As Niners Nation has grown over the last four years, we've seen a dramatic increase in the size of our community. I've always felt the more the merrier as more opinions can help better inform everybody. At the same time, the increasing size has led to greater disagreements that can sometimes get ugly. I want to encourage disagreement in opinions, but we cannot have disagreement that results in disrespecting other people.
From the beginning I've tried to read every comment posted on the site. Over time that has become simply unmanageable. This is due in part to the increase in comments, but also because of my increasing work posting here and at SB Nation Bay Area. I feel that at times this has let disagreements bubble over a little frequently. Even if it's only two people going back and forth (as we've seen a variety of times in recent months), it's disrespectful to everybody else on this community when people turn threads into their own personal battle. However, my work schedule has sometimes prevented me from noticing this until it's too late.
Accordingly, the time has come to institute a better moderation system. To date it's been primarily front page writers, with some assistance on occasion from wjackalope, who have handled moderation. However, I've noticed that for most of us on the front page staff (myself included), when you've written up a post and poured a lot of time and energy into said post, it's easy to take critiques a little too personally. That doesn't excuse people making personal attacks, but when you've written a post it can be hard to moderate and separate a basic critique from a personal attack.
What I am proposing is a team of site members who can act as the moderators for the site. Your sole front page duties would be in moderating the community. You can still comment and post like a normal user, but you'd gain the additional responsibility of helping keep the community in check and prevent it from developing into a free-for-all.
I've spoken with some other sites that have hand selected the moderators. I've decided to post here because I want to bring in people who are passionate about the site and want to help make it a better site. If you read this and are interested, it's better than feeling obligated because I contacted you out of the blue to help out.
As moderator, you would be mostly independent of myself and the site. Even If I were the one to step across a line, I would expect you to warn me appropriately. Right now, all the front page writers have moderating power. My plan would be to remove the powers from the front page writers and turn it over to this independent group of people. The plan is to have a group of approximately four people.
REQUIREMENTS: I feel it's necessary that you be a regular contributor at the site. I realize some folks have read the site for multiple years but rarely comment. While I appreciate those long-time readers, I feel that a person will have a bit more credibility if they've been a regular contributor to the site. As far as minimum amount of time at the site, I don't have any particular amount of time. Someone who's been contributing for three months could be just as qualified as someone who has been at the site for two years. A long time user probably has an edge because they would have more knowledge of how things have developed over the years and thus have a better context if two users go at it at some point.
The requirements however are fairly limited right now. I want to see who expresses interest and we can take it from there. Either post a comment in the body of this or email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you email me and we haven't emailed before, please let me know your user name.
I think this could be a big step forward in improving the overall content of Niners Nation. While this is not going to be a popular role on the site, I believe it's incredibly important as the site moves forward. If you have any questions, again feel free to comment or email.