Good question! Please see below for a rough outline of the role. The level of commitment and time is best discussed on a person by person case. We understand that this is a voluntary role and people have many commitments that may change and affect the amount of time one can offer. As a general rule of thumb, we would want the current amount of time a person spends on BN to remain the same. That is why the mods tend to be people who spend a bit more time being active on the boards. We hope to grow the team to 30 eventually, so there will be a lot more flexibility than there is amongst our poor over-worked team at the moment.
Moderator Role Specification
The role of the moderator is that of guide and support first and foremost. The main tasks of a moderator can be broadly seperated into 4 areas:
Organising and Managing the Boards
This is probably the first area that people think of when they think moderator. Merging duplicate threads, deleting spam, moving threads to the right boards, directing people who are looking a bit lost on the boards...This is all part of the moderating role.
Contributing Quality Content
There are a number of considerations when appointing moderators. Not least of these is the quality and frequency of posting. As somebody who has themselves been posting, asking questions and starting interesting and engaging discussions, a moderator will be perfectly placed to ensure that the boards continue to thrive.
Promoting a Friendly Environment
Basenotes is a recreational environment. It is for many a virtual cafe, bar or common room where people come to unwind, chat with friends and talk about their hobby. It is not a class room. People should not feel that they are treading on egg shells if they are being humourous or talking about a relevant controversial issue. Some degree of self censorship and the helpful guidance of other members should be allowed to ensure that the environment is not authoritarian. Moderators should in the first instance offer guidance and direction to posters who are ruffling feathers. This is a place for lively debate and moderators will be expected to try to nurture interesting content in an inclusive and friendly manner without stifling freedom of speech. Itâ€™s a tall order but itâ€™s a key task! In the instance of racist, misogynistic, homophobic or otherwise discriminatory or violent rhetoric, there is of course a zero tolerance policy.
Providing Basic Technical Support
Moderators will receive training so that they are able to provide basic technical support to Basenotes members. Questions about how to change a profile picture, alter the appearance of posts, PM and block members etc. are all things that a moderator should be able to help with.