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  1. #181
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gwathdring's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by soldant View Post
    I didn't read Deano's previous post or if I did I wasn't reading it properly. Even still, any sort of compensation seems absurd to me. Moderating is a responsibility and a privilege in its own right, piling on more to make it more 'attractive' seems ridiculous. There's no shortage of people willing to do it for free (as it generally comes with no benefits besides mod powers) so why the incentive? You're unlikely to change the quality of candidates (they are already plenty of people I'd consider suitable who have put their hand up or been nominated).
    Fair enough. I don't think it would make things worse, though, other than to make more work for the people electing mods as a way of offloading work. I guess deano2099's comment about that sort of thing having the RPS vibe jived with me.

    You're probably right about it not having a particular effect on the candidate pool. But Deano2099 made an interesting point about burn-out. Then again, maybe a changing of the guard is just fine, too.
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  2. #182
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    Quote Originally Posted by soldant View Post
    Most mod posts are unpaid, why are we talking about paying moderators? It'll never pay enough for someone to police the forums 24/7, not that it really needs it (the forums are quiet when I'm awake for example and pick up when I go to sleep). I'd be against paying mods because it's just another questionable motivation for people to take the job. I'd want people to take the job because they want to do the job (preferably not just because of the power) rather than because it pays.
    Here's the thing: most games writing 'posts' are unpaid too. The arguments used for that are the same as you're making here ("There's no shortage of people willing to do it for free"), and RPS have been very much opposed to people working for free when it comes to writing, I'd assume they'd have the same attitude here. At this point, I should note that Jim hasn't said that it's purely a volunteer gig - we don't have the details and I don't know what they intend to do.

    Quote Originally Posted by soldant View Post
    Moderating is a responsibility and a privilege in its own right
    That's where we disagree. To me, it's a job. And one gets paid to do a job. Where we differ is that I think someone treating it as a job would be better suited than someone treating it as a privilege.

    The reason I bring this up is that it's mostly RPS writers (mostly writing in places outside of RPS but still) that bought me round to this Ellison*-esque 'pay the writer' mentality in the first place, so it seemed relevant.

    Edit: *Harlan, not Cara.

  3. #183
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    Moderator for a forum like this is an interesting role. On one hand, this is a place for people to chat with like-minded friends and joust with battle-scarred enemies. It's a community. In this sense, a moderator is just a member of the community who has certain powers assigned to them to make the community run properly. It's for their own benefit as much as everyone else's. With such a point of view, it is entirely appropriate for moderators to be active members of the community who volunteer and receive no material reward. Were this just an unaffiliated forum for a bunch of mates to hang out on, the idea of material reward for a moderator would be silly.

    On the other hand, this is the official forum of a business. Moderators are agents of the business and the moderation policies will be set by the business to further the business's goals, however loose and vague this may be. Individuals who work to further the goals of a business may reasonably expect some form of reward from that business.
    Irrelevant on further examination of the rest of the thread.

  4. #184
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Jesus_Phish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deano2099 View Post
    That's where we disagree. To me, it's a job. And one gets paid to do a job. Where we differ is that I think someone treating it as a job would be better suited than someone treating it as a privilege.
    Moderating a forum is being that guy who lives in a council estate and who goes around and trims the low hanging branches off the trees. That guy who cuts the grass to keep the place looking nice. He's not a council worker or getting paid for it. He's doing it because he likes his council estate and want's to keep it looking as nice as he can.

    It's volunteer work. Volunteer work is a job, the payment is the satisfaction you get from doing it, be it helping the homeless on your weekends off or cutting the grass in your neighbourhood or being that guy who maintains a GIT repository for some obscure linux distro.

    The best type of people to be mods are ones who don't want or even consider being paid some sort of compensation for it.
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  5. #185
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus soldant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deano2099 View Post
    Here's the thing: most games writing 'posts' are unpaid too. The arguments used for that are the same as you're making here ("There's no shortage of people willing to do it for free"), and RPS have been very much opposed to people working for free when it comes to writing, I'd assume they'd have the same attitude here.
    Except writing is by its nature a creative endeavour which requires (or is supposed to require) significant effort, skill, and creativity. Moderating by and large is asking the question "Is this spam?" while occasionally enforcing rules in some fashion which needs to be justified to the powers that be (hopefully... or it becomes entirely arbitrary). They're worlds apart. The amount of time spent moderating one spam post or deciding whether to remove or hide one offensive post isn't comparable to writing a review on the latest terrible indie art game.

    Quote Originally Posted by deano2099 View Post
    That's where we disagree. To me, it's a job. And one gets paid to do a job. Where we differ is that I think someone treating it as a job would be better suited than someone treating it as a privilege.
    It's a job only in that there's some (very casual) work involved, but that's about it. The vast majority of mod positions (in fact outside of tech support forums, pretty much every mod position I've ever seen) are unpaid. They're volunteers from the community. Pick a handful, let them get to work.

    There are plenty of people who treat things like a job and do a bad job, and this is even more pronounced here where you're asking people to pass judgement on other users. You definitely do not want anyone turning up because it's a remunerated position. If you have an issue with retention, get rid of them and find someone else - as I said, there's no shortage of people who want to serve the community (or alternatively who want power).

    One does not always get paid to do a job. I do plenty of volunteer paramedic work and don't see a cent. Why? Because I enjoy it. And experience too I guess...
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  6. #186
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    Quote Originally Posted by soldant View Post
    Except writing is by its nature a creative endeavour which requires (or is supposed to require) significant effort, skill, and creativity.
    It still requires effort and time. As I said, the time required probably wouldn't be worth paying an actual fee for, hence trying to think of an alternative.

    The vast majority of mod positions (in fact outside of tech support forums, pretty much every mod position I've ever seen) are unpaid.
    Again, so are most games writing positions. That doesn't necessarily mean anything.

  7. #187
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus soldant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deano2099 View Post
    It still requires effort and time. As I said, the time required probably wouldn't be worth paying an actual fee for, hence trying to think of an alternative.
    It's a small amount of effort and time though, negligible considering how often these problems appear and presumably there's going to be more than one moderator.

    Quote Originally Posted by deano2099 View Post
    Again, so are most games writing positions. That doesn't necessarily mean anything.
    It does - it demonstrates the value placed on moderation by communities. Any sort of remuneration for a mod position is either going to be worth practically nothing or vastly outweighs the effort. And again, I don't know that offering payment (in whatever form) is going to really have any tangible benefit beyond attracting people who are interested in the payment. As it stands you'll already have people applying primarily for the power. That's the "reward" (if you want to call it that) for getting the post.
    Nalano's Law - As an online gaming discussion regarding restrictions grows longer, the probability of a post likening the topic to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea approaches one.

  8. #188
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus squirrel's Avatar
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    This business still unsettled?

    Can't wait to see how the community runs its own forum.

  9. #189
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    Honestly, if they just banned about 4 or 5 people, we wouldn't even need mods.
    "What were we talking about? Pegasuses, pegasii, that's horses with wings. This motherf*cker got a sword that talks to him. Motherf*cker live in places that don't exist, it comes with a map. My God."

  10. #190
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by db1331 View Post
    Honestly, if they just banned about 4 or 5 people, we wouldn't even need mods.
    And which 4 to 5 people do you have in mind?
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  11. #191
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    Quote Originally Posted by soldant View Post
    It's a small amount of effort and time though, negligible considering how often these problems appear and presumably there's going to be more than one moderator.
    Well that will depend on what the job actually is. If it really is just telling people to calm down once a week that one thing. If it's spending an hour a day deleting spam that's something else. Also how active you'd need to be - would you be reviewing reported stuff, or expected to at least skim every thread on the forum. The scope isn't defined so you can't say it's negligible given we just don't know.

    It does - it demonstrates the value placed on moderation by communities.
    What, zero? And presumably the value of writers is also zero too as most of those work for free on other sites?

    Any sort of remuneration for a mod position is either going to be worth practically nothing or vastly outweighs the effort.
    Actual money, yes. An hour of a writer's time a month to give someone advice on their writing or something like that (in exchange for the hours of time they spend working on the forum) seemed a neat idea

    As it stands you'll already have people applying primarily for the power. That's the "reward" (if you want to call it that) for getting the post.
    And most people agree that's a problem, as people that want power are generally not the ones you want to give it to.

    This has got off topic anyway, it was just something that I thought was maybe a neat idea, to get around the somewhat awkward position they're otherwise in. To explain where I'm coming from, here's a quote from John:

    When you create a culture where it is expected that people should go unpaid for generating revenue for your business, you are exploiting people. That people are so desperate/naive/unaware/ignorant/beaten down/demoralised etc that they’re willing to do this slave labour is the very saddest part about it, not some ludicrous justification for it. Businesses know people are desperate/naive enough to do the work for free, and rub their hands together in glee when they stuff their pockets without sharing it with you. That someone might willingly volunteer to be exploited does not make them any less exploited.
    http://botherer.org/2012/01/12/to-cl...king-for-free/

    You might not agree with that, but that does seem to be the overwhelming RPS sentiment towards this sort of thing.

  12. #192
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Kadayi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by squirrel View Post
    Can't wait to see how the community runs its own forum.
    Jim's still running things, he's just looking for a helping hand. It's not going to be a case of *insert name of most hated poster* being given super mod powers and perm banning anyone who looks at them funny, Vs sorting out kipple, deleting spam and occasionally telling people to calm down.

    @Deano

    I'm not going to get into it too much (I've more pressing RL issues on my mind these days) but likening moderating the RPS forum to being a writer is kind of stretching it. The active community here isn't massive (it's a drop in the ocean Vs the main sites readership), so it's not going to be a full time job, Vs the odd few minutes here and there for people with time enough on their hands and the inclination to do it.
    Last edited by Kadayi; 14-05-2013 at 01:53 PM.
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  13. #193
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nalano View Post
    And which 4 to 5 people do you have in mind?
    Whoever wasn't being excellent to each other in that one thread.
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  14. #194
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Tikey's Avatar
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    To be fair, if I recall correctly from my time as a vBulletin admin, anyone who becomes a mod probably won't have any power to ban anyone. The most he can do is to close a thread or present his case for a ban to the powers that be. So it's a little bit of unfounded fear for those (myself included) talking about bans and all that.

    My main worry is, as we often get heated arguments (that mostly don't go beyond that), that we get an overzealous mod who disrupts a said discussion by interceding at an inappropriate moment.
    Knowing when to tell someone to cool off is not an easy task, and it's worse if it involves closing a thread.
    I think that by far the community has managed quite well to carry discussions in quite a civilized manner and obviously things have gotten heated when the topics are controversial or involve deep personal beliefs. But the thing is, those discussions should get heated, it's ok for people to get riled up about things they feel strongly about. What's the problem if people stop being excellent to each other for a while? Sometimes it's necessary otherwise they might stop being excellent to each other all the time.
    Ok, I digress. I think that what I want to say is that we've managed quite well without mods for now and with one we have the risk of getting someone who doesn't really know how to act, making things worse than before.
    Obviously the powers that be have decided to put a mod in place and we aren't here to argue their decision. We're here to try to pick the best candidate possible.

    Also, perma-bans have never solved anything in the history of forum boards.

  15. #195
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Sketch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tikey View Post

    My main worry is, as we often get heated arguments (that mostly don't go beyond that), that we get an overzealous mod who disrupts a said discussion by interceding at an inappropriate moment.
    Knowing when to tell someone to cool off is not an easy task, and it's worse if it involves closing a thread.
    I think that by far the community has managed quite well to carry discussions in quite a civilized manner and obviously things have gotten heated when the topics are controversial or involve deep personal beliefs. But the thing is, those discussions should get heated, it's ok for people to get riled up about things they feel strongly about. What's the problem if people stop being excellent to each other for a while? Sometimes it's necessary otherwise they might stop being excellent to each other all the time.
    Ok, I digress. I think that what I want to say is that we've managed quite well without mods for now and with one we have the risk of getting someone who doesn't really know how to act, making things worse than before.
    You make a good point and it's worth thinking about. I don't think heated conversations are a problem sometimes the nature of the issue is a contentious one and people are going to fall strongly on one side of the argument or the other. That said, sometimes frustration gets the better of some people and the debate actually becomes second to scoring points at one another. The issue then is that the insults get a bit out of hand, and actually end up offending/annoying the other poster. Then that evolves into disagreeing with a person because of who they are, rather than the point they're making so you develop a bit of a culture of anger at the person themself, rather than what they are saying.

    So that then spills over into other topics, where heated arguments perhaps aren't appropriate.
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  16. #196
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Tikey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sketch View Post
    You make a good point and it's worth thinking about. I don't think heated conversations are a problem sometimes the nature of the issue is a contentious one and people are going to fall strongly on one side of the argument or the other. That said, sometimes frustration gets the better of some people and the debate actually becomes second to scoring points at one another. The issue then is that the insults get a bit out of hand, and actually end up offending/annoying the other poster. Then that evolves into disagreeing with a person because of who they are, rather than the point they're making so you develop a bit of a culture of anger at the person themself, rather than what they are saying.

    So that then spills over into other topics, where heated arguments perhaps aren't appropriate.
    Completely agree. The complicated part is finding a mod that can be able to discern between the two situations.

  17. #197
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus soldant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deano2099 View Post
    Well that will depend on what the job actually is.
    Is the forum swimming in spam as it is? No? I guess you have your answer.

    Quote Originally Posted by deano2099 View Post
    What, zero? And presumably the value of writers is also zero too as most of those work for free on other sites?
    For a small moderating role like this? Yeah, it isn't worth much. Again, writing != moderating, it's not even close. The number of times when moderation is genuinely required on RPS is minimal, and even then it's the equivalent of "I'm very disappointed in you" and a disapproving glare. Are you honestly suggesting this is such a labour intensive task? Because really, it isn't. The only challenge in being a moderator is in being fair and impartial when dealing with the community, and that's mostly going to be decided by the person's character. That's an awful lot different from typing a 4000 word article or whatever.
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  18. #198
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    Quote Originally Posted by soldant View Post
    Is the forum swimming in spam as it is? No? I guess you have your answer.


    For a small moderating role like this? Yeah, it isn't worth much. Again, writing != moderating, it's not even close. The number of times when moderation is genuinely required on RPS is minimal, and even then it's the equivalent of "I'm very disappointed in you" and a disapproving glare. Are you honestly suggesting this is such a labour intensive task? Because really, it isn't. The only challenge in being a moderator is in being fair and impartial when dealing with the community, and that's mostly going to be decided by the person's character. That's an awful lot different from typing a 4000 word article or whatever.
    You're making the very big assumption that Jim is asking for mods to do work in addition to what he does here, rather than a mod to take on some/all of the work he does here because it's taking him far too long as is. You could well be right, but so could I.

  19. #199
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gwathdring's Avatar
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    @deano2099 I think you put forward some cool ideas as for how compensation for this sort of thing could work, but ultimately, I don't think this is a job that needs especially much compensation.

    I liked NathanH's way of thinking about it, but I come to a different conclusion. As a community moderator of a forum that's relatively autonomous from the site, you're working for the community more than you are working for the business. As such, any compensation should probably likewise come from the community. Seeing as there aren't many practical sorts of community-level collaborative compensation methods other than monetary ones, I think respecting and appreciating the position of moderator within certain reasonable constraints would be sufficient.
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  20. #200
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gwathdring's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tikey View Post
    Completely agree. The complicated part is finding a mod that can be able to discern between the two situations.
    Any suggestions, or just musing? In the latter case, I approve of this chain of musing and agree.
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