Moderator Announcement


#1

Hello everyone!

KeebTalk would like to introduce 2 new Moderators!

@Zambumon and @cijanzen will be the first two new members of the moderation team.

With their help we will establish rules, when needed, to help this community grow in a positive way.

I would like to share with you all our 3 guidelines and 3 rules for all Moderators (Present & Future).

Guidelines

  • Share & promote knowledge about keyboards & the community
  • Facilitate an atmosphere of kindness and respect
  • Don’t be evil

Rules for Moderators (Don’t do these)

  • Participating in a scam or illicit financial behavior
    • Includes aiding and abetting
  • Power-tripping
    • Use of one’s moderator status to intimidate another member or to take moderator actions for any reason other than in direct, proportionate response to rule-violating behavior
  • Harassment
    • Intentionally using moderator powers to harass a user by repeatedly taking moderator actions (in the absence of repeated rule violations) or out of proportion to the severity of the original infraction

They will be adding to the list of general rules over time as we need them.

For all of our other applicants and future applicants, we will be keeping all of the applications in a pool to review. As the community expands and becomes more active, we will be looking at our pool of applicants to reach out to.

If you are interested in submitting in becoming a Moderator of KeebTalk in the future, you can submit a form here: http://mechkeys.link/mod-app


#2

I would suggest making it clearer that the moderator behavior outlined in the second list is forbidden, not encouraged :slight_smile:


#3

Woohoo! I welcome the new mods :smiley:


#4

I came here to say this.

Nice.


#5

Congratz and welcome :slight_smile:

As a slight critique on the process; it would be nice if applicants actually got a reply or a notification of some sort…


#6

yeah that would have been nice


#7

Sure we can add an auto response for submitted forms, but all current and future forms are collected in a single pool for us to review. We don’t always know when we’ll be needing new moderators so we figured reaching out wasn’t necessary until we wanted to talk a bit more to potential moderators. I’ll add an auto response, but it will still mostly be the same where we won’t be contacting applicants until needed. I’ll talk with the Mod team about how they feel about this as well.

Edit: I have adjusted the form response message to clearly indicate this information.


#8

Just saying this in the form would be enough imho :stuck_out_tongue: only contacting when you’re actually in need of mods makes total sense but that was nowhwere to be found in the form :wink:


#9

Nothing against Zambumon himself as he is credit to the community but alas I find it a poor choice to have someone who closer fits the label of a vendor as a mod rather than getting a member of the community that has no ties to products.


#10

I can understand your concern if you’re worried about unfair moderation but I’d like to assure you that we’re here to help ensure this community grows and stays positive and that means we’d like to see more interest checks and group buys posted here and encourage new vendors and members to participate.

If there ever was a concern about bias or some sort of unfair moderation, we, as a moderation team, will keep each other in check.


#11

Forgive me, but I think this whole vendor/non-vendor distinction is a bogus concern. Practically everybody who is significantly involved in the keyboard community organizes a group buy or in some way sells or trades stuff with other people at some point, almost by definition, and in that sense becomes a “vendor.” To exclusively select moderators or board members who have never sold something in the community would mean to select people who also simply aren’t very involved in the hobby, which is obviously counterproductive on the face of it. The keyboard hobby is largely about making, trading, and obsessing over physical objects, after all. The exchange of money necessarily creeps its way into almost all corners. And this comprises a full spectrum from people who totally lose money doing it, to in a very, very few cases a handful of people who actually earn a living making and selling keyboard stuff. I think that whole spectrum should be involved at all levels of KeebTalk.

The point of KeebTalk is to ensure that (unlike GeekHack under the new regime), responsibility for governance of the community is divided among lots of people with various interests, vendors and non-vendors alike. I can’t necessarily speak for the other board members, but from the beginning, my own personal idea for KT and its governance has always been to employ the “factions” strategy from the Federalist Papers #51: “ambition must be made to counteract ambition.”

Though KeebTalk was in some ways a reaction to the acquisition of GeekHack, the objection was not that commerce was involved at all but it was 1) about the fact that GeekHack could be sold at all without consulting the community and b) that it implied control by a single commercial entity without any checks or balances to ensure that the keepers of the castle, as it were, felt obligated to govern the site in a way that served the interests of the community as a whole, including the full diversity of individuals and vendors who make this such a vibrant and active hobby. We founded KeebTalk, and are currently working to establish it a non-profit, precisely so the site itself could never legally be sold or controlled by any one commercial entity. That doesn’t mean that we’re intending to wash the site of commercial activity; quite the opposite. We want to foster a kind of Levantine-style souk, where lots of people trade, interact, share, and teach but no one single entity controls the forum itself. Rather than pretending that we can adhere to some kind of non-commercial purity (which, to me, seems impractical/implausible for the reasons mentioned above), our solution is to embrace the commercial chaos and invite as many people to be as involved as possible so we can all act as checks and balances on each other. Vendors have more at stake in ensuring that no other vendor controls the agenda here, so they to me are the ideal candidates, both as moderators and board members. They shouldn’t be the only faction represented, but they are certainly an important one, and the group of people who is certainly most plugged into and invested (emotionally and personally) in the hobby. Far from avoiding this, we should embrace it and just watch out for conflicts of interests (which is why we have the rules, charter, and legal structure that we do).


#12

Yes. @Zambumon who makes keyset designs but doesn’t sell it himself is an issue in a community run by two vendors.

You are FUNNY! :slight_smile:


#13

Now, this is a point that I’d like to address because I also brought that up in my application, and I’m sure that the board members had that in mind when reviewing it. I’m fully aware of what my position in this community is, and what it means to do stuff not only for Massdrop (which is the place you took that screenshot from) but other vendors including Zfrontier, Originative, Input Club, Novelkeys, MechSupply, or Panc Co. Since 2015 I’ve been making stuff as a hobby, and I plan to keep doing it because I love it.

So this is something I brought up when I wrote my application:

In this community there are basically two types of community members, those that are more like spectators and those that are actors. And being an actor could be a content creator (writing guides, making typing videos, build streams, podcasts…), they write QMK firwmare, design cases, keysets, make artisans. There are many ways of being an actor in this community. What I said in my proposal is taht I want to encourage everyone to make stuff and share it here, because that’s what would make KT a good community, but an excellent one.

My goal here is to help build a place where people share their stuff. From photoshoot tips, to Interest Checks. And I’m aware of what being a mod is, it’s mostly a symbolic position, because you are an ambassador of this community, so if I behave poorly either here, or in any other place, that reflects on keebtalks’ image.


#14

I’m just expressing my opinion as part of the checks and balances that you yearn for.

While I don’t consider the vendor/non-vendor distinction a bogus concern, it’s not like I think this is going to become Zambutalk.com all of a sudden. What I do think is that one mod that is a vendor is one too many. Like @keebs said it’s already a site controlled by vendors, so the scales are pretty tipped, no matter how unbiased you guys wish to be. If @Zambumon was a community member that ran a buy here and there sure, not an issue, but as he himself stated he’s creating stuff to sell on his own as well as helping other vendors. Not only is he a member that has a personal stake in projects, financial or not, but he is now a member in a position with plenty of sway and enough power to cause trouble. In my eyes there just simply is no way this isn’t a conflict of interest and that just doesn’t seem like a fitting candidate for a Mod on a community site.

Again I want to make clear that I’m just expressing my opinion with the intention of making this a better community. No vendor should be a mod. It’s idealistic to think that it’s not a conflict of interest.


#15

I don’t disagree with your intentions at all, and as a deeply cynical person myself, I appreciate your visceral skepticism. I am just having trouble envisioning a specific example where any concerns about a vendor being a moderator would ever actually apply to something that wouldn’t immediately be caught and remedied. I mean: how do you operationally define the trouble you suppose a moderator who is also a vendor could cause? Are you supposing a vendor who has moderator powers would delete critical things said about them or their products on KT? That’s about the only thing I could imagine where there would be any kind of conflict of interest, but one thing that @Manofinterests didn’t mention in the rules (and which, Huey, I think we should add explicitly), is that moderators have to recuse themselves from any moderator activity when the matter under discussion concerns them or any of their projects (whether for-profit or not). That rule applies to board member voting as well, incidentally. Failure to do so is sufficient cause to be drummed out of the position.

That sort of misuse of power would obviously instantly get reported to the board members and other moderators and/or posted to Reddit, etc., so it wouldn’t be possible to get away with it for even a few hours. And, anyway, there is no reason that being a vendor would make one more susceptible to this temptation than any other non-vendor member of the community feeling tempted to delete or censor criticism about his personal statements or projects. One doesn’t have to sell things sometimes to be vulnerable to conflicts of interest. Both vendors and non-vendors alike should be held to the standard of self-recusal on matters that relate to them personally; in my opinion, that is the thing that really matters.

As I say, I think being a “vendor” as we’re broadly defining it here is a sign of personal investment, maturity, seriousness, commitment to the hobby and community, etc., and if anything it should be an asset rather than something to be considered a compromising attribute. I believe in the power of incentives to help ensure ethical behavior, and a vendor has far more to lose by misbehavior as a moderator or board member than someone more casually connected to the hobby. I think we need more of them, particularly on the board, rather than fewer—especially to act as checks on each other and to avoid any potential appearance of small club of folks trying to “control” things. (Though, as I’ve said, “control” in the case of KeebTalk just means being responsible for making sure the server bills get paid and making sure posts that are 100% profanity or spam get deleted. Wielding the Ring of Power this is not. :wink: )

FWIW, it should also be noted that both the board and mods team are in favor of an exceedingly light hand at moderation. You can see from the various posts and discussions from the site announcement that we’ve let all manner of critical, cranky, and downright hostile posts remain in place, unfiltered and unedited, as long as they had any semantic weight whatsoever (we deleted one post that was nothing but 100% profanity, and even that would have been fine if it were, like, 99% profanity and 1% criticism). There would be nothing more self-defeating than trying to censor or edit criticism of one’s own work.


#16

Other than the reasons that Ryan has laid out I’m curious if you had any other specific concerns as to why someone who is also a “vendor” may not be a good fit.

Perhaps some specific things to be mindful of will help us ensure that we are properly and fairly moderating the board. As Ryan said, we’re not here to be heavy handed but simply to ensure things stay organized, on topic, and clean.

By having a vendor on the moderation team we gain their insight into how interest checks and group buys have worked best for them in the past and therefore can help newer members run their interest checks and group buys more easily. Personally I see it as a positive influence.


#17

It’s less a visceral thing than it is about simplicity. Obviously you understand the concern of a vendor mod enough to have to implement additional rules in order to keep the balance. Having to go through that seems counter-intuitive. The vendor mod doesn’t even have to actively engage in bad behavior, by being a mod you have more active and passive sway over other members. If that same person is a vendor then that alone is a conflict of interest. One that I believe can and should be avoided.

I’m on board with the train of thought that the qualities of a vendor make for a great mods but I think they should just be recognized as vendors. They can still be the same quality community member but without having to exist in an ethical gray area.