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Forum Moderators: rogerd
I am developing a website which will also include a forum. I have never started a forum before so I have done a bit of reading recently regarding the subject.
However, I am unsure how I should approach the task of creating "staff" for my forums. Like I have mentioned, I have no technical experience in forums or as an admin, so building a group of volunteers quickly would help the forum development by a lot. But my problem is finding these people. One approach I have in mind is just letting the forum sit for a bit and keep a look-out for members that post regularly and in a mature manner. Then ask them to volunteer as a moderator. But finding an admin will be a problem. I do not mind doing some of the admin tasks myself, but I will have difficulties in technical duties as an noobie admin. I am thinking of appointing a co-admin who can keep up with security patches and the technical aspects of the forums and report to me and suggest changes. Then guide me through the process of implementing these changes. This is a safest and best approach IMO. Again, it will be difficult in finding such a person as my forum doesn't relate to technical things.
What approach do you have in finding a reliable technical person that will be willing to help you and your community out. Do you declare it in a new thread with a topic explaining that you are looking for technical help? Would this reflect poorly on my image? Will members be deterred from participating in a forum ran by a noobie?
In general, attidude and overall friendly communication are the key attributes, not expert-level knowledge of your forum's topic.
I waited for the community to grow some before adding other categories.
Failed forums I have seen tend to start with a dozen or so forum categories, that's too many for a new community.
Also start right off the bat installing anti-spam mods because (drumroll) if you build it, they will come... Meaning the spambots... they are like alien rodents, or cyber fireants, whichever seems better... They find you and try to fill your new community with all sorts of garbage.
Choose a popular forum software like Vbullitin or phpbb they have a LOT of anti-spam and security mods available. Choosing an obscure forum software may keep a lot of the bots away becaue they arent writing bots for them, BUT if they do, you may find a total lack of mods for it to defend yourself.
Wait for the community to get well established and pick the most helpful, most productive active poster and approach them with the idea of being a moderator, on a trial basis.
Use some kind of reward system, kinda like here at WW where you get a different "rank" based on the amount of posts you make.
Don't make the newbie rank too insulting, like "noob" or "greenhorn" nobody wants to see their well thought out post as being authored by a "noob" lol... And on the flip side, don't make the reward for 5000 posts too grand or exalted like "Peerless Expert" or the like...