As the postings here have shown, it´s not an easy thing…
I have two examples to add to this issue:
- In a Yahoo group I was a member of, the owner had “disappeared” and was not reachable over years (mail, telephone, etc.). The two existing moderators tried to keep the group running all this time. Very hard job for both, their disparate opinions creating additional conflicts among members. In the end both moderators left the group. One of the two founded a new forum, the other one changed to an already existing yahoo group and was made moderator there. Each person took along her followers. The whole thing cost a lot of nerves since it implicated troublesome procedures for a long time. The acutal problem here was the missing co-owner.
- In a Yahoo group in which I was a moderator, the founder and owner lost interest in the group after a few years and “disappeared” gradually. For years she could not decide to pass ownership on to someone else. Since I felt very connected to the group, I helped manage it for a couple of years as well as I could. But since I was not able to take owner-related decisions, non-solvable issues arose. At last I could convince the owner to pass ownership on to a moderator of her confidence. This achieved, the new owner died a few years later, but she had learned from experience and was smart enough to make someone co-owner in time. This new co-owner manages the group since then and moved it successfully to I.O. in 2018. It´s a cats health group called “siebenkatzenleben”. I am co-owner there.
In the case of my own yahoo group (cushinghundevital) which I founded in 2006 and which I moved to I.O. in 2018 and learning from all those experience, I made one of my moderators (and good friend) co-owner. The above experience showed me that you never know what can happen to you, no matter how old or healthy you are. I know it´s natural for people to have disagreements or even conflicts, so there is no perfect solution for this issue but trying to stay in touch among moderators and owners. Discussing divergencies any time they occur might help them to stay befriended. That´s my policy anyway.