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How to Be a Model Member (and Candidate for Staff)

Did you know that you don't have to be a Staff member to do GREAT things for Iwaku? All you have to do is be an involved volunteering member! All across the community, we have sections and projects that need participation. Without members contributing to these areas, we wouldn't even have this community!

Many people don't know where to start, though, when it comes to volunteering. This handy guide will give you tips, dos and don'ts about getting more involved.

Know the Iwaku Community Policies and the way things work around the site!
The policies are clearly written in our Terms and Rules, and they tell you everything you need to know about what is and isn't allowed on the forums. You'll also want to be familiar about the right places to post things, and other commonly asked questions. These things are easily found out by reading the forum descriptions and informational stickies in each section. Check out the FAQs as well. This way, as you volunteer by posting content or helping other members, you know the correct answers and won't accidentally cause confusion!

Your attitude matters. Be a role model!
The great thing about being an active volunteer is that other members will look up to you. You'll be a role model of awesome membership. AS a role model, you should make sure you are behaving like a model citizen. You should always be treating other members with respect, whether they are old-timers or just registered yesterday. Don't give in to whims to troll, participate in heated arguments, get involved in petty forum drama, or bring unneeded negativity to the forum. People will mimic your behavior, so make sure your behavior is the best it can be!

You do not have to do EVERYTHING ALL AT ONCE! Over-achieving will burn you out, and drive other members insane.
A big mistake volunteers make is thinking that they have to contribute to every section of Iwaku, at all once, all the time, everywhere. You might log in to the forums one day and see their name as the most recent poster in every forum, find they contributed something to every single project possible, wrote a bunch of blogs or creative exercises, and created their own projects. While the enthusiasm to help the community is awesome, doing so much at once is overwhelming and comes off like you want to hog the spotlight. More importantly, you are going to burn yourself out! Pace yourself. Pick one project at a time, see it to completion, and then participate in a new one! You'll produce better content because you're not spreading yourself thin.

Never FLOOD a section with too much content!
When you're excited about helping out a project or a section, sometimes the ideas are overflowing and the desire to post more and more takes over. Unfortunately, if you post too much at once, you are drowning out other member's contributions! Take the Inspiring Muses forum, for example. Several of the Staff members have special recurring exercises. We make sure each person posts their challenge on a different day. That way we get a more constant flow of content, rather than one big lump. Members get to look forward to new content every day AND other people can post their own challenges without them getting buried. So when you're submitting content, helping to post exercises, or even thinking up a new project... make sure to pace it. When you have an excess of ideas, just write them down to post the next day or next week!

Be consistent and responsible!
When you volunteer to do something, make sure you keep your word! Your willingness to volunteer means nothing if you flake out and leave people hanging. If you've volunteered to do something or to be a leader of a project, make sure you contribute to it regularly. Be responsible with your time and your commitment!
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