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Forum operation and moderation
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Martin Christy
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November 5, 2004 - 12:13 pm
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As some of you have commented, some of the forum threads here have got a little long and wandered way off topic. Also I think we’ve been very lucky so far with the quality and tone of posts here, but as we attract more users and get larger this might not always be the case (the number of times I’ve found forum posts when I’ve searched on Google I think shows how important the forum is becoming as a knowledge base.)

So maybe we need to get a little organised. I've added another post for 'Forum Rules' - guidelines on what, how and where to post which we can develop over time. Also we might soon need 'moderators' to police and manage all the postings going on. Any volunteers?

Any thoughts on how the forum should be managed as we go on will be welcome. It’s on Seventypercent.com, and I love it to bits, but I think we all own it now and I want to open the discussion - in a slow unhurried way - about how we go ahead.

Martin Christy
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Martin Christy Editor www.seventypercent.com
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alex_h
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November 5, 2004 - 3:45 pm
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martin, what would a moderator do? or how? how much time do you reckon?

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Hans-Peter Rot
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November 6, 2004 - 12:42 am
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Yeah, it's hard not to stray from a topic, but what I've noticed is that topics were once adhered to, content-wise, but eventually when other subjects were mentioned, the threads started to focus on the new material. It would probably be impractical and tedious to create a separate thread entirely devoted to that one topic, and it would simply be too many threads to check regularly. The forum topics are a little vague, however, so perhaps some more focused titles would help in deciding where to post certain comments. For example, "General Discussions" hosts many types of thread subjects, such as tempering, internships, etc., so perhaps a new section should be created entitled "Chocolate Careers and Job Opportunities," another one called "Chocolate Equipment," and so on. But the trouble with such specialized and limited sections prevents everyone from reading interesting material because not everyone checks every thread. So in a sense, I think this endeavor also depends heavily on the participants and not just the site moderators.

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alex_h
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November 6, 2004 - 11:58 pm
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i agree, monte, though i do believe at some point some sort of moderation must take place.
i usually check the forum daily and often read all new postings. therefore i assume i could monitor activity and content.
on the other hand i have phases of flagging interest where i feel as if i'm "losing my religion" and my interest in things chocolate dwindles. at these times i might not visit the site regularly or be as enthusiastic.

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legodude
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November 7, 2004 - 3:07 pm
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As long as the forum is not crowded, I think it is enough subforums or subjects. If there is too many different and narrow subjects, it will be chaotic. As long as there isn`t too many posters, it`s ok if some threads go some off topic.

"I`ve got lots of friends in San José. Do you know the way to San José?"

"I`ve got lots of friends in San José. Do you know the way to San José?"
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Hans-Peter Rot
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November 7, 2004 - 11:09 pm
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Yeah, I agree, and besides, the site has a search feature which definitely aids in finding particular topics of interest. I especially like how the words or topics being searched for are highlighted in each post.

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Martin Christy
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November 9, 2004 - 6:42 pm
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Other options are to check for 'Active Topics', and to subscribe to forums or topics for updates by email. I'm subscribed to nearly everything, but I notice almost no one else is. This is the main way I check what's going on.

Moderators can be assigned to individual forums, so if you don't have so much time you can just do one or two. More than one moderator can be assigned to each forum. The way things are at the moment there should not be too much work.

From the FAQ:

quote:


Moderators control individual forums. They may edit, delete, or prune any posts in their forums.

Also I think you can move whole topics to other forums you are moderators for. There's no direct way to a thread when it changes half way through, but you could easily copy the post and start a new one. This would help keep things tidier.

If anyway wants to give it a try, let me know. I'm thinking all you regulars could do it if you want. It's easy to switch on and off anyway.

Also please let me know any suggestions for different structure or sections (someone start a topic? 😉 )

Martin Christy
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Martin Christy Editor www.seventypercent.com
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Hans-Peter Rot
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November 10, 2004 - 6:53 am
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How does one get this exclusive power to moderate forums, Martin? [:)]

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Lone Ly
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November 10, 2004 - 7:30 am
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quote:


Originally posted by martinc

Other options are to check for 'Active Topics', and to subscribe to forums or topics for updates by email. I'm subscribed to nearly everything, but I notice almost no one else is. This is the main way I check what's going on.

I used this option once (accidentally), but there were too e-mails to read, partly because some comments are really short.

quote:


Moderators can be assigned to individual forums, so if you don't have so much time you can just do one or two. More than one moderator can be assigned to each forum. The way things are at the moment there should not be too much work.

I think it is a good idea that all forums have more than one moderator.

quote:


Also I think you can move whole topics to other forums you are moderators for. There's no direct way to a thread when it changes half way through, but you could easily copy the post and start a new one. This would help keep things tidier.

I was going to suggest that myself. It works very well on another forum I know. It allows the members to discuss freely - which I think is important in terms of keeping a friendly atmosphere - but also makes it easier for outsiders to keep up. I would consider reversing legodude's argument (had to blame one [;)]); I think the fact that we so often derail and go off topic may prevent others from posting/participating. As long as we aren't too many we can all keep track, but it may have an excluding effect.

Where is the hand-waving icon?? Consider me a volunteer, although I'll be busy for the next two weeks. I guess we can sort it out by e-mail, Martin.

Chocolate is cheaper than therapy and you don't need an appointment.

"Man cannot live by chocolate alone - but woman can." (Unknown)
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alex_h
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November 10, 2004 - 1:38 pm
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count me in too, martin.

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Martin Christy
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November 13, 2004 - 8:16 pm
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Great! See now, I forgot to subscribe to these threads and I missed all your posts.

Ok, you (we) top posters have now all been upgraded to moderators. So you can see what it's like I've made us moderators of this category. You can see you can now do a whole bunch of extra stuff - quite a lot actually, so use it wisely!

Next we need to decide who is moderator for what. If we are all moderators for the whole forum I think it would be too much to worry about, so I suggest a main moderator and a second for each. Please pick some categories, first come first served! Email me if you prefer. If anyone else is interested, let me know.

Martin Christy
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Martin Christy Editor www.seventypercent.com
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alex_h
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November 14, 2004 - 1:27 pm
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short message to say thanks, martin. will use wisely. have to check out the functions first. will get in touch with any questions i have.
forums i would want to moderate:
chocolate bars, news, general discussions
and forum news.
don't know how much work this is, so maybe i've chosen too many. but these would be the ones that interest me most.

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Hans-Peter Rot
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November 14, 2004 - 4:50 pm
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Hey there, you took all the good forums, but you forgot about Sources. Since there are basically four or five forums that have the most activity, perhaps moderation should should be split up among these, where one forum is assigned to one person. That way, moderation doesn't become too much of a problem. That's prevents the problem of "hogging." Not to imply anything, alex, hehe [:)]

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Martin Christy
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November 14, 2004 - 5:46 pm
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Now, now - no arguing amongst the moderators already! Well Alex's choices are really for the 2 most popular and then for 2 not so popular. If we all choose along those lines then I think it will work out. Put your choices up and then we'll see how it works out.

I guess LoneLy's not around at the moment, so we'll have to leave her something!

Martin Christy
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Martin Christy Editor www.seventypercent.com
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alex_h
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November 15, 2004 - 10:46 am
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😛 to you, monte 😉
(i am just kiddin' here, please don't take this aside seriously)

i only listed the forums that interest me most. i don't "need" or even want to moderate them all. the distribution should be open for discussion. and i give martin the final say.

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Lone Ly
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November 16, 2004 - 8:24 am
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You got it right, Martin. I have been incredibly busy (alex and Monte has noticed already ;-)). Anyway, I was going to sign up for 'recipes' and I am not looking for a huge workload anyway. In addition to 'recipes', I would prefer 'general discussions', 'chocolates and truffles' and 'forum community', but I am open for anything. (Maybe I'm blind, but Alex, what do you mean by 'Forum news'?)

Another thing, if we are going to moderate as suggested, that is keeping threads in track or direct them to another category (e.g. from general discussions to chocolate bars, or split up within achocolate bars), I guess the amount of messages will be more evenly spread between the categories. As it is now, there are very few threads in "member's reviews" since people tend to post their opinion under "chocolate bars". Imo we should pay more attention to direct threads to where they belong according to the already existing categories. I am not unhappy with things as they are, but I realise it will be much easier for guests and non-frequent posters to find their ways around in here.

Chocolate is cheaper than therapy and you don't need an appointment.

"Man cannot live by chocolate alone - but woman can." (Unknown)
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alex_h
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November 16, 2004 - 9:31 am
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i meant forum community.
i am not looking for a great workload myself, so i guess two forums to moderate would be ok. if that is not enough i can always take on more.

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Masur
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November 16, 2004 - 11:47 pm
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My time is limited but If You need an additional moderator I can take care of "Chocolate shows, salons and events". I'm already trying to keep myself updated on forthcoming chocolate events, mainly in Europe.

"Porcelana: The Holy Grail of Pure Criollos" (Marieel E. Presilla)

"Porcelana: The Holy Grail of Pure Criollos" (Maricel E. Presilla)
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Hans-Peter Rot
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November 18, 2004 - 7:06 am
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Oh, I was only kidding alex, and I know you are too [:D] Although there's one thing you should know: never take me seriously (except for when it comes to chocolate) hehe. Those forums interest me as well, but Member Reviews does too. I'm happy with whatever I get, just as long as I get some work to do and not sitting here watching you guys busting your butts doing all the moderating hehe. Can I make a suggestion? Why don't we all moderate all forums as we see fit?

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alex_h
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November 18, 2004 - 9:40 am
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i figure you r like me and like to kid around a lot. i'm just a bit careful sometimes because i've accidentally stepped on toes before. strange thing humor. being german-american among germans or americans makes for fascinating misunderstandings sometimes...

i dig your suggestion, dude 😉

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