Author Topic: What do Moderators *do*?  (Read 13873 times)

Patti L.

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What do Moderators *do*?
« on: February 12, 2013, 08:51:52 am »
Hi, everyone.  *waves frantically*

A relatively new member asked me this question via personal message (PM) a week or so ago, and I decided that it might be nice to offer the information to other folks who either haven't been on this kind of board before, or even are old hands but don't have more than a vague grasp of the question from context.

So, with a few edits & additions, here's what I told that person:

I am wondering what does a moderator do? Maybe the answer is somewhere on the forum, but I didn’t yet come across it in my wandering. There’s so much information, it will take some time te get to know my way around here.

Good question!

Moderaters... keep things moderate!   LOL  We keep the threads on subject, ask people to take arguments to the PM system you & I are using now, lock threads that are at 60 pages, or if they have filled their purpose.  For instance, if you have a question for Patty about one of her books, you would start a thread in "Ask Patty" on whichever series/book it was.  Say you were doing a cross stitch of Adam, and you wanted to know what his favorite color is, so you could put him in a shirt of that color & shade. 
You would start the thread in this area: 
    The Hurog Family >
    Ask Patty and Find Your Answer >
    Mercyverse Questions (Moderators: Elle, Has, Patti L.)
Elle, Has, or I would come along & see the question, and we'd lock the thread, so it doesn't turn into all the other active members asking "didn't it say blue in Iron Kissed?" or "given his bedroom, maybe forest green" or whatever.  It doesn't get cluttered with more stuff until Patty, Mike, or Patty's assistant Ann comes along and says (I'm just doing an example here, don't take this as Adam's favorite color) "Adam adores peacock blue."
At that point, one of us 4 would move it to the child board,

    The Hurog Family >
    Ask Patty and Find Your Answer >
    Mercyverse Questions >
    Werewolves Related Answers (Moderators: Elle, Has, Zealith, Patti L., Midangel)

Also, when a thread is inactive for a long time, especially in the social areas, Introduce Yourself, Patti's Place, Games, Chat, or in the Arts & Media area, we lock and eventually delete them.

If a post is in the wrong thread - an adorable picture of cute animals, but not saying "doesn't this just look like... Varg(for example)?" is in the "Hurogs as Lolcritturs" thread, I will move it to "absolutely cute".  Or if a topic on needlework wanders into the life cycle of musk oxen, perhaps, I can cut off the musk ox & move them to Random or Natural Beauty, or Creatures of the Night (and day), a.k.a. the pet thread. 

If someone starts to talk very specifically about one of the forbidden topics of Religion or Politics and it turns into a debate, a moderator steps in and says so, and suggests the PM system again.  They may then delete the off-brand posts.

If someone spams, we step up to remove the posts and pound the Ban hammer down on the member(soon to be ex-member) in question.

Moderators can remove (or hide) the posts, by the way, but can't do anything to the membership, so if a spammer shows up and starts spewing their yuck broadcast, all the mod can do is shout for an administrator to kill the membership while rushing around with their metaphorical mop and bucket, cleaning their filth.  PLEASE help by informing us if you come across spam!  There's a “report this post” button, and if/in case it doesn't work, check the exact location (in the “navigating the forums, suggestions welcomed thread” for instance) and PM to any moderators you see online at that time.

If you have questions like "I'm not sure which section to post this comment/link/question" or "is this appropriate language for Hurog", or “why aren't you jumping on Member Y for bad typing/spelling, etc. like you do everyone else?" you can PM to a moderator to ask. - the last one, by the way, you might actually see.  We have at least one member who reads & thinks so fast he outruns his fingers, so his posts can be rather obscure.  A few others are a bit... socially underdeveloped or translating from another language, sometimes across more than one such.  There are also a couple of 10-16 year olds who post a good bit in spurts, but don't have entirely clear grasps of some English rules.  We tend – those like me (blush, okay, mostly me  :-[ ) who are obsessive about grammar, spelling, punctuation, etc. - to eventually recognize such folks and let them slide as they'll never change, and it only annoys everyone if we pick at them.

Moderators also trim some threads that are still useful, but have extraneous or outdated posts in them, so they can keep being used longer.  Some of the game threads have been re-organized so that the first several pages of posts are deleted when they get pretty full, rather than start a new thread.

Another function of moderators is to move new threads that someone posted without seeing they were in an imperfect spot to somewhere more fit.  For example, if someone posted a thread about Aralorn and Wolf, in the Mercyverse Werewolf section, it wouldn't belong there.  Wrong series, even if it is about shape shifters.  One of us would move it to the Masques & Wolvesbane section.  Usually we'll leave a notice post that the thread was moved, containing a link to the new location.

If someone hurries to ask their question, because they are just too excited to read through the FAQ section, we'll merge the post into an existing thread on the same subject.  If you've posted something (“Oh, gosh, when is the next Mercy story?  Will we see Mercy & Anna meet?”) but can't find it where you'd swear you posted it, just click on “my posts” on your own profile, and you'll be able to see it.  Click on the heading of the post to be brought to the current location.  Then read the thread for your answer  if there is one!  Some things, Patty just doesn't tell.

We also apply & remove the Black Bars Of Doom, a.k.a. Spoiler bars before & after a new book is published, if folks forget and let info hang out in public before most of the membership/guest readers have gotten a chance to read the latest release.

I hope this helps everyone.  :)
« Last Edit: March 10, 2013, 06:55:11 pm by Patti L. »
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