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Admin Relationship with forum members

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by tafreehm, Dec 29, 2011.

  1. tafreehm

    tafreehm Well-Known Member

    In your opinion what sort of relationship should forum admin have with forum members, and how important is that ?

  2. Gingenator

    Gingenator Member

    Admins should treat members with respect and vice-versa. It is wise to have a good relationship with your members if you are an admin.
  3. DaKat

    DaKat Well-Known Member

    If anything goes wrong, malfunctions, quits, or breaks it's always the Admins fault. If something is fixed, updated, renewed, added, etc. the members always take credit. :LOL:
  4. Desire

    Desire Member

    Just because someone is an admin on a site, doesn't mean they should get up on their high horse and start treating other rightful members disrespectfully. If that occurs, members will just end up leaving the site in hatred, and join a new site and spread the word that example.com is very corrupt. Therefore, it is best to have a great relationship between the two (members & admins), or at least they should interact with one another sometimes.
    Gingenator and kyrgyz like this.
  5. Jaxel

    Jaxel Well-Known Member

    I've only been asked for an autograph once... but the random sex from groupies at anime conventions when I ran upnetwork.com was awesome. =P
  6. Dynamic

    Dynamic Well-Known Member

    I always keep the admin account a very "machine like" account. I do not joke, laugh, or anything like this. It is simply there to inform people of what is happening on the forums, and to give warnings. I do have my own account which I joke around on, but not linked to the admin account. I believe the admin should be faceless and just a figure. That is just my opinion though.
  7. Lisa

    Lisa Well-Known Member

    I'm just me whether I'm an admin on a site or not. I don't act any differently with people. The members on my sites know the score - I'm happy to just hang out and post as a regular member but if something happens that warrants the Admin Hat I'm not afraid to put it on and deal with it.
  8. Fred Sherman

    Fred Sherman Well-Known Member

    Agree 100%. Treat admin on the forum like root on the server - an account to be used when necessary, but not an account that belongs to an individual - a tool, not an identity.
    alexD likes this.
  9. iTuN3r

    iTuN3r Well-Known Member

    Well i keep it to friendly level . Most of us members in my board know each other we fish together , Plan events, lunch programs once in a while so it's all good .
  10. mrGTB

    mrGTB Well-Known Member

    I agree with you and even wrote a forum entry about this. Asking if forum owners should be seen using their "Admin" account all the time, due to the status symbol coming with it. Your members will tend to talk differently to you (in most cases). They might disagree with you strongly over something, but don't voice it really because your using an (I can ban you) Admin account. Not compared to how they would if your talking to them using a bog standard normal members account the same as them, that brings the barriers down to their level.

    I would much sooner people be honest and voice their real views to me, even on my own forum. Rather than being a little hush, hush because they spot right away your Admin there.
  11. tafreehm

    tafreehm Well-Known Member

    This is exactly how I behave. I sometimes joke around too but from my same id.
  12. petertdavis

    petertdavis Well-Known Member

    It's hard to answer this question without knowing more about what your goals are with your community. I try to keep in touch with my forum members, and show them that I'm just a regular guy like them, but also that I'm not going to be a pushover and kowtow to their every whim. Also, I try to make sure that the forum doesn't revolve around me, and that I don't become a bottleneck in any of the important functions of the community.
  13. Edrondol

    Edrondol Well-Known Member

    My situation is a bit different, I guess. I started my site because the site we were all on vanished without so much as a "by your leave". So when I started it I was already established as just another user. I've tried to run the place professionally, but keeping the same level as I was at before. I've succeeded to some degree but of course there's always that "Admin" thing hanging over my head.
  14. dieketzer

    dieketzer Well-Known Member

    thats how i do it as well.
    the majority of our members are refugees from two other boards, one of which was run by a pro yet somewhat corrupt admin and the other by a noob raging alcoholic bully. in order to avoid even the appearance either scenario i set up a hal-like admin which is used to make technical announcements and the like. he has strict rules he follows, such as never replying to threads, dont 'like' things, dont quote, dont accept or initiate pm, dont refer to/address/acknowledge individual members, etc.
    moderators are pretty much the same case. they are separate accounts that are forbidden from being used socially. there are rules posted and the policy is to address behaviour rather than personalities. we are pretty hands-off provided one follows the posted rules.
  15. Dynamic

    Dynamic Well-Known Member

    Yeah exactly. My moderators (due to the nature of the forums) are allowed to give advice, like posts, etc. However, the way the forums are running right now seems to be working well. A lot of the members jokingly refer to the admin account as "God". No name, no face, no personality. It is just there to inform about changes, and to ensure members follow the rules. It seems to be a good way of running the forums, so I have stuck with it.

    I would be interested to see the difference between a forum in the same niche with two different types of admins though. One who is a figure, and the other who is a participating member. The culture of the forum would be very different I would imagine.
  16. Morgain

    Morgain Well-Known Member

    Very very interesting and I never thought of having 2 accounts. Thank you.
    This will be a particularly useful strategy for me becausae I have a strong personality.
    Also because I'm a female - our mistakes in leadership positions are less easily forgiven. So a neutral bot admin would be useful like that too.

    My first thought seeing this thread was that it's too general - forums can be so different.
    But then I thought no, there is the authoritarian issue. Being boss.
    WE can mention "respect" or "courtesy" bu they are words with different meanings for doifferent people. So this issue needs specifics. Some examples of knotty situations would be useful.

    The software runs on hierarchy - it's conceivable for a collective to run itbut it would have to be a small management committee type collective. So that too would be an elite ruler group.
    So we have hierarchy whether we like it or not.

    I think as in teaching, therapy, and all areas that provide space or support, a forum NEEDS authority.
    Authority gives clear structure, and humans find that reassuring, calmer. Without it we are apes fighting it out - perhaps not obviously, but still there.
    I believe in kindness as my greatest ideal. But kindness not backed by strength (authority) is weakness. You cannot protect the weak or empower them without being strong. Being strong myself makes me not only a protector, but an inspiration for younger or less experienced. less grounded people/ members. But then strength also lets me admit openly oh I messed up on that, which stops me being a megalomaniac.

    So I think the biggest problem is when leaders pretend they are not leaders. "The Tyranny of Structurelessness" (1970s)
    Making out I'm not a leader is not helping someone locate where the power (authority) is if they want to get things done or changed. It also pushes the currents of power underneath a smiley face where those currents do not flourish - power thrives on open space.
    Worse if I deny I am a leader I deny what I really am. That can often so often mean I cause damage because I assume what I do is a lot less powerful than it is.

    There is then, a basic bundle of power and authority we all hold.
    It gets bigger on bigger boards, bigger with more vulnerable members, bigger where money is involved or the connections are more personal. Where the authority sets its limit, and we step out the admin door to be one of they guys, is a skilful decision to make for each of us. Only we know our boards.
    But the central bundle of power/ authority is just there and should not be denied or trouble arises. I see in previous messages how we acknowledge that, saying we create structure and make decisions that AFFECT OTHERS. I can't stress enough how important it is to stay aware of that and not duck that responsibility.

    But I do like the wisdom offered here of being two users. That really has potential providing they never never leak into each other.
  17. Fred Sherman

    Fred Sherman Well-Known Member

    So you split the different. Your normal user account is a moderator account. That gives you some authority and respect. Then, to show you aren't "all powerful", go over the top once, just once. Then come in and correct yourself as the administrator. You establish that, as a moderator, you have boundaries and "someone else" is more powerful.
    Morgain likes this.
  18. Morgain

    Morgain Well-Known Member

    The majority of my members on one board know me as the admin already. There are offline networking connections.
    I really like this in theory but not certain it would work for me. Since it's known I am admin anyway.
    I've kind of done something similar by making a point of being self critical, and apologising for what I did wrong.
    Also I routinely make a point of giving a positive comment alongside a negative one if speaking as admin. To at least say I understand the point of view which I usually do.
    But I can see that edging me towards the pedestal dammit.

    <------------------ plods away into the Celtic mists, thinking ....
  19. dieketzer

    dieketzer Well-Known Member

    it still goes a long way.
    it eventually came out that i was the admin. of course i couldnt let that stand in the way of including myself in a round of infractions that were handed out when a group of us drug a thread off topic. it went to show that rules are rules and anybody will receive infraction points for violating them.
  20. Dynamic

    Dynamic Well-Known Member

    I did not even do that. There are certain types of people I wanted my forum to attract. I needed the forum to be calm, friendly, and even the experienced people (some of which are doctors) needed to be nice to people new to the niche. On a competitive forum they have many experienced users, and they treat their new users like ****. They think because they have the knowledge, it somehow entitles them to talk down to those who have come to the forum for help.

    So, the way I prevented this from happening (mind you, it was just a theory) was to set up two accounts. The admin account was to be used at the leader account. No face, no personality, no ********. Straight to the point, and the watcher of the forum. The other account was me acting like me. I figured anyone who can put up with my immaturity and silly antics should be okay. If they did not like what they saw me say or do, they would leave the forum (which is what happened). Sure I had to put a lot of content up in the off topic section, such as prank calls and photos of me with maxi pads on my head, but the majority of the users loved it.

    They stuck around, and the stuck up people left. Now the forum is growing rapidly in size, and I get messages to my admin account a few times a week by random members, or new members who found the forums helpful telling me what a great site it is and how friendly the community is.

    One guy even gave a member $1000 worth of stuff to borrow just to help him out. He said once he does not need it anymore, to pass it on to another member in need. It was a long shot, but it worked. I do not believe it will work in every niche, but in mine it works just fine. Now I am sitting back watching the forum grow, and good content is added on a daily basis. Aside from two trouble makers from another site, there is almost no work to do on the forums when it comes to members. Everyone follows the rules, everyone is polite and nice to eachother, and everyone respects everyone else's opinion.

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