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In connection with the moderator elections, we are holding a Q&A thread for the candidates. Questions collected from an earlier thread have been compiled into this one, which shall now serve as the space for the candidates to provide their answers. Not every question was compiled - as noted, we only selected the top 8 questions as submitted by the community, plus 2 pre-set questions from us.

As a candidate, your job is simple - post an answer to this question, citing each of the questions and then post your answer to each question given in that same answer. For your convenience, I will include all of the questions in quote format with a break in between each, suitable for you to insert your answers. Just copy the whole thing after the first set of three dashes.

Once all the answers have been compiled, this will serve as a transcript for voters to view the thoughts of their candidates, and will be appropriately linked in the Election page.

Good luck to all of the candidates!


1) How would you deal with a user who produced a steady stream of valuable answers, but tends to generate a large number of arguments/flags from comments?

2) In what way do you feel that being a moderator will make you more effective as opposed to simply reaching 10k or 20k rep?

3) A long-time, high reputation user with a history of excellent post-flagging flags a post and you're not sure if you agree with it. What do you do?

4) What would you do with a user who is a known troll on other sites within Stack Exchange, but who hasn't (yet) done anything overtly disruptive on Web Apps?

5) Will you be making use of the "Google-Fu" chat room in order to communicate with the users? And how would you make use of that?

6) Where do you feel the "line" is regarding self-hosted Web applications vis-à-vis being on-topic here?

7) Will you be closing questions on the spot or will you wait for community moderation?

8) A diamond will be attached to everything you say and have said in the past, including questions, answers and comments. Everything you will do will be seen under a different light. How do you feel about that?

9) In your opinion, what do moderators do?

10) How would you handle a situation where another mod closed/deleted/etc a question that you feel shouldn't have been?

7

1) How would you deal with a user who produced a steady stream of valuable answers, but tends to generate a large number of arguments/flags from comments?

Clearly this user is an asset to the community, but some of their actions are not desirable. I would say that a moderator's intervention in this situation should be done early in the process (before things get completely out of hand) and in a gradual fashion. If there were arguments in the comments, I would first leave a very general comment for the user, regarding their behavior (and emphasizing the "be nice" rule), without inflaming any conflicts or "ganging up" on the particular person.

Were the behavior to persist, I would invite the user into a private chat to determine if there were any underlying issues (such as the user feeling bullied) or to see if I could do anything to help the situation.

If there's any escalation after that, the user should be warned that their behavior is verging on offensive, and while their contributions are valuable, they may need a cooling off period. I'd hate to have him/her quit as a result and lose their contributions, but if the atmosphere on the site is toxic, it will dissuade new users from joining and impede other experienced users from wanting to post their own high quality answers.

2) In what way do you feel that being a moderator will make you more effective as opposed to simply reaching 10k or 20k rep?

10k/20k users are invaluable to the site, and I don't think any of the SE sites would survive without the subset of those high-reputation users that devote much of their time to service.

As a diamond moderator, my service to the site would come first, ahead of any other obligations to ask or answer questions, and I can use all of my energy to fill in the mortar of the structure that the high rep users are already edifying.

3) A long-time, high reputation user with a history of excellent post-flagging flags a post and you're not sure if you agree with it. What do you do?

Unless the user in question is abusing flags, clearly there is some sort of issue that needs to be dealt with on the site.

In that light, I would probably mark the flag as helpful (as long as it had some merit), but not act on it "in the heat of the moment" without reflecting on the entire situation and possibly discussing it with another moderator first.

If, under different circumstances, the user has raised the flag based on incomplete information (from the review queues, etc.), and if I know more details about the situation based on the information I have in front of me, I would act accordingly. In that case, I would leave a generic (and de-identified) comment on the question, e.g., "I think this is on-topic because it deals with X,Y,Z" to clarify why the action the user recommended was not taken and to establish my position. I think this is likely to encourage this high-reputation user to continue flagging in the future, and sits better than a rejection notice on a flag.

4) What would you do with a user who is a known troll on other sites within Stack Exchange, but who hasn't (yet) done anything overtly disruptive on Web Apps?

I would give the user a chance to prove her or himself on the new site, but I would keep a careful eye on their contributions to make sure she/he wasn't lapsing into old patterns. If he/she were causing trouble, I would be less inclined to give the user multiple chances to slip up before taking action, as she/he would be more likely to already be familiar with the consequences.

5) Will you be making use of the "Google-Fu" chat room in order to communicate with the users? And how would you make use of that?

I would certainly like to be present in the room so that I'm "pingable". There used to be an "ask a mod" room on the site, and since the role of that room has been relegated to the main chat at this point, I like the idea of being available to users if they have the need. I'm usually in some chatroom or another on SE, so I'm definitely accessible regardless, and I check the transcripts of rooms that I am interested in often.

In relation to being accessible, I would monitor my inbox for any Meta questions that might come up as well, since moderators are pinged with these when they are posted.

6) Where do you feel the "line" is regarding self-hosted Web applications vis-à-vis being on-topic here?

If the WebApps question is about an end-user's experience operating such an application, I think that it is fine. Once things come down to server setups and other maintenance or "behind the scenes" troubleshooting and other related matters, we already have strong sites in the SE network for such issues, so why deprive the user of getting an optimal answer to their question?

I think in the past there have been quite a few questions on Wordpress and the like, but at this point, we already have a strong site in the network to field those questions as well.

7) Will you be closing questions on the spot or will you wait for community moderation?

It depends. Certainly, for questions that are spam or completely off-topic, I wouldn't have a problem closing them myself. Ideally, I would want the community to be able to close/reopen on its own, but there aren't always 5 users with the privilege around to do so. If that were the case, once there had been a few votes to close (or a few flags), I would look over the question carefully and decide whether to make a binding close vote.

8) A diamond will be attached to everything you say and have said in the past, including questions, answers and comments. Everything you will do will be seen under a different light. How do you feel about that?

I attempt to be good netizen on SE and carry myself accordingly. I'm not afraid to use humor when it is appropriate, and, at the same time, I'm not afraid to speak my mind if something is awry. I know that my actions will be seen in a different light if elected, but I think that my behavior has always been within reason, even before I was appointed as a pro tem moderator on the other sites.

9) In your opinion, what do moderators do?

Moderators do what it takes to help a site succeed. It's about being a catalyst for change, a leader, a humble servant, and a den father/mother all wrapped into one at times. Mostly it's about picking up litter, changing lightbulbs, and neatening the shelves, but also about teaching others the best way to take responsibility for their own community.

10) How would you handle a situation where another mod closed/deleted/etc a question that you feel shouldn't have been?

I would definitely not go and reopen immediately. I would discuss it with the other mod in private and see if we can meet in the middle somehow (e.g., require the OP to make an extensive edit before reopening). There is really no room for public bickering between two mods, and certainly having a "war" of opening and closing the question is unprofessional.

Bringing in a third (impartial) mod from the site or (at last resort) a community manager for a "tiebreaker" wouldn't be out of the question.


Thank you for your time and attention. Please do not hesitate to ask for clarification on any of these points or related matters.

6

1) How would you deal with a user who produced a steady stream of valuable answers, but tends to generate a large number of arguments/flags from comments?

If a user is providing a steady stream of valuable answers I would find it unlikely that they would also be a big troublemaker, however maybe I just have not seen it yet. However if there comes a day when I do see such an incident, I would treat the user much like I would any other active user. I would attempt to advise them that their answers and time spent solving peoples questions is greatly appreciated, however their tone in the comments needs to change. If they fail to change, punitive actions may need to be put into play. Despite how great a user is, they still must follow all the rules set forth, and keep up with the etiquette.

2) In what way do you feel that being a moderator will make you more effective as opposed to simply reaching 10k or 20k rep?

In the general scheme of things I feel as though the difference between a 20k reputation rank and moderator is very little, except for some key factors. Both ranks I hold in high esteem as they both have proven to be worthy candidates of such responsibility. A moderator has been democratically elected to hold a bigger responsibility than other users, and a 20k users has gone along a route of helping people and proving themselves worthy of the extra power they achieve.

Ultimately I think that I would be more effective as a moderator because I have a goal in mind to keep the community in a decent standing, and it is the moderators that are looked upon to keep it this way. As a 10k or 20k user you may have the power, but you don't have the same respect that a moderator is given, nor does a 10k or 20k user have to be respectable back toward a user. I feel I can be more effective knowing I am under the eye, and knowing that I must prove myself worthy if I do receive such a position.

3) A long-time, high reputation user with a history of excellent post-flagging flags a post and you're not sure if you agree with it. What do you do?

No matter how good someone is at something they will make mistakes, especially in a circumstance like flagging where sometimes it comes down to personal opinions. If it is clear that the flag is incorrect then I would of course deny the flag, however if I am on the edge on the flag I may head over to the moderator chat and ask another moderator for an opinion as well, or even send the user a message via chat asking for details on why they flagged a post/comment/answer.

4) What would you do with a user who is a known troll on other sites within Stack Exchange, but who hasn't (yet) done anything overtly disruptive on Web Apps?

I would treat the user the same way as I would any other user I just met on the site. Each Stack Exchange site has a different community and users may act differently in different communities. I would not hold a members past or previous actions on other communities against them. Instead I would let them build their own reputation on our community. If they prove to be troublesome, than it may be the case where their previous site actions are taken into account.

5) Will you be making use of the "Google-Fu" chat room in order to communicate with the users? And how would you make use of that?

Yes, I currently pop in there every so often (not so much within the past few weeks), to see what is going on and chat a little. I can say that I would definitely step up my usage of the chat for various reasons if I become a moderator. One of the main reasons I would use it is to gather users opinions. Often times the people in the chat are also the more active users, and I feel as though their opinions may hold more weight and promise. As such I feel like it is a good place to gain an initial opinion before hopping over to meta.

6) Where do you feel the "line" is regarding self-hosted Web applications vis-à-vis being on-topic here?

I honestly think that while they can be useful, and you can discover many problems along the way when choosing self hosted options, I feel as though a lot of the self hosted questions can end up becoming very localized and irrelevant to many users. I feel like many questions may end up along the lines of "Why won't this work", and then a simple answer telling them their PHP version is outdated. Sure, that one user is helped, but many questions can have different solutions simply based on minute differences.

With self hosted applications it is hard to maintain the same environments across the users.

7) Will you be closing questions on the spot or will you wait for community moderation?

I think it really depends upon the question. Some questions are clear-cut and straight forward and it is obvious what the community will choose, however in some cases I think that the community moderation approach can be deemed useful when it is appropriate.

8) A diamond will be attached to everything you say and have said in the past, including questions, answers and comments. Everything you will do will be seen under a different light. How do you feel about that?

From this I feel like I have some importance on the site. I mean not that I don't already feel like my contributions make me feel somewhat important toward the site, I just feel like everything I say and do will be treated like I am a role model and therefore I should act with caution and think before I act.

9) In your opinion, what do moderators do?

In my opinion a majority of the moderators duties come down to doing what a 10k user and 20k user would also be able to do quite easily. I feel like a majority of the time will be more related to clean up and janitorial activities, which I understand and am fine with. Added onto that I think the moderators also maintain the community, come up with new ideas, and resolve issues that occur within the community.

10) How would you handle a situation where another mod closed/deleted/etc a question that you feel shouldn't have been?

Like I have done in the past when I have seen things that I do not agree with I will attempt to contact said individual for explanation if needed. If I feel the topic would benefit more from a meta discussion then I would create a discussion as I have done in the past on various topics.

Thank you for your time, if you have any questions feel free to comment and I will get back to you!

3

1) How would you deal with a user who produced a steady stream of valuable answers, but tends to generate a large number of arguments/flags from comments?

No doubt the user is helpful to the community but arguing and more importantly getting flagged is not a good impression. The first step from me would be to see what the argument is really about, and according to that I will try to make things clear from both side and also try to explain that arguing is not good at all.

If they still continue making comments that's no use for other members of the community I will not tolerate it and will report or do anything to take those comments down and will also seek the advice of moderators for taking the best decision. It doesn't matter if the user had a good reputation or bad, what matters is that what he is doing presently.

2) In what way do you feel that being a moderator will make you more effective as opposed to simply reaching 10k or 20k rep?

Users with high reputation clearly shows how active they are on the site asking and answering questions which is one very important aspect of this community but to keep this QA site clean and free of spam moderators are more effective as high. rep users are more busy in providing valuable answers, moderators spend more time in keeping the site clean.

But I think both are effective more than each other in their own field.

3) A long-time, high reputation user with a history of excellent post-flagging flags a post and you're not sure if you agree with it. What do you do?

Mistakes are committed by human, it's not a big problem if a user with high. rep and excellent history make a mistake in flagging a post, I will ask them in a friendly way that what was the main reason to flag that post and if I get a response that clears my doubt I would for sure be okay, but if not I will try to bring other moderators in the case and then try to resolve it.

4) What would you do with a user who is a known troll on other sites within Stack Exchange, but who hasn't (yet) done anything overtly disruptive on Web Apps?

We can't punish someone for no crime, he should be given a chance to prove himself. But I will keep an eye on him to see what he's upto and will give him a signal that no troll would be tolerated.

5) Will you be making use of the "Google-Fu" chat room in order to communicate with the users? And how would you make use of that?

If that gives me a chance to communicate with general users I will be making use of it. It will be helpful for other users to contact a moderator for help. It is not always possible for mods. to search each and every area of the site so if a user needs a moderator's attention that would be helpful.

6) Where do you feel the "line" is regarding self-hosted Web applications vis-à-vis being on-topic here?

Self-hosted web apps. are mostly not relevant to other users with the same question. A user trying to get help for a problem with his server is not appropriate on Web Applications, there are sites on the SE networks for these topic already.

7) Will you be closing questions on the spot or will you wait for community moderation?

It depends on the severity of the question. If it is a spam and not tolerable at all I would close it immediately but if the question can be improved or just needs attention of other members I will wait for others response.

8) A diamond will be attached to everything you say and have said in the past, including questions, answers and comments. Everything you will do will be seen under a different light. How do you feel about that?

"With great power comes great responsibility". It will feel good, really good. Every time I will look at the diamond it will remind me of my job to keep the site moderated and maintain it. With such badge I will have to be more careful of the comments I make, well it doesn't mean I will stop being friendly and showing a sense of humor.

Even without the diamond symbol I make sure whatever I write on this site makes a good impression.

9) In your opinion, what do moderators do?

Who wants to visit a QA site with loads of irrelevant posts and comments? If you ever visited a site with no moderator or moderator not taking thier job seriously you will find what difference a moderator can make.

The work of a moderator is simple yet complicated. They need to report, delete or close a topic but has to decide what's better for them. They keep the whole community at one place, away from spams and off-topic stuffs.

10) How would you handle a situation where another mod closed/deleted/etc a question that you feel shouldn't have been?

I would first talk to the moderator who close/deleted the question. And will ask for an explanation in a friendly manner. If they did it just because of personal problems I would try bring the question back for the sake of users' trust and the quality and reputation of this QA site.

-10

Firstly, I answered all these questions previously. Please don't delete these answers again.

1) How would you deal with a user who produced a steady stream of valuable answers, but tends to generate a large number of arguments/flags from comments?

Deal with them? I wouldn't do anything that would discourage them, they're making valuable contributions to SE. SE is not a paramilitary outfit that has to suppress everything it doesn't like.

2) In what way do you feel that being a moderator will make you more effective as opposed to simply reaching 10k or 20k rep?

It will give me a bully pulpit from which I can spread my message of equality and transparency. I can also fight back the tyranny of others moderators.

3) A long-time, high reputation user with a history of excellent post-flagging flags a post and you're not sure if you agree with it. What do you do?

Discard the flag? What am I supposed to do, censure a post because the user that requested it took part in numerous previous censorships?

4) What would you do with a user who is a known troll on other sites within Stack Exchange, but who hasn't (yet) done anything overtly disruptive on Web Apps?

Clearly, you're living in Minority Report. If the user hasn't done anything wrong on Web Apps we're supposed to punish him because we believe he will do something wrong in the future? Lol. This must not be serious question.

5) Will you be making use of the "Google-Fu" chat room in order to communicate with the users? And how would you make use of that?

Sure. Wherever the workers want me, I will go.

6) Where do you feel the "line" is regarding self-hosted Web applications vis-à-vis being on-topic here?

If those hosted Web-Applications are open to the public, I think they're on topic. If you self-host a PHPBB or something of that ilk but have a question on its interface, I think that question belongs here.

7) Will you be closing questions on the spot or will you wait for community moderation?

ALWAYS wait for community moderation.

8) A diamond will be attached to everything you say and have said in the past, including questions, answers and comments. Everything you will do will be seen under a different light. How do you feel about that?

Most of the best things ever said have come from my account.

9) In your opinion, what do moderators do?

They usually work for Jeff and do whatever he tells them to do. I plan to work for the people directly. How many other candidates can say they've received no corporate campaign contributions? I can! Moderators are supposed to serve those that use the site, not those that own the site -- I plan to start a new trend.

10) How would you handle a situation where another mod closed/deleted/etc a question that you feel shouldn't have been?

I'd reopen the question and scold the mod publicly in chat and on meta. "Looking forward not backward" is seldom the right way to handle a maligned error of that proportion. It's time we fix the wrongs and hold bad moderators accountable. I'm no Obama, I believe in justice for the working class.

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