Wha, wha? I'm honored and flattered and enormously pleased. :) That said,
I have enough self-knowledge to know that I can run pretty hot-tempered at
times, I just express it as sarcasm rather than direct insult. Same song,
different key... just as inappropriate for someone who has to be impartial.
I also, realistically, doubt that I'd have the time to put in to proper
That said, I was struck by what Tom Parmenter said earlier: how just having
a striped shirt around to blow the whistle and say "cool it, guys!" can be
bloody useful. This gives me the idea for a compromise proposal. Instead
of moderating the list, at least for now, why not appoint a few "referees"?
Their function would be to respond ASAP when a discussion starts to get
ugly, and say: "TWEET!! If I were a moderator I would have blocked that
post for X reason." This means the list keeps at its current speed and
responsiveness, while still having people around to step in and point out
that someone's going beyond the pale when they're too emotionally involved
to see it themselves.
Nor would the position of referee be toothless, as some might fear. After
all, they can always threaten to start up the moderation discussion again.
;) More seriously, if someone's collecting a lot of whistle-toots, that can
be brought to the attention of Fearless Leader... er, kidding, Jimbo.... who
can then Take Appropriate Steps. Note that this doesn't require too much
extra effort either from Jimbo or the referees, making it quite easy to
institute. And such "referees" could check each other, too, an important
point to keep in mind, as we're all human and slip sometimes. This, my
objections to myself above would not apply to a referee position (hint,
Now, on the other side of things, some people are vehemently against
establishing any sort of heirarchy. It is, of course, quite possible for
everyone to referee; to an extent, we all do (calls to stop flaming, etc).
However, there's a difference between a few people saying "stop that!" and
a few people /who have been mutually agreed upon by the list to keep an eye
on things/ saying "stop that!" The first is an expression of personal
opinion; the second is an expression of personal opinion backed by a mutual
agreement. When attending demonstrations, there are often people with
orange T-shirts or armbands running around, and the demonstrators usually
listen to them. They have no legal power, but the demonstrators understand
that they're there for the safety and well-being of all. (Yes, there are
some who will get out of hand. That's why we have police and Jimbo,
And, of course, my best argument: if we try voluntary moderation via
referee, and it doesn't work, then full moderation will remain an option,
and now with the advantage of saying, "we tried it the other ways..." :)
-- April (chucking another opinion onto the pile)