And so after the past few weeks of site upheaval, we finally have all the changes settled in on the community side and ready to unveil. Exciting day, right?
First off: as your two new moderators, please give Mike S. and Custos a warm welcome to their new roles! I'd like to thank everyone who volunteered to be a moderator, which was truly heartwarming, and especially thank Mike and Custos for helping to take the site's next step. It was hugely difficult to pick out just two with the number of volunteers, but Mike and Custos stood out as guys who have been around the community for quite some time, are consistently respectful and thoughtful in their interactions, and understand and share our thoughts on what the site is and where it'll go. These are all great qualities to have in any moderator, but for a first-run community moderator who will help the community get used to the situation and define the precise boundaries of the role, they seemed to me the three most critical.
And as for what that role is: basically, an extension of me in the community side. They understand the character and personality of the site, and they're going to help maintain and cultivate that. Their presence will ensure that abuse is removed more quickly, that the site runs more smoothly, and that the end product for everyone is a more pleasurable experience. They'll help the site take its next step forward, and for that I'm certainly grateful.
Along with the new moderators, though, we've gone ahead and updated the posting rules/guidelines. For the most part, these are just a representation of what has come to be this community's preferences and unwritten rules, and I'm reflecting those and putting them in writing. The guidelines in full are here, if you want to take a look, but I'll share a shorter version here.
- No politics, race, religion, etc. Duh.
- No personal attacks. Open to interpretation based on tone and relationship between posters, but otherwise, mean-sprited sarcasm and name-calling isn't cool and stifles rational discourse. Don't do it.
- No baiting/trolling. Constant/consistent criticism (think: firegary at his worst), consistently picking fights, gratuitously posting the same thing over and over again, etc.
- Please use generally accepted and understood grammar, and the layout tools available. We won't delete posts that violate this, but it's a nice gesture to others. Also: please, no all caps.
- If you post a picture, please include something (even just "...") in the subject field, so others can minimize it if need be.
- Excessive criticism/namecalling of players is off-limits. These are college kids, and their friends and family often read the site (and sometimes the players themselves). If they were pros we'd be more lenient, but they're not so we won't. Saying a player isn't good enough = fine. Saying he's a s***head = not fine. Seriously, just use some discretion. If you couldn't say it to another poster, don't say it about a player.
- Same applies to your humble bloggers and moderators. Disagreement and debate is fine - encouraged, actually - but don't just call us names. Again, if you couldn't say it to a poster, don't say it to us.
Also found at the full guidelines will be the plan we're using for the new open thread concept. The idea seemed generally well-accepted in the FanPost earlier this week, and it's something that we'd like to at the very least try out for a few weeks. If we find it doesn't work out for whatever reason, we're not married to the idea, but we do like and think it'll help the community. These will be fleshed out over time as we encounter some issues we didn't anticipate, and again there's certainly room for community preference as we find out what that is. This, however, strikes me as a good starting point.
Open/General Interest/Breaking News Threads: Think of them as a hangout of sorts. You can discuss almost anything - a quick question about recruiting, an interesting college sports-related article you saw that you want people to know about, or you can go off-topic and discuss the EPL, music, or Funyuns. Their other big purpose is to be used as a place to instantly discuss breaking news; when something big hits that you want to instantly discuss, but don't want to make a FanPost that satisfies the FP rules (see below), this is where to do it.
FanPosts: They've always been the lifeblood of the community, and we'd like to keep them just as important. The goal here is to provide interesting, high-quality posts, hopefully that either kickstart compelling conversation or provide an interesting insight. With that comes a few guidelines:
- No filler. If you can't squeeze enough out of it to make a FanPost, it should probably go elsewhere.
- Should ideally include either an interesting discussion point raised or some thoughtful and/or unique analysis. If not, perhaps put it elsewhere.
- Breaking news/recent event FanPosts are fine, but make sure they qualify based on the two rules above. If they don't, stick it in the breaking news thread.
- We won't delete anything based solely on grammar/layout, but remember that FanPosts are meant to be a high-quality section of the site. Making a post attractive is a courtesy to others.
FanShots: They round out the triumvirate. They're a natural way to share a video/picture/quote/article/etc. that you think people may want to see. Things posted in FanShots may be similar to things posted in open threads; which you use is up to you. Open threads will facilitate more discussion on the topic; FanShots will probably be seen by more people. If you want to talk about it, open threads are probably the way to go; if you just want people to see it, FanShots are the better option.
And ... that's it. I'm thinking we start the first open thread on Sunday, which is when these will kick in. Again, full rules here if you want them. I'll turn things over to the floor.