archBOSTON.org

Go Back   archBOSTON.org > Miscellaneous > Board Issues and Announcements

Board Issues and Announcements Member feedback, board announcements, and any tech issues. Please check regularly.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 01-16-2018, 10:01 AM   #1
found5dollar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Posts: 954
Board Decorum

The decorum on this board seems to be moving down hill fast. Just over the past year or so I have seen threads having to be locked because of ridiculous arguments, people making outrageous claims about the negative effects of single buildings on the whole city, and now even personal attacks on people. Yesterday I was accused of being a paid poster for a development firm because I dont think that a building is as horrible as the rabblerousers do. Now I don't know if it is because of the current Trump moment or what, but it truly bothers me that a place I used to feel welcome and where I could discuss relative merits and demerits of Boston's built environs is devolving into name calling, outrageous claims, and lies.

How can we raise the decorum here? Is there a way to find a consensus on what to do? I would love this thread to be a discussion of ways to achieve a more even headed approach to posting as well as where we can discuss the current situation.

I know that I haven't been immune to being snarky in the past, but what is going on now is a whole new level. Lets all commit to leaving the name calling and accusations out of this forum so we can actually discuss things and not just yell at each other.
found5dollar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-16-2018, 12:21 PM   #2
bakgwailo
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 729
Re: Board Decorum

Yeah - never thought I we would be discussing "donkey dongs" on archboston. Also being called a shill was uncalled for - especially since you have been on the board almost a decade longer than that person.
bakgwailo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-16-2018, 12:43 PM   #3
fattony
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Davis/Ball Sq.
Posts: 1,679
Re: Board Decorum

I share your frustrations. I do think the shift in aB decorum is linked to the general shift in American public discourse. I really don't know what to do about it. The internet has always been the place to be a bigger jerk than you would ever dare in real life, but things have escalated in recent years. That, or I've/we've just gotten older and less tolerant of juvenile behavior.

I think we are supposed to lead by example and not engage with bad behavior, but that is really hard. If all the decent people clam up, then we've surrendered the forum. Sadly, many of the decent people have been silent or nearly so for a long time now...
fattony is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-16-2018, 01:01 PM   #4
datadyne007
Senior Member
 
datadyne007's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Everett, MA
Posts: 8,565
Re: Board Decorum

The shift in decorum has been jarring and has led even me to back off aB recently. I don't check it nearly as frequently as I used to and am engaging in fewer discussions because the responses always go to hyperbole.

I think this stems from a larger problem though, notably the non-existant forum management and lack of community engagement or user retention strategies. If we had someone curating the awards and the respective threads, people would have a place to discuss whether an existing building or structure sucks or not outside of every. single. project. thread. It would also allow people to express their passions by posting in threads other than the new project threads. The management structure needs an overhaul. This is apparent from the Briv thread, which me bumping just now was not an accident. There's a general sense of lawlessness/leaderless on this board currently due to the absent oversight that leads to this kind of decorum.
__________________
Commuter Rail. Reimagined. Read the report: regionalrail.net
Electrification + High Platforms + Infrastructure + Frequent Service + Free Transfers = #REGIONALRAIL
datadyne007 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-16-2018, 05:23 PM   #5
Poolio
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 146
Re: Board Decorum

I think datadyne hit the nail on the head. The problem is a lack of management. We need a small handful of impartial and dispassionate administrators who are not afraid to delete posts, suspend users for offensive behavior, and ban users for repeated offenses. They could also help maintain threads by splitting off lengthy tangents into separate threads. Contributors should feel free to express themselves, but we need to maintain some minimal level of discourse here.

I know that some contributors like to think that developers, architects, and city planners sometimes come here to get the pulse of the community, that our grievances may occasionally find an audience with someone who can make a difference. But in the current state, our collective opinions would just be dismissed as the rantings of a hysterical, unruly mob. Nothing said on here matters outside the forum and that really is too bad. It doesn't have to be this way.
Poolio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-16-2018, 06:29 PM   #6
tysmith95
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: North Shore
Posts: 2,143
Re: Board Decorum

It seems like this forum has morphed into repetitive banter in certain threads (Amazon HQ2 being a big example) and a focus on big projects. Occasionally we have Beeline coming to the rescue and posting pictures of multiple projects around the city, but consistently seeing the same threads at the top of the forum with no new news or photos gets tiring.

It also seems like we've gotten pretty bad about talking about some of the midsized projects. For example there are plans for a 390,000 square foot development in Allston that haven't been talked about. Yet on the front development page we've been arguing about HQ2 for months. I have no problem with discussion, however I think the development page should be reserved for development news and subsequent discussion. Not rehashed arguments a month later with no new news or economic proposals (HQ2).

Also there is a certain unnamed poster that keeps making political arguments in unrelated threads about TAX BREAKS. That poster keeps making that repetitive argument over and over again, like we get it Liberty Mutual got tax breaks years ago.
tysmith95 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-17-2018, 12:45 AM   #7
Jouhou
Senior Member
 
Jouhou's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Portsmouth, NH
Posts: 598
Re: Board Decorum

Quote:
Originally Posted by found5dollar View Post
The decorum on this board seems to be moving down hill fast. Just over the past year or so I have seen threads having to be locked because of ridiculous arguments, people making outrageous claims about the negative effects of single buildings on the whole city, and now even personal attacks on people. Yesterday I was accused of being a paid poster for a development firm because I dont think that a building is as horrible as the rabblerousers do. Now I don't know if it is because of the current Trump moment or what, but it truly bothers me that a place I used to feel welcome and where I could discuss relative merits and demerits of Boston's built environs is devolving into name calling, outrageous claims, and lies.

How can we raise the decorum here? Is there a way to find a consensus on what to do? I would love this thread to be a discussion of ways to achieve a more even headed approach to posting as well as where we can discuss the current situation.

I know that I haven't been immune to being snarky in the past, but what is going on now is a whole new level. Lets all commit to leaving the name calling and accusations out of this forum so we can actually discuss things and not just yell at each other.
I think I was commenting on your weirdly intimate knowledge of the project, not calling you a paid shill. It was poking fun after observing you knew the project so well and showed a touch of defensiveness. If that's what you're talking about. It's not like I'd be surprised to see developers and architects on this forum anyways, and i'd doubt anyone would be paid to post here.. Of course, I haven't yet checked the thread to see if no one ran too far with it and made an insult of it.

So yes, it was snark, but not meant to be more than that.

Maybe I need to start using an /s here.

However I myself have commented on incivility in here before. So it is an issue sometimes. Mostly when members tear into someone else for something that is only a personal nuisance to them. Like, if you don't like it, send the poster a pm. Don't write a scathing rant directed at them about how they are ruining the thread while at the same time ruining the thread yourself. I saw someone do this to a member i like recently and it kind of made me angry, but I didn't say anything for the sake of letting it die out.

Edit: also now that I read the thread don't you think calling for me to be banned for a non existent insult is a bit histrionic? If that was an insult, it was about how defensive you were getting. (In example, implying that no one cares what people on this forum think of the new look and thus our opinions are moot is condescending and defensive, and I chose to respond in far fewer words than this)

Last edited by Jouhou; 01-17-2018 at 01:43 AM.
Jouhou is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-17-2018, 10:24 AM   #8
Justin7
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 1,497
Re: Board Decorum

I'll be blunt: Briv is the problem. He has total control of the forum but doesn't care enough to spend a few minutes setting new administrators, yet will not hand things over to someone who does care. Unless that changes this place isn't going to right itself.

If you're going to allow a bunch of barnyard animals to hang out in your living room, don't be surprised when everything is covered in shit.

Though I will say that the post that inspired this thread seemed like a light jab and a joke to me, but what do I know?
__________________
"You cannot take in a whole Boston street with a single glance of the eye and then lose your interest because you have thus taken the edge off future discovery; on the contrary, every step reveals some portion of a building which you could not see before, some change in your vista, and some suggestion of pleasant variety yet to come, which not only keeps your interest alive but heightens it and persuades you to go on."
Justin7 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-17-2018, 10:32 AM   #9
datadyne007
Senior Member
 
datadyne007's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Everett, MA
Posts: 8,565
Re: Board Decorum

Quote:
Originally Posted by Justin7 View Post
Though I will say that the post that inspired this thread seemed like a light jab and a joke to me, but what do I know?
That's indicative of the problem itself. The hyperbole & jabs have gotten so out of hand that even if it was meant to be a light jab and/or joke, the overall toxic context of the board leads you to assume the worst.
__________________
Commuter Rail. Reimagined. Read the report: regionalrail.net
Electrification + High Platforms + Infrastructure + Frequent Service + Free Transfers = #REGIONALRAIL

Last edited by datadyne007; 01-17-2018 at 10:49 AM.
datadyne007 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-17-2018, 10:44 AM   #10
found5dollar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Posts: 954
Re: Board Decorum

Jouhou,
I do not have any "weirdly intimate knowledge of this project." This board is a place for people who like to and know how to research and have an affinity for the built environment. There are people here who know every switch on the MTA, can recite the heights of every building in Boston over 400ft, have intimate knowledge of every type of structural system for hirghrises, or have memorized all of the planing department calendars for Boston and its environs. The fact that I can recollect that "highquality architecture" was a minor secondary goal of the project and then can look up a cite where it is proven is just par for the course for most members here.

The big problem is that, in a Trumpian way, instead of discussion and counterpoint to engage with someone who has a different and valid opinion than you, you used a verifiable falsehood to try to undercut my credibility. There was no way to read snark in that. you plainly stated "I think I established up thread found5dollar is a millennium partner, or possibly works for handel." Claiming I may work for Handel is claiming I may be a shil and that is beyond offensive here.

And yes, I have never seen on this board something as egregious as your post and I did call for the moderates to do something. I dont have the power to choose what that something is, but an apology would be a nice first step.

The major issue is that this seems to be the apex of an ongoing trend here where people have stopped discussing merits and design flaws in upcoming projects and instead picking sides and talking in superlatives. When you stake a claim so far into the lands of "Best building ever" or "worst building ever" it is easy to vilify someone who disagrees with you or is merely a centrist.

This is a "discussion board" where I remember an amicable, pages long discussion about the grid on the side of Atlantic Wharf and what its scale does to the overall composition of the building, but now we are at a point where we literally have to shut down threads about major developments because insults are flying. Your comment about me is just one more in a string of cutting remarks on this board that are keeping people with knowledge and things to say from posting. I do not want a board where it is just thumbs up or thumbs downs. I want nuance. I want discussion. I want to have my opinions disagreed with and rebuked. I do not want us to devolve into to camps and insult and accuse each other for malfeasance. We are better than this and it needs to stop.
found5dollar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-17-2018, 11:11 AM   #11
Jouhou
Senior Member
 
Jouhou's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Portsmouth, NH
Posts: 598
Re: Board Decorum

You were being condescending and defensive for no reason. You're no angel yourself when it comes to disagreement. The snark was in response to that.

And it didn't even occur to me you might seriously think I was saying you're a paid shill. My intent was "you're having a nasty emotional response as if you had a personal stake in this work"

And yet you're still running with what you originally thought? It wasn't that you disagreed. It's how you disagreed.

I was avoiding going on a tirade in thread and instead responded with a joke with the above mentioned intention. The second time I was just amused how you played into that.

Anyways, since you now mention the source of the condescension I was picking up on in the first place, please keep in mind not everyone here has had any formal education in architecture. I have, but I also understand that if you haven't spent time learning the vocabulary to describe what you are seeing, essentially giving something a thumbs up/down is the best they can express. And in this particular scenario, the change was so shocking in itself that the immediate response for most would not be analytical, but an expression of shock and dismay.

Last edited by Jouhou; 01-17-2018 at 11:41 AM.
Jouhou is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-17-2018, 11:47 AM   #12
fattony
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Davis/Ball Sq.
Posts: 1,679
Re: Board Decorum

No one asked me to stick my nose into this, but I'm going to anyway. Arguing about the facts of who said what, when they said it, and how they said it, is not going to resolve this issue. This kind of argument is not about what was literally said, but about how those words make us feel. Unfortunately, the speaker doesn't get to decide for the listener how the listener is going to feel.

I see this as a case of lost subtlety in text communication. Personally, I don't think what was said was particularly nefarious or malicious in intent, but I can understand how it can be construed that way. I can understand how it made found5dollar feel because I have been on the receiving end (and delivering end, for that matter) of miscommunication on the internet and IRL. I've taken things personally that weren't meant to be and I've taken things seriously that were meant to be jocular.

Found5dollar felt personally attacked and struck back hard. Now Jouhou feels attacked because s/he feels the response was out of line. You are both right about your own feelings, but you can't tell the other person that their feelings are wrong. That isn't how feelings work.

If you can acknowledge to each other that this was a bad exchange, that you didn't mean to be unkind and don't want to contribute to the incivility problems on the forum any further, then I hope you can bury the hatchet on this issue. To my eye neither one of you is totally out of line, except that I presume neither one of you actually wants to be having this fight. Only you can end it.

We (myself included) can all take this as a reminder to be careful when addressing other forum members directly, especially if it can be construed as personal criticism.
fattony is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-17-2018, 12:28 PM   #13
CSTH
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 1,644
Re: Board Decorum

We all need to remember that the quality of the forum as a whole, over time, needs to be a higher priority for each of use than winning any giving point on any given day.

We all value this place, we all have a role to play in keeping it healthy.
CSTH is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-17-2018, 01:45 PM   #14
Jouhou
Senior Member
 
Jouhou's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Portsmouth, NH
Posts: 598
Re: Board Decorum

Quote:
Originally Posted by fattony View Post
No one asked me to stick my nose into this, but I'm going to anyway. Arguing about the facts of who said what, when they said it, and how they said it, is not going to resolve this issue. This kind of argument is not about what was literally said, but about how those words make us feel. Unfortunately, the speaker doesn't get to decide for the listener how the listener is going to feel.

I see this as a case of lost subtlety in text communication. Personally, I don't think what was said was particularly nefarious or malicious in intent, but I can understand how it can be construed that way. I can understand how it made found5dollar feel because I have been on the receiving end (and delivering end, for that matter) of miscommunication on the internet and IRL. I've taken things personally that weren't meant to be and I've taken things seriously that were meant to be jocular.

Found5dollar felt personally attacked and struck back hard. Now Jouhou feels attacked because s/he feels the response was out of line. You are both right about your own feelings, but you can't tell the other person that their feelings are wrong. That isn't how feelings work.

If you can acknowledge to each other that this was a bad exchange, that you didn't mean to be unkind and don't want to contribute to the incivility problems on the forum any further, then I hope you can bury the hatchet on this issue. To my eye neither one of you is totally out of line, except that I presume neither one of you actually wants to be having this fight. Only you can end it.

We (myself included) can all take this as a reminder to be careful when addressing other forum members directly, especially if it can be construed as personal criticism.
I'm a she and this is fairly accurate. I was waiting for the other party involved to admit that it's possible they misinterpreted me before taking a more apologetic tone. Prior to reading that thread i was sorry that they took it as such a personal attack but then I came back quite irate and felt it necessary to spell out my exact thoughts on the whole thing.

PS calling anything I do "Trumpian" is a pretty good way to antagonize me.

Last edited by Jouhou; 01-17-2018 at 01:57 PM.
Jouhou is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-17-2018, 02:13 PM   #15
datadyne007
Senior Member
 
datadyne007's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Everett, MA
Posts: 8,565
Re: Board Decorum

This thread has become meta af.
__________________
Commuter Rail. Reimagined. Read the report: regionalrail.net
Electrification + High Platforms + Infrastructure + Frequent Service + Free Transfers = #REGIONALRAIL
datadyne007 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-19-2018, 02:35 PM   #16
KentXie
Senior Member
 
KentXie's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Fenway
Posts: 3,752
Re: Board Decorum

Quality-wise, I post at the same standard that this forum is currently allowing so if forumers are constantly posting low quality rants or trolling, then y'all going to get a taste of your own medicine.
KentXie is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Portland Planning Board - Munjoy Hts., Forefront markhb Boston Architecture/Urbanism Related Events 1 12-14-2013 08:57 AM
Planning Board Patrick Greater New England 9 01-05-2012 05:35 AM
What's happened to this board? JohnAKeith General 3 02-15-2010 07:22 PM
What does your board name mean? tobyjug General 21 09-05-2009 08:47 AM
Do we want board moderators? briv Development Projects 17 03-11-2007 02:07 PM


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:58 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.3
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.