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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. Due to the lack of submission count, we have selected all provided questions as well as two of our back up questions for a total of 10 questions.

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. Oh, and please consider putting your name at the top of your post so that readers will know who you are before they finish reading everything you have written.

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!


How would you react to and deal with a user who is in disagreement with something you've said or with one of the decisions you've made?

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?

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

What would be the general time frame (UTC) you'd be on-site for moderation Just estimates or ballparks.

As a user with a lot of rep, in fact, as close to moderator power as can be without being a moderator. I'd like to know why do you feel you need absolute power to render a question On Hold or Deleted by casting your single vote?

How do you deal with a user who poses many answers and clearly is trying to further the community. However the answers are of a basic nature, often low-quality, and often skirt the "on-topic" realm. In addition, the user never enters chat, meta, or responds to comments?

What areas of current moderation do you feel are missing?

Regarding some of the more touchy questions such as font ID, critiques, and software how-tos --- Being that a moderator may carry more weight not only in Closing but just in comments and meta; how do you currently handle these questions and how will you handle them should you be elected?

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?

In your opinion, what do moderators do?

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How would you react to and deal with a user who is in disagreement with something you've said or with one of the decisions you've made?

I would discuss it with them and illustrate precedence as to why any decision was made. I'd be very sure to include related Meta Conversations, FAQ or TOS that is relevant to show that I was merely enforcing the will of the community. If they felt I was incorrect in my interpretation of the community's will I would invite them to the Chat and/or create a new Meta to discuss the exact question/issue at hand so others can give their take on it as well.

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?

I would look into what the arguments and flags are and be sure to discuss it if necessary with BOTH parties. I think its easy to point fingers but I truly am void of bias and look at everything in rational and objective terms. It's important to be able to see when someone is starting trouble, and when they are being bullied by established members. Then discuss and try to resolve the situation through mediation and discourse either with one or both parties present.

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

I'd ask them, much like I do now. We're not that big or that stubborn for this to be any issue in my opinion as a moderator or a regular user. All of our mods are approachable and I would be too.

What would be the general time frame (UTC) you'd be on-site for moderation Just estimates or ballparks.

8:30am-5pm EST, miscellaneous evening, night and early morning hours as I don't really sleep. I'm often checking as early as 6am EST when I wake up while eating breakfast.

As a user with a lot of rep, in fact, as close to moderator power as can be without being a moderator. I'd like to know why do you feel you need absolute power to render a question On Hold or Deleted by casting your single vote?

I don't feel I need this power and its one I would use with very much caution. As evidence by my Voting and Flagging history I am far more likely to downvote than close vote a question compared to the other candidates. I feel this is a very important distinction that I hope everyone takes into account and decides what type of actual moderation they want. If you're looking for someone very cautious about Close Voting than I feel I am a good candidate and hope you will too. I'm much more interested in the moderator ability to Migrate Questions to Video, Superuser, Blender, etc as the need arises.

How do you deal with a user who poses many answers and clearly is trying to further the community. However the answers are of a basic nature, often low-quality, and often skirt the "on-topic" realm. In addition, the user never enters chat, meta, or responds to comments?

I downvote ones that are severely low quality and leave the rest. Perhaps a comment every so often suggesting they try to expand the answer but I certainly wouldn't do it on every answer they leave. I don't see a reason to take further action when it's not spam or something like that. Furthermore, I don't see a reason to worry much about it because if they don't like the Downvotes they will seek out clarification on their own terms and it could then be discussed better.

What areas of current moderation do you feel are missing?

I don't really feel any areas are missing as much as I feel there are ones I could, and have helped create. A lot goes into the Meta but often times it seems to just be talk, talk, talk and nobody takes actual action. Those that know me or have been around here a while can probably see that I'm not a man of empty words. I say what I mean and do it. I go above and beyond as "Regular User" which is why some have thought I was already a Mod. I'd like to take this opportunity to expand a little on the stuff I've done that some may or may not be aware of:

  • Invited a few software developers through direct email, one of which showed up.
  • Pretty sure I was the one who invited Webdesign.SE users including Zach to join us in our chatroom when there was a lot of arguing going on between the two groups in an effort to remedy it.
  • I was to my knowledge also the one who initiated bringing people from Blender.StackExchange over here as well as started the Meta Discussion on that. As you can see by viewing, https://blender.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/392/should-we-migrate-questions-from-gd.
  • When others have talked about wanting to really improve the quality of questions here, it was me that put forth the challenge to current members and offered up my own Rep as a means to push people into taking action and asking these better quality questions: Challenge to regular members: Ask one non-how-to question this week
  • When Font Questions were at their worst I was the one who created the Font Identification Guidelines.
  • While this one is my own question but still I again went out of my way and went over to the English.StackExchange and invited them to come and answer the question as well: When should someone use ligatures?
  • I've gone into the Photography.SE chat and invited them as well but can't recall any of the exact Questions it was for or the outcomes.

So to me its not so much that I feel Tag Editing and Closing Votes is where I can benefit the community. It's more as say, our own Community Builder that I can help us grow. Someone to say okay, this discussion was good - now its time to actually take action. Someone that will go and discuss with other communities to seek out answers for our members. I don't always get it right but I have always tried and will continue to.

Regarding some of the more touchy questions such as font ID, critiques, and software how-tos --- Being that a moderator may carry more weight not only in Closing but just in comments and meta; how do you currently handle these questions and how will you handle them should you be elected?

I downvote, much more than other members and candidates. I feel there's a lot of people that find Downvote to be some evil thing. Until we update our Tour (formerly FAQ) and really decide a clear distinction, or as clear as possible, what is on-topic and what is off-topic the most fair way to handle it is it to downvote and allow the question to sink down the page.

On Critique questions I comment and edit to try and help it get to an Answerable Question if its something I can identify, if not I direct them to our Critique Guidelines. On Software How-To as we currently do not have anything finalized to say otherwise, that's where I am much more likely to Downvote than Close Vote. In the past its pretty well known that I downvoted Font ID questions, now we've established Guidelines (which I wrote) and have created a Close Reason for it so I will use that if it doesn't meet those guidelines.

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 feel really good about this. I speak clearly and to the point and would like it if that quality was backed by the Diamond. I also think it would help in the areas I addressed in the question about things that are missing so when I go into another community or email someone to try and get our members additional help I can introduce myself as a Moderator for the community rather than just a member.

In your opinion, what do moderators do?

Help enforce the will of the community and StackExchange while promoting a professional and courteous environment for people to learn about X topic, X in this case being Graphic Design.

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How would you react to and deal with a user who is in disagreement with something you've said or with one of the decisions you've made?

Discuss with the user. We have a chat room for reasons beyond cat gifs, and I think respectful discussion is always key. We're all adults here. Even when you're a minor.

I am able to be swayed by good and well-motivated points, and I'm willing to hear the community if its feels the need to change something.

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?

See above. The user is quite prone to have noticed this trend themselves, and I'd like to cooperate with them to find a solution to make their life easier.

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

I'm starting to sound like a broken record: discuss. I think it bad form if 'mommy and daddy fight in front of the children': mods shouldn't reverse or argue about each other's edits publicly beyond healthy discussion. Edit wars between mods are unthinkable.

What would be the general time frame (UTC) you'd be on-site for moderation Just estimates or ballparks.

That'd be between 9:00 thru 17:00 UTC: I'm in UTC+1 (usually, thank you DST) and I'm not a morning person. I do tend to check the site outside of those hours, but I've found that moderating on a mobile device is beyond awkward, so I won't do that.

As a user with a lot of rep, in fact, as close to moderator power as can be without being a moderator. I'd like to know why do you feel you need absolute power to render a question On Hold or Deleted by casting your single vote?

That's a power I feel needs to be used sparingly, if at all. The only instances I can think of are speedy spam removal and the quick removal of questions the community has showed they really consider off-topic and undesirable for the site.

How do you deal with a user who poses many answers and clearly is trying to further the community. However the answers are of a basic nature, often low-quality, and often skirt the "on-topic" realm. In addition, the user never enters chat, meta, or responds to comments?

I don't need to be a mod to 'deal' with a user like that. I already have the most important tools available for cases like these: the downvote and the close vote.

Beyond that, as a mod I'd like to help this user thrive. They are quite probably aware of the issue, so I'd like to have a good chat with them about the issue. Point them to the answer guidelines and the 'how to write a great answer' article. If they insist on ignoring communication through chat or comments, I am bound to keep downvoting and voting to close.

What areas of current moderation do you feel are missing?

That's a toughie. Risking naming things the current mods are already trying to do, but I haven't seen yet (I can be oblivious), I'd say I'm missing some incentives to keep experienced users invested and encourage voting more.

That said, I think the current mods are doing a great job so far. And now I feel like a suck-up.

Regarding some of the more touchy questions such as font ID, critiques, and software how-tos --- Being that a moderator may carry more weight not only in Closing but just in comments and meta; how do you currently handle these questions and how will you handle them should you be elected?

I am of the opinion that not all of these kinds of questions are off-topic.

That said, I currently quickly cast my vote for questions like these and usually leave a comment for new users to inform them of the community's stance.

That comment part won't change, but the voting will: I will most probably withhold my vote, allowing the community to do what it wants. In some severely obvious cases, I might step in anyways.

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?

A bit apprehensive. Then again, I'm confident that I didn't make too many major boo-boos in the past. Besides, I am not of the opinion that mods are or should be infallibe or ineffable. We're all human.

I do not intend to cover up the mistakes I've made in the past or am going to make in the future. I prefer to own up.

In your opinion, what do moderators do?

As little as possible.

1

How would you react to and deal with a user who is in disagreement with something you've said or with one of the decisions you've made?

"50 lashes at Sunrise."

Or just you know, address the situation and find out what the issue is. Every decision made for a community should be entirely transparent, and based on any precedents set in previous cases across the network. A moderator should be able to explain their actions clearly (linking to precedents if necessary), before or after carrying them out. If I don't have a clear reason for taking an action, I won't do it. If I'm not sure what to do, I'll ask another moderator, and together we can come to a suitable solution. No matter what, I'll be able to provide a detailed explanation of my actions.

If, after listening to the users issues, it turns out the decision was incorrect or, I'd hold my hands up, own the mistake, and make reparations. If I'm not sure whether it was correct, I'd step back and ask another moderator to review my actions based on the issues raised by the user.

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

Talk with them and find a way to help them understand our ethos and goals. Once a user understands what we're doing here, any reasonable person would join in the team effort and contribute however they can. Welcoming them, introducing them to the rest of the regular users in chat if necessary, and showing them the ropes should encourage positive interactions. Being sure to recognise their positive contributions early on with comments (without condescending) should also help to foster a strong relationship between that user and the community.

Every new situation would be considered with objective and neutral eyes. I'm the fairest person I know, sometimes annoyingly fair.

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

In the interests of showing solidarity, I'd talk to them about it privately, find out the reasons for their actions, and re-evaluate the situation based on that. I'd explain my thoughts on the question and see if we can align our views, whether through an edit, reopen, or leaving as it was.

What would be the general time frame (UTC) you'd be on-site for moderation? (Just estimates or ballparks)

My internal generators get refilled with coffee at around 9am UTC, I pop in between 5 and 50 times a day anywhere up until 2am (sometimes).

As a user with a lot of rep, in fact, as close to moderator power as can be without being a moderator, I'd like to know; why do you feel you need absolute power to render a question On Hold or Deleted by casting your single vote?

I don't need any kind of "absolute power" and it's not what I'm running for. There is a strong central user base that handles issues promptly and democratically. In fact, I'd almost always be looking for ways to make a slightly problematic question fit here, unless obviously off topic, spam, or offensive.

How would you deal with a user who poses many answers and is clearly trying to further the community, but whose answers are of a basic nature, often low-quality, and skirting the "on-topic" realm, in addition to the user never entering chat, meta, or responding to comments?

I find this to be a treading-on-eggshells situation. I haven't seen anyone else address this not-so-common issue here, but maybe I just never saw it. However, I have personally addressed this situation, with varying approaches.

Exhibit A | Exhibit B | Exhibit C | Exhibit D

None of my current approaches have been all that successful, but I'd put some renewed effort into it as a moderator, perhaps by finding a better reason than SEO to produce good content. It might also be possible to write a snippet for addressing this in our newly created list of snippets.

What areas of current moderation do you feel are missing?

Time

I've seen JohnB in particular come up with some great ideas, such as version control for the volleyball game, but then the idea is often followed by ...if I can find the time. As a moderator, I'd help him find the time, by either temporarily taking on more of the regular time-consuming tasks, or assisting with realising the idea.

Insight

The current moderators can only guess at trends based on the simple statistics they're provided with. There's too much ongoing maintenance for them to put energy into other initiatives such as building queries. As a moderator, I'd construct queries to analyse important data and identify areas of improvement across GDSE.

For example, I analysed the font-identification tag during our recent discussion, and provided the entire community with insight that they would not have otherwise had. To be honest, that answer took me days to construct, showing that I am willing to put in extra hard work and effort for this community.

FAQs

When I look at the help page, I see many places where improvements can be made. In particular, I'd like to create a 'How to format a question well?' and I'd like to slightly improve the 'how-to-answer' based on changes in the network, namely the badges given for editing and answering questions.

I'd definitely remove 'What does "beta" mean?', for obvious reasons. I like writing, and I especially like writing instruction/guide documentation, as a moderator I'd make sure we have the best damn FAQs on StackExchange. Other sites would be looking at us for examples. All based on the assumption that moderators are allowed to alter the FAQs, of which I'm not 100% sure.

Having been informed by JohnB in chat that we have almost no control over our FAQs, I would like to develop a proposal with the community for a feature request to add some site-specific help topics to our help center.

Plans for the Future of GDSE

As it currently stands, we don't really have many long-term goals for our individual sites growth. We mostly just wait for new network-wide features, and since they discontinued blogs for any new sites, we don't really have much in the pipeline.

As a moderator, I'd change that. There are a million and one ways to increase all of our stats, but we don't currently try to do much. Fostering a strong question and answer base will enable us to fulfil our potential eventually, but there are many ways to speed it along. Working with the community I'd essentially like to create a marketing plan, with targets and goals.

Regarding some of the more touchy questions such as font ID, critiques, and software how-to's; given that a moderator may carry more weight not only in closing, but in comments and meta as well; how do you currently handle these questions, and how will you handle them should you be elected?

Power to the people.

We have quite clear requirements for font-ID and critiques, so unless a question is clearly not satisfying those requirements, I'd leave it up to the community to decide. Software how-to's are a little more tricky, because we haven't explicitly defined the border between on-topic and off-topic. I'd follow John and Yisela's examples, and edit the question to improve it if necessary (even if it's dodgy) and leave it up to the community.

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?

It would be nice to have that diamond and the added weight that comes with it, simply because I think new/transferring users seem to respond to moderators comments more often, which would help me to improve some of the posts that I don't know what to do with. The ones that have a single, or very few lines of description, but some potential.

As for past actions, I recently pruned my redundant comments on the main site leaving only useful ones, and there's really only one post I'd want to improve/explain the intent behind. Also, the reason it shouldn't make a difference for me is because I've almost always carried out my interactions in a professional manner. All it would mean is I always have to be professional, instead of just 90% of the time.

I would explain the intent of my recent meta post, where I tried to improve the community's general approach to editing, but approached it in a way which was not well-received. And for anyone wondering, I would not enforce my opinion of how editing should be done on the rest of the community. I may take another shot at explaining my recommendations with better reasoning some day, but I'd never force my opinion onto anyone.

In your opinion, what do moderators do?

  • Keep the website attractive and professional
  • Ensure the community is getting along well
  • Listen to the views of both new and experienced users
  • Resolve conflicts and enable/allow differing viewpoints to be voiced without contention
  • Find little compromises that work for all stakeholders in the site when necessary (mainly on the site's scope)
  • Look for ways to improve and optimise
  • Keep the community informed of the site's growth
  • Communicate the community's views to the SE community manager when necessary
  • Support each other moderator and all of our excellent users in maintaining and growing this wonderful site

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