When To Step In on Forums

English: Tech Forums Thumbnail

English: Tech Forums Thumbnail (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So, here’s a question. On a new support forum, how long do you wait before you jump in and respond to customer questions? When I look out across the vast sea of forums, the response times are all over the place. For seasoned forums, where the base is large and the community is strongly rooted, it seems that very little moderator activity will still allow helpful conversations to flourish. On newer communities, though, it seems like more nurturing is required to get things going. I can tell you that without any tending at all, a new forum is not likely to spring to life and turn into a lush garden.

My thoughts right now are that if someone in the community posts a question that could be answered by other community members, giving between 12 and 24 hours on a new forum will give enough time to allow forum members to step in and participate, yet be responsive enough so that members don’t feel abandoned. I’m also thinking that if there is a question that no other community member could possibly answer, that the moderator should step in within an hour to provide assistance. This is especially true in technical forums, where the forum member is trying to complete a function or action and likely cannot complete this action without the aid of another forum member.

Do you have thoughts on this?