Women's Section Last Post (see what I've done there)?

Anything about use of this forum : NOT about cycling
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Si
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Re: Women's Section Last Post (see what I've done there)?

Postby Si » 26 Mar 2015, 4:31pm

I'm perfectly happy to move the thread to the section about the forum itself - I'd missed your previous request to move it, but I agree with you that it would be a more fitting place...no doubt others won't...that's the nature of life - some of the people some of the time etc.

When will the moderators please take some active steps to improve the conditions throughout the forum, instead of what I feel is basically telling us to be happy that minorities have been granted enclaves?


I think that you have to accept that everyone has a different idea of what an improvement might be - if the moderators did what every single user suggested then the forum would be a shambles no matter how well intentioned those suggestions were. You have certain views on this area of the forum, another person might have completely opposite views - should moderators always choose to follow your view, even if it proves to be in the minority?

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Re: Women's Section Last Post (see what I've done there)?

Postby Bicycler » 26 Mar 2015, 4:44pm

Old territory this isn't it? My views haven't changed from the original threads. I feel that the most inclusive way of reaching out to those 'overawed' (and, like Geoff and mjr, I know that feeling) would be to have a beginners (no such thing as a silly question) section of the forum.

Trying to stick to facts, I think the women's section has been successful as a collection of topics relevant to female cyclists: women's bikes, women's events, women's clothing and saddles etc. In this respect it functions like the "too good to lose" section or the various special interests sections(cycle training; mountain biking; tandems, recumbents etc). It seems that some of the women who use the forum find this section a useful resource.

OTOH, it has clearly failed to have the other desired effect of attracting new female posters to the forum who would otherwise be dissuaded by the perceived male-dominance of the other forum sections. Regular posters within this section also post elsewhere on the forum and were AFAIK all members before the existence of the section. The few maiden posters have posted about women-specific issues which indicates that they have been posted in the women's section because it was the most appropriate forum rather than due to a hesitance to post elsewhere.
pjclinch wrote:For some values of "ghetto" and "ineffective". If you just go by volume of post then e.g. the National Standards Training is an "ineffective ghetto", but as one of the few people using it I find it useful. As a couple of the people this area is specifically not aimed at I don't think we're in a position to judge if it's either of the things you've decided it is.

Unfortunately the section doesn't appear to have brought in any new members to ask! We could wait around a decade or so for a small group of regular female posters to develop who had all posted first in this section and then their views could be taken. Unfortunately that might just be a very biased sample. I think we can objectively look at the quantity and type of participation and say that it has not drawn in new members on anything like the scale anticipated. Nor has a community developed of women who were reluctant to post elsewhere.

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Si
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Re: Women's Section Last Post (see what I've done there)?

Postby Si » 26 Mar 2015, 4:51pm

would be to have a beginners (no such thing as a silly question) section of the forum.


Perhaps we should have another think about that.

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Re: Women's Section Last Post (see what I've done there)?

Postby Psamathe » 26 Mar 2015, 5:05pm

Si wrote:
would be to have a beginners (no such thing as a silly question) section of the forum.


Perhaps we should have another think about that.

For the aims of the "Women's Section" I think that a beginners section instead would be far more successful and far more inclusive.

Ian

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Re: Women's Section Last Post (see what I've done there)?

Postby pjclinch » 27 Mar 2015, 10:07am

mjr wrote:When will the moderators please take some active steps to improve the conditions throughout the forum, instead of what I feel is basically telling us to be happy that minorities have been granted enclaves?


I guess when there's infinitesimally thin and perfectly sharp lines between what's bad and what's good so it will be clear what the "right" active steps are.

I moderate another cycling group elsewhere, and for the most part it's not a problem at all, but every then and now you get someone posting right in to the fuzzy grey area between good and bad (sometimes I suspect this is deliberate, other times not) and then you find that you're damned if you do and damned if you don't. One person's "active improvements" are another's "targeted vandalism". As someone doing a much lower traffic thing because someone has to I am aware it's generally a thankless task. I think our mods do a good job, and I thank them for it.

There is no perfect way to run a system like a large forum. Some people like enclaves (as long as they're not forced to use them instead of better alternatives, c.f. cycle facilities), others don't. Having them or not is simply not a universal right/wrong.

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Re: Women's Section Last Post (see what I've done there)?

Postby mjr » 27 Mar 2015, 5:57pm

pjclinch wrote:
mjr wrote:When will the moderators please take some active steps to improve the conditions throughout the forum, instead of what I feel is basically telling us to be happy that minorities have been granted enclaves?


I guess when there's infinitesimally thin and perfectly sharp lines between what's bad and what's good so it will be clear what the "right" active steps are.

OK, so leaving the enclaves question aside, what are reasons not to explicitly prohibit the usual offensive "-ism"s in the forum's conditions of use, then?

Si wrote:I'd missed your previous request to move it

Are moderator decisions recorded somewhere? Is it a lottery which moderator we get and what decision they take?
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Re: Women's Section Last Post (see what I've done there)?

Postby Bicycler » 28 Mar 2015, 12:03pm

mjr wrote:
pjclinch wrote:
mjr wrote:When will the moderators please take some active steps to improve the conditions throughout the forum, instead of what I feel is basically telling us to be happy that minorities have been granted enclaves?


I guess when there's infinitesimally thin and perfectly sharp lines between what's bad and what's good so it will be clear what the "right" active steps are.

OK, so leaving the enclaves question aside, what are reasons not to explicitly prohibit the usual offensive "-ism"s in the forum's conditions of use, then?

The terms are too ill-defined and accusations too easily bandied about to silence legitimate debate on contentious topics. In truth we don't currently have a problem with overt sexism, racism etc etc. on the forum and I trust the mods to use their discretion to act if a situation arose where somebody's comments were causing unreasonable offence

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Re: Women's Section Last Post (see what I've done there)?

Postby pjclinch » 28 Mar 2015, 12:17pm

mjr wrote:
pjclinch wrote:
mjr wrote:When will the moderators please take some active steps to improve the conditions throughout the forum, instead of what I feel is basically telling us to be happy that minorities have been granted enclaves?


I guess when there's infinitesimally thin and perfectly sharp lines between what's bad and what's good so it will be clear what the "right" active steps are.

OK, so leaving the enclaves question aside, what are reasons not to explicitly prohibit the usual offensive "-ism"s in the forum's conditions of use, then?


Bicycler has covered my thoughts pretty well on this.

mjr wrote:
Si wrote:I'd missed your previous request to move it

Are moderator decisions recorded somewhere? Is it a lottery which moderator we get and what decision they take?


I cannot answer this directly since I don't moderate CTC's system, but my feeling from being a volunteer mod elsewhere is if you want a freely available bureaucracy trail and group discussions between all mods on all decisions then you'll make a lot of dull work for people who aren't being paid to do it. It's a cycling discussion forum provided as a freebie, not a formally copper-bottomed debating space with rigid rules, and if you want the latter then you shouldn't expect anyone to bother doing it for free.

We mustn't forget that "if you don't like it, vote with your feet" applies to the people providing the service as well as those using it.

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Re: Women's Section Last Post (see what I've done there)?

Postby mjr » 28 Mar 2015, 9:41pm

I'm a volunteer mod elsewhere but the mods do talk to each other and make notes on our actions, just in case there's any challenge later. There isn't a choice only between moderator lottery and tight rules with nothing between.

There are ways to deal with whether something is or isn't offensive. I know this forum has no problem with "sexism, racism, etc etc" and I think that should be tackled by updating the conditions to make it less intimidating.
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Re: Women's Section Last Post (see what I've done there)?

Postby Graham » 29 Mar 2015, 10:44am

mjr wrote:Are moderator decisions recorded somewhere?

In general - No.
Occasionally a Mod may leave a note behind to scenes to inform other Mods about a certain event/case and consequent action taken.

This is a matter of judgment / convenience / necessity according the situation.

If there is any move towards adopting a formal process or imposition from "elsewhere", that will be the end of my interest here.

mjr wrote:Is it a lottery which moderator we get and what decision they take?

Yes. Although as you can see this can result in a change of result.

We do discuss matters behind the scenes when necessary.

Overall you find the moderation is as you find it. Hopefully good enough, but we are all open-minded enough to learn and change our minds.

As for clear objectives and targets for various aspects of the forum . . . . . . . you must be joking !! It is only an internet forum.

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Re: Women's Section Last Post (see what I've done there)?

Postby Geoff.D » 29 Mar 2015, 12:16pm

Graham wrote:As for clear objectives and targets for various aspects of the forum . . . . . . . you must be joking !! It is only an internet forum.


I understand what you're saying. Getting it all in proportion is important. But whilst it is only an internet forum, it is also a very visible, public face of the CTC. In addition, it's an interactive channel both for members and non-members. In my opinion it's probably the most significant informal communication avenue which both encompasses us as a widespread group, and allows discourse from us on the ground to the powers that be.

It's because the forum is an arm of the CTC, as an organisation, that it's lifted above being simply an internet forum for cyclists. I'd like it to continue to reflect and promote values which I can identify with,thus keeping me a member.

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Re: Women's Section Last Post (see what I've done there)?

Postby Graham » 29 Mar 2015, 1:17pm

Geoff.D. You are right. Points well made.

I oversimplified, with a poor choice of words.
( I delete most of my own posts before they get a public view. )

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Re: Women's Section Last Post (see what I've done there)?

Postby Geoff.D » 29 Mar 2015, 1:50pm

Graham wrote:Geoff.D. You are right. Points well made.

I oversimplified, with a poor choice of words.
( I delete most of my own posts before they get a public view. )


I guessed as much, Graham, which is why I said I understood what you were saying. Actually, I do think the forum has a pretty well balanced outlook. Even this discussion, which includes opposed points of view, is part of the process of maintaining balance and openness (notwithstanding the earlier point that it has probably been dominated by men).

I appreciate the skill and sublety with which moderators respond, not least in that long discussion about the emergence of a women's section.