What's the biggest mistake you've made as an admin?

Elyrose

Aspirant
Joined
Aug 22, 2006
Messages
46
Letting it dictate far too many years of my life and forgetting the real world and now looking back I regret all the ridiculous hours spent staring at the screen worrying about idiots in cyberspace. Ok, they werent all idiots but it caused a lot of stress and I really don't think it's worth it now, I can finally see clearly again.
 

ShaiGar

Aspirant
Joined
Oct 15, 2009
Messages
14
Biggest mistake for me was when I was pregnant with my second daughter, I gave one of my admins complete control of the forum - I thought I could trust her
completely.

First thing she did was make her daughter a moderator, then everytime a member disagreed with either her or her daughter she took it personally, closed/edited/deleted the threads, demanded the member be banned, and generally became a total pain in the ass.

Because I was 8 months pregnant and really not in the mood to deal with all this crap, my partner went on the site, told everyone he was taking over and lay down the law. The admin in question instantly resigned and hasn't spoken to me since LOL (my daughter is now 3 months old). She (the admin, not my daughter ;) ) seemed to be under the impression that when she got complete control, she seemed to be under the impression that I had given her the site (as in ownership - lock stock and two smoking barrels!). lol

Anyway, by the time Gary (my partner) got on there, she'd basically killed the site completely, so I've now closed it down and am trying to start a new one up.
*hug*

Two come to mind...

First, if I had it to do all over again I would have made an anonymous "admin" account and used that for administrative purposes, then no one would know I was the admin.

Second, I made a very controversial choice in selecting a mod. It's proven to be far more trouble than it's been worth.
I tried that, a hell of a lot harder to remember to log into the admin account than you realise.


My biggest mistake was appointing a mod without public vote and private backing of the moderators. She caused a ****fest which led me to resign temporarily, and the guy who did all the tech was a friend of mine, so he almost resigned immediately as well.
 

BigSnake

Aspirant
Joined
Oct 14, 2009
Messages
22
My biggest mistake that I'm still doing is trying to please my other admin.
I'm the forum owner and my other admin is just a site admin like me.

So my biggest mistake is trying to please him all the damn time when he thinks something should be changed when I'm fairly happy with everything.

I made him co-owner too, I think that's a big mistake too. I'm thinking about demoting him to co-admin and taking away his access to my hosting company.
Even if that means changing my password for cpanel.

I thought it was a good idea at first, in case something gos wrong with MySQL or something when I'm not around, but now I'm having second thoughts.

I think I learned my lesson, never try to please everybody except yourself.
 

Samir

Huntsville Car Scene
Joined
Oct 5, 2004
Messages
439
I think I've made only two really critical mistakes.

One is choosing the wrong hosting company. After they had a server crash and restored my site from a backup, they damaged a db table that caused my site cpu usage to skyrocket. They never figured it out and instead told me I had to upgrade to a dedicated account. I didn't do that and instead turned off the site until I had time to fix it. I was starting another business at the time so the site sat for 3 years. :(

Two was starting the site back up when a bunch of people came to me saying they'd help get the site back and running. Stupid kids don't do jack. I've ended up doing everything just like before. Staff positions should be earned, not given.

I think there may be a third mistake in there somewhere because I've never been able to get a solid forum going. There's another site that I co-founded and left that has a much more active forum, but their content is just drama and garbage--not the direction I wanted to go in and not great for SEO or signing on with ad networks. I know I've made the right decision from a business standpoint as my google pr and alexa rankings are much higher than theirs, but it is a bit disheartening that there isn't as much conversation on my forum. :(
 

Sebastyne

Participant
Joined
Dec 8, 2009
Messages
64
My biggest mistake is similar to yours BigSnake. I made friends with one of my members, I thought she was the coolest thing ever. Then I made her an admin. And THAT was the mistake. Then as I am fiercely loyal to my friends, I started backing her up with everything she did on the board, even though I didn't always agree with everything she did. I took her side with the most ridiculous things, until the majority of members took off to a forum another member started just to get away from us, and that's about it then. Of course, even though this member who started the new place was originally a bit of an enemy, my ex-admin-friend made friends with her - probably to gain control of the new board too. I haven't checked lately how things are going over there, but I learned a valuable lesson... Never share power, until you know if your candidate can handle power.
 

nat9655

Enthusiast
Joined
Nov 16, 2009
Messages
199
My biggest mistake (well, i wouldn't call it mistake because i couldn't help it, but there is a mistake in here) was, back in january, i couldn't get online due to technical Problems, i only had 1 other admin & 1 moderator at the time. Even though they were there, my forum was loosing activity day by day and i couldn't get in contact with them in real life.

Luckily at the end of the month i was good, but the forum still lost activity, when i came back, i just sent out a newsletter/mass email explaining what I had done that month, and most of the inactive members became active again :tup: :banana:
 

JulieVA

Habitué
Joined
Dec 18, 2009
Messages
1,150
letting people become mods that my gut knew weren't suited - yet I wanted to help them, and i was hoping that getting to mod would help them in their own healing - it didnt work, it backfired, caused me endless hours of trouble..
Now i am not going to let anyone be a mod unless I feel 100% confident in their ability


Yes I did this. I had a person who loved the forum. Stayed logged in at all times. Begged for a position.

I gave her a chance because my forum is supposed to be supportive and having a responsibility for the group may have been therapeutic for her.

It did not go well, and it caused me endless hours of trouble as well.
 

lllAE86lll

Computer Technician
Joined
Jun 13, 2007
Messages
193
I am going to make it short and simple.

My biggest mistake as an Admin was i promoted a member to moderator staff. Afterward he started deleting topics,post,ban and messing the whole forum. Yet worse experience and biggest regret and decision have made between the staff to promote him.
 

BlueLeafeon

Enthusiast
Joined
Jul 13, 2009
Messages
122
My biggest mistake as an administrator...

...was becoming a forum administrator.


Another big mistake I tend to make is trusting and befriending my members. I understand now why most big forum admins kinda stay distant to their members. -_-
 

NaturalMama

Aspirant
Joined
Jan 4, 2010
Messages
45
not being prepared for rapid growth.

First bandwidth was a problem and then just dealing with the volume of new people. I was not prepared for that change in atmosphere. Better now and still growing so must have learned from it. Changed hosts and no problems there either.

Other mistake is not getting rid of the secret invitation only forum I inherited sooner it caused a huge divide when some people who had not been invited found out. Got rid of it and really feel it makes a big difference.

Last one :) getting too involved emotionally and taking critism of the forum as critism of me. Still working on that one
 

lexus

...
Joined
Jan 19, 2005
Messages
119
chowning everything in the directory, then realising i was in root.

good job I had back ups !

now double check when chowning files.
 

KyleWhitey

Neophyte
Joined
Jan 30, 2010
Messages
1
Selling my forum. I loved it, but the offer was too good. I went back to the forum 6 months later and it decreased in activity by 90%. When I sold it, there was 600k posts. When I returned, there was 631k posts. The new owner kept the site offline for 3 of those months for lack of time to do anything... I don't really think he understood. Oh well, I'm starting up a new one and wont sell it this time. It's my hobby.
 

hari

Tazmanian
Joined
Jan 2, 2006
Messages
5,653
Biggest mistake I made: I didn't promote or advertise enough early on and I'm still feeling the effects of that early decision. I never got enough members at one time to sustain a community feeling.

As a result my forum feels a lot like a bulletin board with random people posting and disappearing and less like a close-knit community.
 

Clem

Aspirant
Joined
Oct 14, 2009
Messages
48
My biggest mistake as an administrator...

...was becoming a forum administrator.
Ditto! At least, until a few days ago when my forum crashed due to getting kicked from our server. I forgot to delete all the back ups which caused us to use too much space so Lunarpages booted us! Frown town :(

We're back up now, though. I was starting to worry.
 

Panupat

Habitué
Joined
Feb 12, 2010
Messages
1,589
Not exactly a mistake. But I went to study aboard in San Francisco in 2000. My website which is hosted in Thailand was omgwtf VERY slow to access from there.... I lost interest in my own website after a while. For about 7 years I rarely log into my own website. The contents weren't getting any updates.

After graduation and a few years of working experience in the U.S. I got back home in 2007. And found out my forum was still very active.... Lots of hardcore game players still called my forum their home, answering questions and making helpful posts.

I felt so ashamed of myself. I am now 100% into my website once again :)
 

bstillman

Aspirant
Joined
Mar 16, 2010
Messages
13
Several:

- Getting too attached. I've always viewed it as my creation, my baby. I took it personally when friends left the site. It's taken me a long time to make the distinction between the site and myself.

- Backup your site regularly! I had a server crash last year. I was making nightly snapshots of the DB and using a shell script to FTP the dump to another server. Great idea right? Yeah, if it's working and you're checking on it. Life got hectic, and I slipped for a few months. We had a major crash (still not 100% sure what caused it). The DB was gone. Restore from backup, right? The latest backup I had was three months old. I single-handedly lost over a hundred members, tens of thousands of posts, etc. Now, my backup script emails me a long file containing the time the backup started, the time it finished, the time the FTP started, the time it finished, and the size of the gzipped dump file.

- Try to please everyone. You just can't. No matter how hard you try, you can't please everyone.

- For the last few years I've ran every decision by the mods, putting it to a vote. Then when someone on the board gets pissy with me because they don't agree, I can step aside and say "hey, the mods voted on this, it was just me". This has proven to be a LOT less stressful. I wish I'd started out this way.

I'm sure there are more....
 

noodleman

Enthusiast
Joined
Mar 24, 2010
Messages
141
My only mistake I believe I've made so far is promote people to moderators without giving them moderator documentation, so they don't know how to do their job properly, and what was expected of them.

As for rules, I've found my forum attracts only people that are quite mature. I don't even have rules, and only one moderator who needs to do almost no moderating! The forum goes fine with this approach. The one moderator on my forum only uses his moderating powers to move threads when newbies post things in the wrong place by accident... thats it lol. Control isn't a problem yet =D
 

Samir

Huntsville Car Scene
Joined
Oct 5, 2004
Messages
439
- Getting too attached. I've always viewed it as my creation, my baby. I took it personally when friends left the site. It's taken me a long time to make the distinction between the site and myself.

- Backup your site regularly! I had a server crash last year. I was making nightly snapshots of the DB and using a shell script to FTP the dump to another server. Great idea right? Yeah, if it's working and you're checking on it. Life got hectic, and I slipped for a few months. We had a major crash (still not 100% sure what caused it). The DB was gone. Restore from backup, right? The latest backup I had was three months old. I single-handedly lost over a hundred members, tens of thousands of posts, etc. Now, my backup script emails me a long file containing the time the backup started, the time it finished, the time the FTP started, the time it finished, and the size of the gzipped dump file.

- Try to please everyone. You just can't. No matter how hard you try, you can't please everyone.

- For the last few years I've ran every decision by the mods, putting it to a vote. Then when someone on the board gets pissy with me because they don't agree, I can step aside and say "hey, the mods voted on this, it was just me". This has proven to be a LOT less stressful. I wish I'd started out this way.

I'm sure there are more....
Wow, I'm guilty of the first three, but without them, I wouldn't have succeeded on any level, so I guess it's a fine line.
 
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