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Policy Review Leadership Structure

Discussion in 'CAP Policy Review' started by DougJustDoug, Jan 27, 2013.

  1. DougJustDoug

    DougJustDoug Knows the great enthusiasms
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    There are some conventions and traditions we follow in CAP when it comes to leadership. But we haven't clarified all the leadership roles recently, and I'm not sure everyone is on the same page. In this post I will explicitly state the main parts of the CAP leadership structure, and I'll propose some new leadership roles that I think have been kinda "emerging" naturally anyway.


    CAP Head Administrator
    aka "Head of the CAP Project"

    That's me, DougJustDoug, and I have been in this position ever since the CAP project was formally organized and partnered with Smogon. I covered the history of the project and my role in great detail in the CAP Leadership Compendium, and I won't repeat it here. As Head of the Project, I see my job mainly to oversee CAP operations and help shape overall project organization and direction. I am mostly concerned with policies, broad trends in activity, and general adherance to the CAP Mission Statement. I act as the final authority in any disputes that escalate above other CAP leaders. I interact with Smogon Senior Staff and represent the CAP Project in matters related to Smogon as a whole.

    CAP Head Moderator

    Currently Birkal. This has never been an official position in the past. But oftentimes in the past, there have been CAP Mods that have been more active or involved than others, and we all kinda deferred to these mods when things needed to get done. At various times in the past, I'd say people like Deck Knight, Rising_Dusk, tennisace, etc. could have been called "CAP Head Mod" according to the above definition. By designating a single person as head moderator, I don't want to minimize any mod's current or past contributions. All CAP Mods have always had a great deal of authority and leeway to get things done, and they will continue to have the same privileges and control in the future.

    There are many duties generally assigned to the "CAP Moderators" as a collective group, and I want it to be the responsibility of the Head Moderator to ensure the moderation team gets those things done. This does not mean the Head Moderator is "the boss" of the other mods, it means the Head Moderator is the coordinator and spokesperson for the mods as a collective group. The CAP moderation team currently works very well together, and this assignment of a single head moderator is not a reaction to any cooperation problems or poor teamwork. I just want to establish a clear communication and coordination point for the project to interact with "the mods" as a collective group when necessary.


    CAP Moderators

    The heart of the CAP leadership structure. Currently Deck Knight, Wyverii, Birkal, capefeather, Elevator Music, and Theorymon.

    CAP Moderators are responsible for oversight of all CAP project operations and to ensure all CAP participants follow CAP rules and project principles. For day-to-day operations, the decisions of moderators are final. CAP Moderators are expected to collaborate with other moderators as necessary, and should know when and how to work with others. CAP moderators are given very broad powers in all aspects of the CAP project -- they moderate the forum, they are SOPs on the #cap IRC channel, they have elevated privileges on the CAP battle server, and they edit and maintain content on the CAP subsite.

    If you are interested in becoming a CAP mod someday or you are curious how moderators are selected in CAP, then I have included a long description of the position, selection process, and qualifications below in hide tags. Feel free to skip it, I'm including it because it hasn't been written down before and I get questions on it from time to time.

    How CAP Moderators are selected (open)

    CAP Moderator is not a "reward" position for being a hard worker or star contributor to CAP, nor is CAP Moderator an honorary title conferred to someone simply because they have a long history on the CAP project. Under no circumstances should anyone ask to be a CAP Moderator.

    New CAP Moderators are typically nominated and discussed by other existing CAP Moderators in private. If the candidate is generally agreed by the mods, the candidate is presented to the CAP Head Administrator, if the head admin is not already involved in the discussion. If everyone is in agreement, then we follow the formal Smogon process for promoting moderators. The Smogon promotion process should not initiate a CAP moderator promotion, it simply finalizes it.

    For any project participants interested in becoming a mod, the primary qualification is GOOD JUDGEMENT and the ability to RESOLVE PROBLEMS. Deep knowledge of the CAP project and the ability to work well with the other moderators is also a must-have requirement for any potential mod.

    Too many people focus on the power and punishment aspect of being a moderator. They think being a mod is all about deleting posts and infracting users. That is NOT something we actively look for in potential mods. If you think you are mod material because you think you would be great at meting out punishment to rules violators, you are way off track. Doling out punishment is certainly part of the job in being a moderator, and yes, some people just don't have the backbone to deal with rulebreakers. They try to be too nice to everyone, and just won't do what has to be done in certain cases. So yes, it's possible you may not be "mod material" if you are overly concerned with being everyone's friend, even when you need to be the "mean mod" at times. But this is not typically a big problem with moderators, and we never actively seek out people to be moderators because they are capable of punishing others.

    Are you frequently involved in disputes or arguments in CAP? That's generally not a good thing, if you want to be a mod. It doesn't really matter if you are "right" or "wrong" in these disputes. As a mod, you'll be asked to help prevent disputes and resolve them. If you are frequently in the middle of the fray, regardless of the merits of your position, we probably think of you as part of the problem, not part of the solution. Good level-headed leaders can get into disagreements, but they know how to prevent them from becoming all-out wars.

    Many people don't understand the difference between being a good active CAP project member and being a potential CAP moderator. Believe it or not, there is a difference. It's a subtle difference, but a very important one. Active participants frequently point out problems and critique others -- and that's great. We need that on the CAP project. But if you want to be mod someday, you need to help come up with SOLUTIONS to problems. Yes, identifying a problem is the first step to solving it. But it's not too difficult to see things that need to be fixed. Moderators get an avalanche of complaints and problems thrown at them. The key is coming up with workable solutions to the problems.

    When I say "come up with solutions" -- I'm not referring to comments on solutions proposed by others. Yes, it's great to give feedback to new ideas proposed to solve problems. That's the best way to refine ideas and improve them. But the real gold mine in problem solving is CREATING new ideas from scratch and presenting them to others in a way that allows us all to collaborate to refine it into a solution. If you are the type of person that is typically REACTIVE in problem solving (you point out problems and comment on proposed solutions) -- you are a valuable asset to the community. In fact, I really want you to be part of the Policy Review Committee. But, if you want to be a mod, you need to take the next step and be PROACTIVE -- proposing solutions and getting others on board in support of them.

    Pro tip: It's a lot harder than it looks.

    It's not too hard to identify problems. It's not too hard to propose solutions. But very rarely do problems have obvious, clean solutions that are universally supported by everyone. So in almost all cases, the proposed solutions will be met with criticism and people will point out all sorts of holes in the proposed solution. Good leaders know how to work with others, continue to propose improvements, make concessions at times to accommodate concerns, hold firm at times without alienating collaborators, and generally navigate the difficult process of group problem solving. If you can do that, and have a proven track record, then you are the type of person we want to be part of the CAP moderation team.



    There are two new positions I'd like to create within the CAP project, and I'd like your feedback on the positions. Do not use this thread to discuss potential candidates, let's just discuss the positions themselves.

    Proposal: Analysis Coordinator
    (title suggestions welcome)

    When it comes to getting analyses for our new pokemon put onsite, we tend to stumble here. I'd like to select a person to be in charge of making sure CAP analyses get written and edited to proper C&C standards and put up onsite. The holder of this position could potentially get a Community Contributor badge, if they don't have one already. Familiarity with C&C is the big requirement that comes to mind. We typically count on CAP mods to oversee this sort of thing, but I'd rather have this be a special leadership position in CAP. This person doesn't have to actually write the analyses themselves, but they need to be responsible for ensuring they get done.


    Proposal: Formal IRC Ops

    Yes, we have IRC sops, aops, hops, and voice on the #cap channel. But we really don't have a formal structure for it. I want to change that. I think #cap has the possibility of filling the void left ever since the CAP Shoddy Server went defunct. Many of us already hang out on #cap frequently, and we don't really have a problem with behavior or anything like that. But I think we could build a better real-time community in #cap, if we had a more meritorious ops hierarchy there.

    I don't have specific proposals, but my inclination is to separate the CAP forum leadership from the IRC leadership structure. For example, if there are CAP mods that don't hang out on IRC very often, then perhaps we should give them AOPs or HOps or maybe even just voice to denote their level of real "leadership" in the channel. I remember when Smogon did that on #pokemon, and I think it was a good thing for the channel (keep in mind, I was one of the people that lost ops in that channel when that happened!) I'm not saying we need to de-op any mods (all the mods get on IRC regularly) -- I'm just saying we don't need to assume that every CAP mod is automatically given SOPs on #cap, if they aren't going to join the channel often.

    The bigger thing is that I'd like to have at least one SOp on #cap that is NOT a forum mod. I'd like some people who see #cap leadership as their primary leadership contribution to the CAP project. These people would actively build standards for the channel, and they would have SOps that allow them to keep the access list up to date with everyone that deserves various access levels.

    The #cap channel is a great part of the CAP project and it is a hotbed of activity when we are building a new pokemon. More CAP stuff gets decided on #cap than most people realize. Let's formalize the leadership structure there, and let's formally acknowledge the contributions of those people that make the #cap channel a cool place to hang out.

    In this thread, I'd like some suggestions for how we could apply a better leadership structure to #cap -- presumably from those of you on the PRC that are active in the #cap channel.
  2. jas61292

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    Well, let me start by saying that I support both of the proposals in the OP. I myself have never really been that involved with analyses, but it does seem to me like one of the places in CAP where things always seem to fall through the cracks. Look no further than the main CAP forum right this minute to see what I mean. There are currently analyses for three different CAPs being worked on, two of which should ideally have been finished long ago. Baisically, if we can have someone who is in charge of making sure the analyses get done in a timely manner by setting deadlines, coordinating with GP people, and getting it on site when it is done, then the process should run a lot more smoothly.

    On a slightly different note, while it was only mentioned briefly with regard to this position, I do love the idea of giving out the Community Contributor badge to people who hold positions like this in CAP. If I remember correctly, when this badge was created, it was places like CAP that were cited as it being ideal for. People here do a ton of good for the project and for Smogon as a whole, but until CC existed, there was no real badge that could be earned for participation in CAP, other than the mod badge for the CAP moderators. And, following on this, back in July, LouisCyphre, bugmaniacbob, and I became the first people given this badge for our participation in CAP. Unfortunately, due to various unfortunate circumstances, I am the only one of the three who is still around. Of course, since then, there has only been one project, and I will not even pretend that I am qualified to say who does and who does not deserve to receive this badge, or any other badge. Yet, I feel that there are probably more people out there who have, or who will do just as much, if not more than what I did to receive this badge. Overall, I would love to see us use the Community Contributor badge more, either for general contributions, as was the case for the first three of us, or via new positions such as the ones proposed here.

    With that being said, the main thing I would like to focus on here is the second proposal. As you may or may not know, I have been coming to #cap regularly for approaching on 2 years now, so I feel I have a good grasp on how things work there. While I don't think the current structure that we have for IRC authority has ever really been a problem, I have always believed that it could be better, and I think the reason for a lot of things that are not as good as they could be is the fact that the only SOps are the CAP moderators, who have a lot of things to worry about, many of which I think we can all agree are more important than status in #cap.

    Now, the fact is, #cap is a very good IRC channel. In the time that I have been frequenting #cap, there have been very, very few times I can remember that serious moderator action has had to be taken there, and I don't see that changing anytime soon. However, channel hierarchy still has a place, even if moderation is almost never needed.

    Especially when you consider how little actual moderation is needed, the goal of any IRC status should be to recognize those who are leaders in the channel. And, with IRC status, everything really starts from the top. As I mentioned above, I think the lack of focus on the channel by mods is one of the big reasons the structure is not as good as it can be. While Birkal has assured me on more than one occasion that the mods do keep things like this in mind, I feel it would work better if the people who were in charge of these things were those specifically chosen to do so, and not just people who happen to be in charge due to their role on the forums.

    What I would personally like to see is at least one, though possibly more, people given the role of specifically being in charge of IRC status. While I personally don't care what ther forum role is, mod or otherwise, I think we need a specific person whose specific job this is to take care of. Like Doug suggested, this person would ideally have SOps in the channel, which would allow them to promote other people to the lower levels of authority. In addition I think whoever this person is should be given the ability, and responsibility, to edit the posts in the #cap thread in the CAP forum, as currently this thread seems to always be far from up to date currently.

    The other thing I would like to see is more people with status at all levels. Since status is mostly just a recognition of leadership, there is no reason more people should not have it. Obviously, if someone cannot be trusted with the power of an auth level they should not get it, but currently I think that while there are plenty of voices, there are very few people of any other auth level (1 QOp, 6 SOps, 0 AOps 4 HOps). I feel that there among voiced users there are definitely people who hold more of a leadership role than others, and it would be great if we could utilize the AOp level, which currently sees no use, to provide an extra tier that we can put people at so that each level has more meaning to it. This is in addition to potentially adding more people as voices.

    While this is more back on the previous issue, I feel that promotions in #cap don't happen nearly as much as they probably should. While I am not going to claim any specific cases of people who I think should have voice that don't, I do think that in the past, especially since the departure of tennisace from the project, that promotions have been exceedingly rare. While the people who deserve them do get them, they seem to happen in bursts. People have not been being promoted when they earn it, but instead have had to wait for the mods to get around to it, resulting in infrequent mass promotion. While fixing much of this would depend on the person we choose to be in charge, I think that by adding more people to all auth levels, especially AOps, we can make it easier on everyone. While all promotions should be under the authority of the chosen leader, AOps are the classic moderation position that can help the leader make decisions, or even be charged with deciding on lower level (voice) promotions themselves.

    So, in summary, yes, I love these ideas, and I think we should definitely go with both of them.
  3. paintseagull

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    I think this is a good idea. There are a lot of people in #cap who idle there almost all the time and don't say very much. It would be great for newcomers or folks who don't frequent the channel all that often to be able to walk into a discussion and immediately be able to check who the veterans are, who the active members are, and who the new people are. Even for me, it's sometimes hard in a very active discussion to keep track of who I know and who I don't, since on irc people often change their nicknames.

    I agree with jas that if the current HOps were moved up to AOps, then the voiced user set could be split into HOps and voice. We could stand to add a lot more people to voice - basically anyone who has participated in discussion over a couple projects, or who solicits and gives advice on creative efforts. And then HOps could be given to trusted veteran voiced users.
  4. Birkal

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    I agree with all of this and I approve of the two new positions being added.

    Furthermore, I think adding positions to CAP leadership should happen more often. There's lots of work that needs to be done to keep this project afloat and tidy. Delegating tasks to specific community leaders is a great way of making that a reality, while giving people a chance to chip in. At some point, I think adding a staff member to help with CAP site upkeep would be great as well. That's just one example of numerous positions we could make. The point I'm making is that we should feel free to create more leadership roles whenever we feel there is a need.
  5. Pwnemon

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    Everyone seems so eager to promote everyone; i think that's a big mistake. Channel status is a sign of exceptional leadership. It's not like graduating the fourth grade, where they just give it to you because you've stuck around long enough. One channel I'm in, for over a year, had a grand total of 1 qop, 2 sops, and a hop. And it ran perfectly fine. While i agree that forum status should be unrelated or at most loosely related with irc status, i don't like this "promotion fever" that seems to be sweeping some people

    oh and i definitely think analysis coordinator is a good thing. I tried for like a month to see if i could take up one of the three unclaimed analyses and every mod i asked (i think four or five) said "go ask someone else, i'm not in charge of that"
  6. nyttyn

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    When was the last time anyone got promoted on IRC, pwnemon? I definitely think that we should hand out promotions more regularly. Promotions are a way to show people that we're acknowledging their achievements, just like PRC.

    Otherwise, I agree with these two position proposals, and I agree with Birkal's proposal as well. Making people feel important can only lead to more achievements, and having people specifically in charge of certain parts of CAP will make us better organized, making things easier for everyone overall.
  7. Mdevil

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    I am in favor of both proposals, as well as Birkal's pseudo-proposal.

    Everyone is assuredly going to be on board with the first proposal of adding the position of Analysis Coordinator. For formal IRC ops, sure this sounds great. I normally only get on when there is a new thread posted, but having something to strive for will certainly get me to get on more often. As Pwnemon said, however, we must be careful to not get over zealous and promote too often. This also relates to Birkal's proposal as, while dividing work between more leaders can be a good thing, it has to be remembered positions should only be added if they provide real benefit; we have to be as minimalist as possible, if you will. Other than that, these seem great.

    Addendum: paintseagull is right, but atm I can't think of a way to reword this to correctly portray the idea.
  8. paintseagull

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    I think "promoting" people to voice in an unmoderated channel (this means all users can speak in an irc channel) is not really a promotion at all. It's just organizing the channel into experienced/unexperienced users basically. Promotion to HOps from there can still require "exceptional leadership". Of the voiced users currently online and identified, I think Korski and Pwnemon could easily merit HOps (not a list of everyone who deserves, and not trying to recommend folks, just giving an example)
  9. uwnim

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    I agree with both proposals. Analysis Coordinator is a good name, describes the job well. You should have them filled by having people submit applications. Then either pick someone out from that or interview a few people to get more information about them.

    paintseagull is right about voice. It really doesn't mean much at all.
  10. DetroitLolcat

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    CAP analyses have always been something that we've not handled well, and an Analysis Coordinator seems like a good way to manage the C&C aspect of CAP. From earlier posts in this thread, it seems like the process for delegating analyses and determining who has the authority to assign the analyses is confusing at best, so creating an Analysis Coordinator position would make it easier for aspiring CAP writers to get involved in that part of the community.

    I assume that whoever would obtain the position of Analysis Coordinator would be a respected member of the CAP community, so I believe that the Analysis Coordinator should not have first dibs in accepting writing projects. At the moment, CAP has very few writing projects, so only a small number of users even get to participate in earnest in this part of the CAP project, so I feel like analyses should be given to up-and-coming CAP contributors rather than the established elite. Although I doubt this would ever become a problem, I don't want to see an Analysis Coordinator keeping writing projects to himself.

    On formal IRC ops, I think we need to take Birkal and DougJustDoug's proposal but apply Pwnemon's philosophy as our promotion philosophy. As of now, voice and H/S/AOps are seen as significant badges of respect on our IRC channel, and do a great job of distinguishing the more active members of our IRC community. However, it is also true that very few users, if any, have been promoted recently. Promoting too often will make tangible rewards in the CAP community seem meaningless, while continuing our current system makes tangible rewards seem impossible to achieve.

    One idea that I've been mulling over is modeling IRC leadership after forum leadership, as more often than not the leaders in the IRC channel are respected users in the forum and vice versa. In the CAP forum, we essentially have five definite hierarchical levels of leadership, each with different standards attached to them:

    5. Moderator
    4. Topic Leader
    3. Topic Leadership Team
    2. Policy Review Committee
    1. Regular User

    Likewise, on IRC, we have: regular users, VOps, HOps, AOps, and SOps. Now, I'm not in favor of just assigning IRC leadership roles based on forum presence, as that both defeats the point of this thread and makes it extremely difficult for CAP upward mobility. What I think is a good idea is applying the same qualification standards to IRC leadership that we do to forum leadership.

    The first step in CAP forum leadership is PRC, and the first step in IRC leadership is VOps. The PRC is intended to be accessible but not easy to join: a tangible reward for users who have the desire to contribute to CAP's inner workings and have demonstrated the ability to reasonably debate, discuss, etc. I believe handing out VOps in a similar manner would be a good way to improve IRC leadership. Though VOps confer no formal powers, they do tell people in the chat: "Hey, this guy's been around the block a few times. We should listen to what he has to say." In my opinion, the standard for earning VOps in the channel #cap should be that this person has distinguished himself from the average CAP user. Essentially, if a resident SOp sees that a regular user deserves respect through their #cap contribution, they should award the user VOps.

    The next level of forum contribution is Topic Leadership Team. This level of forum leadership is very difficult to attain, as it means you're one of the four or five best contributors to the entire CAP forum. Applying the same standards to IRC leadership seems like a good idea: HOps should be able to lead discussions, not just contribute to them. While VOps should be awarded based on contribution, higher orders of status should be based on leadership. If a user can prove to be one of the best four or five leaders in all of CAP for months at a time, then upgrading their status seems like a fitting reward. When a regular user ventures into #cap and sees someone with a star or even half a star next to their name, they immediately think: "oh, this dude's a mod. Must be one hell of a user!"

    Being given AOps should be like being elected TL. Handing out this award once every couple months to the best IRC leaders seems like a good idea. Same goes with SOps; they should be given to historically great users, etc.

    Essentially, my opinions on #cap don't seem revolutionary, the only thing I'm proposing is that it should be easier to achieve voice in #cap, just like it isn't overly difficult to achieve PRC status in the forum. Any starred leadership position in #cap should still be difficult to achieve, just like any position of moderation in the forum is extremely difficult to achieve.
  11. jas61292

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    While I understand the desire to assign specific definitions of each level of irc status, I feel that this is a bad way to go about things. I don't think we want to be trying to make each level it own "group" of people. The symbol next to one's name should be saying something about the individual, not a group. This is the reason that I feel we should have someone at the top, an SOp, specifically assigned to this job. There are various levels of participation, much more than the 6 status levels, and there is no good way to make a percise definition of what each should be. Unlike many other places in CAP, a subjective (but unbiased) view is needed to determine what the exact level that a person diserves based on their activity.

    I think it would be fine to put out a general outline of what each level entails (such as saying that certain levels are more about leading discussion than just participating), but trying to put down more precise definitions would just be a folly as there is simply too much variation in user activity.
  12. DetroitLolcat

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    After a few hours of discussion on #cap, a few of us created definitions of what we believe what the responsibilities and qualifications of each authority level on #cap should be.

    The role of promotions in #cap should be to identify and recognize the users who contribute to the #cap community. To achieve that end, one baseline requirement that we believe should exist for every member of #cap with authority (including voice) is that all members of #cap with authority should be role models in the chat. Contributing to the chat is important of course, but insufferable dicks, regardless of level of contribution to the chat, are not the people that regular users should attempt to emulate. Although voiced users are not moderators in the chat, voiced users are people selected by the SOps to represent the model regular member of the CAP community.

    The first item we discussed is what separates a voiced user from a regular user. Since voiced users have no formal powers that the higher levels of authority do, we concluded that the voice should be seen as recognition for people who are kind,helpful, and active. Essentially, voiced users are role models for the #cap chat, and the rank of voice identifies them as people who regular users should emulate in order to elevate themselves in the CAP community. Voiced users in the chat should be active and, most importantly, moderate in demeanor.

    The next item on the agenda is what pushes a voiced user up to hops. The gap between voiced user and hop is large because half-operators have the power to kick, mute, and ban users, making hops the primary enforcers of discipline in the channel. Although discipline is rarely a problem in #cap, hops are still the members of the CAP community entrusted with maintaining order in the chat. Because of that, knowledge of the intricacies of the CAP community is paramount to being a successful hop.

    During the CAP creation process, there are numerous phases, discussions, and debates that take place, and hops are entrusted to both significantly contribute to the chat and identify and correct bad behavior. The latter responsibility is more important during a CAP process when more new users who are unfamiliar with the rules enter the chat. While a voice can speak with intelligence about most topics that may arise in #cap, a hop must be able to speak with intelligence and identify conduct detrimental to the chat and administer appropriate corrective action, usually a warning, kick, or in serious cases, a ban.

    For this reason, hops should be knowledgeable about every facet of the CAP project. While it is not necessary to be able to recite the BSR formula off the top of your head, it is important to know what statements are acceptable and unacceptable during each stage of the CAP project. For example, if a user suggests a concept based around a certain ability, a hop should explain to the user that specific ability concepts are unacceptable, preferably citing the specific rule in the CAP forum that the claim breaks. If a user posts a list of moves in the chat during the movepool stage, then the hop should be able to identify the broken rule and correct the user's error.

    An AOp's role is very similar to a hop's. An Aop is a true role model for new users - a respected member of the community who's helpful and fun in nonchalant chatter but also well-versed in CAP processes and engages with a positive presence in serious discussions. Essentially, an AOp is a more experienced and distinguished hop, as they have the same power. Compare AOps on #cap to moderators on Pokemon Showdown! Moderators on Showdown! do not have the power to promote users, but their words have great weight when suggesting people for promotion. Any old derp could say "hey SOp i think that Regular User deserves voice" but an AOp would hold much greater weight. One of the most important roles for an AOp to lead and create serious discussion in the chat, as opposed to a hop whose role is to moderate the discussion.

    A SOp is a leader of discussion in the chat. The jump from AOp to SOp is also very large because SOps are trusted with the channel as a whole. A SOp has all the rights and responsibilities of an AOp with the added power (and responsibility) of promoting users. For that reason, SOps should be great talkers and great listeners, as it is their responsibility to decide the status of every member below them. Since SOps obviously cannot be on #cap 24/7, they have to listen to the AOps and hops, judge their opinions, and decide whether or not users deserve promotions. SOps are real leaders in our chat, as they combine the "role model' aspect of voiced users with the administrative powers of an AOp.

    To be a Qop you need to know Doug's password. Knowing Doug, it's probably 358 characters long.

    Again, this is just a summary post of a long discussion Birkal, jas, Zt, pwnemon, steamroll, kadew, Deck_Kinght, SgtWoodsy, and I had on #cap, so feel free to weigh our opinions and conclusions, and be sure to read the log of the chat we had if you have a few hours of free time!

    http://pastebin.com/Zet8rfez
  13. DougJustDoug

    DougJustDoug Knows the great enthusiasms
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    I like the framework laid out in DetroitLolcat's post. From a community standpoint, I think the guidelines mentioned will do a good job to promote a good channel. But I'd like to sharpen the channel auth roles with regards to #cap as an information resource for the project. Whether we are talking about the current CAP project and kicking around ideas, or if someone directly asks a question about CAP and others answer -- the #cap channel is a vital information resource for the CAP project. So below, I'm going to present each status in terms of their role in terms of providing information about the CAP project.

    Voice
    "Notable Information Resource"
    When these people speak, others should listen. The flip side of that is voiced users need to be aware that people will be watching what they say. So they can't have poor behavior, not follow rules or act like a dumbass. Voiced users don't really need any leadership skills, because they have no power in the channel. But they need to give "good chat" befitting their noted status. If people don't like the pressure of the spotlight, then they should be devoiced. Voiced users don't have to be longtime veterans, but they need to have enough activity and history to know what they are talking about. In addition to active CAP members, I'd also like us to give Voice to a few select CAP veterans or former senior CAP leaders with a long history on the CAP project, who perhaps are less active these days, but do hang out on #cap from time to time. Because of their knowledge and history with the project, I think these people fit the description of "Listen to this person when they have something to say about CAP".


    HOps
    "Helpful Information Resource"
    Yes, these people have kick and ban powers, so they need basic leadership skills and good judgement. But, the channel has very little poor behavior, so I don't think we should focus too much on the moderation aspects of this position. I'd rather emphasize that these people need to be actively interested in helping new users and supplying information about the CAP project. If #cap follows a similar path to the old CAP Server chat, a big reason newcomers will chat is to ask questions about the CAP project and seek help in participating. Helping less experienced users can be a chore, and I'd like to focus on using channel status as a reward for doing this kind of work. Voiced users can sit idle when basic questions are asked, but I think HOps should be expected to step up and be helpful for this sort of thing. That means that HOps need to be experienced enough in CAP to be helpful in supplying information about the CAP project history, rules, process, and structure. HOps is an activity-based status. If you aren't going to actively do this job, then you should be bumped down to Voice.

    AOps
    "Authoritative Information Resource"
    These people are expected to give "authoritative information" to answer hard questions or to help resolve problems. That means they need to have a long history on the project, and have been deeply involved in CAP policies and leadership. HOps are expected to give the best information they know (and they should know a lot), but AOps are expected to be "right" about almost everything related to the project. I don't mean these people can never make mistakes, but their history, background, and current involvement in the project should be generally assumed to be about as "good as it gets" when it comes to asking someone about something CAP-related.

    SOps
    "Definitive Information Resource"
    These people not only supply definitive information about the project, but they can create definitive information if necessary. For example:
    New User: "Hey, what is the rule for <whatever>?"
    SOp: "The rules don't cover that specifically, but if <whatever> comes up, then my ruling would be <blah>."
    That's "creating definitive information" on the spot. I don't literally mean that everything a SOp says should be taken as the word of God. But the point is that they are senior leaders on the CAP project, and therefore have the ability to fill in blanks and enforce their decisions. ​


    I think these decriptions of information resources are generally consistent with the seniority levels described in DLC's post. And I think it will help us decide who is right for these jobs, since it maps to more tangible duties and tangible qualities about each person under consideration.

    I think my description of HOps is a little less senior than the HOps role proposed by DLC and others. But personally I'd like a little more distinction between HOps and AOps. Also I'd like the overall bar for Voice and HOps to be lowered a bit, because I think they can be instrumental in hooking people earlier in their CAP careers. Don't get me wrong, I don't want total newcomers to have channel status. But I also don't want people to have to participate for a year or more just to get relatively minor status in the channel.
  14. Birkal

    Birkal We have the technology.
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    There's been a lot of talk about this in #cap, but much of it hasn't consolidated to the forums. I think that the general consensus is to go ahead with the implementation of these two positions. In light of recent PRC events, I'd encourage everyone to read thoroughly through Doug's proposal of IRC status (right above this post). If you have any qualms with it, please post them now.
  15. Pwnemon

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    I won't lie, I have my concerns with Doug's (and Lolcat's) proposal. I won't say they're problems, because most of it is just stuff that I don't feel has been adequately addressed, but there are some things I'd like to say.

    First is regarding Doug's proposal that some veterans be voiced. I don't know how I feel about that due to lack of experience... but from talking to Steamroll it seems like a bad idea. When #smogon did the same (admittedly, they did it with SOps, not VOps) it caused a dead chat, since people with auth never actively contributed. I wouldn't be opposed to the voicing of veterans to tell people who has a lot of experience, but I'm definitely wary about it.

    Second is saying that SOps should be able to enforce their decisions. I don't like how that blurs the line between forum leadership and irc leadership - essentially, since forum mods are the only people who can actually make decisions and enforce them, it's saying you can't be a SOp without modding the forum. I think a better approach to take would be that the SOps should be able to guess pretty well the response to a question that has no formal ruling. Example:
    Now obviously this was a pretty simplistic example, and a lot of questions raised will be a lot harder than this, but i think it explains the general idea of how a SOp should handle questions that are raised - not to be able to enforce them, because that forces a mod monopoly on SOphood.

    other than that, this system looks pretty good in general
  16. jas61292

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    For the most part I am a big fan of what was outlined in Doug and Lolcat's posts. I do have a similar concern to Pwnemon though with regard to Doug's SOp definition. I am not so much as worried about ability to enforce decisions as I am about the vagueness of the discription. I'm honestly not sure what is meant by "create definitive information." What are the limits on this? Is it about #cap stuff, forum stuff or what? No one person can create CAP policy, so I would just like some clarification on what this is supposed to mean.

    Otherwise though, I think it all looks fairly solid. With that said, unless anyone else has a major concer, I would really like it if we can get a move on with this. Not to sound impatient, but with a new CAP project having started, we will ideally be seeing a greater influx of new users in the comming days and weeks, and I personally would like to see the structure that we will be using going forward implememted for when those new users show up in the channel.
  17. DougJustDoug

    DougJustDoug Knows the great enthusiasms
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    My SOp definition was not trying to make SOps into gods. Right now, when there is lack of clarity in the rules or weird situations arise, CAP members seek out a forum mod to figure out the answer or decide how to proceed. That's because CAP forum mods are currently the ONLY form of "senior leadership" on the CAP project. I'd like to establish that a SOp in #cap would be a "senior leadership position" in the CAP project as well, almost an alternate leadership equivalent to a forum mod.

    By establishing SOp as a senior leader on the project COMBINED with removing the requirement for SOps to be forum mods as well -- I think we establish the #cap channel as a fully-functioning branch of the CAP project, complete with a leadership structure whose highest levels are in the upper echelons with forum mods.

    CAP forum mods would still have primacy over the forum, which is where the vast majority of CAP business is conducted. But SOps would have primacy over the #cap channel -- where a great deal of CAP project activity happens too. CAP has many rules that apply to both the forum and the channel (like cheating rules, or any of the general CAP principles for that matter). These rules would be the responsibility for Forum Mods and SOps to enforce and uphold.

    I really don't think this is a very confusing concept. For anyone who was around when the CAP Shoddy Server was active, it's pretty much exactly like that. On the CAP server, the Blue Team were kings, and they were expected to know, maintain, uphold, and support all aspects of the CAP project. And there was overlap between CAP server mods and forum mods. There was definitely a "pecking order" that the Forum Mods were "higher" overall than the CAP Server Mods -- but the Server Mods were very senior leaders and weilded a lot of power, influence, and responsibility.

    That's what I want for the CAP channel. I want the leadership structure to have weight and purpose. I think it will go a long way to building a better channel and cultivating deeper interest and activity in the CAP project overall.
  18. Birkal

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    I still agree with Doug on this one. In terms of Pwnemon's concerns, I don't think giving VOps to senior staff members is a bad practice. CAP is a project that needs to cherish its roots, and our veteran users are some of the largest tomes of knowledge we could ask for. We should be looking to these users for their opinions in terms of the historical context they bring to the project. And besides, there (unfortunately) are not many veteran users that still hang out in #cap regularly, so I wouldn't expect many users to fall into this category anyways. Furthermore, this is something that the SOps of the channel can ultimately make the call on.

    And to address jas's concern, I don't think the amount of power that Doug is calling for is overzealous. A senior leader operating #cap should be able to make some judgment calls on chat policies, regulations, and status. I think Doug is referring to power to create rules within #cap, not within the CAP project. I.e. SOps would be able to form new rules for #cap; if a highly racist and offensive discussion came up in the chat, for example, a SOp should be able to enact a new rule to prevent such a discussion from ever happening again. Essentially, I agree that SOps should be able to implement rules for #cap as they see fit in order to improve discussions.
  19. jas61292

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    Just to clarify, I never really had any concerns with the amount of power. As I said above "I am not so much as worried about ability to enforce decisions as I am about the vagueness of the discription." I was mearly hoping for a bit of clarification on what he had meant exactly, and Doug's post addressed this.
  20. Pwnemon

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    ok since i was harping on Doug/Birkal for not doing this in previous threads, I will do it here. I'm drafting up a final, formal resolution with all that we got between doug's and Lolcat's posts, and then we can discuss any changes to be made.

  21. inanimate blob

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    I believe users need to be active on both the IRC and on the sub forum. This displays a level of sophistication, as it displays the user is able to compose themselves in both a social, less permanent manner and in a formal, more permanent manner.
  22. jas61292

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    While I pretty much like everything in that summary, there is one sentence I just want to make a quick comment on: "An SOp has the obligations of 1) promotion of users to VOp and HOp...". This should probably also include AOp. Nothing major here, but being in charge of promotions should cover every level below them. No need to appeal to Doug every time an SOp thinks a HOp deserves to be promoted.

    Speaking of appealing to Doug though, I would also like to address what the process would be for having people promoted up to SOp. Now, I assume that to get this new process started, Doug and the mods will choose who they think should be the starting SOps, but once the system is in place, there should be some method of allowing other people to reach this level. Obviously, since QOps are the only ones who can promote to SOp, Doug would have to be involved on some level, but in general, I would suggest that to be promoted to SOp, the general process would involve the existing SOps discussing the AOp candidate, and if they agree, talking to Doug about it, who can make the promotion if he agrees with the decision (pretty much the same as the mod promotion process described in the hide tags in the OP, just replacing mods with SOps). While obviously, just bringing this up now, there might be more to discuss on it, but since SOp promotions, other than the initial ones which would be before this system is in place, probably won't be happening for a while, I don't think we should put off implementing the system just so that we can decide on this.
  23. paintseagull

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    Thanks for compiling this Pwnemon!

    I would say that setting a poor example on the forums should prevent you from having status in #cap, but that having low activity on the forum should NOT prevent you from having status on #cap. However, we should be encouraging thoughtful users in #cap to summarize their points on the forums.

    Two minor points about the formal proposal:
    In IIb: Remove informal language, such as the stuff about "I don't think.."
    In IId: replace "men" with "people" or "users"

    If it's gonna be a formal proposal, may as well make it formal
  24. Pwnemon

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    Ok, paint, I fixed the informal language you pointed out. The section IIb was literally copy-paste from doug originally, hence the use of personal pronouns.

    Second, addressing contribution on the forum as opposed to contribution on irc, I am thinking of changing section I to read as such:

    Thirdly, jas is right that we need to develop a protocol for promotions and demotions, idk how that slipped my mind. Maybe something like this:

    how do people feel about this thing? I would also be editing IId to say
    as per jas's suggestion.
  25. Pwnemon

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    EVERYONE:

    Birkal said he plans on closing this thread very soon. If you want to bring up any points, please do so ASAP

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