Effective Strategies for Forum Moderation
Friday, April 26th, 2013
Cross-posted from the ForumCon blog. ForumCon is the only conference dedicated to the business of Forums and will be held this year in San Francisco on June 13.
The good folks that run ForumCon have asked me to lead a session on forum moderation.
My session is entitled “Effective Strategies for Forum Moderation,” and we’ll be focusing on ways to keep the peace in your forum.
When resolving sticky situations in online communities, it’s vitally important to choose your words with care. When you can’t convey your meaning with body language or facial expressions, it’s easy for your words to be misconstrued. That’s especially true when communicating with an angry member. So I’ll be sharing some of the language I always turn to in these situations, and asking session participants to share their ideas.
We’ll also spend some time talking about forum rules. Forum rules are a tricky topic, because few visitors take the time to read them. But when a forum member starts causing trouble, you still need a set of rules that you can point to when calling out an infraction. Forum rules are not a one-size-fits-all proposition. The topic, membership, and sensibilities of the forum should dictate what the rules are. But there are still some concepts that apply to any forum, and we’ll discuss them.
There are certain types of people that seem to turn up in any forum. There are helpful types, troublesome types, and those that are merely an annoyance. I’ll talk about the five types of people I often see in online communities, and I’ll ask the group to share stories about forum participants they’ve run into.
We’ll also open up the conversation and swap stories about difficult situations we’ve faced in our forums, and discuss how we resolved them.
Finally, I’ll be sharing the online community management resources I turn to for advice and ideas, and asking the group to share theirs.
Are there topics related to forum moderation and management you think we ought to include in this session? Do you have any questions that we can answer during the session? Please join the conversation via #ForumCon, the official twitter @ForumCon, via their Facebook page, or add your thoughts below.