So, right before the Big Fallout (or how are we calling it? y’all got a name? the Wacky Snap? the Wacky Blip? idk), I had created a thread for market research/myth-busting/casual conversation purposes, posing the following question(s):
Would you like to be a mod? Why or why not?
In the post below, I’ll compile as much as I remember from the questions I had already answered. The conversation remains open, however! Let me know why you would or wouldn’t like to be a mod
What does a mod do?
Mods oversee the users’ activity on the forums, we move/close/hide threads, run events, handle flags and generally keep an eye out for any problematic situations/arguments/CoC breaches that might pop up. We’re not here to police the members of our community, we’re here to make sure it’s a safe and welcoming place for all.
Moving threads is boring!
That’s okay, haha, most of us actually find moving/closing threads to be so oddly satisfying, that we’re referring to it as ‘modnip’ So if you don’t want to do it, you most likely won’t have to!
I’m not sure I can handle difficult conversations.
That is understandable and we would never make anyone do anything they’re uncomfortable with. If something difficult comes up, it usually becomes sort of an all-hands-on-deck situation where we discuss it together before taking any action. We have a well-established hierarchy and support system to help us tackle the difficult situations. It’s also a pretty useful skill to learn.
How much time do you spend modding?
I would say that right now, each of us spends around 3-4 hours every week doing mod activities. It’s a pretty fair and flexible team. For instance, if you can’t help at all for 2-3 days, but then you’ve got a day or two where you’re more active, that’s all right, too. Mostly we would just need a short note in advance if you’re unavailable/unreachable.
I used to moderate before and the users were causing too much trouble without any consequences.
Thankfully, that is something we have taken cautions against on Wacky. Our Code of Conduct is very clear and detailed on the rules – and on the consequences of not respecting those rules. Moreover, the hierarchy I mentioned previously means that there are protections in place for team members. Abuse of any kind – between regular users, against mods, or by mods against users – will not be tolerated.
I’ve been thinking about it, because I would love to contribute to the community.
The points that make me hesitant are however:
It would be difficult to plan when I would be available. I could suddenly be unavailable for quite some time without having the opportunity to tell you. Other times I could be around almost all the time. Because of the situation with Rona and all, my schedule is quite unpredictable.
I’m afraid of conflict. There’s a big chance I would freak out if I offended someone or came across something that needed to be solved. Which means I wouldn’t be of much use in such situations. (I might nevertheless be able to handle it well, but I won’t know before I am in the middle of the situation.)
I tend to overwork myself and take every commitment I have too seriously. Which means there’s a big chance it would become more of a chore than something I would enjoy. The worst case scenario is that I would become really stressed about it.
I would be okay with organizing some events, but I’m not sure I’m the right person for that sort of things.
Why I would like to be a mod:
I want to do something to keep the forum running.
Despite being an introvert I love to interact with other people, especially when discussing interesting topics.
I like to organize things, so I think moving threads would be fun.
When I’m passionate about something, I tend to have loads of energy and good ideas. And I love the things happening on WW, so I think I’d enjoy being a part of it.
I’m not sure how you’re defining “quite some time”, but that’s not really unusual for most of the mods. We have a few who are on constantly but other than that, we don’t expect anyone to be around 24/7. It’s a volunteer thing and real life comes first, always.
I feel like this has been mentioned but not stressed enough, the mod team really is a team. It’s highly unlikely you’d ever be in a situation where you’d have to deal with something all by yourself. We’re a pretty collaborative group and conflict sucks, for everybody, but the additional good news is, we have a “hierarchy” so to speak. Mods → Head Mods → Me. And if it gets to me, well…it usually means that issue is a bigger problem than what my normal mod team should handle anyway. I do not tolerate people abusing the mods. It usually means a one-way ticket to a temporary, if not permanent, ban. Anyway, all that to say, some conflict is generally inevitable at some point in a role like this, but we do have a system of escalation in the event it gets out of hand. Most of the time, though, responses are just asking for clarification on Code of Conduct sections. And even after that, true conflict is pretty rare.
This is something I think we all have in common. But we have a couple former mods who took a step away or resigned for the sake of their real life schedules or because they found it too overwhelming, and they could tell you that under no circumstances would you ever be made to feel bad for needing to take a step back. I have two things I repeat constantly to the team. “Real life comes first, always” and “I do not tolerate anyone abusing my mods”. Both are equally important and I take both very seriously. (But even then, it sounds more serious than it really is most of the time. A lot of the time, we’re just making jokes and chatting about stuff. Our community is pretty great. )
Organizing events is not mandatory. A lot of the time, somebody has a really great idea for an event they’d like to run and, if they need it, I help build the tools they need to do it (like website forms etc). But there’s absolutely no expectation of that.
This made me laugh because I think with the exception of @Tanya3231, every single one of us is an introvert. So we empathize heavily haha.
But really, this team is such an amazing group of people to work with. I’m closer with most of them now than with some of my own family. We try to support and encourage each other and really we’re like a big crazy family more than a work team.
They call me the benevolent overlord (or is it tyrant? I can’t remember ). That’s (mostly) a joke though.
This was really interesting as a q, and I couldn’t find it after the site went kaboom, lol. Happy it got rezzd!
I was a mod on a different writing site. It was awesome, fun, and all round just a really grea thing (and as you mentioned yourself - it’s something extra to add on a CV, if I ever wanted to get back into a normal job).
Personally I don’t think I’d be a mod. Too much sheer, unbridled hatred goes around for forum moderators on writing websites that can wear you down. Personal attacks from people you’ve never met before, hostile comments from users you thought were your friends, being blamed for things going wrong, and modding things from CLIENTS (has happened to me, many times) can make business relationships feel awkward. These things happen on most forums, but it seems especially problematic on forums for writing, imo. Not here, but other forums where the userbase skews quite young.
On the other hand though, modding is a really fun experience when the nastiness is put to one side! It’s a nice way to relax, actually. You also learn a lot of things about many different subjects, and helps build confidence. I think WW would be a really wonderful place to moderate, it just isn’t quite for me again.
Though I was interested in the art thing you wanted, lmao
Both, lol. But we’re really sticklers for protocol, so we generally stick to the formal term, ‘Your Benevolence’. There is also a dungeon, of course. Or, several. We’ve each kinda got our niche.
lol jk see we’re funny
So, as said, I was a mod on a different writing forum - and my business is in the indie author industry. A lot of my clients are on THIS forum, and they were on my old forum, too. Having to mod them makes business relationships feel awkward, particularly with the younger writers who think closing a thread or moving it is a direct attack. Luckily, most people aren’t stupidly OTT - but some are.
Something something art. I wish I could remember, I’ll probably go back to the thread and find it out. I couldn’t figure out how to apply with my tiny brain.
It is a bit conflicting, my older clients tend to be fine, but I have had ex-clients scream at me, demanding to know why I’m so “dumb” or hateful for removing a thread that was not appropriate, before they realise I’m their designer. Fun times!
Ahhh nooo, it isn’t this - it was on the mod thread itself! But I was interested in this once my work slows down a bit Thank you for trying to help me and my smol brain! <3