Hiring Moderators

Greg

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Greg submitted a new Article:

Hiring Moderators

The process of hiring good mods is an arduous one. It involves trusting someone with a portion of your site, and once you hire them, they become a representative of you. Because of that, it's important to make the best decision as possible when you're adding help. Before I detail how to do that (or rather how I believe one can do that), I'd like to talk a little about when to hire a moderator, and why you should hire one.

Mods are like your arms. You can live without them, but having them make life quite a bit easier. Unlike arms, however, you should recruit mods because you need them- you don't want them idling around doing nothing. Does this mean that you shouldn't have mods immediately after starting a forum? I personally don't like hiring mods so quickly, but plenty of people advocate it. Hiring a mod early, the need is for them to post. After you get past that first leap, the need starts to change. You may need them to post, but their main focus might be to oversee the forums. As your site grows, the need will probably be more specific- moderating a specific forum, for instance.

So, that brings us straight into the first step of hiring a moderator. Assess the need. The need is the reason you're hiring a moderator, and it will shape your potential candidates.

Your candidates should probably be from the member base. Is bringing someone from an outside source (such as the Community Cooperative forum right here at TAZ) a bad thing? Not necessarily. However, remember that such a mod is an outsider. The doesn't have a history with the member base, and is essentially a mercenary. They were never members there, so they wont think like a member. They're just a mod. It's also better if you don't know your mods in real life- keep the internet on the internet, and the real world in the real world. Once they start pouring into each other, it could cause trouble.

The potential mods should be active. Active, however, doesn't necessarily mean posts a lot. Mods, by nature, are lurkers. If you are just starting up, you probably need someone who starts a bunch of threads. Later in the game, you want someone who's calm, spends a good amount of time in the area that needs some help, and when (s)he posts, posts well. Open up your word processor, take notes, look for potential candidates. Write up a list, and do your homework on them. List their pros and cons. Find out personal information they posted on your site. Get to know them. Ask your current staff...

Read more about this article here...
 
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netridge

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Apr 5, 2007
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Very good article, I found this part of the article to be true and I found it out the hard way

It's also better if you don't know your mods in real life- keep the internet on the internet, and the real world in the real world. Once they start pouring into each other, it could cause trouble.
 

DataKraft

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Agree, except for these two points:

Mods, by nature, are lurkers.
They won't be a member anymore.

My experience points to the opposite.
 

Greg

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Agree, except for these two points:

Mods, by nature, are lurkers.
They won't be a member anymore.

My experience points to the opposite.

Well, as to the first point, you're half right. It depends on the forum- on smaller forums where they're wanted more to post and create threads, they aren't lurkers. At bigger forums, however, they need to spend more time reading the posts, going through everything to find what needs to be deleted, who needs to be warned, etc. giving them less time to post.

As far as the second point, well, mods are always seen a little differently. You're not going to break the rules a bit with them because a mod wont ever find out when they are the mod...
 

DataKraft

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People, first and foremost.

Never, would I enroll a staff member and stop them from doing what they enjoyed doing before they were promoted. I would be shooting myself in the foot. It may work initially, but in the long run, it causes grief. The loss of appeal of the staff position, and the unhappiness it brought.
Too much work makes Jack a dull boy.
Active engagement of the membership as they did before is my way. There is plenty of room for forum duties, but enjoy your stay as a contributing member too.

Bigger board, bigger staff.
 

Greg

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It's not something you do- no matter what, staff is perceived as staff. They're a little different then the members. You do lose your membership to a degree.

Mam put it very well in her article "Being a Mod"

Being a moderator is a thankless job. You even give up your membership to a certain extent, once that decision is made to come on board with the Admin team. It doesn’t matter if you are the most popular member on the planet; once you cross over to that Mod Forum the other members place you on a different level than before when you were one of “them.” It’s sad, but that is just how it works out.
 

maitam

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Aug 14, 2005
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Very good article, I found this part of the article to be true and I found it out the hard way
But yet, I have read somewhere that for a forum to grow and to strengthen the community spirit, it might be good to organize off-line events for the members to meet up.

I guess there is no hard and fast rule with respect to this issue. It all depends on the personalities and characters of the members ...
 

DataKraft

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It's not something you do- no matter what, staff is perceived as staff. They're a little different then the members. You do lose your membership to a degree.

Mam put it very well in her article "Being a Mod"
I fully agree that's the accepted picture, Greg. All I'm trying to say is that it's not set in stone and you don't just have to accept that a Mod's time will be thankless, or sad. There's much the staff can do to minimize the appearance of a two tier membership.
But yet, I have read somewhere that for a forum to grow and to strengthen the community spirit, it might be good to organize off-line events for the members to meet up.

I guess there is no hard and fast rule with respect to this issue. It all depends on the personalities and characters of the members ...
I would agree with you on that, maitam. Some sites, you couldn't chisel the members away from the boards main focus. Nothing worked. Yet others, It hits off right away.

Mike
 
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