ForumsThe TavernWhat it Takes to Become a Moderator (page 1):

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cormyn
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cormyn
2,908 posts
570

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.

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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 &quotopular" 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.

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

Let the discussion begin.

  • 588 Replies
manarion
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manarion
87 posts
0

are moderators payed or do they work in spare time?

cormyn
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cormyn
2,908 posts
570

Is there a limit to the amount of people on the moderation team? Is it ever full?


There is no limit.

wondering of moderators for forums and that are designated a specific forum, or do they each just have to check out all of them?


Some moderators are better suited because they're better at communicating within those forums, but generally all Moderators are tasked with checking each of the forums.

if you see someone who is below the age limit but fulfills the other requirements, will you think about making them a moderator or do they go straight of the radar?


My software finds all users and then we look at their profile to see age, etc.. If the person is under 18, I *may* consider them if they're truly exceptional, but right now we're looking for 18+.

are moderators payed or do they work in spare time?


They are not paid, it's a volunteer position.
Devoidless
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Devoidless
3,724 posts
3,620

It's a potential maturity issue. We don't want people who may fly off the handle in a hormonally charged rage, or to drag every little issue out of proportion or take everything personally.

As said, if they prove to be exceptional then they are in. If not then, you know.

And that's that.

jesseses
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jesseses
21 posts
30

what can a moderator do more like banning or what?

acmed
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acmed
3,526 posts
460

what can a moderator do more like banning or what?


Moderators have the power to lock and delete threads and game comments. They only have the power to give temporary bans, while admins (like Cormyn) have the power to perma ban. Here's what it says on the mods profiles:

Moderators are user volunteers who have been selected by Administrators to help maintain the web site. Their duties including removing spam from the forums, locking forum threads, and helping users understand and follow the Terms and Conditions of being a member on the site and posting rules and guidelines for posting messages in the forums, game comments or user comments. Moderators can issue temporary bans from the site for users who do not follow rules, and are in contact with Administrators regarding permanent bans for repeat or major offenses.
cormyn
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cormyn
2,908 posts
570

Moderators can also delete user comments and hand out merits.

ultrabird
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ultrabird
4 posts
40

is becoming a moderator the biggest achievement on armor games?

Freakenstein
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Freakenstein
9,562 posts
4,140

No (I hope not), but I do remember including "become a moderator" as one of my custom-made achievements on my wall while in my newbie days. I think the achievement was called "Modified", and the opposite achievement, losing the moderator position, was called "Modifail"...

Point being, you shouldn't strive to be a moderator (hypocrite), because that can lead to "trying too hard" and "mini-modding", which are two things moderators do not want to deal with. We'd rather you let us take care of certain places in the forum (spam, trolling, off-topic, needs-to-be-locked), instead of posting that such-and-such needs to be taken care of that is so obvious to everyone that it makes you look like Osaka from Azumanga-Daioh. Let us take care of the nasty business, and get involved positively.

xfactor800
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xfactor800
24 posts
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When you became a mod can you change the color of the letter to be your default color?

Ghgt99
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Ghgt99
1,908 posts
260

When you became a mod can you change the color of the letter to be your default color?


No, it is so that people know who the mods are. It cannot be changed.
PinkieCake
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PinkieCake
164 posts
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Agreeing with Freakenstein, I sort of see striving to become a mod to be similar to striving to run for office.
It's something only suited people for the task can do, and not too many people will do it. Most of us are better off appreciating the top-notch mods we already have.

python259
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python259
2 posts
10

seems too complicated to be worthwhile what are the benefits of it

GhostOfMatrix
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GhostOfMatrix
15,535 posts
6,600

what are the benefits of it

You get to help out the Armor Games community by locking and deleting threads and deleting unnecessary posts/comments. Moderators can also give out merits. Aside from that, nothing much, except for getting your username on the about page and having shiny blue text and a title under your name in the forums.
knight_34
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knight_34
13,879 posts
2,380

seems too complicated to be worthwhile what are the benefits of it


The main benefit is that you get to take care of an internet forum you actually bother caring for. Serious forum moderation is not some sort of avocation you can go apply for in an attempt to enrich your own sense of self-satisfaction.
Armpit
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Armpit
792 posts
410

is becoming a moderator the biggest achievement on armor games?


It varies from person to person, but I would have to say no. If you're the most respected member of the community and you have no moderator powers, is that not a greater accomplishment than being selected by other people to earn a position you may not have even necessarily been trying to earn?

seems too complicated to be worthwhile


If you aren't willing to put in the effort it takes to be a helpful and respectable member of the community, you do not deserve the title. Which means you are clearly not worthy to handle the power to delete posts, or lock threads, or temporarily ban people (or type in blue).
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