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1 GLEP: 38
2 Title: Status of forum moderators in the Gentoo project
3 Version: $Revision: 1.1 $
4 Last-Modified: $Date: 2005/06/24 21:32:46 $
5 Author: Christian Hartmann <christian.hartmann at email.de>,
6 Wernfried Haas <w.haas at xover.htu.tuwien.ac.at>,
7 Tom Knight <tomk at gentoo.org>.
8 Status: Draft
9 Type: Informational
10 Content-Type: text/x-rst
11 Created: 06-May-2005
12 Post-History: 17-Jun-2005, 28-Jun-2005
13
14
15 Abstract
16 ========
17
18 Global moderators and site admins should also go through the mentoring process
19 and become official Gentoo staff.
20
21 Motivation
22 ==========
23
24 At the time of writing the forums are apart from the recruiting process and
25 people helping out there are not made an official part of Gentoo. This GLEP
26 aims on creating and establishing a recruitment and mentoring process for
27 moderators and site admins of forums.gentoo.org. By doing this we hopefully
28 achieve a (even) better moderation quality and stop the complaints about
29 moderators not being staff. Moderators and site admins do not need cvs
30 access.
31
32 Moderators and site admins are doing a hard job for the community as well as all
33 the other projects do but they get no voice in the gentoo internals. Recent events
34 such as the election of trustees or the new metastructure poll are effectively
35 affecting the forums, so the wish to be part of the decision as an equal member
36 is present among the moderators.
37
38 Moderators are often a contact person between users and developers, so we
39 should try to improve the communication between these two groups of people. As
40 moderators are pretty much exposed to the public (forums users, but also used
41 as contact person for requests that should go to the PR department or the
42 trustees) they need to have some knowledge about Gentoo's internal structure
43 as well as contact to the other developers.
44
45 The current training process for new moderators works pretty well even though
46 there are no official guidelines how to do it. As part of this proposal a more
47 detailed procedure for the training process will be established to make it
48 more reproducable. It also gives us the possibility to document the things
49 happening already today in the current training process.
50
51 The status of the Gentoo Forums has been undefined for quite some time. Since
52 it is using the gentoo.org domain it should be considered an official project.
53 People working on an official project should be developers or staff following Gentoo's
54 general policy. At the moment the persons with direct access to the database
55 are developers. Being moderator could be considered an improved forums rank
56 that does not have impact on Gentoo's infrastructure, but since moderators and
57 administrators are able to delete, move and edit posts on the forum willingly,
58 their level of access should be considered developer like. Many users may not
59 be aware of the difference between moderators and developers, so the actions of a
60 moderator may represent Gentoo Linux to them anyway.
61
62 Specification
63 =============
64
65 To obtain a certain kind of quality assurance and to (create and) ensure that
66 upcoming moderators know about the forums guidelines a document and processes
67 will have to be created and established that the recruits need to follow.
68 This document (called `Moderators handbook/FAQ`_) will include the moderation guidelines
69 as they are currently available in the moderators forum plus a FAQ that was created as
70 a possible candidate for a forums-quiz. The guidelines and the FAQ should help the
71 moderator to get some general information about how to moderate the forums.
72
73 Suggested procedure for becoming global moderator: Existing moderators can
74 suggest a user to become a moderator. The ability of the new moderator to
75 deal with people in a kind way and to detect misplaced posts, etc usually
76 also has been reviewed by the other moderators already since they can read
77 their previous posts and suggestions in the forums feedback threads. If they
78 accept, they will become moderator on the forums. A bug will be filed on
79 b.g.o containing information about the new moderator. Afterwards they must
80 answer the staff quiz that will be revisited by devrel. The quiz then will
81 be sent to recruiters@g.o for revision. Becoming staff member is not
82 optional, but mandatory.
83
84 The first month is supposed to be a test period, if the moderator
85 does not do anything in that time or messes up in another way, they will be
86 restored to their old user status. The mentor(s) and everyone of the forums team
87 are encouraged to help the new moderator if they are unsure how to deal with a
88 situation.
89
90 Rationale
91 =========
92
93 The process of aquiring new developers seems to work for the rest of Gentoo
94 Linux quite well. A mentoring system has been chosen since new moderators were
95 mentored unofficially by the other moderators anyway. This means more or less
96 writing down things that have been done already.
97 It was discussed to add a forums-specific quiz to the process of aquiring new
98 moderators.
99 Devrel's standing on that is that it is up to the moderators how a new moderator is
100 chosen. Since the old process worked fine so far and some people among the moderators
101 didn't exactly like the idea of a quiz, we chose not to make one. A document containing the
102 questions collected for the quiz in form of a FAQ together with the moderation
103 guidelines seems to be a more feasible approach. The new moderators are supposed to
104 read the FAQ as well as they had to take a quiz, so they will learn the information
105 given in this document.
106
107 Backwards Compatibility
108 =======================
109
110 Moderators who are currently inactive (Bodhisattva status) should be
111 considered akin to retired developers and will have to take the staff quiz
112 if they return to moderation activities. New moderators should have to go
113 through the mentoring process in any case as stated above.
114
115 Moderators in national forums: In our internal discussion it turned out that not
116 all moderators in the national forums are able to speak english well, which
117 would be a requirement to become a staff member. We decided that it would
118 counter productive to make it mandatory for them. Becoming a staff member is
119 optional for these moderators.
120
121 As a side effect of the discussion about the glep among the moderators
122 as well as in discussions with other developers and devrel, it turned
123 out that the forums have never been assigned to a toplevel project in the
124 general organization of the Gentoo project. Forums don't really seem to fit
125 into one of the current categories as they are related to the infrastructure
126 and the documentation project. We suggest putting it in the other category
127 or making a separate one for the forums.
128
129 Reference Implementation
130 ========================
131
132 - `Moderators handbook/FAQ`_
133 - `Becoming a developer`_
134 - `Staff quiz`_
135 - `Thread on gentoo-dev`_
136
137 .. _Moderators handbook/FAQ: http://curtis119.no-ip.org/forum-guide.xml
138 .. _Becoming a developer: http://www.gentoo.org/proj/en/devrel/handbook/handbook.xml?part=1&chap=2
139 .. _Staff quiz: http://www.gentoo.org/proj/en/devrel/quiz/staff-quiz.txt
140 .. _Thread on gentoo-dev: http://thread.gmane.org/gmane.linux.gentoo.devel/28985
141
142 Copyright
143 =========
144
145 This document has been placed in the public domain.

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