How to deal with a situation on a forum?
I'm an Administrator on a forum, and I've stumbled upon a problem.
It's a Roleplaying forum, and obviously there have to be some rules. The Staff Team then worked together to devise a Constitution that sums up all the rules that should be explicitly said on the forum.
Then, later on, I posted a helpful page for newbies that summed up the important rules, and even answered a few implicit ones.
However, it has come to my attention that now members have thought that we are too strict of a forum, and that we have too many rules, and that we need to be less picky about rules. Moreover, I had to be told this through a Private Message from a staff member, who said the member wished to remain confidential.
I do not get it at all. The staff agrees with the members. But they approved the rules! They are the ones who said it was fine! Moreover, we have a feedback forum that literally gathers dust. Every month, I have a small contest for people to provide feedback, but it's the same thing.
I don't understand. If I'm not going to be directly told about how members feel, should I even bother changing it? I'm feeling like a bunch of different emotions right now--confused, annoyed, betrayed, and just frustrated.
The staff team is literally ganging up against me, and it's like...I just don't know. I've made it so democratic, that honestly, at this point, it's making me lose faith in democracy.
How should I deal with this? I don't want to pull the admin card, but I don't want to go and reformat the rules (most of which are basic rules)
Aren't rules supposed to be a fundamental aspect of a forum? Balance over chaos?
Finally, how am I supposed to deal with members who prefer to go behind my back and complain to the staff about the forum, and not even bother to tell me--the administrator? I don't think I'm an evil admin or anything; in fact, I'm around most of the member's ages, and I've done things for them against my own wishes. I don't want to sound holier than thou, but I feel that I've pampered the staff and members so much that now, with just basic rules in set, they've become too strict.
Any help would be appreciated.