How many moderators / staff does the average forum have?

kelsdesj

Neophyte
Joined
Feb 8, 2018
Messages
3
Hey guys! I'm a student intern for looking to learn about launching a forum for my internship. We are hoping to build a forum for a supportive community of musicians but I have a couple of questions before we are able to get the wheels turning.


How many moderators / staff does the average forum have?

Also

What do they pay this staff?
 

we_are_borg

Administrator
Joined
Jan 25, 2011
Messages
5,510
It all depends how big the site is, when you start you alone is more then enough. After time you can ask users of your site to become a moderator. Payment is the honor to become a moderator not many sites give payment.
 

Nev_Dull

Anachronism
Joined
Apr 27, 2010
Messages
2,057
If you're just starting the forum, the answer is none. Once you get the thing up and running, you will need only as many as it takes to perform the functions you have set out for the forum. There is no set number of staff needed for a forum. It will depend entirely on how busy your forum becomes. It's also far more important to have a very few competent staff members than many incompetent ones. (By competent, I mean able to deal with members calmly and fairly, without bias or emotional investment.)

Unless your forum is a commercial venture, most forum staff are volunteers. If you decide to use paid staff, you'll have to work out a compensation structure that fits in your business budget and reflects the various levels of responsibility.
 

Gnomenclature

Aspirant
Joined
Feb 7, 2018
Messages
46
It also depends in large part whether your typical discussion topics are controversial or not. And what your standards are.

I've moderated Religion forums and they have got to be the most time intensive. It's a rough topic, and I always needed more mods for that than say a crafting or cooking discussion area.

A cooking discussion needs someone to delete spammers, and not a lot else.

A Religion discussion needs people to stop the insults, the proselytizing, and keep the attitude of "my religion is right everyeone else is wrong" out of there, or it just becomes a giant rancid pie fight from hell. And whatever your mods personal beliefs are (or lack of beliefs) they're going to need to be really thick-skinned.

A health forum will need moderation to keep MLM-sellers at bay and keep the arguments tamped down when people start insulting each other because they have this hammer that worked for them and imagine everything everyone else is dealing with is a nail. And people are sick and sometimes that makes your brain chemistry pretty messed up, and people get literally crazy, depending.

By supportive community of musicians do you mean actual performers, or students, or other things? It doesn't seem like it's that controversial a topic, so I expect you'll have some pretty basic mod needs.

But while I have you on the horn, are there any tools a forum can use to deal with music notation? I'm pretty old school and rely on staff paper and call it a day, but surely someone has done something since "online" was invented? Other than Sibelius anyway.
 

haqzore

Devotee
Joined
Dec 6, 2012
Messages
2,363
Agree with what's said. However many the activity level of the forum warrants.

Are you unable to keep up with the amount of reports, thread moves, etc? Bring someone up that's already a member.

A very common mistake many new admins make is the recruiting of multiple moderators/co-admins as some of the first members of the community. What's the point?
 

Horizon

Participant
Joined
Apr 16, 2017
Messages
76
Agree with what's said. However many the activity level of the forum warrants.

Are you unable to keep up with the amount of reports, thread moves, etc? Bring someone up that's already a member.

A very common mistake many new admins make is the recruiting of multiple moderators/co-admins as some of the first members of the community. What's the point?
I did this, but don't consider this a mistake - although see my post I just made in the other thread about firing a mod....

I needed some people to come to my site and the first two that did and stayed for a few months and helped to create content, I made mods. Without them, I would've been talking to myself!
 

zappaDPJ

Administrator
Joined
Aug 26, 2010
Messages
7,285
I lean towards less is more. A small number of active staff tends to be far more efficient for a variety of reasons. How many that number should be is entirely dependant on on the activity levels of the forum but I generally start with one :D
 

Alfa1

Administrator
Joined
May 28, 2007
Messages
4,001
An important factor is moderation tools. We have a lot of functions that make moderation action one click instead of an chain of actions. That saves a lot of time. An example of this is Xon 's report improvements. Another factor is forms of crowd moderation. My reputation system saves us from pointing members to the rules and misbehaving members are automatically limited which means we have less to clean up.
 

Lala

Participant
Joined
Jan 2, 2010
Messages
95
Also the rules. Most people don't come in with the goal of creating problems and getting themselves banned, so setting clear and reasonable rules helps avoid problems before they even start, so you end up needing less moderators.
 

hellasteph

Tech Scum
Joined
Aug 7, 2018
Messages
44
Our biggest forum has 10 moderation staff members, globally. Then about 5 of us in the administration team (includes owners). The forum has 23 million posts.

The smallest forum we have has a staff of three members, includes owners. The forum has about ~500k posts.
 

lopar

Aspirant
Joined
Mar 18, 2015
Messages
19
We played with different combinations moderating content and came to idea of 2-3 supermoderators via start-to-mid forums, adding more people at demand.
 

Apple

Enthusiast
Joined
Apr 27, 2015
Messages
136
It absolutely depends on what your forum is about. Our forum has way more moderators than it needs and only because coming down from a larger community from TAZ even, we couldn't really say "no, you can't be a mod on the new site." Anyone that wanted their postion kept it.

If your forum has only a few hundred members, yourself + 1 or 2 moderators will probably suffice, unless it becomes really active. You might want staff for other reasons though. We have staff for running the article submissions and the like.

A lot of new admins make the mistake of thinking that they can leave their mods to run the site in their absence. I've seen it on sites like this one. "My mods didn't do any advertising for me." You can't do that. You have to be the active one and do the bulk of the work. They won't care if you don't make the effort. If you set the example, they'll be as enthusiastic as you are. ;)

There's no right or wrong answer here. Go for it, and add people as you need them.
 

MyLead

Aspirant
Joined
Jul 27, 2018
Messages
28
depends on how big is your forum. I'd say 3 moderators should be fine for the start, same with staff. You can always add more people to your team if you feel like you need more help.
 
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