I like this forum, how do I become a mentor?
Well, you have to basically be a masochist, totally willing to be incredibly patient with morons (and NEVER even think about pointing out that they are morons because we morons get our feeling hurt easily), willing to put in untold hours answering the same questions over and over and over and over and over and over an over ... and then over again, and of course you have to be willing to do it all for no pay and you have to put up with disgruntled newcomers to the site not liking your attitude. And that's not even MENTIONING the crackpots and having to keep an eye out for them.
I don't recommend it, but I sure am glad we have people here who are willing to do it. They keep this forum in the excellent state it is in.
Mentors are hand-picked from the userbase after watching their postings, typically for years. There isn't really anything you can do to become one except make a lot of good posts for a long time, so you get noticed.
You have to demonstrate that you're knowledgeable by answering questions, show that you know the limits of your knowledge, and be a "good citizen" here: that is, you're aware of our rules and guidelines, treat other posters with respect, etc. And you have to stick around for a while. I think it was a couple of years or so before I was invited to become a Mentor.
We regularly look for candidates for the other honorary awards (Science Advisor and Homework Helper), but we usually look for a new Mentor only when we decide we need one, e.g. when a Mentor retires or when we see a need in a specific forum (in which case we usually want someone who has demonstrated expertise in that area).
As far as I can tell from years of being a mentor on here, we had never selected someone who had expressly stated that he/she wanted to be a mentor.
Ah, Z, you are always so encouraging You'll have him giving up and then he'll become a wise-ass like me and the mods will have to tell him Bad Dog ! (well, that's what they tell ME). See, you're leading him down the wrong path.
Spock, maybe you'll be the first mod who didn't have to be dragged kicking and screaming into the position :D
I believe that this tells us about the character of the people who expressly state that they want to be mentors.
Of course, if the OP has (or gains) enough knowledge, works on his character and manages to demonstrate both, then there is nothing preventing him from being picked as a mentor in the long term, is there ?
I was merely stating a fact that I have observed.
People who were elected to become Mentors had no such motive on being here. They were simply minding their own business, they had ample knowledge in their area, had a sensibility that was apparent in their posts, and had the desire to offer their help without any ulterior motive on reaping a "reward" for those efforts. In fact, I would say that when I was first offered it, there was a sense of "dread", that it was a huge responsibility and commitment to not only maintain one's participation, but also the added burden of sharing in the running and shaping the forum. Anyone who thinks that being a mentor is all fun and games is living in a different parallel world than this one.
So, (on the danger of going off-topic, although I like to believe that the OP wants to know the answer as well) why did you decide to accept the offer ?
I didn't... at least, not the first time Greg ask. But that Greg, he was persistent!
(BTW, that is not unusual that the invitation to be a mentor is turned down. Like I said, responsible, sensible people know that this is not something that can be taken lightly, that there's a whole zoo of responsibility and commitment that is required.)
I finally accepted it because I was convinced that I can contribute to influencing the policy and the running of the forum. In some ways, I hope that some of my blood, sweat, and tears are imbedded somewhere in this forum (so always wash your hands after touching things in here). The forum was evolving, and continue to evolve, and I wanted to cause a DNA mutation that hopefully was a favorable one. So that was why I bit the bullet and turned to the Dark Side.
There are many members that meet the criteria for being mentor, but the are not many mentor positions. There are many things we look for in a mentor, you can't just click off boxes and say, ok they met the requirements.
Ahh, that is good to know! The OP does not have to worry about being a mentor to help the forum then!
The main point of forums are the discussions, and everyone can contribute there in the same way.
Some of the members ("mentors") have special rights to step in if something goes wrong, but in most threads this is not necessary.
The first rule of mentor club: you do not talk about mentor club...
The second rule: "If you have to ask whether you can be a mentor, ..."
Nonsense. I wasn't kicking and screaming when they dragged me in. The chloroform took care of that.
Considering these posts, are you still willing to join such a scary club?
So first step is to empty a mentor position?
bold by me
Hence the reason you were such a great mentor.
Actually, the OP reminds me of when I was summoned for jury duty some years ago. Most of the potential jurors didn't want to be selected, and just wanted to go back to their regular jobs. But there was this one guy... really keen to be on a jury. When the court clerk read out his number he jumped out of his seat, all eager with anticipation. But the 2 opposing lawyers looked at each other silently, and then agreed that this guy should not be selected.
To me mentors are people who build this forum, It does not sound like a bad position to be in. I would eagerly accept being a mentor if I had enough physics knowledge. The reason I wanted to know was not so I can instantly become a mentor but so I could prepare for being one. In order for a vulcan to learn the mindmeld he cannot simply ask, he must learn the ways first.
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