There are two other moderators (Nick Batzdorf and Craig Sharmat), who help out, although for the most part, the forum self-moderates. On most reported posts, for instance, we'll decide (or rather, one of us will decide) "This will work itself out on its own. No need for us to step in" and 9 times out 10, that's exactly what happens. It's a very mature and sophisticated membership here.Genuine question... Are there any moderators on this forum anymore?
The only person I see doing any moderation these days is Mike, and while I appreciate the job he has done thus far, being the "Dorm RA" shouldn't fall under the responsibility of an admin of a website this large. That is a moderators job. An administrators job on a site this size should be mostly just that... administration. Mostly behind the scenes business.
Just to be clear, I am not criticizing the job Mike has done so far. I just think he needs some help. So much of the drama that occurs on this forum could be avoided with proper moderation, just as every other forum on the internet has done. This forum is no longer some small community of professional composers. It is a decent sized community full of various opinions, experiences, personalities, and cultures. Because of this, some conflict is inevitable, but small disputes don't need to be left to fester and turn into month long rivalries. Moderation can help with that.
Obviously I don't know what goes on behind the scenes, so I don't know whether mod candidates have been contacted or whether there had ever been candidates to begin with. However, in my opinion, proper moderation and mod structure is needed not just for the benefit of the forum, but for Mike's sanity as well.
There's very little day to day moderating necessary, so the three of us are probably enough. I might add more at some point, but that's been tricky in the past, because the temptation to step in quickly is often the wrong move (classic rookie mistake), and we'll then get the inevitable "How come Xxx's post got deleted?!?!?" thread with ensuing drama. It's a nightmare when that happens. That happened the very first week I took over this forum, in fact, and I had to clean up the mess, which took days. The person who deleted the thread is no longer a mod here and I actually believe we have less work now with just Nick, Craig and me handling things.
My problem isn't the day to stuff, it's the bigger dramas like this one. These are situations where there is no decision that everyone will agree is the "right" decision, so it has to be me who takes responsibility for these. Add to the mix the fact that Daniel (or Mike Verta or Samy, from two other recent dramas) have very large followings, and things get way messier. There's not much that Craig or Nick could do to help out with that.
There's also been a lot of behind the scenes politics to deal with this last couple months where I have to navigate around people's egos and feelings.
On the bright side, the first nine months were pretty easy, so I think this last two months is just an anomaly.
With all that said, I do think you're right that I should get more help, though. I'm still deciding/experimenting for myself exactly how the forum should be run and what the actual "rules" should be, so until I get that squared away, we're runnin' lean and mean.