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Q&A Moderation
waffles Offline
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#1
 
Q&A Moderation
A lot of questions in Q&A now have been asked before multiple times, and I think there are three reasons for this.
  • the FAQ is too old and too small. There are many more frequently asked questions that are not in the FAQ.
  • people don't post questions with descriptive titles. I have a question, [Insert witty title here], Forcing questions.: three examples on the first page. I mentioned this earlier but no-one listened. It just makes it harder to find a relevant question.
  • people just don't use the search function or do their homework.

I understand there's supposed to be a wiki coming soon but the second two really shouldn't be condoned in my opinion. Undoubtedly point #2 is detrimental, and I'd ask that a rule be added (and enforced) against it.

As for #3, again I would recommend moderation against it. Questions like oh god how do I force, well, I shouldn't have to say anything about that. Oh, and help I've been forcing for almost a month and nothing is happening is another good example.
I suppose saying "this question has already been asked", possibly linking the thread and closing the thread is an option. Another is to delete it along with a similar PM.

Replying to
(08-29-2013, 12:01 PM)Rasznir Wrote: I'm not sure that deleting questions which have been answered before is a good approach, mainly because users expect (or at least deserve) a personalised response if they ask a personalised question.
I don't disagree. There are plenty of questions that are asked again because the situation is different. However, if this is the case then it should be specified by the poster why their situation is different (this should be happening anyway, otherwise people can't answer the question properly). If their question is not personalised, e.g., the two examples above, moderation is warranted.

As for why exactly this should be done, there are two main reasons.
  • it saves time and effort to not have to answer the same questions over and over again.
  • it's really not good to encourage people to be lazy, and to not do their homework. You do condone this if you do their work for them, and that'll come back to haunt you when in a few months' time they are the new community.
08-29-2013, 12:37 PM
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Rasznir Offline
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#2
 
RE: Q&A Moderation
(08-29-2013, 12:37 PM)waffles Wrote: people don't post questions with descriptive titles. I have a question, [Insert witty title here], Forcing questions.: three examples on the first page. I mentioned this earlier but no-one listened. It just makes it harder to find a relevant question.

I haven't been around the on-topic forums much here, but I immediately see what you mean when I look in the Q&A forum. I'm not sure enough to comment on whether or not it should be a rule, but I agree that it should be discouraged, at the least.

(08-29-2013, 12:37 PM)waffles Wrote: Questions like oh god how do I force, well, I shouldn't have to say anything about that. Oh, and help I've been forcing for almost a month and nothing is happening is another good example.
I suppose saying "this question has already been asked", possibly linking the thread and closing the thread is an option. Another is to delete it along with a similar PM.

In my opinion, posting and linking the user to an existing thread or guide is a good idea. Leaving the thread open might also be a good idea, as it allows the user to then ask any follow-up questions they may have, relating to the same topic, without creating a new thread (keeps it a bit tidier, basically).
08-29-2013, 01:08 PM
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Shui Away
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#3
 
RE: Q&A Moderation
I agree with Rasznir. Linking someone to pre-existing threads is a good idea. Don't feel responsible for answering every question personally -- if you don't want to do it yourself, someone else probably will.

As to the main page information being out of date, it looks like that was recently changed. The guides link now points to the guides forum, and the FAQ link points to the wiki. So if the information is incomplete in any way, any user can complete it.

"'Real isn't how you are made,' said the Skin Horse. 'It's a thing that happens to you.'"
(This post was last modified: 08-29-2013, 07:21 PM by Slushie.)
08-29-2013, 01:48 PM
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waffles Offline
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#4
 
RE: Q&A Moderation
(08-29-2013, 01:08 PM)Rasznir Wrote: In my opinion, posting and linking the user to an existing thread or guide is a good idea. Leaving the thread open might also be a good idea, as it allows the user to then ask any follow-up questions they may have, relating to the same topic, without creating a new thread (keeps it a bit tidier, basically).
Well, it's a decent option but the problem I see then is primarily that you're still not really discouraging it too strongly. You're leaving the thread open for other people to actually answer - perhaps that should be discouraged as well. Maybe it doesn't need strong discouragement but it is in the "Please Read" sticky already. Plus if it's tidiness you're after then wouldn't it be better to delete the thread and not leave what are essentially duplicate threads lying around?

(08-29-2013, 01:48 PM)Shui Wrote: Don't feel responsible for answering every question personally -- if you don't want to do it yourself, someone else probably will.
You're right, of course, but I did mention something like
(08-29-2013, 12:37 PM)waffles Wrote:
  • it's really not good to encourage people to be lazy, and to not do their homework. You do condone this if you do their work for them, and that'll come back to haunt you when in a few months' time they are the new community.
So while I don't have anything against people who want to answer duplicate questions, I don't think it's in the best interests of the community.

Actually, if someone wants to give their own answer some time after the question was asked then I suppose they should be welcome to post on the old thread. I know it's usually discouraged but in this case I think it would be good to have all the relevant information in one place. Possibly people who have a question with a slight modification could do this as well.


(08-29-2013, 01:48 PM)Shui Wrote: As to the main page information being out of date, it looks like that was recently changed. The guides link now points to the guides forum, and the FAQ link points to the wiki. So if the information is incomplete in any way, any user can complete it.
If the wiki is ever opened, yes. But about the guides tab, I think it would be good to take a few guides as site-endorsed like there used to be.
(This post was last modified: 08-29-2013, 07:21 PM by Slushie.)
08-29-2013, 04:01 PM
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Purlox Offline
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#5
 
RE: Q&A Moderation
I agree with most of your points.

I'm not sure if FAQ needs updating in the sense that if people did their research, which they usually don't and so they wouldn't check the FAQ anyway. So I would rather be up for making changes that would make people do their research rather than improve FAQ that most people won't read althouth that doesn't mean that we can't improve the FAQ.

I think posting a link to a thread that answers their question if it has already been answered, giving them small warning and locking the topic would be a good way of doing it imo. If their question is somehow not answered by the thread redirected to, then they could provide valid reason in PM to one of the mods and if it is indeed valid then the question could be re-opened by a mod that would state why it got re-opened and why it's not answered by the thread linked.

The above paragraph is just what I'm proposing, it's not going into effect immediatelly, because we need to discuss it more.

(08-29-2013, 04:01 PM)waffles Wrote: If the wiki is ever opened, yes. But about the guides tab, I think it would be good to take a few guides as site-endorsed like there used to be.

We are working on making the wiki open for users to use, but it's still WIP, so it might take some time before it gets open.

I think having a page of site-endorsed guides being linked by the Guides page on the main page could be a good idea, because it would link new people to some good guides instead of making the have to go to the guides part of the forum and dig through the guides to find something that looks good even if it might not be that good.

Edit: Forgot to say that if the user creates a new thread asking the same question after having his thread closed, then that new thread should probably be deleted and he would get another warning.
(This post was last modified: 08-29-2013, 05:30 PM by Purlox.)
08-29-2013, 05:16 PM
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Sands Offline
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#6
 
Default  RE: Q&A Moderation
Seriously Purlox? Warnings for this? You think warnings solve everything, don't you? Why isn't that message enough for you, telling exactly what they did wrong? They'd know it without a warning and then if they keep doing it, sure, warn away. But seriously? Come on, this place is way too dependent on warnings. Speaking of those, tell your mods what they have to do when warning because I don't always even get a reason for my warnings and have to dig for them. That's bullshit.

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(This post was last modified: 08-29-2013, 07:11 PM by Slushie.)
08-29-2013, 05:51 PM
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waffles Offline
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#7
 
RE: Q&A Moderation
(08-29-2013, 05:16 PM)Purlox Wrote: I'm not sure if FAQ needs updating in the sense that if people did their research, which they usually don't and so they wouldn't check the FAQ anyway. So I would rather be up for making changes that would make people do their research rather than improve FAQ that most people won't read althouth that doesn't mean that we can't improve the FAQ.
If you're saying that improving the FAQ is a waste of effort because no-one will check it, then I suppose the answer is to promote the FAQ. It's not exactly hidden right now but it's not really out there, and what's more there's not much to promote. I think it would be a good idea to encourage people to read the FAQ itself before looking elsewhere, if only because it's a lot easier.


(08-29-2013, 05:16 PM)Purlox Wrote: I think posting a link to a thread that answers their question if it has already been answered, giving them small warning and locking the topic would be a good way of doing it imo. If their question is somehow not answered by the thread redirected to, then they could provide valid reason in PM to one of the mods and if it is indeed valid then the question could be re-opened by a mod that would state why it got re-opened and why it's not answered by the thread linked.
I agree somewhat with what Sands said, although less violently. A warning is a bit much for a first-time offence, but I think it's reasonable to take action on a repeat offence.


(08-29-2013, 05:51 PM)Sands Wrote: Why I brought up the fact that one of our admins wasn't even up to date as to what happens on the forums here? Well, it might be slightly off-topic, but it is a part of this problem. What waffles asked for absolutely requires each and every one of our admins to fucking browse the boards they are moderating. This newest bunch of mods and admins came from IRC, where they mod and spend most of their time. Otherwise they rarely are on these boards. That has to change, because this Q&A update would mean they have to be here to look over the boards.

I am happy that mods are finally agreeing. Took fucking forever, but it's something. What I'm wondering is why waffles had to point out obvious problems before our mods realized there is a problem and something would have to change. Come on guys. Read the fucking boards you are modding, please.
I agree somewhat. I have nothing against Rasznir being an admin in a technical capacity only, but we could do with somewhat more hands-on moderation. I can't be the only one who's seen stuff go unmoderated for days, can I? You're right in that these rules would require more moderation than currently goes on, but only because little goes on anyway. I think that one dedicated Q&A mod could do the job adequately, but we have five moderators excluding Rasznir already so that shouldn't be necessary if they stepped up themselves.

EDIT: Because Slushie went through the thread and deleted a lot of stuff without telling anyone, which could cause confusion and in any case is abuse of power, here is the original thread until before this post.
(This post was last modified: 08-29-2013, 07:48 PM by waffles.)
08-29-2013, 07:30 PM
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Shui Away
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#8
 
RE: Q&A Moderation
(08-29-2013, 07:30 PM)waffles Wrote: If you're saying that improving the FAQ is a waste of effort because no-one will check it, then I suppose the answer is to promote the FAQ. It's not exactly hidden right now but it's not really out there, and what's more there's not much to promote. I think it would be a good idea to encourage people to read the FAQ itself before looking elsewhere, if only because it's a lot easier.

The way the default theme used to be set up, I kept clicking on "guides", thinking that it would take me to the forum guides, and instead being taken to FAQman and Irish. A setup like that for FAQ might be nice.

(08-29-2013, 07:30 PM)waffles Wrote: I agree somewhat with what Sands said, although less violently.

Wow, I think you just summed up my entire life.

"'Real isn't how you are made,' said the Skin Horse. 'It's a thing that happens to you.'"
08-29-2013, 07:55 PM
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CreativeMind Offline
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#9
 
RE: Q&A Moderation
I must say that I agree with the stricter approach. Let's be honest here, we want to be taken seriously, and that's not going to happen when most newcomers don't care to do any reading and just want 'oh cool I can have an imaginary friend that has it's own mind tell me how'. I do think it would be in the best interest of the community to keep this to a minimum.

What I THINK would be a good balance of strictness/friendliness, would be to have those posts deleted, and a PM sent to the person who posted. It can even be copy/pasted as something along the lines of:

"We welcome you to the community and it's great that you're interested in creating a tulpa. However, as 'for science!' is our phrase, we need to ensure that new members are able to at least educate themselves and take the process somewhat seriously as to keep the forums as helpful and organized as possible. After reading through the Guides if you find some of your questions are still unanswered, you are more than welcome to start a thread and members will be willing to help you. Have a great day, and good luck!"

Of course not exactly that, but you know what I mean. I'd approach newbies with something like that, and warn everyone (and delete threads) that's been here for a while (which that doesn't really happen as far as I've seen). If we approach newcomers with a 'we want to help you but we don't have time for lazy bullshit' attitude, these threads would happen less and less.

Oh, in that PM, explain the search. Not everyone knows how forum searches work.

Also, there's no reason that the forums can't be monitored more closely. I'm not blaming anyone, I know everyone has their own life. But these forums aren't exactly the busiest. There's usually a handful of new threads posted daily at best. Perhaps new threads can be peeped at daily, I'm sure that would help.

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08-29-2013, 08:07 PM
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Rasznir Offline
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#10
 
RE: Q&A Moderation
I think a good idea might be to send new members a PM containing a friendly welcome message because we don't want to send them a nasty welcome message do we, and a collection of useful resources for them to get started with. Additionally, they could be informed that a lot of questions they may have will already be answered, either in those guides, or by using the search function for the Q&A forum (with an explanation of how to use it).
08-29-2013, 08:52 PM
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