When I first started this site, I worked really really hard to make sure that every question was answered. However, as the forums grew bigger, it got harder and harder to do. Not only because there were more questions asked, but because more behind the scenes stuff needs to be accomplished now on a daily basis. Nowadays, I find myself spending most of my time working on the business aspects of the site - making contacts in the industry, promoting the site, improving the backend, making sure that advertising dollars cover the growing expenses, finding advertisers and site sponsors, managing advertising campaigns, etc. When I'm not doing that I'm replying to 25+ emails a day from members who lost their password, are having problems activating their accounts, etc. I have also somewhat taken up a policy of letting moderators handle problems as they see fit - basically letting the moderators completely lead the community.

Do you think this is a very bad thing? Can a forum grow with a behind-the-scenes admin? Or does everyone want to see that omnipresent admin going around answering questions and being the glue that holds the community together?

I have another question along these same lines. Right now the moderators are doing a fantastic job not only answering questions, but together leading a growing community. Do you think that moderators hold it against a forum with an absent admin? Sorta like they feel that if I don't care enough to make the time to answer questions, then they don't have the time either?

i know a little about forum moderating, but none about admining. i play for a Counter-Strike/Day of Defeat/Doom 3 (coming soon)/Nascar Racing clan called KORT (knights of the round table www.kortclan.com) and there are tons of moderators and a few admins. There is more than one admin though so its less of a stress persay on the admins. but there is only one admin that knows how to do the behind the scenes coding (we use PHP forums) I personally dont think its a bad thing, you as an admin have done a great job with this place and keeping it up and running, and i think most will respect that you will post and help as you can, but also have to maintain the sites expenses and other things. Just remember not one person can hold a community together. At KORT we think of ourselves as a large family instead of a clan of gamers. and thats what helps us stay together, just remembering that not one person can do all the jobs, and that its ok for someone not to be as active as someone else because they have other things they need to tend to. I personally love this site and frequent it as much as possible, this has been one of my biggest learning experience and i find myself learning every day just reading what people have to say.

Being a moderator myself of a DoD forum, Art Forum, Trading forum, and a Meetings and Minutes forum. i know thats its not only the moderators that help keep things inline, but also the people that continue to post and help out. I think Admins+Moderators+Good community == great atmosphere and overall great experience.

Thanks for the positive feedback Killertypo :)

Thanks for the positive feedback Killertypo :)

Your very welcome. i always enjoy helping a community grow, especially one that i feel i can be a great part of.

Do you think that moderators hold it against a forum with an absent admin?

No, they usually don't. Most people understand that there's life outside of the Internet, and sometimes it's unavoidable. For example, the owner of thecubhouse (A Yahoo Group) had to "live life" and couldn't keep up with the group like he had been. He gave me the job of moderator (basically with instructions to do nothing unless I need to) and hasn't been around for a week. Posting is at its normal rate, and everything's normal.

I have no experience in leading the pack but I have my points to deliver.

Do you think this is a very bad thing? Can a forum grow with a behind-the-scenes admin? Or does everyone want to see that omnipresent admin going around answering questions and being the glue that holds the community together?

I personally think this is a hand-in-hand task. Yes, one should be devoted in what he/she started/does, but as moderators/colleagues, they should be able to understand you more enough than any one else. I mean, we, as members do not know how busy/tough is it at the back. But they should know.

Actually, I truly salute you and your fellow moderators for such good effort you guys put in. Not to mention that every question is answered with efforts plus all your time spent in maintaining this site.

From the day I joined daniweb till today, I learned a lot of stuffs, from a non-hardware literate person to a know-how-to-troubleshoot-the-computer girl. LOL.

Enough of that, but I just want to say that with great bonds among the moderators + the admin, there should be no problem. ;)

I'm a super-moderator over at Webdeveloper.com and our community over there grew with pretty much an absent admin. The way it works now is that admin people have a few posts every week and just keep an eye on things. Admin keep in close contact with the moderators, and we have our own hidden forum dedicated to moderators chat, what needs fixing etc. Admin keep up to date on that forum, skim in and out of the others to make sure everything's running smoothly, but generally the moderators lead the site. It works pretty well I think.

However, I would caution that this community is built fundamentally around your personality Dani, so I wouldn't take the example of webdeveloper.com as fitting perfectly with your site. I think most people on the forum think of themselves as your friends - this forum has a far more personal touch than webdeveloper.com, so by all means spend less time answering every post, but don't disappear altogether!

That's my opinion anyway

Thanks for all your feedback. Don't worry Dave, I don't plan on leaving the site entirely. It's just that there is so much behind the scenes work to do that for the most part I don't really have the time to answer questions like my moderators do. I guess, however, it can be looked upon as that we each have different roles to play in running the site. And the site wouldn't exist without the moderators and it wouldn't exist without the admin, either. Comments?

Hello Dani,

I think that you have a nice balance of talented moderators with your drive to handle the business end of the site. Everyone here has their own role -- I go after limited C++ support, look for abuses in the new threads, get deep and dirty in the Linux forum, and see the Mac forum as paradise for me. Other equally skilled, but in different areas, go after Windows (in)Security, Web Design, and whatnot.

The staff invests time and energy into the community because we like it here, and we have something to contribute, and something to grow with. Do not feel bad that you are not everywhere. A burnt out admin will flame out the community. I would cut out a chunk of work that is your role, and stick with it. Remember to eat, bathe, and go on vacation.


I agree with kc0arf :cheesy: .

and see the Mac forum as paradise for me

Very much the same for me... hehe.

Remember to eat, bathe, and go on vacation.

I think we can allow her to sleep (sometimes), go to the bathroom, and watch a little TV. :twisted:

i would have to say that a site can grow and be great even if the admin never posts more then a few times a week if that. cause i have seen it happen before and but i would have to say that i always like seeing the admin the forums posting when they get the chance because it shows that that they care about the site. i also believe that mods do a great job at keeping this and all forums running ;) but the behind the scenes stuff is just as important as the posts and the community :)

I agree that an admin can almost be hands-off in responding to posts in their own forum. Mods generally understand that the admin are busy doing behind the scenes stuff, so we carry on as normal, and only bug the admin when needed.

Now, it might be worth it to consider adding an additional admin, should things get too busy for one person. Or, at least, delegate some tasks to some mods if things got too much for one admin.

cscgal, Im not sure of the hierarchy on these forums but a second-in-command to the admin is very practical and almost necessary to a large forum. Having one will not only help reduce your responsibility, it will also allow you vacation time without worrying about how the forums are running.

I do not believe that moderators can adequately replace an admin.

Now, it might be worth it to consider adding an additional admin, should things get too busy for one person. Or, at least, delegate some tasks to some mods if things got too much for one admin.

I should have just agreed with you
:rolleyes: :o

I must say that I was actually suprised at your involvement with your forum. I mean the fact that you welcome all the new members is great and I think that you know what you need to do. I'm a little late on this thread, but I just needed to put that out.


Thanks so much :) When I first started this forum, I basically participated in almost every thread (what admin doesn't with 5 members and 20 threads? ;) ) As the forum grew, not only was I unable to keep up, but I find myself interacting with the community a lot less than even moderators and regular members. Which worried me a bit. But after seeing all the replies in this thread, I'm feeling a lot more secure that I'm on the right path.

Good Morning CSCGAL & Daniweb,

You are on the money. You have your priorities in order. A good entrepreneur admin should be forward thinking and always growing one’s market share.

If you answered questions all day long, how would you find time to increase your knowledge and achieve your goals?

Surround yourself with good people you trust and let them handle the Q&A’s.

A good moderator should enjoying answering questions and learning with everyone. If the moderator holds that against you they are being short sighted and therefore not a good moderator

My 2 cents

I couldn't agree more. One of the things that made me register was how nice cscgal was to all newcomers, and how rare that is. From the end of tech i'm in the top admin rarely posts, and if he/she does it's mostly to thier own mods or blogs (sort of). Eventually it grows wasy to large for you to go on with your own career. But at the same time you make all of those contacts in the field from your forums. It's a catch 22 kind of. But your own career has to be prority over all else imo. Career, Family, and life outside of tech ware way - way more important then a forum ever will be. But since you started such a nice thing, and it grew, and you have valued mods and members it can kind of run itself eventually with the help you have. I gave up some of those things to spend time with family after my Father passed away, and now I just....LURK. LMAO. ;) , and post once in a while in a really nice forum like this one~

lets face it, success is a painful process. once you achieve it to some degree other things will suffer. I thought you were quite active on your site and was kinda amazed.
[still am amazed]
Ive got waaay to many damned projects and not eneough time. Im a big fan of no
plan at all- seat of your pants, knee jerk decisions. kinda mentally painful though
makes ya wanna freak out like a valley girl in a shopping mall without a credit card.
Kinda makes ya wanna quit it all and just become a hermit in the hills. Information/tasking overload is a bad thing; especially when self induced.
Ha! retire by 40?! WTF was I thinking?! Im gonna pop before then.
I dont think im gonna make it. need vacation. stress is bad- scotchy good.

zim say "ride the pig"

Hehe. A tad stressed out, Cain? ;) So from all of your comments, it seems I'm doing it right. Ooh goodie :) I'm happy.

you bet! :mrgreen:
lets you know youre still alive :D
not nearly as stressed today.. hmm.. which UPS will be managed by what server? I bet I can find the answer in the Star Ocean 3 : Till the end of time
screenshots on gamerankings.com.. hmm... noo nee noo nee noo.. ni ner ni ner
what was i doing?
oh, look at that! time to go home ;)

customer service motto: "Service 'till it hurts, then some."

I am an admin at my own forum and a mod at another. I treat both positions the same. I post when I feel like it and when I have something on my mind. The only exception to this is when there is something wrong on my own forum and I must take action. Otherwise, I'm laid back and posting like any other member.

I feel you must lead by example, how can you know what is going on if you arent out in the front line...

It does help to have a great team behind you, whcih it looks like is the case here, and I am proud to say on my sites, I can rest assured the mod's and other admin are taking the same level of care with things that I would.

My only problem is sometimes I feel I get too involved... hence posting 5,670 times since Feb/Mar this year (plus another 3-4,000 last year on other forums that I was a mod at).

Not only is it an interest (the forums) it is a passion to succeed as well that drives me... (another reason why I have close to 40 domain names registered awaiting to be used)

How involved should an admin be?


As a Forum Owner and Head Admin, I Say its the most Important Role for a Site. They are the People who Members come and ask questions too, They are who run the site. They should be checking the forum every day making sure they're runs smoothly, Keeping Members Happy! Admins should know what they are doing at all times and should be the key in any success in a forum/site.

Without Good Admins I think an site would fail. Every Admin must have experience with People, And have that people skill, Because you need to always keep everyone happy, Or your site will fail.

Basicly, Admins are the Brains of the Site, and the Members are the Heart. Without the Heart the body can't operate, Without the Brain it can't function either.


Being an admin of 2 months with 23 members, I feel the need to keep my community alive by posting often. But I guess as time goes on, I'll not be in a similar position.

Administrators of different forums have different approaches from what I've observed.

A business-like forum usually has a hands-off admin with the moderators doing most of the day-to-day running of the site. The admin usually doesn't moderate unless in exceptional circumstances. I think that the roles of the admin and mods are usually clear cut in these cases.

A friendly community of people with common interests, on the other hand, needs an admin who is part of the community. Who doesn't really act like an "admin" but as a normal member. Such an admin also must maintain a balance between the "rules" and the "atmosphere" of the site i.e. keeping the site friendly and at the same time making sure that the rules are adhered to.

Generally an admin of a more business-like forum or site has an easier job because the roles of the admins and mods are clear cut whereas in a community site it often becomes tough to manage between keeping a friendly, welcoming atmosphere and at the same time making sure that the rules are adhered to.

In my opinion, the answer to your question depends on a few variables. Assuming we're talking only about forum sites:

1. What type of site is it?
First of all, it probably depends on what type of site you're running. Some sites based on certain content can grow without an admin presence - others tend to require an admin presence to help give the site a personality. It depends on what type of audience you attract.

2. Forum Leaders.
Do you have a group of moderators (or other forum leaders) who will consistently promote the values that you yourself hold important for your site? What do you do to help retain these leaders - what type of relationship do you have with them, and do you trust their judgement?

3. What stage is the site in?
In the beginning, the admin usually needs to be involved all the time. If you're not, the site probably won't really grow much. A healthy site usually requires some form of admin participation in the forums on a regular basis. Even if it's just 20 minutes per week in the later stages of site growth. Your voice is always important and you should know the pulse of the site. You can't disconnect yourself very much.

I've been an admin for a few sites over the past 5 years. This is what I've come to learn. Hope it helps.

I appreciate everyone's comments and I've enjoyed reading them all. Thanks :)

Greetings all,
This is my first post here. As a matter-of-fact its my first visit here and to tell you the truth I can't even remember what I clicked on to arrive here :) LOL

But I think it must have been the great fairy of fate that brought me here tonight and here's why.

I'm soon to open a rather large CMS site and you all know, life is nothing but long hours right now and waking up in the middle of the night to make another attempt to fix than darn script that was bugging out earlier. :mad:

The site is going to have a Forum of course, but I have been very nervous about how time I will be able to give the Forum, during the opening and hopefully as it grows it will just get busier from there ;)

As a buffer, I not going to open all the Topics I have planned at once X<stop ramblin on>X

There I go ramblin on. Back to why I'm here. Went I saw the Topic
Building a Community, I immediately had to read some threads.

I'm deeply impressed! The sharing of knowledge and sense of community here is outstanding!

I've read all the threads in this Topic and I'm off to read the othere Topic under Building a Community.

But I just wanted say Hello and looking forward to being a member here :D


That sounds great Tpyo :) Welcome to DaniWeb ... I usually don't like to stray threads off-course too much (because you never find what you're looking for if the question is first asked on page 5). But I just had to welcome you to prove that the admin really does read threads and interact with the community :)

That sounds great Tpyo :) Welcome to DaniWeb ... I usually don't like to stray threads off-course too much (because you never find what you're looking for if the question is first asked on page 5). But I just had to welcome you to prove that the admin really does read threads and interact with the community :)

I entirely agree with the sentiment that being an administrator and a moderator at the same time is a tough job. As an administrator, it becomes more important to set the correct note - so to speak - and make the newcomers feel at home. Sometimes moderating clashes with that. So it is best to have others to do the maintenance and day-to-day running of your forums. :D It is really tough to choose a good moderator, but experience always helps and usually a good administrator attracts the good moderators.

Don't also forget that as an administrator, you also set an example to your moderators and show them what is acceptable and what is not, either by example or by inference of the rules. But as an administrator, it is better to keep off the main areas of moderation for most of the time at least.

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