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Positive learning environment

Posted: February 26th, 2009 12:47 pm
by Neil53
I believe all can agree that one of the major draws of JapanesePop101.com is the supportive, friendly, positive environment of the teachers and hopefully the students as well. We learn best in such an environment. Students feel more secure to experiment with new skills and thus learn more effectively.

Lately that positive environment seems to have degraded some, in both the lesson comments and forum posts. Personal slights and derogatory statements have blown in from some users, like a cold wind because someone did not agree with someone else's opinion, slams have appeared for the slightest offenses such as leaving more comments than a couple on a lesson, and so forth. Such behavior have, I believe, put a chill in the otherwise supportive learning and interactive environment. This may make one more reluctant to attempt to post an attempt to use Japanese, or proposing an idea.

My opinion is that users should be capable of expressing a variety of opinions with respect to others. Site administrators should monitor and chronic offenders should have their posting privileges revoked to protect the overall positive learning environment of the site.

Oh no! Censorship! The man can't take straight talk! Lets see who responds and in what manner! :wink:

Posted: February 26th, 2009 1:47 pm
by QuackingShoe
Disparaging remark questioning your parentage!

Posted: February 26th, 2009 10:48 pm
by Belton
I agree.
I've noticed this a bit as well. (and have commented elsewhere)
The place doesn't feel as friendly as it once did.
It could be a by-product of success on the Internet.
There is a need for more moderation (by moderators and in peoples comments)
I'm not sure but there seems to be less official presence on the boards these days.

A karma system might be a useful way for the community to self regulate.
A kill file (friends/foes list) would also be of use to me at least.
Available in version3 of the software, along with additional moderation methods.

Posted: February 27th, 2009 3:08 am
by gerald_ford
Belton wrote:Available in version3 of the software, along with additional moderation methods.


It would be nice to upgrade the forum software in any case. Lots of new features and friendlier design await. Good for business. 8)

Posted: February 27th, 2009 6:16 am
by Javizy
I haven't been following the lesson comments, but the forum topics usually have at least a partially diplomatic conclusion. I haven't seen anything that would require moderating, even in the controversial topics, which inevitably lead to a dispute. I agree some official presence would be nice, but more for company-client interaction, than censorship.

I can't stand those over-eager moderators who lock threads, edit posts, and ban people just because of sarcastic remarks or minor disagreements. Obviously, if there are completely digressive, unconstructive arguments, personal attacks, and suchlike, then action should be taken, but since there hasn't been, there's been no need for it.

For the 2 or 3 threads with disputes lately, there have been countless perfectly sound ones. I think enough was said about the lack of diplomacy in these threads themselves already. They'll blow over. There's hardly any need to hold grudges or start requesting ignoring functions. Most of us are adults here, we can solve our own disputes, ね?

Posted: February 27th, 2009 6:55 am
by QuackingShoe
Javizy wrote:Most of us are adults here, we can solve our own disputes, ね?

I'm not, and I can't!

Posted: February 27th, 2009 7:53 pm
by Belton
I wouldn't advocate censorship as such. But now and then there does seem a need for a third party to step in. While I have stepped in now and then when I felt someone's behaviour had gone too far it would perhaps be better for a moderator to do this.
Nor would I suggest anything much more than a light touch. At times a polite off board email pointing out less than acceptable behaviour might be an idea.

I can only really remember one set of bans (including a moderator!) when comments got out of hand about the Korean football team I think. Mostly there's not that much controversy around here. Politics and religion aren't discussed. We are far from the spamminess of You Tube or the slagging matches I've seen elsewhere.

But I do feel there has been a change since I first got here. It might just be me being jaded by the same topics continually coming up. Maybe for newcomers it's still as fresh and exciting as I once found it. But I find the boards slightly more cliquey and abrasive and arrogant at times.
Certainly a tone is taken sometimes that probably wouldn't happen in a face to face exchange. And there seems less acceptance that people here are rational and take decisions for their own valid reasons. They shouldn't be shouted down or called names. By all means discuss your opinions and how they differ but be nice about it.

It's artificial but I liked when the custom was to use Japanese style etiquette at a minimum using さん and in extension trying to keep more courtesy towards each other.

I filter and block spam, I filter ads, I filter the larger sig files on these boards; it all cuts down on the noise and makes life a bit more pleasant.
I'd filter the more annoying voices here, along with people who haven't learnt to edit quotes or not to use all caps. I'd keep the irritating voices that still have something interesting to say despite their writing style. I've no doubt there are those that find me long winded or irrelevant and would filter me out as well.
It just makes reading the board simpler. But I doubt jPod will update anytime soon. or if they'd even offer the expanded capabilities.

And it's not all adults here either although there's no 厨房 or 夏厨 phenomenon here yet. Although Quackくん is giving it a try at the moment (^^)except the tone is humorous rather than belligerent.

Yes it all blows over until the next time but the fact that behaviour was offending goes unacknowledged (maybe karma in the wider scheme of things will catch up with them). In the meantime a number of people become less confident in posting or just move on to somewhere else.

Posted: February 27th, 2009 9:02 pm
by QuackingShoe
Belton wrote:And it's not all adults here either although there's no 厨房 or 夏厨 phenomenon here yet. Although Quackくん is giving it a try at the moment (^^)except the tone is humorous rather than belligerent.

Alas, I never seem to be able to go all the way!

More seriously, I'm not completely following this thread. I'm all for civility, and I have noticed the couple of angrier-than-usual posts recently, but I just wasn't aware that there was an actual discussion-filled community here to break. I'm not bashing the place, it's just that I never saw that as being something this board had; all I typically see is fresher-faced students rolling in to ask some questions, getting some answers from the die-hards who seem to be here only to give answers, and then rolling back out until the next crop rolls in.

Is most of this more, well, community-focused community present in lesson comments somewhere, or have I simply unconsciously avoided everything but the newbie threads?
Edit: For the record, I'm being genuine.

Posted: February 27th, 2009 9:07 pm
by Javizy
I don't see anything wrong with the mediator style approach. My mind initially jumped to other forums where people had been given mod privileges and just had to use them.

I think the reason this is playing on people's minds so much is because it isn't a very fast paced board, like Quack is saying. The romaji and Heisig threads are the only recent discussions that come to mind for reasons good or bad.

Posted: February 27th, 2009 10:36 pm
by Belton
QuackingShoeくん wrote:Is most of this more, well, community-focused community present in lesson comments somewhere, or have I simply unconsciously avoided everything but the newbie threads?
Edit: For the record, I'm being genuine.


I think it was once. I don't know about now as for whatever forgotten reasons I stopped bothering with the lesson comment section. It was also where most disputes seemed to happen (back in the day) korean football, tanka poetry appreciation, lack of rigour in comments and a campaign to get a members song voted up on another site were all areas of contention I recall.

I wonder about what sense of community there is here as well. or if there are efforts at building communities, or if it can be done, has a lot of this moved off onto blogs nowadays?

I made a couple of friendships here., maybe not as active as they once were though, Vickyちゃん、Lizさん、I had a brief minor involvement with jPod on a feature, visited them, met up with Yoshiさん、got mixi membership because of them, took part in their competitions etc.
Maybe it's just that the old guard have moved on ...