Editor's note: This is the first coalition update posted by Sort Dragon, the HBC's new leader. We reproduce it here verbatim.
The Current Situation
Midway through this week saw the Honey Badger Coalition go through its first upheaval and major change in its time. I am not going to go into what caused this, as we have all seen the threads internally and externally. My job in this announcement is to let you all know what has happened since then and what is to continue happening going forward.
With Montolio stepping down and myself taking over day to day leading of the coalition (and Fras and Ingen taking over the same role for TEST), we found ourselves in a bit of a bother about what to do going forward, both for TEST and the coalition. We knew that if any of us wanted to go forward and lead then change had to happen and it had to happen now. Not in a week, not in a month, but right now.
I had for a long time debated a few things about what the coalition could do to improve things overall, it was not until Fras, Beffah and Ingen gave me the keys and I realised that I now had a chance to act on these ideas and it was now time for me to put up or shut up.
The first thing to look at was the state of the alliances that were holding space within the coalition. Some tough decisions had to be made and as you will have seen from the threads that have popped up since the changes to who would hold space going forward some people did not agree. What a lot of people do not realize is that it is very hard to maintain an alliance in 0.0. There are so many things that need to be micromanaged, and it is even harder when in a coalition, as you do not have to look after just your alliance - you have to look out for your coalition. The good thing about being in a coalition is there is always some one else to tap you on the shoulder and say "mate, this isn't working. I think you should try something else." In the case of recently, this had to be done for alliances in the coalition so they could drop some of the dead weight they had and have a chance to rebuild as stronger, more focused 0.0 entities.
This is why going forward, the following alliances have been added to the 'couch sitters' part of the coalition:
- Zombie Ninja Space Bears [ZN-SB]
- High Rollers [DICE]
- Squee. [PWNY.]
It is important to remember that being on the couch of the HBC does not mean you are treated any differently. You are still a member of the coalition, you just don't own any systems. People on the couch are given the chance to improve themselves and may still return to sov holding in the future.
Behavior, Moderation and a sense of Community
The second thing I realized needed looking at is the general way people communicated with each other in the coalition, be it the forums, jabber, or even mumble. Looking in on this, I saw a trend starting to form and I knew something had to be done. I am the first to admit I myself can be an asshole to an extent, but what I saw was no longer friendly banter or even strong handed playfulness between friends. What I saw festering in our coalition was pure hatred for each other. I knew if we were to survive, this could not continue. If we as a coalition were going to stay together we had to find a way to coexist.
How I intended to implement this was simple, and you can now see the first of what I can say is the evolution of how the HBC will be going forward. Instead of clamping down on moderation completly across all forums, the IT team was instructed by me to move the cesspit section to a complete opt-in section, where you can go to your auth section and choose if you wanted to be involved in that particular section of the forums. In doing so people, consented to reading whatever was posted in cesspit and could then not come and complain to moderators and/or alliance leadership about how they were treated by other people from their alliance or other alliances in the coalition. This will save hours of time for leadership across the coalition that would have been spent dealing with arguments and disgruntled members.
The second step to this was implementing stricter moderation in the coalition discussion section of the forum. We set about this by watching the forum for people getting out of hand and to shit-stirring in a thread or generally not even trying to stay on topic, but just coming into a thread and causing trouble. We dealt with these people by setting them 'Read Only' - in doing so, the person can only read what is said on the forum and may not have any kind of say for the time the moderator decides. This will hopefully move a lot of the trollers and shit stirrers into the cesspit to have their own kind of fun together with people like themselves. A lot of people may not agree with this, but as I said earlier this week in a post, what some people may call fun others may not, and to keep the balance people must have understanding of this and be willing to work and live together to coexist. It is important to know that to get set 'Read Only' is quite hard, and you really do have to go overboard to have it happen, so there is still a level of shit posting. Just remember that in all things there is always a line not to be crossed and common sense will keep you on the good side of that line.