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Staff Transparency


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We all know that things go wrong. For one reason or another, issues come up that staff have to deal with. Sometimes it's a simple misunderstanding and other times it's a massive issue. How much do you share with your community? Do you tell them everything, air it all out? Share only the need to know stuff? Or do you have a discord that has open staff channels so that all the members are aware of things right away? What is to much? What is not enough?


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Too much transparency and then you are breaking privacy for some users, especially over private matters. It gets particularly sticky when when the matter is a user reporting another user.


I don't think necessarily everything should be hidden, that's for sure, but that doesn't have to be in the display of the decision being made and how it was made. By all means, this is a lesson I have been trying to teach my kids but it doesn't matter why I said no, I said no. That's the end of the discussion.


By all means I don't believe staff discussions should be made public at all. I won't lie, while I'm nosy as hell and would love to see the staff sections of those really catty admins or the ones that are really stuck up and you find out that all they do is talk shit about their own members pretending like their own doesn't stink, it really would just lead to discourse overall seeing everything they do and why they do it.


Staff also need a place away from their members to be able to convene and either be like "yeah that question hasn't been asked in the last ten minutes.... ugh" before they go "Hi member! The answer to your (really dumb) question is here!" This is also the place that you can poke or prod a staff member to an action they may be missing. "Hey did anyone answer that question from XYZ?" Seeing that stuff would probably give a member the feel goods but then it can also cause strife "well they poked the others about that question, why hasn't mine been answered or poked about yet?"


It also leads to high levels of scrutiny, and litigating (questioning of decisions) that is highly unnecessary and will just cause stress for the staff which in turn will burn them out on their own game to where it fizzles.


Of course the counter to that, that I know most if not all of you are going to say is:
Well my staff isn't like that?


I hate to break it to you all but all staff argue, all staff have disagreements, all staff still make good and bad choices.

Additionally, all members will want answers to questions about decisions and even try to explain themselves to get the decision overturned, see a comment and think its about them and get offended, look at a staff member and think they don't like them because they took a comment that the staff member said out of context.


Really I think that the transparency should be in the important matters which is the outward decisions made that affect their members at large.

Individual members need to be dealt with individually and not publicly as it can be embarrassing and cause social conflict within the group (which is often very small).

Everything else stays between the staff for the sanity of the rest.


Just thinking about this topic, it makes me remember how much I don't want to be in the room with my manager during his meetings as they discuss the semantics and numbers and how teams are doing and how individuals are slacking. Its sort of the same thing.


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While transparency is good to a certain degree, letting everything that goes on behind the scenes out for everyone to see is not the greatest for management. That goes the same for the rules in themselves. If you allow anything to go, eventually there's going to be trouble somewhere down the road between some of the members or even the staff. (Now this really all depends on how close nit the community is, and how large it is.)


A very tiny community of only 4 or so members, probably doesn't need that much security in the back end, and can share nearly everything that goes on with each other without much of a problem. It's less likely there will be clashes within staff and members with such a small community anyways. 


However a large community with lots of active people, is more likely to have a lot of varying opinions on matters and some might be inclined to cause trouble for some reason or another.


Having the all the discussions and back ends between staff available to everyone in a situation like that, could possibly allow for more chances of false information being mixed with facts, or unintentional commentary being taken as insults. Not only that but staff decisions might become less firm, as they are counter-minded by commentary from non-staff. 

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Everything has an end, everything but me that is. I shall live for an eternity, watching as the petals fall from the trees. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I feel much the same!

I feel transparency is unnecessary outside of Admin / Mod Chats. Handle most things in group chats sure, but when things need to get personal take them to private. It takes practice on understanding the difference. I actually treat being an admin more like being a manager at work. Is this something HR would get involved in? Is this something that feels personal or high level? Then it isn't anybody's business!

As I've grown more experienced I actually believe in Admin Privacy (and subsequently player privacy) more heavily as I've been a victim of over scrutinizing and literal abuse from players that felt more ownership over a game than was feasible and also made errors where I accidentally shamed players by making lore corrections in Announcements. 

Admin and mods have to make very tough decisions every day. I do not believe that they should have to justify or explain the difficult choices they had to make for the betterment of the game and possibly their own mental health.

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I've been very lucky in that when I make an RP be it on jcink or tumblr, I rarely (almost never) have anything going on within the RP itself that requires having a chat with someone or informing the mods and other admin about. If something ever comes up it tends to be someone outside of the RP wanting to be toxic for whatever reason. I tend to alert my staff about it but I have a very 'ahhh that's so cute that you wanna tell me to F myself mr/ms anonymous, at least one of us is getting laid then' kind of response to it. My only concern is for my roleplay and its members and people outside of it that want to start something up I just laugh at for not having a life they gotta harass something they can just never click the link to. If a member asks about it/finds out some how, I tell him whats happening and its a troll that wants attention, if it doesn't effect us here then no one even staff should concern themselves with it.

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  • 7 months later...

Luckily nothing too wild has happened on any of my sites. I have a general rule that problems should be dealt with privately and I would extend that to my staff. We want a fun, stress-free community and airing out anyone's dirty laundry doesn't contribute to those ideals. Problems are going to pop up! Members of the RP community are from all walks of life and there's bound to be disagreements but it doesn't need to be fuelled by letting everyone know about it. 


My staff have a specific channel dedicated to any issues that come up so we are all informed and can keep an eye on things in case something goes south but it's not something open to all the members, they just don't need to know. They're here to have fun and we want to keep it that way.


a hogwarts-centric, potter era rp

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