I've made several major and minor changes again over the last few days. Mainly again regarding moderation, but also you ought to see a few minor UI improvements on the homepage and the comments as well. I like 'em. Hope you do to. Click the link to read some comments on updates to the moderation system (especially important for moderators- you guys have lost some power, so read why :) and more importantly, read my suggested requirements to be eligible for 'Jury Duty'.The most significant change involves moderators posting comments and moderating within the same discussion. This is no longer possible. If you post a comment in a forum, you can no longer moderate. More so, if you moderate, and then post a comment, all of your moderation will be undone.
Why? Right now 400 people moderate. But when 4000 people moderate, I think it becomes much more important to make people chose: do they want to participate as a moderator, or as a speaker. I don't think its fair to let people do both.
I'm getting closer to implementing the mass moderation system folks, and I figure now is as good of a time as any to address the biggest issue: Who will moderate. Please don't worry about what moderators will do for the moment, lets just talk about who ought to be allowed to contribute as a moderator. We can talk about what moderators will be able to do another day- each of these topics are tricky and confusing unto themselves so lets try to keep them seperate and solve them one at a time.
Here is my proposal for defining an "Eligible Moderator". Note that not anyone who is eligible will be a moderator. It'll be like Jury Duty- this is the group that will be eligible for Jury Duty. And like Jury Duty, nobody will be on Jury Duty 24/7, 365 Days a year, you might only be allowed to moderate a few comments a week. Maybe less. I don't know yet what size "Jury" we need. We'll play with that. But who is eligible? Here is my list:
- You must have a user account. Sorry. I need some way to tell everyone apart. This is required.
- You can't be a newbie. I plan to enforce that by only making the first 2/3rds of User Accounts eligible. So if your user ID is greater than about 21,000 right now, you'll be ineligible. Don't worry, we get lots of new accounts, so this body will grow.
- There will be an option in the user accounts to simply say "I don't want to moderate". By default, everyone will want to be moderators, but you can turn this off.
- You must have a positive alignment. Your alignment is the sum of all moderation done to all of your comments. The last batch of moderators were selected from those with positive alignment. I'm changing that to 'non-negative' to widen the scope. Note that the default score of a comment (right now that is usually 1) has no effect on alignment.
- You must be a relatively active Slashdot Reader. I've got a script that figures out how many time each reader hit Slashdot in the last 48 hours. I'll count the number of articles & comments each user read. I'll throw out any account that was inactive, and the Eligible Pool will be something like the middle 33% of all readers. This will throw out anyone who only loaded a few pages yesterday (this guy isn't interested in moderating anyway) and it will throw out the psycho overactive guys who load Slashdot 1000 times a day (there are a few guys, but mainly this will prevent someone from simply pressing reload a few hundred times to get moderator access). Frankly the narrower that slice is, the less likely automated attempts to gain moderator access will succeed. Plus we can randomize it a bit. Select 1000 random users from the middle third? This will require some tweaking when it goes into place.
I think these requirements will let us a get a cross section of lurkers and posters. Most important, it should prevent evil tricks being used to gain undeserved access. And finally, it requires you to be an active reader and not a newbie.
And as always, anyone who doesn't like it, can simply disable all moderation and enjoy Slashdot in all its uncut splendor. I've even added Links on the homepage to accelerate that process for those who want it.
I'm looking for feedback, but it would really help if we stay on topic here: Just help with ideas about who. Don't worry about what moderators do, or how much they can do: Each of those topics are seperate issues. I've put a lot of time and thought into them too, and I'll hopefully address them in the next few days seperately so we can give them the full attention they deserve.
Bring on the feedback.