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So, anyone who's been around M.SE very long, and has access to some of the review queues, knows that the review queues are by no means of equal activity (or busy-ness).

Close Votes is always the most active. It's not too much to say that "it's a bear". I can easily do 20 reviews a day, every day, on this queue. I've noticed that of late it's been quite a bit shorter than it was, say, a few months ago, so good work, reviewers!

Late Answers is easily the least active - I might get one review per month on that queue.

In the middle are Suggested Edits, First Posts, and Low Quality Posts.

Reopen Votes is somewhat inactive, but not nearly as inactive as Late Answers.

I've noticed that in some of the less-active queues like Reopen Votes, a number of users are getting nearly 20 reviews a day; but some of those reviewers already have well over 1k reviews in that queue. The effect is to make it far more difficult for a wider variety of people to get experience reviewing those queues. A site as large as M.SE naturally requires an enormous amount of moderation, and it's best to be continually allowing "new blood" into the system.

So my request is this: if you already have a lot of experience in a review queue, please think twice about reviewing in that queue. For example, I have a good bit of experience in Suggested Edits, First Posts, and Low Quality Posts. I've done almost no reviewing in those queues lately, because I've noticed that those queues simply don't build up. In Close Votes, despite having plenty of experience, I try to do 20 reviews a day when I can, because I've seen that queue build up to 400 - making it less useful than it might be.

[EDIT] I have removed badge language from this post, making most of the comments below less relevant.

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    $\begingroup$ Please don'r recommend game-motivated actions that are detrimental to the health of the site. The main goal of reviewing is not to win badges but instead to improve the quality of the site, Please don't lose sight of that. $\endgroup$ – Bill Dubuque Jul 12 at 19:10
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    $\begingroup$ @Bill Dubuque: Excuse me, but I made it clear that it's far more important to have new reviewers able to review in the queues than to worry about the badges; clearly that is good for M.SE. The badge is just a mile-marker: you've probably learned how to do good reviews in a queue if you have the gold badge in that queue. $\endgroup$ – Adrian Keister Jul 12 at 19:12
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    $\begingroup$ Then what is the point of remarks like "The effect is to make it far more difficult for others to get the badge"? $\endgroup$ – Bill Dubuque Jul 12 at 19:14
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    $\begingroup$ @BillDubuque: Like it or not, people are sometimes motivated by little goals like that. (Otherwise, why would M.SE even have them? By your argument we should just get rid of them. Psychologists spend an awful lot of time thinking about stuff like that!) If we can leverage little goals like gold badges for the good of the site, why not do it? $\endgroup$ – Adrian Keister Jul 12 at 19:20
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    $\begingroup$ @BillDubuque: I don't agree that gamification is the root of all evil on this platform. The root of all evil is inside people (like me), not primarily in their environments. $\endgroup$ – Adrian Keister Jul 12 at 19:21
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    $\begingroup$ @BillDubuque: I can certainly agree that un-tamed gamification can be a temptation to shoddy work. But I think the reverse can be true as well: tamed gamification (if you want to call it that - I've never felt like M.SE is a game in any way - maybe a better term is "incentivized"?) can lead to better results, and more buy-in from users. $\endgroup$ – Adrian Keister Jul 12 at 19:27
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    $\begingroup$ @BillDubuque: You may be right. But then, let me ask these questions: 1. Are those sites still active? (Or how big did they get?) 2. You're drawing an analogy between the badges I'm talking about, which are review badges, and posting-type badges or rep seekers. Are those comparable, or is it an apples-to-oranges comparison? I don't know, I'm just asking the question. 3. I like to provide free math help, or I wouldn't be here (and on Math Help Forum before, and Math Help Boards now, as an admin). But as a helper, you have to go where people want help. Why is M.SE so successful at this? $\endgroup$ – Adrian Keister Jul 12 at 19:44
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    $\begingroup$ Adrian, @Bill is not wrong. The history of the site is spotted with people who acted quite terribly in name of reputation and badges. I think that most long-term users would remember at least one or two incidents of that kind of behavior being brought up on meta. It is true that the site doubled in apparent size, but has it doubled in gravity? Is the hardcore community still in the same proportion? I don't know. And if you add gamified features, you increase the risk of people gaming it, and the core members ultimately giving up on the site. $\endgroup$ – Asaf Karagila Jul 12 at 20:07
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    $\begingroup$ All that to say, I agree that we should minimize gamification. But at the same time, I also agree that it is probably a good idea to let the review queues "breathe" in the sense that they shouldn't be dominated by a small handful of users. (In the big queues that's not an issue, the smaller queues are more problematic.) $\endgroup$ – Asaf Karagila Jul 12 at 20:09
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    $\begingroup$ @AsafKaragila: So I've been a forum administrator for awhile, now. I've seen Math Help Forum go down because of a lack of power distribution: there was one, mainly absent, admin. He didn't want to let go of the reins, and the site basically died because of him. It's still around, but the quality is non-existent. I've been at Math Help Boards now for a number of years, and it has avoided that problem. Indeed, we have very active moderation and administration. For some unknown reason, it has not flourished like I think it should. $\endgroup$ – Adrian Keister Jul 12 at 20:10
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    $\begingroup$ One thing that has certainly helped Math Help Boards is a distribution of power. There are four admins (of which I am one) that can basically do anything that needs to be done to the site. It helps prevent burnout. That's what I'm after, here. I don't see that what I'm asking for in any way increases the "gamification" of the site. I'm simply asking experienced reviewers in some of the less active queues to give others a chance to learn how to review well in those queues. $\endgroup$ – Adrian Keister Jul 12 at 20:12
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    $\begingroup$ @AsafKaragila: I don't see why what I'm asking here (which is by no means a new feature), which is to allow more experienced reviewers to let other people learn how to review well, in any way increases the gamification of the site. $\endgroup$ – Adrian Keister Jul 12 at 20:15
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    $\begingroup$ You might as well be correct on this. It's just the way you've phrased your request: by using the badges as a "marker". It makes it seem like it's more of a "You guys, other people also want a gold badge!" which gives this discussion a gamified aftertaste. As I wrote above, I agree with you that review queues should be diversely monitored, and I also agree with Bill that gamification is not good. $\endgroup$ – Asaf Karagila Jul 12 at 21:54
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    $\begingroup$ Well, I think you're both reading into this post your previous experiences; I don't object to removing the badge language, and I've done so. We'll have to agree to disagree as to whether these particular badges have a bad effect or not. $\endgroup$ – Adrian Keister Jul 12 at 23:52
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    $\begingroup$ I'm glad to see that you removed the game-related context from your question. When you make substantial changes like that and there is already discussion of such in comments it is best to add a note to the answer mentioning that the comments may no longer (directly) apply due to edits. Else many readers may waste time attempting to understand how the (older) comments relate to the (newest version of the) question. $\endgroup$ – Bill Dubuque Jul 13 at 16:09

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