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Per Aspera ad Astra

2 followers   follows 11 users  
joined 05 Sep 2022


User ID: 616


Per Aspera ad Astra

2 followers   follows 11 users   joined 05 Sep 2022


No bio...


User ID: 616


For all those who are new since the site move, or simply missed it the first time around, I wanted to point out a charming piece of Motte history, a process which made me pay attention to this ragtag community and eventually join. The Doge process, while controversial at the time with many nay-sayers, has aged quite well I'd argue. Well enough to have us survive through a full site move, at the least.

I'll just be copying @ZorbaTHut's post from this reddit link. Everything below is his writing. Please enjoy.

We did this crazy thing to pick some new mods. Tl;dr: right now, we're thinking it was extremely successful. Strongly recommended for anyone running their own community.

Please welcome (in the order that they happened to accept invitations) /u/ymeskhout

, /u/Amadanb

, and /u/Gen_McMuster

as new moderators! I think many of you have already seen them step into the weird arena that is this community, with roughly the expected amount of success ("a lot, but some weird gotchas") and I'm hoping they stick around for a while.

Note that we may be recruiting up to three more mods, but they didn't answer the original message, so I'll pester them again in a day or two; don't be surprised if a few more people show up. (My goal here is to end up overstaffed for once.)

The Doge Process

Because I know some people will be very interested in the details . . . (non-doge stuff below this, scroll down if you don't care about the mod process)

Here's the message I sent out to the second-round people (which I think was the best-written and still included the weird meta-picking content).

Greetings, nominee! You have been recruited by /r/TheMotte to elect new moderators to maintain and improve the community!

You may or may not have seen our most recent meta post. The short version is that we are planning to recruit new moderators and trying to find a good way to do it. Our current plan is a series of nomination rounds, where people in each round nominate the people in the next round, ending with a group of potential new moderators.

Existing Mods

Round 1

Round 2 <-- YOU ARE HERE

Round 3

New Mods

And you have been chosen to help!

The eventual goal is to recruit mods who will be good at implementing TheMotte's foundation, which I will reproduce here:

The purpose of this community is to be a working discussion ground for people who may hold dramatically different beliefs. It is to be a place for people to examine the beliefs of others as well as their own beliefs; it is to be a place where strange or abnormal opinions and ideas can be generated and discussed fairly, with consideration and insight instead of kneejerk responses.

Your goal is to nominate people who will be good at nominating the aforementioned new mods.

I can't force you to choose people based on this, but I'd ask you to keep it in mind, regardless of whether you (or your nominees) agree with it. That said, you're welcome to use whatever reasoning you like for your choice.

Send nominations to me as a private message (such as a response to this message). Please nominate between two and four people. If you can't think of that many, feel free to nominate fewer. If you really want to nominate more, you're welcome to give it a shot; include your best justification for why you need to nominate more and I'll handle it in whatever way I consider reasonable.

Loose deadline is in 72 hours from when this message was sent.

Some notes:

You're not required to help with this! If you're uninterested in participating, in either this round, upcoming nomination rounds, and/or the potential mod position itself, let me know and I won't bother you again. If you merely think you're not suitable for it, please give it your best anyway.

Nominees must have posted on /r/TheMotte, not currently be banned from it, and be somewhat active on Reddit. You aren't allowed to nominate yourself. You are allowed to nominate people from previous or even current rounds. Being active in this round does not guarantee inclusion in future rounds; every round is separate. Similarly, if you've done this before, that's OK! You got nominated again. Welcome back.

"Good at choosing mods" and "good at being a mod" are probably different skillsets, correlated but not directly linked.

Note that there are a fixed number of slots available for the next round and it's significantly less than the number of nominations available. Nominations will be evaluated in order of popularity, so if you know someone is nominating your #1 pick, you should also nominate them to push them up the choice order. More votes for someone is a useful signal.

As soon as I've finished sending these, I'll add everyone in this round to a Reddit chat group so you can discuss as you see fit. You're not required to use it and you can leave at any time. If you're a jerk in it, I'll kick you; this does not remove your ability to nominate people, but if you're too much of a jerk, you might end up banned from /r/TheMotte. Please don't do that. If you rejected the invite, but have now changed your mind, let me know and I'll re-invite you.

The results of this aren't binding and I have reserve full right to tweak nominations as I see fit, up to and including cancelling the entire thing, but I wouldn't be doing this if I didn't think it was promising.


Have at it!

For each round, I was targeting 20 people, and asked people to send in 2 to 4 nominees (except for the very first mod-only round; because we have so few mods, I asked people for between 4 and 10 nominees.) My plan was to order nominees strictly by vote count and accepted every vote-count group that didn't put us over the 20-person target, then fill any remaining slots with a random sample of whichever people were left over. In each case, we had about ten people with two votes or more, and about twenty people with exactly one vote, so practically speaking this meant each nomination was roughly an additive-stacking 50% chance to show up in the next round.

Each round we had about four people who didn't respond or participate in any way. Annoyingly, exactly one person bothered to send me a message asking to be withdrawn, the rest just ignored it. C'mon, people. This did lead to one weird quirk, which is that someone didn't respond in the first round but also weren't using Reddit at the time; they got nominated for the second round, and I decided to give them an "extra" space, totaling 21 people in that round, just in case they came back to Reddit.

They did come back to Reddit! They also didn't participate at all. Welp.

I left us room to override the public's decision, and I ran each round past the mods before starting it. There were a few times we were dubious about a choice, but we never actually used the override power; also I'm pretty sure none of the people we were uncertain about actually ended up participating.

Here's anonymized info on how many people got nominated for which set of rounds:

Rounds 1, 2, and 3: 6

Rounds 1 and 2: 4

Rounds 1 and 3: 2

Rounds 2 and 3: 3

Round 1 only: 8

Round 2 only: 9

Round 3 only: 9

I tried to make a Sankey diagram out of this and couldn't come up with something that looked good. YMMV.

I had a bunch of worst-case scenarios in mind, for example:

Nobody bothers to reply

People just troll the chat

A few people collude to stack votes so they can get their favored candidate chosen

It turns into a simple popularity contest, no real information is gained

Absolutely none of these happened. Chat was fantastic and several people asked me if this could be made a long-term thing. Unfortunately, Reddit's chat interface is absolutely terrible for large groups; also, none of us have the bandwidth to manage a Discord server. Luckily there's an existing unofficial-but-affiliated Discord server and if you'd like to talk to similar-minded people in realtime, you should go there, it's a good group of people. (Note: This is affiliated with this subreddit but not managed by us, nor does it share our exact ruleset; read the rules and get a feel for the community before dropping controversial knowledge bombs or you're going to get banned super-fast and the admin will get annoyed at me and I will then get annoyed at you. Also I ran this paragraph past the admin before posting it so he knows you're coming. He awaits.)

With a little bit of prompting, the last round turned into a bunch of people proposing candidates, looking them over, and discussing them; some people were nominated who were in the chat and they wrote up little summaries of why they think they would be a good or a bad choice. It was all pretty great.

The tl;dr is that if you have a community that is anything like this one, I strongly recommend using this system, or one derived from it, for mod recruitment. I think we ended up with a set of people which are better choices than we would have come up with on our own. It took a lot of time on my behalf but I think it's worthwhile.

You are welcome to steal parts of the note I posted above; if you've got any questions, feel free to ask!

The Experimental Bare Link Repository

Hey, you know the Experimental Bare Link Repository? The one that's been experimental for like eight months now?

Yeah, sorry. Kinda dropped the ball on that one. It is no longer the Experimental Bare Link Repository and is now just the Bare Link Repository.

Locking Your Own Posts

We've had a few people make really long multipart posts and grumble that people are responding to the first half and not the second half, which then bumps the second half down in New sorting and is overall just a big pain. We've got a fix! A really hacky fix!

Write your entire post series in Notepad or some other offsite medium. Make sure that they're long; comment limit is 10000 characters, if your comments are less than half that length you should probably not be making it a multipost series.

Post it rapidly in response to yourself like you would normally.

For each post except the last one, go back and edit it to include the trigger phrase automod_multipart_lockme.

This will cause AutoModerator to lock the post.

You can then edit it to remove that phrase and it'll stay locked. This means that you cannot unlock your post on your own, so make sure you do this after you've posted your entire series. Also, don't lock the last one or people can't respond to you. Also, this gets reported to the mods, so don't abuse it or we'll either boot you or just lock you out of the feature; this is specifically for organization of multipart megaposts.

I wish there was a better way to do this, but we'll see how this works.

I'll add it to the thread starter in a few weeks in the hopes that someone tries it out before then (uh, if I haven't, someone remind me.)

That's All, Folks

Standard meta thread stuff: say hi and ask how we're doing! Chat with the new mods! Order beer! Don't get Coronavirus! If you do, talk to a researcher to figure out how it managed to transmit itself across the Internet!


Be advised; this thread is not for serious in depth discussion of weighty topics (we have a link for that), this thread is not for anything Culture War related. This thread is for Fun. You got jokes? Share 'em. You got silly questions? Ask 'em.