What exactly does a mod do?
Answer: Everything and anything. There is no one single answer because it differs for each community.
But since I have a bunch of communities under my belt, either as owner or mod or one of the creators... I thought I'll answer some of the mystries.
This post is also coupled with the fact that we mods at storm_freaks are pretty desperate to hire new mods. So if you are interested, please read this post on SF.
Let's see... How many comms am I in charge of? I've kinda lost count...
First I need to apologise though. arashi_bangumi has gone inactive again. I've not done anything there in a long while... I know... I'll try and look at it someday before the year ends.
So since I mentioned that... I'll start with arashi_bangumi. It's basically a community for everyone to post their Arashi reviews there. And there's nothing much for me to do besides maintaining the masterpost. I also made a twitter account and tumblr account for the site, so ideally I would post/reblog something random on tumblr (which then crossposts to twitter) every few days, but I've been pretty busy, and no one has posted a new review in quite a while... (Since 27th of Feb gosh!)
Oh wells. It's not a really active community but... Hey, all those old reviews are there to stay. At least fans can still look at the old reviews and maybe discover a little something.
Then there's my now inactive subbing comm. Don't ask for a link, you'll just be ignored. It's completely inactive now anyway. I'm even more than a whole freaking year behind on my Arashi shows. Time to sub or translate? Pfft. None. And as much as I try, I really don't see myself having the time for it anymore. But it'll still be there and I'll keep the links alive but don't expect anything much new.
Oh but we're talking about what the mod does right? Well, I'm the owner of the comm, as well as the translator. So I translated stuff. And did all the posts. I did some random posts, though J and octavia did some random posts too. I credit those random posts to the start of what became Storm Freaks... I organised the occasional contest too. What else? I posted some article translations, but those translations are right here on my blog too. Oh and member apps. I do all those too. At the start it was a nightmare. Like over 100 applications overnight and I did them all. J and octavia did the comm layout since I was too lazy to learn and fiddle with the CSS... But the intro and all the content... Yeah I did those.
Then there's nutty_arashi. The fic comm. Again, nothing much for the mods to do after the initial set up. Like posting the intro and masterposts and transferring all our fics there. And J did the layout again (yes, she's the layout master), as well as the banner and wonky nutty cursors and avatars. Yeah it was my idea I think, but we all brainstormed together and J/octavia were to ones who executed it. Nowadays I just update the masterposts when I have a new fic. And promote the fic to arashi_rabu and kotobayori of course.
So that's three comms down.
Next we have... Hmm, the most recent one, fishing_mj. I helped to write the intro and rules posts and some advertisement posts... That's about it. The other hardworking mods did the match ups and answering the emails. I've been quite a lazy mod yeah... But then SF takes up so much time...
Finally, the elephant in the room! Storm Freaks! It started off as a comment in sholicious and wanting a similar comm for all of Arashi. A few people replied that they wanted to do it too. So we did. And we dragged people we knew in. Once again, J did the layout - and has been doing one for each new cycle! I wrote the content of the rules and intro post (yes, that's basically the same formula repeated each time), I did the advertising... J did the avatars. I came up with the points system... And set up the google docs for counting the points and stuff. The rest of the mods helped with the membership and posting. In the beginning we had a schedule. One post per mod every two weeks. There were 8 of us so we'll get 4 posts in per week. Then I came up with the idea of games, which I slotted in between the regular posting days.
Then I disappeared.
It was a particularly rough patch at work so I just disappeared from LJ for a bit. Thank goodness we started out with so many mods. They filled in a posted for me. Particularly all the news, because even on my good days, I'm still NOT updated with Arashi news. Like now. I hardly do any news. But people get busy in RL and our mods have been disappearing one by one. I don't blame them, but unfortunately we really need to hire more mods. Like whole weeks would pass by with nothing but games from me. Which really detracts from our original goal of making SF a one stop shop for Arashi news and discussion.
What the mod does in SF is really varied. Initially we counted all the points ourselves but that got too much, so we now have two volunteers to help out. The mods still has to manage the membership applications though. And gather and post all the news you see on the community. The games too. They don't appear by magic. I make them. Think of the words to hide for word search. Or words plus clues if it's a crossword. Or take photos for Guess Which Item (I went out to buy those sushi/food erasers just for this too). Or roll the dice. And then the points have to be tabulated and entered (reasons why I now have volunteers for all those things!) Of course, at the end of the cycle gifts need to be bought/made and sent out. (Also why it's still not been sent - I've been busy... I think I'll give up and just go with simpler gifts...) The money for the gifts comes from my own pocket too, and previously someone else got the magazine, which they paid for. I have a really bad memory and I forgot who is it now. We've been talking about having an SF paypal account and all to pay for the gifts but... Who's going to donate? :X It's not like we can solicit for donations because that's generally frowned upon in the Arashi fandom. Maybe we could sell some merchandise but... Nah. What we really need right now is just fresh mods to keep the community going. No mods, no community. It's that simple.
In short for SF, we need mods to post Arashi news, posts to stir up friendly discussion... Maybe even post mag scans, screenshots and what not from weibo, their shows and so on. We could certainly use more activity there... And I can't promise when I'm around to post too. Many a times I forget to post something all week...
It seems like it's all giving, with nothing in return. Well, I guess you can say that. Then again I've gained much too. I made new friends. If I have something to rant about I have chats to rant to. And even though we've never met, having someone just say a few kind words helps. Even if just a little. I started out doing things I never thought I would do because of people like J and octavia. Yeah, maybe I'm famous in LJ now? I don't know. But what is that fame for anyway? I didn't do this for the fame. And if you're one of those who's out seeking easy fame... Then shame on you. It's a lot of hard work. (That's why I've been posting on SF over and over about hiring new mods.) But what I do get is new friends, a place and outlet to write about Arashi, to discuss, to have fun, to practice my writing skills... To pick up some Japanese and learn how to translate from Japanese to English. It's been a lot of fun, but also a lot of work gone in. Personally I focus more on the other thngs that I can gain from doing all these, so to me that's what makes it worth while, and that's why I'm still continuing with what I do. When I made dna, right from the very start, I told J and octavia. Let's make this the very best comm that we can. With the best translation, typesetting etc. Because someday we'll quit doing subs and although we can't put all these illegal crap in our CVs, the skills that we learnt and hone will come with us. I improved my Japanese (and English too), J improved her typesettng skills - and tried out new software and all that came along with it. Octavia... Well, she was an annoying mascot. Lol. So while I don't know if I'll still continue subbing, I do know that I've learnt stuff and the time was never wasted.
So if you have some time, and want to challenge yourself to do somethng new, why not become a mod at SF? Not good at writing posts? Then practice! And what better place than SF, with a bunch of friendly mods and members to encourage you.
So that's all. Now you know what a mod does. At least what this mod does anyway.
Oh yeah... The comm idea. I'll just share it here because heck, why not? Just like the Arashi rainbow exchange, but with all 10 Arashi pairings. Something like 10shades for the name perhaps? :P So fic authors will have to write all 10 pairings to complete a card. Maybe we'll give them a bunch of prompts to choose from. Or maybe we can have a variation of the theme and give points for each pairing completed, but structure the points according to the popularity. So that each author will be forced to write fics for the rare pairings. I've yet to hash it out properly but the key point is that, I CANNOT do this alone. It'll just die a miserable death (or I would). If anyone thinks that this is a good idea, and would like to take part, let me know! I just feel sad that the rainbow exchange is pretty much dead now... I wonder how many authors would take part though because I've been told that some people write certain pairings and certain pairings ONLY. And refuse to write other pairings... *shrugs*
Personally I've gone past that stage and I can do things both ways. Either start with a pairing in mind, or as more often is the case, start with the plot in mind and the do a 'casting' among the five and see which member fits the role I have in mind best.
Alright. It's Friday. Time to head home!