@n.taylor-buck below is cut/pasted and slightly modified version of the Julia guidelines. Note in the locked Staff category there is also an FAQ/Guidelines thread including Discourse’s rubric for how to maintain a healthy platform. We could include that here. The TryDiscourse site is also a useful place for guidelines e.g someone asked ‘How do you make a post a Wiki’ which reminded me that this is only something Staff can do (staff=admins and moderators, with the latter being people reaching TL4; the elective mechanism below is interesting for that, but we need to go through Julia’s TL criteria and make sure they’re right for our forum, and that they match the descriptors below!)
There might need to be a separate Welcome/FAQ for different user groups: for example, potential admins could be directed to TryDiscourse resources that guide them through some of the more advanced capabilities, while regular users would, I guess, use DiscoBot for this purpose? Need to make sure new users are told to play with DiscoBot! there’s an interesting thread from a few years back including Discourse founders where they discuss the very design of a bot: interesting insight into collaborative design
Qs from Good Food meeting: how to protect against bots?
How to use tags?
How to get people to know best ways to judge/rate quality of posts?
Responding to concerns for peoples professional identity/limited time getting awash with uninformed views or same-old debates?
Useful guide for moderators [Still to confirm: how to users get to Trust Level 4? If they reach this and become a moderator- and thus a staff member- does that affect our limit of 5 staff members, or can these be additional to the 5 ‘admins’?) https://meta.discourse.org/t/discourse-moderation-guide/63116
And a guide that Nick included on welcome page of Sheffield forum: https://meta.discourse.org/t/discourse-new-user-guide/96331
The below is from the FAQ category of a different Discourse platform (called Julia, for a community of people using a particular coding language…I think!)
The following is the description of the various roles in the GMFF discussion platform.
Our current hosting in Discourse limits us to only 5, so we need to distribute the moderation of the platform to other roles, while staff members will mostly resolve problematic use cases.
description: A small group of people who are in charge of making sure that this platform runs well .
capabilities: Can do anything and configure any platform settings.
[Current list of admins. ] - can link here to the page which lists all mods in the form of a Group
description: A small group of people which consists out of respected members of the community, who are willing to spend time and energy to make sure that this platform remains civil .
capabilities: Can edit all posts and users, but cannot configure any platform settings.
[Current list of moderators. ] - can link here to the page which lists all mods in the form of a Group
Trust Levels (TL)
They are a core feature in Discourse (recommended read about them here: https://meta.discourse.org/t/what-do-user-trust-levels-do/4924 ).
TL4 (Leader) and TL3 (Regular) have a limited set of moderation capabilities.
TL2 (Member), TL1 (Basic) and TL0 (New) have no moderation capabilities.
description: Very experienced users and prolific contributors to the overall GMFF community (not just this platform), to perform most of the moderation , with some help from Regulars .
capabilities beyond TL3:
- edit all posts
- pin/unpin topic
- close topic
- archive topic
- make topic unlisted
- Split and merge topics
Steps for transparent election and promotion from TL3 to TL4:
- Nomination by user, explaining why they think the nominee is a good choice.
- Soliciting comments and feedback from the broader community.
- Create Poll and check results after period (1 week).
description: An automated promotion for users who are very active on this platform, to help the Leaders .
capabilities beyond TL2:
- recategorize and rename topics
- spam flags cast on TL0 user posts immediately hide those posts
- flags cast on TL0 user posts in sufficient diversity will auto-block the user and hide all their posts
- Self nomination vs. nomination by other users
- Criteria for success
Note: This is a wiki post and feedback is welcome.