How is Zen Space doing - a poll for all members, active, inactive, lurkers, come one, come all!

News and information about the forum.

How is Zen Space doing - a poll for all members, active, inactive, lurkers, come one, come all!

I think the Forum is doing just fine and don't have any major suggestions for change.
12
18%
The Forum is quite OK, but a few things could be better (see below for a list of suggestions to vote on).
9
14%
The Forum, as it stands, is not great. Major changes are needed (see below for a list of suggestions to vote on).
4
6%
I don't hold much hope for this place.
1
2%
Suggestion 1: Moderation is too lax and needs to come down on the time-wasters and the rudeness.
13
20%
Suggestion 2: Moderation is too strict and needs to lay off and let posts and threads be.
2
3%
Suggestion 3: The conversation is dominated by the same voices and I can't really relate to it very much.
5
8%
Suggestion 4: I wish Teachers and more experienced folks chimed in more.
9
14%
Suggestion 5: I wish there were fewer "Teachers" and people setting others straight. I feel too intimidated by the self-appointed heavy-weights to join in the conversation or ask something.
3
5%
Suggestion 6: I don't see the relevance of a lot of what is said to Zen or to my life and practice.
7
11%
 
Total votes: 65

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michaeljc
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Re: How is Zen Space doing - a poll for all members, active, inactive, lurkers, come one, come all!

Post by michaeljc » Wed May 30, 2018 7:46 pm

Moving the Lounge out of sight
Is this why lounge topics don't show under recent topics?

M

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michaeljc
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Re: How is Zen Space doing - a poll for all members, active, inactive, lurkers, come one, come all!

Post by michaeljc » Thu May 31, 2018 1:33 am

According to my perception there is a slightly different air to this forum than that at ZFI

Most of the regular contributors here have been involved in genuine Zen practice for multiple years. They have all practiced under one or more teachers with different approaches and methods

So - this place does not have so much of a yes Sir, no Sir atmosphere. Its not an easy place to sell one's wares

Could this be a reason for the dissatisfaction expressed by a number of parties?

I find almost all posts are rich in Zen as we see it being manifested in the different postings which reflect the unique character of each practitioner

Nothing lacking right?

m

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Meido
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Re: How is Zen Space doing - a poll for all members, active, inactive, lurkers, come one, come all!

Post by Meido » Thu May 31, 2018 2:34 am

Keeping up with the neighbors: Dhamma Wheel (Theravada-focused forum) also conducted a member poll and is shifting gears a bit (as well as starting a new site focused on engaged Buddhism...nice).

https://dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=32021

The gist of the changes being made there:
It is with a degree of sadness and disappointment that we announce that at some time in June (exact date TBD) we will be closing down discussion in the "News, Current Events & Politics" and "Lounge" forums indefinitely, and converting those forums to read-only archives. This will be done so that we, as a forum, and as a moderating team, can improve our focus on Dhamma Wheel as "a Buddhist discussion forum on the Dhamma of the Theravāda".

It had formerly been our intention, since the inception of Dhamma Wheel over nine years ago to "provide a time and place for all discussion of interest to Theravāda Buddhists". Unfortunately in recent times, the inability of certain members to tolerate and abide the presence of political views that differ from their own, means that discussions which had a political bent tended to generate more heat than light, and this inability to engage and communicate in a healthy manner tended to spill over into other areas of the forum. We accept that this political polarization is not specific or unique to Dhamma Wheel in 2018, but we have deemed that the intolerance and disdain that was being expressed towards other members and towards staff was not conducive to an effectively functioning on-line Buddhist community.

Similarly, the "Lounge" will be closed because the discussion that takes place there is tangential to our mission of being "a Buddhist discussion forum on the Dhamma of the Theravāda", and much of it could rightly be described as "idle chatter". We will however be keeping the "Personal Experience" section, so to whatever extent such topics may relate to "your personal experience with the Dhamma. How has it enriched your life? What challenges does it present?", such discussion may be had in that section instead.
The Rinzai Zen Way: A Guide to Practice
Korinji Rinzai Zen Monastery [臨済宗 • 祖的山光林禅寺] - http://www.korinji.org

[Note: not reachable by PM. To get in touch please email through the website above.]

Caodemarte
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Re: How is Zen Space doing - a poll for all members, active, inactive, lurkers, come one, come all!

Post by Caodemarte » Thu May 31, 2018 3:12 am

This explanation is more than a bit disingenuous. Objections or challenges to links to actual Nazi Party propaganda videos (apparently banned in Europe), obvious Russian disinformation plants, anti-Semitic classics,including the old “Protocols of the Elders of Zion,” the usual stream of anti-Islamic slurs and such like material were dismissed as “inability of certain members to tolerate and abide the presence of political views that differ from their own.” Most, but not all, of this material was in the News section. Members were told they should remove that section from their view or had access to it removed by the moderators. Combined with very personal fights one of the moderators launched against objectors, DW was on the way to becoming a full fledged hate site. Members unhappy at being told to be complicit by averting their eyes and publicly citing DW use of Buddhism to spread hate began to leave. Apparently, some of the staff were upset as well.

There may be a place for thoughtful political discussion in a Buddhist forum following the principles of Right Speech, but that was not what was happening. I have grave doubts that it will occur in the new forum, given that the same people are involved

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Wayfarer
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Re: How is Zen Space doing - a poll for all members, active, inactive, lurkers, come one, come all!

Post by Wayfarer » Thu May 31, 2018 4:51 am

El Gatito wrote:A friendly advice, if I may.

Pull the "active topic" link out of the drop-down "Quick Links" (at the left-upper corner of the index page) and this will bypass the will of those unwilling to show the lobby posts.
+1. (First thing I do when I log in, is click on 'Active Topics', not 'Recent Topics', which is the default view.)
The most important thing is not at all important.

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boda
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Re: How is Zen Space doing - a poll for all members, active, inactive, lurkers, come one, come all!

Post by boda » Thu May 31, 2018 5:52 am

At a glance, the action appears to be in response issues surrounding political polarization. Understandable in our current political climate.

The same issue is nonexistent on this forum.

I pretty much only start topics in the lounge section on Buddhist forums anymore because people tend to take their religion too seriously, and moderators are less uptight there.
Meido wrote:
Thu May 31, 2018 2:34 am
Keeping up with the neighbors: Dhamma Wheel (Theravada-focused forum) also conducted a member poll and is shifting gears a bit (as well as starting a new site focused on engaged Buddhism...nice).

https://dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=32021

The gist of the changes being made there:
It is with a degree of sadness and disappointment that we announce that at some time in June (exact date TBD) we will be closing down discussion in the "News, Current Events & Politics" and "Lounge" forums indefinitely, and converting those forums to read-only archives. This will be done so that we, as a forum, and as a moderating team, can improve our focus on Dhamma Wheel as "a Buddhist discussion forum on the Dhamma of the Theravāda".

It had formerly been our intention, since the inception of Dhamma Wheel over nine years ago to "provide a time and place for all discussion of interest to Theravāda Buddhists". Unfortunately in recent times, the inability of certain members to tolerate and abide the presence of political views that differ from their own, means that discussions which had a political bent tended to generate more heat than light, and this inability to engage and communicate in a healthy manner tended to spill over into other areas of the forum. We accept that this political polarization is not specific or unique to Dhamma Wheel in 2018, but we have deemed that the intolerance and disdain that was being expressed towards other members and towards staff was not conducive to an effectively functioning on-line Buddhist community.

Similarly, the "Lounge" will be closed because the discussion that takes place there is tangential to our mission of being "a Buddhist discussion forum on the Dhamma of the Theravāda", and much of it could rightly be described as "idle chatter". We will however be keeping the "Personal Experience" section, so to whatever extent such topics may relate to "your personal experience with the Dhamma. How has it enriched your life? What challenges does it present?", such discussion may be had in that section instead.

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Dan74
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Re: How is Zen Space doing - a poll for all members, active, inactive, lurkers, come one, come all!

Post by Dan74 » Thu May 31, 2018 7:33 am

michaeljc wrote:
Thu May 31, 2018 1:33 am
According to my perception there is a slightly different air to this forum than that at ZFI

Most of the regular contributors here have been involved in genuine Zen practice for multiple years. They have all practiced under one or more teachers with different approaches and methods

So - this place does not have so much of a yes Sir, no Sir atmosphere. Its not an easy place to sell one's wares

Could this be a reason for the dissatisfaction expressed by a number of parties?

I find almost all posts are rich in Zen as we see it being manifested in the different postings which reflect the unique character of each practitioner

Nothing lacking right?

m
I see a lot of good and a lot of potential here too, Michael. "Dissatisfaction" is not the right word for me. More like exploration - "what could we do better?" But then again, everyone has different expectations, hopes and aspirations. Or maybe none.

Bodhi, I commented on the vote in response to Michael above.

And yay! Happy about DW-Theravada decision. 'nuff said.

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fuki
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Re: How is Zen Space doing - a poll for all members, active, inactive, lurkers, come one, come all!

Post by fuki » Thu May 31, 2018 7:22 pm

Dan74 wrote:
Thu May 31, 2018 7:33 am
"what could we do better?"
"Listen"

Only that might mean we have to lean closer, which might be too intimate for ppl at times.
meldpunt seksueel misbruik in boeddhistische gemeenschappen.
https://meldpuntbg.nl/

IZIhttp://www.zeninstitute.org/en/iziae/main.html

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boda
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Re: How is Zen Space doing - a poll for all members, active, inactive, lurkers, come one, come all!

Post by boda » Thu May 31, 2018 8:19 pm

Dan74 wrote:
Thu May 31, 2018 7:33 am
Bodhi, I commented on the vote in response to Michael above.
A pretty glaring error to attribute to poor expression.

Anyway, I have a solution for what you claim to be the problem: throttling.

If the problem is too much "volume" by any member then everyone maintaining a maximum posting rate per day will solve the problem.

The obvious standard to meet would be your posting rate, being that you wouldn't consider your own posting rate excessive and thus contributing to the problem that you believe exists. Your rate, as I look it up just know, is 1.94 posts per day. Rounding up a tad, perhaps you could agree that if everyone posted less than 2 posts per day the problem would be solved.

For those that fail to regulate themselves, you could require moderator approval for their posts to be published, until their post rate went down sufficiently. This wouldn't be censoring, because posts would go through, their publishing would just be delayed. And this wouldn't overtax the moderators because there are only a few transgressors (myself included currently with a 2.56 posting rate) and the whole point is to delay postings anyway, so they could do it at their leisure.

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jundocohen
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Re: How is Zen Space doing - a poll for all members, active, inactive, lurkers, come one, come all!

Post by jundocohen » Fri Jun 01, 2018 1:03 am

bodhi wrote:
Thu May 31, 2018 8:19 pm

If the problem is too much "volume" by any member then everyone maintaining a maximum posting rate per day will solve the problem.

The obvious standard to meet would be your posting rate, being that you wouldn't consider your own posting rate excessive and thus contributing to the problem that you believe exists. Your rate, as I look it up just know, is 1.94 posts per day. Rounding up a tad, perhaps you could agree that if everyone posted less than 2 posts per day the problem would be solved.

For those that fail to regulate themselves, you could require moderator approval for their posts to be published, until their post rate went down sufficiently. This wouldn't be censoring, because posts would go through, their publishing would just be delayed. And this wouldn't overtax the moderators because there are only a few transgressors (myself included currently with a 2.56 posting rate) and the whole point is to delay postings anyway, so they could do it at their leisure.
The "two posts a day" as a general rule of thumb has generally worked at Treeleaf. It is a soft number, not carved in stone. I tell folks going much beyond that to slow down, take a breath.

We have the following posted in our Forum ...
I advise folks to restrain the need to speak unless the heart truly calls. If you find yourself posting many times each day, maybe consider what truly needs to be said ... and when it is best just to answer with silence and an inner Gassho.

SILENCE OR A FEW HESITANT WORDS OF FRIENDSHIP AND SUPPORT OFTEN SPEAK MOST PROFOUNDLY. Post when it is truly important to you and needs to be spoken from the warm heart.

(BUT too much silence or shyness can also be excessive ... so take the Middle Way!)
If I may offer one opinion, I rather like the idea of a "hidden" lounge or the like, only for people who want to go in there for a soda & cookies and to shoot the bull.

I also think there should be some deference and respect for each others' tradition sections. For example, while I have my views (as an outsider) on RInzai practices, I never ever go in there (I think I did once to ask a question with apologies) and "set folks straight" with my so-called "wisdom." There are areas of the Forum for different flavors, there are areas for mutual discussion. (One of my big issues with those other "forums that shall not be named" was the tendency of Tibetan and other Buddhist folks to charge into the Zen sections, tell us where we had gone all wrong, and often shut down the Zen doctrinal viewpoints. This Forum is a breath of fresh air compared to that circus.)

Gassho, J

PS - Dan (and moderator folks too!), if I haven't made myself clear on the point, I feel that your dedication and concern for this place is so obvious, and I express my gratitude. We are talking minor tweeks, not burning down the house.
Teacher at Treeleaf Zendo, a Soto Zen Sangha, an online practice place for folks who cannot commute to a Zen Center due to health, living in remote areas, work or family needs. The focus is Shikantaza 'Just Sitting' Zazen http://www.treeleaf.org

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boda
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Re: How is Zen Space doing - a poll for all members, active, inactive, lurkers, come one, come all!

Post by boda » Fri Jun 01, 2018 1:32 am

One of my big issues with those other "forums that shall not be named" was the tendency of Tibetan and other Buddhist folks to charge into the Zen sections, tell us where we had gone all wrong, and often shut down the Zen doctrinal viewpoints.
That was what, ten years ago? Gotta learn to let go.

You’re over 2 posts per day, by the way.

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Meido
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Re: How is Zen Space doing - a poll for all members, active, inactive, lurkers, come one, come all!

Post by Meido » Fri Jun 01, 2018 11:47 pm

RE posting rates: I have seen elsewhere that limiting posts per hour is not uncommon.

~ Meido
The Rinzai Zen Way: A Guide to Practice
Korinji Rinzai Zen Monastery [臨済宗 • 祖的山光林禅寺] - http://www.korinji.org

[Note: not reachable by PM. To get in touch please email through the website above.]

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boda
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Re: How is Zen Space doing - a poll for all members, active, inactive, lurkers, come one, come all!

Post by boda » Fri Jun 01, 2018 11:52 pm

There may be a plugin for limiting postings per time interval. Otherwise, if there were a consensus about how many per day I'd adhere to it, personally.

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Meido
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Re: How is Zen Space doing - a poll for all members, active, inactive, lurkers, come one, come all!

Post by Meido » Fri Jun 01, 2018 11:53 pm

Ditto.
The Rinzai Zen Way: A Guide to Practice
Korinji Rinzai Zen Monastery [臨済宗 • 祖的山光林禅寺] - http://www.korinji.org

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fuki
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Re: How is Zen Space doing - a poll for all members, active, inactive, lurkers, come one, come all!

Post by fuki » Fri Jun 01, 2018 11:59 pm

Meido wrote:
Fri Jun 01, 2018 11:47 pm
RE posting rates: I have seen elsewhere that limiting posts per hour is not uncommon.

~ Meido
How does that relate this forum whether something/anything is uncommon or not? We can work it out ourselfs? Personally I think we dont need to mold this forum too much by adding things to confirm or comply to shackle its members too much.
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fuki
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Re: How is Zen Space doing - a poll for all members, active, inactive, lurkers, come one, come all!

Post by fuki » Sat Jun 02, 2018 12:03 am

bodhi wrote:
Fri Jun 01, 2018 11:52 pm
There may be a plugin for limiting postings per time interval. Otherwise, if there were a consensus about how many per day I'd adhere to it, personally.
I dont agree, you will have situations where a member will not post for days, weeks, months and then perhaps post 20x in 20 minutes for instance, if one members posts is too much just PM the poster if it's a troll or a fuki. I was pm'd a while back, no problem, would be a shame if others will have to "suffer" from it.
meldpunt seksueel misbruik in boeddhistische gemeenschappen.
https://meldpuntbg.nl/

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Meido
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Re: How is Zen Space doing - a poll for all members, active, inactive, lurkers, come one, come all!

Post by Meido » Sat Jun 02, 2018 12:07 am

Why does working it out ourselves not include looking at what has worked for other forums... particularly ones that have successfully dealt with similar issues?

Like it or not this forum has a structure and a mission focus: it is meant to be primarily focused on discussion of Zen Buddhist practice. If it is not fulfilling that mission, looking at methods to help it do so is not shackling anyone. If the mission focus itself feels shackling to members, that is a different issue and worthy of discussion.

And seriously, anyone posting 20 times in 20 minutes... regardless of how long they've been absent...needs to pause. Quality and on topic discussion, not quantity and compulsive self-expression, should be a goal for all of us.
The Rinzai Zen Way: A Guide to Practice
Korinji Rinzai Zen Monastery [臨済宗 • 祖的山光林禅寺] - http://www.korinji.org

[Note: not reachable by PM. To get in touch please email through the website above.]

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boda
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Re: How is Zen Space doing - a poll for all members, active, inactive, lurkers, come one, come all!

Post by boda » Sat Jun 02, 2018 12:20 am

Meido wrote:
Sat Jun 02, 2018 12:07 am
Quality and on topic discussion, not quantity and compulsive self-expression, should be a goal for all of us.
Limiting our posting rate could possibly improve post quality. If we only have a couple of posts per day, for instance, we might want to make them count and express something more meaningful... or perhaps funnier. Might not work out that way of course.

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Meido
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Re: How is Zen Space doing - a poll for all members, active, inactive, lurkers, come one, come all!

Post by Meido » Sat Jun 02, 2018 12:22 am

Yes, i agree it might prove useful.
The Rinzai Zen Way: A Guide to Practice
Korinji Rinzai Zen Monastery [臨済宗 • 祖的山光林禅寺] - http://www.korinji.org

[Note: not reachable by PM. To get in touch please email through the website above.]

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fuki
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Re: How is Zen Space doing - a poll for all members, active, inactive, lurkers, come one, come all!

Post by fuki » Sat Jun 02, 2018 12:24 am

Meido wrote:
Sat Jun 02, 2018 12:07 am
Why does working it out ourselves not include looking at what has worked for other forums... particularly ones that have successfully dealt with similar issues?
It's a sign of weakness, inexperience and insecurity to me and distrust in the members.
And I've also have not heared the owner specifically mentioning that we must take action now and change is needed, if it is, I suggest making an announcement first before taking measures indicating members here cannot self-moderate. Currently it's a grey area. I'm aware of your views and wishes Meido. If the decision is made just make an announcement, I'm sure we can do it together without coding measures. Just my view, no probs if it is done now for instance.
Like it or not this forum has a structure and a mission focus: it is meant to be primarily focused on discussion of Zen Buddhist practice. If it is not fulfilling that mission, looking at methods to help it do so is not shackling anyone. If the mission focus itself feels shackling to members, that is a different issue and worthy of discussion.
Sure but as I mentioned earlier, let the owner be clear about its structure.
And seriously, anyone posting 20 times in 20 minutes... Regardless of how long they've been absent...needs to pause. Quality and on topic discussion, not quantity and compulsive self-expression, should be a goal for all of us.
It was just an example, that is a big jump from quality and on topic to compulsive self-expression, "exvessive" posting only happens here usually when two or more members happen to be live on a topic, which should be fine in the lounge. Unless ppl connecting friendly or having a "good time" is frowned upon, which is a cause of concern for the frown-ee I'd say. I do agree it should be in a lounge topic, telling ppl to "go get a room" is rather silly on a public forum.
meldpunt seksueel misbruik in boeddhistische gemeenschappen.
https://meldpuntbg.nl/

IZIhttp://www.zeninstitute.org/en/iziae/main.html

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