|This is a work in progress, based on early work on a policy document. The contents have not been accepted by the organization, and may or may not represent actual policies of the SMF team or the SimpleMachines corporation|
Reviewing & Moderating
The moderator serves two roles. The first, and most important, is to keep the discourse at simplemachines.org civil and friendly. The second is to try to keep the forum as enjoyable and helpful as possible. Moderation is not at all like support. When you are moderating, please think like a moderator.
- Keeping it civil, friendly, and clean
- If you see a post that is lowering the "friendliness quotient", please use a PM to ask the poster to use words that will decrease the tension and increase the level of civility and friendliness.
- If you see a post that contains some clearly inappropriate content, make the edit. Inform the user, via PM, if possible.
- If you see a post that is clearly in violation of the site rules, do not hesitate to delete it. Inform the user, via PM, if possible.
- Moderation concerns can be discussed at the Moderation Concerns boards on the forum.
- Keeping it helpful and enjoyable (and friendly, civil, and clean, too)
- If you see a request for support that might be in the wrong board, but is getting helpful community responses, there is no harm in leaving it where it is for a little while. You can always move it later.
- If you see a request for support that is not getting any response, you can move it. Leave a friendly, even apologetic note "I hope you won't mind that I've moved this post to the Themes and Graphics board. I hope someone there has the answer to your question".
- Sometimes a support topic goes off-topic. If the original poster is already satisfied with the answer, and a couple of community members hang around to chat, this is OK. As long as the discourse is civil and friendly (see above).
- Sometimes, a second poster chimes in with exactly the same problem. It might be OK to leave this in the same thread, if the person offering support is offering exactly the same advice to both posters, this actually makes life easier for everyone.
- Sometimes, a second poster chimes in with a similar (but not exactly the same) problem. It will probably be better to split the topic, with a friendly, even apologetic note in the original thread. "I hope you won't mind that I have given this issue its own topic at .... I hope this will save confusion and help you get help more quickly."
- Sometimes, a help-seeker makes two posts on the same problem, in different boards. They might not have been sure where to put the question, or they made a mistake and then could not delete their first post. Merge the two, if possible. Delete one if necessary. Leave a friendly, even apologetic note "I hope you won't mind that I have deleted your other post on the same topic from the xxx board. I think this one is in the right place to get the help you need".
- If an off-topic chit-chat discussion springs up in the middle of a help topic, you can split it off into an appropriate Chit Chat board. Leave a friendly, even apologetic note to explain the split.
- Hosting Board
- Chit Chat
- Joke Board!
- News & Politics
Only respond to a support question if you have something useful to communicate. Be sure of what you mean to put acrosss, and be sure to communicate it simply and well, and in a civil and friendly manner. Communication is a two-way effort - this means that BOTH the poster and the reader need to make the effort to understand the other's perspective and position. As a reader, it is easy to say "I read things as they're said - it's not my fault they wrote it like a jackass" and as a poster it's easy to say "I'm honest, I'm blunt and I'm sorry if they can't deal with that".
So, before you start typing, think about how all the ways you may have misinterpreted the post you are replying to. And before you hit "submit", think about all the ways your post could be misinterpreted. If you are feeling rushed, anxious, angry, or out-of-sorts, it could be difficult to meet high standards for communicate well and in a friendly way. In this case, take the day off. Come back when you are in a positive and friendly frame of mind.
When reviewing support requests, review the oldest first.
- Helpdesk: The "Updated" column header can be used to sort the open tickets by "oldest first"
- Support boards: The supporttopics script can be used to display the oldest open support questions first, by selecting the "last" link: http://www.simplemachines.org/supporttopics.php?set=support;sort=lastpost;asc
|Telling Your Family|
|Some of our team members are minors. Sometimes it’s hard for them to explain to their family about their contributions to the team. If you find yourself in this position, just let a PM know and they’d be happy to telephone or write a letter to your parents to clarify your work.|
Adding New Team Member
- Nominate for Apprenticeship. Make a post titled “Nomination for [member name]” Please always create a new topic each new nomination.
- Discussion. The entire team has a say in who is a potential team member. If you feel this nominee is going to be a productive and valuable member of our team, make a post stating your thoughts. Conversely, if you do not think the nominee will fit into the team, make sure to post the reasons. If you don’t tell us, we won’t know!
- Approval. Assuming the team agrees that the nominee should become a team member, they will be approved.
- Mentor is selected. Volunteers to mentor the new apprentice should be posting in the topic. A mentor will be selected from those who volunteer. If no one volunteers, a mentor may be assigned.
- Even returning team members must go through the mentoring process.
- Nominate for Invitation -- team members can discuss and then vote to approve the invitation.
- Invitation is made. A Team Leader, Assistant Project Manager or a Project Manager invites the nominee to become an apprentice
- They Accept. WHOO HOOO FRESH MEAT!
- Permissions Assigned. Assistant PM or PM gives the new Apprentice necessary access permissions
- Credits. Admin/PM must add them to the Team Page
Removing a Team Member
Your team members depend on you -- they need your help. If you are not available, they will wonder if they should wait, or seek someone else who can help.
- If you inform the rest of the team of a period of time during which you will be inactive, you will be placed on hiatus. When you return after that time, your active team status will be restored.
- If you remain inactive without giving notice to the team, you may be placed on hiatus after two weeks.
- If you are still on hiatus at the start of the following month, and have not given notice to the team, you may be removed from the team and given an SMF Friend badge.
Mentoring a New Team Members
- Understand the expectations for the position your apprentice is training for
- You may act as a mentor for someone that will be on any part of the SMF team.
- Be prepared to commit to being a mentor for at least 4 weeks.
- Some apprentices may be ready to join the team in less than 4 weeks.
- If the apprentice is not making progress after 4 weeks, it may be best to end the apprenticeship.
- Maintain one-on-one contact with the new member via email/IM at least four times per week
- You must be able to provide constructive feedback (see notes on communication)
- Remember, as a mentor – you represent the WHOLE TEAM
- You may put your name forward to be a mentor, or someone else on the team may suggest you. Your team leader or another member of the steering committee will give you the go-ahead to act as a mentor.# Review the job descriptions and responsibilities & processes involved in the new member’s position
The mentoring process
- Wait for email/pm from the appropriate team lead, introducing you to the apprentice
- Confirm that the apprencie has the permissions required for an apprentice
- Introduce yourself to the apprentice, pass them the manual and let them know which sections they should pay special attention to
- Remain in instant messenger or email contact – needs will be different, suggested activities are:
- Check in daily, or maintain a presence on instant messenger or chat room, to see how they’re doing
- Share with them personally – get to know them
- Look at their recent posts, and give them private feedback or public replies as appropriate.
- Introduce them to team members that may share interests
- Continuously coach them on how to improve their moderation skills (constructive feedback – be careful of how you communicate)
- Verify, through conversation, that they understand the way the team works
- Verify they understand their role within the team
- Provide feedback & updates to the team
- Share the team’s feedback with the apprentice
- Ask the apprentice if they need help or have new questions (do this often)
- Identify when the apprentice is ready to become a team member and let the team know
Submitting a Bug
- Go to the bug tracker, http://dev.simplemachines.org/mantis/
- Click the "Login" link if it appears
- Click on Report Issue
- If you have not selected a project you will be prompted to select one
- Fill out the form, paying special attention to the “Summary” and “Description” The description should give as much details as possible. Include things such as how to reproduce the bug and if using an SVN version version it is. If there is a relevant forum topic (for example, if you are reporting the bug on behalf of a forum member) make sure to link the topic(s) concerning that bug.
- After submitting the bug make sure to review it and make any corrections.
- Review unassigned bugs and assign them to yourself or to the appropriate person. In source Documentation, for example, would be assigned to the doc coordinator. Most bugs can be assigned to the lead developer, who can assign them to other developers.
- After the bug has been fixed in the source and committed repository, open the bug and under the "Change status to" button select "resolved" in the drop down menu and click the button. You'll then be taken to a page where you can add an optional comment. Paste in the changelog message into the comment field and add any other comment you need to make.
Dealing with Feature Requests
Community members can use the "Feature Requests" board to post their suggestions and ideas for new standard features. These should be reviewed and any requests that seem good should be brought to the attention of the team for discussion.
Updating this Document
The SMF documentation team is responsible for updating this document. The PM or steering committee may request the documentation team to update this document when required. The documentation team wil complete the work and present the document to the steering committee for approval.
The Project Manager has administrator access to the forum. At least one member each of the site and server teams also have administrator access to the forum. The most efficient way to request routine administrative tasks (badge changes, etc.) is via the "Attention admins" topic on the team boards. Please remember to say please and thank-you.
Answering General Emails
There are several general emails at SimpleMachines.org. These include email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, and ??? Members who have been appointed to check emails should have a password, check the emails on a regular, agreed-upon basis. Once you have taken action on the incoming email, please move it out of the inbox, into an appropriate email folder.
Press Releases and Official Announcements
From time to time, the SMF team will need to make a press release or other official announcement. Please
- begin these announcements on an appropriate board, with the tag [WIP].
- request help from appropriate team members to make sure the information is correct.
- request the help of doc team members to edit and proofread
- gain the approval of the SimpleMachines marketing team before releasing the announcement.
If the SMF team or any part of the SMF team needs to make a purchase or pay for a service, the team will apply for the funds from the NPO.
- First, gain approval from the SMF team steering committee
- Then, apply to the NPO Board of Directors for the funds, or for a change to the yearly budget.
Most legal issues will be dealt with by the NPO. Reports of suspected license infringement may be made to the marketing team.