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Member that's a "wanna be" site owner. how to handle?



1:01 am on Mar 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

I have a new community(1 month, 73 users) and I have one guy that is acting like the site is his. He has done nothing bad, but basically tries to tell me how to run my site. He has more posts than me on the forums which is saying a lot and he's private messaging every new member even though I've told him that I send an automated message. To say he has taken "ownership" of the website community is barely an exageration. I don't want to ban him, but this guy won't give it a rest already and I don't want him to scare people away. Tonight he all but demanded I take a poll on the use of the word "damn"(he doesn't like it)in the forums. After about 6 emails back and forth I finally convinced him to get back to the task of supporting the community instead of trying to promote his opinion of forum etiquette. He seems nice enough, just seems like the overzelous, no job, always-on type of guy. The worst part is that I've briefly met the guy and I know I'll run into him in person at various events related to my hobby. What do you guys suggest? I have a feeling I haven't heard the last from this guy.


1:50 am on Mar 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Is anything he's doing violating your posted community rules? If not, consider whether reasonable rules might be put in place that would inhibit him. That way it doesn't look like you're specifically making him a target; you're just building a well-run community.

Even some policies that don't directly affect him might be worth considering. For example, I'm a moderator at a large forum where new members can't send or receive private messages until having made a specified number of public posts. Do something like that and he'll probably start posting "welcome" messages in response to each of their first posts. No real problem with that, as long as it's part of a useful, on-topic reply (if it isn't, our policy would allow us to just toss his post as off-topic).

And don't bother to reply to his repeated emails promptly. You have other members to support... and by your responsive to him you're reinforcing his concept of his "important role."


2:02 am on Mar 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

good ideas. thanks!


3:16 pm on Mar 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

I second the notion of not promptly replying to his e-mails.

He likes the instant feedback, he's living for it. Respond to his e-mails ... but wait three or four days. Or reply only on Saturdays if you've got a day job.

As far as reining him in -- is he actually
creating a problem? What do the other members think of him?

Might be that he's worth keeping simply for the free enthusiasm. Set some ground rules and stick to them but you might put him in charge of something where he can't do too much damage, such making him a mod and putting him to work on the task of spam deletion (set VERY clear ground rules on what constitutes spam) or maintaining a list of events. Put his energy to work ... *shrug* He probably just wants to look important.

Just watch him closely to make sure he's not upsetting the other forum members or taking liberties such as representing himself as the board owner, or deleting posts he doesn't like, or luring your members off to another board he likes better.

-- The latter's a real possibility, I've seen it happen. If he's busy and popular and everyone knows him, and he gets offended, he might head elsewhere. And half your board could go with him.



7:30 pm on Mar 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

>> worth keeping simply for the free enthusiasm.

I like that point a lot :)

It might also be worth investing a little time in creating some special service that's directly associated with *you * as the board 'creator' - some kind of special monthly mailing that's just from you but about the board and its development, discussions and personalities. Push yourself beyond the conflict with this person.


7:41 pm on Mar 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

One travel forum I visit took their most "active" member who also caused a few problems from time to time and made him a moderator. Shortly after making him a moderator, the owners asked him to draft a list of "forum rules".

He did a very good job and they implemented almost all of the rules he came up with. Now he himself must follow them! ;)

Usually, someone like that can be used to your advantage. Bring him into the fold and then work his butt off (behind the scenes) for your own purposes. Keep him so busy improving your forum for you that it will give you the time needed to spend posting yourself.

You need to establish who makes the decisions around there and let it be known that Mr. Overzealous has been a "huge help!


8:31 pm on Mar 25, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Thanks for all the comments. More good ideas.

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