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    #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by ahalpert View Post
    It would have been one thing to simply delete the anti-American post or to lock the thread after it was posted, but Barry took the liberty to have the last word with his own political viewpoint. And I know for a fact that some dvxusers were bothered by that maneuver.

    It contributed to a sense of biased enforcement of policy. And while I appreciate all his hard work, I would hope that future moderators and moderating decisions achieve greater neutrality.
    Well Abe, you're right. I handled that one in the wrong way.

    There was a post made that I found outrageous, and that violated our rules in many ways. The proper approach, following our rules, would be that I should have deleted his post and banned his ass immediately. But I'm flying pretty much solo here. And I wrestled with that decision. I don't want this board to be perceived as a kingdom or as "my way or the highway". It's "the rules or the highway". So even though I found his post personally offensive, and the follow-up PM's outrageously offensive, I instead offered my counter perspective and then locked the thread because it was so far out of bounds at that point that it was irredeemable. But you're correct, I shouldn't have done that, I should have done what the rules call for me to do, I should have deleted his post at the bare minimum, and infracted or banned him.

    Which in and of itself was kind of ridiculous, because the whole THREAD had nothing to do with the purpose of DVXUser here. If the thread had never been here in the first place, then it never would have gone the way it did, and none of us would have violated the rules. So I have gone in and deleted it, which erases all turds from the punch bowl from both sides.

    As said before, we (and I) have tried many things. We've tried PM'ing. We've tried deleting the whole threads -- that's what we used to do until about a year ago, to eradicate the poison and keep it from leeching into the board. But that seemed like it unnecessarily punished the law-abiding who had done nothing wrong and weren't at fault that someone felt he was above the rules. We've tried guiding the discourse away from the problematic topics. We've tried a lot of things.

    One thing that used to really help was that we had a group of very active moderators, about two dozen. And a mod could post up a link and say "what do you guys think of this" and get a varied perspective as to what to do. But, as said, it's down to pretty much me. And I don't think that's right, and frankly I have begun to resent it that I have to be the "bad guy" every time someone decides to purposely shatter the rules here, even though they've been here for years and years and very well know exactly what they're doing is a direct violation of these rules. And I doubly don't like the perception that any mod action may now be seen as a personal vendetta rather than what it is -- you bust a deal, you face the wheel.

    So I'm trying to fix that. I have reached out to the old mods to get them re-activated, but they've moved on in their careers and lives. So I'm reaching out to start a new group of mods, hopefully those will be folks who will care about what we've built and who will be invested in growing it into whatever it should be, to serve today's crop of filmmakers, video professionals, writers, and new media storytellers, and who will react and respond to the needs and unique challenges that are facing them today.

    I don't know what the future holds for DVXUser. I know that what we made, what we as a community and as leadership built, was the most outrageously successful phenomenon at the time. But times are different. People's needs are different. And it seems like I'm saying "get off my lawn" a bit too much. So I'd like to turn it over to a new crop, those who want it, those who are passionate about the core principles that this place embodied, which are and were: it's about the user. It's about educating, informing, training, raising up, and encouraging the aspiring filmmaker (or youtuber or writer or poet or whatever form storytelling evolves into). That's what I'd like to see happen.


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    #52
    Senior Member Peter C.'s Avatar
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    I'm largely unaware of these squabbles and have no interest in political arguments. I'm guessing people don't have enough work and are looking for an outlet? I don't blame you for not wanting refereeing these fights. I've seen other forums have an area set aside for that sort of thing. Of course they usually get out of hand without supervision. Too bad forums are almost extinct. Has everyone gone to Facebook or some other social platform? Kinda feels like it's just us old folks left.


     

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    #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by groveChuck View Post
    One can disagree (or be critical) of a person's (or country's) opinion or approach, without being anti-person or anti-country...
    Agreed, constructive criticism is the foundation of human growth - personally in our craft, collectively in our families/relationships, and most certainly in our country and world. Democratic nations tend to be built on that principle. While I didn't actually see anything with the specific post or statement in question, so am not referring to anything in particular (for all I know it may have been a non-constructive complaint), I've never loved the sentiment if you don't like America the way it is to go live elsewhere. We are after all an international community of filmmakers here, not an American community, and I love hearing the input from people across the globe so long as its respectful and constructive.

    Though to Barry's larger point - and this is not at all in response to your quote there groveChuck just spinning off to a general larger sentiment - it was equally sad and understandable to witness the recent thread nuke... it seems us humans in general have a very difficult time remaining calm and non-attached, both in real life but even especially when through the shield of the internet, and things can very quickly and very easily spiral to the point of no return... even to the point that bleeds outside the thread, where otherwise perfectly healthy forum relationships push people away from the forum all together. In fact I fear that may have already happen in the last thread. There was anger, insults, character assaults, and all sorts of things. What's particularly sad is that in truth, much of it probably revolves around misunderstandings, assumptions, and attachments. And such a thing cannot only be incredibly distracting from filmmaking, but actually detrimental to the health of the website itself... the forum relies on smart people who get along sticking around and contributing. If we lost even one member from that thread it's a huge loss to our community and it makes me sad.

    So... I get the predicament. In an ideal world, the approach (one which Barry said was tried in the past) of gently steering the conversation back to a constructive, respectful, agreeable place seems to have failed. It certainly seems to have failed just recently despite a number of individuals trying to find common ground or stay factual. I agree that it would be "ideal" to have a section of the forum where everyone could do that in the ideal way, but it seems it has been proven time and time again that in practice it just doesn't happen. Unfortunately, because many of us here fundamentally respect each other (probably why we are always asking each other for advice and thoughts) and so it's only natural to want to talk about other things as well. I definitely want to hear the thoughts of others and be challenged by them in areas outside of filmmaking because after so many years here and so much help from people, I just really respect everyone and love having my perspective expanded and challenged.

    In reality, we can't collectively seem to handle it and so it may be as pragmatic as "keep the filmmaking community alive" or "experiment with more liberal rules that lead to our ultimate demise".

    On the death of forums - yes - this forum is a bit of a haven because social media platforms and reddit simply don't allow for the depth seen here. The post structure with social media/reddit is too transient, it doesn't allow for robust focused discourse or cataloging of topics like a forum. Maybe I'm just an "old" 30 year old "who doesn't get it" but I have always, and likely always will, prefer the forum structure over the new social media structure... and there aren't many places like this around. I really want to see it preserved.

    We all like Barry, and Barry's not perfect (and wouldn't claim to be) and that's not really the point - perhaps 20 years of collected "Barry Wisdom" may be enough to tingle our Spidey senses and for us all to say "perhaps the unideal forum tradition of 'all or nothing' really will be for the best, because imaginary ideal forum traditions only work for imaginary idyllic people, and humans are by definition not idyllic."

    Well, I am not saying I have the answers or that any solution is pragmatically that clear. That's the problem right there. The world has changed in 20 years and the amount of things considered political today has certainly expanded, and the associated polarized stakes are now higher than ever, and so it's quite unfortunate. What to do?

    Contractor laws for filmmakers was a recent thread - both political and highly relevant. COVID restrictions and filmmaking - this is a real topic that is helpful to discuss, and yet it's teetering on politics with every breath. Even throwing away a manual will probably be hyper political in 5 years at our current trajectory. Potential diversity mandates on crew is and will be an increasingly practical, a real professional working issue that we all struggle to figure out in our variety of unique expressions. Even when we share and critique each others work, there is often some sort of political or ideological undertone in any piece.

    The real point is only to say, the health of the forum relies just as much on all of US as much as it does on a moderator/moderators, and I think we've all collectively dropped the ball a number of times. Because we're human. It's incredibly easy for conversations to get away, and finding an "objective" constructive balance in a world of grays is not black and white, and I certainly do not envy any moderator... even the slightest single misstep is a hot button issue and opens oneself up to criticism and even potential resentment from everyone.


    Quote Originally Posted by groveChuck View Post
    And filmguy, that was such an insightful response, I hereby nominate you for Mod! Do I hear a second???

    Sometimes filmguy and Abe remind me of each other, 30-somethings (yes?), thoughtful, level headed, love their craft (you're not the same person, are you?).
    But since filmguy's in Portland, and Abe's in NY, maybe they could divide the Mod position, taking advantage of time zones.
    You know, East Coast/West Coast. What could possibly go wrong with that?
    Aha, fortunately I'm level headed enough to recognize that in my 30s-something state, I lack the requisite wisdom and experience of age to fill the large shoes of the individuals that built this place into what it is. I stand in the shadows of giants here (not just the mods, but all of you) and it would feel backwards to me to moderate people whom I feel I am still learning so much from. I love this place because it's a collective repository of wisdom from those with much professional and life experience, and I'm humbled by all the sage advice and perspective here that has helped me grow. With some work and luck, perhaps after another decade in everyone's company, I may yet be ready to stumble through such an endeavor with much extended grace.

    Besides, even if Abe and I split duties all the overseas-ers would come wreak havoc in our sleep anyway (kidding).

    In all seriousness, I love this place so would help fill duties within a larger team of people if needed for the health and survival of the forum if it came to that, though I perceive there are others here older, wiser, and better equipped for such responsibility. Besides, if we're using long-windedness as a disqualifier, I certainly have that card to play as well!

    Since we're playing ice bucket challenge here, I'll add to the list... I nominate NorBro and Run&Gun!
    Last edited by filmguy123; 02-22-2021 at 03:44 PM.


     

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    #54
    Senior Member ahalpert's Avatar
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    Thanks for responding, Barry. I feel bad giving you grief because I know you're the glue holding this place together. I've been a longtime reader of dvxuser but only a regular poster since last March. I've thoroughly enjoyed the community both for the information and the camaraderie and the debate. Incidentally, it was the coronavirus impact and economic threads that lured me into posting regularly because it was a stressful time and everyone was trying to help each other through it both in terms of morale and in terms of tips for grants, etc. And to be honest, I hadn't felt confident before about giving technical advice, but once I started regularly posting, I opened up to contributing to a broader array of discussions.

    Thank you for holding down the fort and helping provide a place for us to shoot the s*%t. It's an invaluable resource for technology, technique, and commiseration. We should all do a better job sticking to neutral territory (especially me ). I think that political polarization has increased in recent years (and some pundits think that's partly because news media make more profit by riling up their viewers...I'm not sure if that's a political comment or not). But I think that, if anything, it makes it even more valuable to have a site like this.

    I do think that some political issues overlap with how sets are run, and it's difficult to avoid those topics. And also it would make me glad to see a broader mix of voices (such as more women) contributing to the forum, but I don't think anyone can do anything to speed that up.

    I appreciate all your hard work and I look forward to dvxusering until we're all replaced by cambots
    www.VideoAbe.com

    "Captain, the most elementary and valuable statement in science, the beginning of wisdom, is 'I do not know.'" - Lt. Cmdr. Data


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    #55
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    I feel bad giving you grief because I know you're the glue holding this place together.
    Well, not anymore, I'm moving on. But thanks for the nice words, to you and to everyone else who has said so.

    Back on thread topic: thanks to all who have volunteered to take on some moderating duties. I will be forwarding the names over to the admin crew and the other active mods here.

    If anyone else wants to volunteer, please send a note to David Saraceno or Alex H. or Brent@DVXU.

    Thanks!

    Over and out.
    Last edited by Barry_Green; 02-22-2021 at 11:21 PM.


     

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