03 Feb Moderators – How They Help
Moderator: one who presides over an assembly, meeting, or discussion. (Merriam-Webster Dictionary)
In our chat rooms you can identify the moderators by their purple user names. There is a also a badge to the right of their name on the users list. Moderators are chat room members who volunteer their time and talents on behalf of their fellow members. Like the rest of us they’re here to have fun but they’re also willing to extend themselves and take on additional tasks so the room operates smoothly and our members feel comfortable. As the definition above points out, the primary function of a moderator is to preside over the discussion(s). The moderator wants to see people happily chatting and will take certain steps to achieve this. One of the most important steps is welcoming guests. The chat room system introduces users as they enter the room. The moderator is quick to pick up on this and personally welcome them. If the moderator spots a new guest they will ask additional questions to draw them out and get them started chatting. This is a kind gesture, as we have people visit us from all around the world, many of whom have never been to a chat room.
Moderators also monitor the rooms. They may notice that people are actively chatting and may just quietly observe. On the other hand they might notice a long lull and decide to jump in to introduce a new topic or ask questions to rekindle the conversation. All our moderators are experienced chatters who know the art of conversation and they’re always alert to assist guests who might need a little encouragement. While they never pressure people to talk they do like to engage people one-on-one. After all, chatting is the purpose of a chat room. A good moderator does much to create a positive and fun atmosphere in the room.
Security is also an important responsibility of a moderator. This is a delicate matter because if not executed correctly it can create a negative and fearful atmosphere for our members. The best security is one no one notices. Constant warnings and threats have a detrimental effect on room morale. While it is true moderators can mute, and even kick out unruly users, this is rarely necessary. A good moderator is proactive not reactive. Their experience helps them see a problem as it is fomenting and take steps to turn the tide. Consider this scenario:
A new guest enters the chat and starts asking the girls if he can pm them or send them pics. What would you do if you were the moderator?
1. Warn the new user they’ll be muted if they don’t stop (a threat). If this is done often the new user is embarrassed and lashes back to save face. This doesn’t usually end well.
2. Ask the new guest additional questions like, “Where are you from?” “How did you find us?” and so on. Remind the new guest this is a clean chat room and possibly point him to the rules so he can get familiar with them. This is usually the most effective approach.
Root, site admin