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becoming the moderator

frogsteak Jan 18, 2014 07:20 PM

I think that I was born to moderate forums. How do I become a moderator? Is it a paid gig and would you pay for my moving expenses?

  1. HillJ Jan 19, 2014 10:27 AM


    To the OP, you might enjoy reading this thread. The Community Mgr for CH explains.

    1. HillJ Jan 19, 2014 07:49 AM

      I'm sure the gig is fun most of the time. But I have thought: how many moderators leave the post and if burn out is common. If so, do Mods change board coverage or just stop? Questions like that. I tend to believe the small group working and volunteering at CH wear many hats and that those hats change. But, who would moderate a website of this size if they didn't enjoy the experience most of the time.

      11 Replies
      1. re: HillJ
        Bob Martinez Jan 21, 2014 10:54 AM

        I was a moderator on another food board for awhile. The mod duties rotated and most of the members took a turn. We had (and still have) a bunch of smart and opinionated people with egos to match and sometimes things got a little rough. Actually some times they got *really* rough.

        Being a mod was hard work some days and by the time my term ended I was glad to step down.

        Over the years I think the moderation on CH has gotten significantly better. I appreciate the job they do and I thank them for putting up with me.

        1. re: Bob Martinez
          HillJ Jan 21, 2014 11:02 AM

          Thanks for adding your insights. When you moderated on another food board did you do so anonymously and were you also contributing as a member off duty?

          I moderate as a floater on a hospitality board for the small hotel and BnB industry. Maybe 3 hours a week during peak season give or take. Only people working IN the industry contribute. I'd say the healthy egos exist in both Mod pools and membership. And without some really down and dirty discussion we wouldn't learn much about improving our businesses.

          1. re: HillJ
            Bob Martinez Jan 21, 2014 11:12 AM

            I moderated under my own name - in that case, a screen name - but I personally knew a number of the members. It got tricky because I had to enforce the board rules on people I really liked. There were other times when I had to get in the middle of a pretty bitter fight and wound up taking heat from both sides. (I figured I must be doing something right in that instance.)

            In the end it all turned out OK. People saw I was trying to fairly enforce the rules and wasn't playing favorites. They all still talk to me although it took one of them about a year to come around.

            1. re: HillJ
              Harters Jan 26, 2014 07:38 AM

              Interesting point, Hillj.

              I spend a lot of time on another (non-food) board. It is owned by a small not-for-profit company, which comprises the six or so moderators. They are a self-perpetuating group in that if one leaves, the remaining owners appoint a board user to join them. The system has served well for the last 12 years.

              As a matter of transparency, the moderators/owners post under their real name and usually declare their reasons why a particular post has been moderated. As someone who also posts there under a real name, it was no thrill to be declared as someone using profane, abusive and aggressive language (something which also brought me a short suspension from the board - but, hey, the guy deserved to be told he was acting like an arsewipe). That said, I think the transparency is a good thing.

              But your comment about burn out is interesting. Over the years, a number of mods have ceased to be mods and, in virtually every case, they have also soon ceased to regularly contribute to the board. Burn-out with moderating and burn-out with the subject matter.

              1. re: Harters
                HillJ Jan 26, 2014 07:58 AM

                I appreciate your comments, Harters. My colleagues and more importantly my mentors taught me earlier in my career how to avoid burn out: live a well rounded life. I know I took those words literally.

                As for transparency, sure it's a good thing if you are in good, trustworthy company. I'm also sure there are reasons why some people believe working anonymously is a preferred alternative.

                Your non-food board is wise to address turn over as a natural part of the moderation process. When you know the gig has a beginning, middle and end plus supportive owners, the expectation from the opportunity can be easily paced. Understanding that even volunteer opportunities play out like paying jobs demonstrates a full understanding for time giving.

                1. re: HillJ
                  JMF Feb 2, 2014 08:01 PM

                  I'm one of the two Admin/Moderators on a trade discussion forum/board for the past six years. I am under my own name and two people who I warned repeatedly about poor behavior, and had to ban, have now for the past several years gone out of their way to cause me trouble. One is really a pain in the neck. Lies, rumors, verbal attacks; sneaky, snarky, childish stuff. He works in the same industry as I do and although he is 3,000 miles away, it's a close knit industry on the upper levels, and so I hear stuff every now and then. Really annoying.

                  1. re: JMF
                    c oliver Feb 2, 2014 08:04 PM

                    A good argument for anonymity.

                    1. re: JMF
                      HillJ Feb 3, 2014 06:23 AM

                      I hear you JMF. Not only can moderation lead to (in extreme cases) hassles you're not either prepared for or wish for being privy to information that comes with being a moderator isn't always the privilege people think it is.

                      1. re: HillJ
                        Servorg Feb 3, 2014 06:46 AM

                        You have to wonder what type of people would be attracted to being a moderator on a forum like this one if it came with personal attacks, snark and general disdain?

                        I think that we don't want those who would find that sort of sniping from the cheap seats enjoyable or challenging, setting up a dynamic of "us vs them".

                        Rather I think I personally would like the moderators personalities to be more one of a contemplative and fair minded approach to the issues that posters raise. And I think that sort of person is best served by being anonymous since our mod's are also part of our posting community.

                        1. re: Servorg
                          HillJ Feb 3, 2014 06:56 AM

                          I have wondered. Especially with the experience of being a moderator who covers for regular Mods when they need time off. It's a totally different site with a completely different 'mission' but I am not anonymous there.

                          But Servorg, CH is the only site I know where Mods are 100% anonymous in their coverage or fall under the CH Team umbrella while also members of the community participating in threads under a nondescript s/n. So at CH you can work in your name and participate on the forums under a fun s/n. Where I report, that's not the case. I understand why, I was just surprised to learn that was the case.

                          1. re: Servorg
                            HillJ Feb 3, 2014 06:57 AM

                            As for who would be attracted to being a moderator in forums like this: Pat answered that question beautifully.

            2. e
              erincart Jan 19, 2014 02:45 AM

              I want to become a moderator

              38 Replies
              1. re: erincart
                sunshine842 Jan 19, 2014 06:53 AM

                you're not paying attention.

                1. re: erincart
                  lynnlato Jan 19, 2014 07:05 AM

                  Why would a person want to become a moderator?

                  1. re: lynnlato
                    sal_acid Jan 19, 2014 07:08 AM

                    The librarian instinct is strong for some. I say this without mockery.

                    Without mods this site would go south quickly. Unmoderated sites are pretty vile.

                    Could things be done differently at times...sure.

                    1. re: lynnlato
                      TeRReT Jan 19, 2014 07:11 AM

                      So I could removed all vowels from someone's post, or put accents over all letter e's, or remove all spaces from a post (except after the letter r of course).

                      I would make a good mod *nudge nudge* I don't discriminate I would do this from all location boards, vegetarian and carnivore posts, people with gluten intolerance and people who garden.

                      1. re: lynnlato
                        Veggo Jan 19, 2014 07:43 AM

                        Those who most want to be, won't be.

                        1. re: Veggo
                          HillJ Jan 19, 2014 08:05 AM

                          Comments like that only add to the mystery that is CH moderation. Individuals either know what's involved in becoming a Mod for this site or they don't.

                          If Mod identity was known the value would be completely different. So Veggo, are you a Mod? :)
                          Oops, that's not permitted...

                          1. re: HillJ
                            Veggo Jan 19, 2014 08:59 AM

                            I would tire from deleting my own posts, and the site would degenerate into something akin to the boat ride in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.

                            1. re: Veggo
                              HillJ Jan 19, 2014 09:23 AM

                              Yet, group manged to look to Jack as leader of the Nest....

                              1. re: HillJ
                                Veggo Jan 19, 2014 10:49 AM

                                I bowed out of a political life 12 years ago, and I neither seek nor would I accept a position in which any decision I make will piss off about half of the people around me!

                                1. re: Veggo
                                  HillJ Jan 19, 2014 11:00 AM

                                  With no mask to hide your face, plenty of people would agree with you, I'm sure.

                                  OTOH, CH moderators are anonymous. Having comments deleted, often without detailed or lengthy explanation from an unknown editor, does seem to aggravate a good many.

                                  Either way, you know what you're getting into beforehand because a) the rest of the team will tell you and b) no good deed goes unpunished is no lie.

                                  1. re: HillJ
                                    sunshine842 Jan 19, 2014 01:19 PM

                                    CH mods are not *all* anonymous -- they have the option of having a small red diamond appear next to their name -- Jacquilynne and Dave both have a red diamond.

                                    1. re: sunshine842
                                      The Chowhound Team Jan 19, 2014 01:40 PM

                                      Volunteer moderators do not have the red diamond on their individual user names, and do not have the option to do so.

                                      1. re: sunshine842
                                        HillJ Jan 19, 2014 02:00 PM

                                        Jacq & Dave are on the CHOW staff; not volunteers. This was explained to me when I made the mistake of confusing staff with volunteers and it was also explained to me that all Mods are in fact anonymous and volunteers.

                                        Later, it was explained that the red diamond is used by members of the CHOW staff. Unfortunately, the CHOW Staff list was removed from the About CHOW page or I could point in that direction.

                                        As I understand it, Moderators edit and delete comments that fall outside the scope of discussion guidelines and Dave & Jacq support the CH community by providing oversight, making announcements and dealing with member questions related to moderation and community. At least that was my understanding as of this past year. I note a good deal of overlapping support btwn s/n's DaveMP, Jacq and "The CH Team."

                                        1. re: HillJ
                                          sunshine842 Jan 19, 2014 02:32 PM

                                          sorry (to all) -- I didn't know that.

                                          I remember seeing a discussion thread about whether or not the red diamond should be there, but didn't realize that the volunteers were always anonymous.

                                          1. re: HillJ
                                            Charles Yu Jan 19, 2014 08:19 PM

                                            But their rationale and interpretation are NOT always right!!!! I can show case after case when they showed BIAS!!!!!!!!

                                            1. re: Charles Yu
                                              HillJ Jan 19, 2014 08:29 PM

                                              I am sure you can. I did read the other thread you wrote earlier today explaining that in great deal.

                                              I will say with all due respect to you, that as helpful and enjoyable as CH is, I am unable to get worked up over a food website.

                                              1. re: HillJ
                                                Servorg Jan 19, 2014 08:34 PM

                                                How will you ever succeed as a person with a reasonable and logical approach to life like that? (g)

                                                1. re: Servorg
                                                  HillJ Jan 19, 2014 08:41 PM

                                                  (g) lord help me.

                                            2. re: HillJ
                                              c oliver Jan 19, 2014 08:32 PM

                                              I understood that they never "edit" posts. They may give the poster the opportunity to do that but they themselves won't.

                                              1. re: c oliver
                                                HillJ Jan 19, 2014 08:41 PM

                                                Correct. When I said edit I meant by request.

                                2. re: Veggo
                                  jrvedivici Jan 21, 2014 08:54 PM

                                  I mailed in 5 Capt Crunch box tops and 3 weeks later I got moderators badge in the mail.

                                  So I sit here with nothing on but my suspenders and moderators badge and I moderate all the boards!

                                  (Full disclosure I moderate them to myself, my badge doesn't give me any official power)

                                  1. re: jrvedivici
                                    Servorg Jan 21, 2014 09:04 PM

                                    Where is your decoder ring?

                                    1. re: Servorg
                                      jrvedivici Jan 22, 2014 10:54 AM

                                      You need to send in 5 Fruit Loop box tops for those, and I don't eat Fruit Loops, since the name insinuates some form of healthy eating.

                                      1. re: jrvedivici
                                        Servorg Jan 22, 2014 10:59 AM

                                        That reminds me. Did you happen to catch the incredible news today that "all" of the Fruit Loops were made the same flavor? First Santa Claus...then Edward Snowden and now the Fruit Loops conspiracy? Where will it all end?

                                        1. re: Servorg
                                          jrvedivici Jan 22, 2014 11:04 AM

                                          No I didn't see that but I wouldn't know the difference because of my previously noted aversion, sound like another marketing genius. Sold millions of boxes filled with false promises of various fruit flavors, only to get one uniformed falsely manufactured flavor. Cereal bastards!

                                          What's this Santa Claus, Snoden thing? Does the NSA monitor the naughty and nice list each year? Is Santa's candy-apple I-phone tapped? When or where will it end???

                                          1. re: jrvedivici
                                            Servorg Jan 22, 2014 11:17 AM

                                            I figured that Snowden (you know "Snow Den") had something to do with the whole Santa thing and that's why I linked them. I understand some of the Elves may have turned "North Pole" informers - talk about evil (little) bastards!

                                            1. re: Servorg
                                              hill food Jan 22, 2014 05:36 PM

                                              Servorg - here's a little known fact: the Elves are the ones calling the shots. it's a bureaucratic system built on the early predictions/observations of sociologic and economic philosophers John Stuart Mill and Karl 'Max' Weber.

                                              Santa? he's a drunk golem left in a box all year, only carted out for appearances.

                                              1. re: hill food
                                                jrvedivici Jan 23, 2014 08:59 AM

                                                "Santa? he's a drunk golem left in a box all year, only carted out for appearances."

                                                I actually was a mall Santa one time, so I guess you are pretty accurate.

                                        2. re: jrvedivici
                                          singlemalt Jan 23, 2014 09:02 AM

                                          FWIW, and not much, but somewhat of a novelty, Momofuku, The Noodle Bar, serves a Fruit Loop ice cream. Not bad but undefinable taste.

                                          1. re: jrvedivici
                                            JonParker Jan 24, 2014 09:50 AM

                                            There is nothing healthy about them. Check the box-- it's not "Fruit Loops." It's "Froot Loops." Froot is a whole different thing.

                                            1. re: JonParker
                                              jrvedivici Jan 24, 2014 10:54 AM

                                              Thanks Jon, sometimes I just feel so stoopid. I wonder if someone should contact them about the typo, it's amazing the things that can get by a big company like that!

                                    2. re: lynnlato
                                      petek Jan 19, 2014 08:20 AM

                                      <Why would a person want to become a moderator?>

                                      Why all the amazing perks that come with the job of course!
                                      Fame, fortune, power. influence etc....

                                      1. re: petek
                                        HillJ Jan 19, 2014 08:30 AM

                                        Over @ Serious Eats they eat really well.

                                        I sure hope there are 'some' perks with the post.

                                        1. re: petek
                                          Bob Martinez Jan 21, 2014 10:46 AM

                                          Not to mention the drugs and the groupies.

                                      2. re: erincart
                                        cowboyardee Jan 19, 2014 07:14 AM

                                        I don't want to be a moderator.

                                        I just want unrestricted power to ban people.

                                        1. re: cowboyardee
                                          Samalicious Jan 19, 2014 07:39 AM

                                          Choose me, choose me!

                                          1. re: cowboyardee
                                            carolinadawg Jan 19, 2014 07:39 AM

                                            That's one of the perks of being a mod.

                                            1. re: cowboyardee
                                              Servorg Jan 19, 2014 11:10 AM

                                              Go ahead - Bánh mì! I dare you! (with pate please) ;-D>

                                          2. hill food Jan 18, 2014 08:10 PM

                                            I've heard it involves unspeakable acts that every last bit of compulsive handwashing can never cleanse the resultant self-hatred.

                                            pfff. not worth it.

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: hill food
                                              Charles Yu Jan 18, 2014 09:42 PM

                                              Totally agree with hill food! Why try to become one of the most hated person on earth??!! Do you know how many regular, seasoned hounds they have driven away??!! I personally know of at least a dozen who no longer post due to their actions!!

                                              1. re: Charles Yu
                                                hill food Jan 21, 2014 04:39 PM

                                                Yu - the rumored acts I referred to have nothing to do with the actual role.

                                            2. c oliver Jan 18, 2014 07:48 PM

                                              If I remember correctly, moderators can't volunteer. They're invited based on posting/flagging history that is compatible with CH standards. It's a volunteer job and is done from one's own home.

                                              3 Replies
                                              1. re: c oliver
                                                sunshine842 Jan 18, 2014 08:06 PM

                                                as it is with almost every forum I've ever been on.

                                                good luck with that, though.

                                                1. re: c oliver
                                                  frogsteak Jan 18, 2014 09:22 PM

                                                  is that why the moderator occasional asks for a particular user to email them.

                                                  1. re: frogsteak
                                                    c oliver Jan 19, 2014 02:41 AM

                                                    You're joking, right?!?!?

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