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Develop Effective Forum Leadership - Patrick O’Keefe

by Mark on May 7th, 2008

No doubt invaluable information for those who want to maintain an informative, active and successful online forum. I’m going to “cherry-pick” some points I like and direct you to click through to Patrick’s article for the rest. It’s an easy read…

Develop Effective Forum Leadership

by Patrick O’Keefe, Sitepoint Advisor


“Generally, the best way to build your staff is to pull people from your active member base. You should seek out the members who set the best example for others to follow, in line with your guidelines — not the members who simply post a lot. You want your moderators to be visible within your forums, but you also want them to have the right attitude and the ability to work in a team environment. These people’s characters, their personalities, and their attitudes are the most important considerations, above all else.”


Create Staff Guidelines - “It’s very important that you clearly communicate what’s expected of your staff members… Without some sort of staff guidelines or a manual, it’s hard for your staff members to act in a particular way, because you haven’t clearly documented what you want.”

Communications, in writing…

Develop a Situations Guide - “Wanting to keep the two separate, I created a supplement to my Staff Guidelines that I call our Situations Guide. This guide details specific situations that arise on the forums, and explains how they should be handled.”

Eliminating questions and confusion…

Document All Violations - “The system I use in my community to document violations of our user guidelines and related activities… You’re passing on invaluable experience, which shows them exactly what they’ll be doing and how to do it.”

Mutual respect…

Establish the Staff Environment - “I could never have someone on my staff that I didn’t like or respect, because that would affect the culture and create tension. I treat my staff members with respect and I expect it in return.”

Needs no further… In a nutshell.

“Honesty is critical, so don’t beat around the bush. Write Staff Guidelines that detail what your staff members are expected to do, and how you’d like them to act. Create a Situations Guide that teaches them how to deal with specific common scenarios. Create within your team an environment in which team members respect one another, and feel comfortable to ask questions and get help.”

Tags: , Forum Leadership, Patrick O'Keefe, Sitepoint,

POSTED IN: Resources, Tutorials, Worth Passing Along

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