How many moderators / staff does the average forum have?

Discussion in 'Members & Staff' started by kelsdesj, Feb 13, 2018.

  1. kelsdesj

    kelsdesj Neophyte

    Hey guys! I'm a student intern for looking to learn about launching a forum for my internship. We are hoping to build a forum for a supportive community of musicians but I have a couple of questions before we are able to get the wheels turning.

    How many moderators / staff does the average forum have?


    What do they pay this staff?
  2. we_are_borg

    we_are_borg Administrator

    It all depends how big the site is, when you start you alone is more then enough. After time you can ask users of your site to become a moderator. Payment is the honor to become a moderator not many sites give payment.
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  3. Nev_Dull

    Nev_Dull Anachronism

    If you're just starting the forum, the answer is none. Once you get the thing up and running, you will need only as many as it takes to perform the functions you have set out for the forum. There is no set number of staff needed for a forum. It will depend entirely on how busy your forum becomes. It's also far more important to have a very few competent staff members than many incompetent ones. (By competent, I mean able to deal with members calmly and fairly, without bias or emotional investment.)

    Unless your forum is a commercial venture, most forum staff are volunteers. If you decide to use paid staff, you'll have to work out a compensation structure that fits in your business budget and reflects the various levels of responsibility.
  4. Gnomenclature

    Gnomenclature Aspirant

    It also depends in large part whether your typical discussion topics are controversial or not. And what your standards are.

    I've moderated Religion forums and they have got to be the most time intensive. It's a rough topic, and I always needed more mods for that than say a crafting or cooking discussion area.

    A cooking discussion needs someone to delete spammers, and not a lot else.

    A Religion discussion needs people to stop the insults, the proselytizing, and keep the attitude of "my religion is right everyeone else is wrong" out of there, or it just becomes a giant rancid pie fight from hell. And whatever your mods personal beliefs are (or lack of beliefs) they're going to need to be really thick-skinned.

    A health forum will need moderation to keep MLM-sellers at bay and keep the arguments tamped down when people start insulting each other because they have this hammer that worked for them and imagine everything everyone else is dealing with is a nail. And people are sick and sometimes that makes your brain chemistry pretty messed up, and people get literally crazy, depending.

    By supportive community of musicians do you mean actual performers, or students, or other things? It doesn't seem like it's that controversial a topic, so I expect you'll have some pretty basic mod needs.

    But while I have you on the horn, are there any tools a forum can use to deal with music notation? I'm pretty old school and rely on staff paper and call it a day, but surely someone has done something since "online" was invented? Other than Sibelius anyway.
  5. haqzore

    haqzore Habitué

    Agree with what's said. However many the activity level of the forum warrants.

    Are you unable to keep up with the amount of reports, thread moves, etc? Bring someone up that's already a member.

    A very common mistake many new admins make is the recruiting of multiple moderators/co-admins as some of the first members of the community. What's the point?
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  6. Paul M

    Paul M Limeade Addict

    Whats an "average" forum ?

    Very few forums pay their staff, they are generally volunteers.
  7. Horizon

    Horizon Participant

    I did this, but don't consider this a mistake - although see my post I just made in the other thread about firing a mod....

    I needed some people to come to my site and the first two that did and stayed for a few months and helped to create content, I made mods. Without them, I would've been talking to myself!
  8. zappaDPJ

    zappaDPJ Administrator

    I lean towards less is more. A small number of active staff tends to be far more efficient for a variety of reasons. How many that number should be is entirely dependant on on the activity levels of the forum but I generally start with one :D
  9. Alfa1

    Alfa1 Administrator

    An important factor is moderation tools. We have a lot of functions that make moderation action one click instead of an chain of actions. That saves a lot of time. An example of this is XonXon 's report improvements. Another factor is forms of crowd moderation. My reputation system saves us from pointing members to the rules and misbehaving members are automatically limited which means we have less to clean up.
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  10. Lala

    Lala Participant

    Also the rules. Most people don't come in with the goal of creating problems and getting themselves banned, so setting clear and reasonable rules helps avoid problems before they even start, so you end up needing less moderators.
  11. Joeychgo

    Joeychgo TAZ Administrator

  12. hellasteph

    hellasteph Tech Scum

    Our biggest forum has 10 moderation staff members, globally. Then about 5 of us in the administration team (includes owners). The forum has 23 million posts.

    The smallest forum we have has a staff of three members, includes owners. The forum has about ~500k posts.
  13. lopar

    lopar Aspirant

    We played with different combinations moderating content and came to idea of 2-3 supermoderators via start-to-mid forums, adding more people at demand.
  14. Apple

    Apple Enthusiast

    It absolutely depends on what your forum is about. Our forum has way more moderators than it needs and only because coming down from a larger community from TAZ even, we couldn't really say "no, you can't be a mod on the new site." Anyone that wanted their postion kept it.

    If your forum has only a few hundred members, yourself + 1 or 2 moderators will probably suffice, unless it becomes really active. You might want staff for other reasons though. We have staff for running the article submissions and the like.

    A lot of new admins make the mistake of thinking that they can leave their mods to run the site in their absence. I've seen it on sites like this one. "My mods didn't do any advertising for me." You can't do that. You have to be the active one and do the bulk of the work. They won't care if you don't make the effort. If you set the example, they'll be as enthusiastic as you are. ;)

    There's no right or wrong answer here. Go for it, and add people as you need them.
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  15. MyLead

    MyLead Aspirant

    depends on how big is your forum. I'd say 3 moderators should be fine for the start, same with staff. You can always add more people to your team if you feel like you need more help.
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