Professional Forum Moderators

I’ve moderated a lot of forums and chats. I never feel personally responsible for maintaining freedom of speech. If I delete, I delete without looking back or being obligated to give a lengthy explanation.

I like the word moderator for the people who run a forum (or chat, etc.). Moderation is what it is all about: letting people talk, make their points but not letting it go overboard. For me that is any comment that becomes a personal attack versus something constructive. I don’t require everyone to agree with me or the topic under discussion. I like having someone with a different opinion and other ideas. You can build or re-build your own ideas from a view opposing your own. However, when people lose themselves in the discussion and make it about personal attacks, that is when moderation is needed. All things, but in moderation.

Could I be a professional forum moderator? I don’t know. It might take more patience and even tempered-ness than I really have each and every day.

Forum Moderators –

is an integral resource for webmasters and forum administrators. You can find professionally trained, assessed and registered forum moderators for your network or we can assess and register your volunteers. Our aim is to protect your network and your brands integrity.

Professional forum moderators are growing in demand as companies discover the need for community content management.

Internet Business: Choosing Forum Moderators

Blaise Grimes-Viort: How to recruit a Community Moderator via social media

SitePoint- The Forum Moderators Guide to Life (2 parts) by Aaron Brazell.

The Moderator Community –

Our mission is to serve community managers, moderators and experts interested in sharing and learning from each other. We aim for an environment of exchange, collaboration and learning among peers – community enthusiasts with similar interests.

The Moderators Homepage – Directory of resources. (Some may be old, clicker beware).

The Community Roundtable – a private peer network for community managers and social media practitioners.

OCM Forum – for online community managers.

The new term for forum moderators may be social media managers or community managers. But, a forum moderator to me is a specific job in social media and online communities. A forum may include a live chat like a podcast and Twitter. However, a forum does not cover all social media or all types of online communities. I don’t think a forum moderator would be writing a newsletter for instance. If that is the case, then that person has been taking on extra work and should be given an upgrade to their job title. Moderating a forum, helping it to grow and keeping it lively is a big enough job for one person, in an active forum.

Evangelist Marketing: Using the Buzz!

I stumbled on the term evangelist used in a job description. It was a first for me. I went on to read more and look it up as a career option too. I did find a job which wanted someone to create buzz for their company using all the social media and other online options. I also read about how some companies embrace the buzz about their products/ services and others intentionally ignore and downgrade it even. (I think they must be stuck in the mud). I also read more about the idea itself, evangelist marketing theory.

From Wikipedia: How to Create customer evangelists?

In their book, Creating Customer Evangelists: How Loyal Customers Become a Volunteer Sales Force, Ben McConnell and Jackie Huba outline six steps to creating customer evangelists:

  1. Customer plus-delta (Continuously gather customer feedback)
  2. Napsterize knowledge (Freely share your knowledge)
  3. Build the buzz (Create intelligent word-of-mouth networks)
  4. Create community (Encourage communities of customers to meet and share)
  5. Make bite-size chunks (Devise specialized, smaller offerings to get customers to bite)
  6. Create a cause (Focus on making the world, or your industry, better)

WebProNews: The Power of Customer Evangelist Marketing

AimClear: The Respectable Social Media Marketing Evangelist

FastCompany: Buzz without Bucks

For that job.. The company wanted someone to run the corporate blog (including creating podcasts), keep an eye out for any mention of the company and it’s products in any kind of web media and then play it up, cater to it. You would be involved in customer feedback and beta testing offline as well.

The right candidate:
• Has a deep knowledge of and passion for technology
• Is one of those “connectors” that makes other people want to follow them
• Has experience with, and passion for, creating and consuming new content types: websites, blogs, podcasts, wikis, etc.
• Is an active blogger (This is a must! – be prepared to show me your stuff)
• Will be the go-to person when it comes to what’s hot and what’s not on the Web.
• Is a self-starter with the willingness, and desire, to “roll up your sleeves” and get the job done
• Has masterful interpersonal, verbal and written communication skills with a juicy Web 2.0 style
• Has the ability to work collaboratively in a team environment
• Might have past experience as technology evangelist- this is a plus!

Word of Mouth Marketing Association

Demonstrating the One Question Interview

Question – If you could hire a professional writer for your blog, would you choose to do so or keep writing your own content for yourself?

Canucklehead – I would continue to write myself. Visitors of Canucklehead have come to expect and in an odd way enjoy the mindless, barely legible way I write and I’m afraid writing that was in any way professional would frighten and/or confuse them. (NOTE: I would however spend the money on beer – hence the whole mindless and barely legible thing. CHEERS!)

Texas RV Travel Blog – I have been a professional writer and editor for almost 30 years. – My current site is a picture blog, so there’s not much to be written in it. But in the past I’ve had writing blogs, and I would continue to write for them myself as long as the sites stayed informal. If I was running a tech/business blog or something similar that needed a bit more formality, I’d most likely hire someone.

Tycoon Blogger – I have several blogs and some I am not as anal about so for those I would allow a hired writer to create the content. On my flagship blog, Tycoon Blogger, I enjoy writing on the topic of blogging and social media so much that I would continue to write even if I had the option not to.

Old Red Pen – I do a comic. I’d always want to be the primary illustrator, but I’d be happy to feature guest artists if I enjoy their work.

The Thin Red Line – I will definitely always do my own writing. I’m not a professional writer per se, yet I have and do make money by putting words together.

Thirty Something Blog – I would continue to write my own content. I do enjoy posting a guest post by someone else every now and then, but it’s MY blog and it wouldn’t feel right having someone else writing the content. I do this as a hobby, for fun. Hiring someone would defeat the purpose.

Ken Writing – My blog is my writing and my writing is my blog. If someone else were to do it, it wouldn’t be mine.

Cromely’s World – I have had a couple of guest posters, but I wouldn’t hire a writer. I blog specifically because I need to write. The act of writing keeps from brain from falling apart due to work related concerns.

Jane Bradbury and Paint Shop Pro – I will always write the majority of my content. I’m a perfectionist and couldn’t bear to farm it out, and like Ken, it wouldn’t then be mine. The mistakes I make now are my own mistakes; if no one likes my blog then it’s my own fault. I can’t shift the blame to someone else, or use them as an excuse. I do fancy some guest posts though

New Scribbles – I would continue writing for myself, it is part of the fun for me, I like my blogs to have a little bit of me in them, my humour etc. Plus I am a writer and love to scribble

I asked this on the forums at CMF Ads. I was glad to get a good variation of answers. As you read the answers which hold your interest, which of them are you likely to follow up to see their own sites? When you give an interview it is important to have the information being asked but, don’t forget this is self promotion too. Use your interview to engage your reader, even when it is a short interview which isn’t appearing on your own site. You never know who will be reading and possibly dropping by to visit you.