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I am concerned and saddened by the "State of Affairs"


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#1 Young

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Posted 25 August 2010 - 06:11 PM

Usually I try to maintain a distance from obvious personal conflicts between members, as with a forum this large, there are certainly going to be issues.

I started with Birdboard many years ago, with my first Cinnamon Conure named Auggie. The only thing I knew about parrots was absolutely nothing and wanted desperately to find resources to help my husband give Auggie the absolute best care we could. Thus our membership on Birdboard and Joe and Young or was it Young and Joe. Since then, we have divorced, and I started back on Birdboard again after a period of just lurking under Young.

For years and years, I have found the membership, the information, the advice, the friendships valuable beyond words in pursuing my love of our feathered friends. I have tired a couple of other forums in conjunction with Birdboard, and have always come back home after a few weeks of trial period. This has been home for a very long time.

During my years here, I have seen in my opinion, "good Moderators, bad Moderators, and have commented very openly on on one that is no longer on the board I believe. The Moderator was not helpful, but more opinionated and took every opportunity to insult membership based on her career choice and felt that she was, from experience in the field, more competent than any other to have an opinion. Most of the time though, the Moderators are just that, very mellow, and accepts the burden of Moderating with ease and comfort while maintaining the forums rules and guidelines.

I have currently, again joined another forum, due to an invitation to try it out, like the others I've tried through the years. I am thrilled to see friends there as I am happy to see my friends here on BB. I was shocked to hear that many friends have been banned for what seem to me, minor infractions and could have been resolved with tact and a more detailed explanation.

I do not get into a frenzy and jump on band wagons to be part of a group, and I am by no means stating some members were "out of line". But then I read statements by Freedomflight, who by just the status alone, needs to maintain the most utmost level of professionalism and dignity post and pm things like "Shut up" or "if you don't like, leave"... I wonder... maybe the respect needs to be maintained and exercised from the top down to the membership. I believe in living life by example, not words.

I am truly sorry and dismayed that a wonderful site like Birdboard and home to many like me has become a source of so much unrest and just plain meanness. Adults being worse than children, and the administration not leading by dignified example.

I have many friends here that I have known and loved for years and have never abused or used my Private Messaging. When it's called Private Messaging, I actually assume that is what it is.... private. So to hear that members are being banned for using their private messaging and that administration is monitoring this as well is absolutely heartbreaking and I am horrified at the thought of such invasion. If this information is incorrect, please accept my apologies.

This is HOME for me... but it's the people on Birdboard that make it home. No, I don't always agree with everyone, nor do I disagree with everyone. I do however accept that with this many people on a site, conflicts will happen and issues will arise.

Please, is there a way to resolve this.. act like adults, get the ban off our membership, and be a family again? We now have another forum, which is fine, it just adds to more information and knowledge about birds. Like having lots of on-line birds stores. Competition is great for quality, don't you think?

I think hard to blame just certain membership, as fault lies from the top down. In this case, there is absolute fault on both sides.

I am so saddened and heartbroken by this... this is home. As some of the membership need apologize, I also feel the administration of this forum need to as well.

Just my two cents anyway.

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#2 SallyQZ

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Posted 25 August 2010 - 06:43 PM

Very well said! Ultimately this board is intended to provide education and assistance to bird lovers, as well as providing a supportive community for us to share our love of parrots. I'm more of a lurker than poster, but frequent the board daily to catch up on the happenings. Up until now, it was my belief that all opinions were welcomed, even if they weren't in 100% agreement with the majority. I have stepped on a few toes myself, commenting on matters that I feel strongly about (esp. regarding cockatoos).

I don't agree with disappearing threads, disappearing sigs, and censorship in negative reviews of bird products. If we all have to paste a phony smile on our face, and suppress our true opinions, and tread carefully with every response -- what is the purpose of participating on the board? We all know of another board (dedicated to the misery of owning cockatoos) that is militant in their beliefs and behavior on their message board. They have a limited number of members and all their posts look the same - nothing new is welcomed there. Toe the line, or get the hell out. Is that what you want BirdBoard to become?

If moderators were more respectful towards members, members would have no need for "flaming" moderators, or PM'ing members with links to a new board, or being disrespectful by spamming the boards with inflammatory threads/sigs. These aren't trolls or troublemakers! These are valuable members who have been here for years, and have a lot of info to contribute to the board. But you can only push people so far before they begin pushing back.

#3 JustMe79

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Posted 25 August 2010 - 06:45 PM

That was quite simply the most heart-felt thing that you could have possibly written!

Thank you for trying to bring some light to this whole situation.

You and I seem to see things a lot alike.
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#4 becca623

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Posted 25 August 2010 - 07:19 PM

Beautifully written. I think you wrote just how many of us feel. Thank you!
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#5 xafsmom

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Posted 25 August 2010 - 07:25 PM

I don't see multiple forums as competition. Honestly, the member base is the same. I see it as just another venue. It's like belonging to a bird club, then joining a bird forum, having bird mags, etc... Competition can end up being an ugly, ugly thing and used in a way that is negative to the general user.

I'm sure this will get me banned but, here are my thoughts;

Admin got mad. Lashed out. It happens.

Users got mad. Lashed out. It happens.

One moderator was the impetus to causing this great amount of strife. It happens.

Banning people for joining another forum? Not cool

Banning people by reading their pm's? Not cool. PM's are supposed to be private. I also don't see a rule stating that any link, or even viking midget pr0n is 'against the rules' for PM's.

But, again, things happen, people get angry.

What needs to be done is things to cool down and then do an amnesty for the users that were banned. Offer an email they can use to request the ban lifted, fresh start and all that, and if the people don't email, then they do what people do when they're dissatisfied to the point of leaving - they vote with their feet.

But, that's my opinion. As for me? I've been a long-time supporter of BB. I tell my clients about BB. I tell my friends about BB. I joined another forum as MOST of the users - including admin and mods do recently because my BEST FRIEND is not allowed on this forum for some b-crap from 2008. I miss her and am sick of the fact that she's not here. I will remain on that forum and unless banned, I will remain here. I think I've given a lot of excellent advice to users over the years and I believe a lot of those banned have as well. When you nuke your best posters and most helpful people, you are cutting off your nose to spite your face. It's bad mojo.

I have no ill-will towards anyone personally in admin/moderation here. I do have issues with some of the inconsistencies and overt-personalizing in some of the moderation. There are forum rules for a reason. Making up rules as you go along is not professional or appropriate. I learned that as a kid.

Just my two cents.

*If banned, then hope everyone has a good life.

Taking a posting break! On Hiatus! If you need me directly for help or questions, email! Have fun guys!



Posted Image


Unweaned birds? Here ya go.


#6 Kevin

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Posted 25 August 2010 - 07:54 PM

I am locking up this thread till I have time to respond properly and things continue to spread exaggerations, hearsay and sheer rumor.

Give me a couple hours as I am working on finishing the server move then I will open it back up.

Again nothing is ever deleted on birdboard, it is quarantined.

I temp removed some posts in this thread till I can reply and then will be re added.

#7 Kevin

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Posted 27 August 2010 - 09:25 PM

Young, you make some very valid points and I'm going to try to address them.

BirdBoard and any online forum / message board is a melting pot of personalities. Moderators are people like anyone else and sometimes they react in
ways that are heavy handed while at other times not strong enough, and recently a little over micromanaging occurred.

I accept responsibility for the micromanaging on the part of the moderators and this issue has been addressed.

BirdBoard has weathered cycles over and over while other ones have not. I truly don't care if someone becomes a member of another forum or
multiple forums. What's troublesome is when people decide to use BirdBoard (or any other established platform) to blatantly solicit our members and abuse our resources at the expense of BirdBoard's community and I will not have it.

Best analogy is would you offer someone the use of your garage full of tools then let them exploit and/or vandalize your own home? HELL NO!


Spammers of various aids, home loans, and you name it as well as members have tried to use threads and or PM's to carry these spam ads and
malicious attacks.

Now some people believe, and have told their friends, that we read private messages. This is simply not the truth and is purely rumor.

Its pretty obvious when PM's are being abused because PM's, exactly like posts, have a report feature. People have been using the report feature to
complain to us about the messages they are receiving. Thus the senders of the message get caught with their hand in the cookie jar.

I'm very much a easy going type of person and have been known to be too easy going... I believe in light moderation and small governance. But, don't confuse kindness
with weakness. And what I will not take is when a small cross section decide to lash out, make false accusations and abuse our resources, as was very much the case recently.

When Emily (FreedomofFlight) responded to a claim that we use supporter funds for personal gain and was questioned about our need for a costly larger server, it struck a nerve and she reacted.

You know and I know the site was slowing down. A dedicated server dual zeon server with 8 gigs of ram was brought down to its knees in terms of speed, slow load times and etc.

Look around, folks. Do we sell adspace so that you see ads every time you log on here? No. Do we try and push a certain site or website to
get a potential kickback from affiliate sales? No. Do we ask you to cover the hosting bills each and every month, or the cost of the upgraded forum software? Nope.

We don't see this as a money making gig. Simply a fun hobby. As with any fun hobby, unless its your profession, you throw money at that hobby and rarely see a return on investment - but it doesn't matter, because its something you are passionate about.

When I read the above comments, I was also taken back and had to laugh though, because the site costs me money every month. Any supporter donations that do come in help offset some of the bill which is VERY much appreciated.

With that said, was Emily's reaction on point? Yes. Was it diplomatic? Probably not. But I back her stance 100%


Look, the internet and forums have 1 major gaping flaw to them. They have no way to communicate body language and more importantly TONE & CONTEXT!

Also the internet has created a culture of people saying things that they would not say in public because they can hide behind an alias.

Its very hard to interpret how someone is responding to accusations or questions. Furthermore, people tend to take things out of context - such as telling someone to 'shut up'. Now that phrase has been run with, and people are asking why its ok for an admin to 'swear' at a member. Telling someone to be quiet in a forceful manner is not the same as telling someone to 'bleep' off or other distasteful language.

Like I had posted before in a previous thread, were there some issues of a little micro managing? Sure, but like anything, moderating the forum is a work in
progress. Things can be better and thus we are addressing it. Having different moderators with different personalities and differing management styles is always hard, and a learning process for all involved. Everyone wants to only do what is right for the forum, but as they are different people, they have different views on how circumstances should be handled.


Was HollyHawkz released as a moderator? Yes.
Was Roger released as a moderator? Yes

Holly had voiced some concerns and frustrations she had and about the same time all the malicious abuse was peaking the other day. It was
made known she was now a moderator over at the related forum in the mess. With past experiences, as well as seeing actions of a few on other
message boards over the years, it was in our bet interest to cover our ass so any further problems wouldn't arise. By no means did I pass judgment on
Holly but history says cover your ass no matter what or who. Furthermore, Holly had chosen to PM other members of the moderating team and admin
team with talk of stepping down from her mod status, as she was getting frusterated with the way things were going and needed a break.
We saw this as a a good time to let things settle where they may.

I also spoke with Roger personally and we both agreed that it was best for him to step back so the forum could move forward.

It was mentioned that a small sampling of currently active posters have been reprimanded here on BB and yes, that is true.

We did not ban or reprimand purely based on who posts where or who is a member where - we are aware of the fact that many people post on many different forums. We will never try and stop that from happening as we recognize that different social needs may be met on different forums. However, the members that were reprimanded were done so because they were and abusing the system here at Birdboard.

We do not take lightly the flaming of admins, moderators, or members, nor do we take lightly the malicious abuse of our system's PM Feature,or Emails for another's personal gain.

I, like all of you, want things to be consistent but as in life, nothing is ever consistent, but we try.

With that said, rational responses are welcomed.

Edited by Kevin, 28 August 2010 - 04:01 AM.


#8 ChrisUlrich

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Posted 27 August 2010 - 11:14 PM

Well it was nice to finally read something from you. Are you going to lift those unnecessary bans though?
Posted Image
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#9 ConureLover1990

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Posted 27 August 2010 - 11:33 PM

Great to hear back from you Kevin,thank you for addressing these issues. I enjoy being on BB very much,and I hate to see so much tension on here.
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#10 watson

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Posted 27 August 2010 - 11:43 PM

Thanks for the post Kevin. Lets hope this is the beginning of the healing and this board can get back to being a forum of learining and talking about birds - thats what we came here for in the first place.
Udo, Lucy - Sun Conures, Fred, Sheldon - Crimson bellied Conures, Ajax, Angie - Congo African Grey Parrots, Penny - Yellow Collar Macaw, Sherlock - Hahn's Macaw, Olive - Alexandrine Parakeet, Tyler - Green Rump Parrotlet, Georgette - Pacific Parrotlet
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#11 Kevin

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Posted 28 August 2010 - 01:02 AM

I will go through the various infractions as of late and review them, and if I feel some might have been done with a heavy hand that were not just, leniency or a lifting of being ban might be given.

But in the mean time, I got a dinner to finish cooking, got a couple friends coming over....

Edited by Kevin, 28 August 2010 - 01:11 AM.


#12 hungrybird

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Posted 28 August 2010 - 01:05 AM

I like this board a lot. It's pretty interesting and has a clear layout. There are always new topics and I find it interesting. I do read other boards, why not? It's always good to hear what the next person has to say. But I think this one is the one I check the most frequently and the one I find the most interesting posts in. I just wish I could figure out how to make my pictures less than giant sized! It would be awesome to have everyone post their daily bird breakfasts!

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#13 Guest_NotEnoughTime_*

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Posted 28 August 2010 - 01:23 AM

I just wish I could figure out how to make my pictures less than giant sized! It would be awesome to have everyone post their daily bird breakfasts!

How is it you post pictures? I resize mine to 800x600 and upload to Image hosting, free photo sharing & video sharing at Photobucket and then use the IMG tag that they give me in my posts.

Edit: Oh and Gari eats:
Rice
Banana
Carrot
Yogurt
Broccoli
Cashew

For breakfast... Fruit changes/nuts change/veggies change - but this is pretty normal...

And she eats it all up...

Edited by NotEnoughTime, 28 August 2010 - 01:28 AM.
Add Breakfast


#14 watson

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Posted 28 August 2010 - 01:27 AM

I save the pics to my desktop and use the manage attachments link on the advanced screen to select the pic and upload it to my post and then submit it.
Udo, Lucy - Sun Conures, Fred, Sheldon - Crimson bellied Conures, Ajax, Angie - Congo African Grey Parrots, Penny - Yellow Collar Macaw, Sherlock - Hahn's Macaw, Olive - Alexandrine Parakeet, Tyler - Green Rump Parrotlet, Georgette - Pacific Parrotlet
The Flock
The X3
The GTI
The Dogs

#15 Young

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Posted 28 August 2010 - 01:57 AM

Thank you Kevin, I think that a review of the bans that were issued is needed and will be greatly appreciated, especially by the members affected. Being fair with an open mind will help to ensure trust between the membership and hopefully unity here on Birdboard once again.

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#16 Chew

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Posted 28 August 2010 - 03:00 AM

I just went through a similar scenario on a different board (with different subject matter) on which I have been a senior moderator for the past decade. What I have seen is that out of emotion and strife often comes growth and value. In my case we had a moderator step down and several members were banned. One of the Admins and myself stayed online for a couple of hours answering questions (the board has 80,000+ members) and two weeks later our community is stronger than ever.

For many people, online communication is very important, and subtle nuances in text, word choices, phrasing decisions all are capable of providing in great detail what might otherwise be missing from non face to face communications. However some of us are not as adept as others when it comes to demonstrating the exact message we wish to impart or in understanding exactly what someone else may have said.

I really enjoy this board even though I am only a casual member. I like the people here and I have learned a great deal about birds and hopefully have contributed a couple of seeds to the community in return.

Ultimately whatever "stuff" happens, as long as we all respect each other and remember that we are all guests in this community, we can be part of helping it grow and in return enjoy being a part of it.

Cheers.

#17 Kevin

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Posted 28 August 2010 - 03:30 AM

Amen Chew!

#18 KimM

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Posted 28 August 2010 - 05:39 AM

Well said by everyone. I am not a member of another forum and I thoroughly enjoy BB. I have learned so much regarding the care of my fids and hopefully have helped others. I guess I'm not as easily bothered by some members comments or disagreements, etc. I think that comes from working in corporate American for 25 years and probably meeting every type of personality there is.. LOL. I will continue to seek advice, help others and read posts (some of which are absolutely hysterical and brighten my day) and respect others. I do believe Chew has a very good point in that as long as we respect each other, even through conflicts, we will continue to grow.

I personally believe that sometimes conflicts and tough things that happen in our life help us grow even more. I think if we maintain the respect as well as open minds, we'll be just fine.
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#19 tweety1

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Posted 28 August 2010 - 06:38 AM

Thanks Kevin for posting that. Things have been pretty crazy lol And thank you for putting your time, energy, and money into this board. Things could be way worse. Spammers everywhere, ads up all over. Stuff like that. Personally I think everyone is doing a great job with this site. Confrontations sometimes come up. And can even be learning experiences to some. Lets just all keep it friendly.
I say, if you couldn't say what you are going to post to persons face without feeling bad, don't say it. Because there are people behind each of these screen names and pictures. And any one of us can have our feelings hurt, or get angry and irrational.
As for the moderators, they are people too. We should give them a break. I don't think I could handle their responsibility. lol
But I do agree that if people got banned for minor offenses, they should get one more chance. Wouldn't we all want one lol I know I have gone overboard with getting worked up, I mean, it happens lol
Anyway, thanks for making this place really great. I would have made so many mistakes with my fids without it XD
Britt
[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

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#20 prettypenguin

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Posted 28 August 2010 - 07:44 AM

Ok, now things are making sense. I've rarely gotten PMs on this board, and got 2 in the last few days before the server update, one that told me about another board but linked me to this one!? I hope y'all can work things out.
:i.opl::i.same::tiel::i.same:
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