2012 Moderator Election

On Stack Exchange, we believe the core moderators should come from the community, and be elected by the community itself through popular vote. We hold regular elections to determine who these community moderators will be.

Community moderators are accorded the highest level of privilege on our community, and should themselves be exemplars of positive behavior and leaders within the community.

Our general criteria for moderators is as follows:

  • patient and fair
  • leads by example
  • shows respect for their fellow community members in their actions and words
  • open to some light but firm moderation to keep the community on track and resolve (hopefully) uncommon disputes and exceptions

Every election has three phases:

  1. Nomination
  2. Primary
  3. Election

Please participate in the moderator elections by voting, and perhaps even by nominating yourself to be a community moderator!

This election ended Sep 25 '12 at 20:00.

Anyone may download the election data. Voters have access to pre-built OpenSTV software to audit the results; all others may use this source distribution

339 voters were eligible, 213 visited the site during the election, 151 visited the election page, and 79 voted

(*taps microphone* Is this thing on?)

After much deliberation, I've finally decided to put myself up as a moderator candidate.

As might be known, I had put myself up as a moderator pro tempore for this site when this site was still in the beta stage. I did this in the interest of wanting to contribute to this site, apart from/in addition to writing good questions and answers. I am hoping that the community will allow me to continue my moderating services to this site.

In line with the view of the moderator as a "human exception-handler", my approach to moderating is mostly laissez-faire, in that I prefer letting normal users decide on what questions and answers should be closed, deleted, or what have you, and that I will only step in when egregious, flagrant, and grievous mischief is afoot. In other words, I promise to only use my mod powers when the situation forces my hand.

To sum things up, I wish to continue being part of the quality control mechanism for this fine SE site, and I hope that other users will let me continue.

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    $\begingroup$ This reminds me of the soldier joke where the sergeant in front of the line of troops asks for volunteers to come forward, and everyone except for the guy not-in-the-know makes one step to the back, leaving him in front. This looks like the opposite process ;-) $\endgroup$ – Sjoerd C. de Vries Sep 17 '12 at 14:04

I have been a moderator pro-tempore since February 9th, so you all should be somewhat familiar with the job I have been doing, and know if you want more of that or not. If you wish I will continue as an elected moderator.

I am an active participant: as a moderator, poster, editor, and voter. I read every question on Mathematica Meta. I have also frequently discussed moderator actions in Chat or on Meta, often before they are taken, as I trust the frequent contributors to know what is best for the site. I am here at many different hours so anyone should be able to discuss things with me.

Chief among the badges I have earned are Sportsmanship, which I believe speaks well of my priorities, and Epic, which I believe speaks of my dedication to the site. I was the first recipient of each of these badges on Mathematica.SE. On StackOverflow I also hold the Marshal and Copy Editor badges.

  • $\begingroup$ It's weird, but the current moderators have so few helpful flags ... I wonder why that is. ;) $\endgroup$ – rcollyer Sep 17 '12 at 14:08
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    $\begingroup$ Something old (J.M.), something new (R.M./Verbeia), something borrowed (F'x ? shared with other SE's) and something blue (your avatar). Looks like a wedding made in heaven. $\endgroup$ – Sjoerd C. de Vries Sep 17 '12 at 14:10

I'd like to volunteer my services as well. I've been very active on the site since the very first day and in addition to answering questions, I also participate heavily in the community by editing posts to improve them, voting on questions and answers, flagging for moderator attention, etc. I've had access to the moderator tools since the private beta and have used it regularly to help in community moderation to maintain the quality on the site.

The primary reason I like this site and visit it every day is because of the community and the role it plays in moderating content (and itself!). I've thoroughly enjoyed being a part of it and as a moderator, I would continue to do so and would encourage new (and existing) users to be active and play a role in shaping the community, with moderators playing a smaller role and mostly serving to guide the flow. Nevertheless, I wouldn't hesitate to do what is necessary if the need arises.

I'm aware of the modest time commitment required in handling flags and it fits well with my daily visits, but I consider this position neither a job nor a privilege — just my sincere efforts to continue contributing to the growth and development of this site

I am going to throw my hat in the ring. I have been very active on the site since it started - currently 241 consecutive days visited. I've been heavily involved in many community-building activities, including the beta stats tracking project and the proposal to have roughly standardised greeting comments for new members. I am one of the top voters overall.

I have been an active user of the mod tools when I've had them, as well as an editor (Strunk and White badge, 40% of the way to a Copy Editor badge) and closer of questions. In addition, I am one of only 300 or so StackOverflow members with the Marshal badge and have Civic Duty, Copy Editor and Reviewer badges on that site, even though I was only ever active in the Mathematica tag.

The one drawback is that I have a very busy job and will be absent Nov/Dec. My time is limited but if elected I would use it efficiently. I expect my moderating style to be patient with newcomers, trying to educate them gently to become active, constructive community members. I care about the Mathematica community and want to help it grow.

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    $\begingroup$ Darn! Where is the upvote triangle? :D $\endgroup$ – Dr. belisarius Sep 13 '12 at 22:21
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    $\begingroup$ @belisarius On your comment, silly. :-) $\endgroup$ – Brett Champion Sep 14 '12 at 0:42
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    $\begingroup$ You also have the Sportsmanship badge, which I place value in. $\endgroup$ – Mr.Wizard Sep 14 '12 at 7:46
  • $\begingroup$ @Mr.Wizard it is too bad that nothing has been done about making a Gold version of that badge. Although, the silver is remarkably difficult to get. $\endgroup$ – rcollyer Sep 16 '12 at 18:39
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    $\begingroup$ @rcollyer I presume you've voted for my proposition? $\endgroup$ – Mr.Wizard Sep 16 '12 at 20:09
  • $\begingroup$ @Mr.Wizard absolutely. $\endgroup$ – rcollyer Sep 16 '12 at 20:16

Well, I’ve given the matter some thought and decided to put myself forward.

I am heavily addicted to both Mathematica StackExchange. I am a frequent visitor here, alternating periods of posting and lurking (with a big 2 month break this summer, which is why you didn't see that much of me recently!). I am well aware of the extent of the commitment, and do not take it lightly. I know my way around the mod tools and SE policies, because I'm already a mod on two beta SE’s. I care about this community, thus I want to help it prosper.

What is my view of moderation?

Overall, I think that moderation is best performed with a light hand and that many small on-time interventions are more efficient than crisis management (although when a crisis presents itself, it should of course be handled).

Most issues can (and should be) handled by the community, and that this will be the case more and more as it grows. Everyone can comment on newcomers’ questions, edit posts, vote to close, and flag inappropriate comments. The moderators’ job then becomes mostly to encourage this behavior, help define policies, and act as a failsafe. Moderators are human exception handlers.

  • $\begingroup$ Aren't three simultaneous mod jobs too much? $\endgroup$ – Dr. belisarius Sep 13 '12 at 18:36
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    $\begingroup$ @belisarius Those are not real SEs, just betas ;-) But seriously, I hope you can handle the combined workload. Other than that I applaud your nomination. $\endgroup$ – Sjoerd C. de Vries Sep 13 '12 at 18:58
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    $\begingroup$ The nomination text has a limit, so I had to be short, but I welcome questions and criticism. Chemistry SE is, unfortunately, one of the lowest-traffic betas, and French has 1/3 of MMA’s visitors. I don’t except the workload to be an issue. However, if elected, I will definitely be vigilant about circumstances changing and take appropriate action if they become necessary for the communities’ sake. $\endgroup$ – F'x Sep 13 '12 at 19:17

Why not? :D I love working with mathematica and trying to find new ways to do this / finding about new features. It's useful for virtually everything data related and I think modding is (and would be) a great way to learn more!

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    $\begingroup$ Are you ready for the time commitment? It would mean visiting at least daily, maybe several times a day. Right now, you don't even have the Enthusiast badge. $\endgroup$ – Verbeia Sep 12 '12 at 6:40
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    $\begingroup$ Also participation: you've not edited/voted/flagged/visited meta... things that are necessary to demonstrate your willingness/ability to put the tools available to good use. Surely, reading others' answers/trying to answer questions, voting on them, etc. might be better avenues to find new ways of using Mathematica :) $\endgroup$ – rm -rf Sep 12 '12 at 7:02
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    $\begingroup$ Well, good for you for having a go! Your nomination should, though, contain some information about why you think you "might make a good moderator". To see the sort of things people say, look at the recent English.SE election. You'd learn lots, I'm sure, but what's in it for us‽ $\endgroup$ – cormullion Sep 12 '12 at 7:39
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    $\begingroup$ Mod's work isn't about learning Mathematica (although a good knowledge of the tool helps a lot), but about making the site a better place and ensuring it goes within certain constraints. That rules are not always obvious nor common-sense, but derived from a long experience developed running this site (and all the other SE sites) and discussed mainly in the metas. As the vote of a moderator is many times binding, a fair grip on the rules and experience dealing with them is a must. $\endgroup$ – Dr. belisarius Sep 12 '12 at 19:01
  • $\begingroup$ @Verbeia: YES :D. uhhhhh anything you suggest - i can start doing ;) $\endgroup$ – Eiyrioü von Kauyf Sep 13 '12 at 4:05
  • $\begingroup$ I don't think it's my place to set expectations about what you need to do to meet some threshold of suitability. But similar to what R.M said: one would at least expect to see more voting (up and down), and edits of posts other than your own. Over the next few days, monitor the recent posts of low-rep users and edit their posts to fix typos and clean up their code formatting. There is quite a lot of this kind of work. $\endgroup$ – Verbeia Sep 13 '12 at 5:35

This election is complete.