A number of you have suggested that I add a forum to Omniglot. I’ve been investigating this and it doesn’t appear to be too difficult to set up. What I’m not sure about is how long I’d need to spend administering and moderating it.

Do any of you act as forum adminstrators or moderators? How much time do you spend on this? Would you be willing to act in this role on an Omniglot forum? Also, do you have any suggestions for discussion categories?

In the meantime, there’s quite a good forum for language-related discussion over on How to Learn any language.

This entry was posted in General.

19 Responses to Forum

  1. Declan says:

    After the initial set-up, you really do not have too much to do because it really can run itself unless you have to go deleting posts or deal with inquires which would be extra to just randomly reading posts you want to read. I dont know how many people there would be on it, but I would estimate maybe five or ten minutes for every 30 people or around that, maybe a bit more if it was quite active.
    I have acted as a forum moderator, but only on a roleplaying site, so I was annomous and under another name, but there was not much work in the actual running of the forum.

  2. Weili says:

    I run a handful of forums myself and act as moderators on several others.

    Setting up is not too difficult if you know what you ant.

    Depending on the size and nature of the forum, it could be as easy as pie to maintain or close to hellish. Having good help is always a good thing. Judging by people’s responses on your blog, I doubt you’d have much trouble as everyone seem to be pretty well-educated and well-mannered here.

    But if you need help, just let me know, I’d be glad to lend a hand 😉

  3. jdotjdot89 says:

    I’ve never been administrator of nor been a moderator for a forum, but I’d definitely be willing to help. This is one of my favorite websites and this is my favorite blog, pretty much the only one of its kind in my experiences for the types of discussions that go on, the quality and seriousness of its readers, and the etiquette observed. I’d be happy to help in any way I can, just let me know. You should know my e-mail address from the blog posts.

  4. TJ says:

    In a forum I used to join, the moderators usually receive requests to join and they decide whether to allow this man to join or not ….. this is a lot of job to do I think but it can manage to limit down the spams and unrequired people!!

  5. Weili says:

    What TJ said is true, but not necessary unless the forum receives a ridiculous amount of spammers and flamers. Most forums do fine just by requiring its users to confirm their e-mail address before becoming a registered user.

  6. Josh says:

    Over at’s discussion boards, I moderate and I’m the admin on TheOrangeBoards. It’s not that difficult when you have like… a mod for every 20 members- roughly. Out of those 20, only about 5-10 will post regularly.

  7. I used to moderate forums but decided never again, because of the following situation: imagine a forum where there are very vague rules and the moderator is left to try to enforce them. Mod makes an unpopular decision and gets flamed like mad for it. Even other mod staff won’t back them up, and since the admin is out of town, they basically go down in flames. This has actually happened to me more than once after promises that there would be adequate support.

    I will never mod again because of this, no matter how many promises a person makes or who it is, but I will advise you to have a very clearcut idea of the standards you want, to communicate that clearly to all of your mods, and to expect them to enforce the rules consistently. Otherwise, you’ll be at risk of a lot of squabbling over patchy enforcement and believe me, it sucks.

  8. Nikki says:

    I agree with jdotjdot89 about the blog, I don’t follow any blogs other than this one! 🙂

    Personally, it seems like we’d be fairly good at self-moderating, but if you needed a hand, I’d be willing to help.

  9. TJ says:

    Well, first you need to design what topics or the rooms that should be there … and what are the fixed and the changeable …….

    But I tell you, I think it’s gona be a huge one ….. lot of people visit your site and are willing to participate …. thus you might expect some “spammers” or such things! 🙂

  10. Polly says:

    I’m not even sure what the difference is between a forum and what we’re doing right now. But, if you started one, Simon, I’d join in. I’d try to help, but I don’t have any technical skills. That other “whistle this” idea was a pretty good one, too. Although I’d be a little shy about recording my voice, I’d get over it. 😉

  11. Polly says:

    Oh yeah, I’ve mentioned it before but it bears repeating that I don’t post comments on any other blog, either. I see a pattern. Hmmm…perhaps many of us have not been “corrupted” by previous blog experience? 😀

  12. Silvertokio says:

    right now I am preparing for my state exams /english language/.. just learned about this site, honestly it perfectly expresses my feelings about a foreign language.. cool. and I truly cannot wait until I start learning my 4th language!/dont know if it counts but I speak fluently two other languages except my native/ sorry if bother you, but I just had to tell someone..! languages are cool..

  13. parkbench says:

    Well, part of the reason I keep missing out on discussions like this is because it doesn’t feel…”solidified.” Discussions in blog comments like this feel fragmented and are a bit unreadable for me. I am used to the forum layout where a lot more can get done.

    So, yeah. I’m voting a strong yes for a forum, and I’d be willing to help in any way. I’m positive that the community would grow much more, and discussions between members on specific languages and points of grammar would certainly arise.

    I don’t know if I’d make a separate forum for each language, though. I might, but I’ve been to language sites before where that’s still too much of a problem…there’s 46 choices and each subforum only has a few posts in it. So maybe, new threads should have a bolded ‘tag’ in front for the topic (and tags would be designated before hand: ‘musings,’ ‘japanese,’ ‘welsh,’ etc).

  14. d.m.falk says:

    I should add my voice to the chorus of those who think there should be a forum- There have been times I wanted to start a language-related discussion, but with blogs like this, it’s the blog owner who is the one who brings up any topic for discussion, and does limit expression and ideas only to the owner and anyone who responds.

    I have been a moderator and admin of many forums over the last 15 years, from BBSs to Yahoo! Groups to phpbb boards and mailing lists- I’ve done it all.

    How easy is it? Well, I can’t say for initial installation (haven’t done that, myself- yet), but setup is very easy, and easy to maintain. You don’t even need to be technically adept to admin most forum software these days. 🙂

    As for moderating, some3times this can be a thankless job, and sometimes it’s very rewarding. There are three ways to moderate a board: Dictator, referee, freeform. I prefer refereeing my boards- That is, I set up a few basic rules (no spamming, no flames, courtesy & nettiquette preferred), and in the course of things, try to encourage positivce, on-topic discussions. I only try to put on the Moderator’s Mask only when needed, and the rest of the time, just be one of the forum members. Most of the time, forums DO run themselves, so even moderation is easy. Some caveats include sometimes setting up new users in moderated mode to prevent spamming, for the most part- Especially needed since there are spambots that search out fora to infiltrate and post. Always be vigilant, but try not to be heavy-handed in handling your forum.

    It can be hard, sometimes– Some want to hog whatever resources are available, and get very pissy if they don’t get their way– It really can seem like a thankless job…

    …But it’s a bit like a garden- A good bunch of forum participants will bring more to a forum than just one person’s ideas and users’ responses following.

    Keep the blog- Your thoughts and the users’ responses will always be welcome- but do add a forum for use who want to start up a fresh discussion, and further make Omniglot into a true creatively linguophilic community. 🙂


  15. ccheckerom says:

    Where i can find the good translator?
    Online or software. Please help.

  16. hillbilly says:


    Nice forum design. Okay, I need your help.
    So, I wanna make personal site, and I am looking for site template.
    Can you advice some online store or other resource where I can find many site templates?

    It would be better if it will be free:)
    I think many of us have personal sites, do you design it yourself?

    Thanks, Bill.

  17. Simon says:

    hillbilly – you can find free web templates at:

  18. Ambitiousss says:

    Dear moderatos, I’m sorry if I’ve written in the wrong theme. Please, don’t delete my post and move it in the proper section.

    [quote]Day after day, minute after minute people keep feeing negative emotions (“NEs”): jealousy, pity, fear, anger, irritation, discontent, resentment, rage, perplexity, insult, malice, envy, anxiety, uneasiness, contempt, disgust, shame, revengefulness, apathy, indolence, grief, melancholy, disappointment, greed etc.

    Is freedom from NEs possible? People are stuck in them so hopelessly that even the very idea of having freedom from NEs irritates them. When they imagine themselves without NEs, it perplexes them to think how it is possible to live without them. They believe that without NEs they would turn into a dead unfeeling thing. They are so addicted to NEs that they cannot even imagine something besides them, although many people had short outbursts of weak EPs, especially in the early childhood.

    This is a citation. I suggest reading about it ( ) and express your opinion. If you don’t speak English then choose your language here – . On this page there’s email where you can send your questions and wishes.

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