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Hello all,

I know there has been some discussion lately about the quality of the discussions in these forums. Some of you feel that there are too many off-topic postings, while others are worried that some posters are being too aggressive and insulting in some of the threads.

One suggestion has been to invite forum facilitators to monitor the discussions as they take place. A facilitator is not a moderator - as I've said in the past, I'm not a fan of having certain posters moderate the discussion.

Allowing volunteer moderators is not a bad idea, but one that isn't likely to happen here at Maple Leaf Web. The reason I want to avoid volunteer moderators is because a moderator should not be directly involved in any of the discussions on these forums. If I did allow some of the "veteran posters" to perform some administrative tasks around here, they might inadvertently project some bias onto the discussions.

A forum facilitator would not have any direct control over the forum and would only be able to suggest actions to the Moderator (myself). The facilitator would also be free to post in the forums and would only be expected to provide direction and advice to other posters in the forum. Basically, they would oversee the discussions and if they saw a problem they would notify me before it gets out of hand.

What does everyone think? Do you think a forum facilitator would help?

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Dear Greg,

Do you think a forum facilitator would help?
I am not convinced that it would help, unless you haven't the time. I get the impression that you have been on top of things to date, and before suspending/banning posters you have given them warnings, and opportunity to 'mend their ways'. Most of the posters here know how the forum works, and can easily answer basic questions for newcomers.

If it is a question of saving you a bit of time by delegating some of the inquiries/complaints to a facilitator, then sure. For example, if someone uses colourful language too often, it doesn't automatically have to be PM'd to you for review if a facilitator can catch it and ask the offender to tone it down directly.

I'm sure you're probably tired of hearing 'Why don't we have an 'off topic thread", when a facilitator could easily answer that.

In short, I don't know if the forum would be made better, but I'm sure your job would be made easier, with a facilitator. Perhaps it would improve the forum a bit if you had a 'hands-on avatar'. You could have a 'trial period' for a month, and see how it goes. That way, no hard feelings if it doesn't work out.

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A bump? Woah, thought I was over at the Shack for a moment.

The problem with letting vetran posters moderate the forums can lead to exactly what you are concerned about. It can get biased and some views could be nixed for that alone. A facilitator of some sort will work, but again sometimes a facilitator can get biased and maybe just not report anything.

Tough call bro.

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