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?
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.
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.
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