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In the context of a Stack Exchange site (or any site with self moderation), is it OK for a very small number of users (1-3) to do most of the work to keep the site clean? Small communities sometimes don't have a lot of people with the time or tools required to improve the site's quality.

In the short term, I think everyone can agree that it will help the community if those users clean up the site; I'm wondering how this will play out in the long term. With one or two users doing the bulk of the work required to keep the site clean, will others follow, or will they get used to user Fish Sticks 851 cleaning up the site for them and never clean it up themselves?

  • In our community it still sticks with the founders and hardly anybody is interested in helping with (community) moderation ... :-/ – just_curious Feb 22 '15 at 21:17
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    @just_curious would you have done it another way if you would've started over? If you have any helpful information on why you think this is/how you could've fixed it, feel free to add an answer. – Anonymous Penguin Feb 22 '15 at 21:19
  • wants fish sticks now – bjb568 Feb 27 '15 at 15:32
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I think that people will fall into one of two camps - which is true regardless of whether the community is an online one or a "real world" one.

The first will happily sit back and let others do the work. They aren't likely to be your most dedicated users and (in Stack Exchange terms) will probably remain on a low reputation with not that much participation. These users won't try to find out how to help with the moderation and won't care about how it happens. They will just be happy to reap the benefits.

The second, smaller, group will want to "muck in" and help the community any way they can. Some will be misguided and might cause more disruption in the short term, but with the correct assistance they can be steered along the right path. Others will appear to instinctively know what to do with the tools they have available and will be useful from day one.

This latter group will see what the core group is doing and will want to help. So as long as your moderation tools are easily discoverable, which they are on Stack Exchange, there shouldn't be a problem.

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