Forum Moderators Wanted

September 30th, 2006 by Steve Pavlina

As previously mentioned I’ll be adding discussion forums to this site soon.  Now is the time to let me know if you’d like to volunteer to be a forum moderator.  Here are the details.

Specially I’m looking for moderators who…

  • … have previous forum moderation experience, especially VBulletin forums
  • … have been regular or semi-regular readers of this site for at least 90 days
  • … can be decisive, fair, consistent, and mature in moderating forum posts (aka Moderation for Smart People)
  • … expect to participate actively in the forums themselves, at least daily
  • … have a passion for personal growth
  • … are at least 18 years old
  • … have strong English skills (people from all countries are welcome)

The main reason I’m looking for people with previous moderation experience isn’t because forum moderation is technically difficult.  It’s because moderation requires a certain degree of maturity and wisdom, and those qualities take experience to build.  The moderator’s decisions, or lack thereof, can make or break a forum.  So even if you lack specific forum moderation experience, feel free to apply if you think you have equivalent life experience appropriate to the task.

Having previously managed some popular forums myself, I favor a moderation style that maintains a very high signal-to-noise ratio.  Sometimes this requires being a bit heavy-handed, but I want these forums to be a powerful resource to help you grow.

What does moderation involve?

Basically you check the forums at least once a day and use the built-in moderation functions to handle any problems that come up.  You’ll automatically receive an email whenever a forum member reports a problem, so in many cases you’ll be alerted to problems before you even visit the site.

Your privileges will include the ability to delete, close/re-open, and move threads and posts.  You’ll also be able to send private messages to members.  The forums will require registration with an image-based verification process for all members, so you shouldn’t have to worry about automated spam attacks.  Before the forums officially go live, I’ll personally work with the moderators to hammer out a list of forum etiquette rules, so basically your job will be to ensure that the community members follow those rules.  Most of this will be pretty obvious — no spam, no sexual content, no harassing people, and so on.  But written rules will ensure that all moderators are on the same page and the community has a fairly consistent moderation style throughout.

Depending on how many qualified people apply to be moderators and how popular the forums become, we could have multiple moderators per forum or multiple forums per moderator.  I’ll aim to maintain a good ratio that keeps the moderation duties fairly light.  On most days moderators shouldn’t have any problems to address at all.

If you decide you no longer wish to moderate, you can quit at any time.  I just ask that you give me reasonable notice (two weeks would be great) to find a suitable successor.

Why become a moderator?

Anyone who’s moderated a forum already knows how rewarding it can be.  If your goal is to fill an ego-based need like status or popularity, you probably won’t make a good moderator.  A good reason to become a moderator is that you love helping people and are looking for an outlet to contribute.  Great moderators are active in their forums, and they love seeing their communities blossom.  An active moderator has tremendous influence over the type of community that evolves.  If there’s anything you’ll get out of being a moderator, it’s that you’ll build stronger communication and leadership skills.

How to apply

If you’re interested in becoming a moderator, just visit the Contact Form and send me the following info:

  • some basic info about yourself (who you are, what you do, your main interests, your web site if you have one)
  • your previous history with StevePavlina.com (how long you’ve been visiting and how often)
  • previous forum moderation experience you’ve had (or why you’d make a good moderator)
  • which particular forum(s) you’d most enjoy moderating (see list below)
  • your city and country (ideally I’d like to build an internationally diverse group)
  • why you’d like to be a moderator

When selecting the message type on the Contact Form, please select the one that says, “Apply to become a forum moderator,” so the message ends up in the correct bin.  Feel free to ask me questions about forum moderation as well.

I’ve no idea how many people will apply, so I don’t know how selective I’ll have to be, but once all the moderators have been selected, I’ll train them in using VBulletin’s moderation features as needed (it’s fairly straightforward and easy to learn).  And whenever everyone is ready, we’ll open the gates and get this party started.  :)

The only reason I’m being so anal about all this is that this site gets a significant amount of traffic already, so I think it’s wise to establish good moderation from the beginning.

Here’s the planned initial forum structure, which has been tweaked a bit from the last version I posted:

Personal Development

Health & Fitness - health issues, diet, exercise, sleep, fitness, endurance, flexibility, strength, physical skills, sports, health habits, healing

Personal Effectiveness – goals, productivity, time management, motivation, self-discipline, overcoming procrastination, habits, organizing, problem-solving, decision-making, intelligence

Emotional Mastery – emotional intelligence, addiction and recovery, grieving, loss, fear, anger, guilt, apathy, resentment, frustration, anxiety, depression, happiness, joy, love, kindness, forgiveness, self-acceptance, confidence, escaping the pit of despair

Character & Contribution – values, integrity, finding your purpose, living your purpose, serving the greater good, making a difference, changing the world, lightworkers, charity

Business & Financial – career, work, money, income generation, personal finance, investing, debt, wealth, abundance, entrepreneurship, sales, marketing, SEO, commerce, economics, blogging, podcasting

Technology & Technical Skills – computer skills, hardware, software, internet topics, gadgets

Social & Relationships – social skills, family life, friends, soul mates, marriage, parenting, children, education, dating, networking

Spirituality, Consciousness, & Awareness – spirituality, beliefs, the nature of reality, consciousness, awareness, metaphysics, truth, philosophy, religion

Intention-Manifestation – manifesting intentions, law of attraction, vibrational harmony, synchronicities, luck, share your intentions, practice group manifesting

Psychic & Paranormal – psi skills, psychic energy, dreams, lucid dreaming, astral projection, paranormal phenomena, non-physical entities, extraterrestrials, channeling, clairvoyance, clairaudience, clairsentience, claircognizance

Fun & Recreation – enjoying life, pleasurable experiences, travel, adventure, games, vacationing, jokes, humorous stories

Local Groups – find or form a personal development or mastermind group in your area

 

Steve & Erin

Steve Pavlina – Discuss ideas, articles, and podcasts from this site

Erin Pavlina – Discuss ideas and articles from Erin’s website

 

General

General & Introductions – general discussion forum for topics that don’t fit elsewhere, introduce yourself, make new friends

 

I expect these forums will become very successful, not because of the particular topics or the pre-existing popularity of this web site but because of the people they’ll attract – people who are committed to learning and growing.  I’ve gotten to know many of you from our private conversations, and now I’m delighted that you’ll finally have the chance to meet each other.

Update 11/7/06:  The forums have already launched and are a huge success.  Moderator positions have all been filled.


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