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

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cormyn
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cormyn
2,908 posts
Peasant

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.

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

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

Let the discussion begin.

  • 589 Replies
cloverchips
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cloverchips
8 posts
Scribe

is there a limit on the amount of moderators?

JohnGarell
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JohnGarell
1,817 posts
Shepherd

is there a limit on the amount of moderators?


The question have been many times before, I think even I have asked it once. The answer is no.
Ernie15
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Ernie15
13,428 posts
Herald

Would that be the admins or would there be a mod leading the mods?


That's cormyn's way of telling us how important he is.

is there a limit on the amount of moderators?


Read that post I made on the previous page.
GhostOfMatrix
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GhostOfMatrix
15,525 posts
Constable

What is a moderator?

Read the opening post.

Also here's a summary found on their 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.
Somewhat49
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Somewhat49
1,632 posts
Peasant

Is hacking the site a permanent ban?

Cenere
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Cenere
13,734 posts
Scribe

Is hacking the site a permanent ban?

Yes.
Or a strict warning, long ban and a slim second chance, depending on what was done.
But playing with the code is a no-no, hacking the games is even more so, and exploiting any weaknesses to the site might be the only thing that would ever possibly get you less than a permanent ban from the site.
Patrick2011
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Patrick2011
12,358 posts
Templar

[quote]Is hacking the site a permanent ban?


Yes.
Or a strict warning, long ban and a slim second chance, depending on what was done.
But playing with the code is a no-no, hacking the games is even more so, and exploiting any weaknesses to the site might be the only thing that would ever possibly get you less than a permanent ban from the site.[/quote]

cormyn once said that hacking as a first offense is a 14-day temp-ban, but hacking at any other time is a perma-ban.
master565
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master565
4,125 posts
Peasant

cormyn once said that hacking as a first offense is a 14-day temp-ban, but hacking at any other time is a perma-ban.


He only said that about using programs like firebug to change variables in the site, which isn't really hacking.
Cenere
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Cenere
13,734 posts
Scribe

Ian once said AG3 would launch in the first half of 2011. Stuff changes over time, and depending on who is online to ban you and what not. It is easier to say you get a permaban at first offence and watch people ruin the site completely once, and laugh us in the face because they think they are only going to get a temporary ban.

IceClaw247
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IceClaw247
859 posts
Scribe

Is the minimum age limit susceptible to change?

Cenere
offline
Cenere
13,734 posts
Scribe

Probably not.
But if someone is being the perfect candidate, they might be considered if the rest of the team agrees, and they seem suitable and well behaved.

manarion
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manarion
87 posts
Peasant

how do admins know if the mod is actually valid, like how are they supposed to know if the mods are not lying about there age?

Maverick4
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Maverick4
6,815 posts
Shepherd

how are they supposed to know if the mods are not lying about there age?


For starters, administrators can see the age you registered as, regardless if you've changed it or not. So I can't suddenly go fix my age so I'm now 25, and try and meet that requirement. The administrators would still see that I joined at age 14, and so I'd only be 16 now.

And if someone list them selves as 25, then they should have the maturity of a 25 year old. The sheer difference between a 13 year old and a 25 year old should show rather quickly if they were honest about their age. And if the person is actually 25, and still acts like a 13 year old, then they probably won't be made a moderator anytime soon.

On a side note, I have my own question: A while back, I asked Cormyn to pull my name out of the magical hat that its pulled from. He said that, being 15 (at the time; I'm 16 now), I wound't even be pulled by the magical monkey that does that. So when the time comes, do I need to request again that I'm removed from the system? Or am I good? Or do I go on a sudden flaming spree to ensure that I'm never considered for the job?
Linktopast30
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Linktopast30
107 posts
Jester

@Maverick4, well, I would certainly recommend against the flaming spree :P. I don't think the position of Moderator is mandatory, and you are probably given the choice to accept or reject moderatorship (I assume).

Also, just in general, I'd like to add my own input about becoming a moderator, based on personal experience elsewhere.

First and foremost, NEVER just plain ask to be a Moderator. Especially if you're a new user or one who isn't very active. Not only does asking get on the nerves of the current Moderators/Admins, it also gets on the nerves of other normal users, and is just plain spamming. Nobody really wants to see your page-long essay about why you should be considered to be a moderator, let alone one line. I've been a mod/admin elsewhere, including on IRC channels, and this is what got on my nerves the most. Also on that note, this is a [unspoken] rule in pretty much every online community.

This isn't to say that asking about specifics of becoming a moderator is wrong. Just make sure you've read this thread first, then ask your question if it is still unanswered.

Also, I would recommend reading over your forum posts before posting them. You want to make sure you're accurate, and you don't sound accusatory or inflammatory. It would also be nice if you corrected any spelling errors, but that's just wishful thinking. In other words, make sure people won't see you as a jerk based on what you write, even if it was not intended to be rude. You wouldn't believe how many times I've gotten in trouble elsewhere for things like this (and in some cases how much trouble).

Another thing, which is related to the forum posts thing, is game comments. Way too often I go through a few pages of comments and mark most of them as spam because honestly, they do nothing but say "good game! Favorite! 10/10" or "this game sux!" or "if you think this game sucks, then you suck". If your comment is spammy, and it's on a game I play, it is very likely to be marked as such. Also, cormyn posted a thread on it not too long ago (it's still pinned in this forum). If your post does not add anything significant to the discussion, it's most likely spam. If you have enough of your comments removed (and I'm talking excessive here), your chances of becoming a mod will likely go down. For more details, read the pinned thread in the Support forum.

Finally, just have fun. You don't have to be all strict on yourself to make sure you don't slip up. People make mistakes. One mistake isn't going to kill your chances at being eligible to be a mod, especially if you recognize and acknowledge the mistake, and, if necessary, apologize for it and/or correct it.

Freakenstein
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Freakenstein
9,554 posts
Bard

A while back, I asked Cormyn to pull my name out of the magical hat that its pulled from. He said that, being 15 (at the time; I'm 16 now), I wound't even be pulled by the magical monkey that does that. So when the time comes, do I need to request again that I'm removed from the system? Or am I good? Or do I go on a sudden flaming spree to ensure that I'm never considered for the job?


Since the new requirement that future moderators must be 18 or older, I'm thinking that you would just be passed over. Or we can just be like "hey, it says that he's not 18 yet, so let's just pass him over". Then take into consideration in the guide when it does say on your profile if you're 18+.
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