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Mayor / Maire

Defining a legitimate discussion

With all the debate over the Discussion category I'm interested in how to define a legitimate  discussion that deserves to be on the community landing page and eligible for merit that counts toward community rewards. This is what public mobile defines it as:

Discussion

If it doesn’t fit in any other board, it’s more than welcome here

 

 

  • Stay on topic: when it comes to support questions, it’s best to stay focused so that problems can get solved quickly. If you do want to discuss the news, or nearly anything else, there’s the Discussion board for that!

Edit:  These descriptions shouldn't be so hard to find! I had to find them in the bummer tent of all places. Here is to my understanding the current descriptions for these two categories:

 

 

Discussions

A forum for phone related posts that don't fit anywhere else.

 

The Lounge

Want to talk about your interests, hobbies, or anything that’s not related to phone-stuff? It’s all here


Accepted Solutions
Public Mobile

Re: Defining a legitimate discussion

Hi everyone, 

 

This is a great disucssion and something that I'm sure we'd all like some clarity on. Hopefully I can help. Here are the intended purposes of the Discussion and Lounge boards: 

 

Discussion: Any topic that is related to phones, Public Mobile, mobile providers, or the Community that is not a support-related question. Here are some examples of types of posts that might fall under Discussions: 

  • Ex: What's the best phone to get in terms of camera? 
  • Ideas, recommendations, and feedback for current and past promotions
  • Ideas, recommendations, and feedback for the Community as a whole. 
  • Interesting industry-related news (ex. What's possible with 5G?)

The Lounge: This is where everything else should go. General discussion related to topics such as current events, great deals at other retailers (not self-promotion, however), common interests, large amounts of snowfall on the west coast, etc. 

 

I will say that, in the interest of providing the best quality support, if a support-related thread goes off topic, it would be best to create a new thread in the appropriate board. But, if the thread is not support-related (i.e. a Public Mobile Announcement) then going slightly and reasonably offtopic is understandable. 

 

Let me know if you have any further questions. I will work to change the descriptions of each board to better reflect these purposes. This will likely happen this week or next. 

 

Thanks, 

 

Tiana

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Mayor / Maire

Re: Defining a legitimate discussion

I defer to authority here - the PM Mods (employed by PM) first, the Oracles (authorized to represent PM) second - since it is, after all, PM's forum and PM's business and PM can basically run it any way they like.

 

(Note that I have butted horns with an Oracle or two in the past, felt insulted enough to completely avoid all forum interaction for a long while, seriously considered taking my business away from PM. And I've seen others driven along the same path, sometimes they never come back.)

 

So perhaps some sort of direct channel to high authority needs to be available when complaints involving (perceived) issues with low authority need to be addressed impartially. I've never resorted to msging the Mod Team, though it's always an option. I have vented some frustration and rude abuse on Simple Simon, his canned indignities can sometimes be amusing. Escalated issues can always be discussed in private msgs with specific Oracles when needed - no need to automatically assume the worst of them or to broadcast dirty laundry to the whole world.

 

But in the end I just try to respect other folks in the community. It's the internet so you never really know who you're communicating with, what sort of person they are, or how they might (mis)understand your meaning. You can usually tell when people are being deliberately obtuse or trolly, just let minor grievances and other little things slide while letting idiots be idiots without any help.

Mayor / Maire

Re: Defining a legitimate discussion

I always appreciate input from Korth. I sit up and take notice.

 

I don't think talking about cats and the Habs _deserves_ merit from bravos/solutions.

We can all read that policy wording. In typical PM speed, it hasn't been updated to reflect the existence of The Lounge.

So with the presence of The Lounge, what could be allowed to stay in Discussions and what should be in The Lounge? That is your topic title. I know I don't have the answer. It feels kind of obvious to me when I see a post though. Like, jeez, did this need to be here. But then there's that wording. Maybe the Discussions category should be removed and then leaving that wording would just be an irrelevant left-over. Other than freeze peach, there is no definition of what a legitimate discussion is.

 

But as always at the end of the day none of this really matters.

 

Edit:

Here...fixed it for ya. Remove the Discussions category.

 

The Lounge

If it doesn’t fit in any other board, it’s more than welcome here

 

  • Stay on topic: when it comes to support questions, it’s best to stay focused so that problems can get solved quickly. If you do want to discuss the news, or nearly anything else, there’s The Lounge board for that!
Good Citizen / Bon Citoyen

Re: Defining a legitimate discussion

Is it ironic that you got a Bravo for this?

Mayor / Maire

Re: Defining a legitimate discussion


@Great_Big_Abyss wrote:

Is it ironic that you got a Bravo for this?


I think it's irrelevant. (Although thanx @mpcdesign, you rock, sir.)

 

Because I think this sort of discussion belongs in The Lounge, lol. Which mean I think any Bravos earned from it shouldn't count.

 

But it is a community of many members. @darlicious and @Korth don't have always to agree. They only have to play nice. And they aren't Oracles.

Mayor / Maire

Re: Defining a legitimate discussion

@Korth @z10user4 

      This is how I initially understood the definition of the difference between the two categories six months ago when I first joined the community.

 

  1. Discussions:  Anything that is phone related that does not fit into the other categories (That are primarily aimed at solving public mobile issues in each category.) Questions can asked or discussions/debates opened for comment. This could be comparing other plans, 5G implementation, cell towers, WiFi issues, new mobile product, apps, landlines, global travel Sims and service etc...... Basically phone related stuff but not specifically related to public mobile services.
  2. The Lounge: Everything else that is not phone related or services that connect to phones. Sports, Food, Recreation, Current Events, Advice, Socializing.....you get the idea.

 

    The issue of moving posts/threads to the lounge by an oracle becomes an issue when an OP posts in what they feel is the correct category only to have another member question/complain about the appropriateness of the topic for the category. The two issues here:

 

  1. One member may question the choice of category and ask an oracle to review it or move it. There may be 100 members that have no problem with the choice and simply read the post(s) and say nothing or move on to the next thread. Why should one members concern be more important than the other 100? We don't check a box after each thread saying we agree or disagree with the choice of category. If several members raise a concern and few or none don't respond to defend the choice then moving it is warranted. (As are posts that are off topic or interfere with helping an OP solve their issue.)
  2. When an oracle(s) are asked to review and/or move a post or thread and there are opposing opinions between two or more oracles why or who's opinion should trump the others? If 3 out of 4 oracles agree it should be moved then there's a concensus but 50/50? If one agrees and one does not then it should remain untouched until the two oracles get at least a third oracle involved to break the tie. If only one oracle is involved in the moving of the thread then there should be some kind of appeal system implemented if the OP feels the decision is unwarranted, is being unfairly targeted or an oracle is overstepping their mandate/authority.

 

The community on its title page clearly states it's intent :

                                        The place to get help, give help and share ideas

 

  •         I believe that statement embodies what should be posted/discussed in all of the categories that count (community reward-wise.) As had @vexter discovered yesterday and @CannonFodder very recently that the lounge doesn't count (and rightfully so.) This is the intent of the discussions category....especially for new members who cannot contribute a lot to solving issues but want to participate and contribute to the community. Discussions give the ability to newer members to share their experiences, knowledge and/or opinion to topics that are phone related and have their participation count towards a community reward. The community is not solely for help resolving issues as some members want to believe and continue to assert. The elimination of ideas labs and other options that used to be available for members prior to my time here probably contributes to the confusion as to where certain topic threads should reside. Perhaps @Alan_K or @Tiana_V  would like to consider this in the feedback they are seeking about members experiences on the community.
Mayor / Maire

Re: Defining a legitimate discussion

Some good points all around.

 

So, if I read correctly, what @z10user4  said, the "Discussions" forum pre-dated the "Lounge" forum, and then the outdated description of that earlier forum should have been changed when the Lounge came into being.

 

Given the points that have been brought up, it seems like a bit of a quagmire, because I can see good points on both sides of the fence. I suppose it's just that it's not THAT big of a deal to PM, to bother with defining things a little more clearly..... 🤔

Mayor / Maire

Re: Defining a legitimate discussion

Applying strictly formalized definitions to the conversation categories will (inevitably, eventually, and repetitively) force application of strictly formalized definitions to the comments within them.

 

Does an active "Discussion" get moved to the "Lounge" because a few members interject some distracting memes, political commentary, or cats-are-cute talk into a five-page litany which otherwise covers the original topic comprehensively?

 

Will rules (and perhaps penalties) be imposed on community members who persistently derail Bravo-earning "Discussions" into Bravo-demoted "Lounge" talk?

 

How much "off-topic" smalltalk, humour, and expression will (and will not) be tolerated before warnings, punishments, censorships, forced topic relocations, or other authority interventions must be imposed?

 

I don't think formal rules are necessary. I don't even think they're a good idea, they'll lead to discontent and deliberate demonstrations of noncompliance. This is a public internet forum, not a boot camp, so some quantity of stubborn nonconformity will exist, must be tolerated, and must even be cultivated.

 

I think informal guidelines are necessary. I suspect they already exist. It would probably be a good idea to publish them openly for transparency and common reference. (Didn't we all "agree" to some sort of Community Code of Conduct when signing up?)

 

I think some revamp on the forum software might correct a lot of behaviourial issues. If PM Self-Serve account and PM Community were one entity with one login instead of separate beasts then I suspect people would be more conscious of offending others. As it stands anyone anywhere can create any number of half-disposable pseudonymous accounts and carelessly say or do whatever they like, whether they're PM customers or not.

 

Note the presence of many subforums dedicated to PM talk which are hosted by other sites (like reddit) completely outside PM's authority. People there seem to be able to mostly stay on-topic (or off-topic as the case may be) and mostly stay civil towards each other. Sometimes they need a little nudging but it doesn't seem unfair or heavyhanded and it doesn't require a big rulebook to work.

Oracle

Re: Defining a legitimate discussion

@Korth All good grist for the mill as PM tries to optimize its forum. 

On the subforum topic there has been a 4+ year ongoing "dialogue" on their utility.  Seems to me they could be reworked to facilitate customer access to creating a topic.

The Lounge was, in fact, created to provide a participation space for any topic unrelated supporting current/new customers with accessing PM's services. Participation there does not, as yet, impact Community Rewards. As you note the rationale, moving a thread into, or out of, the Lounge is still somewhat subjective. I suspect that, over time, norms for that will gradually emerge which we all can tolerate.


>>> ALERT: I am not a moderator. Je ne suis pas un moderateur.
Oracle

Re: Defining a legitimate discussion


@Korth wrote:

Applying strictly formalized definitions to the conversation categories will (inevitably, eventually, and repetitively) force application of strictly formalized definitions to the comments within them.

 

Does an active "Discussion" get moved to the "Lounge" because a few members interject some distracting memes, political commentary, or cats-are-cute talk into a five-page litany which otherwise covers the original topic comprehensively?

 

Will rules (and perhaps penalties) be imposed on community members who persistently derail Bravo-earning "Discussions" into Bravo-demoted "Lounge" talk?

 

How much "off-topic" smalltalk, humour, and expression will (and will not) be tolerated before warnings, punishments, censorships, forced topic relocations, or other authority interventions must be imposed?

 

I don't think formal rules are necessary. I don't even think they're a good idea, they'll lead to discontent and deliberate demonstrations of noncompliance. This is a public internet forum, not a boot camp, so some quantity of stubborn nonconformity will exist, must be tolerated, and must even be cultivated.

 

I think informal guidelines are necessary. I suspect they already exist. It would probably be a good idea to publish them openly for transparency and common reference. (Didn't we all "agree" to some sort of Community Code of Conduct when signing up?)

 

I think some revamp on the forum software might correct a lot of behaviourial issues. If PM Self-Serve account and PM Community were one entity with one login instead of separate beasts then I suspect people would be more conscious of offending others. As it stands anyone anywhere can create any number of half-disposable pseudonymous accounts and carelessly say or do whatever they like, whether they're PM customers or not.

 

Note the presence of many subforums dedicated to PM talk which are hosted by other sites (like reddit) completely outside PM's authority. People there seem to be able to mostly stay on-topic (or off-topic as the case may be) and mostly stay civil towards each other. Sometimes they need a little nudging but it doesn't seem unfair or heavyhanded and it doesn't require a big rulebook to work.


You bring up some interesting points.  On RFD which I am most familiar with, threads that are derailed get locked and the offending member(s) are warned.  Too many warnings result in offenders being put in the penalty box.  Penalty box means 30 days where all posts are moderated before they appear in the forum.  The next level of punishment is temp ban where there is no participation allowed.  The final level is permanent ban which means the account is blocked forever.  To prevent thread locking, members warn each other about having infactions.  

 

With respect to enforcing the above, they are based on a set of terms along the lines of what is posted for this forum.  Enforcement can be quite variable with each moderator having differing levels of tolerance.  Once anything is moderated, the ruling stands and other moderators do not override the original decision.  There is really no formal appeal process.  Grovelling would simply put you deeper into the dog house because that is a sign of continued disrespect for the rules.  The attitude of those who run the forum is that if you don't like the decisions made, then shape up or move on.  It is tough love pure and simple.  Interestingly, the process works well and the penalty box is quite empty.  From what I can tell the process works because there is respect for the process.  If there was rampant civil disobedience, it would become one huge dumpster fire.  

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