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Forum Moderators: rogerd
I'm about to attempt creating an online community element in my site. I think that due to the site's high traffic levels, the community could potentially build a significant number of posts quickly. As a result, I'm considering trying to find a moderator to help me manage the community, before things get too crazy for me to deal with. Does anyone have ideas about the best way to find a moderator? What are the skills to look for? Can you find volunteers before you develop critical mass? Can you pay someone and still get passionate work? Where do you find folks who have a general interest in online community building, rather than a specific interest in one topic?
Personally, I started off with people I knew (online). I guess it could be risky (you could end up with an idiot), but I currently have 5 mods who I only knew online and all have been invaluable to my community over the past few years.
Another option is to simply launch the forum and monitor the top posters for a few weeks / months and see who is likely to hang around and contribute.
You could also post adverts in admin related forums, etc looking for mods (but you really need a fairly active community before you can pique interest).
>> What are the skills to look for?
At least one of the following:
> Industry knowledge
> General web knowledge (web designers and SEOs make decent mods)
> Moderating / Admin experience
>> Can you find volunteers before you develop critical mass?
Sure you can, and although it might be more difficult, they are more likely to stay with you long term.
>> Can you pay someone and still get passionate work?
I guess so. You could certainly ensure that they had a consistant presence on the forums.
Keep in mind, even volunteers could benefit from moderating simply from the publicity and traffic they receive from the forums.
>> Where do you find folks who have a general interest in online community building, rather than a specific interest in one topic?
There are a few dedicated mod / admin communities out there (I'll PM you one I use).
On top of that, if you hang around forums like this long enough you will see the same regular faces popping up in the forum and you will get to know who has a particular interest in each subject area.
Hope this is some help! :)
I'd be careful about members who have prickly personalities or are highly opinionated.
Initially, you won't need a lot of moderation. Turn on notification of any post to allow you to kill spam or problem posts quickly and to reply to new members promptly.
Longevity is good, too - sometimes, people get involved in a community only to move on to new interests after a month or two. With a new forum, you won't be able to gauge this, but with time you'll be able to spot the ones who stick around.
Go to similar forums, check the post count and subsequent jibberish they may have uttered and steal the best on offer, with a nice PM, sticky… saying how wonderful they contribution is. It will take you a couple of hours.
What's wrong with paying someone who does a good job? Absolutely nothing dude! You've been on the net toooooo long.