Managing Moderators

James Goddard

Dec 19, 2004
James Goddard submitted a new Article:

Managing Moderators

In addition to running several popular forums, I am a former moderator for a "big board". During my time as a moderator I saw several mistakes that I've taken to heart when running my own boards.

1. Don't have Too Many Mods
The "big board" I was on had over 50 moderators and no clear hierarchy. IMHO, this is too many. It wouldn't up being a board within a board. Moderators are picked because they are heavily invested in the board, read that as: highly opinionated as to how things should be run. The moderators were too busy fighting amongst themselves to properly run the board. The "big board" I was on has literally lost dozens of fantastic moderators to in-fighting. All of these could have been avoided if the owner had stepped in in a timely manner.​
2. Stay Involved
The owner of the big board in question basically quit being involved with the board. He decided that he wanted the board a source of income rather than a hobby. There is nothing wrong with that, in fact, I think that is the goal of most forum owners. However, when you spend so much time trying to raise funds/attract advertisers that you no longer have any touch with your forum, you are loosing the battle.​
3. Keep Your Mod's Informed
Mod's can't do their job if they are not aware of "special circumstances". If you make a special exception allowing a user to "break the rules" mods need to know that. If they don't...don't blame them for moderating that person.​
4. Spell Out Your Rules Clearly
Rules are rules. Mods have nothing else to go by. When rules are "loosely" followed, moderators are frozen. During my stint on the "big board" I saw no less than 5 complete re-hauls of the rules. Basically they were re-hauled when ever anyone tested them.​
5. Talk To Your Mods
If you have an issue with a moderator, approach them and discuss it. The biggest way to loose a good moderator is to react when you should inform. The second biggest way is to misunderstand your mod's actions or intent. If you think a moderator is "acting inappropriately" send them a PM to clear things up.​
6. Respect Your Mods
Never, ever, trash your mods in public. See number 5. If you think a moderator has wronged you, you need to clear the air with them in private, not in public. In public, support your mods.​
7. Give Your Mods Sanity Breaks
On an active...​

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