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Democratic forum?

Having a hard time to manage my moderators

7:16 pm on Aug 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

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joined:Apr 11, 2004
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Any help will be appreciated:

I have a new (one month old) but very active forum (6000 posts and 400 members to date). I didn't expect the forum to pick up so fast.

The problem is that my moderators (a couple of active participants that I picked right at the beginning) are sometimes not following the rules themselves and are creating more fires than extinguishing them. Some of them are not respected by members and are, quite frankly, not socially apt to be moderators.. I don't want to "fire" them because I would lose their insights as members but I cannot keep them as moderators.

I personally do not have the patience and time to manage the moderators and the forum so I was thinking of a new way to manage it:

Moderators are elected by the members. Every month, the community votes whether a moderator should stay in office or not. If they are voted out, new moderators apply and elections are held.

This way, the moderators will be community members that were voted in. The moderators will be accountable to their action and they will be more respectable.

What do you think?

7:40 pm on Aug 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Senior Member encyclo is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

joined:Aug 31, 2003
votes: 2

Hi danpeg,

My concern is that what would happen if the members wanted to vote you out? Forums aren't really experiments in democracy - if well-run, they are more like a benevolent dictatorship.

I get the impression that you want to fire the moderators but not get the blame. The thing is, you've got to lay down the law sometimes on your board. You will undoubtedly get a bit of a kicking if you fire them yourself, but I reckon that in the long-term it may well turn out in your favor.

I would choose your words carefully, enforce the rules, get the moderators to agree to those rules, and fire them if they get out of line. Be prepared to get some flak, ride out the storm, and you should be OK.

7:48 pm on Aug 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

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"I personally do not have the patience and time to manage the moderators"

I think your alternative idea is going to take way more time than simply finding mods you can manage. Voting comes with a whole new set of hassles. Plus, mods who are firm may not be the most popular.

It sounds to me like you simply wish to avoid the confrontation of managing the mods yourself (getting rid of the ones you don't want, etc) and are looking for a way to get rid of them without having to be the "heavy hand".

Voting on mods seems like it would create a lot more anger, tension and commotion in your community than taking control and handling mod management and appointment all on your own. Just my two cents.

11:10 pm on Aug 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I do like the idea of voting for mods, but it think it would soon become a popularity contest which can cause problems. It's also possible the mods will have different methods of moderating, which some members may not like. Anyway i am just sorta rambling, hope this helps :-D
4:37 am on Aug 21, 2004 (gmt 0)


WebmasterWorld Administrator rogerd is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

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Voting for mods is an interesting idea. I've seen forums almost destroyed by mods who were overbearing and obnoxious.

Still, you run the risk of even reasonable mods getting voted down and mods who are, say, very permissive, getting voted in.

If you don't have the time or inclination to manage the mods, you need to find ONE mod whom you really trust and has excellent people skills (and lots of time). Make that person an admin or super-mod. Mods that don't follow the TOS, or irritate your members by overstepping their bounds should be eliminated if you want a successful and smooth-running forum.