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  #1    
Old September 15th, 2012, 06:50 AM
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Hello Pokécommunity,

I'm RaulCortez, i've been member of this forum for a while now. My account says that i signed up on 2011, but i think i've had another account here that's older than that.

There are many reasons why i haven't been really active on this forum, and even though i haven't been participating as much as i'd like to, i've been witnessing a situation that goes over and over, and that needs to be addressed.

The thing is, making users feel dumb isn't something good at all for a community like Pokécommunity.

And i'm not talking just about users, i'm talking about moderators too.

How can you possibly be a "Moderator" and act like you are above any user? I'm honestly tired of seeing some moderators saying things to users in the lines of "How can't you understand something so simple? is it really that hard for you?" and not precisely on a caring manner.

Some users here are even 13, and if you don't have the patience, the personality, or the maturity to understand that you're a moderator on a Pokémon forum, not the United Nations, then you shoudn't be moderating. Calm down your horses, amigo. I've translated an article in spanish about the criteria when choosing a moderator, for anyone that's interested:

Spoiler:
A moderator is an user of a forum that performs tasks to keep a friendly, homely enviroment for all users. Moderators are usually chosen by an administrator. Moderators can sometimes be called mods abbreviating the word "moderators".

The criteria when choosing moderators are usually the following:
  • Knowledge about the subject: It is usual to appoint moderators who are experts or who clearly dominate the theme of the forum or subforum to be moderated. Thus, the moderator may mediate discussions more easily.
  • Contributions to forum: When a user posts quality or interesting content, they can be granted privileges for their shown interest in the forum and to improve it.
  • Good attitude towards others: A moderator should be friendly with everyone but not necessarily have to sympathize with other forum users. A conflictive user will never be appointed as a moderator as they would be unable to carry out the work intended. Therefore, users who receive moderator privileges usually have a right attitude and respect for all users.
  • Frecuency: It is important that Moderators are also regular users of the forum. Thus, it is common to witness moderation privileges removed to users who leave the forum for long periods of time.
  • "Plug": It usually occurs mainly in forums founded by groups of friends. Simply the moderator is a friend of the Administrator. This is not always beneficial and that the moderator may, from not knowing their job, do it the wrong way, with the negative effects it brings.


I'm almost 23 years old, and the thought of having a 17 year old acting on me like i'm some sort of Lvl.1 Ditto just to feed their ego feels reductive to me, and i'm sure anyone, no matter what their age is, feels the same. Stay humble.

Now, users.

Users come here to interact with other members. You register an account so that you can share your hobbies, your ideas, with other users, not your bad days. If you're not having it today or everyday, PC is sorry, but we don't have to stand it.

Being honest in your opinions is something that's always good, but saying things like "This sucks.", "This is horrible."...those aren't advice, those are insults. If you have nothing nice or constructive to say, don't say it at all.

I guess that's the feedback/suggestions(?) i have for this forum, and the major reasons why i've felt uncomfortable. I'm sure this thread will be taken in consideration as this is an issue that's more common than it should be.

Be happy and friendly people, life is too effing short to be all grumpy!
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  #2    
Old September 15th, 2012, 06:58 AM
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If you feel a moderator is being unnecessarily rude towards anyone, feel free to PM a higher staff member and report the rudeness and it will be investigated/dealt with. Members aren't the only ones who can break rules, and in fact moderators are held to a higher standard than members as far as civility goes.

That being said, moderators are people too. Just like what you said, we're moderators of a Pokemon forum, not in the United Nations. We're not paid for this and this is not a professional position. We're not required to set aside our emotions as people/members forever when we take up the role of moderator, as this isn't a job for us.
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  #3    
Old September 15th, 2012, 07:00 AM
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I agree with your feedback. I have been to other forums & all sorts of members, including new users that has just joined act all mature & mini-mod here and there.

So, I hope all users here at PokeCommunity will take heed of this feedback.

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  #4    
Old September 15th, 2012, 07:18 AM
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Likewise, if members are being rude, just report them. And like Toujours said, we're people too and we also have outside lives. It's hard to come home from a hard day of school or band practice or whatever else some of us might do to sign on and find a rude PM from a member over nothing. It's frustrating. And even if that's not the case, we slip up sometimes. It's human nature. Anything else I'd have to say though, Toujours has already said it for me.
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  #5    
Old September 15th, 2012, 07:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toujours View Post
That being said, moderators are people too. Just like what you said, we're moderators of a Pokemon forum, not in the United Nations. We're not paid for this and this is not a professional position. We're not required to set aside our emotions as people/members forever when we take up the role of moderator, as this isn't a job for us.
Feel free to disagree with me, but in my opinion, if you are a moderator, a responsability of it should be to stay as neutral as possible. That means setting your negative emotions aside as much as possible, in order to keep a friendly atmosphere. Pretty much like customer service.

And it should feel like a some sort of laid back job (but still a job), even if it's not and you're not being paid for it, as you're responsable for the correct functioning of a part of the big machine that is a forum.


Oh and, yes, i know reporting is the best way to handle those situations, but i'm not posting this thread because i don't know how to handle that, just to give feedback about a recurrent situation that's happening on this forum.

I understand you may not be feeling well or having a good day, but if that's the case, then simply don't comment or mod at that time. Just wait until you're in a better mood. It's better than coming off as rude and uncaring.
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Old September 15th, 2012, 07:24 AM
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Quote:
Feel free to disagree with me, but in my opinion, if you are a moderator, a responsability of it should be to stay as neutral as possible. That means setting your negative emotions aside as much as possible, in order to keep a friendly atmosphere. Pretty much like customer service.
I work in a restaurant, and I'm also a moderator here, and I do remember one time comparing the two. However, being a server in customer service, like in a restaurant, and being a moderator are not totally the same. In a restaurant, the customer is always right. On a forum, the member is not always right. So in that regard, I would definitely have to disagree. Being professional and polite, yes, that's in both services. But still. We're not getting paid over this, we're not relying on tips, and honestly, this topic doesn't seem to come up often enough to where it's a major issue. So while the customer service comparison is slightly in the right, it's still not totally there.
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  #7    
Old September 15th, 2012, 07:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sydian View Post
I work in a restaurant, and I'm also a moderator here, and I do remember one time comparing the two. However, being a server in customer service, like in a restaurant, and being a moderator are not totally the same. In a restaurant, the customer is always right. On a forum, the member is not always right. So in that regard, I would definitely have to disagree. Being professional and polite, yes, that's in both services. But still. We're not getting paid over this, we're not relying on tips, and honestly, this topic doesn't seem to come up often enough to where it's a major issue. So while the customer service comparison is slightly in the right, it's still not totally there.
Again, i don't think the money aspect of it has anything to do with doing a good job as moderator.

If you accepted the job as a moderator, then i'm assuming you knew what that meant, and that it wasn't just closing threads. Also that it wasn't a paid job. I've moderated forums too, and i've worked on several positions on customer service, and i know it's hard, but as much as it is human nature to not feel on a good mood, it's human reasoning to decide if you let your emotions interfere or take a step back and handle the issue as a moderator.
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  #8    
Old September 15th, 2012, 07:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RaulCortez View Post
Feel free to disagree with me, but in my opinion, if you are a moderator, a responsability of it should be to stay as neutral as possible. That means setting your negative emotions aside as much as possible, in order to keep a friendly atmosphere. Pretty much like customer service.

And it should feel like a some sort of laid back job (but still a job), even if it's not and you're not being paid for it, as you're responsable for the correct functioning of a part of the big machine that is a forum.


Oh and, yes, i know reporting is the best way to handle those situations, but i'm not posting this thread because i don't know how to handle that, just to give feedback about a recurrent situation that's happening on this forum.

I understand you may not be feeling well or having a good day, but if that's the case, then simply don't comment or mod at that time. Just wait until you're in a better mood. It's better than coming off as rude and uncaring.
I agree with your first paragraph. I think it's best for moderators to not reply at all if they're having a bad day and would let that affect their reply, but I recognize that PC is an outlet for most of us who come here. But I also agree with Sydian in that it isn't that big of a deal here. A topic like this comes about every few months. Sometimes moderators reply with snarky replies and the member gets offended, and that's usually what it is when problems like this pop up. I disagree with the "but still a job" part. PokéCommunity should be a hobby for everyone - including staff, and the moment a staff member feels that it's becoming a job is the moment that they should reconsider their position, I think.

Last edited by Patchisou Yutohru; September 15th, 2012 at 08:22 AM. Reason: condensing
  #9    
Old September 15th, 2012, 07:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RaulCortez View Post
Again, i don't think the money aspect of it has anything to do with doing a good job as moderator.

If you accepted the job as a moderator, then i'm assuming you knew what that meant, and that it wasn't just closing threads. Also that it wasn't a paid job. I've moderated forums too, and i've worked on several positions on customer service, and i know it's hard, but as much as it is human nature to not feel on a good mood, it's human reasoning to decide if you let your emotions interfere or take a step back and handle the issue as a moderator.
It's not a job at all. It's not just an unpaid job, it's not a job. If you want me to treat every member like they're paying me to moderate their threads, then go ahead and PM me and I'll give you a Paypal email and you can give me a few bucks to do so.

While we are required to not flame or be overly controversial on the forums, our job is to moderate threads. There's no requirement to be pleasant 100% of the time as long as the section is moderated and the threads are taken care of. I'm sorry if you feel that part of a moderator's job is to treat members like they pay you no matter how members treat you, but that's not how PC sees it and you're welcome to not return if you feel that it's not how you want things to be run. We have thousands of active members that find our atmosphere pleasant, so I doubt it will be changed anytime soon. :)

While being pleasant is an obvious plus, it happens that moderators aren't pleasant. You're much better off taking a "moderators are people and I should be understanding of them having emotions like people do" approach then a "I feel like I should control how moderators act, in my position as member with less than 100 posts and tenuous grasp on how PC works" approach.
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Old September 15th, 2012, 08:12 AM
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Toujours summed it up pretty well.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Toujours
While we are required to not flame or be overly controversial on the forums, our job is to moderate threads. There's no requirement to be pleasant 100% of the time as long as the section is moderated and the threads are taken care of.

That's precisely correct. Think about what the word 'moderator' means. It doesn't mean 'caretaker,' 'babysitter,' or 'mother,' and in short it also doesn't mean that the people that fall under the category of a Moderator should have to always play nice with members. Of course, there are times when being able to balance your own self-respect, maturity as well as attitude and current state-of-mind come into play and acting rudely toward members is unacceptable, but for the most part Moderators are hired to moderate a specific section (keep it clean of spam/flame etc) That should be the end of it; nothing more, nothing less.

I will respect your opinion that a Moderator should never be judgmental or discourteous toward a member, but ideally it's not their primary goal not to be any of those things - it's just a respectable quality.
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  #11    
Old September 15th, 2012, 08:13 AM
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js, the only time i see mods be particularly condescending is when

ANNOUNCEMENTS ARE THIS OBVIOUS

and people still ask questions that are answered by said announcements.

and even when announcements aren't huge, most questions that are answered condescendingly are answered in stickies nearly 100% of the time.

as a side note the mods on serebii are 200 times worse
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Old September 15th, 2012, 08:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toujours View Post
It's not a job at all. It's not just an unpaid job, it's not a job. If you want me to treat every member like they're paying me to moderate their threads, then go ahead and PM me and I'll give you a Paypal email and you can give me a few bucks to do so.

While we are required to not flame or be overly controversial on the forums, our job is to moderate threads. There's no requirement to be pleasant 100% of the time as long as the section is moderated and the threads are taken care of. I'm sorry if you feel that part of a moderator's job is to treat members like they pay you no matter how members treat you, but that's not how PC sees it and you're welcome to not return if you feel that it's not how you want things to be run. We have thousands of active members that find our atmosphere pleasant, so I doubt it will be changed anytime soon.

While being pleasant is an obvious plus, it happens that moderators aren't pleasant. You're much better off taking a "moderators are people and I should be understanding of them having emotions like people do" approach then a "I feel like I should control how moderators act, in my position as member with less than 100 posts and tenuous grasp on how PC works" approach.

Look, i was just giving my feedback as a member, and i said in the very first paragraph of the forum that while i didn't participated as much as i wanted on the forums, i still saw some situations that weren't good for the community. And i pointed them out.

I made a thread about issues i saw on the forum, including both moderators and members. I never started a "Let's flame moderators" thread, or something on that line. Neither i did a "Let's say how much i understand moderators and accept they treat me like they're doing me a favor everytime they reply to me" I just stated two things i saw they could be pointed out to make the community a better place.

And i use the term job loosely, not as an actual job. just as a task you do in a place you're supposed to do it.

Now, you're basically telling me "This is how PC works. Moderators aren't supposed to be nice, people like it that way, if you like it then, if you don't then leave." good way to treat people who's trying to help by pointing things out.

I never said that it was how i wanted things to run, it was just advice and feedback. And as a user i think i can give feedback to make the community a better place. If you, or anyone else here take things personal, it's really none of my business.

And yes, a moderator is someone who moderates, not a babysitter or a mother, but if your attitude as a moderator isn't one that makes users feel comfortable to ask questions, but rather scared of asking because of a rude reply or a comment that will make them feel dumb, then what's the point of it at all.

now let me just write it again

This is not a thread to flame moderators. It is not a thread to flame moderators.

I stated clearly "Some" moderators, not all of them. There are very nice moderators here. If a moderator in particular feels offended with this, that's up to them. And i included both mods and users on that.
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Last edited by RaulCortez; September 15th, 2012 at 08:35 AM.
  #13    
Old September 15th, 2012, 08:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RaulCortez View Post

And yes, a moderator is someone who moderates, not a babysitter or a mother, but if your attitude as a moderator isn't one that makes users feel comfortable to ask questions, but rather scared of asking because of a rude reply or a comment that will make them feel dumb, then what's the point of it at all..
Oh no, dear, I didn't mean to sound like Moderators shouldn't be respectful in the majority of situations (all if it can be helped) but like mentioned in the thread before, Moderators are people, and those people have feelings just like you do, and they have lives and sometimes life gets the best of them just like you. I'm sure you understand that well, so if you do, also understand that a Moderator's primary concern, once again, should be to moderate their forums to the best of their ability and anything else is up to them to let out - as people. Just like any other member can be a bit... venomous in some replies, it'll happen to the Mods too and if you see a problem with it, talk it out with that Mod and I'm sure they can apologize and make up for their actions, as it was most definitely not on purpose or controllable by any means.

//rant rant rant
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Old September 15th, 2012, 08:38 AM
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But there is rarely any rudeness in the eyes of the average PC user, and when there is it is dealt with accordingly by the h-staff. So if you feel this is a big enough problem that it requires a thread on it, then your definition of 'rudeness' is far different from the accepted definition on the forum. This is where the defensiveness comes from - when you imply that anything less than perfect neutrality in all situations is 'wrong' for a moderator, you are insulting actual people that spend time moderating the forums and have an in-depth knowledge of the attitude of PC, what is socially acceptable here and what is not, which is something that's gained with time and experience on the forum. Being a moderator on another forum doesn't mean much when you change forums, since every single forum is different. For example, SPPf and Smogon tend to have a harsher environment than PC so their moderators act accordingly. BMGf has many, many moderators per section so their jobs don't require them to be on as much as PC moderators. Every forum is different and every forum needs to be treated differently, so the point of your lack of knowledge of the attitude of PC is quite valid as your opinion is based on how you think moderators of your forum should be, not moderators of PC. PC has its own culture and its own way of doing things, as does every forum, so being active and learning the ins and outs of members and moderators here is advisable before you start criticizing. For example, PC is seen as one of the most pleasant Pokemon forums to be on. Criticizing PC for being too harsh is strange considering a lot of other forums see PC as basically the kiddie pool of Pokemon forums with rubber floors and rounded corners so no one hurts themselves with big bad words.

Edit: Some mods are approachable, some aren't. While in an ideal world every mod would be bubbly, outgoing, and 100% approachable by any member, it is not required of a moderator to be approachable (unless you're in NU/W, generally that's one of the traits of the mod of that section). I agree that the ideal is robotically friendly mods that never have bad moods and always know just how to be pleasantly neutral in a situation and are perfect, but no one should expect or ask any moderator that's a human being to be that way. We are humans before we are moderators.
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Old September 15th, 2012, 08:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Minzy View Post
Oh no, dear, I didn't mean to sound like Moderators shouldn't be respectful in the majority of situations (all if it can be helped) but like mentioned in the thread before, Moderators are people, and those people have feelings just like you do, and they have lives and sometimes life gets the best of them just like you. I'm sure you understand that well, so if you do, also understand that a Moderator's primary concern, once again, should be to moderate their forums to the best of their ability and anything else is up to them to let out - as people. Just like any other member can be a bit... venomous in some replies, it'll happen to the Mods too and if you see a problem with it, talk it out with that Mod and I'm sure they can apologize and make up for their actions, as it was most definitely not on purpose or controllable by any means.

//rant rant rant
Believe me Minzy, if it was something that i saw once, or twice, i wouldn't be making a thread about it. But i've seen some mods acting like that on most of their posts, which is why i started this feedback thread. Not to tell them how to act or behave really, but as advice.

I completely understand that mods are humans and we all have bad days, of course, but like i said before, it is human reasoning to say "I'm not having it today, i just won't answer" not only for the community, but for themselves, so that people won't say "he/she is so rude" or be afraid of asking on the section said mod is in charge of.

It was all friendly advice.
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Old September 15th, 2012, 08:46 AM
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Not gonna lie, it's hard to take this thread seriously when the feedback is coming from someone that has been here only since 2011, has around 70 posts here, and I have never even seen. I understand your feedback is mostly from the view of a lurker, but like Toujours said, it's hard to really give feedback of this kind without proper knowledge of how things work here as opposed to other forums, like the ones you've moderated in the past. Not every forum works the same. And as it's been pointed out, there are forums with much, much worse moderators and even members. Everything else related to this is in Toujours' most recent post. Though with your high standards and opinion of what being rude is, I won't be surprised if you take this post as such. That in mind actually, what you see as rude and what I might see as rude are clearly different things. So perception of rudeness is an issue here.

Honestly, I think it would have been easier for you to PM an admin and say, "Look, so and so and what's his name are really rude moderators and blah blah" than to post a thread that just says "some moderators" since that leaves the assumption of "that could possibly be me" to some of us mods. And in the case of members, it would have been easier to just report them as well.
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Old September 15th, 2012, 08:49 AM
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wait if its only few mods that you have issue with, why not take it up with h-staff like mentioned before? i really dont understand the point of this thread?
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Old September 15th, 2012, 08:56 AM
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I'm sooooo not getting involved with this, but I'd just like to point out a thought that came into my head. The problem with these threads is that saying "some moderators" could quite easily be code for "all moderators", and even if it's not, it's unspecific and open-ended and we don't know which mods you're talking about. So it's likely to get the moderator usergroup as a whole defensive as each mod thinks you COULD be talking about them.

So the only way to make sure this natural defensiveness doesn't happen in a feedback thread is to name names, which is not something I would EVER recommend doing. It's just a lose-lose situation lol, a cycle of fail and doom
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Last edited by Sodom; September 15th, 2012 at 09:05 AM.
  #19    
Old September 15th, 2012, 09:08 AM
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First I want to thank you for your feedback, we always want to hear from those that visit and participate in the community!

I'm finding that this rudeness and "above you" is a worldwide trend and not just happening here on PC. Its like you get a slight position of authority and BAM it all goes straight to your head and you lose all sense of yourself. I dunno what it is, but it effects many people in many ways, usually in a bad (compared to their normal self) way.

We go to great pains to choose mods here, just ask any mod. we look at previous post, the tone and quality of the posts, knowledge of the subject matter (mod area, or topics) and for over all personality and how they've behaved on the site. We can't predict what will happen when someone is handed a messy forum that they feel obligated to 'clean up'. A lot of time, mods resort to brute force, or becoming stern and cold. Its usually self-induced stress and goes away when they feel their area is up to the standards they envision for it.

With all that in mind, we will again remind the staff that they need to be respectful, calm, and courteous towards users.

But this is a double-sided sword too. Users need to respect the mods, they are just trying to do their non paid, volunteer based jobs, and make the community a better, spam and trash free place.

If any user has a specific problem with a mod or any staff member, feel free to PM any higher staff and they will look into it and take appropriate action.
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  #20    
Old September 15th, 2012, 09:14 AM
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RaulCortez
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rukario View Post
First I want to thank you for your feedback, we always want to hear from those that visit and participate in the community!

I'm finding that this rudeness and "above you" is a worldwide trend and not just happening here on PC. Its like you get a slight position of authority and BAM it all goes straight to your head and you lose all sense of yourself. I dunno what it is, but it effects many people in many ways, usually in a bad (compared to their normal self) way.

We go to great pains to choose mods here, just ask any mod. we look at previous post, the tone and quality of the posts, knowledge of the subject matter (mod area, or topics) and for over all personality and how they've behaved on the site. We can't predict what will happen when someone is handed a messy forum that they feel obligated to 'clean up'. A lot of time, mods resort to brute force, or becoming stern and cold. Its usually self-induced stress and goes away when they feel their area is up to the standards they envision for it.

With all that in mind, we will again remind the staff that they need to be respectful, calm, and courteous towards users.

But this is a double-sided sword too. Users need to respect the mods, they are just trying to do their non paid, volunteer based jobs, and make the community a better, spam and trash free place.

If any user has a specific problem with a mod or any staff member, feel free to PM any higher staff and they will look into it and take appropriate action.

Thank you so much, Rukario!

That was exactly my point for this feedback, and that's exactly the reason why i did it, just as a simple friendly reminder of a situation i saw.

Thanks again!
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Old September 15th, 2012, 09:19 AM
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Went
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So, my advice as senior staff member of the forum:

- If you have a particular problem with members being rude, please report it to us. Posts mistaking "that sucks period" as valid criticism are not allowed in any of the boards where critiques are encouraged, and will be dealt accordingly with.

- If you have a particular problem with some individual mods being rude to you, please report it to us via PM (or just clicking the report button on whichever post you consider rude) and we'll study the case and, if deemed serious, talk to the particular moderator and/or punish him/her. We have done it before and we'll do it again if we have to.

- If you think all the members and/or all the mods are rude, and you simply don't like the atmosphere here, I'm afraid that my best advice is moving to another forum. I have read the "how to choose a good mod" list you posted and I can't think of any of our current moderators who doesn't fit in there. Again, if you know something we don't, report it to us.

And with this and Rukario's post, I'm going to close this thread since you clearly have reached the people you wanted to, and these threads can get ugly pretty quickly.

We don't encourage staff members going rude, and we try to avoid it, although, as you said, you can't expect every mod to sympathize with every user.
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