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Admins & Mods: how busy do you get running your sites?

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What's it like being an admin or mod?

 

I'm not one myself, but I'd be interested in running (or helping to run) an RPG someday! How busy does running a site get for you? Is it ever tiring, and does it take away time to RP your own characters (especially on other sites)? What's your way of fitting it into your schedule while still leaving room for other hobbies and a personal life? What is something that you would look for in an good RPG creator, admin, or mod? 

 

I don't know if I'm the kind of person to be cut out for an admin or mod position, so I'm interested in hearing about what it's like for people who are already site-runners!

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What's it like being an admin or mod? For me, it's not that different from being a member, except I answer questions, update claims, approve apps, think up new events and plots, advertise for new members, and have a monthly activity sweep. And I love answering questions and approving apps so it's not exactly a burden for me. I've staffed on my own for about a year, and on some sites, I was the only active admin for the duration of my stay despite having co-staffers. If anything, it's a relief to know that toxic members won't be allowed to stay on the site or the staff team won't close the site with no warning or anything like that. 

 

How busy does running a site get for you? Not busy at all. Overall, the duties I listed above usually don't take up more than six hours out of the entire month. 

 

Is it ever tiring, and does it take away time to RP your own characters (especially on other sites)? No and no. I'm usually on six or seven sites. This has ranged anywhere from me staffing three and being a member on three, to staffing one and being a member on five. I honestly don't think I've ever noticed a point where my staff duties made me feel burnt out or decreased the time I had for writing. Or in the case of the latter, not by more than a few hours when I'm doing advertising sprees, but I usually do those when I'm too tired to write. 

 

What's your way of fitting it into your schedule while still leaving room for other hobbies and a personal life? Staffing takes up so little of my time that I don't have to worry about this. And everything except the activity sweep happens at random as people show up, post apps, or put up site searches. I handle things as they come and it's rare that I have to spend more than a few minutes a day handling staff matters. I imagine it would be different on a huge site with 50+ members, but from what I've seen, relatively few sites ever get that big. And when they do, there's a big staff team to share the load. 

 

What is something that you would look for in an good RPG creator, admin, or mod? Someone who loves the site and is dedicated to seeing it succeed. For co-staffers especially, a reliable self-starter. I want to know that my staff will update claims and approve apps and answer questions and all that on their own and will do so in an accurate manner. Another thing is creativity for coming up with new ways to move the site forward like events or features. I also look for someone who posts frequently, and who is polite and helpful with their members. You don't need to bend over backwards or allow things you don't want, but if you insult people or call yourself petty or an asshole, I'm going to take that as a big red flag and leave your site. I once saw an admin tell a guest to go fuck themselves for asking a question in the chatbox. Big nope! 

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My site's relatively new, so it's not terribly busy. I do get really busy chatting with people on the discord and throwing ads all over the place, but ads are normally once per week and talking to new members and existing ones is almost always fun. Posting can be a little crazy because you're basically the first person plotting with newcomers, but it's totally worth it.

 

Something I look for in a good admin is how they approach members in their chats and while going through the approval process.

 

If I can tell you're not very interested, or that you're not concerned with welcoming new people, I'm a lot less likely to stick around or invest in your board. That might seem a little demanding, but popping in a "hello, welcome, how are you" when someone new joins the discord isn't that difficult. I try to catch every single new member that joins with a welcome message, just to show them that someone is around to answer their questions at the very least.

 

I also look for a good attitude, or even someone with a sense of humor. An admin who can laugh at themselves is the best kind.


 

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I don't think you can put a specific level on how busy running a site is, because it honestly depends. Every site is different. Every site runs things differently, and that'll affect the admin/staff duties. I've adminned sites that were very self sufficient and so duties were minimal. I've also adminned sites that needed more hands on staffing, and at times it could be a lot of work. So it's hard to say "How" busy you'll be, it'll honestly just depend on the site and the members.  

 

As for fitting it into my schedule, I think the most important thing is making a game plan. Knowing everything you need to do, and then breaking it up into manageable sizes. So if you have, say, three things you want to work on, figure out how much work each of those will be, and then find a time in your schedule that you can fit one job in. So even if you have a lot to you, it's all in bite site chunks.

 

In terms of what I look for in good admin/staff. The absolute most important skills I think someone that makes a site needs to have is people skills and patience. A huge part of running a site is working and dealing with people. If you can't do that, your site will sink. My site has had staff that lacked people skills and patience, and it almost destroyed us. The only reason we survived is because other staff did a lot of damage control. 


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I think the answer to this question depends on a variety of factors. Everything from the type of site you run, to how much help you have, to the age of your site, etc. 

 

I run a general roleplaying site, which means right off the bat I don't have to deal with engaging various members into roleplays and focusing and driving a single site-wide plot because members just create whatever plots they want themselves. This takes a fairly big task off of my shoulders as roleplayers who join up are fairly autonomous already and do not need a lot of hand-holding. 

 

That being said, setting up the site itself still took about three weeks, and I am constantly working on things behind the scenes (installing new add-ons and bbcode, modifying site themes, fixing any glitches that occur on site, handling member issues, etc). As the site ages, less and less daily maintenance needs to be done and I can focus more on member engagement by setting up monthly activities and events, or just working on my own roleplays. There is never nothing to do, it just varies based on the site's current needs.

 

As far as staffing goes, what I look for and what I hope to exemplify on my own site is honesty, respect, and dedication. I genuinely care about giving my members a home for their writing. I strive to be 100% upfront about what's going on around the site, and I treat each member with respect (even if sometimes I don't want to). When looking for staff, I look for those who are personable and have something to offer the site, whether that be tangible skills or just a great attitude. Members who exude sincerity and kindness will always stand out in a positive way.


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How busy does running a site get for you?

I've had a couple of tilts at it before so this time is much easier, partly because I have a coadmin and partly because we identified what we've struggled with in the past or what we didn't enjoy, and mitigated that. 

 

Is it ever tiring, and does it take away time to RP your own characters (especially on other sites)?

It can be, depending on your processes and what you don't enjoy. So I don't like site to site advertising so I wouldn't do it, but my coadmin does (!!) so we have it.

 

Updating claims can be tedious, so we've altered the member list to include custom profile fields, thus creating an auto claims list. 

 

We keep our lore small so that we don't have to manage members so much.

 

We also don't make such a big song and dance about activity requirements. I don't think it's necessary to be watching everyone like a hawk for the day that they slip into inactivity. You just check every now and then. 

 

Discord for us was also a source of stress for us, so we don't have one.

 

But all of that depends on you. You might not be stressed by a community discord. You might love complex world building. 

 

The goal however, is to create a site and processes that allow us to actually enjoy roleplaying in and to continue to have lives outside of the site.

 

What's your way of fitting it into your schedule while still leaving room for other hobbies and a personal life?

Like I said, setting up your site so that it's not labor intensive is important. If you've done that, you probably won't need to spend a significant part of your day adminning.

 

What is something that you would look for in an good RPG creator, admin, or mod? 

They're even-keeled.


 

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I'll likely be repeating some of what was said above but I'll add some older perspective as I've been an administrator for years. I'll try to exclusively use things from only an RP point of view and not from the Initiative.

 

How busy does running a site get for you?

They used to be intense. From keeping up with members to cboxes, to chats to PMs to claims lists and site to site advertisements. It was honestly a dread to open my RP some days to see more work to do. This was years ago though.

 

Now I am an avid proponent of trying to make sure that I get to enjoy my site as much as my players. This includes lists that automatically populate from character profiles to empowering my players. The more everyone is involved the more involved they are in growing the site.

 

Is it ever tiring, and does it take away time to RP your own characters (especially on other sites)?

It used to. I used to find it exhausting and very chore like to try to play with all of my members while doing all the lists and the advertising and then coming up with events that my members would enjoy. It all turned out like I was basically in an emotional time suck that I never got to play just to play.

 

Nowadays I still do a lot but making enjoyment a priority has made things a lot easier. It helps me encourage members to put forth ideas for events that they run, it helps with knowing what lists are important and automating as much of it as possible, it helps to simply know that the site is as much for me as it is for my members. Remembering that is key.

 

What's your way of fitting it into your schedule while still leaving room for other hobbies and a personal life?

As I said previously. Automation is key for me. My least favorite thing is always claims lists. From Job Claims to playbys/faceclaims to Who's Who. It was always a bit of a tedious trek especially with super inspired members that were always creating new characters. Making this a lower priority or not even a necessary task, really makes my life easier which means that roleplay in general gets more time and I get to take the time for whatever else as well.

 

What is something that you would look for in an good RPG creator, admin, or mod? 

Someone that is self-reliant is key. I'm often the coding admin and that's what people rely on me for however there is often other tasks that can be done by other staff member's that I don't like being left to me just because. Being a part of a staff means that you assist with staff tasks from greeting members, helping them plot, helping them find content, contributing ideas etc. If everything is left to everyone else then you don't need to be on a staff because you're not contributing to making the community a better place, you're just seeking a title which in most cases often ends badly for both a site and yourself if you love the community.

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How busy does running a site get for you?

 

It depends. I spend a lot less time than I used to in years past but I would say, usually at least and hour or two a day. Depending on whether I have any other RL connections. A lot of members are more understanding than they used to be. Getting rid of the cbox has helped to reduce some stress although there is the discord now, and that can cause it's own issues. 

 

I try to post a minimum of twice a week but there are times when this is not possible. 

 

Is it ever tiring, and does it take away time to RPyour own characters (especially on other sites)?

 

It can be, but usually if I haven't been engaging in enough self-care or not organising myself correctly. My activity on other sites does tend to drop during this time although most RPers know that I have my own game. I have firmer boundaries than I used to in regards to my time and what I do with my time. 

 

What's your way of fitting it into your schedule while still leaving room for other hobbies and a personal life?

 

I tend to wake up a bit earlier to get my site stuff done and out of the way. It helps to not have any distractions from RL, too, so I can post in peace. But this isn't set in stone. 

 

What is something that you would look for in an good RPG creator, admin, or mod? 

 

I want an RPG creator/admin/mod to be happy and in good mental health. For me, that is a priority and to think about what they would like to do. I'd like an admin who includes me but doesn't pester me all the time in order to get me to post. 


 
 
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How busy does running a site get for you?

  • Honestly, running my sites is like a full time job. I'm always trying to update content, introduce new things, and keep on top of member issues. 

 

Is it ever tiring, and does it take away time to RP your own characters (especially on other sites)?

  • For me, yes. I recently had to take time away because I simply didn't have the energy to keep up with it. I haven't really had the chance to thread my own characters in a while. "other sites" do not exist for me. 

 

What's your way of fitting it into your schedule while still leaving room for other hobbies and a personal life?

  • Even though I've set things up on my site to have minimal work on my end, I still struggle with time management. But that's a personal problem. 

 

What is something that you would look for in an good RPG creator, admin, or mod? 

  • Someone who is inviting and happy. But this is an admin saying this and I know that for myself, taking care of my mental health is more important than my sites. 

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Iv been admining for years but honestly i still make things more difficult than they need to. I leave updating things to long, or i dont do something when it needs doing so things end up piling up. I have gotten better and i am glad there are things being worked into JCINK that can make things easier on admins. Auto lists are a god send. Players being a help is also another God send. 

 

Honestly being an admin is as hard as an admin makes it. I have been an admin alone, and together, and it is no easier, or harder. Being an admin is a learning curve and no matter how prepared you are there are going to be days you look at your board like OMG more?


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I've been running my games for close to 20 years (SotE will be 19 this year!) and I've always been a big proponent of making things as hands-off as I can. I don't keep lists that need to be updated, I don't have applications that need approval, I don't do face claims or anything of the sort. Everything is pretty much either automated, or players are just empowered to make their own decisions, and I really only need to get involved at an admin level when there's a problem. Which doesn't happen often.

 

A couple times a year, we clean up member accounts and sort abandoned character profiles and player-created guilds into the archives, but again, that's just a clean-up we do every now and then to keep things tidy.

 

Other than that, members pretty much just manage themselves. I keep world info updated. I don't have to update our world leaders like...ever...because the players playing them have been with us for years and are stable in those roles. So. *shrug*

 

You'll have as much work as you give yourself. I choose to enjoy my games rather than make them work, so I cut out all the unnecessary busywork.


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It depends on the site and it depends on the set up. Like many have said it's hard to say how busy a site will make you. However, I don't fully agree with the idea that it varies dramatically by site. It does but mostly in ways that are controllable if you choose to.

 

For example - the more detailed and specific character applications need to be, the more work will be required to keep up with them as you get new members. The more lists you decide to keep, if they can't be automated by your software, the more time will be required to keep them properly updated: this is things like power lists, or face claims, or in character timelines. So it really boils down to... what do you want? How much work do you want to invest? What kind of software e do you want to use, and can it automate some of the things that you can't do without.

 

It also depends on the world. Some genres are naturally more hands on unless you take the time to set it up so they can all but run themselves. This is notable sometimes additional time up front to figure out a "plan" can result in way less time over-all.

 

If admining your site is too much work, or is too draining. Then find a way to lighten the load - either through automation or additional staff members. This is a hobby and it should be fun. If it isn't fun, something is wrong.

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It definitely varies -- there is a team of us which means I can ignore it entirely for a couple of weeks if I need to (and can physically pry myself away :P). I've been a solo admin on a more nitpicky board back in my youth which took up a LOT more time than my reasonably chill, team-run forum does now!


    

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