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Looking for volunteer forum moderators

UPDATE - wow, since I posted this, we have had a LOT of volunteers. Thank you so much to everyone who's offered to help! Given the strong response we've had already, I think we have enough volunteers for now.  If you've already sent me a message, I will respond to you as soon as I can. And if you were dying to be a forum mod but haven't sent me a message yet, don't worry - our hope is to rotate forum mods in an out over time to keep the perspectives fresh, so there will be plenty of opportunities to participate in the future.  Thanks everyone!

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 Since the New Year, MFP has had an absolutely HUGE influx of new members. It's been amazing to see how the site that we started on a whim over 5 years ago has somehow grown into such an active and thriving community. We've had a lot of fun getting to know some of the new folks, and we hope you've all enjoyed your time here so far. Welcome everyone!

There has been one downside, though, to all of the new people and activity on the site. Some of you may have noticed that we haven't been posting as often in the forums, that our Twitter and Facebook posts have slowed down, and that it's taking us longer and longer to respond to messages. It's not for a lack of desire or effort - it's because Al and I are completely swamped! We've been hard at work trying to make sure the site can handle all of the new traffic, as well as maintaining our (soon to be 3!) mobile apps. The additional work, combined with the MUCH higher volume of customer service requests, etc. has frankly left us scrambling a bit. The good news is that we've been hard at work trying to find some help, so hopefully you'll see some improvements shortly.

Along those lines, one of the activities that's been taking a lot of time lately is moderating the forums.  To date, Al and I have been the only ones monitoring the forums at all, and with all of the new activity on the site, forum moderation alone has practically become a full-time job. 

So we'd like to ask for your help.  We're looking for volunteers to become Forum Moderators who could help us with the following activities:

  • Help welcome new members to the site and make sure any questions they have get answered
  • Help us answer technical support and other site/app questions
  • Alert us to any technical issues so we can make sure they get addressed promptly
  • Help collect feedback and suggestions for the site so that nothing gets lost in the cracks
  • And finally, help us moderate any disputes on the site and make sure the forum rules are enforced fairly and consistently
We're hoping that with a team of 5-10 volunteers, we can make sure the site has someone available around the clock to help, and that the mods will be able to respond to requests much more quickly than we have. A lot of you are doing some of this stuff already, and we thank you for it. Becoming a moderator will just make that role a little more official.  We'll also be providing moderators some tools like being able to edit posts after more than an hour, being able to move and delete topics, etc.  We're not asking mods to spend more time on the site - we're just asking for them to help out a bit during the times that they are on.
 
Here are the qualities we're looking for in the forum mods:
 
  • A long-time user of the site who's been fairly active during that time
  • Great interpersonal skills and a strong writer
  • A very thick skin and ability to stay calm, diplomatic, and fair under any circumstance
  • The mods should represent a broad-section of the site and come from different groups, different countries, etc.  For example, we'd like at least 1-2 mods from the UK
  • Ideally (but not required), someone with previous forum moderation experience
I also want to reassure everyone that we're not trying to over-moderate the forums.  In general, we've had a fairly light touch when it comes to moderating the forums, and we want it to stay that way.  We try to create a fairly open and free environment on the forums as long as members stay within the relatively minimal set of forum rules we've created. That will remain the case once the mods are in place.  Our goal is really to just improve the responsiveness and overall service-level of the site.
 
If you're interested in volunteering, we'd love to hear from you.  Please let me know by sending me a message on the site.  And, as always, if you have any questions or concerns, please let us know that as well and we'll do our best to address them.
 
Thanks, and hope you are all enjoying the site!
 
Mike & Al
 

71 votes + -

19 comments:

curleesam wrote 38 months ago:
great opportunity! If only I had the time... Great site Mike, loving your work!
4lafz wrote 38 months ago:
No time either Mike but I will continue to let you know things on Facebook if I see them :-)
janalayn wrote 38 months ago:
Thank you so much for this site ... I have only been here for 60 days (thanks for counting that for me) BUT ... Once I have a year under my belt I would be happy to volunteer. This site has been a blessing in my life as well as my weight loss journey.
jtsmou wrote 38 months ago:
As much as people would like to think they can be impartial, much of the time they will end up playing favorites with their own groups of hangers on. This is all the more likely when you pick your moderators from your own pool of users.

It's a nice idea, but it can cause it's own set of problems. Use caution
Becca_007 wrote 38 months ago:
My thoughts are much the same as jtsmou, he makes a VERY valid point!! Moderators from the outside would make more sense if that's possible, seems it would be far more fair & unbiased. I am very concerned particularly with the unpleasantness of the last several months on the boards. Banks (shboss)has been volunteering to moderate for several years now and I think there couldn't be a more fair mod than him. I also think the idea that Steve (Banks) suggested that the mods use completely different user names when moderating (that only you and Al would know) then their original user names when chatting on the boards. Otherwise this could get ugly and impartial. I thought of volunteering myself early this morning (my start date currently does not indicate my full time as a user on this site) but then it hit me how ugly the boards have been more recently and I decided, nah! I don't think I'd be the person for it, I'm a rule girl and if I had to use my own User Name I would be hunted down simply for enforcing the rules of MFP. lol

I think Moderators are most definitely needed Mike and I'm so glad you're working on this issue. I would highly suggest checking with Banks to see if he's still interested. He was at one point. :o) Another suggestion is "AreWeThereYet", she seems fair and has been around forever. What about some type of suggestion/vote taken? Best of luck on this endeavor. Becca
ddrobins1956 wrote 38 months ago:
Thank you so much for this site. I need to lose weight for health reasons and I feel that I'm going to succeed with the tools, knowledge and feedback offered on this site. Bless you for doing this.
Iceskatefanrn wrote 38 months ago:
I'd love to volunteer, but I don't think I fit the requirement of a "long-time user". I agree with the suggestion that the Mods be given alternate names for Moderating duties, so as not to affect their ability to participate as site-users as well.

Although I have no experience as a Moderator, I have participated in other message boards, and the Mods are invaluable for "keeping the peace". One site I was on had quite the vicious attack by "trolls", but the Mods brought the hammer down so fast, kicked out the trolls, cleaned up the offensive posts, and had the site back up and running in no time.

I'd love to volunteer - if you decide you want to mix it up and include a "less-experienced" user, count me in! Otherwise, maybe after I've reached my goal weight later this year, I can jump on in!

Thank you, Mike and Al, for this site, and the service you provide! Your time and efforts are greatly appreciated!

:-)

Ice
janesmith1 wrote 38 months ago:
I wouldn't mind being one, I have my own board, I'm not hammerfisted either. I really HATE buttinsky mods. I'm kind of scared that the people that would want to be a mod would be the worst kinds of moderators...so I'd like to volunteer. I'm NOT a bullying mod - many mods tend to be bullies.
MoonlightMerlot wrote 38 months ago:
Really glad to see this getting underway! :D
Mads1997 wrote 38 months ago:
Having been involved in a lot of different forums I have to say I am not a fan of moderators. For most the power goes to their head and you end up with some members being unfairly targeted.

miqisha wrote 38 months ago:
I would love to volunteer. I have been using the MFP for a year now, not sure if you consider that a long time user, but I would be happy to help.
anovasjo wrote 38 months ago:
I'm extremely pleased to see that MFP is considering adding some moderators to the forums! Thanks.
kao708 wrote 38 months ago:
It would be great to have "moderators" to keep the food database cleaned up. There are a lot of items in there that are duplicates or errors and I'm sure that is more than a full time job! It's something that is very needed though. Thanks for keeping the site free and moving forward!
sunkisses wrote 38 months ago:
I just wanted to drop this link so that my advice doesn't go without being read by someone who can actually do something about it. I own a forum myself, and I shared some really easy advice that can be done in no time in a thread that really strayed from what I think MFP is all about. http://www.myfitnesspal.com/topics/show/189647-what-s-the-point-of-exercising?page=6 (start at page 6)

I think having some new mods and making things concise, information easy to find on the forums is a great start.
FearAnLoathing wrote 38 months ago:
Will there be an anouncement of who the mods are?
Im worried because while some of the long time users are fair and really try to be helpfull others are downright rude.
Will we have a outlit if we have an issue with a mod
Hearts_2015 wrote 38 months ago:
FearAnLoathing makes a very good comment, still being able to contact you in some fashion Mike would reassure us if issues came up with the mods that were chosen. I do agree some of the long time members are great. Others not so much and are at times the reason for a number of the thread locks on here.
keepitoff99 wrote 38 months ago:
Thank you for doing this!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I have been meaning to comment on this almost daily.
There is some really rude and ignorant comments being made on here and it is so bad that I often do not post comments for fear someone is going to bash me. So, thank you - I can imagine how hard it must be to keep up - this is an awesome site!
carolww wrote 38 months ago:
We appreciate all your work on this site. Just saying thankyou thankyou thankyou.
jonathanearnold wrote 38 months ago:
I just wanted to comment on the increased traffic to the site. I have been a member of your site for several years. I work as a full-time nutritionist and personal trainer and www.myfitnesspal.com has been an integral part of my training for the majority of my clients. The database is more expansive than any other calorie counting website I have seen and extremely user-friendly and adaptable. I especially like the cardiovascular caloric deficit comparison to your daily calorie goals. I teach nutrition classes at my personal training studio and always reference how myfitnesspal is the way to make life easy when you want to lose weight and get in great shape!
I can personally attest to at least 40 of the new members from this past year have been because of our recommendations for you! You have done a great job. I look forward to your continued success with this site and rest assured that Seacoast New Hampshire will continue to grow for you!

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