I've still not chosen any moderators yet (I am so ridiculously picky and find it hard to trust people; I'm the type who'd take forever to call someone a friend and who only eats like three types of food), but hopefully I'll come to some kind of decision soon.
Seems the reviews are doing okay so far, though. It'll probably take a while for people to get used to writing reviews before any really *good* ones come out. Not that the others are bad, as such - I wouldn't have approved them if they were - but they have generally been very brief so far, more like a fairly long comment than a thorough review, and they often haven't gone too deep into the game (that is, they've not given me a clear enough and interesting to read description of how it feels to play the game).
I've added what's called a 'Quality Stamp' to reviews. These are applied when the review is approved, and they remain there statically unless changed by another moderator. They're meant to show the general interest factor of reviews so then you can pick out which seem most worth reading, and also to perhaps encourage review writers to put in more time, care and effort in order to achieve a higher quality rating.
I've used these instead of the rating system from comments, posts and people just because they're meant to be 'what the site says of this review', rather than what the community thinks.
There are only five levels:
- 'Acceptable' is given to those that are approved, but perhaps they're only approved because the person wrote something at all which wasn't spam or trolling, but which doesn't really have many qualities that would make a good review. This isn't to be seen as a negative rating, but it should suggest that you should put in more time and care in future.
- 'Average' is what many reviews will get. They're of an okay length and say what they're meant to, but perhaps they don't give a good feeling for the game, or maybe the writing style is awkward, clumsy, or somewhat uninteresting to read through. They're the sorts of reviews that may leave you thinking 'okay' rather than 'ooh, I'm really interested in that!'
- 'Good' marks reviews that are above average, but not spectacular. Clearly the person has tried, given the review decent length, and been fair about their judgement, and their language is interesting. Still, there is room for improvement.
- 'Great' is similar to 'Good' but better; fewer mistakes and clumsiness and more interest; less room for improvement, but not much.
- 'Fantastic' is the highest quality rating, awarded to reviews that really hook you in with their use of language; reviews full of charisma that really know how to convince you as well as educate at the same time. They're the sorts of reviews that might make you laugh while developing your interest about playing - or not playing - the game they're reviewing. This should be hard to achieve.
You shouldn't feel discouraged if you get a 'low' rating, like Average or Acceptable, since at least you got accepted at all, and it should just encourage you to do better next time. With practice and experience, your reviews' quality will probably improve, and you could try looking at higher-rated reviews to see what they might have had that yours don't.
Currently only I can give them, but this brings me to my main point...
So far, there are two 'special ranks' on the site - Administrator (me) and Moderator (of which there aren't yet enough).
I mentioned in previous posts what I'd expect moderators to do, but I noticed that a few people showed interest in the review-critiquing-and-approving side of things but didn't think they'd want to be a Moderator just because they didn't want to bother with 'crime'-related stuff.
So, I decided to come add a different 'rank': 'Editor'. People of this rank would be able to approve reviews and read them, offering critiques, before they were approved, but they wouldn't be able to give banpoints or that sort of stuff that moderators can do.
Currently, despite their name, they wouldn't be able to literally edit the reviews' text (to prevent aggressive rewriting to suit the Editor's preferences), but they would be able to comment with suggestions before the review goes public. And, of course, being able to choose the review's Quality Stamp would be important too.
The 'ERMA' thing in the title refers to the hierarchy of ranks, which would go like this:
- 'E' would be the editors. They'd be able to see unapproved reviews and approve them with an appropriate stamp. They would be able to offer comments on the reviews to hopefully improve them before approving them.
- 'R' would be an official Reviewer. Reviews written by these people would end up on the front page (by this I mean that they'd appear in preview form underneath - or maybe above - where the recent blog post is). They'd also have the privileges of the Editor, meaning that they could read unapproved reviews and approve them. To get this rank, they'd need to have written several reviews with high quality stamps.
- 'M' is moderator, of course; they can do everything that Editors do as well as dealing with banpoints and so on.
- 'A' is me, the Administrator.
Now that this is in place, I'll ask again about interest in the moderator positions. I'll be much more lax about the criteria for choosing someone as an Editor than I would be about choosing someone as a Moderator, so if you're interested in being able to critique and approve reviews, but aren't interested in the site management stuff, then mention yourself here and I might brand you with a lovely silver 'E'.