Being Better Internet/Forum Citizens

No one needs to shut up. I’m genuinely asking if you don’t think this is a pretty unique set up, one in which conflict is pretty much bound to arise.


I understand that, and I get that it must be really stressful for you. For what it’s worth, I think that you do your job very well and (while we might not always agree on everything) I’ve always found you to be incredibly professional (I know I’ve already said this but I want to reiterate it). When it comes to your job, you don’t talk to people like they’re your friends, you talk to people like they’re you’re business associates, and that’s exactly how it should be. For people to say, “You should do your job the way I want you to do your job, instead of the way that the company you work for tells you to do your job.” is frankly idiotic.

I have experienced this (although, granted, far more mildly) working in retail, and when you tell a customer “I’m sorry sir, but it’s against store policy,” and they expect YOU, a fucking sales assistant, to suddenly change the store policy just for them, it makes you want to smash your head into a brick wall. :confounded:


Yupe… i understand the dilemma as well…

Even in private university , when a staff or officer trying to tell students that it is against regulations to enter or to eat/play in the laboratory, they will respond in " I pay for all your salary, why couldn’t i do that" :wink:


It is, yeah.

As said, I’ve grown up with a lot of asshats that would say something like this to shut others up. It’s written, so it’s not clear how something is said. And my brain jumps to what it’s used to most.



I tend to have same reaction, what I do now is wait to reply and observe if my first reaction is correct or not. we shouldn’t let or past bad experiences affect us here, Most times is a problem of misunderstanding tones or cultures


That ‘how many other businesses’ sword cuts both ways. How many other businesses would have management personnel speaking in such a fashion to someone who is a 1099 subcontractor that they regularly pay (so not an employee, but not exactly not an employee either) and consider it even remotely appropriate? An argument could be made that it’s bullying from someone in a position of power. An argument could not be made that in the corporate world, it would be considered OK for even one second. Of course, this isn’t the corporate world. A company that operates primarily on a website forum naturally has different rules and a more informal nature. But if that’s true for how the ownership talks to the subordinates, the reverse should be true as well.

The occasional gruffness when dealing with staff members hasn’t bothered me severely, nor is it uniform amongst everyone at CoG. But to trivialize and dismiss that it has bothered others is short-sighted and a little offensive. The equivalent of making an apology by saying “I’m sorry what I said bothered you”, pushing the blame onto the offended.


Honestly from the sidelines here it looks like people are bringing their own baggage with them into this discussion and it is turning into exactly what the original post was meant to discourage.


Every gaming company I spend my money with does this or fosters an independent site where they have staff on a daily basis, often 24/7.

Those that refuse to nurture an online community, I’ve found to be the companies that fail to succeed and/or do not deserve my business.

Quite a few do this - “unprecedented” means something done no where else or prior. So, I’d say CoG has better success at different aspects of this than some companies but CoG is not alone.

Every single business I do business with.

@Mary_Duffy - It is my belief that your communication with the community has grown over the past year; that thread you point to as problematic, has a brief exchange between us regarding word choice in it that leads to a perception of intimidation.

I say this meaning it as a full endorsement and a compliment: I have seen your efforts and your outreach and I appreciate the growth I’ve seen. The Mary Duffy back then, I don’t think would have been as effective as the person I see today.

I can only hope, my personal growth is as strong and forward-leaning as yours has been.

This is something I see from all, staff included and this is why I’ve been trying to avoid this thread.

I have a lot of feedback to help people with today, so if I do not respond to people right away, please forgive the delay. I will also be censoring myself in this thread, so, feel free to contact me in PM if you feel the need to.


That’s lovely and surprising to hear. I don’t know any of the cashiers at my grocery store, the pharmacist, or the people on the circ desk at local library, or anywhere really. That’s not the kind of town or environment I live in, and if I tried to cultivate those people they’d think I was being forward and weird.

Yep. And I’m sorry to say it’s still not one I agree with. I do agree baggage is pretty unavoidable. I really can’t say anything more except, if you were on staff you’d think all of this is to some extent, a distraction from the work. OTOH: I think if anyone is qualified to talk about the difference between being a forum member and a staff member it’s @RETowers, but they certainly don’t have to comment.

Sure. I’m talking about any industry other than gaming. You know folks who make the movies or shows you like? You know the people who make your medicine or packaged food? You have the email address of the editor of the last mass-market, big five published novel you enjoyed?


I’ve decided to delete my comment, purely for selfish reasons I’m afraid. My boyfriend saw how stressed I was getting and said “Why are you doing this to yourself? It’s not worth it.” And… After thinking about it, I had to agree. It isn’t. If 100 people had boycotted the site, it would be worth it. 3 people boycotted the site. 3 people isn’t worth it. I do not like that they boycotted the site, and I wish I could’ve convinced them to change their minds, but 3 people boycotting the site isn’t going to affect the site and, more importantly, it isn’t going to effect the sales of games by more than a couple of dollars. It isn’t worth it.


Taking a break is a good idea.


This is the crux of the issue - you are a part of the gaming world/industry; a unique niche but you are still a part of the gaming world.

You are not a part of the tractor industry and I do not expect a tractor manufacturer/seller such as I have next door to me to have the same expectations for an online community.


This is something we will agree to disagree on. I’ve been on staff at various levels in the gaming world. What I’ve seen and experienced would sour a lot of people - the lows that happen can be quite discouraging.

Despite all that I’ve seen and experienced, I believe that nurturing an online community such as you have is essential and necessary.

This might be a distraction from the immediate work at hand (as it is distracting me from my testing tasks I have for today right this minute) but in the long run, I feel it is necessary for me to engage with you here and now for this community and a gaming business I want to see succeed as much as possible.


If we had a paid community manager, I would fully agree with you. We don’t. I’m paid to put out games, not forum fires.

And I think you’re probably more familiar with the wider gaming community than I am. But whatever the case, I think this is a great community 95% of the time.


After reconsideration and listening to a few friends helping me comprehend your post better, I withdraw my conclusion.

Assuming you mean:

"If 100 people had [been going to] boycott the site, it would have been worth the [stress I am dealing with in posting here to try to prevent it. But the stress is not worth it over losing only 3.]

I commend your decision and support it fully.


It certainly is one of the most helpful, welcoming and most open I’ve ever experienced.


You’re missing the context of the deleted post–she wrote the post in response to three people boycotting, with the intention of preventing more from doing so


@Avery_Moore posted it because of worry over people boycotting. I’m not sure why that would be a bad thing. One thing for everyone on all sides of this issue to consider is that nobody involved in this discussion wants anything but the best for this place. The people making suggestions aren’t doing so out of negativity, even if the suggestions themselves are done in an annoying or even misguided fashion at times. They are doing it because they care about this place and want to see it succeed (either for altruistic or self-serving reasons, but ultimately it washes out the same either way). And the staff feel even more that way, given that this is their livelihood. Hopefully that common ground can help smooth over some of the hurt feelings going around here.


I think there’s been a slight misunderstanding. @Avery_Moore isn’t trying to convince people to leave but to stay. Three people told her that they were boycotting COG, and she is trying to prevent others from joining that boycott.


Quite frankly, seeing WHY these people are ‘boycotting’ CoG… I say good riddance, they won’t be missed.


I disagree with the idea it is good to lose anyone. Sorry.