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! apple cores - apparently you annoyed somebody on the staff

 
steward
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In the last month there have been three complaints from people about getting apple cores.  So I thought it might be good to write a little something about apple cores so that staff can simply point to this thread.

First, in order for there to be an apple core, there needs to be an apple.  Here's a thread about that.  Staff and pollinators have a limited number of apples to give out each day to what they think are the best posts.  Who has given the apple is kept discreet.  It is an anonymous gesture.

Only staff can give out apple cores.  And they are generally very reluctant to do it. In fact, most of the staff protested against the idea of even having an apple core feature.  If the post was bad enough, it would simply be deleted right?  Or maybe put on probation.  

I, however, am the high commander.  And it was my choice to move forward with the feature.  I feel that about four times a year there is a post where I don't feel it is right to remove it or put it on probation, but it would be better to mark the post in such a way that boldly states "at least one person on the staff deeply disagrees with this post - to the point of removing apples."  

Shortly after the apple core system was put in place, we were struggling with people that kept posting about politics and religion and stuff - even though it was strictly forbidden.  So that is when we created the cider press.  A group of forums on the very topics that we previously banned.   But you can only post there if you have enough apples.   And when you post there, there is a very good chance you will lose apples - which is why we call it "the cider press."

There are often a lot of posts there that are quite lovely and actually earn apples!   But ....   here is what I usually see happen:


I command all people to think these thoughts I have carefully laid out.  After all, because I have cited somebody that wrote "science" at the top of their page, it is clearly fact.  Praise me.   (2 apple cores)

What the fuck?  I lost apples?  What sort of dumbfuck could possibly take apples away from such perfect poetry?  (4 apple cores)

I've lost even more apples?  How is this possible?  My words are following the one rule of the site: "be nice".   I am being perfectly nice with every post.  Whoever is taking away my apples is the one not being nice!  (4 apple cores)

Stop it you motherfucker!  This is twisted and wrong.  I command you to give me my apples back! (4 apple cores)

I'm taking this to Paul and he will crush whoever is doing this.  You'll be sorry for the day you did not obey me! (4 apple cores)



And then a new thread shows up in the tinkering forum:

I posted something sweet, kind and helpful and somebody on the staff clearly hates me for no reason and proceeded to unjustly take away my apples! (4 apple cores)


I could go on, but you get the general idea.


I once was foolish enough to post to the cider press and I lost an apple.   Somebody on staff gave ME an apple core.  Of course, my apple count is meaningless, so it doesn't really matter.  I felt a little weird about getting an apple core on my own site.  Partly "good for them!" and partly "I think that whatever I post on my site is, by definition, correct."   But mostly I thought "I have better things to do than waste my time in the cider press."


Suppose you write a post in the cider press.   40 staff members will read it.   Let's suppose that 20 of those people strongly agree with you - those people find your post to be "nice" and move along.   A few might even give you their apple for the day.  But the other 20 read it and they strongly disagree with you - and connected to that, your post does NOT look nice.   It seems to have eight violations of the publishing standards.   Further, it would be great if you no longer had enough apples to be able to post to the cider press - after all, you clearly do NOT have what it takes to "be nice."   Each of the 20 give you several apple cores.  

Your first thought is "that's not fair - they should be more objective and not take a political stance."   You are SO correct!  An even better solution would be to not allow any political discussion whatsoever!   So ....   what ... we .... have ... here ...  is a desire for not only good moderation, but professional 24/7 moderation.  And not just professional, but very high professionalism which comes with a salary of $200,000 per year.  And those professionals will be managed by even more professional managers, and there will need to be a support staff to handle paying these people and an office building, proper six month training, etc.    I think we are looking at something on the order of 50 million dollars each year.  And to be able to post into the cider press with such professional moderation - I think that just got really expensive for you.  Will it be $5000 per year to be able to write those posts and get "professional" moderation?

So all of our staff are unpaid volunteers.  Even me.  I actually pay to be here.  And they are untrained.  And we pass the savings on to you!  


So if you like having lots of apples, I suggest two important things:

  - don't post in the cider press

  - make sure every post you write will be comfortable with 40 untrained volunteers



If you wish to discuss moderation, make sure that discussion is in the tinkering forum.   99% of the time I stand strongly behind the all-volunteer staff that got onto the staff for being exceptionally nice and have volunteered a big gob of their life to helping build this community.   And the only pay they ask for is that when the time comes that I stand behind them.   So I think that when bringing something up in the tinkering forum, you might want to make it clear that you are seeking understanding or making a suggestion.   I feel the need to mention this, because along with concern about apple cores people tend to add in the message "run the site my way or I will leave" - we have a thread about it here.  As explained in that thread, we call that "a swan song".  Since we will not simply obey the author, then it seems that the author will leave.   But it seems that an author that makes this statement doesn't actually leave, but, instead, gets really awful.   So we have been trained by history that when we see "the swan song" we lock the account.  This results in a loss of all apples.  



I command all people to think these thoughts I have carefully laid out.  Praise me!  Give me apples!  :)



 
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Funny how many feather get ruffled over virtual apples... that you did very little to earn... and can easily earn more of... participating on a online forum that gives you tons of information... for free.
 
pollinator
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Ashley Cottonwood wrote:Funny how many feather get ruffled over virtual apples... that you did very little to earn...



I personally don't feel like I "did very little to earn" apples.  I go out of my way to take pictures of things I am working on, try to describe the process, try to answers people's questions, do my best to post useful information based on years of experimenting and working at this.  I understand apples don't really mean much, but it is nice that people acknowledge the effort and I appreciate them the same way I appreciate it when people say thank you when I help them out.  
 
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I like that the apple giving is anonymous and one doesn't need to justify why they choose to give an apple to a post.  Likewise, I like the core system being anonymous too.  

It would seem like a double standard to me if the staff had to justify giving cores but not giving apples.  


I also want to mention what Paul said about the trained staff vs volunteer staff.  The community here has the flavour it does because the staff work so hard behind the scenes.  Thank you everyone for all the hard work you do.
 
pollinator
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It's the little things in life that get to most people.  Especially when they care.

Get along people.  There are times for entertainment purposes and times when its better to not antagonize each other.  This is one of those times to get along.  

Such upset feelings typically stem from people who care, it is ok if a bit comical to some.  Believe me.  I deal with this every day right now to keep food flowing to grocery stores.  Get along people, this is the time for adults more so than ever.  Being effective is not always being the most right.

Get hungry enough, an apple core looks pretty good!  Core me up a good one!
 
Ashley Cottonwood
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Trace Oswald wrote:

Ashley Cottonwood wrote:Funny how many feather get ruffled over virtual apples... that you did very little to earn...



I personally don't feel like I "did very little to earn" apples.  I go out of my way to take pictures of things I am working on, try to describe the process, try to answers people's questions, do my best to post useful information based on years of experimenting and working at this.  I understand apples don't really mean much, but it is nice that people acknowledge the effort and I appreciate them the same way I appreciate it when people say thank you when I help them out.  



That's a fair point Trace. You are working to create something positive and that should be recognized.
 
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