The Staff Feedback Thread! [read the first post!]
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March 30th, 2013 (9:32 PM).
the blossom pokémon
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Waterloo, ON
I think the issue here is less that people are "intimidating" and more that they're "unapproachable". They're two different things, often used interchangeably (even in my post, I think) or blamed for one another, but I don't think anyone on the higher staff (or mods or anyone on PC) is necessarily intimidating... I think the intimidating part is a byproduct of members not knowing HOW to approach the person because they never/so rarely see them interact with other members in a way that isn't srs business or very, very occasional.
Originally Posted by
Why are people intimidated by people on the internet?
Because at PC, a lot of people put forward just as much of their personality as they do in real life. It's not
"the internet" to a lot of people here and I don't know why it being the internet makes any difference whatsoever.
If someone is in a position of power/superiority over someone else, when they're aloof and don't interact much with those underneath them in the hierarchy, of course they're going to be intimidating! Who's going to seem more approachable, the clerk at a hobby store who's never afraid to strike up a conversation with like-minded people visiting the shop or the one who sits off to the side and only engages in conversation when it's absolutely necessary, like if someone has a problem or they're doing something horribly wrong? This isn't even a good analogy because PC Staff almost always takes the position that they're just members with extra responsibilities, which is true in a lot of ways--mainly they aren't paid, so modding is just volunteer work on top of what they already did for [their] forum. The requirement for almost any moderator is always to foster discussion and keep people interested. That requirement doesn't (or shouldn't) go away as they climb the ranks and it certainly means effort should be made to keep from seeming intimidating.
Generally, a lot of the staff is friendly and outgoing and interacts with members in the exact same ways they always did before being modded, since not only is it part of the job description but everyone on staff is there because they really, really like PC and like to interact with friends and discuss things with the memberbase here. Yeah, there are some extra serious moments dropped in here and there when "official" stuff has to happen, and staff members are expected to be respectful at all times, but it's not like anyone gets (or should get) a personality makeover the moment they become staff. I can't really think of many times (if any?) that people were modded despite being really aloof or never having interacted much with other members at all... so there's no reason it should be a quality that disappears as you climb the ladder, be it just to mod or all the way to admin. Since every single person on staff, save Rukario, was just a member at some point, it's pretty much fact that they can interact with others on a level that isn't intimidating/rude/whatever you want to call it. Obviously, a lot of people find just the bold or italicized names of staff intimidating because it means that person has the power to ~decide their fate~ on PC, and there's nothing that can be done about that, but I'd say from personal experience that username formatting has almost nothing to do with it. It's entirely about how an individual staff member interacts with members and puts themselves out there that deems whether they are intimidating or approachable.
That said, honestly, if I didn't know you really well, I'd find posts like this really intimidating. Your occasional nonchalant attitude is really aloof and cool but it wouldn't inspire me to contact you about... anything, really. Certainly not anything that wasn't strictly business. Even the wording of your question in this post gives off way more of a "wow lol people take the internet seriously? hahahaha lame" vibe than "why do people find [me] intimidating and how can [I] fix it?" I'd hope you're actually in the latter and something from your posts (sarcasm, etc.) just isn't coming across, but most of your (initial) posts in here are sounding like the former. You're brushing off concerns by telling people not to take the internet seriously when for a lot of people, the internet has nothing to do with it. You're presenting yourself in an intimidating way--if I were talking to you IRL and you were as flat and dismissive as you are now, I'd probably stop talking to you pretty quick because you'd be, if not intimidating, unapproachable. I don't think you're doing it on purpose because I know you better than that, but please don't dismiss this as something that doesn't concern you just because you don't believe intimidation is something that should exist on the internet; I can tell from your repeated replies in this thread that you DO care that there is an issue and it concerns you, but some of your posts don't show it at all. You just have to be a little more careful in your interactions because when you give off vibes that you don't care, that [member concerns] aren't important, you make yourself that much more unapproachable and yes, that can be intimidating.
- Staff are much less intimidating when they are out interacting with members just as often as members are interacting with members... because it puts everyone on the same playing field.
- unfriendly/dismissive staff posts don't help, even if the activity is there, whether the attitude was intentional or not :(
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