Saying No to Creating Chats and food p(orn).

yaybutwhataboutbigmacs

Interesting, having been to all these countries and having family in five of them. Japan’s is actually lower than the U.S. when you factor in cost of living especially in the larger cities like Toyko or even Sendai. Price of a Big Mac? Minimum wage is higher but the cost of the Big Mac is lower comparatively in at least a couple of those countries when I’ve been there. France was a while ago, so not sure about that one. The French are great by the way, kind enough to bail us out of the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812. They just don’t like Rude Americans and since I don’t act like a Rude American, I’ve always gotten along with them just fine. ūüôā ¬†Every time I hear or read the French getting bashed, I want to bash my head against a wall.

Yeah if it weren’t for us, they would be speaking German but if it wasn’t for the French, we’d be just another one of the Queen’s colonies which later semi-emancipated itself from the Crown.

Yep! This is definitely true. ¬†The wailing, the whining, the gnashing of the teeth, the threats of bashing people’s faces in and so on…

yaybutisitatleastagoodlie

For some of us, the shipping and handling just costs more. ūüėČ

dontforgettaxestoo

Oh this new forum gig is definitely a blast. ¬†Babysitting from 1100-6500 readers/posters at a time along with several other folks. Few threads deleted. That’s just wonderful. ¬†“Following” about 50 new Twitter accounts is pretty arduous though as a bonus, picked up some great autism links from one addition, an actress out of L.A. ¬†But that’s where nearly all the news comes out these days rather than in PRs so it’s useful.

It’s also wonderful to get supportive PMs on the moderation’s response to flagged threads and posts. ¬†I’ve been editing the novel down to a manageable level, working on the villain which The Sociopath Next Door turned out be helpful. Outlining the other book and I had some FB and Tweeters ask me if I’m really going there and the answer’s yes. ¬† Though this weekend is spent working on a PowerPoint (oh god, not that) for a city council candidate who wants a “briefing” on the city’s municipal Wi-Fi system which is going onto the chopping block in committee. I did a stint as a field tester for the initial vendor and the city, for 2 1/2 years in my free time so I know a little bit about it.

The one thing about having up to 25,000 visitors or more a day is that gives virtually no chance for “cliques” to develop which is a relief to most folks. They’re thinking of doing Chats but I just said flat out no, I wouldn’t advise it not without a lot of planning and thinking ahead of time. It takes that to avoid having a small group of people clusterfuck in there all the time turning it into a cesspool which pushes the majority of your clientele or visitors away. ¬†Dealing with people like that and listening to their whining when you do can be a pain but that doesn’t mean you don’t do it. It does get easier after the first couple suspensions you have to hand out especially when you see how much the chat environment quickly improves ultimately leaving you with less work. ¬†But you do have to have a well thought out plan and program to implement first and moderation is a major part of that.

another_cyber_bully_by_cquiles-d34kebl

Plus you need full time moderation which seems to be a trend you see more and more often with Chats to avoid legal and other problems that can plague them if they’re left unattended.

I was thinking how would I handle a situation where people were threatening to beat up other people using weapons in such graphic detail? What would I do if they wrote those chat comments in my presence?

The answer came immediately and easily enough. Toss them out and explain why, that after their timeout if they got caught doing it again, it’s a permanent ban from the site. They might whine that they are adults not babies that they shouldn’t be “moderated” and my response to that is the following:

Okay, so if your “adult” behavior gets me sued or subpoened by the feds/LE are you going to be “adult” enough to chip in to pay my tens of thousands of dollars of legal bills that I’ll be facing because of your behavior?

**pin dropping**

I didn’t think so now run along. ¬†But you have to be tough when you have people running around threatening other people including by weapons and a couple cases of that were highly problematic to say the least.

It’s easy to moderate though, just toss people out who do that, end of story but I can see how that’d be a pain too but it’s just what you got to do. ¬†So something like that is definitely the biggest argument against having a Chat unless you’re really ready to handle the responsibilities of moderation and dealing with problems when they arise including through a griefing and disciplinary process with “teeth” and credibility.

The screenshots taken from some of the so-called “celebratory” parties did cause some pause among the group and helped my argument in terms of not implementing Chat right away. ¬†People had a hard time understanding that players actually behaved that way which is why it’s useful to be able to produce concrete examples of it.

Some of the parts I did “read” about were funny because it’s beyond ridiculous to see socially mature and emotionally healthy adults act that way in a couple boisterous, albeit small clusterfucks or what are called “cyber bashes”, parties that celebrate victories achieved by cyber bullying or harassment. ¬†Despite all their whining that they weren’t bullies, they were victims, it was these “cyber bashes” that were held in Chat that were proof positive that they were indeed individuals who by choice were using the Chat as a medium (and the forum as a secondary one) to bully and harass other players. ¬†Cyber bullies do “celebrate” getting rid of people they don’t like or having those people leave after being sick and tired of it. ¬†It’s just their nature so it’s hardly surprising that a few people behaved that way and “cyber bashes” as an adjunct to cyberharassment is pretty well documented. ¬†That’s why I fully expected it to happen and wasn’t surprised in the least when witnesses reported it back to me including one who appears to actually have been a semi-participant.

That said, that’s how a lot of Chats wind up closed down or eliminated when they hit that benchmark in their downward descent, by the time you start seeing “cyber bashes”. By that time, most people avoid them and when the “remedy” provided is to just avoid them, they start slowly divesting themselves of the site. ¬†What can you say? Most of us don’t want to relive our experiences on an elementary school playground.

The best remedy? First cyber bash, Chat gets shut down for a week. ¬†Second Cyber bash, a month. The third one, permanently. ¬†The best way to handle moderating a site is to prevent yourself from being in a position where you have to “take it back”. The moment you make it clear that Chat’s a privilege not a “right” and back that up through action, you’ve pretty much won most of that battle. Most bullies are inherently cowards, this batch is no exception. ¬†Problem solved, since the thought of losing Chat permanently is just too emotionally devastating to the “mean girl” type of bully, it’s the only remedy with a shot of curbing their bullying outside a permanent ban.

I think it’s real important to resolve those kinds of bad experiences and learn from them so they don’t taint you when you’re in a role like that yourself of having to make the decisions. ¬†You have to avoid playing favorites especially when some of those “favorites” are causing serious problems. It’s always unsettling to sit and watch a clusterfuck in Chat against or about a player and then the next minute, involved players are saying one upping each other on how close they are to the mods like it’s some contest. Over 99% of players don’t care about whose friends with whom or friends with the admin (as most players don’t seek out admins or know who they are to befriend them, certainly not on larger, more frequented and popular sites) unless they have to grief against badly behaving players who are perceived wrongly or rightly of being close to the moderation and are clearly using that closeness as a license to behave badly evidenced by the fact they pull a 180 as soon as moderation enters the Chat. People who are true to themselves and truly believe their behavior in Chat is so righteous, they wouldn’t change it just because they’re being watched. ¬†If they go from trash talking and nasty to sweetness and light that abruptly then yeah, that’s pretty much a passive aggressive way of admitting a rules violation.

Two players even justified it by saying the mods trash talk too so it’s no big deal. ¬†If that’s the case, then no wonder there are so many problems because admins and moderators set the tone for their sites including social outlets for better or worse just with any business online or off. ¬†Thus the buck lies with moderation to set the tone they expect to see followed in the social outlets. Rules and regulations don’t matter if they’re only given lip service. The moderators at the Chat and the forum don’t set around badmouthing people especially by user or real names. ¬†It makes absolutely no sense to do so since none of us have friendships or close relationships with anyone in the customer or visitor base.

Moderators shouldn’t really comment especially negative on customers or players at their site to individuals in that group, whether “friends” or not. It’s just became a license for bullies to behave badly and rather than take responsibility for their actions, pin them on the moderators’ door. ¬†It might be tempting but it might be just better not to complain to Friend #1 about Customer #2 ¬†because not only does it end up on blast all over, it’s used an excuse for Players #1-6 to bash or bully Player #7. ¬†You’ve just handed them the perfect alibi and license to bully. ¬†You can’t successfully discipline a behavior you encouraged as a moderator because what if someone comes back and says, well you do it too!

When I moderate, I’m not friends with anyone let alone BFFs or buddies but I am friendly which is very different because I always have to maintain that line of separation as a moderator. ¬†That ¬†I didn’t need to learn because I took that from my experience in the game. You can’t really be close friends with anyone you’re moderating and be effective at it. ¬†Forget griefing cases where your close friends did bad behavior, double so if they then lie to you about it. ¬†Personally booting known liars is probably the easiest task of all.

I see any sign of bullying, my first priority is the bullied person or alleged bullied person if it’s not witnessed not those who do the bullying or alleged bullying. You have to be fair in your investigating it, keep the identities of those who “grief” private and certainly don’t go spilling details of it to friends including those who bully or those who are friends of those who bully. ¬†It’s unsettling getting “slapped” afterward by the bullies eager to retaliate by information only shared in griefing which as such is extremely limited in how it can be “leaked” to the bullies. ¬†You interview parties first and present objective evidence next, which seems to make sense. ¬†It’s never fun but it’s what you do.

sorrylisaIguessthismeansyou

Ban players if they retaliate after griefing and that’s proven…permanently. If retaliation happens or is allowed to happen, it undermines the entire integrity and usefulness of the griefing process. Put the process in writing and take it seriously…don’t complain to friends that you’re only doing the process to appease complainants and that your discipline is falsely given to innocent parties. ¬†For one thing, that’s just bullshit because the parties aren’t innocent, screenshots don’t lie but sometimes people do when called on bad behavior. The bigger question is why set up a process to address complaints and then shoot it down by telling people who then spread that information around? ¬†In that discussion, the consensus is that you just don’t talk about grieving to players, friends or not. ¬†Avoid all the problems of destroying the integrity of your own process by talking to the wrong person about it and keep it outside of the scope of those who use it and are investigated under it.

Also it’s best not to grief “friends” to avoid a conflict of interest. Give it to someone else.

Put ¬†it in writing, don’t go talking about it and certainly don’t go complaining about it. ¬†If it’s written down in a place where it’s easily accessed, it doesn’t need additional exposition.

Enough on “griefing”, that’s a whole another can of worms and it’s important to set up a process to avoid those kinds of problems. ¬†Enough also on writing about a bunch of knuckleheads too!

Hmmm…who does this remind me of?¬†

thelittlegirlwholikestocutpeople

Earth, Wind and Fire (in Vegas) just Rain here…

Bonaminio-flood-620x465

This is a park that is now a lake

Got some friends in Vegas tormenting me with photos taken of the Earth Wind, and Fire concert so a couple of us have been hitting some restaurants to sample cuisine. I’m so glad my friends got a chance to leave town and kick back and relax for a while. ¬†The weather folks who predicted NO chance of rain on Thursday are now telling us the storm is a 1 in 100 year event…only didn’t they tell us the last two times it happened.

It’s global warming I tell you!

Below is D-Dogs, which is a sports bar/restaurant that specializes in what else? Dogs of all different kinds including crafting your own. ¬†The hardest part is figuring out what to order and the onion rings are second only to Johnny’s. ¬†Fried pickles are wonderful.

The owners are a retired police lieutenant and partner and there’s a story to what happened with him and another lieutenant that but it’ll probably not be found here. I was honored to do what I could to help them tell it. ¬†Yeah I got hassled (IA anyone?) but I’m not and never have been made out of soft stuff.

DDogs2

The food at the Salted Pig in downtown is pretty fine especially the “dirty fries” but a lot of city officials go there and do a lot of drinking to help them cope with the stress of leadership. ¬†Remember friends don’t let friends drive intoxicated.

saltedpig

¬†Paella at Cafe Sevilla…Castillian food is like the best!¬†

yummypaella

For a good sandwich at lunch, The Upper Crust run by one of the sweetest couples around. They sell a lot of Retro drinks too including Mexican Coca Cola, with pure cane sugar and Ne-His among others.

uppercrust

Mario’s Place is pricey but they are known for among other things, their calamari salad…

calamarisalad

Then on the fly, there’s always In and Out.

inandout2

Animal Shot of the Day

tigerchatter

Tigers are huge, their paws are enormous, that is all. 

hippos3

Hippos are deadly.  Do not approach. 

danglittlemonkey

This little monkey…

Laura sent him and the hippos above from her trip to Tanzania and Kenya. Monkeys are scary because they can rip or chew faces off.

gobroncosdontscrewup

Broncos Release this year’s team roster

Then this has to be said…

nowaynohow

This is such a popular card in this area. I remember when the Raiders were in L.A., they did summer training in the state university here. ¬†Yeah 105 temps and stage 1 smog alerts, great for training. ¬†By the way, a really good book about the Raiders in L.A. is You’re Okay: It’s Just a Bruise written by then team doctor,¬†Rob Huizenga.

Some folks dropped some of these by. ¬†The spelling gaffe of “your vs you’re” is so popular as a pet peeve, it has its very own Web site for cartoons. I’m not big on being the grammar/spelling police unless I’m on the clock or¬† when people bully or harass or trash talk against other people including over their grammar/spelling gaffes. ¬†The whole “Your an idiot/moron/stupid/bitch” syndrome.

So for those folks including among those who pride themselves on proving their intelligence and toughness through cyber bullying including kids, here’s a little reminder. ¬†After all those striving to be the best cyber bully they can be (given the amount of time spent doing it), there should be special care to fix some of those grammar and spelling mistakes.

your-vs-you-are-cartoon

This was kind of cute.

grammarcartoon-blogSpan

The one below I used to stumble over years ago. For the most part that’s been fixed. ūüôā

grammar-cartoon2

Style Watch

On that note, if you’re into pulling or threatening to pull brass knuckles on people you don’t like why let your hands do all the work? With some accessorizing, you can use other parts¬†of your body! ¬†Our two favorite brass knuckle bearers protecting the game from people who “grief” should pay close attention to the latest in fashion.

hiptobeanasshole

or this….if you’re more into boots…

beyonce-brass-knuckle-boots

Got to get this! ¬†Brass Knuckles going “green”, who would have thought?

grassybrassknuckles

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About Butterfly Collective

I'm just an ordinary person doing ordinary things in a not so ordinary world
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