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As I have outlined in the Introduction to Moderation webinar’s and blog posts that I have hosted/posted over the last 2 months, there are many forms of Online Moderation – Seeding, participating, scanning, removing, managing (member accounts and content)… Here I would like to describe the service that will assist in your initial launch – Seeding content – and could be the most important thing that you do.

When you are building and developing your online community area, you will have the tools and the outline/framework of what your community is going to look like, but you do not have any content. Supplying content within your community before it launches is an extremely important first step. The content that you, or a 3rd party, supply is the key to your launch and starting off on the right foot. When members come and review the content and they see an area that is vibrant, robust and informative, odds are that they will stop and stay a while, maybe even register and post, interacting within your community. When they see an area that is empty, they will simply look, leave, and likely never return.

If you picture this in every day terms, it is just like when you are visiting a town, walking down their streets and all of a sudden, you feel hungry. You walk by the first restaurant, notice that there is no one in it except for their staff, waiting to work, so you walk right by. Granted there would not be a wait to sit down and eat, because the restaurant is empty, but you are not willing to invest your time and money. Not to mention, no one else is even there, how good could it be?

Now the second restaurant that you walk by (located right next door) is full of people, laughing, eating, drinking, and the wait is 15 minutes. The food and atmosphere is very inviting, so you go in, grab one of their “buzzers” and take a seat in the bar. While you are there waiting for your table, you listen to conversation, maybe watch the TV, and observe the behaviors that are happening all around you. This may even be a place that you revisit over time, and may even become a regular.

*Note – I do realize that I make a lot of restaurant references

The success of your community depends on the investments that you make. The tools that you are going to offer are only 1 aspect of having and launching a successful community. Proper Management techniques and Moderation services are extremely important. This of course does not mean that you have to work with a third party to support your causes, but more often than not, it is better to work with a team of professionals that have established credibility, rather than trying to wing it.

As always, thanks for reading.


I was reading Jeremiah Owyang’s blog post about the “Bozo” feature within community platforms, and it got me to thinking about how valuable that the feature can be, when used properly.

There are always cases where you tend to run through all of your options when managing members (gagging, locking out, banning, restriction, pre-moderating…..). These are many of the 1st steps or tools that are used initially to manage members accounts, and restrict their access to a community. The “Bozo” option, flag (or whatever you want to call it) is generally a last course of action the moderation team, or a Community manager can take. While decisions may never make it down to this level, it is an option that’s available.

Limiting the actions that you can take against a members account is not a great way to moderate/manage a community. I was always taught to leave all of my options open, and to never back myself in a corner. In general, the flag is used against members who have no interest in your community/members/brand/company/employees…..their only reason for existence is try to demolish and destroy, at all costs.

Also, by leveraging this flag, you can “buy yourself some time”. This allows a Moderation team or Community Manager the time to review the account, look at any registration information, and note it. In many cases this member (like banned members), will try to come back. If you are able to review the current account, you can often find any new account(s) that this member may register, within minutes, and “beat them to the punch”. Now granted, this is always a cat-and-mouse game, and can take a lot of time to accomplish, but if you are able to do your research and “buy yourself this time”, it will only help you in the long run.


Note: Cross-posted at


I am currently employed at Bose as the Digital Platform Manager, leveraging Ratings & Reviews and Community content to increase customer acquisition and retention

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September 2008