How to Become a Moderator


Staff member
  • #1
So, You'd Like to Become a Forum Moderator

Moderating the IndyFor community is fun and rewarding. Getting involved is a great way to give back and to learn a lot about how forums work. You can also learn a lot about how people work too. There are lots and lots of personalities out there and getting to know so many on such an intimate level can help you out immensely in life. Becoming a forum moderator is also an awesome way to boost your resume. If accepted and if you perform a job well done, you can add the experience to your list and whomever you show your resume to will know that you can be trusted with great responsibility.

There are a few different names for this job; forum administrator, forum moderator, mod, admin - whatever it's called, the person who holds a position such as this would be responsible for making sure all members adhere to the rules that are laid out for the community. This person would also offer support to those members who may need it. And beyond that, moderators are also expected to drive traffic to the forum and cultivate conversation among members new and old. It's not always easy to land a position like this because a lot of effort is required for building trust with the owner of the website, but once someone develops the reputation and the necessary traits, board owners will snatch them right up. They'll be a hot commodity.

Have you ever visited an online forum that's run amok? Perhaps the board wasn't staffed correctly or maybe it didn't have any moderation at all? If you have, you know how important moderation can be. Bad boards and good boards are as different as day and night and bad boards don't last very long. This is why forum owners place so much emphasis on who they accept as moderators. Basically, a moderator is the face (or one of the faces) of the community as a whole and if they do the job well and earn respect among the members, the forum will flourish.

What is Moderation?

Any reputable message forum will offer a well crafted list of rules to follow as well as some clear terms and conditions for using the website. These rules and terms define acceptable behavior and punishment for those who deviate from that behavior. Some of these deviant behaviors might include posting illegal or offensive material, fighting with or insulting other members, or generally disrupting existing conversation. Posts that are against the rules need to be removed, members who offend others need to be dealt with, and conversation that gets disrupted by bad actors needs to be brought back into line. These types of tasks fall on the shoulders of forum moderators. Moderators are like the cops. They have great authority and they patrol the community forums as a whole. In certain cases, moderators may be limited to just one forum that's contained within a group of forums, but that type of situation really depends on the website in question. Moderators have additional account privileges that are above and beyond those given to regular member accounts. These privileges allow the moderators to delete posts, edit threads, and ban members from using the website. To be an effective forum moderator, someone should know the rules of the board well and must be as impartial as a judge in court. They'll need to set aside any personal bias so they can handle all different types of situations fairly and equitably.

It's Usually Voluntary in the Beginning

Most forum moderation positions don't pay any money. And believe it or not, most of the best moderators on the internet ever ask for any. A good moderator enjoys being part of their community and they like to keep well established and freshly registered members happy. They also enjoy keeping their website smooth running. While these are generally volunteer positions, any seasoned moderator knows that the experience pays dividends down the road. As alluded to above, experience in good forum moderation demonstrates responsibility, dedication, consistency, maturity, level-headedness, the ability to handle authority, discipline, judgement, and diplomacy. Each of these traits is highly desirable and marketable and many employers are seeking out individuals who possess them. Overall, it's just great job experience.

You'll Need to Join the Community

In order to volunteer as a moderator here at IndyFor, you'll first need to join our community. Register as a member today (if you haven't already) so you can begin developing a relationship with us. We love pulling our volunteers from the pool of members we've come to know and trust through the months and years. Of course, you'll need to have a very good standing here on the site and will have had a well established rapport with us as well. When we select moderators, we prefer to select those individuals who have demonstrated a commitment to IndyFor for the long haul. We don't want to you get up and disappear on us without warning one day and it's for this reason that we love seeing lots of well thought out posts written by you before you ever even thought of seeking out or accepting this position of authority.

You'll Need to Make Yourself Valuable

Being chosen as a moderator is all about reputation. A good one at that. To establish this good reputation, we suggest that you focus beyond simply writing lots of posts, although, we'll admit that helps. Write your posts, but also think about how you can enrich the community and add to the culture. Lead by example and maintain a thoughtful and respectful demeanor. Demonstrate your knowledge of subjects you're familiar with and teach others how to act and communicate effectively. Again, lead by example. The better you are, the better they'll want to be. That's just human nature. In order to be selected for this position, you'll need to exemplify your good character as well as your skill in encouraging members to delve into topics on a deeper level than they already have. Now, we're not trying to strip you of your fun and playful personality (if you have one of those), we're merely trying to convey the type of personality we admire and would like to work with. Be playful. Be edgy. Just be valuable too. Be so good that we wouldn't want to lose you.

One of the most important aspects we consider for this position is trust. Can we trust you to edit and delete users' posts? Do you have a steadfast personality type that can handle pressure when someone is screaming at you for removing something you didn't approve of? Do you have good judgement to deem what needs to be edited or removed? Being a moderator can be thankless, but it can also be highly rewarding and enriching as well. If you'd like to be considered, please let us know. We'll take a loot at your account here and browse through your posts. If you're really good, we most likely already know you and may have been considering sending you an invite. We do that from time to time.