I wanted to take a moment to talk about some of the changes happening on the forums.
1. New Staff.
2. Forum Cleanup.
3. New art section and possible layout changes.
1. NEW STAFF!
For the past few years, Wolfin, Flechmen and I have been responsible for preforming the duties of admin, moderators, observers, and IRC Network administrators.
. Set the rules and policies for the site.
. Manually approved every new member for entering sections intended as sanctuary for Christians.
. Maintained the forum and IRC software to keep things up-to-date and as secure as possible.
. Looked for new ways to innovate for more features and to prevent spambots.
. Manually removed spam-bots and spam threads.
. Manually removed trolls.
. Made judgment calls to remove dangerous regular members from the forums and IRC (Though, Thankfully, this hasn't been an issue for quite some time.)
. Enforced forum rules as evenly and fairly as we can.
. Tried to maintain some level of sanity during difficult times.
. Tried to maintain a balance between allowing different views of Christianity to voice their own opinions whilst not allowing dangerous doctrine contrary to the core ideals of Christianity to spread.
My work here has been the least of any of the admin.
Thankfully, we have had some staff members monitoring IRC and one particularly excellent member running a bible study. (he's the last person to hold a ministry leader position.)
Our goal in Christianfurs has always been to provide a safe and responsible community for Christian furries.
With Wolfin no-longer on staff, everything that was once shared between 3 admin is now controlled by just Flechmen and myself. I'm a full time college student taking 45+ hours worth of school per week. I also work 20 hours a week and volunteer as an adult member of the airforce auxilery. Flechmen has plenty of work and responsibilities of his own. Now the responsibilities of this place are 'balanced' on just the two of us, and unfortunately, Flechmen is getting caught with a disproportionate amount of work due to the technical nature of some of it.
In light of that fact, Flechmen and i have decided to open up more staff positions to the community to allow other members to actively participate in running the forum. This is the first time we have done anything like this, so it's a learning process for us as well as for the people we've brought on as staff. The change actually took place a few weeks ago. We wanted to start off small as this is a small community and it's a new things for us. So, we selected just a few regular members who we thought would be responsible, active, and exercise good judgment as well as act professionally and defuse tense situations. So far, they have proved themselves as responsible individuals, so we've decided to make their position in the forums known.
For now, those four new staff members are known as observers. They are:
- Rukh Whitefang
- The Slimeinator
Observers do not have any extra powers in the forum except for a place to communicate with admin and to help us keep an eye on things. They are not moderators, rather the eyes and ears of the staff. Please do not ask them to share any information about what is going on in the staff forums, as it is strictly forbidden and it will get them removed from staff if they do. It is the first thing they agree NOT to do when accepting a staff position. It is the nature of staffing a forum that we are not always right, and need an area to discuss, communicate, and come to conclusions without having any fear in offering other viewpoints or opinions. It is also not fair to involve people in internal debates or arguments happening where they do not have access to see the full story or the context.
This is just round 1 on staff. Someday the forum will have moderators as well. But, we're starting off slowly and easily as, again, this is something that is new for all of us.
With the addition of extra staff, we're hoping to improve the way things are run, and to set more concrete standards so that the forum can be run in a more professional way than it has been in the past. When Flechmen and I have more free time to not worry about basic moderation tasks we hope to be able to work on more administrative tasks that have been bothering the two of us for quite some time. For example, we hope to make some major modifications to the sites appearance sometime in the future.
2. Forum Cleanup:
That brings us to point 2. Forum cleanup.
.For starters, I hope some of you have noticed that we are only using one banner on the forums right now. For as long as we have the notebook theme (which won't be forever), we are only going to have one banner at a time. The banner we're using now was done by Korro in some of the earlier weeks of the forum.
.Sometime soon, we are going to implement some restrictions on avatar and signature size. We haven't quite decided what they will be yet, but we will no-longer be allowing 2000x2000px avatars that take up the entire screen when someone goes to your user page, nor signatures that take up half a screen for every post a user makes. It's not helpful for our users with poorer quality internet connections and it pushes out the forum's frames in distasteful ways.
.The, "Galleries," button at the top of the page will be removed as it is now obsolete and unused.
3. New section and possible layout changes.
.As the galleries have been broken for some time and were never properly used even when they were perfectly functioning, we've decided to start a proper, "Art section," on the forum for users to post their art. People have kind of been doing this anyways in the, "art exchange," forum among other places due to a lack of a better place to put them.
Many threads in the art exchange, or other various forums may be moved to the new section, so just be aware if you had an art related thread and you can't figure out where it went, it might be there.
.We might look into moving or merging other forums... Or outright removing little used forums and allowing posts that would normally go there to go in the general category.
More on these changes to come as we get specifics down. Not everything is in place yet. For now, a very warm welcome to the new staff members.