[wp-forums] The "moderator" hat

Otto otto at ottodestruct.com
Thu Apr 24 06:20:27 UTC 2014

On Thu, Apr 17, 2014 at 10:08 AM, andrew nevins <
andrew.nevins.misc at gmail.com> wrote:

> > And yes, that means we cannot be JUST ourselves when we're in the forums
> because we represent a part of WordPress.
> I don't understand this bit, because everyone represents a part of
> WordPress regardless of whether they have powers.

You, and all the other moderators, are in a position of authority. What you
say matters. In that sense, I'd like what you say to be a) professional, b)
factual, and c) correct.

If you don't know an answer, that's fine. Just phone-a-friend here or
elsewhere and get somebody else to answer. Or let it go. You can't answer
everything. That's why we have many moderators and volunteers and other
people doing their best, all the time.

But what I'm really seeing a lot, and which gets the most complaints, is
the slight snarkiness and the somewhat overbearing nature of the replies.

It's simple really. These are people who have a problem and may be venting
a bit. And that's just fine. Venting doesn't hurt us. You are not the
defenders of the crown, and you do not have to justify anything to anybody.
All I ask is that you be consistently helpful. If you can't help, then
don't try. Let it go.

More and more, after every update, after every change that upsets somebody,
we get complaints about the moderators. And sometimes (not always), they're
justified complaints. Let people vent their righteous anger at the world.
It hurts nobody and makes them feel better. Whatever. Don't argue back,
don't delete their posts (you can edit out the cussing, this is a family
friendly forum, after all), and don't close their threads. Let 'em be
pissed. The only response you should give is a helpful, factual one.




"We're sorry that you don't like it. If it helps, here's a plugin, or
here's how to edit your theme to do whatever it is that you want to do."



... No response should be made to this. The thread should just be left to
die a natural death.

We cannot solve all the problems of the world. We should not try to do so.
We should seek instead to be most effective at helping the most people

As the great Dante Hicks once said, "Sometimes, you gotta let those
hard-to-reach chips go."


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