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Improvements, Part 2

Okay, Destructoid. I know that this isn't the weekly topic, and I already made some suggestions a while back. Now that I've had a few weeks to think about the subject, I've got a few new suggestions, ones I don't think I saw mentioned. Feel free to acknowledge or disregard 'em as you like.

First CBlog Moderation

We get what, ten or twenty blogposts a day? Thirty on a really busy day? And maybe a couple times a week one of them will be by someone new and is generally an intro blog? I think it'd be beneficial to the community as a whole if the first blogpost any new member makes is kept private until a moderator of some sort takes a quick peek at it and okays it. I'm not saying we should new censor people who write poorly or create biased blogposts, but a quick check of "Is this new poster throwing pure spam up?" would be beneficial.

I don't think anyone but spammers would be annoyed by it, and frankly it seems pretty easy to implement. If a new user posts a new blog, an email, PM, or some other kind of alert finds its way to the moderator when one goes up, and a quick glance at the blogpost tells the moderator if it's a legitimate post or not. Simple and easy, which is always good.

Time Delays Between Blog Posts for New Users

Again, this is not meant to discriminate, but to keep the spam down to an absolute minimum. Perhaps for the first thirty days of a poster's time here (or two weeks, or three months, or whatever is deemed appropriate), it might be a good idea to limit them to a single blogpost a day (or one every twelve or forty-eight hours or whatever). Most community members stick to the unoffical rule of one a day anyway, but it'd keep the spammers from being able to post a copy and pasted game-related thing and then hit us with ten vacation spam posts.

This way, if the person is a spammer, they'll find themselves unable to do much to actually spam the Cbog readers.

Again, this isn't meant to discriminate. This isn't a suggestion about creating tiers of users, but just a suggestion for a short probation period. "Okay, you've joined, and your first blogpost wasn't blatant spam. Play nice for a X amount of time and you can post a billion C-Blogs in a row if you want."

And hey, if a spammer actually remembers to come back thirty days (or whatever) after posting one legitimate post... Well, anything you put in place to stop spam isn't going to stop them anyway. They're the T-1000 of spam: Nothing will stop them, and they can adapt to anything you throw at them. (Except maybe a pit of molten steel)

Comment Voting

Okay, I have seen this one before, but it bears repeating: A lot of websites have adopted a comment model where other users can upvote or downvote a specific comment, and if it recieves enough negative votes compared to positive votes, it gets hidden unless the reader specifically chooses to click on it and view it. We've all seen comments which we'd like to downvote, and it might help the community self-moderate a bit. A fanboy for any of the consoles shows up and is especially aggravating that day? Downvoted until nobody can see it. Someone posts spam to a shady chinese online store? Downvoted until nobody can see it. And so on.
The only problem is that this system does have some room for abuse. I'd suggest either limiting the number of votes in either direction a person can use on other comments in a day, or requiring a LOT of negative voting (like 20 more downvotes than upvotes) before a comment gets hidden. Either one would mitigate a lot of the abuse you might be able to get up to with such a system.

And of course, the ability for mods to remove a person's ability to downvote/upvote a comment. Someone abuses the system repeatedly? They don't get to use it anymore. Simple and easy.

Optional Profanity Filter for Comments available in Account Options[/b]

Okay, this might be tricky, it might not, but I'm sure there are some people who wouldn't mind a profanity filter. Personally, I don't mind profanity one bit. It takes some pretty creative name-calling to get a rise out of me, but other people might not want to see that stuff. The way I see it, you could do this two ways.

One would selectively replace certain words with asterisks, so fucking becomes ****ing, cunt becomes ****, etc. Either that, or if you do the comment voting system, have anything with swear words in it automatically hide like downvoted comments, with a note of "This comment contains profanity, click to show."

I'm not trying to say this community needs to clean up its act. Far from it... I fucking love you guys. But there are people who are probably turned away from the occasional profanity which is in the comments, and I think an option for people to participate while hiding their tender, virgin eyes from words like fuck, shit, or Jim Sterling would be beneficial. (Just kidding, Jim!) Honestly, it could only benefit the site by drawing people here who might otherwise not want to participate, while still catering to those of us who like to comment with "Holy shitballs, that fucking game looks awesome as cunting hell!"

Customizable Main Page

I don't know how technical this would be, but my gut feeling is that the answer is "Very." Still, it's a nice pipe dream.

Okay, so let's say that perhaps a certain, evil company known for jackass moves and bad PR is something you don't really want to read about any longer. Or perhaps you don't want to read previews or watch trailers for upcoming games, prefering to be surprised when you purchase the game instead of finding yourself spoiled.

Basically, you could pick the version of Destructoid you like, ala carte. You're presented with a list of common article types (Preview, Review, News, Game Announcements, Opinion Pieces, etc) and game companies (Activision, Bioware, Square-Enix, etc). Then you pick which ones you want to see on your version of the main page, and maybe even have an Inclusive/Exclusive option. Inclusive would mean that if either one was picked it would show the article (like, picking Reviews or Bioware would show a Bioware game review) and Exclusive would mean that you had to pick both for the page to show the article (like, you'd have to pick both Reviews and Bioware in order to see Reviews of Bioware games). Or something like that.

This actually benefits Destructoid, too, believe it or not. Bandwidth for a website like Destructoid has got to be relatively expensive compared to ad revenue, and anything that cuts it down is a good thing. It could either only load stuff you've chosen not to read if you click on it (like the downvoted comments thing I mentioned before), or it could completely not load it. Either way, the site isn't wasting bandwidth on pictures and text for an article I'm not going to read anyway.

And hey, it also has the benefit that it won't really effect ad revenue. Since the advertisements on the website are loaded everywhere, you're still seeing them every time you click on the stories you'd be normally reading anyway. A lot of websites count on saving things in the margins and pushing enough ads to meet bills while not pushing away too many readers/viewers to remain functional (see The Escapist and how they've done the exact opposite of both), so it might free up some dosh for other things. And there'd always be the option of seeing everything anyway, just in case you want to see if there's something you missed that you normally might not read.
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About meteorscrapone of us since 11:18 AM on 08.18.2010

My name is meteorscrap.

Occasionally I'll post random thoughts and musings here which are too long, too detailed, or otherwise don't fit in the comments section. Given the length of some of the stuff I've left as a comment, you can well imagine what I consider long.

Do you like words? 'cause I got a lot for you.

Promoted Articles
I've written a couple really good pieces which no longer show up on this blog. Check them out below.

02/11 MM Groundhog Day: Final Fantasy Tactics
04/11 MM AaMaazing: Final Fantasy II
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