5 Reasons Why Being a Moderator Isn't As Cool As You Might Think

By Phungushead · Nov 29, 2013 · ·
  1. Phungushead
    Ah, online message boards...

    These days they are found in mass quantities, with a wide variety of generalized or more focused topics, on the vast expanse of the internet. Like many of you, I've visited many, and of these all of them have had moderators. As a forum grows, they become necessary to maintain order, ensure that the rules are being complied with, and to generally assist in making the place more enjoyable for everyone involved. On a forum which has become as large as DF has, we really couldn't expect Alfa to handle everything all alone, now could we?

    There are many different types of moderators. If you've been a member of any online community for any amount of time, I'm sure you've noticed it too. Some moderators are just power tripping teenagers or bored computer nerds with nothing better to do with their spare time, some are more social, or more patient, and some are just unreasonable tyrants. Sound familiar to anyone? Maybe you're thinking to yourself, 'That's what you'll come across even in the real world, dumbass'... Well, great job there - Here's a trophy. But what is it about the often lusted after moderator title? Why would anyone even want to hold such a position in the first place? Dedication and ambition? The power or the 'prestige'? I suppose in reality, any of these could apply to anyone as long as the reason is ultimately justifiable to them.

    So that being said, here is a list of reasons to debunk some of the misconceptions about such a position on any forum. I'm sure every forum moderator out there could probably relate to this in some way or another, as although this is mostly meant to be humorous and sarcastic, deep down there is a hint of truth involved that non-staff members may never realize...

    [IMGL="white"]http://www.drugs-forum.com/forum/blog_attachment.php?attachmentid=140&stc=1&d=1401469725[/IMGL] 1. You all of a sudden are responsible for things that you perhaps didn't care about before.

    Let's all be honest with ourselves for just a minute. When you first joined this, or any other forum for that matter, how much attention did you really pay to the rules? Well, just for the hell of it, stand up if you even bothered to carefully read over every rule when you first joined. Or did you just walk off into the kitchen and make yourself a snack while the 3 minute timer ticked away (if you joined after that function was added)? I'll be honest - I didn't read them that close myself, and I'll bet that a lot of you didn't either. And that's just it - One major reason why forum moderators are necessary in the first place is that as a whole, most people just don't give a fuck about the rules (well, at least at first). Not saying that this applies to every user, but it does apply to enough of you to justify having an entirely separate group of forum users.

    As a moderator, part of the job entails making sure that every forum rule and guideline is permanently embedded in your brain, in order to ensure that you are aware of what you need to do something about and what you can leave alone. It's almost like learning the legal code of some foreign country you're about to visit. Only you don't get to bring home shirts or other cheesy gifts. For the most part, members on a forum can just use their heads to stay out of any major trouble. Moderators need to be extra careful about the forum rules because they have to work with them.

    And since we mentioned work...

    [IMGR="white"]http://www.drugs-forum.com/forum/blog_attachment.php?attachmentid=145&stc=1&d=1401469851[/IMGR] 2. It seems an awful lot like a job... Oh shit, that's right - it is a job.

    Large forums require active members to be successful... And likewise, forum moderators need to remain active and involved in order to properly do their job. It kind of sounds like what I do 10+ hours a day, 4 or 5 days a week.

    Only with this job, there's no pay involved.

    Day after day, it never ends... Logging in and doing the typical moderator crap. But what if you have some days where you just don't feel like logging in to do that shit? Barring any extenuating or personal circumstances, anyone with a sense of responsibility will make themselves log in at least every few days, at the very least to check on their post reports or make sure any flame war haven't been raging in their areas. And slowly, unfortunately, sometimes a place which was once fun and you looked forward to visiting simply becomes a force of habit, a boring routine.

    Do you hate going to work or school, or whatever the hell occupies most of your time during the day? I wouldn't necessarily say I hate my real world job, but it definitely does suck sometimes. Well, then imagine coming home after all that and then having to log in to do even more work...

    But wait, it gets worse...

    [IMGL="white"]http://www.drugs-forum.com/forum/blog_attachment.php?attachmentid=142&stc=1&d=1401469725[/IMGL] 3. Can't handle getting flamed every now and then? Don't even think about it.

    No matter who you are, if you're the one who has to lay down the law, it's inevitable you're going to receive backlash at some point or another. Even though you may be completely in the right, sometimes people just can't handle it and will start mouthing off to you, no matter how nicely you word the reprimand. You never know what you're going to see when you open up a direct message that's in response to a warning/infraction or whatever.

    If I had a dollar for every time I've been flamed over the past 8 years, I'd be one rich little son of a bitch. Really, you just gotta laugh it off, or you'll drive yourself insane if you start letting yourself take it to personally.

    And although I really could do without the insults as a whole, sometimes it really is pretty funny. I once almost considered changing my custom user title to "Worthless, ignorant, asshole American" just to get under the skin of one guy, heh.

    But no matter how irritated you may get at shit like this...

    [IMGR="white"]http://www.drugs-forum.com/forum/blog_attachment.php?attachmentid=143&stc=1&d=1401469725[/IMGR] 4. You have to play nice, because now you've got the title.

    Sometimes forum discussions can start to get really passionate. Sometimes people say things they don't mean, you have situations as described above in #3, and sometimes people just get you really pissed off or frustrated for some reason or another. Wouldn't it feel just great to shoot a bunch of really insulting words their way, and then shut off the computer and walk away?

    Well, tough shit! Although there are varying levels of repercussions when members talk shit to each other, this is something you just cannot do as a moderator no matter what the circumstance. I'll be honest - I'm a real human being sitting behind this computer, with real emotions, and I do sometimes get more pissed off than I'd like to admit at some written words on a screen. It's just so fucking tempting sometimes... But that's just too damn bad - You have to set the example now! So keep playing the good guy and don't sink to that level, even though it would feel better than a heroin rush to just let it all out and flame their ass raw.

    It does suck. But what really isn't awesome about being a moderator would be...

    [IMGL="white"]http://www.drugs-forum.com/forum/blog_attachment.php?attachmentid=144&stc=1&d=1401469725[/IMGL] 1. Its a thankless job.

    When a person gives you voluntary, selfless service with a smile, it's only natural to throw one back in return. There is a lot of work done here that is necessary to keep the forum running effectively and efficiently that goes largely unnoticed because a lot of it happens behind the scenes. But sometimes, being a moderator makes you wonder if you're lucky that you're not getting bitch-slapped for not doing your job well enough.

    There are millions of people in the world, and a large number of them converge on forums. It's a completely unrealistic to think that we can satisfy every person who comes around these parts, but for everyone out there - at least try to show some appreciation every now and them.

    Disclaimer: Please do not take this blog entry too seriously - I really do enjoy moderating here... As mentioned above, this is mostly meant to be taken tongue-in-cheek. Plus, even the best of us deserve a little smart-ass venting time every now and then [noparse]:)[/noparse]

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  1. Joe-(5-HTP)
    This is fucking awesomely written!

    I think I would love the getting flamed part lol ;)

    PH man.. I want to thank you for your moderation ^_^

    And dude.. if you ever want to release the flame.. I'm here for you :D

    Maybe being a moderator isn't as cool as I'd think... but PH is

  2. beentheredonethatagain
    Phungus you bring up some interesting points, if I may ask, what is it about being a mod was your motivation for ecepting the position

    Also what is it that identified you and the others as moderator material ?

    Don't get me wrong , I think you do a terrific job , and thank you for that:applause:
  3. Kitts
    This is great Phungy! :) Thanks for being a super cool moderator. :thumbsup:
  4. Beenthere2Hippie
    Even the Moderators of Moderators has steam to throw. Boy! I bet we don't even know 1/8 of what it really feels like to walk in those often thankless moderator shoes, though you have enlightened us somewhat, Phungy. And if nothing else, you made us laugh at ourselves and maybe (just maybe) even become a little more understanding in our mis-judgments of moderators in general. Well done.
  5. DHCdiva
    Great post.
    You're human first, Mod second.
    Never feel ashamed to have normal human emotions. It is very easy to forget how much work goes into the day to day running of this forum. If it wasn't for the growing team of moderators, I dread to think what would happen over time.
  6. Phungushead
    When I first joined here, I was putting in a lot of time answering questions and helping out other members in certain sections of the forum. I think I'd only been a member for about 5 or 6 months when I became a mod, but Alfa talked to me about it for awhile first, and it did end up nice being able to help out on a more 'official' level, as well as experience how the forum functions from a completely different point of view - Although it certainly was a little intimidating at first!

    I remember Alfa saying in a thread somewhere, not sure which one... That knowledge, attitude, and frequency of forum visits are a big part of what counts.
  7. Phenoxide
    I've always thought of 'moderator' as a fancy executive title for a janitor. The day-to-day tasks are unglamorous and repetitive, and if things are running smoothly then you'd hardly even notice they're going on. But every now and then somebody clogs the forum toilet, and a moderator has to go in with the plunger and clean up the mess.

    It might be mundane stuff for the most part, but it really is necessary to keep things ticking over. It's amazing to see how quickly the mess accumulates on those occassions when the mods make an uncoordinated decision to all go on vacation at the same time.

    Moderating certainly has a reputation for being thankless work. I think that's inevitable that with so much of the work is going on behind the scenes that the time and effort commitment can easily go unnoticed. Though I have to say that I've been surprised at how little outright abuse the staff here get. On the contrary, I've found that members here are generally appreciative. Then again, there is very little abuse on the site in general, which was one of the things that impressed me about DF back when I first registered.

    For me the biggest downsides to moderating are:

    1. The constant exposure to negativity. As a moderator, the very worst of the site occupies a disproportionate amount of your time. The rulebreakers, the trolls, the totally illegible posts, a plethora of rep-related traumas, the hostility between members that'll spill over onto you etc. are all rare in the grand scheme of things. But when you have to deal with every such incident carefully, there can be days when all you'll get to see of the site is that kinda crap. Every now and then we'll have a continuous run of days or weeks that are like that, which can really wear you down. It's disturbingly easy to lose perspective and let all the good things going on here pass you by.

    2. It changes your relationship with the site. I came to DF because I enjoyed participating in the discussions with such a diverse range of people. Moderating can unfortunately sap the energy, and staying involved requires a conscious effort where it once was effortless. My posts are probably less frequent and less thorough than they used to be or I'd like them to be, but there just aren't enough hours in the day.

    It's not all bad news though. I registered because I liked what DF strives to be and wanted to do what I could to help. That's hasn't changed, but the way I now contribute is different. Less spontaneous and enjoyable.. more like a job in an office cubicle. But hopefully a positive contribution nonetheless.
  8. Joe-(5-HTP)
    I can see why you would say that Phenoxide, but here is where I think your analogy fails -

    Anyone can be a Janitor. Being a DF Mod though, requires a really good mindset/attitude - and that's something pretty rare!

    rep-related traumas lol : P
      Lat3ris likes this.
  9. SublimeTrip
    Hey Phungy, I enjoyed your blog and I understand how you must feel. You and the other mods have a ton of work to do and never get a break...


    And then you get people saying shit like this...



    You do an awesome job and I want you to know that it's much appreciated. Thanks for all the stuff you do and for the things you put up with in order to keep DF the best that it can be. I will express my gratitude through this musical number performed by a cow and rooster(with banjo)...



    Talk to you later, bro.

      Lat3ris likes this.
  10. Phungushead
    So on (almost) the same topic, here's something I came across while I was fucking around online this morning...

    I wish I could say I wrote this piece of poetic brilliance... But the credit has to go someone I don't know, on a forum I had never heard of until now (posted in a thread titled "Moderators Suck"), with the user name Bugs ****ing Bunny (of all things).

    At any rate, I had a big ol' stupid grin on my face by the time I was done reading it.

    I am the very model of a forum moderator
    I've a list of regulations that could stretch round the equator.
    They're most useful when I feel the need to silence a debator
    claiming that I'm nothing more than a compulsive masturbator.
    And if I miss your spamming now, be sure I'll catch it later
    so don't you suggest that I abuse my scrotum with a grater
    for I'll damn you as a troll, a dolt, a jackal and a hater,
    and I'll fiddle with your sig to make it read "I am a traitor".

    I always feel uneasy when I chance upon some jollity
    for fear that it might step across the line into frivolity
    and if I interfere I know the chances are you'll bollock me.
    At least I know administrators stand behind me solidly,
    so if your posts begin to show the merest dip in quality
    you can be sure that you will soon be sampling my ferocity
    and as our admins sling you out at frightening velocity
    I'll add a kiss-off line of quite stupendous virtuosity.

    My every dream revolves around the string of letters "QWERTY"
    and the speed with which I act when an upset bloke hits "Alert". He
    knows he always can rely on me when forums get too dirty.
    I don't need that sort of nonsense while I'm dealing with my puberty.
    So please resist temptation when your mind is getting murky
    for my repressed sexuality has left me rather quirky
    and I'd rather not be forced to have to stuff you like a turkey,
    or to chew you up and spit you out like part-digested jerky.

    I'd like to reassure you that I've no wish to be rid of these
    apparently quite pointless and debatable abilities.
    This small and helpful insight into real responsibilities
    may help me in my struggle with my social disabilities.
    So while I give a little something back to the community
    I also get to grips with all my autistic proclivities,
    and when in public situations finally I feel at ease
    a real living pair of boobies I may one day get to squeeze.

    I've seen a girl I fancy, but I know I'll never date her,
    and I'll never kiss, I'll never woo, I'll never procreate her.
    And I know that I will never even make it as a waiter
    for I've given up my life in the pursuit of something greater.
    In closing let me offer up these thanks to my creator
    for making me a PC-based *****fight adjudicator.
    I'm a hypermanic ubermenschen rule-regurgitator
    and I am the very model of a forum moderator.

    Gotta love the stereotypical moderator image [noparse]:)[/noparse]

  11. Booty love
    Thank you for giving us a peek inside the job of a moderator. I now have a new respect for all of our mods.
    It reminds me of what Abraham Lincoln said: "you can please some of the people all the time, all of the people some of the time but you cannot please all of the people all of the time."
  12. jessilee
    I like your disclaimer at the bottom of the page. Its feels like you almost couldn't have an opinion witout saying somthing along the lines that no one should be offended. I think it would be extremely hard to keep so calm when treated badly. And I can't imagine not being able to state my opinion as a fact and leave itas that with no disclaimer. Here is my smile :) and thanks fr doing a good job that I wouldn't want to do.
  13. been_there
    OMG! This was the funniest thing I've read all week! Thank you! And here I was trying to increase my rep points to someday be in your shoes.. :D
  14. SpatialReason
    This earned your internet penis. Best post ever.
  15. whatstheproblem
    Internet penis? What does that mean?
  16. Micklemouse
    Been wondering about that myself!
  17. D0pe
    Thank you for the work ! I appreciate the troll free forum..

    When i am being serious and put allot of thought and time into a post i get offended when a moderator pulls out his big swinging shlong and slaps me in the face.. Leaving a big red mushroom shaped bruise across my forehead.. but the red mark will go away in a few minutes... I realized that a long time ago..

    Moderation in not only necessary it is important..:crazy

    I wish i could earn my internet penis... I got my internet octomom vagina a few years ago...

    At any rate, I appreciate your time and thank you for the work. I really do appreciate it.
  18. bluenarrative
    Let me offer a simple and very heartfelt word of thanks for all that you-- and the other mods-- do!!!
  19. Phungushead


    Edit - Well cool, looks like the images are back up and running again!
  20. detoxin momma
    i dont even have any experience with forums of any kind,until this last year.
    and i can say positively that i could not be a moderator.

    no way could i lay down at night and not have all the shit you must see on a daily basis running threw my mind.
    it definitely does take a special type of personality.strong,patient,kind,compassionate,intelligent,open minded,just to name a few traits i believe being a moderator would take.
    and to volunteer at it,shiiiiitttt.....i dont have the words for that.....hats off to you guys,thats all i can say...

    its real easy to point fingers and place blame,but until you are willing to take on this kind of responsibility,you cant say what you would or wouldnt do/say....

    so,being a moderator not as cool as one may think, i have no doubt about that.but someones gotta do it right....hopefully karmas watching out for you guys.
    because i cant see how else it'd be worth it.

    not trying to be negative.just saying that i myself can see what a difficult job it would be.much much props.....:cool:
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