Today, bhante @sujato and I had the pleasure of catching up with treasured D&D moderators @Gillian and @Viveka at Sydney airport.
It was wonderful to meet up in real life and have a good long chat, face-to-face. It felt really nice to get to know each other off-screen and have a little laugh about life in samsara.
The Moderator Team are all volunteers, yet they do a great deal of work for D&D, far more than most of us would think, a little of which we see in posts, but much, much more in the background. Some of this work is joyous and positive, but some is heavy and hard. So, a special shout-out and a big, big THANK YOU to all our mods, including @Nadine, @Erik_ODonnell and @Timothy.
These are the people who help make D&D a welcoming, safe and courteous place for our community to learn about the EBTs. Hearing about all the work they do made me want to lift my game as a contributor to D&D, and make their difficult job a bit easier. I’d encourage everyone on here to do the same. Looking at some recent posts, we are making them work far too hard for volunteers! Even if we think we’re already doing well, we can probably always do better. Simple things like: keeping posts on topic, making every post count, using respectful language and always having an intention of kindness.
It would be wonderful if we didn’t need the moderators, but until we are all enlightened and our speech is perfected, I’m pleased that the moderators are here to skillfully guide us towards making D&D a friendly and informative place for everyone.
Thank you again to all our current moderators and also
to all the past moderators as well.
Lovely photo. I’ve been involved in many different Buddhist forums over the years, and I even modded on one for a while (steep learning curve!).
I can honestly say that the SC moderation team is the best I have come across, so respect and gratitude to all of them.
PS Good advice on posting - there are things we can all do.
What a wonderful post, Venerable! Thank you!
As an ex-mod, very well knowing how much work can go into the undertaking, it’s so especially gladdening to see this message coming from a forum user. When I agreed to be a mod, right up until the time I left the team, I maintained an ambivalence about the job. There were a number of reasons for this, but part of my uncertainty was connected to feeling (which I suppose was just a wish) that rather than having no moderators, or a few moderators, it would be better if all forum users actively practised self-moderation, and had a personal sense of responsibility for keeping this space welcoming, friendly, and meaningful.
To my mind, it would likely be as beneficial to users themselves as much as the broader forum space. When I did join the team, it happened to be at a point when the community guidelines were being redrafted and I spent a fair amount of time looking over them. Through that I came to the feeling that when genuinely taken to heart they can serve as quite a beautiful guide for engaging in speech (which isn’t especially surprising as they are heavily based on the suttas). This is a point quite aside from the concern of “abiding by community rules”; to approach them (or, in fact, sila more generally) ‘legalistically’ completely misses their highest potential value.
That said, much as we all have a duty to mind ourselves for our own and others’ benefit, I think we’d also do well to err a little towards tolerance and compassion when we, or others—especially those we’re directly conversing with—haven’t fully been able to live up to the highest ideals. The fact of the matter is, exchanging thoughts and interests with people can be incredibly difficult: to do it well we (and I don’t mean “we” euphemistically, it is something I envisage having to work on for at least the rest of my life) have to remain sensitive to our own feelings (particularly when we’ve upset by something), sensitive to other people’s feelings, sensitive to a given context and able to use these streams of information to let us know when we should take extra care with our words, or just pause and keep to silence. That takes much more skill and energy than letting our fingers run loose in reactivity.
This is why the mods are never likely to be short of work for too long, and this, in turn, is why they are, indeed, due a great deal of gratitude: I add my thanks to the moderators.
Indeed. Good moderation and leadership is very much to do with creating a wholesome environment for discussion.
Sadhu, sadhu! I concur with @Akaliko, and having been at the receiving end of poor moderators, I find DD a breath of fresh air.