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  From the February 2016 Issue of Prestwood eMag
 
PrestwoodBoards Message Board Help:
Become a Prestwood Moderator
 
Posted 12 years ago on 3/9/2007 and updated 1/19/2009
Take Away:

How to become a moderator and moderator's guide.

KB100469



Our Message Boards
www.prestwoodboards.com

Becoming a moderator

If you would like to become a moderator of a particular category, submit an Online Ticket and tell us a bit about yourself.

Tips on Becoming a Great Community Moderator

Introduction

Forum moderators are like the crossing guards of the message board.  They keep community members within the �crosswalk� so that the board can fulfill its purpose.  In some cases, the purpose of the board demands a very tight scrutiny; other times, the owners of the board prefer to let the conversation flow unfettered.

Key features include:
  • Ability to have multiple moderators in one forum
  • Moderator announcements
  • Moderator notification for every post or just new topics

Another job of the moderator is to stimulate conversation in the forum.  By showing activity, you can actually increase the interest of the rest of the community.  (After all, who wants to sit in an empty room?)

Authority and Responsibilities of the Moderator

With the default settings, moderators of Infopop message boards have the authority to:

  • Edit messages
  • Delete topics or messages
  • Move topics or messages
  • Post a new topic
  • Post replies
  • Be notified via email of each new message or topic
  • Pre-screen messages (OpenTopic� application only)

There are also special permissions that can be given to moderators by the board Administrator.  The Administrator is normally a representative of the board owner/operator, and has total control over the way the board is configured and maintained.

Special permissions that can be granted to moderators include:

  • Administrator authority
  • Ability to change forum settings (colors, graphics, etc.)
  • Ability to ban users
  • Ability to change the look of their own forum using the control panel
  • Ability to prune posts
What does �moderating� mean?

Generally, moderators have a threefold responsibility: to ensure that members are following the community rules, to assist new members, and to foster lively discussion.  A good moderator ensures that his/her forum is inviting, active, and an asset to the community as a whole. 

Of course, the purpose of the community will determine how strong the presence of the moderator should be.  For example, in a message board provided for a teen audience, firm moderation may be necessary for the enjoyment of all members.  If the message board is located on a company intranet, minimal supervision may be necessary to allow free professional discussions.

For forums with multiple moderators, the group of moderators should agree on general guidelines for editing/deleting/closing topics, as well as forum rules.  It is best to present a consistent, united moderation team to the community.

Moderator Etiquette

The moderators should always be familiar with the specific rules and regulations of their board, but these are some general guidelines for good moderation.

When to edit a message

  • Contains profanity
  • Contains off-topic content
  • Violates the board rules in some other way (contains advertising, etc.)

Editing is always visible to the community; whenever a message is edited, the date/time/edit author are shown within the message (although this can be disabled by the Administrator in UBB.classic� 6 software).

In general, it is preferable to edit a message rather than delete it entirely.

When to delete a topic or message

  • Unacceptable behavior (as determined by the tone of the community; e.g., profanity)
  • Completely off-topic discussion
  • No part of the topic/message is salvageable by editing
  • Illegal/defamatory statements

Basically, whenever there is no value to the community that demands leaving the topic/message in place.  It is good practice to e-mail the topic initiator to explain why it was deleted, unless the reason is totally obvious. 

When to move a topic

Off-topic discussion: When you move a topic, you have the choice to either leave a copy of the thread in the original forum, or completely move it to the new forum location.  It is usually a good idea to leave a copy pointing to the new location so those returning can find it.

When to ban a member
  • Repeated violation of the stated board rules or forum rules
  • Offensive behavior (e.g., posting offensive material, harassing other members)
  • Attempts at hacking or destroying the forum
  • Repeated attempts to circumvent moderation or banning
     

Banning a member means that he/she can no longer post messages on your board (it is not limited to a specific forum).  Normally, unruly members are given a warning prior to actually being banned, since that is a fairly serious step.  The level of discipline should correspond to the seriousness of the offense.  (And remember�it is always reversible.)

When to close a topic
  • Discussion is heading off-topic, but does not merit deletion
  • The initial message and replies contain valuable information, but further discussion is not desired
  • The thread is becoming too lengthy
     

Sometimes it is difficult to decide whether to close a topic or delete it.  In general, deference should be given to the members participating, and it�s better to close a topic than to delete it. (If there are individual messages in the thread that are offensive, they can be individually removed---just be careful that the remaining thread still makes sense.)

Knowledge Base Admin

As a moderator, you are given knowledge base admin rights. What this means is that you can create and edit articles in our knowledge base. You can add often asked questions and "great" tidbits of information in our knowledge base.


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KB Post Contributed By Mike Prestwood:

Mike Prestwood is a drummer, an author, and creator of the PrestwoodBoards online community. He is the President & CEO of Prestwood IT Solutions. Prestwood IT provides Coding, Website, and Computer Tech services. Mike has authored 6 computer books and over 1,200 articles. As a drummer, he maintains play-drums.com and has authored 3 drum books. If you have a project you wish to discuss with Mike, you can send him a private message through his PrestwoodBoards home page or call him 9AM to 4PM PST at 916-726-5675 x205.

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