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Forum management: Moderation and Moderators

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by CyclingTribe, Aug 18, 2011.

  1. CyclingTribe

    CyclingTribe Well-Known Member

    On my big board I use a voluntary system and recruit people who seem solid, level-headed and knowledgeable from within the community membership to help out in their own time.

    We have a mods forum where we can discuss things privately, and there are 20+ of us so we can cover most hours of the day and night (a couple of them are in different countries so their time zone allows overnight coverage too).

    I don't have any formal written rules for moderators and don't (on my big board) insist on them being visible to the membership (so that they don't become targets for disgruntled members).

    How do you manage your moderation and moderators?

    Cheers,
    Shaun :D
     
  2. Ingenious

    Ingenious Well-Known Member

    Exactly the same really Shaun, recruiting members who have long service and who you trust. In my experience I have found less is best in terms of numbers. I prefer a small team and full moderator abilities are only given to people I have actually met in real life (that might sound an odd statement, but on many forums you don't actually meet a lot of the people involved). Having a log of what everyone does is critical to me, there has to be accountability, something XenForo lacks and I hope 1.1 addresses this. I don't mind moderators being targets for disgruntled members as it keeps the heat off me ;)
     
  3. Chimpie

    Chimpie Well-Known Member

    We have a very thorough (membership) rules and infraction system that helps guide our moderators into make the best decision. If they are unsure whether action should be taken or not, they use the report post function for the others to look at and chime in on.
     
  4. Floris

    Floris Guest

    By realizing that the team isn't just moderators. You might need to consider a community manager, content writer, advertising person. A technical support (front/ behind/ the curtain), etc.
     
    Ingenious likes this.
  5. Ingenious

    Ingenious Well-Known Member

    I'd never considered the concept of a community manager, and to be honest when I started to read that article Floris I thought this is just a moderator with a different hat on. But reading on and thinking about it, the idea makes a lot of sense. You get trusted people in your community and give them different roles to being a moderator, so they don't have to get their hands dirty with the user-slapping side of things, and have a positive role, but still equal in status to a moderator. Roles could be, welcoming new members, responding to posts with no replies after a certain time, thanking members who contribute something useful - it all helps to fill in the bits the admin/mod team might miss if they're busy elsewhere. I'm going to give this a try when I convert over.
     
  6. Floris

    Floris Guest

    The admins usually are busy organizing, handling that advertising and roadmap, doing backups and upgrades, etc. Why not outsource that to the tech guy? Both the admins and tech guys aren't suitable for putting on that smile and keeping track what goes on in a community - not always at least, especially when the board gets bigger.

    If you have a person that site in between the top guys and the regulars .. you have a go to point. The collected info and what's trending on a site can be caught on to early, such as mods abusing status, or regulars ready to revolt, or other nasty things. Being there to be an objective voice to the users, the team and the admin .. data can flow both ways and the admin can stay on top, the team in tune, and the regulars feel more welcome and listened to.

    The community manager doesn't have to be there 24/7, but frequently does help. The modding of a community can be left to the mods, the running of the site to the admins .. Communication and discussing matter that need the admin or user attention can go through the community manager.

    A CM can mean a lot of different things, depending if you are a company, a hobby site, a software / product site with a support forum (or say a Sony online community) to big corporations with verticals. etc. The role and expterise changes, along with the position and paycheck.

    But it allows the admin to focus on what is important. the team to focus on the content and users, and the users having a friendly smile to talk to for simple to complex questions, feedback or complaints.

    The CM can have more access to inside info, allowing them to make better decisions knowing the inner wheels of a community or company. Which helps with decision making thinking through public face, the future, upcoming announcements etc .. sometimes "just" a moderator might go "dont talk back to me! BAN" .. not realizing somethign else might be up. A nasty situation that could have been prevented with better communication.

    Let the mods moderate, and the CM write out the policies explaining situations that happen on the site as training material for the mods to do a better job. Let the tech guy configure the setup to please the team and the users with a balanced setup of a board. While the admin just signs off on things, or gives the freedom to let the team, tech ppl and the CM play within the board-boundaries.

    Not every community needs all of this, but if you want a great community you have to at least consider what might and might not work for you - how you address it and how it could help you now and in the future.
     
  7. Floris

    Floris Guest

    Don't confuse roles with hierarchy though ..

    For example on XenFans in our default style we don't display the team members on the frontpage. We changed their usertitle to be a bit more unique, and it says 'Trusted Member". We are clear about who the team is, but we consider the team just members with additional privileges. this could be a community manager, content writer, someone that helps with services, community moderators. Everybody has their speciality, but they're all members on the site. When moderating is needed the trusted members have the tools available, and hopefully (if my community manager and I at least properly communicate this with the team) they use these privileges in a positive way that benefits the site and the users.

    I have another site, where policing works a bit better. There are a lot of big group disputes and when a moderator asks the community tends to ignore them. The admin never talks but when he posts there with a request to respect the mods, the community listens. It's very strange how it can be so diverse.

    Personally I enjoy the way the team works on xenfans more.
     
  8. iTuN3r

    iTuN3r Well-Known Member

    My community is dedicated board for San Antonio Anglers (started month back )we have 5-6 staffs only right now with 57 registered users . Most of us meet up once in a while do some fishing ,eat lunch & discuss about new ideas and events for board :p
     

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