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You've stumbled on the little blog for Good-Tutorials.

Becoming a Good-Tutorials Moderator

Posted over 13 years ago — 88 comments

Want to make the world a better place? Becoming a Good-Tutorials moderator is the very foundation for building a better Earth.

Slight exaggeration aside, we could really use your help with moderating. As Good-Tutorials expands, we get more and more tutorials submitted every day. The more people we can get to help moderate these new tutorials, the better everyone's experience will be. We can get the better tutorials listed on the front page so that every Good-Tutorials visitor can benefit.

What's the difference between a normal user and a moderator? This recent blog post helps cover that. In a nutshell, since a moderator tends to see more tutorials and have more experience, how they rate a tutorial matters more. You'll also get the coveted "moderator" title next to your name on your comments. There's also a number of other things in mind for moderators in the near future, too.

If you're interested in donating a few minutes a day or a few times a week to helping sift through tutorials, shoot me an email at zach I at I good-tutorials.com. Include with it: 1. Your Good-Tutorials username, and 2. A short paragraph or two of why you think you're qualified to moderate tutorials (and which topics you're interested in).

If you're interested in helping out but are unsure about the commitments necessary, always feel free to head to the upcoming listings and rate a few tutorials... the more the merrier!

Please let me know if you have any questions. Thanks!

Tutorials need love, too

Posted over 13 years ago — 105 comments

The new version has brought a slew of changes with it, and the tutorial moderation process is no different. Hopefully this blog post helps give a good recap of how tutorials get rated and moved to the front page for everyone to see.

Everything in moderation

So the problem we face is that we get a lot of tutorials submitted each day. That’s a great problem to have, of course. It means we can be selective and take only the best tutorials for everyone to see. But we still have the problem of figuring out which tutorials are the best. That’s where you come in.

It ends up using a model similar to other sites that face the same challenge, like a digg or a facebook. Basically, you take everyone’s opinion, gather them together, and hopefully at the end of that process you have a pretty good judgement of whether that particular tutorial is good or not.

On Good-Tutorials, everything is done in the upcoming queue. It lets you take a peek at the newest tutorials submitted before they actually make it to the front page. Those of you who like to be “in the know” before everyone else, well, here’s your time to shine. But more importantly, it lets anyone who’s interested help shape which tutorials make it to the front page. The better the rating a tutorial gets, the better chance it has of getting moved to the front page after 24 hours.

Meet the moderators

On the last version of the site, we had a concept of moderators. They did a great job helping approve tutorials and weed out bad links. With everyone helping out with tutorial moderation, moderators take on a slightly changed role. Their primary focus is the same: help figure out which tutorials are good. They tend to do this more frequently than your normal, casual user, and as such the rating they give to a tutorial is weighted higher than a normal user’s rating. Along similar lines, my own rating is weighted a bit higher than a moderator’s rating, too; after seeing somewhere upwards of 60,000-70,000 tutorials, I feel like I have a pretty good grasp on things. Everyone’s rating then comes together and helps determine whether a tutorial gets rotated to the front page or not.

Improving the process

I hope this helps clarify some of the process for you. I want to be as open as I can be with these matters, and part of that means I look forward to hearing from you if you have any suggestions to improve tutorial moderation. Post a ticket on the Good-Tutorials Lighthouse if you have any specific suggestions, or just post a comment here for more generalized feedback.

In the coming days and weeks, I’ll be posting some updates to this blog as we continue to improve and scale the tutorial moderation process by adding more dedicated moderators to the site.

We're still standing

Posted over 13 years ago — 103 comments

A few days later and things are starting to — dare I say — run smoothly.

I just wanted to recap some of the fun new things that have been pushed live since the new version itself has been pushed live:

  • I just moved Good-Tutorials onto a larger slice at Slicehost. I know things have been rough as of late; there have been times where things have been really quick, and there have been times were things have slowed to an abslute crawl. I spent some time yesterday concentrating solely on performance improvements, which went well, and with tonight's capacity increase it should be pretty quick from this point on. We'll know more as the week progresses.
  • A few notable bugs have been fixed, including Firefox and IE woes with tutorial submission, RSS errors on the main feed, and the new automated billing system. There's plenty of smaller bugs to tackle, of course, but luckily they're decreasing in severity.
  • RSS feeds are up and running, and I just added the RSS feed for these blog posts. Another interesting page you might want to check out from time to time is the comments page (RSS link).

As a reminder, you can report bugs and request new features at the new Good-Tutorials Lighthouse:

http://good-tutorials.lighthouseapp.com/projects/17210-bugs (bugs)

http://good-tutorials.lighthouseapp.com/projects/17883-features (feature)

Welcome to Good-Tutorials, version 6

Posted over 13 years ago — 95 comments

Happened to notice anything different upon your latest visit to this site? Good. We've finally released the long-anticipated sixth version.

This has been in the works for quite some time. I know I started sketching new looks and thinking about what should be changed starting somewhere around early 2008. It had to take a backseat to a few more pressing cornerstones in my life (graduating from college, moving across the country, and starting my "real" career), but I'm pleased to say that I'm extremely happy that this is finally out and public.

There's plenty in store for Good-Tutorials yet. Now that v6 is out the door, I'm going to be fixing the inevitable bugs that spring up after this release, and then I'm going to dive right into v6.1, which I'm planning to add some really cool functionality that I've been wanting to add for quite some time. So, even though this is the culmination of months of work, trust me, there's plenty more on the way.

So, what's really in the new version? Yippee, a new layout, right? Naturally, there's way more to it than meets the eye. Here's a quick summary of some of the main additions in gtv6.

New in Version 6

  • A hot, new layout.
  • Big changes to advertising: fully automated (no more waiting for approval for your ads), better overview of the scheduling of your ads, history support, and more.
  • Open moderation. Everyone can participate in choosing which tutorials are good enough to make Good-Tutorials. Moderators still play a very important part, but getting more people involved will be better for everybody.
  • Search functionality has been improved, allowing for searches within a specific topic. Also has a cleaner URL structure to allow for easy bookmarking of searches.
  • You can now use a gravatar with your account, which shows up on your tutorials and comments.
  • Comments now use Markdown, so you can add links, code, formatting, and so on in your messages.
  • Refined tutorial submission page. No more scrolling through all of the topics and categories to submit your tutorial.
  • Updated tutorial listings — rate, save, and report tutorials with just one click now.
  • User pages are much more refined and useful. You can see an activity stream of what you've done recently.
  • Tutorial links now retain a :visited pseudo class so it's easier to see which tutorials you've seen already.
  • Expanded sorting — you can now sort all tutorials by saves, rating, and so on rather than just seeing the top 25 of those areas.
  • Additional anti-spam measures to make sure the site isn't flooded with crap.
  • Added account activation, so you can (finally!) have a way to reset your password if you've forgotten it.
  • Implements OpenSearch, which lets you search Good-Tutorials from the comfort of your (IE7 or Firefox 2+) browser.

I hope you're as excited about the new Good-Tutorials as I am. I would absolutely love to hear your questions and feedback in the comments section below; I know there's a lot of new-ness here, a lot of change, and there's inevitably going to be something that doesn't work out and will have to be updated, so the more friendly feedback I can get, the faster that can get done. And if you do find any bugs or have any specific feedback on a specific area or problem you're facing, please feel free to take a quick trip to the new Good-Tutorials Lighthouse, where I'll be tracking bugs and feature requests as they come in.

Thanks, and I greatly look forward to chatting with each and every one of you in the comments.

Slow requests

Posted over 13 years ago — 75 comments

We're hitting some heavy load right now, unfortunately, so if Good-Tutorials seems really slow lately, that's the reason why. We're looking into it.