My co-workers don't understand what moderation means

Community Building Asked by Fisherdog on September 3, 2021

I moderate a roleplay forum unpaid. I do this because I love to moderate. Moderators on this site get in role play authority to enforce users. (ex. being a group leader.)

I have slowly realized that my fellow staffers don’t really understand their actual job.

During our brainstorms for features that will set us apart from most roleplay sites of this genre, I find most suggestions are about possible plots and in roleplay stories such as War. None of them are actually bringing up features that the site can have.

I have offered a weather report, help line, one on one help with new members, etc., but they seem interested in the stories instead. I don’t know how I’m going to explain this all to them without seeming rude (as childish as it sounds.)

Also the staff applications only required you to say what Role Play staff position you want. It didn’t ask even slightly about moderation.

I may not be the admin but I want to improve our staff by teaching everyone moderation skills.

How do I express my complaint/idea to teach the staff to my admin techniques without seeming rude, vain or bossy?

3 Answers

Walking away may be your best bet here. However, you need to probe the situation a bit more.

It's clear the current "owners" of the community don't see your version of a moderator as a necessity to their community. That doesn't mean that they aren't open to the idea, it just means they haven't put much thought into it. If you want to transform this team, it's your job to show them what they're missing.

It sounds to me that being a "moderator" in the community is a purely social status, and it's more of a privileged than a responsibility. That's totally fine in a smaller community where everyone is mostly... friends. However, when a community grows beyond a group of loyal members, a formal moderator role must be established.

Your team needs to play to its strengths and weaknesses as a whole. I think storybuilding is a part of a great administration team, but I think you need to carve out your own niche for building "customer support" features into your game.

I don't think they need to be enthusiastic about it, only supportive. They should be willing to talk about new ideas (if they're ignoring you, that's a sign that you might want to consider leaving), but most of them probably have forgotten what it was like to be a beginner.

It's important to make a space for yourself. Get others involved. You have to sell this to the other moderators and to the owners that this "boring stuff" is important to the community, and it leads to new opportunities. Some will follow, some won't. But, you have to lead them.

Answered by Anonymous Penguin on September 3, 2021

It seems like the people who volunteered as moderators did so under the impression that they would be moderating the roleplaying content and not the technical or meta-organization aspects of the site.

What you could do is offer a new kind of position in your community, a kind of "admin" or "operator". Announce the position as something which is explicitly not about roleplaying but only about technical site features and site organization. The application process would also need to focus on these aspects. For example, you might want to ask for familiarity with administrating and extending the software your website is using or for web application development skills. If you would like to onboard your existing volunteers, announce that people holding more than one position in your community are welcome.

Answered by Philipp on September 3, 2021

At first, there are thousand ways to moderate. Some are just for the moderating actions there, some are helping the supporters, etc...

But don't be shy to ask an Admin if you can do that, maybe he wants to test you at first, he will agree or he will disagree. If you are asking him in a nice way he shouldn't be mad. It's not rude or childish if you want to help the other moderators :)

But remember, some moderators would think that this is rude, but if you and your admin working together on this problem maybe its gonna be a good result.

BTW: I'm an owner of a Online Community (focusing on design, developing and gaming) and I would be happy if would have some one like you :) That means, no one in my team is so dedicated like you in your roleplay community. I would definitely not react like an As**** if you would ask me about some kind of stuff like that. (This is just my opinion and not a dedicated answer.)

Answered by CentrixDE on September 3, 2021

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