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Strategies for Effective Forum Moderation

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Slides from my forum moderation session at ForumCon 2013 in San Francisco

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Strategies for Effective Forum Moderation

  1. 1. Strategies for EffectiveForum ModerationDave CayemDelphi ForumsTwitter: @DaveCayemBlog: cayem.comEmail: dave@delphiforums.com
  2. 2. Opening Thoughts• All forums are different, so each requires itsown moderation style• Moderate to your business goals• Language is vitally important• Praise in public, criticize in private
  3. 3. 5 Rules for Moderating a ForumRule #1: Have Rules!“…a publicly posted set of guidelines, or rules, isvery important because then, when somethingneeds to be addressed, you have something torefer to – a public document that all can see.”Patrick O’KeefeManagingCommunities.comAuthor of “Managing Online Forums”
  4. 4. 5 Rules for Moderating a ForumRule #1: Have Rules!“New members don’t read the rules. No onedoes. It may be comforting (and legally useful)to have them, but lets not pretend they doanything to change behaviour.”Richard MillingtonFeverBee Community ConsultancyAuthor of “Buzzing Communities”
  5. 5. 5 Rules for Moderating a ForumRule #1: Have Rules!
  6. 6. 5 Rules for Moderating a ForumRule #1: Have Rules!
  7. 7. 5 Rules for Moderating a ForumRule #1: Have Rules!
  8. 8. 5 Rules for Moderating a ForumRule #2: Be Consistent• Don’t let troublemakers accuse you ofplaying favorites• Have a set of written guidelines detailingcommon infractions and how to deal withthem
  9. 9. 5 Rules for Moderating a ForumRule #3: Take Emotion Out of The Equation• Never get into a fight with a disruptivemember – kill them with kindness• Getting nasty with troublemakers just givesthem another reason to believe that they’rebeing somehow victimized
  10. 10. 5 Rules for Moderating a ForumRule #4: Be Clear About Expectations• When calling out a member for breaking therules (which you should always do in private),be clear about what you’re doing and why• Give people the benefit of the doubt• Don’t scare the newbies!
  11. 11. 5 Rules for Moderating a ForumRule #5: Safety First• If anything occurs in your community thatsuggests a threat to anyone’s safety orproperty, make sure the authorities arenotified.• If a member feels threatened, urge him/herto contact law enforcement
  12. 12. ScenarioYour forum rules clearly state no foullanguage. A member drops the F-bomb in theforum.How to you respond?
  13. 13. 5 Kinds of Forum Participants
  14. 14. 5 Kinds of Forum Participants• The Professor
  15. 15. 5 Kinds of Forum Participants• The Professor• The Traffic Cop
  16. 16. 5 Kinds of Forum Participants• The Professor• The Traffic Cop• The Show Off
  17. 17. 5 Kinds of Forum Participants• The Professor• The Traffic Cop• The Show Off• The Technical Expert
  18. 18. 5 Kinds of Forum Participants• The Professor• The Traffic Cop• The Show Off• The Technical Expert• The Attorney
  19. 19. 5 Kinds of Forum ParticipantsOthers?What kind of difficult members have you comeacross?
  20. 20. 5 Key Phrases for Moderators“I know some people are anxious to post anddon’t read the rules…”“I’m sorry you’re having a problem”“Your input is appreciated”“I took the liberty of moving your post”“I really can’t add anything to what’s alreadybeen said”
  21. 21. War StoriesTell us about your biggest forum moderationchallenge and how you dealt with it
  22. 22. Helpful ResourcesBlogsfeverbee.com#cmgr #cmgrhangoutmycmgr.comHashtags
  23. 23. Thanks for comingDave CayemDelphi ForumsTwitter: @DaveCayemBlog: cayem.comEmail: dave@delphiforums.com

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