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Why is it moderation important to the overall health of an online community?
A well-moderated community provides a welcome place for members and guests. Good moderation builds trust among the members and ensures that the community is a safe place to engage. Once assured that a community is safe, users will feel comfortable sharing and the quality of the engagement improves.
Do welcome new members to the community.
This is especially important when launching a new community. Acknowledge new members, reiterate the purpose of the community and encourage them to participate.
Give new members a list of three things to do. These can include: Read the guidelines for participating; like a post, you value or enjoy; search for a topic of interest; respond to a post you can contribute to.
Do be sure you understand the question or issue.
Before you respond to a member’s post, read the post again. Especially in a customer support community, it’s important to show that you understand the question and are genuinely interested in assisting. Too often I see a member respond “That’s not what I was asking. Did you even read my post?”
Do establish clear guidelines for participation.
Your guidelines should focus on encouraging the behavior you’d like members to exhibit in addition to discouraging the conduct that is prohibited. Be firm and consistent in applying the guidelines to all members. When dealing with undesirable member behavior, use the guidelines as justification for corrective action.
Don’t be a robot.
Respond in a sincere, personal voice. Some community moderation platforms provide the functionality of selecting a prepopulated response. Avoid using “canned” responses unless volume necessitates it.