ChainLink : Look ‘White Smoke’ From The Vatican!

Background Reading

Summary

Summing-Up-The-Kerfuffle

A Plea For Something, Anything To Satisfy The Soul

And then a miraculous delivery!

Reply by Andronymous 7 minutes ago
Simplified forum rules were just announced:
http://goo.gl/MwhJFq

New-ChainLink-Forum-Rules

New-ChainLink-Forum-Rules

Reply by h’ 1.0 3 minutes ago
Looks good to me. The old rules were mostly copied over from some other site that seemed to be run by teenagers.

Wait, wait! You mean the ChainLink Forum has a ‘sister site’? Sweet!

Reply by h’ 1.0 6 hours ago
This one’s my favorite:
Post new forum topics within the appropriate category. Choose from Bikes and Bicycling, General Discussion (Not Bike Related) Announcements, and Marketing. Please make sure your topic is appropriately categorized. Moderators may change categories as required.

But notoriousDUG is on a mission to get some solid answers:

Reply by notoriousDUG 6 hours ago
Better, but still pretty sad as forum rules go. There is nothing about hate speech or general offensive content; I am posting nothing but pictures of dicks with racial epitaphs for captions because it is not against the rules!

Of course what really matters is how they are enforced; the issue that started this thread had nothing to do with the rules it had to do with how they were enforced. Both parties there were clearly in violation of the published rules, but only one was punished. The issue was not the rules (although they were pretty poorly written) but their selective application.

My new favorite language here is, ‘Members who break the rules may be warned, suspended, and/or banned.’

Such a strong stand to take against rule breakers; if you cross the mods here they might think about maybe warning you.

If you want rules to be any good you need to have a set system of enforcement in place otherwise moderators can unfairly apply them at their whim.

He gets a response from Howard which is more telling than anything else:

Reply by h’ 1.0 6 hours ago
Doug, are you trying to get banned? Why?

One has to wonder why asking questions, hard questions is considered grounds for being banned? If this were a Russian village in which people were questioning the things that their leaders did, you could imagine that something like this question would be expected. But we are in America!

So why does a person who is a long-time member of this group ask such a question. Regardless of the answer the question itself tells you everything you need to know about this group and its insularity.

Reply by notoriousDUG 5 hours ago
Why would I be banned?

Have I broken rules?

I think we have a messed up system of favoritism here when it comes to the rules and I would like to see something done about it. I don’t think I am being unreasonable here.

Wow! Poignant is the only way to describe this comeback. Bravo, notoriousDUG!

Reply by Gecko 5 hours ago
I’ve been emailing back and forth with Julie about other things, and the need for stronger/better moderation came up at one point.  I can assure you that she is working to address and improve the moderation along with the site overhaul in the next few months.  If you have any suggestions for rules, moderation styles, or technical ways to moderate specific things, send her an email with your ideas and start your own conversation.  With the site overhaul, we have the opportunity to not necessarily start from zero, but vastly improve many things about it – one of which is the moderation.

One almost gets the feeling that this is an underworld gang where strict protocol is required. The principals of the group are doing very little speaking ‘out in the open‘.

And notoriousDUG slogs on:

Reply by notoriousDUG 5 hours ago

I’m sorry but third party assurances that she is ‘working to address the situation’ are not really what I am looking for here.

I would like to see Julie actually speak for herself here; choices were made on how to selectively enforce the rules and the person at the top has given no reasons as to why.

My suggestions were made long ago and fell on deaf ears, Julie is aware of what they are.

And again to my utter amazement he presses on. The group’s infant terrible tries to position himself as the aggrieved party in all of this. But notoriousDUG presses on:

Reply by notoriousDUG 2 hours ago

Don’t flatter yourself into thinking there is anything personal about this.  Had anybody else acted like you do and been granted exception for it I would have had the same things to say.

What are my true intentions Gabe?  All I want is to see rules enforced evenly whatever they are.

A couple of the grey beards who are attempting at far too late a point in the discussion that has been raging on this forum are trying to sound sage. Howard and Dave are being chummy without effect:

Reply by notoriousDUG 1 hour ago

I don’t disagree with this but I think that the judgement used here is not always fair and impartial.

As I have said before there were two people acting out, but only one of them was sanctioned for it, I think the difference in how they were dealt with to have been favoritism on a large scale. 

Bravo! Again, he has said in a forceful manner what needs to be said. But Howard’s response is quite pathetic:

Reply by h’ 1.0 8 minutes ago

Hard to know without having access to the same information and input that the site leadership does.  Which the site leadership has no obligation to share with you.

But, for the sake of argument– let’s say Julie wakes up one morning and decides she’s going to make unfair and partial decisions all day…

It’s her site.

Yikes! I can hardly believe an American actually said something like this. We are a nation of ‘hard asses‘. What drives us to this is the notion that ‘We The People‘ is the operative phrase in everything we do. Normally a small business gets to belong to a single person until they decide to expand and sell shares. Then that business no longer belongs to them, it belongs to the ‘investors‘.

Julie took on investors. Investors get to ask questions. The ChainLink Forum and its corollary group the Urban Cycling Movement are evidently structured (at least in the minds of the ‘Old Guard‘) more like the Politburo than anything like the trilateral governmental structure of the United States. That one fact alone tells me everything I need to know about this group and how it functions.

Like the Kremlin there are some ‘equals‘ who are more equal than others. Brezhnev was a notable car collector in a state where private property was verboten.

Reply by notoriousDUG 26 minutes ago
I can make bad decisions all day long as well and I would expect the people they effected to question them. I expect and am willing to explain my choices, I guess it is unreasonable to expect others to step up and be accountable for their actions…

Everybody who has donated money or time to The Chianlink has ‘skin in the game.’

Having run an online community for some time I think that an important part of building ‘community‘ is being accountable to the users. Without the members there is no community and if the membership has questions I feel there is an obligation of the leadership to answer them. Failing to address questions and concerns from the membership is dismissive of the fact that without members there is no forum.

Each one of us, every click, is revenue for The Chainlink.

Here is some food for thought.

We may have 10,000 members, but how many of them actually participate?

Why do so many remain silent?

How many active members do we have?

It is ‘fear of losing place‘ that keeps most of the grey beards silent. Like the king courts of old, you need to ‘go along to get along‘. The King of England could be syphilitic and suffering dementia as a result. But few if any were available for wise counsel, fearing their loss of station within the court itself. The same is true here.

At The Heart Of The Problem Are The Actors Themselves

What ails the ChainLink is its power structure. Yes, notoriousDUG, ‘favoritism‘ is rampant here. Vilda seems his role as that of the Sergeant-at-Arms in the Kremlin. The Politburo needs him and he them. What must happen is that a person of the stature of Gorbachev emerges and redirects the ‘ship of state‘. Until that happens, anyone asking too many questions will be sent to the ‘virtual Gulag‘. The role Vilda has is also much the same as that of Putin prior to becoming the Premier. And of course as Premier he has continued to place the collective above all else.

Jeff Schneider was possibly mistaken when he claimed that this group is not the Borg. Like any of these groups I have mentioned they all share one thing in common, ‘preservation of the group over the individual‘. The dynamic that is continually playing out in the ChainLink Forum itself is the struggle against questioning minds. They will of course deny this, but their responses to notoriousDUG and their veiled warnings if he does not cease his intensive questioning are ample evidence that this is exactly what exists here.