The biggest difference between Staff and regular members is that Staff members are all members who have volunteered to dedicate some of their time online to maintain Iwaku as a site and as a community. All members of Iwaku are welcome to volunteer by filling out the Staff Application. While Staff are at its basis still regular members to the site they are given access to a few more buttons, and given some authority in order to fulfil their role effectively.
Each story is unique, and so is every member. The volunteers come with their own unique skills to contribute to the site in their own way. The four Staff Departments represent these individual skills and talents needed for the community focusing on their own tasks. The split in departments is also needed to ensure that reports filed are handled with respect to privacy and the security that private information will stay within a limited circle.
The four departments of staff are:
- Site Support
To read more about the focus and job description of each department head to the Staff Application.
Staff can participate on the site like any regular member, they roleplay and engage in discussion and like to chat and make new friends. At its basis Staff members are, in that regard, just like any other member.
Sometimes Staff can be asked and instructed to step into their role as staff. Staff are also trained to recognise such situations and to know when and how to engage. Whether it is to correct a situation by moving a thread, or by interfering within an argument, or by sending a member a Private Message when clarification is needed. While questions are natural, regular members are expected to follow up on instructions given by Staff within the capacity of Staff, and allow Staff to do their job as needed without interference.
In the same manner members are encouraged to make use of the report button or to report to Staff directly instead of engaging and attempting to correct any rule-breaking behaviour. This to prevent miscommunication and misinformation from spreading, but also to prevent situations from escalating. It is for the very same reason that a Staff member will not act independently, but always under the instruction of the Admin or their Leads respectively.
Members are encouraged to follow Staff instructions given within Staff capacity. This can range from disengaging with a discussion, to providing the information requested. Failure to heed that may result in disciplinary action. This may be a warning point, which is purely administrative and only meant for Staff to keep track of past behaviour, but can eventually escalate into a (permanent) ban, meaning that the access to the site will be cut off. For more information about the disciplinary actions and warnings most commonly given can be read in the Terms and Rules of the site.
It is natural for members to have questions when a friend or a roleplay partner suddenly disappears of gets banned. Iwaku lists its Bans publicly for all members to view for both clarification and to serve as a warning. However, be aware that while the ban reason may be publicly cited that it is often only the tip of the iceberg.
While Staff members are allowed to talk about cases, just as members are allowed to ask, be mindful not to go off on hearsay, or to fill in details that aren't there to fill in the story. Understand that not all information can be shared as well, such as the obvious private details that concern individuals, and details of ongoing cases.
While briefly mentioned before that filling out a Staff Application is the first step to announce an interest to become Staff there are a few more things potential volunteers have to keep in mind. Read the FAQ dedicated to that question to find the exact answer along with the Staff Application.
Staff members are human as well and that means that they make mistakes. Sometimes the position of Staff may even rise to their head! In the case of authority abuse, or any other reportable behaviour, there is an option to report Staff through a special form. The filled out forms can only be seen and accessed by the Administration of the site.