Posted on: Jan 26th 2014 by Sir Grey
SourceOP has seen some major changes over their lifetime but none has hit quite as hard as the announcement that their forums will no longer be available as a reputation site for traders wishing to turn their items into real world cash. Sir Grey sat down with SoureOP‘s You Are The One to get some answers.
Sir.Grey: First of all, for those who don’t know SourceOP, what do you all do and what is your involvement in it?
You Are The One: Started off as a HL2 mod community, after awhile TF2 came along and our community was very successful with servers and such. Trading came along and so did Drunken F00ls backpack examinator, we opened up a support section for it on our site and it became popular and had users asking about where/how to trade, so we opened up a trade section and it grew from there,
You Are The One: My role was the co-head forums admin after DF left for valve. The other was petey who probably went awol after 6 months and caused his own issue few weeks ago. [The] current co-admin is skyrider. So main admin since July 11 2011
Sir.Grey: So, SourceOP’s trading scene really started with Drunken F00ls backpack examinator, which mainly existed in the shape of forums. You recently shut down the trading section of your forums, though. Why was this and how did you come to the conclusion that now was the right time?
You Are The One: The backpack examinator was its own site, but because of it, we opened a trade section on our forums. As for the closing of the trade sections My personal view is traders have kinda gone downhill in terms of being honest and respectful. Some are indeed, but I know a lot of users who don’t mind who they deal with, shady or sharking or w/e the reason being. We did our absolute best to make sop the best place for traders, and I dont think many will disagree, we modded the shit out of the site, keeping scammers and such off. Rep was really important, I don’t think any other site even now did as much verification as we did and that is why sop rep was the gold standard. I don’t think the community appreciated what we had to offer them. and a few other sop staff thought the same
Sir.Grey: So has this been a plan for a while or did it just recently get to the stage where you decided that it needed to be shut down?
You Are The One: It absolutely has been talked over before, and hit a breaking point so to speak. Also admittedly, I am definitally not known as being nice, that was probably a part of it.
Sir.Grey: When it came to the shut down, it seems that it came as a surprise to the entire trading community. In retrospect, do you think you could have tried to raise more awareness beforehand or do you feel the reaction from the community is disproportionate?
You Are The One: We did have 5-6 sitckied threads up for many days, other then a single pm, noone said a word about it until afterwards. but we had reasons not to be more forthcoming (possible people would scam (“cash in their rep” is the term) if they knew the sections were going down). I do understand the frustration and for a few users, I do feel bad
Sir.Grey: On your forums you’ve declined all requests to provide an archive or else completely separate the reputation forums from the rest of SourceOP to be managed by an external team, allowing traders to continue to access them. Why is this?
You Are The One: We want to seperate ourselves, providing an archive would still attract traders. As for providing the data to a 3rd party, that is not something we can do without also providing other user details, so absolutly wont happen (I would rather have the old sections archived)
Sir.Grey: So you had no thoughts as to becoming affiliated with another community and letting them take on the forums?
You Are The One: Not my decision, I’m the custodial admin, not the owner.
Sir.Grey: Fair enough. When talking about shutting down the trading section you mentioned that traders have gone downhill. Don’t you think that solid reputation is then more important now than ever? Or do you think that traders were placing too much importance and faith in your reputation forums? Where should they go now?
You Are The One: I dont venture out of my own sphere, never had to so I dont know where they should go to trade. I acknowledge that the rep was a huge loss. But we dont want to support the types of users I mentioned earlier.
Sir.Grey: When you were discussing shutting down the trading sections, did you discuss where your current traders might go to start up their new reputation or was the focus mainly on getting your trading section down?
You Are The One: Focus was getting the current sections down.
Sir.Grey: One of your admins, Womb Raider, seems to be very keen to burn bridges with the trading community and has made some comments that people have found fairly inflammatory. Do you feel that he speaks for the SourceOP admins in general?
You Are The One: Womb is womb, really nothing else to say on that one.
Sir.Grey: What’s next for SourceOP?
You Are The One: Hopefully a sort of reboot/reset/refocus. Probably without me. I’ll stay as long as it takes to clean up or w/e
Sir.Grey: Is this possibly the end of SourceOP in general then? Do you think other admins of SourceOP might put their energy into something else then?
You Are The One: We are all volunteers, none of us are obligated to do anything for Sourceop really, tho a lot of us do care and I suspect most will stay and help. It was a lot of work, way more then anyone realizes, that was one of the issues that led to the decision. It takes an hour to screen 50 members about. 30 average registered users a day. Adds up fast.
Sir.Grey: It’s been a very short amount of time since the shutdown of the trading section came into effect, but with what little retrospect you have, would you change the way you did it or do it exactly the same again?
You Are The One: I think I pretty much made my (and a lot of other sop staff) point on the issue. So probably would do it the same way again.
Sir.Grey: I have one last question. You mentioned Petey early in the interview, one of the SourceOP admins who was caught performing scams. Did the finding of this internal problem contribute in any way to the decision to shut down the trading section of your site?
You Are The One: It was a contributing factor. The traders themselves are the primary factor, along with other factors that are out of my ability completely.
Sir.Grey: Do you have anything else to add?
You Are The One: I hope the community takes this as an opportunity to self reflect on what they do and how they act. (myself included)
Sir.Grey: Thank you for your time
So long as there’s Team Fortress 2 there will be KritzKast
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