Troy Spiral

How to Become a Staff Member. (Rules & Guidelines - Updated)

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How Become a DGN Staff Member

Abbreviated Staff Requirements





Moderator - Are intended as a moderating, active influence on the board with substantial editing powers. The term is often used to mean "any DGN staff member"

Administrator - "Senior Moderator" with more authority and also technical powers over the board beyond what moderators have.

Emissary - A Moderator with a heavier emphasis on the "real-life" helpful, interactive aspects of DGN.

(See below for a more detailed description of the above)





- Must care about DGN and want to see it do well.


To some DGN is "just a website" but to others DGN is a special place that they want to see grow and do well and are willing to put in a bit of work to see that happen.





- Must read, understand and buy-into all the concepts in the DGN Rules / Code of Conduct .


Make sure you understand that document fully. Don't just skim over it.


The whole thing not just the parts about moderators. Moderators are also expected to be "model posters" so the entire thing is relevant. There WILL be a quiz. On the DGN Rules & FAQ by me , over the phone. Well , not so much a quiz as a discussion to make crystal clear everything is understood and we are on the same page.


It will be a LONG conversation, might take a couple conversations if you don't have a large block of time.




- Must be active online if not daily, nearly daily (its impossible to be online every day forever) and have acceptable spelling and grammar.


Must "act" like a moderator once you've decided you want to be one so we can observe your behavior. Joining the Street Team, showing up at DGN Night at least once in awhile and becoming a Benefactor/Supporter couldn't hurt either. A moderating, active, positive influence on the DGN community.


If you cannot ever make it to DGN Night or are lacking in the ability to get involved in the "real life" aspects of DGN, that does not mean you cannot be a mod, but it might work against you. Moderators are expected to be role-models of the sort of DGNer we want to have in the dgn community, DGN isn't "just a website." it is also a real-life community.






- Must be on the board and active for at least 3+ months, in accordance with the above items.


If your not active (posting) and online, none of any of this makes much difference. It also sets a bad example for the board.




- If you are still reading you can tell we take this fairly seriously.


Its not a "hard" job but it does require a bit of dedication and care. If your interested , talk to some of the moderators.


Couldn't hurt to get as much input from as many mods as possible. Talk to them first, not me.


















DGN moderators tend to influence all board members activities far more than your average poster.

Therefore, they should set an example of how we would like all members to behave. Moderators should try to be "model DGNers".



1. Must be active on the board.


This means checking the board forum(s) that you moderate, as well as the Staff Chat area, at least 4-5 times a week on average. This is the bare minimum. Many moderators check the board 4-5 times a day if not more.


Not only should you be active, but it's important that you be seen as active. Unless there are extreme circumstances, it does not benefit DGN for you to be "lurking" (as a guest) nor invisible to the non-moderators (anonymous).


We all have reasons for being away from the board for a few days, or even a week or two. If a moderator legitimately needs to take a break, or has job / work / health issues that prevent them from being active, that is fine. We all need a break sometimes, but as a general rule Moderators need to be active that is, online and posting.



1A. Reading Expectations:


We don’t always have enough time to check everything on DGN that we would like, every day, but we do expect all moderators to take their moderator duties seriously. Therefore, your moderator reading and posting duties should come before general posting for pleasure on the board. Obviously there will be exceptions, but generally we require that you prioritize your DGN reading as such:


1. Read Staff Chat

2. Check Your Inbox

3. Check your (or the) forums - If you are not a Jr. Moderator we’d suggest you check the Hello Forum for new folks first and welcome them before moving on to the rest of the board.


The key here is that whether you have a little or a lot of time to spend on DGN, your moderator activities should be taken care of before you start posting general stuff. Administrators (aka Sr. Moderators) are expected to read Sr. staff chat first.




1B. Forum Posting Expectations:


Moderators are expected to place at least one post every 72 hours in the forums that they moderate (only relevant for Jr. Moderators / Emissaries) and once a day on the board as a whole. Obviously you cant ALWAYS post every day.


Make a good faith attempt to be in the top 10 daily posters on a somewhat regular basis, this too is not realistic to do every day, but it should not be the case that you go two weeks without ever being one of the top 10 posters.


Moderators should tend to dominate the top 10 posters list.



2. Must understand and agree to abide by the DGN mission Statement, Rules and FAQ document.


The mission statement is a basic philosophy that is used to guide board members as well as to make moderator/admin decisions. The mission statement is a framework for coming up with responses to all ideas and issues that affect the board.


The board rules exist to help us accomplish DGNs mission statement. If you’ve been a disruptive poster, or haven’t been around for several months, it will be difficult for you to become a moderator since we'll have no recent activity, or unfavorable recent activity, to judge you on.


It's important that you understand and adhere to everything covered in this document, so that there are no surprises or misunderstandings later on. It has taken a lot of work, and a lot of help from various people, to put this together.


This document may seem a bit excessive for a board like DGN, but, since our main goal is to increase activity, we hope that already having an extensive set of rules will help us avoid conflicts and transition more smoothly as DGN continues to grow.



3. Must agree to make proper use of the Staff Discussion Forum.


This includes understanding that board procedural questions and concerns should be kept off the main board and in the moderator staff discussion area, using tact when bringing up issues, being able to back down from an argument or disagreement, and/or being able to deal with criticism maturely.


You should read ALL posts in Staff Chat , even if they are not of personal interest to you.


Information discussed in the DGN staff discussion, or Sr. Staff Discussion forums, is to be treated as "private."




Please give some sort of detailed, constructive response (not just an emotional response or a flippant comment) to moderators questions/concerns when they make new topics asking for input.


Try to make sure you're responding to what is actually being discussed. Sometimes we just (and know I'm guilty of it myself at times) skim over the topic post, then we make various assumptions about what is being asked/talked about and respond to our quick "impression" of the post, rather than reading through the actual word-for-word content of that post.


Comments like : "I don't like it;" "Makes me sad;" or "ha-ha;" with no other explanation are not particularly helpful. Tell us why you "don't like it," or what about it "makes you sad." At least a sentence or two explaining your opinion or suggestion is called for.



3a. "All staff" discussion & Sr. staff discussion posting requirements:


Posts that are of a "Request for Feedback from All moderators" nature should be commented on every time you see them, even if your response is as simple as: "I agree;" "I disagree;" or "I'll have to think about this one a bit more and get back to you when I have a bit more time."




4. Make good faith efforts to base decisions and responses on what is best for DGN as a whole not necessarily what is best for you personally. Keeping in mind our perpetual need for new people and to keep the place active & friendly.



Sometimes, that may not necessarily be what you personally might like. When giving input as a DGN moderator, it is important to take into consideration what is best for DGN as a whole, and what is in accordance with the DGN mission statement, rather what expresses the moderator's personal feelings and opinions.




5. Must have a reasonably recognizable photograph of yourself as your "avatar".


DGN is a "local scene" board. We do have members from all over the world, but it is primarily meant to be a place for people from SE Michigan to chat, discuss, and socialize. If you're not a particularly social person, and have a problem with having your face shown somewhat publicly, you will not want to be a DGN moderator.


Also, I feel having actual pictures in people’s profiles makes the board seem more personal, and lends itself to a friendlier atmosphere.


Signature size is a minor point, but there are many people who do not like to see huge signatures under every one of your posts, your signature should not be taller than the DGN banner at the top of the website.


Having no signature at all is fine, but we do want a profile picture. Please no rude pictures (such as flipping the bird, etc.) in your avatar.




6. Must have at least some basic info in your profile. The more the better.


Make sure you have a working e-mail account, that you actually check, set up with your Invision account.


People need a way, other than posting directly on the board, to contact you. Make sure you have your "real" e-mail address in your profile (applies to Invision only). No one outside of the DGN staff can see your e-mail address unless you deliberately enable that feature. People can send messages to your e-mail address via the board, but they cannot see the email address. It is handled by the board itself, so members never actually have access to your e-mail address. Board members need to be able to contact DGN staff if needed without staff members having to check the board.


Have your location listed. This falls into the "local community" concept covered in #5. If, for some reason, you are afraid to put your specific city, listing something like "Metro Detroit" is acceptable (not preferred, but acceptable) while something like "In a place" is not.


If you're especially sensitive about people being able to e-mail you or knowing what city you live in, you may want to re-think your moderator status. Being a moderator on a "local community" board requires at least some personal exposure.




7. Understand that Troy makes the final decision on DGN issues.


I value input from posters and moderators highly, and always try to get input from the community and mod staff on any drastic changes to be made to DGN. But at some point I have to make a decision based on what I think is best, and what goes along with my vision for the board. This will not necessarily be based on what the opinion of the majority is. Sometimes this is very hard for me, but I need to stay true to my vision for the board. I do go with the majority opinion on many issues, unless I feel that a particular point is strongly contrary to my vision for the board.


After some deliberation, once I make a decision, like it nor not, that's just the way it is. Feel free to discuss issues, even if I disagree with the premise, but once I make a decision, I'll most likely stand by that decision without further discussion, at least for several months.


In case of my extended absence from DGN Sr. staff members will reach decisions on any major issues that need to be handled.




8. Must be able to deal with changes.


The population of the board changes nearly every day, and can change somewhat rapidly (or at least seems to change rapidly) depending on your perspective. DGN is a living, growing entity. Having the ability to cope with those changes is imperative for one to be able to have longevity as a moderator.




9. Be able to deal with criticism and conflicting ideas without taking them personally or quitting.


Many people are unable to deal with criticism, and ideas contrary to their own, without taking it personally. This is a bad trait for a moderator. Sometimes we all take things too personally, but you should be able to differentiate between a disagreement and a personal attack. If we disagree with your idea, or don’t like your idea, that doesn’t mean we don’t like you.


You also need to be able to make a point without being overly rude to, or personally attacking, anyone while making that point. If you’re unable to be tactful, you probably won't make a good moderator. Tact is required of moderators both in the “open board” areas and in the Staff discussion area.


You must be able to step back, and put things into perspective when you are angry. Don't quit the board because of a few bad days or weeks. We all have them. Just take a deep breath and give yourself some cool-down time.





10. Proactively self policing.


Moderators should be able to make sure that they are following the moderator guidelines without constant supervision, regardless of what any other moderator may or may not be doing. They should check the staff guidelines occasionally to keep them fresh in mind, and conduct themselves in a way that adheres to those moderator guidelines.



How do I become a Moderator?


See above.



How do I become an Emissary?


See everything above, along with being known as someone that "goes out" and is friendly / outgoing in real life and will continue to do so in the future. Emissaries agree to make a good faith effort to go to DGN Night and other DGN events more often than not. In actual practice this means that over time, for instance, they would be at DGN Night over the course of a month, at least 5 out of 8 weeks, hopefully more, as much as realistic.



How do I become an Administrator? (Sr. Moderator)


If you've been a moderator for an extended period of time, have been very active and helpful with many, if not most/all, of the above moderator suggestions and requirements, and there is an opening for a Sr. Mod, ask for the job yourself and Troy and the Sr. Mods will discuss it and come to a decision. :)


Again, you shouldn't take it personally if you are not given the promotion at that time.


All DGN staff should be familiar with this entire document and understand clearly the points being made. If you have any questions regarding the information in this post please contact any of the Sr. Moderators or myself and we will be happy to help.

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Very extensive re-write of the above.

Especially the totally new section covering the Emissary and some changes of things that were just plain incorrect.

Damn that took a long time, phew.

Please let me know about any typos or sections that still are confusing.

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The whole thing not just the parts about moderators. Moderators are also expected to be "model posters" so the entire thing is relevant. There WILL be a quiz. On the DGN Rules & FAQ by me , over the phone. Well , not so much a quiz as a discussion to make crystal clear everything is understood and we are on the same page.

It will be a LONG conversation, might take a couple conversations if you don't have a large block of time.

It's true.

Side note - I'm excited at the Emissary position creation.

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