One of the great things about this community is that it's very active but still keeps high standards of civility and a good signal-to-noise ratio. This doesn't happen by accident, but is rather due to a great cast of moderators who approve new members (keeping spammers out) and review all posts on the front page to ensure that they're high quality.
You can be one of them! All of the moderators are volunteers, and we all share the load the work, fitting in a few minutes when we can. With moderators around the world, that means pretty much 24/7 coverage, which is just what a global community needs.
If you'd like to join our ranks of moderators, please PM me, comment below, or apply to join the Moderators Group.
Guidelines and what the moderator job entails are below
These are the basic instructions for moderators:
Most of what you'll be doing is approving (or not) blog posts and otherwise keeping things running smoothly.
With blog posts, the key things to check before approving are:
Feel free to make modest edits (such as moving a photo to the top, or turning a video link into an embed) yourself. If the post should be in the discussion forum instead, paste the text into a Friend request to the author explaining that and delete the post. (Using a Friend request will hopefully take some of the sting out of having to reject their post ;-) )
When Moderating Comments:
Deletion is really the course of last resort, and tends to cause more trouble than it solves. Instead, we follow this escalation process:
Our Culture and Values:
Mark Harrison, one of our star moderators, articulated our culture and policies best with this post, which I'll just quote verbatim:
Here's my general feeling about a lot of things on this site; in fact, it's pretty much my general philosophy for large parts of my life:
"It's more important to enable good things than prevent bad things"
For diydrones, this generally means:
--Be generous in accepting blog posts. We're not at a point where there are more submissions than can be confortably digested in a day. Likewise, the term "drone" is evolving at such a fast rate it's hard to pin down exactly what it means for everyone. So, I'm happy to lump in quadcopters, FPV, gimbals, RC, artistic aerial videos, electronics, radios... all kinds of stuff that meets my nebulous criterion of "generally interesting to the diy drone community."
Now of course it can be protested, "what if we're flooded by dozens or hundreds of posts on marginally related topic X?" And my response would be, "let's wait until that happens; we'll have tons more context and it will be easier to make a specific decision then than make some globally encompassing set of rules now. We may all even be a little bit smarter and a little bit wiser!"
-- Be generous in approving users. Lots of people aren't comfortable with revealing too much information about themselves, or may not have a particularly cogent reason for joining a site. I'm somewhat of an exception to this case... "Are you asking what I'm interested in? Let's talk about me, it's one of the most interesting topics we can discuss, don't you agree?" But for a lot of people, they may interested in the topic, but not interested in telling you why.
-- Feel free to make mistakes, and be nice when other people are making mistakes. Sometimes the most interesting things happen when things go awry. For better or worse, sometimes the most education things as well!
I think this is pretty much in agreement with how the site has been run historically. It's a site for amateurs, by amateurs (keeping in mind the defintion of "amateur"... from the French "lover of"), and as such has had a pretty wide-ranging scope of what's acceptable. That's served the site well, enabling it to be as relevant (or even more!) in 2013 as it was when it was founded.
Of course there are big exceptions to this "don't sweat the bad stuff" philosophy -- brain surgery, rocket launches, and skydiving come to mind -- but I think it's a useful guideline for a site such as ours.