Promotions have gone through a roller coaster since I've been doing them. I've delayed them because it didn't look like we have many people working on them, made others wait so newer potential staff could have a slightly longer period, and tried to make a single system which is used to easily and quickly promote people over the course of a week or so. However, this has not always been successful, and since I'm not going to be here forever, I want to set out a simple policy to handle promotions into the future, regardless of which admin is taking care of things.
Promotion Cycles happen three times a year, whenever the administrators running promotions feel it is most appropriate. This timing is flexible, as Junior Staff are not eligible to become staff until they've been vetted. Waiting an extra week or two harms no one, and it can push people forward who are ready to become staff that would otherwise have to wait four to five additional months.
Generally, if there are very few (or no) people eligible, the promotion cycle can be delayed.
The promotion cycles happen on the following schedule:
- Winter - December, January, February, March.
- Spring/Summer - April, May, June, July.
- Fall - August, September, October, November.
This is a loose schedule that should be adhered to as best as possible, but due to the nature of users "being ready" for promotion, the cycle is free to be nudged or altered as needed. Generally, there should be three to five months between a promotion drive.
Periodically, Team Captains should assess their team and inform the admin in charge of promotions about which Junior Staff are ready for promotion. At the same time, the the admin in charge of the promotion cycle should feel free to informally interview captains about potential moderator promotions.
To make things easier, I've been using the following form letter for the past year in one form or another, and I suggest that it continue to be used. The admin in charge of promotions for a cycle is free to alter it to suit their individual needs:
Making the Post:
After getting this information back from all Team Captains (Disciplinary and Harassment can be skipped, as they only add members from staff internally, and the Ambassadors can be skipped, as they are a special case), a post should be constructed which lists all the following information:
- Staff Members who have been dropped to Inactive Status due to inactivity, as observed by the administration. (Optional)1
- Staff Members who have been removed from staff due to extended Inactive Status. (Mandatory, even if the answer is none).2
- Operational Staff Voting. (Mandatory)
- Moderator Staff Voting. (As Necessary)
- Administrator Staff Voting. (As Necessary)
Keep in mind that staff can only vote for members of the same tier or lower. Everyone votes on Operational Staff, Moderators and Admin vote on Moderators, and Admin alone can vote on Admin votes.
It's generally considered polite to include raw code voting blocks at the bottom of the post for the convenience of voting staff members (and your own ease in tallying votes at the end).
As a note: it is usually customary for the admin or admins in charge of the promotion cycle to vote last, to avoid swaying the vote in one way or the other.
Ending the Vote:
After a majority of staff have weighed in (or approximately one week has passed), a promotion vote can be resolved. All "Yes" votes are counted in favor, and all "No" votes are counted as opposed. Abstentions are considered a "No" vote unless the user in question abstains from all voting, in which case their post is ignored. This is usually fairly simple, but the 'after work' can be significant. Make sure you update the following pages:
Team Captains are responsible for the updating of their individual team hubs.
Please Note: This is not an absolute system. While anyone receiving a significant majority of votes should be promoted without issues, close votes (usually defined as votes which passed by only two or three) should be carefully considered. Normally, the admin in charge of promotions should meet with the Team Captain (or captains) who suggested the Junior Staff member privately to discuss the issues brought up by staff, then meet as a group to discuss these issues with the Junior Staff Member in question. If after this meeting, the admin in charge of promotions is confident in the Junior Staff Member, they should be promoted. If the problems are not resolved, they should not be promoted.
Choosing Who Will Be In Charge Of The Cycle:
Touch your nose and say "Not it." Last one to say "Not it" has to do the promotions.
In all seriousness, this is usually a volunteer basis, based off of who has the time and inclination to do the work involved in making sure promotions get done. In the future, it would generally be considered proactive to have at least two administrators working on promotions at a given time to ensure things go smoothly.
It's suggested that the admins who ran last cycle should make sure that the next cycle is covered, just as soon as the current cycle ends. Deciding who is in charge of the next batch (and a rough "future date" for it) is the last step in the Promotion Cycle.
If a member of Operational Staff requests to become a moderator, ask them to write a short wikidot PM to the administrator or administrators who are covering promotions with the following information:
- Their greatest strengths and accomplishments on the site.
- Their most obvious flaws and weaknesses.
- What they need this power for and what they're going to do with it.
After or before receiving this PM, discuss the user with other members of the site. Get information on them and how they act, including the opinions of a great many members of staff and site users, especially Team Captains they serve under. Check their site activity. Once their wikidot PM has been received, distribute it to administration and their Team Captains to see if it passes muster, and they're the kind of person we want with deleting capabilities on the site.
If the answer is yes, put them up for promotion.