Community-Based Administration

In my last post, I mentioned that community-based administration is a much more effective way to administer a community than the use of spam catcher bots, moderation, or forced registration. I’d like to talk about this a little further in relationship to what I’d actually like to see in blogging software today to make community-based administration much easier for the main site owner to delegate to his community members. Again in effect creating the situation where the larger a community becomes, the easier it becomes to manage (instead of the opposite effect which is happening on so many blogs today).

  • Administration Reporting – Before anything else this is the most important of all. If you plan on delegating administration to certain community members, you need these community administrators to be able to self-administer each other as well and be aware of what each of them is doing. Therefore reporting of administration activities among admin members themselves is critical, as it can easily catch an admin who is abusing their admin rights. Again this raises your culture of openness in your community to your admin members themselves. They more information you can provide them, the easier they can assist those within the community.
  • Admin Usage Categorization – Admins need to be able to categorize why they are taking actions against someone. In other words, they need to be able to easily report why they are banning someone. In effect though, the system should self-categorizing. For example, if I notice a spammer commenting within the community, I should be able to select a admin option on the comment, select ban, and finally select an option explaining why that person is being banned (i.e. spammer). As soon as I process that action, it is added to the reporting system mentioned above so that others can review it if necessary.
  • Varying Levels of Rights – This is the most obvious admin requirement. While you may want to give full admin rights to a long time trusted community member, you may only want to give a few selected rights to someone who has been a part of the community a shorter while. Having the ability to set a varying level of rights (and of course assigning these rights to groups which members can then be placed within). For example, I said that I don’t like forcing people to register for sites and that anyone should be able to speak opening, even anonymously if they wish. Yet what if in registering, you decided to give additional priviledges to members who had been a part of the community a longer time? What if they were given voting priviledges say? What if a community member could initiate vote on a comment and get it removed as spam themselves with the help of other community members (based upon the number of votes required that you set)? Again you’re empowering the people within your community.