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  Staying On Topic?
I am a moderator on a popular site and I have often found that the members do not stay on topic. I found that I am constantly having to remind them of the topic which seems to make matters worse. What am I doing wrong?

You have a very special role on your site, and our hats are off to you. We understand the difficulties of moderating and trying to keep topics from straying too far off the mark. Please do not look at it as if you are doing something wrong, because guiding conversations online is not always easy since people cannot see your body posture or the look on your face.
Remember that often times people will stray off the topic, they should be allowed to share and this does not mean that you are doing a bad job of moderating. Let members share and use what they share to guide the conversation gently back on track.
For example, lets say you are moderating a topic on dieting and a member begins talking about the latest fad in clothing. Clearly talking about Capri pants and halter-tops is not sharing tips on how to lose weight, but that is OK -- all is not lost. As a moderator you can step in and thank the member for sharing their comments on the newest fashions to hit the runway, letting them know of your favorite fashions and asking them for ideas on losing a few pounds to fit into that favorite outfit. Just remember, do not get discouraged and begin to think of fun ways to steer the conversation back on track rather than coming out right and saying, “Hey folks…the topic is off track, can we please stick to the subject.”
Good luck to you, and have fun!!

- Jon Nix and Pam Thomas
http://communityanswers.com
http://cornerways.com
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