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mmanya

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So, You Want To Be A Moderator

 

Online technical support forums are becoming more numerous and

popular everyday. Providing assistance, in most cases free, for

any number of computer and internet issues. All too often,

software/hardware developers leave users in vacuum because of

poor support, paid support or simply a failure to provide proper

instructions. Online forums fill this vacuum with a variety of

technical personnel, interested parties and experienced users.

 

All providing help just for the sake of helping. Some forums are

small in membership, while are others are massive with membership

reaching into the hundreds of thousands. Here is where the staff

of an online forum comes in. Generally speaking, forums will have

an administrator or two and many moderators. It is the job of the

moderators to keep forums running smoothly.

 

What does a moderator do?

 

Moderators are responsible for maintaining order, providing

assistance to new members in how the forum works, enforcing the

Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) of the website, watch posts and

threads for erroneous or potentially dangerous instructions, and

finally...answer the technical questions themselves.

 

This is a rough outline of the duties, but there are other

functions performed as well. Simply welcoming a new member or

directing help in their direction, from other members, is

involved. In cases where someone has posted a question in a forum

where it does not belong, it is the job of the moderators to

properly move that question to the correct forum.

 

A common error that new forum members will make, is to post a

question several times in the same forum, or in many others. When

this occurs, the moderators will merge all threads and responses,

so that all the information is in one place. A moderator is part

tech, part police officer, and part organizer.

 

Moderators are always on the watch for illegal content. For the

most part...this means pirated software questions. The majority

of technical support forums do not allow such discussions. This

is for good reason, too. The website owner could be held legally

liable if their website is used to propagate information

regarding the use of this pirated software. Moderators have a

difficult job, sometimes, when determining the nature of a

question.

 

If the question is a forthright query where the questioner

actually admits the software is illegal, then it is a simple case

for moderators to make a decision and they will close the topic.

 

A more difficult decision is when someone poses a question,

without an admission, but it appears to be somewhat dubious. When

a moderator is presented with a quandary such as this and isn't

sure how to proceed, they will usually rely on their best source

of input...the other moderators of the site. Moderator forums,

which are hidden from the general public, are almost always ripe

with discussions concerning pirate software questions that have

been posted. The moderators will discuss the question and a

decision is arrived upon as to whether the topic can proceed.

 

The forum staff act as a team. They are the first line of defense

against the numerous troublemakers, sometimes called "trolls",

who peruse forums looking to stir up controversy and argument.

Their intent is to disrupt the normal operations of the forum.

These trolls can quickly turn a forum into a battleground if not

dealt with promptly and decisively. The moderating team

frequently discusses major actions to be taken, such as banning a

member for improper conduct.

 

Again, all forums differ slightly and some administrators make

all the decisions. However in large forums with thousands of

members, administrators will rely on the judgement of the

moderators most of the time. The broad background of the

moderators is key.

 

The internet is international and forums reflect this. It becomes

extremely important when dealing with what is considered "proper"

content. Something that is proper in one nation, may not be in

another. Out of genuine ignorance, this leads to confusion.

Maintaining an atmosphere of comfort for all, is the overriding

concern. Attention is always paid to the fact that children, as

well as adults, will visit the forum. Caution is usually the

primary course of action when dealing with international issues

and language.

 

It is always desirable to have members feeling comfortable and

and free to post. However, some members will just refuse to abide

by the rules of the road. Moderators try to be both friendly and

strict when dealing with unruly members. This balancing act is

difficult. It takes a certain amount of tact to tell someone, in

the same breath, that their input is welcome, but if they don't

stop breaking the rules... they are gone.

 

Fortunately, the vast majority of members will step back and

follow the rules. Naturally, there are those that just want to

keep pushing. These extreme cases lead to discussions in the

moderator forum on a course of action. People who refuse to

follow rules are then subject to disciplinary messages, email and

actions, including be banned from the site. Banning a member is

never taken lightly.

 

How do I become a moderator?

 

The basic requirements at most forums is a good knowledge of

computers or the internet. This is mainly so that moderators can

review advice being given by others to assure that it is accurate

and not dangerous. At small forums, this knowledge is primarily

to provide direct support to members.

 

Moderators are chosen from amongst the members after they have

shown a couple qualities that existing moderators and

administrators look for.

 

First, they have shown a good understanding of the technical

subjects being discussed. Second, they have also shown that they

have the temperament for the job. They need to be patient,

friendly, understanding and have a want to help out those who are

not as fortunate to have experience or knowledge. In addition to

these traits there is the time factor. A moderator must be

willing to donate their time in sufficient quantity to police the

forums.

 

Generally, this means logging in to forum nearly everyday...even

if it is just for a short time. Anyone wishing to become a

moderator should not ask to be given the spot. This rarely works.

It is better to continue helping people, obeying the rules, and

spending time at the forums. One will get noticed by the staff

and when a need arises for a new moderator, the name will come

up.

 

Being a moderator can be a rewarding experience in both knowledge

and fun, but it shouldn't be taken lightly. There are

responsibilities involved. The site owner/administrator is

trusting the moderators to keep the site running smoothly.

 

maxximilian

 

* saw this in an email and thought of the prior post of " too many mods "...

I think it sums it up quite nicely.

 

** Also, confirms that the mods & admin here are doing a great job !!!

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that describes my short stint as a mod so far pretty well... :mrgreen:

 

p.s. I made sure that more people will see this thread ;)

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Well I got the time part down pat,,I'll work on the rest of it!! :) v

 

 

 

First, they have shown a good understanding of the technical

subjects being discussed. Second, they have also shown that they

have the temperament for the job. They need to be patient,

friendly, understanding and have a want to help out those who are

not as fortunate to have experience or knowledge. In addition to

these traits there is the time factor. A moderator must be

willing to donate their time in sufficient quantity to police the

forums.

 

 

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Glad you liked it Radio. People have to understand that you are not just "figure-heads".

 

Seems that excellent choices have been made for the positions too.

All seem to be "pulling their weight", so to speak.

 

* Except for Mr. Volt - he seems to be going above and beyond ...

 

** or just talking too much ???

 

LOL - J/K Volt - ( of course you KNEW that ... ) - You are the "Underdog" of the place "humble & lovable" ... Did I get that quote right ? Got a link to it ?

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....first time I've had chance to read my "contract of employment"......Oh! :filtered:, what have I done! :lol:...don't see many "opt out clauses"...well, I'd better shape up or ship out...and I aint shippin' out!......mods with attitude on patrol!! :o ...OK...OK...just funnin', settle down! ;)

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Guest

Thanks for the vote of confidence Mary, it's appreciated. :mrgreen:

 

That's the longest job description I've ever had, a 2 cups of coffee read. :woot:

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cool

good one for reading and maybe a better insite of

what a day in the life on a mod is like .

the only thing missing in the list .

it didn`t say they had to be human

but we have the best mods around .

i`ll give them that !!!

they do one hell of a job with no thanks

and and less pay . :):)

but here`s to are mods . :tup::tup:

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:blush:

 

Well, I think it's not just the mods/admins, its all the wonderful members who make this place so great. If it weren't for you guys it would just be the 12 of us mods/admins yakkin' at each other, and that wouldn't be nearly as fun.

I've said before and I'll say it again- :wub: ya pitstoppers!

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I agree...the mod's job isn't an easy one (I've been a mod at a few very busy forums like this one). First, you have to read through everything, even if you don't want to. Second, when there are people who are just very unruly...it's a tough job, but I like doing it. Give's you the feeling of true power!!! :erm::shifty::mrgreen:

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I would agree with both of the above posts,,but Farmgirl is really on the money for me.

 

I was a member long before I was a mod,,and if the members don't like what they see they won't be back.

 

As a member without a mod button I still posted my true thoughts on everything,,and I have not changed abit.

 

When someone disagrees whith me on something I don't try and get even I just try and prove um wrong. unless its just a difference of opinion,,then I just do my thing.... :mrgreen: v

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I would agree with both of the above posts,,but Farmgirl is really on the money for me.

 

I was a member long before I was a mod,,and if the members don't like what they see they won't be back.

 

As a member without a mod button I still posted my true thoughts on everything,,and I have not changed abit.

 

When someone disagrees whith me on something I don't try and get even I just try and prove um wrong. unless its just a difference of opinion,,then I just do my thing.... :mrgreen: v

:cheers:

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i`m read anytime u are i have a vast knowlage and alot of tim and always on line gimme lol :)

lol!! where's Bruce when ya need him?? :mrgreen::) v

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OOOH Volt, that was a Snidely Whiplash kind of remark (age) lmao

 

Franglais - mods with attitude ? lol ( the MWA - new group here ? ) *S*

 

Yes, I have confidence that you guys will never intentionally steer anyone wrong, be rude, blow people off, etc.

 

You make this THE forum that people will come back to.

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And a MASSIVE THANK YOU to all the Moderators out there for the Damn good work they do and FREE i must add, If it wasnt for you guys/gals we would be paying £1.00 per/min on calls or for you over the sea people $1.50 if thats what they charge

 

So from me THANK YOU ALL :cheers: just wish i could buy you all a beer, your doing a great job just please keep it up...

 

Thanx Coops.....

 

 

:nospys:http://grc.com/optout.htm :nospys:

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Guest decyfer
:rolleyes: Hry this form is great. I learned about it in one of my college books. The technical help that I have received is super. Its good that you have such good mods amongst your staff. thanx pitstop :)

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bottom line

if i didn`t like it

i sure in the hell wouldn`t be here

not everyone can agree on everything

but it`s nice to see different points of view

on pc problems ,and different ways to fix them .

some times it works ,sometimes it don`t

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Having been in the business of tech support for some years, it's comforting to see a place where issues are dealt with in such a pleasant, concise manner. One thing I note about the moderators...not one of them shows a "Know-it-all" attitude. A "Tip 'o the hat" to ya'all.

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lol!! where's Bruce when ya need him?? :mrgreen::) v

I don't have my pig latin/ancient forgotten foriegn language book with me Volt. :mrgreen:

 

I aint got a clue what any single part of that was even supposed to mean, and when I can understand it then I am all done with computers. To me all it looks like is someone should have logged off, before having that last margerita. Prolly means sumthin to sum1, jus not me. :blink:

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