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Catholic Harbor's Future and Mission


Mr. Warren

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My friends, I want to talk with you briefly about the future of Catholic Harbor. In August and September, we are about to get a massive influx of fresh new members as many families start their school year with Seton. What will this site look like for them? What will they think of it when they get here? They get their cues on how to act in the first couple weeks and they will follow the lead of the students already here. They will model our behavior, so if we want them to be awesome members, we ourselves need to awesome members.

In recent months, we have had an increasingly large issue with frequent disregard for our community's rules—also with unhappiness both from members who are upset about members who seem to go unpunished and from members who have their content moderated. There have also been quite a few deactivations either from parents withdrawing permission, students no longer enjoying their time here, or less frequently from disciplinary actions were the deactivation is usually temporary but sometimes permanent.

I think it is fair to say the Catholic Harbor finds itself at a crossroads. I fear that if we continue on this path, the dissatisfaction will grow. I know my own pride in Catholic Harbor has suffered recently. I think many of us might even be unhappy with the current state of the site but not able to fully put our finger on what all of the issues actually are contributing to that sense.

Thus, it is time to talk about some of the root causes. One thing I have learned from hosting conferences for the past 20 years is that happiness with a product, service, or anything really comes down to expectations, purely and simply. If I host a conference expecting 500 people to show up and only 200 show up, I would be bitterly disappointed. Yet, if I hosted the exact same conference but only expected 100 people to show up, when the 200 arrived, I would be ecstatic.

I think a large part of our problem on Catholic Harbor has been a failure to clearly state the mission and purpose of the site and then have all of our policies firmly adhere to that mission. If all of the members had set their expectations on the same thing and knew exactly what to expect from Catholic Harbor, there would be less dissatisfaction.

In the end, a site cannot be successful if there is animosity between the admins and moderators and the members. An "us vs. them" mentality risks sending Catholic Harbor down a path that would ultimately lead to closure. However, if we were all moving toward a common goal and had a common mission, we could build the greatest community the web has ever seen.

THE MISSION OF CATHOLIC HARBOR

So what then IS the mission of Catholic Harbor? To answer that, we need to first recognize that Catholic Harbor is an official site of Seton Home Study School, and thus while Catholic Harbor might not be an academic site, it still is an offshoot of Seton’s mission, so that some of the things important to Seton are going to be important to us as well.

First and foremost is the Catholic Faith, so part of our mission is to help our members grow in their faith. It is also a social site designed to connect Seton students, so we would want to add that part of the mission is helping our members form good Christian friendships. Aside from Faith and friendships, we also want the site to be a good experience and useful in practical terms, so we want to add “enjoyable” and we want the site to be edifying, that is, to help our members grow both intellectually and morally—to learn interesting things and to gain skills in things like debating and resolving conflicts. We can now wrap this up into one statement:

Catholic Harbor exists to provide a safe and enjoyable environment for Seton students to form good Christian friendships and to grow in mind, in virtue, and in their Catholic Faith.

With our mission firmly in mind, I think it is time we reevaluate. This site is an official Seton site, not just a back alley hangout. We need to ask, is the site in its current form accomplishing its mission to help our members grow in virtue, form good Christian friendships, and is it edifying? Is it doing that for all of the members or just some? Are there aspects of the site which actively detract from that mission?

CATHOLIC HARBOR IMPROVEMENT PLAN

In the coming days, Joe and I will be introducing a Catholic Harbor Improvement Plan.

Part of the Catholic Harbor Improvement Plan (a.k.a. “the CHIP”) will include some rule changes, a new staff role designed to welcome new members and improve the experience for everyone, perhaps some forum structure changes, a streamlined moderation and warning procedure, and other changes.

As a site like ours grows, it establishes its own culture. A culture just means the customs, practices, institutions, shared values, and expectations of behavior. A culture can’t just be imposed from above, it is influenced by the community’s rules of course, but it is something organically created by you the members. Every interesting topic you create or kind word you offer to another member helps build the culture we want to see thrive on Catholic Harbor.

Joe and I strongly believe that the CHIP is going to help make Catholic Harbor a more fruitful and enjoyable experience for you all in the long run. We can improve the quality of our conversations and have a site we are more proud of than ever. Every year is a chance for renewal. Our best years lay ahead of us. I hope to have the CHIP unveiled within the week.

God bless!

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SmartKitty16

Mr. Warren, thank you so much for saying this. It's nice to brush up on the rules once in a while and remember what our goals are. 

But I have a question. Is there anything in particular I can do to help CH more? @Draper (If I can ask of course. :) )

Edited by SmartKitty16
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5 minutes ago, Draper said:

My friends, I want to talk with you briefly about the future of Catholic Harbor. In August and September, we are about to get a massive influx of fresh new members as many families start their school year with Seton. What will this site look like for them? What will they think of it when they get here? They get their cues on how to act in the first couple weeks and they will follow the lead of the students already here. They will model our behavior, so if we want them to be awesome members, we ourselves need to awesome members.

In recent months, we have had an increasingly large issue with frequent disregard for our community's rules—also with unhappiness both from members who are upset about members who seem to go unpunished and from members who have their content moderated. There have also been quite a few deactivations either from parents withdrawing permission, students no longer enjoying their time here, or less frequently from disciplinary actions were the deactivation is usually temporary but sometimes permanent.

I think it is fair to say the Catholic Harbor finds itself at a crossroads. I fear that if we continue on this path, the dissatisfaction will grow. I know my own pride in Catholic Harbor has suffered recently. I think many of us might even be unhappy with the current state of the site but not able to fully put our finger on what all of the issues actually are contributing to that sense.

Thus, it is time to talk about some of the root causes. One thing I have learned from hosting conferences for the past 20 years is that happiness with a product, service, or anything really comes down to expectations, purely and simply. If I host a conference expecting 500 people to show up and only 200 show up, I would be bitterly disappointed. Yet, if I hosted the exact same conference but only expected 100 people to show up, when the 200 arrived, I would be ecstatic.

I think a large part of our problem on Catholic Harbor has been a failure to clearly state the mission and purpose of the site and then have all of our policies firmly adhere to that mission. If all of the members had set their expectations on the same thing and knew exactly what to expect from Catholic Harbor, there would be less dissatisfaction.

In the end, a site cannot be successful if there is animosity between the admins and moderators and the members. An "us vs. them" mentality risks sending Catholic Harbor down a path that would ultimately lead to closure. However, if we were all moving toward a common goal and had a common mission, we could build the greatest community the web has ever seen.

THE MISSION OF CATHOLIC HARBOR

So what then IS the mission of Catholic Harbor? To answer that, we need to first recognize that Catholic Harbor is an official site of Seton Home Study School, and thus while Catholic Harbor might not be an academic site, it still is an offshoot of Seton’s mission, so that some of the things important to Seton are going to be important to us as well.

First and foremost is the Catholic Faith, so part of our mission is to help our members grow in their faith. It is also a social site designed to connect Seton students, so we would want to add that part of the mission is helping our members form good Christian friendships. Aside from Faith and friendships, we also want the site to be a good experience and useful in practical terms, so we want to add “enjoyable” and we want the site to be edifying, that is, to help our members grow both intellectually and morally—to learn interesting things and to gain skills in things like debating and resolving conflicts. We can now wrap this up into one statement:

Catholic Harbor exists to provide a safe and enjoyable environment for Seton students to form good Christian friendships and to grow in mind, in virtue, and in their Catholic Faith.

With our mission firmly in mind, I think it is time we reevaluate. This site is an official Seton site, not just a back alley hangout. We need to ask, is the site in its current form accomplishing its mission to help our members grow in virtue, form good Christian friendships, and is it edifying? Is it doing that for all of the members or just some? Are there aspects of the site which actively detract from that mission?

CATHOLIC HARBOR IMPROVEMENT PLAN

In the coming days, Joe and I will be introducing a Catholic Harbor Improvement Plan.

Part of the Catholic Harbor Improvement Plan (a.k.a. “the CHIP”) will include some rule changes, a new staff role designed to welcome new members and improve the experience for everyone, perhaps some forum structure changes, a streamlined moderation and warning procedure, and other changes.

As a site like ours grows, it establishes its own culture. A culture just means the customs, practices, institutions, shared values, and expectations of behavior. A culture can’t just be imposed from above, it is influenced by the community’s rules of course, but it is something organically created by you the members. Every interesting topic you create or kind word you offer to another member helps build the culture we want to see thrive on Catholic Harbor.

Joe and I strongly believe that the CHIP is going to help make Catholic Harbor a more fruitful and enjoyable experience for you all in the long run. We can improve the quality of our conversations and have a site we are more proud of than ever. Every year is a chance for renewal. Our best years lay ahead of us. I hope to have the CHIP unveiled within the week.

God bless!

Cant wait to see it! And a new staff role for welcoming new members? A GREETER? I LOVE it!

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1 minute ago, Daisy62300 said:

Cant wait to see it! And a new staff role for welcoming new members? A GREETER? I LOVE it!

C'mon, we gotta go with something that sounds cooler than Greeter. We are planning on Ambassadors.

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SmartKitty16
1 minute ago, Daisy62300 said:

Cant wait to see it! And a new staff role for welcoming new members? A GREETER? I LOVE it!

Wait, I thought he was talking about new moderators. 

2 minutes ago, Daisy62300 said:

Part of the Catholic Harbor Improvement Plan (a.k.a. “the CHIP”) will include some rule changes, a new staff role designed to welcome new members and improve the experience for everyone, perhaps some forum structure changes, a streamlined moderation and warning procedure, and other changes.

So this means there will be a new type of staff member?

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Just now, Draper said:

C'mon, we gotta go with something that sounds cooler than Greeter. We are planning on Ambassadors.

Yeah,  that sounds more exciting! I already know exactly which members would got that role perfectly!

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SmartKitty16
1 minute ago, Draper said:

C'mon, we gotta go with something that sounds cooler than Greeter. We are planning on Ambassadors.

YES 

Please do Ambassadors! It sounds so professional!! :classic_cool:

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1 minute ago, SmartKitty16 said:

Wait, I thought he was talking about new moderators. 

So this means there will be a new type of staff member?

Exactly, in addition to replacing 3 moderators over the next couple months, we will be adding an entirely new type of staff member. We are leaning toward around new Ambassador positions.

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Just now, lovetobowl1 said:

Are these changes going to effect the old ways like what exactly were supposed to say and write?

I am not sure I fully understand the question. The fundamental nature of the site isn't going to change.

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SmartKitty16
2 minutes ago, Draper said:

Exactly, in addition to replacing 3 moderators over the next couple months, we will be adding an entirely new type of staff member. We are leaning toward around new Ambassador positions.

Ok that sounds great!! I hope you find some great people fit for the job!! 

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2 minutes ago, Draper said:

Exactly, in addition to replacing 3 moderators over the next couple months, we will be adding an entirely new type of staff member. We are leaning toward around new Ambassador positions.

Lemme guess, those replacements will be announced soon? (Hope i can get atleast an ambassador spot XD. Welp, ill be happy for anyone who makes it!)

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SmartKitty16
Just now, Daisy62300 said:

Lemme guess, those replacements will be announced soon? (Hope i can get atleast an ambassador spot XD. Welp, ill be happy for anyone who makes it!)

Yeah same here. I'd love to help the other members!!! 

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Will the ambassadors be members who already greet new members and will it be like a buddy system?

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Thank you so much Mr. Warren and to Joe for planning this!  I'm so excited for the new changes coming to CH!  

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12 minutes ago, SolKitty said:

Will the ambassadors be members who already greet new members and will it be like a buddy system?

Not a buddy system, no the intention isn't to assign new members to one particular ambassador. It is probably best if I wait to just explain the whole thing though for when the Catholic Harbor Improvement Plan is actually posted.

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2 minutes ago, Draper said:

Not a buddy system, no the intention isn't to assign new members to one particular ambassador. It is probably best if I wait to just explain the whole thing though for when the Catholic Harbor Improvement Plan is actually posted.

alright, glad it isn't a buddy system XD thanks draper, cant wait to see how the new changes affect CH.

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Margaret Marie

@Draper I just wanted to say that this sounds amazing! And also, I actually asked a few members to help me out with one of the things you mentioned. You see, when I first got on I really liked that people had messaged me personally and welcomed me on and helped me figure everything out. So I immediately started to message all the new members as well and I thought it would be great if I could have others to help me too, so I asked @Maximilian Kolbe @Icecool @TrivialPursuit @Aeri and @Paula to message the new members. @Icecool and @Paula agreed and @TrivialPursuit and @Maximilian Kolbe said they would see what they could do but to be fair they are pretty busy. And I just messaged @Aeri today and I haven't heard back. I just thought I should let you know. I didn't put it in the suggestion box because I really didn't want publicity, I thought it would be nice to do it secretly. I greatly apologize if I did anything wrong. :classic_unsure:

Edited by Margaret Marie
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14 minutes ago, Margaret Marie said:

@Draper I just wanted to say that this sounds amazing! And also, I actually asked a few members to help me out with one of the things you mentioned. You see, when I first got on I really liked that people had messaged me personally and welcomed me on and helped me figure everything out. So I immediately started to message all the new members as well and I thought it would be great if I could have others to help me too, so I asked @Maximilian Kolbe @Icecool @TrivialPursuit @Aeri and @Paula to message the new members. @Icecool and @Paula agreed and @TrivialPursuit and @Maximilian Kolbe said they would see what they could do but to be fair they are pretty busy. And I just messaged @Aeri today and I haven't heard back. Just thought I should let you know. Sorry if I did anything wrong. :classic_unsure:

I don't think you did anything wrong 

(Oops, thought you were @Maya XD FAILLL)

Edited by Daisy62300
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