Make Tea Not War - Archives
We've updated the "New Mail" notification so that it will now appear in many more places other than the Home page, the Lobby, and the Latest and Greatest pages. Whenever you receive a private message, you'll be notified whether you're on those pages, in a forum, or even in a discussion thread. No longer is there any need to return to the top level pages to check your messages.
We know that this is an upgrade people have been asking for for a long time, so we're glad to finally get it taken care of. Hope you enjoy it!
PS. Of course this is also a great time for me to make a shameless plug! We are currently in the middle of our Fourth Quarter Fund Drive, so if you can make a contribution to help us reach our goal of 1,000 donations, please donate today!
Visualize a Democratic Underground where rule-breaking posts are no longer deleted by the moderators
Sounds crazy, right?
Well, if we weren't going to do anything about rule-breaking posts then I'd agree that it would be completely bonkers. Fortunately, that's not what we're proposing.
Earlier this week Skinner talked about our new approach to the DU message board rules (you can read his post here). In a nutshell, our new approach is this:
1) Big-tent content. DU should be open to a broad range of viewpoints from center to far left, which includes both the robust defense of Democrats as well as the robust criticism of Democrats from a liberal perspective.
2) Increased civility. Posts that question the motives, character, or good faith of other DUers serve to poison the atmosphere and make respectful discussion impossible.
So how are we going to make that happen if we don't delete posts that break our rules? Well, we believe we have come up with a better system that still allows for rule violations to be removed from the message board, while giving members a second chance to make those posts fit within the rules -- and learn more about our community standards at the same time. In other words, we're moving away from a system that punishes members for breaking the rules, towards a system where members are encouraged to make a good-faith effort to fix their mistakes.
Just to be clear, this has not been programmed yet, and we are still open to making changes if we believe they will improve the system. But this is currently at the top of our list of priorities, and we hope to have it up and running very soon.
Here's what we propose...
The Edit Request System
When the moderators become aware of a post which breaks the rules they will send a request to the member who posted it asking that they edit the post to comply with our community standards.
When this happens, the post will be temporarily hidden from the board, and replaced with a message indicating that the post is currently in the process of being edited by the member.
The member will receive the edit request automatically via private message, and they will not be able to post anywhere on DU until they have dealt with the request (if they attempt to post they'll get an interrupt page telling them that they have an edit request). The member will also be provided with the rule (or rules) that their post breaks.
The member can then deal with the edit request in one of two ways:
1. They can self-delete the post.
If the member decides that they do not wish to edit the post so that it is compliance with the rules, they will be provided with an option to simply delete it. If they do this, their post will be permanently removed from the board, and replaced with a message indicating that the member chose to self-delete it. There will be no immediate penalty for choosing to self-delete. (However, note that the purpose of this new system is to work with people who want to participate in a good-faith way -- if a member is constantly receiving edit requests and self-deleting their posts, then we may take a closer look at that member.)
2. They can make a good-faith attempt to edit their post.
The member will have the option to edit their post so that it complies with the message board rules. As soon as the member finishes editing, the post will immediately be returned to the message board.
You may be wondering what happens if a member does not make a good-faith effort to edit their post, but instead chooses to willfully ignore the moderators' request by either leaving the rule violation in their edited post, or worse, adding new rule violations. We have a plan to discourage people who might want to do that.
When a member finishes editing their post and returns it to the message board, it will be auto-alerted so that the moderators can take a look to make sure the second attempt is within the rules. If it no longer breaks the rules -- great! Everyone can move on. But if it still breaks the rules, the post will be sent back once again to the member, and this time around they will only have the option to self-delete. Once they click the self-delete button the post will be removed, and the member will be locked out of posting for a very brief "penalty period" -- we'll probably try 15 minutes to start with.
So that is what we propose. What do you think?
While I've got your attention...
...I might as well make a crass plea for donations. This week is our Fourth Quarter Fund Drive, and if you can help us reach our goal of 1,000 donations then please click here and donate today. Thank you!
First a quick apology in advance for any problems that may occur over the next few days, since moderator switches are usually a little chaotic. Thank you for your understanding.
And now... please take a moment to say hello to our new moderators, and to express your gratitude to our retiring moderators.
charlie and algernon
Grateful for Hope
The empressof all
And a very big thank you to our retiring moderators, who did a fantastic job during the previous term and deserve our appreciation and gratitude:
RubyDuby in GA
NEW MODERATORS: Please log into the private Moderator Forum and introduce yourselves. The moderator forum is in the "My Forums" section at the top of the Latest page. You may have to log out and log back in again to reset your account and access the forum. If you have difficulty finding the Moderator forum, please send a private message to Elad.
RETIRING MODERATORS: Please log out and login again to reset your account to regular member status.
Thank you, moderators! We wouldn't be able to run DU without you!
To learn more about becoming a DU moderator for the next three months, please click here:
Okay maybe I'm exaggerating slightly
But you may have noticed that the Admins are around a lot more these days, and you may have heard us talking recently about potential changes to DU. As part of this process we recently re-opened the Ask The Administrators forum and ran our first annual member survey to take the temperature of the membership and get some feedback on the direction of DU as we move forward.
From the comments that were left on the survey it quickly became clear to us that one of the themes uniting DU members is that they would like to see an increase in civility. We have some good ideas about how to achieve this, and all will be revealed in the not-too-distant future.
One thing that is not going to change, however, is that we will still require a strong team of smart, capable people to serve as moderators. Which brings me to the point of my post.
We are now looking for new volunteers to serve as moderators. The gig is unpaid, and I'm not going to lie, it can be frustrating work at times. But ask any current moderator and they'll tell you that it can also be extremely rewarding - and, yes - even fun. And of course you'll be the first to know about the changes we're planning for DU.
The next moderator term will last three months, from the middle of November 2010 until the middle of February 2011. If you have never served as a moderator before but would like to volunteer some time to help keep Democratic Underground's discussion forum running smoothly, now is a great time to sign up.
Here are some things to bear in mind before you apply:
STEP 1: FILL OUT, SIGN, AND MAIL THE MODERATOR CONFIDENTIALITY AGREEMENT
The moderator confidentiality agreement is here:
Fill it out and send it in to the address provided ASAP. If you prefer, you may scan the completed form and email a digital copy along with your moderator application email (see below). Don't forget to sign the form.
We hope to receive completed forms from all applicants *before* the new moderator term begins. If we do not receive your form before then, you may still be chosen to serve as a moderator, but we may not be able to give you full access to all the moderator tools at the beginning of the moderator term.
We will keep the moderator confidentiality agreement forms on file, so once you mail the form to us you should not have to send it again if you apply to serve in future terms.
STEP 2: SEND US AN APPLICATION EMAIL WITH THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION
Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the word "moderator" in the subject line. By volunteering to serve as a moderator, you are giving us permission to take all necessary measures to verify your identity. Include the following information:
- Your real name
- Your forum username
- Your address
- Your telephone number
- How much time you spend on Democratic Underground
- A brief statement which generally outlines your political views
- Are you taking any extended vacations during the the next three months?
- Have you read, and do you agree to follow, the Message Board Rules and the Moderator Guidelines?
- Have you filled out, signed, and mailed the Moderator Confidentiality Agreement?
We hope to select a new group of moderators on Wednesday November 10, 2010. There will be a free conference call for new moderators on the following night.
And one last thing -- please kick and recommend this thread so everyone gets a chance to see it. Thanks for reading!
We are currently looking for volunteers to moderate the discussion forums for the next three months. If you think you have what it takes, the application form is here:
IMPORTANT! Here are some things you need to know about moderating at Democratic Underground...
1. Bring your own equipment.
Crash helmets, steel-toed boots, swords, spiked shoulder pads, laser cannons, etc. will not be provided by the Administrators.
2. Have plenty of spare change handy.
You'll need it for the Moderator Swear Jar (currently Democratic Underground's second largest source of income after advertising).
3. You break it, you buy it.
Although to be fair we shouldn't have let krispos42 near the good china in the first place.
4. If your computer starts to look like this, it's time to take a day off.
Until then... no days off.
5. Automatonophobics should not apply.
A fear of robots is the last thing you need when it's your turn to lube Grovelbot's undercarriage.
So do you have what it takes to be a DU moderator? If the answer is yes, please click here to learn more!
peekaloo's time was 9:30PM on Thursday May 20, which was the closest guess. She wins a fabulous DU T-Shirt.
And in case you were wondering who posted the 50 millionth post, well, it was NYC_SKP (one of our very own moderating team) who somewhat hilariously managed to post it right here. We think he deserves a DU T-shirt too
Congratulations to both of you, and thanks to everyone for taking part in the contest.
Here's to the next 50 million!
Many of you have noticed that DU is approaching something of a milestone - we're about to hit our 50 millionth post. It should happen some time next week, so we thought it might be fun to have a little contest this weekend and see who can guess closest to the date and time that the 50 millionth post will be made.
How to enter
1. Reply to this post.
2. Make your subject line the date and time that you think the 50 millionth post will be made (example: Monday May 17, 12:34pm)
3. That's it!
The winner will receive a fabulous DU T-Shirt.
Please note: 1) All entered times will be read as Eastern Daylight Time. 2) Entries that guess later than the time that the 50 millionth post happens will still be counted - it's just whoever is closest. 3) PLEASE ONLY ENTER ONCE. If you enter more than once you'll be disqualified. 4) In the unlikely event that a tie-breaker is needed, we'll come up with something.
Contest closes at 7pm ET Sunday (which is, coincidentally, the start of our 2nd Quarter Fund Drive). The winner will be announced shortly after the 50 millionth post is made.
Good luck everyone!
As you may know, we are currently looking for volunteers to serve as DU moderators for the next three months. In case you were wondering what the job entails, Grovelbot has put together a handy list of things you need to know if you become a DU moderator.
And finally DO NOT forget that Democratic Underground relies on volunteer moderators to keep the site running smoothly. We are looking for new volunteers NOW, and we need YOUR help! It's easy to apply - click here to learn how!
Over the past couple of months, in an effort to combat a recent rise in incivility on DU, we made a series of substantial changes to our moderating system. Our plan was to increase the speed with which moderators could deal with alerts, and get rule violations off the board before they could turn into long, drawn-out flamewars.
I can state with certainty that we have not solved the problem of incivility - and we never will - but the plain fact is that alerts are now being dealt with at a much faster pace, and we have eliminated a flaw in our system which sometimes allowed alerts to "fall through the cracks." After some time working with the new system, the moderators and administrators agree that it is a vast improvement over the old way of doing things.
However, in order to keep up with the increased pace of the new system, we've determined that we need to increase the size of our moderator team. We are looking NOW for new volunteers to serve as DU moderators for the next three months, and we are especially interested in folks who spend a lot of time on DU, particularly during the late night/early morning period.
This is the first time in years that we have looked to increase the size of our moderator team. Now is a great time to apply. If you ever wanted to be a mod, if you applied in the past and weren't picked, if you've been thinking about applying but never did: this is your chance.
For application information: Click here
We plan to announce the new moderator team on Wednesday March 24. There will be a training conference call for new moderators on Thursday March 25.
Whether you are interested or not, please K&R this thread so everyone gets a chance to see it.
EarlG, Skinner, & Elad
The DU Administrators
Apparently Rep. Grayson mentioned DU on Countdown tonight when discussing places to find links to his petition, so if you're looking for it, here it is...
LINK TO PETITION: http://salsa.mydccc.org/o/30019/p/dia/acti...
Some explanatory text from Alan Grayson's website:
The Supreme Court stabbed Democracy this morning. I was there; I saw it happen. ... We have filed six bills to reverse this assault, the "Save Our Democracy" package. Sign this petition today, and show your support for saving our democracy. Together, we will move these bills forward and prevent the sale of our government to the highest bidder.
I was due to write a new edition this week after taking a break over the holidays, but unfortunately it was not to be. While my family had a pleasant time visiting our relatives in the UK this Christmas we also picked up a rather nasty cold virus which is only just on the outs after a couple of weeks, and if there's one thing worse than looking after a teething, jet-lagged 15-month-old with a 103-degree fever, it's looking after a teething, jet-lagged 15-month-old with a 103-degree fever while trying to write jokes about a bunch of conservative douchebags.
Fortunately the boy is feeling much better now, but I simply wasn't able to get it done this week.
Which brings me to another issue...
Those of you who look forward to the Top 10 should be prepared for the fact that it may have to go on hiatus for a little longer. There is some stuff coming up in my personal life - nothing bad, rather soon-to-be incredibly time-consuming - which may mean I have to take a Sabbatical from writing for a while. On top of the personal stuff, we have some important changes and upgrades planned for DU in the coming weeks and months. This work, combined with my family obligations, means that the Top 10 may have to take a back seat.
I'll keep you updated on the situation. In the meantime, my apologies once again to those of you who were waiting for a new edition this week.
Thanks to everyone for taking part and congratulations to the winners - I'll contact you via PM shortly.
Owning A Gun Is A Right, Having A Bullet Removed Is A Privilege
slogan suggested by lame54
You Pay For It. Demand It. Medicare For All
slogan suggested by Cleita
Peace On Earth: Bring Them Home
slogan suggested by blogslut
These stickers and more are available now in the DU Store!
Here are this month's finalists. Winners will be announced tomorrow evening (Thursday). As a reminder, this month we're just picking the top TWO winners, as we have one winner held over from last month:
Also, to clarify, the first choice in the poll below should read "Global War
Thank you to everyone who took part - please k&r so everyone gets a chance to vote!
Sorry I'm a week late with the contest but better late than never. It's...
The DU Bumper Sticker Slogan Contest runs on the first Tuesday of every month (er, usually).
HOW IT WORKS
TIPS FOR SUCCESS
Please note that this month we already have one winner that was held over from the last contest, which is lame54's entry "Owning A Gun Is A Right - Having A Bullet Removed Is A Privilege."
So for this month's contest only the top two vote-getters will win a bumper sticker.
Use the tools below to keep track of updates to this Journal.
Member since 2001
Washington, DC, USA
I co-founded this website with Skinner in 2001, and I write the Top 10 Conservative Idiots list which appears on Democratic Underground every Monday.
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