Members & Staff Managing Members and Staff - Building Community Spirit.

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Old 10-29-2004, 07:50 AM
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Loony BoB Loony BoB is offline
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Default Team Diversity
Now, everyone knows the old obvious rules. Make sure they're responsible, mature, trustworthy... but in my opinion, it's not always vital to pick the person who would make the best mod. Sometimes it's better to pick someone to offer something different to your team. Too often have I seen teams of mods that are all very, very different to the people you see at the forum, or else they're all the same type of personality. I see a lot of boards where every mod is a grouch. I see a lot of boards where every mod is old but the memberbase is full of young'ns.

Now, obviously that doesn't mean you should throw in just any old person who is young and happy-go-lucky, but if you find someone with a personality and point of view that is different from your teams that is responsible, mature and trustworthy - even if they aren't the #1 contendor for the next mod spot - then you should seriously consider them. There are a lot of reasons for this.

Reflecting the memberbase - you should do your best, when possible, to get someone who can represent and understand a point of view which you currently don't. Even better if they can explain it to you in a rational way. The people are much more likely to feel they are seeing justice when someone who they can relate to agreeing with those that they can't relate to. This goes both ways, too - if you have a full team of happy-go-lucky people but want to make sure everyone can talk about absoloutely anything, then you should have someone on the team who can be serious, too.

PR - You need good relations with your memberbase. Being a bunch of serious people all the time can harm you a lot more than you think - you need the cheerful, smiley-using, happy go-lucky types sometimes as they give off a really good vibe for your team in general.

Fair play - You're a hell of a lot less likely to get a clique who slag off the "other members" if your members are all from different circle'o'friends within your forums. You need to moderate your moderators, too, and keep them professional on some kind of level. The odd tongue-in-cheek comment is okay, but you don't want a thread about how much a certain member sucks to start up in your staff forum.

Ideas - You'll find that people of different backgrounds, countries, genders and personality-types can come up with some brilliant ideas that those of other such backgrounds etc. would not come up with if their life depended on it. Or at least they wouldn't admit it.

Timezone - Less of a personality thing but I figured I'd mention it anyway - Timezone diversity is always good, you should aim to get your team covering all hours of the day. If you can do this from one nation, good on you, although I'd still suggest you get people from other countries to help for diversity in that area.

Recently we promoted a person that caught every member on our board by surprise. They were probably #4-#10 on the actual list of qualifications but we knew we could trust them to do the job anyway. What put them ahead of the pack is that they represented an 'untouched' group of our forums and they also filled in something that (I felt) was missing from our staff for quite some time - the happy-helpful-cheerful glow. Our staff is very professional and we do our job well and for the most part we love the members and for the most part they love us, however we needed the kind of person and she fitted the role perfectly. The rest of us were happy and whatnot, but she really... argh, what's the word... dammit, this is going to bother me all day now. To not just show that you are, but to really give off the vibe... d'oh. Portray? Oh well. You get the idea.

The larger board that I admin at now has:

Admins
20-something year old, male, owner of board, California.
20-something year old, female, Eatern US.
20-something year old, male, Pittsburgh I think.
20-something year old, male, England.
20 year old, male, NZ'er living in Scotland (me).
20 (20-something?) year old, male, Arizona.
20-something year old, female, California.

S'mods
20 (20-something?) year old, male, NZ.
Unknown age (estimated 17-22), male, Florida.
30-something year old, female, Western Coast Canada.
20-something year old, male, California.
20-something year old, male, Iowa.
20-something year old, male, California.
18-or-so year old, female, UK.
20-or-so year old, male, California.

This accurately reflects our memberbase as a massive majority are from the US, followed strongly by UK and then NZ/Aussie. It doesn't reflect by age (average age of EoFFers is 16 years old), although we've had a 13 year old s'mod who became a 14 year old (I think) admin at one point and did so very well (voted Best Admin by the members at one point). We have many more males then females although the ratio I feel is lessening over the past year with a lot of new females taking stand. The personalities of our staff often conflict with each other yet always enforce the rules. We may not always get along, but we try, and even when we don't we can still trust each other, and we work well that way.

In short, be diverse when you pick your staff. It's more something to think about for when your board has stable growth than when it's still developing into a known place, but it's vital all the same.

Any opinions on this or areas you feel could be emphasised, additional pros and cons, etc?
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