Right now there are two options a moderator can contact the team:
- Pinging a team member in TL, or
Both options are a bit crude, there's no easy way of knowing that a fellow mod has already contacted the team or an easy way to backtrack an issue. Certainly we do get things done, however our current tools and processes get in the way more often than not. What I would like would be a feature that:
- Would allow me to send a message to the team,
- Instantly notify my fellow moderators about my message,
- Give us a rough idea of any progress (unread, pending, declined / completed / wtf?),
- All complete with a list of past messages.
I think the current feature that mostly resemble what I have in mind is mod messages, every time a moderator sends a mod message to a user, all moderators and the team are notified, and of course there's a handy list of past messages. The mod team bat signal would be more of an issue tracker than a private communication mechanism though, I don't expect the team to respond in any other way than a status. If there's need for discussion on an issue, well, we always have TL (sigh).
I want an easy way of knowing that one of my fellow mods have communicated an issue to the SE team, and an equally easy way of knowing when and how the issue has been handled.
To address some of phwd concerns: This isn't a replacement for TL, or even worse a replacement for MSO/E or searching around before you ask. Some of the issues that the tool could be used for are:
- So long, and thanks for all the fish1,
- I'll be taking a couple of weeks off,
- Could you please invalidate votes between these users,
- Could you please blacklist this IP,
- Eeek, that user posted their credit card number in their question, please purge2.
And should not be used for:
- Anything that should be discussed in public,
- Anything that's a search away,
- Anything that would require a discussion.
One way we could limit the use of the tool would be to only allow specific categories of messages, and nothing else. You know, like a real issue tracker.
1 My ragequit message, don't anyone dare steal that ;)
2 True story. Sort of.
I must admit I like Jeff's proposal, it's unrealistic to expect SE to scale as well as the community does, and I'm all for shiny new toys. However:
- Give moderators the ability to manage blacklisted tags - March 15, declined,
- We need better spam detection and blocking tools - March 17, Marc's answer says: dev only
- Add a moderator status field - Oct 30 '11, declined,
- Countless discussions for similar mod tools in TL, summarily dismissed.
So, at least three of my examples (more or less) have already been proposed as separate features, and declined (and I've only searched for 30 seconds). It appears that lobbying for those abilities to be made available to moderators doesn't seem to be an option, after all. Don't get me wrong, we get cool toys all the time, however there are always going to be actions that require SE's intervention.
My examples might not be the best examples, but that's irrelevant, the whole point of this feature request is that since we'll always need to communicate certain issues to the team, can we please do it in a way that's not absolutely braindead?