PSA: Staff and You

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Winter, May 3, 2017.

  1. Welcome to another god awful exciting PSA. Within this PSA we'd like to cover a few areas about about how to conduct yourself with the staff and around them when operating on the forums. Now I'd wager you probably already know this stuff already, but it's always a good to cover it again just in case some of you newer folk haven't been updated about a few things. So without holding things up any longer, lets answer some questions!

    "What is the difference between staff and us?"

    Absolutely nothing, we're people just like you are except we have way too much time on our hands and instead of having lives we've decided to dedicate ourselves to helping maintain the site. The red name admittedly is a visual distinction but that is just to distinguish our roles and to help people find the appropriate people if they should find themselves in need of assistance on the site.

    "Really?"

    Yeah, feel free to poke any staff member at any time if you have any questions, either regarding their role or about something to do with the site. You 'may' be handed over to another member of staff who can better answer your questions but we're here to help you as much as we can.

    "So why three different staff sections?"

    Well of course the three staff sections have respective responsibilities unique to them which they carry out from day to day. The three sections coordinate in order to establish an optimal overall service to the site and the community to ensure that everything runs smoothly for the maximum enjoyment while people choose to participate on the forums. Now you might be wondering what the three sections do separately to each other, so I'll give you a summary of each.

    Community: These wonderful people take care of member relations, events and the creation of content. You'll often find these guys welcoming the new members or preparing events for you to enjoy such as chat role plays, gaming events, contests and more. They work to ensure that Iwaku remains a positive and welcoming corner of the internet for people to continuously enjoy themselves while spending time here.

    Maintenance: Without the hard work that these guys put in Iwaku would struggle to keep chugging along year after year. As the name suggests they take care of ensuring that everything runs smoothly by keeping forums clean, editing prefixes and ensuring they're correct, archiving old threads and more. They offer a customer service to members whom need a little extra help and even tech support if something ins't quite working for you the way it should be.

    Security: These awesome folks handle the nitty-gritty stuff that goes on from time to time, ensuring that the site maintains a positive, appropriate and safe. They also seek to maintain order so that trouble makers don't come in and try to cause havoc and disrupt the type of atmosphere we're trying to maintain. They'll assist you in any raised grievances and will seek to help you resolve any issue you might be having, so long as it's security related.

    "So where do I come in?"

    Glad you asked! where you come in is with how you choose to conduct yourself on the forums. There is no better way to conduct yourself than to be as proactive, helpful and kind to everyone as much as you can be. However while that would be fine in an idealistic world, we understand that being human means you have emotions which can sometimes get in the way of things. Sometimes you might be tempted to handle things certain ways which can unfortunately make things more difficult for us. For example:

    Lets say you're in a thread or on the Discord, and a staff member is having to explain to another member that their behavior isn't acceptable. And you trying to be helpful to the situation, attempt to help by interjecting with an opinion to assist in resolving the problem. As much as we'd appreciate that someone is trying to help, this actually isn't helping and unfortunately will very likely make things more difficult to deal with.

    "Really, but why?"

    Well It all comes back to emotions. When people are wound up, tempers are high and people are upset it can sometimes have a big effect on how they act and respond, so often when you'll try and help it'll more likely make the situation more difficult to handle. It's best that you ignore it and let the staff member deal with the person. Getting invoked will likely make the situation more difficult to handle because that other member will feel like they're being ganged up on and that makes people defensive and hostile, which of course is something we want to avoid when handling a difficult situation.

    "Oh, ok I think I understand now"

    Awesome! But there is something else I wanted to talk about, and it's about messages you receive from staff.

    "Messages?"

    Yeah. One day you could receive a message from a staff member asking you to do something, it could be something as trivial as removing something from a post or editing something in your profile, to something more drastic depending on the situation. Now, when a staff member messages you with information, there is nothing that says you MUST respond, however more often than not the message will contain something that the staff member is asking from you, weather it be an edit or a piece of information.

    Please don't disregard this. It's important that members comply with what we're asking from them so we can continue providing the best and most complete service that keeps you coming back again and again.

    "What if I don't agree with what they're asking from me?"

    That is totally fine! you are well within your right to ask questions and discuss the subject with us within the PM conversation. However it's worth noting that we'd never ask anything from a member without a full valid reason. That being said if you are contacted with a request from a staff member which you suspect goes against the rules or if you suspect that this staff member is harassing you, acting inappropriately or abusing their power, you should report that staff member immediately. You can find all the details on how to report a staff member within the link provided.

    "I think I get it now, but I have some questions... "

    Brilliant! if you have any questions about conduct with staff or what to do in a given situation it is always safe to approach the staff member and ask them directly. Or, you could ask right here and either me or someone else will answer you as soon as possible.

    "Thanks Winter!"

    You're welcome!
     
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  2. Yes! Uhm, I have a question or two...

    Winter, is it normal for staff to hold extensive conversations with themselves?

    What should I do if I suspect a member of staff is having a dissociative episode?
     
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  3. It happens. It's the stress, y'know?

    Best to get them a soft blanket, a warm cup of hot chocolate with marshmallows in it, and sit them down in front of a TV with something calming to watch. They'll snap out of it after a couple hours, probably.
     
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  4. Report them twice
     
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  5. Awesome PSA Winter! :D
     
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  6. Of course it is! just ask my pet muffin Steve.

    [​IMG]

    See... I'm not crazy...
     
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  7. Just throwing this out there:

    Say you have a situation where a user and a staff member are discussing an issue, like you gave an example of in the OP. Emotions are high, etc. What's the difference between outsiders throwing in a comment versus throwing in a reaction ("Like", "Love", "Cookies", etc)? Couldn't both ways of interjecting be counter-productive and result in the same outcome, where the user being reprimanded/spoken to interprets the situation as more hostile than it would have been had the conversation simply remained between the one user and the one staff member?

    Anyway, I like this PSA. 'Tis a good PSA.
     
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  8. More often than not a staff member will seek to discuss the issue privately with the individual. However depending on the circumstances of a situation that might not always be a possibility and it comes down to the discretion of the staff member on how they'll handle that situation at the time. Usually a staff member will reprimand someone publicly if that person is being particularly disruptive and needs to be contacted immediately for that reason for the behavior to stop. Or else that staff might be witnessing a problematic event and be waiting for the disruptive person to eventually look at their PM's if they don't, which as you can imagine isn't ideal. If the situation is an argument taking place in a public forum, again a public reprimand to multiple individuals may be in order to defuse the situation.

    Where the ratings and post reactions are involved, this is certainly something we keep an eye on and usually it's fairly easy to tell when another member is using it to rile up another. Really though the way in which that'll unfold is a bit of a grey area, as it's down to individual interpretation and a mix of variables we can't account for. Every single person is differently minded and as such we can't say with a one hundred percent certainty that we'll know how someone will react better to different approaches. It comes back to staff discretion to the problem their confronted with at the time, though it's worth noting that we too are prone to mistakes, but that is a part of the job and we'll always seek to learn from that. I hope this clears it up a bit for you ^^
     
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  9. This thread is blatant propaganda.

    Everyone know's a Staff is just a wooden stick.
     
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  10. Your response was appreciated, thank you. =) I wasn't necessarily concerned about the arena (forum vs PM) staff chooses--like you said, that's up to their own discretion and the circumstances surrounding the issue. And I agree, it's usually easy to tell when the reaction buttons are being used to troll or rile someone, but that also was not my current concern.

    My question was more focused on this particular scenario: a staff member is explaining why a user's behavior isn't acceptable (be the user's behavior wildly out of bounds or just churlish being beside the point.) My question for this scenario: does staff currently consider there to be a difference between someone using a post to interject their agreement versus using a reaction button to interject their agreement? In both cases the actions are not intended to troll or done with ill intent--they just want to help and show support. However, as was outlined in the OP, posting was explicitly called out as a bad idea because it could make the user being spoken with feel like they are being ganged up on. I agree with this--if you weren't involved in the conversation, chiming in to support or agree with staff definitely risks putting the user being dealt with on the defensive. It makes the staff member's job much harder to resolve the problem. My issue with the reaction buttons: By using them rather than ignoring the situation, are the users who have left said reactions on the staff member's post not also creating a similar problem of making the user feel ganged up on? If they are not, why is one method of interjecting a reaction acceptable (post vs button)?

    I hope I clarified my point a bit more. X3 Personally, I think the ideal result is that users would refrain from posting as well as using the reaction buttons when a staff member has to put on their staff pants and address another user, specifically because I believe the problem mentioned in the PSA exists: both actions make it difficult for the staff member to handle the situation and be taken seriously. Just like mom and dad reprimanding one of their children don't need their other kids parroting their points, when a group of people are visibly stacking their support/agreement against a user's actions, it runs the risk of making them feel ganged up on.
     

  11. Ah ok I think I get what you're driving at. Plainly put, yes. It does have an adverse effect on the situation so we'd like to minimize that risk by people not posting to support 'and' to refrain from tacking our posts with likes. Because as you quite rightly suggested, the effect is the same and will in most cases see the same result, perhaps mitigated slightly but similar never the less if not the same. Unfortunately though I come back upon the variables I mentioned earlier, as staff we'll seek to handle the situation to be the best of our ability, however we can't actually prevent people from hitting the reaction button or posting. That is what this PSA is all about though, it's to bring attention to it in a positive way so hopefully, less people will be inclined to try to help, which sounds bad when you write it plainly, but the above explains it better.
     
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  12. Everyone knows you don't know how to use apostrophes. >:C
     
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  13. How do I rate 'lovely execution'?
     
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  14. Hahaha, oh man, the idea of expecting staff to prevent actions from happening before they happen? ^^' That'd require some Minority Report-esque stuff. But yes, I hope users understand and take to heart the point of the PSA, too.

    Thank you again for your time and the clarification at the beginning of your post, that is what I was looking for. =)
     
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  15. I' dont k'now w'hat y'ou m'ean.
     
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  16. You can also try eating them. But they don't taste very good. I know this, after being involved with them for a decade.
     
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  17. Hm, never thought Rory was a foodie.
     
  18. Stay away from Steve, he'll fite you.
     
  19. Interesting ... an awful lot of fiber in a wooden stick (staff?) will give you some AWFUL gas!
     
  20. You give me awful gas.