Moderation postion on Moderators

Posted on Wed 02 July 2014 in Side Activities
Updated on Thu 04 Dec 2014


I've been the owner of Vipers for almost 5 years. In that time I've help the community grown and get stronger. I've helped members begin their own communities and I've maintained the game servers the players utilize 24 hours a day. I've been concerned about low activity, excited about new events and updates, and watched the community ebb and flow through out the years. I've dealt with trolls, spammers, and new community members. I think I've gained valuable experience in managing a community.

I'm also a member on Stack Overflow and over the years gotten to know others that enjoy the "Meta" aspect of Stack Exchange. That's the "behind the scenes", "how does this site work?" discussions and activities.


A few days ago, I found a way to merge my experience with Vipers and the knowledge of the Stack Exchange platform. A new community started recently: Moderators. The idea behind this site is for people building, administering, managing or cultivating digital communities to have a place to ask others with similar experiences questions. I love it!

One of the things a new site needs on the Stack Exchange network is a set of pro tempore moderators. While Stack Exchange believe in community moderation, there are still some things that require more access. These pro tempore moderators are those people. I nominated myself for one such position.

The Nomination

This is the nomination I presented to the community. In it, I discuss my experience with Vipers and some of our challenges. One in particular that I mention is the automated language filter we have on the game servers.

I am an administrator/site owner of a medium sized gaming community that runs on a PHPBB3 board. We host multiple game servers as well. I've got a team of moderators that help keep the forum and game servers clean. I've run this site for 5 years, after taking it over from the original creator of the community who wanted to move on. In my time as admin, we've seen the number of participants on the forum increase. We've seen our game server population increase as well. I attribute this to getting the community involved in change discussions.

One of our biggest changes occurred several years ago. Community members complained that our game servers would be over run with trolls at hours when moderators weren't available and spewing filth. The community wanted a cleaner game server experience. Users wanted these players gone immediately. Previous community leaders felt that trolling of this kind was part of the game and did nothing. After some discussions regarding what was and wasn't appropriate, we decided to be (for lack of a better term) "family friendlier". Certain 'extreme' phrases were no longer tolerated at all. A technical solution was built to automatically remove players that violated these rules. This solution allowed users to swear, but once it became excessive (again, defined by the community) they, too, were removed.

The tool we have (PHPBB3) may not have the reputation, badges, or increasing privileges used here on Stack Exchange but for my community that has not been a negative. Engaging with the community in discussions and letting the members provide input that me and my team utilize has been extremely beneficial.

I have no experience moderating a Stack Exchange site. I don't feel that's a down side though. I can provide the "outside" perspective in a Stack Exchange heavy group. That does mean, though, that I'd depend on and expect the community to provide feedback on how moderation in being handled. Much like my existing gaming community, input from the community to the moderation team is important and the moderation team should be listening to that input.


Updated on August 12, 2014

I have been appointed to a moderator position on Moderators. I now "moderator the moderators", as the running joke has been on meta and the chatroom. I am looking forward to helping this community grow and to providing my experience of community management outside of Stack Exchange to this position.

Renaming to Community Building

Updated on December 4, 2014

Almost since the beginning of Moderators, there have been conversations about whether the name is limiting our scope. We aren't a community for only moderation questions. We are a community about how to build communities and moderation happens to be a part of community building. (How many times can you say "community" before it sounds weird?)

Discussions began in August about possible name changes. These discussions continued into October as we worked on the scope of our site. Finally, on December 2, we received our new name: Community Building. It's the same great site but with a much more relevant name.

- is a father, an engineer and a computer scientist. He is interested in online community building, tinkering with new code and building new applications. He writes about his experiences with each of these.