|The application of moderator justice is uneven. Which stands to reason since they are human. But it is still uneven. |
Still, it's more even than many/most forums I frequent, including forums I used to run :).
Things mods do well here:
- moderate quickly
- moderate generally consistantly (there are darned few surprises)
- moderate heavily. Little gets by. That could be a pro or a con.
- tend to let you know that you've been moderated. My personal experience has been that it's a pita to write a PM every time you edit or delete a post - particularly when it's the 5th time that day over something stupid, and you've been doing it for 5 years and you're getting annoyed and tired with poster's stupidity....but they still generally send a PM. This is good, and should be required.
Things they do poorly:
- once in a while they seem to bite back hard. Talk about taking moderation of posts personally, sometimes it seems like the mods are personally PO'ed at the post or having to moderate it, and they let their displeasure show. Or that's what it tastes like on the receiving end of the whip :).
My response when that happens is I bite right back. And I have barked back at mods once in a while. Other posters may have thinner skin than I do and be reluctant to remind mods that we're still the 'customer' here.
overall, I personally don't have any real issues with the moderation. It's tight, sometimes a bit too tight but there's reasons for that that posters need to appreciate, sometimes the mods get cranky, but there's reasons for that too which posters need to appreciate. Overall, any problems are one-ups and isolated and IMO not something that needs to be addressed other than when it comes up.
Which reminds me. I'm of the attitude that if I don't get posts deleted once in a while then I'm not trying hard enough. It's been many months since I've had a post deleted here. It must be time to expose the forum to some more of my wisdom :).
|We don't want to paint with to big a brush on this topic. |
We don't usually have any brush to paint with at all...
Maybe that's one of the problems? The only way to say anything is to personally contact an admin and people might be a bit apprehensive about doing so if they've had a bad experience with a mod and don't 'know' any of the admins, because the mods set the tone for the entire forums.
|Anyone can have a "bad day"... |
Sure, but as a moderator who implicitly represents WebmasterWorld there's no excuse for a post reflecting 'a bad day' is there? I can't see one, because no one is forcing anyone to be a moderator and if they can't reply with courtesy, respect, and a 'warm welcoming feeling and tone' to all members at all times then maybe they should take the day off or step down?
Most of the situations I'm referring to don't even apply to me, but in reading through the replies some mods make to members, especially new ones who ask a 'standard question' and get a 'terse' or 'look in the F****** Library' type reply from a mod who would definitely IMO be seen as representing WebmasterWorld.
I know I've read some of them and thought, 'WOW! I'm glad I didn't ask a 'silly question' in that forum when I was new, because if I received that reply I wouldn't ever have come back and would have missed out on a bunch of great information...'
There are actually forums here I refuse to even visit, whether there is good information in them or not, because of the replies the mods make to other members and it just plain P***** Me Off.
|There has to be rules and they have to be enforced. |
Without question, and I like the way the forums work, but does this in anyway justify being rude or short or 'posting down' to members because they asked a 'stupid question'?
There's a section in profiles for notes, so it would seem fairly easy to type out a nice friendly, standard reply to the 'monotonous questions' and then copy and paste it instead of having to type at all.
### ### ###
IMO it's fairly obvious what I and others are referring to does happen when quite a few posts I used to read in some forums start off with a disclaimer like: "I really did look and sorry if this is a stupid question that's been asked and answered 1000 times before...', because if someone wasn't afraid of the reply they might get to the question they wouldn't feel the need to disclaim the post with what's 'Noobie' for 'please don't yell at me'.
My guess is the tone some of the mods set with 'stock standard replies' scares some people away from the forums, because if some of the mods can be disrespectful enough to get on my nerves to the point where I feel like my contributions over a couple of user names and 5+ years are totally unappreciated and feel like leaving I can definitely see where it probably scares some 'would be members' away.
### ### ###
My summary is definitely NOT a reflection on all of the mods by any stretch, and quite a few of them are great, but I think the forums would do well with a reporting system or feedback forum on moderation where we could bring things we see as being issues up freely with the administrators to keep things in a bit of check, because I know I've just not bothered to say anything previously, because I'm not sure where to say it, who to say it to or why I would bother when saying anything about mods seems to be totally quashed.
|but does this in anyway justify being rude or short or 'posting down' to members because they asked a 'stupid question'? |
An inherent rule of any forum should be that there aren't any stupid questions. A webmaster forum includes all levels of expertise. From complete noobs trying to wrap their head around basic HTML tags to software engineers at the top of their profession. Questions that some of us might feel are stupid aren't stupid at all to someone just starting out. And new members most definitely need to be handled with kid gloves. Spook them once and they're gone man. Long gone and not very likely to return either.
|Spook them once and they're gone man. |
Ain't that the truth? I've probably spooked a few in me time too, not intentionally though, it's just me style. ;)
I just got spooked recently. There was an interesting validation topic at V7N. Enough to make me join and get involved. I posted a couple of replies and then when I went back to post my third, I was being pre-moderated, they can't handle the truth over there. I won't go back, their loss. ;)
Give the Moderators a break would ya? Just think what it would be like if they weren't here.
|The real problem WebmasterWorld faces is that new people come from poorly moderated free-for-all sites that have no respect for the visitors, posters or the mods with threads that veer all over the place and expect we run the same kind of sloppy outfit. |
Precisely! People need to set their standards a wee bit higher in here.
Having said that, I also believe that there are one or two moderators whose egos can be a problem. None of us are perfect including the moderators in here. Perhaps we should have some sort of a comeback in situations where a moderator is considered to be arrogant, unfair, egotistical or whatever?
Why don't we have a moderator's moderator and perhaps a dispute form? I know this could be opening a can of worms so there would have to strict rules applied to this. I don't mean an email link or something that can be clicked and sent. I mean a form that must be properly completed and with clear rules explaining when complaints like this are justified and acceptable. There could also be a rule that when someone sends an unjustified complaint it will be ignored.
maybe the mods should actually wait to see if someone is offended before they tell you its offensive. after all, that is how it works in all other walks of life.
here is the way i see it: if i see something and say "jesus christ that is amazing, why didnt i think of that" then the chances are that it will be wiped within five minutes and i'll get an email back saying "we wiped it out in case it offends our christian members". but im guessing that not even the pope himself would have been offended by that, and no christian in the universe would ever have dreamed of reporting it. so if no one got offended, it cant be offensive. its just the bureaucratic mods following the rules. like GCHQ -- that listening post in the UK. apparently it can pick up any mention of the word bomb in telephone conversations. you say it, and they are on to you. that is what it is like in this place sometimes. you mention the keyword 'god' or 'politics' and you'll have the mods knocking on your front door.
if the WW mods were in charge of the White House, they'd tell Obama he cant talk politics anymore in case he 'offends' the democrats. they'd tell the pope to cancel his mass to avoid any danger of offending the hindus. and of course they'd ban all talk of chopsticks in case it leads to war with China.
This forum is probably moderated better than most. But that being said, I have had one *very* unhappy confrontation with a top moderator.
He literally hijacked my thread and continued the off-topic hijack even after I asked him to leave it alone. I wrote him a sticky and got a sarcastic response.
I wrote another telling him that under the circumstance I didn't appreciate his sarcasm. His next sticky to me was even more sarcastic.
There is apparently no redress for a squabble with a mod.
The topic/question was important to me but apparently not to him. I never got it answered.
And, as I recall, that was in the Supporters Forum. I ceased participating in that forum and did not renew my subscription.
|they'd tell Obama he cant talk politics anymore in case he 'offends' the democrats. |
Shouldn't that be Republicans? ;)
ha ha, yeah. that is how good i am on politics
Some of this is thin skin. Some is ModGhoditis. Most of the time is is commonsense. I'm okay with majority of ModGhods at WW. Been slapped down a few times since 2005, also won a few rounds, too.
It is the moderation of CONTENT and TOPIC which makes the site evergreen. Keep that in mind, including all you who don't come back all that often because there's moderation. Me? If I can't take the moderation I wouldn't come back. Just me in that regard. Some times a heads up is worth listening to.
For those who are obviously dissatisfied with an edit, I suggest they appeal to an admin. I'm just human you know.
lawman, you ain't human. You are a Mustang crazed piddle after bits and parts to get an ounce more out of that lame critter (and should be driving a Z06 where real men live). And you slapped me for a perfectly good humorous foo!
So... there's humor to be found in this thread. And if all the others out there don't get it, lawman has been doing a bang up job and didn't wear a skirt while doing it. Don't know about the funny hat, but there have been tales...
In regards the recent commentary regarding ModGhods in general, and edits to posts and all that other, and yeah getting long in the tooth... The moderation at WW is not "old age" it is COMMON SENSE". Grow up, kiddies!
Last thing we need at WW is web diarrhea, er 2.0 political correct me me me! my links! er, (shut my mouth).
Merely wanted to say THANKS to one mod, and to all the others as well. Lawman: you screw up once in a while, but I'm a big boy and can take it on the chin. You just duck should I swing! :)
wot tangor said
What Monkey said.
For me, this site is almost exclusively a read-only experience. I haven't been edited (that I know of), but I've seen what happens to other people over the silliest little things.
I've been using the internet since green screen days. Back then it was a fun place to explore. Now it is angry and authoritarian. A lot of that has spilled into this web forum, which should have some levity since it's full of old-timers.
I agree with Londrum's observation about the "Jesus Christ" comment. It seems that some of the mods take their religion so seriously that they don't allow even passing mention of religion in a slightly negative way in case it offends someone. However I see various slightly pro religious statements made with no moderation. Atheists have feelings too you know. I know the USA seems to be more of a faith based society than the UK, but even taking that into account it is overkill. Personally I am happy for anyone to believe whatever they want to but they don't have the (god given?) right not to be offended and the mods certainly shouldn't second guess how offended anyone else is likely to be. Like (I assume)everyone else I'm offended by several things every day but nobody moderates the News, my neighbours, the guy in the next car, my suppliers or my customers. So like everyone else I just shrug it off and forget it because life is too short to get upset all the time. Let's all be a little more grown up about these things.
You must not have noticed Old_Honky. When it comes to religion and politics, there's no such thing as "grown up"
|Atheists have feelings too you know. |
I agree totally with your opinion OH. I am a humanist and we believe that our feelings must also be respected.
|once in a while they seem to bite back hard. |
I think one point that may not have been made yet (edit: I had missed artefaq's post above) is that this can turn contributors into read-only users. In some way that is worse than users being chased away entirely. Read-only users are using the site's resources without contributing.
I became a read-only user for the most part a while back. And it wasn't even because my own posts were moderated at "bite-back" level. But I reached the point where I thought it might be likely to occur, so why contribute and run that risk?
|You must not have noticed Old_Honky. When it comes to religion and politics, there's no such thing as "grown up" |
whats that supposed to mean. you dont trust the grown-ups to talk about grown-up stuff.
I thought Brett asked you Mods to stay out of this thread, or has something changed we're not aware of?!
I'll repeat my POV: Delete my comments entirely or keep your fingers of it. I posted *my* opinion in a thread and don't want it moderated and still having my name on it.
My thoughts on moderation here?
Heaven. And hell.
It's heaven when you realize that they are doing a good job at keeping spam out of the boards and educating (mostly new) members on the TOS. Those members who understand will change; those who do not understand will leave.
But it's hell when you cross the opinion of one of the mods. Opinion being just that: not a fact, but an opinion. "I love Microsoft." (I don't), "I don't love Google" (well, I don't). That kind of opinion, but based on ARGUMENTS, based on actions of web companies. Crossing the wrong mod on a bad day can fill up your stickies faster than you can say "hello". And mostly with stuff that basically represents an OPINION.
Frankly, I think this approach to moderation is quite problematic. If Webmasterworld wants to be the #1 site for ALL web related discussions, there MUST BE room for discussions that mods don't like. If that is not the case, Webmasterworld is NOT the #1 site for ALL web related discussions. Maybe it is #1 for PHP-related questions, or for Google SEO, or for whatever technical topic is en vogue, but it is not a place to discuss the complex world of the webmaster.
It must be absolutely crystal clear that mods are independent from ANY agenda. I have my doubts.
(Now ducking and running very very fast.)*
*Funny. I felt I needed to add this in order to shield for the flames of some mods for writing this. Then again, this shows how bad it really is.
I seldom visit the site anymore, and am only posting because of the email request for feedback.
Webmasterworld taught me a lot over the years, and I'm very grateful to Brett for having put the forum online. However, the moderation by a small minority of the mods here is more than I can take (one in particular who seemed to moderate, and inject himself into, every thread in every forum, 24 hours a day). I can understand why some of my posts were not acceptable (my acerbic nature came through), but in other cases it was entirely unjustified, and officious, at least in my mind.
I was especially annoyed by having my text edited at times, rather than the whole post being pulled. If a a mod doesn't like it, fine, delete it, but don't change what I wrote.
Best of luck with it Brett, and thanks again.
I agree, if i have a question I turn to every other possible place first. As a result I don't really "check in" much and don't have the chance to return the help that is given to me.
Ok we have heard a good deal of hurt feelings here some so bad the folks left. Maybe the mods can get together and some sort of checks and balance can come from all this. Maybe a mod sort of conduct rules and training, and maybe the best of all. If you feel unjustly hammered on then an appeal or sticky to X for the purpose of over seeing the mods and a go between for the users.
Maybe the mods should have and follow some common rules.
1 - Do no evil
2 - If you can't cite a rule, don't edit the post. Your opinion has no relevance in "moderation".
Gee, that sounds familiar and there's evidence all over the web about how well that's working out!
Actually, most of the time it gets (moderation) done right. However, a resolution board might be an interesting possibility.
|2 - If you can't cite a rule, don't edit the post. Your opinion has no relevance in "moderation". |
Like that idea. Cite the rule by number.
Edits have been one of my silent gripes for a very long time.
There is absolutely no consistency in editing of links. What is OK? Wiki? Mainstream media? Sometimes yes, sometimes no.
I have had what I thought were well written, contributive posts butchered to where the context/point was completely changed.
I have always found the Mods friendly, but too often too rigid.
The mods ought to only move a discussion along. They are free to voice their opinions on the subject matter, however they should not presume to know it all. The job of a mod should be allow all opinions to be freely expressed and not draw 'a' conclusion. Leave it to the readers and contributors. Many a time a mod with better command over the 'technical' language will move a discussion to his point of view rather than allow it to run..
If he/she feels the need to do a summation, then it is his/her duty to put forward all points of view, especially when some 'senior members' use their position and 'special' knowledge to roll over other members.
When mods are participating in a discussion, they should not also moderate that discussion.
If they think a discussion they are part of needs moderating they should ask an admin, or at least another moderator to take a look at the discussion and let the admin or "other-mod" make the decision about moderating the discussion.
[It's too easy to make your point prevail when you can delete the other position from the discussion.]
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