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Victor Leigh

Paid Moderator vs Voluteer Moderator

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Most of the forums I am on use volunteers as moderators. There are a few that actually pay their moderators. What is your view on this matter? Do you think it makes any difference whether the moderators are paid staff or just volunteers?

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Depends on how you find the moderators.  If you are looking outside of your site for them I think the only way to go is paid.

 

If you find them on your site chances are they are already here for the discussion so being a mod is an added plus.

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Does that mean I should start asking Nathan for a pay check? How does $10 every hour on the forums?

 

No but on a serious note I think it would depend on the forum itself.

 

For most forums that are more for a chat or discussion then it would be fine to have them be volunteers. I mean you don't pay for people to moderate your party?

 

However if you want to have a professional forum for a service or product then paid staff mig be required. Maybe having one or two paid staff on the team that really took it on as a job and had there defined rules and hours then it might b worth it.

 

On what forums have you seen the paid staff? Maybe not links but the idea behind the forum.

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The one that I know of for sure is a forum in the webmaster niche. The owner, I think, is quite a well-to-do person because, besides the pay, he also gives the staff other perks like free domains and free hosting. Or maybe it's nothing to do with whether he's well-to-do or not. Maybe that's his idea of keeping his staff.

 

Now I hope I haven't opened a can of worms here with this question. I am not instigating the moderators here to ask for pay or perks. Nothing of that kind at all. Just opening this for discussion, that's all.

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I think it does depend.

 

Paid: Will be more active and stick to their tasks more, as if they don't, they won't receive a paycheck

 

Free: Will probably have more love for the site, but less likely to complete tasks as well and be as active.

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I think it varies. 

 

While I think those who are paid are more likely to stick on very specific tasks like promotion....I think that volunteer mods *care* more. They actually want to be there and are already active. Paid mods tend to be more mechanical and while they will get work done, they may not actually mesh with the community itself. 

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I think it varies. 

 

While I think those who are paid are more likely to stick on very specific tasks like promotion....I think that volunteer mods *care* more. They actually want to be there and are already active. Paid mods tend to be more mechanical and while they will get work done, they may not actually mesh with the community itself. 

 

I think that is the main point we need to look into. If i'm a staff member I want it to success yes (else I'm out of a job)  but if typing "Rejected" instead of "I'm very sorry to say that I have to decline this. I sorry to say but it doesn't actually go against our rules or T&S" then you might find they do it. 

 

I know working at my local job we have our set things we need to do; but there are always the people that do it properly while having an emphasis on speed and others that are quite frankly rude.

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I would say that moderators, whether they are paid or not, must be able to interact with the community. That's not to say that there aren't moderators who don't. I have seen one or two who act like they are gods and only their opinion counts and god help any member who disagrees with them. The only reason I can think of why such obnoxious people become moderators is that they have some kind of special relationship with the owner of the forum and the owner himself is just the same kind of person.

 

Of course, all present company excluded. Serious.

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Here's my view:

 

Volunteers aren't that good as if they volunteer to be one, they won't work as hard as they are getting nothing in return except a new group. But if you find volunteers that have already been working hard on your site, they have a interest in it, therefore their work will be at 100%, trying to make your site better.

 

Where as paid ones, they know they are getting paid for their work, they will try to work as hard as possible in case the owner thinks they're not working hard enough and losing their moderator roles. However, the paid ones may not have a good interest with the forum you have therefore the work he does may not be at 100%.

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Volunteers will usually have more interest in the site, though paid staff often have an interest in the site, and won't accept the role if they have no interest in it.

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Maybe the main difference between paid moderators and volunteer moderators is that you can fire the paid moderators if they are not doing their work. With the volunteer moderators, they can just walk off the job if there is too much pressure from admin or from the members.

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Maybe the main difference between paid moderators and volunteer moderators is that you can fire the paid moderators if they are not doing their work. With the volunteer moderators, they can just walk off the job if there is too much pressure from admin or from the members.

 

Technically both can happen with both. A paid moderator can quit....or just disappear....as I have seen them do quite often. And a volunteer moderator can be removed from staff quite easily. 

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I like to give small pay to a moderator.  There are some individuals who do an amazing job for an unpaid position.  But I just seem to get much better work out of someone if I ever some compensation.  It does not even necessarily need to be a lot of money in my experience.

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To me it all depends on what the forum is all about and how we end up finding the moderators. I had previously run a forum based on cricket and I was lucky enough to have volunteer moderators. But after a while, I was forced to look out for paid moderators since I couldn't demand any work from them

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It is better to have a paid moderator if you want a good job done. Having volunteers sometimes will disappear leaving your forum not moderated and open to spam posts. Just pay someone well and you will have a good forum with a lot of useful discussions. 

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I agree with Miikelouis. I'm a mod on two forums myself but I only visit the sites when I please. If it was a paid position however, I'd have to be on the site everyday to ensure that everyone is observing the rules, banning the trolls and spammers . . . that kind of stuff. For newer forums though, I don't think hiring a mod would be a great idea because it does take time before the forum starts making any money.

 

It's better I suppose to start thinking about hiring a mod when a forum has about 1,0000 active members and numerous registrations daily. In such cases, you'll need to be vigilant in order to stop spammers from taking over the forum and if paying a mod would help then it's OK.

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You may not pay them financially; but do you reward them with anything? Special extras perhaps? I know most have there staff groups set up much like there subscription permissions.

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I don't think I've ever been on a site which has paid moderators to be honest. They've always been volunteers as far as I know. I've known Admins to be paid, but usually that's because, you know, they're actually taking part in the building/running of the site so get a bit of the proceeds from ads and visits etc. Or in places which are the official sites for products or books. Then the Admins tend to be somehow linked to the publishing house itself.

 

Something I have noticed however is that volunteer moderators just...disappear one day. They move on, and stop coming to the forum. Which isn't really going to happen with paid moderators, because whether they actually like the site, they're being paid a certain amount of money to make sure the members are following the rules.

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I think it does make a difference, if your paying some one they know that they have to do a good job or there not going to get paid. How ever a volunteer might start out by doing a good job and they may become board and start slacking and your forum will suffer from it. I had a bad experience with volunteer moderators and I will only be using paid moderators in the future.

 

Greg 

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I think it does make a difference, if your paying some one they know that they have to do a good job or there not going to get paid. How ever a volunteer might start out by doing a good job and they may become board and start slacking and your forum will suffer from it. I had a bad experience with volunteer moderators and I will only be using paid moderators in the future.

 

Greg 

 

You're right about volunteers sometimes starting out good and then slacking off. 

 

Here's another point to consider, though: 

 

Volunteers are likely to actually care. They have some sort of passion for the forum and want to help it. 

 

Paid mods will see it only as a job and will only do what they HAVE to do in order to get paid. 

 

So if you want someone only to clean up spam, then paid might do the trick. If you want someone who wants to help the forum succeed, will actively read the forums and participate because they want to (and therefore, sometimes above and beyond what's expected), then volunteers might be the better bet.

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