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Pseudolonewolf`s Avatar Moderators and Reviewers Fri 19th Nov 2010 4:30pm

Category: fighunter.com

Such a fun topic this is... For the umpteenth time, I'm brining up the idea of *Moderators*, since I've known for ages I 'need' some here and it's about time to add some, partly because I want them for something specifically. First, I'll describe that, I suppose.

I mentioned before that it might be interesting to have Flash Game Reviews as a part of this site, so then we can all become more aware of Flash games worth playing, and to give my site another type of appeal. I've also experienced first-hand what it's like to be a developer and to read that someone's Officially reviewed your game, and it's a pleasant feeling that would be nice to give other developers the opportunity to experience, or something.

The Reviews would have to be fairly lengthy, I suppose, and they'd probably need to include pictures in some form or another, as well as an overall rating thing; perhaps a separate score for things such as Graphics, Fun Factor, Replayability, Sound, etc, and an overall Total.
They'd be shown on the main page, underneath the recent blog post, and there'd be a separate Reviews page too.
People would be able to comment on Reviews in the same way you can comment on news posts.

I'm not sure how to actually DO the reviews though... That is, I don't know whether to choose some special 'Reviewers' who apply specifically and show that they can do the job, or whether I'd make it more free and open to all, where anyone could write a review, but once they've done so, they'd need to submit it for assessment before it's Accepted and displayed (with spammy abuse of the system leading to a ban; I'd probably make it so that you couldn't add images UNTIL the review was Accepted, just to clear up an obvious form of abuse before it comes up).

If it was publically open, we'd probably get more reviews... Perhaps TOO many. I'd also need to make sure that multiple people didn't review the same game all at once... though maybe different people talking about the same game wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing? I don't know; I still need to work out the details.
If however there were only a selected group of special Reviewers, then there'd be fewer reviews and it'd be certain that games would only be reviewed by one person, and that there'd be less abuse.

To get back to the topic of moderators... Since the Reviews would need to be assessed and then Accepted when it's sure they're devoid of typos, they're long and deep enough, and they're fair, that could be another duty of the moderators. Each moderator would have access to a list of all the current pending Reviews and could read and approve them from there.

However, something I'd want to do with all of the moderator functions is add a security measure that prevents any one moderator going renegade or getting lazy and doing things they shouldn't. While I'd only choose people I trust, I think everyone would be more comfortable with what I'm about to describe being in place.
Moderators would be able to Approve reviews, yes, but all they'd do by clicking the Approve button was 'add their mark'. It would take two, or perhaps three moderators all adding their mark to a single review for it to be properly approved. This way, some may pick up on things that others missed, and a moderator couldn't just lazily go around Approving reviews he hadn't even read.

The same would apply for the Moderators' ability to ban people. Since bans are easily reversible in terms of the code-related stuff, I may as well give moderators the ability to ban people, but only if two or maybe three add their mark, showing that they agree. That way, one single moderator couldn't go on a banning spree, or ban people they simply didn't like.

Perhaps though I'd also give moderators the ability to give temporary bans, up to about a week, to sort out trolls as soon as they start misbehaving instead of having to wait.

I'm not actually sure what abilities moderators would even have though. Every time this comes up, everyone has their own views on the matter and seems eager to volunteer them in *exhaustive* detail, but people don't agree so I never know what to do.
I suppose most people would base their comments and suggestions on their experience with moderator powers elsewhere, but since most sites use prefabricated forums and I made my own, and I've also never really been ON any prefabricated forum anywhere ever, I don't know what these abilities even are.

Something I've heard suggested is deleting or editing posts, but this is something I'm NOT going to do. Some posts may be spammy and in need of deletion, but I might leave that for myself to have to do because I don't want moderators being overly zealous and editing or deleting posts for typos or 'offensive language' amidst other, more thought-out text... Hmm.

What else?



Maybe I should make a list of moderator features for easy reference, so then people can comment about what I've missed and so then I can use it to add the features later.

- Temporary ban power; they'd be able to block people from posting anything for a number of days; perhaps for up to seven, or maybe ten days. This would only serve to prevent them from misbehaving while a proper ban is decided on.

- Marking Reviews for Acceptance, and Marking Users for Banning. Two or three moderators would have to agree, and all Marked Reviews and users would be listed in an easily accessible place; a 'ModHQ' or something accessible from the top bar.

- The ability to view ratings. However, at this point they may not be able to do anything about specific ratings other than banning the one giving them.

- The ability to give Banpoints. Perhaps I'd have a limit on how many could be given in one go (or a drop-down list of things like 1-Minor Infraction, 5-Mild Infraction, 10-Infraction, 25-Severe Infraction, 50-Very Severe Infraction) by a single moderator? Hmm. And maybe they'd be tied into comments, so a moderator would need to type WHY they were giving the banpoints in order to give them at all?

- The ability to Lock threads, and maybe Move them too (though that hardly seems worth the effort).


So that's that. If there's anything Moderators really need to be able to do other than that, perhaps you should mention it.
*Choosing* moderators won't be easy though; this is the bit that usually puts me off doing this at all, since it's so difficult for me to trust anyone enough.
They'd need to be people I've got to know well enough on the site, from talking to them in the chatroom, probably, and they'd need to have been a member for a long time too to show that they're interested enough in staying. And they'd need to access the site a lot, too. I'd also prefer people over a certain age; no 'children'.

I'd be interested in hearing any thoughts on the moderator or Reviews things. I'll get to work on both systems soon, probably today, but I don't know how long they'll take to implement.



In other news, I've been making great progress on my 'secret game', which I may talk about soon since it's rather boring keeping it a secret, and I'm fairly sure now that I'll be finishing it rather than abandoning it since I'm well beyond the point of abandoning it as a bad idea. Maybe that's what my Weekly Update can be about?


I mentioned also that I'd been neglecting reading my messages, which I had, but I kept putting them off since they built up so much, so what I decided to do was to give myself a fresh start... I cleared out my messages and PMs on this site, so any that I get after this point will be much easier to reply to and so on.
63 comments

 

63 Commentson 27 roots

skeletalserpent`s Avatar
Rating Orb skeletalserpent 14 Canada CholericMelancholic 44C 38F
7 years ago | (3)
Oh, hurray, all of my lengthy PMs and such are henceforth deleted. Hurray.

Mods would be nice, though. And reviews, too. I've almost stopped playing flash games because I don't know what to play.....


Oh, And by the way, Pseudo. -macer/-mancy means divining and such. Thus, necromancers, pyromancers and areomancers (if there is such thing) are people who ask questions/read the dead, fire, and air/wind appropriately. Not magic-working. That would be -urgy, or something like that. (This is all on TvTropes. Sorry if you've seen this already. I understand why might do so with MADREK, but on FH I'd want to have everything 'correct'. Maybe a pyrougyer class, for grammer nazis?)
Pseudolonewolf`s Avatar
Rating Orb A β Pseudolonewolf 23 United Kingdom MelancholicPhlegmatic 2257C 559F
7 years ago | (2)
Can you please not use that eye-burning red text...?

I've explained this elsewhere before, but '-mancy' is used because it's used in loads of other games, so it could be said that its modern-day acquired meaning *is* magic wielding (isn't that what a definition is? How the word is used to mean?), and of course 'pyromancer' is more aesthetically pleasing by far than 'pyrougyer' or 'pyrourge' or whatever; those words look and sound ugly and difficult to pronounce.
So I would prefer more beautiful words to ugly ones, even if the latter are 'technically correct' in some obscure way that most people don't even know about...
skeletalserpent`s Avatar
Rating Orb skeletalserpent 14 Canada CholericMelancholic 44C 38F
7 years ago | (3)
Very well.

*I* would fine it amusing to have a 'pyrougry' class on FH, for people who flame others for incorrect use.....

(He actually answered! Amazing!)
ltlukoziuz`s Avatar
Rating Orb ltlukoziuz 16 Lithuania CholericMelancholic 20C 13F
7 years ago | (3)
Well, maybe you could make a week or two for people who want to become reviewers to send an example review and then you could see, who can really become a reviewer at your site. This would very easily sort out everything(of course, you should still look a bit at their other reviews as anything can happen)
Zeddicus101`s Avatar
Rating Orb Zeddicus101 19 United States PhlegmaticCholeric 3C 0F
7 years ago | (4)
Something that I've noticed seems to apply even more to video game reviews than other reviews: the personal preferences of the reviewer seems to always play a significant role, even if they try their best to be neutral. For example, graphics; what constitutes good graphics varies a lot by person, be it realism, crystal-clear smooth animation, dramatic blur effects, or whatever, and someone who prefers, say, retro graphics may not be able to judge the quality of anime-style graphics in a game which otherwise matches their preferences in every conceivable way (so they would be very well-qualified to judge other aspects of the game). So if you do decide to have official reviewers, it might be a bad idea to only let one of them review any particular game. Or there could be only one review, but still let all the reviewers rate each game so readers can get a more balanced impression of the overall quality (and frequent readers might even learn which reviewers' ratings most closely match their own opinions, which could make the reviews more useful and more people would read them).
Green Reuben`s Avatar
Rating Orb Green Reuben 16 New Zealand CholericPhlegmatic 167C 2F
7 years ago | (3)
This sounds like a great idea, but to make it easier for people to find a good review let people rate the reviews and the highest rated ones will go at the top.
Reviews should be able to be made by anyone and it could be the moderators job to approve them.
minvikfan`s Avatar
Rating Orb minvikfan 16 United States PhlegmaticMelancholic 8C 4F
7 years ago | (5)
I think that moderators are a good idea but the one problem is if somebody's little brother got on or friends were messing around and started playing with it they could really mess with the site. I realize that it will most likely be password protected but somehow people have a tendency to figure out how to get in trouble. I'm just saying it's a good idea, so that you can work on your "secret project"and stuff, but be careful.
Pseudolonewolf`s Avatar
Rating Orb A β Pseudolonewolf 23 United Kingdom MelancholicPhlegmatic 2257C 559F
7 years ago | (6)
I will try to choose people who are not irresponsible enough to leave their computer in such a way that their family members or idiot friends could log onto their account; people without family or friends who'd do such things would be ideal.
minvikfan`s Avatar
Rating Orb minvikfan 16 United States PhlegmaticMelancholic 8C 4F
7 years ago | (5)
I would also like to ask who would ban the moderators? I mean I know you'll probably pick good people but people will ,not always, abuse power they are given.
I think it's a good idea but it also sounds like it could be a bit of messy politics. It's your site and it sounds like good idea but I'll repeat my warning be careful with the whole thing.
2 Replies
momo`s Avatar
Rating Orb momo 13 United States 5C 0F
7 years ago | (8)
so like a year or more i really hate waiting expecaly wen its a game i love
momo`s Avatar
Rating Orb momo 13 United States 5C 0F
7 years ago | (9)
how long till you start 2 work on beast signer do u think
myperson54`s Avatar
Rating Orb myperson54 14 Canada CholericSanguine 59C 11F
7 years ago | (6)
If you want to know that, look at the bottom of the "Games" page, where Pseudo has a list of the order of what he works on. Beast Signer will take some time, because BEAST, CBC, Chimera, and Mardek 4 all are being worked on first, and a couple platformers, too.
myperson54`s Avatar
Rating Orb myperson54 14 Canada CholericSanguine 59C 11F
7 years ago | (13)
Um, I know you probably won't pick people who say," OoOoO! Pick ME! PICK ME!", but i wold like to recommend myself. Here is why:

1: On the "have you done drugs?" poll, Rating Orb shadow10hunter commented on how mature I was for a 14-year-old.
2: I try to add as much detail as I feel necessary, and I explain things that I say.
3: I am not a grammar Nazi, but I do appreciate proper grammar, spelling, and language.
4: I stick strongly to the rules, such as being appropriate and making long enough posts.
5: I would have a blue colour orb, but Rating Orb skeletalserpent rated me red after I told him to stop spamming (reasonably).
6: I LOVE writing reviews for things, whether they be books or games.
7: I am on Fighunter.com almost daily, so I would always be looking out for spamming, rude behaviour, etc.
8: (This is sort of a side note, but I'm still not making spelling errors. I'm Canadian, and we spell things like "color", "colour".)
myperson54`s Avatar
Rating Orb myperson54 14 Canada CholericSanguine 59C 11F
7 years ago | (7)
Oh, and I had forgotten this: There seems to be a troll around this topic, and they're rating all the posts green or cyan. Just a message to that troll: abusing the rating system by rating yellow or lower is a bad thing. the same thing goes for rating average posts highly, when they shouldn't be.
skeletalserpent`s Avatar
Rating Orb skeletalserpent 14 Canada CholericMelancholic 44C 38F
7 years ago | (2)
I say! Slander isn't nice! As of before now, I've never given you a single rating. As of now, you have a cyan from me, basically for the reasons why you want to be a Moderator.


(Sorry if you just made a mistake)
myperson54`s Avatar
Rating Orb myperson54 14 Canada CholericSanguine 59C 11F
7 years ago | (0)
Oh, sorry. I told you not to spam, but then you left and there was a red rating, so.... Sorry if that wasn't you. Thanks for the rating.
1 Reply
Lyle`s Avatar
Rating Orb Lyle 24 Australia 65C 28F
7 years ago | (9)
Oh jeez. There's a lot of work going into something that should just be very simple. You put out a request for mods. People apply. You pick the people who both seem capable (because they will work effectively) and who you like the best (because they will look after your interests). That's it. Arbitary rules like No Children or 18+ are pointless. It has no bearing on whether someone will be a GOOD mod or not. It has as much bearing as saying that all mods must be hot women or all mods must be archeologists. You will only antagonise with rules like that.

For the actual mods, there's a lot of checks and double-checks that are really creating a lot of work for everyone, like having mods co-sign reviews, and having mods co-sign bans. There's also some concern that mods who are given power will immediately abuse it. There is too much thinking about this. If mods are not doing their jobs properly, you just take away their mod powers. That's it. If mods are abusing their power, you will find out about it VERY fast through PMs or whatever. Considering mods are handpicked from your best, abuse is unlikely.

The only thing you need is a list of infractions and punishments, so both members and mods have guidelines. It doesn't have to be too complicated. Trolling gets a warning, then week ban, then permaban. Unintentional trolling might get two warnings. Anyone who threatens/hacks/raids/requests a ban or similar gets an immediate permaban without warning. It keeps a history of infractions against each user so that everything is in perspective. You should also have a way for people to request an unban if they think they were unfairly done by.

The only other thing I want to mention is that while appointing mods, having controls in place, and setting up reviews are important, they are distractions from the MOST important thing which is flash games. It's not worthwhile spending too much time on mods/reviews because the thing that brings income, and people, to the site are flash games and it's easy to get distracted from the big picture.
Pseudolonewolf`s Avatar
Rating Orb A β Pseudolonewolf 23 United Kingdom MelancholicPhlegmatic 2257C 559F
7 years ago | (8)
Hmm, your tone doesn't suggest 'I have an idea or suggestion', but 'look, you're doing it wrong, I'm certainly right, I know best'...

Anyway, I've basically done most of the work already now, with banpoint-giving, 'Marking' for ban, and the other stuff I mentioned in the article, so it doesn't really matter what other people suggest anymore. If it doesn't work out, I'll see that in time and I can always edit things as I go along.

I mentioned things like that I'd prefer no 'children' so as not to get peoples' hopes up, and to minimise the amount of applications since I don't want to have to read hundreds of them from strangers. And I do think age matters. (It was also an offhand comment, rather than a bullet-pointed Official List of Rules and Guidelines or anything; I was talking casually rather than formally there and wasn't trying to add unnecessary complexity.)

With the current system I've added, what seems like loads of work probably won't be, really. There's a page that moderators can view which lists currently Marked accounts, recent activity, etc, so things like the multiple-people-must-approve-a-full-ban thing won't be more complicated than they need to be. Bans are a Big Deal though so I want to be sure that they're not given whimsically.
I already added a thing which shows a history of infractions for each user, like this: [LINK]

The main reason I'd want to do the Reviews thing at all is in the interest of income. My site generates money from the adverts on it, and I get a not-tiny amount every month from them but it's not enough to reliably live by or anything. It takes me ages to make a Flash game and it's unpredictable, so if I could add some site feature that would generally boost daily hits, then I could generate more money through adverts.
Reviews seems like an easy-to-do feature with some kind of appeal, and increased community involvement. It's not going to bring in millions of new members or anything, I know that, but it might give the site a different kind of reputation; other Flash developers could know of it and come here hoping to see their game reviewed and so on. And it seems that sites like JayIsGames do very well for themselves based on the success of such a feature.

So I wanted to add Reviews to get money and I wanted moderators to help with the amount of maintenance involved in such a thing. I'm not just wasting time here on pointless projects.
Acer rubrum fox`s Avatar
Rating Orb Acer rubrum fox 12 United States PhlegmaticSanguine 14C 1F
7 years ago | (5)
I think that moderators and reviewers is a great idea and that you should go ahead with it as soon as you can.
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