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What qualities do you find desireable in a forum moderator?

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  • What qualities do you find desireable in a forum moderator?

    Since there has been some recent discussion about how FH.com appoints moderators in another forum where it was nominally off-topic, I thought I'd seed a new discussion here where it is so that the users of FH.com could express their opinions freely.

    Here are a few of my key criteria in no particular order:

    ==> Familiarity with the forum.
    Every forum has its own discussion style. A moderator who isn't familiar with that style is going to have problems from the start. Someone who has never really participated in a forum as a user is generally going to fail as a moderator.

    ==> Familiarity with the forum software.
    Different fora have different user and moderator capabilities and limitations. A moderator needs to understand both and avoid trying to micromange features and functions that are already built into the software.

    ==> A clear understanding what the job is and isn't.
    Many novice moderators don't understand that their job is to act as a peer facilitator for discussion; not as editors, censors, or instructors. Moderators don't exist to turn discussion only towards the topics they choose: A forum is not a moderator's personal blog where s/he can pick and choose which posts are "important" and which should be arbitrarity discouraged or deleted.

    FWIW, I've admin'ed or modded or hosted various forms of electronic fora since the early '90s including admin'ing web fora with traffic comparable to this one and supervising a team of volunteer moderators. It's not rocket science but it does help if the people running the forum know what their place is in the "big picture" and are all reading from the same play book... I've found that the number one rule for mods is, "It's not all about you."
    Last edited by DeputyMarshal; 08-31-2010, 10:23 PM. Reason: typo
    "Nemo Plus Voluptatis Quam Nos Habant"
    sigpic
    The Code is more what you'd call "guidelines" than actual rules.

  • #2
    I agree with everything, also based on my own experience with managing other forums.

    However, rest assured FH.com is not interested. Free help and advice has been offered to them by many people here for years. They ignore or use a cookie-cutter copy/paste "thank you for your message" response. At least this thread won't be deleted by the Rescue Commodore.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

    Comment


    • #3
      Folks,

      We only have two official "moderators" on the Firehouse.com Forums and they are both contributing editors for the website, so we have established work good, strong rapport with them.

      I understand that we had some issues when we appointed a moderator to the technical rescue forums and I hope that has since been figured it. We'll call it growing pains.

      If you are interested, please shoot me an e-mail to: [email protected] and we can discuss it.

      Thank you,
      Peter Matthews
      Editor-in-Chief
      Firehouse.com

      Comment


      • #4
        How about not having a name so long it buggers up the forums?
        September 11th - Never Forget

        I respect firefighters and emergency workers worldwide. Thank you for what you do.

        Sheri
        IACOJ CRUSTY CONVENTION CHAIR
        Honorary Flatlander

        RAY WAS HERE FIRST

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        • #5
          Originally posted by RspctFrmCalgary View Post
          How about not having a name so long it buggers up the forums?
          how does it bugger up the forums? are we all using a sweet 286 with DOS?

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          • #6
            Originally posted by RspctFrmCalgary View Post
            How about not having a name so long it buggers up the forums?
            how does it bugger up the forums? are we all using a sweet 286 with DOS or geocities?

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            • #7
              Well since you're a little late to join in on this thread, you wouldn't know. His username was about a mile long. It screwed up the formatting of the forum.
              Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

              Comment


              • #8
                I would like to see the old FIDONET rule apply to general forum behaviour, from a moderator or a user.

                "Don't easily offend, and don't easily be offended"



                I would also like to see the forum moderators not be able to ban posts simply because they call his favorite rescue tool manufacturer to task....

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by LVFD301 View Post
                  I would like to see the old FIDONET rule apply to general forum behaviour, from a moderator or a user.

                  "Don't easily offend, and don't easily be offended"
                  Good point. It's good to know someone else here remembers FIDOnet. I've actually been considering putting my node back up since I hardly use the land line for anything else.

                  I would also like to see the forum moderators not be able to ban posts simply because they call his favorite rescue tool manufacturer to task....
                  Another good point. Mods with conflicts of interest are a problem.
                  "Nemo Plus Voluptatis Quam Nos Habant"
                  sigpic
                  The Code is more what you'd call "guidelines" than actual rules.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I think Johnny46 would be perfect.
                    I am now a past chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for any department or in any official capacity. Although, they would be smart to listen to me.

                    "The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list."

                    "When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water."

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by ChiefKN View Post
                      I think Johnny46 would be perfect.

                      Probably so!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by DeputyMarshal View Post
                        Good point. It's good to know someone else here remembers FIDOnet. I've actually been considering putting my node back up since I hardly use the land line for anything else.



                        Another good point. Mods with conflicts of interest are a problem.
                        Is there anything left? I wish I had an archive of those days.

                        And Global wars. 300 baud modems, and upgrading to 1200!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by LVFD301 View Post
                          Is there anything left? I wish I had an archive of those days.

                          And Global wars. 300 baud modems, and upgrading to 1200!
                          It's still there... http://www.fidonet.org/

                          I just pulled the most recent nodelist. The Net Coordinator for my area is still the same guy as 20 years ago... (And my old node address is still available.)

                          Echomail, USENET, gopher and 13 y/o "l33t 4ack3rz" looking for "warez" -- the latter I don't miss at all. Back in those days my BBS was in direct competiton with America Online before it was even called AoL.
                          "Nemo Plus Voluptatis Quam Nos Habant"
                          sigpic
                          The Code is more what you'd call "guidelines" than actual rules.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Echomail. Wow. I vaguely remember toying with that as a kid, but then Al Gore invented the internet.
                            Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              As a kid...

                              Man I feel old. Let me find my walker.

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