Since my last instalment, I've visited Italy twice and Switzerland once, had my heart broken, moved house, taken over editorship of Small Aperture, been knocked off my bicycle, quit my day job, and been offered a book contract. It's been pretty busy, yes.
Chanops and e2contact
The short statement is that e2contact is no more.
The medium-length statement is that e2contact considered itself redundant as a usergroup. Given its members had chanops powers already, they've simply been absorbed into chanops and retain their editorial buttons, too.
The long statement is that when I was appointed as Director of User Relations, I inherited two fledgeling usergroups: e2contact and chanops. e2contact was initially thought of as a 'rapid response unit' to user drama; they'd contact (aha!) users who were expressing worrying sentiments, perhaps about suicide or mental health, in their writeups, or respond to catbox statements of suicidal intent. chanops, on the other hand, was responsible for the catbox, to deal with users who are behaving 'inappropriately or offensively'. And all members of e2contact were members of chanops by default.
However, it soon became obvious that e2contact's role was extremely limited, and given that user drama mostly plays itself out in the catbox, chanops invariably deals with it. So e2contact evolved into a group of people who held baby-noders' hands. Except that, as a whole, the editorial team is fantastic at doing that. Any editor can - and indeed should be able to - offer advice and support to new users. And to be fair, I see users who aren't editors helping baby-noders all the time, which is awesome.
Thus, we were left with a usergroup without a purpose. After a few discussions, we decided that e2contact could safely be disbanded, with its members absorbed into chanops. Will this have any impact on users? I highly doubt it. It's just one fewer layer of pointless bureaucracy.
I trust the chanops team implicitly to respond to situations in the catbox - those of 'inappropriate or offensive behaviour' as well as users threatening to hurt themselves or similar - as they see fit. Much of the time it is a judgement call as to what constitutes behaviour worthy of being dragged, or just being asked to tone it down. However, we're all individuals with different opinions and we do sometimes get into discussions as to what's just banter, what's drag-worthy, and what might merit more substantial castigation.
In our most recent discussion, which focused on the word 'disruptive', I decided that rather than us pontificate on how chanops should respond, or not respond, to situations, it would be better to ask you, the people who actually use the catbox about your expectations. I'd rather that chanops can fulfil their function knowing what it is that you expect of them, and what it is that you expect of other catbox users, than do what we think it is that you want.
So, from your perspective, what sorts of behaviour should or should not be tolerated in the catbox? If you witnessed an instance of this intolerable behaviour, how would you expect chanops to react?
I know that opinions will be disparate, and in the words of Daddy DEB, you cannot please all of the people all of the time. However, I would much prefer that we worked to achieving some sort of consensus on acceptable behaviour and the consequences for unacceptable behaviour, rather than trundle on with unclear premises and differing expectations.
Today's 25 August 2011. I suggest that you daylog your thoughts and ideas there. It'll be an open conversation, and everyone knows where to look. In a month, I'll see what you all have to say.
The wheel turns
We've had a few editorial changes over the past month or so. I'll leave alex to tell you about the changes that he has implemented, but it was with much regret that I accepted tentative's resignation from the editorial team. She's focusing on being a student and doing studenty things and I wish her every success. We'll miss her, and the door is open should she want a second stint with a $.
I was really excited when misterfuffie agreed to pick up the mop and bucket and join us in the editorial caretaker's cupboard. And I'm delighted to see borgo back with an $, too.
It's been a fabulous year for English cricket and to anyone who says that they're beating weakened teams, you can only play the opposition that turns up. The Rugby World Cup is fast approaching. I don't think England can win it, but I'd love to see them try. And I think you'd be a fool to knock Manchester United for the Premiership title.