Aw; there's no need to be so mean.
You are right, and I'm sorry. It is out of frustration. I really
don't like doing this at all. I'd much prefer not to be the nagging ass always trying to shape site usage and it is much
easier to just be authoritarian and censor. Censure is much more difficult and costs much more personal goodwill than censorship. But I don't want an authoritarian site, I want a site that is more democratic in nature and that takes vastly differing wishes into better account. A more typical forum setup is to just delete anything remotely annoying (even just offtopic posts, or topics that have already been posted before) and then even just delete or lock all criticism of the censorship.
We are trying not to censor as much as possible. That means the members need to police themselves more. That is what I'm trying to do, shape usage through speaking out. I'd much rather someone else do it, as I'm a fairly easy going guy and don't mind spam nearly as much as the folk I clean it up for. Plus, when it comes from me many folk take it as authoritarian anyway, when I'm just trying to have my say like anyone else (almost nobody notices that there has really not been a single instance of site authority being used to back up my personal preferences and disputes).
So when you tell me it's my fault for making the site more democratic and that I should just delete things it is frustrating to me. I know that you'd be criticizing me just as much if I were to take such an authoritarian approach so it's a lose-lose for me either way.
I can run an authoritarian site and stifle expression, or I can run anarchy and lose valuable members who don't appreciate the rough and tumble, or I can try to appeal for better use patterns and come across as an annoying nag.
There's really no way not to lose for me other than to just quit caring about it and let a2k sink or swim, which I'm not willing to do given how much time and money this costs.
You could simply ask folks not to respond to stuff like this. When you start off describing behaviors as 'annoying' - behaviors which, previous to this, neither I (nor most I would suspect) knew caused you extra work - it sort of sets the frame for the discussion. I'm sure I don't have to tell you that people are more likely to engage in the behaviors you like if you approach them in the right way.
I agree, but I hadn't intended to make this a battle over the propaganda either. I just wanted to have my one comment about how "Vladimir" gets old and it grew into it.
Had it had been a planned thing I can certainly think of better ways to do it. Thing is, I do think that it sometimes takes more than asking. I've asked for tags not to be abused in the past, I've explained that tags and thread responses are signals of topic quality. I've considered the technical changes that it would take to make things easier and some aren't viable (killing the "new posts" view is the only way not to make replies serve as amplification, because it's not just the voting that does it) and some are but I don't have time to work on them right now due to financial reasons.
I've asked many times, I've basically been told to stuff it, so I am deliberately introducing a more aggressive censure in addition to the nicer asking. Folk like osso are going to respond to the asking, others times I do
think sharper censure is needed.
I'd really rather not have anything to do with it, and changing my username was initially motivated by trying to get away from it but the bottom line is that nobody else is willing to take on this kind of work. When the site launched there was nobody else willing to do the tech hand holding so I couldn't keep switching accounts and keep things separate. Nobody else wants to put their neck out there and call the rudeness rude (because it exposes them to the same "thread police" type of criticism I get), so I'm left as one of the only nags.
I absolutely detest it, but I really don't see any better alternatives. So I'll keep trying to appeal for more reasonable use patterns in my own flawed ways. I'm not a customer service type at all, I have the wrong personality to be doing this job. But as I said to others in the past (I think it was even you) this site can't afford to hire such a person, and there are no volunteers around to take it up.
So I get to be the nag, and I'm not very good at it, and am easily frustrated in this position. Sorry for lashing out.