Since the Ubuntu Forums started way back in 2004, there’s been 2 parts to the moderation team, the Administrators (members of the Forum Council) and the Moderators.
The Administrators have access to the forum’s control panel and are expected to deal with user accounts and some parts of the forums functionalities in addition to usual moderation tasks.
The Administrator Control Panel is a dense forum’s back office that is not always easy to follow. It takes quite some time to train a Forums Admin. Even if the Admins turnover is quite low, it does happen from time to time within the normal Council expiry.
The Forums Council has decided to mentor a set of Moderators (currently 3) to administrate the forums. We have created a new group amongst the moderation team, the Super Moderators, who have access to the Administrator Control Panel and will progressively be trained.
We will start the training with some aspects of editing user accounts. With the advent of the SSO login, we’ve found that more and more time is spent just trying to help people log into and use the forums. The only way to actually deal with these issues is from the Administrator Control Panel.
What this means to the majority of forum users is that they’ll see 3 more names posting in the resolution centre for those issues.
This new project means that there will now be members of the moderation team used to dealing with parts of the forum that they’ve not been able to do previously. As future members of the Forum Council necessarily come from within the current moderation team, they will already be familiar with the functionalities and interface and ready to go !
Finally, this dovetails quite nicely with part of the current Community governance discussions that have been taking part on the ubuntu-community-team mailing lists – in particular a discussion on mentoring. This mentoring project has been implemented on the Ubuntu Forums over the holiday season, when Admins had more free time to set it all up, with thanks to the Canonical sysadmins who had to tweak their side.