Tuesday, May 17, 2011

New users status names

I decided to change the names of the users status.
  • user contributor
  • trusted user advanced contributor
  • moderator corpus maintainer
The reason for this change is that, to some extent, the previous names carried a too much "social weight", and I feel this is not the best way to go. I will write another post to talk more in details about the social and collaborative aspect of Tatoeba, but here I want to list all the existing status in Tatoeba and clarify what they mean.

This status is used to flag account that were used to send spam.

This status is used to flag account which users are no more active. Usually, these are users who decided to delete their account.

This is the status everyone starts with when they register. They give access to the main contribution features of Tatoeba.

Advanced contributor
This status is given to users who have sufficiently contributed and are fairly familiar with the project. Advanced contributors currently have access to 2 extra features: they can link/unlink sentences, and they can tag sentences.
Generally speaking, if we implement a feature that is a bit tricky and experimental, we would make it available to advanced contributors first, before making it globally available.

This status is only given to users who accept it. We will not force this status upon anyone who prefers to remain a simple and modest contributor.
You don't need to wait for us to offer you the possibility to change status. Quite the contrary, we encourage you to ask for this status if you feel you can help us out on the linking and tagging front.

Corpus maintainer
This status is given to advanced contributors who are willing to help with maintenance tasks.

Corpus maintainers were previously called "moderators", but they were not moderators in the usual context of a community. That is to say, Tatoeba moderators did NOT have the job to track users who do no behave well, they did NOT have the job to listen to users complaining about other users, they did NOT have the job to ban users for not behaving well, they did NOT have any kind of responsibility regarding the community.

Their responsibilities were, and still are strictly restricted to the corpus: to delete sentences that are added by mistake, to delete sentences that are added as spam, to delete sentences that are copyrighted, to edit incorrect sentences that were abandonned by their owner...
This is why this status has been renamed into "corpus maintainer".

Admins have the power to do pretty much everything, with all the responsibilities that go with it. Among other things, admins are the only ones who can change a user's status, which means that a contributor cannot become an advanced contributor or a corpus maintainer without the intervention of an admin.

Note that these status WILL evolve over time and may even disappear (in a distant future) to leave room to another (and hopefully better) kind of system. Right now, this is the best kind organization we can afford.

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