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Moderator Appreciation

Pull up a chair, have a biscuit - discuss the site and general questions about the LemonFool
Pendrainllwyn
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Moderator Appreciation

#158674

Postby Pendrainllwyn » August 11th, 2018, 12:18 am

There appears to be some tension between moderators and the broader Lemon Fool population. Without wishing to comment on whether we are over or under moderated I will say we need to be moderated. As some other posters have commented there are some unmoderated sites which are a constant stream of unpleasant personal attacks and where it is very difficult to find anything worth reading at all. In contrast, on Lemon Fool the dialogue is usually constructive, informative, helpful and civil. If it were not I wouldn't have lurked as long as I did and finally summoned the courage to contribute once in a while.

My suggestion is an annual Moderators Appreciation Day upon which
1. A message is put in the headline banner stating "20XX Moderators Appreciation Day". Balloons etc if necessary. The date the site was opened might be appropriate.
1. A new topic is opened on the Biscuit Bar "20XX Moderators Appreciation Day". Those who wish to send messages of appreciation to the moderators for their voluntary service to this site may do so, indeed are encouraged to do so. Everyone likes to be recognized and appreciated once in a while especially if you are doing something for free. Those who do not wish to can kindly stay silent. Moderators can reply at the end of the day with embarrassed "we never knew you loved us so much" messages should they wish. A general feeling of love and appreciation can overcome us for one day.
3. All posters will exercise exemplary restraint on all boards so that no messages need to be moderated giving the moderators in effect a day off. They can choose to keep an eye on us if they wish but they should not have anything to do. If a poster steps out of line then the general population can consider self-policing and remind them which day it is. This would be the equivalent of tidying your room, doing the washing up or not fighting with your sibling before your Mother has to be Mother on Mothering Sunday. This will occur even if significant/controversial events occur such as a general election which might cause certain boards to become more passionate than normal.

Moderators Appreciation Day may heal some wounds and the act of showing appreciation and exercising restraint for one day will help raise awareness and might influence our thinking and behavior for the remainder of the year. In the same way similar such national days for certain causes are intended to change mindsets not just on those days.

Apologies if this sounds obsequious. None of the above is intended to say that the level of moderation today (or at the time of a future Moderators Appreciation Day) couldn't be improved but on one day a year perhaps the effort can be appreciated not debated. I wasn't aware of it but just having searched I see some other sites might do something like this. So not an original idea but I put it to you nonetheless.

Pendrainllwyn

PinkDalek
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Re: Moderator Appreciation Day

#158677

Postby PinkDalek » August 11th, 2018, 12:35 am

Yeah, none of that was tongue in cheek. Not even the three letter abbreviation for your named day. ;)

Lootman
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Re: Moderator Appreciation

#158686

Postby Lootman » August 11th, 2018, 2:31 am

Pendrainllwyn wrote:3. All posters will exercise exemplary restraint on all boards so that no messages need to be moderated

Presumably the Polite Discussions Board would be blocked for the day, and any post containing the word "Brexit" would be automatically rejected?

Mike88
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Re: Moderator Appreciation

#158696

Postby Mike88 » August 11th, 2018, 7:37 am

This site is in danger of self destructing and the thread - 7 pages of it - about Dodds farewell is utterly ridiculous. Presumably this thread is intended to continue the discussion. If a person announces he wants to leave the site why does he have to announce the fact? Why doesn't he just stop posting? Was the intention to attract messages from people imploring him not to leave or was there some other motive? If the moderators moderate let them get on with it. This entire subject has got completely out of control verging on the ridiculous.

Itsallaguess
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Re: Moderator Appreciation

#158700

Postby Itsallaguess » August 11th, 2018, 7:56 am

Mike88 wrote:
If a person announces he wants to leave the site why does he have to announce the fact? Why doesn't he just stop posting?

Was the intention to attract messages from people imploring him not to leave or was there some other motive?


The concept of 'continuous imorovement' requires some form of feed-back loop to achieve that aim.

The absence of feed-back means that any opportunity to improve at all, whether it be justified and agreed with or not, is lost.

Dod can't control any subsequent discussion around his thoughts on leaving, and I won't personally comment on them here, but I don't think we should want to stop people raising their concerns just because any subsequent discussions might be unwanted, as we would lose the chance to perhaps take a wider view of any current concensus, and wider thoughts around the current concensus might itself become apparent *during* those subsequent discussions...

If people who were unhappy with something simply left and never returned, with no feed-back at all, the opportunity to even know what the reason was is lost. Whilst receiving such feed-back might be unpalatable, I think it is better to do so than not....

The above should not be seen as endorsing anything at all regarding this recent incident, and is really just my personal view regarding any sort of community feed-back in general.

We should welcome it - good and bad - if we want to improve the communities providing the feed-back...

Cheers,

Itsallaguess

scotia
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Re: Moderator Appreciation

#158726

Postby scotia » August 11th, 2018, 12:01 pm

Mike88 wrote:This site is in danger of self destructing and the thread - 7 pages of it - about Dodds farewell is utterly ridiculous.

I totally agree. The weakness seems to stem from the Moderators trying to bend over backwards to respond to criticisms of moderation by a few users who are not typical of the large numbers of contented users. It would be a tragedy if moderators decided that their efforts were better appreciated elsewhere and this site folded.
I have no idea whether or not the originator of this stream had a tongue in cheek - but I'll take it at face value. I definitely appreciate the work which the moderators put into this site.

johnhemming
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Re: Moderator Appreciation

#158727

Postby johnhemming » August 11th, 2018, 12:12 pm

The difficulty for the moderators is simply that they are likely when taking action to upset someone (the person whose post they are moderating normally). However, I am personally grateful for the moderators because otherwise a site just ends up with the more aggressive individuals (often operating under a pseudonym) driving away those who are less aggressive.

I am sympathetic with the moderators on the contentious issue of what is and what is not within the terms of reference for each topic. After all it is mainly a question as to which topic to use rather than whether or not people are entitled to comment.

Political bodies tend to have the same set of rules and contributions to the debate can be in order or out of order. The same applies online.

Thanks in general to the moderators. (even if I might raise a specific concern about a specific moderation decision).

PinkDalek
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Re: Moderator Appreciation

#158737

Postby PinkDalek » August 11th, 2018, 12:49 pm

johnhemming wrote:Thanks in general to the moderators.


I was with you until your "in general", unless you genuinely believe all of the volunteer Mods should be perfect and each and every one of their decisions should be correct, in your view. Even those where they've decided not to interject.

... (even if I might raise a specific concern about a specific moderation decision).


Noting you've put that part in brackets but it is, of course, something that you can probably raise on this specific board. Depending on the content of course. Perhaps in a separate Topic, should you so wish.

johnhemming
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Re: Moderator Appreciation

#158738

Postby johnhemming » August 11th, 2018, 12:53 pm

How about thanks to all the moderators.

Lootman
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Re: Moderator Appreciation

#158748

Postby Lootman » August 11th, 2018, 1:49 pm

johnhemming wrote:I am personally grateful for the moderators because otherwise a site just ends up with the more aggressive individuals (often operating under a pseudonym) driving away those who are less aggressive.

I do not think you can assume that a Lemon who prefers anonymity here is "aggressive". You may use your real name but the majority of people here prefer to use a non-de-plume for privacy reasons. There is nothing inherently suspect about that.

Nor would i agree that people who are direct and assertive (if that is what you mean by "aggressive") are necessarily a bad thing. Excessive politeness and deference may be very British but can also be boring. Surely we need a mix of characters and a healthy dose of diversity?

You are correct that the style of moderation can drive some people out and attract other people. My fear is always that excessive moderation drives out the more creative and alternative thinkers, leading to a stultifying and passive groupthink. But that said, it has not been my personal experience that moderation here is excessive. There are clearly some who think it is. But perhaps there will always be a subset of people who feel that way, even whilst others think it is too lax.

beeswax
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Re: Moderator Appreciation

#158755

Postby beeswax » August 11th, 2018, 2:03 pm

Lootman wrote:
johnhemming wrote:I am personally grateful for the moderators because otherwise a site just ends up with the more aggressive individuals (often operating under a pseudonym) driving away those who are less aggressive.

I do not think you can assume that a Lemon who prefers anonymity here is "aggressive". You may use your real name but the majority of people here prefer to use a non-de-plume for privacy reasons. There is nothing inherently suspect about that.

Nor would i agree that people who are direct and assertive (if that is what you mean by "aggressive") are necessarily a bad thing. Excessive politeness and deference may be very British but can also be boring. Surely we need a mix of characters and a healthy dose of diversity?

You are correct that the style of moderation can drive some people out and attract other people. My fear is always that excessive moderation drives out the more creative and alternative thinkers, leading to a stultifying and passive groupthink. But that said, it has not been my personal experience that moderation here is excessive. There are clearly some who think it is. But perhaps there will always be a subset of people who feel that way, even whilst others think it is too lax.



I think that is an excellent way of expressing it and why posters can fall foul of moderation and why a light touch is better if possible. Original thinking doesn't have barriers and so expressing thoughts without going through every dot and comma can be detrimental and why allowing us the freedom to alter our posts is a huge improvement over the TMF boards..I think the balance the moderators have is always a difficult one as it won't please everyone but I agree it's not excessive here and it's a thankless task and we do and should appreciate their time and effort put in to try and keep things running smoothly as possible..

I guess they must get p*ssed of with some of the criticism they get and think about throwing the towel in...

Ashfordian
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Re: Moderator Appreciation

#158812

Postby Ashfordian » August 11th, 2018, 7:15 pm

scotia wrote:It would be a tragedy if moderators decided that their efforts were better appreciated elsewhere and this site folded.


We should all remember the users make this not what it is, not the moderators. The slow drip, drip, drip of good users leaving or stopping posting leads to a downward spiral of less people visiting and posting until TLF is a shell.

Also the reputation of the good moderators should not be tarnished by poor moderating decisions of others.

scotia
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Re: Moderator Appreciation

#158835

Postby scotia » August 11th, 2018, 9:35 pm

Ashfordian wrote:
scotia wrote:It would be a tragedy if moderators decided that their efforts were better appreciated elsewhere and this site folded.


We should all remember the users make this not what it is, not the moderators. The slow drip, drip, drip of good users leaving or stopping posting leads to a downward spiral of less people visiting and posting until TLF is a shell.

Also the reputation of the good moderators should not be tarnished by poor moderating decisions of others.


I'm puzzled by the apparent double negative "the users make this not what it is, not the moderators"
If you meant to say "the users make this what it is, not the moderators", then I profoundly disagree. I have experienced other financial sites with little or no moderation, and they degenerate into long slanging matches between combatants.
Also - I am uncertain whether or not you are suggesting that there has been a slow drip, drip, drip of good users leaving or stopping posting. Of course such an event would lead to the demise of TLF, but I am unaware that there is any danger of such an event. In any club there will always be contributors who cannot abide by rules which the majority agree with, and they may wish to find a more comfortable existence elsewhere.

Lootman
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Re: Moderator Appreciation

#158840

Postby Lootman » August 11th, 2018, 9:45 pm

scotia wrote:Also - I am uncertain whether or not you are suggesting that there has been a slow drip, drip, drip of good users leaving or stopping posting. Of course such an event would lead to the demise of TLF, but I am unaware that there is any danger of such an event.

It's not easy to know unless such departees make an announcement, as Dod did. Others may just vanish, or post less, and we might not realise.

That said, the statistics of site use and user activity is all there. If someone had time on their hands they could look at trends like the attrition rate, daily activity numbers over time, constituency growth and make some reasonable inferences.

The one thing that I do see is that the largest number of concurrent users was 199, and that was 10 months ago. Does that constitute "Peak TLF"? I have no idea.

tjh290633
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Re: Moderator Appreciation

#158848

Postby tjh290633 » August 11th, 2018, 9:59 pm

Lootman wrote:The one thing that I do see is that the largest number of concurrent users was 199, and that was 10 months ago. Does that constitute "Peak TLF"? I have no idea.


I believe that there is a limit of 200 users at any one time. Some of those will be bots and some will be shown as "Guests".

TJH

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Re: Moderator Appreciation

#159034

Postby Ashfordian » August 12th, 2018, 5:22 pm

scotia wrote:
Ashfordian wrote:
scotia wrote:It would be a tragedy if moderators decided that their efforts were better appreciated elsewhere and this site folded.


We should all remember the users make this not what it is, not the moderators. The slow drip, drip, drip of good users leaving or stopping posting leads to a downward spiral of less people visiting and posting until TLF is a shell.

Also the reputation of the good moderators should not be tarnished by poor moderating decisions of others.


I'm puzzled by the apparent double negative "the users make this not what it is, not the moderators"
If you meant to say "the users make this what it is, not the moderators", then I profoundly disagree. I have experienced other financial sites with little or no moderation, and they degenerate into long slanging matches between combatants.
Also - I am uncertain whether or not you are suggesting that there has been a slow drip, drip, drip of good users leaving or stopping posting. Of course such an event would lead to the demise of TLF, but I am unaware that there is any danger of such an event. In any club there will always be contributors who cannot abide by rules which the majority agree with, and they may wish to find a more comfortable existence elsewhere.


Last post was written on my phone hence the missing word. It should have read

""the users make this site what it is, not the moderators"

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Re: Moderator Appreciation

#159049

Postby Gengulphus » August 12th, 2018, 6:34 pm

Mike88 wrote:This site is in danger of self destructing and the thread - 7 pages of it - about Dodds farewell is utterly ridiculous. ...

Well, you're free to laugh at whatever tickles your sense of humour, just as I am at people lengthening threads with adverse comments on their length...

Mike88 wrote:... Presumably this thread is intended to continue the discussion. ...

Why presume that when there is an obvious and much easier way of continuing the discussion??? I would presume instead that it's intended as a humorous comment on the discussion that is best not put into the discussion itself, and possibly as an expression of appreciation to the moderators. (I say "possibly" because I find it difficult to be certain whether that aspect is meant to be part of its tongue-in-cheek nature - I can read it either way...)

Mike88 wrote:... If a person announces he wants to leave the site why does he have to announce the fact? Why doesn't he just stop posting? Was the intention to attract messages from people imploring him not to leave or was there some other motive? ...
(with my strikethrough because I presume that bit is an inadvertent misedit - the answer to the question as actually stated is blindingly obvious!)

People don't have to announce the fact and can just stop posting. But there are at least three possible motives for announcing the fact besides the one your last question suggests. First, simple politeness - the same reason that you say goodbye when leaving a friend's rather than just walking out. Secondly, reassuring other users that all that's happened is that you've decided to leave and not something more serious like you having died, suffered a stroke, or something else that prevents you from posting. Thirdly, if you have decided that a site is not for you but you still wish it well, providing a final bit of feedback to the site about what is wrong about it from your point of view.

Mike88 wrote:... If the moderators moderate let them get on with it. ...

That's what people are doing, by discussing it in a thread rather than sending the moderators private messages - which even if each user who is concerned about the issues raised in the thread only sent one or two of them, would probably result in the moderators being absolutely bombarded with them! The moderators are just as free to stop reading the discussion as anyone else, and even if all the moderators did that, it might still spark some useful thoughts about improving the site among the users who are still participating in it. The thread can perfectly reasonably be allowed to continue, with people dropping out of it as and when they lose interest, until it dies of its own accord, or a Biscuit Bar moderator decides it's better locked. I wouldn't expect the latter to happen until it's clear that it's going around in circles, degenerates into a slanging match, or both. (By the way, I think I'm about a hundred posts behind on it at the moment, so don't read any statement into that about its current state!)

Edit: I should add on the actual topic of the thread that I appreciate the efforts of the moderators right now and see no reason to wait for an annual Moderators Appreciation Day!

Gengulphus

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Re: Moderator Appreciation

#159054

Postby melonfool » August 12th, 2018, 6:49 pm

Ashfordian wrote:

""the users make this site what it is, not the moderators"


Moderators are users too and, as we don't all moderate all boards, on most boards we are *only* users. I was just thinking a couple of days ago that being a moderator is seriously undermining my ability to enjoy this site as I would prefer to. It means that rather than go and learn more about investing I am picking up reports every time I log in. On Friday I think I did about six and I was out all day (two were complex - merging threads which I had forgotten how to do, so took me ages, plus involved a PM to a user and a wait for a reply)! Yesterday was quieter and I think I did two or three, but one was quite complex, correcting some quote marks in a long post with lots of quotes. Not sure I've seen any today mind you.

I often log on thinking I'll have a read of x board, only to find a load of reports, some mod discussion I might need to input to and sometimes a BB thread that it is useful to read and think about/post on.

If you think that is the way I'd prefer to use the boards, you're mistaken. It's actually a bit depressing.

I like to think both the users and mods make the boards. I've been on unmoderated boards and it's quite ghastly.

Mel

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Re: Moderator Appreciation

#159086

Postby BrummieDave » August 12th, 2018, 8:45 pm

The board can only exist if it was created in the first place (thank you creators), managed by those who moderate it (thank you mods), and populated by interesting contributors (thank you everyone).

I've kept out of the 'Dod' thread as it's clearly about HYP and its treatment and I'm not part of that universe.

I was however 'modded' last week for "excessive use of emojis" (4 smileys) and did think that a tad pedantic tbh, but hey ho, life goes on eh...? As I've stated previously this board is a fantastic facility bringing together some very useful info and opinion in a very accessible manner, and long may it continue to be so.

:D Thanks everyone! (won't push my luck, just the one emoji ;))

Pendrainllwyn
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Re: Moderator Appreciation

#159118

Postby Pendrainllwyn » August 12th, 2018, 11:56 pm

To clarify, my original post was not tongue in cheek.

At work I am not seen to be a frequent praiser. One consequence is that my praise probably has more currency than praise from other managers who say "great job" on a very frequent basis. My colleagues would be amused that I had come up with this suggestion. So out of character perhaps but not tongue in cheek.

Gengulphus wrote:Edit: I should add on the actual topic of the thread that I appreciate the efforts of the moderators right now and see no reason to wait for an annual Moderators Appreciation Day!

I completely agree. However, that could also be said for Mothering Sunday which has become quite popular. It also doesn't seem to happen much on TLF. Criticism of Mods seems to far outweigh appreciation and I thought some rebalancing might be beneficial.

Pendrainllwyn


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