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Which is most appropriate for minor fixes to posts by moderators?
Poll ended at Thu Jun 02, 2016 4:52 am
Editing in a public notice that the post has been edited 37%  37%  [ 10 ]
Sending a private message to the author every time a post is edited 4%  4%  [ 1 ]
Neither; let it be 59%  59%  [ 16 ]
Total votes : 27
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PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2016 6:23 pm 
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rainwarrior wrote:
tepples wrote:
So were these "fairy was here" edits inappropriate?

Absolutely inappropriate, though doing it silently would be even worse.

I disagree: I appreciate(d) the syntax edit(s) made to my posts. Spelling and mechanics edits are more an overreach.

I also disagree about thread splits: I like them. it's nicer if a new topic has a new thread, even if it wasn't originally started as one. It makes things harder to find. If threadsplits link the thread from which they were split, then the context is still available. (Moreover, the times I've requested a threadsplit, it was requested by Tepples that the posts be clearly one or the other, or it wasn't as good an idea: and it's not like he can split off half a post, except by just going in and editing it).

For instance, it feels weird to me that, say, that FDSstick? topic is titled something nontrivially related ("perfect sound on FDS without FDS"?), and therefore is harder to find.

Splits and edits should never be silent, though.

tepples wrote:
Should I take this as implying that it's polite to reply publicly to what a user said, even if I know it is not what the user meant?
You already do that, frequently. And usually obviously not what they meant. It's usually funny, but a bit off-the-wall and sometimes not contributing to the topic at hand.

It's a different issue from [silent] edits and from splits, though.


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PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2016 7:39 pm 
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In addition to being mostly by request of and/or seconded by another user, my splits are not silent. I document the context of the original topic at the top of the new topic by editing the first [quote] element in the first post to use the formula "In this post, username wrote:". What makes this insufficient?

At this point, despite my positive intentions, I'm not sure that my moderation does more good than harm. I'm an acceptable poster, but I've proven myself a terrible moderator for so long that I'm not sure it's forgivable anymore. With the unrelated resignation of koitsu, and with the adequate demonstration of my own unworthiness, where does Memblers find another moderator?

I'm told that both silent correction and vocal correction are rude to the author, but no correction at all is rude to subsequent readers. Despite this, I'm told that politeness to the author trumps politeness to subsequent readers because forums are for discussion, not for reference. Unfindable topics, unreadable individual posts, and derailed topics left alone by moderators are preferable to beautiful discussion well organized by moderators because that's how the respective authors prefer it, and as rainwarrior and Drag pointed out, we have a wiki for reference. So how do we encourage forum users to take the initiative to summarize the conclusion of each topic to the wiki?

On Slashdot, I was told that phrasing things in the form of a question, especially rhetorical questions, was a bad habit of mine. So I tried to change my habits by using more indirect phrasing for questions. In this post, I discovered that a formula that I had used for such indirect questions had become a catchphrase, and I inferred that this catchphrase had become annoying to at least two users. I tried to consciously add more variety to my forms of a question, but in this post, I was dinged even for that. Perhaps I ask too many questions period. Is it just that I've been around here too long and that my post count is too high?

Or perhaps I'm accidentally misinterpreting things said to me. If I am misinterpreting something, please feel free to describe what was meant, and preferably explain the point that I most likely missed that distinguishes my interpretation from the intended one.


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PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2016 7:52 pm 
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tepples wrote:
At this point, despite my positive intentions, I'm not sure that my moderation does more good than harm. I'm an acceptable poster, but I've proven myself a terrible moderator for so long that I'm not sure it's forgivable anymore. With the unrelated resignation of koitsu, and with the adequate demonstration of my own unworthiness,
Emphases seem like gross exaggeration to me.

As for the question thing/"wonders whether", 1. is not about you in your capacity as moderator and 2. is something you are being lightly teased for, not attacked.


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PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2016 8:49 pm 
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I don't think you're a bad moderator, but if something you do bothers me I mention it. Most of what a good moderator does goes unseen, so probably the only comments you'll get on it are negative.

I did mean what I said about leaving. If I found moderators were editing my posts I would not want to be here at all.


I'm not pro derailed-topics, I'm just against the split feature, or renaming topics. I come back to conversations I was watching and have no idea where they are anymore. I don't have this experience on any other phpBB forum, because I've never seen any mods use this feature so heavily as you do.

I don't mind at all starting a new thread and encouraging one side of a discussion to continue there instead; I've seen you do that many times and I think it's good, much better than to reorganize the past.

It is important that records of threads be preserved, but it's not supposed to be tepples' personal library of organized answers to questions. You keep mentioning Stack Overflow, which I think is a terrible site, but also one with completely different goals. Yes, material in threads makes useful reference, but don't mangle the preserved conversations in the name of reference. Make referential links on the Wiki, or in new threads.

The most valuable resource when searching these forum archives is people who were here for the conversations, know what has been talked about, and have memories of past threads. Old users know how to find the old threads, when to look for them, etc. and will search for them and link them to new users asking new questions. I think it's really important to leave things as they are so that we can take advantage of the long memories of our users.


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PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2016 9:14 pm 
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Myask wrote:
tepples wrote:
I've proven myself a terrible moderator

Emphases seem like gross exaggeration to me.

You might have missed the terrible incident.

rainwarrior wrote:
Make referential links on the Wiki

Again:
tepples wrote:
So how do we encourage forum users to take the initiative to summarize the conclusion of each topic to the wiki?


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PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2016 9:21 pm 
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tepples wrote:
I'm told that both silent correction and vocal correction are rude to the author, but no correction at all is rude to subsequent readers.

It's simply wrong to treat these three things as equivalent concerns.

There are cases where it's very reasonable to ask for a correction; in general it would be because you honestly had a hard time understanding it yourself.

There are also cases where it's demeaning, or insulting, or a waste of everyone's time to publicly ask, i.e. where the meaning was already clear, but use your judgement on this.

If it would be insulting to ask them, making an annotated edit without their permission is a lot more insulting. You're taking away their agency. Maybe you think it's rude to other readers to leave it in, but that rudeness is THEIR PREROGATIVE, NOT YOURS.

Forum posts are always attributed to someone; any silent edit is gaslighting, both to the author and anyone else who already read it. I think this is reprehensible. This is an act of rudeness on an entirely different scale than correcting someone's grammar.

Leaving spelling mistakes in a reference work like the wiki is undesirable, but you're encouraged to correct those. Do you understand why that's a completely different situation?


I'll put it another way. Everybody here is capable of spotting errors in others' posts. You are not alone in this, and I don't believe you're arrogant enough to think your judgement is better than everyone else's. Do you think we should all be able to edit each others' posts when we see errors? Why would you think it's appropriate for you to use your moderator privilege to do so?


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PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2016 9:22 pm 
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It should be obvious, as one who has requested a number of splits, I'm obviously in favor of them.

I usually believe it's better to have a single concept in a thread, especially if a tangent arises in a manner that would encourage people to talk about things prior to the tangent and the tangent at the same time. (Obvious counterexample: this thread )

I'm not certain about moderators editing posts. Certainly in this instance I think it was justified and helpful, although should have been explicitly called out. The instance that I assume relates to why koitsu is no longer a moderator I consider fully justified. This ancient one (as it affected me) just confuses me. Occasionally I reread posts that I made and think that that was not the phrasing I had used, but I'm not really bothered by it ... but visible attribution would at least keep me from doubting myself.

OTOH, I clearly would make a terrible moderator, at least in Rainwarrior's view, so take my opinions with a grain of salt.


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PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2016 9:25 pm 
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tepples wrote:
So how do we encourage forum users to take the initiative to summarize the conclusion of each topic to the wiki?

This question seems out of the blue to me, but I think you've already taken two different effective approaches in the past:
  • Do it yourself, mention it, link the wiki page, encourage others to review it.
  • Or just vocally suggest that someone should.

tepples wrote:
without said gross spelling errors?

The Wiki isn't a transcription of the forums. How is this relevant?


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PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2016 9:27 pm 
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I realize that I just deleted my own post before I noticed that you had edited a reply to it into your post. Is that also "absolutely unacceptable"?


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PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2016 9:38 pm 
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I don't think editing or deleting your own posts is unacceptable. It's doing it to others that really bothers me.

(I often add things to a dangling post of mine, hoping I'll finish before somebody catches it. I consider this a bad habit, but I do it anyway.)

(...did you want me to delete the quote and reply I made of your deleted post?)


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PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2016 10:21 pm 
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tepples wrote:
You might have missed the terrible incident.
All that really made me think is that you're too hard on yourself.

rainwarrior wrote:
Make referential links on the Wiki

tepples wrote:
So how do we encourage forum users to take the initiative to summarize the conclusion of each topic to the wiki?

"Be Bold!"
Getting others to do it? I dunno.

Quote:
(I often add things to a dangling post of mine, hoping I'll finish before somebody catches it. It's a bad habit)
And here I was under the expectation that it was expected to avoid the stigma of double-posting...which, like necromancy, is a board-peculiar etiquette policy decision.


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PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2016 10:24 pm 
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What was meant in that reply can be guessed from what you quoted, so I'll reply to it.

rainwarrior wrote:
Do it yourself, mention it, link the wiki page, encourage others to review it.

I lack the time to do this for all forum topics that I consider remotely relevant while still fulfilling my obligations to my other jobs.

rainwarrior wrote:
Or just vocally suggest that someone should.

Such of my suggestions are not fulfilled as often as I would like.

rainwarrior wrote:
The Wiki isn't a transcription of the forums. How is this relevant?

What you wrote earlier made it sound like the wiki is the product and the forums are the process. Thus the wiki isn't a direct transcription of the forums, but it is intended as a citable representation of the information discovered and/or created through the forums. The proposed rule, as best I understand it, is "if you want to make information in the forums readable, you need to rewrite the whole thing in your own words on the wiki."

Myask wrote:
All that really made me think is that you're too hard on yourself.

That or giving myself a break to keep from contributing to escalation of drama.


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PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2016 10:42 pm 
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(Self edited. )

I also think tepples should remain a mod...for 2 reasons. 1. He has free time.
2. He reads every post.

Also, ...detail oriented.

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Last edited by dougeff on Sat May 28, 2016 5:40 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2016 10:48 pm 
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tepples wrote:
The proposed rule, as best I understand it, is "if you want to make information in the forums readable, you need to rewrite the whole thing in your own words on the wiki."

Well, I'm not sure I'd have put it that way, but yes. Compile information on the Wiki, and don't make revisions to the forum conversations.

tepples wrote:
I lack the time to do this for all forum topics that I consider remotely relevant while still fulfilling my obligations to my other jobs.

So don't do it. There's no reason to put yourself out, and nobody else is obligated to improve the Wiki either. It'll never be perfect, but it's a great fountain of knowledge in its current state. Do what you can when you have the time and interest, but you don't owe it to anybody.

(It might help if there was someone else able to approving new users and moderating the wiki, though; you are a bottleneck there. Same goes for the forum itself.)

dougeff wrote:
I also think tepples should remain a mod.

I do too, if it wasn't clear. I just don't want any mod copyediting my posts.


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PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2016 2:15 am 
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I originally voted "Editing in a public notice that the post has been edited" because I didn't think much about what was meant by a "minor fix". I think small formatting fixes, like wrapping a source listing in a CODE tag, are fine, although even in that case it might be best to just let the user know that it'd be appreciated if he'd fix the post. That way I think there's a better chance that the user won't make the same mistake again. Grammatical fixes are way beyond what a moderator should do, though.

If any changes are made, they should absolutely be documented in the post, preferably without any added humor ("added code tags" instead of "bbcode fairy was here").

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