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I kind of feel lost here now.

Posted December 7th, 2013 at 3:06 AM by Nick
Updated December 7th, 2013 at 3:21 AM by Nick

Even though my time here is very limited because of my schedule, it's still a very important part of my life. These days, I rarely use instant messaging. And even so, when I do use it, I only use it to keep in contact with literally one person. When I first joined here, all of my contact with members came from group chats on MSN with people referred to by others as Sweater. At least, I think that's what they were called. I can't really remember. They didn't have much of a good reputation around here, for whatever reason. I was tossed in with them for a long period of time when I first joined, until I became a staff member myself and started drifting from them. Though they were still my friends and I cared for them a lot, they weren't my main circle of friends. As a staff member, my contact eventually became pretty limited to just staff members because of how convenient it was. The group of people in Sweater were the only people I formed friendships with while not being a staff member. All of these people, however, are gone.

It's been a few months since I left the staff for good, and I kind of feel lost here now, socially. I've lost my flock; a flock that I've been a part of for about six years. Even to this day, all of my friends here I made through the staff. Everyone on my friends list are current staff members (though two of them are currently on DLoA) and people I would consider adding to my friends list are also former staff members who I had contact with in the Moderator Hangout when they were on staff with me. Without that outlet I had to talk to the people I spent all of my time with here, I've ended up losing contact with a lot of people.

Now, instead of coming here to build on friendships I've had over time, I just come here to post my opinion and cure boredom. Those are things that I've done for a while, but now I only occasionally socialize properly with people though threads and private messages. Even after my opinion, while as a staff member, shifted from using this place as an outlet to share what I had to say and to cure boredom, I still socialized with the group I was a part of.

It's true what some people say. The staff are, by definition, a clique. They're a small group of people with shared interest with a sense of commonality who spend time together and do not readily allow others to join them. That's what a clique is. It's like a working environment. The only time new people are added to it is when help is needed because the work is too large or someone leaves. And it's only natural for it to occur. The question I'm interested in asking is, why is it a bad thing?

I don't identify as a staff member now, and those on the staff now identify me as a former staff member. Naturally. But because of that, I feel I've lost a certain edge I've had on here for a very long time. How I interact with people socially hasn't changed, but the community's perception of me has. I don't say anything differently now that I did when I was on the staff team. But now that I'm not on the staff team, what I say now just comes across in a completely different way. Why is that? Why is it that what I say now no longer receives any likes? You can say what you will about the like system, but it's a great way to really measure the gauge between yourself and the community. Almost every single post I made in the public forum ended up getting at least one like. Now I don't really get any. Is it because I'm no longer a staff member? Like I said, what I say now isn't any different than what I would have said a few months ago.

Its kind of interesting, I think. The community absolutely sees me differently now that I'm not orange. While I expected that to happen, I can't say I'm all that pleased. People are no longer interested in what I have to say just because of my position. Anyone who thinks that their position doesn't attribute to how they are perceived and observed on a very fundamental level are fools. People no longer jump for the chance at being in a conversation with me like they did in the past, even though most of the time it was just for an edge at advancing in a position here. While I didn't particularly like being hounded by moderator wannabes, it's a bit of a shellshock going from that to very minimal interactions here. Now, what I say sometimes is seen as even being a bit of troublemaking, even in the eyes of my friends. Even so, it isn't a deviation from how I've interacted here in the past as part of that group. I wouldn't say it's a leap to say that I feel a bit disenfranchised.
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  1. Old Comment
    Don't worry about the like system, mate. It is just a popularity contest that does not matter. People tend to 'like' moderately humorous posts of very little content that are very clearly posted for the sole purpose of fishing for likes. While it is true that your opinion will not gain as much attention because you are not bright orange it doesn't mean you are now an outcast, left to the wolves. 99.9% of active members here are not staff and they fit in just fine.

    As you are no longer seen as a community leader you will definitely be viewed differently when you post, being overly assertive and confident could be seen as threatening. Try and sound like you're just here to have fun :D

    Regular members also get out what they put in in terms of social interaction. If you only post to relieve boredom and occasionally talk to friends you will only occasionally get a response, and will eventually be forgotten. Go and spam the VM system of every username that makes a post that sounds remotely interesting to you. Stalk the about me section of the users. Post a simple "Hello, I'm Ace, I also like ......". Start conversations with everyone. Sometimes it's understandable that you'll want to stick to what is most well known, the blue, yellow, and red, but don't forget that in a sea of black and green usernames each one is a person you can talk to, a unique individual with their own experiences and stories.

    Just a suggestion, how about making a new account and acting in secret like a complete noob? It could be fun and let you feel not as judged because nobody thinks of you as ex-staff :P
    Posted December 7th, 2013 at 3:50 AM by
  2. Old Comment
    I bet if you wouldn't have deleted your old account(s), this wouldn't have happened to you. :/
    Posted December 7th, 2013 at 5:11 AM by Cordelia Cordelia is offline
  3. Old Comment
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by CC View Comment
    I bet if you wouldn't have deleted your old account(s), this wouldn't have happened to you. :/
    But why would it matter whether or not he deleted his old accounts? I feel that creating a new account further illustrated his point at the same time, because it's expected that each and every single member at least be taken seriously in this community, and it's a sad fact that yes, the staff (regardless of the community, that's just how pokemon communities are) are placed on a higher pedestal than the regular users are. Their opinions and what they say are given more weight, and that's something that I don't see changing anytime soon. That's not necessarily the fault of either party, that's just how things are, and one of the things I've come to notice about Pokemon communities in general over the years.

    I can't comment too much on the cliqueiness of the staff because I don't know what goes on behind the scenes, but I will say that during my experiences and interactions with a good handful of them, it does come across that way sometimes, though I do see a lot of them (mainly the moderators, tbh) putting forth a ton of effort to interact more with the community, therefore diluting that "clique" image, so to speak.

    But I'm really sorry to hear this, Nick. It really goes to show that some people really do care about the color, and as soon as that color vanishes, then so does whatever importance you had, at least as far as some of the community is concerned, and that just isn't right. It's really amazing how most would change their perspective of you immediately after a resignation or otherwise, but it's not the color that matters, it's the member.

    I just wish more people would realize this.
    Posted December 7th, 2013 at 6:07 AM by colours colours is offline
    Updated December 7th, 2013 at 6:16 AM by colours
  4. Old Comment
    derozio's Avatar
    Mac...umm, I...ok.

    Well, you're still the awesomesauce person I thought you always were, Nick! There are obviously gonna be those that just stick to people just because they're staff, obviously. And, more often than not, their numbers will far exceed those that see and like you for who you actually are. Not because your username is colored bold blue or orange or whatever. It is just the way a large community like this works.

    Me, personally, I never got too many likes outside of the staff forum, lol. In fact, the number of likes I get now probably exceed the number of non staff likes I used to get earlier.

    Either way, there must be a few people like me who always wanted to talk to you. But couldn't because they didn't think you'd approve of them approaching you for conversation. I think you're a very interesting person, nick. And I'm using the ama thread as a way to interact more with you. Know what would help? Opening up your VMs to more people. Or even letting others send you a friend request and, maybe, once in a while, you accepting them. I can't help but think you've closed some doors for interaction yourself by the 'only good friends on my friends list' and 'vms closed to most' policy. I mean, the list is a goddamn online list. You don't NEED to have ONLY the closest bunch of people there. You know who you're close with. A stupid online list doesn't have to reflect the same. You've alienated a few people due to choices made by yourself, nick. That's what I think. Now don't eat me. Plz.
    Posted December 7th, 2013 at 6:12 AM by derozio derozio is offline
  5. Old Comment
    derozio's Avatar
    And derk that's just how things are. Those in positions of power always get their share of ass kissers. And their opinions always matter more to public in general. It isn't just true for PC. It is true for most communities.

    Except narutoforums, I guess. Those people are always an exception to everything, lmfao.
    Posted December 7th, 2013 at 6:27 AM by derozio derozio is offline
  6. Old Comment
    Nick's Avatar
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by O07_eleven View Comment
    Don't worry about the like system, mate. It is just a popularity contest that does not matter. People tend to 'like' moderately humorous posts of very little content that are very clearly posted for the sole purpose of fishing for likes. While it is true that your opinion will not gain as much attention because you are not bright orange it doesn't mean you are now an outcast, left to the wolves. 99.9% of active members here are not staff and they fit in just fine.
    The like system was just an example. It doesn't mean a lot to me, and if it wasn't for the fact that on my old account, I had the most likes on the forum and received so many on a post-to-post basis, and suddenly I'm not receiving any, it just leads me to think that the person behind the username doesn't mean as much to other people as you would think it would.

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by CC View Comment
    I bet if you wouldn't have deleted your old account(s), this wouldn't have happened to you. :/
    I realize that some people are upset with me about requesting it to be deleted, and as far as I'm concerned, that's something that really doesn't concern those people and is a really petty thing to be angry with someone about. I requested them to be deleted for very rational reasons and I wouldn't undo that. Though I don't really think that deleting my accounts have anything to do with people's perception of me as a member.

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Twilight Sky View Comment
    But why would it matter whether or not he deleted his old accounts? I feel that creating a new account further illustrated his point at the same time, because it's expected that each and every single member at least be taken seriously in this community, and it's a sad fact that yes, the staff (regardless of the community, that's just how pokemon communities are) are placed on a higher pedestal than the regular users are. Their opinions and what they say are given more weight, and that's something that I don't see changing anytime soon. That's not necessarily the fault of either party, that's just how things are, and one of the things I've come to notice about Pokemon communities in general over the years.
    That was really the point that I was trying to illustrate. My posts were considered more important when I was a staff member, and people treated them as such. Now, they're not as important, and the only reason because of that is because I'm not a staff member anymore. It's a bit of a shell shock, which was the reason why I posted this blog in the first place. It's amazing (in a non amazing kind of way) how much emphasis is put into by the members of the community on ranks. And yet, I'm positive that if these people were to know each other in real life, and this outlet wasn't a forum but a social group in a high school, for example, things wouldn't be the same. Especially considering the fact that, by the majority of people in high school, students who are given positions of power such as safety monitors and other like jobs are often seen as lower than by the majority of students. It's just something to think about. Why is it, because its a forum, moderators and staff members are deemed cooler, more interesting, and more important?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Sakazuki View Comment
    Either way, there must be a few people like me who always wanted to talk to you. But couldn't because they didn't think you'd approve of them approaching you for conversation. I think you're a very interesting person, nick. And I'm using the ama thread as a way to interact more with you. Know what would help? Opening up your VMs to more people. Or even letting others send you a friend request and, maybe, once in a while, you accepting them. I can't help but think you've closed some doors for interaction yourself by the 'only good friends on my friends list' and 'vms closed to most' policy. I mean, the list is a goddamn online list. You don't NEED to have ONLY the closest bunch of people there. You know who you're close with. A stupid online list doesn't have to reflect the same. You've alienated a few people due to choices made by yourself, nick. That's what I think. Now don't eat me. Plz.
    I accept anyone who adds me, but I delete them if we don't talk after a while which is why it looks like only my good friends are on my friends list.
    Posted December 7th, 2013 at 8:00 AM by Nick Nick is offline
  7. Old Comment
    derozio's Avatar
    Well, I got deleted once. And you told me something along the lines of 'I'm only gonna keep those that I really do know in my list' when asked about it. Don't quote me on that, though.

    Either way, what I got from that was that you don't really let anyone but your good friends into your list. I guess it was a misunderstanding on my part. Apologies.

    As for the topic at hand, I thought all of this was very obvious and only something natural for a community such as this. So I never really gave it too much thought when the almost 10 VMs per day I used to get changed to none at all.
    Posted December 7th, 2013 at 8:54 AM by derozio derozio is offline
  8. Old Comment
    Kanzler's Avatar
    How much of this can you honestly say wasn't expected? Maybe I'm just being cynical, but we can't be expected to be amazing people. We /are/ on the internet of all places. A lot of us might be looking for some kind of belonging that we don't get in every day life, or perhaps we lack the social skills, awareness, or attitude to communicate people in a genuine way. And there's at least a couple of us who don't get enough attention in real life, so we come on the internet to satisfy those urges. There's a million reasons why we wouldn't communicate as genuinely as we'd like to each other, and I think that's just the reality.

    I agree with your assessment of staff as a clique. I don't even think the burden of proof should be on you - to me if it looks like a clique and it acts like a clique, it is a clique. It's hard to put a finger on it, but you know it when you see it. You can have a working environment without it being clique-like, and I do think that staff's "cliqueness" is detrimental to the quality of our interaction with the rest of the forum.

    With cliqueness two negative things happen. One is the building up of a cult of personality. Given our leadership position as well as our (arguable) divide from the user base, it is not unreasonable to see our being idealized and our receiving of praise - some of which is directed towards things admittedly not genuinely praise-worthy. When people can see power but aren't able to interact with it intimately, its image will take on a life of its own. Just look at the so-called Staff Feedback Thread - it looks more shoutout than feedback. Even when Gym Leader Rozu did her rant, it's not like any of us looked at her side of the story seriously, nobody took her position, our first response was to disagree. Whether you thought it was appropriate or not is another story, but what that tells me is that either none of us has any negotiation training or that it reinforces the perception that we are distant. I think that becomes a bad thing when we can't ascertain whether our perception is deserved or not - then we become unable to change ourselves for the better.

    Secondly cliqueness would reduce staff-user interaction. Given the mod guidelines I've read upon taking up the post and my short experience so far, I really think there is no one way for a mod to act. Nothing says, constitutionally if you will, that we have to be a certain way - which is good, meaning there's nothing stopping us from changing for the better. With that being said, Nick did mention his contacts being limited to staff members, and I'm sure he hasn't been the only one to experience this. There's more that could be said that I don't feel at a liberty to mention, though. But when a group identity is formed around being part of the in-group to the exception of the out-group, somewhere down the line you are going to develop a stratified perception of things and if you don't change that outlook it will compromise interaction.

    So there definitely are things we can do to address cliqueness, I've highlighted two of the drawbacks and I'm sure there are more.

    While you have a point that your posts received more attention and importance as a staff member, I don't think you're fully considering the impact of deleting your accounts. It's true that you as a person hasn't changed, but you've also forgone your legacy as a (staff) member. How much was that respect due to your personality, and how much of it was due to your position? I think it would be overstating it to assume that all the importance you used to have was due to your position. It's not something we can verify now, or even scientifically, but it's something to keep in mind - you said it yourself, a lot of the people who really knew you are now gone so it's hard to judge how many of us know you as a person. To much of the masses you are a "new member". Maybe some members looked past the orange at PY or Nick, but you're Ace now.

    That being said, the position of a mod does come with auto-respect and auto-attention, I think that's fairly easy to see. It's something that the mods have to figure out ourselves - we after all /are/ the leading figures of this forum, we more than any other group are capable of creating cohesive action, and only we are responsible for our actions and how others perceive us. I would like to say more, but the feeling that I can't tells me that there are things that we /must/ change. After all, communication, trust, and closeness within a community is key. Community = communication + unity :P

    P.S: Anyways this is the kind of thing I wanted you to talk about in your PM's so thanks for making it easier for me to not have to think of and ask questions.
    Posted December 7th, 2013 at 10:33 AM by Kanzler Kanzler is offline
    Updated December 7th, 2013 at 10:40 AM by Kanzler
  9. Old Comment
    curiousnathan's Avatar
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by BlahISuck View Comment
    Just look at the so-called Staff Feedback Thread - it looks more shoutout than feedback. Even when Gym Leader Rozu did her rant, it's not like any of us looked at her side of the story seriously, nobody took her position, our first response was to disagree. Whether you thought it was appropriate or not is another story, but what that tells me is that either none of us has any negotiation training or that it reinforces the perception that we are distant. I think that becomes a bad thing when we can't ascertain whether our perception is deserved or not - then we become unable to change ourselves for the better.
    How do you know this for a fact though? Considering Alex did consider Rozu's point of view, I find that statement largely inaccurate. I myself along with a few others moderators may have disagreed with the feedback she provided, but that doesn't necessarily mean that we didn't consider the issue from her perspective. That also doesn't mean that we can't disagree with critique presented. If there's a majority of staff members who disagree in response to a suggestion/topic etc. then that's just how the ball rolls.

    Anyway, I agree with you Ace, the perceptions of you do change; I used to be a nobody here at PC when I joined (2009) and I made an effort to get to know people, particularly well known members of the forums and staff. I'd join chats, get involved in discussions, but I'd be ignored. Staff was tight-nit group that I wanted to get to know, be a part of (not literally as in promotion). I wanted to feel like I belonged to something. Things changed when I got promoted, the people who ignored me, suddenly wanted to know me. It wasn't hard for me to understand why, I mean, I was the same person before I got modded so it made it pretty overt that it was because I was now a moderator.

    It's sad in a way. I definitely can see where you're coming from.

    And to be honest about the deletion of your accounts - I've said this in public and in other places on the forum - that if you wanted to delete your accounts then good on you, the decision doesn't concern anyone else.

    I would have liked to say more but I don't want to add to this already rather incoherent mess of a response haha.

    I'll catch you around the forums.
    Posted December 7th, 2013 at 4:56 PM by curiousnathan curiousnathan is offline
  10. Old Comment
    Nick, I wasn't trying to be mean with my comment. I just didn't have a lot of time to put my words down. I just think people don't know who you are so they write you off. I guess that's the point you're trying to make though...
    Posted December 7th, 2013 at 5:54 PM by Cordelia Cordelia is offline
  11. Old Comment
    Kanzler's Avatar
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by curiousnathan View Comment
    How do you know this for a fact though? Considering Alex did consider Rozu's point of view, I find that statement largely inaccurate. I myself along with a few others moderators may have disagreed with the feedback she provided, but that doesn't necessarily mean that we didn't consider the issue from her perspective. That also doesn't mean that we can't disagree with critique presented. If there's a majority of staff members who disagree in response to a suggestion/topic etc. then that's just how the ball rolls.
    Righto. It's not a fact, it's a feeling. And I overstated that bit about everyone. However, if we did consider the issue from her perspective as well as we did, we should communicate that more clearly. Her main issue was with how approachable we are, and I really don't think we accomplished that in our responses. Perhaps I just agree with Alex. At the end of the day, agree or disagree, I don't think it made us look good. And perhaps I'm reducing it to make a point as I usually do and this might sound terribly cynical, but it's important that we do look good. Whether we mean what we say is up to us as individuals - we can't force each other to believe certain things, but if we have an image problem, then that's what we have to grapple with. I mean, it was the first critical post in the feedback forum, and our response to it, I really think it got across the wrong idea and it in a way sets a precedence that we're not interested in listening to critique. It took how many, nine posts for one of us to cast a dissenting opinion. Doesn't that reinforce her point? Again, whether we mean to or not is not as important as how we could be perceived. I think we have to be very careful to not misrepresent our intentions.
    Posted December 7th, 2013 at 5:55 PM by Kanzler Kanzler is offline
  12. Old Comment
    Ho-Oh's Avatar
    Hm this is interesting. I'm not sure how I feel anymore about this, really. At first I wanted nothing to do with PC but now I just come and post whatever occasionally. I think it's more to do with the fact that I don't really care whether people value my opinion or not - they read it, they don't really have to reply to it. I mean I only think I've given my opinion on battle server staff stuff (which kind of defeats my point), and in general I've made a few posts around places but... I dunno. I think it's the fact that when I was a staff member I knew we were viewed differently, so I tried to change that so that at least when I was no longer staff I wouldn't be viewed on such a high toadstool most staff were. As for current staff, I don't know... this is kind of a new generation of staff mostly and I think they're more in line with the people than when I was on staff. I mean nothing against anyone at all but it just seems like this new generation is more social, more out there, more viewed as just community members, whereas people from your generation + the generation that came after, and before to a greater extent kind of needed to change things up while they were staff. Ugh this probably makes no sense but I think it depends on the ex-staff (or current) in particular as to how they're viewed post-staff, and present-staff, and what they do with it.
    Posted December 10th, 2013 at 8:39 PM by Ho-Oh Ho-Oh is offline
  13. Old Comment
    Sheep's Avatar
    I think it's ultimately due to the process of choosing staff. There are no staff applications, subtleness about your desire to be staff is preferred, few are picked even if there are people who stand out in many ways (that and some moderators may not desire a partner), and the process is generally quite selective, which can easily lead to a bigger divide between staff and members and most definitely a clique. While promotions happen relatively often the way PC's staff selection is laid out may cause some members to, consciously or unconsciously, put staff on a higher pedestal (which can be reflected in the likes system as well, of course). It's probably no secret that staff members generally get more likes on average than a regular member. The promotion system can also open doors for a higher staff member to try and push their friend onto staff which only further solidifies the clique and makes some people want to befriend staff. The system itself isn't so bad but I feel the actual process and desire to keep staff counts low is the underlying reason for these things.

    Several people are deserving but few are promoted, even when we're talking moderators to higher staff members and so on, not just members -> moderators.

    I do my best to speak to as many members as I can and do not want to be treated differently because I'm a staff member.. but it can be hard since others may not see that. :( Ultimately it's just a rank on an internet Pokemon forum but at times it sure can be hard to remember such.
    Posted December 14th, 2013 at 3:50 PM by Sheep Sheep is offline
    Updated December 14th, 2013 at 3:57 PM by Sheep
  14. Old Comment
    antemortem's Avatar
    I can't comment on what you're getting at here since I'm not a former staff member and don't know yet of what being one feels/looks like. I might not agree with everything you're saying, but let's be real for a second; you know more about PokeCommunity, its members, and its staff than a lot of us (not everyone, but a fair majority) and what you say, while contradictory to some and debatable to a lot, more often than not has a lot of fairness in it.
    Posted December 14th, 2013 at 6:19 PM by antemortem antemortem is offline