Best practices: moderator communication

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Tomba
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Best practices: moderator communication

Post by Tomba » Tue Sep 19, 2017 5:58 pm

Hi all,

Having run a forum for more than 10 years, the problem of alignment and communication among moderators continues to pop up each few months. We've tried various things, but it's always a bit annoying to have different systems and trying to work out what works along the way.

So, how are you guys managing communication of moderators/admins on a forum? (in my case, all mods are widespread across the world).

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KevC
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Re: Best practices: moderator communication

Post by KevC » Tue Sep 19, 2017 6:11 pm

I always use a hidden admin/mod forum where I can talk to my team in private and we can raise issues and discuss them together and find a common solution.

In there we can formulate site rules, discuss troublesome individuals or topics and decide what to do with them on a united front.

As for their roles, that will vary from site to site and I even have a wide variety too. I have a board with 25,000 people and only 1 mod and me run it. I also have a board with only 1000 people but that has around 10 mods because there are several separate sections (clubs) that each requires someone to look after them as they know their club best and its more just organisational rather than hard nosed moderation.

I like to think the systems I employ for my circumstances work as I've only ever banned 2 people in 15 years and never needed to issue a warning.
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canonknipser
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Re: Best practices: moderator communication

Post by canonknipser » Tue Sep 19, 2017 6:11 pm

  • Use a internal forum, maybe with a moderator chat topic in it for quick decisions
  • Use instant messaging like whatsapp, skype, threema or whatever
  • for emergency cases, create a internal contact list with phone numbers, mail addy etc., esp. of admins / board owners / host support (if board or server is unreachable, you may have the need to store those contact information on the local devices of the relevant persons)
  • ...

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Re: Best practices: moderator communication

Post by kinerity » Tue Sep 19, 2017 7:18 pm

I also have a private forum where the other moderators/administrators can make unified decisions, etc.

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Re: Best practices: moderator communication

Post by Tomba » Tue Sep 19, 2017 7:44 pm

A private forum has resolved some of our problem. We use it particularly as a knowledgebase.

Problem is though that when mods don't subscribe, posts get unnoticed, and after a while of inactivity (which happens if things are running well), people stop checking new posts there.
It would help to have some sort of forum for which you can make sure that a number of people always get notifications.

@KevC Impressive. What is the forum about? Never people boiling over? ;)

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KevC
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Re: Best practices: moderator communication

Post by KevC » Tue Sep 19, 2017 8:33 pm

Tomba wrote:
Tue Sep 19, 2017 7:44 pm
@KevC Impressive. What is the forum about? Never people boiling over? ;)
It's only a car forum but it's more the way you run it. You make the right kind of sections, the people have a common interest, you don't let things boil over too much. I see too many forums where slanging matches go on for pages and pages with no one stopping it. Of course to some extent that relies on one of the users reporting it because you can't possibly read every post every day but nipping things in the bud with a 'that'll do guys' and some post removal works a treat.
Tomba wrote:
Tue Sep 19, 2017 7:44 pm
It would help to have some sort of forum for which you can make sure that a number of people always get notifications.
If the mods won't subscribe you could put the mod forum at the top of the index so they can't miss it.
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Re: Best practices: moderator communication

Post by Tomba » Tue Sep 19, 2017 8:43 pm

KevC wrote:
Tue Sep 19, 2017 8:33 pm
Tomba wrote:
Tue Sep 19, 2017 7:44 pm
@KevC Impressive. What is the forum about? Never people boiling over? ;)
It's only a car forum but it's more the way you run it. You make the right kind of sections, the people have a common interest, you don't let things boil over too much. I see too many forums where slanging matches go on for pages and pages with no one stopping it. Of course to some extent that relies on one of the users reporting it because you can't possibly read every post every day but nipping things in the bud with a 'that'll do guys' and some post removal works a treat.
True, but that requires very active modding, which is difficult with the amount of mods we have compared to the posts.
How are you recruiting / selecting mods?
KevC wrote:
Tue Sep 19, 2017 8:33 pm
Tomba wrote:
Tue Sep 19, 2017 7:44 pm
It would help to have some sort of forum for which you can make sure that a number of people always get notifications.
If the mods won't subscribe you could put the mod forum at the top of the index so they can't miss it.
Great idea!

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KevC
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Re: Best practices: moderator communication

Post by KevC » Tue Sep 19, 2017 8:52 pm

Tomba wrote:
Tue Sep 19, 2017 8:43 pm
True, but that requires very active modding, which is difficult with the amount of mods we have compared to the posts.
How are you recruiting / selecting mods?
But the whole site is only run by 2 people and gets circa 50 posts a day. Works fine. It's more how you do it. We both visit every day. We have a topic where we know if one of us is going to be away. It's never 100% unattended except overnight UK time but we don't have many overseas members so that's not a problem. We don't get hit by spam either so it ticks along with very little mod input. And we're not heavy handed so the users don't see us as 'power freaks'.

The site has been running since 2009 and had about 5-6 mods in that time. I've always chosen people who have been on the board for at least 6 months, have a good post count and don't get in to arguments which means they visit a lot, read/post a lot and are level headed and knowledgeable.
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