, 2007 10:19 pm

Re: Hashing out PhysicsGRE.com Forum Policies

Post by dlenmn » Fri Feb 22, 2008 4:39 pm

@ Grant

Your twistor impression is hilarious!

doom
Posts: 171
Joined: Tue Oct 23, 2007 6:42 pm

Re: Hashing out PhysicsGRE.com Forum Policies

Post by doom » Fri Feb 22, 2008 6:38 pm

I started the first blog, though I haven't added anything of substance yet.

User avatar
twistor
Posts: 1531
Joined: Thu Apr 13, 2006 2:47 pm

Re: Hashing out PhysicsGRE.com Forum Policies

Post by twistor » Fri Feb 22, 2008 9:22 pm

"Everything Wrong with PhysicsGRE.com by twistor"

(sample excerpt) Today the administrators of this pathetic site installed word censors which are a manifestation of their insecure need for control. I was innocently experimenting with the new system using selected words and believe it or not the heavy handed moderators came down and crushed my experiment.

I hope you start a blog twistor. I would read it and perhaps get insight into how to improve this site. I think it could potentially become the most popular thread on the site. People like me won't be able to interrupt the flow you writings with annoying rebuttals to your arguments. I will give you a free t-shirt as well and you could talk trash about my site whenever you wore it.
I have to admit I chuckled at this at first. But then I realized that this meant you had no intention of compromise.

Let's be clear.

Not only did you censor my word list you also censored a post I was using to demonstrate a point. So in that respect here's what I would expect my blog to look like:

"Grant censored another one of my mother****ing posts today. All this arguing is making me crazy and I think I need a shot of [water]. Some of the other users are also against this form of censorship and, as the businessmen say, they have been voting with their feet. Apparently my arguments must [stink] because no one is listening. Apparently my posts about [oranges] are also offensive to [the Amish] and [the Maori]. Well, if I can't say what I'm thinking what's the point of this [excellent] blog?"

Grant
site admin
Posts: 191
Joined: Tue May 11, 2004 7:55 pm

Re: Hashing out PhysicsGRE.com Forum Policies

Post by Grant » Fri Feb 22, 2008 10:49 pm

I checked the site before going to sleep and I got real nervous when I saw that twistor had responded. I couldn't take another night of restless sleep thinking about these issues. Fortunately you were kind to me twistor. Thanks :)

User avatar
twistor
Posts: 1531
Joined: Thu Apr 13, 2006 2:47 pm

Re: Hashing out PhysicsGRE.com Forum Policies

Post by twistor » Fri Feb 22, 2008 10:52 pm

So there's nothing more to say on this issue?

Grant
site admin
Posts: 191
Joined: Tue May 11, 2004 7:55 pm

Re: Hashing out PhysicsGRE.com Forum Policies

Post by Grant » Fri Feb 22, 2008 10:56 pm

I don't think I have anything left to say.

User avatar
twistor
Posts: 1531
Joined: Thu Apr 13, 2006 2:47 pm

Re: Hashing out PhysicsGRE.com Forum Policies

Post by twistor » Fri Feb 22, 2008 11:24 pm

So I guess it's good-bye then!

(17.49%)

User avatar
dlenmn
Posts: 577
Joined: Mon Dec 03, 2007 10:19 pm

Re: Hashing out PhysicsGRE.com Forum Policies

Post by dlenmn » Sat Feb 23, 2008 12:16 am

Laters yo.

User avatar
will
Posts: 399
Joined: Sun Nov 04, 2007 3:26 pm

Re: Hashing out PhysicsGRE.com Forum Policies

Post by will » Sat Feb 23, 2008 1:09 am

two things:

a. twistor should at least make it to 666 posts. Srsly.

2. LaTeX support.

User avatar
grae313
Posts: 2297
Joined: Tue May 29, 2007 8:46 pm

Re: Hashing out PhysicsGRE.com Forum Policies

Post by grae313 » Sat Feb 23, 2008 3:05 am

Grant, I don't see how I can allow others to respond to my blog in the post options. Help?

Grant
site admin
Posts: 191
Joined: Tue May 11, 2004 7:55 pm

Re: Hashing out PhysicsGRE.com Forum Policies

Post by Grant » Sat Feb 23, 2008 8:28 am

grae313 wrote:Grant, I don't see how I can allow others to respond to my blog in the post options. Help?
Yes the system isn't really an advanced blog. It is a basically a forum thread that anybody can start but once started only the person who started the thread can reply. It is also sorted with the newest posts first. It is basically a simple web log. However, there are some features of the forum that make it nice like the ability to subscribe to a topic (or a blog) the ability to search, email a friend, etc. There are number of creative possibilities with these web logs in addition to their function as a personal blog. The forum is great for free flow of information but the physics web log system provides different opportunities some of which are yet to be discovered.

I'm not sure what the best way to get feedback on your blog. Perhaps someone can start a thread in the lounge designed to comment on people's blogs. Some people who like reading the blogs will probably also like reading and posting in a blog comments thread. I would start a blog comments thread in the lounge, but with my luck I will start it and then it probably won't get anybody to post in it for 6 months (i.e. it took six months to get anybody but me to post in the blogs thread).

When your blog grows to the point where you have lots of people wanting to comment on your blog then perhaps you may want to start your own thread in the lounge for comments on your blog. You could have the lounge thread link to your blog and the blog link to the lounge comments thread.

If you ever have suggestions for the blog feature then let me know. If you can think of any way to help encourage its growth then let me know.

Grant
site admin
Posts: 191
Joined: Tue May 11, 2004 7:55 pm

Re: Hashing out PhysicsGRE.com Forum Policies

Post by Grant » Sat Feb 23, 2008 8:37 am

twistor wrote:So I guess it's good-bye then!

(17.49%)
You are always welcome back. I appreciate the contributions you have made. I think you are worried about the trend the site is going in terms of censorship. However, the events of the past few days aren't the start of some grand agenda to moderate, police, and censor our discussions. What happened was a slight perturbation to hopefully set the site on course to a better future. Maybe in a few days after I finish implementing the new features I have planned for the site and after I leave and let the forum run itself without my involvement then you will consider coming back.

P.S. The forum does run itself. I don't do much of anything. In the past few days I haven't done much of anything either except added the word filter, deleted one thread titled "MALE LOCKER ROOM" where the first post referenced shaving furry parts of the male anatomy, I accidentally deleted a one line post I should have kept while converting this thread (apparently the one line post I deleted was an apology for something said in the thread I deleted but I didn't realize its significance because it was placed in the then "discuss issues with the new forum software" thread), I edited two of twistor's posts (one was testing out various combinations of words mapped by word filter and the other one was stating it was inappropriate to state something and then stating it as an example). The chart makes it very clear that people are going to be posting less and less on this site soon because of reasons that have nothing to do with forum policies and actions my administrators and moderators. Hopefully we can give people reasons to stay, and give others like twistor reasons to come back.

User avatar
twistor
Posts: 1531
Joined: Thu Apr 13, 2006 2:47 pm

Re: Hashing out PhysicsGRE.com Forum Policies

Post by twistor » Sat Feb 23, 2008 11:05 am

will was right....

User avatar
twistor
Posts: 1531
Joined: Thu Apr 13, 2006 2:47 pm

Re: Hashing out PhysicsGRE.com Forum Policies

Post by twistor » Sat Feb 23, 2008 11:10 am

I might as well make it 666.

Grant
site admin
Posts: 191
Joined: Tue May 11, 2004 7:55 pm

Re: Hashing out PhysicsGRE.com Forum Policies

Post by Grant » Sat Feb 23, 2008 4:39 pm

will wrote:2. LaTeX support.
Good idea. I'll look into it when I have a chance. I know I looked into it a few years back but it was a bit complicated for my skill level at the time. However, now is a good time to revisit that possibility.

Grant
site admin
Posts: 191
Joined: Tue May 11, 2004 7:55 pm

Re: Hashing out PhysicsGRE.com Forum Policies

Post by Grant » Sun Feb 24, 2008 1:10 pm

I believe I have corrected the bug with the censorship situation.

A summary of the current status is as follows:

By default a small handful of words are mapped to ***. However, members can disable this via their user control panel.

excel
Posts: 257
Joined: Tue Feb 19, 2008 2:33 am

Re: Hashing out PhysicsGRE.com Forum Policies

Post by excel » Sun Feb 24, 2008 2:03 pm

I think it is alright to have a mechanism to censor posts, but it should be used sparingly. Possible uses of this mechanism may be against people ganging up to criticize a certain race or gender, people trying to advertize some irrelevant website etc. In most cases, it may be far better for the moderator to simply point out what he/she thinks is wrong with a certain post, and let the poster and the readers decide for themselves.

What I would really like to see is ... a stickied note from grant unambiguously assuring users of this forum that the censorship mechanism will not be used to interfere in discussions in general.

Grant
site admin
Posts: 191
Joined: Tue May 11, 2004 7:55 pm

Re: Hashing out PhysicsGRE.com Forum Policies

Post by Grant » Mon Feb 25, 2008 3:18 pm

I just added the following note to my first post in this thread.

Note added on 2/25/2008: Based on conversations within this forum thread I created a few new policy based FAQs that can be found in the about us section of the FAQ. The information found in the FAQ is the current best attempt at documentation regarding forum policies. The information in the thread below is not the policy but rather the brainstorming and discussion that helped arrive at the policy.

In the FAQ I elaborated on the following questions:

What are the goals and objectives of PhysicsGRE.com?
What are two very important things to consider when starting a new topic?
What is considered inappropriate content on PhysicsGRE.com?
What is the policy on inappropriate language?
How should I deal with inconsiderate, offensive, or inappropriate members?
What are the responsibilities of administrators and moderators?


What I would really like to see is ... a stickied note from grant unambiguously assuring users of this forum that the censorship mechanism will not be used to interfere in discussions in general.
Could you give me the wording you had in mind for such a note? The way the automated censorship mechanism works is if a student with a particular vernacular elects to use the f-word in a post and an admissions counselor with a different vernacular is offended by the f-word then the admissions counselor will see *** instead of seeing the f-word. I am not sure how this mechanism can be used to interfere with discussions and so I am unsure how to reassure people it won't be used to interfere with discussions.

excel
Posts: 257
Joined: Tue Feb 19, 2008 2:33 am

Re: Hashing out PhysicsGRE.com Forum Policies

Post by excel » Mon Feb 25, 2008 4:02 pm

I was not referring to the word censor, but censorship in general (eg., as a result of someone "reporting a post"), sorry for not being specific enough. However, I see what I wanted to see in the FAQ section under "What are the responsibilities of administrators and moderators?".

Grant
site admin
Posts: 191
Joined: Tue May 11, 2004 7:55 pm

Re: Hashing out PhysicsGRE.com Forum Policies

Post by Grant » Mon Feb 25, 2008 4:11 pm

However, I see what I wanted to see in the FAQ section under "What are the responsibilities of administrators and moderators?"
Yes I added that particular FAQ after I read your post so I guess I did understand what you were requesting :)

excel
Posts: 257
Joined: Tue Feb 19, 2008 2:33 am

Re: Hashing out PhysicsGRE.com Forum Policies

Post by excel » Mon Feb 25, 2008 6:49 pm

:) thanks. hopefully, folks will now be less apprehensive about the implications of some of the changes in this site.

marten
Posts: 134
Joined: Thu Aug 30, 2007 10:21 am

Re: Hashing out PhysicsGRE.com Forum Policies

Post by marten » Tue Feb 26, 2008 1:20 pm

Grant, great website and an excellent resource. I'll just add two suggestions. First, when I get an email that there has been a topic reply, the first link no longer takes me to that particular post, just the page that it is on. No big deal, but it was nice when it worked before.

Second, being able to comment on user's blogs would be a nice feature. Anyway to add that? Or add a sticky thread next to their blog for commenting?

Marten

marten
Posts: 134
Joined: Thu Aug 30, 2007 10:21 am

Re: Hashing out PhysicsGRE.com Forum Policies

Post by marten » Tue Feb 26, 2008 1:22 pm

You have already driven away two users (quizivex, 4.4% and RG, 5.31%) who together have contributed roughly 10% of this sites posts. I'll probably be next (7.70%).
I'll just add that contributing posts is not quite the same as contributing content.

Marten

User avatar
grae313
Posts: 2297
Joined: Tue May 29, 2007 8:46 pm

Re: Hashing out PhysicsGRE.com Forum Policies

Post by grae313 » Tue Feb 26, 2008 2:31 pm

Note from Grant: I accidentally just edited away part of grae313's post as I was trying to quote her

[accidentally deleted part] create a sub-sub-forum within the blog sub-forum called blog comments. Within the sub-sub-forum can be comment threads for each blog.

Grant
site admin
Posts: 191
Joined: Tue May 11, 2004 7:55 pm

Re: Hashing out PhysicsGRE.com Forum Policies

Post by Grant » Tue Feb 26, 2008 3:20 pm

marten wrote:when I get an email that there has been a topic reply, the first link no longer takes me to that particular post, just the page that it is on. No big deal, but it was nice when it worked before.
Thanks for bringing it up. I believe I just fixed this issue but let me know if it isn't fixed. FYI, the system previously in place worked when the post was on page 1 but didn't work when the post was on page 2 and beyond. We want it working on all pages :)

grae313 wrote: create a sub-sub-forum within the blog sub-forum called blog comments. Within the sub-sub-forum can be comment threads for each blog.
This seems like a good idea to try. I just set this up as you described. Let me know if you want any changes. The system doesn't automatically create a comments thread for each new blog so people who want comments might want to create a comment thread for their blog.



Post Reply