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harple's avatar

Some people are making statements rather than asking questions?

Asked by harple (10420 points ) June 29th, 2012

Luuuuurve new users, but what’s with all the half sentences? Is it a sign of our email/text/internet days, where it’s no longer normal to write in full sentences? Is there a nice way of asking people to make full use the English language, whilst still welcoming them as new users??????

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65 Answers

Sunny2's avatar

I got modded for doing that and had to edit my non-question. They will learn.

tups's avatar

I hope it was your intention to do the same lol.

harple's avatar

@tups Yups :-)

marinelife's avatar

You can gently tell them.

wundayatta's avatar

It has ever been thus, and I don’t see why it would change. It’s up to the mods. I don’t know why your “question” got through. But it seems to me that the rules are enforced pretty inconsistently, perhaps because they make little sense in the first place.

harple's avatar

@wundayatta Or perhaps they understood the irony?

wundayatta's avatar

There should be no room for irony, though. I mean, of course, I want there to be irony, but as far as I can tell the rules here don’t allow for that and they do demand consistency. If you allow irony, then you are inconsistent, and you might as well throw away the rule book, because everyone who writes a question like this will claim to be being ironic. The mods should not be in the position of having to interpret these things because even if they were good at it, no one can really do a good job of it.

harple's avatar

@wundayatta Good point, well made. I will happily change it if requested. I do wonder though, if the other statement questions were modded, which are from new users, if it could be misconstrued as unwelcoming, which is part of the crux of this question. There’s a balance between making new users feel welcome so they stick around, allowing the tidepool to keep growing, and maintaining the high standards which makes this site a pleasure to visit. Some people, possibly most people, don’t particularly like being called out on such things.

wundayatta's avatar

I think the way to help new users is to kind of take them by the hand, and help them understand in detail what they need to do to submit a good question. Moderation feels so abrupt and harsh and I’ve been here four years. It’s still the same.

I suspect it must be so much worse for new users.

If we had plenty of users, that would be one thing, and I guess we could afford not to care. But we don’t have plenty of users. It seems like it would be worth having a corps of jellies who can take the time to train new folks—to develop a personal relationship with them, and help them understand why spelling and good English are so important, and how asking a question that is a question is also important.

Of course, I don’t know if the new jelly ambassadors would all behave in a suitable fashion, anyway. We might all interpret such a duty differently. We probably all understand the rules differently. So I am not hopeful.

I think what we really need is attention by people who see this as an entrepreneurial challenge. We need owners who can work to improve the place in various ways. Our owners have moved on to other work, and are keeping fluther open as a favor to us users. Unfortunately, I don’t think that’s going to be enough for much longer. We have to grow or die, I’m afraid. I don’t see how we can grow under the current administration, so I think we are likely to keep on slowly petering out. I hope I am wrong.

downtide's avatar

Perhaps they’re more familiar with Yahoo Answers.

augustlan's avatar

Flag the ‘questions’ for us, and we’ll take care of it. We do allow some statement questions, so long as it’s clear what the intent is, and there is an actual question in it somewhere. PS: In the Meta section, we’re a lot more lenient on the titles. :)

Kardamom's avatar

@wundyatta LOL when I read your statement below, all I could think of was my young “hipster” cousins writing stuff on Facebook. It seems that to the young hipsters, being ironic is the most important thing in the world. I’m just so weary of it. It’s so hard to have a conversation with them.

If you allow irony, then you are inconsistent, and you might as well throw away the rule book, because everyone who writes a question like this will claim to be being ironic.

But you are right, some of the rules could be a little more clear or consistent and I love your idea of Jelly ambassadors!

Bellatrix's avatar

I was just about to post the same response made by @Augustlan. I was quite strict on this when I started modding but I was advised by other mods that as long as the premise of the question is clear, we can leave it there. If you, as a member, feel it crosses the line do flag it. We may have missed it. We are few in numbers these days so it does help us if you flag things you feel cross the line and we can then go and look and make a decision.

jrpowell's avatar

I really hate questions where people want to soapbox and think it is cool if they slap a question mark on the end.

No need for a discussion. They just want to rant and it sucks.

Did you know John Roberts is a closet gay Socialist?

zensky's avatar

So is the OP in this case.

jonsblond's avatar

@johnpowell That’s how I feel about all the so called questions that bash Republicans and I’m not even a Republican. They aren’t questions, they are bashing parties. Do you hate those too? ;)

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

^^ Fucking high five.

blueiiznh's avatar

I don’t know as your questions sounded more like rhetoric than questions. (hmmmmmm)

jrpowell's avatar

Ask Lisa. I’m not going to name names here but I did in the PM I sent you.

I have bitched for the last year about both sides of the aisle doing it.

Fluther is not your blog. Or at least it shouldn’t be.

jonsblond's avatar

@johnpowell Fluther is not your blog. Or at least it shouldn’t be.

I agree.

Blondesjon's avatar

<— Fluther Blogger

wundayatta's avatar

I don’t know why I bother. There is no consistency. The trick is to learn to read the minds of the moderators. I don’t know why I expect things to be different. Fluther is not immune to the real world, and I shouldn’t expect it to be.

But that just makes everything a game and when you get modded, it’s not something to respect, since you know it is an individual, inconsistent decision. In a similar situation, things could go the other way. Sigh. It makes it hard to try to be responsible. Also hard not to feel picked on when things don’t go your way, and of course, that is not an atmosphere conducive to keeping new people around. It takes too much energy to figure out the real rules. Which, it seems to me, can’t really be done.

What fun!

jrpowell's avatar

@wundayatta :: You have asked 1,642 questions (# of yours posted without being modded) out of 146,559 (this includes ones that have been modded). That is a bit over 1% (this number would be higher if all your modded ones were included) of all the questions ever asked.

You have asked well over 1% of all the questions ever asked on Fluther. In the entire history of Fluther.

You are not a victim.

edit: Duh, I remember checking what number of questions were not deleted out of the 146K. About 30% have been removed. So that would put you closer to 1.5%.

Response moderated (Flame-Bait)
Response moderated
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wundayatta's avatar

@johnpowell I’m not claiming victim status. I’m claiming the place would be better with more consistent rules.

In any case, you have no idea how moderation affects me. Your numbers are meaningless when it comes to determining victimhood or any other emotional effect.

The questions and answers that have been modded could be some of the best questions and answers there are—not mine, necessarily, but other people’s. Yours, for example. Maybe your moderations have been fair. That’s fine. But judging from mine, I’d have to say that a lot of good questions and answers have been thrown out. The moderation needs to be a bit lighter, and users need to be educated about the theory of moderation in greater detail.

jrpowell's avatar

It is so subjective it can’t be done consistently. By using numbers my point was that nobody is out to get you. And if they were they could be doing a better job of it.

wundayatta's avatar

Perhaps they are being subtle about it.

But no, I don’t think they are out to get me. I mean, I think I annoy them a little, but not that much.

The thing is, sometimes, subtle is the best approach.

And I totally agree that it is so subjective it can’t be done consistently. That is why I think it should be done with the lightest hand possible. If there is any discussion at all about whether something should be modded, then it shouldn’t be modded. Err on the side of inclusion. No need to be hardass. The place can survive the questionable questions and answers.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

Oh, and by the way @wundayatta If your posts get moderated, it’s not because the mods are out to get you. It’s because said posts have been flagged by other jellies. So why don’t you start bitching about all the other jellies who flag your stuff, instead of ragging on the mods all the fucking time?

jonsblond's avatar

@wundayatta You know, you’d be a great advocate for people with real problems in this world. Have you ever considered that option before? just sayin’

gailcalled's avatar

Are they.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

I’d like to add something to the actual topic: I’m not as concerned about the manner in which questions are posted, as I am about the Fluther depression in which we find ourselves.

Does anyone realize that the amount of questions now being asked are cut by 50% from last year? Does anyone realize just how many good, kind-hearted jellies have abadoned ship? Does anyone realize that the main reason most of those jellies left was because of all the bashing and hatred that has become more than commonplace here? Does anyone realize that most of the bashing on this website is started by 6–8 specific members?

Just thought I’d throw that out there. I’d rather there be questions that read like statements, instead of no questions at all, or questions that are only designed to produce another rousing session of douchebaggery.

jonsblond's avatar

@WillWorkForChocolate Does anyone realize that the main reason most of those jellies left was because of all the bashing and hatred that has become more than commonplace here?

I’d like to add to that if I may. I noticed that it is common for some here to call someone a troll or make a smart ass comment that a person must be trolling because their view doesn’t agree with the majority of people here. Yeah, really makes someone feel welcome here, doesn’t it.~

ucme's avatar

I’m going to just come right out & say it, yes there are some unpleasant fuckers here & yes they take the site way too seriously, sometimes where it manifests into pointless hostility towards members they may not see eye to eye with.
Here’s the thing though, it’s only the tinterwebz & speaking for myself, i’ll leave when i’m good & ready, regardless of anyone else’s agenda.
In short, i’m dug in like an alabama tick, until such time I feel the need to itch.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

@ucme I get that point of view, I really do. But I can easily see a future, not so far away, when Fluther falls because of the rampant hostility. To me, it’s not a matter of “those attitudes are annoying but people should have thicker skin”. It’s that those attitudes are actually quite vicious and growing into rabid monstrosities that I can envision destroying Fluther if left unchecked.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

In all honesty, it’s gotten so bad that I wouldn’t be surprised to see an argument break out on a food thread about which way is the best way to make mashed potatoes.

ucme's avatar

@WillWorkForChocolate I’ve not personally experienced any heavyweight hostility, on the rare occasions it may rear it’s ugly head, it’s swatted away with the contempt it deserves, usually with a mocking laugh & a snarky grin.
If, as you say, it’s gotten to those extremes, then while that wouldn’t surprise me, it does reflect badly on those who choose to conduct themselves in that way, ergo…it’s only a website!

CWOTUS's avatar

I saw what you did with that topic question (?) there. Were you aiming for that irony?

jonsblond's avatar

@ucme You know, I don’t know what it is about the phrases “it’s only a website” or “it’s only the internet” that bothers me. Maybe because I feel that when a person says that they mean it gives everyone the green light to be an asshole? We are still people. It’s not like we are having discussions with make believe beings. Sure, if a person can’t handle the heat then they can leave, but what ever happened to common courtesy and respect? Disagree without being disagreeable. Isn’t that what the great Auggie says? What’s sad is that many people do leave because there are a handful of assholes who get away with their personal attacks. I think rooeytoo said it best here

I know I’ve gotten off topic here, but I just wanted to address the statement you made @ucme.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

@jonsblond Yes. Rooeytoo’s comment on that thread is 100% accurate when it comes to the asshattery that goes on.

ucme's avatar

@jonsblond Again at the risk of repeating myself, anyone who takes a website such as this as a tool to vent their bullshit/vile personality is worthy of justifiable criticism. I understood I made that view clear.
The point about it being just the internet is aimed primarily at these sad fuckers who feel it neccessary to act like “little hitlers”, but doesn’t exclude those who give in to their provocation.
Why let antagonists win, you know?
Seems we’re in broad agreement here other than the method to bat away any unwanted crap, which is fair enough.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

@WillWorkForChocolate : How do you make mashed potatoes?

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

To answer the OP, I also find it a tiny bit disconcerting that a user cannot take the extra 2 seconds to change their statement into a question.

Is that too much to ask?

This is a question and answer site, after all. It is also one that likes to pride itself on a higher caliber of user.

When I was brand new here, I was quickly modded for something that I’ve now forgotten, but it opened my eyes to the fact that this site is interested in quality. That lesson has served me well, I believe.

CWOTUS's avatar

By “higher caliber of user” I take it to mean that you think we’re all fat, @Hawaii_Jake. I’m quite sure that some of the other jellies on the site are nowhere near my caliber, dammit. I resemble that remark!

At least you didn’t single me out, so thanks for that anyway.

jonsblond's avatar

@ucme I just wanted to see if I could get you to repeat yourself. I win. :)

ucme's avatar

Tsk, tsk, it’s over competitive fuckers like @jonsblond who are driving folks away from here ;¬}
That was a joke remark, for the sensitive souls out there who may have been easily bewildered, oh look, another one :¬)

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

@ucme LOL!

@Hawaii_Jake Boil them ‘til they’re soft, dump them in my Kitchen Aid mixer with a cup of milk, a stick of butter, 4 tbsp salt, 2 tbsp pepper, 1 tbsp garlic, and let ‘er rip.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

@WillWorkForChocolate : let ‘er rip? What kind of new hell is this? Does Fluther now condone the abuse of vegetables?

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

Yes, I abuse mine all the time without remorse. Although, I don’t do the beating with my own hands, I let my stand mixer do the beating.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

A little vegetable flagellation, eh? Mmm. Sounds lasciviously delicious. Can I watch?

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

You may, but please bring your own vegetables to abuse. If we’re having a vegetable flagellation party, I’m afraid one bowl of potatoes just won’t be enough.

augustlan's avatar

Now I want mashed potatoes. Please don’t make them disagreeable.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

Mine are never disagreeable. They like being beaten.

augustlan's avatar

I’ll bring the whip.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

Wait… for the potatoes? Or… for me?

augustlan's avatar

Both, naturally. Prepare to get a little messy.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

Oh my… <nervous titter>

blueiiznh's avatar

Some people!!!!

Response moderated (Spam)
harple's avatar

Sadly it’s becoming more and more common on here. Yes, I can read around what they are saying and understand that they are not asking if I’m new to reading glasses (for example, plucked from the air) but are actually saying that they are new to wearing glasses and that they would like advice about that. It just doesn’t sit well with the exacting standards fluther prides itself on. Yes, it is appropriate to be gentle with 2nd language English jellies, but the details show that these aren’t people for whom English is a second language.

And I know we don’t want to be modding left right and centre when the meaning can be worked out, (and for the record I’m not flagging any of these questions because it’s only a bug bear to me, not life or death), but fluther has been a place where the writing standard has been championed.

It just makes me sad that it seems to be more and more frequently the norm. :(

augustlan's avatar

@harple I saw that one, and am debating sending it for editing. It just doesn’t really explain the question(s) the asker really has.

harple's avatar

@augustlan I’m glad it’s not just me, but that has to be your shout as a mod.

I know I’m spouting off here, (something I generally try and avoid on here – I guess it must really mean something to me), but whilst I’d love to affect a change in policy (or a stronger sticking to a policy of old) I’m not trying to attack individual questions one by one. (If I were, I’d be flagging each one, and crikey, life’s too short.)

I am having to stop myself answering these statement type questions literally, though… It’s so tempting to do that, but as an avid details reader, I just can’t bring myself to do it!

Bellatrix's avatar

If you do see something you feel should be modded @harple, please do flag it. There aren’t that many mods working and we are all in different time zones and most of us have other things on that mean we aren’t here daily. So, a flag helps us to manage the ‘tidying up’ job. If you flag, we are at least aware there is a problem and can go and look at it.

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