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Greetings, Cranky Users! Although I had promised you all that the next Cranky diary would be a digest of issues we collectively had remaining with DK4, the ensuing days have been rife with meta that swirled around diary tip jars, following the most recent update diaried here by ct early Tuesday morning. Once kos also wrote about the change, as well as about some upcoming changes, it was a done deal that much else would be said, both in kos's comment thread and in other diaries. (BTW, we note with pleasure that the official replacement of "diary" with "post" has not yet occurred.)

Let's saunter below the squiggle and talk some more about it.

For starters, there were a few other items in ct's update announcement. Most noticeable of these is that the Rescued and Rescued to Recommended tags will now, like the Recommended tag, be assigned and maintained automatically by the DK4 software, so that no one needs to add them to diaries any more. Also, someone returning from banning (that is, someone who was merely "suspended") should immediately have their mojo recalculated, rather than lingering in a bony state for some time.

But the chief item of interest was the elimination of the Reply option for automatic (non-customized) tip jars. (If you have not written diaries: a diarist can add one or more comments to a diary before it has been published. So, for that matter, can another group editor if the diary is queued to publish initially to a group. The first of the pre-publication comments is considered the "tip jar" by the software, no matter what it is and whether or not it is by the diarist. Such a "custom" tip jar CAN be replied to. If no comments are added before publication, the software creates a comment entitled "Tip Jar" at publication. This is the kind of tip jar that now CANNOT be replied to.) So now, the diarist has the option of whether to allow replies to the tip jar, by choosing which kind of tip jar to have. In a diary that might be expected to be contentious, the reply-less auto tip jar can prevent a big pie fight right under comment #1, that pushes other, earlier discussion far down the page.

The first thing that happened was an epidemic of accidental hide-ratings of auto tip jars, to the extent that lineatus wrote a warning diary about it. With the Reply option gone, the Recommend and Hide radio buttons shifted to the left, while the hide-rating warning does not always work, especially for people on mobile devices. So if your finger clicks one of these auto tip jars where the Recommend button USED to be, you will HR! The private messaging system has seen heavy use this week as other commenters try to get inoffensive diarists un-HRed. If you see an odd HR in a tip jar from someone you are friendly with, you can help by contacting that person and checking whether they intended it.

kos's diary was published Tuesday afternoon, and is probably worth reading if you haven't done so. It's not all that long, although there are many comments. The diary discussed tip jars, and the various issues tied to diary and comment rating that kos would like to see more elegantly dealt with in a system revision now in the design phase. (It also invited complaints about trolls who'd somehow failed to be autobanned, prompting the long-awaited ejection of the tiresome libslacklogic. Yay.) He solicited ideas, with some caveats, and this got everyone thinking.

We tried to republish all the discussion diaries from the following day, and I apologize if we missed any. Wee Mama led off with a terrific diary on the nature of civility. Then Seneca Doane had some interesting ideas on site functionality, and finally blue aardvark took a stab at restating the site rules to make moderation easier and clearer.

So here is our space, my Cranky friends, to talk about the tip jar thing, the condition of discourse here, the future of site moderation, the ideas put forward so far or your own ideas, as you like. We'll save our bug roundup for next time. Please be kind, and help your fellow Cranky Users with advice if you have it to offer. And remember, friends don't let friends hide-rate unintentionally!


☀ For more stuff sort of like this, the Cranky Users group.

☀ For lots of official detail about the site and its workings, the DK4 FAQ (frequently-asked questions).  The main Daily Kos FAQ is still here.

☀ To get immediate response for technical help or urgent site problems, the contact form (be sure to select the tech support radio button). Note that THE BUG REPORT FORM HAS BEEN DECOMMISSIONED. To report a bug to the dev team now, you can use the tech support form, or you can comment in an elfling diary or send her a personal message. Congratulations to the development team for reducing the bug collection to a size where it can be drowned in the bathtub.

☀ For immediate catharsis, complain in a Cranky Users thread. These threads are regularly scanned by kos and developers, but it's not a guaranteed way to bring an issue to the attention of these folks. But sometimes you just need some sympathy from other cranky people! (And sometimes, other cranky people have advice that can help you.)

Our thanks to kos, the development team, and the Dkosopedia contributors for their vigorous efforts to deliver a site that works well and to help us know how to work it!


Originally posted to Cranky Users on Fri Sep 02, 2011 at 12:00 PM PDT.

Also republished by J Town.

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