cimone (wonderfinch) wrote in egl,

Announcing the Official Closure of EGL and its Sister Communities

Hello, members of EGL, the EGL Sales Community, and EGL Feedback,
By now, you've doubtless heard about the coming temporary closure of EGL and its sister communities. This is to announce the official temporary closure of all three communities, effective as of 12:00 PM PST/8:00 PM GMT.

Before we go any further, we'd just like to clarify a few things for you:

Firstly, this closure is temporary. We hope to have all the necessary work done within a week.

Secondly, all information posted on EGL, the sales community, and EGL Feedback will still be available for your use. Commenting will still be enabled on EGL and the sales community; however, please note that commenting on EGL Feedback is disabled.

Finally, we're sure that most, if not all of you, have heard about the release of private moderator conversations to the public. We would just like to clarify that we are not, in any way, attempting to punish or harm the community based on the actions of one person, or even on a small group of people. These are changes that have been a long time coming, and with the recent departure of several moderators, we simply cannot handle the current system.

It is sometimes hard to remember, but EGL was created nearly a decade ago, in December of 2001. Now, almost ten years later, little has changed. It is still one of the primary online hubs for discussion of trends, organization of meetings, and debates about a lolita lifestyle. The community remains a safe place for those of us who have adopted this admittedly unusual fashion to congregate and share our experiences.

The rules and roles of the moderation team have also, unfortunately, undergone few changes. This community began with several hundred members, but now boasts over 19,000 users- and it grows on a daily basis. A system created to manage a few hundred lolitas was never meant to, and never should have, been used to manage several thousand of them. We, the current members of the moderation team, erred in believing that we could continue to use this system that is fundamentally non-functional for a community of this size.

As we enter our second decade of existence, we humbly hope that you, the members of the community, are willing to stay with us as we close down the community for a brief revamp. We sincerely hope that we can come back and continue to serve you better than ever for another ten years- and perhaps even beyond. Please look at this not as a punishment or an act of anger, but instead as a brief break that will allow us to return and offer all of you the best we have to offer!

Here is a brief listing of the things that we will be working on during our closure. If you have any suggestions for changes that you would like to see, please head over to this post to leave them.

1. We hope to revamp and simplify all three communities' rules. Right now, they are labyrinthine and a little confusing- especially for the many non-English speakers on our community. We hope that, in rewriting them, we can make the communities an easier place to use for everyone. We also hope to create some visual guides to explain and clarify some of the rules that both users and moderators find difficult to apply- especially the ever-contentious 75/25 rule. This has caused both us- and you, the users- frustration, so we hope to make it a little easier to both follow and enforce.

2. We hope to increase the size of the moderation team. Currently, we have 18 official moderators, not all of whom are active. At the moment, there is roughly one active moderator for every 2,000 members of the community. We hope you can see how this is not quite working. By increasing the size of the moderation team, we hope to lessen the long waiting times for the addition of feedback or the passing of sales posts through the moderation queue. We also hope that this will grant us more time to handle your queries and generally serve you better. We also hope this will finally allow us to do some of the more enjoyable things we have always wanted to do, such as host video chats with members, with the lightened workloads that will hopefully accompany a larger team.

If you feel that you can help us in this regard and have been a member of Livejournal for over a year, please head over to this post or PM one of us to apply. We would also prefer (though we do not require) if you could provide the names of 1-3 active users to serve as references to your character.

3. Hand-in-hand with that, we hope to reorganize the mod team altogether. Right now, we have a bunch of people running around to do all of the jobs. We hope that, by creating specific duties for each member of the team, we can make it easier for you to contact the person best able to respond to your request. 

4. On a similar note, we would like to increase the transparency of the moderation team. While we sincerely doubt that everyone wants to see every detail of each interaction we have, and while we would not want to breach the privacy of our members in any way, we don't want to seem so closed-off and mysterious. We hope to have a weekly update post with current and pending policy changes, explaining our reasons for initiating said changes, and inviting feedback from users on potential changes. We also just want to interact with you guys sometimes. We became moderators because we like this community, not because we hate you all and want to keep you in line- so we hope to have more weekly fun posts, like the FFAs and perhaps even some weekly roundups, so we can all let loose and enjoy ourselves a little bit.

5. We also hope to revamp some of the more dated areas of the community, such as the FAQ and the tags. While both of these areas of the community are full of useful information, they do in large part represent lolita as it was five or six years ago- rather than representing the fashion as it is now. We hope to make some changes to these areas to make them more relevant for today's users, since I think we can all agree that electric blue is a shade best left for your dress, rather than your lipstick- though some of the current informational posts in the community don't reflect this shift in taste :P

6. And finally, we would like to make some purely cosmetic changes to the community, to represent the fact that we are moving into a new era. Once the brief hiatus is over, we hope to host a contest for new icons and a new mascot, to involve our whole community in this momentous transition from our first decade into our second.

As stated up above, we ask you to look at this closure not as a punishment, but as a brief break so we can improve things and make this community a more entertaining and useful place for all of you. During this time, please know that we will be available through PMs and comments for any questions, concerns, or even ongoing disputes you may need help resolving. While we cannot feasibly manage the massive task of moderating EGL and its sister communities while we attempt to accomplish these tasks, we will always have time for you, our users.

We sincerely hope to return one week from now, on 28 September. If we finish early- or if we need more time- we will let you know in advance.

Thank you in advance for your support and understanding as we undergo this momentous transition,
The EGL Moderation Team

P.S.: Here are a few notes regarding sales and feedback during our closure.

Sales During the Hiatus
During this time, we advise you to use outside sales communities to conduct your lolita-related transactions. tsu_ has graciously opened lolita_indies to general lolita sales. Some other communities you may consider using are:
btssb (for items from Baby, the Stars Shine Bright or Alice and the Pirates)
angelicpoodle (for items from Angelic Pretty)
innocent_w (for items from Innocent World)
moimememoitie (for items from Moi-Meme-Moitie)
80s_cuties (for items representing fairy-kei style)
garagesalejapan (a general community for the sale of Japanese items)

Since these other communities do not operate by our rules and often do not have the same list of banned users, we implore you to be cautious for scammers in all shapes and forms. Buyers, be sure to double- and triple-check a seller's feedback. If they don't have a page, you should probably stay away. You should always request tracking and insurance, as well, so you can follow your package's progress. And we advise you to stick with Paypal for making payments for your safety. Sellers, our advice for you is similar. Link to your feedback in all your posts. Request your buyer's feedback. Always ship with a tracking number, for your protection, and ship via PayPal's approved methods when possible. In short, be hyper-vigilant- because we may not be able to step in and help when the sale takes place away from the EGL Sales Community, though we will try our best to help you in whatever manner possible. For both parties, since feedback comments are hidden during our closure, please check entries for the "scammer" and "banned" tags, and don't hesitate to ask us for information on a seller or buyer.

Policy on Feedback During Our Closure
Since the sales community is not available for use during this time, we have decided that all sales made on outside Livejournal communities will be eligible for feedback upon our return. This does not extend to non-Livejournal sales sites (e.g. Etsy, eBay, etc.). Additionally, both seller and buyer should have feedback pages made at the time of sale. We will not be making feedback pages during the hiatus. The feedback community will not be available for commenting during our closure.

Finally, please be aware that, since we have disabled comments in the feedback community, all comments are currently hidden. All data and information relating to comments has been preserved- it is simply invisible for the time being. It will be made visible again once we return.

Tags: !attention buyer/seller, !mod post, !news

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