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Old Dec 17, 10, 9:22 am   #1
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Proposed amend TB guidelines: TB members take leave of absence from moderator duty

I propose that the talkboard guidelines be amended to require TB members to take a leave of absence from their moderation duties while they serve on the TB.

I further propose that the TB recommend to the TB Host that the TB President and Vice-President be made liaison to the moderator corps, and be granted access to moderator forums and meetings.

Among the reasons I think this is a good idea:

- TB is meant to represent the posters. While moderators are also posters, moderators experience FT in a VERY different way than posters. It's not a perfect analogy, but generally their perspective is that of an employee rather than a customer. I for one would prefer that a customer focus group be made up of customers rather than a mix of customers and employees, even if the employees use the service as often as many customers. After all, even though flight attendants fly may more than 1ks both while working and on SA, an airline customer focus group would never include flight attendants. Their perspective is simply different.

Specifically, by splitting duties between TB and moderator a person may have divided loyalties and/or a conflict of interest. Not that they DO, but they COULD. For example: mega-threads. A moderator may find that creating mega-threads is a simple and easy way to moderate a forum. But the TB could conceivably propose recommending that mega-threads be discouraged (I personally think mega-threads are destroying the user experience). A moderator would have to weigh their desire to have an easy way to moderate and save themselves time against the customer's desire to discourage mega-threads via their TB representatives. Such conflicts are easily avoided by having the TB be purely customer-focused.

- The TB is increasingly ceding authority to moderators to make recommendations for FT. I believe this is happening because moderator members of TB see moderators corps discussion issues and taking action so do not feel the need for the TB to weigh in on issues. By creating an actual separation of powers, TB members will only have the perspective of the user experience to guide their actions and recommendations, independent from the actions and decisions of the moderator corps.

- There are many people who desire to serve and only so many slots to go 'round. It's grand to see so many titles under a single person's name, but it would be better to see fewer titles under more people's names.

- Clearly there should be coordination between moderators and the TB. Hence my suggestion that the TB recommend that the president and vp/s represent the tb to the moderator corps on an ongoing basis.

I think this proposal would re-invigorate the TB and make to more focused on the customer/poster experience.
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Old Dec 17, 10, 9:34 am   #2
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I don't support this proposal.

Every moderator started out here on FlyerTalk as a member, just like everyone. One usually spends considerable time as a member before volunteering to moderate. I don't buy into the assertion that some magic transformation occurs once that happens that makes the member no longer see things as other members do (i.e. different perspective as the OP hypothesizes). If anything, it may give them an added perspective which can be a asset, rather than a liability.

TalkBoard sometimes asks moderators for their opinions on matters and rightly so. Their perspective can be quite valuable when it comes to issues concerning a forum or creation/alteration/deletion of a (similar) forum. The moderators of a forum quite probably spend the most amount of time in a given forum and can offer very valuable insights to that forum and its operations.

The TalkBoard officers are selected by the TalkBoard. Their position has nothing to do with moderation. The moderators are selected by the host. The current host has stated time and time again (though some have have chosen to try to shout down the host on this and select other issues) that TalkBoard is not to involve itself in moderation. In January, SanDiego1K will become Community Director. I do not presume to speak for her, but the decision as to whether this policy will continue is hers to make. I do not plan to support a motion that attempts to change the current host's wishes, i.e. attempt to plant the TalkBoard officers into the moderators' forum.

The decision as to whether moderators can serve on TalkBoard does and should continue to lie squarely with the members who vote for their TalkBoard representatives. There hasn't been an all-moderator or all-non-moderator slate of candidates that I can remember. There is usually a large number of candidates to select 4 or 5 representatives from as well.
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Last edited by Spiff; Dec 17, 10 at 9:50 am.
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Old Dec 17, 10, 9:42 am   #3
 
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I have complete and absolute support for kokonutz's proposal, and with his permission, would like to introduce it as a motion to TalkBoard once it has run its course of discussion here.
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Old Dec 17, 10, 9:44 am   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kokonutz View Post
moderatoeration
Is that when a moderator makes a "foot in the mouth" moderating decision??

Seriously, I don't have any real strong feelings one way or the other over your proposal.

On one hand I think that, as in any election, we should leave who's being elected up to the voters.

On the other hand I do think that TB should be composed of typical members and I do agree that moderators probably do not experience FT the same as most other members. Whether that makes them better or worse TB members is a matter open for debate.

I'll be interested to read the comments here both pro and con.
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Old Dec 17, 10, 9:52 am   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spiff View Post
I don't support this proposal.

Every moderator started out here on FlyerTalk as a member, just like everyone. One usually spends considerable time as a member before volunteering to moderate. I don't buy into the assertion that some magic transformation occurs once that happens that makes the member no longer see things as other members do (i.e. different perspective as the OP hypothesizes). If anything, it may give them an added perspective which can be a asset, rather than a liability.
Agree. I don't see the purpose served by creating two types of members who can and cannot hold office. If TB is open to one it should be open to all.
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Old Dec 17, 10, 10:14 am   #6
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Originally Posted by tcook052 View Post
Agree. I don't see the purpose served by creating two types of members who can and cannot hold office. If TB is open to one it should be open to all.
I do not support restricting who can run for TB. I support requiring that one serve in one branch of FT administration at a time. One should not be a sitting judge AND a legislator at the same time. A judge should take a leave of absence from the bench while serving as a legislator.

Spiff, I completely disagree with you that moderators and regular posters experience FT in the same way, or that moderators have an 'enhanced' user experience. I expected this knee-jerk reaction from moderators/TB members, frankly. Question: how the heck do you know?! When was the last time you experienced FT as only a poster?

Further, it is the duty of the TB to make RECOMMENDATIONS to the TB host. He or she is by no means bound by them. But the TB's job is to make recommendations to improve the FT user experience. I strongly believe this recommendation would.

B747, by all means, go for it.
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Old Dec 17, 10, 10:18 am   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kokonutz View Post
Question: how the heck do you know?! When was the last time you experienced FT as only a poster?
TalkBoard representatives are also members first. I volunteered to serve on TalkBoard in 2002.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kokonutz View Post
Further, it is the duty of the TB to make RECOMMENDATIONS to the TB host. He or she is by no means bound by them. But the TB's job is to make recommendations to improve the FT user experience. I strongly believe this recommendation would.
Recommendations, yes. Good recommendations. I don't believe this is a good recommendation for reasons listed above in post #2.
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Old Dec 17, 10, 10:26 am   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spiff View Post
TalkBoard representatives are also members first. I volunteered to serve on TalkBoard in 2002.



Recommendations, yes. Good recommendations. I don't believe this is a good recommendation for reasons listed above in post #2.
Yes, members FIRST. But NOT member only. A FA has a vastly different perspective on being a customer on the airline he or she works for. A VASTLY different perspective. And you've had that different experience for over 8 years!

What's wrong with asking our TB members to experience FT the same way that the people they represent do while they serve on the TB?
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Old Dec 17, 10, 10:42 am   #9
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Originally Posted by kokonutz View Post
Yes, members FIRST. But NOT member only. A FA has a vastly different perspective on being a customer on the airline he or she works for. A VASTLY different perspective. And you've had that different experience for over 8 years!
TalkBoard vs. Non-TalkBoard FlyerTalker: It's not a VASTLY different perspective just because you say it is and/or use CAPITALS.

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Originally Posted by kokonutz View Post
What's wrong with asking our TB members to experience FT the same way that the people they represent do while they serve on the TB?
I don't think anyone should be restricted to one volunteer position and that the voters should be free to choose for themselves who represents them.

To use your wacky example above, should an FA not be allowed to fly revenue?
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Old Dec 17, 10, 10:56 am   #10
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Quote:
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To use your wacky example above, should an FA not be allowed to fly revenue?
Sure they can fly revenue. But they should not be participating in customer surveys or focus groups. Becaue they do not have a customer perspective. They have a customer perspective through the lens of an employee.

Quote:
I don't think anyone should be restricted to one volunteer position and that the voters should be free to choose for themselves who represents them.
I agree. They can elect anyone they want. But those elected, once elected, should be required to have the same perspective of FT that the people they represent do, not the perspective of someone whose pririties are split between the user experience and the moderator experience.
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Old Dec 17, 10, 10:58 am   #11
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Originally Posted by kokonutz View Post
Sure they can fly revenue. But they should not be participating in customer surveys or focus groups. Becaue they do not have a customer perspective. They have a customer perspective through the lens of an employee.
Nonetheless, if the passengers on a given flight were asked to select representatives, it should be up to the passengers to select whomever they wish.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kokonutz View Post
I agree. They can elect anyone they want. But those elected, once elected, should be required to have the same perspective of FT that the people they represent do.
I don't agree. If that were the case, the voters could mandate that their candidate step down from other duties before voting for that candidate. And voters should be able to select someone with an added perspective of moderation or otherwise if they choose to do so.
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Old Dec 17, 10, 12:24 pm   #12
 
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should an FA not be allowed to fly revenue?
Not if they are already operating the same flight.
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Old Dec 17, 10, 12:37 pm   #13
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Not if they are already operating the same flight.
It's a pretty poor analogy anyway. My position remains firm: it should be up to the members of FlyerTalk who represents them on TalkBoard, regardless of what volunteer position(s) such representatives hold and continue to hold.

If a FlyerTalk member has a problem with moderators representing them, then the solution is simple: don't vote for moderators. In all elections that I can recall, it was possible for one to cast all of one's votes for non-moderator candidates. One can even choose to vote for fewer candidates than the maximum.
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Old Dec 17, 10, 1:26 pm   #14
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Originally Posted by kokonutz View Post
I do not support restricting who can run for TB.
No, though how many Mod.'s would step away from that role to run for TB? Would it cause some to give TB a pass leaving the membership poorer for their lost insights and experience?

Sorry, I'll repeat my opinion that it's a slipperly slope to start legislating who can and who cannot hold office and not a change I'd be in favor of. MHO and YMMV.
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Old Dec 17, 10, 11:40 pm   #15
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I have to say that whilst I laud your aim of 'reinvigoration TB' I don't think this is how to do it. The problem with the current TB appears to be that there are two groups - those who believe everything is fine in our little world, and those that would like to see some changes.

This split is not along Mod/non-Mod TB member lines.

The current TB hasn't even been able to appoint a new liaison with the Mod Team since Spiff became VP! I think this tells you something about the view of TB about the Mod Team and liaison.

That we had a contested election for President of TB (and VP) this year should indicate that there is discontent about the way things have been run. I suspect that with annual elections, it may take several years before we can build up enough TB members who favour some changes, to out vote the members who see everything as fine. I fear this proposal will not achieve what you want.
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