How could Channel Awesome (theoretically) salvage their community?

Discussion in 'Community Organization' started by cheat_master30, Apr 15, 2018.

  1. cheat_master30

    cheat_master30 Moderator

    As you likely know, Channel Awesome (the community site known for hosting the Nostalgia Critic series), has come under a lot of fire in recent weeks. Fueled by a document posted by ex contributors showing abusive behaviour by its management team, the site has seen most of its reputation fall off a cliff as vast numbers of contributors resign en masse and every writer and video maker under the sun bashes the hell out of it on YouTube and Medium.

    And it makes me wonder...

    How could a site in this sort of situation theoretically be salvaged? How could a community that's been torn to shreds by an internet controversy over questionable practices be brought back from the brink and revived again? Would it even be possible to do that?

    I'm not sure, and that's where you come in. Basically, if you were in charge of Channel Awesome right now, how would you turn things around?

    What do you think?
  2. zappaDPJ

    zappaDPJ Administrator

    From what little I've read about it it's gone past the point of no return so I'd either asset strip or remove the staff right up to and including the CEO and re-brand.
  3. we_are_borg

    we_are_borg Administrator

    The only way you can salvage this is by sacking the management team and everyone that was involved. But even that is not a guarantee that they will make it. As head of the company you should be firm that it’s unacceptable and you will not stand for it. But if you do this when you have no choice any more then people will say you had no choice.
  4. LeadCrow

    LeadCrow Apocalypse Admin

    If it's possible at all... Nothing short but a complete, verifiable reversal in the areas criticised would work. Anything else would be a PR distraction.
    Note that even a small controversy could cause all pre-existing criticisms to surface and support the latest criticisms further.

    Assuming abusive behaviour by specific staff is the original source of discontent, there's a couple easy measures to consider:
    1. demote and/or ban all staff exposed or known as dishonest and causing discord with the userbase. It may sound unfair, but no community leader should be in inimity with the userbase - this kind, noone will miss. Demoted and shamed staff are rarely confortable staying active since theyre durably the target of other users' scorn, so a ban is hardly a sanction.

    2. Promote well-appreciated users known for not toeing the party line, to act as inside liaisons with the community, and with ability to verify wether dishonesty (still) occurs and wether any is tame enough not to need offense. If your past and current staff lost trust, the community getting 'one of their own' promoted as a leader helps keeping everyone honest.

    3. 'Fork' the community. If the entire backbone carrying the site(s) is in uproar, it'd be safer for the honest staff, contributors and visitors to create a new site free from all those problems and pledging out of principle they will do their best not to let them happen. Probably the safest option for the community, if it's still active. Scandals like this are also the ideal opportunity to trigger a mass exodus. The only reason users tolerate bad management and bad management feels it can impose its conduct is because there's no single alternative people can move to together.
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