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New Changes in the CoG!

Discussion in 'Center Of Gravity' started by BadDog, Feb 28, 2005.

  1. BadDog

    BadDog SOL Staff Member Super Moderator Author

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    The new CoG...

    We are making some changes to the CoG. In the past there have been a few problems in getting this forum to run smoothly. The main problem has been confusion over what exactly should or should not be in this forum. This not only presented a problem for users, but also for moderation. There was also concern that the lack of ability to respond by non-members would limit feedback, and that concern resulted in several threads that belong in CoG being placed in the Garage. The changes are intended to address these issues.

    So, here is how it will work.

    The CoG will be closed for new threads. Quite simply, nobody will be able to create a new thread in the CoG. All new threads will be created in whatever other forum seems most suitable. Garage, year specific, diesel, whatever best suits the topic.

    Any thread, anywhere on the site, that shows characteristics that fit the existing CoG charter can be moved into the CoG. This eliminates the guess work when a user tries to decide whether a topic fits, and also eliminates the bad feelings that sometime surface when topics get moved out of the CoG. It may still be difficult for a moderator to know what belongs or not, but the moderator can now "err on the side of caution" without people feeling they were somehow slighted.

    Once a thread is in the CoG, anyone, member or not, can make replies. This should address the problem where people don't want their thread in the CoG due to lack of access to the non-members.

    So basically, the CoG will become something of a "Hard Core 4x4 Hall of Fame". Only the most technically advanced and "hard core" related will be found there, but anyone can participate in the thread once it is placed in the CoG.
     
  2. PJTPW

    PJTPW 1/2 ton status

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    Seems like this will hamper open discussion on various topics that would be "hard core". It's much easier to find very involved, technical questions, in the COG forum than posted all over the site.

    To me COG is the place to ask technical questions relating to suspension design, roll axis, anti-squat, etc.

    Ryan
     
  3. BadDog

    BadDog SOL Staff Member Super Moderator Author

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    I absolutely agree. That is exactly what the CoG should be, and that focus has not changed.

    I'll rephrase and expound on the reasons for this change.

    There were two primary motivators.

    1) Too many negative feelings among members. Out of necessity, the requirements for posts in the CoG were vague and difficult for users to follow. This resulted in many questions posted in the CoG that really didn't belong. Then when they got moved out, some people felt they had been judged "not hard core enough" and got their feelings hurt. This sometimes lead to the offended parties and others "boycotting" (the actual word used on more than one occasion) the CoG due to misperception of it as a playground for an "elitist" clique.

    2) Non members could not participate. This resulted in many posts that belonged in CoG being placed in the Garage. Some of this was due to the "boycott", but mostly (I hope) it was due to a desire to get full exposure and participation. Moving these posts to the CoG "just because that is where it belongs" against the authors wishes was not an option because their wanting maximum participation was too compelling a reason to ignore. So these posts ran a while, then got swamped and subsequently lost in the Garage traffic. Exactly what the CoG was intended to avoid. The obvious solution was to open up CoG to non-members, but then you *dramatically* compound the problem listed above.

    There was also a related problem with things that were on the border of "CoG material", but not clearly on either side. If it showed some promise of developing some good hard tech, I would let it "cook" for a while to see where it went. Unfortunately, I sometimes forgot about them for a while and moved them later when I realized they never went anywhere. That created confusion (where did it go?) and people getting upset that I was "changing the rules" (it was ok last week?). With the new changes, I can just "watch" (turn on tracking) them and just not move them until I (or Steve) think they show technical merit based on the CoG guidelines. Nobody gets confused when a thread that stayed in CoG for a couple of days (or weeks) suddenly gets moved, and no hurt feelings.

    So, in an effort to provide a better user experience over all (which is based on user feedback), we reevaluated how the CoG should work. We still very much want a place to gather up all the "hard core" and "serious tech" so that it won't get lost. But we needed to eliminate the confusion and hard feelings without loosing the resource. This was the best idea I could come up with to help correct the problems without loosing the resource. The CoG will still be the place where (hopefully) all of the "hard core tech" should be found, but members are no longer forced to try to figure out if that is where it belongs. When I see posts that belong here, I will move them in and leave a pointer in the original forum. No more hurt feelings when a member has their post moved, everyone (even non-members) can participate, and we still have the best stuff all in one place.

    The only potential significant problem I see is that I simply can not read every post. Generally, I only read those posts with "interesting" topics in the subject line, so using a good (and relevant) subject will be important to helping me find the CoG topics efficiently. I pretty much refuse to even open threads with empty subjects like, "Check this out", or "How do I…" unless I get a "notify mod" on them.

    I hesitate to say it (because I don't want to be flooded with PMs about every moderately "hard core" thread), but if you see something I missed, something that is *clearly* CoG material, send me a PM and I'll take a look. Your not going to upset me if your evaluation does not match my perception of the CoG charter, but at the same time, don't be upset if I don't move it into the CoG right away (or ever). Working together to keep the good stuff is the best solution I think.

    This should also help keep the CoG more consistent and focused, particularly without the "left cooking" threads which all to often made up a large percentage of the active threads…

    The previous incarnation of the CoG would have been the fine in an ideal world. But the 2 main problems listed limited it's value (too much that should have been there was not) and caused enough trouble with members that we decided to try something different. Will this be "it"? I don't know. We'll see how this plays for a while and then make changes if there seems to be a problem. But we are still shooting for the same goals. Keep the hard core tech in one place for easy location and focus for those interested in reading or participating and providing the best user experience possible over all.
     

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