Help me focus on the good while dealing with the bad
March 21, 2011 12:58 PM Subscribe
Moderators/Community managers: How do you focus on the good, when your job is to deal with the bad?
posted by anonymous to Computers & Internet (8 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
The community I manage is awesome. The majority of our users are helpful, generous, non-jerks. It's a shared-interest community within a website where reputation is really important, and most people are aware and mindful of that.
Our rule book has about 10 topics; I'd say at least half of them are different ways of saying "don't be a jerk." Naturally, many regulars will have bad days/weeks and act up, but these are sensible people who will take warnings/punishment seriously, and are good about cleaning up their act.
Then there are the e-sociopaths. They go from kind-of-jerks to mean bastards. They bully other users. Their preferred method of communication is snark. They defy my authority.
When users started to email Customer Care instead of posting on the forum, for fear of the meanies, I decided that had to change. Six months ago I started being a lot less permissive and more serious about enforcing rules and disciplinary action. I was successful in weeding out some of the jerks (the worst ones, in fact), but many remain. They are smart (dare I say cunning?) and have since learned not to cross the line, so they -almost- break the rules, -almost- go too far, and do a great job in baiting others. Lately they rarely give me enough to mute them, because instead they take it outside -- they use blogs and twitter to trash other users and me.
But it's my job not to let that get to me, and in general I am pretty good at it. My users however, are not as thick-skinned, and the truth is, whether I let it get to me or not, it's my job to deal with it. And that's exhausting.
And now to the reason I posted this. You know the people I mentioned up there on the 1st paragraph? I forget to remember how good they make me feel. Yes, I make time to hang out with them and participate. I often do, everyday, actually. They like me, I like them.
It's not that I forget they exist. I DO remember to engage with them. It's just that I forget to focus on the good they bring to the community, because the jerks demand more of me.
Maybe it does get to me, after all. So, how can I learn to love the good again, more than I hate the bad, when they are both part of my day?