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Moderator program changes: "sounding board" role now left to general members, term to be one year
Thread poster: Henry Dotterer

Henry Dotterer
Local time: 05:00
SITE FOUNDER
Mar 2, 2009

Hi all,

As most of you know, ProZ.com moderators play a key role in this community. This post is to announce that the moderator role has now been redefined in two important ways.

First: Whereas the moderator role once had a "steering" element to it (through which moderators would sometimes be informed of new developments before they went public, and be given an opportunity to give feedback prior to releases), the role has now been narrowed in scope to the remaining responsibilities of "assist(ing) users in using the site to maximum benefit, enforc(ing) adherence to site rules, and investigat(ing) cases of abuse."

This change was made in light of the evolving nature of the community, and site staff's goal of carrying out site development in a manner as open and community-led as possible. (The recent invoicing release is an example of this approach in practice.) Although moderators will not discuss site development privately on the moderator list anymore, they have been invited to share their experience by contributing feedback on site developments alongside regular members in the public forums.

The primary responsibilities of "site guidance" and "rules enforcement" that remain in place mean that moderators will continue to play a critical role in the ProZ.com community.

Second: It was made clear that the long-standing written policy of rotating moderators on a yearly basis will now be carried out in fact. ("All site moderators will act as such through a one-year period of service, mutually renewable, that will extend from July 1 through June 30.") This policy is intended to provide more members of the community with an opportunity to contribute in turn as moderators.

.......

An updated description of the moderator role has been posted. Because of the significance of the two changes, current moderators have been given an opportunity to consider and either accept or decline to accept the new definition. All moderators were asked to make a decision by today.

On behalf of the entire member community, our sincerest gratitude to all of those who have given of their time, and continue to do so, to serve as ProZ.com moderators.

Henry


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TTV  Identity Verified
France
Member
German to French
Good job ! Mar 2, 2009

Well, now that moderators have spent years for free making this site a successul business, it's time to get rid of them !

I wonder if the word "community" has ever been justified here +:)

[Modifié le 2009-03-02 08:31 GMT]


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Mulyadi Subali  Identity Verified
Indonesia
Local time: 16:00
English to Indonesian
+ ...
good job indeed Mar 2, 2009

TTV wrote:

Well, now that moderators have spent years for free making this site a successul business, it's time to get rid of them !

I wonder if the word "community" has ever been justified here +:)

[Modifié le 2009-03-02 08:31 GMT]


i actually agree in the concept of rotating moderators in order to avoid 'power abuse'.


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Jerzy Czopik  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 11:00
Member (2003)
Polish to German
+ ...
Thank you for this clarification Mar 2, 2009

It was indeed really necessary.

Best regards
Jerzy


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Enrique Cavalitto
Local time: 06:00
SITE STAFF
Community Mar 2, 2009

TTV wrote:

Well, now that moderators have spent years for free making this site a successul business, it's time to get rid of them !

I wonder if the word "community" has ever been justified here +:)


Nobody is getting rid of moderators. In fact the "sounding board" role is in the hands of the community as a whole, and moderators (current and past ones) have been invited to share their experience by contributing feedback on site developments alongside regular members in the public forums.


Regards,
Enrique


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Jessica Noyes  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 05:00
Spanish to English
+ ...
Moderators -- excellent sounding boards Mar 2, 2009

Naturally, all voices should be heard, including mine, that of a relative newbie to the site. However, the people who grew up with proz, who have experienced the changes the site has gone through, who have historical perspective and proven commitment to the site's well-being, have input that it is valuable in a special, perhaps senatorial way. The moderators' forum was a token of recognition and esteem for the contribution of these people.
If the site needs traffic cops, that would be the ideal job for paid staff.


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Emmanuelle Riffault  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 11:00
Member (2004)
German to French
+ ...
Good idea Mar 2, 2009

Jessica Noyes wrote:

If the site needs traffic cops, that would be the ideal job for paid staff.


That's a good point.

Emmanuelle

[Modifié le 2009-03-02 14:28 GMT]


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Enrique Cavalitto
Local time: 06:00
SITE STAFF
Rules enforcement Mar 2, 2009

By intervening when necessary to ensure that site rules are followed, site moderators help to ensure a positive working environment at ProZ.com.

All site mods deserve gratitude for voluntarily performing this very valuable contribution to the site and its community.

Enrique


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Henry Dotterer
Local time: 05:00
SITE FOUNDER
TOPIC STARTER
Right, Jessica Mar 2, 2009

Jessica Noyes wrote:

Naturally, all voices should be heard, including mine, that of a relative newbie to the site. However, the people who grew up with proz, who have experienced the changes the site has gone through, who have historical perspective and proven commitment to the site's well-being, have input that it is valuable in a special, perhaps senatorial way.

Thank you, Jessica, that is absolutely true. (It is also true of long-standing members who have not necessarily served as moderators.)

Serving as a moderator serves to broaden one's perspective. As more people have that opportunity, I hope that the community will be increasingly balanced, well-informed, and stronger overall.

Thanks for posting, Jessica.


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Angie Garbarino  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 11:00
Member (2003)
French to Italian
+ ...
Yes they do! Mar 2, 2009

Enrique wrote:

All site mods deserve gratitude for voluntarily performing this very valuable contribution to the site and its community.

Enrique


Absolutely!

So thanks to all the moderators who helped me during my 6 years here at proz.

Angioletta


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ViktoriaG  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 05:00
English to French
+ ...
My thoughts exactly Mar 2, 2009

Jessica Noyes wrote:

If the site needs traffic cops, that would be the ideal job for paid staff.


I imagine that those who have accepted to be moderators were also doing it for the pleasure of being part of something that was leading somewhere. Although I believe that moderation is useful and even necessary once in a while and that someone has to do it, I don't think one can expect of a volunteer to spend all her time policing users. Where's the fun in that? I've known volunteer cooks, volunteer nurses, volunteer painters, but I have yet to see a volunteer cop...


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Giles Watson  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 11:00
Italian to English
Volunteer cops Mar 3, 2009

Viktoria Gimbe wrote:

I've known volunteer cooks, volunteer nurses, volunteer painters, but I have yet to see a volunteer cop...


You'll find a picture of some here:

http://www.tg5.mediaset.it/cronaca/articoli/2009/02/articolo8743.shtml

The people in the photo are taking part in informally organised patrols but officially recognised volunteer cops, or "special constables" as they are known in the UK, have a long tradition.

In Canada, volunteer police officers are called "auxiliary constables", according to Wikipedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Auxiliary_Constable

HTH

Giles

[Edited at 2009-03-03 09:36 GMT]


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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 11:00
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
I enjoy my 'volunteer cop' role! Mar 3, 2009

I am moderator in a fairly small, generally well-behaved community - KudoZ in Danish to English and English to Danish. I try to be like the 'friendly bobby' kind of cop, and my job consists largely of redirecting traffic when someone has posted in the wrong pair, (DA-EN instead of EN-DA, or strayed in from Swedish-English for instance). Or explaining to newcomers that they have to post terms separately, and asking them to divide a post into two or three.

I am not sure if there are any paid staff who read enough Danish to do the job, but they can't cover all languages on the site in any case.

Someone asked me recently to remove a post ASAP, because it contained information that might lead to identification of the client, and was therefore confidential.

I get a lot of friendly answers and thanks for my help.

Even if I do have to enforce rules, I have been lucky so far. People accept that certain things that are fine in private mails cannot be said on a public site where everyone can see them, and rules are rules.

Then there are meetings with the other mods - it definitely has its rewards!





[Edited at 2009-03-03 10:53 GMT]


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Giovanni Guarnieri MITI, MIL  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:00
Member (2004)
English to Italian
who decided? Mar 3, 2009

the site's staff?

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Henry Dotterer
Local time: 05:00
SITE FOUNDER
TOPIC STARTER
Me Mar 3, 2009

Giovanni Guarnieri MITI, MIL wrote:
who decided?
the site's staff?

Yes, I did.


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