Radar Community Update 5


#1

Good afternoon from Lagos.

This is the 5th Radar community update, and a rather important one, considering the circumstances. It has been a while since I’ve posted one of these. A lot – and that is putting it mildly – has happened at BCM (Radar’s parent company) since the 4th update. The good news is that we have put much of it behind us and are now in a much better place operationally. We sincerely apologise for all the time the community has spent in limbo. We are keen to restore it as soon as possible.

To that end, we are going to change a few things.

Invite Only Sign-Ups: For the time being, new signups to Radar will only be possible through invitation by a current member who has achieved invitation privileges. Any Radar member who invites someone to join is vouching for their good behaviour, and as such, the actions of new members will reflect on their “sponsors”. We hope to curb spam and low-quality interactions in this way. I hope that we can re-open signups to everyone again at some point, but for now, we are going to focus on building a high quality and supportive community, organically.

Real People, Real Names: Going forward, Radar will be host to only real people with real names. This is building on our Entities other than humans guideline, with the goal of making Radar more people friendly.

Of course, you can use any words of your choice as username. But the names in your profile have to be your real “government” names.

All accounts that do not meet this requirement will be suspended, and their owners will be contacted via email to update their profiles. Accounts that do not comply after the stipulated grace period of 1 month (30 days) will be permanently deactivated.

This deactivation also affects accounts that represent companies, organisations or groups of individuals. Please see our 1st community update for more information on company accounts.

Hands-on Moderation: One of the biggest challenges we faced as the community grew was effective moderation. We initially hoped that the forum would self-police. When that proved to be naive, we tried to hire a full-time moderator. At the time, did not succeed. But recently, Osioke Itseuwa (@sprime) has joined us as the community manager, and we are excited that he is bringing his experience with various communities not just to ensure good behaviour but also to figure out ways to improve the experience and value that members derive from being a part of the Radar community. From here on in, moderation is going to get more hands-on. But never fear, @sprime’s blaster is set to stun by default.

Anyone can start an AMA: The goal of Radar’s AMA has always been to foster intelligent conversations. In the beginning, TechCabal team curated and hosted AMAs. You might remember this one with Gbenro Ogundipe an Uber partner/driver, and that one with Tayo Oviosu, founder and CEO of Paga, or even our very first AMA with Adii Pienaar. We now believe that any member of the community should be able to start an AMA, subject to a number of guidelines, of course.

As far as we are concerned, this is a complete reboot of Radar, and some of the changes might seem jarring. I suspect that we will make a few mistakes. But we are doing all we can to learn from the lessons of Radar’s previous iterations and make the changes as easy on everyone as we can possibly can. We encourage everyone to read the updated community guidelines. I am happy to receive your feedback as well as answer any and all questions about the future of Radar.


Bankole and Tomiwa from Big Cabal Media here. Ask us anything (Thursday 10am)
#3

If your goal is to encourage high-quality conversations, I’m not sure how making the forum “invite-only” will achieve it. It seems anecdotal at best. It is more likely to create an echo chamber.

Another terrible fiat policy.

  1. I’m not sure how you intend to verify a person’s “government name”. Requiring people to submit personal and potentially sensitive documents exposes you to increased data privacy regulations. It also seems like over-kill for what it is - an informal forum on the Internet.

  2. Again, it looks like putting the proverbial cart before the horse. The most engaging forums on the Internet do not need real names. They thrive through effective moderation with the help of the community.

The real reason why this community went down is evident in your first paragraph. You stopped nurturing it. I don’t know what was going on internally with BCM and frankly, I don’t really care because it is none of my business. What I do know is this - the community did not crumble because signups were not invite-only and people were free to use pseudonyms.

I’m glad you want to restore the community back to full health but I believe you are doing it in a reactionary and ineffective way at best, and self-destructive way at worst. If you do intend to proceed, it is important to note that in a post-GDPR world, you can’t just “deactivate” a user. You are legally obliged to expunge their data.

If you want a full reboot of Radar, engage the community. You’ll be surprised with the quality of suggestions you will get and the cooperation you will get in achieving your objective. Don’t lay down rules like a boss. Learn from Ambode.


#4

Oh, wow! Apologies @techscorpion, our intention was not to be bossy, we value your opinion and want to carry everyone along. In this light, we have updated the community update to be less “bossy”. I hope the update flows better, do let me know.

The new guidelines are not new, and we made sure we did not create them abruptly. They are just building on our previous guidelines like the Entities other than humans guideline. We did this to make Radar feel like an extension of the real world we all live in. :smiley:

If there is still something you feel we can do to improve the guidelines we have set, please feel free to share, I am personally here for you. :slight_smile:


#5

I couldn’t agree more.


#6

Lol. I’d given up on Radar permanently, but I logged in again just to agree with @techscorpion. He’s :100: right. I gave up on Radar because the people that created it didn’t care. They ignored the community, dribbled around questions of “what is going on with TechCabal and/or Radar?”, enabled lots of bad behaviour by turning a blind eye, and turned deaf ears to people’s offers to help out. Plus the overlords thing.

Also, yeah, real names are unnecessary and won’t improve the forum.

All the best with your efforts.


#7

If you want to grow the quality, then show more content commitment by building a subscription model.
#Just Thinking Out Loud


#8

Naaaaah! Radar isn’t elitist @ all, I mean - not like I’m in Phoronix or Rossman Group forums where I know things will really go down.

[My last login or comment/posting was probably 2017]


#9

I logged in to I agree with your statements here.

I’ve seen Reddit, been on Discord, and played on Telegram. What can radar do to attract my attention again? Real Names haha, :+1: you guys just made my day.


#10

True, we did not do good. We let everyone down. It also hurt me too as I have always been a BCM fanboy.

I joined to see how I can help fix this. I will definitely do my best.


#11

I agree with techscorpion because he is (frequently :+1:) right, and the real names policy means one of my favourite contributors will be kicked out.


#12

@lordbanks if there was any form of recognition for the community, you’d have started your Update by trying to explain the gap months, even if you reduced it to a bunch of vague references no one could make any useful connection out of, It would atleast mean, you know to try. Very important.

At this point, I think you guys are forcing it. Whatever is remaining of BCM should focus on whatever they’ve been doing all these months and leave Radar to continue its honourable death. You guys are blowing a stiff.

@sprime I like your enthusiasm but to be useful you need something to moderate. More than moderators, Radar needs people to stimulate conversations. Some spamming, and a little bit of forum ‘unfriendliness’ are signs of health.


#13

@87_chuks rightly said man. Big mistake on our part. We apologise deeply.

We felt instead of saying what happened in a post and mentioning what we think was important, we do a full AMA where the community asks what they want to know and we share everything we can, explaining everything that has happened and will happen.

We are really sorry, like deeply sorry. Clearly our assumption was very wrong. We apologise. Please bear with us. :bowing_man: :pray:

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#14

I just hope radar is back for good.


#15

My issues in a nutshell. I haven’t forgotten how often I’d complain about trolls, even talking to @lordbanks directly and getting told it was the community’s responsibility to report bad behaviour. Took ages to ban trolls because they were ‘funny’, and one time one particularly bad user was temporarily banned and heartily welcomed back, by Bankole himself. Remember this?

Just all manners of tomfoolery. It’s like they expected the community to just magically work. The powers that be stopped posting. I sent a dm out offering to help but got a vague response. Were there issues? Did they need help? Or did they just not care? We don’t know, because they won’t say!

Now they’ve announced they’re back and nothing has changed. I remember Radar was first formed Seyi and Bankole used to try and start conversation with different topics. People aren’t going to just start posting again because you made an announcement thread. Invite-only is pointless when those who are members aren’t using the site. Why would anyone want to sign up?

DO SOMETHING guys. There’s more to running a community than setting rules. No-one can/should care more about your product than you, the owner.


#16

@lordbanks thanks for making the effort to reinvigorate the forum. One thing that put off people was the toxicity in it. If a person has made an effort to create a topic or contribute to a discussion, it is unfair that you have a bunch of self-appointed landlords, who in most cases have achieved very little beyond being ‘techies’ shoot down every opinion contrary to their understanding and belittle contributors. I believe I have achieved something in my life, maybe not in tech and I got tired of being put down by kids. Now if you want to make it an exclusive club of ‘gurus’ getting high on their own supply or whatever, let that be clear in your mind. If you want it to be an open forum for generating fresh ideas and perspectives then you need to ensure positive engagement. But thank you in the first place for this forum. It can be a fantastic place someday! Kudos Sir. George Kobani


#17

Okay George, good insights but strong language :sweat_smile:. Let’s tone it down for a bit.


#18

I will be locking this thread now as the message of the thread have been well deliberated.

Thank you everyone for your contributions, we are working hard to bring them all to life.