View Full Version : What is "appropriate" advice?

20 November 2002, 11:33 AM
Recently, I replied to a thread asking about a rule which had been discussed in previous threads. In my reply, I gave him links to several of the threads, and reccomended he search the boards for threads about a topic before starting a new one. Simple, short, and I thought helpful.
However, I have now received to low ratings of a 2.0 and a 2.5, with the message saying that I should not "appoint myself a moderator" or "be condescending". I feel that both of these ratings were undeserved, and I don't think I was doing either of the things they mentioned. I tried to be helpful, and some people have apparently been offended by this. I don't see why the two raters couldn't have PMed me or e-mailed me to discuss the matter before deciding that I was some uptight flamer or wannabe moderator. Well, I have replied to the e-mails which informed me of my ratings, and hopefully the matter can be cleared up if the Holonet moderators agree with me. In order to avoid any future conflict, I would like to ask the moderators this:

What should I say instead? Is it wrong of me to repeat a rule in the Holonet Rules? What is considered wrongfully trying to moderate?

I am only trying to be helpful, and make the forums a better place. I'm sorry if some people were offended or thought I was going where I shouldn't have, that was not my intention, and I don't think that's what I did.

20 November 2002, 12:09 PM
Originally posted by ElfWord

What should I say instead? Is it wrong of me to repeat a rule in the Holonet Rules? What is considered wrongfully trying to moderate?

If you are not sure what to do. Just PM or E-mail the moderator of that forum, and he/she will deal with it. That way you can avoid future conflicts with other members.

20 November 2002, 12:36 PM
I think your actions were fine. Some people are just too thin skinned sometimes for their own good.

No different that people who don't look at help files that are built into computer programs. Just too darn lazy to look.

20 November 2002, 12:39 PM
Well you got to remember that there are thousands of posts between all of these board. You weren't wrong in pointing out links. I think some people are just a little lazy to look.

20 November 2002, 02:07 PM
I was one of the users who rated you. I thought you were a bit too short with the new user. As I mentioned in my rating, I thought it was good that you pointed out links to the other threads, but I think that telling users to behave this way or that, or to refrain from posting, is not the place of other general users.

And, in my defense, if you look at your rating history again you will see that shortly after rating you a 2.5, I decided that was far too harsh and bumped you to a 3.5, which is above average. I was too hard on you, but did what I could to rectify my error pretty much right away.

Again, I thought pointing out links to existing resources was great (and why my giving you a 2.5 was ridiculous), but I felt you were a bit too bossy with the new user. I've been bullied by "old-school" users on other boards; maybe I am oversensitive to it.

I realize that new users ought to read the FAQ before posting -- and it is an imperfect world where new users often don't.

Anyway, I rated you too low, and I am sorry. I hope this makes my reasoning a little more clear. I am sorry if my actions upset you.


20 November 2002, 05:38 PM
dg, thank you for reconsidering, explaining, and apologizing.
I understand that some users may be sensitive to perceived criticism. Unfortunately, the internet cannot convey a tone of voice or looks that can change the meaning of what we type. Nonetheless, we still often perceive what we write in a mental tone of voice. Sorry if what I said sounded too harsh or bossy.
dg, I hope this doesn't cause any bad feelings between us. I've seen a lot of your posts around and think you're a great contributer.
To everyone, thank you for expressing your opinions.

20 November 2002, 05:45 PM
Likewise, I would like to chalk it up to a misunderstanding and move on. Thanks for not harboring a grudge, although I may have deserved it. :)

20 November 2002, 06:16 PM
As Arakyd mentioned, if there's a case where you feel someone is doing something that is questionable, it's always best to ask the moderator of the forum before saying anything in a post. A lot of people tend to take it wrong when another member offers some "friendly" advice that borders on moderating. We appreciate your concern that things don't get messy, or that new people learn some of the rules, but it is probably best to leave that to the moderators to inform the people. There's nothing stopping you from giving a friendly heads-up to the moderators, though, if you see something that looks wrong.

Just remember, however, that simply because you think that something might need to be done or said it doesn't mean that the moderator will think the same way. There are times when we may decide to let it slide, or we might handle it via Private Message, so you'll never know what's been said. So just because you suggested it, doesn't necessarily mean it will be acted on, either immediately, visibly, or at all.

Thanks for asking about this though. I know that other people have probably had this same problem, as some people have voiced concerns on this matter in the past. If you want to help, help by giving some heads-up messages to the moderators. Posting in a thread can sometimes give unwanted (and many times unwarranted) negative backlash.

If you have any further questions on this, do hesitate to ask.

(I also want to note that some moderators may be more willing to accept the heads up warnings compared to others. If you want to know how a particular moderator feels, don't hesitate to send them a PM.)

Wedge in Red2
21 November 2002, 01:15 AM

I think what you did was fine, however, as pointed out by dg, it might have been interpretted as a bit harsh.

My recommendation would be to use smilies :). Seriously, if you're worried that your post might be a bit strict, a smilie is likely to make it seem that you post is good natured rather than authoritarian. At worst, you'll appear like a grinning idiot, but more likely you'll just convey that your advice is intended to be helpful, not condescending.

Hope that helps (although it is a bit off topic) :D,


21 November 2002, 06:50 PM
I've read these forums before, and now it seems when i view them I'm not seeing rankings. Is that because I'm new on this account and haven't posted before (and I will see this when I post this message), or do I have some settings that are preventing me from seeing them?

24 November 2002, 08:58 AM
I believe that new users have to wait a while before they can rate others. I think that a few other people have to rate them first, and they might also have to post some as well. Welcome to the HoloNet Kuag!

P.S. WOOHOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!! This is my 200th post and I hope that the Holonet has found all of my 200 posts useful!