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Thread: Divide categories evenly between mods (or have all mods moderate all categories)

  1. #1
    Inverarity
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    Divide categories evenly between mods (or have all mods moderate all categories)

    Okay, since I kind of got a non-answer in the "Questions for the Moderators" thread, I'll pose it here as a suggestion:

    Currently, you have specific mods assigned to individual categories, and then the General category, which is a catch-all for which any mod will validate stories in the queue.

    Since chapters in General get validated so much more quickly than elsewhere (all 29 chapters of my story Alexandra Quick and the Thorn Circle went up in the time I got about half a dozen chapters of Hogwarts Houses Divided validated), not surprisingly, people are now sticking their stories in General even when they belong in another category.

    My suggestion: make all mods responsible for validating all queues. I realize that each mod probably has categories s/he prefers to mod, and categories s/he doesn't, so it's fine for them to concentrate on their preferences (and not make someone who absolutely loathes Snape/Hermione have to touch that queue ), but surely you can work out a way so that if stories in one queue are waiting significantly longer than another, the next available mod can take a look at them.

  2. #2
    First Year Ravenclaw
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    I second this suggestion!

    Having read both Inverity's posts, and agreeing that the response to his/her first question was a non-answer, I feel I should add my opionion here. The first answer was essentially 'The slower category is a slower category and don't use Ask a Moderator to ask a moderator'. Huh?

    Every story on MNFF has a date of when submitted and when validated. When I see some stories approved in a day, but others approved in ten, it makes me ask 'Is the queue really a queue?' Right now the answer is no, it's really a dozen different queues moving at different speeds.

    Inverarity has an excellent and very popular chaptered story, already completely written, that will essentially have taken a year to post at the current rate of verification in the Post-Hogwarts queue. Inverarity's concern, one I share, is the wildly different wait times for approval between categories. We understand that real life comes before volunteer mod duty, and we thank you all for your continuous effort, but can the staff find a way to redistribute responsibilities so all the categories move at a fairly constant rate? At least make a standard rule such as 'No mod can read stories submitted on the thirteenth until we've completed all those submitted on the tenth'. That way the queue will truly be a queue where we each really get our turn in the order we arrived. Otherwise, we'll all get smart enough to label every story we write a 'General Fic', no matter what it really is!

    Half a Wizarding World away... an unwanted child finds magic.

  3. #3
    babekitty_92
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    Sorry to sound like water on the burning fire, but there is already something in place (however I think this could get improved).

    There are your Mods who are assigned to certain categories as you know, and then all the Mods are assigned to General. Then there are Mods who are called "Sweepers" and they help out any queue that is getting ridiculously long. They have their hand in most areas of fanfiction in terms of understanding and nit-picking out IC/OOC, as well as your basic Modly-traits.

    The problem is (correct me if I'm wrong Mods) but it is a very time-consuming job and therefore there are a lot of Mods coming and going because it is just too much for them to juggle in their RL at times, therefore there are less Sweeper Mods, hence some queues becoming a long wait.

    The other reason why Mods are assigned to certain categories is because it's their "specialty" and know what to look for in terms of IC/OOC, knowledge of the era/circumstances, not just on their reading preference. So if all the Mods reviewed all categories they may be disinclined to read, the standard would not be as good as it is now.

    Another point to remember in terms of submission dates is that when you press submit, you are at the end of the line. No one can jump forwards in the queue, you can only go back to the end of the line. The way to do that is either make edits to your story before it gets reviewed or you delete it from the queue and re-submit all over again. So there is no possible way (from my understanding) for my story to get validated before yours if I submitted it on the 20th and you on the 18th unless you've edited your work.

    I really don't mean to sound horrible because this is the second post in which I've posted rebuttal, but I do agree with you that maybe the Mods do need some more hands at times to sweep up the queues, however I am sure they'll ask for help when they need it (which from being on here for a long time, they generally do).

    Abbi

  4. #4
    Inverarity
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    Another point to remember in terms of submission dates is that when you press submit, you are at the end of the line. No one can jump forwards in the queue, you can only go back to the end of the line. The way to do that is either make edits to your story before it gets reviewed or you delete it from the queue and re-submit all over again. So there is no possible way (from my understanding) for my story to get validated before yours if I submitted it on the 20th and you on the 18th unless you've edited your work.
    Yes, I understand how the queue works, thank you.

    All of the above is only true with respect to a single queue. What we actually have are multiple queues. Hence the problem.

  5. #5
    babekitty_92
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    Yes I completely understand that, but the reason why this is occurring is because like everyone has said so far, some categories are far bigger than others, meaning it's harder to control.

    The problem with saying 'No approving/rejecting a story added on the 14th before one on the 11th' over the whole site is that should it be for a contest, for instance, and they are submitting last-minute, that means that person could potentially miss out if they get rejected and need a last-minute edit. I personally have put something in the queue two days before the deadline, got rejected and had to edit and re-submit only hours before the queue for that competition would shut. Had the rule being suggested been in place, I would have missed out.

    I'm not saying it's not a good idea but keep in mind that it's not fair to make a person wait 10 days simply because there are longer queues other places. Like I said before, maybe it should be considered that there needs to be more specialised Mods for particular queues instead of getting all Mods to control all queues, or hire more Sweeper Mods that can help out when need be. To me the rule would defeat the purpose of having particular Mods catching out those problems that us author's may need to fix, hence meaning we loose the wonderful quality in not only a great site, but also improving our work.

    I'm sorry if I'm way off base here but yeah, that's just my view so I'm going back to hibernate before I cause any more problems.

    Abbi

  6. #6
    Potions Mistress Hufflepuff
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    Here's how the modding setup works.

    Certain mods mod certain categories. I, for example, mod HG/SS as my main cat and sweep as appropriate. One mod (or in larger categories, two or three) keeps tabs over a cat because then one mod can follow a story and work with an author directly. In my cat for example, while I was away for a week on a trip, I asked another mod to watch over the category. That mod may have rejected a chapter that she thought was OOC, when I knew, having read the story to that point, that the characters had developed enough through the plot that the actions were no longer OOC. Particuarly in non-canon pairing cats, OOC-ness is a huge obstacle, hence the reason it makes sense for one or two mods to become overly familar with a story.

    Now, I'm not by any means saying this isn't a problem in the sweeper cats. That is why, if you've worked with a particular mod on a story that might be rejected, again, for example, for OOC-ness, you can add an author note requesting a specific mod to look at your chapter. (Note that this does generally increase your queue time compared to other general or D/A or humor fics.)

    If one mod is having RL issues, there is a thread that we post in requesting help, and then anyone can mod the cat. Additionally, all chapters that have been in queue longer than seven days become fair game for sweepers.

    I understand that it can be frustrating for the chapters to be validated at different speeds, however, the system is set up this way for a reason, and is probably not likely to change in the immediate future.


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  7. #7
    First Year Ravenclaw
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phoenix5225
    Additionally, all chapters that have been in queue longer than seven days become fair game for sweepers.
    Are they just 'fair game' for sweepers, or are sweepers trained to take these as first priority? Maybe the problem is that 'Sweepers' just keep sweeping the center of the room, when it's the corners where the dust is building up. This is what Inverarity is trying to point out, but just keeps getting tutored on how categories work as an answer.

    Quote Originally Posted by babekitty 92
    Another point to remember in terms of submission dates is that when you press submit, you are at the end of the line. No one can jump forwards in the queue,
    Actually, as the system currently works, people CAN jump forward in the queue, simply by luck of having their story as 'General Fic' where many more mods work from. There are chaptered fics here that should be in subcategories, but manage quicker verification by being left in the broader area. Inverarity was told he/she could not take advantage of this by changing category, since unfortunately Inverarity only noticed the disparity in times after categorizing his/her fic. Having one twenty-nine chapter story completely posted in two months while the other has taken nine months to approve certainly raised Inverarity's concern. This if far too great a disparity to just shrug off.

    Let's look at it this way. You go to McDonald's for lunch and are third in line. You see the fifth, seventh, tenth and eleventh person in line all served in three minutes while your order takes ten minutes. You are slightly perturbed because this has also happened before. When you bring this to the store manager's attention, you don't want to hear "They all got Big Macs and every counter person can serve Big Macs. You got a double cheeseburger and only Cindy serves those, so just get used to it always taking ten minutes." What you want to and should hear is "Thank you for your concern. We'll address the issue so it doesn't continue to happen in the future." Then he lets more persons than just Cindy serve double cheeseburgers. Because the store manager doesn't want to lose your, or any other double cheeseburger customer's, business. This is the situation with the queue that is a dozen queues. I for one would hate for Inverarity's wonderful stories to leave to another site because he/she is constantly discouraged by this situation, and is being told the concern is not a concern.

    Half a Wizarding World away... an unwanted child finds magic.

  8. #8
    Potions Mistress Hufflepuff
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    Every week, we have a queue "weather report" which informs all the mods which cats have fics that are seven days old. So yes, those are the first priority.

    And honestly, the cat switching isn't about getting the story validated faster or slower. It's about providing the best possible readership for the members and the authors. People who are looking to read a Post Hogwarts centered fiction look for those stories in the Post Hogwarts category. Putting a Post Hogwarts story in the General fund doesn't let those casual readers (as we have a TON of members who are on the archive but not the boards) who are lookinig for a new story in a cat that interests them find those stories that have cat switched just to get validated quicker. It's just as much about the readers (and in my opinion, possibly more so) than the authors.


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  9. #9
    Inverarity
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phoenix5225
    And honestly, the cat switching isn't about getting the story validated faster or slower. It's about providing the best possible readership for the members and the authors. People who are looking to read a Post Hogwarts centered fiction look for those stories in the Post Hogwarts category. Putting a Post Hogwarts story in the General fund doesn't let those casual readers (as we have a TON of members who are on the archive but not the boards) who are lookinig for a new story in a cat that interests them find those stories that have cat switched just to get validated quicker. It's just as much about the readers (and in my opinion, possibly more so) than the authors.
    I agree, and really, I'm not trying to make this all about me.

    What I'm telling you is that people are gaming the system now, because of the way things work. Post-Hogwarts and Historical and Dark Angsty fics are being put in General.

    The system you have in place may put an upper limit on how long any one queue will be left unattended -- I have noticed that even the slowest queues do move at least once every 7-10 days, except for when all of the queues have slowed down. But you still have it set up so that some queues (especially General) get attended to constantly, while others wait until your seven-day alarms go off.

    I think readers do appreciate finding the fics they want in the categories they're looking for. They might also appreciate their favorite categories being given the same consideration as the more popular (or easy-to-mod) ones.

    If this can't be changed, it can't be changed. I recognize the problems inherent in being staffed by volunteers who all have jobs, schoolwork, etc. But it's not an impossibly complex problem.

  10. #10
    First Year Ravenclaw
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phoenix5225
    It's just as much about the readers
    Absolutely right! Inverarity is one of those silly disciplined authors that completes the entire novel before submitting the first chapter. I, as a reader, very much enjoyed being able to read the entire 'Alexander Quick' story in a mere six weeks of timely posting, while it is not quite as enjoyable to extend my reading of 'Hogwarts Houses Divided' over nine plus months. If all those chapters are ready and waiting, isn't it a disservice to both the intense and casual readers to make them wait so long between chapters only because of slow validation? Inverarity has also nearly completed the next 'Alexander Quick' book, and as a reader it does not get me really thrilled to know MuggleNetFanFiction would not completely post Inverarity's entire book until 2010 if it were placed in Post-Hogwarts and validated at the current rate. Why, oh why, oh why is it so hard for the staff just to say 'Yes, maybe we could do something to speed up all categories to the same rate as the general queue'?

    Half a Wizarding World away... an unwanted child finds magic.

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