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I'm wondering if it is better to be involved in chat, or to just be there, and ready to take action when the time comes. I personally like being involved in chat, and chatting with people, but then I see others who just sit there, and wait until they need to take action.

I'm wondering if it is better for the users to have a moderator involved, and chatting, or whether they should just wait until they need to take action, or answer a question?

I personally think it is better for the userbase to know that a moderator is there, and ready to help, instead of going 10 minutes without hearing from a mod. Should you chat with people, and get to know them, and have fun while your moderating, or should you just wait until action is needed, or is just a trivial subject?

  • So moderators have to be in the chat. But you're wondering if it's better to encourage them to be involved, or to encourage them to not be involved? – Captain America Jul 29 '14 at 19:35
  • @MattS. Yes, that is what I'm wondering – Dozer789 Jul 29 '14 at 19:35
  • This question is too SE oriented (with the chat and "answering a question"), it should focus more on general online communities. – juan Jul 29 '14 at 19:41
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    Are you a chat moderator, or is the chat just one aspect of the community? This isn't clear in your question. Furthermore, what kind of moderation is expected — stringent rules enforcement, after-the-fact cleanup, …? – Gilles 'SO- stop being evil' Jul 29 '14 at 20:00
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    A great moderator is one who understands how their community works. The only way to truly understand a community in order to effectively moderate it, is to participate. – BoltClock Jul 30 '14 at 13:29
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Absolutely, moderators are still members of the community too and you should still be an active member of the community. There's a similar question here that's on how moderators should behave whilst posting as users that is relevant.

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Most definitely the moderator should be involved. They are leaders of the community. Hopefully they didn't get that leadership position by sitting back and watching from the corner. There is no reason that interaction should stop when the leadership role is assumed.

If a moderator is around just for the power and to "wait until they can take action", then they aren't that invested in the community. To me that seems more like they are waiting to go on a "power trip" and show they they have buttons that control your digital fate in the community.

As a leader, the moderators should know what is going on in the community. They should interact with members. Waiting to take action deprives them of some of that important interaction.

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Depends on the size of the chat. In chats with few participating users moderators should definitely participate in the chat and act as role-models for the rest of the community in addition to making themselves available for users to turn to. But if the chat has hundreds or even thousands of users participating, that no longer works and a moderator should focus on keeping the chat in order.

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There are both pros and cons for a moderator to be active in chat rooms. Also, it depends on the moderator and the site which he is moderating.

If a moderator is moderating a site with huge traffic, he tends to visit the chat rooms only when he needs to take some action. Otherwise, he would prefer moderating the site first - this is a priority compared to staying active in a chat room and personally helping users, because the sites having high traffic already have many established users. They are enough to guide the new users.

On the other hand, some moderators would prefer staying active in chat rooms for sites that don't get heavy traffic. This helps because users are generally new, and it makes it easy for the users to interact with a reliable user on the site. There are also some downsides to this, users will:

  • Tend to ping you for minor issues
  • Keep asking you questions about what to do and what not to on the site
  • Ask you to intervene over any minor discussions
  • Ask you whether they did a particular "action" right or wrong
  • I would agree with you on the list of downsides... I still think that being active is good, but if you get a lot of traffic, sometimes you do need to just be there, and not chat. – Dozer789 Jul 29 '14 at 19:50

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