The moderator staff is currently in the process of implementing a special community guide program for users who consistently are helpful and contribute to forum discussions in a positive way.
To put it simply: It is meant to be a system of positive reinforcement that functions opposite of banning. Where you might get banned for bad behavior, the community guide program is meant to reward those who positively contribute to the community to the opposite extreme - that warrants recognition.
This is not a voting program. The administrators have final discretion over who will and will not become a community guide. You can't just "report" your friend repeatedly in the hopes that we will promote them - the final call ultimately goes to the administrators, and our goal is to mostly highlight users who are good but have not achieved that high "popularity." Abuse of the report feature can result in disciplinary action being taken.
As stated - it's meant to be a system of positive reinforcement. We're trying to recognize and highlight good deeds - and the people who do them. It's also a way for the community team to show appreciation for those who exemplify the highest values we strive for - for calming people in heated discussions, for helping new users out in feeling welcome, for assisting aspiring modders with aspects of their projects they are stuck with.
Ideally the best of us would not do these things purely for recognition - but it does help people who do good things to know they are appreciated.
- How do I nominate someone?
To nominate a person for the community guide program, we will be rolling out a feature in the report system to do so. Simply report a post where someone has helped you - let the moderators know about it. We will take notice. Please don't just report every "good" post you see - it's not a thumbs-up feature and it's not meant to signify you agree with someone's statement. We want posts that actually stand out in some way.
You may report a private message in a similar way. (Please be aware that reporting private messages this way gives the entire moderator team permanent access to the said message - do not report any messages that contain confidential information!)
If you feel that you are very helpful to the community, yet no one is recognizing your efforts, yes you may report your own posts. Be specific about why you think you qualify to be a community guide, and what sets you apart from other users. Please note that the moderator team has full discretion over who may become a community guide, so this act itself is no guarantee that you will be accepted into the program.
If you do nominate yourself - please put a lot of thought into it. It's definitely going to take more than one post to get you recognized, and self-nomination should really only be a last resort if you really feel like the moderators aren't noticing your posts at all. Please explain to us in detail why you think you qualify. If we agree, you'll likely be in our next round.
Please keep in mind that nominations from other users still carry a lot more weight than your own nomination.
- How long can someone stay a community guide?
Please note that community guide status is not permanent, and any post that would otherwise net you a warning will probably lose you such a status pretty quickly. Also, we will not be promoting community guides based on the popularity of a person - in fact, we really want to encourage underdogs as well as veterans with this. If a community guide continues being active and helpful after their induction into the program, they will probably keep their status for a very long time.
- So who can become community guides?
Any regular user up to and including all lower ranks of staff is eligible, so long as they do not have active warnings on their account, nor are they administrator. That means myself, Randi, and Wildweasel are automatically not eligible. Any user who is not an admin, and not with an active warning, as well as all moderators and developers who also do not have warnings are, however, and will have a special rank made for them to indicate their community guide status as well as their staff status. It will also take a decent number of posts - and some form of consistency - to get recognized. Our goal is to have around ~10 guides at any one time - however this target number is not a quota and will not be a deciding factor on whether someone will qualify.
- What perks will come for community guides?
We haven't fully decided yet. For sure, your name will be highlighted in a special way that sets you apart from other users. We want the experience to be rewarding, but not so much so that it would make everyone else extremely jealous. If making others jealous, or being "better" than someone else, is your motivation for becoming an community guide, we don't think that quite suits the kind of personality we're looking for, sorry.