How does one become a moderator at the SDMB ?
Generally, we send messages privately to people that we think would be good for the job. You can also contact us if you want. Either way, there ends up being an application process that you have to go through, and Ed has final say on everything.
What are the qualifications one needs ?
You need to have a personality and temperament that is suited to moderation.
You need to have some reasonable computer skills. This doesn’t mean that you need to be a programmer or anything like that, but you do need to be able to figure out how to use the SDMB software. There are certain moderator controls that don’t work from phones, so you need a computer capable of running these.
You also need to be an active participant here. We expect our moderators to be actively involved in the forums that they moderate so that they know the culture and know how rules are typically enforced in that forum.
I am assuming this high status job is an unpaid position, am I correct ?
High status? Basically it’s a job where everyone tells you what you do wrong. If everything goes perfectly, no one complains, and that’s it. If you are looking for status and respect, this ain’t the job for you.
You are correct though. Moderators here are not paid.
It seems (to me at least) issues are dealt with rather quickly. Do you have shifts that are kept so always a couple mods are on duty ?
No, we do not have assigned shifts. Generally speaking, we have enough moderators for each forum that someone can usually get to any reported issues in a timely manner.
Are you assigned by forums ?
Yes. You can see who is assigned to a forum by looking at the bottom of that forum’s page.
You can also see a full list of who is assigned to what forum here (which you can navigate to by going to the SDMB main index page then click “View forum leaders” down near the bottom):
How much time does this take ?
We probably handle somewhere in the neighborhood of 30 to 50 post reports per day total (that’s all forums, all mods, total). Some forums get more reports than others (those guys in Marketplace, just constant post reports, let me tell ya… just kidding ). We also see a lot of things ourselves before they get reported.
I generally read every post in ATMB and the Marketplace. I don’t read every post in GQ but I glance over the list and I read a fair share of them. Banning a spammer only takes about 20 or 30 seconds or so. Reading through a train wreck of a thread top figure out where it’s all gone wrong and figuring out if you can fix it or if you need to close it or move it can take a lot more time. Hunting down socks can be a bit time consuming as well.
There are also behind the scenes discussions. Some days there’s almost nothing going on, some days there are issues that we all need to hash out.
So overall it does take a fair amount of time.
Are their levels of moderators? Moderators in training, junior moderator, etc., up to chief moderator.
No. We’re all equal in rank. There used to be an admin level (Tuba Diva, Marley, etc) but we no longer have anyone in that type of position. We all report directly to Ed now.