Volunteer moderators << ==have authority to make decisions based on their best judgement ==> >because they are moderators.
I agree with Bard and ARLwahoo. I think it’s all about context. We aren’t going to be moderating dictators. I think we all understand that people have opinions on things and that includes businesses in the area. I think what we’re going to be wary of is self serving posts, posts that are overly negative about a business, spam, or posts that really mimick sites like yelp. For example, “I tried the fish at XYZ restaurant in Clarendon last Thursday, it was under cooked. The sides however were delicious. Our hostess seemed really nice but the waiter messed up our drink order…. blah blah blah, ambiance, blah, blah blah, I ate four slices of chocolate cake and now my stomach hurts”. We don’t care, tell someone on Yelp.
Remember that ARLnow is still a business and they can’t just let people go ahead and hurl unsubstantiated gossip or overly negative opinions about local businesses that are paying for adverts. It’s one thing if it’s a legit story (restaurant closing down or health violations, etc) and quite another if somebody is just stirring the pot for no good reason.
To Bard -
Wait, you’re supposed to enforce the rules, but you’re not even sure what the purpose of the rules are?
Doesn’t seem like a recipe for success.
So three moderators have now weighed in and it sounds very much like they each have their own strike zone. I guess that’s life, but I sure hope no one at ARLnow ever attempts to claim any kind of objectivity when it comes to how things are run.
To Bard -
Wait, you're supposed to enforce the rules, but you're not even sure what the purpose of the rules are?
Doesn't seem like a recipe for success.
I guess we differ about the business stuff. Really all I care about in that regard is that people don’t come here spamming the board and using it as free advertising. I actually view posts commenting on local bars, restaurants, shops, etc as a good thing. Maybe that rule should be clarified by the ArlNow folks.
The rest of the rules seem more like guidelines to me. Act like adults. Don’t troll the board. If things get out of control, moderators can delete posts/close threads, but for the most part we should stay out of the way and let people talk about whatever they want.
We’re primarily concerned with topics started about businesses, less so posts about businesses within a more generic topic from known users. We’ve observed businesses trying to self-promote and others trying to covertly bad-mouth their competitors. Then there are those who have grudges for one reason or another, who try to use the forum to exact their revenge. It’s preferable to just kick those kind of topics to Yelp, which has (albeit imperfect) systems in place for catching bogus reviews.
I’m a little behind the eight ball here, but my sincere thanks go out to ARLnow staff and the mods alike for taking the time and effort to help keep the forum open. It worked beautifully when used appropriately and I look forward to seeing more of this in play.
- Business reviews. Please use Yelp if you want to review a local business.
Discouraging, though understandable.
I thought I had read that Yelp was pretty selective when it comes to reviews – in other words, that if the business doesn’t pay whatever fee Yelp charges, than positive reviews for that business are less likely to appear. No idea if that’s actually true or not, of course, but if it is, it’s a bit concerning. Here, however, I think we get more unvarnished reviews, and frankly it’s pretty easy to tell if someone has relevant, understandable reasons for not liking a restaurant, or if they are just complaining for the sake of it. To me, part of what makes the forum useful are the business recommendations.
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