Tenwest Mandarin School

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GoKunming feedback...

alienew (423 posts) • 0

Gokunming: I just started a forum topic for the Philharmonic orchestra & their concert tonight - sort of a plug for it, I guess - was that inappropriate? It got disappeared.
Not complaining, I just want to know.

alienew (423 posts) • +2

'sustained relevance' - ok, perhaps my bad wording, but while the concert will pass in a few hours, the orchestra isn't going anywhere and the group and its members can surely be considered part of the Kunming foreign community.

ASatiricalBloke (103 posts) • +5

This exemplifies my point about the arbitrariness and spottiness of the moderation.

Having not seen alien's now deleted post, I can't say whether or not it is relevant to the forums but on the surface it does not seem the topic needed to be deleted. Why can't we have a discussion about an event that is occurring in Kunming. And the moderator's vague response does not explain exactly what is permitted and not permitted, thus leaving others uncertain about what is allowed and in the end, decides to self-censor when in doubt. All this is hardly conducive to a free flowing of ideas which GoKunming takes pride in when stating it "is the online resource for Yunnan Province and its capital city, Kunming. [...] as well as incredibly active user-generated classified and forum sections."

And to further compound the problem, the reaction of "contact us via the contact form" when confronted with a question just sounds so shady as if trying to sweep the problem under the rug. Unless the question is of a personal nature, I don't see why questions can't be aired publicly.

At the end of the day, it boils down to how do the moderators view their relationship with its users. Do you view yourselves and the users as equal partners trying to make the expat community a better place or do you see users only as a variable in the business equation to accomplish your goals.

I think as more and more people are feeling it's the latter the trolling behaviour will increase

alienew (423 posts) • 0

@satirical: I'm not defending my attempted forum topic - I dunno, nothing crucial - but I agree that we should not all be requiring gokunming to deal with sometime-inabilities of posters to write, respond and discuss with common sense - we're not in kindergarten anymore, I don't think we need 'police' protection or teacher/minders with school rules, and gokunming has enough to worry about just running the website and producing good content. The topics are the POSTERS' attempts to produce good content, and the forums should be open to anyone and anything that doesn't lead to the closing of the website by external Overminders. Gokunming can judge when that point is passed - leave the rest to self-regulation in the fine tradition of anarchism, openness, respect and reason - & maybe occasional humor or something to keep everybody awake. It's not necessary to protest that everything is somebody else's fault. With luck we

can all grow up, and Frodo can send that damned ring back to Hell.

Adrian (14 posts) • 0

I wanted to take this opportunity to step in, specifically to address a few ideas and comments.

For the most part, it seems as if the community would like GoKunming to exercise more moderation on topics and users that regularly take forums off topic or post with troll-like behavior. We will certainly delete threads and ban users that potentially damages our relationship with China, and thus our ability to service the community. I believe we should be more assertive on stopping off-topic or troll posts at their inception, and we will try. Sub-thread comments of the same nature can be ignored or down-voted, and thus haven't received more attention. In some threads there is a choice to not respond and some responses are only subjectively cynical or offensive. As many have pointed out, it is challenging to walk an objective line on judging all types of speech that should be allowed or disallowed, thus we have let the community decide. As we perhaps take a shift in policy to being more aggressive, we'll be seeking feedback.

If you see anything we miss for moderation, please report it via the contact form or start a conversation

within the site with user 'GoKunming'.

We do want to be active, principally consistent partners with the users and the community. GoKunming does not seek more traffic by allowing more asinine posts. We seek more quality posters and users. We all share the same vision for a site like this: to help people build better lives. To go a step further as another user pointed out, it is a goal to involve more of the community and promote more interaction. Countless more people use this site without ever interacting with its forums, or other content, and we want to engage them. So, taking inspiration from you all, some questions:

Some have stated that they do not regularly find useful information on GoKunming and thus do not recommend it. What kinds of info are we missing that you would like to see? Are there other modules, perhaps inspired by other sites, that the community wants to see added?

Are there services outside of our current online content that we could provide as a company for expats and English-speaking locals? Would any integration with WeChat be useful, and in what respects?

Any more criticisms (constructive if possible) are welcomed. While we as a company are quite busy with other projects, this second generation of manager/owners are passionate about making what we do better. Thanks everyone for your input!

ASatiricalBloke (103 posts) • +2

I think I've said all I wanted to say, and perhaps more than I should, but I want to put out one last scenario for you to consider as I too, am running a business.

I remember way back when, when Paul's Market was THE place to go for little comforts of home. Granted, they were expensive but it was well worth it when you are a little homesick. And as expensive as the items were, I don't think the owners were making money hand over fist. Slowly but surely, as the big chain supermarkets began to expand their imports section, Paul became less and less relevant. Then with the advent of Taobao, it became clear that Paul's were loosing their usefulness, eventually, they had to close down.

I feel this site is going down the same path and I have a feeling the owners of this site has seen the writings on the wall and hence is diversifying their business portfolio.

Perhaps the tides can't be turned, these are the times. To answer your question though, what would be useful to me? Real-time information that would impact me as an expat living in China, immigration policy changes, PSA by the local government, holiday closures, road closures, major traffic events, how to complete certain procedures like getting a driver's license, how to open bank accounts, how to get bus cards, etc. (The last few items might be of use to new comers to Kunming)

But as I've said before, to do that would require dedicating resources, resources that might be better served in other projects.

JanJal (923 posts) • +1

It is one thing to moderate and delete off-topic and trolling posts, but quite another thing to draw a line between paid and non-paid advertising and delete posts on those grounds.

Also not having seen the original post deleted, but from what I read between lines, a discussion of classical western orchestra playing and apparently regularly training in Kunming would serve sustained and long-term interest of expats and others who take such music as hobby (or even profession). As well as casual readers.

But I get that if the focus of the post was more on a single concert, it would probably belong under paid advertised events.

cloudtrapezer (722 posts) • 0

I have no idea what is going on with Go Kunming. Removing stuff about an orchestra seems bizarre. It used to be a simple, free bulletin board for the foreigners who lived in Kunming. But since it got a "new perspective" it's been all about money.

ASatiricalBloke (103 posts) • 0

@Janjal, I agree with you, and this is why the response and explanation by GoKunming is such a PR disaster. Instead of clarifying and answering the question in a clear concise matter, the vague response only invites speculation and rumors.

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