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Baring The Iron Hand: A Discourse On Site Decorum

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Rest assured this is not a review of Steven J. Ramold's recently published work, Baring the Iron Hand: Discipline in the Union Army. Though by the end of this, you may wish it was just that.

Look, a lot of things were said and done last night. I was right there at the front, banning one of McC's mods for banning a Rowbot over a comment made almost immediately after the game. I overreacted, called someone a name I shouldn't have, and thought banning said person was appropriate. I could say I was tired and not thinking straight; however, I won't, because it wouldn't be true. Pure poor judgment on my part.

I've apologized to Grant and jponry for the incident. I hope we've put this incident and everything surrounding it behind us. They have there little corner of the internet and we have our own. Let us respect that and respect that they deal with their team differently than we do with ours. 

However, I wonder if this incident has come to represent the systemic failure of what has been built over the years here. The explosion of comments over the last two years has made it hard to moderate this place, and a good deal of my time is now spent at SB Nation Denver. I could try to lay the blame for this on the other moderators' failure to police the site. But I won't, because it isn't their fault. Ultimately, the fault is mine and mine alone (right, Jim Tracy?).

More after the jump.

So here's the problem: How does Purple Row remain fun, but at the same time not go off on things like uterus hats (I'm still not sure about that whole thing)?

I don't know how active other blogs are in community gatherings at the ballpark or other places (BBQ, brewery tours, karaoke), but that stuff happens through Purple Row. As a result, that's created a group here at Purple Row that often dominates the comments sections about non-Rockies stuff. This is Purple Row: A Colorado Rockies Blog, not Purple Row: A blog about everything but the Rockies. Purple Row is for everyone, not just you.

Let's call this Project Solarium, except I didn't conceive of this while in a solarium. I also acted as the three groups each arguing a position on this. I ruled out a fourth group at the start. Group A argued that I need to contain everything that is non-Rockies stuff. Don't stop it, but monitor it and do my best to stop it from getting out of hand. Group B took the position that I should draw a line in the sand and threaten everyone with the nuclear option. Group C argued for an aggressive rollback of the comments section and just delete pretty much everything that went off-topic. Group D, the one that never argued a position, would have been preventive, not preemptive banning, but ultimately that never made any sense to explore.

Group C's arguments weren't persuasive because doing that would be no fun and everyone would live in fear.  Group B also failed to win this project because, well, I likely wouldn't be around when that line is crossed. So that left me with Group A, and I pretty much knew I would choose this one from the start. But Group A is similar to the current policy.

Let's call this new policy containment-plus. You can still talk about off-topic stuff (movies, music, TV shows, etc.), but 800-plus comments on Rockpiles that have a majority of comments that don't deal with the Rockies is not ideal. Don't attack new posters for writing FanPosts that have been discussed to death already. There are clear community guidelines that need to be followed. Read them.