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 Moderators Guide

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leaf
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Posts : 28
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Join date : 2009-12-14

PostSubject: Moderators Guide   Thu Feb 25, 2010 4:07 pm

This guide has been created to help clear up any confusion for our new moderators, and perhaps those that have provided their services to our community for some time now, regarding what is expected.

Many forums and articles across the Net have different guidelines and opinions on what is expected from staff, which are largely influenced by the general guidelines that all members are expected to follow.

As a moderator, you are expected to:

- Positively represent the community
- Promote the purpose for its existence
- Create content and promote community interaction
- Set an example for other members (includes following the rules, having a positive attitude, and encouraging discussions)
- Provide assistance to members with regard to using the forum
- Enforce the rules as necessary
- Control spam

Keep an eye on the following to ensure that everything is kept kid-friendly:

-- All posts/threads throughout the forums
-- Album pictures & Attachments
-- Avatars & Signatures
-- Picture Comments
-- Visitor Messages
-- UserPages & Shouts

The important thing to remember is that while the leaders of a community are an important part, the members ARE the community and they should be encouraged to generate a great deal of the content. Unless they are showing a disregard for the guidelines, it is not necessary to discipline them. We are here to support and share knowledge, not repress or act as corrections officers.

As members, they do have a responsibility to review said guidelines, but sometimes a reminder to do that is all it takes. In some cases, the root of the issue is just that some people are completely new to forums and quickly become lost in the information.

Some things that you should not do:

- Don't discuss moderator business with regular members.
-- What goes on in the moderation forum stays here and what is said in notes when threads are deleted should not be shared with members - if it was meant to, then they would be able to see it in the first place. If a member has an issue with a deleted or moved thread or post, they should be directed to contact the mod/admin who did it.
- Don't be heavy-handed with the rules. If you have tried to guide a member into following them and they are having difficulty doing so (whether it is on purpose or not), the issue needs to be addressed with an adminitrator prior to taking any further action.
- Don't make up rules that have not been defined in the guidelines. If you have what you feel is a valid concern and should be added to the rules, a thread should be opened in the moderation forum so the matter can be discussed with the other mods/admins.
- Don't just delete, edit, lock, merge or split discussions; participate! Although we are moderators, we are also members and as much a part of the community as any other member.
- Don't remove posts or threads due to spelling, grammar or punctuation mistakes
-- Despite the fact that these things often make posts difficult to understand, we simply can't expect everyone to be perfect with this, especially considering that many of our members are children, but there are also many adults that would admit to weakness in this area. Aside from that, they aren't violating any guidelines by not using English correctly.
- Regarding the creation of content: while this is expected and encouraged of moderators, it is important that we do not dominate the discussions, nor should we delete them just because we do not like how they were posted or the member who posted them.

Again, the members ARE the community and as long as they are posting within the guidelines of the forum, they should be free to express their thoughts and opinions.

This reference is subject to change as needed.
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