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Old 07-20-2006, 03:27 AM   #1
Lopez17's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Stone Ridge, VA
So....you'd like to be an Agent or Mod?

Since this seems to be a recurring post in this section of the site, I've decided to compile a sticky that will answer the frequently asked questions that we get in this area...specifically...

What is an Agent/Moderator/Legend/Super Moderator?

Originally Posted by Lopez17
Site Owner/Administrators: Adam/Demand Media (and Formerly Andrew) and Lopez. Admins have the final word on everything. That being said, they generally delegate most of the day to day moderating to the staff of Supers and Mods.

Super Moderators: Think site facilitators. The Super Moderators are the most trusted mods and have generally been around for several years as mods, and several more before that as members. Many have been around since the beginning. These are the folks that have moderator access to the entire site for moving threads, deleting threads, banning members, resolving member disputes, answering questions, etc.

Moderators: Trusted members who have proven themselves over many months/years to be dedicated to the site. Many are extremely knowledgable in a single area or several areas and moderate individual forums. They have exclusive control over specific forums and while Supers can technically override them on decisions we tend to back the individual forum mods in terms of how they run things. Some moderators are mods because of their domain knowledge in an area, some were selected for their ability and talent in helping other members. A couple were put in moderator positions because they posess a maturity that benefits the site in many tangible and intangible ways. Some are mods due to a combination of the above. Long story short, these are people that, when they were members, weren't trolling, harassing, flaming, posing risque pictures or posts and focused on helping other members.

Legends: Old school moderators who have been OBL'd (overtaken by life). These are folks who we prefer to keep around for advise, consultation and to have insight into Mod issues because they've "been there, done that" when it comes to moderating here on PBR. As a Super, I trust their judgement and wisdom because they've proven themselves, over many years, to be consistently right.

Agents: I don't like the term "Mod in training" as being an Agent isn't necessarily a golden ticket to being a mod. Agents are a step above a regular user, someone who has been around a shorter time in some cases, and who goes above and beyond on a day to day basis. They're the eyes and ears of the site for the mod staff and help mediate disputes, prove knowledgable in certain areas or generally make themselves helpful to the staff. Some of the more proactive Agents (ones that stand out) get bumped to Mods, but this is all done on an as needed and a case by case basis. As is the promotion of members to Agent status. Andrew and the staff review members and review their posts and come to consensus on the selection of members for promotion to Agents and then on the selection of Agents for promotions for Moderators. There's no formal selection criteria and no formal time this is done. Asking to become an Agent or a Moderator is pretty much a sure fire way to get yourself excluded from consideration. The rationale being, if you have to ask, you apparently don't have the wherewithall to do the job correctly and standout enough on your own.

How does one become and Agent or Moderator?

Originally Posted by Lopez17
Essentially this is a bit of a long process. The first thing that you need to do in order to be a moderator on this site is contribute in a strong way.

You need to have hundreds and hundreds of high quality posts. We look for people who contribute daily to the forum, who don't troll, who are helpful and can take criticism without going berzerk. We look for people who follow the rules.

After a year or so of this, we may consider you for a position as an Agent. Basically this gives you the opportunity to distinguish yourself again by helping the mods identify problem threads, problem posts and give some input into issues on the site. Agents are the eyes and ears of the moderator staff. If you continue to contribute, have posts that are consistently well articulated and in general if you continue to be a productive member of the site, Andrew may ask you to join the moderator team.

Most people assume that mods go around enforcing rules and tossing power around, but the fact of the matter is that the most important thing we do as moderators is assist members. We get lots of PM's daily asking for assistance on a variety of issues. We patrol the site looking to assist members as needed. Enforcing the rules and moving threads is only a small part of what you do as a mod. The moderators set the example for the site and are expected to contribute in a positive manner.

Super Mods are mods with just a bit more authority to ban users, delete threads/posts throughout the site and basically assist with problems across several marker forums. People don't always agree with us on certain issues or topics but that's fine, as Andrew expects us to have to make tough calls now and then on various situations. Andrew handles promotions to this level.

From my perspective the most important factor in being a moderator is maturity. This isn't something that is really captured by age, but rather by your posts, how well you deal with criticism and people flaming you and how well you can control your emotions. Part of being a moderator is being objective and controlled when someone posts something negative or when you receive a scorching flame of a PM waiting for you in your inbox. We have several excellent mods who have been doing this since they were young. Several of us are in our 30's and 40's. I would say though that our decision making capabilities and ability to handle troublesome situations is close to the same despite any age differences.

Now, we only select mods and agents, as they're needed, on an infrequent basis. Generally speaking, we don't actively look at people who post comments like "HEY! I REALLY WANT TO BE A MOD!" or "Pick me!" as that level of over the top campaigning tends to indicate a certain amount of bravado which is the antithesis of what we need in mods.

Now...all this being said, domain knowledge about the technical aspects of markers is only one of many criteria that are used to select staff members. We also look for other attributes (tangible and intangible) with a key being maturity. We don't need people with ego/power trips and we look for people that post regularly and contribute a great deal.

If you want to be an Agent/Mod you should ask yourself a few questions...
  • Are your posts "sticky" material?
  • Do you flame or make trolling types of posts? (Not a good idea)
  • Do you post harrassing things? (Not a good idea)
  • Do you post porn or risque things? (Forget about it)
  • Are you helping out the newer members and setting the example on the site?
  • What are you doing to better the site?

And of course the last rule, again, is that people who generally "ask" to be mods/agents are generally disqualified from consideration. Much like santa, the staff knows who's naughty and nice.
How does someone really become a moderator?

Originally Posted by Ebonclaw
There are many theories on how moderators are chosen.
The first, and most common, is that you get picked based on your post count evidently. By the way, less is better. In fact, the ideal mod should not have a single post or even be a member of this website.

The second way is the usual virgin sacrifice. Locating a virgin is pretty easily done...simply reference the Yellow pages for your local elementary school, athough in some areas you may have difficulty finding virgins there. If you are a virgin, you may commit suicide as an alternative if there aren't any virgins in your area. We encourage suicide in anyone dumb enough to follow our advice in hopes of becoming e-cool.

The third way is to write a 4 page essay. In size .05 font. Any typos will result in immediate disqualification. The essay doesn't have to be on the topic of modship, instead we prefer it to be on something like aluminum foil, or the mating rituals of the water buffalo.

The Fourth and final way of becoming a moderator is to duel an existing moderator to the death. To do this, inform one of us you would like to duel. Then turn your computer off and stare at the blank screen. First person to die of starvation loses. We promise we'll actually stare at the screen too. Really.

In case you haven't figured it out yet, if you have to ask how, or if you can be one, then odds are you won't be. Unless by some miracle of God you do write the essay, but the server has been known to suffer "voltage spikes" and lose valuable files and/or member accounts from time to time. Just ask an older member who Incube was.
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I'd have given someone's arm for a U-Haul and 20 minutes alone with a forklift.
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