I've stepped down as weddingplans Co-Mod.
To everything there is a season.
I actually think it's long overdue, but it was a matter of finding new Mods and being there in the transition, making sure to tie up loose ends, pass on what I had been responsible for and making sure things were taken care of before I left. Being that that's all a volunteer effort, it just took a while.
I didn't want to leave anyone high and dry.
I'm really really happy about the new management, lizzie and kageneko =) I'm more than confident that I leave the community in very capable hands. I'll still be around to support them and available for consult if anything comes up about the community that I can offer a fading memory for =D But honestly, everything I've seen says they will be absolutely fabulous at it. =)
I was most effective in the community when I was actively participating. I was still offering encouragement, opinions and what a lot of people told me was one of the most level-headed voices in the community. Not everyone agreed with my advice or took it, but I think at least it was respected as a valid point of view, even if it was not the right choice for them.
And from this, came the support and respect for me when I brought the smackdown on things. I think people knew me and generally knew that I was easygoing and laid-back, so if I thought something was out of line, it REALLY was clearly out of line. It wasn't all puppies and rainbows. Not everyone reacted well to being told they were wrong or out of line, but that goes with the territory. =)
My participation in the community weaned as the time I spent in it declined. With the high turnover of new members who didn't see my posts and comments and, thus, didn't know me, I have ceased to be effective as a Mod.
I have great memories of being a Mod of weddingplans in the five years that I've done it though.
The S1 layout was a great project. It was a linkware layout by a lady named Kandice. I can't find her anymore, but the link that she specified is still at the bottom of the main page. Her original was purple/lavendar, but I made it black & white because I didn't want to favour anyone's wedding colours. I wanted it elegant and beautiful, but not overly girly because many members expressed disdain for girly froo-froo weddings. =) However, going forward, switching to one of the S2 styles would probably make more sense. I would be SO THRILLED if someone ported the original S1 layout to an S2. But even using one of the S2 layouts available to Free Accounts would take advantage of the rich features that S2 offers.
Likewise, the Wedding Dates List hack was huge fun for me. I knew it wouldn't scale with the growth of the community. It fell apart exactly when I expected it to and in exactly the way I expected it would. But it was fun nonetheless and the Wedding Dates List is now managed by someone else.
It was a fantastic experience helping with the whole procedure and effort that went into creating the community rules. It took several rounds of writing, feedback, more writing, discussion, etc. They get stolen whole (spelling errors and all) by spin-off communities =D Far from being upset at that, I think it's testament to the enormous amount of effort that we put into it.
I think I'm most proud of the fact that the community rules, what was important to the members and how they wanted things dealt with, all came from OUR members. I didn't agree with all the rules. There was one in particular that I hated. I thought it went against the spirit of the community in a way, but I understood the motivation for it, I debated it hard when it was up for debate. I was outvoted, but I upheld it just the same. It was what the community wanted.
And in reality, we were more lax with the rules that were prone to more gray areas and contentious situations. We gave people more warnings than what was suggested. We dealt with many many more issues privately and quietly that never made it to the public radar. It truly is a feather in the cap to have stayed off the front page of LJ Drama.
My Mod'ing philosophy has always been "I don't own this, I just work here." The best leaders I have seen don't think of themselves as leaders or owners, but as providing support and service to others. And that's the attitude I tried to model my Mod'ing style after.
If there was something questionable to me, I'd watch the reaction of the crowd. I'd only step in if the comments were starting to get nasty. If people seemed to be handling it well or respond well to it, I'd leave it alone. Sometimes, it's not easy to stay quiet when things annoyed me. But in the grand scheme of things, these things blow over pretty quickly because of the volume of posts in the community. If no one complains about it either in the comments or e-mails the Mods privately about it, what harm is it, really?
It's THEIR community afterall, not mine.