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liz
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Re: Moderated blog comments: your input wanted!

Thu Feb 02, 2012 12:03 am

I'm strongly considering making a change to the way we moderate blog comments here. At the moment, someone's first comment is moderated, and then they're free to comment as they like. Up until now we've found that this is a pretty workable system, but recently we've been seeing a lot more trolling and flame-baiting after someone writes an innocuous first post that we allow through; it's an annoying side-effect of the fact that we get a lot of people linking to the main page and to the posts on it, and of the fact that we're nearing launch. We've already taken the decision to use bans much more…liberally (absolutely not the right word), which is helping, but it's not perfect, and comments like these can drag a conversation down very, very quickly, with others piling in.

My preference would be to change the system so that every post, even if someone has posted before, is moderated before it shows up. This means that we'll have to ask some more people to be mods and will probably end up kicking some of the existing forum mods up the tree so they can moderate the blog too; it also means, of course, that the blog comments that *you* make may not show up instantly if there's not a mod around.

Any particularly fierce objections?
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johnbeetem
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Re: Moderated blog comments: your input wanted!

Thu Feb 02, 2012 12:36 am

liz said:


We"ve already taken the decision to use bans much more…liberally (absolutely not the right word)


Off-hand, I would suggest "aggressively" or "assertively".

Personally, I rarely look at RasPi 'blog comments and haven't made one in ever so long.  I find the forum to be a great way to interact, and forum topics tend to be very focused and as such more useful to me.  So I have no objection to the 'blog comments being moderated, except that it may make already-overworked admins cranky.  But not as cranky as having to deal with rudeness.

zippy
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Re: Moderated blog comments: your input wanted!

Thu Feb 02, 2012 12:42 am

Maybe consider disabling comments on the blog posts altogether?

nichobb
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Re: Moderated blog comments: your input wanted!

Thu Feb 02, 2012 12:44 am

Not personally (problem with delay)

However …
Would you be generating a lot of work, especially in the near future when you"ve grown even more? The existing mods seem more than upto the challenge, so see why that"s an attractive idea – even if you don"t change the system, would be good to free your time for everything else you do.

Not knowing how much control/time you have but to reduce work burden could you let forum members and commemters with say 10 posts be authenticated rather than just 1 comment? Ideally with a reset to 0.

Not a short term solution and needs a majority of good members but I"m sure I"ve seen a forum where posts are liked/disliked and those with to high a number of dislikes get removed (perhaps for moderation?)

Lynbarn
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Re: Moderated blog comments: your input wanted!

Thu Feb 02, 2012 12:48 am

Hmmm. Tough call, and a difficult job, especially as the profile of the 'pi - and therefore, the forum - is likely to grow considerably in coming weeks and months.

Plus, as you say, it will add to the burden of work for the mods. although I have to say, considering the number of people coming onto the forum, the level of poor behaviour isn't too bad, compared with several groups I've belonged to (and moderated!) but I can see it is creeping up.

Another way might be to introduce some sort of warning system (three strikes and you're out"), or perhaps peer-appraisal, but that introduces a whole other set of issues, and could result in even more work.

one advantage of moderation is that it slows down replies, and threads grow more slowly, thus giving people more time to think, which can help take the edge of what they might otherwise have said in haste.

A great shame, but I do think moderation is therefore, perhaps a necessary, and lesser evil.

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Chromatix
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Re: Moderated blog comments: your input wanted!

Thu Feb 02, 2012 12:59 am

Seems to me that moderating a forum and moderating comments on an article are very different things.  I'd be in favour of full moderation for comments at least in the short term.  Quality over quantity and all that.

You should probably look into using antispam technology to help with the workload.  A Bayesian filter should be capable of recognising obviously negative and obviously positive comments, and blocking or accepting those immediately, leaving the more ambiguous ones for human analysis.  (Probably "blocking" should mean "put into a separate low-priority moderation queue".)
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kme
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Re: Moderated blog comments: your input wanted!

Thu Feb 02, 2012 12:59 am

zippy said:


Maybe consider disabling comments on the blog posts altogether?


I agree. As blog post are announced on the forum as well it just becomes a confusing split where comments ends up.

But that just move the moderation need to the forum, but at least it's in only one place then.

Should you ever consider a thumbs-up/-down system make sure to only implement the thumbs-up part, so people only can recommend. That cuts flames in amazing amounts.

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ukscone
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Re: Moderated blog comments: your input wanted!

Thu Feb 02, 2012 1:13 am

liz said:


We"ve already taken the decision to use bans much more…liberally (absolutely not the right word)


Judiciously would be my preference for word.

As in "Liz used the 20lb banhammer judiciously to squish the troll out of existance"

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abishur
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Re: Moderated blog comments: your input wanted!

Thu Feb 02, 2012 1:14 am

+1 to the disable comments idea (though I certainly wouldn't mind helping out if you went that direction).  While it's certainly nice to have the ability to directly comment on a news post, it can lead to a lot of duplicated information.  I'd personally vote for a link at the end of the post to a new forum thread for each front page post, that way people could still comment on the topic without duplicating efforts... though I confess that this particular idea places absolutely no burden on me while requiring an extra step for you   It might be better just to let the news post stand with no comments and if someone needs information about a specific part of the post they can always make a thread in here on their own....
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ukscone
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Re: Moderated blog comments: your input wanted!

Thu Feb 02, 2012 1:23 am

oh and yes i say disable the ability to comment on blog posts. if they really want to comment let them do it in the forum.

Although that might cause another problem that we'll need to be quick on the close thread button as there will end up being 30 threads all about the same blog post because noone ever looks for existing threads before posting

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Re: Moderated blog comments: your input wanted!

Thu Feb 02, 2012 1:40 am

ukscone said:


oh and yes i say disable the ability to comment on blog posts. if they really want to comment let them do it in the forum.

Although that might cause another problem that we'll need to be quick on the close thread button as there will end up being 30 threads all about the same blog post because noone ever looks for existing threads before posting


or… As the blog is posted, the blogger could create a link to a forum topic of the same title (could that be automated?), so all comments can be posted in the same place, in a dedicated "Blog Feedback" forum. The same principle could also be applied to the FAQs comments, which I know has been discussed recently.

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bwoodbury
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Re: Moderated blog comments: your input wanted!

Thu Feb 02, 2012 2:17 am

Doh !!! I never noticed that you could actually post a comment to an article on the front page blog. I certainly have never read them. Why would you want to have a forum AND allow comments, and responses, on the blog page as well.

Disable comments on the blog please

mags
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Re: Moderated blog comments: your input wanted!

Thu Feb 02, 2012 2:58 am

Long time listener, first time poster.

I'm strongly in support of open, but moderated conversation. I've seen other enthusiast sites taken over by trolls or individuals who don't play nice. Your mission is clear and in the end we need to build a community that is furthering the education of students, which probably means more moderation than an anything-goes forum/blog.

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Jessie
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Re: Moderated blog comments: your input wanted!

Thu Feb 02, 2012 5:11 am

I agree with most here that shutting down comments would help.  It would also just move a lot of stuff to the forums here.  Some sites do make a thread for every post with a link at the end to that post, who knows if John Q Public is smart enough to click that link, or if he/she will start a new thread.

Heavier moderation will have to happen at some point, I don't like to encourage a Draconian dictatorship but things tend to get out of control fast in these types of forums for some reason.  I will support whatever decision you make.

stormy1
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Re: Moderated blog comments: your input wanted!

Thu Feb 02, 2012 6:09 am

I like the idea to disable comments on the blog and just link to the forum.

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Re: Moderated blog comments: your input wanted!

Thu Feb 02, 2012 6:20 am

Another "M3 700" to disabling blog comments, as well as /deleting the ones that already exist/. On top of that, I"d strongly suggest moving the forum away from wordpress, which simply can"t handle the strain, and onto something that can. Disabling the whole gravatar thing would improve perceived performance, too.

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cnxsoft
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Re: Moderated blog comments: your input wanted!

Thu Feb 02, 2012 7:17 am

Disabling the blog (and FAQ) comments would be the easiest solution.

We could still discuss about the blog posts inside the forum.

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Re: Moderated blog comments: your input wanted!

Thu Feb 02, 2012 7:33 am

1) disable the blog comments

2) Have a new forum section [blogs] which you cannot create threads but add to them

3) The blog links to a post in the blog section - a duplicate of that

4) people can comment on that post

5) ability to up/down vote a post
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mgmt_idiot
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Re: Moderated blog comments: your input wanted!

Thu Feb 02, 2012 7:36 am

Thoughts:

1)      Speed of response for comments. People comment quickly, so it could make the sequence of a thread disjointed if there is a delay caused by moderation. It’s also frustrating when you don’t see your comment for a while after posting.

2)      Moderators could pre-approve posters that are clearly behaving sensibly to improve speed and cut down on workload. If a poster has made quite a few well behaved comments then they’re unlikely to start trolling. Possibly some are candidates for future moderators.

3)      It does seem wasteful to be using vital Broadcom people to be doing moderation that could be done by others. Perhaps it is even best done by someone who isn’t a techie, but just has some common sense (admittedly, this is perhaps an even rarer skill).

4)      Moderating before making a post visible would help stop threads about questions already in the FAQ or already fully answered by other threads.

5)      However, I would be worried about questions getting closed down where the poster is asking about a topic which may be answered fully to the satisfaction of some, but not to the poster. Remember, there are variable skill levels and areas of expertise even within the techie community. I had a question about powering the RasPi – some clearly felt this had been already answered in previous extensive threads, but those discussions didn’t make it clear to me – however one poster was great in answering in a way that did give me clarity on the power supply.

6)      Moderation could also be helpful if the result was that a clear summary outcome of the discussion made it into the FAQ. I fear that the answer to my power supply question is falling into the geological layers of the forum and would not be spotted by others in the future.

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scep
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Re: Moderated blog comments: your input wanted!

Thu Feb 02, 2012 7:55 am

I'd disallow blog comments and use the blogs as announcements. Discussions would naturally move to the forum.

Interesting and useful things do come from the blog comments but it's hard to sort through the inevitable chaff or irrelevant comments to find them. They're hard to read, bascially. [Also, being on the front page, the blog tends to attract trolls etc that wouldn't bother going on the forums?]

Also, it's easier to moderate the forums than the blogs (no approval needed, more people with admin rights, better tools(?))

A static FAQ page with a ToC (and with no comments) that is regularly updated from stuff on the forums would help as visitors increase I think.

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scep
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Re: Moderated blog comments: your input wanted!

Thu Feb 02, 2012 8:02 am

mgmt_idiot said:


3)It does seem wasteful to be using vital Broadcom people to be doing moderation that could be done by others. Perhaps it is even best done by someone who isn’t a techie, but just has some common sense (admittedly, this is perhaps an even rarer skill).


On the contrary, I think that it's invaluable that there is someone actively involved with moderation that has a deep understanding of the tech.



5)However, I would be worried about questions getting closed down where the poster is asking about a topic which may be answered fully to the satisfaction of some, but not to the poster.


This is a potential issue on all such forums. It can be mitigated by the poster asking a unique, well-formed, specific question and not, e.g. "can it do 1080p?" or "wer can i get 1!!!"

VainSyl
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Re: Moderated blog comments: your input wanted!

Thu Feb 02, 2012 8:31 am

As I've been baned from the forum, maybe this post is irrelevant, but I perfectly agree with those who want to disallow blog comments, replacing them by the creation of a new thread on the forum for each blog post (or a following if the subject is the same as an existing topic). I have allready seen blogs where these is made automatically, creating a link called "follow on our forum" for each blog post.

I do also agree with tufty for saying that this worlpress/worldpress forum is far from ideal regarding performance and readability.

Sylvain.

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grumpyoldgit
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Re: Moderated blog comments: your input wanted!

Thu Feb 02, 2012 8:54 am

To be quite honest, while I'm an avid follower of the forum, I don't read the blog comments at all. Can I just support many of the other posters here and suggest the blog comment facility is closed down. The forum seems more than adequate. It may well speed the site up a bit as, like the FAQ, those blog pages can get verrrry long and awkward to negotiate.

bredman
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Re: Moderated blog comments: your input wanted!

Thu Feb 02, 2012 9:06 am

I agree that comments on the blog should be disabled.

On a similar subject, I think comments should be disabled for the FAQs in the forum. As we near launch, these need to be reset to a single post each and locked to prevent comments.

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Montekuri
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Re: Moderated blog comments: your input wanted!

Thu Feb 02, 2012 9:40 am

RaTTuS said:


1) disable the blog comments

2) Have a new forum section [blogs] which you cannot create threads but add to them

3) The blog links to a post in the blog section - a duplicate of that

4) people can comment on that post

5) ability to up/down vote a post


Agree with Rattus.

And disable the comments on the FAQs page.

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