…in a thread that’s actually about the name of the new URL, rather than here in this thread about the new forum organization – so I’m not sure where I should provide feedback. The present thread seems like the most logical place to discuss ideas for the structure.
Speaking in very general terms: if any of the proposed small number of top-level categories were genuinely to have an inordinately large number of subcategories, in my mind this would be an indication that the top-level categories would need to be re-thought. Ideally, the number of top-level and sub-level categories ought to be reasonable in both cases. And if the only way to make one number reasonably small is to make the other number excessively large, no matter how they’re arranged, this might be an indication that a three-level structure is needed (though it wouldn’t be my first option, and though I wouldn’t go beyond three levels).
At any rate, it’s hard to express an opinion without seeing an outline of the entire proposed revised structure, with all the levels indicated. Could we see what the draft structure currently is?
1. The purpose of having moderators is to ensure that the rules are enforced predictably, 100% of the time. (Or as close to 100% as is practical.)
2. This means that above all, anyone chosen to be a moderator should be someone djensen can rely on to enforce the rules in a rigorous, impartial manner.
3. This means that the moderators should be level-headed, moderate people. The kind of people you’d trust, implicitly, to be fair to you, even when they strongly disagree with your position. Most people do not have the level of maturity, self-discipline, and impartiality necessary to be a good moderator.
4. I think djensen’s proposed tiered moderation system has merit. I’d suggest the following.
Level 1: discussion facilitator.
Moderation power: can move posts to a new thread if an existing thread goes off topic.
Discussion facilitators are also expected to report violations of the list rules. If it becomes clear that a discussion facilitator isn’t reporting or otherwise acting on rules violations of those he likes or agrees with, it may be necessary to remove him from his position.
Level 2: Moderator
Moderation power: Level 1, plus can issue warnings, and can temporarily remove people from the list.
To issue a warning, a moderator will do the following:
1. Quote the offending post.
2. Highlight the offending portion of the post in red.
3. Copy and paste the rule which has been violated.
4. Include a link to the rules in their entirety
5. State that further violations of the list rules may result in a temporary or permanent suspension.
A moderator who repeatedly refused to follow the above procedures would be removed from his or her position. It is important moderators understand their job is to enforce the rules as written, not to make up new rules as they go along.
Level 3: List Manager
Moderation power: can overrule any decision made by a moderator.
Every decision made by a moderator will be reviewed by a list manager. In addition, if a moderator has become active in a thread, but without enforcing one or more list rules, that moderator can be reported to a list manager. There should be a “report moderation problem to list manager” button for people to use to report moderation problems.
If a moderator is not enforcing the provision against (for example) personal attacks, or is enforcing it unevenly, it’s the list manager’s job to become aware of the problem. The final decision about whether to remove the moderator will be David’s. But the list manager will alert David to the problem, and will provide him with the relevant raw data for him to examine.
One item I specifically did not include in levels 1 - 3 is the ability to edit other people’s posts. Dealing with civility violations in this way is like trying to trim a weed. It’s too much work for too little reward. The correct solution is to pull the weed out by its roots! The first time someone violates the standards of civility, that person should be given a warning. The second time, it should be a temporary ban. The third time, it should be a longer ban. The fourth time, it should be a permanent ban.
But this must be done across the board. If X and Y don’t like each other, and constantly attack each other, and if the moderators prevent X’s attacks on Y, but not Y’s on X, the culture won’t change. Both X and Y must be dealt with with equal vigor, regardless of whether the moderators like or agree with one, or dislike or disagree with the other. Once this is done, the need for moderators to edit other people’s posts will largely disappear.
If the main list rule is “be civil to other posters”–as I think it should be–the right people to choose as moderators are those who are themselves civil. If a moderator does not expect civility from himself, he is unlikely to expect it from others.
If your thread has disapeared, don’t panic, I will be moving threads which were placed in the wrong forum. Mostly, I will moving rules question threads to the New player help forum, since rules questions are more fit to there.
Also, several topics may need moving from the General Forum to the Axis and allies forum.