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One of the recurring questions that came up during our first week in the new SCN was around blog moderation. Some put it bluntly, sending links to examples of blogs that were (quite frankly) crap.  Several of you asked why we decided to let people publish blogs without Moderators approving previously. As one of the decision makers for taking this approach, I wanted to share with you the reasons why, and the expectations we have for the future of blogs and other content in SCN, as well as the community members who will be an important part of the process.

First, the decision. Why are we letting people write blogs without pre-approval from Moderators?

  • It's out of the box functionality.  No, that's not the most important reason, but it's the one that got us thinking about this in the first place.  In the spirit of doing what we tell our customers to do, we wanted to avoid customization of the platform for good reasons, like resources, upgrades, time to implement...you get the idea. 
  • Let members voice what is valuable to them.  All members have the capability to "Like", rate, share, bookmark content, in addition to commenting. When members do this, the content will show as being highly rated and valuable.  And guess what? Valuable content is more prominent when searching.  Content that doesn't get positive feedback will fall to the bottom and not be read. Members can also report abusive content, which moderators can remove.
  • Let Moderators deal with exceptions. Moderators are busy people who support SCN without payment for their work. This new model should eventually free up time for moderators who only need to react to abuse of the Community's Rules of Engagement.

What about members who need some blog coaching, or who want it?  We will be launching an "Apprentice Pilot" once the launch is behind us.  There will be a subspace for "Apprentices" who want to practice blogging prior to publishing for all to see.  Moderators of spaces with Apprentice subspaces will review blogs and advise authors prior to publication in the larger overall space. moshe.naveh will be supporting this pilot.

But what about points gaming?  We've already seen some of this - friends liking friends content, for example.  We have ways of detecting this and we have a pretty firm process for "guestification" in the new SCN.  Unlike our old platform, now a guestified user will be shown as someone who has been deactivated.  We won't delete users, but we can disable them, take away their points, and ensure that they no longer will be active in the community.  People who have been disabled still show up, but community members will be able to see that they were "guestified". 

I'm sure that some of you do not agree with this decision, but I hope that you will give it a try.  I welcome your feedback and comments in response to this blog.