The new version of the site staff structure will be based off of the concept of "teams." Teams are groups of appointed users who are in charge of certain aspects of the site, such as discipline, maintenance, or even greeting new users.
The capabilities and permission of a team are determined by administrators at the inception of that team. Capabilities and permissions will be added or removed if:
- An abuse of a permission is determined to have occurred.
- The team requests a new permission or ability.
- A new situation arises that requires attention, and administration determine that this team is the one best suited for dealing with the situation.
Each team is headed by a team leader. This team leader can be anyone from the site staff who has been determined to be the best leader for the team. Additionally, at least one moderator will be a member of each team—though not necessarily the leader—to allow for moderative privileges to be easier utilized in the team environment.
The team leader is responsible for making sure that the team itself is on task. Administrators can and will remove leaders of teams that are not performing their duties; however, it is perfectly understandable that someone would have real-life issues, be spread too thin, or simply not be a good fit for the position after the fact. Removal from a team leadership position does not imply a blacklisting from future positions or promotion.
As an aside: administrations can be the leaders of teams, but it will never be for the long term. In a perfect world, we would always have interested people wanting to step in and help, but we all know that isn't how things work. Most likely, if an administrator is the head of a team, it's for a targeted (temporary) team or in the absence of the regular leader.
What Happens to Current Moderators and Staff?
Current staff and moderative responsibilities will be relegated into different teams/groups, and moderators and staff will be organized into teams as deemed appropriate by administration. This means that not all Page/Forum Moderators will be conducting disciplinary actions and not all Operating Staff will be reviewing articles or welcoming new people.
This is an attempt to completely restructure how we do things, streamlining it into a solid, content/skill based system and moving away from the arbitrary levels of structure imposed by wikidot.
Two new staff levels are being introduced, and one is being clarified:
- Junior Staff – A Junior Staff member is someone who has been selected by a Team Captain to perform duties for a specific Staff Team. Junior Staffers are reviewed periodically. At this time they may be promoted to Operational Staff, they may be removed from Junior Staff, or they may remain Junior Staff. In the latter case, the review process will repeat itself until they are either removed or promoted. [Note: The review process is handled by the leader of the teams they were placed on and at least one administrator.]
- Operational Staff – An Operational Staff member (previously called Senior Staff) is someone found to have been a useful and positive worker during their Junior Staff trial. They are either team members or leaders, and they have special responsibilities and powers based off of these teams.
- Page Moderator – A Page Moderator is someone deemed trustworthy enough to have access to the “deletion” commands for site pages. Additionally, they are either team members or leaders, and they have special responsibilities and powers based off of these teams.
- Forum Moderator – A Forum Moderator is someone deemed trustworthy enough to have access to the “deletion” commands for site posts. Additionally, they are either team members or leaders, and they have special responsibilities and powers based off of these teams.
Note: Someone can be both a page moderator and a forum moderator. Being one does not exclude you from the other.
- Administrators – The Administrators are responsible for a number of tasks, including the banning of abusive members, accepting of new members to the site, and determining site policy. As far as the teams are concerned, they are the ones who determine the original proposal set forth and, periodically, check in to make sure teams are performing their tasks. A set of “go-to” administrators is appointed as a liaison for each team. Often, these "go-to" administrators will be on hand to help out, help motivate, or pick up the loose ends on certain tasks. This means that, yes, you can still get one of us to do something for you if you need it. Just ask. Occasionally, they will lead targeted teams to accomplish short-term goals.
Universal Staff Powers1:
There are certain powers which all staff above the level of Junior Staff have, as noted here:
- Making Staff Posts: They are allowed to make a post with the title of "Staff Post - ", followed by either "Open" (if discussion is allowed or useful) or "Closed" (when discussion is not relevant or useful.) It is a method of calling attention to themselves, making themselves heard, and ensuring that people realize they are staff.
- Calling Stops: A subset of the "Staff Posts" power is the ability to call stops to disruptive conversations. Note that such stops can be rolled back if Disciplinary Committee members or Administrators believe the called stop was inappropriate.
- Voting on Deletion Posts: They can vote for or against the deletion of a page.
Additional powers may be added as necessary or as develops.
- Site Ambassador: These users are members of other Foundation Sites, usually translation sites, with which we want to maintain a close working relationship. These users are not necessarily staff (though some may be, and any may become staff through the normal process), and their 'duties', as far as staff is concerned, are advisory and informational. Their input is always appreciated, but they shouldn't be bothered with the minutiae of the site unless they choose to involve themselves. Ambassadors are chosen by the administration of their own site, who directly inform our administrators of the choice, at which point, they're admitted to the site and added to the team automatically.
What is a team?
A team is a set of staff members who have been trusted to perform a specific task or set of tasks. A team is headed by a team leader and made up of any number of people, usually determined by the difficulty of the task.
What is a team leader?
A team leader can be any member or level of staff above Junior Staff. Usually, administrators have other responsibilities which preclude them from leading a team, but they are available to step in temporarily if the need should arise.
A team leader is responsible for making sure their team meets its goals, whatever those goals may be. They have a wide range of flexibility to make sure this happens. The team leader has the final determination of how their team will function, which members get which tasks, and if they feel that task has been done to satisfaction. Teams should be self governing, but if you feel something unfair is happening, please contact one of your "go-to" administrators.
Is the team leader the only person in charge of a team?
The team leader is the single point of responsibility for a team’s goals.
Team leaders are encouraged to appoint “seconds-in-command,” but they should be aware that they will answer for decisions made and problems caused by such appointments. Some leaders may even want to make a formal ranking structure within their team. This is permissible.
How do I join a team?
You ask. If the team leader and the administration see a need, you can be added to a team. Team leaders have the right to veto you, and administrators will almost always bow to these requests for the sake of team unity and cohesion.
Team leaders or administrators may request that specific people be added to a team, but there is no guarantee that the other will agree.
How do I leave a team?
Talk with your team leader. They’ll report that you have left your team. If this means that you’re a member of very few team, your staff status might be reviewed. In spite of this, special dispensation will be made for people with classes, jobs, or other “real life” responsibilities. This is, after all, something we do for fun. :)
How do I become a team leader?
Perform your job well. At some point, we may determine that you are the actual person doing all the work and move you into the leadership position.
Additionally, if you have an idea for a new team which would perform a good/useful/essential function, tell us. There’s a very good chance that you—as the conceiver of the idea—will wind up in charge of it.
How do I stop being a team leader?
Talk with your “go-to” admin. We understand. Stepping down from leadership doesn’t necessitate leaving the team, but if you want to, we understand that too. They very well may ask you why you are leaving. If you're not comfortable telling us, we understand that too.
What rights do team members have?
As a team member, you have all the powers (and responsibilities) of your team.
What if there's a problem with the team leader?
If a majority of team members determine that their leader has acted poorly in some regard, they are asked to bring this to the attention of the administrators. If you’re the only one that has a problem, you’re still encouraged to come and talk to the admins, but expect them to be a bit more critical of your claims. In either regard, an investigation will be made to determine if something has happened.
What if I really, really hate working with another member of my team?
If you have a problem working with another member of your team, then discuss it with your team leader and a "go-to" admin.
What if a team member is screwing up?
If a team leader determines that a member of their team is not performing their duties, they can ask for that member to be removed. A replacement—if necessary—will be found as soon as possible by administration, though requests and vetoes from the team leader are taken into consideration.
What if I really need help and not enough of my team members are around?
You're free to ask for help from other staffers not in your team, but they're not obligated to help you.
Additionally, non-staff members can be used on a very temporary basis. They haven't signed up for all this by becoming staff. As a side note: treating your friends as a forced labor squad is frowned upon. Heavily.
Who determines the projects?
The outline of the project is initially conceived by administrators, then hashed out with the team leaders to determine exactly what powers they need to get the job done. Anyone can recommend a project to the administration.
Additionally, if your team wants to expand the scope of their project in some way, please bring this to administration's attention. This is the kind of initiative needed to keep the site healthy and growing.
What is a “go-to” administrator?
Your “go-to” administrators are who you contact with issues, problems, changes, requests, or anything else you can think of. They have been appointed to that position to help your team function. They will also regularly check in with team leaders to see how things are going. They are listed in order of who to contact first, if available, but all of them have the ability to act in a given situation.
What if none of the “go-to” administrators are around?!
Is it an emergency? If yes, you can contact another one of the administrators. But you should expect to meet some resistance or trepidation. Administrators will not cross into others' realms of responsibility without dire cause, and asking them to get around something your “go-to” administrators have already decided on is both bad form and improper behavior.
If I'm not on a team, can I still do stuff that that team would normally do?
That kind of depends on the team. If it's stuff that literally any user could do, like writing up a critical review of an SCP or pointing out an image violation, then yes, absolutely. If, however, it's something that a site user couldn't do, like disciplinary matters or harassment, leave it to the team.
Why is the staff hierarchy being structured this way?
It's an attempt to move away from the restrictions imposed upon us by Wikidot. Currently for moderators, we're asking only for people who can: write well, criticize competently, handle disciplinary problems, understand all wikidot formatting, etc. Why force them to be able to do all of that when one or two would be more than sufficient otherwise?
It effectively means that we can give people only their strong points to deal with and not have anyone panicking or dodging duties because they feel they're incompetent. Additionally, it sets down some breadcrumbs of responsibility if a ball gets dropped rather than dealing with the "he said," "she said," "no one told me," etc. that we are currently dealing with. Furthermore, this allows us to overlook problems that a user might have had by simply not placing them on a group where it matters.
If we think someone would be a bad choice for disciplinary power, but they've otherwise been a competent and trustworthy person we'd like to see as a mod? That's completely possible now. We just don't put them on that team.
In short, this addresses a lot of the problems that we've had, including things like shortness of staff numbers (since we're opening up staff much more broadly and making it easier to get into the staff), lack of centralized responsibility, and the crushing weight we put on certain, capable users.
A team is always assigned a project. A project falls into one of two categories: ongoing and targeted.
An ongoing project is something like "site discipline" or "technical work." These projects, and their goals, are considered unending things. They will continue until the site vanishes one day.
A targeted project is something which, when finished, means the team is no longer necessary. A team devoted to rewriting the newbies guide, for example, would have a set of goals. When those goals are finished, the team is removed.
However, if when they've finished the newbies guide, they realize they want to continue working on guides, the team could be modified and asked to continue their work. Much of this is determined by the team leader and team members and their own initiative.
This is the list of Ongoing Staff Teams.
All teams are accepting qualified volunteers, including volunteers that are not staff. You may also request removal from a team at any time.
The first point of contact for any team is either the Primary Administrative Contact, the Team Captain, or both, unless otherwise stated.
Administrative Contacts on hub pages are listed in order of who should be contacted first.
A name in brackets, such as [Name], indicates that the user is inactive or otherwise cannot currently be contacted.
- Community Team
- Responsibilities: This team will handle general internal community and site issues, such as:
- Respond to newbie introduction threads.
- Be available to answer questions in #site17.
- Write news for the front page.
- Keep an active dossier of contest ideas.
- Maintain the FAQ and the Guide to Newbies.
- Investigate, suggest, and execute projects to improve the site's creative environment.
- This includes suggestions for raising the profile of underappreciated or rarely done content (stuff that people don't read, and stuff that people are afraid to write).
- Suggest articles to admins for featuring on the front page.
- Criticism Team: Forum
- Responsibilities: This team will be responsible for tasks related to criticism of drafts posted to the forums, such as:
- Respond to drafts on the forums; attempt to ensure no draft goes without critique.
- Moderate the drafts forum:
- Ensure draft forum rules are followed
- Gently correct subpar, disruptive, or useless feedback.
- Make sure that users are not treated poorly, regardless of the perceived "worth" or "value" of their ideas.
- Report offenses to the Disciplinary Team and site administration when appropriate.
- Maintain How To Write An SCP in conjunction with the other criticism team.
- Propose changes to other existing guides or documentation as necessary, particularly the Criticism Policy.
- Criticism Team: Site
- Responsibilities: This team will be responsible for tasks related to criticism of articles posted to the site as completed work, such as:
- Respond to posted articles; attempt to ensure no posted article (SCP/Tale) goes without critique from a staff member.
- Keep criticism at an acceptable level of quality by preventing dogpiling and countering bad advice with stronger ideas.
- Report continued criticism policy violations to the Disciplinary Team.
- Assist the Rewrite Team by giving suggestions for improvement on articles that could use it.
- Maintain How To Write An SCP in conjunction with the other criticism team.
- Disciplinary Team
- Responsibilities: This team, composed entirely of moderators, will handle all moderator-level disciplinary action, such as:
- Call stops to disruptive conversations.
- Edit offensive posts.
- Deliver warnings to members who break rules.
- Report bannable offenses to administration.
- Maintain Site Rules with assistance of administration.
- Harassment Team
- Responsibilities: This team will handle all harassment-related issues in the community, such as:
- Investigate and deal with harassment issues on the site or chat.
- Note: All members of the team must have some knowledge on how to deal with harassment issues.
- Note: Most members of the team are also chat operators, so that they can also deal with chat-based harassment. The team leader must also be a chat operator.
- Work with administrators, moderators, and chat operators to deal with issues, receive complaints, and recommend courses of action when necessary.
- Act as primary contacts for harassment complaints on both the site and chat.
- Maintain the Harassment Policy.
- Investigate and deal with harassment issues on the site or chat.
- Image Team
- Responsibilities: This team will handle all issues related to images on the site, such as:
- Creation and collection of CC-compatible images for wiki use.
- Investigation of current images attached to SCPs, with the goal of full or near-full CC-compatibility.
- Answer questions about Image Policy.
- Maintain the Image Use Policy guide.
- Maintain, update, and promote the Visual Records wiki.
- Handle image takedown requests in conjunction with the License Team.
- Internet Outreach Team
- Responsibilities: This team will handle reaching out to off-site fanbases and spinoff communities, such as:
- Establish and cultivate links with outside SCP Foundation spinoff communities and fanbases
- Invite members of spinoff communities and fanbases to join the site, and help them acclimate.
- In other words, encourage people to not only write about the site, but also join. This means regularly trolling places like Reddit, Imgur, DeviantArt, Tumblr, and the like for fans, authors, writers, and artists, then encouraging them to seek active membership in the site.
- Help the present (somewhat xenophobic) community acclimate to these new members and the material they might bring that we traditionally haven't accepted (such as fanart, over-the-top Clef/Kondraki/Able/Cain fiction, fangirl stuff, artwork, etc).
- Maintain communication with international sites.
- Run SCP International.
- Propose and execute other methods of raising the profile of the SCP Foundation elsewhere on the Net.
- This may include material on the site that is typically ignored by off-site fanbases, in conjunction with other teams like Community Outreach.
- License Experts Team
- Responsibilities: This team will handle issues related to the Creative Commons license, such as:
- Be available & knowledgeable enough to answer questions on Creative Commons licensing, both to other staff and ordinary users.
- Hunt for license violations elsewhere on the Net.
- Send messages requesting license fixes or takedowns as appropriate.
- Advise the Image Team on image takedown requests and issues of CC compatibility.
- Rewrite Team
- Responsibilities: This team will handle issues regarding rewrites and updates of existing articles on the wiki, such as:
- Call for critical attention to an article with the intent toward spurring rewrites.
- Handle, or appoint volunteers to handle, rewrites of articles in danger of deletion. Approve or supervise rewrite drafts made by volunteers, if necessary.
- Handle, or appoint volunteers to handle, approved cleanup and updates of old articles, under administrative guidelines or supervision.
- Suggest articles to admins for featuring on the front page.
- Function as admin liaison when dealing with rewrites of 'classic' articles, or articles on the heritage list.
- Technical Team
- Responsibilities: This team will handle the technical issues of the site, such as:
- Do the grunt work associated with maintaining tags, such as tagging new articles and making sure older articles are tagged properly.
- Maintain the Tag Guide, and update/add tags when necessary.
- Maintain chatbots (currently Alexandra Jarvis).
- Investigate and suggest site improvements to administrators, and implement approved projects.
- This includes projects aimed at maintaining the appearance, functionality, and user-friendliness of the site.
- Provide assistance (such as advice or work) to other Teams where it might help.
- Deal with other technical issues as they arise, such as [in the future] Project Foundation.
- Responsibilities: This team has no specific jobs or responsibilities, as it is made up primarily of members of SCP Foundation sister sites. Members of this team serve as an advisory board and are given the ability to:
- Voice concerns on site policy and discussions.
- Make suggestions for improvements/policy changes based on their individual and collective experiences on their own sites.
- Advise staff members on actions taken which could potentially affect other sites.
- Note: Members of this team do not, by default, have any universal staff powers unless they are also members of at least one additional team.
- Reserve Staff Team
- Responsibilities: This team will handle other miscellaneous issues, and maintain an online presence for backup when small things need doing, such as:
- Fill a hole in a project on short notice.
- Offer an additional opinion to an ongoing debate.
- Offer other kinds of help to teams when available.
- Other, useful things that you've got time for.
- Note: This is an exclusive team; members of this team are never also members of other teams, except for the Team Captain.
When this project begins, there will be no targeted teams operational. Over the first few weeks and months that the restructure is in place, we will primarily be working with our Ongoing Teams to work out any kinks in the system. However, targeted teams will start to be used shortly afterwards.
Guide Maintainers: Deal with guide cleanup. Works in phases according to current administrative goals.
ARC Recovery: Handle rewriting of ARC'd SCPs with the intent to recover them to the site.
Tales Team: Investigate ways to raise the profile of Tales, Tale-reading, and Tale-writing, on the site. Come up with projects to support this. Recommend courses of action to administration.
Contests Committee: Assist administrators with running contests. Gather feedback from users. Suggest improvements to contest structures. Assist in the actual running of individual contests.
Staff Expansion Hunters: Compile a list of potentially qualified users to consider and 'vet' for senior staff, using specific guidelines & criteria given by administration. Special - Secret Membership. Even though this would come up multiple times, different members would be chosen each time.
Policy Advisors: Investigate the effects of current site policy on users of the wiki and wiki functionality and report to administrators. Suggest potential improvements, and alert administrators if change is necessary due to site cultural shifts. [May not be necessary; team leads may do this organically. But it could be good to have a separate team with specific goals.]
Creative Environment Task Forces: Tackle specific staff- and/or user-perceived problems with the site's creative environment, such as unnecessary policy limitations or guidelines, potential expansions, structural issues that get in the way, etc.