QOTO.org's Moderator Nomination Process

Personal views of a Moderator's job, how Users can help build Community

[ A copy of post previously made in the QOTO Discourse Forum area. ]

QOTO Moderator Nomination Process - Notes

This month we have a process for nominating candidates for Moderator position here at the Mastodon and Discourse Forum instances at QOTO.org. It is an important one, and I would like to post a few notes and thoughts about it.

  1. First of all, it's surprising how open and transparent the process of Staff selection is here; In most cases, these discussions are held In Camera, by existing site staff (moderators and administrators), sometimes subject to a vote between them, sometimes with Admins having the final decision, after accepting input.

    Here, it's done in the public Feed, the posts are also federated with other instances. And the nomination process is open to participation by any current user in QOTO. (an election should ensue, if more than one person is nominated; otherwise, it's considered hors-concours, and the nominated person gets the job)

  2. Nomination is currently done via a post in the QOTO Discourse forum (a less known and used feature of the community), you will need to register an account there as it's different software that Mastodon running here.

    As an alternative, you could post a Mastodon post, and declare your support for any user here you see as a good candidate, include the person via their @ tag name, and include @freemo, our system admin so he won't miss it.

  3. Who can be nominated? the site rules expects a user to have been registered and active in the instance for at least one month. A good candidate would be someone who has shown balance and tact in their posts, ideally also being helpful and building community spirit.

    There is currently a thread open for nominations here.

  4. What makes a good Moderator? Ideally a stable and pondered person, capable of communicating clearly and actively present in the community.

    The job of a Moderator is, in my personal view, more than simply keeping an eye out for unacceptable behaviour or content. But any Staff member in a site should be interested in it and a community builder him/herself.

  5. Previous experience, is it required, mandatory or what? It certainly would be helpful, and make the person's job easier, if they have experience in other communities, by producing content, helping other users, assisting site Staff.

    All of those can be characteristics of a valuable member, and sometimes they are recognized with a "Contributor" tag and status in the system, even if they are not in the moderation team itself yet. They might progress to that level in the future, or might prefer to stay in their current role.

  6. What kind of experience could be valuable? Someone with Forum, or Facebook User Group moderation experience, for example. Or people who have worked in leadership roles in team projects.

    People with varied knowledge and backgrounds related to the instance's theme of STEM (Science, Tech, Engineering and Math) are ideal, as this is the focus and pretty unique in the Fediverse.

  7. This is interesting. I might like to help or be part of it in the future. What should I do?

    QOTO is a work in progress, there has been a big influx of new users (more than 1,000, or 33% of the existing user base in the past month or so), and this growth is likely to continue.

    We enjoy some great things here. Professionally hosted site (at OVH, one of the largest European Hosting providers), full daily backups, an administrator that is very present and open to suggestions and discussions. There's a lot of positives, and we can help in many ways.

How you can help the community

Any user can contribute to the site, through their posts and added content, thru their interaction with others. I find the size of the community ideal, we don't have a huge crowd or overwhelming numbers of new posts.

We all can help:

  • say hello to a new user, when they post that first toot. I remember it, mine was just a month ago, this mastodon thing totally new to me. And I also remember receiving a welcome message from the administrator, which is not something you see in many larger places.

  • keep an eye out for unwanted posts (for example, as per site rules, porn, open advertising, any spamming, etc). Use the Report button at the bottom of any such post, and send in a report to Staff. This will result in that post being checked and removed asap if in fact it's improper.

  • respond to other user threads, even a small comment is encouraging. It's sad to see someone put the effort to create a nice post, well written, with additional info link(s), maybe image(s) --- and see that post sit, ignored. It's disheartening but sadly common.

  • make the place feel like a collegial, friendly place to be, which we enjoy spending our time in.


To finalize, all of these points above are my personal opinions, I believe they align with the QOTO mission statement and site policies.

I have been a moderator in various sites in the past, mostly Forums, starting the process as an interested user and acting the ways I suggested above, being recognized as a valued Contributor, and eventually being invited into Staff positions.

I have time and enjoy my activity in the Fediverse, have volunteered for the position now open in the December 2019 Moderator Nominations and would be grateful for your support if you feel I might be a good Staff member here.

The Discourse Forum thread for Nominations is here .

...or you can consider suggesting any names here or via Direct Message to our Administrator, Dr Freeman, @freemo@qoto.org

Thank you for reading this, please feel free to comment in this thread, your input is important.

RG. @design_RG@Qoto.org