Bringing People Together
The pdf above contains the full results of our recent survey - many thanks to the 58 people who were kind enough to take part. The good news is that around 68% of people who answered were satisfied or very satisfied with the site! However, there was definitely some appetite for change and improvement - and I for one am all in favour of that!
I have done two things immediately: 1) Chat - this is now enabled. On the homepage if you scroll down below the activities feed, you should see a chat box. There is also a chat tab near the right on the list of tabs that runs across the top of all pages on the site. When more than one person is on the site, you should be able to see this and if you want, start to chat to them! Do give it a try and say what you think!
2) Photos - I have restored the Photos Tab and the featured photos box on the homepage. Actually, I had forgotten how many photos people had uploaded to the site. At the moment, the only featured photos are Fabien's winter shots of Hampton. Hopefully, people will now start to upload some new photos. It would be great if someone with an interest in photos could curate the Photo page. I would make them an administrator and then they would be able to decide which photos to feature. Anyone interested in having a go at this and seeing what they think? I will also create an items of sale category in the Forum shortly, since that was also something people wanted to have.
The biggest issue (unsurprisingly) in the survey was negative comments and moderation. Overall, nearly 75% were happy with the current minimal level of moderation and accordingly I don't think we should make any big changes. However, I do think we need to take seriously the fact that 25% of people who responded were concerned. The issue also showed itself in other ways, e.g. by far the biggest thing that was seen as preventing people from contributing was fear of criticism. So what can we do? Well, a site like this should really be self-policing - it is up to the community to set the tone and encourage the right kind of behaviours and discourage the wrong ones. So if someone bravely starts a new conversation, why not respond in a supportive way? Or if someone is too aggressive, why not tactfully and restrainedly signal your support for the person who has been criticised? Of course, for extreme cases we can edit or remove content. So if you feel you cannot publicly and tactfully suggest that a comment is inappropriate, do message me. I will obviously look at any comments that are flagged up to me and if several people flag up a comment, then it is likely that I will edit or delete it. I also think it would be good if it was not all just down to me. So if you would like to become an administrator of the site and help moderate comments, then do please message me and we can perhaps move to a situation where there are three or four moderators keeping an eye on things. We won't go crazy, however, and the assumption will still be: posts are the responsibility of the person who made them and wherever possible they will not be interfered with.
So those are my initial thoughts, but do feel free to add your own reflections on the survey results :-)