Who wants to be a moderator here?

Discussion in 'General Announcements' started by AA7BQ, Aug 2, 2016.

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  1. K5FH

    K5FH Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Unless you want to recruit new members from "outside" the 'zed, that is, newbies who have never posted anywhere on this board, I don't see how that can be done. It is possible to overcome biases and remain neutral; judges and attorneys do this all the time (most of them, anyway). If a bias "leaks through" and taints a moderator's actions it will be pretty obvious and will be dealt with by the supermods and admins.

    To paraphrase a line from the old 1960s TV show, Dragnet, "The moderator team on the 'zed is operating under a severe handicap: we have to recruit from the human race."
    N2EY and AF6LJ like this.
  2. KC8VWM

    KC8VWM Ham Member QRZ Page

    I respectfully disagree.

    I feel it's of critical importance to have someone who has "a pulse" on the various personalities who frequent this site. A good moderator would be someone who has a regular "presence" and not someone who's disconnected. A moderator should be making themselves available to the forum users and this requires an individual with a level of ongoing participation. This also improves the level of a timely response in the event of any incident occurring in the forums.

    It's also entirely possible for a moderator to hold an opinion on a subject matter and yet at the same time defend others with an opposing view that's different than your own. Sometimes I have actually defended people with an opposing view than my own, when they have been the subject of a personal attack right Jim? ...Others? :)

    The moderator also has to accept that whatever they say might cause the topic to go off the rails. So as a moderator, you can't really expect the users to stay on topic if you're the one causing that to occur. Sometimes I admit though, it can lead to really interesting and entertaining discussions on both sides of the issue so long as everyone remains civil about it. So this brings me to my next point involving the important attribute of flexibility. Yes f-l-e-x-i-b-l-e like Stretch Armstrong. Anyone else remember that strange toy? Obviously moderators with iron fists is not necessarily a good thing. That just makes people feel uncomfortable and it doesn't do much for attracting people to continue using the site. You can enforce the rules in a friendly kinda way. It's not that hard.. really.

    Thinking the site probably needs someone who's not afraid to apologize or admit to their mistakes in public in front of everyone else either. After all we are all himan and we all make mistakes on occasion. This usually requires someone with a level of integrity, honesty and a demonstrated sense of humor probably doesn't hurt either. Ok, slightly crazy maybe? ...After all this is QRZ right?

    Similarly since everyone is human, not everyone is intentionally breaking the rules either. Some people may not even be aware of the rules for that matter. You have to be the type of person who recognizes this can occur on occasion. A little tolerance and understanding can go a long way.

    Most of all, a moderator should be promoting the idea of everyone enjoying and entertaining themselves. I mean that's why we are all here right? Sometimes this means doing the small things like extending a welcome or offering help to a new person who's participating in the forums. Other times, a moderator might participate in a thread in an inquisitive or thought provoking kind of way, more or less just to keep the thread discussion interesting for others. This may involve randomly throwing in information, a pie chart or something else interesting just to make people think. It's fun to make people think about stuff. Keeps them sharp and entertained. Incidentally, this is also a good way to divert the thread back on course if it's going in some strange direction too.

    As far as changing the rules on the site goes, ...why fix what isn't broken? There's already a great deal of latitude to work with already anyways. Of course, if the proposed rule change has merit and is done in the primary interest of improving the site, that's another matter. Proposed changes should always be chosen carefully to avoid any unintended consequences.

    In any event, if you like this philosophy... then why not hit the like button?

    If you disagree, let's hear your thoughts. :)
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2016
    WF7A, K9ASE, KF5RRF and 4 others like this.
  3. N2EY

    N2EY Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Agreed - plus, the moderator has to be knowledgeable about what is being moderated. Someone who has no understanding of, say, vacuum tubes, can't effectively moderate an old-radio forum for its technical accuracy.

    Which "Jim" do you mean? There are several......

    But flexibility must not be confused with inconsistency. When people see one person's posts being moderated for particular things while someone else's with similar content go untouched, it sends a bad message.


    (you illustrate the issue with an embedded example....brilliant!)

    Mostly the last.

    I disagree somewhat. Some folks "enjoying and entertaining themselves" consists of stuff that makes amateur radio look bad. Very bad.

    As I said in my post before - I think the experiment has shown that political discussion here just doesn't work. IMHO, best path is shut it down.
    KC8VWM likes this.
  4. K5FH

    K5FH Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I don't see what you're disagreeing with.

    I said that the only way to be sure of finding people who had, in Carl's words, "minimal experience with the cast of characters and the particular forum" you would have to recruit from "outside" the 'zed and that would be difficult if not impossible to implement.

    What I did not say was that doing so was a good idea. It isn't.

    It is much better to have someone who is familiar with the usual "cast of characters" (or "usual suspects," if you will).

    My actual words:

    KC8VWM likes this.
  5. KC8VWM

    KC8VWM Ham Member QRZ Page

    I don't necessarily disagree with this point. However, let's examine a few things for consideration in this case.

    #1 - It's Election Season.

    Jim, I am afraid it's an inevitable reality people are going to be engaged in political thoughts. I remember reading a comment you made at one time along the lines of, "Everything can become a political discussion" To some extent, I actually find myself agreeing with you.

    I am not sure why this occurs exactly either, but the topic could be about someone who's visiting the doctor for knee pain and two pages later everyone is discussing Obamacare and how their getting screwed over by politicians over health care insurance legislation.

    I think this is an ongoing "headache" Mr. Lloyd has to contend with over the years dating back to the days of the Political Junkies forum. So basically, I think we all need to be a little more empathetic and considerate to him particularly in this respect.

    Obviously, it seems he can't please everyone all the time... He does however provide us with as many "options" as possible to hopefully cater to everyone's desires. The creation of this very forum area was a clear demonstration of that.

    Sometimes, I think we complain even when we are being offered gifts, instead of offering up our gratitude for his decision to be accommodating to our desires in this respect.

    Yeah, I think I can understand his ongoing frustration. The question becomes, who's going to help him with a workable solution?
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2016
  6. KC8VWM

    KC8VWM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hi Fred,

    Perhaps I misunderstood your comments, but in any event I think the question of whether or not it's a good idea or not to choose a moderator who's already familiar with the site is a valid discussion regardless which side of the equation you're on.

    No one is right or wrong here, but I think it's important to simply recognize this might be worthy of further consideration when choosing a moderator which I think you were doing anyways. In fact, I think your last comment hit the proverbial nail on the head for that matter.
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2016
    K5FH likes this.
  7. KC9UDX

    KC9UDX Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page

    1. What is the importance of a moderator having good writing and grammar skills?
    A moderator represents the entire organisation, and as such must present himself in a professional manner.

    2. How good are you at remaining neutral when the topic at hand is important to you?

    As a regular member, I speak my mind and stick to my values.
    As a moderator acting as a forum representative, topic neutrality is a must, and I would remain so. The rules of the forum and the maintenance of peace amongst all members outweigh my personal opinions. I also have the possibly unique disposition of politically disagreeing with both the "left" and "right" and tend not to align myself with either.

    3. How are your diplomatic skills? Can you politely tell someone that they are misbehaving?

    I can politely, and tactfully, tell someone that they are misbehaving should the situation escalate to that level. It is extremely important to stay polite and level-headed at all times as a moderator.

    4. Will you publicly defend your moderation decisions and accept criticism from other users?

    Yes. It is important to the integrity of the forum, to maintain my integrity as a moderator.

    5. Do you have the conviction to work diligently at something that offers no compensation?

    Yes, although I would say that being able to help keep the forum a friendly, respectful place, is a form of compensation.

    6. How will you defend those who have opinions that differ from yours?

    So long as such opinions are respectful of the law, the rules of the forum, and readers of the forum, it would be my duty as a moderator to defend them.

    7. What types of speech would you censor under all circumstances?

    I would censor blatantly hateful speech, especially that attacking other members, violating the rules of the forum, or giving a bad name to the forum.

    8. What sorts of thing should you avoid, as a moderator, to demonstrate your neutrality?

    I would avoid controversial comments, and comments that would involve my opinion contrary to the flow of the topic at hand. I would avoid publicly disagreeing with the actions of other moderators.

    9. How important is speed and consistency in moderating? Why?

    Speed and consistency are very important. Without them, the perception of the importance of the rules and their enforcement rapidly degrades.

    10. What other key concepts of fairness do you believe are necessary for moderators to observe?

    It is important for a moderator to not take sides in arguements between others, and to not take sides in any topic that may become controvercial. Also, it is important, to not overreact and make assumptions about the future direction of comments in a thread.

    11. What other things about you make you more qualified than others to moderate?

    I am active on the site many hours a week. I have a great interest in keeping the non-amateur-radio portions of the QRZ forums in good operating order. I believe it is very important that radio amateurs with common interests can discuss day-to-day "off-topic" in a friendly way. It doesn't really mean a hill of beans anymore, but I do have experience in both lower and upper management, where dealing with employees isn't a whole lot different than dealing with forum posters.

    12. What rule changes to the site would you suggest to QRZ management?

    I had actually thought of one the other day, which would be to reduce the allowable size of images within posts. There are times when posters use unreasonably large images in order to avoid directly responding to comments directed at them. But, I also realise this may not be feasible in keeping the on-topic, amateur radio oriented, parts of the site working well.

    I would recommend that actively politicking, or trying relentlessly to convert other posters to different views, be banned. I would recommend that the political subforum be removed. With extra moderation, it should be possible to keep the "off-topic" threads free of active politicking.

    Thank you for considering this, Fred. I would hope that you decide to add as many moderators as you feel the site could support. It would be easy enough (in my armchair view) to remove any moderators that turn out to be problematic for the well-being of the site.

    I really feel that most of the people here are great people, and the cameraderie is impeccable so long as the extremist comments are kept in check. Some of the worst offenders here on the topics of politics and religion, are some of the best people to discuss all other topics with.

    I also very much agree with your original comment on allowing "passing political remarks." I truely believe this is possible, and beneficial, if the active politicking is kept under wraps.

    Thank you
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2016
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  8. KP4SX

    KP4SX Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    That's not the job of a moderator. However, he is free to take off his badge and participate in the conversation but the fact that he is a 'moderator' does not imply that he is more correct.
    KI4NGN, K4TTJ, W9AMM and 1 other person like this.
  9. KD3NE

    KD3NE Ham Member QRZ Page

    KP4SX is correct .

    IMHO - Moderators should moderate and that is all.
    I have seen what can happen when an internet forum moderator participates in political discussion and it's not pretty.
    His/her moderator badge/gun can give a false sense of superiority .... sort of like some cops on the street.
    WC5P, KF5RRF, KP4SX and 2 others like this.
  10. KI4NGN

    KI4NGN Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Disagree on this one. A moderator is not and should not be a subject judge. He may know nothing about vacuum tubes, but that is irrelevant. His job is to ensure that all posters are respectful to each other. Even some in this thread have made indirect derogatory comments about you regarding your post, a clear personal attack, which I would not allow. I personally don't understand how some seem incapable of having discussion without making derogatory comments about posters. They'd get vacations if I was a moderator.

    That's the bottom line here, what makes it all go to hell: the personal attacks rather than topic discussion.
    KC9UDX, K4TTJ and W5INC like this.
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