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Tuesday, 12 April 2011

giffgaff announces the use of Educators, not Moderators

Latest news from the giffgaff blog

giffgaff announces the use of Educators, not Moderators

by vincent on 11-04-2011 11:40 - last edited on 11-04-2011 11:48

Hi all,

As giffgaff likes to do things differently, we make no exception when it comes to the running our community. So today I am very excited to announce the start of a new team within giffgaff. We have been working very hard over the last year coming up with a strategy on how to manage the unique community that is giffgaff. Because giffgaff itself is a unique business we felt it would not be right to manage the community in the traditional way. And as such I have been working with all of you very closely over the last year and a half. And we have grown from strength to strength, building a very solid foundation for the community and giffgaff together.

And moving forward we do not want to lose that very special bond we have with the community and visa versa, due to the growth and success we've managed to create together. Which is where the Educator team comes in. Led by david_m, we have zobia, hazel and joe officially starting today, after a few weeks of training here and will likely expand the team as we go along.

At the moment there exists no position such as an Educator anywhere in the Community Management or Customer Service industry. Even the term Educator is one we coined as we set out the vision for the role and how we feel this will work to get the best results out of a community and a business working together. As giffgaff is a new type of business I have had to invent this groundbreaking role to serve a three-dimensional function to support the Community, Customer Service and the different business departments as a whole, simultaneously.

I'll try and describe the vision in as few words as possible, hoping it will still make sense


The reason we have educators working at giffgaff is to ensure all the content created by our community is viewed by us and acted upon as and when appropriate.
We have built our company on a basis of trust, inclusion and mutuality, so we want to continuously set the example and lead the way when it comes to engaging our community members in discussions and the feedback you raise, as well as support you in the various giffgaff related projects you work on.

As the community grows we need to continuously pick up on any issues that arise in the community and steer the level of engagement as well as educate everyone in the right tone and ways to contribute. Our aim is to continuously amplify and reinforce positive behaviour and try and adjust negative behaviour. That last part will not be done through traditional moderation but through education and explanation of how our unique community works and fits together.

What is the difference between a Moderator and an Educator?

A moderator oversees all communication that takes place on a social platform. The discussions the various members have are monitored and the moderator then makes decisions regarding content and the direction the conversation takes.
If the tone of a discussion becomes hostile or starts to move in the direction of personal attacks, a moderator has the ability to lock the discussion to prevent it becoming heated or unconstructive. It is also possible to hide or remove discussions that are felt to be unworthy of further discussion. Moving discussions from one board to another to keep the platform organized is also common practise.
Moderators often have to enforce many different rules and codes of conduct, as some members communicate without putting much thought into how they come across to others or if they offend, which can upset the delicate balance within a community.

Educators however have a more involved role within the community and the business itself. From a community perspective, they are much more involved in ensuring the right kind of behaviour is championed by positive reinforcement, rather than moderation of discussions or members.
They actively look for those types of behaviour we want to promote and go out of their way to compliment publicly and privately those members who contribute in a positive manner. They continuously look for opportunities for the business to get involved in conversations and ensure discussions are participated in and questions about the business answered.
Educators will also look for opportunities to involve the community in discussions and pick out contributions made by our members to be used in our Q&A's in the Help section of our site for example.
They act as a filtering mechanism for the business, find those discussions by members which need a specific answer by a team member.
Educators ensure all issues which relate to a members account details, which the community cannot answer, are picked up by the agents and make sure the relevant threads are followed up with feedback relating to their account. This ensures the Customer Service Agents do not waste time reading threads which are not relevant to them and the Educators are kept in the loop of the most raised issues within the community.
With the Educators keeping an eye out for us, we can continue to have multiple discussions on the go, with many different members of the giffgaff team involved in various forums, without us losing the overview needed and helping us to keep everyone up to date.

We really hope this makes sense and that all of you are as excited about this development as we are. We really feel we can do things differently here at giffgaff and will continue to try and raise the bar when it comes to engaging everyone involved with giffgaff and keeping things as constructive and positive as possible.




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