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Old September 11, 2008, 05:55 PM   #75
Mike Irwin
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Join Date: April 13, 2000
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 35,891
"but I think the success of APS's various forums is due more to the vastly smaller size and relative manageability than to the moderation techniques in use (except, perhaps, the various invite-only sub-forums - an idea I think has served well)."

There is a single invite-only sub-forum at APS that is hidden from the general membership. The support forum is visible to members who request membership.

Their status is not relevant to the nature of this discussion.

ALL members of APS can see, and post in, Politics Place. It is not a hidden forum.

But, what you are saying is that even if you had 20 moderators on a TFL L&P section who were able to provide more or less round the clock, active moderation, it would still have spiraled out of control, just because TFL is... bigger?

Come off it, you know that's crap, Ben.

Control takes time, it takes bodies who can provide that time. If you have only a few bodies who can't provide a lot of time, what's that give you?

HUGE gaps in coverage when the monkeys can riot.

When you have an large, active, growing board you don't stick a couple moderators in and hope for the best.

There have been times when I have been logged on to TFL for hours at a clip and during that time no moderator has logged on. That's not really a rare occurrence, either. It's also not a particularly rare occurrence for a thread to start going bad, and continue to go bad, for hours at time before any of the moderators have a chance to intervene.

Why is it? Because moderators, like the rest of us, have lives to which they must attend on a regular basis.

I just get REALLY REALLY ****** when I hear about another board or another forum collapsing because of unrestricted bull****tery by members.

Someone was on APS just the other day crying about how bad members were probably going to shut down the FAL Files site.

My first question was, and remains, what were the moderators doing?

I'm sorry, moderators have ultimate power on a board such as this. They can edit posts, delete posts, lock threads, and ban members from either a board or the entire forum. The key is having the people who have the time to do that sort of thing.

I've got something of a reputation as a hardass at APS, and for good reason. I won't tolerate the kind of crap that reflects badly on me as a moderator, on APS, or on Oleg Volk. People know I and the other mods will kill messages, threads, AND accounts if someone is not adding value to APS.

Want to cry about your First Amendment rights being violated? My response is always the same -- Understand the Constitution before you try invoking the Constitution. When you understand why it doesn't apply, you're free to come back.

This sounds like a screed against Blues Man, Antipitas, and the others, and IT IS NOT.

I fully recognize how difficult it is to mod a political forum. More than a few people told me I was nuts when I floated my proposal for a politics forum at APS so soon after THR pulled the plug on theirs.

But I had absolutely NO illusions about what would be required or the amount of work it could potentially take. Anyone who is either can't or isn't willing to make that kind of commitment shouldn't be modding, or they should be calling for more troops.

Sorry, Ben, I absolutely and categorically reject your theory that the only reason Politics Place works is because it is small, and L&P failed because it's big.

If you want to get a good look at just how much time I and some of the others dedicate to making Politics Place, and the rest of APS, work, take a look at the amount of time some of the moderators have been logged into the system.


Finally...

"And honestly, I enjoy APS in spite of the moderation styles that a few moderators - yourself included - tend to use, not because of them."

Good, I'm glad that you enjoy APS.

But please remain clear on one thing.

We don't answer to you, or any of the other members save one -- Oleg Volk -- and as long as he is fine with how APS is run, there is no problem.
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