So you “built it and they came” and oops, they keep arriving and arriving and arriving. And they all have opinions and you are short a few (hundred) moderators. What are you going to do? Slashdot has the answer:
As you might have noticed, Slashdot gets a lot of comments. Thousands a day. Tens of thousands a month. At any given time, the database holds 40,000+ comments. A single story might have a thousand replies- and lets be realistic: Not all of the comments are that great. In fact, some are down right terrible– but others are truly gems.
The moderation system is designed to sort the gems and the crap from the steady stream of information that flows through the pipe. And wherever possible, it tries to make the readers of the site take on the responsibility.
The goal is that each reader will be able to read Slashdot at a level that they find appropriate. The impatient can read nothing at all but the original stories. Some will only want to read the highest rated of comments, some will want to eliminate anonymous posts, and others will want to read every last drip of data, from the First Posts! to the spam. The system we’ve created here will make that happen. Or at least, it sure will try…
Let your community moderate. Scary stuff I know, but seriously, for every troll, you’ll have 100 fairly reasonably minded folk silencing them. This is the challenge and the beauty of user generated content – let them take control. The users will reward you with stickability and loyalty.
I have already spoken about wiki here but lets revisit the wiki concept and apply it to the virtual worlds: When you let the users generate content you get opinions, factoids, inaccuracies and sometimes downright fibs. Umm how is this different from traditional media I hear you ask? 😛 Actually what you should be asking is: how is this different from traditional communities with their urban myths? It aint. And so? Your point is…? If you develop an online community with user generated content, participatory journalism and all that good stuff, its going to be inaccurate, full of urban myths and absolutely fascinating in spite of that. Over time, the members will address and correct most problem areas, but relax and accept the situation as part of the vibrancy and addiction of the online world!