questionswhy does staff ignore uncomfortable questions?

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I also would like to know if certain deals I keep tattling on should be tattled or not. And, if yes, if there is a shorthand way to advise the staff when the deals come back up again.

I haven't stopped coming to DW and I haven't stopped tattling but it sure would be nice to know if I am doing it correctly.

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"Mommy, where do babies come from?" You mean questions like that? Or more impertinent ones like "why did you censor me?" Didn't you know, they all float off to Evasiveland never to be heard of again. Now be a good little wooter and wander off to vote on the other side. BigDaddyWoot doesn't have time to answer all your questions right now. He's busy with more important things in the pipeline. Go on now. Go play and I promise you'll have extra bacon with dinner.

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@dosquatch Forgive me but I don't spend much time over on the ATC section. I like feeling uncomfortable, ask away.

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@dosquatch: I thought @wadekind answered your question. It's a community. Some questions are better fielded by the community.

All told.

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@jumbowoot: All told, I'm glad to get answers about guidelines from the community if it is the community setting the guidelines. That is quite obviously not the case, and there is quite obviously some confusion and discontent on this topic, as evidenced by even the regulars asking such questions.

Also with very little in the way of answers.

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@prettywootprincess: Gratzi!

For instance:
If chainmail is okay, and undies are okay, what then is the official objection to chainmail undies?

If one-off products like paintings or anything from Etsy are not "deals" because there is only a single item, why do things like personal subs and mega-yachts live happily on popular?

If we are expected to show decorum and restraint from certain topics, and are censored/wedited/removed if we do not, how is it that staff posts like @lukeduff and his "poop in the yard" comment go forth untouched?
http://deals.woot.com/questions/details/34bf30ff-1af8-4597-af27-6880ca32b9cc/shrdlus-sandbox#7c467a1b-8922-47ee-b571-9a90342115d9

etcetera etcetera

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@dosquatch: I looked at all nine of the deals you have added. You are on the right track with those. Feel free to add a few more like that.

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@jumbowoot: comforting, but not quite what I asked. Thanks, though :o)

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@dosquatch: It's a nice way of saying "The road is wide, stay in the middle."

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@jumbowoot: Also a nice way of tapdancing past answering the question.

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Is the actual answer to the question asked a forbidden topic?

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Between the incredibly annoying transitory but ever increasing problem of the state of being logged in, and not logged in, and the unfortunate tap dancing around issues (such as the one below), I am in the belief that the invisible heavy hand seems to prevent answers to obvious and sensible questions.

http://deals.woot.com/questions/comment/a23c1851-244e-474f-9124-f8430028656a

and the "answer"

http://deals.woot.com/questions/comment/e0534a2a-9758-48c5-9c32-2bb63d915d54

See, what I'd asked was WHY an account was not filtered out, not whether someone was going to be changing the way reputation worked (as if it mattered, considering how many people on the leaderboard have moved on). I'd ask more direct questions, but I'm just flat tired of being edited.

[Edit] Please quit making "silly" accounts as commentary. It quit being funny weeks ago.

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@shrdlu: It seems you asked a super secret double probation question that they aren't at liberty to disclose the answer to because their woot agents are still afield. Answering you would cause their untimely demise. Cold War, dontcha know. I'll continue to think of it like that because the only other reason doesn't seem quite as fun or friendly.

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@lavikinga: I wish I could respond, but that "logged in/not logged in" bug is keeping from doing so. I give up. The bad guys win again. Happens. It's not like a Bond movie, you know. I'm all out of secret weapons. Well, except for the final one, and I'm saving that one for something special.

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@jamesbondqbranch: Remagen, Toko Ri, Stamford, Stirling, Kwai, Milvian, Bothwell, Arnhem...aaaand I'm out.

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Thanks for this, I thought I was the only one who could not follow the unposted rules. I think, if the rules were posted, and properly followed, would disallow any deals from Amazon.com, unless the first rule is 'the rules below do not apply to Amazon.com'.

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@jazcat: You should tattle when you feel it is appropriate to tattle. Even if we disagree, you are still communicating with us and we have a clearer picture of the community. Raindrops on the Invisible Man is a good mental image.

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@jumbowoot: Oh,foop on that bull-pucky: tattle when I think I should tattle? Why in the world should I do housekeeping for free for Amazon, if staffers can't tell us, at a minimum, what is definitely not an acceptable deal? You want a volunteer policing crew but think so little of our time and energy that you can't give us a few basics to avoid wasting that time and energy?

This needs a little more thought on my part, and probably a lot less paying of attention regarding who posts what deals.

Pity, that. Things seemed to be working so well for the last year or so.

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@dosquatch: " [ ... ] how is it that staff posts like @lukeduff and his "poop in the yard" comment go forth untouched?"

That particular comment and the lack of any sort of apology for its blatant rudeness left me about a quarter inch away from giving up on the site completely. I'm not the most prolific poster nor the most aggressive buyer, but I'm fast approaching the 100-purchases mark on deals. It's become fairly evident, though, that individuals are considered by staff or Amazonians to be easily ignored and easily replaced, so I expect I'll be less invested and less active here. Wouldn't want to be accused by any other staffers of pooping in their yard.

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@magic cave: I have reviewed the four deals you have posted. You are on the right track. Please feel free to post more of those deals.

If anything outside of those deals is posted that you consider inappropriate, you should tattle on them. That is your communication with us. If we delete them, that is our communcation with you.

If we don't delete them, and you still feel strongly about it, tattle again. We are human just like you. Sometimes we miss things. Sometimes we are busy...

...finding deals. :)

I can assure you that all tattles are reviewed. The first time when the moderators receive them (for action) and a second time when I review them (for my personal understanding).

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I will add that there are other eyes than mine on tattles and communcation in general. We all have the success of this entire community at heart.

The voices will be vocal, but the actions of the masses will drown those notes in the sea of doing.

Can someone pdf that?

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So when (I) saw a deal and the comment was "this a deal would be deleted because the site also carried 'adult material'" This was a rule not that of woot but of the community?
Edit: The deal itself was not adult in nature.
Edit Edit: This question is still not popular even though my question with less votes and comments went popular seen here http://deals.woot.com/questions/details/b01f2b91-8523-47ed-8372-ae948257b365/did-deals-woot-have-server-issue#14

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@caffeine_dude: Sorry. I will repost an appropriate reply.

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@caffeine_dude: and now...

I cannot comment on the post that you saw.

I will say this...

...Did we delete it? If so, do not post that product again. We may delete it again.

I have reviewed the eight deals you have posted. You are on the right track. Please feel free to post more of those deals.

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@caffeine_dude: "So when (I) saw a deal and the comment was "this a deal would be deleted because the site also carried 'adult material'" [...]"

You mean material like this?
... not to put too fine a point on hypocrisy or anything.

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@jumbowoot: "I will add that there are other eyes than mine on tattles and communcation in general. We all have the success of this entire community at heart.

The voices will be vocal, but the actions of the masses will drown those notes in the sea of doing.

Can someone pdf that?"

Can we get that in a form other than chinese riddle? Does this mean that TPTB are intent on twisting some particular point home, customer satisfaction be damned?

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@dosquatch: Thank-you that is my point exactly, and this is why I said earlier "I think, if the rules were posted, and properly followed, would disallow any deals from Amazon.com, unless the first rule is 'the rules below do not apply to Amazon.com'"

I tell my wife it is the Amazon in the room. Amazon,Elephant.

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@faughtey: "Lube is not allowed"

That's been obvious for a couple weeks now, but we're still trying to cuddle and talk through the pain if anyone wants to start giving straight answers.

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@dosquatch: I am very direct, but I work from home, and don't know the answers to your questions. Plus, they need to come from the people who are making the decisions and changes. I have been told to stay out of it, except for answering questions or making comments that are helpful.

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Quoting myself, "You mean material like this?"

I wish to point out that somebody has edited out a link to Amazon's sexual health category. Not to any particular product, or even type of product, a link straight to the category's front page. Woot's parent company. Whom obviously does NOT have an issue carrying such products.

Further, Amazon has no boilerplate regarding that category. No warnings. No 18+ clickthroughs. No "you must be this tall to ride". These, apparently, are "forbidden adult products" - and, per the response @caffeine_dude received earlier, as Amazon carries such products, one would expect that no links to Amazon should be allowed.

Or are we still applying the rules with a game spinner?

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@faughtey: " Plus, they need to come from the people who are making the decisions and changes."

Sounds perfectly reasonable. They would be...?

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I am not the person who has answers to your questions. I am the one who deleted the Amazon link. Sometime later today, I'll find and post some threads that explained how we decide what to delete.
I don't know who, because I only go work at Woot Headquarters about once a month.

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OK, here's one of my questions: Is comment policy on deals the same as on regular woot? I.e., comments must be no more offensive than a PG-13 movie. Incidentally, is this the same guideline used by the woot writers when they create their copy/descriptions?

Second, exactly how is this comment policy instilled in the moderators to provide for consistency? Is it totally a judgement call or do THEY have guidelines for enforcement? I ask because the enforcement of policy seems completely inconsistent on both deals and regular woot. Nor is it consistent with whatever guidelines are given to the woot copy writers (judging by the writing, since I don't know what their rules are).

My chief complaint is that some moderators (on both sites) don't seem to understand what PG-13 means, and aren't comfortable with anything above a G rating.

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@marcoselmalo: You are right about the moderators and their varying lines of what constitutes offensiveness. It's almost as if they were told "if you wouldn't say it to your granny, don't let it be seen on the comment boards," EXCEPT that some of them have sweet little lace hanky grandmothers, while the rest of them have grandmothers who swear like sailors, have barbedwire tattoos around their arms and holler "FREE BIRD!" inappropriately at Michael Feinstein concerts.

@jumbowoot: I know you are walking on eggshells here, but seriously, the subject of lukeduff's unprofessionalism has been avoided by Woot for long enough. How difficult is it to be straightforward and admit this? I can't imagine you condone such behavior. Whether he was in your chain of command or not, it reflected poorly on Woot overall and this fact really should be acknowledged openly. Not behind a verbal sleight of hand as in saying there were rough words spoke on both sides. No sir, That doesn't cut it.

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Continued...No one saw the roughest words and harshest criticisms on THIS side of the fence. They were obliterated off the pages.

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I appreciate what some staff are saying, that they don't have the answers. Having worked for other people before, sometimes the people in charge don't like to make a decision. Sometimes that leaves their employees in limbo on how to roll through some issues. As always, when employees are left to make the decisions without guidance from management, it generally leaves management in a very good place. Management can subsequently sit in their Monday morning quarterback chair and benevolently say that you handled this issue right or wrong.

I have no idea if this is what is happeneing here, but it let me say my .02 about managers. I generally see managers as having the spines of snakes and the morals of hobos. I'm not exactly a spring chicken and have seen more than my share of managers in both the private and public sector. My current one is a complete weasel (say it like it is a french word).

IS this off topic?

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I would like to point out that customer satisfaction is not the only consideration by a company. When their employees are railed against, they have a responsibility to protect and support their employees. That doesn't mean they let them do whatever they want, but it's also a philosophy that says the greasy wheel can go squeak somewhere else.

This appears to be what is taking place the last few weeks. Which I think would have been fine. Customers want to be treated well, but nobody likes the person who blows up and starts treating everybody like they are their subjects. I say "would have" because I know there weren't this many squeaky wheels a couple of months ago. If there were, I wouldn't even be reading or participating on ATC. Ironically, I myself have become one of those annoying grocery cart wheels that still goes with the cart, but gets more frustrating the longer you push it.

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I was about ready to wrote the most amazing monologue, but I'm really getting too tired of dealing with all of this; the dynamics and politics of the avoidance of certain questions, the semi-declared but often-given-exception rules, the inexplicable methods of moderation (yes, deletion is an obvious form of communication, but so is a slap on the wrist without explanation as to exactly why), the unaddressed technical problems (just ask poor @shrdlu if you don't know what they are - and they are MANY), etc...

I am one of the many that is still around, but my patience is definitely still being pushed enough to make me question whether or not the satisfaction I get from spending time here is worth the time spent in trying to understand/explain away the issues not being addressed properly by staff (those in charge - not you, @faughtey ).

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As a volmod, I honestly avoid deals.woot. As a volmod, I am not STAFF (no contract, no pay, etc.), I am a consumer/user who was deemed responsible enough and been around for long enough that I had a pretty good was was & was not acceptable.

I have no additional guidance on what an "acceptable deal" deal is, but if there were clear, concise rules, they would be posted. Look at it like Justice Stewart's comment about defining hard-core pornography; "[It's] hard to define... but I know it when I see it." I will say that The Placebo Effect lives on in the form of, "Amazon has changed the communities." If it was supposed to, they forgot to send that memo to those of us responsible for moderation!

For some reason, I see a stronger (or louder) sense of entitlement and outrage about moderation here than I see on the other sites. I don't know why any specific question does or does not get answered, but I believe a confrontational approach is rarely favorable to a collaborative one.

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@corrado: First off, let me say that I believe that the volunteer moderators that are over on Wooterville should not have any ability to moderate anything here on Deals. Never mind the reasons; there's a character length here. I recognize your bravery (or perhaps foolhardiness) in poking your head up here, but I don't think it's YOU anyone was referring to.

@arosiriak: You never came back to visit. My little heart is wounded.

@lavikinga: Now, now. Don't lose your temper. Patience, my friend.

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Since I'm chatty this morning, re: the lukeduff/sandbox-poo, here's how I read it.

One of thing that surprises me about the back-lash to some of the community responses is that, in the 6 years I've been a wooter, the tone of the communications are always blunt, sarcastic, and edgy with a goal of humor and irreverence. "Crap in the box" may not have been the most tactful way to get the point across, but it's a sound metaphor and doesn't violate any community standards I'm aware of.

Consider the deals.woot forum area to be a public park in the city. Anyone can use it, given some pretty basic rules. The City pays for the maintenance of the park and the cops periodically cruise by to make sure everything is in order. One day, a councilman notices a little walled-off area set up over in the corner with a notice, "PUBLIC ONLY; NO POLICE ALLOWED HERE!" He pops in and says, "Stay here if you like, but the sign's a little much; this park belongs to the entire City, not to you personally."

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@corrado: I value your opinion having followed your comments on the wine side (sounds stalkerish, doesn't it?). You are always fairminded with a true sense of patience & good humor.
Please note that what you are interpreting as a sense of entitlement or preferential treatment came at the tail end of a period of overwhelming frustration with questions to staff that went consistently unanswered or answered with such vague wording that no one understood what was being conveyed.
The unannounced change to AtC and ensuing comments pushed things to the edge. Users became absolutely disgusted with the heavy-hanned modding made during this time. Comments that were absolutely polite & made with peacemaking in mind were pulled. I had several go up in flames. They were totally civil AND polite. I might wave a pitchfork, I'm harmless & rarely caustic. The random & needless censoring of comments that WOOT SOLICITED poured fuel on that unfortunate fire.
(continued)

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...I think all that anyone really wanted was to be acknowledged and in spite of any poo-flinging on our side, it would've soothed a LOT of hurt feelings if management had come straight and said "Yeah, we didn't handle it too well ourselves. We'll try better in the future." Too much to ask? No, I don't think so. Yeah, A LOT of us got on our high horses and became horses' asses, but some of the staff members did as well. If I'm "man" enough to admit my part in the kerfluffle, management could have been forthright and done the same without couching it in codes words and platitudes. "We screwed up too. We're sorry. Let's move on. And PS, we're pretty sure the changes stay."

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@corrado: " I don't know why any specific question does or does not get answered, but I believe a confrontational approach is rarely favorable to a collaborative one."

Collaboration requires two-way communication. The 'community' side has quite a few very valid questions. The community wants to play nicely, but the behavior of staff, silence and non-answers, from wherever such rises, is akin to playing in the dark. There's no way that's NOT going to raise dander.

SOMEBODY is driving the changes and keeping the muzzle on the flow of information. I don't care who it is, but this would all go much better on both sides if they would step forward and explain a bit.

I don't believe that is you. Or @faughtey. Or @prettywootprincess, or @jumbowoot, or anybody we've heard from yet, but you and they are taking the blows because you are who we have access to.

Will the responsible party PLEASE come forward?

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I love, also, how certain staff showed up, offered to field questions, and then still didn't.

I suspect there's some tied hands involved, but it is still grating and is fostering a very bad corporate image.

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@shrdlu: Entirely foolhardiness. In my spare time, I poke bears with sticks. I know no one was talking about me or my moderation here, but the question was posed generally, I had an opinion, and exercised my pseudo-free speech rights to share my thoughts.

I disagree that my "other.woot" vol mod powers should be muted here. If there is something truly egregious, I should have the ability to BURN IT WITH FIRE. I truly believe that if people want to make themselves look like raving lunatics in public, that's their prerogative (and no, this is not directed toward any here, so don't put text in my mouth, please), but as soon as the text on page becomes personal or profane, it ceases being about a discussion about ideas and devolves into ranting better taken to PMs or email.

Personally, the only post-editing I'll do is to fix links. On rare occasion I'll yank a "dirty word" from an otherwise OK post. My belief is that a post that needs edits is most likely a better candidate for deletion.