I'm sorry, I didn't quite understand your question.Originally Posted by leahsm2
I'm sorry, I didn't quite understand your question.Originally Posted by leahsm2
Random Story Button hasn't been added yet.Originally Posted by indigo_mouse
I think what she was trying to say is that with us having the 40% of the drawing power from MuggleNet, shouldn't that give us more of an upper hand - a bigger voice of some kind as to how these ads are run since the viewers are coming to see our stories, not these ads?Originally Posted by Marauder by Midnight
The mass exodus of Mods from last term has taken away a lot of long time members from this site too. As much as we are a family here at MNFF, can we (as family) make amends or come up with some kind of compromise so that those that have left could feel comfortable returning?
Because I do believe that a lot of us are noticing how quite our Common Rooms are from their sorely missed presence.
I completely agree with this and would very much appreciate doing whatever is necessary to bring back so many valued members of our community who have left. Back in September, one of the mods-- who was also one of my betas-- left MNFF and took her work with her rather than continuing to have her work associated with the site. She didn't specify why this was happening, but she sounded in her departing post in Ravenclaw as though she would rather stay but couldn't. This is someone with whom I had enjoyed many e-mail and PM "conversations" regarding writing, parenting, you name it, and who always had a sensible and fair-minded and non-dramatic presence both as my beta and as a Ravenclaw "mom." She wouldn't leave over something trivial.The mass exodus of Mods from last term has taken away a lot of long time members from this site too. As much as we are a family here at MNFF, can we (as family) make amends or come up with some kind of compromise so that those that have left could feel comfortable returning?
As a result, I have more or less dropped off the boards, and while I'm continuing to submit the chapters of my current fic to MNFF, I really don't know whether that's the right thing to do when someone like mrsmcclnt is writing expressing concern as a mother over what the funds from the ads are being used for. I'm a mom myself, and that really worries me. I'm on the boards tonight because I received a PM from our QSQ group leader asking whether any of us were still around to finish up the QSQ's, but I've otherwise basically dropped off the boards, as have many people. It seems like most of our QSQ committee has disappeared, for example, and these were all people chosen for their commitment and interest.
Whatever happened seems to have been a major problem that has really altered this community for the worse, and I would like to add my voice to the others who are saying that they would like to see measures taken to turn MNFF, once again, into a site with which our old mods and other community members would feel comfortable associating.
It's always sad when long-term members of the site choose to leave, for whatever reason. This isn't the first time that members have left due to issues concerning the site. However the community is always changing, with new faces, new ideas, new concepts. This summer has been particularly hard on everyone, and I don't blame those moderators who chose to leave because of the tough discussions we've had. However you need to understand that whilst faces change, MNff as a community will remain. We're hiring new mods, and in my opinion this means we're moving into a new era with some exciting things ahead of us. As a veteran of MNff, the fact that big personalities have left the site doesn't concern me - I can keep in touch via email or AIM if I wish to - but at the end of the day people aren't expected to stick around forever.
In regards to the ad situation and the amount of bargaining power we have - I know this is going to sound ridiculously unsatisfactory - but life isn't fair. There's a hierachy in place that makes us the volunteers of a sub-site and so getting alternate plans approved is going to require an awful lot of effort on our part, to convince the powers that be. That's why it is taking time.
We wish for everyone to remain patient with us and to keep trusting us, because at the end of the day none of us wanted those ads, none of us wanted to be in this situation. We thank those of you who have stuck with us through this very troublesome summer. At the end of the day, walking out of this site isn't going to resolve the problem or force the mainsite to change their attitude, and it just makes the situation worse for those who do stay.
This isn't just about a mass exodus, because I'm sure those happen. But you have multiple long-standing members leaving simultaneously and unwillingly, worried enough about their association with the site to pull their works, and now at least one member is worried "as a mom" that something concerning is going on regarding the money from the ads. It's not a stretch to wonder whether something involving minors is the subtext of that post when so many of the members of this site are under 18, especially as the site and the parent site promote themselves as family-friendly.
Yes, that's conjecture, but someone worried "as a mom" about what's being done with the funds leads to very few possibilities, and that's the big one. In case that's what's happening: if there really is something unethical or illegal going on involving minors, there are major ramifications there, and I would suggest that the mods who are adults (18+) should act if that's the case. You can get in trouble for staying silent where the welfare of minors is involved. I'm not trying to scare you, but having had some training in this, I'd have to say that if it involves underage kids, I would err on the side of protecting them if I were you, if only to protect yourselves.
And if this isn't the case, I still think openness-- letting the former mods (the ones who left because of their concerns, not because school started) speak out on MNFF-- would be the most appropriate and least Umbridge-like way of handling this further. Just one person's opinion.
First, I want to make clear that being a mod is a volunteer position. Any mod is free to leave at any time when the work outweighs the reward. No one who has left the site in the past few months was "forced" to leave by anyone that is still here. Each one of them chose to go. For whatever reason, they chose to leave. Some individuals requested their forum accounts be deleted; they were never banned. Those of us who are still here chose to stay and come up with an acceptable solution to all parties involved.
As Laura pointed out, there is an obvious hierarchy in the way Mugglenet is run. We are a subsidiary of the main site, and therefore have to abide by their final decisions lest MNFF as a whole disappear. Clearly, that is the very last thing any of us wants. We can make proposals, we can argue until we are blue in the face, but ultimately, the final authority lies with them.
Yes, the thought of MNFF profiting off of our work is unsettling to some. But, unfortunately, MN main is a business. While we at MNFF are together for our love of HP and our love of writing and our love of the community, they are a business, and a business wants to make money.
As for the ads and their uses, I'm going to paraphrase one of my favourite movies here, and say it doesn't necessarily matter what I believe; it matters what I can prove. MNFF has not seen one cent of the money raised by the ads. We were offered a monthly stipend, but we declined it. We also do not see the main site's books or have any other type of transparency in the way the business side of MN is run. So do I think that activities of which I do not approve occur by a few select (not all) MN people? Probably. Can I prove it that any of it was paid for with a check from MN or otherwise used MN or MNFF funds? No. And to list the specifics of those rumored or suspected activities could potentially constitute libel, which can be a serious issue involving litigation, and honestly, at this point, that is not a road I am ready to travel.
It is a very fine line the staff is walking at the moment. If we continue to fight as hard as we can, and not give anywhere, and make demands and threats, as a subsidiary, there is nothing to stop them from taking away all our admin privileges and duties. We could be ousted in a mass firing, and replaced by people who don't care about the quality of fiction on the archive, or care about building a community in which many members have found a home. And I'm sorry, but I feel that is a huge disservice to the people we serve. I would much rather take our time, slowly and thoughtfully work out alternate proposals, over which we at MNFF would have control, and approach the main site calmly and rationally. Slinging mud and making accusations will not get us anywhere.
What I can assure you of at this time, is that behind the scenes, there are at least three alternate fund-raising proposals being discussed. The down-side of using alternate proposals is we have to count on the site to support them, and actually use them. We can roll out all the ideas we want, but if we can't raise enough to cover our (substantial) share of the server costs, then our options are reduced to one: the ads. I can also assure you that the money raised is in capable hands, that there is a mod on staff who is within sight of being a certified public accountant in the US, and that any excess money we raise above and beyond server costs will be for the betterment of our site and charitable causes.
As I've said before, I am a step-mom, and I clearly understand the concerns that are being raised. I truly do. But, as it has been since the day I became a mod over two years ago, my ultimate goal, as is the goal of every single other mod, is to make this site a warm, friendly community of writers, and to provide quality fiction to people who need an outlet from RL. To continue to have the quality of fictions that you all have come to know and expect, we really need the current staff to still be here.
As always, your continued patience and support is vital to all the staff and to MNFF, and we truly appreciate it.
To just add to what Kim has said, MNFF always has its authors' best interests at heart. We always try our hardest to keep our members safe on the web and we will continue to do that for as long as we are here.
That's the whole point behind having Moderators on the site, we make sure the fiction is up to scratch, sure, but we also make sure this site runs smoothly and safely.
I am sorry if anyone feels we are hiding things, we honestly don't want to seem like we're keeping things from you all. The truth of the matter is that, like all diplomacy, there will always be certain discussions and information that cannot be said to the site at large.
All we can do is ask you to trust us and believe that we would never knowingly harm anyone. We always look for the best solutions to our problems and we always will. We are a very diverse team of moderators, from all over the globe and of all ages, and we always make decisions via democratic vote. Every decision is discussed, debated and decided on fairly and we don't act until we're certain it's the right thing.
(This can sometimes get us into trouble for being slow, but we'd prefer to be slow than make the wrong decision.)
And whilst we're all for freedom of speech, every mod knows that when they take on the position of moderator, they take on a privacy agreement. I don't believe it's "Umbridge"-like to respect that discussions between moderators should be kept between moderators, when that was the expectation when the discussion took place. Ex-moderators know only what was happening during their time as moderators and would not be able to comment on the current situation, so what is the point in dredging up the past now?
This thread is supposed to be keeping people in touch with improvements to the site, things that our authors have suggested. It is not the place to discuss gossip and rumours. If you have concerns, feel free to contact a moderator about them and we will do our best to reassure you.