Since the moderators all have lives, we've been thinking about getting some additional eyes on chat in the form of room owners for The h Bar.
In most chat rooms, ownership is meant to indicate who is "in charge" of a room and should be the point of contact for outsiders with questions about its culture. But since The h Bar is a primary site chat room, it's "owned" by the community, not by specific people. What we have in mind is probably more like a room maintainer than an owner. We think it'd be better if the chat community didn't always have to rely on the mods to keep the star wall clean, or to add feeds, or bring in new users who don't meet the rep requirement, schedule additional events, or kick-mute people if the conversation starts to get out of hand. (Kick-mute keeps a user from participating in that chat room for a short period of a few minutes.)
Owners get a few privileges, beyond those available based on reputation, that would allow them to take care of these matters:
- room owner:
- edit the room name and description
- pin a message (a pin is a super-star)
- remove stars from messages
- grant explicit read or write access
- grant room ownership
- create and remove feeds
- move messages to a different room
- schedule events
- kick-mute users
Of course, ideally using these powers would be rare, and most of the time room owners would just hang around chatting as usual. And if there are serious problems, they'd just ping a moderator anyway.
Owners would be appointed by the moderators from trustworthy candidates who are willing to take on the role. It's not really worth going through a whole election process for what is ultimately a very small change in the status quo.
Anyway, I'm making this post to focus on the general idea of having room owners, not as a forum to debate who it's going to be. Thoughts? Any objections we haven't thought of? In the spirit of "better safe than sorry", I figured I should probably put something on meta before we just go and make it happen - even though it's very possible there is not really anything to say about this.