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What it Takes to Become a Moderator (page 1):

Posted Jun 27, '11 at 3:30pm

cormyn

cormyn

2,863 posts

Knight

Hey everyone,

In my time at Armor Games, I've seen a few new moderators come on board, and every time we promote a user to Moderator status, there's always a flurry of "why wasn't I picked?" or "I think _____ should be a Moderator" or "why is ________ still a moderator" or lots of other questions about what it really takes to be a Moderator on the site.

As of this writing, I have three comments on my profile asking for 'exact' requirements for becoming a Moderator.

I know we have information scattered around the site, but I wanted to sum up briefly a few of the core things we look for in a user in order to be nominated to become a Moderator. Hopefully this will help clear up some of the confusion.

This topic is meant to be informational in nature. I will delete any message containing text which is negative towards our current team, comments suggesting some other user be nominated, replies of "well, I guess I'll never qualify" or anything else off-topic -- even if your message contains other good ideas. This is not the place for *those* discussions.

Also, it should be obvious that this list is NOT complete, because we don't want to give away EVERY detail about what we look for in a moderator. And this list is also subject to change over time, especially when AG3 launches.

--------------

BACKGROUND

We are obviously much more strict in our criteria than other sites, but that's only because we already have the best users out there and we want to be sure that anyone being a Moderator can follow our rules, guidelines, and get along with others.

THE PROCESS

In a nutshell, candidates are presented to the entire Moderator team, and are reviewed thoroughly by an Admin. The Moderator team decides unanimously (the exception being users who are on hiatus/holidays) on whether to accept the user or not; a negative response could either be "this user should never be a moderator" (and give reasons why) or "let's check back in 3-6 months". If an affirmative decision is made, an Admin user will Email the user asking if they'll accept the role and responsibilities. If the user accepts, the Admin user will promote them to become a probationary Moderator. We guide probationary Moderators for a little while and then release them into the wild.

HOW WE FIND USERS

There are two ways we find potential nominees.

First and foremost is by daily interactions within the forums or user profile comments. That's not to say that ONLY "popular" people will get nominated, but we're not likely to nominate someone that nobody really knows. We've recently passed on a half dozen users because none of us really know them as individuals. We'll start paying more attention to them now, of course.

The second method we use is a piece of software I wrote which takes some of the quantifiable criteria mentioned below and scans our database looking for users who qualify. Generally, this software finds HUNDREDS of users, and then starts disqualifying them based on other factors. Once it reports the users to me, I examine the user profiles, and then present a final list of nominees to the Moderator team. Candidates to whom the Moderator team give a definitive 'no way, never', we add to a 'skip' list so the software won't even look at them next time. There's a second "skip list" for users we want to check back on in a few months.

The last scan I did, which resulted in Freakenstein being added to the team, found almost 400 users, filtered them down to less than a dozen, and we were left with one definite 'yes' (Freakenstein), and a handful of "let's check back later" candidates (who we will not name).

SOME OF THE CRITERIA WE LOOK FOR

To be considered as a Moderator nominee, here are SOME of the things we look for. This list is not complete and is subject to change at any time without notice. We may or may not alter this forum posting to describe new or changed criteria. Also, meeting all of this criteria doesn't guarantee anything, because the rest of the Moderator team still has to vote on accepting you into our small team.

- You obviously need to have an excellent understanding of our Terms and Conditions for being on the site, and know the Rules & Guidelines for both the forums and game/user comments. And you follow them yourself.

- You need to stay up to date on things happening at Armor Games, especially with Armor Games v3 coming out later this summer. Users who have been in the beta since late last year will get extra points.

- You need to have an exceptional grasp of the English language (excellent spelling and grammar) but being fluent in one other language for support purposes may help your chances. You don't need to be an English professor, but 1337-speaking / textmsg writing styles, or writing styles which are difficult to read/understand will disqualify you.

- You need to be able to take criticism, from Admins, other Moderators, and especially other users. And you need to humbly accept this criticism when it's "constructive", or learn when it's "destructive" and deal with it accordingly without losing your cool.

- You need to be at LEAST 18 years of age; if you don't share your birth date on your profile (at least the year and month), you'll never even show up on our radar. And we have backups of our user data, so don't go changing your profile birth date trying to cheat the system -- we'll ask for proof.

- You need to have been an active, consistent member of the site for a minimum of 12-18 months. Big gaps in your login/posting history will generally reset this timer.

- You must be a genuinely helpful person within several forums. We watch where you post, how frequently you post, how many times you've posted in each forum, whether you're posting just to jump in on the conversation or genuinely getting involved in the topic, etc.

- We look for well-rounded users who also have good communication via user comments, but not to an excessive (spammy) degree. As such, users who carry on really long conversations back and forth (technically against our rules) will probably get passed on.

- We look for a minimum participation level from forum posts AND user comments. We need to see that you don't just focus on one type of commenting. Obviously we won't quantify these "minimum" values, because we don't want users trying to cheat the system.

- We look for a minimum number of rated games and game comments, and *recent* game ratings and comments, because we need to know you're actually playing the games and having fun too, not just hanging out in the forums 95% of the time. If you never participate in game comments, how will you recognize bad game comments versus merit-worthy comments?

- You must not have excessive quantities of user/game comments removed as spam. "Excessive" is subjective, but we can see how many comments you've had deleted, and we weigh that as a ratio against your remaining active comments.

- Generally, we tell users that even a single temporary ban will disqualify you. A temp-ban for flaming, spamming, harassment, fighting, racial comments, excessive swearing, or blatant rule breaking like hacking will certainly disqualify you. But if the temp-ban happened a long time ago (more than a year and a half), while we never "expunge" them from your history, we may treat them lighter than if your temp-ban was more recent.

WHAT DO WE EXPECT FROM OUR MODERATORS

New Moderators will start out working on cleaning up game comments and forum posts, and looking for merit-worthy game comments. They'll also continue to be helpful in the forums and via user comments to offer help and support, making sure other users are aware of the rules of the web site (and follow them).

We understand that life throws a curve-ball now and then, and while we certainly don't expect Moderators to be on the site every single day, we do expect that you're on the site several times per week. We also expect Moderators to take a break/holiday from time to time. This isn't a paid job, you're doing it for free, so don't feel guilty if you need to step away for a little while. Excessive absences may get you demoted back to regular user status.

And of course, you can always turn us down if you don't want to be on the team, and you can leave the team at any time as well.

----------------

Hopefully that helps clear up some of the confusion about what kind of users we look for as Moderators.

Let the discussion begin.

 

Posted Jun 27, '11 at 3:55pm

Patrick2011

Patrick2011

3,374 posts

Do probationary moderators show up as moderators (shown on the about, blue text on forums)? If so, is Freakenstein probationary?

 

Posted Jun 27, '11 at 3:56pm

cormyn

cormyn

2,863 posts

Knight

@Sprooschicken: no, we will not share exact details of what the software looks for; we don't want people trying to cheat the system.

 

Posted Jun 27, '11 at 3:59pm

cormyn

cormyn

2,863 posts

Knight

@Patrick2011: yes, probationary Moderators are still full Moderators, we just keep a very close eye on what they do. They must check in with other Mods or an Admin before handing out a temp-ban or merit, but are allowed to clean up game comments and spam without much supervision.

 

Posted Jun 27, '11 at 5:51pm

cormyn

cormyn

2,863 posts

Knight

Removed a handful of 'why is there a rule about ____' discussion messages about a minimum age restriction.

 

Posted Jun 28, '11 at 7:52pm

cormyn

cormyn

2,863 posts

Knight

Removed a few off-topic "thanks for posting the info" replies.

 

Posted Jun 28, '11 at 9:06pm

Maverick4

Maverick4

3,707 posts

I figured the minimum age limit was 18, though is it a site preference, or a legal thing? Just curious.

 

Posted Jun 29, '11 at 12:27am

cormyn

cormyn

2,863 posts

Knight

Nothing to do with laws, just a preference for right now. It's subject to change in the future.

 

Posted Jun 30, '11 at 1:38pm

Ghgt99

Ghgt99

1,441 posts

Nothing to do with laws, just a preference for right now.

That makes sense, since you want the mods to be mature.

That software must have taken a lot of time to make. Did you design it cormyn?

 

Posted Jun 30, '11 at 5:01pm

cormyn

cormyn

2,863 posts

Knight

Yes, I designed and wrote it in my spare time.

 
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