I'll weigh in on this...
I made some of my thoughts clear on the ORG thread along these lines -- namely that everyone
from the newbies to the original cast and crew can do a better job of being respectful to one another. Taking an additional second before you post to consider "Am I living the standard I want others to follow?" would solve 95% of the problems on this board. Period.
As far as the reputation system goes...
I'm of the opinion that the system is broken, not because we can see one another's totals or anything so banal, but rather because both the incentive for getting positive reputation (the carrot) and the punishment for getting negative reputation (the stick) are too weak.
Before ORG got it's own game thread, was there really any incetive to having ORG status? Most conversation is in Live, the majority of the activity is in Live, the majority of the posters go to Live first. Similarly, what's the stick for getting negative reputation? Mods have said it before -- nobody really gets banned for having low rep. You have to ask -- what is the reptutation system trying to do? Is it still currently serving that purpose? I'd argue that, because this debate is occuring agian (a year later), it hasn't achieved it's long-term goal of continued viability. Theoretically, the reputation system should preclude this conversation from even needing to occur, but it isn't. It kicked the board in the pants a year ago because it was a change -- it lacks the effect a year later.
I don't have all the answers, and I haven't been around RedsZone nearly as long as most of the others here...but I think the issue that's at the core of all this (and the elephant lurking in the corner of the room) is what kind of board people want -- one that's an open forum for any and all to come and talk about the Reds, or one that's a limited commmunity for the few who are accepted. If you want an open forum, then part of the consequences are that you end up with all sorts of people -- some you may disagree with and some you may not like. It's the nature of the beast.
Never let it be said, though, that I come to the chalkboard with nothing but an eraser -- so here are my "quick fix" suggestions (not saying ALL should be implemeted, but maybe a few):
- Switch reputation from the number to the little squares or just hide it alltogether from public view. Once you hit 200, you get an avatar and it's pretty obvious you're in/out of the ORG.
- Require a set amount of time/reputation before a poster is allowed to create a new thread. One of the O&A messageboards I read does this, and it seems to cut down significantly on the amount of redundancy in threads and confines debate on "beaten to death" subjects to pre-existing threads, which limits the noise on the board and helps funnel discussion. Plus, it allows the posters to get a feel for how the board works before taking the floor and yelling loudly.
- Limit Game Thread creation to the ORG. This is a carrot/stick issue -- if the game thread is important to people and they enjoy participating in it then that's incentive to follow the rules, make good posts, and recieve reputation sufficient enough to participate in the game threads. And, again, if there's nothing on ORG that people want to participate in that they can't get on Live, what's the point of the reputation system?
- Day long suspensions for anyone who recieves more than X negative reps on a single post. If someone says something stupid enough to get negged a set number of times, then they really should spend the rest of the day off the board instead of continuing to fight and fan whatever flames are burning on the issue. Another carrot/stick issue for the reputation system.
I'll conclude by saying I love RedsZone -- I'd never have made it through the last year or two of law school without my daily reading (and, eventually, posting0 on here. I think it's still the best internet message board I've ever been to, and I think the majority of the problems can be fixed not with more rules, but with more common snese.
With that, we now return to our regular scheduled bickering.