For constructive feedback and support questions concerning ZFI.
Maybe we can drop the word owner. The distinction is not necessary. Michael could be a mod whether he actively moderates, or not. He moderates the finances. Or, we could use administrator, but that's a bit much doncha think? We never used the word owner before until the transition was discussed.
I'm always happy to respond to ppl on any topic as needed. I trust you guys will do just fine.
Not last night,
not this morning;
Melon flowers bloomed.
hiya, Michael, and Linda.
'Owner' is just a word that goes with the technical territory, and gets used once annually, or less. It's always true of a registered site that the site has an "owner". What's in a name?
The still-current (soon to be 'previous') owner and admins never even mentioned the word -- that's how gracious they are -- because it only comes up upon registration or re-registration of the (a) site. It's someone who has (or takes) responsibility for a site being on the air (on the 'net, I mean). It's a little like owning a car and having a registration for it which permits it to travel on city, state, and national/international streets and highways, carrying a registration-tag ('license-plate'); that's why I made the joke of putting a cartoon of an old car in a post to Michael, here.
A rather more operational name that could also be more apt than 'Owner' for common use (not that I see that either word should have to be used often) could be 'Registree'. Or, perhaps, 'Custodian' -- one whose custody the treasure of the resource is registered-to, for the benefit and ease of others. A bit like a fiduciary.
In other words, "I dunno".
There is also the option of giving these 2 mods access to register and/or delete posts. These issues are open for discussion. It depends on how proactive they want to be. They both accepted for the job, so I will work them
I am still wondering why we have had this significant drop-off in new contributors and traffic generally.
Another fairly important task among Mods and/or Admins (BTW, ...are "they" the "same"?) is the approval of questions in posts directed to teachers.
As we know, posts do not appear immediately in the teachers' area when posted; they have first to be reviewed, and then allowed to proceed to their destination in a new thread to a teacher (or, dismissed).
I think that the reason this is done this way is so the original poster (OP) of the question can usually have the whole thread to oneself and the teacher in the most concentrated way. This allows good specificity of attention on the OP and the OP alone, as long as the issue may last, via as many back-and-forths as needed. There have been exceptions, where sometimes other members are approved to come in, but I've seen this to have been rare.
Past mods have also been helpful in sometimes coalescing related threads; and, also in closing threads (for various reasons). And sometimes giving helpful steering advisories in certain threads for posters to remain on topic, watch one's language, act in respect of the TOU, or etc.
I'd say that a place (situation) where I would continue to anticipate regular and timely attendance needed to the board maintenance duties by mods is in the "Ask a Teacher" area, where, again, if new posts are not reviewed and approved 'rapidly', everybody including the OP waits to benefit from a teacher's or teachers' attention and teacher's reply to a (usually interesting and widely appreciated!) issue or question.
Thinking out loud... (something I don't do when there are no discrete thoughts arising),
My joke answer is that in the past 18 months of the political-season in the US, perhaps USA posters and others have been more tuned to Twitter, than to forums. The short form of 140 characters seems to have an attraction.
Whatever you think you can handle, Michael. I don't see any potential conflict of interest with your contributing to moderating and your being the website "owner". I think that, to start, three moderators is preferable to two.
"Owner" ... think of it as being a trustee. A Dhamma trust. Maybe similar to a land trust.
With reference to what Joe has just posted, I'm hoping that either you or macdougdoug have some skills or background in the nitty gritty of moderator tasks. Because I don't. I am looking forward to some advice and instruction and am consulting Google in the meantime.
And there remains the issue of technical support. Is Ani firm in his decision?
(I am posting as [[james]] because I cannot read this thread in its entirety as [james].)
Joe - as you are probably among the most experienced in the formal setting, would you consider managing the 'Ask the Teacher" section? You obviously would need full access. I am trying to spread the work load here
Thanks for bringing this up
Thanks, Michael, I'd consider it if others are repulsed from it. But I think the others might want to have that experience.
Hmm, I recall that there are, or were, "Global Moderators", and others moderators of different types of designations who perhaps were specialists in certain areas. So this might not be unprecedented. But I think no one is a specialist in a teacher area, but teachers themselves. I teach Buddhist Yoga, but not Zen Buddhism.
Let me know, someone, anyone, or all. But I don't think I'd be needed there. If I'm wrong, just let me know how I can help.
However, although I'm not too technically ignorant, I'd need training in the details of the phpBB software that this board is based on.
I think the mods who've volunteered already could handle posts for teachers plenty well enough, though! tnx,
How about changing the name of the section to Ask An Experienced Practitioner? Would that work for you? It might even get a little more traction than the Ask A Teacher Section did- Yes/No?
Here's another joke answer from me: How about naming it, "Ask An Old Grey-Beard/-Head"?
But seriously, people who have not practiced formally very much, or at all, could rightly object and properly feel offense that their experience, even as a solo or self-taught or untutored practitioner, would be left out of consideration and consultation. Let's not do that! Now, I can boldly and baldly claim that I have the experience that those others mentioned do, but in addition I have been blessed with much opportunity (and desire) to work closely, or very closely, with a few great and pioneering teachers in the West. I'm not unique there, and as such I'm not unlike the moderators and owner who are now retiring from their chosen board duties of ZFI (Carol; Gregory; and there have been others, including several monastics).
I think that if ZFI is fortunate to retain a number of teachers at-the-ready to take questions, then that resource and opportunity ought to be featured. Well, as it is already.
Otherwise, I feel that every other area of the board is in fact actually a place to ask questions of practitioners (if they are there/here).
Hmm, I remember in my first days of signing-up at ZFI that it was necessary then to send a note to the Mods to become authorized at ZFI to post in the "Zen Buddhist Practice" area, which is for discussion by practitioners with formal practice experience. This was a write-up from me to Carol and Gregory, I think, of practice to date, approx. no. of sesshin attended, current state of practice, teachers' names, and maybe inclusive dates, I forget. I think I wrote a few pages. This was supposed to result in a change of color of the typeface of my screen-name as it appears in threads to a different shade of blue, (but I think it never did). However, I was able to post in the practitioner area (which I presume does not even appear on-screen for those who have not gone through this testimonial procedure? Maybe that procedure and requirement have since been deprecated?).
Faintly, now, I recall that on one other Zen Buddhist specialty site in particular (not general Buddhadharma) I frequented a long time ago -- where there were no teachers as members in those days -- there was an area created that was called, "Put A Question to a Peer-Practitioner", or "Put A Question to a Zen Buddhist Practitioner". I liked that. Anyway, yes, we're peers, so I like to think of us (who are actually Zen Buddhist practitioners).
Taking a little different slant, ZFI also already has a "Beginners" area, and I think all peers of all stripes feel free to try to help in that area.
Ok. How about Treebeard?
Here's a list of the various types of volunteer roles we see at ZFI, as shown at the bottom left of the "Board index" page.
(I note that they are given there in alphabetical order).
The roles are also color-coded there, and in their use around the board. I don't think that detail was preserved by my copying the above in the way I did, though. Let me try again this way:
Legend: <a style="color:#990000" href="./memberlist.php?mode=group&g=5">Administrators</a>, <a style="color:#CC00CC" href="./memberlist.php?mode=group&g=7">Founding Member</a>, <a style="color:#FF3300" href="./memberlist.php?mode=group&g=4">Global moderators[/color]</a>, <a style="color:#3399FF" href="./memberlist.php?mode=group&g=2">Registered users</a>, <a style="color:#009900" href="./memberlist.php?mode=group&g=13">Teacher</a>, <a style="color:#CC0000" href="./memberlist.php?mode=group&g=10">Technical Admin</a>, <a style="color:#3333FF" href="./memberlist.php?mode=group&g=20">Zen Practitioner</a>
Nope. I guess HTML is not allowed, or not enabled. Probably just as well.
Let me try to cheat without the simple HTML, then, by going around it this a-way:
Yep; that works.
You can read about the various levels of users including Administrator & Moderator here http://www.zenforuminternational.org/faq.php
The Administrator has highest level access to the forum controls.
Practitioners who cultivate the personal realization of buddha knowledge dwell in the bliss of whatever is present and do not abandon their practice.
I hadn't read the FAQ in years, and now the info there is so much more timely, relevant, germane, useful, and needed, it seems, at an important turning-point for ZFI. Someone did a fine job setting this up originally. Tnx again.
It's all BB code these days Joe, I could build complex sites with HTML from mind but not since the BB days,
there's not much room for play or creativity.
But what do I know, windows 98 is still my fav OS
Mijn Oude Vriend uit de woestijn begrijpt geen Nederlands. <3
Fuki!, happy new year, Jim. You're 'Jake', by me.
ps Please keep a close presence. People here depend on you, and will depend on you more and more in the future. "Bet?" (which means, OK?, hey?, what-say?, Go 'head!).
Last edited by desert_woodworker on Tue Jan 17, 2017 10:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Will do Sir, and happy 1986 to you too!
Question: ``What kind of people are those who are always present?''
The Master said: ``It happens that Ts'ao-shan has gone out for a while.''
Question: ``What kind of people are those who are always absent?''
The Master said: ``Difficult to find such.''
~Pen-chi of Ts'ao-shan
Questions and Answers
Mijn Oude Vriend uit de woestijn begrijpt geen Nederlands. <3
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