Last week we rolled out a new set of Posting Guidelines for the Epicski forums. The guidelines were a product of the Member Advisory Group working with us to analyze why we have problems in the forums, why some valued professional contributors leave, what are the objectives of this community in the forums, and how can the Epicski moderation team improve the tone of the forum conversation. The Advisory Group told us, we are not taking a strong enough stand on moderation in some areas of the forum. In order to be able to fairly and predictably moderate, the group took on the task of creating a whole new set of posting guidelines for the forum.
The new forum guidelines are mostly common sense. The theme is respect. The guidelines will not solve all problems, and they aren't there to "crack-down" on the forum. The guidelines are a tool to make what moderators do more predictable, and to actually reduce the moderating we have to do. The one thing that you can do to help us make these work, is to use the post report function, rather than reply to insults, or argue some off-topic personal conflict. Think if an argument or rebuttal will pull the thread off-topic, and if it does, then deal with the problem with a post report or private message. In some cases, putting a user on ignore, may be the best approach, if you have a long-running dispute.
We will all benefit by retaining our experienced professional skiers, manufacturer representatives and vendors that bring special insight, experiences and knowledge to the conversation here. It is our intention to respect that contribution by ensuring these people are not attacked or discredited in public in the course of a forum argument. What is good for the pro, is also good for the member, and this "respect" standard applies to pros, moderators, admins and anyone else. No labels or name calling is obvious, but also we need to watch out for posts that are insulting by being patronizing.
In a private conversation with one of our valued professional members last week, I got this feedback:
We particularly want to address this issue in the Instruction and Coaching forum, but will also deal with in gear discussions and elsewhere.
I wanted to start this thread so any member can ask questions about the guidelines. If there is anything you don't understand what is intended, or how we will apply it in the forums; or if you have a question what the advisory group and admin intend to accomplish with any of these guidelines, please feel free to ask. I'm sure you are not alone. The Advisory Group argued long and hard, and probably even said some hurtful things to come up with what we thought could work here to solve some of the problems and make this a more enjoyable place for everyone. Eliminating all disputes would make this place very boring, and that is not our intention. These guidelines are a tool, and moderation is not a bureaucracy, its an art. There is no absolute, or right or wrong in the way the guidelines will be applied. The moderation team will continue to use discretion and discuss issues and the best course to take in moderation. We have a general goal for forum behavior. There is room within our expectations for personalities, and spirited disagreement to thrive. The rules are a starting place and helps give the team direction, and the community awareness of what values are important.
This is your forum. Members created these guidelines to protect community values. Give us your feedback and questions, and we will do our best to answer.