Flexible on-going communication with the members of rejected submissions.
Short, concise description of the idea
When a moderator rejects a queued submission they can choose one of two response options: closed (no further discussion required), open (the member can reply to the reason for rejection so that they both may continue discussing the submission and thus explore options for an alternative, improved, submission).
Full description of the idea
I took the reigns of a rather large community, abstractthought, around 6 months ago. It is an open yet moderated submission community focused around, as it's name would suggest, discussion of ideas that are not common place. Or at least this is our broad objective. I have however noticed, among other occurrences that could benefit, a frequent number of submissions that consist of nothing more than one question with no further input. It is encouraged in our community to give your own two-cents worth for fairness, expedience and aesthetic reasons.
Right now my only choice is to reject the submission and write a polite little note suggesting improvements and urging them to please submit a revised draft again. Because of the limited nature of this one-way 'reject - reason for rejection - end' line of communication i have no confidence in knowing whether my suggestions have been heard. As moderator i feel i am missing a vital connection with my community members. As a member of other communities, with what i'm sure will be similar problems, i feel i am unable to fairly engage with my rejector.
On the rare occasion - members do re-submit. (Sometimes the exact same offending post.) But by and large, however, they do not. I believe there could be many causes to the low rate of response and i believe implementing this idea will largely address these issues: shame from the out-right rejection; fear to try again; no course for redress; inability to converse, engage and ultimately learn from our mistakes.
It is this process of learning that could be greatly beneficial to many communities who hold such virtues highly. The ability for moderators/maintainers to voluntarily help their members learn and improve should not be underestimated in both it's need and it's value.
The idea is to allow moderators and maintainers the option to allow further communication with the member whose submission they have rejected. This of course entails a voluntary responsibility to converse with that member. Perhaps the conversation can be open for all moderators/maintainers to see and only the one original member?*
At any time, especially in cases of abuse, the conversation can be stopped or 'closed'. The conversation is 'closed' by default, much like the situation we have now.
The real addition here is the option to 'open' the conversation when rejecting a submission with reasons. The format this takes could take two forms.
1) A one-response only format where the member may only respond one time and one time only until they are in turn replied to again. They can have editing access for this one response until such a time that it is replied to.
2) A fully open response system where-by the member and any and all moderators/maintainers may discuss the submission in question. A bit like a 'dead' meta-thread of some kind.
I'm aware of the suggestion which title contains "Internal Comments" and believe that idea is the first logical avenue for a moderators appraisal should a submission be in question.
The ideas contained here-in, however, are the next logical step in improving a moderators/maintainers ability to manage their community and interact with their members in mutually beneficial ways.
I also believe the third and future available options for moderators/maintainers can be found in the ironically ham-fisted suggestion entitled "Better Community Moderation Options".
*This has grown a side-issue: What to do with these discussion once they are over? Could the moderators/maintainers decide to completely delete both the discussion and the rejected submission it was in reference to OR, with the members approval, archive the rejected submission and its discussion for future reference, training purposes and even as a page of examples for other members so that they know what not to do?
- Improved member/moderator/maintainer relations.
- Increases moderators/maintainers ability to micro-manage their communities.
- Provides the opportunity for communities to improve individually and collectively.
- Allows reasonable members to potentially respond to their rejections with an inquiry or an endeavor to learn.
- What will such a rejection process now look like?
- Where will these short, but potentially long and rewarding, conversations go?
- Where will good examples of what not to do... go?
- In essence, if such an idea were implemented, a reasoned rejection can no longer simply 'disappear' as it now in most cases seems to do.