Can children be successful forum managers?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Online Community' started by Nick, Jun 29, 2009.

  1. Nick

    Nick Regular Member

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    I'm not talking about toddlers and young kids aged 5-6 or something; I mean kids around the ages of 12+.

    A lot of us know that they can be successful forum moderators and are very mature in some cases. But can they handle the task of administration? Is it within the realm of possibility for them to successfully build a community from the ground up and turn it into as a great of a community as any other?

    What are your thoughts?
     
  2. Wayne Luke

    Wayne Luke Regular Member

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    It really depends on the site. I know that Lissa was 11 when she started her Lissa Explains website. I have talked to her personally in the past as well as given support for vBulletin. I understand she is college now and the site has been online for a decade. It is a site designed to teach HTML and webdesign to children. Forums are currently offline but the site has been a success over the years. Whether or not it makes her money though, I wouldn't be able to say but I am pretty sure it makes a few ducats here and there.
     
  3. hockeystar165

    hockeystar165 Newcomer

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    I'm in that category and it has help me mature a little but i recently started as a admin because i have to help the members on the forums
     
  4. FullMetalBabe

    FullMetalBabe Zealot

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    I kind of believe children these days [as I JUST got into being an adult] are more mature than they were before. I know that when I was 13 years old I couldn't manage a site, but kids those ages now I think that, as Wayne said, depending on the niche they COULD be successful.

    I'd imagine a successful forum for advices in school and such. ^^
     
  5. Paul M

    Paul M Dr Pepper Addict

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    Yes, they can, just as some adults cannot. :)
     
  6. Soliloquy

    Soliloquy Regular Member

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    I think 13 is still a little too young, but I agree with FMB about many kids being more mature these days. Remember, this generation is growing up with the Internet; they're learning "netiquette" at a young age.
     
  7. Michael

    Michael Regular Member

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    There is a lot of clever kids out there and yeah they could make mistakes but so do we too, all of us do at some point :)

    I am hoping our son takes an interest from an early age in our forums, we already have his user account reserved for him :D
     
  8. 50calray

    50calray Grand Master

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    She teaches this stuff to kids...finally someone who works on my level :lol:

    Anyhow, I agree, depending on the site or niche a child could develop a good working site.
     
  9. Sick

    Sick Newcomer

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    IMO, no as they lack the worldly experience or real world experience needed to handle reactions of members or even how to deal with people. Sometimes you will find a person that seems like they are 30 when they are 13 or 14. That impresses me but not enough to place money in their hand to manage.
     
  10. Green Cat

    Green Cat Adept

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    I think they well can, my first open forum was at 14 (and one failled before xD) and it was quite a bit successful 2k membres and some 14k messages, unfortunetly I was not doing much backups at that time and it was a heavily moded phpbb so I did not update and got hacked :lol:. But well...
     
  11. Lissa

    Lissa Newcomer

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    Hi ;) I found this thread through a referral link. Kids can definitely manage a large forum, but I had LOTS of trouble with moderators. Most of them were quite a bit older than me and thought they knew what was best for my forum.

    I started the forum when I was about 12. I'm 22 now. When I was 20, someone hacked my forum and I was almost glad because my moderators wanted to be administrators and they were driving me CRAZY. I had nearly 85,000 members at the time. I just reopened my forum (after being closed for 2 years) last night.

    It was very stressful for me (lucrative, but stressful ), and I don't know if I'd recommend that kids administrate a forum, at least not a large one.

    Great forum by the way!!
     
    2 people like this.
  12. FullMetalBabe

    FullMetalBabe Zealot

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    Welcome Lissa! ^^
     
  13. Chris

    Chris Regular Member

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    Great post, Lissa - welcome to the community. :)
     
  14. Nick

    Nick Regular Member

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    Wow, 12 years old. Amazing, Lissa!

    Thanks for posting; and welcome to the community. :)
     
  15. tryfuhl

    tryfuhl Champion

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    I wouldn't allow it on my forum, but kids have started their own sites before, so if they can be successful why not? A lot of people are willing to help kids more than someone else without pay too.
     
  16. Soliloquy

    Soliloquy Regular Member

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    It might be more successful if the kid could rely on their parents for help if they needed it... not all parents would be web savvy enough though.
     
  17. Peggy

    Peggy Regular Member

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    What he said ^.


    Hi Lissa, welcome to the forum.
     
  18. Chris

    Chris Regular Member

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    I think that they can be, yes.

    What many people fail to realize is that younger children can indeed show impressive levels of maturity if and when necessary. Yes - they do lack the worldly knowledge that many older individuals possess, but that does not necessarily mean that they're lacking in the reasoning and/or logic department(s). It's particularly crucial (in my opinion) for children managing discussion forums to show an adequate level of maturity. When dealing with other members (and people in real life), such a mindset will come in handy.

    Then again, holding such a position does not necessarily require the individual(s) involved to be mature (in any sense) - it'd be nice, but it's not required and it's certainly not how the world works. Younger children are naturally immature in one way or another. Hell, there are many adults out there that appear to be more immature than children!

    A common misconception about young(er) forum administrators is that, because of the fact that their grammatical structure may be off, they're automatically "immature"... or lacking in the necessary knowledge required to go about developing such a venture successfully. This is simply not correct - the vast majority of members on discussion forums utilize their own writing style, and this does not mean that they're lacking in maturity because of it. If a member chooses to misspell a word, that's fine - it's their choice. Logic and maturity can be conveyed through just about any form of writing, whether it be perfectly correct (grammatically) or entirely incorrect.

    Talk about a rant!
     
  19. FullMetalBabe

    FullMetalBabe Zealot

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    Well, not only that Chris, but people have to keep in mind that not everyone's first language is English. It's already pretty damn impressive to see a kid who types both Spanish and English with correct punctuation, a little mistake it's nothing. For kids who do like me, learn English on their own, it's hard to learn so many things at the same time, but not impossible.
     
  20. Rocket81

    Rocket81 Newcomer

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    It depends. Some kids that are around 14 are very mature and can handle those types of situations and are good with computers. Others are as mature as a 8 year old and would be extremely bad at it.
     

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