What is a Cooling Period and why are Threads locked
This post was written after a thread became contentious and had been shut down to "cool off". One of the posters decided to continue the subject on a new thread for which he was berated. This was the Senior Moderators response to the situation.
You are correct in stating that the purpose of the "cool off period" is to allow a subject rather then a thread to cool off. The duration is usually about one week or so. This allows the participants a chance to reflect on their own behavior to ensure that they are living up to a good standard and meeting the posting standards in the rules that I have linked above, IE., respect for others and their religion. It also allows the participants to look through the thread and see if there is anymore to cover in the discussion.
We have tried many types of ground rules from "hot topics" to "slug fest" and none have really worked as effectively as the basic rule of respect, non-hostility and basic Christian humility. In other words Brothers and Sisters state what you have to say in a none threatening manner, listen to what others have to say and respect what they believe in.
This rule covers all posters, including the CCEL leaders. I also expect that the leaders in the Christian community would support this standard as they should have a better understanding of the need for non threatening, respectful discussion in their own work.
How the responsibility of CCEL is divided up: The Group Leaders are responsible to ensure that the posters within their own groups are following these rules. The Moderators are responsible for ensuring that the posters in the public threads are following these rules and to support the Group Leaders if they are having problems in their groups. As Senior Moderator I oversee the actions of the Group Leaders and the Moderators. I am also responsible for the five Volunteer Groups that we have functioning. We also have some hidden Groups that are in operation for those small groups that wish a private place to discuss topics.
To oversee all this I have all posts download into my email when they are posted. I review them and check CCEL 4 times a day. All of our leaders are volunteers.
CCEL does not make money. CCEL was started by Harry Plantinga who had a vision to transcribe classical (out of copyright) Christian books into formats that are readily available and easy to read by all people around the world. The idea being that those that could not afford to own these books would be able to get them from CCEL. CCEL asks for donations and sells products to pay for the servers, office space and support staff. There are two permanent full time employees, Brian the programmer and Nyna the business manager. Ken gets paid for 10 hours a week to do the shipping and other tasks. There are the occasional temporary hires to fulfill specific tasks from the ranks of the Calvin students.
The rest of us are all volunteers. The Group Leaders, Moderators, Hymanary project, all are supported by the volunteers. If you really want to do something that can help those that need our help then join one of the volunteer groups and help us help those that do not have access to these resources. Do not believe satan's lie that your help means little. Remember that CCEL started out as one book 15 years ago. We are now the largest volunteer Christian site in the world.
Total hits minute:986 hour:70,087 day:1,512,942
Total book page views since 2005-06: 102.6M
Daily visitors 30.46 K/day
Bluntly, the forums are icing on a huge cake. Those that never get beyond the forums are not really seeing CCEL for what it is, the largest classical christian library in the world, serving hundreds of thousands of people around the world who would not be able to get these books otherwise.
Take a look at this group and see the chart of activity. See those names? They are the real workers here.
How are you helping your Brother?