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Old 11-30-2019, 04:30 PM
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Has this message board ever been so short of moderators before?


I can't remember a time when the board administration actually sent out a call for moderators. If this is the situation, I imagine that explains why, when I wanted to get approval for an iffy question I wanted to ask in GQ, I couldn't find a list of moderators to ask.

And is this is a bad sign for the current and future state of the SDMB?
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Last edited by Spectre of Pithecanthropus; 11-30-2019 at 04:31 PM.
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Old 11-30-2019, 04:34 PM
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List of Moderators
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Old 11-30-2019, 05:42 PM
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Originally Posted by running coach View Post
Oh, OK, I see. The information is still there but in a different place.

I was referring to the list of moderators that used to appear at the bottom of the page in the individual forums.
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Old 11-30-2019, 06:13 PM
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It's still there. Which skin are you using?
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Old 11-30-2019, 07:16 PM
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To speak to the OP, looking at the lists of moderators for each forum is interesting. There aren't that many different individuals involved; one moderator helps cover five forums including two of the most contentious ones (GD and Elections). Other moderators help cover two or three forums. I don't know if that warrants any conclusions, but I wouldn't be surprised if the moderators themselves would like to have the work spread out a little more.
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Old 11-30-2019, 07:28 PM
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We’re working on it.

Hey, try applying. Who knows what could happen.
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Old 11-30-2019, 08:25 PM
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Purely hypothetical, but does one get the coffee mug immediately upon being accepted as a mod? Also, if one were to resign immediately upon receiving said mug, would they have to return it?

Asking for a friend.
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Old 11-30-2019, 08:32 PM
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I believe the call-out was because TPTB are actually trying for a little more diversity ----- not because there is any shortage. I believe we've usually fallen between 10 and 15 with the average staff being a basically "Dirty Dozen".
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Old 11-30-2019, 08:51 PM
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Gaudere is shown as a GD Mod (and the only GD mod), but she hasn't shown up for over a year!?
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Old 11-30-2019, 09:48 PM
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This is not the first time we have put out a call for moderators. It's not something we do often, but it's not unheard of either.

In addition to the overall list posted by running coach upthread, there is also a list of moderators for each forum at the bottom of the forum page. This list does not show up on Sultantheme. It only shows up on the Straight Dope v3.7.3 theme.

You can't join up just to get a mug. You have to earn it. Mods go through sort of a probationary period. Only when that is done do you get your mug (and even then often not for a long time afterwards - we're not terribly good at getting mugs out on time). Many are called. Few get mugged. Wait, that's not quite right...

When your probationary period ends you also get a raise, which is based on a percentage of your salary.
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Old 11-30-2019, 09:59 PM
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How many hours a day/week are expected?
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Old 11-30-2019, 10:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Musicat View Post
Gaudere is shown as a GD Mod (and the only GD mod), but she hasn't shown up for over a year!?
Jonathan chance and tomndebb are both listed as GD mods. It do you mean the only one that is only a GD mod?

Last edited by raventhief; 11-30-2019 at 10:23 PM.
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Old 11-30-2019, 10:28 PM
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How many hours a day/week are expected?
We do not have set hours or strict schedules, but you do need to be available. How much time you actually spend moderating can vary quite a bit.

For example, if you need to punt a spammer into the cornfield, that can be done fairly quickly. If you need to wade into the middle of a ten page thread and figure out the context of a particular post in a contentious and complex thread, that's going to take a lot more time. Rush through it, and you're more likely to whiff a call and end up getting run through the ringer in ATMB.

Generally, you aren't going to be spending hours and hours moderating, but you do have to be able to respond to post reports within a reasonable amount of time.

We also occasionally have to deal with the occasional "spampocalypse" type situation, and then it's all hands on deck.

It does take a fair amount of time and effort, and mods have stepped down when they have felt that they haven't had enough time available to devote to it.
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Old 11-30-2019, 10:54 PM
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Agreed.

And the time commitment can vary from month to month. I know there are some times where I can devote a lot of time to moderating and others, say when the market's going crazy, where I pretty much just respond to reports and the others have to carry the load.

So the time commitment is there, but it can be left to the rest of each forum's moderators to allow for coverage if a mod is away, or whatever. I know when I was being treated for cancer in 2017 the others stepped up in a big way to cover for me when, for weeks, I just really wasn't up to doing much.
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Old 11-30-2019, 11:11 PM
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It's still there. Which skin are you using?
Sorry, how would I know which skin I'm using?

What I have looks very traditional with the orange on blue or red color scheme, blue menu bar, etc.
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Old 11-30-2019, 11:12 PM
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Were working on it.

Hey, try applying. Who knows what could happen.
I've been a mod already, and don't wish to go back.

I got my coffee mug.
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Old 11-30-2019, 11:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonathan Chance View Post
Agreed.

And the time commitment can vary from month to month. I know there are some times where I can devote a lot of time to moderating and others, say when the market's going crazy, where I pretty much just respond to reports and the others have to carry the load.

So the time commitment is there, but it can be left to the rest of each forum's moderators to allow for coverage if a mod is away, or whatever. I know when I was being treated for cancer in 2017 the others stepped up in a big way to cover for me when, for weeks, I just really wasn't up to doing much.
Over the last year I first had some health issues and then some personal issues that kept me off board more than in the past. Luckily Im not in purgatory GD or Elections so the work load isnt as bad. Someone always steps up.

As for hours it would be nice to get mods in other time zones as weve had periodically in the past both for availability and a different perspective. Its not 100% necessary because we have mods the keep strange hours as it is. Looks like Ill be working overnight next year for example.
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Old 11-30-2019, 11:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spectre of Pithecanthropus View Post
Sorry, how would I know which skin I'm using?

What I have looks very traditional with the orange on blue or red color scheme, blue menu bar, etc.
Very bottom of the page, drop down box on the left.
As e_c_g mentioned, the forum list only shows in 3.7.3, Sultantheme is riddled with bugs.
  #19  
Old 11-30-2019, 11:44 PM
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Were working on it.

Hey, try applying. Who knows what could happen.
I have a pretty good idea.
  #20  
Old 11-30-2019, 11:46 PM
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Sultantheme has been corrected a bit. Still not perfect but it might work for somebody, I dunno.

I didn't like how it looks, but I'm old fashioned.

When we first started having a message board there were two of us. It stayed at two for a long time, though the faces changed. IIRC we had a grand total of three when we left AOL.

It wasn't until we got out here on our own and had more forums that we started bringing on more people.

We've had more people, we've had less. It has varied with traffic and people.

It's going to vary again. Soon.

The size of the moderation staff is not a predictor of anything about the present or future of The Straight Dope or The Straight Dope Message Board except that it just means we need to bring more mods on board right now. That's it.

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  #21  
Old 12-01-2019, 01:08 AM
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The more moderators, the better. That makes it easy to deal with spammers, the obvious posts in the wrong forum, closing duplicate posts. as well as merging duplicate posts.
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  #22  
Old 12-01-2019, 01:31 AM
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When we first started having a message board there were two of us. It stayed at two for a long time, though the faces changed. IIRC we had a grand total of three when we left AOL.
And at least one who only hosted chats.

I still have my mug somewhere.
  #23  
Old 12-01-2019, 01:38 PM
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Having noticed the call for mod applications, I've thought about it.

Problem is:

I have no issues with "technical" stuff like wishing spammers to the cornfield, fixing links, thread titles, etc.

But I don't really want to get into the more personal stuff. Issuing warnings and dealing with all that.

Other people might want to help with mod working while choosing different categories they prefer to assist in.

If there were recognized distinctions among "real" mods and junior secondary mods there might be more volunteers to help out.
  #24  
Old 12-01-2019, 04:05 PM
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Having noticed the call for mod applications, I've thought about it.

Problem is:

I have no issues with "technical" stuff like wishing spammers to the cornfield, fixing links, thread titles, etc.

But I don't really want to get into the more personal stuff. Issuing warnings and dealing with all that.

Other people might want to help with mod working while choosing different categories they prefer to assist in.

If there were recognized distinctions among "real" mods and junior secondary mods there might be more volunteers to help out.
That's a really great idea. "Fire marshals" rather than mods. They could be a separate user group that had normal poster powers but during spampocalypse they get given ban powers. Or they could always have the power to move other posters into a "spammer" user group that has no privileges.
  #25  
Old 12-01-2019, 04:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CarnalK View Post
That's a really great idea. "Fire marshals" rather than mods. They could be a separate user group that had normal poster powers but during spampocalypse they get given ban powers. Or they could always have the power to move other posters into a "spammer" user group that has no privileges.
This is a good idea!
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Old 12-01-2019, 11:30 PM
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Are spam posts such big a problem now? At the time when I was a mod, eight or nine years ago, ir seemed like the anti-spam bots were working pretty well.

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Old 12-02-2019, 06:31 AM
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It goes in waves. Sometimes we get hammered - mostly these days by people doing it personally from spam farms elsewhere (so no bots) - and other times it's pretty minimal.
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Old 12-02-2019, 10:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ftg View Post
I have no issues with "technical" stuff like wishing spammers to the cornfield, fixing links, thread titles, etc.

But I don't really want to get into the more personal stuff. Issuing warnings and dealing with all that.

Other people might want to help with mod working while choosing different categories they prefer to assist in.

If there were recognized distinctions among "real" mods and junior secondary mods there might be more volunteers to help out.
This suggestion has been made, but has been considered to be impractical. For one thing, we would get more complaints of the nature "a mod posted in the thread but did nothing about the insult two posts above" (even if we gave them different titles).

Although we had a recent incident of a particularly industrious spammer, spam these days is much lower than it used to be. A few years ago we had a couple of streaming spammers who would create dozens of new names every single day.
  #29  
Old 12-02-2019, 07:38 PM
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Were working on it.

Hey, try applying. Who knows what could happen.
How do you apply? If a call was sent out, how come I never saw it?
  #30  
Old 12-02-2019, 07:42 PM
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There was a sticky up on the top of the Board for a while. I think you can apply by PM'ing one of the mods and letting them know you are interested.
  #31  
Old 12-02-2019, 07:43 PM
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Um, just look up a little on the Main Page. See that all caps “The SDMB wants you!” above the forum list? Click there.
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Last edited by Northern Piper; 12-02-2019 at 07:45 PM.
  #32  
Old 12-05-2019, 10:57 PM
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Has any moderator stepped down as a mod but remained as an active poster? I’ve been around here since 2004 and I think there’s a few from around the pay to post era but recently it seems like when a mod resigns, they also leave the SDMB as a poster.
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  #33  
Old 12-06-2019, 12:07 AM
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Has any moderator stepped down as a mod but remained as an active poster? I’ve been around here since 2004 and I think there’s a few from around the pay to post era but recently it seems like when a mod resigns, they also leave the SDMB as a poster.
Former mods who are currently active posters include bibliophage, Ukulele Ike, Czarcasm, MEBuckner, IvoryTowerDenizen, and Spectre of Pithecanthropus. Others aren't very active but have posted within the last year, including twickster, Giraffe, Eutychus, Coldfire, JillGat, Hal Briston, and Gukumatz. Chronos was a moderator in the early days of the board, stepped down and continued as a regular poster for many years, and then became a moderator again. Quite a few other moderators continued as posters for some time after stepping down as a mod.

Last edited by Colibri; 12-06-2019 at 12:17 AM.
  #34  
Old 12-06-2019, 10:00 AM
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Jonathan chance and tomndebb are both listed as GD mods. It do you mean the only one that is only a GD mod?
RE Gaudere: I read the chart wrong (it's organized by mod, not by forum), but still, why is she considered a mod if no activity for a year? Mod Emeritus? Honorary?
  #35  
Old 12-07-2019, 01:42 PM
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You can't join up just to get a mug.
Oh




Thought about it, but figured I'd be way too oppressively vitupurative and gleefully banhammery, "with the schadenfraude", as they say.
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