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New category: The Cider Press

 
Terry Byrne
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Might I ask, where is the Cider Press forum?
 
Mike Barkley
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Cider Press
 
Nicole Alderman
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r ranson
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I noticed that some forums have hidden, members-only sections for talking about hot button issues.  You can't even read the section unless you have jumped through hoops.  I also noticed that those forums are pretty easy to game (cheat) the system.

Permies Cider Press is not hidden.  Anyone and read what is in there.  If your topic is moved to the cider press, it does not become invisible like on many forums.  But the apple system is pretty difficult to 'game' and the cider press is so named because it eats up apples like crazy.  

Talking about certain topics outside the cider press usually causes the thread to vanish - nearly instantly.

But occasionally a post (or poster) is so good that we reward it by moving the thread to the cider press where it can thrive.  It's a safe place to talk about difficult topics.  

Complaining about staff doing this is going to make the staff less inclined to put the effort into saving your thread in the future - deleting is so much simpler.  


Of course, this would be much easier if the thread was started in the cider press to begin with.  
 
Joseph Lofthouse
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Wow!

There is a thread in the Ulcer Factory that is currently burning through apples like crazy. A minute ago I counted 10 apple cores already on the thread, and it's less than a day old.  There are about 40 (untrained volunteer) staff, and if any of them think that a post is the slightest bit not nice, they can give an apple core, and/or delete the post. The type of vaccination discussion that happens in other venues on the Internet isn't a good fit for permies. I'm suggesting a nice, middle-of-the-road discussion.

Extremes on either side of the issue are tending towards being apple-core magnets. A sure way to attract cores is suggesting that the other side from you are ignorant, misinformed, uncaring, dangerous, irrational, faithless, superstitious, unscientific, or should be banished, shamed, or coerced.

 
Joseph Lofthouse
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I came across this beautiful description of the Cider Press.

In the Cider Press the participants have to find a way to avoid pushing your buttons and my buttons and every other staff member's buttons.

 
r ranson
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When I post in the cider press, I follow TEA.

T - think about what I'm saying and if it could be taken differently than I intend.
E - examine what I just wrote and ask myself if it adds to the conversation.
A - always put the kettle on, brew a cuppa tea, and drink it before re-reading my post and pressing submit.  
 
Nicole Alderman
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For me, a big part of "E - examine what I just wrote and ask myself if it adds to the conversation." is asking myself if I am sharing my own experiences, or just repeating things I've heard. My own experiences are far less likely to start a flame war than second-hand information. Things I've heard around the internet have often been heard by others and easily get a flame war or argument started. It seems those just create echo chambers of the same arguments heard around the web, and little is learned and many feelings are hurt.

I try really hard to share my own experiences and research. I really enjoy reading first-hand info--a link to a study, someone's own experience, etc. That gives me great inform to inform my own opinion and decision making, and I'm really grateful!
 
r ranson
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There is a post the staff are discussing this morning.  It's a very good post.  It says some things that I agree with 100%.  But those things are political and the post wasn't in the cider press.

In the end, it is probable that the post will be quietly removed.  

Someone might volunteer to save the post and move it to the right place, but history shows us that this leads to people getting upset and telling us off for doing things wrong.

Someone might volunteer to press the almost-a-post button, but is it worth it?  There's nothing in that post that isn't cider press, so the only thing this would do would be to tell the person they did wrong.  Since people often respond to almost-a-post like it's punishment instead of an opportunity to save their post, it might not be worth the effort.

Someone might volunteer to PM the user and suggest how they might start a new topic in the cider press using the post as a starting point.  But this leads to about 20 PMs back and forth and hours of time until the staff says "I have a garden to plant, I'm outta here." and we never hear from them again.

So a beautiful and brilliant post will probably quietly vanish because it was posted in the wrong place.  
 
r ranson
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paul wheaton wrote:I do want to warn people, these forums are a great place to lose your apples.   If you have enough apples to post there, and your post is not nice, you will have apples taken away.  This might be a good time to review my publishing standards.



When making apple cider, it chews up a lot of apples.

It's a lot of fun, especially if you bung an airlock on the juice and let it ferment.  (although cleaning up the mess if the airlock gets blocked and the thing explodes is less fun).

Today there has been a lot of talk about apple cores and when it's okay to give them.  Every staff member has access to the apple core button.  We aren't given hard and fast rules on how to use this button.  So you might get cores for not being nice or breaking publishing standards.  You might get cores for posting an opinion someone disagrees with.  Or possibly other reasons.

The thing about the cider press is in the name.  By posting there about controversial topics, you are basically saying that you are okay with losing apples.  If you really want to keep your apple count high, then maybe sticking to solution-focused, non-controversial topics would be the way to go.  

My favourite quote today:

It is called "the cider press" because you are probably gonna lose a lot of apples.  

 
Chris Kott
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And yet, I feel the same way about receiving an unqualified apple core as I do about receiving an unqualified "thumbs down."

Oh, I don't mind. But it's a less-than informative way to state your opinion. I prefer when people respond in-thread, so we can have an actual discussion, rather than opening the site to find a flaming bag of apple remains on my front stoop.

But if I wasn't okay with receiving apple cores, I wouldn't be posting in the Cider Press. It's possible I was having an off-moment. It does sometimes happen.

-CK
 
Joseph Lofthouse
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Giving apple cores isn't a way for me to engage in discussion, or express an opinion. I really don't care about many of the topics that are discussed on the forum. What I care a lot about, is how the discussion is carried out.

Sometimes, I'll give a core to a post merely because I am annoyed that it was an edge case, and burned through my time participating in a staff discussion. Sometimes, I'll give a lot of cores, just to keep a problematic poster from participating in the cider press.

Most often, when a post gets an apple core, it gets deleted at the same time. It just quietly goes away. Only staff (and perhaps the original poster) know that something went awry.

One of our review strategies when a thread crashes is to ask, "Where did things first start to go wrong?" That post often gets an apple core.

An apple core that is publicly visible can be thought of as a "caution" sign. Things are unlikely to end well if discussion continues down the path suggested in the cored post. That's a fuzzy line, based on the moderators experience with moderating more than a million posts. Some common patterns of writing tend to lead to common patterns of responses.





 
Ryan Hobbs
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Dude, not cool deleting my thread. I lost no apples, I was following the rules, I got no warnings, it was just suddenly gone. I poured my heart out. I worked on that post for hours. I didn't insult anybody, and the entire discussion was civil. Why did it get deleted and if it is still around in any form, can you send me a doc with the full text of my opening post, because I feel like my story is a part of me and that is important.
 
Nicole Alderman
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We're reviewing the thread, Ryan. Sometimes we delete things while going through them with a fine toothed comb. Sometimes they come back. Sometimes it takes a while, as some of us are transplanting raspberries and planting seeds and caring for kids. I think Paul's Feminism thread vanished for quite a long time, too. Sometimes we feel that the division that a thread might cause could be detrimental to the permies community. I haven't read through the whole thread, and there's many of us looking at it.

and the entire discussion was civil



That might be because there were posts quietly deleted that kept it civil.
 
r ranson
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paul said it really well here https://permies.com/t/134514/run-site-leave

Some people might say "it's only ten posts long and they were good posts!" - But they don't see the 60 posts that have already been removed.  And sometimes a topic just consumes too much staff time to deal with it.   But usually, somebody on staff steps in and says "I care about this topic - I will do the work."  And there ya go - we're back in business.

 
Ryan Hobbs
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r ranson wrote:paul said it really well here https://permies.com/t/134514/run-site-leave

Some people might say "it's only ten posts long and they were good posts!" - But they don't see the 60 posts that have already been removed.  And sometimes a topic just consumes too much staff time to deal with it.   But usually, somebody on staff steps in and says "I care about this topic - I will do the work."  And there ya go - we're back in business.




Ohhhh okay. That's reasonable. I didn't know about that. I'm sorry to have caused the mods trouble. But if it still exists somewhere or you decide to be rid of it completely, I'd like a copy of my opening post. It really is important to me. I didn't think it would make people angry. Afterall, it's just a story about my life.

If you need me to edit it and make it more friendly, I can do that. But I would really like a copy of the original if you have it. I was stupid and didn't back it up because I was tired. I'm going to stash it in my memoir folder. I won't repost it.
 
Trace Oswald
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Mine was one of the posts that was just deleted. I didn't think it was offensive, but it must have offended someone. Offending anyone is not my intention when I post. For that reason, it doesn't bother me when a post gets deleted. People can't always see everyone else's perspective and from someone's perspective, my post was ugly, or offensive, or at the very least, not nice, so I would just as soon have it deleted. I don't always agree with the mods, but I'm always grateful for the work they do here.
 
r ranson
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But they don't see the 60 posts that have already been removed



somebody on staff steps in and says "I care about this topic - I will do the work."  



This conversation is causing a lot more work for the staff.  I'm not sure anyone wants to step up anymore.  

Moderating is a thankless task at the best of times.  At this point, the mess is so big, and there has been so many complaints and people eager to tell the staff what they should and should not do, it may be that thread may not come back.  
 
Ryan Hobbs
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r ranson wrote:

This conversation is causing a lot more work for the staff.  I'm not sure anyone wants to step up anymore.  

Moderating is a thankless task at the best of times.  At this point, the mess is so big, and there has been so many complaints and people eager to tell the staff what they should and should not do, it may be that thread may not come back.  



That's totally fine. It was not by any means my intention to cause trouble. I did have a vague idea that someone might not agree, but I didn't think they would be upset at anyone but me. And if they were upset, I thought that the atmosphere here would tend to mean that they were civil about it. The folks with complaints are welcome to send me purple moosages if you are okay with that. I will be the first to say I have not always been a socially acceptable person, but I'm working on it. I'm willing to accept that I might be wrong, or that the way I worded my thoughts might have been poor on my part. And I would like to clean up my own mess.
 
Joseph Lofthouse
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Chris Kott wrote:And yet, I feel the same way about receiving an unqualified apple core as I do about receiving an unqualified "thumbs down."



Sometimes, apple cores have nothing to do with qualifications or logic. Cores can be purely emotional.

We are all somewhere on the logic/emotion scale. Staff that tend more towards the emotional end of the scale are welcome to give cores merely because a post feels yucky to them.

Throwing logic and discussion at emotion-oriented people isn't going to give them warm and fuzzy feelings.

 
Joseph Lofthouse
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Trace Oswald wrote:Mine was one of the posts that was just deleted. I didn't think it was offensive, but it must have offended someone.  



Sometimes entire threads disappear, because there are so many nested quotes that it's too much work to go through and ask everyone to delete the stuff that they quoted from other people, which didn't meet publishing standards. Cause it's not only deleting the quote, it's rewording the paragraphs that reference the quote. Then we gotta review it all for consistency. That's why I tend to discourage quoting on the site.

Sometimes entire threads disappear because they attract too many negative posts. In that case, they all go: Both the inoffensive and the offensive.
 
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