cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Poll: Bright Sparks ranking - should it be retained?

Community Veteran
Posts: 26,688
Thanks: 911
Fixes: 10
Registered: 10-04-2007

Poll: Bright Sparks ranking - should it be retained?

In recent days there have been a number of attacks directed at the forum role of Bright Spark, including accusations of "self gratification" and people deliberately increasing their post count to gain the role. Here is the description of the rank:


Bright Sparks
This is an award from your peers. Its designed to recognise those who frequently go the extra mile to make this resource useful.
It's not necessarily intended to go to the most knowledgeable folks here, although it generally does.
If you've spotted somebody you think is worthy of the rank, let one of the moderating team know via PM (Personal Message) and your recommendation will be considered.
Further detail on Bright Sparks is available here


The important thing to note is that it is not an automatic role granted when you make a certain number of posts - you have to be nominated by another user who has to give the reason for the nomination, then the moderators collectively have to agree to the appointment. Also it it isn't just given to  users who back Plusnet, appointments has been made when people have sustained a campaign against Plusnet - but in a constructive manner.
I suspect most of the current Bright Sparks were, like myself, surprised at the nomination - it was certainly not something I sought. It wouldn't upset me in the slightest if my ranking were taken away or the role abolished. In a way having the role is a millstone; having the role I feel that I should make a point of visiting forums frequently - without it I wouldn't feel guilty if I was absent for weeks at a time.
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
   Why I have left Plusnet (warning: long post!)   
Broadband: Andrews & Arnold Home::1 (FTTC 80/20)
Line rental: Pulse 8 Home Line Rental (£13/month)
Mobile: iD mobile (£4/month)
86 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 26,688
Thanks: 911
Fixes: 10
Registered: 10-04-2007

Re: Bright Sparks ranking - should it be retained?

... and before anyone accuses me of voting for retention of my rank, the eagle eyed will have spotted that the first vote was an abstention.
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
   Why I have left Plusnet (warning: long post!)   
Broadband: Andrews & Arnold Home::1 (FTTC 80/20)
Line rental: Pulse 8 Home Line Rental (£13/month)
Mobile: iD mobile (£4/month)
nadger
Rising Star
Posts: 4,498
Thanks: 46
Registered: 13-04-2007

Re: Bright Sparks ranking - should it be retained?

And I'm the 2nd one to abstain  Wink
Surely the most important reason for forums is to help one another. I remember how grateful I was to other people, on AG, when I first got broadband back in March 2002 - it was a steep learning curve for all of us.
I also remember the hundreds of hours of work that 4 of us put into setting up and running pipexsupport.com before Pipex pulled the plug on 3rd party support.
One thing that always grated was the accusation that we must be making something out of it which was never the case.
By all means keep the titles as I'm possibly naive enough to believe people help others because they actually want to and for no other reason.
Community Veteran
Posts: 38,460
Thanks: 1,027
Fixes: 62
Registered: 15-06-2007

Re: Poll: Bright Sparks ranking - should it be retained?

Another abstention - I was surprised when I was nominated as a lot of my posts up to then were fairly anti some of the PlusNet policies and I had a nasty habit of checking back to compare and contrast previous statements which I am sure created some aggro.
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,508
Thanks: 360
Fixes: 4
Registered: 05-04-2007

Re: Poll: Bright Sparks ranking - should it be retained?

I've done the same as Oldjim, I was also surprised at being nominated in the first place.
My post count on the old forums was only a couple of hundred at the time, and in many of those I hadn't been pleasant Wink
gswindale
Grafter
Posts: 942
Registered: 05-04-2007

Re: Poll: Bright Sparks ranking - should it be retained?

Voted Yes as I find it useful to know that I can be relatively confident in the response of a "bright spark" for non-community issues.
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,699
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Poll: Bright Sparks ranking - should it be retained?

I was going to abstain, because in all honesty I don't see the problem with having the rank,  neither do I see any reason to remove it, but if it really bothers so many peolple so muchHuh? Undecided
However on reflection, it does give newbies, and those of us with less experience, an idea of what others have thought.  Or to put it another way, in order to get the rank somebody must have recieved some good advice (or they wouldn't have nominated them)
So I voted to keep the rank. Cheesy
John
Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 744
Thanks: 278
Registered: 05-04-2007

Re: Poll: Bright Sparks ranking - should it be retained?

I've voted for the Bright Spark accolade to be retained - but wd make a couple of comments (also) if I may, about how things are organised here and possible ways things might operate so as to cause less of the rather-unexpected annoyance levels that have been evident in recent weeks from quite a few posters here.  I've stuck my comments all here in one place as there seem to have been several threads all discussing the same (largely inter-related) issues.

(1) BRIGHT SPARKS
I feel when critical comments are made this should be done very gently (hence my broadside to samuria here, though I understand now that the comments weren't meant unkindly, even though they came across as very disparaging - contrast ffupi's very constructively-worded post here).
I've spent a reasonable amount of time in forums since getting co-opted into PUG back in April 2004 [no longer an NDA'd PUG-member, for lack of time] and the help I've received from people like jelv (a "bright spark" here in the CommSite) has been invaluable.  He's one of the few people that can word complex technical stuff so I can understand it - no mean feat, I might say Roll eyes  Recognition of such talented (and endlessly-helpful) people is no bad thing (though comparing in any regard a Bright Spark award to a Victoria Cross award is completely unacceptable (sorry James_H).

(2) MODERATORS
It would appear that a lot of the annoyed posts that have arisen in recent weeks have been in some measure not to do just with thread content, but also "expressed moderator opinion".
It seems to me (at least) that moderator intervention would be more easily tolerated if the moderator didn't express a personal view (on the topic actually under discussion) at the moment of moderation.  Something along the lines of 'okay guys this is getting very heated, could comments please be expressed more constructively' might be accepted more easily than ' well okay I think that such-and-such and please can you guys tone it down' or (worse) 'okay I'm locking this thread and I think such-and-such or this-is-my-summary-of-the-situation'.
If moderation was done simply on the basis of (say) three standard comments (however they're worded) possible example below:
Quote
(1) 'okay guys this is getting very heated, could comments please be expressed more constructively'
(2) 'as per previous requests could this discussion please be toned down'
(3) 'regret that after two previous requests we (the moderators - collective decision) feel we have no alternative to locking this thread. Sorry Smiley '

... and if everyone here knew that was the "standard mode" it might perhaps reduce the level of "aggrieved feelings" that could occur / have occurred as a result of moderating decision/s.
Having come to the Comm Site forums from PUG (the forums run by PN-Group customers) I have been struck by the contrast in moderation techniques. Moderation within PUG is rather more low-key and there somehow isn't the "personal opinions" factor that is seen here in the Comm Site (quite a lot, it seems) with modding.  Posts within the PUG forums get moved from one area to another at times but it's all very laid back ["post moved to xxx forum by xxx" or, very rarely, upsetting / insulting posts just removed with minimal fuss] and usually doesn't attract any comment at all.
If moderators within the Comm Site could perhaps become a little more "detached" and just be seen to be doing a practically-required job but in a dispassionate sort of way, we'd hardly notice they were there (whilst recognising the value of what was being done).
I'm not out to upset anyone but I do think it's time these matters were all suitably resolved so all of us can focus on the stuff that the Comm Site is actually here for.
Regards,
Penny.
Penny Rollo * Force 9 from 17/02/98 * PlusNet from 2000 onwards
Project HappyChild - free maths worksheets, free French-English
worksheets and 12 other languages
personal site www.pennymidasrollo.plus.com
Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 744
Thanks: 278
Registered: 05-04-2007

Re: Poll: Bright Sparks ranking - should it be retained?

Quote from: James_H
Penny, the only comparison between BS and VC, is to acknowledge that neither are aimed for but both are given as a mark of thanks.

Yes I understood that Smiley  but MBE or whatever the lowest level of national 'honour' is, might have perhaps been a wiser choice for comparison Wink

Penny.
Edited to amend 'rank' to 'honour'.
Penny Rollo * Force 9 from 17/02/98 * PlusNet from 2000 onwards
Project HappyChild - free maths worksheets, free French-English
worksheets and 12 other languages
personal site www.pennymidasrollo.plus.com
nadger
Rising Star
Posts: 4,498
Thanks: 46
Registered: 13-04-2007

Re: Poll: Bright Sparks ranking - should it be retained?

I think that bringing the Victoria Cross  into the debate shows extremely bad taste as most are awarded after death.
It has nothing to do with rank, being the highest award for bravery, under enemy fire, that can be given in this country.
Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 744
Thanks: 278
Registered: 05-04-2007

Re: Poll: Bright Sparks ranking - should it be retained?

Quote from: nadger
It has nothing to do with rank, being the highest award for bravery, under enemy fire, that can be given in this country.

My apologies for the (inadvertent) wrong choice of wording in the post above, now amended.

Penny.
Penny Rollo * Force 9 from 17/02/98 * PlusNet from 2000 onwards
Project HappyChild - free maths worksheets, free French-English
worksheets and 12 other languages
personal site www.pennymidasrollo.plus.com
MrToast
Grafter
Posts: 550
Registered: 31-07-2007

Re: Poll: Bright Sparks ranking - should it be retained?

I voted 'No' simply because I've not noticed any correlation between the BS status and good quality help that wouldn't be evident from the content of the post anyway.....
In other words I never actually got the point from the practice.
Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 744
Thanks: 278
Registered: 05-04-2007

Re: Poll: Bright Sparks ranking - should it be retained?

Quote from: James_H
Quote from: nadger
It has nothing to do with rank, being the highest award for bravery, under enemy fire, that can be given in this country.

[me=James_H]is glad that folks are now understanding that its not a 'rank' its an honour.[/me]

That the VC is an honour wasn't misunderstood Roll eyes
Quote from: James_H
The term 'rank' only persists because thats what SMF calls the text/image under a users name.

Perhaps it would be an idea to change the title of this thread then to "Bright Sparks award (or accolade?[=term of esteem]) - should it be retained" ... the word "rank" isn't visible (to me, anyway) on the left-hand bar in any case.

Penny.
Penny Rollo * Force 9 from 17/02/98 * PlusNet from 2000 onwards
Project HappyChild - free maths worksheets, free French-English
worksheets and 12 other languages
personal site www.pennymidasrollo.plus.com
Community Veteran
Posts: 26,688
Thanks: 911
Fixes: 10
Registered: 10-04-2007

Re: Poll: Bright Sparks ranking - should it be retained?

I used the word ranks because it matched the description of them given here
(That's where I copied the description of Bright Sparks from)
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
   Why I have left Plusnet (warning: long post!)   
Broadband: Andrews & Arnold Home::1 (FTTC 80/20)
Line rental: Pulse 8 Home Line Rental (£13/month)
Mobile: iD mobile (£4/month)
Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 744
Thanks: 278
Registered: 05-04-2007

Re: Poll: Bright Sparks ranking - should it be retained?

Quote from: jelv
I used the word ranks because it matched the description of them given here
(That's where I copied the description of Bright Sparks from)

Perhaps that post could be amended also, then, if James_H (and other moderators) would be in agreement.  It would certainly go some way towards clearing up the misnomers.
Regards,
Penny.
Penny Rollo * Force 9 from 17/02/98 * PlusNet from 2000 onwards
Project HappyChild - free maths worksheets, free French-English
worksheets and 12 other languages
personal site www.pennymidasrollo.plus.com