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19. Passing the torch

The worst time for a moderator is when they realize that they can no longer provide the time needed to keep their newsgroup responsive to the submitters and the group's readership. It is hard to give up something that has been enjoyed in the past and to admit to yourself that it is time to move on. That time will come for all moderators at some point. The best moderators are the ones that recognize it is time and then tries to make the transition as easy for the new moderator as well as the group in general.

When it is time, there are a few ways to proceed in finding a replacement.

  • Post a message to your group or some other appropriate group requesting one or more volunteers to take over moderation duties. Be prepared for many responses coming back. Also be prepared for no responses coming back.
  • Directly offer the position to someone you feel would do a good job, such as your backup moderator, and then announce it as a done deal to the group.
  • Usenet moderators can post to the moderators mailing list and ask for a replacement.

Some have even resorted to a vote in the past but this is not recommended as it is not a win/win situation for the moderator or the group.

Once a replacement moderator is selected, inform the group of the change in responsibility and introduce the new moderator to the group. It should not be the new moderator's job to do a self introduction. You as the departing moderator should do so. Also, take the time to thank those who have helped you along the way.

If you are the moderator of a Usenet newsgroup you will need to follow the procedures specified in the Changing Moderators section of Appendix A:

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