The Big Background Contest of 2017

It has been a while since Help had a background contest that was worth participating in. In the coming days I will be collecting donations and preparing for a background contest which will be hosted on the xat forum.

Click here to go to the contest page.

There is no upper limit on the prize amount, and I will continue to collect donations until the prize is ready to be given to the winner(s). If you are interested in donating, please contact me. I will accept xats, days, and powers worth at least 100 xats (trade value).

This post will be edited when updates are available.


Ticket System Problems

A few issues have been identified with the ticket system.

  • The ability to view your tickets by logging in seems to be entirely broken.
    • Solution: The link to the ticket will be posted in the email that is sent when a reply is sent.
  • After clearing cookies/cache or while using incognito, ticket creation seems to be broken. This has not been fully tested.
    • Solution: Request help from a volunteer on the forum or contact a volunteer at Help.
  • Users who are logged in and paid will get an infinite security check error in certain identified circumstances under these help topics: Account block, account hold, location update, domain unblock, shortnames & groups.
    • Solution: Request help from a volunteer on the forum or contact a volunteer at Help.

Minor Bot Changes

Some minor changes have been made to the bot.

  1. You can now say the literal text “rule x” where x is a valid rule number to get the bot to say the rule that corresponds with the number you entered. The bot doesn’t explain the rule, but it can be helpful when you want to quickly show a rule to a user. You’ll have to tell the user to view the rules below the chat for more details.
  2. The minimum rank for the !shortname command has been set to guest.

A Note on Temporary Moderators

When I was made the main owner of Help, I decided to change how we handle temporary moderators and members. I’ve noticed we have strayed from that original idea or path, so I’d like to correct it and offer some information about this.

I generally do not like the idea of making a guest a temporary moderator, only for them to return to being a guest. If we trust them to have the power to temporarily moderate the chat in the absence of other staff, then we should trust them to be a member. For this reason, I always envisioned that it would be much easier to become a member.

However, I recognize that there is a need to allow guests to become temporary moderators once in a while. From now on, it’s acceptable to make a guest a temporary moderator, but only for one hour at a time.

I also encourage any current member or above to suggest new members. The person doesn’t have to be extremely active. They just need to: a) come on a few times a week at least, b) show that they are a good helper, and c) demonstrate a level of maturity required of moderators.

October 2016 Update

Since we have not had a formal meeting in quite a while (six months), I decided to plan one. Most staff were there, but if you weren’t, this is for you!

  • Only volunteers active at the Help chat will be able to retain their rank. In order for a volunteer to become an owner, they have to show interest and be there regularly, but they are excluded from the process of going from member, to moderator, to owner. As long as I deem them active, they can become an owner.
  • Focus less on kicking users for minor infractions. It seems confrontational. Instead, you can give a “verbal” warning if it’s a minor incident.
  • The bot no longer detects inappropriate nicknames or statuses. This avoids clogging up the chat with banning users who keep unbanning themselves and setting an inappropriate name. This means moderators should largely let unregistered users with inappropriate nicknames stay, or an owner should mute them. If an owner isn’t available and the problem is bad, you can turn on protect mode.
  • I’d like to reinforce the idea that I care very little about how many events you have when it comes to determining your activity.

Meeting Announcement and Small Change

Hello! We will be having a staff meeting on Saturday, October 1. Find the time that it starts by clicking here. It should be converted to your timezone automatically.

I have also made a change to a policy:

  • If you are an owner and would like for someone to be a member, suggest that person to the main owner and make a case for why that person should become a member.