April 11, 2006

Question: when you post a FPP, is there an implied responsibility to moderate the thread?: This is in no way a pointed question, just a curiosity. It isn't implicitly stated anywhere that I recall, and I don't see that duty taken on all that often, but I've seen nods to the individual who posted and some comments that may or may not have implied a greater responsibility on the part of the poster. And I was just wondering.

posted by BullpenPro to editorial policy at 12:42 AM - 13 comments

I was under the impression that only like four or five people had any sort of moderator responsibilities. In my experience when you give someone moderator rights, they get real power trippy.

posted by everett at 12:48 AM on April 11, 2006

I can understand that. When I said "moderate," I didn't mean to imply a role of censuring, but more facilitating and guiding the dialogue. Or even contributing to the discussion in whatever direction it goes. I guess what I'm asking is if posting a FPP implies any sort of responsibility to the thread once the post is up.

posted by BullpenPro at 01:17 AM on April 11, 2006

Really, you shouldn't have to. If you word your FPP properly, it ought to encourage the discussion that goes on within. (Of course, it can also kill it, as evidenced by the "YANKEES SUCK NOW THEYVE DONE IT AGAIN ALSO THEY SHOULD OPEN A STERIOD PRISON YOU KNOW IM RIGTE END OF STROY" posts that thankfully don't last long. (Thank you, mods. You guys are awful good.) For me, the best posts are opinion-free on the front page, and if the poster has an opinion, or somewhere they'd like the discussion to go, then it's fine to put a little something extra in the first comment inside. After that, though, it's largely on its own, and the poster becomes just another participant. I don't see how doing any more thread-steering than that isn't micromanaging the thread, which kills discussion right quick. There are, of course, exceptions to this, but I think there are enough people who keep the discussions more or less above the belt that it's not an unmanageable problem. Besides, the best threads are the ones that take your original concept and run with it a little. Otherwise it's just a link to something and a bunch of people going "yeah, yeah" or "naw, naw." The opinions expressed in the above comment are those of me, and in no way reflect etc etc.

posted by chicobangs at 01:18 AM on April 11, 2006

My opinion, and I may be totally guilty of this here, is that thread moderation by the poster SUX. Just for you BP, I will define "thread moderation" as making >25% of the comments in a thread of more than 10 comments total. If the comments add facts, fine. But it's the person who posts on a topic that matters to them and proceeds to shout down any dissenting opinions that I cannot stand. More of a Mefi thing, I suppose.

posted by yerfatma at 06:13 AM on April 11, 2006

I'd say the answer is no....but I think it is a great question, BullpenPro.

posted by smithers at 07:37 AM on April 11, 2006

No way. Your only responsibility is to type and spell coherently. Besides - I have no complaints for the way we're moderated around here, anyway. Things, for the most part, seem to be working again - despite our huge member boost. Of course, that's likely because the NFL is in the off-season.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 08:23 AM on April 11, 2006

My opinion, and I may be totally guilty of this here, is that thread moderation by the poster SUX. Agreed. No one should bogart a thread. I'd take it further: When posting something guaranteed to spark argument, don't put a strong opinion in the front-page post or the first comment. Let others comment and then jump in.

posted by rcade at 09:09 AM on April 11, 2006

What everybody else said. Thread babysitting is incredibly lame: once you've hit that link post button, it belongs to everyone. In fact, in my own posts, I tend not to comment for that exact reason. I read the comments obsessively, of course, because I'm fascinated by what everybody else has to say, and it's neat to see the discussion evolve without any further involvement from me. But I'm probably an extreme case. But this was definitely a question worth asking. Next time somebody tries it, we can just point to this thread.

posted by DrJohnEvans at 09:58 AM on April 11, 2006

Well, then maybe this question will also be useful: does anybody have a particular thread that they think is an unusually spectacular example of how a thread should go? Chico, if I remember correctly, you mentioned a couple in your SpoFi interview... Also, let me say that my first question should not in any way be interpreted as a suggestion that the site admins don't do a terrific job in policing and, well, administrating. I didn't mean to suggest they needed help at all.

posted by BullpenPro at 12:31 PM on April 11, 2006

Drawing only from my own posting history (so, a sorta crappy sample size, but convenient to access), I've always liked the thread we had when the 2004-05 NHL season was officially cancelled. You know how this place loves its hockey. Initially the comments are mainly unsequential bursts of passionate disgust, but some debates break out further down that are edgy yet informed. There's a lot of good content in the thread, but there's a lot of passion behind the comments, and it shows.

posted by DrJohnEvans at 12:52 PM on April 11, 2006

Reviewing my posts, it's clear I need a new style. Link, sentence, done. Needs foreplay or something. I think the closest to the Platonic ideal any of my threads has gotten is either this or this inflammatory Pat Tillman thread that could not even occur on the site nowadays.

posted by yerfatma at 01:50 PM on April 11, 2006

I liked this epic battle very much. Especially loved yerfatma's summary.

posted by qbert72 at 02:31 PM on April 11, 2006

Reviewing my posts, it's clear I need a new style. Link, sentence, done. Needs foreplay or something. Yeah, that's my style too. I think that should be the style for most posts. A good link speaks for itself. Rare is the member that can add much of worth to the simple front page link. I'd like to be as witty as rcade, but he's a professional writer, and I'm not, so he's the exception, and I'm the rule.

posted by justgary at 11:16 PM on April 13, 2006

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