A Conversation for Ask h2g2

Recovering from Stockholm Syndrome - h2g2 after the BBC

Post 1

Mrs Zen

I am hopeful that the Community Consortium can come up with a workable plan for an independent community-run h2g2. This is not merely a pipe dream but is based on the support they have been offered by hosting companies and the like. So based on that assumption....

What would you like for h2g2 once we are free fom the constraints of the BBC?

I am not talking about tweaks like a LIKE button for posts.  I am not even talking about what feels like radical change, like no longer having Edited entries locked up forever. 

I am thinking in terms of extending the Peer Review process to support music, images and video.  Or producing a Google Maps mash-up so you could browse by location. Or android and iPhone apps so the Guide offered you entries for where you were at the time.  Oh and a site where whoever starts a thread moderates it (which is what happens in blogs right now). Or even - gosh look at me, the iconoclast - breaking down the wall between the EG and the UG and just going for quality.  

All any of this needs is open source code and a strong community with a clear sense of identity. We have the community, and after 12 years we have the sense of identity. I have no reason to think we wont get open source code. (No reason TO think it either, alas, but one can dream). 

So...?

Lets face it the BBCs lack of vision killed us with kindness and prevented us from being what we *should* have been. 

So, if we can stop thinking inside the constraints imposed by our own Stockholm Syndrome what directions would you like to see h2g2 taking?


Recovering from Stockholm Syndrome - h2g2 after the BBC

Post 2

Taff Agent of kaos


a filth filter that only catches the most 'robust' of language

we may want to talk like adults but there is no need for a filth fest

and we don't need the stupidity of the m-uffs fiasco

-------------------

a 5 minute edit button to catch those typos you only see AFTER you hit [post message]

-------------------

a forum where you can debate and question moderators desicions and they can give thier reasons, lets be more open than the BBC

smiley - bat


Recovering from Stockholm Syndrome - h2g2 after the BBC

Post 3

Rod

This is going to take some thinking about.

First impressions:

. extending the Peer Review process to support music, images and video.
. producing a Google Maps mash-up so you could browse by location.
. android and iPhone apps so the Guide offered you entries for where you were at the time.
Wouldn't do much for me - no opposition.

. a site where whoever starts a thread moderates it (which is what happens in blogs right now).
Need to know more, can see pros and a con

. breaking down the wall between the EG and the UG and just going for quality.
A cautious yes... no, take that as a Yes


Watching


Recovering from Stockholm Syndrome - h2g2 after the BBC

Post 4

LL Waz

Stockholm Syndrome smiley - biggrin, that's brilliant.

Bring back languages other than English, true worldwide-ness again.

No filter at all, back to reactive moderation only.

Quality first in entries, no categorisation, just tags to let people find what they want.

(Got to smiley - run, chickens to feed etc.)


Recovering from Stockholm Syndrome - h2g2 after the BBC

Post 5

Lanzababy - Guide Editor

Being able to post images, music and vids would be great. We are constrained by copyright law, held in check by the BBC. Of course in a newly resurrected h2g2, we would still have to obey legalities. But as long as we have a good enough framework to deal with blatant copyright stuff I'd love to see this option.


smiley - erm Why "extending the Peer Review process to support music, images and video. " though, why not on our Personal Spaces or in threads?


I like the idea of the person starting the thread to moderate it. A full yes for this. I guess there would be another layer above - a sort of Volunteer moderator. The way the ACE's work now is a good model, they are the general good guys around the place - soothing and calming.


Which brings me to suggest that ACE's are still going to be needed. They are very valuable and mostly taken for granted as they work behind the scenes by and large taking newbies under their wings.

I'd like to see emphasis on the UG, but it is so difficult in PR when someone sends in an opinion piece which they believe is destined for the EG. (now "approved entry") For simplicity's sake I think that PR should just stay for one type of Entry: The Guide.

My personal feeling is that the Underguide is wrongly named, calling something the "under" demeans it. Maybe with a more positive connotation the Underguide could rightly take equal place at the table with the Guide. There are so many fantastic pieces of writing in it, I'd like to see more emphasis placed on this, but not to merge it with PR.

However, I can see reason for Scouts and Sub-editors being jointly responsible for both places. And you need to retain the position of Sub-editors. ( I read a suggestion to disband the subbing posts somewhere the other day ) Even with scrupulous attention to the text in PR things do get missed and a fresh pair of eyes before publication often produces better end results.

On the subject of Volunteers, this needs addressing. At the moment there is a continual renewal and updating of the site undertaken by the Curators who are able to edit Entries, revising and correcting - fixing broken links etc. This is a massive task and one which will continue to be necessary as the Guide will need to be kept up to date.

(it's a pity the Guide Revised U14449759 project had such little support)

Yes to retaining a filther, but not a nanny type one.

. . . and I think more things will come to me after some decent smiley - coffee

smiley - zen


Recovering from Stockholm Syndrome - h2g2 after the BBC

Post 6

Taff Agent of kaos

what about the factual guide and the fictional guide

for the guide and underguide

smiley - bat


Recovering from Stockholm Syndrome - h2g2 after the BBC

Post 7

Rod

Taff @2 & me @3 must have been a simpost

Taff' suggestion for a 5 min post-post edit -
NO. If I want to reply to someone, how do I know that an edit will be just typos? It'd be a six-min pause between posts - one of Taff's would be TEN mins smiley - tongueout

Languages - not so sure it would help. How on earth would we cope with a thread in Swahili, on in Russian, one in Polish ...

Entry categorisation - I'll wait for others' opinions.
- -

Moderation is a sticky one: In principle, thread owners backed up by reactive seems ok
but

Do we want it to be a family show? Attract younger users (therefore needing to cope with parents, too)?


Recovering from Stockholm Syndrome - h2g2 after the BBC

Post 8

Mrs Zen

We are a *very* English speaking site, but back in the day a lot of our Germans, Danes and Swedes had minor threads in their own languages.

It would be nice to have Welsh, Irish or Gaelic threads... But realistically that's not likely to happen....

Someone's just published the suggestion of a print edition. With http://www.lulu.com one can do that on a pay per book basis. It would be really good loo reading, much better than most. (Copyright issues there for current content, but I assume that those are part of the discussions the Italics are having with the rest of the BBC right now, so for the perposes of this thread, let's assume they're resolved).


Recovering from Stockholm Syndrome - h2g2 after the BBC

Post 9

Mrs Zen

Again, with under 16s, I think our youngest user was Niwt, who was 12 or 13 at the time.


Recovering from Stockholm Syndrome - h2g2 after the BBC

Post 10

8584330

>Why extending the Peer Review process to support music, images and video. though, why not on our Personal Spaces or in threads?

Some entries might benefit from some audio. For example, I wrote one on yodeling and there's also one on heavy metal distortion.


Recovering from Stockholm Syndrome - h2g2 after the BBC

Post 11

Lanzababy - Guide Editor

(It would be a _very_ big book? but a celebratory edition in hard copy might be a good thing to sell. It might make my Christmas present buying a lot easier next year smiley - laugh)



I'd have no problem with bringing the age limit down a tad. My grandson wants to join - he'll be 13 soon.


Recovering from Stockholm Syndrome - h2g2 after the BBC

Post 12

Lanzababy - Guide Editor

Some entries might benefit from some audio. For example, I wrote one on yodeling and there's also one on heavy metal distortion.


I entirely agree HN. We should be the new all-singing all dancing hootoo smiley - ok

smiley - musicalnote


Recovering from Stockholm Syndrome - h2g2 after the BBC

Post 13

Pit - ( Carpe Diem - Stay in Bed )

Right. And Taff could finally explain how to turn letter soup into friendly gargles (ie speak Welsh).smiley - biggrin


Recovering from Stockholm Syndrome - h2g2 after the BBC

Post 14

kea ~ Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the western spiral arm of the Galaxy lies a small, unregarded but very well read blue and white website

I'm agin the flashing up of the site in general. I like that it's predominantly text only, this is meant to be a writers' site after all.

I also like that it's visually quiet. For me it's like being able to go to a cafe and have the music low enough that me and my friends can converse with ease and don't have to compete with other sounds or shout to be heard (for that reason I think coffee machines should be back in the kitchen smiley - winkeye).

I know that flash (and loud cafe music) creates a certain kind of atmosphere that attracts some people (yoof apparently), but I also know if puts others off.

I can see a case to be made for more pictures in EGEs, and audio in some. Not sure about video.

The other issue for me is that where I live has somewhat slow broadband relative to say London, so lots of flash is always going to run less well and slower. (I'm still not sure why the Eds limited thread length to ten posts per page but I somehow doubt they would have if they has internet at the rate that I do).

I also understand that if we want to grow the site, then AV may make the place more attractive, but I guess this is an issue of where we want the site to go. Do we want to get massive? Or do we want to continue to create something unique and creatively edged? I don't want this place to become massive myself, but I do want it to do well enough that it survives easily.

>>
I am thinking in terms of extending the Peer Review process to support music, images and video. Or producing a Google Maps mash-up so you could browse by location. Or android and iPhone apps so the Guide offered you entries for where you were at the time.
<<

For me the issue here is pace. Can we shift the site, manage the community and do lots of change at the same time? How do we manage that and keep ourselves at the creative edge technology wise? Do we need to be cutting edge tech wise, or is it enough to be a really cool community.

Again, I think this depends on what the site is for ("what is *it* that we are saving?"). The answers to the tech questions should follow that IMO.


Not sure which of the above are mutually exclusive or inclusive.

*

No to a 5 minute edit function. In fast threads, esp the debate ones it would be a nightmare. If you can't use the preview function then too bad smiley - tongueout


*

I'm for the EG being opened up, but I'd like to see categories eg fiction, non-fiction etc. (I know this presents problems).

*

Moderation... I like the idea of the thread-starter moderating, in theory. But I also know how frustrated I've been when everyone goes off into a warner bashing thread and how this depletes other threads. I can see the potential for some threads to get really intense *because* of how they're being moderated and this energy pulling everyone in. If the site were big enough this would be less of a problem.

Can we trial this?

And I agree there probably needs to be another level of moderation somewhere.

*

Other than English languages sounds fine to me. I think there would have to be enough of a community in whatever language though to manage it eg copywrite and libel breaches.








Recovering from Stockholm Syndrome - h2g2 after the BBC

Post 15

kea ~ Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the western spiral arm of the Galaxy lies a small, unregarded but very well read blue and white website

Meant to say in there that some level of increased AV in EGEs makes sense, but I don't want to see it in threads. Not sure about PSs - here the issue for me isn't about nurturing writing but is the visual noise and slow BB.


Recovering from Stockholm Syndrome - h2g2 after the BBC

Post 16

deb - I'm in love with my soup maker & I don't care who knows it

The problem I see with the originator of the thread acting as moderator is that it could be misused to gag opposition to their POV. I know most people here wouldn't do that but there are a few.

Lanzababy, re your comment about calling it the underguide being demeaning, I have to say I never saw it like that. It always seemed like it was slightly cooler than the EG, like an underground resistance. Not less worthy than the EG, just different and perhaps slightly more risque. I should mention this is based purely on the name as I don't get enough time on-line to read anything beyond Ask, a glance at the front page and hopefully a look at smiley - thepost

I agree the age restriction should be lowered. I understand there were some very worthy researchers in their early teens. I doubt the site would be of interest to those much younger than 12 or 13 though.

I thihnk it would be nice for there to be other language places within the site, but I agree the main site should be english* otherwise what's the point? If you can't understand half the posts in a thread, you're not going to stick around for long.

Deb smiley - cheerup

* like it or not, it's the language most foreign speakers learn


Recovering from Stockholm Syndrome - h2g2 after the BBC

Post 17

kea ~ Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the western spiral arm of the Galaxy lies a small, unregarded but very well read blue and white website

That's a good point about moderation, and someone said on the googlegroups that you shouldn't moderate threads you are heavily involved in.


BBC moderations in recent times has often been ridiculous, but in the past it's worked pretty well IMO (apart from the filter, that's a different issue).

What are we moderating for?

- copyright
- libel
- trolling/flaming
- posting identifying information about other people without their permission
- excessive hardcore swearing
- sexist, racist, homophobic etc posts


Recovering from Stockholm Syndrome - h2g2 after the BBC

Post 18

Lanzababy - Guide Editor


>>>For me the issue here is pace. Can we shift the site, manage the community and do lots of change at the same time?


This is a Very Good Point. Well said. The problem about making too many changes at once is that the basis on which we stand can get shifted accidentally. We might throw the baby out with the bathwater (other terrible clinches are available)


Recovering from Stockholm Syndrome - h2g2 after the BBC

Post 19

Lanzababy - Guide Editor

Oh poo, my auto word corrector failed then I wanted an accent on cliché
but it made it into clinches. smiley - sigh


Recovering from Stockholm Syndrome - h2g2 after the BBC

Post 20

Reddy Freddy

If the beginner of the thread becomes moderator, several things can happen: (i) people will not start threads because they think the workload will become too much; (ii) they'll smiley - elvis the thread leaving it unmoderated; (iii) they'll over-moderate the thread. None of these will be an acceptable situation, IMO.

I think we should leave moderation to an acceptable level of post-moderation with an unconnected third party provider, without a swear-filter, and with an appeal procedure *that works* in the event of context-sensitive moderation. I don't think we need a swear filter...we're all grown up enough to be able to express ourselves, and there's always the smiley - bleep smiley. We seem to be able to insult each other enough without recourse to bad language - largely because, as users of this site, our language skills are developed highly enough to insult each other politely smiley - tongueout.

RFsmiley - evilgrin


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