It's finally here! The big update we were working on for so long is finally finished and deployed!
Some of you might have already noticed, but I still wanted to write this blog post to explain it everything in more detail 🙂.
We've been having some issues with our review process for some time now, and I was thinking a lot about how to fix the problem. The main issue was we only had 1 person reviewing all the content submitted to the site, and that sometimes meant we didn't have as much time as we'd want to consider your creations, especially this summer. Because of that, we sometimes declined patterns which should have been accepted, accepted duplicates to the site, or wrote a decline message which wasn't as helpful as it could have been. We really want to keep this place nice and clean, without spam, photos submitted for wrong patterns, duplicate patterns, or insulting posts in the forums. That's why we review all the content you submit to the site, including items which are visible immediately after posting, like comments or forum posts. This may not seem like much, but it takes a lot of time and effort, and as our user base grows it was getting to a point where it wasn't sustainable anymore.
And so I came up with a couple of solutions, from which having moderators seemed like the best one. The whole idea behind it is, that moderators, just like admins, have access to our admin section where the whole review process takes place. They can open it up anytime they want, and start reviewing any submitted content 🙂. It's on each moderator how much time he wants to spend reviewing, and when he wants to take a break, or end being a moderator. And if you're wondering about the items that moderators submit to the site, they also have to be reviewed, just like any other content, and cannot be reviewed by the moderator himself, so that it's fair.
It might not seem like much, but a LOT of changes had to be made before making this possible. First of all, we had to make some tweaks to the admin section so that it will be more understandable for our moderators. Then tweak it a bit so that it recognises more issues with the content automatically, and also shows the related content. Then implement a permission scheme for moderators, which is very similar to the one admins have. And the last, and most difficult step was to update the whole admin section so it can handle more people reviewing items in the same section simultaneously. This wasn't needed before, as only 1 admin was reviewing items most of the time. The last step took us almost 2 full weeks to finish (including weekends), and needed a lot of under the hood changes to make it possible. I can say this was a real journey 🙂. And not to forget, we also wrote the admin review guidelines which all our moderators can read, and will be updated as we go.
And now about the moderators we chose 🙂. We really wanted people we know we can trust, and who are here with us for a long time. We also had some other requirements, and highly preferred users who tended to be helpful to the community over time. And so we talked with some people, from which @Margaron and @Racoon (MashaKnots) came out to clearly be the best choice! I can't be happy enough having them here with us helping the community even more than they did before 🙂, and I'm also sure you all will love them 🙂.
In the future, when we know everything is working fine, we might be adding even more moderators to the site. My idea is that the current moderators will choose who to add 🙂.
We have also created a private Slack workspace for all the admins and moderators, where we can discuss issues and questions that may occur during the review process. So for more complicated submissions, it will now be possible to ask others for an opinion, rather than making a bad choice. For those of you who might not know what Slack is, it's a communication platform, similar to IRC, and I find it a perfect match for our needs. We have different channels there, and can also talk to individual moderators. I think this is also a thing that will help to make your experiences a lot better here on BB 😉.
I initially wanted to write this blog post right after publishing all the changes, and adding moderators, but then I started writing and found out I'd also like to add my first impressions. So here they are 🙂. I'm really excited about all the changes and the way they are turning out! I can already say it was definitely worth it! We were trying this all out for the first time with Margaron and Masha yesterday, and I was really impressed by the way they took it. They were asking really meaningful questions, and also discussing more complicated submissions together. I really think they both perfectly fit into the roles. We've already come up with some questions regarding parts of BB and their functionality, and how it can be improved 🙂.
So, that's it for the blog post, I think it's pretty long already, and hope I didn't forget to write something 🙂. If you have any questions, feel free to write me a direct message here on BB 🙂.
Happy tying everyone, and have a nice day!