As of right now we have 152 ITNinja moderators. <deep voice>This message goes out to you</deep voice>…
Short version: You can now edit tags, titles and approve/disapprove accounts of members posting for the first time! Check out the new tabs under the moderator menu.
As a moderator, you’ve been able to edit the tags of content posted by others for some time
. Tags are important to helping people monitor the topics with which they have interest or can be of the most help. Especially in posts by new users of the site, many don't take the time to think through their selections and either choose one that does not apply or selects all of the ones we highlight as popular topics. Please continue helping to correct poor tagging where you see it as this is of great help to the community—particularly those watching to provide answers!
New users (more so than those that have been participating awhile) are also prone to entering bad titles, or very lengthy question titles with odd punctuation, misspellings etc. and I often edit these—now you can too. Just click “edit” and you’ll see the ability to change the post title. One think I like to do is make sure that any posts about a specific product mention that product. For example a post about the K1000 should mention that in the title so someone that doesn’t know anything about the K1000 can steer clear without having to depend solely on tagging. Please take care when editing titles and don’t worry about breaking the link, the URL for the post will remain unchanged.
The need to review posts by fist time users
Speaking of first-time posters, you are probably aware that to minimize the spam on the site we have been very effectively requiring manual review of the first contribution by each user. The down-side is that it can sometimes take longer than I'd like to get a valid post approved and that user is left having asked a question that cannot be answered until I take action. I had a break for a year or so (thanks BobCrosley
!) but for the most part I have been and continue to be the only person reviewing these first-time posts and we get a lot of spam. So, it is with great pleasure that I am able to announce the ability for our moderators to help contribute to this task (for points of course). Our hope is that spam will also decrease with this update as a result of our adding a Captcha prompt for those creating new accounts (much of the spam appears automated).
Reviewing User Moderation
On your moderator tab, you’ll notice two new tabs in addition to those for managing spam
. They are “Moderate Users” and “User Moderation Activity”. For transparency, the latter lists who has been approving/banning users and the points they received. We also list top moderators here as a ranking focused specifically on the points earned for banning and approving users. Here you can see who’s banned or approved who along with a link to the content in question. See a mistake? Please bring it to my attention.
Now let’s focus on the “Moderate Users” tab. This is where all the pending posts live. Each entry represents a piece of content submitted to the site that is currently hidden because the user has not been approved.
For Blogs, Questions, links and Reviews you can click the title to visit the content page and you’ll see the “Ban” and “Approve” buttons at the top of the page. For comments, the comment text is shown on the “Moderate Users” tab and you’ll click into the content page to see where it is currently listed as hidden. The user responsible for the content you clicked on will be identified by username and highlighted in yellow—here you can “Ban” or “Approve” the user based on the comment in question.
Careful! Please take care not to ban an account that does not deserve it. When a user is banned, all of their content is hidden from the site (not just the content you are currently reviewing). Most often a questionable post is actually an article (normally of a topic not quite right for ITNinja) which appears legitimate but contains one or more hyperlinks to a product or service with the goal of increasing inbound links to their website. I ban posts like this most every day. If you should make a mistake, you’ll have to write me to have it undone using the site contact form
Not sure if content warrants banning a user? Just leave it. Better to be safe than sorry and I will still be performing the task, so leave the questionable stuff for me!
Hey, how do I become a moderator!?
Once you hit the level of blue belt, you’ll get an invitation to moderate via email. The role is not granted to you by default, those eligible must accept it. If you do not wish to help improve the community by helping to moderate, please do not accept the responsibility of becoming a moderator. Once you accept the role of moderator, it is necessary to log out of the site and back in again in order to see moderation menu at the top of the screen.
Invitations are sent once you reach blue belt, but if you didn't get it or have changed your mind, when eligible you’ll find a Yes, make me a moderator option on the Settings tab of your user profile page.
Thanks once again to everyone who makes this site what it is; especially those moderators going the extra mile to keep the site clean for the rest of us!