What functions did you need documented exactly?
I remember thinking something like this would be helpful when I was first a moderator on a Discourse forum and was looking around here on Meta for finding out about things. I know there is a lot of helpful info here but it was just a little hard trying to tell if anything was out of date, and trying to jump around different topics to get an idea of the basics.
So recently, I had been thinking for a while about starting a wiki here on meta for a basic explanation of things such as the moderation queue, and keeping track of basically anything helpful related to moderation, and try mentioning things that are part of Discourse’s philosophy along the way (to provide more context about how some features were designed to be used).
(But I suppose I wasn’t sure how it’d be received, and have tried looking for topics already done for this if there are any.) But there’s not really a central place I’ve found at the moment (please point me to any if there are. Maybe there is and I haven’t looked hard enough, but if there was, I think it would be helpful to make it easier to find). for example these are some topics related to moderation tools here on Meta that I’ve found, but it’s always taken an extra step to find them (through jumping around on other topics, or through searching)
These are a little bit extra and they’re not directly related to this topic on just the moderation tools, but for new moderators, it would be helpful side information.
After seeing this topic, I think I’ll go with doing that – starting off a community wiki for documenting moderation-related tools. I’m not sure if it would be helpful but I just know I might have found it helpful so I’ll have it for anyone else who might feel that way.
I know it might seem a bit excessive documenting things (you might see it as holding people’s hands maybe), but extra info on the tools would indeed be helpful to know, so I’ll try put together a place for it here on Meta (I have made a test start already but haven’t shared anything here yet)
If you have any thoughts on this please let me know
(Also apologies if I am not making much sense…just feel free to tell me to clarify anything.)
And with starting a wiki here on Meta, I mean making it a how-to, I suppose, that anyone can add to (I don’t mean that I can document everything because I don’t know everything, just wanted to make a start from things that I do know)
You can follow up with @erlend_sh it is possible we could sponsor this work.
Hi Jeff, oh no no I mean this as a totally voluntary thing— I love everything about Discourse and the team and would probably have a lot of fun trying to make something like this (we tend to go pretty all out sometimes with making how-tos on Hopscotch forum – even if they don’t end up being as helpful as we would think they are, but that’s okay).
I’m glad you think it would be nice to have — I shouldn’t depend on positive feedback in any way, but I admit I’ve been a little hesitant with posting here on Meta (I’m too in awe of everyone here), so seeing this topic and that others might find some documentation helpful too has encouraged me; I’ll get going then
I would like to add that me thinking this idea was only made possible thanks to Discourse being open source + the Discourse As Your First Rails App blog post which means I can access the moderation features again to help out with something like documentation
Also I’m more hoping just to get something started and organised at the least, and would like to have it open for community input because again I definitely won’t know everything.
I would be up for this. I think it would be a help. I am tech savvy enough to get through the install, but not experienced enough to program. I am probably not the only admin who looks at /sidekiq and thinks “This is obviously telling me something, I just wish I understood what it was saying - if I could just talk to sidekiq I’m sure we could have a richer, more nurturing relationship”.
I think a wiki which concentrated on daily activities for moderators would be helpful. Meta is great (as is discourse), but much of the content here is about support, and programming. The questions I brought with me when I first arrived were noob ones: How to I help a user who isn’t getting emails? (Check if there are bounces to that account, tell the user to check their spam folders, tell them to contact their ISP). How do I tell when an update ran? How do I trigger an update? What happens when an update runs? What does it mean when the system flags a user as “suspect”?
A few top down overviews of the internal workings wouldn’t be amiss. Nor would an explanation of just what renaming a user, or changing ownership of a post actually does.
HIDIs would be useful (HIDI: “How I Do It”): Howto: Change a user's email when they can't access the email account and forgot password
I can’t be the only one who stares at a button or setting and thinks “is this the self destruct feature?”
This is really wonderful of you, thank you
I think I’ll start to keep track of some things I’d like to mention too (might move this elsewhere later on):
Agree vs defer vs disagree flags (what action counts for user who flagged and post creator, whether a post remains hidden)
(I remember when I first saw these options, I actually did think that ‘agree’ meant ‘agree with the content of the post’, rather than ‘agree with the reason for flagging’)
what sorts of things are included in the logs (maybe not anything lengthy is needed, but just a general brief thing)
user trust levels Understanding Discourse Trust Levels
I’d also like to mention things like one of Discourse’s aims is to give the community tools to look after itself too, and I’d like to link discussions behind some motivations for features so that people will be able to have some idea about making a decision too
(e.g. if users are hitting the daily like limit and they would like it to be changed, there is not just going and changing it, but also like why rate-limiting is in place and I think that would be helpful to include. Edit: I just realised this is pretty quick to find out by searching here on Meta, but I think there have been a few other cases where I’ve found helpful stuff from just hopping around topics here, but didn’t know the things at the time when I would have needed it)
I think this would be great also. I would be happy to help write up some of the content.
One of my current maybe-I-should plans, that I started my first tangible work on yesterday, is a Discourse for the New Admin book.
I wanted to get started on having a place to collect some of the things I’ve seen and that have been mentioned, and I like to have my WIPs public (also would like to put up things like ‘note(s) to self’), is there any place here where we can safely have things like those? Probably it will be just more of a wiki that will be continually evolving, and will be in a ‘not ready for viewing’ state for some time (but still want it to be editable for everyone on community here); I was thinking about doing that in a new topic maybe? Or do people think I could do it in this one? I feel there might end up being quite a few different things so that is why I was thinking about making a new topic.
Me too. I think it’s something that needs clarifying in the UI
Feel free to post mock ups of what you propose.
I’d personally love to see more #howto:faq to potentially eventually a #howto:moderation category with all of these topics. It would also be nice to eventually come up with a generic “READ ME FIRST: Moderation Quick Start Guide” like we have for Admins.
This is a listed narrative track for the Discourse bot, we have just back burnered that for a bit. In general using the bot to practice is a much better strategy than “hey champ enjoy this wall o’ text we’re about to blast in yo face”
Yep, the wall o’ text thing just doesn’t work.
A quick informational text with some “Wanna know more?” links to an offsite resource would be more effective (presuming that the offsite resource is available and contains stuff like "How do I do “X”? Q&A).
This applies equally to a user and an admin README.
I had that in mind too, with wanting to eventually add to a moderation subcategory or something of the like. And also yes very much agree that heaps of text often doesn’t help get things across was keeping that in mind too.
I like that - then another reason for which having some more documentation/how-tos would be helpful
I’ll continue with keeping this topic updated (but I think I might keep track of things in a separate topic as I go at the moment)
New #howto articles geared at moderators would be very welcome. We were already contemplating a Moderator-specific howto-category, so in light of this initiative I’ll just put that up preemptively…, aaand done: #howto:moderators
As for posting drafts, that’s fine. Let’s just stick to a
DRAFT: title convention when you’re posting for note-to-self or feedback.
Brilliant! That’s what you are, @erlend_sh.
Two months later, the Moderators category didn’t pick up any steam. We’ve decided to discontinue in in favour of simply tagging moderation-focused articles with #moderation and putting them in the #howto:admins category.
I’m sorry this didn’t take off. I’d really like a Moderator Quick Start Guide with all the tools in one place, so I can have something that I can give to new Moderators…and something I can reference myself when my Team and I run into situations on our forum.
We have the Discourse Moderation Guide, which is pretty good: