Yuki

As things are, .info will die. Here's what we can do to reverse it.

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Hello! If you haven't seen me around the forum, it's because I haven't been around much. A very large portion of my personal time from the last six or seven months was stolen away by some serious medical and personal issues, but the majority of that seems to be finishing up in the next week or two.

 

However, I've been active on the IRC. I was recently added to the moderation crew for the .info affiliated channels, which has given me yet another reason to be more active. Suffice it to say, you'll see me around now and in the future.

 

As for my thoughts on the four main points of the original post:

 

-Staff Lethargy

 

This is the bane of online communities. A group can be absolutely wonderful but driven right into the ground by poor moderation and staff, and with a forum that supposedly aims to be a science-inspired place of contribution and level-headed discussion, active staff is of course integral.

 

There's not a lot I can say that hasn't been said before, but yeah, the staff should be more active, myself included, though I'm only a mod on the IRC. Now that my personal issues have finally reached their finale, barring another medical issue, I should be around loads more. As for the rest of the staff, it's really in their hands whether they'll be more present. If they don't want to, they won't, and no amount of complaining will help. I'd love to see a staff filled with ambitious people, and I hope that happens with the staff we have.

 

-Over-acceptance

 

This is the most fluid bugbear of the four. While I personally would love the forum to be filled with serious people who have information-furthering at the forefront of their actions, I don't believe that will happen on any large scale any time soon. However, I do feel that stricter actions should be taken with people who are causing chronic issues and aren't reaching a point of actual action time and time again.

 

Of course, I mainly refer to the IRC since it's what I have the most experience with, however I believe the same or a similar mindset would be beneficial to the forum as well. Now, some small progress has been made with regard to the IRC in the last few days in that they protocol for punishing problem users was adjusted to take into account the aforementioned chronic problems. It's a bit stricter, but if it doesn't end up helping, I'll personally be trying to come up with alternative methods.

 

The problem with tackling over-acceptance stems from the inability to definitively know the intent of others. This is why the problem in the original post (users not being kicked out for "attention-whoring") occurs. They can defend their actions fairly easily by stating that it's a serious issue, or simply "No, I'm not." This is difficult to actually dispute without asserting our understanding and thoughts over the "attention-whore."

 

As such, most disciplinary action is based around the actual actions of these users. To defend the integrity of such discipline calls for previously explained rules that the actions of the user must violate. This is complicated by the slippery and unknowable nature of intent. Attention-whores can use this, and so the safest course of action in my opinion would be to make a stricter set of rules that focus on eliminating common behavior of these problem users. This is something I may work on myself, but I'd be interested and appreciative in seeing anyone else's ideas.

 

-Dilution of information

 

This is natural with a subject of this nature. It can be attacked, but only if the majority of the community adopts a more skeptical mindset which doesn't seem to be the case as of current. Really, all I can suggest at this time is for the (hopefully) active staff to post more questions and responses designed to stimulate more logical discussion on topics brought up.

 

As for terminology, that's actually a current project of mine that was put on hold due to the previously stated medical issues. I've been working on a definitive set of terminology, and as that gets further along I will be asking for input both here and on the IRC. I hope that this will help stimulate some discussion and also bring some clarity, or at least have some sort of definitive reference material. More news on that as I work on it.

 

-Brain drain

 

Monthly activities sound like a decent solution to this problem. I'll be coming up with ideas for this sort of thing as they come to me, and I hope others will, too. Just a point that is probably understood but feels important enough for me to outline: creating useful and contributing users from the current and newly arriving stock is another fantastic solution, though it requires work on the community's hands as a whole. I think the possibility of monthly activities is a good step towards creating an environment that will help grow those sought after users.

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Hi there, I'm also one of the people who was recently added to the Tulpa.info chat moderation team. A lot of you may not know me as I obviously have not been very active in this community since the IRC's move to Rizon, though some of you may have seen me around if you have ever indulged in the Redditulpas community.

 

I was originally a part of the tulpa.info forums in summer of 2012 under a different name, though none of my contributions were significant, and I have been observing this community on the multiple fronts it's expanded on over that period of three years, as well as having been a contributing part of it for two and a half and running. My viewpoint below will come as an observer of this community as a whole, not just .info itself as I feel the generalized experience will be more beneficial here.

 

First off, the issue of Staff Lethargy. Staff members of any online communities that will continuously contribute to the community in a significant way are a rarity. Most of the people given these sorts of powers are the sorts that are holding the responsibility because of two reasons. That being that they are the best candidates, and because working on a site such as this is a convenience for them. As an internet community, I'm sure most would agree that with the trials and tribulations of real life constantly looming over, an online presence becomes a tier 2 concern in most all cases.

 

Staff which are either constantly idle or belligerent are a cancer on online communities, that is an absolute fact that is not specifically attributed to any one body of community. It's been seen and recorded many times over that one person in the right position can ruin a hundred people's fun in the worst possible way. It's for that reason that anyone who accepts the responsibility of a staffing position should also accept the fact that they are here for the benefit of not only themselves, but the much larger community in general.

 

So obviously the solution to that is to carefully construct a responsible group of people rather than any one person, but even then there are difficulties as time moves forward. People will start to grow into other responsibilities outside of those they are entrusted with an any community, and time continuously becomes shorter and shorter for any individual after one obligation sits for too long. To be honest it's a natural occurrence and expectation that some staff, as the few out of the many, are going to become less active over time. Clearly that is not a good thing, but the only time it is really a concern is when the staff member's holding of their position is not being exceeded by their contributions.

 

However, something to also be understood is essentially why anyone could be disillusioned with the idea of the staff's contributions from both an outside viewpoint and an inside viewpoint. There are several reasons why someone wants to leave or become less active in any environment of a community, this one especially given its very personalized nature to most individuals. I had originally decided to part ways with this community in particular because I felt as though its rampant cynicism blinded its users to more helpful and productive means of forwarding Tulpas as a phenomenon and a practice.

 

Hostile environments can be created by both people who both follow the rules perfectly and those who do not. There is a side of the story to each of those sorts of people, be it that they are aggressive in their words, their idealism promotes similar ideas of provocative or negative nature, their attitudes drain away from the motivation of others because of a lack of their own, or simply because that person conflicts with the flow of things on such a high level. One mentality will attract similar because that is where someone who possesses the same will feel similar, and overtime the meshing will create friction.

 

Now the course of action you could usually suggest for that particular issue is “Suck it up, don't care about other people” and etc etc. But that is not how you captivate nor build a community, as other people and their interactions are the entire point of it. If ideas are to be introduced than an idea needs to be respected by others whether it be in agreement or criticism, with a constructed approach to all things.

 

There have been several times during my tenure throughout several Tulpa communities where I have thought to myself, as a user, why should I be here? Why should I talk to these people when they are so bitter and repellent to things which do not fall in line with their views? What am I realistically spending my time on here? Just because of the constant complaints, the groups of people who would gather to all reflect in such close-minded ways.

 

Even still that carries itself forward into my experience as a mod when I came into the Redditulpas moderation team. Why should I help these people when one bad apple spoils five others that I enjoy? What can I do when every decision seems to be damned if I do damned if I don't? Why must every action be defended against people who have no idea what occurs going into them? And etc, etc, etc.

 

Now obviously these are not my final thoughts, but these are merely things that I have considered more than once and certainly more than was healthy as I observed the userbase of each place that I'd go. The thing which had always stuck with me is that at the very least, in all of these places I'd always seen at least one person who wanted or desired to make a change for the better. People who understood, who had their head on straight, and who thought rationally. And it was always because of those people that I weathered the storms and that I'd wanted to keep going forward, to hopefully eventually be able to see something better, be it by my hand or by anyone else's.

 

The sorts of people in a community who continuously complain, complain, and complain, no matter how justified they are, are not doing anything else besides blowing hot air without structure and relative poise to how they articulate themselves. To constantly lash out out both the opinions and the people who hold them or are perceived to hold them does not do anything beyond breed a group of people who will think the same, and inflict the very same on other people who do not fit with their view.

 

That is not a community, that is a clique.

 

The tulpa.info staff team certainly has its share of faults, and in all things, it could certainly have both more Vigilance and a sense of Responsibility. But the fact of the matter is that for all of the bad that may exist, there are still people on this team who desire to make a difference for the better. Otherwise they wouldn't be here, otherwise they wouldn't be working towards something better, and otherwise they would be letting all of the trials I outlined above get to them on a deeper level. Some of them have no doubt, but some of them are still powering forward, and that is respectable.

 

A team of moderators does not have the power to form and steer a community by itself. The only thing that separates a moderator from any other user is the fact that we have the ability to brute force a solution to a problem. Beyond that, however, is where the power line ends. What a lot of people don't realize is that any one person's voice can be an incredibly powerful thing, both for the good and for the bad.

 

There is a role and a place for everyone in a community, be they ones who keep order, ones who wish to make a positive impact, or one and the same. But all of them are of equal value when you get right down to it. Words and actions of all users as a single entity are what makes a community what it is, not just a team of five to ten people. The most important aspect to both is that one's voice and one's actions both be positive influences on everyone as a whole, and not just singular wishes to be met. You don't need to wear a badge to fulfill either of those, and you may not need one either.

 

What needs to be worked towards is that idea of a clean environment for everyone, so that everyone as a whole can benefit from it. Be it someone's wish to stay or someone's motivation to help, both of them need to be kept in healthy standing if anything is going to progress into something better. That is a job for everyone, and a goal for few than those who have an honest drive to do so.

 

Now, as for the issue of Over-acceptance, that also plays a part in my earlier points. This issue in its entirety is a double-edged sword, with both extreme viewpoints and ones that are not extreme enough. There are those who can come with new opinions and fresh attitudes that could be a welcome change, and then there are those who come with both horrible attitudes and even worse ideas that spread like plague. And it's incredibly difficult to be able to judge which is which at face value.

 

The issue of over-acceptance is not one which can be dealt with without careful thought and care. Obviously there are clear cut ideas which do not mesh well, and clearly there are also those which would and should be readily welcomed in a perfect world. But neither of those exist in a healthy sense, in that neither of them are realistically achievable in any convenient amount of time.

 

Dealing with it in an entirely heavy-handed and close-minded way only breeds the clique-ish nature that I mentioned above, whereas dealing with it in a completely open-minded and welcoming sense can just the same breed a community of people who are just wandering in circles with their own fantasies rather than forward. What needs to be reached is a middle-ground to sort out those who possess something worth hearing and those who would be better off not being listened to whatsoever.

 

You need to show people on the outside that your door is open, but you also need to ensure they know that they're expected to pull their own weight once they're inside.

 

It's a middle-ground that I feel .info does not currently possess, but it is certainly one that I would hope can be worked toward and achieved. However, I would say out of all of them it is one of the most difficult to perform, as on a grand scale that is installing a group-think mentality. Not impossible certainly, but definitely something which will take a lot of work.

 

Now, Dilution of Information I feel like is something that several other people in this thread have said better than I. And to echo what seems to be the general consensus, when you have a practice so subjective as Tulpas, dilution is a natural occurrence. In a way, dilution overall plays a part into how everyone is treating the community and are themselves being treated.

 

Healthy skepticism is something I've always advocated for, but some people do not agree, and some people also believe that it should go beyond the word “healthy”. Obviously the most common solution to that problem is that make information as readily and as easily available as you possibly can. But even then, care needs to be taken to separate what is opinion and what is fact, something that is very difficult to do without a large amount of experience both of your own and in dealing with others way of doing things.

 

It's something that everyone needs to work toward as a whole, in their own way of both stimulating discussion as well as being as clear and concise in their responses as they can be.

 

Over-acceptance, dilution of information, and all of the issues previously stated are all things that I feel are significant contributions to Brain Drain as a whole. People will leave this community for a myriad of reasons. One person pissed them off, an entire group pissed them off, they disagree with this, they disagree with that, someone said this, someone said that, that aesthetic is bad, the atmosphere is hostile, they aren't comfortable, they don't feel mods do enough, they feel mods do too much, etc. They're all things which play into how the community presents itself, as well as how its members choose to act toward their peers in it.

 

Obviously it is impossible to please anyone, but it is certainly possible to please the baseline of people who are capable of holding an amicable conversation about damn near anything. I actually have a suggestion on that which is used on r/tulpas to stimulate constructive discussion on Tulpas in particular.

 

Essentially one user would come up with a “theory” for a topic, or any sort of idea which invokes thought. And then other users were welcome to post to that thread with their own ideas or conflicting debates, which could then be replied to and so on and so on. Sort of like an open mic if the open mic was for debates.

 

I could see this working well if it was say a bi-monthly thing, with perhaps a thread before to pose ideas to the mods or whomever runs it to be selected. Obviously beyond that there are always those who could contribute original content, but the motivation not only has to be there but the person themselves have to be knowledgeable enough to make that sort of content.

 

More steps could certainly be taken to encourage others to contribute, and perhaps giving them some material to work with beforehand as a concentrated effort would be enough to bring out that more intellectual side of those people.

 

Anyway, I apologize for this reply dragging on, but I feel as though I've made a majority of my points. I probably have some other things to say but this seems to be getting long enough, so I'll wrap up here. I haven't been located on this side of the tracks for very long, but so long as I am here, I will do my best to improve what can be improved. I am appreciative of the trust I was given, and I hope to repay in full what I can when I can.

 

Thank you for your time.


Dreamoo

 

Also here with Lily, Hanako, Seraph, Velvet, and Kerosine.

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Here is my opinion to all on how to fix this forum: Stop suggesting mods moderating content of statements and questions. Stop suggesting the of screening personalities of new members for the "right kind of people" with the "right thinking" and the "right personality." Be patient as the hills. I don't mean tolerating obvious trolls. I am talking about listening to those critical of the community, even if it rankles you a bit. That is where the seeds to improve the community lie. New persons coming in can see things more clearly sometimes than those who are established members.

 

If there are any real trolls here, they're hurting the community by affecting new members' first impression of us. The problem is that there doesn't seem to be such a thing as an obvious troll.

 

Let's take a look at a few people who have been called trolls:

 

I believe all of these people were called obvious trolls (and I'm guilty of calling a few of them trolls) but I don't think the whole community will agree on any of these people. Some people believe unusual things, or experience unusual things, or just present themselves in such a way that annoys other people. Who can say which is which?


"Some things have to be believed to be seen." - Ralph Hodgson

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If there are any real trolls here, they're hurting the community by affecting new members' first impression of us. The problem is that there doesn't seem to be such a thing as an obvious troll.

 

Let's take a look at a few people who have been called trolls:

 

I believe all of these people were called obvious trolls (and I'm guilty of calling a few of them trolls) but I don't think the whole community will agree on any of these people. Some people believe unusual things, or experience unusual things, or just present themselves in such a way that annoys other people. Who can say which is which?

 

You bring up a good point. Perhaps, then, it might instead make more sense to try to encourage new members to present themselves seriously if they want serious answers? I'm not sure how exactly we could enforce such a thing -- maybe a little warning somewhere along the account creation process like "asking why we believe what we believe is fine, but if you do it with a penis for an avatar while scoffing at how ridiculous the whole thing sounds to you, don't be surprised if the community writes you off as a troll and disregards your opinions".

 

Because a lot of those members, when called out on being trolls, honestly seemed surprised that they were being treated that way, thus making it difficult for them to then say "I only wanted answers" and try to steer their thread onto an actual serious discussion. And that seems a little bit ridiculous to me, and only makes them look more like trolls, even if that's not their goal.

 

A little warning like "don't be surprised if you're called a troll when you act like one", along with maybe some guidelines as to how to present a dissenting opinion respectfully (not strictly enforced rules, simply suggestions), might be helpful. It would also give members something to point to when someone does make an "obvious troll" thread and follows it up with "but I only wanted answers!", thus hopefully getting the point across to the new member and helping them shape up quicker, so that they can be taken seriously like they want.

 

I mean, you'd think it would be obvious that people shouldn't act like trolls if they want to be taken seriously, but, if past experience means anything... a little reminder couldn't hurt.


Pinky is not a pony. She's an imp.

Sunray is an angel-imp. Ex is humanoid. Kael is a dragon. Magnum is a dog.

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I just want to say a quick little thing about trolls/roleplayers before I go to bed.

 

I think what some people are forgetting here is that we have absolutely no reason to care whether or not someone is roleplaying (lying). The issue is, and always has been the way they affect our image, and influence other users (mainly newbies). I would say that the only real solution is to draw a sort of line, where we can somewhat concretely define what hurts our image, or negatively influences new users.

For example, I think that making absurd claims without having any backing, and refusing to listen to others' opinions should be seriously frowned upon. I would very much prefer for that kind of thing not to become a moderation matter, though. I would like to see the community collectively not stand for that kind of childish absurdity.

 

But I'm open to any ideas about how to implement a way to help prevent that kind of behavior.


"If this can be avoided, it should. If it can't, then it would be better if it could be. If it happened and you're thinking back to it, try and think back further. Try not to avoid it with your mind. If any of this is possible, it may be helpful. If not, it won't be."

 

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Split Mistgod divergence here. I see there is a lot of it earlier, too. I may be adding to that thread.

 

Edit: Split the Mistgod posts and responses from the previous page (for those of you using the standard page count). There are some actual, relevant points in there, but it is mostly Mistgod discussion. If you are interested, please do read the split thread.


"If this can be avoided, it should. If it can't, then it would be better if it could be. If it happened and you're thinking back to it, try and think back further. Try not to avoid it with your mind. If any of this is possible, it may be helpful. If not, it won't be."

 

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I really have to agree that something needs to be done for this place. I am unendingly thankful for it, because without it I never would have found out about tulpa in the first place, but that doesn't mean that we should just sit back and allow this to happen. Like most people have already said, having monthly goals, research objectives, etc., is a great idea. In fact, everything Yuki said was a great idea. . . .

 

If such projects ever come about, then I'll be a willing participant.


James: Hello, all!

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Guest Anonymous

I really have to agree that something needs to be done for this place. I am unendingly thankful for it, because without it I never would have found out about tulpa in the first place, but that doesn't mean that we should just sit back and allow this to happen. Like most people have already said, having monthly goals, research objectives, etc., is a great idea. In fact, everything Yuki said was a great idea. . . .

 

If such projects ever come about, then I'll be a willing participant.

 

The heart of the issue is the simple fact that it is a public internet forum open for anyone to join and participate and speak their mind. You are going to have outliers and off topic discussion. You cannot force conformity into a narrow set of parameters or the forum will die of lack of interest. Requiring rank and file members to have or state objectives will kill it faster than anything I can imagine.

 

With a public, open and free internet venue, general rank and file members understandably have very little personal investment in the success, continuity and cohesion of this forum. Why should they? What you end up with is a very small number of dedicated members who may really care, but don't have the time to monitor activity and corral things, and a huge turn over rate of more or less temporary members that don't care at all except how it entertains them.

 

Solution: A smaller more serious group needs to meet in private in a different venue, maybe even in person. Private meetings by invitation only? Private e'mail? A secret society? An smaller institute for tulpa study with applications for membership including a questionaire and auto-biographical essay on why the applicant wants a tulpa, goals and beliefs? An application fee or membership dues?

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I wouldn't mind having a smaller, more exclusive group. But it seems like we'd all get together, and then it would be like, "Ok, now what?" I don't really feel like there's anything that I can't discuss here (aside from lurid sex stories, but they're not part of my tulpa experience anyway) so what would this smaller group do?


"Some things have to be believed to be seen." - Ralph Hodgson

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