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What Do You Say About Editing Posts?

noohootoo h2g2 editing posts staff editing posts members editing own posts editing posts

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#27 swl

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Posted 13 October 2011 - 03:32 PM

We already have, it already did and I totally pwn you in this reality :)


#28 Edward the Bonobo

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Posted 13 October 2011 - 03:32 PM

(Oh...and just in case...no, it wasn't I who was responsible for the post Ben mentioned. Er...was it?)

Ook!


#29 Mrs Zen

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Posted 13 October 2011 - 03:35 PM

Heh!

All good points swl. I don't recollect it being as conclusive as you do, but I may not have been paying attention.

I am intrigued by the way we happily use things like Edit and Like which are real over-my-dead-keyboard things for some people when suggested on h2g2. And Avatars. Turns out we all like Avatars. Who knew?

My view is we should try out features like this for three months and then pull 'em out if everyone hates 'em.
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#30 Mrs Zen

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Posted 13 October 2011 - 03:36 PM

(Oh...and just in case...no, it wasn't I who was responsible for the post Ben mentioned. Er...was it?)


No.
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#31 Edward the Bonobo

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Posted 13 October 2011 - 03:40 PM

Tut! I should have added a :S27: smiley to disambiguate the fact that I knew it wasn't me.

Ooh! Lookee! There's a special 'This is confrontational' smiley. :D14:

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#32 Quotes Elderberry

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Posted 13 October 2011 - 03:43 PM

Elderberry, have you taken part in the h2g2 debate threads when they've been very fast?


I admit that I haven't. Does it really take that long to press 'quote', though? Obviously you might need to 'cut' out the bits you're not replying to, but how do you get around that in a fast debate?

#33 Mrs Zen

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Posted 13 October 2011 - 03:53 PM

I rather like that smiley. I wonder if Brian and Aly would let us nick these?

:S9: :S22: :S5: :FR11: :S18: :D14: :D25: :S26:

I particularly like the Edvard Munch one :D25: and the Facepalm :S26:.

And I do always feel anyone's life is enriched by an aubergine.
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#34 Vip

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Posted 13 October 2011 - 04:03 PM

I reckon if Barlesque had worked well, we'd already be used to avatars by now.

I sometimes quote people anyway, just by copying and pasting the text and adding a couple [EDIT: of quotation marks].

Editing might be something that comes up in the future, but at the moment it's on the 'To Think About When h2g2 Is Working Properly' pile. It's quite a big pile. ;)
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#35 Edward the Bonobo

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Posted 13 October 2011 - 04:09 PM

Quoting is good. Just so long as nobody uses it to Fisk. I hate Fisking. If you've got an opinion of your own, then give it.

Ook!


#36 swl

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Posted 13 October 2011 - 04:18 PM

The BBC were helluva restrictive on what could be posted as an avatar. I tried a few, including a pic of myself but they were all refused which is why I ended up using a pic of a deckchair in protest.

#37 Mrs Zen

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Posted 13 October 2011 - 05:41 PM

Quoting is good. Just so long as nobody uses it to Fisk. I hate Fisking. If you've got an opinion of your own, then give it.


Well, fisk you! ;P
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#38 Rod

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Posted 13 October 2011 - 07:15 PM

Nice ones, swl & Ed.

As for editing - No.

As it's been pointed out, kea and peanut pretty much said it all but my tuppence:

I can apologise or recant or clarify later but what I've said, I've said.
Mods or Eds changing the wording? No. What I've written is mine, my copyright if you like, and I'll stand or fall by it.
Changing something now isn't going to affect your reading of me in the long run...

Regrets? I have a few - but that's life innit?
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#39 Rod

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Posted 13 October 2011 - 07:17 PM

Oh god, post 27 again. maybe i should have edited that?
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#40 kea

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Posted 13 October 2011 - 07:37 PM

"Well, no-ones suggesting it happen immediately, but I certainly felt opinion was settled upon moving towards allowing posters a limited amount of control over what they write."

I remember that a bit differently too.

I think an editing function is one of the Big Issues that will need to be gone through again once we're settled at noohootoo. From what I remember there have been discussions about the issue on h2 at times when many of us were incredibly busy with c2. I would have posted something similar to what I have here but I doubt that I had the time to take part in a full discussion about it. I'm sure that's true for others too.

I'm not sure about the 'we have to drag ourselves out of the dark ages and be like the rest of the internet' argument. It gets made for other functions too. I hope that instead of going 'everyone else has this, if we don't have it we're backward' that we would instead go "h2g2 is unique in the webiverse, what else do we need that enhances our uniqueness?".

In terms of culture and process, I still think that there are changes we know about (eg peer moderation and peer Editors) and changes we don't know about (that we haven't forseen), that are about to happen, and that as a community we need to time settle in, adjust, see the lay of the land, before we can know what new functions are going to be useful or not.


One of the long term forums I'm on removed the editing option because people abused it in the hard out debates. I have a feeling it was still enabled for certain kinds of threads though. And having it married to a quote function would be useful, but again it seems like we don't yet know how things are going to change, so how can we know what would be useful (and how)?

#41 swl

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Posted 13 October 2011 - 07:53 PM

So, lack of functionality = Good Thing?

Bearing in mind an increasing number of people access the site via mobile devices which are prone to typos, predictive text howlers, small screens etc, is it really a good idea to say "Deal with the mistakes - we're too immature a Community to cope with allowing you control"? Sounds like a good way to deter newbies who are perhaps used to forums in the grown-ups part of the internet.

#42 kea

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Posted 13 October 2011 - 08:09 PM

SWL, you're attaching tone and negative attributes to the argument that I personally don't see. For me it's not about the community being immature, it's about the nature of how we relate and the ways that having an edit function enhances or undermines that.

The idea of the rest of the internet being for grown ups is pretty funny. Are you self-slandering there? ;-)

You see 'lack of function', I see culture/function that enables good written communication. If we do choose to have an edit function, then we will lose something else. That may be acceptable, but I'm not convinced yet that it's obvious enough what we would lose.

#43 swl

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Posted 13 October 2011 - 08:38 PM

Seems to me there's an unreasonable resistance to change.

The internet has moved on massively since the beeb took on hootoo. The BBC have always sought to maintain tight controls over internet forums it was associated with - a level of control freakery which hit incredible depths with the Radio 2 and Today Boards before their demise.

The edit feature puts control firmly in the hands of the user.

It doesn't signal the breakdown of civilisation. My wife is involved in an online MMORPG with over 150 million registered users, 10 million of whom are active at any one time. These are largely angsty teenagers with socialisation issues but they seem to have no issues with the edit feature. It is as much a community as hootoo, if not more so.

If people abuse a system, you remove the people. That's what Mods are for.

Surely it's better to treat people as adults and trust them not to abuse systems rather than make that decision for them.

#44 plato

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Posted 13 October 2011 - 08:50 PM

In terms of culture and process, I still think that there are changes we know about (eg peer moderation and peer Editors)


And that's the rub, isn't it! Does anyone know specifically what the BBC had in place for mods and eds? Not names but, wasn't the modding done by a modding company where the mods had no personal involvement with the site? And, weren't the editors staff members of the BBC? I got the feeling they were a bit standoffish. Could that be because they also were required to be not involved with the site and all of us? In other words, is peer moderation such a good idea?

And, if it is not (which i strongly suspect) then what are the alternatives?
A modding company?
We still have the problem of power of editing in the hands of peers because that is the noohootoo

So. What to do?
Maybe a failsafe system of checks and balances that shows who edited what and where (within the inner sanctum)
and a failsafe system of checks and balances that shows what was edited and by what administrative function or branch?

Failsafe in that it is written into the software so that editors nor moderators nor aces can change anything without it being recorded. This would protect the editors, moderators and aces as well.

: )

#45 Mr. Dreadful

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Posted 13 October 2011 - 08:50 PM

Kea, I don't see how the "we'll lose something" argument is that useful if you don't know what we'll lose because, well, we might not. I use fora which have just as good standards of writing and debate as Hootoo but also have unlimited editing because, get this, most people don't use it unless they need to.

I really like the idea of having a limited editing function, so we can correct those mistakes which make us cringe (I actually, physically, blush when I mix up "your" and "you're" online. It might seem silly but it genuinely makes me uncomfortable), or get rid of those posts we immediately regret instead of having to wait for someone to come and rip us to shreds over it (which has happened to me more than once).
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#46 Mr. Dreadful

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Posted 13 October 2011 - 08:54 PM

Failsafe in that it is written into the software so that editors nor moderators nor aces can change anything without it being recorded. This would protect the editors, moderators and aces as well.

: )


Well, ACEs shouldn't be able to change anything anyway and a system that cannot track edits made by moderators would just be silly because there needs to be accountability. Trust me, we've thought about this and, at the risk of seeming dismissive, it's a bit late to be worrying about volunteer moderators.
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#47 Mrs Zen

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Posted 13 October 2011 - 08:55 PM

I've already said that I have a slight bias in favour of the edit option (I'm all for empowerment and trust) but I am going to play devil's advocate a moment here, swl.

We are a writing site, we are all about the written word. Yes, on one hand as individuals we want our words to be clear and typo-free; but is there something in our culture which respects the word once written?
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#48 Mrs Zen

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Posted 13 October 2011 - 09:12 PM

And that's the rub, isn't it! Does anyone know specifically what the BBC had in place for mods and eds?


Yes, actually I know rather a lot about it, having been a BBC mod for a while, and writing a history of the relationship between the Community and the site's owners for my degree.

It varied from site to site and from time to time; when I modded entries on Get Writing in 2004 I was paid directly by the BBC. Modding for conversations has (sfaik) always done by external suppliers except (possibly) in the very early years after the site was acquired by the BBC. In those days at least one researcher was also a Mod, or maybe it was the other way round. Recently though, the moderation has been spectacularly insensitive to the culture of the site.

weren't the editors staff members of the BBC? I got the feeling they were a bit standoffish. Could that be because they also were required to be not involved with the site and all of us? In other words, is peer moderation such a good idea?


Again, it varied over the years. They have always (up until now) been paid employees. Before the BBC and in the early years at the BBC, the Community Editors were former members of the site, though the other staff members had not been. Up until 2005 or so there were up to 7 full time members of staff. After that there were three, two or at one point just one. Natalie and Sam were, I think, rather reserved and slightly shy online; they were also ludicrously busy and had to spend rather a lot of time dealing with internal reviews of the site, the building of Barlesque, and all sorts of other corporate nonsense. Not to mention the fall out of ridiculous modding decisions.

And, if it is not (which i strongly suspect) then what are the alternatives?
A modding company?


We cannot afford it, and if we could - would it be the best use of our money? I'd rather have a developer than three mods.

So. What to do?
Maybe a failsafe system of checks and balances that shows who edited what and where (within the inner sanctum)
and a failsafe system of checks and balances that shows what was edited and by what administrative function or branch?

Failsafe in that it is written into the software so that editors nor moderators nor aces can change anything without it being recorded. This would protect the editors, moderators and aces as well.

: )


That all makes sense to me.
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#49 swl

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Posted 13 October 2011 - 09:14 PM

Mrs Z - Would we have said to Shakespeare "No I'm sorry, you wrote "A plague on both you're houses" and you can't change it. Preview is your friend"?

#50 plato

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Posted 13 October 2011 - 09:14 PM

I just tried to edit what i said earlier and it wouldn't let me : D

I don't think, Mr Dreadful, that it's a bit late to be worrying about volunteer moderators.
I think it's never too late to be concerned about any possible problem.

Granted, the noohootoo is volunteer. And I love that. We all do. But there is a very real recipe for disaster brewing here.
That peer review thing, in moderation, editing, censoring, hiding, changing things that have been written.
That peer moderation needs to be out in the open, transparent, visible to all of us. If it is not, trust will be lost. And the site will go down. Trust me. I have seen it before.

There is a reason to have parties separate from the community do the moderating. Its easier. But we cannot do that so we have to come up with a creative way to PROVE to any researcher that their input is sacrosanct and that when there is a dispute the dispute is public. It has to be written into the software.

Does anyone know the software dynamics of moderation that we inherited from the BBC? We weren't allowed to discuss moderation so I never saw any information on it. What I am asking here is were all actions documented? And were any changes done to posts "invisible"? (I seem to remember a post that I saw that had a swear word in it that was changed to have some astericks instead but there was no bracketed message that an editor, mod or ace had done anything to the post.)

: /

#51 Mr. Dreadful

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Posted 13 October 2011 - 09:23 PM

On what basis is volunteer moderating a bad thing? We've discussed this repeatedly and at length and we concluded that because of the problems caused by offsite mods (lack of historical and contextual knowledge, no ability to spot negative patterns forming, etc.) and because of the costs involed that volunteer mods were a much better idea. Almost every forum and message board has moderators selected or volunteering from the user base and, trust me, it really works because it means decisions actually have some knowledge behind them rather than being arbitrary black-and-white interpretations of the letter of the rules.

We're not just going to give a load of people moderator permissions and tell them to go play, more than any other volunteer scheme moderators have to be known as being trustworthy and able to keep their cool, there will be rules they have to abide by and there will have to be accountability. And yes, the moderation software is a known thingy because, like the rest of the site, it's being tested to destruction and back again.
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#52 plato

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Posted 13 October 2011 - 09:42 PM

(A little simulposting there, thank you Mrs Z that's welcome information)

Mr Dreadful? You sound like you are in the know? I don't know who is doing all the work right now so I don't know who knows what.

Anyway, you said "the moderation software is a known thingy because, like the rest of the site, it's being tested to destruction and back again." (sorry, cannot get the hang of the quotes function on this device)

So can you or anyone else "In The Know" for h2g2 tell us what the known moderation stuff is? Surely this can be discussed amongst all of us? The logistics. The how-it-all-works. The Failsafes. What are the failsafes?





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