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Old 12-05-2016, 11:36 AM   #69
Tad
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Location: Ontario, Canada
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As to the 'why was HP taken off-line now, and not at some other time?' probably has to do with the change-over in board ownership and moderator crew. BBD is one of only a few who were moderating four years ago. Due to some of the issues that were coming up, the rest of us were getting more involved -- something that we'd avoided previously because a lot of the exchanges made us break out hives (well, not literally, but it sure felt like it at times ....)

So the questions were:

- Should we leave it as is, with BBD moderating with no other mod support? (we felt that the answer on that was no, as things seemed to be not going well with that model. Maybe it was business as usual, but to those who hadn't dived deeply into the HP waters before, it sure didn't feel like anyone was happy with the status quo, BBD included)

- Was having the other moderators getting involved going to make a better situation? (we felt 'no' because most of us knew that we could not commit to wading through HP on a regular basis, or having any patience for a lot of what went on there. And we felt that trying to reign in some of the things we found most worrying was not apt to go well in that environment)

- Should we shut it down entirely? (again we felt 'no', because of some of the reasons that have been discussed already, primarily some people like it and it keeps the political out of other parts of the boards)

And so we came to the idea of shutting down HP, and taking some time to come up with a replacement.

I would say that the timing was connected with this current election only insofar as it brought issues to a head that dragged the other moderators into the board. I suspect that had we really dived in deeply earlier, we would have done this earlier. It is like a lot of issues: they fester for a long time, with everyone trying to ignore them, then something forces people to pay attention and they finally do something about it.

Well, that may not be quite true: if we'd really gotten involved earlier we might have just shut it down, full stop. Another reason for the plan to replace it was that in the current political climate simply shutting down HP without replacement would surely have been seen as a snub to the American right. (for what it is worth, I had people on both sides of the political spectrum on ignore due to HP -- bad logic and bad behavior are not confined to supporters of any one political party. That is why in the past I favored just shutting it down if BBD every lost her willingness to moderate; I previously considered it too non-functional to salvage)

Do keep the suggestions for the new board coming. We have had some ideas since before we announced the HP shut down, and are continuing to discuss behind the scenes, but we are just a few and the people here may come up with some ideas that we haven't thought of. No doubt the suggestions won't all be feasible, consistent, or in the end implemented, but they will all be read and thought about.
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