Dec 24, 16 / Cap 23, 00 02:17 UTC
Administrational Recommendations ¶
I want to mention some issues that arise from the actual lack of support of the current state of forum software:
Currently, enforcing administration tasks at forum posts do result in the modification of posts. Administrators or Moderators do append administrational notes to existing posts, that clarify why those tasks has been done and who has done the task and when. From my point of view this procedure damages the integrity of the submitted post by its original author. Its simply bad practice, probably inherited from earlier days from other forums. I think we could make a change here.
I recommend to extend the display of the history of posts. Implement the history as a list appended to the post, currently only the last change are mentioned at the post itself. I suggest to use the (optional) reason to clarify what has been changed and why. There should be also an option to enroll a moderator-frame attached to the original post, when a topic has been translated because of not posting in english here. There should be only a very limited set of reasons why topics should be directly modified ( f.ex. to defuse advertisements or when malicious URLs has been posted, in sum: when the security or flow of content is interrupted ).
In line with this, there should be a mechanism that enables topic starter to mark topics as solved ( a "SOLVED"-Button for example ). There should be also a mechanism for information collecting acknowledging ( a "ACKNOWLEDGED"-Button as another example, for moderators only ). At least, the SOLVED-mechanism should be available to Voting-based topics as well, a topic that has been marked as SOLVED, should prevent further votes. The SOLVED-Mark as well as the ACKNOWLEDGED-Mark should enable a notice ahead the first post of each paginated content that shares the state ( SOLVED or ACKNOWLEDGED or both ).
As a general recommendation i would suggest ( and thats not meant offensive ) to act as one unit. It does not matter if a "Lead Admin of Doom" or "Admin of the Green Gras" or "Moderator of the Football Game" has done Task XY. A task should be always done with one voice, as one entity. So, i suggest to not use "I have", or "I close". Be representative, use "We have decided to close this topic.", "We do not allow to write in Swahili here, we have translated your topic to english, please read our posting guidelines.". It wouldn't expose yourself as a moderator that fights - probably alone - at midnight against the windmills of chaos. It would express a statement of a collective of Administrators and Moderators. Alongside this suggestion, always beware neutrality and always differentiate yourself when you do not post as an "official", switch always back to singular.
Please accept that i am not suggesting and recommending such things because i want to change your current system. I do this because of my observations at the Facebook Groups and at this discussion platform and because of my background in developing large communities especially in promoting strong teams to a sometimes censorious part of the community.
If you want i could also provide a draft of responsibilities and a recommendation for proposal-based development and fail-safe administrating of hundreds of thousands of community members. But that needs some hours of work and i would need some informations to orchestrate that.
Thank you for your service.