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Difference between revisions of "Forum manager position description"


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Back to [[Forum Management Resources]]
Back to [[Forum manager resources]]
We are DRAFTING a job description for Forum Manager duties. ''Raw text'' to be edited below.
We are DRAFTING a job description for Forum Manager duties. ''Raw text'' to be edited below.

Revision as of 12:35, 19 August 2011

Back to Forum manager resources

We are DRAFTING a job description for Forum Manager duties. Raw text to be edited below.

Note our recent Forum Manager technical training video.

Version by Rick Mons advertising for St. Paul:

Summary Job Description

Welcome new members and provide a brief explanation of the forum and encourage them to participate rather than just lurk;

Monitor posts made to the St Paul Issues Forum and review the author's compliance with participation rules:

* written with civility;
* avoidance of personal attacks;
* topics deal with St Paul issues or if national/state issues, deal with the unique affect upon St Paul and/or its residents;

Contact members whose posts either directly contradict or strain the rules.

Clarify expectations for participation and take appropriate action including issuing a formal warning or an informal advisory, depending upon:

   the severity of the rule violation;
   the experience the participant has with the forum (or other e-Democracy forums);
   any previous informal advisories or formal warnings given to the author or sent to the forum as a whole

The concept of "progressive consequences" is generally used when moving from an informal advisory to a formal warning. Consequences tied to issuing a second or third formal warning are spelled out within e-Democracy's general rules; however, it is up to the Forum Manager to decide if the violation of the rules warrants a formal warning or an informal advisory.

Answer questions from forum members and respond to complaints from members about other participants and/or their posts.

Initiate new discussions/threads as appropriate. Assist participants in retaining a St Paul focusand suggesting other e-Democracy forums which maybe more appropriate for continued discussion of issues having a national or state-wide focus.

Time/Resources Required Generally, the traffic on the forum doesn't require more than 10-15 minutes per day. However, if a post is particularly inflammatory and/or rife with rules violations (usually a violation of the rule regarding civility), the amount of time can increase to 1-2 hours per day, depending upon how inflammatory the offending post is, the number of responses to it and the amount of time that has lapsed between the posting of the offending post and the time that the forum manager has finally read it.

Being able to periodically monitor the forum during the course of the day is helpful but not required. Having access to your e-mail account and the forum is similarly helpful but not required.

Characteristics of a good Forum Manager

Having good written communication skills and the ability to summarize in writing decisions and their rationale;

Understanding that violators will rarely admit that they made a mistake or, if they do admit it, that the mistake justified the penalty that you are levying.

Having patience to explain:

   the reasoning behind your decision;
   the fact that your personal politics/beliefs/position on the topic has no bearing on your determination that a rule has been broken;
   repeating items one and two when the member questions your decision and/or appeals your decision;
   any rules violations by others do not justify (per se) violations by the member with whom you are corresponding;

Maintaining an objective manner and generally ignoring any personal accusations or responding with grace and a touch of humor.

From Steven Clift to prospective volunteers for neighborhood expansion:

In a practical sense the "sit back" minimal responsibility is:

1. When new members join and attempt to post, they are moderated.

2. Before approving their first attempted post, make sure they filled out their member profile with what "looks" like a full real name (link is provided to their settings) and if not ask them to do it first and wait until they do to approve their message.

3. Don't approve a first message if it violates the rules (name calling, out of local scope (you have latitude here)

4. Set new members to unmoderated after their first (or second) legitimate post

The "can do" opportunity is:

5. Look for announcements about very local community events and share with the forum on a regular basis - at least two a week - you'll find them online or even on a notice board at a coffee shop

6. Encourage community groups to post their own announcements

7. Recruit new members online and in-person - from pass along this e-invite to showing up with a paper sign-up sheet - adding a few dozen new member each year will set the forum on the right path

8. Spark discussion on slow weeks by asking a question of the community - to get the "community life" exchange going this might help (getting more people in the forum is key)

9. More on the "community information stream:"


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