Controlling Your Forums and Users

Setting up the permissions of your forums is a quick and easy thing to do. But, don't give too many groups too much power. This article explains
who to give access to what, and who not to give access to what.

[STEP 1: Guests]
You should allow guests to:

View Threads
View Thread Content
Search Forums

You should *not* give them access to:

Email To A Friend Feature
Rate Threads
Post Threads and Posts
Edit Threads and Posts
View Calendar

Unless you have a special forum, which you’d like for only registered users or only special users to view, the above settings are fine. Giving your
Guests too little power is bad. If you don't allow them to view Threads and/or Thread Content, they'll (usually) get frustrated and not register,
They’ll just click on the 'X' on the window your forum is on.

[STEP 2: Users]
Users should be able to do anything and everything, except for Moderation and Administration. Allow them to edit and delete their own
threads and/or posts. This will not only make them feel 'powerful,' but it will save you time. Let them leave reputations and add
calendar events. Another big plus is allowing them to use Avatars and Signatures. But, don't give them too much PM space. Around 250 messages
Is good.

[STEP 3: Moderators]
Ah. Moderators. The ones who think they can do it all. Don't let them think they can. Doing so will end up in a User War. So, what you have to do, is
Make a list of 'restriction' or - better said, a 'Rules Book' for your Moderators. Have it say that an Administrator reserves the right to
remove a Moderator, and that a Moderator can not delete / edit a post or thread for no proper reason. Below are the Rules I have set for
my moderators.

General Staff:

* You must visit the forums every day (or every two days, maximum).
* You must advertise eXcommunity as much as you can.
* Spamming of any kind is not allowed.

Moderators and Super Moderators:

* The warning system can not be abused. The most you can give at a time is 4.
* Delete, Close, Stick, Move, Copy, or any form of Moderation must be done with a proper reason.
* Never, never 'delete' a thread. Simply move it to the 'Trash Can' forum, and lock it.
* Ban or Suspension of a member must be completed with a 'report'. This report must include specific details such as 'At Least 5 Incidents, Member Reports,' etc.

It's simple, easy-to-read and easy-to-follow. Another nice thing to have is a private Staff Forum. This can allow your Moderators to interact with each other,
ask question to you, etc. below are the forums I have for just Staff.

Staff Sector:

* A place where the staff can come and chill... chat... things like that.

Discussion Hall:

* Major debates concerning Staff, such as deletion / banning of a Member, things like that.

The 'Staff Sector' is like the 'general Discussions' forum, but just for my staff. Within that forum, like previously stated, they can ask questions,
Interact with each other, etc. While the Discussion Hall is a debates forum. Not a regular debates forum. It's contains debates about deletion of a member, suspension or banning of a member.
If a Moderator would want to delete a member, they need at least 5 votes, etc.

Another thing that is extremely nifty is to have a 'Trash Can' forum. I'm sure there is a hack at somewhere (for vBulletin) that instead of
Actually deleting your threads/posts, it just moves it to that forum. That forum will be an 'archive forum - no new posts or threads can be added (or deleted! hehe).
So, that can stop Moderators from permanently deleting your threads, or something someone has wrote that he/she doesn't like.

[STEP 4: Administrators]
The powerful ones. Mmmmmmm. Give them power. Just not too much. DO NOT give them access to the following features:

* Database Maintenance
* Styles and Languages
* Plug-in System
* Logs
* Options / Settings
* Scheduled Tasks (we don’t want them giving them selves full accesses at any time, now do we?)

[STEP 5: You] (yeah, you!)

Don’t go crazy with power. If you do, everyone will just leave. Go easy on your users. Moderators are your Staff, try to respect them, too. Don’t kiss their butt though. ^_~

~ WiZu