Let me start by saying that I probably won’t have time to read all the responses to this thread; as usual, if you need to get in touch with me, e-mail is better than the message board.
I also want to say that we are fully aware of both the pros and cons of these changes. We have prided ourselves in having an open and unmoderated forum, and it’s hard to take part of that away. But at the same time, we all knew this would have to happen some time. There’s no way an organization with many thousands of members can be supported by the same infrastructure and rules that an organization with hundreds of members can. We’ve been bursting at the seams for years, and it’s finally time to accept that we’re not a size 28 anymore
In the last 6 months, we’ve seen non-members (often members from one particular competing association) enter our forum, and not only attempt to defame our organization, but also drive our members away from using the message board. InterNACHI is open to criticism; we have welcomed it in the past and continue to welcome it now. But our responsibility is first to our members. If this were merely an issue of one of the staff’s feelings getting hurt, we would never consider such a drastic change. But when we hear time and again, from members (including many of our less vocal ones), that they no longer participate on the message board because of non-member personal attacks, we have to do something.
So, here’s what’s going to happen:
Later today the forum will go into maintenance mode (you won’t be able to browse or post). During maintenance I will make a few changes:
- We will disable all posting permissions for non-members (see below for details)
- We will update the forum software to the latest version
- We will disable both the reputation and infraction systems
Once the updated forums goes live, all non-member registrations and non-member posts will go into a moderation queue. A group of members will be in charge of moderating that queue. Our original hope was to let ALL members moderate, but there are technical limitations that make that impossible right now (although I will continue to look into it). That said, any member who wishes to become a moderator will be allowed to do so as long as they’re willing to follow a few simple rules.
We haven’t worked out the exact moderation criteria yet, but the basic gist is that all technical posts will be approved as quickly as possible. This means that non-members with solid contributions will continue to have (limited) access to our message board. Bottom line is: If you have a question or comment about an inspection-related topic, chances are it will be approved. If you are harassing our members, chances are it won’t.
Our hope is that we can continue to support those non-members who wish to contribute to our community while making our forum a better place for our members to have meaningful discussions about the home inspection industry and other topics that are important to them.