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"Can I be a moderator?"
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Old 16 Jul 2005, 13:40   #1 (permalink)
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Default "Can I be a moderator?"

The question along the lines of "Can I be a moderator?" is one that frequently occurs. This topic is for those people who want to, or have, asked this question.

[size=12pt]What it means to be a Moderator.[/size]

One of the biggest misconceptions about internet forums is that being a Moderator is some kind of promotion, or privilege, when it is simply not true. Being a moderator does not elevate a member above everyone else when it comes to information and opinions, as the moderator merely keeps the peace and cleans up after everyone.

Being a moderator is much like being a forum janitor in effect. Sometimes, the moderators can find time to interact as a normal member too, and thatís great, but itís not always the case. Being a moderator does not necessarily mean that the individual should and does know everything possible concerning the subjects in their boards as well. It's important to know that moderators are not always the absolute know-it-all resource for the board that they are taking care of and may not contribute the same things as the other members do each day because many times it's redundant (if it has already been said, then there's no reason to say it again, in which case the Search function would be recommended). When a board is full of outstanding members who are always around to answer questions, the moderator is more free to clean up or prepare major posts (such as a Tactica) for the board. Moderators slave away, wading through endless complaints, emails, private messages, problems, requests and questions and in the process of this, provide you with the forum in the manner that you use it each day. Moderators have to deal with all the problems while trying to keep a smile on their face, which is not always possible and it becomes extremely easy for a moderator, who has to clean up after someone, to become quite disliked by many members, making their work even more difficult.

Being a moderator doesnít automatically earn you respect and clout on the forum either, but it does quickly earn you a bunch of people who are ready to blame you for their problems and youíre the one that they dislike when they donít get what they want.

Remember this: Moderators work for you.

[size=12pt]How to become a Moderator.[/size]

Becoming a moderator is simple. If youíre a hard worker, very knowledgeable, friendly, polite and overall just an outstanding member, you are far more likely to be considered to help out being a moderator. This does not mean that itís a good idea to become a moderator, because a great member may become a moderator and cease to be a great member due to their newly acquired work load which keeps them from interacting with everyone else on the member level anymore and is often the case.

Being an outstanding member takes time, it takes perseverance and it will show your habits, your routine and style as well as create an image of you which everyone will recognize and people will know quickly who is a great member and who is not just after a short period of time. Moderators come into be when something needs moderation. When there are plenty of moderators and adequate people to take on the work load, then no new moderators are needed. This directly contributes to why people who simply ask to be moderators are turned down instantlyóusually because no one is needed, not just the individual. Also, asking to be a moderator is not the way to go. Instead, the only way for this to come into be is by other members nominating you, or if other moderators take a great notice to you due to being an outstanding member. In this situation, you would be much more likely to be considered when a post does open for moderation (which again, is work, not privilege).

Moderating is very different from playing a game of 40k. Having a few tournaments under your belt doesn't necessarily mean that you would be a good moderator. To put it simply, moderator's are there to help members with any questions they have, and control topics and make sure they're in the right forum. Being knowledgeable in an army or subject matter, including rules, would help, but apart from that, that's where the gaming side of it ends. In other words, there are more qualities that are taken into consideration other than practical gaming knowledge and rules mechanics - things like politeness and overall friendliness count big time too.

Eventually, if you were seriously considered for moderation, you would be asked by the staff or the administrator of the forum, and you are free to accept or decline such an offer (because sometimes, great members prefer to stay great members instead of becoming forum janitors). Asking for a position is not a good idea, again, because asking for a difficult position on a board which takes one away from the heart of the forum and hands them the mops and rags is not a sign of a hard worker, but instead of someone who thinks they are going to get a lot of perks in that position. This is simply not the case. To become a moderator, you will be asked, otherwise, remain an outstanding member and enjoy the free service.

So in short:
  • Be an outstanding member. If youíre polite and knowledgeable and helpful you will be noticed.
  • Donít ask to become part of the slave labor of the website while youíre enjoying the free aspect of it. You may honestly want to help, but if youíre a great member, youíll already be noticed for that before hand.
  • If youíre outstanding and a new moderation post is required, you will probably be considered, in which case a vote will decide if youíre even asked to join moderation crew or not. If youíre asked to be a moderator, itís because youíve been considered and found to be a great asset.

[size=12pt]ABCís of Moderation and You:[/size]

So next time the subject of moderation comes up, consider the following:
  • Moderation is not fun; itís not a game; and itís certainly not an elite form of membership.
  • Moderators work for you; they provide the free labor that keeps the site running.
  • Asking to be a moderator is not a good idea; it will hurt your chances actually.
  • Nominating other members for mod-ship is fine, but guarantees nothing.
  • Bashing a moderator is discouraged. If you have an issue about something, take it up with a General Moderator via Private Message.
  • Moderators deal with a lot of nasty situations from time to time, so if they seem cold or unobtainable to you now and then, try another moderator. Being polite and friendly will work every time.
  • Moderators may not know the latest happenings with a particular subject as well as the members. It's not their job to know, it's their job to keep the board nice and neat and everyone inside it happy.

- The Tau Online Staff
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