What it’s like to moderate…
Or, more accurately titled, “Why it’s sometimes no fun to be a moderator”.
Yesterday, myself and a some other wonderful people were attacked. I didn’t really get much of a black eye, in fact, she ‘swung and missed’ several of us, but it got me thinking about how often this has happened since I started helping out in the indie community. I’m always dismayed to see that the response of asking someone to stop spamming a group is often (though not always) flat out nastiness.
First – though it seems completely alien to sensible people, did you know that I know of at least six moderators on the various Facebook groups I look after have been threatened with being slammed, or one star reviews, or a boycott?
Sounds mad? That’s just the tame ones.
I’m also often surprised that giving advice often leads to ‘you’re not supportive’ if it’s not the advice they really want to hear. I know sometimes it’s nice to hear ‘there there, that big meanie’ but at the same time, no sane person is going to agree with some of the stuff I see on a daily basis, and that’s why I thought I’d share this.
Four hours a day…not including quickies…
The major issue with moderating one (or more) large lists is the bigger they get, the longer it takes. What used to be 10 minutes a couple of times a day, is now hours straight, and all of it – ALL OF IT – cuts into prime writing time.
So, I thought I’d share my ‘2013 day in the life’, so people can see what I’m getting up to, and what it really takes to moderate successful groups on Facebook. As a bit of a contrast, here’s 2011’s – and Last year’s. Boy how things have changed.
I’m going to tell you specifically about a day not too long ago, so please don’t consider this as typical. What isn’t typical will be marked with a star, though I’ll let you know how often it happens monthly.
1am – I go to sleep after spending an hour in bed trying to wind down after looking after the groups for the day.
*4am. Skype call from an IRATE end user about a post on one of the groups. I wearily get up, pray I haven’t woken the rest of the family and sort it.
*OR 4:22am – six messages on my phone overrides the ‘do not disturb’ setting and like a pestilent boil, my phone rattles, shakes and beeps. I deal with the complaint.
That happens about two or three times a fortnight. Sometimes to be fair, I’m also woken by my server, but more often than not, it’s complaints.
7am Monday – I’m up and ironing my daughter’s clothes, because I didn’t get to last night because I was too busy deleting spam. I’d given up trying to write by around 5pm, mostly because my muse isn’t a patient soul and went out to play in the sunshine without me.
8am – delete between 2 and 12 ads per group. PER GROUP. I moderate something like 20 groups – some my own, some are ‘approved posting only’. Some days are quiet – it’s not been ‘quiet’ for about a week, since Facebook introduced ‘related groups’.
9am – editing. Watching Facebook. Editing some more.
12pm – More ads deleted while I dared take an hour off of Facebook. By this point I’m keeping a running document to paste into two moderator’s groups cause it’s ridiculous to keep opening and saving a Facebook document.
1pm – nap time/reading time – if I’m lucky and I’m in my office I can just go curl up on the bed and doze. I might make some notes for my story that isn’t getting written.
2pm – guess what? More ads.
2-4pm – I know another couple of moderators are awake, so I take an hour or two to catch up on chores, stretch, and maybe write some more notes.
4-6pm – family is home and we do ‘fun’ stuff – homework, talk about our day etc.
Depending on the evening, I’m either doing something, or I’m back at work. Freelancing from home means I finish any time between 8pm and 1am.
And then, I fall into bed and the whole thing starts again.
So why do you moderate?
That’s the other one I get a lot. If it drives me this demented, why do I even moderate? The short answer is that if I didn’t, I wouldn’t be around to help people out, and I LOVE doing that. On my own terms, and not at four in the morning, but I do love it. I like helping others, and though I could probably (and do it as a non moderator) I find it’s much easier to actually come back and interact on groups where I’m moderating.
And let’s face it. Someone has to do it. 🙂
So spill! Book news?
It’s true, after a really long time, I’m writing again properly, instead of in notebooks and in snatches. I’ve got the drive and the interest in writing whole books instead of looking at one and thinking….nah, can’t do it.
And, I got http://bykai.com back – while I was off, I lost that site, so my plans kinda ground to a stop. I’ve got to rework the page and update some of the information, but yay!
So, from tomorrow, there will be updates at Darknesspd.bykai.com (and will slowly start trickling over to Darknesspd.com) and two new ones, code-named boundary.bykai.com and barricade.bykai.com – and we’ll just go from there :). And I’ll start posting my weekly count/ achievement for those interested.
What do you think? About what goes on behind the scenes or goals? What are you writing right now?