Clicques - Mods & Members

Discussion in 'Members & Staff' started by catwelltsc, Jan 7, 2005.

  1. catwelltsc

    catwelltsc Neophyte

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    My board is getting very interesting. Here is my situation (advice appreciated) :worship: Please .. feel free to let me know if you feel I have too many mods / co-admins, etc.

    We've got a good sense of community going on for the most part, I feel. For the third year now ... about 15+ members and their spouses have either flown or driven out of state to a 'bbq' hosted by different members on the site.

    close to 800 members (say only about 200 active) :mad:

    * 25 forums
    * 45 - 60 new threads a day
    * 600 - 700 posts a day
    * 2 co-admins and 8 mods
    * Our board is divided into two sections - One topic .. off topic
    * 1 co-admin with four mods moderate each section.

    A few things ...

    A couple of my Mods & 1 co-admin are really close friends - with each other and other members on the site. I'm a stickler about my mods/co-admins NOT discussing what happens in the support team forum with other members on the site.

    here is what I have in our support team forum for Mod guidelines:

    +++++++++++++++++++++++
    Confidentiality
    It is important that support team members have a place to discuss matters frankly without worrying about confidentiality. I expect you to keep all discussions in this forum confidential. If you feel you cannot stick to this, notify me or another admin so that we can remove your support team access. If we discover that you have breached confidentiality, we will remove you as support team member.

    It is completely unacceptable to use any information that you have gained from this forum or elsewhere against a member.[/COLOR]

    +++++++++++++++++++++++

    So, in my opinion - this is not happening.

    Recently, a moderator that is close friends with quite a few regular users - I have a hunch is sharing information about other users status, etc. (recently a lady was banned). Although, not headline news - I don't feel it was my mods place to make it known to the other users.

    Am I making a big deal out of nothing?

    I'm all for making friends and building community, but I wonder if you can really moderate without being biased towards YOUR friends? We've had some confidential info slip out (last blow out) - I just can't pin point who leaked the info. :cynic:

    This is the same Moderator (her best friend is the co-admin) :rolleyes: that I had a public blow out with last year on the site - and it was
    u g l y. About 20 or so followers of these two said 'if you want us to come back .. this has to happen' - this mod emailed me their check list. :suspect:

    Last year I was told by a few cliche' posters 'You may RUN and PAY for the site, but co-admin and mod .. breathe life into it''. So, I worked very hard on trying to build a relationship with these ladies, and I'm still trying.

    from one admin to another .. suggestions? :)

    Am I setting myself up for more trouble?
    Thank you in advance for your replies!


    p.s .. after reading within the forum, I realize the process I used to appoint co-admins and mods - sucked! I used the 'highest post count'. :rolleyes: It's more difficult to taketh away after one 'haveth' for so long.
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2005
  2. TheDPQ

    TheDPQ Adherent

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    Wow it sounds like you are having a ball. Congratulations, you have experience crap and are coming to realize the inherit flaws of having 'popular' rather then 'qualified' staff members.

    I don't think it would really be possible to address your issues without knowing more about your history but I can just give you my general and wacky thoughts. Mainly, its you damn board. Beat them, beat them with a leather whip.

    Ok, users wanting something done, fine. That's what users are for. Making demands and wasting your time and then bitching about it, regardless of what you do. Woo. You can't please everyone, so its usually good to listen to your users, even if its only to explain why you aren't going to do whatever it is they think they want.

    If you find a mod posting private info publically. Remove them, ban them, put them in a time out i don't care. SOMETHING. No matter how trivial. Because the issue is how can you trust them to keep the important stuff private when they can't even keep stuff not even worth talking about private?

    However, mods/admins undermining your positions, starting undergrounds movements and doing a call to arms and DEMANDING things.... that's just wrong. A mod has this sacred duty to help a forum run smoothly, not to run around like an immature user screaming 'viva le resistance'. Mods can be great mouthpieces for the users, or for you to the users, but they shouldn't be using their power to undermined yours. I would be pissed.

    My opinion really? You shouldn't have to take it and while its going to be a lot of work to remove a mod/admin that's doing poorly it will be in the long run far better not to have those kind of people. They obviously have no loyalty towards you and the forum. People don't need to be a mod to 'breath life' into the forum. Mods could be ugly nazi mime monkeys with flame throwers and they'd still work as long as they kept the forum clean and cleaned up the charred reminds of trolls. Users (and mods being users) are the ones who are there to participate.

    It sounds like you have a happening place. I would try a new strategy and get people who might actually do work and work WITH you. If you can afford to piss a few people off for the sake of having a secure forum I would try and remove problem mods. Of course you need to outline your problems clearly, find people who are disobeying the rules and perhaps give them a 'time out' time for breaking them. This will release the power they have slowly without actually removing them completely and thus starting a civil war on your forum. Then maybe they will either shape up.... or become total bitches so you can laugh and hit the ban button.
    -------
    My post is a tiny bit off but i'm in a weird mood tonight. I know I sound slapping/whipping/banning/evil laughing happy but I rarely ban people and the only mods I remove are those who are inactive for a few months at a time. I did have to ban a super mod once but at the time he asked to be a removed to user, and it was afterwards I found out he changed all his access to he could view all our staff forums while he skipped off to start a forum of his own.

    Pretty much dealing with staff, even good staff, can be tricky. Dealing with staff who were probably picked because of their popularity in the first place probably have a deep and unrealistic sense of their own sense importance. The overall problem is though, damn, sometimes they do help. SO its really up to you to improve, or remove, your mods.
     
  3. zero

    zero 420

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    its drama. soap opera, kinda funny. just sit back and watch it, this is why we have forums. watching gossip circles can be better than cable.
     
  4. gonecountry

    gonecountry Participant

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    Wow TheDPQ Very well said, your response to this thread help me with an issue I recently became aware at my site, some mod problems, thats another post, but your response helped me alot. Thanks.
     
  5. TheDPQ

    TheDPQ Adherent

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    Worst advice i ever saw on this forum. Blerg, you must not have a lot of people on your forum to see that your users starting drama all over the place is 'funny'. Unless you step in to resolve issues they usually never resolve themselves without resorting to someone leaving the forum and taking a few people with them.

    I hope it was the 'Beat them, beat them with a leather whip' part.

    Its a little babbly, and lots of horrible errors, but I had a lot of fun writing that post. :)
     
  6. Aharon

    Aharon Enthusiast

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    The site has been around for 3 years, and has 800 members. So, unfortunatly you cannot deal with this issue like sites that are much larger. A site which is busier could simply remove admins/mods and ban groups of users. It would suck on the short term, but in the long run you would gain new users to replace them. Everytime you remove someone in an administrative role, you lose that person and all the people they are friends with on your board. Becuase after words they will complain about you, and the site, to these users. I dont know if you have this option with such a slow influx of users.

    If you want to keep your board, you may just have to go with the flow for a while. I know it sucks, but I have been in these positions before many times. Atleast now I can ban an admin, and recoupe losing him and his 300 followers in a matter of two weeks. Once you get into this position, go for it.

    If you remove an admin/mod at this point you will cause a board split. They will go off and start another board, and take with them all thier friends off your board. Go with the flow until the board is getting a better influx of new daily users.
     
  7. TheDPQ

    TheDPQ Adherent

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    Interesting. Despite my wicked urges to beat staff members into submission I have a very relaxed way of managing my mods. Everyone sort of does what they wish and if I have an issue I talk to them about it right away. No one mod really has 'followers' that I have to deal with.

    If a mod fights with a user I will berate the user AND the mod (privately, always privately). Mods get away with a tiny bit more then users, but overall mods still have to follow all the rules. Mods can pretty much do what they wish as long as they aren't in turn causing a problem. Perhaps i'm just damn lucky but i've never been in position where I had to choose between moding a mod or keeping them and not loosing members. I also have a decent relationship with my mods. I have a small enough forum still where I can get to know each one on a personal level.

    Its not all a bed of roses, but the more I read this forum the more I realize how many issues I don't have to worry about compared to other admins.

    I still wouldn't suggest 'going with the flow'. He has a problem, he must deal with it. Even if it just means starting discussing with his problem mods/users. One tiny step at a time. It would be best to get your mods/admins to focus on helping you out but if long-term its still better if they are gone... ditch them. Thats really what it comes down to.
     
  8. nikkiblue

    nikkiblue Enthusiast

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    I totally agree with DPQ. Sometimes moderators have an unrealistic sense of their own importance.

    I would also look for ways to be more involved and prove that you
    "breathe life into it".
     
  9. Aharon

    Aharon Enthusiast

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    While talking mods and misguided users into submission always sounds nice, it doesnt work that way sometimes. I would always prefer to talk to these people, but usually talking about popularity contest with users/mods gets me know where. Popular mods become bigger then life, and difficult to deal with at times. These people actually believe they are the reason the site is around.

    If this person removes the mod or admin from thier site, they will lose a great deal of traffic. And I seriously doubt they can talk sense into a group who thinks they are the reason the site is alive today.

    If the mod is removed, he/she will leave the site, email all his active buddies on the site and spend the 15 minutes required to setup a new forum.

    Normally this isnt an issue, becase the new site would dwarf a 10,000+ member site. But its not difficult to start a new site and compete against an 800 member site.

    I bet catwelltsc would agree with me on the attitudes of these people, and how illogical and unreasonable they are. I have seen them before.
     
  10. nikkiblue

    nikkiblue Enthusiast

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    Wow--I guess it's a tough situation.. :(
     
  11. laidbackfella

    laidbackfella Participant

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    No easy answer at all.

    Well sounds like you have communication issues.

    Perhaps you need to establish a clear line of communication with the board moderators.

    I tell mine that I have simple requirements and they need to respects these or lose the privelege to Mod the site.

    While they may breathe life they sign none of the checks.

    Just as you've found them, you can certainly find others in time.

    Don't tell them that though.

    Simply establish MOD requirements and follow them.

    If they perform then Thank them for their performance.

    If they don't then apply whatever consequence follows.

    Don't get punked on your own site.
     
  12. TheDPQ

    TheDPQ Adherent

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    Are you suggesting that if reason and logic and taking time to iron out the major issues don't work that it should be acceptable to allow these mods/members to continue on his forum to gain even more attention and following, underminding anything he might want to do on his OWN forum?

    As i said, if it doesn't work and long-term its better to kick them off then thats just what it comes down to. If he can't afford to loose the members then you might as well pack up the forum and hand it to them because you honestly aren't the one running it anymore.

    Most users will join a 'movement' reguardless of what the 'truth' of the situation is. No one is disputing that. However he has a forum to run and he has to look at it long-term. It might be a long process of trying to work things out, and a lot of hard work before deciding nothing can be done. If you can't bring your mods under control then whats the real point? Its not going to be better by just 'going with it'.

    A mod has a duty to a forum and that has nothing to do with being popular or making posts that any user can do. If they fail in that duty then they need to be removed. If they abuse the forum as a user then they need to be banned. This is only after you tried everything but some times you need to just suck it up and do what needs to be done.
     
  13. Aharon

    Aharon Enthusiast

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    I am sugesting that if your board is small, you have less options when it comes to dealing with issues that may result in a faction of your board leaving to start a competing site. If a large group of your active posters are in love with this moderator, and talking to this moderator does nothing to stop him, so you are forced to remove him as mod. What do you think this group of users are going to do once you are forced to remove this mod?

    If your board is larger, you have more options available to you when it comes to dealing with these types of issues. You can remove this moderator, and recover quickly and dwarf any competing site he may start.

    Whenever I am forced to remove a mod or admin (Rare cases but it does happen somtimes), I always lose that mod as a member, and all his buddies on the board leave as well.
     
  14. TheDPQ

    TheDPQ Adherent

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    If nothing works then they need to either loose the mod/members, or loose the control of the forum. It really comes down to whats best for the forum long-term.

    I've lost a good # of members due to having to ban popular people because they caused more harm then good on my forum. Some of those members trickled back, some of them didn't. In the end, the forum is much better off. I lost even more members long-term because they thought the forum was too 'kiddish' because of the random stupidity and fights that the orignal banned people caused.
     
  15. Even a small board can survive a mass exodus, though it is obviously that much harder on the admin and remaining staff.

    I lost my senior moderator and 2 other mods plus a few of their "supporters" when he and I clashed over my taking a firm stand over the TOS. He and I differed on the interpretation, despite the fact he'd helped to draft it and had used it himself many times, the exception and thus trigger for the clash was he felt it didn't apply to his lady love, whereas I did.

    It was a little more than that obviously but that was the trigger, he and I had been best mates on and off line for years, that friendship has been damaged severely as a result. He set up his own forum in direct competition, and told me I should see it as a challenge rather than as a negative.... uh huh ....

    In the first couple of months I'll admit the bitterness and hurt were the overriding feelings, however, I'd also lost a lot of members and moderators over his posting style and that of his supporters, I have gained them all back since he left.

    Looking back now I realise that it had been inevitable the clash was going to happen and that in reality I truly did NOT want the type of members attracted to his style in the first place.

    Now I have a link up to his forum and he to mine, we talk now and again and I have assisted him with setting up his board and adding hacks and mods, our friendship is not the same as it used to be, and only time will tell if it ever will be again, but looking at my forum now, I am happier with it and have far less drama than I did back then.

    I personally would let them go, but I can empathise with your reluctance, whatever you do it's going to be stressful for a while, the question is how long are you prepared to let it go on for?
     
  16. LaConsigliera

    LaConsigliera TORC DORK

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    I do not have anything productive to add except TheDPQ, your post gave me one of the best chuckles I've had in days. Awesome awesome post.
     
  17. deni

    deni Neophyte

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    I agree with DPQ, the best thing you can do is discuss the issue with the two people in question. If they can't handle your policies they need to move on. Perhaps forming a new group and taking those members that agree with them. This has happened multiple times on our board with varying degrees of success but the board always comes back.

    The most important thing is keeping an open line of communication with the users. Leave nothing in the dark and remain calm and reasonable in the face of every, and you will get them as this is the intarweb, attack lobbed at you.

    We've had two problems with people leaking mod forum info. The first time the mod in question apologized and made ammends, albiet after a large public dispute with another mod. The second time the mod in question didn't want to listen to any kind of reason and was removed. Then I moved in to do damage control.

    I think another question to ask yourself is how much of the problem is personal and how much of it is about the "good of the board?"
     
  18. TheDPQ

    TheDPQ Adherent

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    Whatever you decide to do, realize that constant communication with your staff is very important. They don't always have to agree with you, but at least they know you are listening to them, and you can stop people who are going to have authority problems before they become too powerful. Your team should be working WITH you not AGAINST you.
     
  19. Joshuad

    Joshuad Developer

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    I don't really think that I have much more to offer than the advice everyone else has already givin, but you need to think of it in a few ways.

    Was releasing information about the cause of someones ban the reason you were upset at this mod/admin? If so, that is more something for the banned person to worry about, it is going to affect his/her reputation more than it is yours. While it might not be a good thing to sit and suffer listning to the babble about it from the members, it also sends a messege out that you are serious about your rules and policies.

    BUT, while being serious about the rules to your members, by banning them obviously, you need to do it with your staff as well. No matter what position they hold, they have a responsibility to uphold YOUR rules just as everyone else. Hell, they are the ones who are supposed to be enforcing them, surely they should know how to follow them. Even if they are "staff only" rules from a moderator guideline.

    I would suggest giving your staff members a private warning, then after that revoke their position and permissions. Create some special group showing recognition so that it doesn't seem hostile, or so even they don't think that it is because you are legitimately upset at them.

    My suggestion is to not ban them however. That's going to cause nothing but further drama, and I doubt you want that. The only reason I ever ban a user on my site (permanant) is for posting porn or viruses or some other obviously inappropriate post. If you feel you need to, most people won't gripe as bad if you temp ban them or suspend their account for a week or two. Publically state that the user has been temporarily banned for continuing a grievance after being removed from status due to a rule broken in your guidelines.

    Just don't let emotions mask your eyes, and if they do, don't show it. Let them act a fool, but if you want to keep the other guys around, and maybe even the person breaking the rule (as a normal poster), just play it nice. You never know, the person might later on understand where you are coming from with your guidelines and become the staff member you had hoped them to be.
     
  20. Celtic Heart

    Celtic Heart Aspirant

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    I feel very, very fortunate ... my two co-Mods and I are truly a team.

    There were a couple of situations in the Chat Room (which I visit on an irregular basis) and a couple of members complained to me about my co-Mods. I discussed the issue with my Mods, and we drafted a new agreement that everyone must read and agree to before they can enter the Chat Room.

    Basically, the Mod is always right. I had one person leave the forum over this, and while I miss her, I would miss my Mods more.

    I never wanted a huge site ... we figured on about 30 members, and now have 220.

    Sandi
    www.potophans.net
     
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