Okay, I don't care if people think I'm biased or I'm flogging a dead horse, but IMHO, this needs to be said. The chat needs some serious work. As you know I don't use it myself, but quite frankly I have heard absolutely nothing good about the chat except from the people who voted it in. Most of those people are on during the night for U.S.-time, so they didn't see or hear about what happened. From the SNN-user side, several SFW users (Light, Noel/Sharna, White) were on the wiki cursing, trolling, etc. However, I was told by these same people that Bullet Francisco, the one who told me this, was lying outright about the things such as the cursing, and was being an "admin's pet". On the SFW-user side, the people on SNN are apparently acting quite immature, setting a bad image for SNN. However, the way the SFW users (my "friends" no less) talked crap about the Users on the chat, b****ing and whining about their behaviour, I'm thinking both sides are true: the SNN users are acting immature and like children, while the SFW users who were on also set bad examples with negative behaviour. And you know what? There are two common denominators here: the fact that I heard absolutely nothing about an admin or a chat mod being on in either account (Bullet came to me, so that makes it clear that no-one else was on. Light wanted to be a chat mod to get things under control, so that pretty much explicitely says that there was no one on to keep things under control), and yours truly. You see, I'm an admin here on SNN, and the only one of the SNN admins that goes to SFW. So when the SFW Users were causing problems, I am the one who heard about it. Now, if that weren't enough, I'm also the owner of the Xat chat that most of these SFW Users use, and I have to regularly interact and deal with them. So you know what that means? It means that I end up dealing with BOTH sides of this crap, with no other admins people can go to to fix the issue!! I haven't seen or heard of an admin that actually wants the chat active being on save for a single post all fraggin day today!!
So now, let's review the reason why the chat was put up: because blogs were flooding the site, and people got sick of it. The problems the chat was supposed to fix:
- Flooding with non-Sonic subjects.
- Disorganization and user behaviour putting up a bad image for the wiki.
Now, let's see what the chat, which was supposed to fix these problems, has apparently brought forth:
- Flooding with non-Sonic subjects (count this as a problem or not at your discretion).
- User behaviour putting up a very bad image for the wiki.
- No admins avaliable at any given time to fix the problem.
- Problems on the chat aren't publicly viewable, thus rendering admins having to go solely by the word of Users in order to know what happened (this is exactly what happened to me today).
- No policies or chat mods, leaving Users free to behave as badly and immaturely as they want, regardless of percieved maturity (from what I've heard, they have done just that).
So let's see.... we enabled the chat to solve two problems, and then ended up with at least 4 problems, just under 24 hours of activating the chat. If that's not enough, SNN is usually a pretty mellow place. However today, a big fight occured both on the chat and was brought onto my own Xat!
To sum it up, the chat was activated with so much gung-ho and eagerness, that several aspects were left out of the mix, such as rules, policies, and chat mods. The admins who most wanted this on are hardly active during daytime U.S. hours, and most of our Users are from America, so that leaves us with a bit of a problem, now doesn't it?
To be quite frank, when I first heard that things weren't going stellar, I decided to let things go their course. I never used a wiki chat, don't know how to work it, and I don't care if it's in use or not. But now I'm hearing about it on here, and I have to listen to people on the chat talk crap about my home wiki! And from the looks of it, it most certainly is not going to change all of a sudden. The chat was activated without serious thought to who would properly maintain it and what policies would be put in place, and it's painfully obvious that expecting Users to control themselves without policies and admins/mods to enforce them, the chat will- no, IS causing more problems than it's solving.
Quite frankly I don't care one way or another whether the chat stays or goes: contrary to what people may think, my problem is with the blog rule, not the chat being enabled or disabled. But if activity like this is going to continue to happen on the chat and nothing is done quickly, I will personally disable the chat until something changes, regardless of whether people trust my motives or judgment.
So, here's what the chat apparently needs, based on what I've heard and observed today:
- More chat mods. Admins alone are not going to cut it, and today has made that clear beyond debate. Unlike talkpages and blogs, the chat isn't public for all Users and admins to see, so we can't just have several Users being chat mod. It needs to be Users who are on all day, every day. Perhaps it could be a test-drive for potential admin candidates, to see how they deal with authority without giving them the power to improperly block people or delete stuff.
- Strict, strict policies. Because the chat isn't public (as stated before), we need no-nonsense policies that leave absolutely no room for cursing or misbehaviour.
- A way to know what really happens. With the chat not being visible to everyone at any given time, we need to have a way to say for sure what side is telling the truth, because we all know that at one point or another, Users are going to complain about improper blocking or behaviour on the chat, and we need to be sure about what's valid and what isn't.
I thought up these suggestions under the assumption that Users who go onto the chat are unable to see messages from before they entered the chat. If that works, then we just need the chat mods that are on at any given time and the no-nonsense policies.
I'd also like people to keep in mind the threat of disabling the chat is only if absolutely nothing is done. I just don't want the chat left as-is when this type of chaos has occured with the chat just activated 24 hours ago, with the current results hardly positive. The chat simply cannot be left as-is without a great amount of improvements made to it, simple as that.