Good preparation and assistance can help you to ensure a lively group with a respectful tone:
Group rules: Specify certain topics, target groups and the tone to be used in your groups so members and new members are clear as to what’s okay and what’s not. (read more)
Design and structure: Take the time to think of a good name for your group and give it an appealing design and clear structure by defining forums, adding a logo, and writing an interesting “About this group” text that will appeal to your target group. (read more)
Awareness: Use your blog, social networks and your e-mail signature to attract attention to your group. And don’t forget to send out group invitations.
Own posts: As a moderator you should reach out to your group members on a regular basis. Perhaps you can throw some thought-provoking questions into the arena or add some amusing anecdotes or simply provide tips and links to websites of interest to group members. (read more)
Assistance: Welcome new members who post in the introductions thread and play an active part in discussions to foster relations with your members.
Analysis: Monitor your group’s activity to see which discussions are going well and which aren’t. Use these findings to initiate new posts or adapt your group’s rules.
Support: Is your role as a moderator proving to be too much work? Ask another group member if they’d like to be appointed as an additional moderator so they can share the load. (read more)