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I am a moderator in a community that has recently had a sharp increase in growth and activity levels.

Our staff team is pretty small, and before the growth, I found it easy to balance my busy schedule with moderating the forums and handling my other responsibilities. Recently, my community began offering a unique product that is driving hundreds of new users in a day, and there has been a noticeable and sharp increase in the number of threads posted, user interactions, and all the other general activities of an online forum.

With the increased activity, it has become harder to keep up with official news, forum activity, and approving resources that users upload to our site. Part of this is due to an increased volume of reports and moderation, and the other part of it is that my skills as a moderator are weaker in some areas that have experienced great growth (like approving resources, which involves decompiling code and evaluating it for malicious content, which I am not too comfortable with yet).

Are there effective strategies for balancing time, learning new skills, and adjusting to sudden and sharp volume in user interactions and reports? I love my community, but I am struggling to keep up with everything going on and not spending 100% of my day moderating the forums.

  • Is the increase likely to be long-lived, or will this die down in a few months? Also, are you part of a moderator team or are you the only one? – Monica Cellio Dec 8 '14 at 15:13
  • @Monica Cellio: This increase is likely to be long-lived, as the site is now looking like it is going to be the "standard" for the type of software that we offer. Also, I am one moderator in a team of five, but all of our activity levels fluctuate. – Justin W. Flory Dec 8 '14 at 18:10
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The most effective strategy is to get more moderators. Moderation takes time to do well and if more moderation is needed now, either the quality of your moderation needs to decrease or the number of hours people spend moderating needs to increase.

I'm assuming this is not commercial from your description, so look for regular contributors to the product that seem to be taking a strong interest in it. Do some digging on their intents and background and if they seem like a good fit, see if they would be interested in coming in to the fold and helping out.

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