Moving on: A Guide for Group Conduct


Windows Forum Admin
Staff member
Premium Supporter
Jul 22, 2005
The following message was written for our administrative team, but when analyzed, I believe it can be applied to forum members as a whole. I hope that you will agree, as in many cases, there can be no room for error:

I have spoken to whoosh and we are ready to go. As long as we don't get under each others toenails, so to speak, I think everything will be fine. If we can all remain calm, and not argue over silly business, I think everything will be fine. It is important that if we feel that we having issues that need to be dealt with, whether personal, or otherwise, that we should communicate with each other on a regular basis, and not withhold these concerns from each other.

Administrative Core Values

When looking into the idea of Ross coming back to the website, we should focus on the following aspects of this situation:
• Mutual Respect
• Communication
• Information Sharing
• Team Building
• Conflict Resolution

Mutual Respect: Our ability to respect ourselves and others is key to the relationship that we have together as administrators. If we fail to show each other courtesy, respect, and pull together in this area, the administrative unit will collapse again. We must dispel any ideas of hostility towards one another, as no such hostilities exist. While it is said that respect is earned and not given away freely, we have all earned respect through years of doing this. In that sense, it becomes our highest priority to make sure that the problems we experienced before do not happen again. Respect is garnished through leadership in many different areas. The alternative to respect is going to be disrespect, distrust, and a dysfunctional forum administration.

Communication: We know that in any relationship, the ability to communicate is key. This includes negative feelings as well as good ones. We must have communication – written, typed, voice, video – for so long as honest communication is made, we are in a better position. There is no such thing as too much communication. We must express our thoughts and ideas to each other in a candid way that serves the forums in a manner that is respectable to our staff. Misleading the staff or trying to split them into factions that support each of us accomplishes nothing. They will lose respect for us. The alternative to communication is no communication at all, or intermittent communication that is a disservice to what we are trying to accomplish on the website.

Information Sharing: This encompasses most of what we do on the website. We can present our ideas to each other, get our messages across, and succeed as a team. This requires participation, and an open and clear mind. We need to be willing to share information with each other when it comes to what our expectations are for our role on the forums, what we think is best for the site in certain areas, and so forth. A failure to share information and coordinate ideas together means failed administration.

Team Building: It has become clear that I cannot run the website alone. I would not want to do so anyway. Yet the point is clear that the moderators on the site look up to us and we need to play to that advantage. I say that in a positive way. As administrators we should evangelize and promote the forums to the staff members, lead them in the right direction, and work with them on both a one-on-one and group basis. This will lead to success of the team and prevent a breakdown of it.

Conflict Resolution: We will argue, we will fight, we will disagree, and we will fail to get along. We will threaten to leave, we will force each other’s hand, and when it happens the house of cards that the entire site is built on gets that much closer to falling down. It has happened before and our goal should be to be to prevent it from happening again. We must work together as a group, unified in our purpose, but independent in our thinking, to serve that which has already been built and to build even further upon it. If we do not make each other aware of situations that would make us uncomfortable, we will have extreme problems. The situation will not last long. At the end of the day, no one wins unless we address the differences that divide us. As administrators we have the unique opportunity to present each other with ideas and vote in favor or against them. This, and honest communication, will help us. Without resolving any conflicts we do have, the rest of the items I listed above will become impossible to accomplish. There will be a breakdown in the order of things.

I would like to thank you for taking the time to do this. I must urge you to work together with me to find common ground. For all of the contributions we have made to the site, do this because you enjoy it. We must not seek to fear that we are double crossing each other, or lose confidence in each other’s abilities. If there is merit to a problem, we must discuss it openly, and not behind a closed door with a closed mind. I urge you to work together and communicate. Without doing this, nothing will be possible moving forward. We have seized on a real opportunity to move forward now. Let us keep this momentum with us.

Thank you for your contributions to the website. Please give this a chance and together we will usher in a new era for the forum projects.

I strongly believe that we should try to get along in all areas of conduct. If this is not possible, our communications will break down. Once our communications break down, our relationships as trusted friends, colleagues, and forum members will be placed in jeopardy. The perception of deception our foul play taking place, which is often never the case, has no place on Windows 7 Forums. Therefore, it is important that we communicate to each other, prior to allowing such a breakdown to happen. As long as we all maintain a level head, we can do well in improving the website experience. Over a million people use the website on a monthly basis, and it is important that we, at the very least, give them the impression that we are a unified team. Likewise, members posting content owe it to themselves and others to give others the impression that they are passionate and willing to accept new ideas. As administrators, it will be our goal to work with the rest of our volunteers and staff members to bring them into discussions that are rational, friendly, and in good faith. This is my goal when it comes to our role as administrators in general.

With any team member, they may do very well, but we all can have very opinionated views. When those views conflict with others on the website, this opens the door to a fork in the road. How we deal with a problem is key. Disparaging others, and conducting oneself in a way that is not befitting of our rules, or even the general ethics of morality, is not the right way to go about things. If there is a problem, or even a perceived difficulty, we should make ourselves, and each other, aware of it immediately. By doing this, we will avoid the problems that we have experienced in the past.

So, we should work together, without prejudice, and with our best intentions in mind, to help our visitors and to enjoy the site ourselves. When the site fails to become enjoyable for both our visitors or ourselves, we should try to identify the reasons for this difficulty. We should be willing to express those ideas to each other in a calm, rational manner, which is befitting of grown adults, and respectful of each other. Often times, I believe that we forget that we are, in fact, real people, with real emotions, behind these computer screens. By communicating better, whether it be through Skype, private messages, the visitor messages, the staff forums, and other mediums, we can avoid future problems.

Well, now that this has all been sent to you, I hope that you will be willing to discuss it together in the future, and we can talk about the future plans for the website and what can be done to improve the site as a whole. I thank you for the precious time that you have donated to the site, through your words and actions, and this is an important way of moving forward with the website.

Kind Regards,

Thank you for posting this, it is really refreshing to see you including us all. I am new here but reading things like this really makes me feel like a community member. I have joined forums in the past where the admins act "god" like and never listen to anyone. I think I have found my new "home." :peace: