Rather than replying line-by-line to kara, since the discussion has moved: apparently the consultation thread was the generically-titled "Let's Talk HLP" thread stuffed up in the Announcements board. Clearly I'm also not the only person who rarely if ever reads the announcements board, since I'm not the only one apparently surprised by this revelation. So, rather than putting a thread in GD, the main board to which the most dramatic changes are proposed, or even linking from a thread in GD to the other thread saying "hey, we're thinking of changing GenDisc, what do you people who frequent it think?" the idea of a generic announcement thread that spends its first several pages (I just looked) discussing all manner of other things is what passes for consultation? Part of my regular day job of enforcing law is also providing feedback on consultation requests for legislative amendments, and if this is what passes for consultation, frankly and with personal respect to the individuals, you're doing it wrong.
With regard to the guidelines being no different, I don't think they are. The original guideline rewrite (of which I drafted a great deal of the wording, as you may recall) was comprehensive and covered these things. Spelling them out further doesn't change the rules. My biggest problem with the moderation around here is you all spend too long waiting to deal with what everyone
sees as a problem, and then down comes a punishment out of nowhere that's disproportionate to the actual offence because its based on a lengthy history of inaction and multiple problems, which is exactly the criticism I brought up during the Guideline re-write that everyone said they were going to take into account. Moving Political Discussions into a de-facto "hidden" board is not going to fix that problem. If you want civility, then you enforce quality restrictions on the posts.
I do not
have a problem with moving Political (and religious) discussions into either a separate Off-Topic board or, my preferred option, into a child board of GenDisc. That is overdue. But the idea that hiding it and restricting the membership by making it obscure is going to solve HLP's problem with contentious discussion is off-base. If you want to move discussion to a subforum, do it. If you want to moderate for quality and content (and civility) in that subforum, please dear God do it. But as I keep harping on, narrowing the userbase to only the dedicated few and making it difficult and obscure to access is not going to breed those changes. Those changes come from expanding the userbase to include a greater range of people, not condensing it further.
I strongly agree with Scotty's last post above.
To sum up, in my view:
1. Make Political Discussions an open child board of General Discussion.
2. Remove the hidden properties and subscription features you've implemented.
3. Sticky a post at the top with a subject
that simply says "Guidelines and quality will be strictly enforced in this subforum and violations will result in removal." Link inside to the Guidelines themselves. You could also spell out what exactly is meant by quality in the context of the child board.
4. Enforce the guidelines and quality restrictions.
5. Tell the people who have a problem with the content of Political Discussions (after the above are implemented) that they are all old enough to use a computer and can figure out how NOT to click on a link.
If I sound overly grouchy lately, it's because I have a nasty head cold and sinus infection that's kicking my ass and possibly making me more blunt than usual.And on the idea of making me a global mod, consider the unforeseen consequences of your decisions