16

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!


It is my impression that U&L regulars tend to consider the site to be fairly high-quality and welcoming. Yet U&L is way below average among SE sites when it comes to questions with at least one upvoted answers. And not everyone shares this impression of being welcomed. What are the major areas in which U&L should improve? If this is something that moderators have a role in, what do you propose to do about it? If not, what should we (meaning all users) be doing?

In which time-zone do you normally operate? And, in UTC, what hours of the day can you be expected to be available for moderation?

How do you feel about one line answers which only feature a single piece of code?

As Stack Exchange sites go, let alone communities on the Internet in general, U&L is pretty low on strife. This might be surprising considering how people will go to war over editor choices, init systems or kernel design. Why do you think that is, and most importantly, how would you cope if this changed?

What is your view of help vampirism? Is it an existential threat to the community, or just another term for the elite to use to exclude newcomers? How would you translate this view into your moderation practice?

How will you participate in closing & deleting? As a moderator, the action of closing a question, opening a closed one, deleting an answer, etc, takes immediate effect, and does not require consensus from multiple users. How will this affect your closing & deleting behavior? Would you act as if you made normal votes? Wait for the consensus of others? Abstain entirely outside of special circumstances? Some other approach?

What would you do with "GIV' ME TEH CODEZ" kind of questions? Close them, edit them, anything else?

Some candidates are apparently so bad at using their editor that they left bits of editor commands in their nomination post. If you're one of them, do you think that despite your poor computer usage skills, you'll be able to master the moderator tools? If you aren't one of them, would you be able to work with a colleague who is, or do you think they should be kept out at all costs?

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?

11

terdon ⇘

  1. It is my impression that U&L regulars tend to consider the site to be fairly high-quality and welcoming. Yet U&L is way below average among SE sites when it comes to questions with at least one upvoted answers. And not everyone shares this impression of being welcomed. What are the major areas in which U&L should improve? If this is something that moderators have a role in, what do you propose to do about it? If not, what should we (meaning all users) be doing?

    I do consider this site fairly high-quality and welcoming. That might be because I'm a regular but then all the SE sites can appear hostile at first. The whole idea of demanding quality from questions and answers is somewhat surprising to someone used to forums where anything goes. That said, I do believe that this is one of the more welcoming SE communities and it certainly has been to me. My first experience here was very pleasant, if a little humbling.

    On the other hand, I have seen cases of comments that were more aggressive than I would like and that is something I hope to work on as a mod. Welcoming new users and politely explaining how the site works to them is very important. That is something that all users can and should do but mods, as the community's representatives should spearhead the effort.

    As for the stats, I'm not at all sure that's true. We have 43k questions, so it only makes sense for us to compare against sites with similar or greater numbers. With our answer rate (answers with at least one upvote) of 85%, we are at 20th of 34 sites with >10k questions but that becomes 11th of 24 if we count those with the same percentage as taking one place. In any case, the mean answer rate of these sites is 86.1% and the median is 87.5% so "way below average" is unfair.

  2. In which time-zone do you normally operate? And, in UTC, what hours of the day can you be expected to be available for moderation?

    My time zone is UTC+1 but I keep very strange and erratic hours. I tend to be online in the evening and (very) late night but I could pop up at unexpected hours as well.

  3. How do you feel about one line answers which only feature a single piece of code?

    I am not very fond of them. If the answer is actually correct, I would leave a comment asking the OP to flesh it out or do so myself. If it is not correct or is only an indication of where the correct answer could lie, I would probably delete it. This would, obviously, have to be evaluated on a case by case basis.

  4. As Stack Exchange sites go, let alone communities on the Internet in general, U&L is pretty low on strife. This might be surprising considering how people will go to war over editor choices, init systems or kernel design. Why do you think that is, and most importantly, how would you cope if this changed?

    I think there is a lot of respect here among our members. We are lucky enough to have some extremely knowledgeable people among our ranks and this leads to mutual appreciation. We are not here to fight our little sectarian editor wars, we can answer the bugle calls elsewhere on the internet for that, we come to U&L to learn, not fight.

    If I saw strife between users I would try to step in and mediate. I think that most issues can be resolved in a civilized manner and I would try to talk to everyone involved and help sort it out. Either by mail or in private chat or as a mediator in a shared chat with the users involved.

  5. What is your view of help vampirism? Is it an existential threat to the community, or just another term for the elite to use to exclude newcomers? How would you translate this view into your moderation practice?

    It is somewhere between the two. We are relatively free of this behavior here so it does not pose an existential threat as such. It could if it increased to far beyond what we see at the moment. It is most certainly not an elitist thing however. The requirement that a user spend at least some time and effort on their own question before coming to us for help is one of the most important reasons why the SE sites in general and U&L in particular have such high quality content. If I saw a user that repeatedly posted here asking us to, for example, do their homework for them and expected us to do all the work, I would first try and educate them in the ways of the site and try to explain how to ask good questions. If they persist in this behavior, I would escalate.

  6. How will you participate in closing & deleting? As a moderator, the action of closing a question, opening a closed one, deleting an answer, etc, takes immediate effect, and does not require consensus from multiple users. How will this affect your closing & deleting behavior? Would you act as if you made normal votes? Wait for the consensus of others? Abstain entirely outside of special circumstances? Some other approach?

    I will certainly vote to close or delete in the very clear cut cases. Things that are blatantly off topic or spam or otherwise clearly not a good fit for the site. For borderline cases, I expect I would let the community decide. Since my vote would be final, I would certainly not vote unless I were 100% sure.

  7. What would you do with "GIV' ME TEH CODEZ" kind of questions? Close them, edit them, anything else?

    This is basically a form of help vampirism so my answer above applies. I am not referring to simple questions whose answer is a couple of lines of code, but those cases where the OP has a whole script in mind and is expecting us to write it for them. My specific actions will depend on the OP. If this is a new user, I'd explain that such questions are not welcome here. If this is a pattern of behavior, I would consider closing the question and consider more drastic measures of dealing with the OP.

  8. Some candidates are apparently so bad at using their editor that they left bits of editor commands in their nomination post. If you're one of them, do you think that despite your poor computer usage skills, you'll be able to master the moderator tools? If you aren't one of them, would you be able to work with a colleague who is, or do you think they should be kept out at all costs?

    I am proud to say I am not one of those unfortunates and am quite familiar with the workings of my editor. In fact, since I enjoy the incredible finger dexterity developed by all users of the one true editor, (whose developers in their infinite wisdom have long realized that stretching the fingers can prevent carpal tunnel syndrome), I would never be so clumsy as to leave editor commands in my post. While I know that some misguided souls are seduced by lesser editors with snappy, monosyllabic names (because let's face it, polysyllabic words are hard), I am certain that this community would never elect such a person to the lofty role I am aspiring to. If, however, a twist of fate would make it so that I'd have to work with such a philistine, I would do my best to stifle my laughter and get the work done while doing my utmost to lead them into the fold.

    And I want brownie points for not linking to xkcd 378.

  9. 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?

    Talk. Talk. Then talk some more. If a user is providing valuable content, then that is a user I don't want to lose. I would try very hard to get them to understand why they are being flagged (assuming that it is clear to me) and to get them to change their behavior. If this were to go on for a long time or to clearly start getting out of hand, I would ban the user for a short time. However, if this behavior continued I would certainly consider longer bans. While useful content is great, no single user is worth more than the community. I would also ask for opinions/suggestions from the other mods. If I felt that a user should be banned for a significant amount of time, I would first talk to the other mods and see if they agree before taking such drastic action.

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

    I would hash it out with the other mod and reach a compromise we both agree on. If no such compromise can be reached, I would probably back down. The last thing we need is an edit war between mods!


@ChrisDown Raised a good point in the comments, and I'd like to clarify. I would always make sure that the mods are pulling in the same direction. Mods should be interchangeable for the community, one should get the same answer on site policy irrespective of which mod they asked. I would therefore make sure that all mods are on the same page and that we all agree on the basic direction of the site and on how to deal with specific issues.

I should also mention that I'm always in the chat room and would continue to do so if elected so that users can easily contact me if needed.

  • I'm more or less satisfied by your answers here, but they don't seem to go into detail about consultation with other moderators. The answer to #9 in particular does not mention procuring anything outside the realm of your own judgment, which concerns me a little. I think when banning a user, especially on a small site like this one, moderators should take the time to discuss between themselves what to do when encountering the productive but problematic user, rather than one moderator taking action alone. It seems clear from the question that the situation is not requiring an urgent ban. – Chris Down Jun 17 '14 at 4:47
  • 1
    Nice responses. One question, you say that (Q9) your approach would be to "Talk. Talk" How do you do that? In chat? Not everyone uses it. In comments? That doesn't really work. How do you intend to communicate with us? – jasonwryan Jun 17 '14 at 8:02
  • @ChrisDown absolutely. I will edit in a second to make that clearer. I would never ban a user or take any other such drastic measures without consulting the other mods. Especially since I'd be the "new guy". I completely agree that consultation with other mods is essential and I expect to be doing that a lot, particularly in the beginning as I learn the ropes but also down the line if any thorny issues come up. – terdon Jun 17 '14 at 10:42
  • @jasonwryan yes, I was thinking in chat. I didn't mean I'd wait around hoping the user would turn up, I meant I'd invite them to a chatroom by email or message and deal with the issue there. If, for some reason, a user really dislikes the chat approach , I'd email them. – terdon Jun 17 '14 at 10:43
  • 4
    I'm sorry. I just can't vote for an emacs user. They have too much power already. – goldilocks Jun 23 '14 at 11:40
  • And this is only the beginning @goldilocks... – terdon Jun 23 '14 at 15:07
  • not linking to xkcd 378, maybe, but still mentioning it none the less. – Agi Hammerthief Dec 1 '14 at 11:49
11

slm ⇘

  1. It is my impression that U&L regulars tend to consider the site to be fairly high-quality and welcoming. Yet U&L is way below average among SE sites when it comes to questions with at least one upvoted answers. And not everyone shares this impression of being welcomed. What are the major areas in which U&L should improve? If this is something that moderators have a role in, what do you propose to do about it? If not, what should we (meaning all users) be doing?

    As someone that would consider themselves a "regular" to this site, this Q was of most interest to me. I've already left comments on the Q addressing whether we should be concerned about the statistics of where the site shows up in the percent answered vs. the other SE sites. I'll repeat it here, that I'm not overly concerned with the site's rank in that particular stat, only because when you look at it compared to the other sites based on traffic patterns, the U&L site is 9th in traffic, yet 3rd in Q's with an A that has at least 1 UV.

    Site    Q's     A's     A'ed    Users   Visits/day
    SO      7.5m    13m     75%     3.2m    6.4m
    SU      225k    364k    73%     248k    571k
    AU      160k    200k    66%     207k    333k
    SF      177k    320k    81%     164k    256k
    AR      45k     77k     93%     53k     197k
    EL&U    38k     102k    99%     59k     174k
    AD      41k     67k     76%     61k     134k
    UL      43k     72k     84%     61k     115k
    MA      295k    437k    81%     128k    82k
    

    Also as someone that has gone through most of the Q's that do not have an answer, I can safely say that there are some technical Q's that are either:

    1. unanswerable
    2. lack enough details to answer, and should possibly be closed
    3. require someone with a specific setup that is too difficult to replicate

    By and large, the Q's that haven't been answered fall in these categories. Are there some diamonds in the rough? Sure! I'm sure there are some Q's in there that if we lined them up with the right community member they could knock it off, and in some cases I as well as others have tried to ferret these Q's out, but it's a bit of an arduous task, and so is something that you invariably "chip away" at.

    As to making everyone feel welcomed to the U&L site:

    • In the last ~2+ years I have worked tirelessly to try and provide help to people that are asking for it.
    • I'm #2 in edits on the site, having tried to help shape unclear Q's so that they're more coherent, so that others may answer them.
    • I regularly burn through my votes every day, rewarding other user's hard work, with UV's.
    • I'll often leave comments providing guidance towards finding an ultimate answer to an OP's Q, in the hopes that it might help someone else find an eventual solution.
    • Asked Q's that I either had the answer to, or needed help.
    • When a better answer's been revealed, I've worked to make that answer a better one.
    • Tried to provide encouragement to my fellow users either through support in the chat room or by acknowledging their achievements.
    • Participated on Meta, asking and answering Q's.
    • Tried to work with AskUbuntu to get Q's that are off-topic there, moved to U&L.
  2. In which time-zone do you normally operate? And, in UTC, what hours of the day can you be expected to be available for moderation?

    I'm generally always here. I typically sleep from 5am-10am UTC, but even that isn't consistent. I was on the site just this morning at 7am UTC, for example. My home timezone is United States/New York.

  3. How do you feel about one line answers which only feature a single piece of code?

    I appreciate ones ability to show off how few characters a person can answer a question with, but I generally dislike these. I'll often expand on these answers when I come across them, or leave a comment asking the A'er to expand on it a bit. Most people, I find, when asked are more than willing.

  4. As Stack Exchange sites go, let alone communities on the Internet in general, U&L is pretty low on strife. This might be surprising considering how people will go to war over editor choices, init systems or kernel design. Why do you think that is, and most importantly, how would you cope if this changed?

    I've found that most people in the tech industry have recognized that they are already standing on the shoulders of giants, and have realized that it's completely impossible for any one person to know everything. So much of what they'll work on through out their professional career will be a team effort, so having to play nice is a must.

    That being said, when you deal with something that people are impassioned about, tempers will flair from time to time, and things can get heated. We've had a number of things like this pop up in the chat room from time to time, I generally try to help cool things down, and help mend bruised egos.

    Acknowledging both sides in an argument is generally all it takes to get things back to a calmer state.

  5. What is your view of help vampirism? Is it an existential threat to the community, or just another term for the elite to use to exclude newcomers? How would you translate this view into your moderation practice?

    No, I don't think this is a huge threat to this particular SE site. It's something that you have to keep a watchful eye out for, but in general it isn't a massive concern.

    I do believe it's a real "thing", and can ruin a community if it goes unchecked. But we have enough people that are mindful of it, so it's kept at bay with garlic cloves 8-). I'll regularly bring it up if I see a particular user exhibiting the pattern in our chat room, often citing Jason W. Ryan's article on the subject, A Taxonomy of Help Vampires, since this was the first article that enlightened me to the issue, when I first started on the U&L site.

  6. How will you participate in closing & deleting? As a moderator, the action of closing a question, opening a closed one, deleting an answer, etc, takes immediate effect, and does not require consensus from multiple users. How will this affect your closing & deleting behavior? Would you act as if you made normal votes? Wait for the consensus of others? Abstain entirely outside of special circumstances? Some other approach?

    If I'm elected moderator I'll be changing my approaches with respect to the review queues, VtC, and VtD. Now I help do a decent amount of the reviewing on this site. With a binding vote, I'll abstain until a quorum of votes has been established on a given item. For things that are egregious, I'll vote to quickly deal with things, but my general approach will be more hands off.

    I generally agree with the communal approach to taking decisive actions, such as these, on the site and would like to allow for that process to take its natural course, rather than be the judge and jury.

  7. What would you do with "GIV' ME TEH CODEZ" kind of questions? Close them, edit them, anything else?

    Read my A to that Q in the U&L meta. It explains exactly what process I would use.

  8. Some candidates are apparently so bad at using their editor that they left bits of editor commands in their nomination post. If you're one of them, do you think that despite your poor computer usage skills, you'll be able to master the moderator tools? If you aren't one of them, would you be able to work with a colleague who is, or do you think they should be kept out at all costs?

    If I don't know how to do something, I'm not one to sit twiddling my thumbs, and so I'll ask for help 8-). All mod candidates I either know directly through U&L very well, or know of them through my interactions with the site. I can work with any of them just fine, regardless of their editor issues 8-).

  9. 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?

    Much of the time people just want to be acknowledged and shown respect. I try and spend a fair amount of time providing encouragement to all our users whether it's in the chat room or by leaving them a comment when they've leveled up in a reputation milestone. I'll often try and find people that I know have been doing the good work of providing solid answers to the site, and helping to get them to these rep levels. One thing I know for a fact, SE sites will cease to exist without people either asking Q's or answering them. These are the most important resource(s) the sites have and they should be acknowledged constantly for their tireless efforts in making the world a nicer place.

    By taking the time to do this, I've noticed many times that people that may on first impressions seem like they have a mean streak, have become key contributors, and have expanded the U&L user base with a nice variety of various perspectives on how to solve problems.

  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 chat them up either through one of the chat rooms or via email to see why this was done. If they can enlighten me as to the reason then I'll leave well enough alone. If it's something that I feel strongly about, I'll seek out one of the other mods to get a 3rd opinion. If the 3rd mod feels that the situation was handled properly, then I'll likely drop it, and provide any feedback to the OP or user (depending on the situation) looping them in on where things are.

  • I had to upvote you after the link love... :) – jasonwryan Jun 17 '14 at 23:29
  • 1
    @jasonwryan - that blog post shows up 3rd in google when you search. That's not an easy task. It's the best article I've found on the subject. I've referenced it a bunch of times too 8-). – slm Jun 18 '14 at 0:36
  • 2
    Now I help do a decent amount of the reviewing on this site. With a binding vote, I'll abstain until a quorum of votes has been established on a given item. Doesn't that mean if we elected you mod, you'd be doing less to help the site? Casting the first vote (which you often currently do) puts the item into the review queues, bringing it to the attention of everyone else. If you stopped doing that, I wonder how many things would be missed? – derobert Jun 19 '14 at 17:09
  • 1
    @derobert - I agree, but I felt from the exchanges I've been having w/ ppl, since putting my name in, that there is a fair amount of concern about my having a binding vote, so I included that statement in here as a starting position. Given I've never held a mod position I obviously have the most to learn vs. yourself or Caleb or Kevin, but I'm imagining over time as I gain experience I would increase my using of this ability over time. Also I would still review things as they come in but in borderline situations, would utilize the chat room to alert others to these issues [cont]. – slm Jun 19 '14 at 23:00
  • @derobert - I view me being a mod, as a truly new endeavor that I would like to gain experience in. I enjoy finding new things to learn and grow, and ultimately was one of my main reason for putting my name in. – slm Jun 19 '14 at 23:10
  • Hey - I resemble that accusation... – mikeserv Jun 20 '14 at 18:09
  • I dig it when people decide to do a thing in order to learn how to do it better. We all stand on the shoulders of giants, or, at least, a stack of pygmies that resembles a giant from far off. – mikeserv Jun 20 '14 at 18:16
10

derobert

Answer Rate, Are We Welcoming?

It is my impression that U&L regulars tend to consider the site to be fairly high-quality and welcoming. Yet U&L is way below average among SE sites when it comes to questions with at least one upvoted answers. And not everyone shares this impression of being welcomed. What are the major areas in which U&L should improve? If this is something that moderators have a role in, what do you propose to do about it? If not, what should we (meaning all users) be doing?

I think there are actually two separate issues here. First, our percentage answered; second, if we're welcoming (presumably to new users).

Answer Rate

Our percentage answered is lower than average, but only because you're including substantially smaller and younger sites in the average. If you sort the list by traffic, our neighbors are EL&U & Ask Different above and Math and Android below. We are #2, behind EL&U's astonishing 99%, in percent answered.

But that glosses over the very different topic areas. If instead you compare us to similar sites:

Android           68%
Ask Different     76%
Ask Ubuntu        66%
Server Fault      81%
Super User        73%
Unix & Linux (us) 84%
Web Applications  79%
Windows Phone     87%

we really are doing pretty well.

Most of the work improving our answer rate isn't a moderator function, it's something that everyone on the site—even the newly signed up user with one reputation—can (and should) do.

The only mod-specific thing I see—and it really ought not be a high priority as it isn't really improving the site—is that there are old questions which ought to be closed. Closing them may improve the percentage a little.

Are We Welcoming?

I think for the most part, being welcoming is about how we react to less-than-perfect questions from new users. (Everyone is welcoming to perfect questions from new users). A large part again a community effort; copy editing, asking for clarification, retagging, etc. is something everyone should do, mod or not.

A mod does have a special role, though, in stopping unwelcoming behavior such as abrasive comments by both deleting said comments and by reminding other users be nice. Thankfully, that's a problem that has mostly stayed away from U&L.

A mod also has, by having the diamond next to his/her name, a responsibility to be exceptionally civil and patient, and be willing to explain how site features work, repeatedly. I think if you look at my comment history you'll find that those are comments you'll approve of coming from a moderator. Of course, you should look beyond June 3, as no doubt we've all been on our best behavior since we heard about this election.

Time Zone

In which time-zone do you normally operate? And, in UTC, what hours of the day can you be expected to be available for moderation?

I live in Northern Virginia, US, which is in UTC-0500/-0400. However, I'm a night person, so I'm around, or at least pingable, from about 1400 UTC through 0600 UTC. Later on weekends.

I'm in chat, and am easily pingable there (which ultimately winds up on my phone via the Android app). I'll welcome any pings for moderator needed.

One Line Answers

How do you feel about one line answers which only feature a single piece of code?

This was asked on meta, and I'm the author of the highest-voted answer there. See My answer to “Should ‘command only’ answers be flagged, down voted and deleted?”.

Of course, in the future the consensus there could change to something I don't agree with. My job as moderator is not to enforce my personal views, it's to enforce the community's consensus. If I disagree with that consensus, I get to argue my point on chat and on meta like everyone else.

There are some cases that have come up on Stack Overflow where moderators have had to go against consensus, but those are few and far between, and mainly apply to SO.

Strife

As Stack Exchange sites go, let alone communities on the Internet in general, U&L is pretty low on strife. This might be surprising considering how people will go to war over editor choices, init systems or kernel design. Why do you think that is, and most importantly, how would you cope if this changed?

Strife on the Site

I think it's not actually that weird for smaller, technically-focused Stack Exchange sites. Even Stack Overflow is pretty low on strife, compared to the Internet in general. By discouraging conversation threads and instead focusing on answers to specific technical questions, it's something the SE model does very well. We don't allow the kinds of questions that could turn into a flame war ("what's the best init system?" "what's the best editor?").

And if someone asks an emacs question, any answer trying to start an editor war will surely be downvoted to oblivion and deleted.

So, I think moderators play some role in preventing strife by getting rid of trolling, basically. Ultimately, that of course extends to suspending the users performing said trolling. The site has had trolls before, and I (and several other of the candidates) helped flagging and VtC the questions the troll was posting. We coordinated with the existing moderators over chat, and that worked fairly well. Eventually, the troll gave up.

Strife in Chat

Since I've been asked about chat, I've seen those flags before (for a while, high-rep users got flags from all channels). There are a few situations where its obvious to anyone that a message is a problem; but mostly its important to understand the rules & customs of the room before attempting to moderate it.

But let's say something happened in our site's chat room. First, I'd make sure not to be drawn in to it. A heated, abusive argument isn't improved by another person joining in. Nor is it helped by arguing over authority (e.g., if someone says I can't tell them to stop, etc.) The proper response depends on the situation, but (in escalating order), its something like:

  1. general reminder to the channel to keep it civil, etc.
  2. specific reminder about particular messages, to the person to made them. A reminder, not a threat ("that's not cool", etc.)
  3. warning to cut it out or face suspension
  4. chat suspension

I'd skip or repeat steps as appropriate; e.g., someone who shows up and just starts filling the channel with profanity is a troll, and just gets suspended.

Of course, in addition, I'd delete or edit offensive messages.

Help Vampirism

What is your view of help vampirism? Is it an existential threat to the community, or just another term for the elite to use to exclude newcomers? How would you translate this view into your moderation practice?

It exists, but it is a pretty small problem here. I believe we ought to downvote questions which, as the tooltip says, "do not show any research effort".

But I think our first assumption for most cases should be that the asker doesn't know how to do the research, and focus our efforts on helping with that problem as well. We can kindly point them to some search results, ask if those helped, etc. And of course answers can explain how the knowledge to answer was obtained, or where to go for further information (e.g., cite man pages).

A moderator only needs to step in for the few very bad cases, for example to close a question quickly.

Closing & Deleting

How will you participate in closing & deleting? As a moderator, the action of closing a question, opening a closed one, deleting an answer, etc, takes immediate effect, and does not require consensus from multiple users. How will this affect your closing & deleting behavior? Would you act as if you made normal votes? Wait for the consensus of others? Abstain entirely outside of special circumstances? Some other approach?

I don't think I'll handling it that differently than I do now. I currently only vote to close a question that I'm pretty sure should be closed, etc. I don't consider the n-vote requirement a license to be sloppy in my voting.

Giv' me teh Codez

What would you do with "GIV' ME TEH CODEZ" kind of questions? Close them, edit them, anything else?

I think it depends on the question. Strictly speaking, a lot of the fairly simple "I want to extract this bit of data and sort by it" questions are "give me the code" questions. But they're also fairly atomic; you can't really break them down further. I think they're OK.

Then there are other questions that ask for a solution to some complicated task. I think we ought to ask the OP to split it down into smaller, more focused questions, and close the overly broad one. Some of those are also likely off-topic, as they're fully programming questions.

That said, at present, the above is not the consensus here. The consensus requires there be a pattern of it from the user, so I will only close questions when there is.

Editors

Some candidates are apparently so bad at using their editor that they left bits of editor commands in their nomination post. If you're one of them, do you think that despite your poor computer usage skills, you'll be able to master the moderator tools? If you aren't one of them, would you be able to work with a colleague who is, or do you think they should be kept out at all costs?

Well, I'm not one of them (possibly just because I hit the character limit in my nomination—I take the 5th on that), so I'd encourage my colleagues to ask a question on a very nice site I heard about that deals with Unix text editors, among other things.

Answers v. Problems

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?

Well, I'll assume for answering this that the flags are legitimate; if they're not, it's not that user's problem that some random jerk on the Internet is flagging all of his/her stuff. Also, I assume this is a new problem, not a long-running one; if it's a long-running one, presumably the existing moderation team already has a plan.

First, I'd need to decide if the user is doing it on purpose or not—it could be, for example, due to limited English proficiency.

If the user is doing it on purpose, I'd give him/her a warning to cut it out. Otherwise, I'd try to help the user with phrasing, etc. that is less abrasive. I'd also, in either case, if its comments, ask the other users involved to please refrain, and just flag material instead. I'm not sure exactly how the moderator tools work (not currently being one), but I'd make sure this gets communicated to the rest of the team.

Ultimately, if its proves unmanageable, and after discussion with the rest of the moderation team, I'd suspend the user; there are plenty of people who can provide answers without causing problems. Pretty much no user is that special to be worth constant trouble.

Disagreements with other mods

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

Obviously, I'll chat-ping them with @user +++ATH and hope they're on (well, were on) modem connections (fallback: schedule backhoes to work in their neighborhoods). While they're waiting for their modems to redial and reconnect, I'll change their residences into truck stops on Google Maps, and laugh as the 18-wheelers pull up and demand burgers.

On a serious note, I'll talk to the other mod. I'm available in chat, as are most of the other candidates, and the current moderation team. Even as a non-moderator, when I came across a review queue item, closed question, etc. where I felt that one of the other chat regulars cast an incorrect vote, I asked them about it in chat. Or I asked about it on meta.

If anyone (mod or not) believes I've made a mistake, I want them to tell me. I'm willing to discuss it, and I know I do indeed make mistakes.

  • Congrats, after reading this, you got my last vote. I am curious though, a good part of the average strife you will see comes from the chat system. How would you handle strife in chat? Unfortunately it isn't quite as easy as comments. – Seth Jun 18 '14 at 20:32
  • @Seth Do you have a reason to believe that such is true for this site? From my perception, there is little to no "strife" in the chat for U&LSE. – Chris Down Jun 19 '14 at 4:06
  • @ChrisDown No, there is little strife in all the rooms I frequent, but when you are a moderator on one site you become a moderator SE wide in chat (excluding SO and MSE), so you get more responsibility that way. Even with this site, chat is more likely to spawn drama because of the way it is, compared to the way a SE site is. – Seth Jun 19 '14 at 4:14
  • @Seth I edited a slightly modified version (extra step) of my now obsolete comment into my answer. – derobert Jun 19 '14 at 17:05
7

Kevin

It is my impression that U&L regulars tend to consider the site to be fairly high-quality and welcoming. Yet U&L is way below average among SE sites when it comes to questions with at least one upvoted answers. And not everyone shares this impression of being welcomed. What are the major areas in which U&L should improve? If this is something that moderators have a role in, what do you propose to do about it? If not, what should we (meaning all users) be doing?

I think a lot of our unanswered questions are problems with unique hardware and software combinations that either no one here can reproduce or the OP just didn't stick around long enough to provide the debugging information necessary to investigate. A couple years ago, we had a contest to bring up our unanswered rate, answering questions when possible, closing where appropriate, and with a drawing for swag, based on users' participation. I think another contest like this would greatly help our unanswered percent.

As far as being nice to new users, I think we are generally nice to users who appear to have put at a little effort into their questions. To be honest, I think the user linked to in the question is just overreacting. That said, we should definitely try to be welcoming to new users, and polite even when they may not deserve it. To that end, if a user is acting overly aggressive or rude I will warn them, and if a new user is being problematic, I will provide him advice, and if he continues to be a problem, I will take further steps as appropriate.


In which time-zone do you normally operate? And, in UTC, what hours of the day can you be expected to be available for moderation?

I'm currently in the US Northeast, and I can keep an eye on flags, dealing with quick and easy flags, and situations that need immediate attention through most of the workday, from about 10-6. I'm usually online at home from about 7pm to 11pm, when I can more easily answer questions and deal with more complex matters. In a few months, I will be moving to US pacific time.

In UTC (if I did the math correctly), that's currently 1400-2200 and 2300-0300, moving back to about 1700-0100 and 0200-0600 in September.


How do you feel about one line answers which only feature a single piece of code?

The answerer should be encouraged with a comment to add explanation to the answer, and if you as a user feel it's unhelpful, feel free to downvote along with such a comment, but be prepared to come back and undownvote if the answerer adds such explanation. If it answers the question, it shouldn't be flagged as "not an answer," and if it can be made acceptable with some explanation, it shouldn't be flagged as "very low quality."


As Stack Exchange sites go, let alone communities on the Internet in general, U&L is pretty low on strife. This might be surprising considering how people will go to war over editor choices, init systems or kernel design. Why do you think that is, and most importantly, how would you cope if this changed?

I think Unix nerds are generally agreeable people -- why else would they give so much time to open source software? Even the occasional editor "war" I find to be good-natured. If and when this changes, I will keep the site civil, using those moderator powers necessary and proper to do so. See the question below about misbehaving prodigious members of the community.


What is your view of help vampirism? Is it an existential threat to the community, or just another term for the elite to use to exclude newcomers? How would you translate this view into your moderation practice?

I don't think help vampirism is a rampant problem here. If a user asks good questions at a reasonable rate, they are welcome to continue doing so. If, however, a user repeatedly asks poor questions, they may need a mod message or suspension. As with all a mod's actions, that will be handled on a case-by-case basis.


How will you participate in closing & deleting? As a moderator, the action of closing a question, opening a closed one, deleting an answer, etc, takes immediate effect, and does not require consensus from multiple users. How will this affect your closing & deleting behavior? Would you act as if you made normal votes? Wait for the consensus of others? Abstain entirely outside of special circumstances? Some other approach?

A part of the price of a moderator's binding votes is giving up one's own opinions as to their use. A moderator's duty is to enforce a site's policies, not one's own opinions. Accordingly, I will take binding moderator actions when and only when it is necessary and proper to enforce the policies established by the users via meta.


What would you do with "GIV' ME TEH CODEZ" kind of questions? Close them, edit them, anything else?

Politely encourage the asker to show some effort to solve the problem on their own. Edit if there's a clear way to improve the question. Nothing about this sort of question needs moderator intervention.


Some candidates are apparently so bad at using their editor that they left bits of editor commands in their nomination post. If you're one of them, do you think that despite your poor computer usage skills, you'll be able to master the moderator tools? If you aren't one of them, would you be able to work with a colleague who is, or do you think they should be kept out at all costs?

Although vim is clearly the best editor, the need for a good moderator transcends the editor wars. For the sake of the site I would be willing to tolerate a colleague who uses emacs. Though nano/pico is pushing it, and anything else we'll have to have a little chat.

As for mastering the moderator tools, I already have.


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?

By the book: warning, mod message, suspension, as warranted by the severity of their actions and their disciplinary history. Being a high-rep user doesn't exempt you from the rules; if anything, it means you should be held to a higher standard.


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

I would begin by discussing the matter with them in the Mod room. Maybe there was some motivation for their action that I was not aware of. If I am still dissatisfied with their explanation, I would present my point of view to them so we can discuss what site policy says about the situation. If site policy doesn't cover the situation and I can't come to an agreement with the other mod, I would post it on Meta, as I would advise anyone else to do when they disagree with a moderator's actions.

  • You completely ignore the second question in the first, ahem, question. IMO that is a very important one to be asking. Do you have an answer for it? – Seth Jun 18 '14 at 19:46
  • @Seth sure, added. – Kevin Jun 18 '14 at 20:43
  • by what book? Is it written...? – mikeserv Jun 20 '14 at 22:59
  • @mikeserv It's an idiom, referring to following the rules from a rulebook strictly. There are a few resources and guidelines for moderators (e.g. A Theory of moderation), but no literal rulebook. – Kevin Jun 20 '14 at 23:14
  • That was my suspicion, but I didn't know. Now I do. Thank you. – mikeserv Jun 20 '14 at 23:16
7

Caleb ⇘

  1. It is my impression that U&L regulars tend to consider the site to be fairly high-quality and welcoming. Yet U&L is way below average among SE sites when it comes to questions with at least one upvoted answers. And not everyone shares this impression of being welcomed. What are the major areas in which U&L should improve? If this is something that moderators have a role in, what do you propose to do about it? If not, what should we (meaning all users) be doing?

    For the record: I tend to fall half way between camps on this issue. I love U&L and think it is one of the better sites on the network. That being said I don't think it's without flaws. In particular, I think the disparity in expertise between questioners and answerers as well as the highly opinionated user base are a potential causes for concern. In many ways things have played out well enough for us here but there is room for improvement and even more room for awareness going forward. A major part of my motivation to run for this position is in the hope that my efforts will contribute to keeping this site from taking a turn for the worse—something I think could easily happen if steady hands are not kept on the tiller and moderation tasks are not stayed on top of. The time to curb negative patterns that lead to nonconstructive environments is early, not late. I've watched many communities (including a couple SE sites) get too far down the road before realizing they had a problem. When that is allowed to happen the folks that are left are not the ones with any motivation to fix the issue. If you wait until the overall tone is poisonous serious reform will be very difficult to pull off.

    This field (our profession generally) is prone to a number of insidious attitudes. We are always right¹—too often if we aren't braggarts we're condescending elitists. U&L has the advantage of being focused on an already narrow segment of the field and we tend to be excited about anybody that shows up in our pool and wants to swim with us. This bypasses a lot of the rapids involved in picking a pool (such as when choosing between proprietary architectures, settling on best practices, etc. are at stake) but it does not make us immune!

    I'm not saying we should baby every question that comes in and wear kid gloves with all new users to make sure they feel warm and fuzzy even if they post gibberish. I do suggest we need to have a robust, no-nonsense approach to the actions we do take and the comments we do make. Civility should not be optional. We can chide each-other about whatever² but snarking at users when they do dumb or wrong things should not be tolerated.

    As far as quality goes, I'd personally don't think our high unanswered question ratio is necessarily a sign of poor quality. On the contrary one of the major signs of poor quality I see on some sites is an over-eagerness to Answer All The Questions™. This usually comes at the expense of those answers being meaningful contributions. When questions are "answered" before what is being asked is even resolved (or by people who don't really know the answers but are just playing the rep game) then quality suffers. Of course we do want to get those questions answered, but lets do them right.

    • Some unanswered questions should probably be closed. Many of them simply don't have enough information to be solved. Some are obscure one-off problems that even the OP can't replicate or they never bothered to flesh out the question with enough detail to make an answerable question.
    • Some unanswered questions are missing the right expertise. This is unfortunate, but if nobody knows the answer and they are good questions, the least we can do is upvote them and try to keep them promoted until they attract the right expertise. It might be worth organizing a community bounty system to regularly promote ones where the impetus clearly lies with potential answers to figure out an answer rather that with the questioner to shape up their question.

    See also my answer to the one-line-answer question for further comments on quality.

  2. In which time-zone do you normally operate? And, in UTC, what hours of the day can you be expected to be available for moderation?

    I live in GMT+2 and keep loose hacker hours. You can reasonably expect to see me dropping by the site between UTC 07:00 and 23:00. Exceptions abound.

  3. How do you feel about one line answers which only feature a single piece of code?

    ⇩ ⇩ ⇩

    No –seriously– this is one reason my down-vote count is as high as it is. As technically correct and potentially useful as these are they fail to be helpful just when its needed most. The potential for these to be useful stays at just that: potential. Even if it means slowing down and posting less I think the site quality is boosted by kinetic energy, not potential. Give your answer a reason to live! Justify them. Explain them.

    It's cliché, but "don't just give people fish, teach them to fish". The best answers here will explain why things work, they will explain how to adapt them for various applications and they will point out where to learn more about specific issues.

    That is not to suggest moderators summarily delete all the one-liners that get posted. I don't even think moderators should be deleting wrong or even dangerous answers. If they are a legitimate attempt to answer the original question and don't fall cross-wise of other guidelines then they are not moderator actionable on account of being one-liners. Link-only posts with no hint of the answer inline are different; comments that don't answer the question are different: those can go. But being allowed to stay on a technicality does not make one-liners something to encourage! They are typically sand and we should be optimizing for pearls.

    I've been vocal about this elsewhere on the SE network. In fact on the Hermeneutics site I used analogies from the *nix a world to try to make the value of explaining answers more clear to a community that was struggling to discern the difference between "answering a question" and the kind of "answer" that SE sites are looking for. The context is different but the basic issue at stake there was similar to the issue here with one-liners and no explanation.

  4. As Stack Exchange sites go, let alone communities on the Internet in general, U&L is pretty low on strife. This might be surprising considering how people will go to war over editor choices, init systems or kernel design. Why do you think that is, and most importantly, how would you cope if this changed?

    The main "why" I see for this is simply the QnA format—specifically the limited scope of each question and the strict expectation that answers will address the original question. This is dissimilar from most other formats online that lend themselves to ongoing discussions that drift from topic to topic. Even threaded forums really only have an expectation that each post will be related to the one before it, not necessarily to the original. This much goes for the SE network in general.

    Some sites do better than others at playing to this format's strengths. I think the general scope of U&L lends itself to the format well and the current moderators have done an excellent job of keeping things on track. Our general scope is focused on problem solving and solution finding more than it is on development or abstracts. The wars over how things should be in the *nix world—how program X should function, or which init system is is best³—are simply not that relevant here because nothing gets decided here. This is not the -devel mailing list for any particular piece of code. Here is where we help each-other learn how to use the tool-set we've got (even if sometimes that leaves us bemoaning their weaknesses).

    As for how I would cope with strife were it to ensue, I cite my history rather than any campaign promises. Even the term used to describe the most passionate disputes over editors, init systems, kernel designs and security practices: "holy wars" is only borrowed from where the real strife ridden topics are at. I've been a moderator (first pro-tempore then elected) for nearly 3 years over on Christianity.SE. If you want to know how I cope with the onset of strife in a community, the thing to do is review some of my questions and answers on the C.SE Meta. Not everyone likes my moderation over there and I certainly have a few detractors. Listen to their side of the story if you like and decide after that if I've served the community in mitigating strife.

  5. What is your view of help vampirism? Is it an existential threat to the community, or just another term for the elite to use to exclude newcomers? How would you translate this view into your moderation practice?

    Yes.

    What do you mean you can't answer an ambiguous "or" question with a Boolean?

    Yes it's a threat to the community and yes its a term that gets abused. Such terms should never be used to approach the vampires directly. If you are commenting on their posts or bringing a case to meta this kind of terminology is generally not constructive. On the other hand the thing referred to is a real enough problem on the Internet. I've only seen a handful of cases here and few of those were egregious enough to be an "existential" threat. People usually don't end up on Unix & Linux with our brand of problems if they aren't at least a little bit interested in how things work. Even really dense cases that never do more than hack their way by come up with interesting questions some of the time.

    When it does happen, this is something moderators can deal with fairly easily. If a pattern develops where somebody with lots of low quality questions is blustering on and refusing to put any effort into following the community's suggestions for improvement, they can chat with, mod message and even temporarily suspend the culprits until they take the process seriously and---even if they never have valuable answers to contribute---at least put some effort into their questions.

  6. How will you participate in closing & deleting? As a moderator, the action of closing a question, opening a closed one, deleting an answer, etc., takes immediate effect, and does not require consensus from multiple users. How will this affect your closing & deleting behavior? Would you act as if you made normal votes? Wait for the consensus of others? Abstain entirely outside of special circumstances? Some other approach?

    I'm fairly used to the binding vote problem. On the one hand I'm not afraid to use it. On the other hand I do think much more carefully about things like close votes than I would as a regular user. I'll double check that duplicates are actually duplicates and be ready to explain/defend my reasoning. Nothing will be done on a whim, but I will continue casting votes as usual. Moderators can be wrong (and I will be, so call be out on it when you catch it) but they are elected specifically because they show good judgment. The community should expect them to exercise that judgment, not put it on the shelf.

    The one exception I've found is that as a 10/20k user there are a lot low quality posts that I can and do vote to delete because they are wrong or just not helpful. This is something I think the community can collaborate on that as a moderator I really have to step away from a bit. Moderator deletes are better used for NAA material and other egregious stuff. We are not tasked with moderating answers based on their content quality per-se and deleting "wrong" answers is better handled directly by the community. For that I will back off to usually just plying the regular vote power (or maybe throwing in for that third delete vote).

  7. What would you do with "GIV' ME TEH CODEZ" kind of questions? Close them, edit them, anything else?

    I think truly blatant cases of this should be closed with impunity, but with polite comments explaining that this is not a place to have somebody else just do everything for you, noting what aspect(s) of a good question are missing, and giving them something concrete to work through when editing if they care to improve their question so it can be re-opened. If they show willingness to improve I'd help with editing.

    Likewise less obvious cases where the user is more clueless than lazy may not call for the insta-close treatment except when it is really unclear what they are trying to accomplish. Many dicey questions can be salvaged with an edit. Although I am a big fan of having questions fixed before they are answered, sometimes an answer can ever try to sort out the pieces if someone thinks they have a reasonable guess at what a confused user is into.

  8. Some candidates are apparently so bad at using their editor that they left bits of editor commands in their nomination post. If you're one of them, do you think that despite your poor computer usage skills, you'll be able to master the moderator tools? If you aren't one of them, would you be able to work with a colleague who is, or do you think they should be kept out at all costs?

    I CAN HAZ MOD⁴ TOOLZ? PLZ? <Ctrl>C<Ctrl>Qexit<Enter>quit<Enter>asdf!*)+]

  9. 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 start off with a low key straightforward reminder of what the comment system is for and what our expectations are for its proper use. I would follow through after that with relatively aggressive comment cleanup anywhere it was getting out of hand. As long as this stayed as an intermittent problem this might be enough. If it became apparent that there was chronic abuse of the system and that a user was not trying to reform their participation, a mod warning and eventually suspension would be in order. Such an escalation wouldn't be for an occasional abrasive comment but in the case of deliberate ongoing ill-manners moderators should intervene before it becomes poisonous to the overall environment.

    In my experience the vast majority of these cases where comments turn into arguments and get flagged happen when a user either A) takes something or another personally and gets bent out of shape over a particular user or B) gets some site usage pattern in their head that isn't common consensus. In both cases—and regardless of whether they had just cause to be disgruntled or not or whether their idea about the site is good or bad—the result is a stream of comments that end up not being about the specific post they under and not useful to other site visitors. It just so happens that every time they see that user or pattern it rubs them the wrong way and they reach for the nearest tool—comments—even though that is the wrong tool for the job. The correct venue for this sort of thing would be to air the issue out on meta. Besides the process of forming a meta a post being helpful to the person with the issue this allows the rest of the community to offer feedback on how something should be handled. It also allows a decision to be made so that it can be put to rest instead of festering. As a moderator I would pressure this pattern. When people with issues that are not post related keep using comments to bring up their issue over and over rather than taking it to meta I would be polite but firm and clean up such comments and make sure their issue was taken to meta.

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

    A closed question isn't worth a mod-edit-war—what kind of example would that be? In the mean time there are plenty of constructive ways to approach such an issue. An easy place to start is to ping the other mod in chat and discuss it. For very simple cases asking for clarifications in comments might work too, but an actual disagreement is likely to require a discussion for which comments aren't suitable. In my experience a bit of discussion with other mods will almost always resolve such cases.

    In the unlikely event that a serious disagreement is not quickly resolved in chat and both sides feel is important to escalate rather than drop, the next thing to do would be for one or both mods to post their viewpoint on the issue to meta and solicit some community feedback. Eventually this should reveal where the community is on the issue and a judgment call will be easier to make.

    If all that fails, recusing the case to another mod is probably in order—but seriously half the point of elected moderators is that the community gets to put people in place that have the power (and hopefully the wisdom and sensibility!) to make judgment calls when necessary in a way that will be constructive for the community as a whole. If we can't keep the peace among ourselves, who would we be to do it for everyone?

    In several years of moderating I can think of several times I disagreed with another mod's actions but (co-mods please call me out on this if I have selective amnesia!) no case where I have executively reversed their action without their approval.


Errata:

¹ More correctly, I am always right.

² You wouldn't seriously use nano as your primary editor would you?

³ I happen to be of the camp that embraces systemd even if it is "an all-devouring octopus monster about crawl out of the sea and eat Tokyo and spit it out as a giant binary logfile". (source)

⁴ But seriously now: we make our Ask Ubuntu mods sign the Ubuntu Code of Conduct. Why shouldn't U&L mods be required to use the editor with a POSIX standard dedicated to it? For further reflection I leave you with a poem and a shameless plug.

  • 3
    After reading this I am glad I voted for you. I haven't read all the other nominees answers yet, but you seem to have a good grasp on U&L's problems, few though they might be, and know how to fix them. – Seth Jun 17 '14 at 21:46
  • 4
    @slm Curious why you changed "I am" to "I'm"? "I am" is perfectly correct English. – derobert Jun 17 '14 at 22:05
  • @derobert - since I was fixing other typos I fixed that too. Thought it read better with a contraction there vs. 2 I am's back to back. – slm Jun 18 '14 at 0:41
4

Braiam

It is my impression that U&L regulars tend to consider the site to be fairly high-quality and welcoming. Yet U&L is way below average among SE sites when it comes to questions with at least one upvoted answers. And not everyone shares this impression of being welcomed. What are the major areas in which U&L should improve? If this is something that moderators have a role in, what do you propose to do about it? If not, what should we (meaning all users) be doing?

There are two questions, so I will address them separately:

  • For the welcoming part, I believe those users are not used to our model or are used to other models that just don't work in Stack Exchange. My first contact with Stack Exchange was on Stack Overflow which is believed to be more rude to newbies, and yet, my question was well retrieved; granted, I did my homework and wrote my question in the best of my abilities, so the reason that I was treated well, lies on me, not in the rest of the community.

  • About our answers rate, I think there's always place to improve, but that improvement shouldn't be mindless. Most of those questions either, doesn't have enough information to provide a correct answers (troubleshooting kind) or there isn't just some user knowledgeable enough to answer them (cue some kernel memory management questions, and the likes).

So our principal goal should be attract users that can answer difficult questions and prevent that our backlog of troubleshooting questions rises.

In which time-zone do you normally operate? And, in UTC, what hours of the day can you be expected to be available for moderation?

UTC -4. I don't have fixed hours to participate in the site, but mainly I do it in my morning or my night.

How do you feel about one line answers which only feature a single piece of code?

They should be strongly discouraged. We need to remember that the answers are not only for OP's benefit but for the rest of the internet. When the answer doesn't elaborate, it could be disastrous for someone that comes along an use the answer without understanding fully what's being done or how. I would certainly favor any answer that has a complete explanation of the code used.

As Stack Exchange sites go, let alone communities on the Internet in general, U&L is pretty low on strife. This might be surprising considering how people will go to war over editor choices, init systems or kernel design. Why do you think that is, and most importantly, how would you cope if this changed?

I like to think that we all are professionals, or at very least how to behave with professionalism. We all know that people will have preferences (myself not being too picky when it comes to editors, so sorry guys) and know how to respect them, share our opinions and discuss with moderation in an informal forum, like chat.

On the main site I know that any question trying to sway the flames of war would have a promptly response of every users and swiftly closed.

What is your view of help vampirism? Is it an existential threat to the community, or just another term for the elite to use to exclude newcomers? How would you translate this view into your moderation practice?

"vampires" in my dictionary (which I will use from now on) are people that doesn't care about the rest of the community. These kind of users if they do not improve upon interaction with the site, maybe they are not SE material and we should show them the door.

As I said in my nomination, as long as you help me to help you, you will get my help.

How will you participate in closing & deleting? As a moderator, the action of closing a question, opening a closed one, deleting an answer, etc, takes immediate effect, and does not require consensus from multiple users. How will this affect your closing & deleting behavior? Would you act as if you made normal votes? Wait for the consensus of others? Abstain entirely outside of special circumstances? Some other approach?

I'm an advocated of "vote early, vote often", so I will continue as moderator. I always vote with responsibility when there's something right or wrong with the post. As moderator I will be asked to comment more when taking action which I normally don't do since most of the post I vote the problem is obvious or there's already a comment that has an explanation, so that's the only thing that will change.

Obviously, we are humans and we are asked to make some judgment calls, but I will abide by the consensus on meta even if I don't agree totally with it.

What would you do with "GIV' ME TEH CODEZ" kind of questions? Close them, edit them, anything else?

I would certainly downvote them, with the reasons show in the tooltip. If a close reason applies, I would certainly close them, as I would do with any other question. If the community decides to treat them differently, I will abide by the deposition.

Some candidates are apparently so bad at using their editor that they left bits of editor commands in their nomination post. If you're one of them, do you think that despite your poor computer usage skills, you'll be able to master the moderator tools? If you aren't one of them, would you be able to work with a colleague who is, or do you think they should be kept out at all costs?

I know how to exit vim, I know how to save and close nano, I know how to flip bits with nothing more than alcohol, a needle and a steady pulse; I don't think the moderator tools would be more complicated to play with use.

Of course I know I would ask for help if I don't understand how to use a tool

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 will excuse myself and copy from my other answer on AU)

This should be deal in steps, and depends the gravity of the situation. I would treat them nice but firm.

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

(this also)

I first should evaluate why I think why it should be closed/deleted/etc. Kind of "put myself in other shoes", since there might be something I missed or I don't know in the moment. Once I do this, I could ask if I was spot on of why the action was done and would propose have done instead and why and offer that alternative. If consensus is reached, is fine.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .