A Conversation for The H2G2 Telephone Sanitizers

Comments from the Editors on the Arbiters Scheme

Post 1

The H2G2 Editors

Hi everyone.

Sorry it took so long to get back to you with our comments on the Arbiters' Scheme, but luckily the 'warm and fuzzy' version came along just in time to stop our brains leaking out of our ears. smiley - winkeye

Ignoring the mechanics of the scheme for a second, the most important thing to discuss is whether this scheme is genuinely needed at this stage in the Community's development, and it seems to us that there's quite a bit of a division of opinion on this one. However it is absolutely certain that anything that helps arguments calm down is a good thing, so just to put this scheme in the context of other developments, here's a quick run-down of what we're doing to address the same issue:

* We're hopefully going to add a proper Transgressions section to the House Rules (suggested in the Magna Carta) which should help to remove confusion when people are banned. This is pending confirmation, but we're hopeful!

* We're implementing Hoovooloo's Modest Proposal, which should help to calm things down when lifetime bans are being considered.

* We are going to publish an h2g2 guide to netiquette, based on the contents of the Talking Point we ran on the same topic some time ago.

* We are also looking into publishing guidelines on how to avoid flame wars, which will hopefully give sound advice to all Researchers on how to prevent things getting out of hand.

Given the above plans, and the fact that the Aces, the Community *and* the Community Team do a very good job of calming the vast majority of arguments down, we don't see a need for an official Arbiters scheme *at this time*, but this is *not* to say that this won't be an important scheme as the Community grows. The best test of any scheme, especially one that involves the Community, is to suck it and see, and that's what we propose: that this scheme is put into place as a Community-driven idea, and if it proves to be a popular and important scheme, then we can examine the benefits of making it official. Or, in short, prove to us that this scheme works and that the Community really wants it, and we'll seriously look at making it official.

Given that suggestion, here are our comments on each individual section of the scheme with this compromise in mind, but bear in mind that these are only our suggestions. One of the advantages of setting up this scheme as a Community-led process means you can make your own minds up, but we'd hope you at least humour our opinions, of course. smiley - smiley

smiley - popcorn

THE PROCESS FOR SETTING UP THE SCHEME

This all seems to be workable, except we'd make the following suggestions:

* We think you shouldn't restrict application to the Arbiters to those who have been here for nine months or more, but should instead say that only those with lots of Community experience will be considered. Being on site for a long time does not (in our opinion) reflect that accurately on who is suitable to be an Arbiter; you could have brilliant mediators join and you'd know they were excellent within a couple of months, and it would be silly to have a rule that would prevent you from picking them if everyone agreed it was a good idea. Insisting on Community experience is definitely a good idea, but why limit your choices? You can easily say no to those who haven't been active, as long as you make it clear on the Arbiters' home page that only those with lots of Community experience will be considered.

* As initially the scheme would not be official, the Arbiters will not "represent the Editors" in the same way the other volunteers do. Indeed, the other volunteers don't really *represent* the Editors, but they often pass on information from us to the Community, so this won't prevent the scheme from being taken up by the Community as long as the Community agrees with the actions of the Arbiters and gives them its support.

smiley - popcorn

HOW TO FIND AN ARBITER

As the scheme would be starting off as a Community scheme, we could publicise the Arbiters home page in the normal Community areas (Abi's Activities, the World of h2g2 and so on), and other Community areas, such as The Post, can be approached for publicity. If the scheme is perceived by the Community to be a good thing, then word of mouth will spread the message. If the need is there, as claimed in the proposal, then the scheme will continue to grow.

If the scheme becomes official, then we can consider different and more official ways of publicising it, such as badges and official home pages.

smiley - popcorn

MEDIATION AND ARBITRATION

This looks good, on the whole: hats off to you all! The only points we'd make are:

* As we're sure you'd agree, we'd much rather look on mediation as the best solution, with arbitration only being used as the absolute last resort. If we take divorce as an example, only about 5-10% of divorces are settled by the courts (which is the equivalent of arbitration), and the vast majority are settled by mediation through solicitors. We'd hope that most of the effort of those helping the scheme grow would be on developing excellent mediation services, with arbitration only coming in when really necessary (though, of course, the process for arbitration needs to work brilliantly too).

* If mediation happens *outside* of h2g2, say via email or ICQ, then it must be made clear to all parties that this will then *not* be bound ay any of the rules of h2g2, and is nothing to do with h2g2 itself in terms of liability, privacy issues and so on. Arbiters must make it clear anyway that they are *not* working on behalf of the staff or the BBC, and this is especially important when discussion is held off-site, as the normal rules and disclaimers will not apply.

* You say "At any time during the proceedings, the Arbiter or the disputants can... escalate it to Arbitration". However, shouldn't this be the case only if *all* parties agree that it should go to Arbitration, otherwise it is easy for one party to push for Arbitration when the other party is being really reasonable and would much rather work towards a mediation. Arbitration is guaranteed to produce a solution that in some way doesn't please anyone - such is the nature of forced compromise, as anyone who's been divorced in court will tell you - so isn't it important that this step is only taken if both disputants want it?

* We will not consider any suggestions from Arbiters as to "punitive measures" (C.6). This remains and will remain an area that the Editors will manage themselves, possibly using the Modest Proposal to gather as much information as possible. This is a further reason why it's a good idea for mediation to take place on h2g2, as otherwise the Editors will not be able to take any of the mediation discussions into account.

smiley - popcorn

ASKING FOR HELP

Going to the Arbiters home page to ask for help makes perfect sense, but the thing that worries us is that if the other person refuses Arbitration, then it looks like they get penalised. In the suggested process, a message gets posted to the original 'argument' thread stating that Arbitration has been refused, and it seems to us that this is a perfect invitation to even more flaming, especially if the reason that Arbitration has been refused is because the other person doesn't want the Arbiters sticking their noses into their discussion (in their eyes).

As Arbitration is only possible when both parties want to participate, in no way should anything be done to pressurise either party to come to the table... because if pressure is put on one party, mediation will be much more difficult from the start, and may even have a negative effect, possibly extending an argument that was about to fizzle out.

So we think it might be worth looking at this bit again; if someone is having an argument and they don't want anyone sticking their noses in, then the process of posting to their Personal Spaces and having the results 'as a matter of public record' is, in our humble opinion, asking for trouble. Don't assume that everyone will be happy to hear about Arbitration, especially those who are having a bad enough day to produce a healthy flame war... smiley - erm

smiley - popcorn

OFFICIAL INQUIRIES

Given the forthcoming implementation of the Modest Proposal, we believe that there is no need to use the Arbiters scheme to arbitrate between the Editors and individual Researchers. In cases where serious arguments have struck up, our policy has *always* been to get that person to air their grievances in a place like the Community Soapbox, so the Community can discuss the individual's opinions in public. The obvious place where this system used to break down was in discussions about lifetime bans, but the MP provides us with a simpler and more transparent way to cater for this sort of issue.

So, at this stage, we are not looking to implement an arbitration scheme for Researcher vs Editor Inquiries, but will consider extending the Modest Proposal to cater for such arguments when the Community Soapbox fails to provide a solution.

smiley - popcorn

That's it - there are some excellent ideas in this proposal, and we think implementing it would provide us all with definite examples to discuss when it comes to discussing "demonstrated need". Please don't think that us saying 'No' to immediate official implementation in any way criticises the ideas behind the scheme. If we believed that there was a "demonstrated need" for Arbitration, then this scheme would be a great starting point... but instead we still need to be convinced of such a need, and the best way to do that is to prove it by example.

We look forward to your responses!

The Editors


Comments from the Editors on the Arbiters Scheme

Post 2

a girl called Ben

Hello Italics

The Magna Carta, the Modest Proposal and the Arbiter Scheme all came out of the same series of events, and address the same concerns, even if they do not address the same issues.

My main driver for being involved in the Arbiter Scheme was my view that if there had been something like this in place during the Playboy Reporter / LeKZ / Rest of the Site issues, then maybe, just maybe, the outcomes would have been different.

I am content that the changes you are making are ones which - had they been in place before those dramatic weeks - would have resulted in a different and less painful outcome for the individuals and the site as a whole.

I still think the concept of an Arbiter Scheme has merit, and I am happy to leave it on your back burner, or even in your deep-freeze, as appropriate.

Obviously, I cannot speak for any of the others involved in the development of the proposal.

Shame about not getting the nice shiny badge though!

agcB


Comments from the Editors on the Arbiters Scheme

Post 3

Tube - the being being back for the time being

smiley - footprints


Comments from the Editors on the Arbiters Scheme

Post 4

7rob7: Give Me Love (Give Me Peace On Earth)

I'm thinking, I'm thinking... Without going to check, I know we had a 'trial' period build into the implementation schedule, anyway. This is not really any different, but I'll (we'll) need to consider how things might be different without 'official blessings'. (Those bright shiny badges act as a shield, too, y'know. Too much on my mind to process it all right now. Catch ya later.

Thanks to everyone for the time invested in looking at it all, the comments, and the encouragement.


Comments from the Editors on the Arbiters Scheme

Post 5

Tube - the being being back for the time being

Exactly how I feel, Rob. smiley - erm Longer posting coming up...


Comments from the Editors on the Arbiters Scheme

Post 6

Tube - the being being back for the time being

Hi Eds!
Time for commenting the comments:

" that this scheme is put into place as a Community-driven idea, and if it proves to be a popular and important scheme, then we can examine the benefits of making it official. Or, in short, prove to us that this scheme works and that the Community really wants it, and we'll seriously look at making it official."
Popular? That's the one thing the scheme is not s'posed to be smiley - winkeye People should just get along, without the need of mediation. A bit difficult to show that the community really wants it. Say we run it for two months and only a single case comes before the Mediators. Does that mean the community does not accept it, or does it mean that they're all nice to one another? If we try the community driven thing we would require a massive amount of advertising. Word of mouth's not effective enough, I fear. Would youse be willing to give the scheme front-page-time?


"... but should instead say that only those with lots of Community experience will be considered." ("and you'd know they were excellent within a couple of months")
That would mean that someone would have to decide who is experienced. Who is to decide that? The Arbiter Development Team? No way, IMO. It's our brainchild but it's not our toy. Or should we have everybody vote for who's experienced and then who of the experienced people should be a Arbiter? Or should just everybody be allowed to run for Arbiter-cy? Give us an objective measure for "lots of community experience". Unless there is such an objective measure someone will have to decide based upon subjective decisions. And such a subjective decision as to who is allowed to run for a seat is something *I* don't want.


"As we're sure you'd agree, we'd much rather look on mediation as the best solution, with arbitration only being used as the absolute last resort"
Yup. smiley - smiley That's how the scheme is set up.


"If mediation happens *outside* of h2g2, say via email or ICQ, then it must be made clear to all parties that this will then *not* be bound ay any of the rules of h2g2, and is nothing to do with h2g2 itself in terms of liability, privacy issues and so on. Arbiters must make it clear anyway that they are *not* working on behalf of the staff or the BBC, and this is especially important when discussion is held off-site, as the normal rules and disclaimers will not apply."
Obviously. smiley - ok


"You say "At any time during the proceedings, the Arbiter or the disputants can... escalate it to Arbitration". However, shouldn't this be the case only if *all* parties agree that it should go to Arbitration, ..."
Well, it reads "the disputants" not "any of the disputants" or "a disputant", thus it would mean that the disputants (i.e. all disputants) must agree. Does your phrase "all parties" include Arbiters?


"... otherwise it is easy for one party to push for Arbitration when the other party is being really reasonable and would much rather work towards a mediation."
If that should happen there is little one can do except than abort the mediation. If a party does not want to mediate, there will be no mediation.


"We will not consider any suggestions from Arbiters as to "punitive measures" (C.6)"
We saw that coming. smiley - winkeye


"and it seems to us that this is a perfect invitation to even more flaming, especially if the reason that Arbitration has been refused is because the other person doesn't want the Arbiters sticking their noses into their discussion (in their eyes)."
A very valid point that.smiley - ok


Now, that's it for a short commenting. I guess the ADT will hold some private conversation to consider what will have to be changed to come up with a Editor-Approved Community-Run Version.

And yeah, what about that trial period Rob mentioned?

smiley - cheers
Tube


Comments from the Editors on the Arbiters Scheme

Post 7

a girl called Ben

Can I suggest that the ADT does hold some off-site discussions, but that the team is expanded in order to do so?

I am disappearing for a few weeks, (nothing bad), and I am sure that other members would have things to say.

*making the suggestion in the blissful knowledge that she won't need to implement it*

agcB


Comments from the Editors on the Arbiters Scheme

Post 8

Tube - the being being back for the time being

Yes. we should mull this over off-site.
TTFN
TTYL
TUBE


Comments from the Editors on the Arbiters Scheme

Post 9

7rob7: Give Me Love (Give Me Peace On Earth)

Mull, mull, mull...

Ok - let's go back to our email 'forum' for the restructuring, but I think we'll still be getting lots of good input here and around, so Don't Nobody Think We Ain't Paying Attention Anymore, You Hear Me?!!

We knew this was going to be the hard nut to crack (the 'need' bit), and it's true that situations for which an Arbiter would be the perfect solution are few and far between - that's one of the great things about h2g2 - but I, for one, stand by my opinion that the Arpeggio banning (and possibly the others - I wasn't around then) would definitely have turned out differently and much less acrimoniously had there been someone to intercede before pie hit face. As Colonel Sellers put it best in the 'Lifetime etc.' thread, we are working to 'save' the *next* LeKZ.

Given what I perceived as a huge influx of new members right after the 9/11 'event' - we're now at 90,000 and counting smiley - wow - there might maybe could be who knows what if a situation in the future needing a LIVR tenderizer before the barbeque got started. I'd hate for things to get so irreversible so quickly again. (Granted, there wasn't a Modest Proposal then, but - at the risk of repeating myself again and again - the Arbiter would likely prevent anything getting to that point.)

Sorry to babble - this is all flowing out of my fingers as I wave them over the keyboard. I should go get a band-aid or something...

Back to mulling.

-7r7


Comments from the Editors on the Arbiters Scheme

Post 10

The H2G2 Editors

Hi Tube.

Comments on the comments on the comments... smiley - smiley

"Popular? That's the one thing the scheme is not s'posed to be smiley - winkeye People should just get along, without the need of mediation. A bit difficult to show that the community really wants it. Say we run it for two months and only a single case comes before the Mediators. Does that mean the community does not accept it, or does it mean that they're all nice to one another? If we try the community driven thing we would require a massive amount of advertising. Word of mouth's not effective enough, I fear. Would youse be willing to give the scheme front-page-time?"

Setting up official schemes takes a *lot* of work, which is why it's important to demonstrate a need before embarking on them. The Subs, Aces, Scouts, Gurus and so on all fell out of the design for editorial processes, a need for 'official' nice people, a need for improved customer support and so on. The need came first, as it should here, but let's look at how that need has been demonstrated once it *has* been demonstrated - which may be by lots of Community support following just one successful case, of course. We could link to it from other, more relevant places, though.

As for the Front Page, the only completely Community-led scheme that gets on the Front Page is The Post, and that only happened after a year and a half of publication... so that's a 'No' at this stage, we're afraid.

smiley - popcorn

"That would mean that someone would have to decide who is experienced. Who is to decide that? The Arbiter Development Team? No way, IMO. It's our brainchild but it's not our toy. Or should we have everybody vote for who's experienced and then who of the experienced people should be a Arbiter? Or should just everybody be allowed to run for Arbiter-cy? Give us an objective measure for "lots of community experience". Unless there is such an objective measure someone will have to decide based upon subjective decisions. And such a subjective decision as to who is allowed to run for a seat is something *I* don't want."

But doesn't it say in III.E.2: "Arbiters shall be both nominated and then elected by the Community"? So isn't it the Community who decides, from the start? Perhaps it would work if the Community also decided what "active and visible" meant, as well as "lots of community experience"? Just a thought.

BTW, while the nine months limit is obviously non-subjective, aren't a lot of the other criteria subjective? Your section in III.A is a good list, but objectively defining things like the "common good of the Community" is a real minefield! smiley - erm

smiley - popcorn

"Well, it reads "the disputants" not "any of the disputants" or "a disputant", thus it would mean that the disputants (i.e. all disputants) must agree. Does your phrase "all parties" include Arbiters?"

Whoops! We interpreted "the Arbiter or the disputants can... escalate it to Arbitration" to mean that the Arbiter could choose arbitration even if the disputants ween't interested. We'd envisage that at the least the disputants need to agree to arbitration, so perhaps this could be slightly reworded to be less ambiguous?


Comments from the Editors on the Arbiters Scheme

Post 11

a girl called Ben

Hi

Not going to say much on this one, except on the subject of community need.

You guys obviously see a far wider range of the community than any (?) individual researcher does or can. (Although one of the things which came out of September 11th was a sudden cross-fertilization of researchers, as we all came out of our individual playgrounds and met each other in the Talking Point threads).

smiley - peacedovesmiley - peacedovesmiley - peacedove

However...
However, however...

smiley - peacedovesmiley - peacedovesmiley - peacedove

I am going to ask a simple and fairly sharp-angled question.

Is it not possible that if the Arbiter scheme had been in place that LeKZ would have continued to alter her behaviour so that she was still here, that Playboy Reporter need not have left and returned with a new ID, and that Barton and Hoovooloo would still be here?

Please note that this is NOT a rhetorical question - I think it is actually quite probable that they would be here; and I would like to know if you guys think I am day-dreaming, or if you think I may be - not wrong - about this.

Ok Barton and HVL did not leave immediately following LeKZ's ban, but I am reasonably certain that HVL left as a result of the fall-out from that ban, and that it contributed to Barton's leaving too.

So I at least can think of 3 individuals who might still be contributing to the site if such a scheme had been in place.

As is said way back in the Lifetime suspension thread: this is NOT about LeKZ, it is about the NeXT researchers to find themselves in the midst of a baying mob. The LeKZ situation was not just about LeKZ, it was about the reactions within h2g2, too.

So the Arbiter proposal is about prevention, not cure.

smiley - peacedovesmiley - peacedovesmiley - peacedove

Getting near to my second question.

You say: "Setting up official schemes takes a *lot* of work, which is why it's important to demonstrate a need before embarking on them. The Subs, Aces, Scouts, Gurus and so on all fell out of the design for editorial processes, a need for 'official' nice people, a need for improved customer support and so on. The need came first, as it should here, but let's look at how that need has been demonstrated once it *has* been demonstrated - which may be by lots of Community support following just one successful case, of course. We could link to it from other, more relevant places, though."

I am going to repeat something here which you emphasise: "let's look at how that need has been demonstrated once it *has* been demonstrated." You are quite clear that you don't think it has been demonstrated already.

If 3 researchers leaving does not demonstrate a need, then what does? Does it contribute towards the demonstration of the need in any way? Have we indicated that there might be a need, but not actually demonstrated it? What would constitute 'demonstration' of a need? I gather from context that it isn't simply a number of researchers greater than three who have finally hung up their towels; so what might it be instead?

Please let us know, because we don't want to waste our time, any more than you want to waste yours.

smiley - peacedovesmiley - peacedovesmiley - peacedove

Regards

Ben


Comments from the Editors on the Arbiters Scheme

Post 12

vogonpoet (AViators at A13264670)


My 2 pence:

Need:

IMO need has already been more than amply demonstrated by the LeKZ / PR debacle. Whether that particular situation could have been diffused through arbitration may only be specualted upon, but what seems definite is that the community as a whole would benefit greatly from a scheme such as the ADT have proposed, so that if or when the NexT person comes along, everyone can be assured that a fair way of dealing with such complications is available.

vp





Comments from the Editors on the Arbiters Scheme

Post 13

The H2G2 Editors

Hi Ben.

"Is it not possible that if the Arbiter scheme had been in place that LeKZ would have continued to alter her behaviour so that she was still here, that Playboy Reporter need not have left and returned with a new ID, and that Barton and Hoovooloo would still be here?"

It's possible, but actually the reason that you're only able to pick out a handful of people who have left (for various reasons, some of which we don't know!) is because of the great work the Community Team and the Community do in keeping people happy. The vast majority of the time people don't get banned and arguments calm down, and all this without an Arbiters scheme.

So no, we don't think it would have made that much difference in any of these cases, or the countless others in which arguments have fizzled out and everyone has chilled out naturally. And the Modest Proposal will have a *lot* more effect than this scheme on calming the "fall-out from that ban" that you mention as a possible cause for some of these people leaving.

"I am going to repeat something here which you emphasise: "let's look at how that need has been demonstrated once it *has* been demonstrated." You are quite clear that you don't think it has been demonstrated already."

That's true - nothing in the Arbiters proposal made us think "yeah, this would sort things out!" which is why we recommend you implement the scheme and see what the Community thinks about it, in action. Until then, we can argue until the cows come home about whether it will have this effect or that effect, but neither of us can prove anything, as it's all speculation. smiley - sadface

"Have we indicated that there might be a need, but not actually demonstrated it?"

You've indicated that you think there is a need, and until some kind of practical demonstration has been concluded sucessfully, it's just your opinion. It might be right, it might be wrong, but so far the Community's reaction has not been overwhelmingly in favour, so the only way to find out is to try it.

"What would constitute 'demonstration' of a need?"

If you can prove that this scheme will:

(a) Be welcomed by the majority of h2g2 Researchers
(b) Help to prevent good Community members from leaving h2g2
(c) Not cause any negative effects

then you're on the right track.

Good luck! smiley - ok


Comments from the Editors on the Arbiters Scheme

Post 14

The H2G2 Editors

Hi vp.

"IMO need has already been more than amply demonstrated by the LeKZ / PR debacle. Whether that particular situation could have been diffused through arbitration may only be specualted upon, but what seems definite is that the community as a whole would benefit greatly from a scheme such as the ADT have proposed, so that if or when the NexT person comes along, everyone can be assured that a fair way of dealing with such complications is available."

But isn't this purely your own opinion? Not that we're saying it isn't correct, but you use phrases like:

"IMO"
"may only be specualted upon"
"seems definite"

and then make a claim that speaks for the whole Community ("the community as a whole would benefit greatly").

This is why we won't go with this scheme until it has been proven to be a good thing; there is lots of opinion and speculation here, but precious little proof of concept, and not a great deal of comment from the rest of the Community...

And we're not saying that you can't do it either! Just that until we are as convinced as you that it's essential, it won't be an official scheme.


Comments from the Editors on the Arbiters Scheme

Post 15

Tube - the being being back for the time being

Hi there!

"The vast majority of the time people don't get banned and arguments calm down, and all this without an Arbiters scheme."
People write entries and they get officially approved of, all this without the help of Peer Review. People find their way into the community, all this without ACEs. And so on and so forth... No doubt this site would technically work without a lot of "services" offered here. Question is whether the running of this site can be improved.

"Oh, look, there are Hooligans on the loose! They have a street fight with the Punks!" - "Don't worry, it'll fizzle out and everyone will chill out naturally."



"If you can prove that this scheme will:
(a) Be welcomed by the majority of h2g2 Researchers
(b) Help to prevent good Community members from leaving h2g2
(c) Not cause any negative effects
then you're on the right track."

-> a) The majority of the 90,000 registered, or the about 4,000 dropping in each month? The 4,000 I take it. *How* can we prove that 2,001 users like the scheme? Have all of them cast a vote, we could do that, it's happening at the Great Marmite Poll... about 100 people voted in about 6 weeks, thus proving the approvement would take us about 100 weeks, not counting new members. This there *any* thread with more than 1000 different Users contributing (apart from the DNA memorial threads)?
Your option a) does not really sound feasible to me. Sorry. smiley - erm

-> b) "Ok, Researchers X and Y, I'm glad this mediation proceeding has been brought to a amicable understanding. Just for our statistics, would either of you have left H2G2 had it not been for this proceeding?" (provided that X and Y are 'good' members of the community) How many 'yes' would we need?

-> c) How do we prove a negative?
"Look, the business you're doing has a negative effect! Researcher X left!" - "No, the effect is positive, only one left, all the others are still here!" Who's right?

Regards
Tube


Comments from the Editors on the Arbiters Scheme

Post 16

Tube - the being being back for the time being

Is there a community-run scheme/service which you would put the official stamp upon? That would give us some indication of we'd have to strive for.


Comments from the Editors on the Arbiters Scheme

Post 17

Tube - the being being back for the time being

"the Arbiter or the disputants can... escalate it to Arbitration"

While it would be against the system of mediation (i.e. the Arbiter cannot impose anthing), I, too, feel that it should be re-worded to " the disputants can... escalate it to Arbitration".

Comments, ADT?


Comments from the Editors on the Arbiters Scheme

Post 18

7rob7: Give Me Love (Give Me Peace On Earth)

Couple tangential thingies:

If it would make any difference, Italics, I *think* Tube was referring to the (revised) scheme being presented as a 'Talking Point' on the Front Page, not as a standing link. It's a PR device (?) we've talked about amongst ourselves.

Tube has started a Yahoo Group for those who wish to participate in the redevelopment of this scheme prior to the 'trial launch'. Stay tuned for further announcements as to whether we think this is ultimately the best way to go.

Unsubstantiated claims department - not to 'nickel and dime' the thing to death, but I seem to remember that at least two other researchers 'left the building' fulltime in the initial wake of the Arpeggio Apocalypse. Fenny and agcB (and me, a little) all took time off to determine whether or not to stick around, and I don't think I'm over-reaching too far to wonder if Willem's situation wasn't aggravated in some small way by what may have been perceived on hir part as a contentious community.

(I realize how thin the ice is under that last statement, but it's been on my speculatin' mind, and now it's not.)

But I doubt compiling a 'complete' list of 'Those Who Might Still Be Here' would accomplish much other than nitpicking. The gauntlet has been tossed. The Black Knight fights on sans limbs, and album sales by John Lennon, Eva Cassidy and Elvis continue to climb.

As we say in my trade - and mean it: 'Oh well, back to the drawing board'. There's always another show.

-7r7


Comments from the Editors on the Arbiters Scheme

Post 19

Tube - the being being back for the time being

"If it would make any difference, Italics, I *think* Tube was referring to the (revised) scheme being presented as a 'Talking Point' on the Front Page, not as a standing link."

Quite correct, Rob. smiley - smiley


Comments from the Editors on the Arbiters Scheme

Post 20

The H2G2 Editors

Tube: "No doubt this site would technically work without a lot of "services" offered here. Question is whether the running of this site can be improved."

The answer to the latter question is, of course, "yes", but in millions of different ways. The trick, then, is to pick the ways that have the most beneficial effect when compared to the effort required to set up that scheme (as resources are finite).

To be mathematical for a minute, the best question to ask is: "Is it worth putting effort x into a scheme given that the return is y?" With this scheme nobody yet knows what x is (though in our experience it won't be small) and y hasn't been demonstrated, so nobody can answer that question yet. That's why we're asking for more information, typically resulting from a trial, which will help us to determine what x and y are.

smiley - popcorn

Tube: ""Oh, look, there are Hooligans on the loose! They have a street fight with the Punks!" - "Don't worry, it'll fizzle out and everyone will chill out naturally.""

Thing is, who's to say the last bit couldn't read:

"Oh no, here come the Arbitration Police sticking their noses in. All hell's going to break loose!"

Until we've seen the scheme in action, who knows what the reaction will be?

smiley - popcorn

Tube: "Your option a) does not really sound feasible to me. Sorry."

Perhaps rewording the introductory sentence to the following would help: "If you can persuade the Editors that this scheme will:"

It's not proof that's required, you just need to convince us...

smiley - popcorn

Tube: "Is there a community-run scheme/service which you would put the official stamp upon? That would give us some indication of we'd have to strive for."

Nothing springs to mind at the moment, no. Sorry.

smiley - popcorn

7rob7: "If it would make any difference, Italics, I *think* Tube was referring to the (revised) scheme being presented as a 'Talking Point' on the Front Page, not as a standing link. It's a PR device (?) we've talked about amongst ourselves."

Talking Point is aimed at newbies as a way for them to join in the Community without having to write huge entries. This is not the sort of thing we'd consider for a Talking Point...

Posting an announcement to the Community Soapbox would be a far more effective way of getting the right people interested.


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