Posted by Kim on July 2, 2020, 9:00amIt's July 2nd, and on the RP Repository, that means Moderator Appreciation Day!
This is a holiday we celebrate for all moderators, everywhere. Yes, it's a salute to our extremely hard working site moderators, but I'm certain there are plenty of other moderators in your life, too - moderators of RPR groups. Moderators of Facebook Groups. Moderators of Discords. Moderators of forums. Moderators of LiveJournal groups?
Moderators are people who find time, energy and love to help grow, protect and nurture online communities. They are almost always unpaid volunteers. Often, the job is thankless and may even come with additional helpings of harassment and abuse. Much moderation happens behind the scenes, and community members may never know how much they are being shielded from - and that's sort of the point!
Although mods may have certain powers, the job of moderating is most correctly performed from a position of service. The best moderators don't experience their position as one of power or privilege. Instead, they think of it as a serious responsibility. They periodically question their own decisions and their own opinions. They do things for the good of the community rather than for their own personal enjoyment or comfort.
We can all think of a community we loved that didn't last because of some problem with moderation. Perhaps it didn't have moderators, or it had moderators who did not understand that their position was one not of power, but of service; or, perhaps most tragically of all, who had wonderful moderators who burned out after years of intensely loving their communities and eventually had to lay down their burden, close the door on the community, and rest.
It's no wonder that so many great moderators are eventually exhausted and burnt out by the position! We ask moderators to behave selflessly, demanding they act with extreme compassion and humanity toward people who are often in no mood to show it back to them. We rarely have any patience for real or perceived mistakes that they may make. But we all feel the benefits of their daily devotion to our favorite communities.
Please join me today in thanking our moderation team, and then go out into your online world and thank every other moderator you can think of too!Because this is such a big job, it feels a little strange to set aside one day to recognize the impact they can have on a community. It is constant, complex, deeply-felt work. So this year, I'm extending Moderation Appreciation Day throughout the month of July with a particular focus on moderating features, philosophies and more. You may have noticed I already kicked things off yesterday with a feature spotlight on our Request a Mod links!
If you can't wait for more moderation-centric content, check out this archive of previous essays on the joys and trials of moderating that I've penned for other Moderation Appreciation Days: https://www.rprepository.com/community/news/tag/moderator-appreciation-day If you are a mod of a group or a Discord, you might find some food for thought there, as well as some encouragement! I see you and your volunteerism. I see you! (You can also find a video of me smashing my face into a cake buried in there, if that's more your speed.)
For now, let me close by saying thank you to Auberon, Ben, Cass, Copper_Dragon, Darth_Angelus, Dragonfire, Heimdall, Keke, Libertine, MadRatBird and Sanne. You all don't just make the site possible, you also make it possible for me to ever get sleep at night. I am forever grateful.