I’ve touched on the subject of mods several months ago. Lately, I have had a lot of people private messaging and tweeting out to me asking me how I put together an amazing #ModSquad. So let’s get down and dirty about moderators, discuss the good and the bad, what exactly the role of a moderator includes, and how to guide them to improve themselves.
The first step in finding the best mod team for your stream is to sit down and evaluate what your needs/wants are in your stream. Obviously, you won’t find someone who will fit that role 100% right away so you’ll need to figure out what you need a moderator to do vs what would you want them to do.
For me, my needs were: handing out juiceboxes (aka banning trolls), to keep my chat flowing, and keeping me encouraged throughout my stream. My wants were: shoutouts, keeping up with fun commands in the chat, keeping track of who tipped/raided me for the night, and give me tips if I get stuck in a game.
As a streamer we need to remember that a good moderator will be a reflection of us (the streamer) and our mods will represent us according to who we are. The only way this can be accomplished is through open and honest communication. Our team can’t represent us or our needs/wants if they don’t know what our needs/wants are. I’m not talking about having an admin channel in discord or saying hey can you mod for me? What I’m talking about goes beyond that. Most streamers and people don’t realize how much hard work, dedication, and time goes into being a moderator, and not everyone can be a good moderator just like not everyone can be a good streamer.
I’ve been given the opportunity to be the main moderator for MagikTheGamer for almost 1.5 years. He’s recently acquired 2 more mods who are just absolutely amazing and it truly eases up the workload for me. So, I have been on both sides of the moderator fence. I have learned that sometimes the streamer will have no issue communicating their needs/wants with their mods and other times the mod will need to step up and communicate to the streamer what their strong and weak points are. As a mod you cannot be afraid to step up and communicate these issues that you see to your streamer. They need to hear when something goes wrong or if something needs to be changed, do not be afraid of hurting feelings because if no one tells the streamer most likely they will not know anything needs to be changed and they will never improve.
Most streamers have been in the situation where a viewer has asked to be promoted to mod for their channel and normally this is a great thing; someone being proactive and wanting to help!! However, sometimes the person asking to be a moderator is barely in the stream and that isn’t going to help you out as a streamer. What I have done in the past is to put in my profile rules not to ask to be a modded in my stream and if someone still doesn’t listen I direct them back to my rules. However sometimes these people are your friends and you don’t want to hurt their feelings so I would take the honest approach. Explain to them that you don’t think they are ready to be a moderator for you yet, however with some guidance and time they might make an excellent choice. At this point I would have an open conversation with them explaining what my needs/wants are in a mod and have them practice all my commands in a normal stream. Maybe you have your commands open to the public maybe you don’t either way have them practice them while you're streaming so you can see 1st hand whether or not they can keep up. Then after your stream have a mini meeting with them and tell them how they did well and where they can improve and ask them for their advice on where you can improve as well as a streamer.
As I talked about earlier a bit the main purpose of a moderator is to keep the chat flowing without creating the ever dreadful “mod wall”. There are several ways you can achieve this, the 2 biggest would be to start chat games (bankheist, roulette, etc) this way you can see who is actually active in your chat and who is truly lurking. When the bankheist goes off you as the streamer can come up with a story about the bankheist and how the people got caught/died. Make it was funny/serious as you want. This will also encourage you to talk more as well. The other way to encourage your mod is to have your mod ask you questions about the game you are currently playing (whether or not they know the answer or not). Some questions would be have you played the game before? How do you like it? What is your favorite item in the game? How long did it take you to beat it? What was your favorite part? These questions can be geared towards you or the chat to encourage people to talk.
I have directly asked each and every one of my moderators to help me on my journey. I knew exactly who I needed on my team because I watched to see who was active in my chat on an almost daily basis, someone who was well loved and sociable, someone who I feel comfortable talking to, and I asked them if they would be interested. I then gave them time to think about it and showed them my Mod Doc (which is a document with all my commands and expectations in it so everyone is on the same page) and said I’d like for you to try out the commands. Please be aware I didn’t mod them yet.. I just had them try out the commands in the chat and talked to them after a few days of practicing this. Then I would ask them if they thought they would like to join our #ModSquad team. I know I work my Mods very hard and it’s very apparent in the the success of my stream and because of this I don’t want an average person to be overwhelmed with the duties I expect from my mods.
I have the upmost respect and love for my #ModSquad. Make sure you love your mods and they will love you!
Until next time…