Posted by Dinah on September 9, 2002, at 10:59:24
In reply to Re: moderating on an on-going basis, posted by Dr. Bob on September 8, 2002, at 22:11:24
> I do agree that some sort of delegation will be necessary, at least if there's going to be continued growth. And there are advantages to having participants moderate. But I'm afraid they might find it to be a burden or to interfere with asking for and receiving support themselves.
> Dinah, how did it go for you? What do you think?
Hmm. It wasn't a problem short term, especially as no thorny situations came up, but it didn't change my overall view of participant moderators.
I usually read most of the posts on all of the boards except the meds board, so that wasn't too much of a burden. But it sure was nice last night to go back to reading just the posts that caught my attention. It also was nice to go to sleep last night and to be able to go out this morning without having to worry that something was going to blow up while I was away. So yes, there is a burden involved. In fact Dr. Bob, I don't know how you do it long-term.
And yes, it did make me hesitate before asking for support. It would feel kind of weird to say on one board that I was having a total meltdown while expecting people to have faith in my administrative interventions somewhere else. More than asking for support though, it made it difficult to share opinions, especially on volatile threads. I had the feeling that if I expressed an opinion that went to one or the other side of the debate, that people would begin to wonder if my interventions had a bias.
And Tabitha is right, a participant moderator would have trouble maintaining supportive relationships on the board when things got unpleasant, as they do sometimes, and the moderator took an unpopular position. Of course, I've also found that to be true in my experience as a poster too. Those dear friends who can separate me from my occasionally unpopular opinions are greatly treasured.
So my opinion of participant moderators? I think it's impossible. I think that moderators would eventually become more and more moderators and less and less participants. Of course that might be okay for some people, and there might be posters who would rather be involved in an administrative capacity. Perhaps that would solve the problem.
I also think that there are many forums where participant moderators work very well, but I am wondering if those are closed forums where membership is limited to approved members....
Just my meandering thoughts. I'm sure there are more floating around somewhere in my mind.
I still think it would be a good thing though to have deputies for emergency situations, although you would have to clarify what an emergency was. And I would be happy to help out with the housekeeping tasks like removing multiple posts wherever I saw them.
You know Dr. Bob, I understand that you have an almost overwhelming task here, and I think it's great that you're willing to delegate. Perhaps there could be further bouncing around of ideas to help. For example, maybe you could encourage people to post links to objectionable posts to the admin board or email them to you. Maybe the participant deputies could have limited powers, like please be carefuls and blocked until Dr. Bob has a chance to look at this, so that things would be flagged for you, but the decision making responsibility would be yours. I'm sure there are lots of ideas that could help you out while maintaining the unique character of Babble, which is partly based on having a non-participant moderator. Isn't that what your studies are based on? That this is a site that is different than the other types of boards?