How to help our volunteer moderators

I’m reacting to the news of @kerridoc’s departure and I just wanted space for a grown-up debate to mull it over.

Being a moderator on this forum can be great fun, it’s an opportunity to reach a global community and get a glimpse of the inner workings of SG.

But we’ve seen that it is very difficult to get a balance and I think all is us who have held the role have eventually had to admit that it’s detrimental to the other things we value.

From SG’s point of view, it’s a huge win - the moderators provide a free service worth tens of thousands of dollars a year and generally to a very high standard (some of @zephyr1’s threads have astonishing technical grace).

But should they have more of a duty of care?

Should they build in more limits or guidance to the time mods spend here?

I think that if every time I logged in it told me I’d spent 20 hours a week already, I might think twice.

I know there’s always an argument that we’re adults and should have the maturity and discipline to moderate ourselves, but we’re also keen and fallible.

@rook - you’ve survived the longest and I applaud you.
@garanwyn - we miss you, may health and wholeness be abundantly yours
@zephyr1 - your work rate is astonishing, please look after yourself
@kerridoc - you’re ever an example of intelligent and wise discourse and a pillar of the community

@petri and staff, a few ideas I’ve brainstormed maybe just some food for thought for the next round of mod recruitment:

  • limit or record the time mods spend on the forum
  • decrease mods powers - maybe only staff could deal with flags
  • increase the power of regulars to merge or edit
  • increase the number of mods

Civil and Constructive thoughts welcome!

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I think they should be paid. At least a little bit. Even if it was just something like free VIP.

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I would support this, though sometimes I get too hasty in suggesting merges for duplicate threads. So maybe a user level between mod and regular that allows this? At the very least, some training/thorough documentation would be needed, but I get that’s not the initial intent of this post.

Just the other day I discovered that I could recategorize (whole) threads and I started kicking non-bug threads out of Bugs-Issues and into General-Discussion. So if I already have that authority, then I don’t see merging as too big of a step forward.

Also, just like the mods may feel some sense of duty to respond, sometimes I hesitate to flag things or copy @zephyr1 on a post because I feel like they’re being overworked (even if it’s voluntary). So then the forum suffers because I’m not taking an action that could improve things.

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I’ve been on the wrong end of the stick with moderators many times. It doesn’t mean I hate them or anything. In fact I repect them. The Job is quite a handful & you need a level of professionalism to do it without blurring in your own bias.

I think they should be paid.

The company is not poor. Enough penny pinching aleady, SG makes a truck load of money, their official forum moderators make none.

Does this sound even remotely fair to anyone?

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I liked your post for the payment sentiment but VIP is not remotely enough.

Moderators should be employed. They should be paid appropriately for their work hours.
They should have a defined period comprising their work week, and limits to overtime.

This is not the forum of a small indie group with limited resources, there is no need for moderator work to be volunteered.

Right now their goodwill and enthusiasm is being strip mined :frowning:

Edit: for clarity, I meant it shouldn’t be exclusively or majority volunteers.

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No, it’s not nearly enough, but currently they’re just doing it out of the kindness of their hearts. At least give them something.

I post here a lot, but that’s just to kill time, and I probably cause more work for the mods in the process (apologies for that). I would not want to be a moderator without getting paid. Posting silly stuff for fun is one thing, but spending all my time merging and censoring posts and responding to every flag… that doesn’t sound like fun to me. Definitely not something I would do for free.

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I get this, but the way I understand things, SG hosts this for us, and we provide the content for the welfare of the general player population. And I think that’s where the rub is with payment/employment. This is something that is made available to us to improve our in-game experience, but it’s not officially a part of the product.

There is also then the risk of PR issues if the moderators become the official (employed) faces of SG.

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Yeah I could see how this could be scary… right now, if we complain about the summoning odds or something, the current mods let us complain, sometimes they even agree with us. If they were official SG employees… I would probably have to delete my posts and close my forum account.

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Okay. So they host it and dictate the limits of the content (separate gated subsections like APL, no promotion of other games, choose the mods etc.) but at the same time it’s not officially part of the product. Sounds like a win-win for them, all the control and not much responsibility of maintenance.

I didn’t think about it being discourse, I’m more familiar with PC products that have employed community managers and mods that interacts more directly with the players. Oh well.

Then I really hope that the people currently being head-hunted to volunteer as tributes feel comfortable to decline if they don’t want the job!

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LOL

imagesD3UM5L5V

Thank you for sacrificing your life for the community!

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The moderators could all decide to go on strike and there isn’t anything SG can do about it.

I highly doubt it happens but if it did it would hurt them. The moderators are what keeps this going. Sure SG has the money and pays pennies for the forum I am sure but the moderators keep it organized. That is no easy task.

SG has no cover if they all decide to get up and go. I have seen a few come and go now. Even long time players leaving for various reasons.

SG should offer something to the community that is keeping them in business in a way. That is the right thing to do and beneficial to them as well.

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Thank you @JonahTheBard for starting this thread. I honestly don’t know how our moderators do what they do to keep this forum, up-to-date and user friendly.

Just having to deal with the plethora of venting threads that pop up on a daily basis, and the repetitive player questions asked over, and over, over again - Where’s the place to find recruits? , when is Atlantis rising? , can you help me build my next defense? Merge? Flag? . Yes, we have awesome forum users that give of their time and expertise to answer all queries. But our moderators go above and beyond that.

Every time there’s a new trial, event or hero I just expect @zephyr1 would have organised something. Are my expectations adding more pressure to our tireless zephyr?

In the counting game (yes I know, its not everyone’s cup of tea, and yes I’ve seen your comments @ModernThinker :smile:) would not exist without them. We now have a forum regular and pseudo-mod @littleKAF (have I thanked you for volunteering?) lending a zero or 50.

Our moderators do so much more and deserve more than our thanks.

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I’m not saying I don’t agree with you… but would paying them be some kind of conflict of interest?

I do think SG is reaping a huge (free) benefit off the backs of dedicated and knowledgeable players.

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I concur they should get some in-game benefits.
No cash, it’s a volunteer thing, but some e-mail gift as apreciation would be cool.

Some of them (@zephyr1 i’m looking at you) do an incredible service to this forum, while others (now glancing at @Kerridoc ) still giving the best suggestion and guidance to us all.

Special offers for them, free gifts, gudgets, you name it.
They deserve at least a little something back.

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@Kerridoc has suggested that there may be “mods in training” as we speak.

I’d be willing to bet my next 300 gems that Kaffy is one of them.

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Oh @TGW are you taking bets? :rofl:.

Suggests your theory is in error.

Apologies to the OP… Waaaaay off topic.

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I’m really interested to see the debate developing. In a way though this sentiment,

while noble and deserved, misses my main concern - mods burn out because they are overstretched, not because they are unrewarded.

As some like @Math4lyfe have said, converting volunteer player mods to staff is problematic, the solution in that sense is for SG to recruit more proper employees through professional channels.

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Hello,
Maybe, i sure it easily doable, nstead of in game stuff, RL items such as movies passes, other type of
discount coupons stuff.
I would i think also remind the mods to have some fun as a thank you for their time and patience.
Just a not very well articulated thought.
Wolf9
:sunglasses:

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Pfft… They don’t have time for the movies. They have to moderate. Lol. Jk

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@JonahTheBard I agree, more people would help spread out the work load… but finding people who can moderate consistently may become an issue. Idk how that part of the forum is controlled… like I said in a different post, I’m fairly new to this scene. But from past experiences, if the admin team doesn’t have the same vision, it could wreak havoc throughout the community.

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