WordClerks

Do you use a Moderator on your forum?



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Do you use a Moderator on your forum?

I am a firm believer that small forums should be handled by the admin until the forum gets big enough to warren the need for a moderator and here is why! I use to run a Michigan forum and activity was great so I hired a Moderator and she was around for a good 6 months and she bonded with members and a lot of people liked her.

And then one day she was like "ok i am done i don't want to do this anymore". Not only did it shock me, but key members of the forum got upset and left the forum and posting on the forum took a nosedive. After that I swore to myself to never hire another moderator until the forum needed it. Because the early stages of a forum is vital to the forums success and I don't want something like that to happen again and ruin a good forum.  So my question to you is do you use a Moderator on your forum?

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Judas2018

I have two moderators for our forum who were long time posters from back in our 2005 days. Trust me, they earned it. I think having mods is important so there can be order when and while the admin is handling other responsibilities. But the mods have to be trustworthy in that they aren't going to give out their passwords to friends, or become power mad or abusive to posters in your absence. They also must know the material of whatever topic your site is about. Being familiar with the forum software used is also mandatory. New members might need help with certain functions after signing up.



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treecko142

Yeah, having mods is important especially for larger forums and it's only fitting to award the task to responsible and deserving members who are willing to take up the job, and you can really only find out who they are when your forum is already established for a while in the community.



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iamawriter

I own no forums but was a moderator for one forum that is now closed. A moderator's job is quite a trying one. One is kept busily on one's toes looking for infractions which leaves little time to work on the forum. There is also the temptation to ignore infractions of those who you know but have no choice but to act on reports.



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Barida

That's what makes the work of a moderator difficult. I mean considering the fact that human beings can change any moment makes it a difficult job. There are instances where the moderator would notice a popular member of the forum going against the rule and issues like that will always bring a clash between the emotions of the moderator and acting by logic.



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iamawriter

Sometimes even the owners of sites give a blind eye to certain users who break rules and in that eventuality a moderator is left in the lurch - indeed a tricky situation. I am in a forum and I see that happening very often. I am not a moderator there but when I report my reports get ignored.



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Barida

Where the owner of the forum decides to ignore what you report to turn about a particular writer, then there is this possibility that they have contacted the person that committed the offence and warned them to be of good behavior. We have to let it go since we can make mistakes once in a while as human beings.



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RhealaineS

I couldn't agree more. I also own no forums but I know some who's been a moderator for quite some time now. And being a moderator is no joke. There are times when the members tend to forget the basics in posting and as a moderator, you have to keep the members from straying off the topic of the questions being raised in the debate.



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Martinsx1

I can easily attest to what you are saying because I have worked as a moderator for one forum as which I wouldn't mention it's name. Moderator's job isn't an easy one because you have to virtually sacrifice almost all of your time to get things done in the forum. It got to the extent I had to inform the forum owner that I would be working on a time schedule so as to be able to handle my other daily tasks because I simply cannot be online 24/7.



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Barida

Like you said, hiring a moderator for a forum can work well if the forum has taken time to get better and popular with lots of members on it. A moderator on any forum plays a major role which we can underestimate and that is why I'm of the opinion that I would get a moderator if I happen to own a forum in no distant time.



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wiseagent

Unfortunately, I still think that moderators are still very devalued in a way by the members, because they are seen as unnecessary people and often, as super boring people (and this is very discouraging... at least in my point of view).



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Judas2018

This is why I chose my moderators from the original core group who joined our forum many years ago. When our first ten posters signed up years ago when we were on proboards, and became regular posters. I had decided from that first ten I'd choose two as mods in the future. Which is what I did. So they'd have the respect of other forum members already having been part of the forums first, original members. Basically, they were here when it first started. You can't go wrong choosing mods from your original 10 or 20 members. I also didn't make them mods right away. I made them mods 3 and a half years later. When they were heavily entrenched in our culture and had cultivated relationships and friendships with other members.

I think where the mod thing goes wrong is when admins make their friends, paid strangers, or sometimes significant others, mods of their forum. The membership feels that you've either gone corporate (paid mods), or have given the position to people who haven't worked to make the forum active and interesting. But instead - given it to your 'favorites.' In the case of significant others or friends.



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JonathanS98

I pretty much agree with you.

To give you some information, I've recently launched a forum that I co-own with someone. It's doing quite well too. Initially, I set out to find moderators because I was in a position of needing assistance in content creating. As well as forum managing. Unfortunately, I don't think I quite realized the value of the job of a moderator. Specifically, the type of person you should give that job too. Along with how that position shouldn't be given easily.

The two moderators I chose were above-average in quality. No past forum managing experience, but loyally dedicated writers that won't go around sharing personal details (such as passwords) about the forum itself. Their articles are liked among the community, however, they lack the followthrough for consistent activity on the forum itself. Which voided the purpose of awarding them moderation rights, altogether. It's an interesting job only a few deserve and should be given from experience over time.



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DarthHazard

I personally have had the exact opposite experience. I think most members like the moderators (well they have on my sites). On my sites, everyone has understood the need for there to be moderators on the site so that we don't get spam or users not acting within the rules of the community. I tend to hire people that are quite fun and can have a good time as well so they tend not to be "super boring people".



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wiseagent

In the end it's a matter of personal experience anyway, because with me (at least in forums where I used to actively participate), moderators were always frowned upon just for being strict (when in fact they only followed the rules that were given to them).



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DarthHazard

That sounds like the forum rules were a bit too strict, to be honest. Obviously, I don't know them so it may just have been that the users on the forum were just complaining about rules that were perfectly fine. But it's important to not be too strict with your community because it may drive away some of your users if they feel like the moderators/rules of the forum are way too strict.



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wiseagent

It's tricky to take a 100% match in defense of either side because we know the differences are many and they have many different levels. What can't be denied is that moderators are necessary and important figures.



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DarthHazard

I always have two moderators on my forums even when it is new because it helps ensure that content is moderated quickly and that the forum is also full of content as the moderators will help create new posts on the site. I think it helps to have moderators in different time zones to ensure that your forum always has someone who can moderate the content. But I do believe that forums only need one administrator unless it is extremely large.



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JoeMilford

I think you have a great poem here about the forums being moderated quickly. Negative or spam material can turn off new visitors to a forum, and the quicker you catch this kind of thing, especially trolls and the like, the better. I would think that one dedicated moderator would be enough for most forums, but I have never run one myself (I am just a meager blogger), so I do not have first hand experience about the workload of a forum administrator or forum moderator.



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wiseagent

No... Besides myself, I never needed to hire any moderator to help me (because I never let things get so bad at this point). Of course the work was more stressful for me at times, but nothing that I couldn't control with a little more time and patience. Do you use a Moderator on your forum?



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Tronia

Then perhaps you never owned a forum with a lot of daily visitors and posts. If you look at any popular forum you will see they all have way more than just one moderator or additional admins. You need people to be able to take immediate actions even when you aren't online. Nobody can moderate it alone 24/7 with constant new posts.



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wiseagent

Yes, my forum wasn't so popular... That's why I was able to handle it by myself. If it were something bigger and busier, I would certainly need extra help (it would be inevitable to have to share the responsibility).



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DarthHazard

That's good to hear. I actually think quite a lot of people don't actually need to hire any moderators but the reason they do is to try and get some activity on the site. By doing that they can get the moderators to help post on the forum to create more content and therefore more users may join because they might think the forum is a lot more active.



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tiffiecute

Oh, no I haven't thought of that and since that insight has reached me, I could say no for now. I'd rather be on my own in handling my site as a moderator.



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wiseagent

I think depending on the type and size of your site (and obviously the number of members participating), I think you can handle the pressure just by yourself and control things in your own way.

Things always look better this way. Do you use a Moderator on your forum?



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JoeMilford

I am not currently running a forum--I just "moderate" my own two blogs myself--however, I DO think that any forums really do need to be moderated for a variety of reasons. I can see how having experienced and well-informed moderators at a forum would most likely be an asset. The bigger a forum gets, the more "unruly" it is likely to become at times, so having a bit of help as an admin, while you handle other issues surrounding the forum, could be an asset. I am assuming that these moderators would be compensated in some way financially or otherwise, so an admin would have to figure out how to reward the moderators and to manage expenses, right?



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Barida

Some of the writers that I know who are moderators just do the work for the love of the forum and nothing more. Although, I see that as not being the best way to make it happen, I quite understand that doing what gives us satisfaction is far better than any other thing.



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mdbree17

I've been with forums which have a moderator. I think moderators help to organize everything in your forum. Also, to filter things up.



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DarthHazard

Most forums tend to have moderators so I don't think that the forums you have been is too different lol. I do agree though with your other point, moderators definitely help to organise everything and they help to ensure that all the users are acting within the community guidelines.



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mildredtabitha

I have also learned from your experience. Though it is still sad that you lost members because of the moderator leaving. I would consider being the admin and at the same time a moderator when my new forum is still growing. I will also hire a moderator when the forum is established and too big for me to handle.



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Judas2018

You don't need to be both. An admin has more power than a moderator. That's the point. I think the chain of command is important. Otherwise, it looks like you're just slapping on multiple titles to feel important. It's always good to bestow 1 or two or maybe 3, TRUSTED members with mod powers.



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Tronia

I have never really owned a forum myself because I always saw it as a lot of work - you constantly have to go through all of the posts, deal with bad behavior, drama and spammers. I guess that's why it's useful to hire staff such as moderators. I have been a moderator and an admin on more than one forums in the past and it can be a bit of ungrateful job. If you ever warn anybody they get so offended, it's ridiculous.



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Judas2018

Some forums don't have drama believe it or not. Depending on the maturity level of the posters, they will or can police themselves. While scolding or ostracizing troublemakers. There's also a bit of luck involved. Sometimes some forums just don't attract as many bad or obnoxious members as others.



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Soulwatcher

A lot of work is not the word for it! As a forum owner, I have to constantly monitor every post and check for broken links and make sure that the VPS is running properly. And I have to deal with the spammers and the people posting low-quality content. I don't think that every post should be an AAA effort but when they post a 1 liner I do have a talk with that person and ask them to improve and I remove them from the forum if they don't listen!



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Martinsx1

From your narration about what happened with the moderator you hired for your forum, the moderator just upping one day and quit is kind of suspicious. Maybe something prompted her actions which you might not be aware. Did you have any kind of misunderstanding with her or did she get into any jam with one of the forum members? My belief in life is that nothing happens without any reason and explanation for it.

Personally on hiring a moderator for my forum, if there is too much work load for me to handle alone, I would definitely hire one.



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ColdFlameChris

I think, what you've experienced is just an isolated case. I've never heard anyone experience the same incident on their moderator. Since we can't be online 24/7, it's always better to have moderators in our blogs to monitor every activity of every user and to properly organize everything for you. Not because you've experienced this kind of thing in your blogs, doesn't mean that it will happen again. For me, every blog needs to have moderators and I know, you knew the purpose of them.



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DenisP

I'm currently not running a forum, but I can imagine what I'd do if I did. Having a moderator would absolutely be an integral part of the experience for me. The fact is that I've been on the internet long enough to know what people on here are like, especially given the opportunity to post anonymously (or semi-anonymously in the context of forums requiring usernames). There are trolls with nothing better to do than to start drama on your forums, there are spammers with irrelevant content, and then there are people who are just plain mean.

If you have certain goals in mind for a community, you're going to need some form of moderation because there will be people who either add nothing of value or will in fact try to take away value from your community.



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keen2write

No I don't well not yet but I am in the middle of looking for a moderator or 2 to help with my forum. You really could do with them in different time zones so while you take care of your forum throughout the day then at night when you sleep, the other mods from other time zones can keep watch. As in the world of blogging and forums you get a lot of spammers.



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Soulwatcher

I handle the spam on my forum myself and I have a plugin that flags spam. I don't know what forum software you using but I am sure that there is some sort of spam plugin that you could install on your forum. Then you can catch spam even if you or your moderators are not on.



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Judas2018

Indeed. There are all kinds of mods you can use in vbulletin for example to deal with spammers. From CAPTCHA puzzles to the already pre-installed Q&A component. Where in order to join a forum you have to answer a question. Really cuts down on the bots.



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Martinsx1

I'm glad to hear that you have a great way to tackle the issue of spam on your forum. Spamming is one of the most annoying hitches site owners suffer from because these so called spammers never rest until they achieve their goals and ruining one's work on his site for the person. Please indulge me on the plugin you make use of in flagging spams.



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