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Forum admins need vacations too
As a forum admin, you likely invest a huge amount of your free time, recruiting, moderating, mediating, and contributing to your forum community. Every hardworking forum admin deserves a break now and again. The important thing is to make sure your forum is well off before and during your absence.
Install your nanny cam
A common mistake is when a admin leaves their forum wholly in the trusty care of their forum moderators. Moderators are humans, worse, humans with powers, worse yet, humans with powers and limited supervision. You don't want a rouge moderator stirring up trouble while you're away. Instruct your members to moderate your moderators and report to you if anything is amiss. Knowing that your forum maintains checks and balances will also help you to enjoy your vacation that much more.
Settle any disputes
Forum confrontations, disputes, flame wars, etc., are the last thing your forum needs before the largest authority on the forum, leaves. Dealing with forum confrontations now will lessen the chances of conflicts in your absence, and put your mind at rest.
There's nothing wrong with giving your "baby" a check here and there. After all, you must have fun being on your forum or you wouldn't be doing it. You aren't breaking any vacation rules by checking up and seeing everything running smoothly will keep you at ease. You can either check up publically or privately depending on your intentions. Checking up privately will make it easier to limit the time spent checking up as users won't be directing questions at you; checking up publically will let your users know you are totally out of the picture and everyone should remain on their best behavior.
Check on your moderators
Moderators acting out in any circumstance can hurt your forum's image and send valued users packing. Make sure your moderators remain respectful and consistent. It is best if your forum automatically logs your moderators actions, as this will act as a management dashboard to check in on issues and moderator actions without direct contact.
Post a postcard
Just because you are on vacation doesn't mean you can't stir up some extra conversation. Post about where you are going, fun facts, and pictures. Encourage other members to do the same!
The last step is to enjoy yourself. If you've followed the above then your forum will probably be fine and users will be eager for your return. The more you enjoy yourself during your vacation the more willing you will be to settle down and be productive when you return.
Author: Chris Davis
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