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Suggestion: elect some moderators for this forum

asked 2010-09-18 16:35:21 -0600

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This post is a wiki. Anyone with karma >750 is welcome to improve it.

Hello everyone,

I hope that this suggestion sounds reasonable. It may be a very good idea to elect several moderators for this forum - so that they could solve occasional problems - usually created by disgruntled visitors.

Moderators have the following rights:

  • edit or delete any post
  • add/subtract reputation to/from users
  • send (email with CC of their own address) messages to any user
  • change user status between "blocked", "suspended" and "approved".

Moderators cannot moderate other moderators or administrators in any way besides editing their posts. Suspended users can edit only own posts, blocked users can't edit anything regardless of the "karma".

The idea is that with someone who can actively look after the site, the forum will be more useful, more friendly and cleaner.

What do you think?

edit: some definitions

Administrator has access to site settings and a separate admin interface (basically direct access to the database) and has all moderator rights plus he/she is able to give/revoke moderator status. Admins can be added/removed either through command line or admin interface.

Moderator is like "admin" who cannot edit settings and database records, cannot add/dismiss moderators or admins.

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I vote for niles. :-)

ccanonc gravatar imageccanonc ( 2010-09-18 17:10:13 -0600 )edit

Sounds like a good idea.

John Palmieri gravatar imageJohn Palmieri ( 2010-09-19 05:55:23 -0600 )edit

I think ccanonc is a natural choice too!

niles gravatar imageniles ( 2010-09-19 21:55:50 -0600 )edit

Evgeny said 'several'--I vote for the first column under the 'People' tab; i.e., the 7 highest karma people, i.e., Mike Hansen, William Stein (is he already a moderator?), ccanonc, mvngu, John Palmieri, and kcrisman.

Jason Bandlow gravatar imageJason Bandlow ( 2010-09-20 02:15:16 -0600 )edit

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answered 2010-09-20 15:24:32 -0600

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Evgeny: I propose editing your list of Moderator-Over-(non-moderator/non-admin)Users Operations as follows:

* edit or delete any post (with partial-changelog -- original msg may be omitted)
* send (email with CC of their own address) messages to any user
* change user status between "blocked", "suspended" and "approved". (for time x)

I subtracted the karma adjustment power, because that seems more like an admin power to me. I think that would meet the fairness requirement. Also, the "suspended" state calms things down before a real admin can take a look. If the "suspended" state could have an adjustable expiration time, this might be a softer "punishment" than karma subtraction. Sort of like being kicked on IRC for x amount of time. (Though time expiration:"until admin reviewed/indefinite" might be rarely used also.)

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hmmm . . . now we need to know the definitions of "admin" and "moderator" -- I think of admin as someone who keeps the site running, but doesn't necessarily participate in the community, hence karma adjustment should be a moderator power, and suspended should wait for other moderator approval.

niles gravatar imageniles ( 2010-09-21 02:00:53 -0600 )edit

typically person who keeps the site running has access to the database anyway so there is no real point to limit rights of admins.

Evgeny gravatar imageEvgeny ( 2010-09-21 03:21:29 -0600 )edit

As for removing "karma dispensing privilege" from the moderators - maybe it's a good point. Perhaps this will make site owners more willing to appoint moderators.

Evgeny gravatar imageEvgeny ( 2010-09-21 03:32:02 -0600 )edit

agreed, there is no point in limiting admin power; my argument is that all power relating to community management should be given to moderators, since administrators may wish to never exercise their power.

niles gravatar imageniles ( 2010-09-21 04:45:25 -0600 )edit

If it were a boolean permission (the karma-magic-wand), that would table the discussion, but I still don't like moderators having that IMHO. It reminds me of the "sudoers" file on unix....and the warning message some systems print when using sudo.

ccanonc gravatar imageccanonc ( 2010-09-21 10:24:50 -0600 )edit

answered 2010-09-20 02:51:16 -0600

this post is marked as community wiki

This post is a wiki. Anyone with karma >750 is welcome to improve it.

..moving my comment to an answer, so that it can be longer.

I think the idea of going by karma points sounds good, although on that scale there's not much difference between @kcrisman (166) and @schilly (158). The next person is @cswiercz (137).

A few relevant questions I started asking myself are:

  • what percentage of the asksage "early adopters" should be moderators?

  • instead of, or in addition to making moderators, should we lower the karma thresholds for moderator-like tasks (maybe cut them in half, or third), or give karma bonuses to certain people, based on their involvement with sage outside of this site? (Note that @Evgeny 's description makes moderator-power sound like a bit more than what the top level of karma points would give you -- perhaps he could clarify if they are indeed the same.)

  • another way do determine moderators would be to look at the quantity and quality of a person's involvement in the sage-support email list; I think this has some additional validity because the sage-support list is much more established than this site, but of course not every active participant in sage-support wants to be a moderator on this site. (And not everyone near the top of the karma list here has a long history on sage-support.)

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I will suggest the following on the askbot site: maybe this already exists, if not, there could be different levels of moderator. I only feel qualified to screen questions, not answers. I am too new to sage.

ccanonc gravatar imageccanonc ( 2010-09-20 03:31:05 -0600 )edit

Unfortunately fine-grained controls are quite hard to build. It's much easier with the software as it is now to adjust karma barriers for individual tasks.

Evgeny gravatar imageEvgeny ( 2010-09-20 07:53:22 -0600 )edit

Admins (but not moderators) can access settings interface where the bars can be adjusted.

Evgeny gravatar imageEvgeny ( 2010-09-20 07:54:31 -0600 )edit

Instead of giving bonuses I think it would be better to lower the barriers - it'll probably be perceived more fair - there is a possibility that some people take the "karma" points seriously.

Evgeny gravatar imageEvgeny ( 2010-09-20 08:02:49 -0600 )edit

this has the possibility, I think, of being very confusing: users see functionality that doesn't work for them. And anyway, I think Evgeny is right that the karma point system is a much more natural (and already functioning) way of selectively incrementing user permissions.

niles gravatar imageniles ( 2010-09-20 10:57:50 -0600 )edit

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Asked: 2010-09-18 16:35:21 -0600

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Last updated: Sep 21 '10