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The ward is a factory for the Combine

on really slow start and fast finish

TGA seems to be repeating my own mistake sniping at Trent, .com forums mod:

I bet Trent is secretly a bit miffed they felt the need to advertise, though.

[other snipes left in the comments to the quoted post — options]

it makes me uncomfortable to comment it since, no doubts, Trent can perfectly speak for himself.

however, at the same time, I honestly feel like there’s an unfairness because all those snipes shot at him (and there’s mea culpa too) are really looking as being uncalled now when all of us had a chance to see him in a moderator’s role for something like more than half a year already. that’s what I’d call a really slow start.

movie frameyou know, coming from Usenet/Fidonet world where mods and other positions most of the part were elected by the more or less democratic way (some even through direct voting), it’s strange for me to see and hard to consider at all mods, appointed by external to the community authority.

nevertheless, I think it’s much more of an importance to see at the .com moderators deeds in the forums particularly (i.e. how do they use their powers), rather than whom they’ve friended / friended by on the Facebook. otherwise it’s totally unjust[ified].

let’s see: Trent doesn’t boot or obtrusively shutting down community members by showing them to the door in the form of “Contact Support” when they’re trying to communicate discussing their Ideas,

nor doesn’t he busily pushing the OP to mark their threads in the Support forum as ‘resolved’ even if their issue is not actually resolved.

nor doesn’t he vent his aggro in OT on noobs and other strange folks who happen to ask for help in desperation, as opposed,  btw, to the many of regular forums posters (and, alas, including myself :-(.

nor even doesn’t he spread false but popular around .com non-technically savvy users (and hence hard to dispel) BS myths about e.g.:

  • “security over features” — as though that’s why no embeds/JS and all that on .com,
  • “Pages are out of blog chronology” — as if that’s why Pages can’t be categorized or searched in WP,
  • allegedly “Global Tags system brings a SEO benefits” — that’s supposed to warrant local cats links hijacking in the post-meta and so it goes on…


but there’s also one more thing which I think is the most important one — it’s a posts or whole threads removal policy, that is to say about a moderation per se: i.e. usage of marking user profile as Bozo; Close/Remove Topics; Delete, Edit, Move user’s Posts, Tags, or even Favorites and other mod. buttons.

while Trent, perhaps, does not spend hundreds of hours covering Matt’s ass1 in the forums, but then I don’t know why, but since the moment he’s left as the only moderator, I’ve noticed that none of my posts get deleted anymore. of course, as bbPress forums software was made so that it works by a rather mean way2 I can not be sure ultimately, but should I believe it’s just a pure coincidence?

before that quite a few of my posts and even whole threads where I posted, promptly got into bbPress moderation (deleted posts) queue. I gather those posts had been probably seen by deleters as such that potentially capable to discover a bit of that so carefully guarded Automattic’s back-end and thus disrupting this time consuming and tiresome but must be very captivating process of keeping it safe and clean.

once in the beginning of this summer my profile was even bozoed — really nasty thing I should tell ya!


the only thing Trent could be possibly blamed for is that he allows other regular posters act as if they were moderators while they are just about mere users, just as well as absolutely peer to them ‘folks’, whom it’s supposed they’re helping out.

but this issue is probably more up to Mark, .com paid happiness engineer’ whom this situation might be convenient to. I dunno, actually, but then not sure why does he bear with such an atmosphere in the forums which is spurning off other .com users: both who need help, and those who could offer it?


movie frameonce being a relatively civil place, .com forums are steadily going into .org model of modus agendi, and it’s no one’s secret what kind of agenda most .org moderators are possessed with (compare them with Trent, please).

also, frankly, it’s much better end up in the ‘no-replies’ list and then finally enjoy by discovering a search/FAQ facility, than get booted receiving unsolicited off-topic free lessons (in place of getting an answer on questioned topic) — it hurts more, although this is exactly what quite a few of forums’ habitués are hanging on there for!


and that’s what I’d call the .com forums’ fast finish.


  1. in other places, this very process of mistakenly understood moderators duties, for some reason, was also jesuitically described (to me personally as well) as “we’re just trying to help folks out”.

    that and another boot camping on .com forums always makes me reminiscent of Ken Kesey’s  “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest“. do you remember a Big Nurse? there are plenty of them on .com forums anytime you visit it.

     back to the post 

  2. neither mod. name, nor a timestamp is provided to the moderated end-user, so you never know which one of the forums PTB has Bozoed your account, or is in charge for a particular Posts, Tags, or even Favorites of yours that got Deleted, Edited, or Moved. and you can only guess when exactly they’ve made it.

     back to the post 

8 responses to “on really slow start and fast finish

  1. that girl again September 22, 2007 at 18:10

    Trackback from this post didn’t get through, I only just found it by chance in the tag surfer. Odd.

    You’re right in that Trent’s actual behaviour in the forums is perfectly innocuous and sniping at him is mean. But, occasionally, if they’re doing their job properly, moderators will offend people, whether it’s by shutting down threads that have spiralled out of control or by keeping other volunteers in line. My issue with Trent is that he wants the kudos of being a moderator, but he doesn’t actually do the job because a) he doesn’t have the time, b) he’s too worried about being unpopular, and c) if he wasn’t ineffectual then Automattic wouldn’t have appointed him in the first place, since the last thing they want is any potential challenge to their authority. (Personally I don’t think people should be rewarded with the title if they’re unable or unwilling to take on the responsibilties of the post. But that’s just me.)

    Hence timethief runs around trying to fill the void and nobody is in a position to say anything. Because if I think she’s acting like a moderator, I can’t object to this without sounding like I’m trying to be a moderator. It’s good that Trent doesn’t abuse his powers, but he doesn’t use them either. That’s great for Automattic because they retain sole control over the forums and nobody challenges their decision to, say, lock a thread about Akismet being broken because they don’t know how to fix it. But it’s not so great for everyone else because, in practice, the forums remain largely unmoderated, and as you point out this creates a hostile environment.

  2. Trent September 23, 2007 at 22:56

    Being a mod is much like being a referee in sports; you do the job correctly and someone will still be unhappy with the results.

  3. drmiketemp September 26, 2007 at 16:10

    And like I’ve said a couple of times, I’ve gotten more thanks from an 85 year old homeless gentleman for handing him a cup of coffee on Saturday morning than I ever did out of Automattic.

  4. that girl again October 13, 2007 at 17:47

    this thread.

    Raincoaster and random poster sniping at each other like there’s no tomorrow. Trent, as per usual, lets it slide. If you’re going to be a moderator, moderate. Or give the badge back.

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  6. sunburntkamel October 21, 2007 at 17:06

    bozoing is a seriously annoying “feature”. i like your footnoting. :)

  7. options October 22, 2007 at 22:10

    oh, definitely it is! — imagine you were typing (let’s say in self-taught Hindi language) a couple of lengthy and well-sourced posts; then only *after* you’ve hit a submit button twice (for each post) AND *logged out*, now it suddenly appears that both of your posts are actually in the /dev/null, cool eh?

    re: nice footnoting

    yeah, thanks. as much I was sure this wank will be noticed, as I was certain who would appreciate it first — that was a safe bet ;-)


    wordpress.com has no plans to support nither Markdown nor Textile at present.

    the same apparently goes with ‘wp-footnotes’ or any other text formatting filters.

    just for the record, MT ships Markdown/SmartyPants & Textile 2 outright as core options (TypePad has formatting options as well), and, of course, MT users have an option which allows them to decide whether they’d like to use a particular filter or not.

    WP, instead has grotesquely working Texturize*, which will never has an option to disable it. (oh, and yet a word-counter too…)

    surely, every dedicated (and savvy) WPer can always install a dozen of plugins or/and mock around with my-hacks.php or vars.php files, just to disable unwanted behavior. but then he’d better track current plugin versions and ‘all dat staff‘ himself, manually.

    and WP community never meant to choose anything, because Matt has already decided what’s “best for the majority of our users“.


    *) e.g. look at misplaced quotes in the 1st footnote to this post, or even in the post itself.

    amazingly though, just how badly Matt’s ‘Texturize’ filter sucks, considering a fact it cannot even parse properly a text written on the mother tongue of its own creator. whereas the TypoGrapher plugin, using a public web-service which hasn’t been even designed specifically for use with English, provides an accurate typography (let alone perfectly working F\OSS SmartyPants).

    ETA: oh, wtf — look, all ma links have ‘rel=nofollow’?

    I want links that I posted in my very comments do rel=follow, do I need yet another plugin for that?

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