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I'm a forum admin/moderator/news/dev staff, ask me a question

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Steven P.    12,732

If you didn't already guess by the title, this thread will attempt to represent and answer what we actually do here, sometime in the future one of us may even go as far as to document some of the answers in an easier to read format.

We'll attempt to answer questions on the "staff side" of the forum (within reason). What we won't do, is allow this thread to turn into a personal Q and A on specific warnings/bans, such posts will be deleted and the poster (further) warned/restricted.

Before you ask your question, please ensure that it hasn't already been covered by our community guidelines, because it seems these are continuously overlooked ;)

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Steve B.    467

Can we have a monochrome/graphite version of the blue theme? :D

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RadishTM    311

^ You guys :laugh:

Here's hoping that this will be a good thread to see some of the inner workings of staff (Y)

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Steven P.    12,732

Hmm should have said the question can relate to neowin Site/Forum operations.

For everything else there's Mastercard and the number 42!

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riceBox    100

Did Neowin suffered an attack before?

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PixilEyes    127

Question for the mods.

Have you ever banned someone that was your friend on Neowin?

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Farchord    370

Here's a good question...

I'm curious as to two things, one what process do front page news post go through? Do someone find a news, dance over it and post it? Just curious.

And also, I assume moderation on neowin ain't as simple as it is on a small forum, do you guys have a specific moderation guideline you follow?

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Fred Derf    214

Did Neowin suffered an attack before?

As in a hack attack? Yes, Mac.

There was a DDoS attack by some script kiddie years ago. We've suffered from some IPB holes that have allowed miscreants to ban Neobond before and we were once deleted by our own ISP.

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The_Decryptor    1,105

As in a hack attack? Yes, Mac.

There was a DDoS attack by some script kiddie years ago. We've suffered from some IPB holes that have allowed miscreants to ban Neobond before and we were once deleted by our own ISP.

We've replaced the hamsters since then though, they're twice as likely to survive such an attack now.

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Fred Derf    214

Question for the mods.

Have you ever banned someone that was your friend on Neowin?

I don't tend to get too personal with peeps on Neowin (either from before being a mod or after). I usually develop an affinity to some of our misunderstood (but basically good) members. At least the ones that are polite about it.

There have been members for whom I have privately campaigned against their bannage but have eventually given over to the majority when all of my cards had been played.

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Tzvi Friedman    11

Here's a good question...

I'm curious as to two things, one what process do front page news post go through? Do someone find a news, dance over it and post it? Just curious.

And also, I assume moderation on neowin ain't as simple as it is on a small forum, do you guys have a specific moderation guideline you follow?

I can answer your first question.

news is written up in draft form, sent for review by an editor, and the editors (in their infinite and omniscient wisdom of all things news and reporting) decide to publish or reject it pending required changes.

Before it's published, Andrew speaks pagan incantations and draws pentagrams around each article to ward off teh trollz. It never works.

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Benjamin Rubenstein    1

Here's a good question...

I'm curious as to two things, one what process do front page news post go through? Do someone find a news, dance over it and post it? Just curious.

As it currently stands, when a staff member finds a topic of interest, it's first claimed in one of our staff forums. Then, it's written up, citing sources and everything. Proper tags and a logo (which you see on the front page) are assigned, and the post is submitted for approval.

Once in the approval queue, the editors on the site check it over for accuracy, grammar, punctuation, and overall quality, and it's then approved and scheduled for posting. Typically, unless a post is time sensitive, the site is scheduled to push out a new article each hour.

Before it's published, Andrew speaks pagan incantations and draws pentagrams around each article to ward off teh trollz. It never works.

I forgot about this part... My bad.

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Tekkerson    65

Can/will the staff delete individual posts that are irrelevant to the subject? :)

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Nicholas-c    37

And also, I assume moderation on neowin ain't as simple as it is on a small forum, do you guys have a specific moderation guideline you follow?

Very much different, Here at neowin we have a chain of command. Everything is discussed and past by the supervisors before action is taken on bans. On smaller forums it tends to be a couple of mods/admins who do things their own way.

Can/will the staff delete individual posts that are irrelevant to the subject? :)

If it is VERY off topic and inappropriate then yes. otherwise we will just say get back on topic!

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Nagisan    248

Very much different, Here at neowin we have a chain of command. Everything is discussed and past by the supervisors before action is taken on bans. On smaller forums it tends to be a couple of mods/admins who do things their own way.

I wonder, if its something obvious that the person is getting banned for, such as spamming or posting porn or something along those lines, is it safe for you guys to simply ban the person or do you still go through the discussion process?

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Fred Derf    214

I wonder, if its something obvious that the person is getting banned for, such as spamming or posting porn or something along those lines, is it safe for you guys to simply ban the person or do you still go through the discussion process?

Some things (like spam) are banned immediately upon sight. Bans that occur because of a repeated pattern of mis-behaviour goes through a discussion process and permission needs to be granted from a Supervisor or Admin. When we do ban somebody then the decision is not made solely on the new incident but rather of their entire warning history. Often members think that they've done worse things in the past without getting their account banned so that to be banned for something less serious now seems to be unfair. As I said, they fail to realize that we take their entire history into account and once they have a 100% warning history then something as light as a feather can break the camel's back.

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acnpt    39

Glad to see mods are answering questions, hopefully it will help those who seem to have a problem.

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+InsaneNutter    1,291

Neobond, do you or any other of the administrators make a living from running Neowin?

I'm also curious as to how much it costs to run Neowin per month, and if the adverts / subscriptions allow Neowin to break even? (of course I understand if you cant answer that)

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Benjamin Rubenstein    1

Because I'm trying to make sense of it all by trying to get to know you and others better; I give everyone a chance :p

It wasn't until recently that I just started ignoring politics in general, it's just way too depressing for me. I personally think it shouldn't belong on Neowin but hey that's me.

I hear ya. But unfortunately, politics exist everywhere. If we moderated all that out, there'd be no forums :p

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Steven P.    12,732

Neowin is a Limited Liability Company (Neowin LLC) and yes we employ paid staff for various activities, dev work (per block payment, and monthly contract) all of the news staff that post content to the main page, bar guest posters are paid per article depending on its reach and yes I am a full timer that is tasked with holding it all together. While I'm not going to discuss figures, I can tell you that we pretty much break even on ad revenue/subscriptions to overall cost.

Costs include:

- Server cost and hosting (bandwidth) since 2005 we've purchased 6 servers, 1 died last year (which was replaced)

- IT (datacenter) support which is freelance and also billed to us

- Accounting staff (who does our tax and income + payments etc)

- Sending staff to tech events (hotel + some expenses, like meals ordered in the hotel bill, taxis etc)

- Annual staff meetup in the US and Europe (team builder event)

- License for a lot of the software we use, some are annual and some are one time purchases

- Equipment, like mic's and tools for review purposes

- Other costs I can't think of right now

Unfortunately we haven't gotten rich from Neowin, and in all honesty the net worth is relatively low compared to the length of time we've spent building it (in our tenth year now), if you think "The Million Dollar Homepage" we're far out of that league ;)

Sometimes an idea can be a money spinner, but we're here to try and make it worthwhile for people passing through, so we don't restrict a lot (even for guests) like image blocking etc

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dead.cell    4,003

What are some of the plans you guys have for the future? What changes do you have plans on making somewhere down the line, and what changes would you like to make that seem impossible for the moment?

Also, I'll get these questions in here as I'm curious, but really don't expect a definite answer:

Will we ever see + rep on the news comments?

Will there eventually be a way to better keep up with news comments, as we are able to with forum posts?

And for the moderation team, do some people (or staff even) ever get under your skin that you just wish you could slam the hammer down on them and be done with it? Not naming names of course, but I'm always curious when the community is annoyed by an individual if any of the staff ever feel the same.

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Human.Online    8,067

Ooooh, I got one...

What happened to that Keldyn dude? He seemed nice!

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swuzzlebum    11

How frequently are mods expected to watch over the boards for miscreants - as in how many hours per person or something like that?

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Fred Derf    214

And for the moderation team, do some people (or staff even) ever get under your skin that you just wish you could slam the hammer down on them and be done with it? Not naming names of course, but I'm always curious when the community is annoyed by an individual if any of the staff ever feel the same.

Yeah, there are members that bother us from time to time but we are usually limited by the promise to deliver due process. Some members have climbed their way to 100% before they "got it" and have thus avoided a ban. We know when members bother other members as well and it would be easy to let mob rule control our actions. Sometimes people come on here with an attitude and swinging for the fences before they calm down a bit. Then there are times when we cheer another moderator for finding a warnable item on a trouble making member because it brings him closer to 100%.

How frequently are mods expected to watch over the boards for miscreants - as in how many hours per person or something like that?

There is a general understanding that one should step aside if one cannot perform one's duties. I don't often go looking to prune down our list of moderators though so an inactive moderator could linger for a few months before they are noticed (if indeed they are noticed at all). If it ever were to be a problem, however, we do have the tools available to keep track of this (there are statistics kept about the number of threads moved, posts deleted and members warned). We've never set any formal minimum requirements that have required strict enforcement.

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