Reading comments through DA I often come across people so willing to help the community and demostrating their interest in becoming a volunteer. And you know? that's awesome! Seriously in a community of more than 8 million people, all the help we could receive is more than welcome!
Do you really want to do what a volunteer does? Keep reading then!
Note: This article willl focus on the volunteer position of Gallery Moderator, but most of these points may also apply if you want to be a MN@
But before continuing...
So! you want to be a volunteer, great!.... but why?
The very first thing you should do is ask yourself what's your motivation for wanting to volunteer or there is no point in getting further. Do you want to be an admin just because it's cool? Do you seek popularity? Do you think that by being an admin people will like you more? If you are one of those who think that if you have a fancy symbol in your devname people will instanly worship you, you can already stop reading here.
If you believe in this community, believe that respect, honestly and integrity are key in the interaction with their members, share a passion for excellence and are willing to make anything in your hands to help it grow and develope, foster the community and err on the side of their artists, then I know that you'll read trough the whole article and understand the whole point of it.
According to FAQ 85:
There are two departments [in DA] that have volunteers within them, Community Relations and Community Operations.
In Community Relations, volunteers make up the Gallery Moderator team. Gallery Moderators moderate and aid in the planning and development of the gallery they volunteer for by forming a relationship with the artistic community and acting as a communication bridge between the community and the administration. They also have the ability to contribute in several ways which you can read about in their guidelines outlined in :faq82:
In Community Operations, volunteers make up the MN@ (Message Network) team. Message Network Administration are a team of volunteers who assist in making sure that the chat network and forums are a safe and fun environment. This involves monitoring and moderating in chatrooms, locking up inappropriate forum threads and providing a calendar of interactive and entertaining events in our community. To read the guidelines that apply to MN@ please see :faq83:
Both Community Relations and Community Operations adhere to the same Core Values and if youre interested in volunteering with either department its important you are familiar with them. You can read about them in FAQ #84: What are the Core Values of the Community Relations and Operations Departments?
Do you have what it takes?
I certainly cannot talk by $Moonbeam13 in the matter of what she seeks when picking the gallery moderators, but there are some points that are just a matter of common sense and you should take in consideration: your attitude and motivation, a certain level of expertise on the category you are interested in, free time and organization.
Attitude and motivation
One of the key points in the volunteer application is to talk about yourself, what benefit do you see to being a volunteer. This is where I certainly can't tell you what $Moonbeam13 looks for because that's something only she knows, but I can assure you that if you said yes to the Core Values, truly believe in them and are willing to help the community you already made a step forward.
Expertise in the area you are interested in
No, I don't mean that you must be a professional in what you do, but it's obvious for example, that if you want to moderate the photography gallery at least you should know how to take a photograph and what constitutes a good taken shot. I don't think it would be wise to aim to be the next GM for Digital Art if you don't even know how to use paintbrush!
Available time and good organization
Be a volunteer is hard work and it will demand a little of your free time and most of all, a good organization. You'll deal with notes, suggestions, questions, complains from the community, while you also keep constant communication with the rest of team and also keep pending of the gallery you're assigned to, you'll post journals, news articles and make features, organizate contests, etc.
The correct procedure
If you really want to donate a little of your time for the community, understand what it takes and are willing to do it, the first thing to do (and my personal recommendation) is to devwatch $Moonbeam13. That way you will be sure to stay informed of what's going on in the community and when positions in the CR team become available.
Then the next step is to follow FAQ #85: Can I be a volunteer on deviantART? There you'll once again read what I told you earlier in this article and find the application form.
The application will reach $Moonbeam13 (In the case of gallery moderators) or $fourteenthstar (MN@) who will review them and make the final decision, there is no need in sending notes to either of them.
That's it! that simple. All you have to do then, is wait.
Now comes the truth
Ok now talking about reality, I'm pretty sure you already know that is impossible to all applicants to be selected. It's something logic. The team is made up by 70+ members and $Moonbeam13 must receive... well... a little more than 70 applications, so please don't take it personal if you tried and weren't selected. There is always a next chance.
But what now? you made your application and you weren't selected. It is over. There is nothing else you can do, right?... mmm... well let's see...
What can a GM do that you can't?
According to FAQ 82, and to some points I already mentioned, some of the activities a GM does are:
- Hold Contests
Post News Articles
Help fellow artists grow
Interact with the community in a helpful way
Everybody can post useful journals and news articles, you can help your fellow artists improve with your advice and constructive critiques, help the promotion of unknown artists with features, make tutorials to share some of your knowledge, hold a contest, etc. Those are some of the things GMs do, but you can do them too!
See it from this point of view: the only requirement to do all this is to be a member of deviantArt, you don't have to be a moderator, a senior, not even to be subscribed!
There are basically only two things moderators can do that a non-admin member can't:
- Move miscats
Award Daily Deviations
So, the whole point of all of this is that if you really want to do what a Gallery Moderator does, there's basically nothing to stop you. All the way around, as mentioned before, in a community of more than 8 million members, the team of volunteers is just a sand grain and we need all the help we can get! I encourage you to approach the moderator(s) of the style(s) of art you feel can be useful to and offer your help. I assure you we don't bite, we are deviants just like you!
Don't get disappointed if you apply for a position and don't get selected, if you really believe and love this community, are already doing what you can to help it grow and are reading to this point, the only difference between you and an admin, is the symbol.
You are already a Gallery Moderator in disguise.