Moderators and others

Discussion in 'Feedback Forum' started by davehc, Sep 25, 2013.

  1. davehc

    davehc Microsoft MVP
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    This is by no means a criticism of the existing moderators!
    The term "Moderator" has, over the years, come to mean someone who can give sound advice. Historically, it can be a misuse of the English language?

    On another, very old and established forum I frequent, they have two classes. "Moderators", who do that, and "Trusted advisors". The latter are elected on a very long term examination of posts and how knowledgeable the information can be. You can see the difference. Nothing prohibits anyone from posting alternative recommendations in the help field. The intention is to create a 100% reliable source.
    Maybe something to consider?
     
  2. Mike

    Mike Windows Forum Admin
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    All members of the team are trusted. Although, I see what you mean. Professing an expertise on a subject can only go so far over the Internet. I believe people will either be interested in following the advice our team members can provide or not. As far as moderation tasks, this goes hand in hand with having the security permissions to essentially perform those types of tasks.

    If you are wondering how the site is governed through moderator rules and guidelines, they are available in PDF format here: http://windowsforum.com/docs/010modfiles-secure.pdf

    Admittedly, this is quite complex, and traditionally, we have worked in close circles to help new team members with these issues and to explain why these rules were formulated. And, yes, the language and reference to the site does need to be updated, but the material is essentially the same.

    In the past, we have had three tiers of moderators, and we would probably bring this back again were we to receive new applications for joining the team from many people simultaneously. Not every team member will have every answer, and it is really the people who have dedicated large amounts of content and responses to people on the website, who continue to respond and help others, that make a difference in our community.

    As for vouching for the advice of others, I can say that many of our volunteer team members, past and present, have been consummate professionals. Every member on the team that we have today can be trusted to give sound advice. No one here is perfect, however, and this should always be weighed by whoever is asking for assistance and whomever is receiving it.

    People can be judged by the level of detail and effort they have placed into the content that they have created.
     
  3. bassfisher6522

    bassfisher6522 Essential Member

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    Me personally, I thought the term moderator of a site, meant just that.....to moderate the site, not to be a professed expert. If that it the case, when did it changed....because I sure didn't see it change.

    The definition of moderator.....http://www.thefreedictionary.com/moderator ....nothing in that definition tells me "some one gives sound advice" as it's being applied here on this forum or any other forum.
     
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  4. davehc

    davehc Microsoft MVP
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    Hi Bass. I quite agree. But it has become an established and recognised function on forums now, that mods are the first to come in with an answer, so I guess it would be unwise to rock the boat.
     
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  5. satrow

    satrow Active Member

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    I don't agree that Mods should be first to 'answer', or that they should even be expected to know the 'correct' answers. That expectation/requirement would need a full time specialist staff of probably 16+, each with huge troubleshooting experience across a vast range of subjects.

    The first 2-3 replies to most problems should be further questions; without getting baseline data and specific details from the OP, correct answers cannot be given in the majority of cases. Users frequently do not supply enough info to enable anyone to 'answer' with more than a 'yes', 'no', 'maybe' or a guess.

    Sometimes there isn't a correct answer anyway, only a number of possible workarounds. There are so many possible permutations of hardware/software/tweaks/bugs - no one uses a vanilla OS.
     
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  6. Pauli

    Pauli Extraordinary Member
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    I would agree with bassfisher.

    With some three years of experience being a Moderator in another site, I know the burden of the work. Moderators' main task and duty is, in my view, to keep the Forum well functioning. It is not to be the Perfect One, with solutions for everything everywhere. I have a British friend, who truly is a computer genius, as a Moderator he burned out in two months... he just took it all too strictly, trying to treat and help people like he did with computers - he tried to answer ALL questions!

    Unfortunately, many think the words Moderator and Administrator equals with Almighty.

    Building an organization isn't a simple task. There's no "one and only" model. The more flexible an organization is, the better, generally. One difficulty in a place like this Forum, is that people come and go. That makes the attribute which is commonly considered the most important within corporations, internal communication, quite a challenge. Not trying to make a comment that this Forum would be plagued with Moderators and Administrators fleeing like rats from a sinking ship - no way.

    I also agree 100% with satrow in the previous post: making questions is a highly important part. I only add, solving problems is most often a process that consists of questions and answers and advice. Not to forget despair... :scratch:
     
    #6 Pauli, Sep 27, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2013
  7. davehc

    davehc Microsoft MVP
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    "It happens"

    I was actually forced to leave one site, as the "head" moderator was, and is, a total dictator. His manner, if anyone, including newbies, steps out of line, is often abusive. At best, rude.
    This is an interesting view:

    http://www.communityspark.com/the-real-purpose-of-forum-moderators-revealed/

    Read the feedback also.

    But, nevertheless, Ian's post has merit. he doesn't put it in as many words, but, in any sensible forum, a moderator would be chosen by his activity and display of knowledge. Status quo now, that a moderator is deemed ( possibly wrongly) to be the ultimate expert of everything. We all try. I find, at my age, that I more than often slip, into almost embarrassing slip-ups, in offers to help.
     
  8. Pauli

    Pauli Extraordinary Member
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    I would claim Heart to be a main factor of a Moderator, like it should be for anyone actively participating. I was once rebuked here for not showing empathy, I admit it...

    With reference to davehc's link:
    Ash March 26, 2008 at 11:51 pm, "Awesome article every host should read this, A moderator should not be a censor"

    Anyone who wants a censor or dictator?
     

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