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I've been focusing a great deal lately on the trucks and tubes that make Daily Kos run. I hope to get back to political blogging soon, but I'm taking advantage of the pre-Labor Day lull to focus more on tech planning. There are two things I want to talk about today:

Auto Ban

I see lots of complaints here and there about the auto-ban not working, about this person or that person having a billion HRs but still isn't bony. Here's your chance to point this people out. Remember, no one will ever get auto-banned for having one bad thread. So if you have examples, make sure they have lots of HRs in lots of different threads.

We certainly know the mojo calculation isn't working perfectly. Giving us examples of where it's clearly screwing up will be helpful to further tuning it.

Tip jars

As many of you saw, we no longer allow replying to auto tip jars. We do still allow replies to custom tip jars (when a user posts a comment before publishing the diary), because we assume if you leave a message, it should be repliable.

Here's the thing, though -- the tip jar is a confused element, and will require more thought as we redesign the site's diary pages and comments (which we're working on). As you might remember, the tip jar was a community-created feature, a way to give props to a writer without recommending a diary. It was a way to give authors an "attaboy" without taking the much bigger step of saying "everyone on the site should see this."

That was nice. But it was optional. The diarist had to put the tip jar up herself. Pity the new user who would put up his first piece, only to get a bunch of people screaming at him to "put up a tip jar!"

There was a secondary problem -- that of the spammer/troll diarist. If the only way to auto-ban someone was to HR their comments, then how did we account for people who would diary but never comment? Some people have long argued for the ability to HR a diary, but that'll never happen. HR'ing comments is disruptive enough.

Thus, the auto tip jar was born -- diarists no longer had to worry about putting up tip jars, while spammer/trolls could no longer avoid judgment day by skipping comments.

But that's a confused solution to several problems and needs. So as we spend time at the drawing board, we're trying to think through of a better way to handle these goals. I don't have any answers yet. But we're working on it. If you have any suggestions, feel free to ask.

One final note, as I come to you guys for ideas -- if your suggestion is "add a button that does X", your idea will almost immediately be rejected. My goal in refining site functionality will always be to remove buttons. Every single button you add increases complexity and makes the site harder to use, so I'll always do my best to channel my inner Steve Jobs.

So think "simple" and "so easy to use, even a caveman can do it."

Update: With all the talk about the broken auto-ban system, I thought there'd be more examples than just libslacklogic. We found why that guy got through, and will be taking care of it. But if that's the only example at the moment, then the system is working better than I'd been led to believe.

Originally posted to kos on Tue Aug 30, 2011 at 11:28 AM PDT.

Also republished by Cranky Users, J Town, Pink Clubhouse, The Rebel Alliance, KosBusters!, Meta Groupies, and Welcome New Users.

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