126 votes, rating 5.3
I've been following a thread on the forums where the policies of the admin staff are being brought up. I figured that the matter was interesting enough to rant about :).
First off, it's nice to see a thread about such a touchy topic to survive for so long without turning into repetitive drivel or flames. Kudos to you all for keeping it (mostly) level-headed and to the point. I don't mind these kinds of discussions as long as it stays civil.
The staff of this site are asked to follow a set of guidelines in order to deal with problems that occur. Everything from matches needing to be pushed, through matches needing to be validated, to handling allegations of cheating. Some time ago, these policies were actually written down into an admin guide document which all the current staff members have access to. While I don't intend to publish this guide for public reading (flame me for that if you want), it basically gives the staff members information on how to handle the most common issues that we have to deal with.
One important aspect of this guide is that I, as the site owner, expect the staff to follow these guidelines. I expect them to be followed the same way regardless of if the coach has been around for years with a spotless record, or if it's a new member of the community. Think about what that means for a second..
To the best of my knowledge the current staff members of this site follow these guidelines which in turn means that things are being handled in the way that I have told the staff members to handle. I will always protect the staff members from complaints if I can, as long as they follow the policies I have approved. The individual staff members very rarely have anything to apologise for, since they are doing what they have been asked to do.
I am the person ultimately responsible for each of the rules on the site, and the admin policies which the staff works to maintain. So any complaints should be directed at me rather than the other members of the staff.
I think I digressed a bit from the topic here though.. The rules and staff policies are designed with a few key concepts in mind (listed here in no particular order):
1. The rules are designed to primarily protect the community as a whole. The individual coach is a secondary concern. Now, I don't mean that the individual coach means nothing.. However, the site rules need to cater for the best of the site as a whole. I think this is an important aspect of the community and if certain policies seem a bit unfair to the individual coach it's likely to be due to the community as a whole has been prioritised over the individual. Some rules and policies are there mostly to give the staff a way to handle certain types of cheating and behaviour that is detrimental to the community.
2. The rules are designed to minimise the workload for the staff. Again, this doesn't mean that this is the only concern. All rules and policies create work for the staff and the easiest way would be to not have any rules at all. As you are fully aware, this is not the case for FUMBBL.
3. All staff to coach communication is considered confidential. The staff does not discuss individual issues in public. This is something we do to protect the individuals involved, and also because it's extremely boring to read. A vast majority of people in the community are here to have fun, not to read about what the staff has to deal with.
I am sure some of you don't agree with these three points. I'm also certain that most of you are not 100% happy with what they mean when it comes down to the specifics.
I could easily change the staff system to a more anonymous one which would work strictly through tickets. I am sure some of you have seen other systems where you're not even able to talk to the staff, or get any kind of response. I personally believe that while FUMBBL isn't perfect, we're reasonably good at keeping the community healthy when compared to other sites/games on the web. Especially free ones.
I am Christer.