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eG Forums Moderation Policy Discussion: Fall 2013


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#61 annabelle

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Posted 09 September 2013 - 08:07 AM

I believe Simon is being sarcastic, quiet1.  He has done an excellent back of the matchcover sketch of what's gone wrong here.

 

Whether we are shouting into the wind, remains to be seen.  I fear we are.

 

I seldom come here to read about a particular technique, especially since the advent of MC and the like that I am neither especially interested in and unwilling to invest the funds on the necessary equipment.  Of late, there has been a tremendous uptick in the number of alcohol related threads.  "What did you buy at the liquor store today?" is but one example.  More than once, I have counted as many as six alcohol-related threads on the front page.  Since I seldom drink, I am uninterested in those threads, as well.  That leaves persons asking questions about a problem they are having, new equipment they are considering, old equipment they are rehabbing, remodeling projects and the image-driven threads of people's meals and ambitious makers of desserts and candies. None of which allow chat, which is the natural home of those kind of threads.

 

I feel like if I kid my fellow posters or tell a story about how I tackled a particular problem that I am now talking too loud in church or the library.  I have dozens of "post deleted" messages in my mail box chiding me for not being focused.  Never mind that it was one remark to a poster I am known to be friendly with. 


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#62 Toliver

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Posted 09 September 2013 - 11:20 AM

One thing I would like to see is the increased participation of society donors in the decision making that goes on. Donors should be considered something akin to shareholders and they should be allowed to voice their opinions as well as to vote on whether/what changes are made... 

I find this to be suggestion to be exclusionary. It's not the donors that make eGullet what it is. It's the posters, donors and non-donors alike, that keep this forum alive and vital. To limit the power of decision-making to those who've had the funds to donate is elitist to say the least.

 

I have been around these forums for quite some time and I am not yet a society donor. I have thought about donating many times over the years and have had the funds to do so but then a moderator, or eGullet management themselves, did something I disagreed with and I have kept my checkbook closed.

 

I don't have time nor am I interested in - as an example - a steak topic just because I have a question about my particular steak right now, I don't have time to read 500+ posts from years ago, and most others don't either. I'm on many forums, nobody ever removes the same topic, it might get a quick answer or a link to an old thread or it might get ignored. Things move faster now than 15 years ago. And having a post moved (or even better, deleted) seems intrusive and heavy handed. It's supposed to be a forum, not a book in writing IMO....

I am one of those "helpful" posters who sometimes posts links to previous eGullet discussions in response to a posted question. I don't do this to shut you or other posters down. I do this because you (or others like you) have asked a question and I think the linked topic will not only answer your immediate question but may also answer other related questions you may have on the subject. If you're not interested in reading the 500+ posts, no one is forcing you to do so.

 

If you want a quick answer, perhaps Google would suit your needs best, even if the answer comes from someplace other than eGullet.

 

(One tip I have regarding searches on eGullet is not to use the regular Egullet search function to search for eGullet topics. To the right of the eGullet search bar is a small white circular icon (it actually looks like a cog to me). Clicking on this icon takes you to the advanced eGullet search engine and I find it better suited for searching the eGullet forums. You can search just titles, or titles and posts, etc. I find it more precise than the regular eGullet search function.)


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#63 annabelle

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Posted 09 September 2013 - 12:43 PM

I also don't like the idea of society donors having more of a say than regular participants.  It's definitely elitist and flies in the face of what is supposed to be an gathering place of like minded souls, not those with matching bank accounts.  I don't say this because I am not a donor.  I belong to many forums about many topics and I never give them any monies, either.It turns the whole enterprise into an internet version of Pay-Per-View.


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#64 sadistick

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Posted 09 September 2013 - 01:09 PM

Having joined egullet over 8 years ago, I used to frequently post on the forums taking part in many discussions and starting a number of my own. However after having a number of posts in recent years deleted due to whatever nonsensical reason was given at the time, I backed off and simply became a "lurker" and no longer a contributor. Why bother if your posts may get deleted because some random mod doesn't like your POV or subject matter, right?

I will tell you this, the most successful forums I have been a part of (and there area some going on 10+ years with 10,000+ subscribers) are the ones with a high level set of "ethics" and the rest is left to the members, because after all, what good are forums without people who actually POST.

I came to egullet because it had a Canadian (specifically Toronto) board where we could speak our minds (to avoid the dictatorship that is ch*wh*und), but sadly that didn't last (as is evident by the deathly still regional board).

Moderators and admins need to get out of their own way and let the people dictate the content, granted within moral and civil limits, and perhaps the site can start to rebound to its former glory.

Edited by sadistick, 09 September 2013 - 01:09 PM.

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#65 prasantrin

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Posted 09 September 2013 - 05:08 PM

One thing I would like to see is the increased participation of society donors in the decision making that goes on. Donors should be considered something akin to shareholders and they should be allowed to voice their opinions as well as to vote on whether/what changes are made... 

I find this to be suggestion to be exclusionary. It's not the donors that make eGullet what it is. It's the posters, donors and non-donors alike, that keep this forum alive and vital. To limit the power of decision-making to those who've had the funds to donate is elitist to say the least.

 

I have been around these forums for quite some time and I am not yet a society donor. I have thought about donating many times over the years and have had the funds to do so but then a moderator, or eGullet management themselves, did something I disagreed with and I have kept my checkbook closed.

 

I also don't like the idea of society donors having more of a say than regular participants.  It's definitely elitist and flies in the face of what is supposed to be an gathering place of like minded souls, not those with matching bank accounts.  I don't say this because I am not a donor.  I belong to many forums about many topics and I never give them any monies, either.It turns the whole enterprise into an internet version of Pay-Per-View.

 

??? Internet version of Pay-Per-View? Really? Sounds a bit dramatic.

 

I'm talking about more say in decision making, not participation.

 

Question to both of you--given the dozens of products and services you use on a daily basis (most of which you have probably paid to use), how many of which have you had a say in the way the companies which produce or provide those products/services are run?

 

I would bet none. You probably have little to no say in those companies at all. Of course you can refuse to buy their products (or use their services), but that's not going to make much a difference to them.

 

Should you become a shareholder, however, you can attend shareholder meetings and in many cases, have a say (or even a vote) in the decisions that are made.

 

Are all those companies elitist because they give shareholders an opportunity to vote but not you?



#66 annabelle

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Posted 09 September 2013 - 06:12 PM

Publicly owned companies are worlds away from internet chat rooms.  It's an apples to elephants comparison.



#67 Meredith380

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Posted 09 September 2013 - 08:39 PM

I've donated before and I'm not willing to donate when posts are heavily censored.
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#68 Bill Klapp

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Posted 10 September 2013 - 02:29 AM

I make nothing of this, but when there was no not-for-profit organization with donors, there were few or no moderation problems and virtually no censorship. If a moderator took an unpopular action, the action and the moderator were both subject to open debate, and moderators often explained or justified their actions. Maybe the Internet has matured and become a more hostile place, but I doubt it. Back in the day, there were some real knock-down, drag-outs, but most were high-toned and intelligent, and even people who were not likely to ever agree and apparently did not even like each other could maintain a modicum of civility most of the time...
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#69 Dakki

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Posted 10 September 2013 - 02:23 PM

I also don't like the idea of society donors having more of a say than regular participants.  It's definitely elitist and flies in the face of what is supposed to be an gathering place of like minded souls, not those with matching bank accounts.  I don't say this because I am not a donor.  I belong to many forums about many topics and I never give them any monies, either.It turns the whole enterprise into an internet version of Pay-Per-View.

 

I agree with the principle, but I don't think it would be any worse than what we have now. It's like debating the vices of plutocracy vs the virtues of divine rights monarchy.

 

I don't actually care much who runs the forum, I'd just like a place where I can bitch them out when they do something dumb. Most forums have this


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This is my skillet. There are many like it, but this one is mine. My skillet is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it, as I must master my life. Without me my skillet is useless. Without my skillet, I am useless. I must season my skillet well. I will. Before God I swear this creed. My skillet and myself are the makers of my meal. We are the masters of our kitchen. So be it, until there are no ingredients, but dinner. Amen.

#70 rancho_gordo

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Posted 10 September 2013 - 04:01 PM

1. re referring to links instead of answering questions, I have to say I think it depends on the question. Is the red blender better than the blue? It's yes or no. But if the question is What's the best way to make green beans, obviously it's a discussion. Why not scan the link? You'll learn more than a response to a single post and you can always add to it at the end, maybe restarting an interesting discussion. I think  a discussion is more interesting and helpful than a single post answer. 

 

2. Re moderation, I haven't followed all of this but I will say I am 53, a published author, a parent, at one point a valued member here, a regular sort of fellow who wants to learn and help. To have my sincere words moderated or deleted means I must have threatened to murder someone. If you want my participation, you have to respect me and my words. Moderation should be the absolute last step you take otherwise I'll go find out where the grown ups are and play with them. The times I have been moderated and contacted are so insane I want to scream. But I won't! But I will say, unless someone is a chronic offender or a real continuous problem, moderation should be your last resort, not a knee jerk response to a post. 

I haven't been around much so I suspect things are better now. i don't need to rehash the past but I feel much the same way as I always have. 


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#71 Alex

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Posted 10 September 2013 - 08:07 PM

1. re referring to links instead of answering questions, I have to say I think it depends on the question. Is the red blender better than the blue? It's yes or no. But if the question is What's the best way to make green beans, obviously it's a discussion. Why not scan the link? You'll learn more than a response to a single post and you can always add to it at the end, maybe restarting an interesting discussion. I think  a discussion is more interesting and helpful than a single post answer. 

 

2. Re moderation, I haven't followed all of this but I will say I am 53, a published author, a parent, at one point a valued member here, a regular sort of fellow who wants to learn and help. To have my sincere words moderated or deleted means I must have threatened to murder someone. If you want my participation, you have to respect me and my words. Moderation should be the absolute last step you take otherwise I'll go find out where the grown ups are and play with them. The times I have been moderated and contacted are so insane I want to scream. But I won't! But I will say, unless someone is a chronic offender or a real continuous problem, moderation should be your last resort, not a knee jerk response to a post. 

I haven't been around much so I suspect things are better now. i don't need to rehash the past but I feel much the same way as I always have. 

 

Welcome back, Steve! And thank you for your thoughtful and well phrased post.


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#72 CaliPoutine

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Posted 10 September 2013 - 10:22 PM

Having joined egullet over 8 years ago, I used to frequently post on the forums taking part in many discussions and starting a number of my own. However after having a number of posts in recent years deleted due to whatever nonsensical reason was given at the time, I backed off and simply became a "lurker" and no longer a contributor. Why bother if your posts may get deleted because some random mod doesn't like your POV or subject matter, right?

I will tell you this, the most successful forums I have been a part of (and there area some going on 10+ years with 10,000+ subscribers) are the ones with a high level set of "ethics" and the rest is left to the members, because after all, what good are forums without people who actually POST.

I came to egullet because it had a Canadian (specifically Toronto) board where we could speak our minds (to avoid the dictatorship that is ch*wh*und), but sadly that didn't last (as is evident by the deathly still regional board).

Moderators and admins need to get out of their own way and let the people dictate the content, granted within moral and civil limits, and perhaps the site can start to rebound to its former glory.

This is exactly why I stopped posting.  Moderated one too many times.


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#73 nibor

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 12:37 AM

This is exactly why I stopped posting.  Moderated one too many times.

 

CaliPoutine's thread on cooking at the senior center was a classic. It was wide-ranging and sometimes contentious, and I would imagine it got moderated a lot!  But it taught me a number of things:  About how our ability to taste food changes over time, and how the elderly react to those changes, and why they cling to food traditions against what seems to us, all reason. At that time I was trying to get my elderly father to eat, after my mother died, and it was so helpful to be able place his behavior, with respect to food, in a larger context, and through the eyes of someone not in my shoes. Thanks much for that.


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#74 RobertCollins

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 08:10 AM

Once sometime back;I had a deletion because I said that I wouldn't yet type the recipe from a just read cookbook that was being discussed. I finished the post that I would contact Chris Hennes ,who I had met and ask how copyright worked in this context.

 

The reason given by the lady moderator was that it was against the rules to talk about the staff.

 

I also do not have the time to read a ten year old thread-like "Charcuterie" that has thousands of entries these get so full of the hundreds of related things ie sausage making when what you want is how to fix your bacon.

 

I joined eG in 05 and left a forum because a moderator over there deleted a post as advertising because in a thread on knives I refered to an eG course by Chris Ward on kitchen knives.


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#75 dcarch

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 08:47 AM

What makes cooking shows like Master Chef, Kitchen Nightmares, Chop, etc. popular,  is not because you can learn something new about cooking, it is all that excitement  that are non-cooking related, even they are very artificial.

 

This Forum has become extremely boring.

 

dcarch


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#76 nibor

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 09:28 AM

....

This Forum has become extremely boring.

 

dcarch

 

I agree. I am looking at other sites as a replacement for my food news. Suggestions? 


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#77 annabelle

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 10:47 AM

Since there isn't really a lot of news on here (cronuts?  who cares?) and we can't talk to each other in the threads, I say the place is pretty much on life support.

 

As it is now, I learn most anything new on my RSS feeds.


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#78 rancho_gordo

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 12:53 PM

I see this is a great moment where everyone needs to keep an open mind and think of possibilities rather than old baggage and bad memories. This place isn't what it was a long time ago, recently, or what it's going to be.


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#79 Holly Moore

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 01:10 PM

I am curious as to management's short term and long term goals for eGullet.


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#80 Toliver

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 01:28 PM

Should you become a shareholder, however, you can attend shareholder meetings and in many cases, have a say (or even a vote) in the decisions that are made.

 

Are all those companies elitist because they give shareholders an opportunity to vote but not you?

The eGullet "company" product (information about food, recipes, restaurants, etc) and the ensuing social discourse in these forums is not generated solely by the shareholders. It is generated by donors and non-donors alike. I stand by my words.

 

Are eGullet scholarships a thing of the past? When I was leaning towards donating, I thought they were a worthy use of said monies. It would have been great to hear how the recipients used their scholarships and what they learned or how it impacted their lives. 


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#81 annabelle

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 01:45 PM

I'd forgotten all about the scholarship fund, Toliver.  Thanks for bringing it up.  I'm always leary about donating money anywhere when I can't look at the financials first.



#82 Porthos

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 01:46 PM

I have experienced the "you've posted something about regular pickle forks in the left-handed pickle fork thread" messages. I groused about it to my wife but left it at that.

 

Sometime back I commented to my wife that this forum seems a lot less active than when I joined in '05. I did not know what was making things different but after reading through this thread carefully and thinking about it I think I get it. I will continue to scan the recent posts pages for threads that interest me and will continue to post when I think I can make a positive contribution to a thread but I do so with significantly less enthusiasm than in earlier years.


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#83 MikeHartnett

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 01:47 PM

I am curious as to management's short term and long term goals for eGullet.

Ditto. It's incomprehensible to me how anybody could look at what eGullet is now and think that they've taken it in the right direction. Does management care?

Personally, I come to eGullet for the Dinner/Breakfast/Lunch threads and leave. Used to spend hours reading and commenting. Now, I don't see a reason to bother.
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#84 pastameshugana

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 02:16 PM

I see this is a great moment where everyone needs to keep an open mind and think of possibilities rather than old baggage and bad memories. This place isn't what it was a long time ago, recently, or what it's going to be.

 

Extremely well said. Regardless of what's gone before, what was, or what we wished and or hoped eG would become, this is still a great place.

 

The level of advice I receive here is still consistently high-caliber, the range of subjects can tend to be wide-ranging, although the 'recent threads' have a bit of an ebb and flow. My cooking and appreciation of food has developed considerably because of the people who are still here.

 

I think it's time management got together and cast some vision for us. I've been involved in a few 'comebacks' with organizations I've led, and one of the single greatest game-changers is when people can identify first, that there is a vision and second, that management is committed to achieving it.

 

I echo Holly Moore in asking, what are management's goals for eG? Please tell me they run deeper than bandaging this current 'wound' and are more along the lines of setting a course for the future.

 

I for one, and I'm sure there are dozens of others, would commit significant effort to helping, whether that be in drumming up users, assisting in moderation of new or newly-imagined forums or sub-forums, re-vitalizing the Daily Gullet and a hundred other things that might spring to mind if - and I emphasize if - I could see a vision or the clarification of vision for the future of eG. (sorry for the incredible run-on)


Edited by pastameshugana, 11 September 2013 - 02:17 PM.

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#85 annabelle

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 02:27 PM

I'd like to know management's goals as well.  I'd also like to think that their goals are transparent and take the contributions and wishes of the members into account when forging those goals.


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#86 Dakki

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 03:33 PM

+1 on wanting to know where management is taking this, and +1 with being bored with the forum.

 

 

Once sometime back;I had a deletion (...)

 

The reason given by the lady moderator was that it was against the rules to talk about the staff.

 

Ahahahaha I got this one too. Talk about insecurity among the mods!


This is my skillet. There are many like it, but this one is mine. My skillet is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it, as I must master my life. Without me my skillet is useless. Without my skillet, I am useless. I must season my skillet well. I will. Before God I swear this creed. My skillet and myself are the makers of my meal. We are the masters of our kitchen. So be it, until there are no ingredients, but dinner. Amen.

#87 annabelle

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 03:47 PM

Sheesh!  I got that one, twice.  And I was warning another member not to talk about the mods because they don't like it.  Evidently the forum is moderated by fairy godmothers who are secret.


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#88 gfweb

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Posted 12 September 2013 - 04:44 AM

Is it my imagination, or has traffic on eG picked-up lately? Its tempting to speculate on why that might be.



#89 Jaymes

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Posted 12 September 2013 - 06:59 AM

Is it my imagination, or has traffic on eG picked-up lately? Its tempting to speculate on why that might be.

 

Hope?

 

You silly people. 

 

Think again.


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#90 Lindsey

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Posted 12 September 2013 - 09:20 AM

I have been a member here for approx 4 years, I must admit that I post seldom, if ever. I happily wrote my 100 word precis required to join, I dived in with glee wanting to share my new life in the Highlands of Scotland, the new foods, traditions etc.  Every single post of mine has been moved, I am not an unintelligent woman, not lead to verbosity, and have a wide experience of catering, highs and lows, I just wonder how the "normal run of the garden cook" is made to feel  -   certainly not welcome, I fear.


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