Lightning Bug is a thoughtful, secure system that allows anyone to submit an item to a bulletin board, but ensures that it will be reviewed before it is posted publicly. We built it because we weren't comfortable with the available tools to manage posts to www.CounterConvention.org, a website that we developed to coordinate and facilitate broad participation in protests of the Republican National Convention. We needed a moderation tool that was efficient and would allow us to share the load of reviewing posts, and we needed to be confident that it was going to be secure from vandals.
In its initial incarnation, Lightning Bug included a ride share board, a calendar, a housing board and a listing of organizations. At the request of the noRNC Clearinghouse, we added a board where note takers could post minutes.Why is Lightning Bug so great?
- Posts don't languish in the queue because round robin moderation assignments mean that every post will be assigned immediately to one moderator (or vetter, which we thought was a word until we looked it up)
- Lightningbug's escalation system allows administrators to set a time limit on posts. If you want moderators to have a week to review their assingments, they'll have a week, but if you want to make sure that posts are reviewed and posted or rejected the day they go up, you can do that, too. When the time limit is up, a notice is sent to the whole pool of moderators warning that the post has been lingering in limbo a little too long.
- Users can edit their own posts. Users don't have to remember anything to edit their posts, they just need access to the email address they used when they created the post.
- Users can't sneak content on to the boards. Whenever a user edits a post it is automatically assigned to a moderator, who has the option of removing the post from the site if it contains objectionable content.
- Moderators can leave a trail of private comments on each post for reference. If a post is flagged, the moderator assigned to review it can see what previous moderators said about the listing
- Moderators can ask for help with a difficult post. The rest of the pool will be invited to review the content and can weigh in without being deluged with emails.
- Board administrators can manage moderators easily. Adding and removing moderators is a snap. If you suspect a volunteer moderator is being over zealously rejecting posts, board admins and site admins can look over that moderator's history of assignments.