creating GAVEN to replace AVEN

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michaels
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creating GAVEN to replace AVEN

Postby michaels » Thu Dec 15, 2016 2:28 pm

The "G" stands for "Good," as we can all agree that AVEN is now a shithole. The major factor in its having become a shithole is the amateurism, lack of qualifications, and total absence of aptitude among its administrators and moderators. Having a bunch of college students and call centre employees perform the job duties of reviewing evidence, making decisions, and applying regulations has been a disaster worse than arming Kindergarten kids with Kalashnikovs. GAVEN would have a properly qualified moderation and administration team suitable for such a large website. (I don't have the same complaints about Apositive because the people running it are true adults with responsible jobs and solid life experience, and this is a small website that can be effectively managed by one competent admin as it is now.)

The actual qualifications for a moderator and administrator, which make them competent at their core tasks, are aptitude for and skill at decision-making. The review of evidence and reception of submissions that lead to a good decision, as well as the ability to make a good decision in the first place, are valuable job skills that people get paid a lot of money for. Last I heard in 2006, claims adjudicators at the Ontario Safety and Insurance Board (an entity related to workplace injuries) were getting paid $75,000 a year. Chairs in administrative tribunals, such as Immigration, the Human Rights Commission, and the Aviation Safety Board, make twice as much money (although, in Canada, those tend to be patronage appointments given to former constituency assistants and political canvassers for the party in power rather than strictly based on the qualifications I've described above). A website as populated as AVEN not only needs but deserves similarly qualified people instead of a bunch of callow undergraduates with zero training in the relevant tasks. That's just obvious.

Soo GAVEN would make it a cornerstone qualification for candidates for the position of moderator or administrator to have previous or current job experience as decision-makers. I've already listed some such people in the previous paragraph, but of huge value would be some legal professionals, such as retired senior lawyers who have chaired arbitration hearings. Even a junior lawyer with three years of experience in private practice would be a 1,000,000% improvement over the incompetents who have moderated and administered AVEN in its decade-plus of existence--and such a lawyer might be thrilled to land even a volunteer position as decision-maker. (In an old job, I socialized with lawyers at a cigarette smoking club, while such clubs were a loophole that permitted smoking in public places that served food and drinks. I was a lowly typist, but they treated me with respect because of my former job experience as an adjudicator, saying to me, in so many words, "You used to be a decision-maker." These people are deeply conditioned to respect decision-makers, and some dream of someday making a living making decisions.)

The possibility of offering junior lawyers part-time volunteer experience as decision-makers does away with the problem of how you can afford expensive profesional decision-makers. It's something AVEN should have considered before it swirled down the toilet into the sewers thanks to its reliance on snotnosed punks with no training or qualifications to perform the crucial duties of admininstration and moderation. So, long story short, GAVEN would send the word out to the major law firms in the city about a potential fun part-time volunteer gig for its juniors. Whether that would succeed or not is another question.

michaels
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Re: creating GAVEN to replace AVEN

Postby michaels » Thu Dec 15, 2016 2:48 pm

I was just re-reading that (and not catching all of the typos) when I thought of another possibility: sports officials. The vast majority are volunteers, but there are some who are still in their teens. (I personally knew a woman who played hockey on a high school team, from which nearly every player got either a college hockey scholarship or a job with a professional women's hockey league; but she suffered a career-ending injury and became a referree while still in her teens. Last I heard, she was working her way through the officiating ranks as a goal judge.) Sports officials are hardly beloved by sports fans, but the vast majority have not only aptitude for decision-making but training and experience at it. While their skills apply to real-time observation and making decisions based on what they see and hear with their own eyes and ears, often under pressure of time, it's not a stretch to train them to review evidence and hear submissions. They already have the key qualification of an administrator or moderator, which is competence at making decisions. So maybe a fun part-time volunteer gig for a teenage hockey or basketball referee would be mod or admin on GAVEN.

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KAGU143
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Re: creating GAVEN to replace AVEN

Postby KAGU143 » Thu Dec 15, 2016 6:18 pm

Interesting ideas, MichaelS.
It's been quite a while since Apos had anybody behind the wheel other than me, but there have been a few other admods from time to time in the past. Like you said, with the site being as slow as it is nowadays, there isn't really a need for more than one person right now.

If I ever need to add another admod then I will offer the job to someone based on how I've seen them acting around the site - meaning: are they respectful of others, reasonably articulate, and do they log in regularly? (Then, of course, they have to want the job! :lol: )

I am very adamant about a couple of things:
No elections, because I don't ever want the job to become a popularity contest, and no secret "admods only" forums, because I believe that they cause many more problems than they solve.
If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all.

michaels
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Posts: 251
Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2011 8:11 am

Re: creating GAVEN to replace AVEN

Postby michaels » Fri Dec 16, 2016 3:00 am

Well, elections might be the least bad way we've come up with to choose people for responsible positions, but elections have also been discredited as a way to make meaningful choices. The candidate who wins an election is the one who's best at winning elections, not at doing the job that they're elected to do. Running for elections and doing an elected job require two completely different and often incompatible skillsets. My forehead just ain't pointy enough to come up with a better system.

One thing to keep in mind is that private things can't be democratic. Businesses are not democracies. The employees don't elect the senior executive and can't vote them out of office, or the company would go bankrupt. It's the owner who hires and fires the senior executive. So businesses are dictatorships. That applies to all private entities that are the property of someone or other. Apositive is a private entity with an owner, that being the person or people who pay the hosting fees and other associated bills. Having people who just happen to use your website free of charge, choose who runs it and tell you how it's run, would be kind of silly.

As for staff-only subfora, I've read declassified threads on AVEN, and they come across as a bunch of kids playing grownup. The people participating in those threads are clearly flailing for lack of training, aptitude and skill to be decision-makers. They're not professionals, they're mostly undergraduate and high school students! I wonder why other AVEN members haven't noticed how silly those declassified threads make the AVEN staff look. ... But a place to discuss disciplinary action privately? It's standard practice for every private entity. The people having the discussion just need to be competent and to have clearly defined roles instead of being unqualified amateurs and just muddling around at random.

Thrasymachus
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Re: creating GAVEN to replace AVEN

Postby Thrasymachus » Sat Jan 14, 2017 8:34 am

Is that a troll or a satire? I cannot tell which. You think a forum needs professionals to moderate and administrate to be good? AVEN seems full of mostly immature young people, with loads of psychological baggage and nothing going on in their lives who have way too much time to start internet drama, since they don't have enough going on in life to expend their drama energy there. The few older people actually there that post the most are the ones that are similarly immature and emotionally fragile enough to fit in with the early twenty something or younger emotional basketcases.

On depression, mental health related forums the same type of nonsense goes on, also on Reddit and 4chan, I have noticed the same pattern. Essentially those toxic environments allows outcasts and misfits to role-play as bullies for once in their life, and instead of being circumspect at the chance given what they face in real life, many seem to relish the chance to as a neckbeard become a cyber bully. On AVEN I have been heckled by one or more transgender people. Alot of people who are emotionally unstable love the dark corners of the net, because it is the only place they can be bullies and not outcasts.