PlaymoFriends Moderator Guidelines

These are the guidelines we expect our Moderators to understand and closely adhere to in order to provide our members with useful and consistent service.

Those of you entrusted with this position will all have the necessary prerequisites... maturity, willingness to answer (or find the answer to) questions by members, knowledge about Playmo, integrity, discretion, and most of all, a healthy sense of humour. All these qualities will be put to the test when you offer to take on this role.

· Be active!

Maintain a visible and consistent presence on your board. (See the Moderator FAQ for more information). Encourage conversation and respond to posts that have no replies when possible. Answer any member questions about the forum if able to (or direct them to the Administrator) and address any member concerns. Direct members who are having technical problems to the Technical Support board.
Promote and encourage participation in any site-wide events, such as donation drives, contests, and other regular features, plus provide the Administrator with constructive feedback regarding new ideas and site concerns, when requested.
Maintain board integrity - ensure that the intended purpose of the board you are given responsibility for is respected and upheld by gently reminding other members to stay on topic when needed. Familiarise yourself with site policies, signature guidelines, and posting protocol, and help to uphold these by making sure all members follow them.

In the case of needing to intervene regarding unacceptable PMs, posts, and comments to members:

· Be courteous and respectful

This way you will be seen as a helpful guide rather than the enemy, and your advice will be more likely to be listened to rather than ignored. Maintain confidentiality, both in regard to members and site concerns/information.

· Don't be too easily hurt or offended

If you are becoming irritated, take a deep breath and count to 10. Log off for a while and make a cup of tea. Don't answer immediately. Wait until you have had time to think things through and regain composure.

· Don't personalize the issue

Show equal respect for members old and new and try to maintain a role as that of an impartial observer. If you feel (and be honest with yourself) that you are biased - for whatever reason - against a particular member, hand the issue over to anotherModerator.

· Put your ego on hold

Moderating any site is both an honour and a responsibility, but it does not make you 'better than' the members. Remember, you are a PlaymoFriend member first, a Moderator second. Participate on the forum as you would normally and only put on your "Mod Hat" when you deem it necessary.

· Seek a resolution of the situation rather than an escalation

Remain calm and helpful. Do not add to the problem by taking sides or offering your own opinion. Advise members to continue their discussions via PM if you think differences can be resolved more easily in private.

· Don't back people into a corner

If someone has made an error or lost their temper, give them the opportunity to correct the situation themselves and allow them to apologise if necessary. Above all, trust that a member is sincere by accepting any apology when it is given.

· Be direct and clear

Choose your words carefully. Stay friendly but maintain a reasonably authoritative air or your requests may go unheeded. Humour can sometimes be useful in 'cooling' a heated situation, if you feel that you can get your message across without offending anyone.

· Check to see you are understood

This is especially important when dealing with members whose first language is different to your own. Ask for feedback if there is any doubt that you are being completely understood.

· Seriously consider both sides of an argument

Do your homework. Read all posts that provide context for the issue before making any decisions.

· Seek guidance from fellow Moderators

Our moderators act as a team, but this does not mean they are clones. Trust your 'better self' to deal with routine matters, but always feel free to ask for help when you are unsure if action needs to be taken.

· Keep fellow Moderators informed

Keep the site's Administrator and the other Mods apprised of any potential problems and inform them of any offensive or inappropriate posts by posting PM contents, and other useful details on the Moderator board. Consult with them regarding any content that you think might require removal unless immediate action is necessary to protect other members.