The lights are on
Veteran Member - Level 11
It's been awhile since I took a pause and blogged about some
administrative issues instead of a focusing on a particular video game or
associated topic. Many of you who aren't regular bloggers or normal readers of
my blog may or may not be interested in reading this one (more First World
Problems). I will at least make every effort to try and keep this is as
interesting as possible.
Don't Hate, Moderate:
If you ask me, the addition of a handful of new moderators
has really improved good order and discipline around the community. I read the
war stories from the moderators about dealing with situations ranging from
disgruntled community members fighting amongst one another about whether Call
of Duty is better than Battlefield to the riff raff who come here just to troll
and cause hate and discontent. And while it is cool being associated with them,
I would like to clarify that even though I benefit from the same title and
power of a moderator, I don't put myself in the same league as them. I don't
peruse the forums and scour the comments left on news posts looking for
inappropriate responses. In the months
that have passed since being promoted to moderator, I think there has been one
inappropriate comment left on a user review that I edited and left a warning.
So maybe you're wondering, why then, why they ever made me a moderator in the
first place. Well, if there was a position for blog spam hall monitor, I
would've gotten that instead, but since there is not, moderator is the next
best thing. I can delete the heck out of some spam blogs (while banning the
culprits who posted it in the first place).
Now maybe depending on how often you frequent the site and
how long you're here when you come around, you may not have even noticed any
spam blogs lately. You might've forgotten all about them, thinking that either
the website figured out a way to block them or maybe whoever was doing it got
arrested and is now breaking big rocks into little rocks. I assure you that's
not the case. They are still here. They are still here in full force. But the
response time has been dramatically decreased where in many instances the spam
blogs are deleted within minutes of being posted. I can't speak for the other
moderators...I can only tell you my own personal experiences with responding to
the bulk of the spam blogs we get here. I wish I could capture the statistics
and show that in fancy graphical form, but I can't. So instead you just get a
handful of data points.
The most accounts banned in one day? Well, I quit counting
when I hit fifteen, but it was a few more than that. Unfortunately I
accidentally got a fellow blogger in the mix...so I learned real quick to make
sure the account you're banning is indeed spam. Lesson learned the hard way.
There is no rhyme or reason for when the blog spam shows up.
I've woken up at 5:00 AM and seen it get posted, just like I've stayed up until
2:00 AM and seen it get posted. I'll tell you that Saturday and Sunday mornings
seem to be the most common times for it to show up. The truth is the spam is
always populating the website, but until the accounts reach Level 5 it doesn't
show up on the front page (but there are ways for the moderators to see when it
is posted from lower level accounts).
Because I can access the moderator toolset with my phone,
I've done a little forum moderation from some rather unusual places. From bed,
heh heh...from the car (not moving of course)...at the gym on the treadmill...and
yes, ladies and gentlemen...even from the, uh...bathroom.
Hmm, let's see...the quickest response time I've had was one
minute. One minute from the time the spam blog posted until I detected it and
deleted it. As you may recall back when the
spam blogs where rampant, the entire first page (or two) would be spam blogs.
Nowadays, they might get two or three or four before they are dealt
with...usually in minutes...sometimes maybe an hour...but gone are the days of putting
up with it for days on end (like over the weekend).
What surprises me the most about the spam? The number of
views some of them get. Holy crap. I wish some of my blogs got as many views as
some of the spam blogs. Obviously they might not all be real members of the
community but when you see a spam blog (especially the reviews) get a few
hundred views in a matter of minutes, it makes you wonder what their secret is.
The latest trend? Well, the sports casting spam blogs are
still there, but I've noticed quite a few that are composed entirely in a
different language - either Spanish or what I'm guessing is Chinese. It also
seems like there are quite a few that are about shoes, purses and watches (at
least I hope those were spam).
(Actually found a level 1 spammer searching for this image)
I say all of this because I've been trying to figure out a
way (or an approach) to blog about the moderators and the often thankless task
they have. I've seen them called names and get accused of letting their
positional authority go to their head. The truth is the contributions and
sacrifices by the volunteers here help ensure this website remains a fun and
fair place to hang out.
So, next time you see
a moderator...give them a big hug.
Being one of a handful of featured bloggers is a good deal, right? A perk for
contributing quality content over a period of time that manages to catch the
attention of somebody on the staff. It is...it really is. I feel honored to be a
part of it, truly I do. But it can also add a certain amount of pressure to
blogging, at least for me. While some might think filling the front page with
links to your personal blogs is a great way to promote your blogs, I find that
whenever I get too many posted there it has an opposite effect, especially when
they are posted consecutively. My lack
of posting blogs lately hasn't been because I'm experiencing writer's block or
haven't made the time...it's more about being at the point where if I post too
many more it's going to look more like Saint's most recently posted blogs
instead of a Featured Blogger feature. Unfortunately, I can't help that. I have
blogs that I want to post, that I need to post...but I'm really and truly not
trying to monopolize the real estate on the front page. Besides, all that is
subject to change here in the near future, but more on that in a bit. Anyway, I
used to blog nearly every day (as some of you know) but yes...it's true...I've cut
back in order to promote some of the other bloggers and their posts. I don't
want just my blogs on the front page, and I'm sure you don't either. But after
a few days, I'm sure the people want something new to read, and so I will continue
to do my part to give the audience something new to read.
I've received a number of queries from fellow GIO community
members about the prospect of adding more featured bloggers, and personally I
think it will happen soon (or at least one day). But thankfully the smart folks
at Game Informer don't want to rush into adding new names to the feature
without examining their quality and commitment for a period of time before
deciding who will make the cut in the next round. My advice to those that want
to be featured...I think a balance of quality and quantity are both important. An
exceptional blog posted once a month isn't necessarily going to cut it; neither
are an abundance of substandard ones. But a blogger who is consistent and posts
interesting blogs frequently is what they're looking for; at least I'm guessing
that's what they're looking for.
I knew this day would come sooner or later. Facts are facts, and the truth is I
will be looking for a new job (first time in my adult life) and will be moving
in the next few months. With Thanksgiving next week, Christmas shortly thereafter...and
a new job and move after that, my time here is going to change. I don't know
the degree of change just yet (this isn't a farewell blog) but I also know that
instead of writing blog after blog about video games, I've already started
focusing on working on my resume and getting my personal affairs in order.
Depending on where I go or what I do will determine my future contributions to
Game Informer. You all have been the most gracious and kind audience a blogger
could ever ask for and more than I ever imagined I would attract. Some of you I
know because I see you comment regularly, but some of you I don't...and I'm
always surprised when a new name will finally comment letting me know they are
a regular reader. We still have plenty of time to enjoy each other's company,
but I've already suspended some projects I was working on and don't know how
many others I'll get to focus on. But since you all have been so supportive, I
at least feel like I owed it to you all to provide an explanation in case I don't
seem to be around as much in the coming weeks.
Okay...so upcoming blogs you may or may not be interested in...
Staff Herding - Still in progress. It's been delivered and just
waiting to get it back from the staff member who is being featured.
Member Herding - November edition is being smoothed and I
think it will be posted on Tuesday or Wednesday. Any guesses who will be
featured this month?
A blog AND a review about Medal of Honor Warfighter - I've
been debating posting this one. I don't think it's all that controversial, but
I suppose you never know. Maybe tomorrow if I finish polishing it up.
Conspiracy Theories - I have a couple I'm mulling over...but I
think I've finally settled on one to pursue. The few I've posted have been some of my favorites, but you really have to be careful to make this interesting without going overboard. Hopefully I haven't yet.
As far as projects I'm working on with others...I have one for
Bioshock; a challenge to write one about what video game characters would want for
Christmas and two projects with a fellow GIO blogger. If there are any I
missed, please let me know as I'm not currently tracking anything else.
Okay, well I'll leave it at that for tonight. The Walking
Dead is 15 minutes away and tonight's episode is sure to be a good one. Never
mind the blog I have in the works on the ole zombie apocalypse scenarios and
this being research, heh heh. Hope you all had a great weekend, and with
Thanksgiving right around the corner, hope you have a great week too.