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23 May 2010

Official-type MetaChat Announcement: Good gravy....guidelines! It's finally here! The new version of MetaChat's guidelines is live on the Wiki.[More:]The admin/moderator team has been working on these guidelines for a couple months and are very happy to have them in a finished and public state. You'll find the revised stuff in 3 sections under "About MetaChat" - there's an FAQ, a "Guidelines and Policies" statement, and finally a quick description of how these guidelines were developed.

Please take a look through them and let us know what you think. They are in pretty final shape from the mod point of view, but your comments here are of course most welcome. I will ask that everyone let them stay on those wiki pages as is for the time being (that is, not edit), until we can maybe mirror them somewhere more stable than a wiki. It's just an easy place to park them right now where everyone can see them.

The other contents of the wiki are still a bit a-hoo at the moment. Everything below the header "Mechazens" needs some refreshing. Richat and Eideteker have been combing through and looking for things to update and reorganize, with the goal of getting the site documentation current by...well, by pretty soon. What belongs/doesn't belong on the rest of the wiki might make a fun crowd-source topic for another post sometime, so watch for that.

It is a good feeling to get these guidelines up. The mods have actually been working with these as the guideline ideas for some time, so you shouldn't feel any sudden jolts. Ideally they will feel consistent with the present atmosphere, with some added clarity about where the bumpers are. Now that they're up and on public view, we'll say that these are current and in effect as of today.

Thanks to all of you. As I think you will see, the guidelines and policies were truly built on the community's own reflections, experiences, hopes, and thoughtful recommendations. Here's looking forward to more happy MetaChatting.
Very nice! Good work, all involved.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero 23 May | 18:48
Looks very complete (to be honest, I'm still looking through all of it) and very reasonable! Thanks, everyone!

One thought: in several spots, the wiki/guidelines suggest appropriate times to email an admin. Is it feasible to make the phrase "email an admin" link to a contact info? It wouldn't even need to be a contact form, just a page where the admins emails are posted.

And after I wrote that, I checked the front page and see that there's a link there to email mods or techies, but it doesn't actually display the contact info, just activates my never-used in-computer mail program. Is that intentional not to publicly display contact info?
posted by Elsa 23 May | 19:24
I wish the mecha voice audio samples were still available. That would be kinda fun.
posted by DarkForest 23 May | 19:37
Elsa, that link on the front page is a mailto: link. You can right click it in most browsers and copy the email address. But, I like your idea of linking or posting the admin address (which is for those who aren't aware) in the wiki itself.
posted by BoringPostcards 23 May | 19:39
Thanks, BoPo! I just figured that out. Oopsie. I blame the Pimm's cups and the afternoon in the sun. Yes, that's what I'm choosing to blame.
posted by Elsa 23 May | 19:42
Miko, you did a fantastic job of putting this site into words. And yeah, as DarkForest mentions in a way, going through the older wiki stuff is pretty cool, from a historical perspective! It'll be interesting to figure out a way to hold onto the history while still helping it be a little more current.
posted by richat 23 May | 20:37
How about a mention about spoiler alerts? Also, I have always wondered about (and thus refrained from) foul language on the front page.
posted by Ardiril 23 May | 20:51
It'll be interesting to figure out a way to hold onto the history while still helping it be a little more current.

Totally! It is really interesting to go back and see all the hijinks this site has gotten up to.

Ardiril, good idea. I think there are a lot of things like it would be fun to define as kind of a working glossary. Like SHOUTING THREAD, too.
posted by Miko 23 May | 21:08
Oh, and original photos on FotoFriday.

... and, and, and links to music uploads but no requests?
posted by Ardiril 23 May | 21:16
From the new FAQ: Some of us are drunk half the time, or just plain batshit. Take what helps you, leave the rest.

Words to Ive by. *hic*

posted by MonkeyButter 23 May | 21:47
A couple notes:

MetaChat (camel case) is inconsistent throughout and so are the bullet points in the second link. I know how to fix that kind of stuff, but didn't want to go meddling about without permission.

I, like Ardiril, also avoid swearing on the front page. I think that's as good an idea as adding a NSFW warning when appropriate. Not all of us can be men and women of leisure. ;-)

Making the admin email address prominent should be done as well. I had no idea what it was or where to find it. Might also want to add it to the links on the left side of the main page (below Home, About, etc.).

But all that's mostly fiddly stuff.

Y'all done good!
posted by deborah 24 May | 01:11
Excellent work. I'm sure there's been a ton of effort go into this. Thank you.

Something that occurred to me - might it be useful to have a central mailing address for the mods/admins - or something, with a shared password?

Then whoever gets there first can pick it up, rather than people having to email individual mods, which at present involves having to look up their addresses.
posted by Senyar 24 May | 03:15
D'oh - should have looked upthread and/or drank more coffee before posting.
posted by Senyar 24 May | 03:29
Wow, that's fabulous and great and thank you!

My only very tiny suggestion is that there be a link to "whuffles" when mentioned in the FAQ, to help explain what they are.
posted by Specklet 24 May | 04:00
I like the portmanteau of we and they in "Sometimes wey'll shoot off steam" unless it's actually just a typo, that is.
posted by Obscure Reference 24 May | 06:46
so are the bullet points in the second link.

I saw that, but got frustrated because the grafs below the bullet points that are sitting at the margin are not supposed to be new bullet points, they're supposed to be in line with the grafs. I didn't want to append them to the grafs above so I just left them for now. deborah, if you know how to set them at a tab stop, please go ahead.

As for the MetaChat case inconsistency: the site title is MetaChat so I'm trying to stick with that (and MeCha). If you want to take a sweep through and fix, feel free. My eyes were cross-eyed by the time I got done.

wey'll? Sounds like Old Welsh. I'll fix that, too.
posted by Miko 24 May | 07:39
...might it be useful to have a central mailing address for the mods/admins - or something, with a shared password?
I know you picked this up, but I think we all have the 'mod squad' e-mail address being picked up by our regular mail application, so one message catches us all and there is pretty much always someone on deck or not far away. Of course, we may be drunk at the time, so sometimes you gotta take what you can get ;-)

Specklet, I was reading the guidelines this morning and I thought 'I'm sure we wrote down the meaning of whuffles ages ago'. See, I might be drunk and/or batshit, but I'm not senile ;-)
posted by dg 24 May | 07:44
This needs to be added: While straying from the guidelines now and then is no big deal, repeated violations of them may test Miko's patience.
posted by danf 24 May | 10:44
What's the difference between mods and admins? (Maybe you had that in there but I missed it. My brain is full. Can I go home now?)
posted by Madamina 24 May | 16:57
I thought I saw a Whuffles thing too. And yes, here it is. It just doesn't link anywhere right now. Easily fixed, I'll pop it into Miscellany for now.
posted by Miko 24 May | 18:48
mods drive like this. admins drive like this.
posted by arse_hat 24 May | 19:25
In theory, the admins are responsible for administrating the site and the mods moderate it.

In practice, not much difference. We have been working quite collaboratively, but if there were ever some sort of executive decision to be made the buck would stop with admins. So If the Feds raid us, I guess it's me & BP first against the wall. But if any of you lousy louts rat the others out it's curtains, you hear me? Curtains!
posted by Miko 24 May | 20:43
Can I just thank all y'all for the inordinate amount of time and thought you've put in to this? You've done a great job, and surprisingly, my reaction has been one of relief. I think I must be a rule-follower.

Give me guidelines! YAY! GUIDELINES!!!!!
posted by Stewriffic 24 May | 20:58
Whuffles remind me of Whuffies from Cory Doctorow's Down & Out in the Magic Kingdom book.
posted by IndigoRain 24 May | 21:57
What's the difference between mods and admins?
Admins do all the work, mods get the credit.
posted by dg 25 May | 06:59
Just tidied up a few of the points mentioned above:

* Bullet points/indenting in the Guidelines
* Added info about shared contact address in the FAQ
* Added a link to 'whuffles' from its mention in the FAQ.

So If the Feds raid us, I guess it's me & BP first against the wall.

Heh, more likely to me, since it's my name on the hosting account. Don't worry, though, I ain't no canary.

Whuffles remind me of Whuffies from Cory Doctorow's Down & Out in the Magic Kingdom book.

Although whuffies are more of a currency and whuffles are more of a-snorgling.
posted by chrismear 26 May | 04:34
So, later this summer || Snow, Glass, Apples