The MyNAMS Forum requires vigilance. And I can't be everywhere at once. And besides, this REALLY isn't my forum. I just put the software on the box and kind of stir the pot.
We had some great moderators in the last forum incarnation. Several are still here including Chris Cobb, Lisa Roberson and Loretta Oliver.
But I'd really like to add to that stable. We need about 6 more to ensure that we stay on top of things. The biggest thing is keeping time-sucks out of the forum.
Forums are notoriously difficult to police. If it's not buttoned down with rock solid security (ours is), it quickly becomes overrun by two types of people other than those people who are here for legitimate reasons:
A) Bad folks - those who want to plant Trojans and Viruses and other bad stuff. That's why we killed the other forum and started fresh.
B) Stupid people - those who register, then create a signature, post an inane comment or two like "What a great place. I'll be back here often!" And then they're gone.
What are they doing? Getting a useless backlink. And cluttering up our world for those who really want to participate in instructive discourse and to help one another.
So we have some rules:
1) You MUST use your first and last name. We want to know who you are, why you're here, how you can contribute and how we can help.
This is not a 12-step anonymity group, but a forum of peers. Your identity is important to those-who-may-become-JV-partners-later.
2) If you don't post in the forum in 90 days, you're automatically tossed. It's a way of de-cluttering the forum of the "B" people listed above.
3) REPORT ANY SUSPICIOUS ACTIVITY IMMEDIATELY. Some folks slip through. Yep, we've got the security set so that a spammer actually has to take the time to register manually, click on the confirmation e-mail and even answer a question. But some people have nothing better to do and they get through - had two of them yesterday.
You may know that I've had Regina Smola (our own NAMS Security Superstar) on the attack for at least 2 weeks now. She's turning our server in Ft. Knox as she says, but forums are really tough to monitor.
It takes eyeballs.
Moderator tasks are simple:
- check in once a day
- answer a few questions
- notify folks that they've broken a rule (i.e. first and last name requirement)
- point people in the right direction
- and monitor for any bad activity
A fun responsibility is to promote a forum post or thread to the front page as top quality content. See Karon Thackston's post as an example.
There's a very easy moderation tool called "Delete As SPAM" and it will delete the user, his posts and ban his IP forever. That's that. Good night.
I'll conduct a quick moderation training webinar this weekend for those volunteers. Are you one of them?
Let me know if you're interested with a Private Message in the forum and I'll send you the webinar invitation. Shouldn't be more than an hour at the most, but more like 30 minutes.
Thanks for being such a great group of people...