How to Become an MSDN or TechNet Forum Moderator/Answerer

How to Become an MSDN or TechNet Forum Moderator/Answerer

This article is part of the Wiki series: MSDN/TechNet Forums. 


How to Become a Moderator

To become a Moderator, here are some recommended steps:

  1. Find a technology's forum (on MSDN or TechNet) where there's a huge need for moderation and answerers.
  2. Become an expert in that technology.
  3. Answer a ton of questions (300-500) with quality answers. Check your profile to see how far you are.
  4. Try to become a Top Answerer in your forum. You can tell who the Top 5 Answerers are by clicking the "Next" button on the right of your forum's main page. (It shows "Recent Visitors", but you can click "Next" several times to page over to the "Top Answerers" list.)  Note: This was possible before the forums were re-designed in June 2013. Right now these Statistics are only available for all MSDN/TechNet/Microsoft forums, not for every individual forum.
  5. Propose a lot of answers (especially ones that aren't from you), and vote for posts that are Helpful.  
  6. In addition to Recognition Points, you'll also earn Forum Achievement Medals, which show your experience and value to the Forums. For example, you can try to answer questions with code, which earns you unique Code Answerer medals. Go here to see how to earn Achievement Medals (and how to earn Recognition Points). Try to get a few Silver medals and at least a thousand or so points (there's no right number; just go big).
  7. Track down the Forum's Moderators, or email me (edprice at Microsoft). Or leave a comment on this page. If you're an MVP, ask your MVP lead to recommend you. To see who the forum moderators are, see this Wiki article: How to Find Out Who the Moderators Are in an MSDN or TechNet Forum.
  8. Make a case (given your Forum experience and abilities) to become a forum moderator. It also helps if you're an MCC, MVP, or a Moderator of other forums. However, you can also prove your value and commitment through your recognition, achievements, and general reputation.
  9. If you go through me (Ed), then after the initial assessment (based on the criteria above), I'll have you create a specific forum thread to track our progress. I then add your request to the Forum Answerer/Moderator Request List.

I am going to drill in on #8 more now.

How to Make Your Case

Factors to make a case to become a Moderator:

  1. Business Case: First you need a business case for EVERY SINGLE FORUM (not categories). Include a link to EVERY SINGLE FORUM. Examples of business cases:
    1. There aren't enough answers being proposed and marked.
    2. The moderation in the forum is "little to none". Perhaps the moderators had to move on or don't have time anymore.
    3. The forum still needs a lot of cleanup work... threads need to be moved.
    4. The forum still needs a lot of cleanup work... Spam needs to stop.
    5. The forum still needs a lot of cleanup work... conversations need to be moderated more.
    6. The forum still needs a lot of cleanup work... threads should be merged or split.
    7. The forum still needs a lot of cleanup work... thread types need to be changed (for example, Questions should be changed to Discussions, or Discussions need to be changed to Questions)
  2. Experience: You need to prove that you can be a strong Moderator by your knowledge and track record. Make sure you include a link to your profile. Examples of experience:
    1. You have 3,000 plus Recognition Points.
    2. You have 200 plus answers.
    3. You have 3 plus Silver Achievement Medals.
    4. You're one of the top Answerers in your forum (preferably the top answerer, but there might be Moderators or others that are a little higher).
    5. You are an MVP or MCC.

If the business case isn't there for the forum to receive more moderation and/or if your experience isn't quite that high, we might still be able to recommend you as an Answerer in the forum.

IMPORTANT: As mentioned above, make sure you include a link to your profile and you need to include links to every individual forum you want to help moderate. Make sure they are forums where you're already a superstar. It's statistically unlikely that you'll help out sufficiently In forums where you don't already participate very much.

When You Become a Moderator

When you become a Forum Moderator, you should read and follow the Moderating Microsoft Forums instructions and guidelines. Ed or your Forum Owner might also send you specific guidelines to follow.

Once you are a Moderator and experienced in the Forums, you might want to look at becoming an MCC (and continue down the path toward becoming an MVP).

NOTE: The forum owners (most forums have different owners) might decide to make you an Answerer instead of a Moderator. It's very similar, but you focus on marking answers (honestly, that's the biggest need). Make sure you read the guidelines on Marking Answers here: Forum Moderation Guide: Managing Posts and Threads: Marking Answers.

For more information about the differences between Moderators and Answerers, please see The Different Roles in MSDN and TechNet Forums.

See Also

Other Languages

This article is part of the Wiki series: MSDN/TechNet Forums.

Leave a Comment
  • Please add 8 and 8 and type the answer here:
  • Post
Wiki - Revision Comment List(Revision Comment)
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  • Ed Price - MSFT edited Revision 53. Comment: Bold on important stuff

  • Ed Price - MSFT edited Revision 52. Comment: Added more clarity around the "How to Make Your Case" section.

  • Ed Price - MSFT edited Revision 51. Comment: Removing another opinion. Good info was added though.

  • Ed Price - MSFT edited Revision 50. Comment: Removing opinions. Keeping some good facts.

  • Naomi  N edited Revision 49. Comment: Grammar

  • Naomi  N edited Revision 48. Comment: Added notes and comments

  • Zoltán Horváth edited Revision 42. Comment: fixing link

  • Naomi  N edited Revision 41. Comment: Missed word added

  • Ed Price - MSFT edited Revision 32. Comment: Added See Also section

  • Ed Price - MSFT edited Revision 29. Comment: Added the new #4.

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  • 1

  • Thanks Ed

  • Great guide!

  • Thanks! I added a little more context to #3 and #5.

  • Nice Wiki Article Ed ... Many thanks ....

  • So which forum has a "help needed" sign? I think moderators in the C++ forums are doing OK.

  • Sheng, most forums could use some help. It's a VERY common complaint. =^)

    However, it's great that you're staying on top of your forum!

  • I am talking about the team members, moderators and support engineers. I am not a moderator in English MSDN.

  • Nice guideline Ed Price, Thanks

  • Useful page, Ed.

    Good job!

  • Hi,

    Applied for Technet Exchange 2010 Moderator for long time but no response from you Ed Price - MSFT, tell me the criteria,


    Rashid Kamal

  • Rashid, have you emailed me? Also I added the link and article that talks about how to track down your forum moderators and owner/admin.


  • Hello Ed!

    Is there a place where I can see my advanced statistic, such as proposed answers number or asnwers with code?

    Thank you!

  • Aviw, No. That's currently an asked for feature. To bring visibility to it, I would start a forum thread in the Discussion type in the MSDN/TechNet Profiles forum. I would explain why it would be valuable and ask others if they think it would be valuable. Thanks!


  • Ed,

    Have you thought about adding the "Answerer" status to this article?  I applied to be a Moderator for the SharePoint forums and am a current MCC but got the Answerer status instead.  It's not a "title" or right that appears common but it might be worth adding it to the article.

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