Ask the Mod

I mean ask the SDMB Moderator, that is, not “Ask the Guy Who Dresses Like Austin Powers.” Anything you’ve always wanted to know about what we do or how we do it? I can’t promise I’ll answer every question due to National Security Concerns, but I’ll do my best.

To start with: I’ve been modding here for about two months now. I applied in late 2006 because I wanted to help out here and figured it wouldn’t cost me much more time than I normally spend here. I also believed I had the right kind of temperament to mediate in arguments here, and I think I was correct, although it usually isn’t very complicated.

So here I am, a Mod piñata. Fire away!

…And to head off another question, yes, this is in the right forum even though it’s a discussion about how the board works. :wink:

Do you have to buy your own jackboots?

You had to know this question was coming…

When I applied I told them I already had a pair. I think that’s really what got me in.

What are the meetings like? Is it all party, party, party or are they more like circles of shame with the victim being someone different every month?

Also, is it true what they say about Cecil?

Do you Mods ever get together?

Does being a mod mean that your non-mod behaviour has changed? E.g., do you sometimes think of saying something in a post, then say to yourself, “No – I’m a mod, and shouldn’t say that”?

Do you spend more time here than before? Do you feel a larger sense of urgency to check your email for reported posts, to review your forums for off-topic threads, spam, etc. and to respond to member queries and complaints? Do you feel you have to check in all the time, or is a day away no big deal?

Do you like it? What don’t you like about it?

Do you feel like you have to scrutinize every word, every meaning and possible interpretation for fear of coming off biased or clueless or…wrong?

We’re a nationwide strike force, after all, so there’s not much in the way of personal meetings. There’s more joking in the intra-Mod emails than I expected, and yes, there were a couple of rites of passage people warned me about, like being Pitted - although that hasn’t really happened. (I did have one decision protested, but it was more about the move I made and not about what a fuckhead I am.)

The legends say many things. Which do you mean?

Have you ever talked to Cecil (personally or on the boards)?

Is there a secret forum for you guys? How do you coordinate stuff?

We don’t talk about forum #8.

[/cue dramatic music]

I haven’t met any of the other mods in person. Like Dopers in general, we’re spread around the country. Offhand I’m not even sure there are others in New York.

A bit, yes. I’ve tried to avoid personal criticisms because I’m concerned about appearing impartial. I didn’t go after people on an individual level very often anyway, but I’m a little more aware of it. The biggest difference is how I treat new posters. I assume I’m likely to be seen as a representative of the boards, so you can pretty much see me rolling out a red carpet and inviting people to stick around and encouraging them to find out how the Dope works.

Yes, yes, yes and yes. I said in the OP that I assumed I wouldn’t be spending more time here - I was wrong. I keep my email open anyway, but I check the board more often to see if there is any spam that needs to be deal with or a thread that could be moved.

I don’t think I’ve taken a full 24 hours away at any point, although I’ve come close. It’s not a big deal - I’m on a computer at work and I write at home, so I’m on the computer then, too. We do notify each other if we’ll be away for a weekend or a few days.

So far I’m having a really good time of it. I get a little touchy when people get critical of board performance and issues things like that, but both the issues and criticism are out of my control, so I’m trying to just get over it.

I guess I did feel that way at first. But in reality, most posts here are well within the basic “don’t be a jerk” guideline, so there isn’t much interpreting to do. Beyond than that, I try to leave well enough alone if posters aren’t flaming each other.

Do you have a “regular job,” do they know about SDMB and do they care?

No. I admit- I thought being a Mod would help me find out some things about Cecil, but that isn’t going to happen.

We mostly just email each other, which is a lot easier. But we do have a forum for keeping track of things.

This is a volunteer thing, I definitely don’t get paid to check the boards. I’m told I’ll get a coffee mug eventually, but I’m not counting that as compensation. (I check the forums in between real work.) Work doesn’t need to know about the SDMB and I plan to keep it that way.

What makes you think we care about you?? (I keed, I keed! Please don’t hurt me!)

Most of what I would ask has already been posted (or hasn’t occurred to me yet), so I’ve only got one question:
If there’s a poster you dislike, or think is a jerk, or whatever, but they follow the rules, how do you deal with them? Do you just ignore them? (NOT referring to the “ignore” feature, but rather to letting their posts go in one ear and out the other, so to speak.)

Thanks for opening this thread; I’m excited to learn about the inner workings of the Dope!

We pay to post here and the ads generate revenue. Does it bother you to volunteer your time for free to a profit-making organization?

I’m not trying to be snarky. I personally would support an increase in subscription fees to compensate the mods for their efforts.

A poster I don’t like who is following the rules? That’s tough luck on me, since to some degree I think it’s right for me to stop myself from getting into it. Like I mentioned earlier, I do bite my tongue a little more often rather than post some criticisms. I don’t want people to feel like the administration of the board is ganging up on them.
I think someone is getting close to breaking some rules or is gaming the system, I’ll keep an eye on it. That’s not so tough.

Never thought about it, but no, it doesn’t bother me. I paid to post here until last week and I’d have offered to take the job regardless. Of course, if anyone’s offering money I’ll never turn it down.

I’ve heard that you’re not actually Human, but rather, you’re all Soul-less Alien Lizard Monsters. Is this true? If not, what kind of Soul-less Alien Lizards are you?

Because you know, that’s what I’ve heard! :wink:

So you guys have things split up according to forum, but how often do you really check the threads? I’ve noticed that when someone’s out of line there’s usually a mod around to give them the smackdown, or when there’s confusion there’s usually clarification, but how much of that is post reporting and how much of that is you (personally and mods in general) checking things out?

There’s no way you have time to check every active thread regularly, so do you just scan for threads that make you think ,“Oh, that one looks like it’ll be a mess, better see how things are going…” Do you have a system? I guess I’m mostly asking how often do you check threads in your mod capacity and how much do you rely on us to self-police, so to speak.

Look, pal - I started that rumor, and it was only because the real truth is too shocking for your mind to comprehend!

So, how are the plans for domination of the universe coming along? And is it true that TubaDiva is going to be Galactic-President-For-Life?