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Sun Dec 11, 2011, 12:05 AM

Would you like to serve as a Host of a Group? And does your Group even need a Host? [View all]

Again, this is an announcement about Group Hosts, not Forum Hosts.

During the testing period this last week, we assigned a number of people to act as temporary hosts in various Groups around the site so we could test the software. To those of you who volunteered, thank you. But, as promised, now that the testing period is over we have wiped the database of Group hosts. If you were a Group Host during the testing period, you are no longer assigned as a Group Host. As I write this, none of the Groups have Hosts assigned. (Note that Forum Hosts from the testing period are still assigned.)


Does your Group need a Host at all?

The first thing that needs to happen in any Group before someone is assigned as a Host, is that the regulars in that group need come to some general agreement that they want a Host at all. The position of Host (especially the most senior Host) holds a significant amount of power in a group -- with the abilities to lock threads, hire and fire other Hosts, and block people out of the group. Are you sure you want to hand that power over to anyone?

Keep in mind that if you do not choose to have a Host, your group will still enjoy some amount of protection. No matter where they are posted, violations of our Community Standards are handled by the random member juries. So even if your group does not have a Host, there is still a system in place that will be able to handle disruptive posts in the group.

With that in mind, there may be some Groups where it might make sense to leave the position of Host vacant:
  • If your group is dedicated to a non-controversial topic, then there is probably no harm in assigning someone as a Host. You are unlikely to need someone to lock threads or block people out of the group, but it might be useful to have someone who can take ownership of the group.
  • If your group is a "Safe Haven" where only one viewpoint is welcome, then you should probably assign a Host to help run the group. It is likely that you will need a Host to lock off-topic threads and block out people who disagree with the purpose of the group.
  • If your group plays host to open debate on a particular topic, and welcomes a wide range of viewpoints, then the choice might not be so simple. If you select a Host, it needs to be someone who is trusted to be fair by people holding a wide range of viewpoints. You may decide that it is better not to assign anyone as the Host of your group, to avoid the risk that that person might use their power to benefit a particular viewpoint.
If you decide that you do wish to have someone assigned as the Host of your group, the next step is to pick someone. The first person selected as Host holds the most power in the Group. The first can add and remove other Hosts, but no other Hosts can remove the first Host. In short: Choose someone you trust.


What to do if you want to serve as a Host? (THESE INSTRUCTIONS HAVE CHANGED)

If the members of your group decide to select a Host, then you must decide who will serve as the first Host. The DU Administrators will assign ONLY ONE host to each Group, and then it is the responsibility of that Host to select other members of the Host Team (if anyone else wishes to serve).

Hopefully in most Groups, selecting a first Host will be a simple matter of awarding the job to the first person who posts in the Group to volunteer for the job. If more than one person is interested, then you need to discuss the choice of Host amongst yourselves until you come to some sort of consensus regarding who should have the job.
  1. If you want to serve as a Host of a particular Group, the first thing you need to do is post in that group to let the members of that group know you are interested in serving as the Host. If a consensus is reached and you are chosen for the job, then -- and only then -- you can report back to this thread and let me know.
  2. Post a reply in this thread telling me which group you have been selected to Host. Include a direct link to your post in the group where you want to serve. I need that link in order to give you host powers.
  3. I will only assign ONE host to each group. After that first host has been assigned, then that first host has the power to grant host status to anyone else. So, if a host is already assigned to a group, then you need to contact that host to become a host.
Good luck selecting your Hosts.

Skinner
DU Admin

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