|Where to look for paid admins|
I have just created my very first website and forum. I have had no previous experience with web development at all, therefore I think it is imperative that I find a few that does!
My question is where to look for such people? I have gotten offers for help in several places, however they are VOLUNTEERING for help. I need someone to be a part of the website staff so that issues will be resolved quickly and responsibilities will be fully carried out.
Also, is it a better idea to let the community grow and then hand-pick a few that might be able to join the admin staff? My website/forum is about online entertainment (specifically, videos online).
Any comments/suggestions for me?
|Also, is it a better idea to let the community grow and then hand-pick a few that might be able to join the admin staff? My website/forum is about online entertainment (specifically, videos online). |
Absolutely! If your forum is new, chances are it has not reached critical mass yet, and is easy to admin/moderate.
I have never had to pay for moderators, never even come close to needing a second admin (other then myself) and I have 3 boards, 1 EXTREMELY active, the other dead.. :( and a third getting off to a fantastic start.
However, if you really feel strongly about paying them, just be patient for a while. Folks with the ability and desire to moderate/admin will make themselves known.
I ussually select someone I like, posts daily and consistantly, uses common sense and is friendly, and approach them. Most are flattered at the idea and jump at it.
I guess I need to be more patient.
It's just that I am handling both the website AND the forum for the website and that I do not have experience with either. It would relieve a lot of my stress if I can find someone to help me with them.
Quicksilver, there are several roles you need to worry about. A Forum Admin should be very familiar with the software, the control panel, and really understand the forum philosophy. Depending on the size of your forum, you may need a server admin or at least a techie who knows how to install and configure the software, set up backups, handle weird errors, install upgrades, install hacks/mods, repair the database, etc. This role may or may not be the same person as the forum admin; the time requirements for this job are usually very sporadic. There will be bursts of activity during installs, upgrades, etc., and (one hopes!) long periods of minimal activity (checking backups & server stats, etc.). Moderators are the third major role.
Mods are usually volunteers; in a startup, you should probably be the forum admin unless you have the funding to outsource this; it's still good for you to have a good understanding of how the forum works. The server admin role can probably be outsourced on some kind of hourly basis if nobody has those skills.
You can usually find people by posting in the forum software community - they normally have a "help wanted" section. You can also find firms that will handle as much of this as you want (for a price).
I need that kind of a forum admin - someone who does the technical work. I tried posting in the forum software forums but nobody replied back to me.
So, now I am stuck in finding someone who is interested in the position.
Also, these behind the scenes stuff...it seems like most of the time, the technical admin will have nothing to do as the forum doesn't just break by itself. Is there more to it then that?
Actually, the technical admin work will vary a lot - hence, my suggestion to hire that by the hour, or at least avoid any big fixed payments. Even when the forum is operating smoothly, you'd like that person to check things out frequently - make sure backups are working, checking server logs for errors, etc. That shouldn't take much time.
You are on the right track with posting in the software community. Perhaps try reposting after a while, or network with some knowledgeable members there.
as the forum doesn't just break by itself. Is there more to it then that?
Forums apparently have a lot of help with getting broken. I'm discovering a few things already, like the number of people that simply want to break into my forum for their own purpose. Your tech will also be able to handle problems caused by the hosting service. Yes, it happens. You've got to prepare for the expected as well as the unexpected. Personally, I'd say you are in good position to assume the duties for yourself, gaining some valuable experience and insight. Then, after things pick up and you are ready to pass on the responsibilities, you will know more of what to expect.
Are there any resources that I should focus my attention on for these admin tasks? Or issues that I should know about? It would be better if I knew what my hire is doing.
Also, how much by the hour should I pay? I was thinking of paying a small % of the website revenue. That way the admin will (theoretically) work harder in keeping the website/forum in good shape.
I came to ask about paying a moderator so I'm not in a place to give advice, but giving a percent of the FORUM income (not website income unless the forum is your website) seems the way to go to me. I like giving people incentive.
All the forums I have been using for years -- I assume this one? -- appear to have volunteer moderators. The problem I have is that my topic is diet and weight loss and, just as people go on and off diets, they come and go from my forum.
I have one moderator now and he's just great and puts in so much time that I feel bad not paying him since I make so much money. He even sends members to my pages that sell products (because he believes in the products)!
Anyway, I came to post and found this thread. I plan to offer him 25% of the forum profits and I'm curious how others feel about that.
I figure I get 50% for seven years of developing my website traffic and two years with the forum, and we split the remaining 25%. He has no idea I am even thinking about doing this... it just seems fair.
PM me if you want and I'll give you my phone number so you can phone and I'll tell you about my experiences doing forum admin.
Having a tech person is critical, if nothing more than to keep the security up to date on the software - and to set up regular backups, by someone who knows how to restore, just in case.
I'd lean toward a straight hourly rate, or a monthly flat fee, vs. a share of the profits. If you can't afford to pay going rates for admin help, and a share of the profits is much less, then you probably aren't going to get a really good person. Furthermore, you are really making that person a long-term partner in your business - that's a step you want to take with great caution and considerable exposure time.
If you go the profit sharing route, be sure you have a good agreement that spells out what happens if each party wants to end the arrangement. In particular, how long are you obligated to pay the revenue share? If you fire the admin for incompetence, you don't want to keep paying for months after. But if I were an admin signing up for a share of the revenues I'd want to be protect against working for nothing for a year and then getting fired as soon as serious money looked immiment.
An hourly or monthly rate will keep things businesslike. If you go hourly, you could set minimums/maximums to protect both of you.
25% seems a bit steep. If you were to consider all the time you've put in over the years compared to a moderator, I'm guessing it won't work out to 75% to 25%. Plus you have all the work for managing and running the business behind the website... taxes... finances... etc. Plus managing the server... and all the legal overhead/accountability.
25% would be a share I might offer a new partner I brought on... IF he bought into my business with cash.
I would stick with incentives like gift certificates, etc... monthly or whatever. Most mods I've worked with are just happy to be helping on a site they are passionate about... most don't seem to want the extra "responsibility" that comes with a set, paid position...
Just my 2 cents!
Finding an admin (in particular a server/code type admin) willing to work on a volunteer basis may be difficult, particularly since you really need for that person to be on call 24/7. In addition, these indiduals are probably tech professionals who know what their time bills for.
Admins who fill "super moderator" roles (a heavier duty and somewhat more dangerous tool set than mods) but aren't expected to resurrect a corrupt database or dead Linux box are easier to recruit as volunteers.