Originally Posted by stephanie
I'm kind of sorry to say that Bob and Aryeh should weigh in less (in Commenter Court kinds of ways, at least, and with the dungeon), because I don't want to give the idea that I dislike hearing Bob and Aryeh talk about the comments. I like it a lot, and did back when Bob would try to bring up the forum to Mickey and Mickey would be completely uninterested. This was before I ever posted.
I had guests in town through Monday, and I've been buried in work since, so I haven't had time to watch the entire diavlog, yet. And I haven't been able to keep up with all the comments in this thread. But I see the theme of this CC is "positive reinforcement." And I did see the segment where Bob offered BhTV prizes to people who provide good dingalinks.
How about similar positive reinforcement for good comments?
The one thing I don't think Bob really appreciates is the extent to which he already has
the very thing he so badly wants: A high quality forum with an amazing array of high quality posters who make hundreds of high quality contributions every week. And yet, Bob never, ever acknowledges this. Instead, he has taken to repeatedly scolding the forum participants and, ironically, intervening on behalf of the most disruptive members. I don't know if he's noticed, but things have actually gotten a little worse
after each of the last few Commenter Courts. (This latest one may have a different effect; it seems to have triggered an unprecedented amount of introspection and reflection among the commenters, which may yet have some lasting benefit.)
So, I was thinking the same thing as you do above in the quoted text.
Remember when Bob and Mickey used to do a mailbag thing at the end of diavlogs -- before there was a forum? And then, after they set up the first forum, they used to highlight particularly interesting or insightful comments. People used to take a lot of pride in being named and having their comments highlighted.
Bob should seriously consider bringing that back.
I will grant that the forum was nearly brought to its knees by kidneystones, Lyle, and Whatfur. The forum truly did reach a crisis point for a while, and it was necessary for Bob and his staff to look for ways to get the forum back under control. They tried a lot of different things and made a serious good faith effort to reconcile the conflict without raising the banhammer. But ultimately, it was the banning of those three that restored the sanity.
I realize the forum is not yet perfect, but it's a lot better than Bob acknowledges. There are a lot of people who come here for one reason: to participate in a very interesting and very high level ongoing conversation -- and yes, one that crosses political extremes, from "leftist" to far right, and everything in between. Maybe, now that the real threat to the forum has been dealt with, Bob needs to stand down from the social engineering and punitive action and return to what served him so well at the beginning: Positive reinforcement for valuable contributions.