Why would you choose Trolltamers?
(Note: This goes on a little and may well be better in another section, but I am getting it down on paper for now)
This section could possibly be renamed “Why can you undercut your competition and still claim to be better and pay your workers more?” – All of the other companies have glossy brochures and web pages, telling you all about their management and why you should go to them but none of them really tell you anything at all about the people who will be doing the work for you and often representing your organisation online. This seems strange, since if we were clients we’d be much more interested in the people who would be working with us than in the company providing them.
The people behind Trolltamers have worked for all of the other large moderation and community management companies – They know the industry intimately and they know what the competition gets right, and more to the point, what it gets very wrong. If we don’t think we can serve you better than the competition then we won’t try to – In fact, we will just send you directly to them! There are companies out there who can moderate thousands of Facebook comments an hour automatically – We don’t have people who moonlight as robots and we don’t want them.
Trolltamers is run as a loose co-operative – We don’t pay upper management and middle management because there are none. The people who are doing the work are the same people who are managing the company. This means that we make huge financial and organizational savings.
We don’t have any people working for us who aren’t moderators or community managers themselves – We even make our lawyer moderate pages occasionally just so he knows what he’s talking about (plus, he’s done the job before anyway). There are a lot of advantages to having the company managed by the people who do the work:
- If we trust somebody to work on a client site, then we trust them to be involved in our company management – After all, why wouldn’t we? Other companies will be trusting a client’s entire reputation to poorly paid, poorly trained moderators who have no personal stake or motivation at all in the project.
- The only people who will work on a client site are people who want to. We don’t have pools of moderators clamouring for work and taking on work they don’t really want to and doing a haphazard job. If somebody is in a client-team then they will have requested to be there or have been specifically invited.
- We have complete transparency and accountability. Any of the moderators on the project can suggest and implement efficiency changes to a project, and any moderator is empowered to act as they feel best autonomously in an emergency and even contact the client to raise concerns if they think there is an issue. As we said, we trust our moderators, we don’t need them to seek multiple levels of opinion before they act. Having seen how other moderation companies operate we built in a strong ethical structure into the core of the company.
- We keep the company small. We don’t do the bulk moderation that may as well just be done by clever robots – We do bespoke on-site projects that couldn’t sensibly be automated. This small size means that all of our moderators know one another and are happy to ask for help and advice when they need it. We work with people because of their talent, their experience and how well they fit in with the company and its values. Nepotism is considered very high on our list of banned keywords here.
- We generally pay our moderators and community managers the best in the business. Since client teams set their own rates of pay on a per-contract basis there is no specific pay rate but, the money a team brings in pretty much all goes back to them. Being a co-op the teams are free to pitch even for contracts that would make us a loss which also means we can do projects that nobody else would or could touch. We’ll even tell you how much we are paying the people on your project if you want us to. The fact that we pay more and treat moderators like human-beings means that we can use people with actual real world experience, qualifications and good resumes and we are more than happy to show those to you if you’d like.
- We don’t and never will double bill. People working for an hour on your site will be working for an hour on your site. They won’t be working for your competitors at the same time, they won’t be doing administration for our company and they won’t be wasting 50% of the time filling in pointless statistics that nobody will ever read. We pay our people to do our own company work on company time. Not on yours. Feel free to ask our competition how they do this. If they are honest to you we don’t think you will like the answers at all.
- Like any professional consultancy we will tell you who’s working on your sites. You can read their resumes, you can talk to them. We don’t hide any of this from the clients. Of course you don’t HAVE to but the point is that if you want to, you can.
- We only work in English and for smaller projects maybe a couple of other languages where we have decent existing cover (French, German, Finnish and Hebrew are probably our current limits). If you are happy with us using automated translation tools for the occasional foreign language post then we will; but we won’t ever pretend to be able to do a great job moderating in 40 or more different languages because that simply wouldn’t be true. We simply couldn’t ever guarantee that we could get enough high quality people that we know well enough to do the job.
- All of our moderators have worked for other moderation companies and most of them are more than aware of the cultural and ethical problems they have seen there. We want them to stay at our company so if they don’t like something, they can change it. We don’t have contracts or policies that stop our moderators speaking out or anything – Even if we wanted to it would be pointless anyway, they could just change them.
The company founders include some of the most respected and experienced online security, policy and systems management people in the world – We also know people with equally impressive resumes who we can call in for occasional consultancy. We take our combined many decades of security and operations experience quite seriously and clients will get the benefits of that.
- We have a diverse and devolved infrastructure. We have no single points of failure. Most, if not all of our competition could have their whole business stopped with a couple of well placed Denial-Of-Service attacks and be unable to recover quickly, if at all – We avoid that where we possibly can and where we can’t we have good contingency plans in place as part of each project’s specifications. If you are considering another company, ask them how they’d deal with this and then when they give you an answer – Ask them to prove it.
- We don’t ever announce what clients we are currently working on. For a company that relies on getting new clients this seems somewhat counter-intuitive but in some situations there may be some vulnerable bottlenecks that we cannot avoid. We don’t want an attack by activists or hackers against one of our clients to cause problems with our other clients.
- We try to ensure that there is a degree of redundancy built into our working groups. Although client-groups are mostly autonomous they are made up of moderators who are also members of other groups and we encourage some cross-training so that if a group loses any members because of technical issues we can substitute them instantly.
We are fairly confident that we do what we do well – But if you still want to look around then here is a convenient list of our competitors.