- One of the most delicate situations is flags and issues with long time members. Some more than others feel a sense of entitlement which they have valid reasons for. At the same time, we need to recognize the delicate line between respecting all that they've done for the community and acknowledging when they're perpetuating issues or putting off potential new members. How will you handle having to approach a member that may have been a part of this community much longer than the other person in question, and quite possibly longer than you?
I agree with the following piece of wisdom that I heard several times from other moderators (though I never had to apply it): The contributions of a single member cannot be so valuable that they justify a disruptive behaviour. However, this does not mean that I will long-time members the same way I will treat completely new users, but take their overall behaviour and the context into account.
For example, when a long-term member without negative history suddenly violates the be nice rule, I can hope that they will listen to reason and need not be acted against immediately. The situation would be different if the member has a history of borderline behaviour. And it is yet again different for a completely new member.
- This site has always seen a significant influx of low quality questions, especially tech support. This is unlikely to ever change, because it seems for a lot of beginners graphic design equals design software. Recent initiatives have sought to alleviate this issue. Although these are a good start, they alone will not stop the torrent of low quality and tech support questions. As I understood from recent discussions, there are two approaches to this issue: bear down on low quality posts with downvotes and close votes, or incite better questions to set an example and 'drown out' low quality posts. What would be your strategy to help alleviate this issue? How would you go about raising the question standard? Do you see other approaches aside from those two?
There is nothing wrong with inciting better questions, but I do not think that it can solve the problem in question. This site (like many other Stack Exchanges) has the problem that many users want it to be an expert-questions utopia and close all questions they are not interested in. I do not think this can work.
Sure this site needs experts, but these experts cannot fully entertain themselves but need to be entertained by non-expert questions. Unfortunately, not all experts are entertained by the same sort of non-expert questions, so most experts have to live with some non-expert questions they do not care about. Moreover, while a single non-experts are less likely to ask expert questions, non-experts in total are more likely to do so due to their sheer number. (I wrote down a very similar argument here, search for expert site.)
My approach would be to raise awareness of this issue and move towards a more constructive handling of such low-quality question, possibly with pragmatic adjustments to our scope. I think this Meta discussion was a good first step in this direction.
- GDSE has a few sister sites on the SE network that can be seen as close to our core theme, or at least affiliated. These include UX (e.g. UI design, usability), Blender (e.g. 3D design), Arts & Crafts (e.g. print & physical media), Photo (e.g. post-production), Computer Graphics (e.g. image processing). Even the Project Management stack or Stackoverflow can be said to have something to do with graphic design. What is your view on the interaction between our stack and other stacks? Do you think cooperation is necessary, or even viable? How would you approach members of those communities into our community? Would you encourage our members to become active in those communities also?
A main issue where cooperation is necessary are overlapping or bordering scopes. Both are fine but can lead to some problems if users think that questions belong on some site where they don’t or are not aware of other sites which where a question would be a good fit. As a moderator, I see my main duty here to identify possible issues (there are at least some tools for this) and initiate respective Meta discussions.
- 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?
Part of this is already addressed in my first answer, so please refer to it for my rationale. My action would be that I send a moderator message (without suspension) to this user addressing the issue. Should the issues continue despite this, I will use stronger methods. All of this depends on the exact issue: Somebody who is not nice will be treated differently than somebody who just likes to post more comments than necessary.
- How would you handle a situation where another mod closed/deleted/etc a question that you feel shouldn't have been?
I would start an edit war the likes of which you have never seen.
Naah, I would talk to them and find out why we disagree. Usually this suffices to make a decision. If it shouldn’t, I would consult a third moderator or the community on meta (depending on the situation).
- Most actions you take as a moderator; flagging, close voting, deleting etc. are now binding and will take effect immediately, without input from other users... Will you (and if so; how) adapt your current flagging and voting to accommodate this?
For most of these actions, normal users can only not perform them unilaterally to prevent abuse and as a sanity check. I do not intend to abuse my powers and given that I can perform these actions unilaterally, I will proceed with extra care knowing that nobody is sanity-checking me.
However for some cases (mostly close votes), decisions are more complex and requiring the input of multiple users does not only act as a safeguard but also because other users may see other solutions or aspects of a situation. For example, some other user may understand (and clarify with an edit) a question that I don’t. In these cases, I will leave the decision to the community (unless there is already sufficient input from the community, e.g., when my close vote would be the fifth).
- In your opinion, what do moderators do?
Moderators mainly handle issues that cannot be handled by community moderation due to privacy, extremeness, or time pressure. They also act as a proxy between the community and Stack Exchange. Finally, they can steer community discussions, which happens mostly through the authority of the mandate and the featured tag.
- 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 am fine with that. Should I be elected, I do not intend to change how I speak in any way except that I sometimes may speak explicitly as a moderator.
- In what way do you feel that being a moderator will make you more effective as opposed to simply reaching 10k or 20k rep?
While becoming a moderator would make me more effective in some activities that I can perform as a regular user and I will make use of this in clear-cut cases (see question 6), this is not why I am running for the job. The main difference is that I obtain special tools for special jobs that can simply not be handled by community moderation (see question 7).