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The launch of “Help us improve EPiServer World” resulted in many votes for the suggestion of having moderators in the forums.
These are their words about World in general, and moderators in particular.
A growing community is a good sign – but inevitably there will be growing pains.
EPiServer’s own developers (and sometimes architects/product managers) pitch in on World when time allows it. Getting help from other developers is great, but sometimes you need an answer straight from the source. Of course EPiServer should get involved – it’s THEIR community! But they can’t monitor everything, and World was never meant to be an official support channel.
World is based on volunteer work. Getting people to donate their time for free requires a civil and uncluttered environment, and that’s where moderators come in. I already keep a close eye on World anyways, so it’s great being able to contribute directly to an improved user experience.
That my work goes unnoticed. A moderator is like a referee – his best work is when facilitating flow without drawing attention to himself. If users are able to find what they need, contribute without hassle, and continue their day in a good mood, then I’ll be pleased.
Keep updated with the blogs – you’ll very often pick up a few tricks you can use in your project, or get different perspectives on things.
Don’t be afraid to post in the forums – you won’t get flamed for newbie questions. In fact, if your question if basic and you couldn’t find the answer easily, you’ve just helped everyone by pointing out holes in the documentation.
Still - help us help you. Try to show that you’ve done a minimum of research before posting. Write a coherent description of your problem with enough details, and you’ll soon get a reply.
Respect that your fellow community members are professionals who volunteer their time and experience to help others. And when you feel you have some extra time or something to say – contribute back to the community!
The concept of community moderators is not a new idea. Most large online communities have a set of leaders to ensure the content is appropriate, available, and valuable to visitors. Over the last year, I’ve seen the EPiServer World community grow in great numbers, and subsequently the number of new forum threads and posts have increased. And recently, the EPiServer World team has been pushing changes and updates to the community, which is great to see as a regular user, and I think that during this changing time, it makes sense to put moderators in place. Hopefully this will allow the EPiServer World team to spend more time improving the overall functionality of the community and to actively participate in forum discussions, while the moderators volunteer time to improve the content of the community.
I think the moderators should focus on ensuring the content is organized and useful, which includes being able to move threads to the appropriate sub-forum, deleting duplicate threads or posts, and marking posts as “Answer”, which is a feature that can prove to be very useful for many developers. I think that moderators could also edit posts to ensure the content is readable (e.g. creating hyperlinks out of text that is meant to be a link, formatting code using the code plugin in the editor, or removing formatting from text that is not meant to be formatted).
Everyone can contribute something to improve and grow the community, so don’t be afraid to ask questions, offer ideas, or provide answers. But along those same lines, be patient when waiting for replies.
The EPiServer World community is global, and still relatively small, so it may take time for someone to respond to a thread, and that response might not always be an answer, but rather a clarification on the issue. Because of this, it’s best to do as much researching as you can on the issue prior to posting.
Finally, if your issue was resolved, either mark the post that answered your question as “Answer”, or create a post in the thread with the answer and mark it appropriately.
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