So here's a little more on moderation and participation. Unfortunatly I don't have time to really get into it like I want to right now, some day I'll really break it down. While Rothman's post goes overboard, he's at least getting people talking about things, which is always good.
There are currently 2371 user accounts on LISNews, most of which have somewhere between 0 and 5 moderator points. A very small number of those people participate in some way, whether it be a comment, moderation, meta-moderation, journal, suggesting a story, or whatever. On a good day we'll get maybe 10 or 20 people moderating the 10 or 20 comments. Most people can not moderate and comment on the same thread, so most of the time it's different people posting and moderating. I broke it down over the relatively short amount of time we've been running slash, and the results look something like this:
Here's a little CSV file [Link Fixed] in case you'd like to crunch some numbers as well. It's just the top 50 busiest people, with no identifiable information provided.
Total moderation so far look something like this:
Basically there are a few people who do a lot in terms of moderation, a bunch of people who will seldom wield the moderator sword, and the vast majority who never participate. I'd imagine the numbers are similar for other slash sites as well. Rather than being sad that so many people aren't participating, I'm quite surprised at just how many people do participate, and very surprised at how many people really participate frequently. It's all very interesting and worthy of further writing and study.
No, it's not perfect, everyone who runs a slashsite will tell you that. There's talk of rewriting the moderation code, so that may help, part of the problem with the code is it doesn't always scale down well. With most software you run into troubles when you try to overuse it. With slash, you start to find problems when it's under used. Slash is designed to run Slashdot, which is a crazy busy site. When it's run on little ol' LISNews things don't always work quite right, and moderation is one of them. Moderation works quite well, most of the time, but not always. Such is life, there's no point in crying myself to sleep at night. As I get a better feel for the code I'll be able to make changes, and as the slash team adds features we'll be able to put them to use.
I think for a bunch of bigoted, ornery, balky, luddite librarians we do a pretty damn good job running our site.
And like I always say, anyone who disagrees with you is wrong, and probably an idiot.