Registered Member #79916 Joined: Sat Dec 02 2006, 03:29AM Posts: 67
This has been building for a long time, WGC's decision to close down kibbitzing without telling anyone first is what tipped me over the edge. It applies, but will not be mentioned further here by me.
I believe that this culture pervades WGC management and I further believe it is a short sighted and ultimately destructive attitude. In the interests of improving WGC, I would like to point out why it is a bad idea. A few instructive examples of what I am talking about first, and why they in particular are bad.
Disciplining of lobby trolls by PM. Any mention of competing sites being pounced upon immediately. The delete first and ask questions later attitude of those that mediate this forum.
All of these things are management in one way or another attempting to keep something quiet and secret. All of these things can no doubt be justified on a case by case basis, with varying amounts of ethical justification. But as a way of doing buiness in general? No good.
To take those 3 examples briefly and one at a time.
A) An initial PM might not be such a bad idea, but after that, well, buddy you've been warned and you can take your licks in public like everyone else anywhere else. Justice must no only be done, it must be seen to be done. If you need me to explain that particularly ancient piece of Jurisprudence to you, well I am sure you can find it on your own. (I know, I know, this aint a democracy, no freedom of speech, no right to a trial etc etc, but it's till not a bad ideal to aim for).
People will find out about them anyway, surely a more enlightened attitude would be 'Here they are, go have a look, come back to the best when you are done'. This would imply that WGC is confident that it is the best and has nothing to hide. And when people do (and they will) go exploring, they will feel better about coming back as they won't feel anything has been concealed from them.
The WGC alternative of course is the ENORMOUSLY overzealous stamping upon any mention of another site. This happened to a friend of mine, a fellow host, who was banned for a month for mentioning in PM a competing site. Well, IF she comes back, and I won't be in the least surprised if she doesn't, WGC has lost at the very very least around 80 hrs (4 weeks at around 20 hrs a week) of hard working free volunteer work from a very popular host. If WGC doesn't monitor PM's (as per their clam) this at least was done with the complicity of the management, who listened to a complaint about a PM. One way or the other, she was setup. If not by WGC management directly, at the very least they were complicit in it the moment they listened to a complaint about a PM in response to a player who had asked for, without it being mentioned previously in public by this host, information about this other site.
Surely Indy you are being paranoid, there must have been other reasons? Perhaps there were, I would have thought the same had I not received an email the week before from management along a simlilar line. In essence it said 'Stop addying your team site or you will get a strike against you'. When I queried this, I was told that because our team site at that time, a forum very similar to this, mentioned another site in one of the posts on there, it is in breach of the TOU and it is therefore a strikable offence to addy it. It has always been standard procedure for hosts to addy their teams site so players can get info on whether they qualify fot TOC's or wnat to see their standings or whatever by the way. How far does this go? Don't addy to other sites that are of an adult nature, or compete with with WGC is fair enough. But don't addy team sites that may link you to a forum post, that will then pass you to a banned site if you click the link in that post (this case)? How about don't addy to another site that contains a forum post that links to another TOU non-offending site that contains an ad, if you stay there long enough, to a book store site where one could then purchase adult materials? Or something? Sheesh.
C) This has long been a bone of contention here. To the point where some people have looked and complained that they have no idea of what is going on. They would like to defend a point of view, they would like to shoot down an offensive or stupid or willfully mis-informed post, but they can't, because the thread has descended into an unreadable incoherent mess. You will lose some of your strongest supporters doing this! I think that unless it is actually illegal under the laws of the land as applicable to WGC, your post should stay. If you really really must do something, move it to an over 18's forum, or white the text so you have to highlight it to read it, or leave it for 24 hours and see if you get more people complain it (add a thumbs up or down voting feature to posts maybe? I've seen that in a lot of places.) should be taken down than support it, or almost anything else. In most cases, and every single one I have been privy to here, is better than immediate deletion. The TOU should not be applied to the forum, as opposed to lobbies, because the primary purpose of a forum is for people to read it. ie If you don't like reading it, why are you in a forum? The TOU should apply to gaming lobbies, because the primary purpose there is to play games with a secondary purpose of helping people to socialise in real time and the TOU (should) help facilitate that.
It is more than a little bit prissy to say that you are 'Defending the children!' Go look at almost any other forum you care to name for kids, you will see worse posts by those very same children. If you can't find it, you're not trying very hard. 'What, you don't like kids Indy?' Yes, its very easy to justify this sort of censorship with cheap shots like that, I know. If you really want to hit me on those grounds, go to your local high school and picket it until they take 'The Catcher in the Rye' out of their library, then we'll talk ok?
I will give a few more specific examples, there are many others I could have chosen, but I won't detail why they are a bad idea. The reasoning is much the same anyway.
A lack of feedback to emails giving ideas on how to improve things. I've written a few and they have disappeared into black holes until I have publicly beaten people with a stick on this forum to get a reply. Similarly there was an idea floated a couple of months ago on the hosts only board that got a LOT of feedback, its been several weeks since the last piece of feedback went in, nil reply on whether it will happen or not. My team diretor (and I can only assume many others) was sent an email several months ago and passed onto us asking for ideas on how to improve things when the new site comes on line. Our team had about 15 between us, nil response. The same as far as I can tell on the ideas thread in this forum.
No access by players to the hosting guidelines, no access by the players to the @MGR guidelnes and so on (I guess) up the chain. Why on earth not?
It took about 6 weeks of emails, MSN converasations and forum posts for me to find out that WGC uses the Mersenne Twister. Other sites embrace the idea of openness and actively encourage scrutiny. Heck I have even heard of the actual code being open source. This is what we use, go nuts if ya want to pick holes in it, and thank you very much if you can improve it! I know that WGC is always asking for help in this area, why not make it easier? Worried about hackers? Publicise that too! There's several thousand people here, there almost has to be a lot more helpful programmers than hackers who would relish the challenge! What is more successful against worms and trojans and viruses, the closed code of Internet Explorer, or the open code of (pick your web browser)? ***DISCLAIMER: I am not a programmer, just a user***
The point is this: Secrecy about almost anything you care to name in general looks good at a superficial glance, is wonderfully effective in the short term, and is a bad idea. A secret has a way of leaking out, and when our generic 'it' does, you just look bad for attempting concealment in the first place. And having 'it' leak actually destroys the whole point of keeping 'it' secret in the first place and makes the situation worse. Every decision to conceal something, anything, should be taken with the greatest care and consideration. It should be a matter of justifying the decision to conceal 'it', not of justifying the revelation of 'it' to whatever arbitrary, and often ill advised, reasoning. In the long run it is a better way to do business, even if it means you are caught with your short term pants down occassionally.
Wow, Indy, that post is so thought provoking. Well done.
We think alot alike. I feel that I have expressed the same sentiments in many previous threads but I'm not "as connected" as you. My thoughts come more from gut feelings and your comments come from knowing more insider type stuff.
I believe some deletions in Forums from authority type staffers is appropriate. I believe certain attacks on people are just pure rubbish and should not be tolerated. But delete the ENTIRE post. AND BE CONSISTANT. I see certain cranky attacking posts stay up for a long time, or never get deleted. Somebody else posts something with half the attitude and it gets deleted minutes later. That makes no sense. Fairness and consistancy is what I think is sooooo important. Not just in the Forums but in the lobbies as well.
And I already posted my thoughts on controlling the lobbies with PMs in my thread that I got not one single reply on .. which I thought was odd, but so be it in "I don't have all the answers .. BUT" that I wrote on 21 June. But I'm quite sure that we are totally right in our thinking on this matter.
As far as being reprimanded for the mere mention of a rival site's name in the lobbies goes .. I'd like to share something I heard in church just last Sunday. Our pastor mentioned that a new neighborhood church was getting started a mile or so away and that they needed some help or support getting their congregation rolling, so to speak. He suggested that we go visit and give them support, if we could. When church was over, many church patrons asked the pastor why he would suggest that some of us go over to a "rival" church to help out and his answer was, "Don't we all belong to the same church?" He wasn't suggesting that we go and never come back but that we go, visit, provide some support, make contributions and share with them. Makes perfect sense to me. Isn't a little competition vital to a strong business? or nation? I thought that was how the world works. I may be wrong.
Anyhow, great post Indy.
George Carlin just passed away. I'm sure everyone has heard the sad news. He was a great man. He was a true artist and entertainer .. more gifted than most actors who just do and say whatever scripts that they are provided. Comics write their own stuff and then perform it. He took tremendous risks and paid his dues for those risks. He had to defend himself to the Supreme Court for goodness sakes, but he won. We are all better for his use of free speech and testing the free speech amendment. I'm not comparing you to George Carlin Indy .. cuz you ain't that funny! lol But I loved that you put yourself out there and posted what you did. Play to win !
Ummm... Risk, I believe you're mistaken about Carlin winning the ruling in the Supreme Court. He did in fact win the initial ruling, in a lessor court, in Wisconsin. However, when it reached the Supreme Court (as a result of it being played on a NY radio sataion) "...the Supreme Court, which ruled that the government had a right to set a "watershed" before which obscenities could not be broadcast, in case children were listening."
This was the infamous "Seven words that can't be said on TV" that probably single handedly launched Carlin as a footnote in American history.
Yes, he was a classic, one of a kind. And, will be missed.
Our forefathers fought for freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and freedom to worship. It's what this country is based on. Having said that... every gaming site that I am aware of has parameters that we must work within, if we wish to play there. The zone sure did. Oh boy, did they ever. Try even looking at some of the pluses there crosseyed, and for no reason, none, you're gagged.
Basically, gaming sites are not bound to the US Constitution, duh. Many are international sites. Period.
To the point.... and I do have one somewhere in here...
Why should ANY site allow advertizing of another gamiing site? We all play at different sites, whatever meets our needs at a given time. A new site comes along every 6 months. Go, play, have fun, experience. Just I think it's common courtesy to not mention those in the lobby.
I'm funny like that, rather old fashioned manners. Just MHO.
MoreJoy, thx for the clarifications etc. I'm sure you must be correct. I will take your word on it. You sound very knowledgable. But I think you took what I said a bit too literally and I can understand why. He may not have won in the Supreme Court in a legal kind of way but he came out a winner. How is that?
I would not and have not mentioned other gaming sites in public lobbies. It's not my style. On the other hand, I would not be inclined to condemn those who might do it. You obviously have your opinion and I have mine. I thank you for the great post. Play to win !
Indy I heard all about that pm and the host. Thank you for coming to her defense. PM are said to be private.........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................right?
Indy you did an amazing job on this post. I have always told my children that there is a reaction to every action they take. That they must be willing to accept that reaction before they act. If they spent as much time on developing a wonderful " community" , as they do on other "subversive things", we would have an award winning community. BTW a community is a joining of several different neighborhoods, several different religions, races, creed, familial status' together to make a tight knit community. The world is all about choice, that is why we have thousands of religions, political parties, and types of people, and we all have that choice as to where to live, what to believe, who to associate with, etc. There will always be other sites. Instead of trying to "hang high" anyone who would dare saunter over there, you should be embracing it, and encouraging it. There are several people that would love to have the same nic and go play in a ladder, or no hit, or a long tourney, or just sit in a social lobby, of other sites, and come back to this site for their favorite rooms, hosts, or tournies. Instead so many are in hider nics cause they don't want the warnings or innuendos that are circulating here. If we work together, and share information, all the sites can benefit. We could become an amazing community. But instead alas, we decide to take the ignorant, harsh view of things and try to aniliate anything that threatens what the owners percieve as "harmony". That ill percieved harmony, is the cause of many seeking out other neighborhoods to play in. So Indy, I applaud you for your post. We all know you have put your neck out on the chopping block in doing so. Lets see if the blade will fall on yet another amazing hostie, or if they will finally listen to the little people. WGC? banning, sacking, issuing warnings, violating your supposed "privacy" rules. ( no pm, will be used in determining guilt or innocence in a complaint) why not embrace it, and seek to better yourselfs. Not just with software. I personally play in 4 sites, and do so because i like the hosts, the format, and the people at each individual site. I play in the same nic, because I refuse to hide ( though trust me, I know why others have to hide, shame on you wgc) so the choice is yours wgc, the players are indeed watching. And for any site to succeed they need players.
If the host advertised another site in their tokenized nick (even in PM) I would have probably taken action. It happened in hearts, and I thought it was pretty low of a plus to engage in that.
Regarding mersenne twister it was no secret, Jim Borror made it clear what he was using when he replaced the original random number generator in Backgammon back in late 2006?. However I do not believe mersenne twister is used site wide for all the games (I know that it wasn't the case in hearts up until recently).
Registered Member #79916 Joined: Sat Dec 02 2006, 03:29AM Posts: 67
Just to clarify a lil bit for you petch. The host in question regarding the incident you refer to was asked for information in PM. She replied in PM, she did not advertise in the lobby, or in PM. I agree that unsolicited addying in pm to get around the TOU would be a low act, that was NOT the case here. This player approached her for information, obviously having heard about it somewhere else. WHAM! That very day, heres your ban, see you in a month. It was quite obviously pre-meditated entrapment, which WGC either played along with or actively sought to do. I, too, have been asked such things in PM. I now make it a matter of policy to ask for an email addy so I can then give out whatever information they are after.
Before someone says 'Well if ya don't like it, leave' I will say a quick word about that. No, WGC management are not my favourite people at the moment. I recently took a week LOA, I was greeted clamourously by a few players when I got back. Thats why I stick around. All this stuff is peripheral for me, but then again, I am remarkably tolerant and they generally leave me alone when I am in my little sphere (12:30 am tues through sat in the FoG room). I'll poke the management or anyone else I feel needs it. I'll tell people in no uncertain terms where and when they are wrong and why. But it would take a lot to make me leave.
And paranoid secrecy on the part of management still sucks, too.
Bravo Indy! I happen to have talked extensively with that host and also with someone in WGC mgmt about how that PM ended up where it did and what I was told really upset me. Things have a way of rectifying themselves eventually, though.........don't you think?