Working Draft Last update: Dec 04, 2008
- Handbook Terminology
- The Team
- Position Descriptions
- Lines of Authority
- Moderator Commands
- Editing a Title or Description
- Moving a Post
- Closing (locking) & Unclosing a Post
- Editing any Message
- Deleting a single Message
- Deleting an Entire Thread
- Editing a Charter
- Marking a Post
Post or Thread: entire discussion of messages from the original message to the last response.
Forum or Sub-Board, each individual topic within WebmasterWorld (altavista forum, cloaking forum, etc).
Response: follow up messages to the original message.
Forum Index Page: the main entry page to a forum that lists the messages in the forum after clicking on the forum name from the home page.
UBB Codes: are the little html like codes one can insert in a post. See the Help link off top menu bar.
Admin/Moderator Menu: In the lower right of every post in your forum, is a link with the notation "Admin Options". Clicking on it
will take you to a screen full of moderator options for that post.
|Sysop and Head Webmaster ||Brett Tabke|
|Team Administrators ||bakedjake, coopster, eelixduppy, encyclo, engine, jatar_k, rogerd, tedster|
The Team Manager is in charge of all moderator relations on behalf of
Webmaster World. The team manager position is a management level position and not a technical position.
This position is currently open.
Requirements for becoming THE Team Manager:
- Someone with management experience. Preferably working with 10 to 15 people in an Team concept environment.
Other management experience such as chat room channel owners or operators will also be considered.
- A moderator for three to six months.
- A user for six months.
- No posting limit requirement, but levels will influence final decision.
- Must be completely familiar with all aspects of moderation and operation of Webmaster World.com.
System Admins are moderators that have access to all system functions throughout the board. They help out when
the owner of the system is not around watching for any red flags and generally protecting the integrity of the
system. Their role is more of a technical nature than that of a user or moderator management nature. There may be
multiple administrators in the near future.
Requirements for becoming a system administrator:
- Must be in good reputable standing with the WebmasterWorld membership base.
- A moderator for more than six months.
- A user for more than nine months.
- A minimum of 2000 public messages.
Moderators are in charge of a particular forum. They are endowed with the ability to edit and delete posts. Topical
expertise in the forum is not a requirement; however, we may "double up" moderators if someone with exemplary skills in
an area is found.
Requirements for becoming a moderator: updated Oct 19,2000: current moderators
are exempt from the following
- Minimum of a senior level user. (currently at 300 posts).
- An interest in becoming a moderator. Generally, we request that moderators seek the position.
- Topical expertise is a plus, but not required.
- Someone who accesses the system several times a week.
Team Lines of Authority
I believe strongly in the team concept. We are all volunteers here (thank you) and it presents some very
unique management situations. Although I feel 99% of all team management issues that arise are best worked out
with a what can I do attitude, there may be times when I or a system manager or administrator needs
to make a final decision on an issue.
Much of what we do here is made up as we go along and there may be course corrections and decisions
that affect moderator/administrator relations that need to be made. Our overall site management philosophy is
always from an overriding what is best for the board over the long term point of view.
- The system manager will have final authority on issues between moderators and users 1.
- Issues between moderators should be worked out entirely between moderators 2.
- Issues between moderators about a particular forum will first fall to the judgment of the moderator in the forum in question.
- When issues between moderators and/or system administrators/managers occurs, the
system owner will make the final decision 3.
1 It will not always be the case that SysAdmins will blindly agree with moderators on issues with users.
(remember, we think of what is best for the board first).
Obviously moderators will be backed up on issues with problem users without fail.
However; there may be occasions where users are correct and a moderator is in the wrong position. When such a situation
occurs, please use it as a learning experience and do not take is personal.
Such a situation has occurred twice and
it was handled so well that I think it is a rare exception.
2 The best course of action is to respect other moderators requests when in their forum.
When issues can't be resolved between moderators, the system owner alone will make a final ruling. It is hard to
forsee this situation occurring - if it did, I would probably look for new moderators.
3 On issues between moderators, team manager, and system administrators,
only the system owner will determine the course
of action. It may surprise you to note, that this situation has already occurred. Generally, I stand by moderators
almost more than anything else. I feel that moderators contribute so much to the board, that when it comes to their
forum, they are the master of their domain.
As a moderator, you have access to commands not available to users in your forum. Moderator
commands are located off the link in the lower
right of every post in your forum with the notation "admin".
Clicking on it will take you to the "Admin/Moderator Menu" for the current thread.
Editing a Title or Description
How to Edit a Title
On the "Admin Options" screen, is the option Edit Title & Description.
Just click the radio button next to that option and press submit. A follow up screen will prompt for the new title
and description for the post.
When to Edit a Title or Description
- Any time the title does not reflect the content of the post. It should be descriptive of the post.
- Anything with extremely vulgar or obscene language should be edited on the spot.
- Anyone trying to play title games with weird characters. For example a recent one: "!!+++ ALTAVISTA +++!!".
- Anyone doing a whole row of question marks or other characters "Altavista???????????!!!!!!!". Edit to something respectful.
- All upper case titles should be made lower case with first character of words capitalized in standard title fashion.
- When someone uses a really really bad title. These usually fall in the one word category "huh?" or "altavista?".
Try to refrain from editing on a whim. Stale posts more than a couple weeks old without a new response are better game for editing.
- Spelling? Use your best judgment on editing spelling errors.
Sometimes people spell stuff wrong on purpose - those cases should be overlooked.
Make sure to read the thread and check if the original
poster may have mentioned something about the misspelling (especially in the keywords forum).
Moving a post is the process of taking the post, including all messages in the thread, from one forum
and transplanting it in another. Once moved, it will no longer show up on your forums entry page.
How to move a post:
Access the "admin menu" (again, the link in the lower right of a post).
Click the radio checkbox next to "Move Post" and select the destination forum from the drop down menu. Double check
that you have selected the right destination forum!
When to move a post?
Remember, you can move a post OUT of your forum, but you can't move one back in.
Anything that looks or sounds or maybe slanderous or libelous to the system, to another user, or to a referenced website.
You can move the post into the Moderators Forum for admin review.
Anything other posts that you think needs review by an admin before
more users see the post can also be moved into the moderators forum.
Moving other posts, such as extremely off topic posts (eg: a post about Cloaking in the Foo forum should be moved
to the cloaking forum). Keep in mind when you are moving a post that the original poster may have the post
bookmarked. Probably a good idea to drop a note to the original poster that the post was
moved and where to find it (StickyMail to the rescue) - Otherwise, the original poster may accuse or assume that we
deleted the post.
Closing & Unclosing Posts
Closing or locking a post makes it so that no one can follow up to the post.
How to close a post:
On the "Admin Options" menu are the two options
Close (lock) and Open (unlock) post. Just click the radio button next to that option and press
When to close a post:
It is pretty rare when we lock down a post. There isn't a rule on doing so. It is usually reserved for things like
official WebmasterWorld Postings (such as Official Forum Charters), or sometimes for flame oriented posts we don't
want to see go any further. Generally, closing a post should be run by the admins for comment before doing so.
It is a rare exception when a users post needs editing. Please remember we are dealing with people from all over the
world, from all experience levels, and all points of view. I believe strongly in the freedom of speech and in respecting
other peoples contributions to the board. Please be aware that all edits by moderators, admins, and managers are
fully logged. Our best defense against over eager editing, is over eager participation. We can do more with one post
than editing a dozen threads. It is up to us to set the tone of the board.
How to edit a post:
In the forum that you moderate, click on "owner edit" of any post and edit just as if it were your message.
When to edit a post:
Unless it is a gross and obvious violation of the rules, please email the owner of the post and explain. Often on simple
violations, it is easiest to include a brief note right in the thread - use it as an opportunity to follow up to their
message or the thread.
Those types of brief notes in follow up posts, go a long way towards informing all of the users what is and isn't
acceptable at WebmasterWorld. Be nice, in a non-condescending way as if the poster really didn't
know it was unacceptable (be a teacher, not a police officer).
The worst thing you can do, is edit a post and then try to ignore the fact or cover it up. Editing without
some acknowledgment to the original poster, is worse than not editing in the first place.
- Obscene language that goes unfiltered by the swear word filter. Use your best judgment.
- Obvious commercialized postings. "example: Try Me, Buy Me at www.junkworld.com".
- Signature style urls. example:
- Links to adult/obscene websites. (even mailto's)
Should be edited to:
oops, sig file urls are frowned upon at WebmasterWorld[/edit]
Deleting A Message
Deleting a message or response removes it from the thread and slides all following response messages up 1.
How to delete a message:
Click on "owner edit" of the message you wish to delete in your forum. On the follow up edit screen is a checkbox
below the edit window marked "delete post". Check the box and press submit.
When to delete a message:
See deleting a thread. Same guidelines apply.
Deleting A Thread
Deleting a post removes it and follow up messages in the thread from the system.
How to delete a post:
On the "Admin Options" menu is the option delete post.
Just click the radio button next to that option and press submit.
When to delete a post:
Again, a rare exception when we delete posts. It must be something very egregiously inflammatory. If you find a post
that you feel you want to delete, we prefer it if you
use the "move post" option to move the post into the moderators forum for discussion before deleting. Posts with content
such as extremely inflammatory, libelous, and/or slanderous are deleted. However, in the case of libelous or slanderous
statements, please use the "move post" option to move it into the moderators forum - we need an original copy on file.
Administrative Commands and Functions
Since there is potential danger to the system involved, the following are not available to moderators and may or may not be available to all sysadmins.
I list them here for admin reference, and to inform moderators of what commands are available if the need arises.
A forum charter is a text file that is the Official Guide for topics covered in that forum.
Charters are located off the entry page for your forum near the top. Click on Charter to view the
charter for the forum.
The Charter should:
- Describe the forum and the topic.
- Point out any exceptions to normal WebmasterWorld message guidelines.
- Address any potential problem before it arises in clear language.
- A small repository for commonly asked questions in your forum.
Editing a Charter
After viewing a charter in your forum, you may edit the charter by clicking on the Admin Edit link in the lower right
of the display. Then edit the charter just like a normal message. You may use the UBB codes as well.
Some charters are bare at this point and need creating or updating. After updating with any major changes, please drop
me a note so that I may view it. Charters are the official system positions on each forum and we need to be in agreement
with their content.
If you wish to include FAQ style information in your forum's charter, place the FAQ information near the
bottom of the post and clearly mark that this is non-charter information.
From looking at logs, I am pleased that most new users check the
charter for the forum before posting. They are more popular than I ever thought they'd be and I feel we need to
raise their quality from my original postings.