The Mighty Buzzard writes:
I've been hinting around about this for a week or two, so here it is. I circulated this proposal around the staff mailing list before Thanksgiving and got nobody telling me it sucks and to die in a fire, so it falls to you lot to do it if necessary. Let's be clear beforehand though. This is not a complete solution; no meta-mod consideration included for instance. Nor is it a permanent change. What it is is an experiment. Unless you lot are overwhelmingly opposed, we'll run it for a month or two and either keep it, keep parts of it, or trash it entirely based on staff and community feedback. We're not the other site and this isn't Beta; what we as a community want is what's going to happen. So, here's the deal with the bit that's likely to be most controversial right out front. Bad downmods and mod-bombing both suck hardcore but you can't really get rid of them and still have downmods even with meta-moderation because you still have the same ideologically driven few who think Troll/Flamebait/Overrated means Disagree. To that end, I converted all the downmods to +0 mods and added a proper Disagree +0 mod. They affect neither score of the comment nor karma of the commenter but will show up beside the comment score (and be subject to user adjustment from their comments preferences page) if they hold a majority vote. It'll be entirely possible, for instance, to have a +5 Troll comment and equally possible that the same comment will show as -1 Troll to someone who has Troll set to -6 in their preferences. Underrated and Overrated are also out. For Underrated, I for one would really like to know why you think it's underrated. For Overrated, it was almost exclusively used as Disagree, which we now have. Second, everyone who's been registered for a month or more gets five mod points a day. We're not getting enough mods on comments to suit the number of comments; this should have been tweaked a while back but we quite frankly just let it slip through the cracks. Also, the zero-mod system will need the extra points to reliably push comments from +5 insightful to +5 Flamebait if they warrant it. We may end up tweaking this number as necessary to find the right balance during The Experiment. Third, we're introducing a new Spam mod. As of this writing it's a -1 to comment score and a -10 to the commenter's karma; this may very well change. Sounds easily abused, yeah? Not so much. Every comment with this mod applied to it will have a link out beside the score that any staff with editor or above clearance on the main site (this excludes me by the way) can simply click to undo every aspect of the spam moderation and ban the moderator(s) who said it was from moderating. First time for a month, second time for six months; these also are arbitrary numbers that could easily change. So, what qualifies as spam so you don't inadvertently get mod-banned?
Caveats about banning aside, if something is really spam, please use the mod. It will make it much, much easier for us to find spam posts and attempt to block the spammers. One SELECT statement period vs one per post level of easier. Lastly, if I can find it and change it in time for thorough testing on dev, we'll be doing away with mod-then-post in favor of mod-and-post. Without proper downmods, there's really just no point in limiting you on when you can moderate a comment. Right, that's pretty much it. Flame or agree as the spirit moves you. Suggestions will all be read and considered but getting them debated, coded, and tested before the January release will be a bit tricky for all but the exceedingly simple ones.
It all sounds good to me, +1 to the previous poster who said it would be good to see a detailed explanation of how it works (Maybe a wiki page article and a link on the front page). I look forward to the changes, though, when they go live!
Related in a way but also a future development suggestion. When I read an article I generally read it once, if it is interesting I may add a comment and I may mod. But generally from that point onwards I won't go back to the article, mainly because its hard to know which comments are new since I last looked at the article. There is an ordering of show newest first (ignoring threads) but this kind of defeats the purpose of reading comments in the nested format. I think having the ability to flag posts you are interested in and to then highlight new comments since you last looked would be a good tool to help generate views on comments that were added some time after the article was posted.
Another point is around the whole concept of Karma, what is Karma and what is it used for on the site? If I have Karma 7, how am I treated differently to someone with Karma 23?
Sod's law - just after I read this I spot a link on the right hand side talking about moderation (although it doesn't mention the various categories and what they mean) and karma :)
Looks like Karma > 0 is the only meaning full statistic and its means you can moderate. Fair enough...I will stop asking now :)
...then highlight new comments since you last looked would be a good tool to help generate views on comments that were added some time after the article was posted.
Maybe the way to do this would be to have a way to flag you are interested in an article (so you only do this for interested stories) and then to store a date against it (not sure what mechanism would trigger this) and any articles after that date are then coloured or flagged slightly differently. You wouldn't then have to store information on individual comments but you would still get power of notifying the reader of new content. You could also then have a section on the front page to only show favourited articles.
The article comments are locked after a certain period so clearing these favourite articles at that point seems like a fair compromise.
Like this [pipedot.org]?
I use a separate table that is basically a uid + sid + date. When you visit a story, the date is updated. Comments are then colored blue or gray so that the new comments easily stand out.
Yeah, I'm not so much concerned with the size of that table at ~5k registered users, I'm more concerned that there's no way in hell it would scale well.