New Poll – The Question of Moderation

As the blog has become more popular, more people have been posting and commenting.  I have to admit, I love that we are beginning to really take off and are a spot for the Morgan community to come to for all sorts of discussion and information exchange.  In addition, my intent when we started AboveLevel.com was for it to be a positive atmosphere and so far I think we have all accomplished this.

However, with AboveLevel.com’s growing popularity comes various opinions, personalities and writing styles.  This has put me in a difficult position of how to effectively moderate the blog comments and posts.  So far I have only deleted two entries (not including spam) but doing so was a very hard decision in both instances.  Both entries were off topic and, although I know one was meant to be helpful, it was written in such a way that it could be interpreted as a personal attack.  In my opinion, once that starts it can become a very slippery slope.

I have been thinking about my deleting decision a lot in the past couple of days and I decided that I need to find out what you all think about the moderation question.  How much moderation do you want?  Should l allow all the entries to remain and let the group moderate by their reaction?  I am willing to do that but I am afraid that it will end up as a “free for all” with people attacking one another and getting WAY off topic.  One way of doing that is a rating system in which everybody has the option of clicking on a “thumbs up or thumbs down”.   It would show the writer what others think about what they said and whether they agree or not.  This obviously wouldn’t stop negativity but it would show the writer if others agree or not and maybe keep discussion on track. 

As many of you know we are in the midst of adding Forums to the blog.  This will probably be where the rating system comes into play.  The front page will definitely have moderation and will consist more of information, stories, results…

If you do want moderation in the Forums it does put the burden on me to decide what is over the line and what can stay.  It is a very subjective thing and you all will need to trust me to do this in as fair a fashion as I can.  Already I have deleting something that the writer felt should have stayed in order to be “self moderated” by the group and, on the other hand, I didn’t delete something that another user felt was crossing the line.  

So please vote on the poll and/or comment here.  Of course I can’t make everybody happy with the end decision but I would like to see where the majority of you lie on this issue.

 

10 Responses to New Poll – The Question of Moderation

  1. Jan L says:

    Beth….You have demonstrated “good, common-sense” in my opinion and the fact that you are anticipating the possible need for moderation and looking for input from responders suggests fairness and objectivity. I would vote for moderation and the “thumbs-up/down”.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Beth,
    You have done a great job with the site. I feel your moderation and a ratings system would be a good combination. I appreciate all your hard work. I love this site.
    Thank you

  3. jyn says:

    Being that this is your personal blog I dont see any reason why you cant delete topics or any thing you dont like. A site like trot .org is a public forum but even they have moderators and dont allow anything that goes to far or that is hateful.

  4. leslie says:

    I think having forums will filter a lot of the hot button topics and conversational, “where’s a good place to buy breeches” type items off the blog. That should reduce the arguments and off-topic stuff as well.

    Fortunately most of the contributing readers here appear to be adults. I think if the forum golden rule is, “don’t be a troll” then you won’t have too many problems.

  5. Dawn Fire says:

    Beth,

    It is your website and you can run it as you see fit. You are the one with the vision for what you want your site to be. After running a public training, boarding, breeding, and lesson barn for almost a decade I can tell you that you will not make everyone happy. Keep your eye on your own goals and the people that you want to surround yourself with will follow you.

    Dawn

  6. jns767 says:

    I agree that you should moderate. What really attracted me to this site was the fact that I can feel free to ask questions (as stupid as they may be) w/out any rude commentary. It’s refreshing!

  7. jjoker says:

    Keep up the GREAT job. It’s your world so keep it up.

  8. Black Eye Beth says:

    I appreciate everybody’s comments. I do want this to be a place for everybody so it is very important to know what people prefer.

    So far everybody commenting has been in favor of moderation but if you are not in favor of it I would also like to hear your thoughts. A person I know if very involved in a couple of HUGE political blogs that do not use moderation, but instead use a form of self-moderation via the rating system. He is more in favor of that instead of my subjective decision on what is crossing the line.

    I am just very interested in getting all aspects of this issue. Thanks!!

  9. denu220 says:

    Hi Beth,
    I hope you consider having a moderator for the forums. It doesn’t have to be you, just someone you trust who has the time to read posts and can make the commitment to uphold your vision for this website. I know on other forums/websites, there have been damaging remarks which have been subsequently deleted by moderators. The mods are also on the look-out for inappropriate material. You need to do what makes you most comfortable, but I personally wouldn’t leave the “policing” to chance. I’ve been a member of the dog forums for several years now and have seen and heard a lot; you can’t believe some of the things people have the nerve to say! Also, I LOVE the “thumbs up/down” rating system. You could even make it cute and give someone the “carrot” or “pitchfork.” Or have blue ribbons and no ribbons. Best of luck in this new, exciting venture!

  10. bella says:

    Beth
    I also think it is your site, your “horse” so you get to ride it any way you like, you are the one who takes the time to make this all work, so you do what you feel is best. I think you made the right decisions taking off the posts you did. Thank you for this site, LOVE IT and will continue to visit it daily!

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