A while back battye wrote a post about how to select moderators. I thought that it was a really good post. It spawned a few comments, one of which included a question about how many moderators do you really need. I thought that battye’s response was interesting. He said:
I would probably go with one moderator per 50 active/regular users.
Based on that, I am very much understaffed. To be clear, battye does provide a bit more detail in the rest of his response, including some ideas about time zone coverage and other aspects of running a board. I am taking that bit of a quote out of context because I felt like I wanted to write more than a simple comment / response to his post.
I feel like there are several important factors that can be used to determine how many moderators you need, and some of them are probably more important than others. The factors are:
- Number of active users
- Number of posts per day
- Average age of board members
- The level of “passion” inspired by the subject matter of your board
I would like to add that this is probably not an exhaustive list but these are the four main elements that I have seen in boards that I participate in. I would like to provide more specific details about each of these, followed by some of my own thoughts on how you determine how many moderators you need. I don’t think it can be summed up in a simple equation.