Online communities have become a prime virtual gathering place for people. It provides a convention for healthy social interaction and identity building for millions of internet users across the globe. In order to manage these communities, it’s natural for platform holders to need some help in keeping things systematized, ensuring the discussion runs steadily and everyone can involve in the wisdom of the crowd. That’s where moderators come into the picture to help your community build up and grow. You can think up moderators as traffic cops, which always make sure that everyone stays on the right track.
In this article, we will share insights to help you achieve success in your online community moderation and how a moderator can make your community a better place.
There is a question that may strike your mind that -What is online community moderation? And Why is it so important?
Although, we have already discussed a bit of this in the aforementioned, yet we will discuss this briefly over here once again.
Online communities are gradually increasing with each passing day. Its evolution shows that people with common interests, but different mindsets are connecting with each other from all over the world. Gone are the days when people used to talk in a meaningful manner in two-way communication. Communication still takes place but not necessarily with a positive or right intention. Because of that, engagement in your community platform may become extraneous, impertinent or even toxic sometimes. This is where the need for online community moderation arises.
Community moderation is the practice of managing comments and discussions in your community, so that it aligns with your Terms & Conditions and/or Code of Conduct. This is usually performed by a human community moderator or team of moderators tasked with ensuring a safe and secure discussion environment.
More people -> Different personalities-> Increase the chances of a conflict.
People from different areas contribute to building a community. However, their thoughts and feelings on certain matters may not match. Therefore, it’s necessary to have a moderator who keeps an eye over the type of content that is posted, deletes unwanted and rude comments, provide enough freedom to the members to express their ideas and lastly, ensures that the flow of communication taking place in the community is valuable, intuitive, and apposite to other users. This process automatically increases the quality of conversations that take place in the community, also communities get better and develop when they have good moderation.
Moderators are inevitable to make a community successful in the digital world. So, here are the 3 most effective points that a moderator should follow and thus, can make his/ her community a better place for acquiring knowledge.
Rules are a set of guidelines that are created in communities and are followed by all as a standard. It is essential for a moderator to define how he expects members to behave in the community. People must feel that the community is a place where they can impart their knowledge and can share their opinions without being suppressed. If someone posts something that is irrelevant or objectionable then they can be penalized by the moderator as per the guidelines. Adequate and justified rules are important for improving community engagement and keeping community members happy. Basically, rules bind the members to respect each other’s opinions and maintain decorum within the community for it to thrive.
Members' engagement and participation is a key to making a community successful. A moderator has to find different ways to make this happen. Like - He can motivate members to put forth their opinion on any trending topic or can discuss recent developments. The other important point to remember is that the moderator need not reply to or engage with every post and comment in the community. He just needs to make them feel that he/ she is attentive and listening to all the members to instil a sense of belonging. For that, he can reply to their questions, suggestions, or opinions to keep them motivated to contribute to the community. As a moderator, his job is to facilitate these conversations and ensure that nothing goes haywire.
Listening to your community members is the foundation of community development as it builds trust and relationships, helps to collect genuine feedback, uncovers issues and encourages people to come together. Also, When something does go wrong, one just needs to reach out personally to show vocal or disgruntled users that the moderator does care, and is listening and working to solve the problem.
The key to building a community is simple: put in the work and care about your members. And in order to establish strong protocols in the ever-growing community of online users, there is a need for a moderator who can establish a conducive environment for all the users to have the best of experience while engaging in the community activities. Moderator has surely got important responsibilities to make sure that the users engage in a friendly and sophisticated manner by establishing ground rules and making sure that no one gets hurt and all can have a wonderful experience.