questionsdo you feel your concerns matter?

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Here are some suggestions that I have that would help us little people out and make deals.woot that much more enjoyable:
1. Make a rules/FAQ (to be used by both staff and users)
-I would also like to see this be mandatory to read before submitting a deal with an "I agree" submission

2. Allow us to see the status of tattles (need not know who tattled), (new/completed/invalid)
-this may also allow us to see why deals get deleted before they do, also reassures us our work is not for nothing
-May give users a chance to respond to a tattle to defend their deal

3. Notify users when/why their deal is removed
-This may reduce the amount of questions relating to deleted deals

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4. Create more volunteer moderators from your active reputable users (I nominate @cowboydann). Lets face it, I don't know how much staff you guys have, or what you what you guys work on all the time, but I do know that it would be just as easy for people who have the most valid tattles and are consistantly active to go in and fix the problem rather then reporting it. The community already submits the content, why not have the ones that have proven themselves help out with keeping it running smoothly. (I know of several people who would gladly do it) - just an idea, I can also see the risks

5. Add the tattle link back to the main page instead of requiring me to view the comments page (I was told it was there once)

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If any other wooters have suggestions on improving the functionality or processes of deals.woot, please feel free to chime in. There is a point where people just don't think their participation matters anymore, and I think some people have that feeling already. At least one of which has vowed to stop contributing for the time being.

Staff: Please respond with your thoughts on the above and/or below if other people comment.

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While I'm not sure on #4 (I think that may make more problems that it would solve), I would like to heartily endorse the other points of this, if that matters to anyone. Obviously #1 is most critical, but the rest of it would really help with keeping the ecosystem happy, which could only be beneficial.

I know most users probably aren't complaining, but that's likely to be out of two reasons....

1) The vast majority of users just come here (and see the ad impressions), possibly just chiming in on something already on the front page, and click through on existing, processed deals, maybe benefiting Woot via an affiliate program. They don't spend enough time or effort here to notice problems, much less comment.

2) A large portion of the wooterbase that actually processes the deals (adding them, voting, tattling) is so in love with woot they will accept anything, even if that means they wind up using it progressively less over time.

The remaining minority will comment. Please listen.

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I definitely second the discussion here. I can definitely remember times when things have not been clearly explained, and it can cause a fair amount of frustration. For example, the whole "HumbleBundle" issue awhile back is still something I mumble and grumble about, mainly because it didn't feel like we got a real answer on it. Wasn't even my deal, but it was something I support and was pretty dismayed when it was removed and prohibited without a clear answer. There are still questions floating around that have never been answered on other topics in the forums, such as this one from a couple months ago. I really love Deals.Woot, it would just be nice to have answers on some of these things... <3

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@psaux: I agree on #4, and only listed that as an option as a last resort. If all others are in place, #4 won't be needed.

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I like this thread, mostly because it is thoughtfully written and constructive with interesting suggestions, and well laid out ideas.

That said, I hope you know the mods are listening and passing these things on to people who can decide/implement things. I know, that's not really the answer you want to hear. You want to hear, "that point is being worked on, that point was being worked on and got pushed down in priority due to XYZ, that's never going to happen, and that's coming soon" (note, none and all of those statements apply to none and all of the things that have been brought up).

But that's not the answer I have, and I hope you all understand, but do know when we have updates on these sort of things, we'll try our best to let everyone know as much as possible!

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@tossthedice: Before we have @shrdlu or such popping in and bringing a message of resigned acceptance, I'd just like to also point out there's a big difference between "answers" and "rules." The first one just explains why something happened, whereas the latter actually sets forth an idea of what will happen in various scenarios, assuming they're not so loosely written that there's loads of room for interpretation. Actual policy, stated in advance, will offer a lot more stability and consistency (especially if the mods have to follow it to) than explanations for past actions could ever give us.

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So, you want people to agree to a FAQ before they post? And, if they change a word in the FAQ, should we all have to agree again? When they add a new FAQ, agree again?

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I can agree with #3, and that's it. I'd like to know when/why something I post is gone. Or, for it to show up to only me with a variant of the RIP so I can see. Something, just not nothing.

I'd say if you want a FAQ, write one. Submit it. You never know, maybe they'd use it.. in whole or part. Mandatory read, disagree.

Community members being moderators... disagree. This is a community, but still a company. This isn't a random mailing list or same-minded-people website. I want them to moderate based on their policies, not you (for example).

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@kmeltzer: I want them to be moderator based too, but it would be nice to know what those policies are. In regards to your suggestion to write my own FAQ's - here you go

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@kmeltzer: Many systems (google, banks, etc...) have a system that requires re-opt-in after updates to policy. It's really not hard to implement in the software and it doesn't need to be obnoxious to the user either, assuming the policy changes are QAed enough and done judiciously enough that they don't occur often.

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@lichme: I'm flattered that you nominate me to moderate, but that's not my business. Sure it would be nice to knock out chinese spam deals at 2AM but they get taken care of eventually with a regular tattle.

I like to pretend my concerns are heard, It's nice to know that @gatzby idles in DWChat and reads things we have to say. It's also nice to know that our concerns get passed on to the people that need to hear them. I definitely feel like our concerns are being heard. IIRC Someone said there is a really rough draft of DW Rules in the making right now. You would know that if you ever payed attention to the chat room :P

I also wouldn't be able to accept a volunteer mod job from DW because I don't want to be considered a shill. Believe it or not, I actually enjoy doing the research on woots, summarizing reviews, and guiding people towards or away from products. Personally I feel if you give honest input of the bad woots we're more likely to see better quality in my future.

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@psaux: He said FAQ, not TOS. I don't want to reread an FAQ when it's updated.

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@kmeltzer: yikes, sorry everyone's downvoting you because you're posting an unpopular opinion. Gave both your responses an upvote with a friendly reminder to everyone else: just because you don't agree with what someone has to say you don't have to downvote them.

Downvote people for being rude, or trolling. Don't downvote for disagreeing. Keep it civil people.

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@lichme: But, I disagree that they be user moderated, at all. It's a corporate page, and should be moderated by staff. The "tattle" is the user's way to moderate... or assist in that.

And, when I said write a FAQ, I meant... write an FAQ. Not have a thread about it, write it. One document, thought out, concise and ready to go. Then, email it to them. But, in the end, it's their choice to have a FAQ or not... or when.

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@cowboydann: I'm fine with being downvoted. And, I'm OK if people downvote because they disagree (it's easier than replying to say "I don't agree", and offering something , I suppose).

But, I think that is an excellent example of why I don't think mods should be users :-)

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When I was young & naive (ok, neither of those, just new to deals.), I think I asked a ? about FAQs/Rules. Not going to look it up, it's irrelevant at this point. SO many had asked that before me, and SO many after.

Of interest to me, @jumbowoot just responded to a question on a deal that was deleted. He explained 'why.' The why was kinda arbritary, IMO. He then answered another ? about why a product was allowed & one seemingly less offensive (wrong word) was not allowed. His answer " That is completely arbitrary." Well now. We just have to keep guessing if we don't have definitive rules, eh?

Do I feel my concerns matter? Mostly no. A few times, yes.Was quite pleased w/staff's response on the overkill question. Sadly, I'm fairly certain those responses are the end of that. No more follow-up.

Have come to the conclusion that deals in general is a very low priority for woot. Perhaps not worth the trouble and $$s involved to change, improve or enhance it. So I limp along...cont.

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@kmeltzer: I believe some of the current staff are those which have come from the community. I agree though, I'd rather not see users have to take on the roll, it just seems like whether official or not, users are the ones answering most of the questions.

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As @inkycatz: says, our comments are noted. We just have to understand that sometimes the answers to our requests are "no," & TPTB do not dance to our tune. There ARE reasons behind most of the actions Woot takes. I can understand why Woot doesn't come right out & tell the community their business reasoning. They're trying to run a business. THEIR business. Bottom line matters most of all in the grand scheme of things.
Hell yes, it's damned annoying to feel like we're being ignored/taken for granted/or have no valid opinions, but that's the way it is. That being said, I think Woot goes above most companies with taking our suggestions to heart AND rewarding our loyalty with a few perks & prizes.
Right now, Woot is kind of like living with a gawky, hormonal teenager. Some surprises are fun. Others, like the newly revamped sites, are like realizing your child has pierced not only a navel, but a lip AND nose as well. Hopefully, it's just a stage. Please, Woot? Let it be a stage?

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@gmwhit: cont. ...Limping along, hoping that we are being heard & something is being done. Not just talked about. Am fully aware that this is their site & they can do as they please. That means, among other things, make arbritary decisions. AND not inform us of anything. As I've said before, if I find I don't enjoy it here, I can leave.

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@kmeltzer:
"He said FAQ, not TOS. I don't want to reread an FAQ when it's updated."

http://yourlogicalfallacyis.com/strawman

No. His first choice was rules, with FAQ stated as a "we'll take it if we can't get something better," to the best that I can tell.

You were the one that dropped the rules aspect from it. Either way, an FAQ would have to be treated in a rules-ish manner if that's all we can get (though it should not be), as deviating from what it covers would result in timewasting "why did my X get Y-ed?".

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@cowboydann: Most of the time I'd agree with you on this. Unfortunately, right now we really need the staff to be able to gauge opinion and sentiment easily and clearly. Thus, for this thread, I think it is, if anything, essential that we vote on opinion (which may, obviously, also include quality observations).

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@kmeltzer:
" I'm fine with being downvoted. And, I'm OK if people downvote because they disagree (it's easier than replying to say "I don't agree", and offering something , I suppose).
But, I think that is an excellent example of why I don't think mods should be users :-)"

And on this one, I agree with you completely.

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@lichme: Write your FAQ, post it somewhere (maybe a Google Doc), then refer people to it as an "unofficial FAQ". If people start doing that, then it will sort of become the community standard and more people will join in. Sort of a grass-roots FAQ. I know I'd link to it as an answer when I see people ask a question in it. I'm sure many would.

If you really really want one, and have the basic stuff you want in it, then that may be a good way to get what you want.

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@psaux:

"1. Make a rules/FAQ (to be used by both staff and users)
-I would also like to see this be mandatory to read before submitting a deal with an "I agree" submission"

There.. he said FAQ, in the next line he said "mandatory". You can't just arbitrarily choose the left side of the "/" and say he didn't say what's on the right side of it.

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@kmeltzer: I did not discard the right, I stated it as being there.

"No. His first choice was rules, with FAQ stated as a "we'll take it if we can't get something better," to the best that I can tell." <-- quoting myself.

Whereas you blithely chose to ignore the left and take the right... and then take issue with the idea of having to re-acknowledge it, which, for either one, will be important in practical usage.

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@psaux: I ignored it because re-acknowledging you've read a TOS (rules) is fairly standard. Doing it with a FAQ.. not. I spoke to the point that I disagreed with.

We can go back and forth, and the fact that re-ack'ing an FAQ is a bad idea :-)

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kmeltzer & psaux, this is such a good question, please don't derail it. :-/

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@kmeltzer: The acknowledging was for the rules, not the FAQ, which should be separate pages. I could care less if somebody ack'd an FAQ page.

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@lichme: You've got my support on #4, but the rest don't concern me.

I don't see that anyone really needs to get a "you were deleted because" notice. Really? We should all be aware that rules are there for guidance and it shouldn't be that difficult to figure out why our deal was deleted. However, having said the rules were for guidance (kinda like the Pirate Rules), that's all they're for, guidance. Not hard fast, cast in concrete, gotta obey type things. Someone should be watching the mods (again, an assumption), and training provided when needed.

Just my POV. I do appreciate you taking the lead on these things though.

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If we had "printed" rules or FAQ or whatevers, what would there be left for us to talk about?

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@barnabee: Rep triangles. Seriously, community always has something to talk about. :)

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@inkycatz: "Talk" is probably not the right word. I'm thinking something that ryhmes with itch.

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I agree with most, but not all, of the above.

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My thoughts on the listed suggestions....

1. OK with me to have a rules and/or FAQ. Put it in the list of links at the bottom of the page. The "I agree" would be ignored/not read by the majority who should read it and an extra click for the everyone else.

2. Need lots more info for me to decide for myself. (wondering how many deals are flagged that should not be? too many flags? enough moderator(s) and time to view and delete?)

3. Not sure how difficult on the programming side but... How about the deal stays on the posters tab but marked as deleted for this reason. Those who want to check the info and learn can and the rest do not care. It could be a FAQ if the list was created.

4. See 2.

5. Sounds good to me.

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I agree with 1, 2, 3, and 5. I think the discussion on 4 has been good as well. without trying to continue more disagreement, I agree with the idea of acknowledging the rules before posting a deal.

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Let me add to @inkycatz that your thoughts and ideas aren't being ignored. Staff read these and we make a note to pass them on.

You might have noted that we've been really busy behind the scenes for the past 8 months or so. Some of the things you want require some development or writing resources that we just haven't had to spare. Even an FAQ requires some development time to get it integrated into the Deals site.

So don't despair but realize that sometimes things move slower than you might want.

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I second all, including nominating @cowboydann head of the volunteer militia.. Everything else of value appears to have been said, since I've come late to the party. (impromptu road trip 2 hours away and back :/ )

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And thanks to @inkycatz & @thunderthighs for keeping us up to date on what's happening with the man behind the curtain :)

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Ok, I have to concede to @thunderthighs point here. I work for a company that builds software and websites, and there are a TON of things that I need/want the programmers/designers to work on, but unless something is an emergency (website down, etc), it gets very little attention unless they have "free time" which comes up about twice a year. People hear what you want, but all too often it ends up in a queue of "nice to have" while "emergency - fix now" and "high priority - Needed soon" cases just get piled on top of it, so they never get touched. =(

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@lichme: Though i'm new to this community, i agree with your suggestions after i visiting the community havn't find the functions you listed. LOL

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@kmeltzer: "Write your FAQ, post it somewhere (maybe a Google Doc), then refer people to it as an "unofficial FAQ". If people start doing that, then it will sort of become the community standard and more people will join in. Sort of a grass-roots FAQ."

I actually did exactly that on a pretty large network site I was very active on (and had answered many questions on behalf of, "unofficially") many years ago, after multiple requests similar to this thread went unheeded. Result? I was invited to become a "real" moderator. They used my unofficial FAQ as a starting guide, unrevised for a while, then tweaking it to their liking. Win-win-win.

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As to the issue of volunteer moderators....why not? They've been used at the main Woot.com communities for years. There were some really good ones, too. Not there anymore, but I know some of them did a really good job. I have a private forum, and (carefully) select/recruit mods b/c I can't be there 24/7. I was also head moderator at a public forum for years and did the same there (more challenging than a private forum, for sure.) Yes, there are headaches with them at times. People aren't robots and will not always react to or handle a situation in the best way. I had to "demote" a couple....but I was careful in my selection, so that was very infrequent. I've found vol's to be much more reliable than those who are paid. (YMMV)

I don't see why that couldn't work here. Certain members have demonstrated their loyalty, fairness, and good judgement--repeatedly, time and time again. If that were to change at some point, their vol-mod status could easily be removed.