Tips for Community Management – Youth and Adult

eModeration, a community management and moderation provider that works with Dizzywood, released a report on “Virtual World and MMOG Moderation: Five techniques for creating safer environments for children.” Every youth-focused world I’ve encountered touts its safety practices, implementing most, if not all, of eModeration’s ideas. So the big ideas may not be entirely new, but it’s a good formalization of policies, which is especially important now as there’s increased political scrutiny on children’s safety in virtual worlds.

Virtual Worlds News: eModeration: 5 Tips for Building a Safe Virtual World for Kids

Check out the link at Virtual World News for the VW tips (also a link to a whitelist). It’s great to hear eMod speaking up – they’re a fantastic moderation company, and it’s great to know they’re working with youth VW’s. Solid.

Basically, the steps are things we’ve been talking about for a while: filtering content, knowing what the rules are to work with children, hire quality moderators, and work with the parents. These are things I believe in whole-heartedly, and NOTHING drives me crazier than when people are willy-nilly, shrugfest about the care, strategy, and knowledge necessary during ALL phases of a virtual world for youth – planning, creation, launching, constant improvements/updates, and eventual deconstruction (if that’s going to happen, re: VMK’s closing nightmare).


Also, Jake McKee just did a great interview with Patrick O’Keefe, who wrote a book titled Managing Online Forums.  It’s DEFINITELY a good read as well – since virtual worlds and MOST of web media these days = community driven awesomeness.  Here’s a clip:

3. Where do forums fit into this whole wave of blogs and social networking and sites like MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Utterz and the rest?

A friend of mine and yours, Lee LeFever, provided advance praise for the book. In it, he said that “online forums make up the very foundation of the social web.” I think that’s a good way to put it. But, at the same time, forums are also very current. When you are talking about a buzz brand right now like a MySpace or a Facebook or a YouTube, the functionality of forums – whether in full or in part – is a part of the functionality of these websites.

This question relates to another question I have been asked a few times, which is something along the lines of “what is the future of forums?” What changes in forums is the features and innovation – what will stay the same is the interaction. It’s hard for me to picture a time when we won’t want to discuss something, get help or better ourselves by interacting with someone else in a text based manner online. So, it’s hard for me to picture a time when forums will not have a place.

4. How do you define “Community Management”? How do see yourself fitting into that definition?

Community management is… er… managing all aspects of the community. Seriously, to get into detail a bit, there are many different areas of management when it comes to forums and communities. You have to manage people. This includes your members, but also your staff. Being in public, being a good example for others to follow – holding yourself to a higher standard. I believe in leading by example in every definition. I converse on my forums in a way that I’d like to see members conversing. I act as a staff member in a way I’d want my staff members to act.

Check it out – there’s SO much more there!!!

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  1. May 22, 2008 at 6:18 pm

    Thanks for the linkage – Patrick is a genius in the space, and yes eModeration is a great company!

  2. May 22, 2008 at 6:23 pm

    Thank YOU for doing the interview 😉

    Yeah – love the eMod folks. I was privileged enough to work with them last year. Great people!

  3. May 24, 2008 at 7:10 pm

    Wow, Jake, you make me blush. 😀 Thanks man.

    Izzy, thanks for the mention and kind words!


  4. June 1, 2008 at 2:04 am

    Izzy, will you puhlllllllllllleeeeeeeeeeze do a guest feature for us at Shaping Youth about this?

    The whole safety/e-moderation VW chat dynamic is one that you know inside and out, and I clearly need a hand with…In fact, can I take a next step and invite you onboard as a Shaping Youth advisory member and guest correspondent with us?

    Promise I won’t overtax your already scrunched limited time, just really need your expertise and ‘eye of mordor’ in this arena to help with discernment!

    As always, you rock…such useful and helpful tips and info! –Amy

  1. June 5, 2008 at 7:11 pm

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