As your forum becomes popular, you will inevitably need help administering it. Many forum owners understand the need for forum moderators but few understand what their real purpose is. This article will reveal what forum moderators should be used for – follow this advice and you will have an immediate head-start over your competitors.
Forum moderators are not police officers
The biggest mistake forum owners make when taking on forum moderators is expecting them to police the community. Many see the main role of moderators as enforcers of the site rules, as people who delete posts they don’t like and lock topics the moment they run off-course. If these are the priorities of your moderators, you are doing it all wrong.
As I have said before, you must never repress your community. You must ensure that you moderate your forum effectively – this means adopting a laissez-faire approach and allowing your members a large amount of freedom. If you or your moderators crack down on members the second they step out of line, you will be sending a negative signal to your community that free speech is not tolerated on your site. You will make people nervous and discourage them from getting involved – hardly the ingredients for a successful community!
Forum moderators should promote interaction
The primary role of a forum moderator should be to promote interaction. A forum moderator should be posting new threads and adding new content to the site. They should be helping out members with their queries and they should be keeping threads alive by asking questions.
I am not saying that forum moderators shouldn’t be allowed to delete or lock threads that are inappropriate – of course this should be one of their roles. What I am saying is this should never be their primary role.
When you take on forum moderators you need to make it clear exactly what you expect from them. Most moderators see themselves as forum police officers and will only edit/delete/lock content without creating any themselves. This is a mistake – make sure your moderators know that their primary role is to encourage interaction, to encourage member involvement, and to encourage a sense of community within your forum.
Do you have moderators on your forum? Have you made their role clear to them? Have you advised them that their primary role should be to create content and encourage member interaction? Share your thoughts and opinions by leaving a comment below.