Opinions Wanted

Should the ability to Post to The Study be restricted to Supporting Members Only?

  • Yes - Limit Study posting to Supporting Members Only

  • No - Leave Study posting open to everyone


Results are only viewable after voting.

Bob Hubbard

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I've had a suggestion to limit posting in The Study to Supporting Members only.

Regular members would still be able to read it.

Thoughts?
 

Sukerkin

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That's a tough one, Cap'n.

Given that over the past few days I was very close to hanging up my hat here just because of the sheer volume of aggressive/vile/partisan/dimwitted/argumentative nonsense that was being posted, I have to say that a more 'select' membership for the Study would be a good thing for the pleasantness of the place.

However, there could be a downturn in the volume of traffic, which is one of the pillars upon which the existence of MT stands. Of course, those who like being here at MT and are committed to having their say, even if it costs them a bit of coin, will simply join up as Supporting Members. Which means more income, which helps secure the continued existence of the site.

I'd suggest giving it a go and see what happens over the course of a couple of months - just don't let on that it's a 'trial' or people will just wait in the wings on the off-chance that it becomes free again :wink1:.

EDIT: Actually, I just realised that some of the soul-destroying posts I referred to above weren't in the Study at all :eek:. That does rather temper things a little as it shows that unpleasant behaviour can sprout in more than the one, more lightly regulated, place.
 
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Nolerama

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I guess I'll buck up and become a supporting member soon. MT has been good to me and the people here are pretty awesome.
 

The Last Legionary

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How many pain in the *** posters are supporting the site, and how many aren't?
How many only seem to post in the Study and don't contribute much if anything to the art sections?
Is the headache worth it to have non-supporters causing most of the pattern baldness and therapy bills in your staff?
Do you think they would pony up the couple of bucks, or just ***** about how everything in life should be free for them?
Would restricting posting to paid members bump up the quality and lessen the venom, or would people just think that because they paid, that they were immune to the rules?
 

Sukerkin

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Lots of truth (multi-coloured no less :D) there, TLL.

To address your last, to my mind at least, if someone has paid to gain access to something that is worthwhile to them and that something can be removed because of their own bad actions, then a rational person would be less likely to commit those actions.
 
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Bob Hubbard

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Top 25 Posters and Topic Starters Jan-Mar 2009
Posts
(14/25)
Bob Hubbard 439
elder999 362
Twin Fist 349
Tez3 278
Gordon Nore 257
Bill Mattocks 248
Thesemindz 216
arnisador 211
sgtmac_46 209
Carol Kaur 194
Sukerkin 188
Cryozombie 171
Empty Hands 167
MA-Caver 167
jarrod 161
Archangel M 153
maunakumu 146
shesulsa 139
Andy Moynihan 131
CoryKS 126
tellner 115
stevebjj 91
Ramirez 88
crushing 85
searcher 82


Topics (13/25)
Bob Hubbard 64
MA-Caver 24
Bill Mattocks 18
Thesemindz 11
Twin Fist 10
jetboatdeath 9
maunakumu 8
elder999 6
Carol Kaur 6
jarrod 6
Rich Parsons 5
Cryozombie 5
Joab 4
Sukerkin 4
MJS 4
Brian S 4
Tez3 4
JadecloudAlchemist 4
KenpoTex 3
searcher 3
FearlessFreep 3
arnisador 3
tellner 3
Brian R. VanCise 3
sgtmac_46 3

Red are supporting members and/or gold key members.
 

Twin Fist

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Bob,
before I post this, i want to say that you know i love ya.

not no but hell no.

When I have the means, i intend to become a supporting member, mostly because i respect you keeping this here.

but that is essentially pay to play, and if you do that, then you cant ban people from posting. or you have to agree to give them their money back.

dont get me wrong, I would leave the study un-moderated. But thats just me.
 

Sukerkin

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I think of it more as paying admission to a club, casino et al. You have to follow the rules or you get ejected. If it happens, then because that ejection comes about as a result of breaking the rules, then you don't get your money back.

EDIT: Of course, here I'm using an analogy for how such places work here in Britain. I'm only assuming that America has similar 'customs'?
 

Brian R. VanCise

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I am not for a supporting member fee just for the study.
icon9.gif


I would consider a board wide mandatory supporting member fee but probably would vote against it in the long run.
icon6.gif
 

Sukerkin

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I believe what Cap'n Bob is talking about is adding the Study to the list of benefits that Supporting Membership gets you, rather than levying an additional charge.
 

Cryozombie

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My only concern is what happens when you burn out, have had enough and kill the site as you have suggested in the past? Eek.
 

elder999

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I voted no.

I agree-gulp! with Twin Fist, and Brian. I should point out though:

Bob,
then you cant ban people from posting. or you have to agree to give them their money back.

That I have a "Lifetime" supporting membership, and it's been made clear to me that I could still be banned from posting.

dont get me wrong, I would leave the study un-moderated. But thats just me.

It's probably not just you. Doing that might alleviate the headaches for Bob as well, but it would, ultimately, result in the sort of unfriendliness that none of us wants representing them in perpetuity-or representing what this forum is about. I've got more than a couple of things posted here that I'd like to take back-not all of them unfriendly, maybe just indiscreet. In fact, I'm rather attached to a few of the less friendly posts......:lol:

....but that's just me.

Bottome line: there are more than a few non-supporting members on that list of Bob's, and I've come to value and look forward to some of their posts. I know a few of them can afford the supporting membership, and it's no secret that a few of them probably can't.
 

Carol

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No I do not support the idea.

Personally, I prefer management over legislation.

How many pain in the *** posters are supporting the site, and how many aren't?

If there are PITA posters, then it is the PITA posters that should be punished, not the community at large.

How many only seem to post in the Study and don't contribute much if anything to the art sections?


Not enough for anyone to communicate expectations that only posting in the Study and not the Arts section is not a permissible thing to do.

Is the headache worth it to have non-supporters causing most of the pattern baldness and therapy bills in your staff?
If there are PITA posters, then it is the PITA posters that should be punished, not the community at large.

Do you think they would pony up the couple of bucks, or just ***** about how everything in life should be free for them?
Would restricting posting to paid members bump up the quality and lessen the venom, or would people just think that because they paid, that they were immune to the rules?
If there are PITA posters, then it is the PITA posters that should be punished, not the community at large.
 

arnisador

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How many pain in the *** posters are supporting the site, and how many aren't?
How many only seem to post in the Study and don't contribute much if anything to the art sections?
Is the headache worth it to have non-supporters causing most of the pattern baldness and therapy bills in your staff?
Do you think they would pony up the couple of bucks, or just ***** about how everything in life should be free for them?
Would restricting posting to paid members bump up the quality and lessen the venom, or would people just think that because they paid, that they were immune to the rules?

I think I just had an epileptic fit.

Red are supporting members and/or gold key members.

Oddly, that seems to correlate with their politics too. You'd have a mighty boring Study at that point.

Remember also that in principle The Study is here to help draw away these conversation from, e.g., General Martial Arts. You might see more sprouting up there. Don't like random airport screenings? they're looking for knives, I suppose...is there a knife subforum here, I wonder?
 

jks9199

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I think of it more as paying admission to a club, casino et al. You have to follow the rules or you get ejected. If it happens, then because that ejection comes about as a result of breaking the rules, then you don't get your money back.

EDIT: Of course, here I'm using an analogy for how such places work here in Britain. I'm only assuming that America has similar 'customs'?
Yep -- and that would be my take, as well.

You pays your ticket, you takes your chances. If you don't play by the rules, you get kicked out.

But I'm on the fence. I happen to be re-reading The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress. TANSTAAFL. There ain't no such thing as a free lunch. Supporting members and advertisers pay the bills for the "freeloaders" who just register and post. In return, Bob gives supporting members some perks that aren't available to the "mere" registered members. And, I'm sorry, but the whole $20 bucks for a year's membership ain't much...

At the same time -- the economy's tough. (For Bob, too.) Even spread over a year, $20 can be a big deal if you're unemployed. And The Study does generate traffic; traffic equals eyes, eyes equals money from advertisers.

Like I said -- I'm on the fence at the moment. Gonna give it some thought.
 
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Bob Hubbard

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I think, over the last 8 years or so, we've only ejected 3 people who were Supporting Members. I offered all 3 full refunds, think only 1 took it.

As to me burning out -and- killing the site, I'll be honest. I have thought about it. I am burned out, have been for a long time now. But I also turned down an offer of $45,000 for MT last summer with long term residuals, because I couldn't be sure that the site would continue the way I believe it should be, and that y'all would be taken care of. As long as there's enough supporting members to cover the cost of the dedicated server, and I don't have to "live" on here, (and I'm alive) MT will keep on keeping on.

Course, it'd be nice to see it create a livable income for me too. :)

As to the Study, my thoughts were keep it visible, but make it a supporters feature, like the Arcade, etc. I've also had it suggested a few times to take the board totally pay only. Would certainly cut back on the number of spammers we deal with, after all they are too cheap to pay $5 for a trial membership. ;)
But, it'd also eliminate 90+% of our members, and to me, that's not acceptable.
 

shesulsa

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My only concern is what happens when you burn out, have had enough and kill the site as you have suggested in the past? Eek.

I think the Study is such a pain in the *** to moderate that if it alone hasn't driven volunteer staff away already, it likely will soon. I know of at least one other staff member besides myself that is absolutely burned out and I'll cop to hanging on by my bleeding fingernails.

An unmoderated study leaves a free-for-all bull **** section where the most idiotic things can be posted, insults slung, threats leveled (you know, kind of like now) but without any control nor reprimand. If you do this, Bob, I think you should split off the study and create your own Political forum separate from MartialTalk.com. However, MT without the Study? The idea feels a bit strange to me. I have to imagine that the Locker Room would explode in social and political commentary regardless since our fine membership here are opinionated, educated and are interested in learning.

But if it is to remain with MT, then I can't see it being unmoderated.

It's interesting to see people SO vociferously opposing the idea when they probably do not realize that the handful of persons about whom we receive the most complaints and must deal with on some level damn near every day are so willing to cause their trouble, yet refuse to pay for ours.

The study activity of late has just been disgusting to me and the hope I try to have for humankind is nonetheless dashed every single day because of it - yet, I would hate, hate, hate to see it go.

I think the idea of allowing all to read the study but pay to post (supporting member feature) is an excellent one. If one is so passionate about their convictions as to bring it the way some here do, then let them fully commit.

:asian:
 

morph4me

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I think the Study is such a pain in the *** to moderate that if it alone hasn't driven volunteer staff away already, it likely will soon. I know of at least one other staff member besides myself that is absolutely burned out and I'll cop to hanging on by my bleeding fingernails.

An unmoderated study leaves a free-for-all bull **** section where the most idiotic things can be posted, insults slung, threats leveled (you know, kind of like now) but without any control nor reprimand. If you do this, Bob, I think you should split off the study and create your own Political forum separate from MartialTalk.com. However, MT without the Study? The idea feels a bit strange to me. I have to imagine that the Locker Room would explode in social and political commentary regardless since our fine membership here are opinionated, educated and are interested in learning.

But if it is to remain with MT, then I can't see it being unmoderated.

It's interesting to see people SO vociferously opposing the idea when they probably do not realize that the handful of persons about whom we receive the most complaints and must deal with on some level damn near every day are so willing to cause their trouble, yet refuse to pay for ours.

The study activity of late has just been disgusting to me and the hope I try to have for humankind is nonetheless dashed every single day because of it - yet, I would hate, hate, hate to see it go.

I think the idea of allowing all to read the study but pay to post (supporting member feature) is an excellent one. If one is so passionate about their convictions as to bring it the way some here do, then let them fully commit.

:asian:

I couldn't agree more, and I couldn't have said it better :asian:
 
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Bob Hubbard

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A question was raised on how hard moderating the site can be. I just went back through the reports. These are just reports. There are hundreds of posts back and forth between the staff to try and decide what is and isn't a violation, to wade out the "having a bad day" from the "certified prat", as well as the cultural and regional differences (ie someone from the Bronx is blunter than someone from SoCal., etc).

January Reported Items

Reported PMs - 0
Reported Visitor Messages - 0
Reported posts - 131 (Note does not indicate number of reports, just posts that were reported)


26 The Study
14 Kenpo / Kempo - General
13 Ninjutsu - General Discussion
10 General Martial Arts Talk
9 Wing Chun
5 Hapkido
4 Tae-Kwon-Do
3 Beginners Corner -T: Interesting Torrent
3 Japanese Swords and Sword Arts
3 Meet & Greet
3 The Great Debate
3 The Locker Room
3 US Political Discussion and Debate
2 Boxing/Kickboxing
2 General Self Defense
2 JMA From Around the Web
2 Karate
2 Muay Thai
2 The Firing Range (Firearms)
2 Women of the Martial Arts (Women Martial Artists)
1 Chinese Martial Arts - General
1 CMA From Around the Web
1 Filipino Martial Arts - General
1 FMA From Around the Web
1 Game Room
1 Grappling / Brazilian Ju Jitsu / Wrestling
1 Jujutsu / Judo
1 KenpoTalk
1 Knife Arts
1 MMA
1 Modern Arnis
1 Philosophy and Spirituality in the Arts
1 Russian Martial Arts
1 Tang Soo Do
1 The Hall of Remembrance (Memorials)
1 The Rec Room (Sports and Entertainment)
1 The Urusai Bar & Grill
1 Traditional Healing Arts


February Reported Items

Reported PMs - 1
Reported Visitor Messages - 3
Reported posts - 121 (Note does not indicate number of reports, just posts that were reported)


14 General Martial Arts Talk -14
11 General Self Defense -11
11 Wing Chun -11
9 Ninjutsu - General Discussion -9
8 Tae-Kwon-Do -8
5 Hapkido -5
5 The Great Debate 5
4 Japanese Martial Arts - General -4
4 Jujutsu / Judo -4
4 Tang Soo Do -4
4 The Study -4
3 Horror Stories -3
3 Kenpo / Kempo - General -3
3 The Rec Room (Sports and Entertainment) -3
3 US Political Discussion and Debate -3
2 Game Room -2
2 Health Tips for the Martial Artist -2
2 JKD / Jeet Kune Do -2
2 Meet & Greet -2
2 Member Announcements -2
2 The Locker Room -2
1 Aikido - 1
1 Ask The MT Advisory Board -1
1 Filipino Martial Arts - General - 1
1 FMA From Around the Web - 1
1 Grappling / Brazilian Ju Jitsu / Wrestling -1
1 JMA From Around the Web -1
1 Karate -1
1 Korean Martial Arts - General -1
1 MartialTalk Magazine -1
1 MMA -1
1 Muay Thai -1
1 Northern Systems -1
1 Southern Systems -1
1 Sword Arts Talk -1
1 Taijiquan (Tai Chi) and QiGong -1
1 The ProShop -1
1 The Urusai Bar & Grill -1
1 Women of the Martial Arts (Women Martial Artists) -1



We can't go free-for-all. That would work if everyone could behave, and not fall into insults, slander, defamation of character, insults, and poo flinging. The other extreme, full moderation, it too much work, takes too much time, and puts us at legal risk should we let a turd through. We try not to filter too much, while relying on our members to self-moderate as well. It works, but like anything, people are people.

Some folks think that only they get infracted, warned, etc. In all honesty, if you've made more than 100 posts in the Study, you've most likely gotten at the least a warning. I'd say that anyone active and regular in here, has gotten a warning IC, or a points IC at some time, including me.

Now, I tossed this out for feedback, as I was curious on the idea. The way I see it, Sure we can shut it down. But then the topics mix in to the rest of the site diluting the rest. No good.
We can shut it down, ban the topics. Other sites do that. But that hurts traffic, doesn't stop the talk, just makes more work for staff, etc. No good.
We can go pay only. Problem is, we'd lose half the posters out right, another quarter as the conversations die out and become little more than news blurbs. Again, no good.

So finding that balance between the needs of the site, the needs of our members, the needs of our staff, all becomes a challenge.

If you're a regular, if you're here a lot, if you're always reading, or posting, or arguing, seriously though, think about supporting the site financially. It keeps things running.

I've heard "I won't pay unless you ban so and so". "No, you gave me an IC, you guys are dicks." "I don't like you Bob". "I don't like your politics" "One of your staff spanked me" "I don't pay" etc, as reasons for not becoming a supporting member.

Most are pretty dumb IMO. I don't ask anyone to worship me, convert to my faith, vote for my candidate, become a clone of me, etc. Would be a boring world.

If you don't like the site, think we're a leftist/rightist/whateverist site, think the staff is corrupt, biased, out to get you, why the hell are you here then? Seriously! Go away already, and find someplace that gives you warm and fuzzies.

If you have problems, let us know. Let me know. Got ideas? Same thing. Want to help? Let me know. Want to be a mod? Earn an invite as a Mentor, and we'll consider you in the future. Want to buy the board and run it your way? Meet my price, and it's yours. Cash only please. It's a 6 figure amount, and that first digit isn't a 1, 2, 3 or 4.

:)
 

Steve

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I don't know. I will say that posting in the study wouldn't be enough incentive to becoming a supporting member. I have largely given up on the study in general. 10 or so years ago, when Bush was making his run for president, I would have been very involved in that kind of debate, but I just have no interest in it.

I guess my prediction is that if you want to pretty much kill the area, make it exclusive. I think the traffic will slow to a crawl through there. If you think it's valuable to the site, I'd keep it open to anyone.
 
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