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I've been reading a lot of opinions on how 'SSD is dead' and 'moderators need to do something'. To be very honest, i agree on the first past, but then again it is not a very constructive thing to keep reminding ourselves of that fact. Even more if we want to change something here, which I'd like to see happening So I'd like to ask anyone to vocalize their thoughts here: what do you think needs to change? Please, make it as detailed as possible, so the moderators can actually do something with it.

I loved SSD and I want SSE to be more like it. I've been responding to and downvoting 'basic audio' questions for days now. So far, that's ok, but I'd like things to change faster. So please respond in a constructive manner so we can rebuild this place.

Arnoud

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    Arnoud - your flagging is extremely useful for us mods. That helps show us what the community wants. I agree that more need to be involved to move things faster - but please don't stop what you are currently doing either. – Rory Alsop May 10 '14 at 8:36
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    Arnoud - for a couple of weeks I was flagging questions and topics that I thought didn't fit the profile of SSD, forwarding them on to the moderators with comments about why they weren't suitable and should be migrated elsewhere or closed. I didn't see any results. Those types of questions and topics kept coming, and less and less of the stuff that I used to enjoy so much appeared. I've given up on that approach, didn't seem to be working. I'm open to suggestions. – Jay Jennings May 14 '14 at 6:52
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    Jay - over the last month the mod group has dealt with 69 flags. I know I have closed 57 posts myself (not sure how many weer migrations and how many were simple closes) so that seems like a fair amount of activity. What else are you expecting to see? – Rory Alsop May 15 '14 at 14:39
  • I've made some changes, writing up a post now. – Tim Post May 20 '14 at 5:10
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The problem was, the burden of closing was falling almost unilaterally on the moderators, who were reluctant to close questions without a showing of community support for their actions. Due to a skew in the privilege scale, the community couldn't. I take full responsibility for not noticing this sooner. I noticed that we didn't have very many users with the privilege and completely overlooked the fact that the privilege was nearly inaccessible with the scale at a graduated level. This is a major stride forward in addressing the problems that we're currently facing.

Sound SE will always have a focus on Sound Design. It also needs to be a place where folks working in the control room can come with questions, along with folks that are working on interesting live acoustic challenges. It's not the place to come when you can't figure out how to plug your mic into your mixer, you really need to start at the user's manual for that.

The next step is to articulate the above in a friendly, open manner and get that text in our help center's on-topic page, and allow the community to begin taking full ownership of the content it is charged with curating. I'm applying additional copy changes in the mean time, and will be opening a few more discussions surrounding things that we can start now and get done rather quickly that should make a huge impact.

Yes, we're going to have a broader scope than just sound design, but that's needed in order for the site to sustain itself. While SSD was a vibrant site, it did not have enough engaged users to sustain itself in the network. I think, after the changes I just made, getting to the point where most questions share at least one interest that we all have in common will be much easier to achieve.

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    Hi Tim, this is great news! regarding broadening the scope, as long as this is in the hands of the users/community it'll be a subtle difference. we'll probably see a lot less 'junk' now and hopefully more interesting questions. we'll see what 'interesting' turns out to be! thanks for this change! – Arnoud Traa May 20 '14 at 8:52
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When I first got onto SSD, the site was teeming with audio post professionals who finally had a place to ask questions and share information. The quality of the answers provided were very high because we had a bunch of guys with experience richer than the rest of the lot combined. Tim Prebble and Stavrovsound were so involved dispensing advice and answers and its the biggest lost to sound.se that these guys left. I can honestly say that in one of the questions on dialogue editing that Stavrovsound replied, well that answer was pure gold for anyone doing dialogue editing. It was clearer and more succinct than John Purcell's book. That question was lost some time back, I reckon he might have deleted it to save it for a book deal, but to lose him contributing to the site, that is a shame and one of the reasons why this site is not doing as well.

To be honest, I never understood why there was a need to gain larger numbers. I really don't think there are that many professional sound editors out there, and not all of them are on this site. But hopefully they will. The quality of the members on this forum has dropped, judging from the questions and answers.

My suggestion for getting back to what SSE was, is to focus on professionals and leave enthusiast out. They are welcomed to join, but they should know that this is primarily a professional site, and not something for hobbyists. I reckon what used to deter people from posting irrelevant questions on SSD was when they read the other questions, the depth of the general answers would require a certain amount of competency in audio post production.

The moderators will have to do heavy policing because we've lost the exclusivity of the site. Moderate all the questions for a month or so. All new questions won't appear on the forum till approved by a moderator. It doesn't matter how long it takes to be honest. On SSE, we could go a week without a new question, but that meant more people would chime in on the old questions.

If the site moves towards Tim's vision, then I guess the broader scope of sound design would be less appealing to me. I understand that the site needs to be able to sustain but it also means that I won't be able to get the support and information I want from a specific group of people.

So for now, I think I'll give this forum a rest and move on to the other communities like the sound collectors club.

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    Hi Takuya, thanks for the response. I think you are right that we need a better 'door policy' for a certain period. It would help getting quality questions (and answers) back in the community. I feel bad that you 'give up' on this place, but hope you will return in the future. With regards to "I never understood why there was a need to gain larger numbers": I've answered that already in response to Squeaky Fish's answer below, it's not a wish to grow bigger but a way to survive because SSD in it's shape/form was not manageable. I would have loved it that was possible, just like many others. – Arnoud Traa Jun 2 '14 at 9:12
  • A quick revisit, and I can see nothing has changed for the better yet. @ArnoudTraa in what way do you and the SSE mods determine that the old SSD shape wasn't manageable? In SSD there was rarely the need to moderate, no need for a meta site it all just propelled itself, slowly but surely. Now you have this un appealing mess of subjects. Honestly as it is now it's crap. I only revisit now and then to make sure I'm not missing out, and I can see after a ten second visit that I'm not... – ErikG Jun 3 '14 at 6:02
  • Perhaps it was a badly choosen wording, but with managable i meant that it was no longe possible to maintain the sites infrastructure(afaik). And your right that we didn't need 'meta' back in the old days, but with hookup to stack it's very much needed. Otherwise more 'crap' would turn up on the site. – Arnoud Traa Jun 3 '14 at 6:56
  • I don't envy the situation you guys are caught up in. On one hand, there are those of us who rather have an insular community which ultimately may also lose steam because of the smaller community size, and on the other, there are those looking towards a longer term goal of a larger community that will sustain even if the more 'experienced' members don't visit the site. That being said, I still vote for being insular, cos deep down we all want to feel and be part of something special. I think you guys are doing a great job as it is, but the transformation just isn't that appealing to some of us – user6513 Jun 4 '14 at 3:24
  • I don't know about the rest, but if I were to be brutally honest, there is a certain lost of respect for the people with power. I know we need people of different skills to manage the forum as opposed to a veteran sound engineer, but I reckon the moderators were perhaps a little more invisible in SSD. So it doesn't feel as though they aren't from the industry therefore they can't/won't understand me/us. Does that makes any sense at all? Don't put questions on hold, because then I will look at who has put it on hold and in my head, I will wonder regardless, who made this guy an expert on sound? – user6513 Jun 4 '14 at 3:36
  • Just my honest feelings and I'm not trying to offend anyone. All the best guys! – user6513 Jun 4 '14 at 3:37
  • Hi Takuya, to be brutally honest as well. The people with power(not all of them) were among the first to jump ship. They had reasons for that, which I respect. I don't think you have to be a veteran sound designer to be able to put a question on hold. There was 1 incident where I think a mistake was made by a moderator, which was corrected accordingly by comments from the community. The veterans could have sticked around and steered the community, they didn't so it's a different community now, but that doesn't mean it can't be about sound design anymore. I'll do my best to see to that as mod. – Arnoud Traa Jun 5 '14 at 7:36
  • Hey Arnoud, I'll borrow a leaf from Brad and use the term professional. Most professionals who come in here, don't have that much time to actually spend trawling through the crap that's currently on the boards. I think this still can be a site for budding sound designers and enthusiast still finding their feet. But the majority of professionals may find not find the content as interesting/challenging as before. I think its great that you're a mod and helping to steer the ship back on course. On another note, in all honesty, please don't get bogged down by the negativity from us few. – user6513 Jun 14 '14 at 14:10
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One thing I would like for moderators to consider to make it more like SSD or just better in general is to chill out a bit on the over-the-top moderation and rule book hammering.

IMHO the stack exchange Q&A format is poor for building and keeping a community of professionals. It seems to be designed around being a database of correct answers in proper formatting and citation with little to no room for discussion, opinions, brief pithy comments and advice, and god forbid... humor.

Maybe I'm in the minority and I need to face the reality that this place just isn't right for me anymore. More than once I've found myself being jumped on by a mod for some reason or another or I've read exchanges where mods are jumping on someone else for petty reasons. I can see how some of this is warranted, and some a reaction to all of the complaints by old SSD folks who want drastic change back to the good old days, but it seems at times to create an overall uninviting tone.

I'm a professional, I get not wanting to sift through newbie or unrelated questions, but we shouldn't be so shrill in our horror of bent rules that we chase off future generations of professionals nor people like myself that may not have the time to offer up lengthy answers to every good question, but can offer a quality cent or two in passing that can add to the health of the community.

Just something to think about. b

  • And I really don't think many of us care for correcting grammar and editing links, etc… We aren't here for points and points especially on S.E doesn't reflect how much knowledge a user has on the subject. We can recognise a good answer when we see one. – user6513 Jun 14 '14 at 14:02
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I'm glad this is being discussed, because SSD used to be a great learning and community resource for me. I think - though I can't be certain - that the issue was moving it to stack exchange. It was sometime after then that we started seeing a bleed through of other non-sound design questions and more basic general audio questions come to the forefront. Would it be at all possible to leave stack exchange and be an 'independent' forum once more?

  • Well the problem was that it was no longer maintainable for the 'owner' (andrew spitz). This was the best option... Stick around, things might get better soon :) – Arnoud Traa May 23 '14 at 17:06
  • Define soon please. It's been four months now. – ErikG Jun 4 '14 at 5:55
  • True, things aren't changing that quickly. Perhaps i'm too positive or even naieve, but it takes persistence to get things done right. I'm sticking to it for a while. – Arnoud Traa Jun 5 '14 at 7:39
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Just a quick post since I don't frequent this site nearly as frequently as I used to. In a nutshell, my fears have been realized. The spirit of the original Social Sound Design seems to have been officially crushed. Even after all these months I still see rigid post closures because they don't follow the proper protocols (even though many of the answers truly are helpful to the OP), a complete swarming of newbie questions, and a very noticeable absence of professional sound people bringing their knowledge to the table.

Sad to say...

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