My job is to build a new site. It is supposed to be a kind of knowledge repository, fed with user-generated content. Users who have a certain kind of know-how are going to describe it, so it becomes easily findable for everybody interested in it. It will be available for the colleagues from our organisation of course, but we expect others from across the world to contribute too. It is not much of a social site, even less so than Stack exchange, as we don't have (yet) direct interaction between users on the site. But it is a community in the sense that we are relying on people investing their time to contribute to the greater good. It is also expected that they will communicate (through channels external to the site), for example A is going to ask B to license to them the technology B has described.
The project is the baby of the head of a department in our organisation, I'll call her "my client". She got funding, she recruited us programmers, she was the sole source of requirements, and she is going to be the person who will be responsible for the content quality. She will look over and possibly edit each new post before releasing it, and she is going to be the users' contact person for non-technical issues.
The problem is that I see signs she is not currently suited for this role. First, she is on the wrong side of the digital divide, has never been a part of a digital community, and has no feeling for how such a thing works in practice. I think she still hasn't gotten it that she's going to have to deal with spammers and trolls and anything else than people seriously wanting to contribute to her idea.
She also insisted on a highly complex entry form, so the data entry is rather tedious, and doesn't always work the way users imagine it. I did my best to improve the UX, but in its core, it's just too much structured information. But her expectation is that everybody will fill it out just the way she wants it. We have a similar application used internally on a much smaller scale, and with a less complex data structure. Still, users take shortcuts there, which sends her into a rant about how that application's content administrator can allow that to happen. I am afraid that, when such entries start coming into her application, she will either start editing them radically, alienating users, or outright rejecting them. I already feel that we will have problems with adoption - the business model suffers of a strong tragedy of the commons distortion, where everybody profits from reading others' know how, but not much from others reading his - and we cannot afford her scaring away users for not entering what she wants to read.
The third, most major problem, is that she is oblivious to the issues facing her. She still hasn't realized how much time she will have to invest in moderation. As for the shortcut taking, she does it all the time when she enters her own know how, entering data in a way the form is not meant for and rendering the result hard to search for or understand.
I would very much like to see this project succeed. But I cannot do the moderation myself, nor would she seek my help with it. She will talk to me about the problems she faces, and sometimes listen to my opinion, but never give me any responsibility in what she sees as her domain.
In this situation, my question is: How do I help her become a good moderator? Is there something I can do to prepare her to deal well with the problems which lay in store for her? To teach her to handle issues in a way which does not scare away users, while maintaining content quality? And how do I do that without alienating her through meddling and heaping unsolicited advice on her?