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The role of chat moderators

The MixThe Mix Staff teamPosts: 1,985 Moderator
edited August 2018 in Group chat announcements
Hey everyone,

If you haven't seen our post about chat break week, take a look at that and then come back here. ;)

-----

As well as our wider discussion about group chat (which you can get involved with here), we would also like to talk to you guys about something specific: the role of our chat moderators.

Why do we have chat moderators?
Some of you will remember that when chat first began (a long time ago, far far away...), it was designed to be a space for you guys to hangout and chat to each other with the oversight of moderators. So we would be there to make sure everyone was being polite to one another, that guidelines were being followed and that everyone was feeling safe. We would provide support to make sure everyone felt heard, but it wasn't the main reason we were there.

Fast forward to now...
... and things feel a little different. The vibe among moderators and a lot of you guys seems to be that the moderators are there more as supporters that anything else; they're the ones people expect support from. Particularly for newcomers, that seems to be the culture people are accustom to.

There are a couple of problems with this. Firstly, it creates lots of 1-2-1 dynamics in the room rather than group discussion. You'll see lots of contained, separate conversations going on between two people, when ideally everyone would be talking to and supporting one another. Secondly, it means a lot of the support being given comes from a moderator rather than people able to speak honestly and openly from personal experiences. We honestly believe the most valuable and genuine support comes from you.

Why are we saying all this?
In light of this, we've been having conversations with our moderators and we've come up with an idea:

We'd like to kick start a 'culture shift' in group chat. We want to go back to our roots and create a group vibe, pulling away from the high amounts of 1-2-1 support currently being given by moderators. We want people to come to chat wanting to talk to the whole group rather than just moderators. We want you guys to own this this space because, really, it is yours.

What can I do?
We need your help if we're going to make this culture shift happen. We'd like everyone to come to chat ready to support people and generally chat to other members of the group. A lot of you already do this, which is amazing - you're in a prime position to lead this change with us.

You might not be sure what to add to the discussion - scroll up in the conversation and see if you can help someone out. Maybe you've seen someone reaching out for help and not being listened to - drop them a message and say hey. A newcomer might join the group - let them know how chat works. :)

Remember, we don't always need to provide in-depth support to be helpful to someone. Sometimes, letting someone know they're being heard and that someone cares can have a huge impact - you might have experienced this yourself.

Will moderators stop supporting people?
No, absolutely not. Mods will still provide some support to make sure everyone is being heard, and they will always be there to check that everyone feels safe. We will still be part of the group and will continue to get involved in discussions.

What if I don't want to help others or talk to people?
Sometimes we're just not in the mood to talk to people or we might have people muted and, of course, that's okay - the moderators will still be there to help out.

It's also worth noting the 'group' part of group chat. If you would like more direct support, we do offer a variety of one-to-one options if that's something you'd prefer. By coming to chat, you are agreeing to be a member of a group. :)

-----

We're eager to know what you guys think about this - do you agree with what we said about the way chat works right now? What are your feelings on this 'culture shift' we're proposing? Do you have any suggestions of your own that could help?

Let us know your thoughs below and let's have a conversation about this. :)

Mike, Aife & Ed
We're @Aife@Mike, @Italia and @Ed_ - the staff team here at The Mix. We don't provide support via this account, but if you have any questions about the boards or need a hand finding your way around, feel free to drop us a message. Alternatively, you can head over to the Help Desk.

Comments

  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 0 Noob
    What a tremendous step forward! And though I frequent Support Circle more intrinsically than support chat, when visiting general chat I have found that the moderator(s) can even be greatly supportive of us even though general chat is for lighthearted stuff. The moderator(s) in charge of general chat are always interested in each one of us, and that in itself is lovely because they make us feel not only welcome, but given support as we chat along with them in the room with our friends.

    I feel most encouraged to participate (ie. if feeling well enough on the evening) in your proposed 'culture shift', though if I am preferring the closely acquainted and confidential Support Circle, I have been greatly blessed during those times I have spent there.

    I look forward to reading more from others. Thank you @The Mix for giving us this wonderful opportunity. =)

    Best wishes,
    Floxy


    I'm driven by self doubt.
    The Mix
  • ShaunieShaunie England 🏠Posts: 3,508 Ultimate Poster
    edited August 2018
    I think is a good idea as sometimes i do really want to support someone but sometimes i say stuff and feel like it doesnt matter cause i aint a mod or does just get ignored -&  think maybe thats cause sometimes its because they genuierly just didnt see it because theyre only reading mod responses

     But like at about 8pm is like the time i feel like the worst and in a selfish mood where i dont have any energy to speak to as many as 15 or read much. But yeah maybe cause need a 1-2-1 support then :/
    Kindness begins from the understanding that we all struggle.
    [Deleted User]The Mix
  • LaineLaine Horse hugger Posts: 1,169 Fanatical Poster
    Sorry if I don't quite get what you're on About I'm not with it haha

    If this is what I think it means I think it's anot a bad idea. 

    I've always treated the mods like fellow people or friends,  I can't say much for support chat as I don't use it, my problems don't seem that big and I don't like to distract from other people so I use general chat as a cheer up and to lower my anxiety before bedtime.

    I do quite like that the mods aren't overly professional as I feel in general chat they bring ect convo and extra topics. 

    I also feel like the mods bring extra to chats in that dome people can feel ignored or in my case that they can't bring anything to the current topic so they're left sort of waiting for it to change but the good thing is they can talk to someone else especially if there's two mods. 


    I'm trying not to sound like I object I just don't want people to feel ignored or it to feel stale so provided we keep the personality and good fun I'm happy :)

    🌈Positive thoughts🌈 


    "So wake me up when it's all over, when I'm wiser and I'm older" ~ Avicii

    "
    All I do is sit and think about you If I choose then I lose.
    Distract my brain from the terrible news
    It's not living if it's not with you" ~ The 1975

    "What's gonna be left of the world if you're not in it?" ~ Bastille
    The Mixindependent_
  • The MixThe Mix Staff team Posts: 1,985 Moderator
    edited August 2018
    Laine said:
    Sorry if I don't quite get what you're on About I'm not with it haha

    If this is what I think it means I think it's anot a bad idea. 

    I've always treated the mods like fellow people or friends,  I can't say much for support chat as I don't use it, my problems don't seem that big and I don't like to distract from other people so I use general chat as a cheer up and to lower my anxiety before bedtime.

    I do quite like that the mods aren't overly professional as I feel in general chat they bring ect convo and extra topics. 

    I also feel like the mods bring extra to chats in that dome people can feel ignored or in my case that they can't bring anything to the current topic so they're left sort of waiting for it to change but the good thing is they can talk to someone else especially if there's two mods. 


    I'm trying not to sound like I object I just don't want people to feel ignored or it to feel stale so provided we keep the personality and good fun I'm happy :)
    Thanks @Laine - cool to have your input. :) Totally agree with the last line there! Mods will still be there to have oversight and do what they need to.

    To clarify, you like that mods have a human/friendly approach to modding, and you're glad they're around to chat to those who fall through the cracks of wider group conversation?
    Shaunie said:
    I think is a good idea as sometimes i do really want to support someone but sometimes i say stuff and feel like it doesnt matter cause i aint a mod or does just get ignored -&  think maybe thats cause sometimes its because they genuierly just didnt see it because theyre only reading mod responses
    This is really interesting, @Shaunie. You're not the first person to say this - we get the feeling this is one of the things that demotivates people from wanting to support others. We're keen to debunk this idea that moderators provide the 'best' support, because we strongly believe the opposite.
    But like at about 8pm is like the time i feel like the worst and in a selfish mood where i dont have any energy to speak to as many as 15 or read much. But yeah maybe cause need a 1-2-1 support then :/
    Oh for sure. I reckon we can all empathise a little bit with this - you reach the evening and you just want to be listened to without having to speak to loads of people. Participating as a group doesn't necessarily mean talking to everybody - just being open to engaging with other group members. :)

    Appreciate the kind words too, @Floxy! Glad you're on board with everything.

    Mike

    We're @Aife@Mike, @Italia and @Ed_ - the staff team here at The Mix. We don't provide support via this account, but if you have any questions about the boards or need a hand finding your way around, feel free to drop us a message. Alternatively, you can head over to the Help Desk.
  • independent_independent_ Boards Baby ScotlandPosts: 1,157 Fanatical Poster
    I’m a relatively new member (2016) so don’t remember the old way chat worked. I also like how mods are friendly people who try their best to make sure everyone is heard. That’s why I quite like the way chat works at the minute - if a message is missed or another user doesn’t quite know what to say or ask next, the mods are there to help out.

    I also agree with Shaunie that by evening some people might not feel like talking to a lot of people (also true for people who just really need some support and aren’t really in a good state to support others).

    However I do know how important group conversations are. I suppose it could be trialled for a couple of chats to see what people think of it? 
  • LaineLaine Horse hugger Posts: 1,169 Fanatical Poster
    I definitely agree with independent a trial period can't hurt its a good way to try it and get some opinions after :)

    🌈Positive thoughts🌈 


    "So wake me up when it's all over, when I'm wiser and I'm older" ~ Avicii

    "
    All I do is sit and think about you If I choose then I lose.
    Distract my brain from the terrible news
    It's not living if it's not with you" ~ The 1975

    "What's gonna be left of the world if you're not in it?" ~ Bastille
    independent_
  • AbigailAbigail Carer/musician Posts: 527 Extreme Poster
    For me the 'Culture shift' i already do quite often. Like all we have are bad days but if i have to be honest i don't feel like i can say sometimes I'm not great especially when we get 10 to 14 people in the room. I really feel its could be a great scheme, It work really well on B-eat. Sorry I haven't read anyone else's responses but everyone, views will be seen.
    Some people think i am unhappy. I'm not. I just approach silence in the world that never stops talking
  • ShaunieShaunie England 🏠Posts: 3,508 Ultimate Poster
    edited August 2018
    What can I do?
    We need your help if we're going to make this culture shift happen. We'd like everyone to come to chat ready to support people and generally chat to other members of the group. A lot of you already do this, which is amazing - you're in a prime position to lead this change with us.

    You might not be sure what to add to the discussion - scroll up in the conversation and see if you can help someone out. Maybe you've seen someone reaching out for help and not being listened to - drop them a message and say hey. A newcomer might join the group - let them know how chat works. 

    Remember, we don't always need to provide in-depth support to be helpful to someone. Sometimes, letting someone know they're being heard and that someone cares can have a huge impact - you might have experienced this yourself.
    I also think its pretty helpful when people ask me questions to the situation aswell - it shows interest and lets vent more. & less likely to leave dead convos


    Would there still be 2 mods for support chat. Or just One if not supporting as much? Was it 2 mods a long time ago?
    Kindness begins from the understanding that we all struggle.
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 0 Noob
    edited August 2018
    The Mix said:

    Appreciate the kind words too, @Floxy! Glad you're on board with everything.

    Mike

    A point worth mentioning @Mike is we all have our favourite mods. It's how we as individuals relate to some more than other. I no way wish to diminish any particular mod, but I know who I communicate best with and crack along well with, so feeling well on the night, then I could have a most meaningful talk. And feel miles better for it.

    Thank you for your compliments, too.
    Best wishes,
    Mandy
    I'm driven by self doubt.
  • The MixThe Mix Staff team Posts: 1,985 Moderator
    edited August 2018
    Some great points and questions here.
    Would there still be 2 mods for support chat. Or just One if not supporting as much? Was it 2 mods a long time ago?
    Yep, there will still be 2 moderators. That's always been the norm and we don't plan to change that.
    I also like how mods are friendly people who try their best to make sure everyone is heard. That’s why I quite like the way chat works at the minute - if a message is missed or another user doesn’t quite know what to say or ask next, the mods are there to help out.

    I also agree with Shaunie that by evening some people might not feel like talking to a lot of people (also true for people who just really need some support and aren’t really in a good state to support others).
    For me the 'Culture shift' i already do quite often. Like all we have are bad days but if i have to be honest i don't feel like i can say sometimes I'm not great especially when we get 10 to 14 people in the room. I really feel its could be a great scheme, It work really well on B-eat.
    Reckon it's worth highlighting here that we're not expecting everyone to suddenly talk to everyone/loads of people in the chat - that would be exhausting! The idea is more that people come to chat with the aim of talking to other group members rather than moderators being seen as 'the supporters'.

    Moderators will still be there to make sure everyone gets included and give conversations extra input when needed. :) They are group members too, so our hope is to level out the playing field so conversations are had with everyone rather than mainly moderators, if that makes sense?
    However I do know how important group conversations are. I suppose it could be trialled for a couple of chats to see what people think of it? 
    I definitely agree with independent a trial period can't hurt its a good way to try it and get some opinions after :)
    This an interesting thought. We are keen to tone down moderator input in any case, but nothing is set in stone and we'll definitely be seeing how well this works and deciding whether there's anything we can do differently. Awesome to hear you guys are down to try it.
    A point worth mentioning @Mike is we all have our favourite mods. It's how we as individuals relate to some more than other. I no way wish to diminish any particular mod, but I know who I communicate best with and crack along well with, so feeling well on the night, then I could have a most meaningful talk. And feel miles better for it.
    Of course - goes without saying that we will connect more with some than with others, and of course that's okay. Talking to moderators will always be fine and a part of chat. The hope is that we bring everyone into the discussion a bit more and make sessions less about the moderators. :)

    Thanks again for all your input, everyone! Great to be having this conversation. :+1:

    Mike



    We're @Aife@Mike, @Italia and @Ed_ - the staff team here at The Mix. We don't provide support via this account, but if you have any questions about the boards or need a hand finding your way around, feel free to drop us a message. Alternatively, you can head over to the Help Desk.
    independent_
  • ShaunieShaunie England 🏠Posts: 3,508 Ultimate Poster
    edited August 2018
    Deleted ; found out answer to question. Sorry
    Kindness begins from the understanding that we all struggle.
  • The MixThe Mix Staff team Posts: 1,985 Moderator
    edited September 2018
    Hey everyone,

    We just wanted to drop in and say we've noticed an incredible difference in the way group chats (particularly Support Chats) have been running since this discussion. You guys have really taken ownership of the spaces and we're loving the amazing group vibes right now. :) <3

    Mike & Aife
    We're @Aife@Mike, @Italia and @Ed_ - the staff team here at The Mix. We don't provide support via this account, but if you have any questions about the boards or need a hand finding your way around, feel free to drop us a message. Alternatively, you can head over to the Help Desk.
    fadedangel
  • JellyelephantJellyelephant Posts: 283 Rampant Poster
    I’m so glad things have changed - it’s so nice to see everyone getting involved supporting each other. People are more open to listening to peer support, whereas before I felt like whenever I tried to give support to people they ignored it and only talked to mods. 
    Mike
  • LabraBellLabraBell England, B68.Posts: 181 The Mix convert
    I wasn't around when this was a thing, but I can say support chat is a great place to be right now. It's a sense of companionship in a way, as you're talking to people who know you better than you know yourself in some cases, because they've been through the same. 

    I've been in these chats mainly to support people, but I have done my fair share of receiving support too and I can say that it's a great experience on both ends of the spectrum. Whatever support was like before, it's amazing now.
    "You don't have to be that courageous, empathetic, good-natured person - you choose to be. That's who you are. Our choices are what define us, not the things that are inflicted on us."

    -Mike

    -=-=-=-=-

    "Remember that you aren’t your emotions, Emma. You are what you do, and you’re doing all the right things."

    -Paul, Childline
    Mike
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