Jay Moore
United States
Webster Groves
Missouri
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I've been spending a lot of time GeekModding data. It's really hard work! Unlike images, which are just an up or down vote based on the image only, moderating those publisher links requires you to figure out what games they publish, what the website really is, if it is pertinent to the particular game publisher, and so on. I've been having some trouble deciding on some of them as well, and I've asked for official guidance, but haven't gotten much in the way of feedback. I've got some suggestions.

First, on image moderation, I'd like to stress that those submitting images should provide a caption so that those of us not familiar with the game know what in the heck it's supposed to be. Sometimes an appropriate picture does not appear so just because I'm not as familiar with the game as I'd like to be. (Sure, a person could say that they should only moderate images for games they're very familiar with, but I'm "very familiar" with a very small fraction of the games in the database! And some of the obscure games might only have half a dozen people who've ever heard of it!)

Second, on image moderation, I'd like to stress that a picture's artistic quality shouldn't be the reason that a picture gets declined. I might have framed it differently, or used a different f-stop, or whatever (I'm not a photographer, can you tell?) but the point isn't to win a contest - it's to provide a picture that the rest of us can use to get an idea of what the game looks like. If a picture is so dark or so blurry you can't see it, or corrupted, or inappropriate, that's one thing - but if it's just ugly, well, it gets accepted as an ugly picture, in my book.

The rest of this is on data moderation:

A) The first and most important thing is that I really think that there should be a way to comment on the links, whether you approve or decline. Those modding should be able to see everyone else's comments so far. In addition, the person submitting the link should be able to comment and explain why they are submitting that link. Sometimes I feel like I'm declining something just because I don't understand why that link was chosen for the publisher.

B) I think the following should be the guidelines for modding links. These are my opinions only; certainly others could think differently and I'd likely change my mind:

1. For publishers that are in business and actively publishing games, the link should be the "official" link endorsed by the company itself. When that official link is not available because the company cannot be contacted, the community should choose collectively what they believe the company would choose as their most official link. This will usually be the top-level homepage in the company's domain, but for some companies might be a subpage within the domain that links to the games rather than other products the company might produce.

2. For publishers that are in business but no longer actively producing games, efforts should be made to obtain the "official" link to the games by the company. When an official page is not available, or the company in question no longer maintains a web page for their games, treat the company as if it is no longer in business (see #3).

3. For publishers that have produced games in the past but are no longer in business, the preferred link is the most active fan-maintained website with the greatest amount of information concerning the game publisher. This may include a Wiki article or a fan-based site. In the case of fan-based sites, the site should be accurate and actively maintained.

4. For publishers that have been acquired by a new company, the preferred link is to a site within the acquiring company that describes the old publisher's games. If such a page is not available, the preferred site is to a fan-based site as in #3 above.

5. Publishers which are subsidiaries of parent companies should have their own link when possible; links to the parent company are not preferred. An example is that in the case of Wizards of the Coast, the link should be the Wizards site and not the Hasbro site. A further example is that in the case of Avalon Hill, the appropriate page is http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=ah/welcome.

6. If a publisher's website is a language the moderator does not understand, the moderator should either make efforts to translate the web page using Babel Fish, or skip the web site, allowing those who speak the web page's language to moderate that link.

7. Web pages which are useful to understanding the publisher's game, or provide supplemental information for the game, should be submitted as links within the publisher's web page on BGG - NOT as a publisher's page. For example, a fan-based site summarizing all the old Avalon Hill games published in the past would be a link within the publisher's page, while the proper publisher's link would still be http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=ah/welcome.

8. Links to pages that merely sell the games in question are not appropriate to submit for publisher's webpages. Obviously some publisher's pages may have a "Marketplace" section, but a site that's primarily retail is not what we're looking for.

____

I've been enjoying moderating images and data, and hope others have, too. I like giving some time to help maintain the best site on the web. Please comment and let me know what you guys think, and let's try to come to some consensus on how to handle moderating images and data as a community.
 
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